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REVIEW:  Reckless by Skye Jordan

REVIEW: Reckless by Skye Jordan

Dear Ms. Jordan:

I bought this book because it was recommended in an online forum I belong to.  Lexi LaCroix is a former model turned couture wedding dress designer. Her clients are so famous that they require background checks of the designer forcing Lexi to live a sedate and scandal free life. She’s ready to take the next step in her career by partnering with a larger clothing manufacturing company who would mass produce a line of Lexi’s bridal designs. Her potential partnership is threatened by word that Lexi was at a sex club. Lexi had gone to this club, but for nothing more than observation but the warning hits home.

Reckless (Renegades #1) by Skye JordanWhen she spies a hottie in the airport on the way to a meeting with the clothing manufacturer, she engages in some anonymous flirting using a cell phone app developed by her model cum millionaire best friend cum tech goddess. The target of her flirting is one Jax Chamberlain. He’s a former actor turned stunt man. He comes from an insanely wealthy family of actors and actresses.

Jax’s problem is that by leaving acting to do stunts, he’s got conflict with his family. Further, he’s tired of being used by all the hot women he is dating.They sleep with him and then try to leverage that relationship into an advantage for his career. Jax is told by his best friend that Jax needs an attitude adjustment. He needs to stop looking for the hot women and looking for nice, caring ones instead. That’s pretty good advice. Does Jax take this advice?

Not really because shortly after engaging in anonymous cell phone chatting, he’s quickly arranging his plans in NYC to accommodate a one night stand. The one night turns into more nights, of course, or there wouldn’t be a romance.  The attraction and romance rests primarily on the physical lusts of the characters. After all, during their first encounter, they barely know what each other looks like with Lexi demanding that Jax make love to her in the dark.  Lexi is afraid that her one night stand might be harmful to her business.

The conflicts that keep Lexi and Jax apart are difficult to swallow. Lexi’s career requires so much discretion that she can’t be involved with a former actor, scion of Hollywood, and now stuntman?  Jax shows almost no character growth through the story given that while he was supposed to search out different women and make different choices, he was never actually forced to do so. His petulance at being shoved to the side was also confounding. He reeked of the poor little rich boy syndrome who made problems where there were none.

It’s probably a good thing that the pseudonym was adopted for Joan Swan because I had such a negative reaction to the portrayal of racist language used in Fever, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. This book falls into the category realm for me and while it was a nice diversion, the failure of Jax to actually grow as a character was about as disappointing as was the lack of development of the romance.  The story had a lot of lustful scenes which were well done and I liked Lexi quite a bit. She was determined to make her own way and she did, without the help of Jax, her best friend, or anyone else. She pursued her own vision and achieved success on her own.  Lexi is what made the story work for me and if she wanted pouty Jax, then I guess I’m glad she ended up with him.  C

Best regards,

Jane

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REVIEW:  Muscle for Hire by  Lexxie Couper

REVIEW: Muscle for Hire by Lexxie Couper

Muscle for Hire  Lexxie Couper

Dear Ms. Couper:

I loved the cover on this book. It depicts exactly the image I have a rock star’s bodyguard. I couldn’t resist requesting it from Samhain when the review copy list was sent. This is a sequel to Love’s Rhythm which I reviewed last summer.

While I enjoyed Muscle for Hire more than the previous book, I still felt like the sex scenes were given more attention at the expense of developing the romance, particularly as the romance takes place over only a few days.

Ex-SAS commando Aslin Rhodes used to be the primary bodyguard and head of security for rock legend Nick Blackthorne but Nick heads into semi retirement as a result of hooking up with an old flame.  While debating his future, Rhodes agrees to serve as a consultant on a high budget action film starring Chris Huntley.  Chris is watched over by his sister and martial arts expert Rowan Hemsworth.

The meet cute between Rowan and Aslin involves Rowan putting Aslin to the ground and driving her heel into his chest. It was a misunderstanding. Aslin took Rowan to be an overeager fan.  Rowan’s first response to any unwanted physical touching is to fight back, an instinct that she fostered after the violent deaths of their parents during a home invasion and her position as Chris’ mother figure.

A number of set related accidents imperil both Rowan and Chris and Rowan and Aslin have to figure out the bad guys or girls in order to keep both Rowan and Chris alive.  The story takes place over three days and it is just too short of a time to really believe in the permanency of a relationship between Rowan and Aslin, particularly given Rowan’s past grief over the loss of her parents something that still haunts her.

While this is an erotic romance, the sex scenes didn’t seem to materially affect the story. In fact, I felt that they could have been excised and the tone and romance would have been the same. I prefer when the sex scenes are so baked into the storyline that I have to read every word for fear I’ll miss something important. Plus, a few of the sex scenes occurred at improbable times lending a farcical feel to a more serious, emotionally laden story.  At one point, Rowan has two broken ribs, possibly a concussion but sallies forth from her hospital bed to mount Aslin.  She literally cannot wait one more day to heal up before she gets another orgasm.

Rowan has worked hard to make sure that Chris stays grounded and she’s run off members of Chris’ entourage that she deems unsafe or unwise.  But for all of her carefulness in Chris’ life, she doesn’t extend that clear thinking to her own.  In scene after scene, Rowan often acts foolishly and irrationally and at times the circumstances excuse it but at other times, it can be rather frustrating.

The story is over the top in every sense, from the danger the characters are placed in to the amount of time that it takes the two main characters to fall in love to the numerosity of the sex scenes.  Perhaps if this was a live action movie it would work better (although there would be no time for all the love scenes in a three hour movie) but in the book it was hard for me to take all those implausible leaps of fate. C

Best regards,

Jane

 

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