Thursday, October 01, 2015

Recent Reads


Dirty Talk by Megan Erickson

Why This One: I discovered this author with the first book in this series and was very, very impressed, then got one of her back list about the first Payton brother.  It was a given I’d read this one when it came out – so much so that I preordered it.

Genre: Contemporary

Steam Level: Hot – but alas, not in a way I liked

Outline: When the one you shouldn't want is the one you can't resist...

Brent Payton works hard, plays hard, and has earned his ladies’ man reputation. But he’s more than just a good time, even though no one seems to see it. Until a gorgeous brunette with knockout curves and big, thoughtful eyes walks into his family’s garage and makes Brent want more.

Ivy Dawn and her sister are done with men, all of them. They’ve uprooted their lives too many times on account of the opposite sex, but that’s over now. The plan seems easy until a sexy, dirty-taking mechanic bursts in Ivy’s life and shakes everything up.

Brent can’t resist the one person who sees past his devil-may-care fa├žade, and Ivy finds it harder and harder to deny how happy he makes her. But she has secrets of her own and when the truth comes out, she must decide if she’ll run again or if she’ll take a chance on forever.

My thoughts: I was blown away by how much I enjoyed the first book in this series, Dirty Thoughts.  I loved everything about it, the blue collar hero, the fact he’s a grouchy bear type, the fact he and the heroine had had a previous relationship that neither really got rid of.  Brent Payton, the younger brother and hero of Dirty Talk had quite a large role so I wanted to read his story.  I happened to see Megan Erickson at RWA at a signing and told her how much I love the first book and she was telling me a bit about this one and how she loved the character of Brent.

Alas, I didn’t feel the love as much for Brent as I did for Cal.  Brent didn’t have the grouchy bearness of his big brother.  In fact he was quite the player.  That should have been a bit of a warning.  If this had been a historical, he would have been considered a rake and one of the reasons I don’t read as many historical is because of the number of rakes.

Brent, our hero, meets Ivy, our heroine when she visits the garage he works at with his brothers to visit Alex, her sister and the newest employee of Payton and Sons.  Brent is smitten right out of the gate and Ivy is smitten right back.  But she and Alex have made a vow to each other – NO MORE MEN!  They’ve both been stung in the past, Ivy when her former love abandoned her when she got pregnant with little Violet.

Gack – I hate doing this but there were a number of things that bothered me about this book. 

  • I didn’t really feel a love connection between the two of them, more of a lust connection.

  • He kept thinking about how small her hands were to the point I was almost picturing them as a character of their own – that her hands were way too small for the rest of her body.

  • Alex and Ivy running at the drop of a hat.  Sure Alex’s former beau turned out to be a real rat bastard, but I think the fact that they both moved away and were more than willing to run again struck me as quite immature.

  • Violet was way too sugary sweet.  Writing children in romance books is a very difficult thing to do and if the author doesn’t put in some brattiness, the child doesn’t come across as ‘real’.

  • Brent did way too much mental lusting.  It got old after a while.  I’d rather he have spent more time thinking and getting to know the inside then the outside.  I think if he had done that, he probably would have found her too child-like in her way of dealing with life.

  • I don’t really care for player type heroes – or heroines for that matter.  If they are regretful about it, they have chance at redemption for me, but Brent never did.
  • And in a completely and utterly unfair thing - that's the same name as my oldest son and at times it was just kind of odd to read about what a player Brent was

I’m so sad I felt this way about this book considering how much I loved the first book as well as Make it Right – the story of Max Payton and part of another series she’s written, the Bowler University series.  And as a big plus, I did love that Brent is another blue collar type hero.  And the fact that this book didn’t work for me as well as the other two won’t keep me from reading her next planned book in this series or other books she’s written.  I think she’s a good writer, it’s just that this book wasn’t one of my favourites.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Would I read again: Maybe

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Grayson’s Vow by Mia Sheridan

Why this one: I LOVE Mia Sheridan’s books!!  In fact if you look to the right, Archer’s Voice is right up there as one of the best books I’ve read in a number of years.  She is an automatic autobuy author

Genre: Contemporary

Steam Level: there were only a couple towards the end, but they flowed beautifully with the story and were perfect

Outline: Kira Dallaire is desperate.

