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Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone

The Christmas He Loved Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake, #2)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402274831
Pages: 353 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Small Town
Series:  Bad Boys of Crystal Lake-1
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

All he wants this Christmas is her...

In the small town of Crystal Lake, Christmas is a time for sledding, hot chocolate, and cozying up to the fire with those you love. For Jake Edwards, it's also time to come home and face the music. He thought there would never be anything harder than losing his brother. Turns out there is: falling in love with his brother's widow, Raine.

Ever since they were little, Jesse was the Edwards brother who was always there for her, and Jake was the one who knew just how to push her buttons. Raine can't imagine a life without them, which is why it was doubly decimating when Jake left town after his brother's sudden death. Now he's back and she doesn't know whether to be mad or thrilled. Maybe both. Or maybe it will be the perfect chance for both of them to finally find happiness again.

My Review:

Beginning Babble: I loved the first book in this series, The Summer He Came Home, and I was really looking forward to this one. I was a little bit apprehensive because holiday stories and me never really get along but I figured, why not?

Characters:

Heroine: Raine-I did like her but it was one of those cases where I find little things that annoy me about her. I just couldn't make a connection. I do have to say that I liked her more than I liked Maggie which is a small victory in and of itself. The points where she annoyed me, she annoyed me badly but when I liked her, I liked her a lot. 

Hero: Jake-As much as I did not make a connection to Raine, I made a huge connection to Jake. He was such a strong and steady hero. I don't know if I'll put him on my favorite hero list but I definitely did like him quite a bit. I seem to like Stone's heroes more than her heroines.

Chemistry: She was the widow of the hero's brother. That fact added an interesting dynamic and some tension. Raine and Jake had their own heartbreaking past together. Basically their past was full of gut wrenching angst. I love it when the hero and heroine have a complex history together. It adds such a depth to the story.

Chemistry Rating: 
Ending Babble: I am quickly becoming a huge Juliana Stone fan. Her writing style just works for me. I do wish that I could make more of a connection to her heroines but maybe in the next book. Again, I don't think this is going on my favorites list but I do think it was a great book and I will be looking forward to more from this series and Juliana Stone. I do hope that I like the heroine more in the next one.
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: The Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Carolyn Brown

The Cowboy's Christmas Baby (Cowboys & Brides, #2)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402280491
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Western
Series: Cowboys & Brides-1
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

'Tis the season for...
A pistol-totin' woman who's no angel
A tough rancher who doesn't believe in miracles
Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can't wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.
When he pulls in, there's Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.
Lucas is unfazed. But wait...is that a BABY in her arms?

 

My Review:

Beginning Babble: Usually Carolyn Brown is such a good bet for me. Her books very rarely fall short and I usually love her characters and stories. But this time, it was a bit difficult. I had a tough time making a connection to both the hero and heroine and as a result I had a tough time getting into the story.

Characters:
Heroine: Natalie
-To be honest, she gave me a headache. If I had to read about how incredibly strong and "rancher" she was, I was going to pull out my own teeth. I always get the feeling that if you have to tell me something over and over, it just ain't true. I didn't dislike her exactly but I found myself on the verge far too often.
Hero: Lucas-He worked my nerves too. But not as much as Natalie. He completely dismissed Natalie at first because she had a kid...that's just not a hero move. Yes, yes, I know she didn't tell him immediately but with the way reacted...who would? He kind of proved her point, didn't he?
Chemistry: I spent the majority of the book trying to get over my intense dislike for Natalie. That kind of takes my focus away from whatever chemistry Natalie and Lucas may or may not have. As a result, it felt kind of "meh" to me. Tolerable but it made writing this review difficult.
Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble: I did like this book. It's definitely not one of my favorites and it had a lot of aspects that annoyed me. It had the adorable child who everyone loves and dotes on. I call it the "Michelle Complex". Too much focus is on how cute the kid is. I get it, he's cute...move on. Also, there was a little issue at the end of the book with Lucas' name. All of a sudden his first name was Justin. I don't think it's ever mentioned before that. It's almost like it was a spare plot point just added in for the cute factor. Kind of like "I know you think the hero's first name is Lucas but it's really Justin Lucas, so now the kid and him have the same initials, isn't that just the most adorable thing ever? really not. Maybe if I had known but I didn't and it frustrated me.
 
 

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