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Simple Man #1

Kinda Don't Care

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She’s in a white dress that dances around her ankles, and her hair tumbles in a long sheet of curls down her back. A veil covers her beautiful eyes, and she smiles directly at him. Janie is everything Rafe’s ever imagined she would be on her wedding day.

Breathtaking. Gorgeous. Perfect.

The moment he sees her walking down the aisle towards him, he knows that she’s the one.

Then she passes him, making her way to the man she’s to marry.

A man that wasn’t him.

A man that he knows with one hundred percent certainty isn’t good enough for her.

It seems that her father isn’t the only one who’s having a hard time giving her away. Rafe only wishes he knew why.

Everything about Janie sparks protective instincts he doesn’t feel for anyone, not even his own fiancé.

What he feels for the bride, however, isn’t merely a simple attraction. He knows that something is there just beneath the surface…if only he could reach it.

It has to be something huge, too, otherwise he wouldn’t be drinking whiskey straight from the flask in a church pew and wondering how many years he would do in prison if he shot the groom in front of about a hundred witnesses—half of those being cops.

He was good…but not that good.

A near-death experience cost Rafe almost six months of his memory, but right now he can’t help but feel like a huge mistake is being made on both of their parts. One that’s going to cost him everything.

Then she says I do.

322 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 5, 2018

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About the author

Lani Lynn Vale

137 books6,711 followers
Lani Lynn Vale is married to the love of her life that she met in high school. She fell in love with him because he was wearing baseball pants. Ten years later they have three perfectly crazy children and a cat named Demon who likes to wake her up at ungodly times in the night. They live in the greatest state in the world, Texas. She writes contemporary and romantic suspense, and has a love for all things romance. You can find Lani in front of her computer writing away in her fictional characters world...that is until her husband and kids demand sustenance in the form of food and drink.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 297 reviews
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews14k followers
Want to read
April 7, 2018


She’s in a white dress that dances around her ankles, and her hair tumbles in a long sheet of curls down her back. A veil covers her beautiful eyes, and she smiles directly at him. Janie is everything Rafe’s ever imagined she would be on her wedding day.
Breathtaking. Gorgeous. Perfect.
The moment he sees her walking down the aisle towards him, he knows that she’s the one.
Then she passes him, making her way to the man she’s to marry.
A man that wasn’t him.
A man that he knows with one hundred percent certainty isn’t good enough for her.
It seems that her father isn’t the only one who’s having a hard time giving her away. Rafe only wishes he knew why.
Everything about Janie sparks protective instincts he doesn’t feel for anyone, not even his own fiancé.
What he feels for the bride, however, isn’t merely a simple attraction. He knows that something is there just beneath the surface…if only he could reach it.
It has to be something huge, too, otherwise he wouldn’t be drinking whiskey straight from the flask in a church pew and wondering how many years he would do in prison if he shot the groom in front of about a hundred witnesses—half of those being cops.
He was good…but not that good.
A near-death experience cost Rafe almost six months of his memory, but right now he can’t help but feel like a huge mistake is being made on both of their parts. One that’s going to cost him everything.
Then she says I do.
April 5, 2018
It seems I broke my break from reviewing for this garbage.
Dnf @50%
What are we teaching young girls now? That we women/girls need to be pathetic for a man? Women With no self respect? To chase after them? To stalk them?
I've been giving this author chance after chance and every single damn time she has proved me right! That her writing is getting worse. That she will continue writing pathetic weak heroines and worthless pathetic heroes.

This zeroine is just pathetic as the rest of author's heroines.
1- She stalked the hero.
2- She has been in love with the hero since she was 12. Is this ok now? Tell every single 12 year old girl to lust after a 30 something year old man, old enough to be her father?
3- Zero too has been in lust but it seems like it's ok because he doesn't think of having her until she's legal age.
4- Zero plays another woman because he wants revenge against her father.
Poor girl who has done nothing to him.
5- Zero is into bondage.
6- Zero calls her little girl while having sex.
7- After sleeping with him without a condom, he never contacted her again. Let me say it again without a condom, she doesn't know if his dick is ridden with stds. She doesn't know whom he has slept all those years she's been secretly lusting and stalking him.
8- Zeroine calls herself a slut.
9- Zeroine dates a man that she doesn't even like, so doesn't even make sense that she would agree to go on dates much less to getting married.

Btw he's 41,42 and she 21,22.

This was just disgusting how both played with two people just to get what they wanted, she accepted the marriage proposal from this man because she wanted the zero to tell her not to accept and when he didn't she accepted the proposal.

Retuning this and getting my money back, too bad I can't return all the books I have bought from this author or else I would have done in a heartbeat.

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Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,502 reviews1,214 followers
December 25, 2018
Fuzzin Hell! Lani Lynn Vale does it to me every time! She wooed me, tugged my heart right out of my chest, kissed it better, and then put me back together with one of the sweetest happy endings.

