Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Christine Rimmer

REVIEW: Never Kiss Me Again by Christine Rimmer

REVIEW: Never Kiss Me Again by Christine Rimmer

Dear Ms. Rimmer:

I’ve enjoyed many of your category books in the past and when you shared that you were self publishing a contemporary, I was eager to read and review it. Unfortunately this book didn’t work well for me. It’s not that the quality was lower because it wasn’t. It looked and read like the professionally edited product that it was. Rather the characters and the type of story just didn’t appeal to me. I wondered if the book was supposed to harken to the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie as it was centered around the death of a wealthy matriarch and the residents of the household were the suspects.

Never Kiss Me Again by Christine Rimmer Annie Dolan and Devlin Tenhawk were never supposed to fall in love. She was the granddaughter of the reigning family of Cutterville, Oklahoma. Devlin was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Annie and Devlin loved each other so much that Annie defied her family and married Devlin. Unfortunately, Annie and Devlin’s lack of compatibility overcame their youthful lusts and they divorced.

Annie returns home at the behest of her grandmother who claims she is dying. The grandmother announces that she was going to change her will and leave her entire fortune to Annie and the next day the grandmother is found dead. Fairly early on, it is suspected that the grandmother’s death was the result of foul play. Despite the local police marking the death as one of non natural causes, Annie takes it upon herself to conduct her own investigation with the assistance of her ex husband Devlin.

Annie’s family is filled with horrible people. The secondary characters read like caricatures. Her mother is drugged out almost all of the time and her sister acts like a 15-year-old girl who believes that Annie is out to steal her boyfriend. The others in the household are equal parts rude and dismissive. Strangely, the will holds little relevance to the whodunit part of the story because it was known to everyone that Annie would take care of her family which was the whole reason why the grandmother intended to leave the fortune to Annie. Yet, I kept wondering if Annie hated Cutlerville so much and had so little respect for her family, why she felt compelled to stick around particularly when she suspected one of them had MURDERED their mother or grandmother.

Even beyond the troublesome plot was the romance story itself. Whenever there is a reunited lovers story, particularly featuring a previously married couple, I look for evidence they have learned from their past mistakes. If I don’t feel that they have learned and grown from their past, I don’t believe that their future will result in lasting relationship. If a romance story is to be successful it should convince the reader of the happy ever after.

Annie and Devlin’s problems arose, primarily, because Devlin wanted Annie to stay home and have babies while Devlin earned a living gambling. Annie chose to pursue her college degree. I found Devlin to be unsympathetic and petulant. At one point, he says to Annie,

“You know why we’re divorced, Annie?” He ?ipped down the visor on her side of the car and shoved up the ?ap that covered the mirror. “See that. Look there. You are one angry woman and in the end, there’s
no livin’ with a woman like that.”

Was she angry? Yes, I suppose she was. She had built a life for herself outside of Cutlerville. Her grandmother was blackmailing her to stay in Cutlerville for a year, inventorying antiques her grandmother was donating to the local museum. Her marriage had fallen apart because her husband was an asshole who got caught up in his poker games and never took any notice of her during those periods of intense gameplay even when she desperately needed him and now she’s having feelings for him again. Yes, indeed, I think she had the right to be angry. And for Devlin not to acknowledge his own part in their divorce REALLY stuck in my craw. And yes, he apologized later on for one deed, but it sounded reluctant and insincere.

Perhaps older and wiser, the two would be able to overcome whatever differences that they had in the past but really all I felt that they had going for them was the sex. I wished I had liked this more because so many of your past books have resonated positively with me. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy either the mystery plot or the romance. I did like Annie and even though I didn’t understand her motivations, I appreciated her as a character. Others who like the will induced whodunit might respond more favorably. C-

Best regards,

Jane

Goodreads | Amazonnook | Sony | Kobo

REVIEW: Expecting the Boss's Baby by Christine Rimmer

REVIEW: Expecting the Boss's Baby by Christine Rimmer

Dear Ms. Rimmer:

I am ordinarily not a fan of Christmas stories unlike my partner here, Jayne, who has a well known affinity for these stories and given the proliferation of them in the months preceding the holidays, clearly I am in the minority.   I’m always afraid the holiday spirit will overcome the story and everything will become treacly.   However, I always seem to respond well to your books so despite the baby on the cover and the tree and the ornaments, I rushed to download and read this story.

