BtCers, I have a confession. *looks around, leans close, whispers* This is the first contemporary romanREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
BtCers, I have a confession. *looks around, leans close, whispers* This is the first contemporary romance I’ve read in... about a bijillion years. *nods and crosses heart* Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I read a straight contemporary romance. For-almost-ever now I’ve been reading paranormal romances. On those rare occasions when I read something other than PNR, it was usually a historical romance. Even most of my YA romances have a PNR element to them. There’s a reason for that... I was burned out on contemporary romances. Totally. Boy + girl + some big bad person / thing = HEA had me bored down to my freshly pedicured, midnight nail polish colored piggies. I couldn’t take one more predictable ending without screaming obscenities... *adjusts hem of decorum* ...which we all know nice Southern girls don’t do.
But I’d been hearing good things about author Ruthie Knox. Several of my tweeps had been buzzing about her, and it piqued my interest. I requested one of the 200 copies of About Last Night which were available and was selected to receive one.
I am so glad I did.
From the opening scene where Cath hustles her friend into letting her have a much lusted after straightjacket for an exhibit, I knew I was going to like this book and that I was going to want Cath for a bestie. I was right.
Cath is fun. She’s quirky, snarky and wholly irreverent. All qualities of which I highly approve. She also wears almost nothing but black, so we could totes share wardrobes... if she was a little taller, that is. She’s also very real. Knox did a great job making Cath relatable, making her interesting, vulnerable, and giving her believable flaws. Such as the way she misjudges Nev, seeing him as ‘Prince Charming in a suit.’
Nev... Neville Chamberlin, that is... is everything you could want in a guy: smart, artistic and sex on a stick. But this hottie has a strong moral code, which is shown when he helps an inebriated Cath out by bringing her back to his flat to sleep when he finds her wandering around late at night. What follows is a fun, if misunderstanding filled, ride to the eventual and much deserved HEA.
But here’s the thing... I wasn’t bored. The story wasn’t predictable. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen next. And I loved it. Cath and Nev are very well written, as are the secondary characters. The settings are interesting, which is something I never thought I’d say when there is talk of antique knitting in a book. *laughs*
In the end, these two characters belong together; Nev helps Cath heal from the mistakes of her past, and Cath helps Nev break free from the mold his mother has tried to force him into. And the author sums the entirety of why the story of these people falling in love is so good to read up in this one line of Nev’s at the end: ‘Your past-- It’s not a series of mistakes, love. It’s just you. All the things that happened to you that made you who you are.’ That’s the key to this book, why these characters work and why I enjoyed it so much; they accept and love each other for who they are, flaws and all.
A happily ever after doesn’t get any better than that.
Minor Adjustments is a sweet, wholesome story about family, values and character. Devon Pierce owns hisREVIEWED by Karen for Between the Covers blog:
Minor Adjustments is a sweet, wholesome story about family, values and character. Devon Pierce owns his own company and is a self-proclaimed workaholic. One day he is asked to come to Australia by a solicitor to deal with the request from a young woman, Lindsay, who lived with his family for nine months as a foreign exchange student ten years earlier. Upon learning that she was dying of cancer, Lindsay decided that her four-year-old son, Ryan Devon, would be best taken care of by Devon, as he and his family had made a tremendous impact on her during her stay with them. Lindsay enlists the help of her best friend and solicitor, Stella, to coordinate the guardianship. But Stella has come to love Ryan as if he were her own child and wants what is best for him, so she persuades Devon to come and spend two weeks with Ryan in Australia before making a decision.
As Devon gets to know Ryan he comes to care for him, and the story explores the “minor adjustments” that Devon makes in his life to accommodate the addition of the small boy who loves custard. Plot elements include a blooming romance between Stella and Devon, the unexpected appearance of Ryan’s deadbeat-dad birth father, and Devon’s self-doubt about his parenting abilities. Anderson illuminates the critical role that a good man of character and a loving family plays in the life of a child.
Minor Adjustments is an inspirational story that conveys a sense of family, faith and humor. Anderson is very adept at writing “clean” romance, so there is no overt sex or cursing in the book. If you are looking for a nice, wholesome story of family, romance and happily-ever-afters, then you’ll love this book.
Jecca Layton grew up in rural New Jersey, and spent her teen years working at her dad’s hardware store.REVIEWED by Karen for Between the Covers blog:
Jecca Layton grew up in rural New Jersey, and spent her teen years working at her dad’s hardware store. When she went away to college to study art, she met Kim and they became best friends. While on a trip to Kim’s home in Edilean, Virginia, Jecca meets two of Kim’s family members... her brother, Reede, and her cousin, Tristan. Jecca develops a crush on Reede, but he barely notices her. Tristan notices Jecca, but she is too wrapped up in her infatuation with Reede to notice Tris. While both men are doctors, the similarity ends there. Reede works for Doctors Without Borders, and is worldly and well-traveled. Tristan is a small town doctor who still believes in making house calls.
When the gallery she works at in New York closes for the summer, Jecca returns to Edilean, hoping to have a reconnect with Reede, looking only for a fling. But Tristan hasn’t given up yet, and is determined to get Jecca’s attention.
Jecca faces a crisis of sorts – she wants to support herself by being an artist, but she isn’t selling any of her paintings. Kim, on the other hand, runs a successful jewelry business. Jecca is struggling, fearing that she isn’t an artist if she isn’t a commercial success. Can she be happy expressing her creative side without an emotional connection to anyone, or will she give up her dreams of being an artist to find love in a small town? Does she have to choose career over love? Can either doctor hold her heart without holding her back?
This is the author’s sixth book in the Edilean series. Although this is the first I have read from this author, I found the story to be sweet and sentimental without being sappy. I was pleased to find myself becoming emotionally vested in the characters as the vivid and detailed interaction built a sense of family. Deveraux weaves the Greek mythology of Psyche and Cupid into the story, delving into the age-old dilemma of outward appearances vs. inner beauty. Meanwhile, Jecca tries to decide what is important: career or relationship… or can she perhaps have both?