Rafe has intrigued the heck out of me ever since I started meeting the characters this author has created. He’s always there, mostly in the background, orchestrating lives and manipulating situations. I wanted to know where he came from, what he did, and what made him the man he was. I was beyond eager to read his story and it was so much better than I anticipated.

Rafe was mysterious, courageous, honorable, adventurous, kind hearted, and so freaking sexy. The love and affection he’s held in his heart for Janie made my heart swoon. Their story began with a girlish crush for the dark and deadly shadow that passed intermittently through her life. It grew into mutual fondness, attraction, and then love once she reached an appropriate age. They were so incredibly sweet together. However, Rafe was looking for justice and after something goes wrong on his mission, he gets injured and not only does he forget the last six months of his life, he forgets Janie too.

This story was full of heart and had my emotions running the gamut from sorrow to glee. While it was full of angst, this story had me laughing too. And the chemistry between the characters? Let’s just say that Rafe would melt the panties off of women, young and old. Muy caliente!

Rafe’s amnesia gave these lovers a second chance at love and to get it right. Kinda Don’t Care is a story but an extremely strong yet vulnerable man who more than meets his match. It’s a story that touched me in more ways than one and allowed me to feel like I was experiencing it more than just reading it. Then again, the same can be said for any story I’ve read by this author. These characters owned me from beginning to end and I fully expect to see them again.

*ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review*

Release: 04.05.2018 | Romantic Suspense | Dual POV - 1st person | Heat: 4 | Standalone - Simple Man Series #1

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Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,051 reviews49.1k followers
June 2, 2018

911 id like the report a murder. yeah uh, my suspension of disbelief is dead.

wow this was a fucking nightmare. i really really wanted to like this, i mean i've been thinking about this book for a while. the blurb was TOP KNOTCH for someone who likes ~drama~ as much as me. but no. this book was a disaster. let me break it down for you:

raf's dad did some bad shit. people don't like raf because of his dad's bad shit. raf is somehow involved with the military, a domestic abuse crime stoppers org, and is a really good hacker. he's investigating something and has to be in a fake relationship even though he'd rather be with janie. he gets in an accident and loses his memory. he remembers ALMOST EVERYTHING but forgets who janie is. fake relationship chick traps him in an engagement. janie is SO SAD and decides to marry a guy she's known for a month out of spite. she stages a wedding. raf gets his memory back. they live happily ever after and some dumb shit happens to "resolve" raf's crime lord investigation shit.

like my GOD that's a lot of random bullshit. and i did you all the service of making the plot more linear than it actually is. i did not understand half of the fucking plot. never got a firm answer on what raf actually does. and janie went from an interesting character to a dumb ass bitch when she decided to spite marry someone to get her real love's memory back.

and to top it all off. we got like ONE decent sex scene. instead we got a whole lot of creepy pervy remarks such as:

when talking about his lady before he's with her... "I saw things that I shouldn't be seeing. Such as her body underneath mine while I pumped away inside of her, spilling my seed and filling her womb with it- that kind of thing"

when, DIRECTLY AFTER HIS LADY FALSELY MARRIES SOMEONE ELSE... "Soon you'll be mine. And I'll make you forget that you were anything before me."

when admiring her naked... "... trailing my fingers along her chest. It was bare. Not a necklace or a skin imperfection dotted the line of her neck and that bothered me. I wanted to mark her as mine in some way and I wanted every man in the world to know it."

when referring to her vag... "Smells like sugar cookies. Why is that?"

when "proposing"... "I felt something cool and hard slip on my ring finger. 'You're supposed to ask, silly.' He snorted, 'Asking would imply that there was an option for you say no. There's not." .

i am sad. i am unfulfilled. don't read this.
Profile Image for Gi's Spot Reviews.
1,086 reviews1,169 followers
April 5, 2018
4.5 ‘Simple Man’ Stars

HOT DAMN! Well played, Ms. Vale. Well played indeed

With this intense and angsty looking blurb, and knowing Janie and Rafe’s background from the previous books, even after the author’s assurance of no-cheating, I have to confess I was a still a bit scared to dive into these two’s story. Well, after finishing this, and anticipating a major book hungover, I give all kudos to Lani Lynn Vale! I will not give about any spoilers, because the elements of shock and surprise are the best of it. Like the author says in the notes, TRUST her! In the end it all makes sense, and the plot twist?! Wow, I did no see that coming!

The one thing that my heart wanted more than anything else.

Today, just now, something happened. He became mine, and I became his. And there was nothing either one of us could do about it.

I seriously had to read this in one sitting with how gripping the events and emotional charged the scenes were from the very first paragraph! I’ll not prolong myself too much, because half the emotional impact is going in blind – just know that there is no cheating, don’t forget – and living every single moment of Rafe and Janie’s feelings, emotions and reactions as they surface! I felt my heart being ripped to shreds and sown back together, and it was all worth it! And as all that these two have been through!

