Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: Red Blooded (Jessica McClain #4) by Amanda Carlson

Jessica is on her way to Hell. After settling a fragile truce between the vampires, werewolves and witches, the last thing Jessica wants to do is face the demons head on. But when the Prince of Hell kidnapped her brother, he set into motion a chain of events that even Jessica doesn't have the power to stop.

Now, Jessica must go into battle again. But Hell is a whole new beast... new rules, more dangerous demons, and an entirely foreign realm. And when Jessica is dropped into the Underworld too soon, without protection or the help of her friends, she must figure out just how powerful she can be... or she will never make it out alive.

Jessica’s off to hell to rescue her brother who’s being held captive there. She’s still unable to communicate with her father, the alpha, but she has bigger concerns with finding her brother. Especially since time acts differently in hell, one hour or one year could have passed for her brother since he was taken so Jess is determined to get there as soon as she’s able to work a bit of magic the witches are trying to help her with. The witches know she won’t last long in hell if she doesn’t have better command of her magic and creating protective circles, but when a trial test run goes wrong, Jessica takes in and holds on to a type of magic she shouldn’t have been able to and the next thing you know, POP, Jessica is transported to hell.

As soon as she arrives, Jessica comes across another woman being held captive, Lili, who spins a tale of woe to Jess. It’s clear from the start we don’t know whether to believe what Lili is saying, that she’s set on revenge against the Prince of Hell, who she claims, has trapped her here or if her motivates are drastically different. Jessica doesn’t feel as though she has a choice but to form an alliance with Lili when she offers to lead Jessica to her brother for Jess’s help in freeing her from the cell that’s been spelled against her. And this begins Jessica’s crazy adventures in hell that go from encountering all types of dangerous beings in her path to her brother, to finding her brother, having her friends pop into hell to help out, a show down with a powerful character and the birth of a new Coalition.

For as much action as there is in Red Blooded, I found myself bored with the story and the pacing throughout the entire book. I kept thinking that there was so much action going on, I should be on the edge of my seat, instead even with so much going on, it didn’t feel like much progress was being made, like one step forward, two steps back the entire time. Nearly the entire book takes place in hell, and it got to the point where I just wanted it to be over. Every time Jessica and her group would get close to getting out, something else would come at them, or another obstacle got in the way. It was just too much.

There were a few interesting series-storyline developments, mainly the formation of the supernatural Coalition and its members. That will be interesting to see play out in future books. There’s still the ongoing storyline centered around Jessica’s father and their pack. This leads to the book’s cliffhanger. Yes, each book ends with a cliffhanger and even though I know this going in, I still hate it. I didn’t finish the book thinking about how anxious I was to get the next story based on how Red Blooded ends. Instead I finished and thought, typical. Not exactly the reaction one wants to have when finishing a book that ends in mid-action.

On the romance side, since Jessica is alone in hell for a good portion of the book, her mate, Rourke, isn’t around. He does eventually show up as part of the group that pops into hell. They have a few stolen moments together but that’s about it.

I can’t say I was all that taken with Red Blooded. I still find myself interested in Jessica and her world, the powers she’s still trying to manage within herself. The action here was non-stop but I just didn’t feel like there was as much progress made as there should have been so parts of the book were a bit boring and it was an easy read to put down. I’ll still keep going with the series for now, but even with the routine cliffhanger, I won’t be waiting on pins and needles for Jessica’s next adventure.


Rating: C

Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Orbit
Amanda Carlson: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Here: B&N
*eARC provided by publisher for review* 

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: The Hook Up (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on.
Drew doesn’t make me feel like myself. He makes me feel better than myself. As if there is a little broken part of me, rattling and loose, and whenever he’s near it falls into place and tightens.
Anna Jones has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She’s tired of school and just wants to graduate and figure out where to go next. What she doesn’t expect is to catch the eye of her college’s Heisman winning quarterback Drew Baylor in one of their classes. Anna has issues with self confidence that goes back to her high school years. She was the girl who either blended into the wall and went unnoticed or was noticed for all the wrong reasons. She’s grown up now, being a late bloomer, but she still has a hard time feeling ‘good enough’ in some situations, the glaring situation being the girl that Drew wants by his side.

