4.5/5 stars. This novel made me feel like a fly-on-the-wall of a separated couple on the brink of divorce. Technically, that doesn’t sound interesting...more4.5/5 stars. This novel made me feel like a fly-on-the-wall of a separated couple on the brink of divorce. Technically, that doesn’t sound interesting, but the story in this romance was absorbing. It was full of realism (despite the unbelievable situation the characters were in) and had a bittersweet shade to the entire plot. I think the realism was due to raw emotions that occurred between the characters – you couldn’t help but feel their love for each other.
From the cover, it looks like you will need to be a big fan of sports romances to enjoy this book, but that wasn’t true. The football theme was merely a backdrop for the story, albeit an enjoyable one. The author could likely have had an alternate theme and still made believable characters.
Yes, it’s a romance novel, so you can likely figure out who will end up with who within the first few pages, but it did have one or two surprise twists I didn’t see coming. To make the reader fall completely one direction in allegiance, the author had to vilify one character. If she hadn’t done that, I suppose it could have been a very depressing love triangle. Despite the obvious choice for the heroine, even in the last chapter there was still drama. The author had to use the epilogue to resolve some issues for the reader.
One thing I found interesting was the role reversal the author kept throughout the book. At several points, the hero is in pursuit of the heroine, while at others the heroine pursues the hero. It definitely wasn’t a one-sided romance. The emotions were strong on both sides. I also liked how the author had the hero need to take breaks frequently, disappearing for walks alone to think. The idea of a testosterone driven alpha-male having strong feelings and being humanized is always an appealing one to female readers, I think.
The reason I am not giving the book 5 stars in the end was due to some of the dialogue in the book. Even though the story was fascinating to read, there were a few times I felt like the conversation between the characters was awkward. For example: the hero inserted the heroine’s name into a conversation at inappropriate times - they would be in the middle of a heated talk, and he would say her name as if we didn’t already understand they were talking to each other. Think of something along the lines of: ….heroine: John, you’re making me so angry. Get out of here! ….hero: Why do you want me to go, Jane? ….heroine: I don’t know, John. I can’t love you anymore. ….hero: Ah, but Jane… I can’t live without you. No, that passage is not in the book (it is merely a figment of my deranged imagination), but you get the idea with the repetition of character names. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way during the first 100 pages of the book. In the end, though, I stopped noticing because the plot was so interesting. Don’t let my faux dialogue above discourage you from reading the book. It really wasn’t such rampant abuse of characters names, I was merely trying to illustrate a point. Plus, the author’s dialogue is much better than my contrived and silly four-line soap opera. hehehe :)
If you have ever been in a failed relationship and reconnected with someone, you will likely understand the feelings that occur within this book - remembering both the good and bad at a moment’s notice and trying not to look at things with a rose-tinted perspective. You may also appreciate this book more if you’ve ever been in a relationship where you had others try to talk you out of it. I really enjoyed the book and plan to put it on my keeper shelf.(less)
LOVE & DEVOTION takes place in small-town Texas, where lesbians are as scarce as cow-tippers living in New York City. A town where drinking away y...moreLOVE & DEVOTION takes place in small-town Texas, where lesbians are as scarce as cow-tippers living in New York City. A town where drinking away your problems seems commonplace and necessary. It’s also a town where gossip flows faster than sermons at the local Baptist church.
The lead heroine, KC, is a womanizer and is described in very feminine terms. She appears to be very close to her family and has cheerleader trophies in her childhood room at her mama’s house. At first when I pictured her character, I thought of one of the actresses in the movie Thelma & Louise, but I later changed my image to Demi Moore when she is going through one of her femme-phases with long hair. Though I couldn’t really identify with KC’s life, I did identify with her need to drive around aimlessly when she needed to think with no clue where she was headed. I thought this line from one of KC’s sisters was humorous and summed up KC as a character:
❝You’re the Dalia Lama for lesbians now?❞
KC, shamefully, has been sleeping with a married woman for the past year, and (gasp) the woman is her mother’s good friend to boot. Lonnie, the harlot who is tramping around on her husband with KC, is a quintessential Southern Belle who oozes sexuality in a Southern Cougar style. I pictured one of the Sugarbakers from the 80s sitcom Designing Women. Not something that is personally going to get me going, but the image somehow popped into my head and stuck. I thought this quote from the novel summed up my image of Lonnie very well:
❝She kissed KC on the cheek and with her hand hidden from view, squeezed her ass fondly.