I felt like my heart had just been ripped from my chest. As if someone had reached in, gripped it in their large fist, and squeezed as they ripped.

Kinda Don’t Care was beyond everything I imagined and was praying for. Truly an unforgettable, emotional mega rollercoaster ride! Oh boy, I may need a few days to recover from it. My heart is still palpitating! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

“If you need me there, I will be. As your support, your guide, or even to take that gun from your hand and do it myself. I’ll be there. If I’m not, I’ll get there as fast as I can. The day that I’m not will be the day that I’m dead.”

“I’m a simple man, Janie. I’m a man that lives hard. I’m a man that plays hard. And I’m a man that loves you.”

ARC kindly provided by the author via InkSlinger PR for an honest review

For full review with Release Blitz check out my Blog post,
Profile Image for AJ.
2,869 reviews931 followers
March 17, 2018
3 stars

OK, I fully admit to being completely sucked in by the cover of this book. Look at all of that hot, brooding intensity! Then there is that blurb which absolutely captured my attention, and I couldn’t wait to dive in. It's an action/suspense romance with a damaged, broody ex-military hero and a bright and fun, younger heroine who has loved him from afar for years.

Raphael ‘Rafe’ Luis is a mystery. Broken, solitary but completely badass, he has survived hell and has dragged himself out of heartache and a difficult military career to become a lone operator, determined to take down the people who screwed him over so badly.

Janie is a tech genius who works for her father (and his friends’) security company. Rafe occasionally works with the crew, and since she met him when she was 12, and he was 30, she has been smitten. They’ve only seen each other occasionally through the years, but every time they do, she becomes more and more drawn to the closed-off man, until they meet again when she is 23 and he is 41, and everything changes for them.

Of course Rafe has noticed Janie, but she’s always been too young for him. Now she’s old enough, but he’s sort of working for/with her father, which brings a nice sense of the forbidden to things, as Rafe finally decides that it’s time to act on his longstanding attraction.

My eyes flicked up toward Trace and then shifted away. “We’re not talking about her. Ever.”
Trace started to laugh, not stopping even when I’d turned my back on him.
“Oh, come on!” He guffawed. “It’s hilarious, and you know it. Admit it! You fell for a girl whose dad is going to kick your ass when you finally get in there.”
“I’m not getting in there,” I lied.
I was totally getting in there.

It’s hot and it’s intense, but Rafe’s investigation makes his life a complicated mess and he’s not in a position where he can get involved. And when an injury threatens his life and leaves him without his memory, everything changes again, forcing both of them into a hellish situation (hence that intriguing synopsis).

It’s a bit of a messed-up ride, and I admit that some of it got confusing but I couldn’t put my kindle down as it all played out. The love story is fast-paced and passionate, and I was happy to get swept away in the intensity of it all.

Jesus, the man was sex personified. He was everything that I shouldn’t want, and the one thing that I really needed all rolled into a perfect ball of badass.

I was fucking gone.
Absolutely and completely gone.
She owned me.

And the suspense/action plays out well, bringing excitement to the story as Rafe continues his quest for vengeance, with a few twists and turns along the way.

I enjoyed the characters. Janie is smart, strong and funny, and I love that she doesn’t take any crap. She wants Rafe, and she doesn’t hide that fact, and I found her to be fantastically forthcoming. And I loved Rafe - dark and complex, he’s a wonderful hero. It’s always awesome to see the big, broody ones fall, and he did it spectacularly.

“I’m a simple man, Janie. I’m a man that lives hard. I’m a man that plays hard. And I’m a man that loves you.”

This is my first read by this author, and it may be the first in the Simple Man series, but be aware that it spins off from this author’s other work. I’m not sure entirely which ones (though definitely at least The Freebirds - this book seems to be the next generation) but there are a WHOLE lot of characters in this book that have clearly already introduced and had their stories told and it was sometimes hard to keep up with who everybody was and how they all fit together. That, and the military/suspense storyline also seems to be carrying over from a previous book. That’s not to say that you won’t be able to follow the story, because you can, but I did get the feeling that I was coming in to an already established world and storyline, and I’m an OCD reader who likes to read things in order. So with no indication of the tie-in, I felt a bit disappointed that I didn’t have all of that background (or at least know that it was there beforehand) because I’m sure it would have been a different experience if I did.

But though I went in without knowing any of the existing dynamics, I enjoyed the camaraderie between the boys, and I particularly enjoyed Janie’s Dad, James, and his relationship with both his baby girl and her man.

And on a side note – those chapter headers are hilarious and add to the moments of humour and fun.

If you write fu*k instead of fuck, Jesus still knows. And he probably things you’re a pussy like I do. – Food for thought.

I enjoyed this one. It started out really strong, and though things got a bit weird there in the middle, and it felt like the flow was a little bit off, it finished well. As I said before, probably more enjoyable if you know all of the backstory going in – it feels like Rafe and Janie may have had some build up in earlier books which would make this one more exciting because I feel like I needed something a little bit more for them – but I thought this was an entertaining read.