Drew is the golden guy on campus. He’s a born leader and a perfectionist, he’s book smart and loves the game of football. But even being surrounded by teammates and his best friends still leaves him feeling isolated and lonely. Drew lost both his parents and he’s alone in the world. He threw himself into football and has a bright NFL career ahead of him. But sitting next to Anna in class one day shifts his whole world. He wants to get to know her better and she really doesn’t want anything to do with him so Drew takes some of his late father’s advice and pursues her slowly with patience and Anna doesn’t stand a chance.

They start out having sex, but no kissing per Anna’s rule, it’s too intimate and she wants to keep this as strictly a hook up. That way, her heart won’t get involved (yeah right) and she’ll be able to maintain some distance. But Drew doesn’t want that and in addition to the great sex, they start to really get to know each other and this is the where the story truly hooked me. They open up to each other in a way that neither one ever has with anyone else. They come to rely on the other person and when one of them needs comfort, they run to the other person.


For a moment we lay quiet, Drew curled around me, his cheek against mine, the corners of our lips touching as we pant. Slowly, I come back to myself, aware of his fingers stroking my shoulder and the pulse of his cock within me.

It’s so quiet that when he whispers in my ear, my whole body shivers from the sound. “You’ve destroyed me, Anna Jones.”

I know exactly what he means, because he’s destroyed me too.


Everything about this story worked for me. From the first person narrative that always seems to hook me in right away, being able to get into the characters minds, to the point of view alternating between Drew and Anna, I really felt like I got to know each character so intimately and it made me invested in them both early on. The dialogue between all the characters, not just Anna and Drew, is sharp and smart with plenty of quick banter between everyone on page. My one assumption with most new adult stories is that the characters will come off immature – and sure I shouldn’t assuming anything, and that’s especially the case here. Drew, Anna and their friends come across on page as mature young adults who are easy to relate to in a way that I never expected from young 20-something characters.

Drew and Anna’s relationship plays out over many months and I loved seeing it develop through the passage of time. It made it easier to believe in and I loved watching this young couple go through many ups and downs as they try to figure out a way to make things work and come together. Drew’s always in the lime light and has been for many years so he’s oblivious to some of the things (mean comments, social media, etc) that get directed Anna’s way. She’s struggling to ignore the outside noise knowing full well that’s a big downside to being with Drew. This couple goes through it all, funny, laugh out loud moments, sweet and sexy times and some heavy emotional scenes that had me going from laughing at them to crying with them.

I never thought I’d be here typing that one of my favorite reads of 2014 is a new adult book, but it is. The Hook Up has everything I love in a story. Characters that I cared about so much, moments throughout the book that had me sighing in happiness or wiping away a tear because the pain someone felt was so strong and real. Kristen Callihan has created such a rich, engaging group of people who are trying to find their way in life and I can’t get enough. This book has turned Callihan into an auto-read author for me, if she puts something out there I’ll read it, her series are just that addicting. I highly recommend giving The Hook Up a read, this non-NA reader was completely taken by these characters and days later I’m still thinking about the story.


Rating: A+

Release Date: September 8, 2014
Kristen Callihan: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Here: Amazon.com | B&N
*eARC provided by publisher for review* 

 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss #1) by Nalini Singh

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

Zachary Fox, known as just Fox to his friends family and millions of fans, sees Molly across a room at a party and wants to get to know her, right away. Molly, thinking that Fox is a gorgeous rock God, can’t imagine he’d ever want to get to know someone like her, but when he stops her as she’s leaving and makes it clear he’s interested she figures why not. A sexy night she’ll never forget and then hopefully her heart can move on - she’s in. But Fox has other things in mind, namely wanting Molly to be with him for more than one night, but getting her to agree will take some major convincing on his part. Since he and his band are in Molly’s town for a month, they agree to see each other exclusively for that month. Fox certainly has other long terms plans, but decides to tread slowly as Molly’s past experiences make her very skittish in the present. But as emotions start to get all tangled up, Molly can’t imagine not having Fox in her life and makes the ultimate leap of faith to be with him and try to make this somewhat unconventional relationship work between a rock star and a librarian.