The damn woman got off on the duplicity of it all.❞
KC’s best friend is Emma, another ultra-femme character. This is probably how the Thelma & Louise picture originally got stuck in my head when trying to imagine the characters I was reading about. Emma has obviously got a big ole crush on KC, but KC seems oblivious to it and continues with sexing-up Lonnie in 5 minute rendezvous sessions. Emma and KC have an extremely tactile friendship, complete with cuddling each night in the same bed and kissing each other frequently in greeting. It’s obvious to the reader from the get-go that they belong together, and the rest of the story is pretty much the culmination of how their relationship will come together. A humorous line from the author about Emma:
❝Sometimes talking to Emma was like trying to extract stock advice from a schnauzer.❞
Before I go any further in my review of this novel, I must admit that though I am bisexual and had many girlfriends before I got married, the women described in this book are decidedly not my type. Unfortunately, that was slightly distracting for me and kind of made it hard to picture the characters in a titillating way without doing a lot of extra help from my brain to supplant the author’s descriptions. I’m afraid that’s my little caveat before I continue. Lipstick lesbians are not my thing, but I tried not to hold that against the plot of the book.
The sex in this book was a mix-bag for me. I found some personal humor from the author occasionally referring to anatomy as “naughty bits”, “sexy parts”, and even “girlie parts”. Then again, she also would got down and dirty with her descriptions. The first sex scene didn’t involve any oral sex at all, and I immediately questioned whether the author was actually a lesbian. I continued to question this when in a later sex scene involving KC donning a strap-on the author referred to KC coming inside Lonnie. The idea of that actually made me raise my eyebrow. However, after reading several of the other scenes, I canceled my confusion over whether the author was a lesbian. I enjoyed reading some very sexy scenes in the book including sex against the door, domination in drag, imminent fear of getting caught during sex, and lots of sexy dirty talk in very commanding tones. I’ve chosen a line from one of my favorite sex scenes to share below:
❝ ‘Good, let it go.’ KC nipped at Lonnie’s ear, punctuating each word with her teeth.
‘ So I can push you down and do it all over again.’ ❞
I was definitely puzzled by KC’s and Emma’s friendship. I’ve already mentioned that they were very touchy-feely with each other. They were also constantly saying “I love you” to each other. I would have been very confused in a female friendship that was that close, trying to determine if the person loved me in *that* way or not. I think there was a lot of mixed signals. At one point, my mind started wandering while looking at their complex relationship of confusion, and I pictured KC cutting her hair into a Demi Moore’s G.I. Jane style and showing up, doing some one-armed push-ups for Emma, and then fire-arm carrying a squealing Emma in a naval uniform à la Officer and a Gentleman. Then I chastised myself and had to give my brain a lecture that this is not what the author had in mind. *big sigh* oh well. ☺
Overall I would give the book 3 stars. It was interesting enough to keep my attention for a Saturday afternoon. I thought the author had good writing skills and wrote interesting characters. There was some humorous and witty dialog at times. The sex was interesting to read, and certainly thought provoking. I could picture myself reading another novel by the author in the future.
✳✳ Copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
I honestly was not able to finish this book, though I promised NetGalley a review in exchange for reading it. I made it to Chapter 9 and decided to th...moreI honestly was not able to finish this book, though I promised NetGalley a review in exchange for reading it. I made it to Chapter 9 and decided to throw it against the wall. I will try to articulate my biggest issues with the book:
1) The author's style was nauseating with her abrubpt transitions between scenes with little or absolutely no segue. I was honestly confused several times while reading the story and realizing the story had completely switched locations and characters conversing.
2) The author had a weird habit of switching perspective between portions of the story. Most of the book is in first person, but there were times where the author seemed to jump into a third person opposite sex point-of-view that left me confused.
3) The sex scenes were not titillating and frequently left me as disappointed as the character. Do I really need to hear about disappointing sex in erotica? No. I was bored silly reading phone sex scenes. The premise of the story sounded interesting, but it was carried out in a stale fashion that could not hold my attention.