3 stars.

An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Kathy West.
1,145 reviews26 followers
July 2, 2022
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Excellent - Highly Recommended
4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - A good, solid read
3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ - An okay read
2 ⭐️⭐️ - Meh
1 ⭐️ - Not my cup of tea
Profile Image for ♡Tonya♡.
2,057 reviews580 followers
Shelved as 'not-happening'
March 9, 2018
This sounds painful
Profile Image for Vashti.
1,080 reviews29 followers
September 2, 2019
There are a mixed bag of reviews on this one,but this was the perfect book for me to escape the madness that is Hurricane Dorian as it slowly makes it Cat 5 ass to Florida!
Profile Image for Simply Love Book Reviews.
6,949 reviews827 followers
April 5, 2018

3.5 stars
Oh Lani Lynn Vale!!!! You almost had me throw my Kindle across the room with this one! Thankfully, I trust you and know you wouldn’t do what I was thinking you were going to do because had I thrown my kindle I would have missed out on the intense, sexy, funny roller coaster ride of Rafe and Janie!

Janie, feisty, caring and extremely smart, she is also the daughter of one of the founding members of Free, James, and loved by all the members of Free, therefore extremely protected by tough alpha men. Janie has been in love with Rafe since she was twelve years old and once she turned legal she tried to entice him but he always resisted, until he didn’t. Rafe, mysterious, sexy, broody Rafe. I really liked Rafe, I liked how he kept away from a much too young Janie until she turned twenty three and decided to bring their out of control passion to the surface. Once Rafe had a taste of Janie he knew she was his.

I was intrigued by the plot of Kinda Don’t Care, I enjoyed Janie and Rafe’s build up to their HEA except for one part, it happens about mid book and the actions of both of them really annoyed me, REALLY annoyed me. Once what was really going on was exposed I was able to move on, but their actions still annoy me, it just seemed immature on both of their parts. I loved the banter between much older Rafe and Janie, especially when she was jokingly giving him a hard time about being so much older than she was. I enjoyed Rafe and Janie so much that I do wish we could have had more Janie and Rafe together time because I didn’t seem to get enough of them actually together. I have to admit Lanie TOTALLY got me with the plot twist, I was like OMG! WTF?!?

Ms. Vale’s contemporary series are all loosely linked but don’t necessarily all have to be read to understand each book. Kinda Don’t Care is book 1 in a new series and can be read without reading the other series; however this is one time, I do think new readers might understand more if they read the Hail Raisers series first, specifically Hail Mary.

Profile Image for Carmen Rae.
1,459 reviews174 followers
December 3, 2020
After being wiped out for 3 days with a migraine I got up this morning still feeling like arse and a little screen sensitive so I thought I would try an audible book. First can I say, man, I managed to make that a mission and a half. I didn't want one that was too long, I had to do a sample of all of them to see which voices I liked and finally I had to figure out WTF I felt like reading. Yeah I was dumb enough to consider content last after finding a heap of books that passed the first 2 barriers only for me to not be feeling them.

Finally, I picked up Kinda Don't Care because, Lani Lynn Vale and those narrator's. Damn those were some soothing, easy to listen to voices. I really need to find more of their books. Now, I don't really listen to a lot of audio books because I need something to do with my hands and because I find my eyes wandering and dragging my attention with them. Also because with toddlers being toddlers I am always having to put it down and pausing always makes me miss a minute, and my temper from being disturbed.

Rafe and Janie were great together. They were both very interesting and despite the fact that there was that slight issue of them both being engaged to other people I was so invested in their relationship. Although I really wish I had read some of the other books first because I need to know all their stories. I love as much as I hate that all these characters are woven throughout all of these series, cause I keep reading them backwards.

As always Lani delivered an amazing story that sucked me in from the first page until the very end. And the voices were on point and I'm so glad I finally committed to this for my day of rest and recovery because this was the perfect read. It had enough going on to keep me completely wrapped up in the story and a heap of really random laugh out loud moments. Loved It.
Profile Image for Emily.
4,972 reviews524 followers
April 7, 2018
Janie knew Rafe was for her and she bided her time until she was old enough to show him she was the woman for him. Rafe didn't think of Janie as anything than a feisty little girl until one day he saw her as a beautiful woman. Rafe knows he is too old for her but the connection between them is undeniable and after a lifetime of bad, Rafe wants some good. Rafe has one last job though that is keeping him apart from Janie and when an accident leaves him with short term amnesia he doesn't remember why he feels something for Janie but can't remember what.