The story is broken out into two parts, the first part being the month Fox and Molly get to know each other hidden away from the spotlight, the second part being them together as a couple, facing the media and the world. The first half dragged a bit for me. I liked getting to know Fox and Molly, but their story really picked up in the second part when they were faced with the reality of what their relationship would be like in the public eye and both of them having to face demons from their past to be able to make a go of it together. For Molly, it’s incredibly hard as she was in the middle of a public scandal thanks to her dad being caught with an underage girl that made headlines. It not only made headlines, but it made Molly’s teenage life a living hell and ever since she’s tried to live her life as quietly and planned out as possible. It just takes a guy like Fox to shake all that up and I appreciated that while there were a few bumps in the road, their relationship was built on trust and actually talking to each other about things that were bothering them.

Fox is sexy beyond words. He’s magic on stage as the lead singer of his band and he’s sexy with Molly, getting her to open up and try any and everything with him. Honestly, I was a bit surprised with just how much sex was in the book. I've seen the book labeled as new adult, but I have a hard time calling this one new adult. The heroine is 24, the hero is 27 and it’s very much a contemporary romance, with some very sexy scenes included. Sure, there were a few moments where I thought Molly was acting her age, in a bad way, but for the most part, the dialogue, Fox, Molly and all the supporting characters introduced came across as mature and made me very excited to see where this series will go next. In addition to the rest of the band members we get to know well, we’re introduced to Molly’s best friend, Charlotte and get snippets of her relationship with her boss, a man she can’t stand…or so she says. Their story appears to be happening at the same time as Fox and Molly’s, just off page, so I can’t wait to fill in some blanks where they’re concerned and learn more about Charlie. There is also another romance brewing between Molly’s sister Thea and band member David – another relationship that I can’t wait to see play out.

I really enjoyed Rock Addiction and the setup for this new world Singh’s created. There were a few moments of over-the-top sweetness, but it overall hit a nice romantic tone for me. I found all the characters that were introduced to be likable and interesting. Fox – sexy rockstar, a bit bossy and in charge in the bedroom. He had me grinning pretty much throughout the entire story. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the supporting storylines play out on page, the sneak peeks we get during Rock Addiction just made me want more.


Rating: B

Release Date: September 9, 2014
Nalini Singh: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Here: Amazon.com | iBooks
*eARC provided by publisher for review* 

 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: Night's Honor (Elder Races #7) by Thea Harrison

In USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison's latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…

On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past….

Tess needs a place to hide from her former boss, a powerful Djinn, so she offers herself up as a vampyre attendant. She catches the attention of Xavier who interviews her and offers a trial position for one year. Tess is terrified of vampyre’s and her fear skyrockets every time she gets close to Xavier. She can’t imagine being a blood donor for him, part of the job of an attendant, and that’s a condition of the year long trial. If during that time she doesn’t offer her blood of her own free will, it’s over. The conditions Xavier sets are ones that Tess can live with, what choice does she have? So she moved into his home and begins to train with Xavier’s right hand, human man, Raoul, who takes it to Tess. He pushes her hard and during a long absence from Xavier, when he leaves to attend to business, Tess trains and starts to slowly change her body and her mind when it comes to the supernatural world she’s living in.

This book felt very far removed from the Elder Races series as we know it to date. Other than a random mention of Dragos and the sentinel games that take place at one point during this story, the book is completely focused on the vampyre world, their politics and figuring out the good guys from the ones to watch out for. In that respect, the story was interesting. I liked getting to know the players, Xavier and his sire Julian – I loved both these guys. I really enjoyed learning about Xavier and his sad past and what led him to become a vampyre in the first place.

My issues with the story aren’t because of the focus of the book, learning more about the vampyres; but rather the lack of anything else about this world that we’ve come to know series-wise. I missed the Wyr’s, I missed seeing the characters we’ve gotten to know over all these books come on and off page. Night’s Honor is 100% a stand-alone book and could even be thought of as a spin off really.

