Lisa's Reviews > A Bid for Love

A Bid for Love by Rachel Ann Nunes
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Feb 25, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction-lds, fiction-romance

This is a review of the three books in this LDS romance/suspense series by Rachel Ann Nunes: A Bid for Love, Framed for Love, and Love on the Run. I am almost embarrassed to say that I really enjoyed these books, which are intentional page-turners--every chapter ends with a question to encourage the reader to find out what happens next, even more shamelessly than a Nancy Drew book (which I love/loved--I am 55). Fortunately each of the books only takes a few hours to read. They tell the story of Cassi Morgan and Jared Landine, LDS art buyers who work for different high-end galleries and meet at an art auction in Los Angeles. They are initially hostile and mistrustful of one another, due to previous bad experiences. (They are in their late twenties, which makes Cassi an old maid and Jared a menace to society in stereotypical LDS culture, so of course--it's a romance, after all--they are on the rocky road to love.) They are forced to join forces against some really evil people, who desire to profit regardless of the consequences and who become personally determined to prevent Cassi and Jared from finding happiness.

Cassi is unable to read the signs from men who are genuinely interested in her (not just her body), a trait that becomes irritating until it must be overcome to advance the plot. Jared has decided that because a woman he once dated had a curly permanent and bad taste in (stiff) hair gel that Cassi's natural curls are not natural and are a symbol of the fickleness and deceitful tendencies of all women, although his "hang-up" is less irritating than Cassi's. More astonishing is this couple's inability to figure out who they can trust when they are in danger of more than a broken heart--only each other, until a point when they decide that maybe they can trust the FBI (but only the agents they trust at the FBI, which prevents them from calling the police or the FBI when anyone with half a brain would do so). The author tries hard to make this tendency realistic and to explain it, but by halfway through the second book, the problem induced repeated inner groans in this reader. Even when they should trust each other most, this couple seems to have doubts. In addition, Cassi is inexplicably able to trust the wrong people--such as a rich, handsome, widowed-with-young-son man who discourages her from contacting the FBI or police when she has just witnessed a murder and barely escaped with her life and with information material to the case. She accepts his invitation to stay overnight in his mansion's guest suite and seek help in the morning (there are lots of servants around and Cassi's virtue is never in question). This amazing event takes place even though his lies to her and other events should set off loud alarm bells, even in a person who isn't listening for the promptings of the Spirit, which Cassi is.

Cassi's actions are often explained as chronic impulsiveness of a strength that seems inconsistent with her knowledge and professionalism as a buyer entrusted with bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars on valuable art objects. Other minor and major irritations are present: good people tend to have blue eyes; bad guys are described as "exotic" and in other stereotypical terms--they also wear heavy, thick gold rings; there are some good people who are not LDS, but Jared tends to think of them as potential Mormons a few too many times despite the imminent crises that ahould be occupying his thoughts; Jared's last name is Landine while Cassi's boss has the first name of Landen and the villianess is named Laranda, which could be sources of confusion at first. Lazy editing is apparent in cliches such as "a shot rang out" and hyperbole such as "His instincts were never wrong."

Nevertheless, the descriptions of the inner spiritual lives of the protagonists and their relationship (when they are not being idiots) are often lovable and inspiring. Their friends, Renae and Trent, as well as FBI Special Agent Fred are well-drawn and interesting characters, although the Renae-and-Trent family seems a bit too perfect. But I enjoyed these books--not everything has to be The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire--and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened. I recommend checking out these books from the library rather than buying them (but check out all three at once). If you know an LDS teenaged girl (maybe one who is not yet hooked on reading but who will enjoy an LDS romance and suspense novel), these might make a good gift if you give all three. Nunes will get my attention if she writes more LDS romance/suspense novels because these three were a fun ride, and worth overlooking some arguably serious but ultimately not make-or-break gaffes.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 22, 2010 – Finished Reading
February 25, 2010 – Shelved
October 4, 2016 – Shelved as: fiction-lds
October 4, 2016 – Shelved as: fiction-romance

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kelly What does LDS stand for?

Lisa LDS stands for Latter-day Saint, a member of or adjective describing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often known as the Mormon Church. Nunes is a member, as am I, as are Cassi, Jared, and some other characters in this series.

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