NO CHEATING, I know from the description on the book that it sounds like there might be, there is none. Had me worried though. I have been a fan of Rafe's since he was living across the street from Aspen in the book that hooked me on Lani Lynn Vale. I am so glad he got a story and am thrilled to see that the new generation of kids are getting their own book. This book surprised me had several twists and was a bit different then the other books. Can't wait for the next book and it was entertaining reading a book where the men are now older, wiser (some of them) and having to see their children leave their nests. Great read.
Profile Image for Lu Bielefeld .
4,034 reviews444 followers
August 26, 2018
The book was on sale and I could not resist and clicked. #oneclickaddicted
And I ended up enjoying the story.
Older hero and half-crazy and much younger heroine.
The heroine has special interest in the hero since she was a child. She was always fascinated by him. She always said something to him, which was hilarious and embarrassing at the same time.
He moved on his life and tried to avoid her because she was too young and her family did not like him very much.
He is in a undercover mission and the daughter of the villain takes a special interest in him. The scenes are kind of ridiculous.
Our heroine does crazy things to get the hero's attention. She goes so far as to agree to marry another guy.
This time the author developed the plot well and everything was solved without loose ends. Villains and all who were in disguise present themselves.
Heroes from previous books participate and help to catch the villain.
Only the Scooby gang was missing! LOL!

“I love you,” I repeated. “I love you like a fat kid’s pants like to dig into his gut.”
Profile Image for Fatimama.
1,017 reviews55 followers
April 6, 2018
I was expecting more I guess as this book took a long time to happen.. I wanted more focus on Rafe and Janie’s relationship..
Profile Image for Kodie Mackay.
985 reviews55 followers
April 6, 2018
She does it again!!.

The highly anticipated story of Janie and Rafe did not disappoint.

Janie was everything I imagined and more as a heroine. We've all got to know and love her as a crazy out spoken little beauty with eccentric tastes and a potty mouth but here you finally get to see the women she blossomed into. She's still all kinds of sharp witted and badass but she also has this sweet vulnerability that we haven't seen before. She knew when to pick her battles and was well aware of her limits. I absolutely love the fact that nearly everyone wasn't fully aware of how smart she really was. She was good a hiding her talents. And lord does she have a crazy backlog of talents.

Rafe sweet Rafe!. That man is so much goodness wrapped up in a sinfully brooding package of hot stuffs. Aloof in personality, smart cunning and highly underestimated he's the ultimate weapon. People fear him, they fear his capabilities even without knowing how vast they are. My heart went out to the boy then man who always fought to prove himself. I luuuuuuuurvd seeing a peek of that oh so dominant personality!! That coffee table scene was pure sin🔥. I also loved that how sweet he became around Janie! You could feel him melt around her and it about gave me a damn toothache.

The story was set brilliantly and executed to perfection. Seemlessly written so that even though you didn't know where it was going, you still got the story. You feel every emotion and connect to the characters. The chemistry is out of this world, the connection between the two palpable. It was fire. I loved getting to know both Janie and Rafe individually and as a couple. Their journey to HEA wasn't an easy one but any means but I think you'll be surprised at how it all turns out. Lani is a smart lady and she wrote it brilliantly not giving anything away too early but also staying true to who she is as a writer. There is NO CHEATING!!!!.

It fabulous as per. I love seeing new and old faces and getting sneak peaks into future happenings. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the Simple Man series brings.. next with Kayla and Parker! I'm pretty sure their book will be a hard pill to swallow.

Profile Image for Jennifer Pierson.
11.2k reviews144 followers
April 4, 2018
Kinda Don't Care is a spin off series from the Hail Raisers, with appearances from The Heroes of the Dixie Wardens MC, so I really encourage everyone to at least read Hail Raisers before start the Simple Man series, as the enigma that is Rafe has been shown throughout. And that means that I seriously have been dying to read his story, and the brilliant Lani Lynn Vale didn't disappoint in the slightest, as it was amazing. Basically, Rafe has had a thing for Janie since she was jail bait, so he left her alone, until the day he spotted her all grown up & legal, and there was no turning away then. Janie has always wanted to be with Rafe, so she's waiting for a long time for that to come true. And just when they are finally on the right path, he's involved in a near death accident that leaves him without his memory, and Janie is so brokenhearted that she agrees to marry someone else. And that's all that I'm going to give away, because for all of you fans of Ms. Vale, you know that there is so much to the story than a simple description, as she's definitely the queen of twists that turn on f-bomb dropping buttons everywhere, and Kinda Don't Care is no exception. Between the crazy suspense factor, the sparks between these two are simple flammable, and when the sexy FINALLY ignited, they lit the sheets up! With a crazy cast of secondaries that include previous super sexy MC men, this story is absolutely perfect in my opinion. As always, I CANNOT WAIT for the next masterpiece to come out, and I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO ALL!
Profile Image for Nerdy Dirty & Flirty.
3,985 reviews319 followers
April 6, 2018
Another wonderful roller coaster ride…

A new series by one of my favourite authors? Yes please! I was thrilled to dive right into Rafe and Janie’s story. Younger woman, older man. Unrequited love… Rafe’s character has been percolating in the background in this author’s books for a while and it was finally his turn at love!