Some challenges in life seem too hard to overcome. With little money, and even fewer options, the quick-witted and vibrant twenty-two-year-old needs to reinvent herself. Known for her generous heart and impulsive personality, she devises a survival plan, possibly her most outrageous idea yet.

Grayson Hawthorn is losing hope.

Some obstacles in life seem too hard to overcome. Betrayal definitely being one of them. With limited capital, and dwindling resources, he is attempting to resurrect his failing family vineyard, a self-imposed vow seemingly destined to fail. That is until a young woman enters his office with an outlandish, unexpected proposition impossible to refuse.

What begins as a temporary business arrangement, soon evolves into more as vivacious, spirited Kira challenges detached, arrogant Grayson to want more from life. To want more for himself. But as their wills clash and fiery passion ignites, they'll realize that sometimes the past creates walls too difficult to climb, and that lies and deception rarely precede a happily ever after.

As Kira and Grayson race toward their destiny, they will discover that some vows are meant to be broken, and others are worth risking everything for . . . even your very own heart.

My Thoughts: I started this book about 5:00 last night.  I didn’t turn on the TV, I was too busy reading.  I sat in the dark I was too busy reading.  I stayed up way past time to head to Zzzzz land I was too busy reading.  Finally my IPad ran out of juice and turned itself off.  I plugged it in and headed to bed.  I woke up at 2:30 am with my IPad 47% charged and finally finished the book.  When I get out of bed in the middle of the night – when I’ve been ASLEEP, that means it’s a Very Good Book.

This one grabbed me from page 2 and didn’t let go until I finished it.  Kira is the kind of heroine you can’t help routing for.  She’s gone through some real bad shit; you get to see how bad it gets as you read along, but instead of it getting her down, she pulls herself up, brushes herself off and starts all over again with one wild scheme after another.  At the beginning we meet her as she’s in a bank when she overhears a conversation between a banker and a man whose name she recognizes as someone from her past though she’s never met him.  We discover the connection later in the book.  But the client, Grayson, is being turned down for a loan and she feels a sense of almost responsibility.  When she later spies him giving what little money he seems to have to a homeless person, she’s decided on her next plan.  You see, though she is homeless at the time, she is soon going to inherit a great deal of money upon her marriage.  Grayson needs a great deal of money to try and bring the dying winery he inherited back to the place it once was.  She visits Grayson and proposes they marry for a few months so she can get her inheritance and she will split it 50/50 with Grayson, allowing him to do the needed work on the winery.

Grayson very reluctantly agrees to it, thinking she’s just a spoiled little rich girl who needs the money to indulge herself having already spent the allowance ‘daddy’ has given her and treats her quite rudely as a result.  Of course things couldn’t be further from his first impression and as the story moves along, he is proven wrong again and again as he gets to know her better.

Kira on her part, is starting to develop deeper and deeper feelings for Grayson as she gets to know his very sad childhood.  She has such a loving heart that she almost feels his pain, having shared many of same kind of pain herself, but that doesn’t keep her from calling him out when he goes overboard on his cynicism.

I adore Kira as a heroine.  Grayson is a bit harder to warm up to.  He pulls some, what seems to me, to be very cruel stunts.  Yes, he has his reasons for his bitterness, but he gets carried away a bit too often.  But the Kira love I have evens things out somewhat.  She is young, only 22, but because of all she had gone through, it was quite a mature 22.

I still preferred Archer’s Voice a little bit more than this one.  Ms. Sheridan piles it on a little too thick on the pain she inflicts on Grayson, but she is one of the best authors I’ve read at making us feel the emotional pain the hero/heroine feel.  Maybe it’s because of the first person, alternating characters of the way she writes.  We get into both their heads throughout.  So while I thought this was a wonderful read – I read in one and a half sitting – and will give it a thumbs up and shout “Read it, It’s such a Good Book” Grayson’s Vow gets a 4.75.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Would I read it again: Absolutely!!

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