jenjn79's Reviews > Start Me Up

Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl
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's review
Mar 07, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009, info-full, reviewed, genre-romance-contemporary, published-2009, stars-3, series-tumble-creek
Recommended to jenjn79 by: continuation of a series
Read in July, 2009

Rating: 3.5 / 5

A fun, sexy, easy to read book. It's got some interesting characters and situations. But I had the same problem with this book that I did with the first in the series: that the heroine isn't entirely likable. Which takes away some of the enjoyability of the book.

Start Me Up is the second book in Victoria Dahl's Tumble Creek series, which borders between contemporary and erotic romance. Though this book can pretty much stand on its own, I'd personally recommend reading them in order.

Lori Love runs and owns her father's garage in the small town of Tumble Creek. Though she enjoys working on cars, being a mechanic isn't what she'd planned to do with her life. She'd wanted to get out of Tumble Creek, go to college, get a great job and do some traveling. And she'd been on her way to doing that when her father was seriously injured. So she returned home to take care of him and take over the garage. Years later, she's still there, with a mountain a debt behind her and no hope of ever leaving. Lori has mostly accepted that, but lately she's been restless...and wondering if a hot, sex-only affair is just what she needs.

Enter Quinn Jennings, her best friend's brother. Lori's known Quinn for a long time, but it's just recently that she's started seeing him as someone very sexy. Quinn's a bit of a geek, though, very absorbed in his work, but once Lori catches his attention, he's game for a hot fling. But Quinn breaks the rules when he starts to think there could be more between them. Lori doesn't want that; she won't even tell him about the recent troubles in her life (vandalism at her garage, and police suspicion that her father's accident years ago may not have been an accident at all). Lori will have to face some truths about her life if there's any hope for her and Quinn.

This book has a very similar tone to the previous book in the series. An atypical heroine, a straight-laced hero, some steaming hot sex, and a smidge of suspense thrown in. The two books just have a very similar feel...which means that if you liked the first book you'll probably like this one (and vice versa if you didn't).

The sex is pretty scorching hot...if you're not a fan of mildly explicit sex, then this is a book to avoid. It's definitely more graphic than the typical contemporary romance. I thought Dahl's inclusion of some erotic romance scenes from "books" Lori was reading, and the use of those "books" in the relationship between her and Quinn was a nice touch. Quinn "researching" by reading the books was amusing.

There's also a small suspense angle to the story regarding Lori's father's accident, vandalism to her garage, and why everyone seems to want the piece of land her father bought years ago. I liked that part of the story while it was going on, but I thought the resolution was too quick and not thorough enough.

Where this book fell apart a little for me, though, was in the same place the first book lacked. Which was the likability of the heroine. Lori annoyed me. She's dissatisfied with everything in her life, but refuses to try to make it better. And she was very self-absorbed when it came to her relationship with Quinn. Everything was about her...what she wanted, when she wanted. He's pretty sweet to her and she just brushes it off, and she refuses to talk to him about anything in her life. It just made me not see her in a very favorable light. I thought Quinn deserved better.

I also didn't like the ending that felt more like HFN (happy-for-now) than HEA (happily-every-after). Nothing felt solid about the way things ended between Lori and Quinn. There's even a line a few pages from the end where the two are working things out and Lori thinks about how she's not ready for a permanent relationship. And really all the two resolve is that they'll do some dating along with the scorching hot sex. There's no honest commitment, no expression of serious feelings. And it left the ending of this ROMANCE feeling rather flat.

So in the end, this book had its good points and it's bad least for me. It's sexy and an easy read, but not particularly satisfying on the romance front. But if you enjoyed the first book in the series then you'll most likely like this one. I liked it enough that I'll read the next one in the series, featuring Jane, Quinn's secretary.

WARNING, this book contains: mildly explicit sex and language, and some rougher than normal sex
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Comments (showing 1-4)

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Corrine There's not honest commitment, not expression of serious feelings. And it left the ending of this ROMANCE feeling rather flat.

My feelings exactly! Great review, Isis.

jenjn79 (note to self: reread reviews and fix typos! ;)


southpaw285 Great review, Isis.

jenjn79 Thanks!!

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