But what really lacked for me was the romance. It was non-existent for about the first ¾ of the book and I started to wonder if it was ever going to happen for Tess and Xavier. Hell I just wanted them to kiss and when they finally did I wanted to shout hallelujah. The romance really takes a back seat to getting the lay of the vampyre land and in fleshing out Tess’s issue with the Djinn who she knows is out to get her. I would have liked to have seen the romance start to develop much sooner than it does. For the first half of the book, Tess is still terrified of being around Xavier and I didn’t really buy in to how quickly her mind changes. More development, slowly over more of the book, would have helped because as it is, the romance is crammed into the end. It feels rushed, forced and pretty forgettable.

I can’t say this is one of my favorite Elder Races books. While I enjoyed Xavier quite a bit, the story fell a little flat and the romance fell very flat. I was also a little bummed to see that we’re staying in the vampyre world for the next book as well as I’m ready to get back to the people we know and see what our Wyr friends are up to.


Rating: C

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Thea Harrison: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Here: Amazon.com | B&N
*eARC provided by publisher for review* 

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Review: Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…

A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…

Includes the new stories…

“Silver”
“Roses in Winter”
“Redemption”
“Hollow”

…and reader favorites “Fairy Gifts”
“Gray”
“Alpha and Omega”
“Seeing Eye”
“The Star of David”
“In Red, with Pearls”

I love any excuse to revisit Mercy Thompson’s world and with a series that gives us one new book a year, I was so excited to get a bonus Mercy world book this year that includes stories for some of our favorite characters and some new faces in a world we’re pretty familiar with. I’m not reviewing all the stories, but just a few that stood out for one reason or another. But keep in mind, all the stories but one are for characters other than Mercy. Sure, I was a little disappointed with that, I was hoping for a few short stories for Mercy along with her core group of characters. However, a few stories have lead characters that I’ve been itching to get to know better, including Ben, Warren and Kyle and a favorite reread for a couple I adore, Charles and Anna.

Ben probably had my favorite story in the book with Redemption. We’ve already met him in Mercy’s series as the werewolf with an accent who still trying to deal with and move beyond his past with the help of Adam and the pack. But here we see a much different side of Ben. The story primarily takes place at Ben’s work, he’s a techie, a big computer geek and he’s got a surly, bad attitude – I loved it. His grumpy comments, being the guy in the last cubicle who no one wants to deal with, he had me cracking up. But Ben has a bit unknowingly started looking at his office and co-workers as his pack of sorts. So when a receptionist starts to be harassed at work, Ben’s protective streak comes out and as much as he hates it, he helps her in a few different ways. The whole story really had me laughing out loud, simply because of Ben.“I tell you what, Stan,” he [Ben] said slowly because that’s how he talked to people too stupid to live. The things he says, the things he gets frustrated over, his over-the-topness and dirty language at work – it’s all so funny and it really made me want to reread the Mercy books and focus more on his scenes. I certainly can’t wait to see him show up on page more after reading Redemption.

An old favorite, Alpha and Omega is included in this set and even though I’ve read it before, I loved catching up again with how it all began for Anna and Charles. Anna is in a pack that’s beat her down, made her a shell of the person she was before she was changed, when really any pack worth anything would be dying to have her with them as she’s an Omega. She’s a wolf who helps bring calm to the other wolves simply by being around them. Charles is the son of the Marrok, Bran who’s head of all wolves and is a complete Alpha. He and Anna may not make the most sense at a quick glance, but I’ve loved seeing their relationship unfold over the course of their series and can’t wait to get my hands on their next book.

Another previously publishing short story, In Red, With Pearls, focuses on Warren and Kyle. This was a new to me story and I enjoyed getting to know these two and see their relationship at a more up close and personal level. With Warren being a wolf and Kyle human, I liked seeing their dynamic play out and how they made their relationship work. I really liked getting more detail about Kyle and really enjoyed him as a character and seeing how he rolled with the punches that is being with a werewolf and all that brings to the table.

A new story, Roses in Winter, stood out from the crowd as it tells the story of a werewolf in the last years of his life (or so he believes) Asil and his mentoring of a young wolf, Kara. Kara was never taught control and the Marrok’s rules are clear, if you can’t control your wolf, you’re killed. Kara’s time has run out and while Asil tries his best to help her manage and control the change back to human when she’s in her wolf form, she ultimately has to do it herself and in one of the most pressured situations a young girl can find herself in. I really enjoyed their mentor/mentee and really, father/daughter type relationship and seeing how not only Asil impacted Kara’s life but how she brought life to his world. It was a very engaging and well done story.

