3.5 stars, but a very favorable 3.5 stars. Adorable! With the D&D playing mum, the lead character's love/hate relationship with Nancy Drew, banter3.5 stars, but a very favorable 3.5 stars. Adorable! With the D&D playing mum, the lead character's love/hate relationship with Nancy Drew, bantery-banterness with Toby and his neverending supply of anecdotes about animal mating habits. Also, nice gently meta mystery plot. ...more
The premise of this is...kinda unbelievable. This sweet, not-prudish but not very sexually experienced 22-year old journalist/blogger girl posts reallThe premise of this is...kinda unbelievable. This sweet, not-prudish but not very sexually experienced 22-year old journalist/blogger girl posts really intimate details of her sex life with her brother's best friend that she's having a sekrit friends-with-benefits affair with in the name of "research." Now. Being that I am personally acquainted with sex-positive feminist strippers, former sex workers, porn performers, and a variety of people into kink or polyamory, why would I find this hard to believe? Because it doesn't totally fit with the characterizations in this book otherwise. And because most people I know with non-traditional open sexual habits didn't just dive into the deep end like this. I know, I know, given the wacky, schlocky premises abounding in Romancelandia, so what? I think in general it's harder for me to suspend disbelief with non-paranormal contemporaries (i.e. books about the "real" present-tense world) so in a weird way, the realism of these characters makes the premise harder to fully accept. Except that it is the verisimilitude of the characters that makes me not care so much.
Because I enjoyed this book. I mean, it's got friends-to-lovers and a Pining Hero and a Writer Heroine so how could I not? Also, despite the soap opera-y belief on the part of the hero that commitment and family life are not options for him since all his male relatives are woman-abusing, cheating alcoholics jerks, this is one of the few times where that fear makes some kind of sense because alcoholism at least can be an inherited trait. Plus! This issue on the part of the hero isn't wrapped up in a Big Misunderstanding - the heroine always knows what his damage is. And he's a hunky, redheaded high school history teacher! So yeah, four stars. ...more
2.75 stars? It was, you know, fine. I could even swallow the wacky premise. But the secondary romance between the hero's sister (who's just had a mast2.75 stars? It was, you know, fine. I could even swallow the wacky premise. But the secondary romance between the hero's sister (who's just had a mastectomy) and the small town cop whose always held a torch for her was far more interesting than the h/h. The sister's grumpy teenage kid was also more interesting! Oh, and the constant emphasis on differences between Australia vs. American slang got old. Maybe I just wish the book was about the secondary characters!...more
More of a 2.5 stars, I suppose. I think the author has some promise and the prose is smooth enough but neither the situation nor the emotional logic oMore of a 2.5 stars, I suppose. I think the author has some promise and the prose is smooth enough but neither the situation nor the emotional logic of the characters and their actions make sense. I notice that other commenters have said that they find the heroine too unsympathetic and here's the thing - I can get down with a difficult heroine, if I can understand her, and if it seems like through the course of the story she comes to understand herself. And that nominally happens here, but.
I dunno, maybe if we got more of a sense of what the h/h's friendship was like when it was functional (if not completely honest).
Also, I do like the idea of treating the fallout from sexual violence as something difficult but survivable, and this might sound weird but normal (which is the sad but true fact of things). And sure, the premise here that she wants to have sex with her BFF as a way to move past her trauma is totally Romancelandian in nature, I could have found it more believable if the supposed trust between these two were actually evident when she makes the request, i.e. if it didn't happen during their first conversation in six months when he has just learned of the assault. ...more