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REVIEW:  Run to You by Rachel Gibson

REVIEW: Run to You by Rachel Gibson

 

“There’s nothing like fleeing Miami to ruin a girl’s day.

Stella Leon’s bartending gig was going fine until gorgeous retired Marine Beau Junger decked her mob-connected boss, spirited her out of the city, and claimed that Stella’s half-sister—the one with the perfect life—sent him. Now Stella has no choice but to go along for the ride . . . and seduce Beau’s military-issue socks off . . .

The Marine Corps was Beau’s escape from his old man’s legacy of naval heroism and serial philandering, but no amount of training could prepare him for the day he looked in the mirror and saw his father staring back. The answer: swear off meaningless sex. Oh, and find a way to make Stella Leon quit being so damn hot . . .”

Dear Ms. Gibson,

We’re back for the (I think) 2nd book in this series and it’s about Sadie’s illegitimate sister Stella. Stella has always felt unwanted by her rich father who basically paid a huge trust fund to Stella’s mother to manage until Stella’s 25th birthday or marriage to keep them all away from the Hollowell family in Texas. Stella has never felt as good as beautiful blonde, debutante Sadie and has stumbled through life with a few jouvie incidents with the law and by working as a singer and bartender. She’s apprehensive about meeting her sister and stunned to learn that up til now, Sadie hasn’t known about her.

RuntoYou_RachelGibson_300Beau is a former marine sniper who now runs, surprise surprise, a security company who has been tasked by his twin brother, who is friends with Sadie’s fiancé, to find Stella and deliver the news her sister wants to meet her. Only events don’t play out like Beau planned and he inadvertently gets Stella in trouble with her boss who has mob connections. Now Beau has to drive Stella from Florida to Texas and both of them aren’t sure they’re going to survive being in that close contact with the other without one of them committing murder. Can love bloom along the interstate?

I can take one or two characters being unlikeable or difficult but so many of them makes a book hard to read for me. Stella is a woman with some quirks and annoying habits while Beau is downright crude. And no I’m not going to give him a by based on 18 years in the military and a dickwad of a father. Being in the military doesn’t have to mean you’re a uncouth bore. Even Stella’s family sounds like a pack of bloodsucking leeches living off her trust fund. And then there’s her boss Ricky and his mob buddies. I was halfway into the book and not really liking anyone – including Beau’s mother who gives off a slightly creepy vibe and spills family secrets the minute she meets Stella, hinting that she wants her son to marry and start giving her grandchildren.

On the plus side, the plot is coherent and well thought out. It’s a road trip from Annoyance Land as these two tick each other off yet feel a strong sexual attraction. Neither of them will dive into that for two reasons – he’s tired of his “hook up for a night” lifestyle which suddenly reminds him too much of his philandering father and has decided to remain celibate until he finds his One and Only while Sadie is still a (technical) virgin depending on how one feels about oral sex and also waiting for Mr. Right before giving it up. Then suddenly after their night of hot and heavy in New Orleans – whether or not it’s sex depends on your idea of if Bill Clinton was right or not – feelings seem to be developing. Really?

Beau’s thinking Stella isn’t as annoying now that he’s gotten his hands on her fine ass while Stella is annoyed that she lost control and yelled she loved him as she hurtled towards her orgasm while he maintained his icy control. Added stress arrives now that they’ve arrived in Texas and the sisters meet but it just as quickly dissipates as Stella’s “feeling of inadequacy” plot line fizzes out.

Well, okay then what’s left to settle? Why it’s whether or not Beau will admit to any feelings beyond caring for Stella. She’s pissed, he’s confused and now off to help his twin brother in what will probably be the set up for a future book. Then, suddenly, Beau realizes his feelings are lurve. How did this happen?, he asks himself. And I’m wondering the same thing. There’s a grandiose public statement of love, delivered Marine style with sound/light effects but I’m sorry, I just didn’t see the love striking any more than Beau did. It is a fast read but not a very convincing one. C-

~Jayne

 

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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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