Finally, Hollow the lone Mercy story, picks up after the last book, Night Broken, with Mercy’s garage in shambles and Mercy trying to decide if it’s worth it to rebuild or just level the whole thing and find something else to do with her time. But the story’s focus is on Mercy being hired to try and help a ghost move along – the ghost is supposedly haunting and making life miserable for the man she’s been tormenting for years. I liked the main focus of the story well enough, but honestly, I was more interested with Mercy’s garage and what she’d do without it and her interactions with Adam. Their relationship is always what ends up keeping my attention in any of the books. It was a good story, but again, I’d have liked another story or two for Mercy and/or Adam to have been included in this collection.

Short story collections tend to be hit or miss for me and while a few stories here didn’t do it for me, enough of them did to make this a solid read. My favorites were the stories that focused on the characters who have already made a name for themselves in the main Mercy Thompson series, with Ben’s story being my favorite. This book would be a nice addition to anyone’s Mercy Thompson series collection.


Rating: B

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Ace
Patricia Briggs: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Here: Amazon.com | B&N
*eARC provided by publisher for review* 

 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Evernight (Darkest London #5) by Kristen Callihan

Once the night comes . . .

Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can't control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, there is no calming him—until he finds his next target: the mysterious Holly Evernight.

Love must cast aside the shadows . . .

Holly cannot fathom who would put a contract on her life, yet the moment she touches Will, the connection between them is elemental, undeniable—and she's the only one who can tame his bouts of madness. But other assassins are coming for Holly. Will must transform from killer to protector and find the man who wants Holly dead . . . or his only chance for redemption will be lost.

While being held captive, Holly Evernight is forced to put a metal heart into Will Thorne. It’s her own invention, but she’s being forced to do this even though she desperately wants to get away. All she can hear are Will’s screams, even months after their rescue. A year has passed and Holly now has a deep fear of leaving her home, and in fact, hasn’t since she was abducted. The past year hasn’t been kind to Will either, being a demon and having a metal object forced into him should have killed him. Instead, his body turns to metal causing him great pain and even with spotty memories, he’s hell bent on getting revenge on the person who did this to him. Holly. But after arriving at her house ready to kill her, he learns that he needs to get in line, as various attempts on her life have already been made and no one knows who’s behind it or why. After Will learns that Holly is an elemental and has a unique ability to use metal in any way she needs, one touch from her on Will’s skin eases his pain and he strikes her a deal: continue to keep him sane through her touch when the metal threatens to take hold of him and he’ll provide her protection and help her figure out who the threat against is her. Holly feels trapped between a rock and hard place and eventually agrees.

Oh Holly and Will – if ever two people needed each other, it’s these two. Holly is a brilliant scientist who’s dealing with a huge fear of leaving her house. She’s been on leave from her job at the SOS and even that’s in jeopardy now. But when Will barges into her home and her life and forces her to start to live again, it’s the best thing that could have happened to her. That’s not to say she goes along with his plans easily. Oh no no no. But he gives her a sense of safety and when he realizes just how deep her fear runs, he helps her deal with it in the exact way she needs.

For Will, being a demon got him kicked out of his house as soon as the signs of what he was started to emerge. While his memories of his past are still slowly coming back to him, he knows deep down he has never had anyone that called him theirs. He’s never been loved, or been a person that someone has needed for just Will, no other reason. He finds all that and more in Holly and it’s addictive. He craves her touch for more reasons than one, he just needs her and the feelings between them grow stronger and stronger the more they’re together and the more they go through. This was a romance that had me laughing at loud at their personalities and how well they played off each other on page and as the story progressed and their feelings became so much deeper, they had me in the palm of their hands. Theirs is a relationship that’s a “hate to love” and the last 20% of the story is perfection. There was no way I was putting the book down, Will and Holly had me tearing up with the horrible situation they were put into by a third party. Not to give any spoilers about who or what this third party is, but they’re a horrible person who not only impacts Will and Holly’s life through the use of others but we’re left with details of another character this person was just at the start of tormenting and I want to know what happened now.

