Tori’s Mini Reviews
The fourth book in Erin Watt’s dramatic and humorous YA family saga (The Royals) deals with essentially the middle child-Easton. This seemingly happy go lucky man child has some serious demons riding him from a drug and alcohol problem to unresolved guilt over his mother’s suicide. When a little afternoon delight brings a new girl to his attention, Easton finds himself intrigued with the only person at Aston Prep to ever tell him no. As nothing is ever easy in the Royal Family, Easton finds himself desperate to play knight in shining armor for his new love Hartley only to discover that he needs to fix himself before he can fix anyone else. Unfortunately, it may take a tragedy to hammer that point home.
Erin Watt’s really opens up with Easton, taking us from your average everyday sex fueled melodrama YA to a serious coming of age story that addresses love-both romantic and familial -along with loss, redemption, hope, and acceptance. Alone now that both his older brothers are gone and his younger brothers (twins) stay to themselves, I couldn’t help but feel a large part of the book kept us poised on the edge, waiting for the huge cliffhanger at the end. While Easton opens and grows in here, thanks largely in part to his POV, I really felt we missed having a true connection with Hartley as well. As with any YA, there’s some whining, some bad girls, some stupid decisions, and a whole lot of innuendos. :) Regardless, I am looking forward to book two as I must see how on earth Watt’s plans to resolve this mess.
I first met Emma Hart through her Holly Wood series. A romantic suspense series that follows a female PI and her antagonistic love affair with a local cop. I loved and laughed my butt off through the series and was happy to see her starting another series based in…wait for it…Sin City. Get it?? *wink wink nudge nudge* The book opens with Dahlia Lloyds’ bar mgr, Abby, calling her and telling her it’s time to come home. Dahlia has been MIA for 3 months, mourning her father’s passing. Abby is tired of fending off offers for the bar. Especially one particularly obnoxious buyer. Damien Fox. What Damien Fox wants, Damien Fox gets. And he wants The Scarlet Letter bar no matter what it takes. Only it’s not for sale and neither is the new owner, Dahlia Lloyd. As Damien and Dahlia match wits in and out of the bedroom, it becomes apparent they are more alike than they thought and suddenly the stakes become much higher.
While I really wanted to enjoy this, I couldn’t seem to connect with the protagonists. Damien is dialed up to high on the mega alpha “my way or highway’ meter while Dahlia is all one-liners and faux outrage. The story meanders along as Hart sets up the romance and main storyline, attempting to create a sexy antagonistically fueled relationship that didn’t work for me. I was bored and eventually irritated by all the lollygagging and chit chat. I enjoyed meeting the secondary cast though they acted more as place settings. I DNF’d at the 50%. If I wasn’t hooked by now, I never would be. Regardless of my inability to read this one, I do recommend Emma Hart in general for fans who like their romance steamy and hot.