Complications. Love is never an easy road and these two were going to go through a slew of challenges and heartaches before their chance at forever after was even a possibility. Rafe was strong and broody while Janie’s love for him refused to die. He was forbidden – so was she – but that didn’t stop Janie from hoping and dreaming. Their lives marched on but that didn’t mean they moved on…

This story spans a number of years and lots of turmoil as Rafe and Janie dealt with their age difference and the circumstances that kept them apart. This author knows how to reach into the hearts of characters and make me feel their fears, their angst and their hopes and dreams. And I so wanted Rafe and Janie to get what they needed, they deserved…

When things came to a head, Janie made a decision that catapulted them (hurled really) to the next step which, while perplexing, moved them to the next stage of their relationship quite neatly. Finally!

A great start to a new series!

“If you need me there, I will be. As your support, your guide… I’ll be there… The day that I’m not will be the day that I’m dead.”

“Ending work-related emails with ‘fucking dickbags’ is apparently unacceptable.”
Profile Image for Kim  Brewing.
3,176 reviews30 followers
April 10, 2018
Even though this is a new series, the character of Rafe has been present in other stories....as have some of the other characters mentioned. I think that well you could read this as a standalone, more enjoyment would be had by at least reading the Hail series first.

I liked both of the main characters and Glock and Kimber! There was a LOT going on and it got a little overwhelming in the middle for a bit. The age difference didn't bother me at all. I think they balanced each other out well.

My only complaint - the cover. I know it sounds dumb but here is one description of Rafe: "Though most of his hair was still jet black, a few bright and shiny strands at his temple and the top of his head were coming out. His beard, though? Yeah, that thing was rocking the gray beard hairs like crazy." There is a 23 year old model on the cover, that definitely has no gray in his beard.
Profile Image for Kathleen R..
1,399 reviews43 followers
April 4, 2018

'Just one more chapter. Just one more chapter.'

Probably the one four worded sentence that has got to be either a joke to readers or the best motivation to keep reading. I'm going with torture device. Why? Because after trying in vain to fall asleep for at least 2 hours at 11.45pm, and you know what? My kindle was laughing at me. Taunting me. Telling me that i HAVE to read this book. Of course finish it before being able to go to sleep. So what really happened?

just. One. More. Chapter!

I kid you now. I read that sucker and fell asleep at 2 am, knowing that the next day i would regret it, because at 3 am, i was dreaming about Rafe and his ability to completely disappear, and of Janie who is amazing and my type of girl. It's no secret that i love Lani Lynn Vale's books. Since the first one i read, i've always found myself picking up her books and spending the entire night reading until i've flipped the last page. Obviously i haven't learned my lesson.

I loved this book. Loved going back to Kilgore and catching up with the many characters i had met from the Dixie Warden Rejects series and the Hail series. Do you really need to read the previous books from those series to understand Don't Kinda Care? Maybe, but it's not totally necessary since it's the first book in a new series. However, there is a back story on how Rafe got injured that is explained from one of the Hail series novel - so in a way, just so that you know more, i'd recommend reading it first just so that it doesn't get too confusing in getting all the names right.

I can't wait to read the next book in this series. I'm just going to hope that i won't turn around and tell myself 'Just one more chapter' over and over again.

*ARC provided by Author in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Kathleen, The Small Girl from A small girl, her man and her books


50 Book Reviews  Professional Reader

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Profile Image for Elsa Gomes (BookishAurora).
2,028 reviews261 followers
March 26, 2018
Rate: 3 / 5 stars

Simple Man is a spin off of the Freebirds series. You can read it as a standalone but it does in fact feel like you're missing something. There's a background between the two main characters that you obviously have missed if you haven't read the other series and Rafe's background with some side characters seems important too. This was my first book ever by Lani Lynn Vale and even though I read the book without there being anything major missing, it did make me feel like I wasn't privy to a lot of things, mainly Rafe's past and history with some side characters. Oh, one thing that I still don't get is what exactly was their job and the corporation they ran, that's something you would only know about if you read the previous series but then again, it's not THAT important to know. Also the suspense plot line is something that is linked to the previous series as well but you don't really need to read the previous books to be able to follow along.

Rafe is a 41 year old military man who works with Janie's dad and who she has had a crush for a couple of years. She had been waiting on the sidelines until the right moment to make her move. At the age of 22, she is no longer jail bait and it's time to make her move.Working with her dad, being in on the business and having some skills helps destroying the bridge between them. Janie know that's it's finally time to show Rafe that if he wants her, she's his.
Rafe has had a rough past, mostly do to his shitty and crook father that left him with a lot of enemies. Working in the military and having a lot of side jobs ain't easy either. A military injury cost him one of his balls and almost cost him his life too because the doctor just so happen to be a victim of his father's schemes. Because of his dad, Rafe isn't easily trusted and gets a lot of shit by basically everyone. He doesn't fit in. And the one person he wants with all his heart and body is 19 years younger and the daughter of one of his coworkers/friends and he'd kill him if he knew he has wanted to fuck her since she was just a teenager.