While the series storylines keep progressing, the secondary storyline involving the GIM maker Adam and his latest obsession, Eliza May, a young woman he saved and in doing so bound her to him for a length of time of his choosing. The only issue, Adam recognized her immediately as his other half, his mate, but Eliza wants nothing to do with him. She won’t talk to him and all she wants is her freedom, something Adam won’t give her. Needless to say, the setup for their story is so well done, giving us just enough buildup between them to be enticing and leaving poor Adam in a horrible situation. Kristen Callihan does love to torture her characters!

But the heart and soul of Evernight is Will and Holly. Whether they were making me laugh with their early snap and crackle dialogue when they both wanted to kill each other, or making me sigh with the sweet words they give to each other when they each needed to hear them most, I loved their journey and watching them fall in love. This continues to be a series that completely grabs me and each book just makes me love the world that Callihan has created even more.


Rating: A

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Forever
Kristen Callihan: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Here: B&N | IndieBound | Kobo | iTunes
*eARC provided by publisher for review*



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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: The Best Kind of Trouble (Hurley Brothers #1) by Lauren Dane

She has complete control… and he's determined to take it away

A librarian in the small town of Hood River, Natalie Clayton's world is very nearly perfect. After a turbulent childhood and her once-wild ways, life is now under control. But trouble has a way of turning up unexpectedly—especially in the tall, charismatically sexy form of Paddy Hurley….

And Paddy is the kind of trouble that Natalie has a taste for.

Even after years of the rock and roll lifestyle, Paddy never forgot the two wickedly hot weeks he once shared with Natalie. Now he wants more… even if it means tempting Natalie and her iron-grip control. But there's a fine line between well-behaved and misbehaved—and the only compromise is between the sheets!

Natalie Clayton, a small town librarian and Paddy Hurley, a member of a successful rock band with his brothers, hooked up years ago for 2 weeks that neither of them have ever forgotten. Natalie isn’t that same person anymore and she’s worked hard to leave that wild, partying girl behind and takes her job and quiet life very seriously. She’s cut out people from her life who have dragged her down, mainly her own family, and she’s surrounded herself with good, close friends and is happy. The last thing she wants to do is upset this life she’s made by letting Paddy come crashing back into it. He’s still recording music, still in the public spotlight and she’s not interested in being a part of that life anymore. Paddy has other ideas though and wants one date with Natalie. And she makes him work for it, which is always fun to see play out!

There’s something about Natalie that helps to ground Paddy. The only other person who’s been able to do that is his older brother Ezra. Paddy isn’t one to take no for answer, so he shows up at the coffee shop that Natalie hits every morning and doesn’t let up until she gives him a chance. They start things out slow and I liked seeing their relationship progress. There are some nice moments between not only them as a couple, but plenty of scenes with Paddy’s rock n’ roll brothers and Nat’s friends as well.

Lauren Dane always brings the sexy to her books and Nat and Paddy are no exception. For as much as I enjoyed their romance, there were a few things that bugged me. There’s a lot of talk about button pushing and how it relates to Natalie fitting into Paddy’s world and his public persona with his fans. It also relates to Paddy needing to be needed by Natalie. So of course with all this talk, someone’s button get pushed causing a big angst filled fight between Paddy and Natalie. And the whole scene surrounding this fight just didn’t work for me at all. It almost felt like Paddy’s reaction came out of nowhere and his argument just didn’t make sense and even felt out of character. Unfortunately, this comes at the end so it soured my feelings on the story being left with this fight so close to the HEA, which of course we get.

The supporting cast is well done and I really enjoyed getting to know the Hurley brothers and look forward to more from them. Their stories are built up nicely and I’m anxious to get to know them as well as Nat’s best friend Tuesday as the series progresses.

While I did like the majority of The Best Kind of Trouble, there were a few things that I didn’t necessarily enjoy and it took away from the story a little bit for me. But I’m a sucker for a series centered around brothers, so I’ll be checking out the next book as I did really enjoy getting to know all the Hurley’s.


Rating: C+

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Lauren Dane: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter
Buy Here: Amazon.com | B&N
*eARC provided by publisher for review* 

 
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