I read a couple romance novels recently and liked them both a lot.
The first was As Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye. There were many good things about this book, including great chemistry between the protags, something different in that the hero was a skilled tattoo artist (even though of course being a supertough ex-military dude), and fun side characters. I loved the hero’s brother ~ great sibling banter between them. There was also a bunch of funny banter among the military buddies.
I did have a couple minor issues with this book. The first was the meaningless addition of a stray three-legged dog ~ we already know the heroine is a caring, warm-hearted nurse. There was no reason to toss in the dog to bring this out. It felt completely arbitrary. And what’s with these missing-limb pets lately? They even thought of naming it Tripod! Gah.
I also had an issue with the plot. While using the abduction of the heroine’s brother to bring the protags together was fine, the massive depth and breadth of the secret involving her father/the hero’s commander was ridic. I’m sure the entire Baltimore police dept would really be in on that. The reason I’m calling this a “minor issue” is because we all know the plot is secondary in a romance novel. The character development and love story between the protags were rock solid. But I’d rather not get distracted from that by stupid conspiracy theories. Overall, ’twas a good book. (I bought the sequel apparently via the very clever one-click thingie at the end of the Kindle novel. D’oh.)
I also read Irresistible by Susan Mallery. This was a perfect romance novel; everything was exactly right. The main characters were good peeps with trust issues, and the slow untangling of those made for a great read. The side chars were interesting in their own right, and some also have their own novels, yay. I will probably be buying one or more of those, and possibly other books by Ms. Mallery. Irresistible had a very simple plot structure and no glaring over-complications thrown in at random. It skirted the edge of believability at times, such as with the meanness of the hero’s grandmother, but never crossed over.
OK, one thing. Irresistible had a gorgeous pink cover with a pic of a cupcake on it ~ gosh, I wonder if this influenced me to buy the book at CVS in the first place? But there are no cupcakes in the book, not one. The heroine baked a pie for the hero after he fixed her car and there were lots of other food incidents, but no frosting. I still gave the book 4 stars on Goodreads because I loved it, but really is it so hard to have covers that go with books? The worst are the covers of old where the hair color is wrong. Nothing worse than buying a novel with a pic of a swooning redhead in a pirate’s arms… only to find out she’s really a blonde. Horrible.
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