There is more, but I'm really so disgusted with this book that I'm ready to finish this review and just forget about it. I definitely don't recommend this book to anyone. There's much better erotica out there if you're looking for that sort of thing, even if this was a free gift in exchange for review. *sigH*(less)
I had mixed feelings about this book whilst reading it. It wasn't a bad story, but I questioned a lot of the emotions that the characters felt/portray...moreI had mixed feelings about this book whilst reading it. It wasn't a bad story, but I questioned a lot of the emotions that the characters felt/portrayed.
The dom in this book was traumatised in the past by going too far with one of his subs. He ended up supressing his D/s tendencies and doesn't bother to share with his boyfriend about his past at all. It seemed very strange to me that somebody so engrossed in the lifestyle could just forget about it and his BF not have any inkling that he used to do it professionally.
One of the subs in this book considered himself a 'natural sub' and reflected that was probably why he liked being an attorney so much. I really question this statement -- all the attorneys I know in real life are very type-a assertive/agressive personalities, and I can't imagine them being equated to a natural-sub. Not to say that an attorney couldn't lead a second-life as a sub, but I just wouldn't equate them to being a 'natural-sub'.
It wasn't a bad story. I would consder reading another by the author.(less)
4.5/5 stars. This book was essentially a prequel to the Wallflowers series by Lisa Kleypas, featuring the Westcott family sisters and how they met the...more4.5/5 stars. This book was essentially a prequel to the Wallflowers series by Lisa Kleypas, featuring the Westcott family sisters and how they met the American men to which they ended up married. I'm guessing the only reason it hasn't been labeled as being part of the Wallflowers series is because none of the wallflower girls make an appearance being that it takes place before they get together.
I really loved the character of McKenna. He was very villanesque in his need for revenge at times in the book. I was a little disappointed that he didn't go after his love near the end of the book, instead having to be pursued by her.
My other minor complaint lies in the character of Lord Westcott. For a brother, he came across as kind of wimply, and in the Wallflowers books, he seems so arrogant/cocky, that I would have envisioned him as being much more protective of his sisters. I was thinking he would have behaved much more like Anthony Bridgerton in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series -- ready to fight a duel or get into a fisticuffs fight over his sisters' honor.
hehehehe. I forgot that the word fisticuffs makes me laugh. Sorry. ;)
Back to the review... hehehe I really enjoyed the book. Lisa Kleypas has yet to fail me. (less)
This book left me feeling kind of conflicted on how to rate it. In the end, I'm settling on 4 stars. It had the makings of lots of things that I *love...moreThis book left me feeling kind of conflicted on how to rate it. In the end, I'm settling on 4 stars. It had the makings of lots of things that I *love* in novels: love triangles, angst, and extreme sexual tension.
Unfortunately, I hated the heroine. Then again, I typically will try not to hold my dislike of a character against the author if he/she can write a compelling story that keeps me interested. I just was so frustrated by the heroine that it felt like the book reading was exhausting. Made me want to take her by the shoulders and shake her. I didn't cry as I wasn't moved by the actions in the book. I mostly felt sorry for the two heroes.
I definitely loved the angst and tension, though. I will continue the series. It's hard to imagine where she could go with the story, though. Does it continue with the same characters? If so, I hate to think of them getting 'unsettled' again. UGH. :)(less)
I picked this one up because it scored second place in Goodreads 2011 Romance picks. After reading it, I can definitely see why so many people give it...moreI picked this one up because it scored second place in Goodreads 2011 Romance picks. After reading it, I can definitely see why so many people give it a high score. However, I am slightly surprised that it took second place as dom/sub isn't everyone's cup-of-tea.
Things I really liked about this book: - I loved the meloncholy edge to the story. - I loved how the heroine was so undecided on her feelings of giving up control. On one hand it made her crazy-excited, on the other it scared the %#$* out of her. I think I identify with her on a personal level. - I loved the complexity of the characters in this one. On a side note, sometimes I think to be a good author you must be very observant of people in real life, to be able to capture mannerisms and subtle bits through prose. - I loved that the author wasn't afraid to flex her vocabulary and use words like mercurial - sardonic - taciturn - sagacity - avuncular - etc (things you don't typically see in run-of-the-mill erotica). (less)