Expecting The Boss's Baby by Christine RimmerThe heroine is the youngest of the Bravo girls.   If we were pigeonholing her, Zoe Bravo would be the free spirit.   Oh, she’s not running around in peasant skirts and beads, but she’s flitted from one position to another, finding nothing that has really engaged her passion and interest in the long term.   She’s easily distracted which is why she has attended two of the best schools in the country, but never graduated.   And it kind of explains what she is doing applying to be Dax Girard’s assistant.

Dax Girard is a “great adventurer and magazine publisher” which, in this day and age, doesn’t seem to be the most credible basis for a rich man, but Dax is very wealthy.   (Maybe he’s modeled after Branson?)   Dax thinks highly of himself and during the interview makes sure that Zoe understands that if she is hired, she cannot have sex with him.   Thankfully, Zoe thinks well enough of herself to laugh at Dax’s serious warning.

He wasn't finished. "And if I were to meet you under other circumstances, I would be only too happy to have sex with you. But I need good staff, above all. So I have a house rule. You work for me, that's all you do with me."

Zoe stifled a burst of inappropriate laugher and sat up straighter in the chair. Somehow, she managed to reply with a straight face, "Seriously, it's not a problem. I've known you for what, two minutes?"

Dax can’t wait for Zoe to fail so he can ask her out, but Zoe is committed this time to seeing this position through.   She wants to prove something to herself and to her family.   Everyone at Zoe’s new office think she’ll succumb to ol’ Dax’s charm in no time so Zoe pretends that she is in love with someone else and thus immune to Dax.   Dax is, well, a rake?   I mean, in one scene he is calculating how long it will take for Zoe to fall in bed with him but in the next he is making out with some chick in his office and setting dinner dates with her.   So monogamy doesn’t appear to be Dax’s strong point, as well as resisting his staff.   Fortunately Zoe has his number:

How old was he anyway, thirty-five or thirty-six? Old enough to stop jumping from one woman's bed to the next. If he didn't watch it, he'd end up ancient and wrinkled, wearing a satin bathrobe, with a blonde young enough to be his granddaughter on his arm.

A subtle humor is imbued in the story because Dax catches on almost immediately that Zoe’s Johnny is fake and Zoe figures out that Dax knows, but she refuses to give up the charade so she keeps on making up fairly believable, yet kind of crazy stories about her and Johnny.

Plausible circumstances leave Dax and Zoe stranded together wherein they don’t have the barriers of the office or Zoe’s fake fiance to keep them apart. Alone and having to rely on each other (or mostly Dax having to rely on Zoe), they succumb to the seeming inevitability of their attraction. It is during this time that Zoe realizes that while everyone has labeled her as flightly and insubstantial, when the chips are down, she is a very capable person. Although it’s a bit trite, Zoe learns her value as a person and I think it was this experience, in part, that makes her able to resist Dax later on in the story after she becomes, um pregnant. (It’s not really a spoiler when it’s on the cover right?).

Dax is a little harder of a nut for me to swallow. He seems kind of consciousless when it comes to women, at least in the beginning. It is true that he has his own emotional baggage that leads him into his certain lifestyle and he certainly makes a big gesture at the end of the book but I wondered if the transition from lover of all to lover of one was too easy. Even though there is passage of time, it’s time spent mostly in Zoe’s head and not Dax’s. However, this is a minor complaint and even the Christmas part was well woven throughout the conflict. B

Best regards

Jane

Book Link | Kindle | Amazon | nook | BN | Borders
| Sony| eHarlequin