Not Just a Friend by Laura Jardine
Series: Toronto Friend, #3
Maya has had really bad luck with men. Between her ex doing horrible things, and going on blind dates with men that turn out badly, Maya is tired of the dating scene. She is lucky to have a friend with benefits in Liam. Knowing each other in school, now as adults, Maya knows she will have a good time with him if need be, and she can leave in the morning with no strings attached. Problem is, Liam has feelings for Maya – he just needs to convince her he is the one for her.
This was an okay novella – Liam is suppose to be a nerdy math teacher, although the nerdiness didn’t necessarily come through. He is super nice and cute though. Maya was a little stand-offish and I got a little tired of reading about her going on awful dates. I wanted her to have a little more sense of humor or something. She came across a little flat. I also wanted her to fall in love harder. I needed more emotion from her at the end of the story.
Hunted by Marissa Garner
Series: FBI Heat
I feel guilty when I say or think that an author’s voice doesn’t work for me. I’m not sure why, because when I love a book, I shout the opposite. But in this case, this author’s voice does not work. The characters interactions didn’t seem realistic – they felt too well orchestrated. I didn’t care for the premise – with the kidnapped wives, and the heroine about to lose her job and fighting off her stalker ex. And the hero is a FBI agent with his whole thing going on. I couldn’t get into it. I didn’t like how the characters were written.
The second book in Camaron’s and Field’s Caldwell Brother’s series is a romantic contemporary/suspense that revolves around three brothers who are struggling to create a better life for themselves. I didn’t mind book one and was hoping book two would settle and expand beyond the stereotypical direction that book one took. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. This book annoyed me to death. An intriguingly though common enough plotline sets the stage; introducing us to the heroine and hero and announcing in flashing red lights that we are headed for melodrama island. While I very much enjoyed the heroine (she is a strong woman who is focused on her goals and determined to save herself from a life of servitude), I found the hero to be nothing more than an overblown caricature of the quintessential young adult male whose alpha posturing and sexual appeal is magnified by 100% in his own mind. Repetitive dialogue, manufactured drama, and a hero that has to constantly brand drop and wax poetic about how his sexual skills leave the ladies enthralled left a bad taste in my mouth.
The Harder You Fall by Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers, #3
Showalter hits a home run in the third installment of her Original Heartbreakers series. Fans of this series have been waiting for the elusive Lincoln West and his story since book one. Well written with a cast of dynamic characters whose emotions and vulnerabilities will keep you glued to the pages. Unadulterated humor, full assault romance, and some heart-wrenching moments pave the way for this last Heartbreaker’s story. Redemption, forgiveness, and second chances pave the way as a man finds himself standing at the crossroads with the chance of happiness down one path and continued self-torture down the other. While I enjoyed getting to know the real West and what his reasons behind his two-month rule were, it’s the heroine and her journey to self-awareness and love that made this an engaging fun read for me. Reformed party girl Jessie Kay owns this book with her never ending snark, love of life, non-apologetic lifestyle, and unwillingness to settle for today when she has a chance at a future of tomorrow’s.
Anything For You by Kristen Higgins
Series: Blue Heron, #5
Kristan Higgin’s Blue Heron series is a well-defined romance contemporary series that blends small town humor and eccentricities with sorrow and conflict as it builds difficult romances between two complicated people. It’s not always neat and tidy but normally entertaining. When I learned this was Conner’s story I was very excited. I have always loved him and his twin, Colleen. Higgin’s has hinted as to his HEA for the last 4 books and I was ready to see who it was though I had a strong suspicion. And I was right. Conner has loved Jessica forever but when he proposes, she turns him down flat. From there we go in the past to see what led up to her saying no and then into the present to see if this couple will make it. I wish I could say I loved it but I didn’t. Darker and more emotionally tangled, this couple had so many negatives against them that even when I was given their HEA I didn’t buy it. I also found myself hard pressed to engage with the heroine. Higgin’s does a fantastic job of developing her beyond her previous support status; giving us her backstory so we understand her attitude and the reasons for her actions. But rather then gain my sympathy, I grew more annoyed with her as the story revealed. Her unwillingness to move beyond her past gave me little hope to her and Conner’s future. There was a sense of self-righteous martyrism to her that was difficult to swallow. Conner, on the other hand, is an absolute doll and exhibited all the patience in the world towards this woman. Far more than I would have. I questioned during the last half of the book why he wanted to be with her when he was willing to give his all and she wasn’t. Rumor has it this is the last book in the series. While I’m sad to see it end, perhaps it is for the best.