Will be reviewing this serial in it's entirety. Simone's strength of character & resolve not to pursue a relationship with Elliot earned my respec...moreWill be reviewing this serial in it's entirety. Simone's strength of character & resolve not to pursue a relationship with Elliot earned my respect & admiration. Despite Elliot's peccadilloes I liked him & am intrigued regarding his history revealing why he seems incapable of forming a connection with other human beings. Hart's ability to write unique relationships and complex characters always impresses me. (less)
Enjoyed this one had a couple of issues with the relationship development & had trouble forgiving the hero but the story kept me engaged. I liked...moreEnjoyed this one had a couple of issues with the relationship development & had trouble forgiving the hero but the story kept me engaged. I liked the twist at the end.
Stunning debut from Clara Kensie. Sweet romance, surprising plot twists, well drawn characters. See interview posted at the HEA USA Today blog. http:/...moreStunning debut from Clara Kensie. Sweet romance, surprising plot twists, well drawn characters. See interview posted at the HEA USA Today blog. http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyev...(less)
Kicking my 2014 off to an excellent start. Emotional, heartwarming story of love lost due to a Army Ranger's devastating injury while serving overseas...moreKicking my 2014 off to an excellent start. Emotional, heartwarming story of love lost due to a Army Ranger's devastating injury while serving overseas. Due to the nature of his injury, he rejects his beloved wife who loves him more than life itself her loneliness and heartbreak is palpable. Starting from Scratch is beautifully written, the characters are so well drawn and realistic. Witty, sarcastic dialogue will make you laugh along with shedding a tear as this couple come to terms with their new post injury relationship. (less)
“Having finally finished her last toe, Tori gets up to follow me. But since she’s worried about smudging the polish, she kind of waddles on her heels, toes in the air. With her hair dyed race-car yellow and cut short and spiky, she looks a little like a top-heavy duck.”
College student Chloe Girard lands a coveted internship in the intellectual property legal department of Frost Industries, the most innovative and fastest-growing biomedical corporation in the country. Chloe is ambitious and hardworking, and sees the internship as her ticket to securing a scholarship and a stepping-stone to achieving her dream of getting into law school. Chloe is intelligent, committed and she fully intends to stay the course she has mapped out for her life. Dating which could lead to a relationship is not part of the plan.
On the first day of her internship, she meets the company CEO, almost billionaire, Ethan Frost, who is masquerading as the cafeteria juice bar trainer. The guy looks familiar, but Chloe initially can’t place who he is. Ethan and Chloe engage in a fun verbal power play over her choice of smoothie and aha: sexual attraction flares.
“He’s smiling now, but the look in his eyes is intense. Interested. Interesting. It tugs at something deep inside me, makes me wonder, when I never wonder. Makes me want, when I never want.”
Chloe is the product of a very dysfunctional family dynamic and she has major issues concerning men and intimacy due to being the victim of a brutal assault 5-years previously. She considers herself emotionally damaged but compartmentalizes her posttraumatic fears and stays focused on her career aspirations. We are also lead to believe that Ethan has his own dark secrets, which partially come to light during the novel’s conclusion. If this characterization sounds familiar, in the multitude of books out there with a billionaire hero you would be right.
I’ve read and enjoyed Tracy Wolff’s books in the past; she writes a sensual narrative with sexual tension that arcs between the main characters like an electrical force.
“He lifts his hand to my face, runs his fingers down the line of my jaw. His touch is soft, so soft, and I can’t help myself. I lean into it, press my cheek into the palm of his hand until he’s cupping my face.”
I also like this author’s clever, witty humor, which is evidenced on numerous occasions not only between Chloe and Ethan, but also between Chloe and Tori, her eccentric roommate (who also has personal issues). Ethan was easy to like given his charisma and sensitivity toward Chloe when she eventually shares the details regarding her history.
It was easy to see how Ethan’s strength of personality and impassioned pursuit of her would be difficult to resist but I had difficulty buying that Chloe would sacrifice her principles for a relationship with him given how the demonstration of an excellent work ethic during her internship was important to her future success. Further, there were graphic scenes of sexual encounters in Ethan’s office that I found unbelievable given their status within the company and supposed professionalism. As their relationship intensifies Ethan seems to like making a meal out of Chloe ergo she is covered in hickeys, but apparently that was okay due to his need to mark her as his even though hiding all those love bites from her coworkers proves problematic. This particular issue caused eye rolling on my part.
Lastly, and this made me absolutely nuts, was the mother of all dramatic cliffhanger endings. Obviously Ethan and Chloe’s tumultuous love story will be continued in book two. When will said book be available? I have, no idea, and trust me I’ve checked out the various sites where book release dates are documented.
If you enjoy a novel with a billionaire hero and an abundance of angst, anguish and drama, you might like to give Ruined a try. I’m not sure if I will read book two, my memories of the first of the Ethan Frost novels will likely have faded by then.
Carmen Jenner took a character based approach when plotting and developing Elijah and Ana's story and while I was kept engaged I ha...more2.5/5 star rating.
Carmen Jenner took a character based approach when plotting and developing Elijah and Ana's story and while I was kept engaged I had some major issues with what transpires in the heroine's life. I could buy the first frightening and traumatic event that Ana endures secondary to Elijah's history of association with a violent MC. However the second unrelated event where she is violated and brutalized was over-the-top IMHO. Elijah's horror and rage regarding what happened to Ana was understandable but his method of reaping vengeance, I felt wasn't realistic given his background and commitment to redeeming himself.
Lastly, Ana's friend Holly was an entertaining character who added dimension and humor to the story. However, her behavior toward the other women which was triggered by a choice she made during her visit to a Women's Clinic was insensitive and appalling.
Noted difficulties aside I did like the small town setting and the narrative's 1st POV did give me good insight and understanding of the characters' personalities and emotions. I felt Welcome to Sugartown was a reasonably good debut for this author. (less)
This book was painful to read. I didn't get why Grayson became engaged to a woman that makes Kate from The Taming of the Shrew seem like a saint. His...moreThis book was painful to read. I didn't get why Grayson became engaged to a woman that makes Kate from The Taming of the Shrew seem like a saint. His lack of backbone and stupidity regarding Alex (the shrew) was extremely annoying. The cheating with Lia, the shrew's sister and the heroine of the novel was just plain weird given he laments that he always does "the right thing". Essentially I found Grayson to be a poorly drawn, seriously flawed character with no redeeming qualities. Heroine Lia also let the shrew walk all over her and was therefore equally spineless. Her pathetic "poor me" whining about Alex' beauty and success was annoying.
Bottom line: I had trouble getting interested in a storyline that lacked a logical framework and the lead characters can best be described as cardboard.