Once Janie makes her move, Rafe has no will power to keep away from her. But then the one thing that seemed to be the problem for these two - their age difference - becomes the thing they least need to worry about when something goes very wrong on one of Rafe's jobs and he ends up in the hospital with no recollection of the past six months. And another girl shows up claiming they are engaged. Their problems just got much bigger than James disapproval, which vanishes pretty quickly once he sees how much Janie loves Rafe and is heartbroken over his memory loss and the engagement. Her pain over it makes her a bit careless and crazy, and I seriously cannot believe she almost did what she did. How stupid. Oh well, it did seem to have worked though, since he did remember right after the event lol.

In terms of the suspense plot, well that ending was surprising and actually quite awesome ahah. I enjoyed that immensely.

One thing I really hated was how everyone treated Rafe, they were all major jerks. You can't chose your parents, and he wasn't his Dad but everyone seemed to be okay with blaming him and treating him badly because of his Dad's character.

I did enjoy this book. It was fun, steamy and even a little angsty. I loved the lines at the beginning of the chapters, they were quite hilarious.

➳ARC kindly provided by author, in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Sarah.
588 reviews80 followers
April 4, 2018
I will fully admit the reason I picked up this book was because the cover copy reminded me of the Thomas Rhett song, ‘Marry Me.’ If you don’t know it, go give it a listen, it’s heartbreaking and totally worth it. Sadly, I found the song far more moving than the book. I was expecting something more emotional than this book, and that is on me.

Kinda Don’t Care is the first book in Lani Lynn Vale’s Simple Man series. The series is a spinoff of her Freebirds series. I didn’t read that series before I read this book and honestly, I felt like I was missing some connections and histories between the characters. It wasn’t enough for me to feel lost, I think I would have appreciated the dynamics between all the characters better had I read the other series. Kinda Don’t Care is written in first-person perspective, narrated primarily by Janie and Rafe with a few chapters told in Janie’s father, James’ voice.

I went into this book expecting something completely different than I got. Had I known it was a spinoff from another series ahead of time – and what that series was – I probably would have had a better understanding of what I was getting into and appreciated the book more. It was a decent story on its own merits, though even at that it was missing that ‘it’ factor to make it truly memorable.

Again, I think having read the previous series would have helped me understand the pull between Rafe and Janie better; it seemed like I’d missed something that had drawn her to him and vice versa. I just didn’t feel their chemistry, Ms. Vale kept telling me about how they’d always felt the pull between them, but it didn’t translate to feeling their desire for one another on page.

The overarching storyline of Kinda Don’t Care was interesting, I felt invested in Rafe’s desire to get revenge and stop the man who’d committed a crime against him and was potentially defrauding service men and women, but some of the subplots seemed a bit bizarre to me. The story arc that ultimately ended in Rafe’s accident, for one, was completely abandoned as soon as the accident happened. I understand having a device to get your characters to where they need to be, but I don’t care for entire plotlines being abandoned before they’ve reached their conclusion. And don’t get me started on Janie’s wedding, I just did not get it.

The climax of this book had the most potential of any of the parts of the story; it was going to be intense and scary and everything I LOVE in a suspense(ish) novel. Instead of fully committing to it, though, the author pulled out a twist that didn’t seem to make any sense in the context of the rest of the novel. I wish she would have pushed the envelope and really took the book to the next level.

Lani Lynn Vale is a new author, to me, I see she has quite an extensive backlist, so she’s obviously been around for a while. I wasn’t won over by this book; it was okay, but not for me. The writing style was okay, but again, not something I connected with in a substantial way. A big part of my not liking this book has to do with my expectations before reading, and I own that. I don’t know if I’ll continue reading this series or author, it would take a great recommendation from a trusted source, I think.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
2,828 reviews143 followers
April 5, 2018
Avid readers of Lani Lynn Vale’s books are no stranger to Rafe Luis, at least in the fact that his job is extremely dangerous, not many characters know anything about him, and he’s a man of few words.

But anything personal…anything about his past, Rafe keeps that information close to the vest, not allowing anyone to get close to him because he doesn’t want anyone to have any power over him, which makes it even more interesting that a girl who is almost 20 years younger can bring this mysterious and broody man to his knees.

Rafe has so many scars from his past that have followed him to his present, so while he’s a covert operative for quite a few government agencies, he also has his own agenda, which puts him in the middle of a maelstrom of danger and deceit, costing him time to build things with Janie and time to make things right with his sister.

Janie may be almost two decades younger than Rafe, but she has always known what she wants, and while she’s dealt with Rafe’s hot and cold demeanor since her teens, nothing has changed her mind or her heart when it comes to the man who owns every part of her.

Janie’s a great heroine; she’s compassionate, hardworking, and intelligent, and while she does make mistakes and jeopardize what she could have with Rafe, I can’t blame her for her actions and reactions to the things that happen, but I do wish she would have been more honest with Rafe because that would have made both of their lives easier, but the fact that they endured so much and still maintained their feelings for one another says a lot about the connection they formed early on, even when Janie was off-limits.

While some readers may take issue with Rafe and Janie’s age difference and the fact that he noticed her when she was only a young girl, I never saw him as a ‘dirty old man’ because he stayed away from her for many years, keeping his distance and allowing her to grow up. He never crossed the line with Janie; he would never do anything to jeopardize her life or her connection to her family. But that didn’t mean that what they felt about each other went away; in fact, it continued to build even when they spent significant amount of time apart, and so while the push and pull between them did get a bit frustrating, especially with the few plot twists that Lani Lynn Vale throws at them, it does illustrate the strong and independent people they are and what they’re willing to do to protect those they love while also getting what they want and need.

4 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)
Profile Image for Lindsay.
2,198 reviews504 followers
June 26, 2018
Honestly, I'm not sure what to say about this book. I've been really curious about Rafe since he first showed up on the scene of Lani Lynn Vale's books. He's always so mysterious and reticent about his past and even his present that I was dying to learn more about him. However, while I did learn somethings, and I learned what was driving him, I still feel like there was a lot I didn't learn. There was a lot that Rafe didn't reveal.

I really loved the storyline. I loved that Janie had been in love with Rafe for ages, from the time she was young and that he FINALLY saw her and gave them a chance. I actually loved the times that they were together. And honestly, I hated that Rafe didn't listen to his body/heart when Janie was engaged to another man and stand up and tell her how he felt. As for Janie, I really didn't like that she said yes and went through with the wedding just to get a reaction out of Rafe. That's a horrible reason to accept a marriage proposal and to plan a wedding and walk down an aisle. Just to get a reaction from the guy you really love.

I'll admit, that the way Rafe got his memory back was quite...explosive ;) I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't that.

I’m just not quite sure what else to say. For me, there was something missing for me to REALLY love the book. It was thoroughly enjoyable and a good read, it just wasn’t a favorite.
April 5, 2018
What a way to start a new series!! If this is any indication on how the rest of the series is going to go then buckle your seat belts everyone, it's going to be one hell of a ride. Of course that seems to be the case with any book I have read by Lani Lynn Vale. She knows how to give you a story that has your full attention and not only that but your emotions always find themselves invested in the outcome of the story and ride they take getting there.

This book had me feeling so much. I have been waiting for the ever illusive Rafe's story and I absolutely loved it. These two have had a connection that has been growing for years. He is at least 20 years older than her and in no way would allow himself to grow more or to look at her as a woman until she was of age and even then still fought the attraction. She has been in love with him for years but getting anything from him has proved to be difficult. Just when you think things are going to go one way between these two, BAM life gives them a hurdle. Of course we knew it was going to happen but one can hope, right?

I just have to throw out there that I absolutely LOVED Janie. She is so freaking hilarious that I just couldn't help myself from laughing at the things she says, thinks or does. She is quite the character.

I highly recommend this book and I really, really can't wait for more in the series.
Profile Image for Natshane.
537 reviews52 followers
April 4, 2018

First impression: Sold for the cover!

What can I say? LLV has THE BEST male models for her covers and they are the reason why I was always tempted to request her books.

With that said, I'm no stranger to LLV books and with all her stories, it was always fast-paced and filled with a good dose of drama and angst. While that sounds like the perfect concoction, I always struggled with keeping up with the characters and all the events that seemed to be going on concurrently...it was always a case of TOO MUCH TOO FAST and sadly, I was once again caught in the storm of it all that left me kinda don't care.

**I know it's cheesy. **

Don't get me wrong, LLV has written some pretty amazing plot, I particularly loved the forbidden theme Janie & Rafe had going on here and was drawn to their unconventional relationship almost immediately, but at the same time, their moments were always so fleeting and I can't fully grasp the weight of the story resulting in me having whiplash throughout the book.

Regardless, it was still enjoyable and fun to read.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book.

Profile Image for Kylee.
2,513 reviews33 followers
January 30, 2020
I kinda don't care if I sound like a teenager with a crush when it comes to this review because Rafe maybe a simple man but believe me when I say he is the MAN. This is the first book in the new series by Lani Lynn Vale and it has set the benchmark high for the rest of the books in this series. Janie and Rafe's story takes you on one hell of a ride with your emotions from anger, frustration, laughter, heartache and an all conquering love. Their story will keep you on the edge of your seat and will have twists and turns that you will not see coming. Kinda Don't Care is about a love and connection so strong that it won't matter what happens nothing will stand in its way. A few of our old favourites feature in this story which makes it like you are revisiting with family that you have seriously missed. Rafe will own your heart and soul by the end of this story and Janie will be that girl that nobody will be able to resist loving. Just a warning the passion, chemistry and heat that radiates off the pages between these pair will keep you warm on the coldest of nights. This book is nothing less than a TEN STAR READ.
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