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secret_baby

REVIEW:  Love’s Rhythm by Lexxie Couper

REVIEW: Love’s Rhythm by Lexxie Couper

Dear Ms. Cooper:

Thank you for sending this book to me for review. I had just finished an excellent New Adult book featuring a rock star hero (Where She Went by Gayle Forman) and was excited to see what a sexy, adult contemporary would bring me. There were many good ideas in the story but the execution of them faltered and in the end, it just seemed like one sex scene strung together with another.

love's rhythm lexxie couperNick Blackthorne is the hottest rock star in the world but when his best friends are getting married, there is only one person he can imagine him bringing to the wedding–Lauren Robbins. Nick and Lauren were high school sweethearts but when Nick’s fame kind of went to his head.  The two parted 15 years ago when Lauren didn’t want to follow him around the world.

She is now a kindergarten teacher with a 15 year old son.  I think we all can add 16 + 16 and get secret baby, right?

There were any number of ideas that went unexplored or were explored in previous books (which I hadn’t read). There were allusions that Nick was tapped out creatively. He rediscovered himself a couple of years ago after finding out he was adopted and had a brother who killed himself. None of this is played out in the pages. I had no idea what Nick was like before this enlightenment. It was powerful enough that it makes him want to seek out his first love but we are shown absolutely nothing of the transformation.

The tough reunion emotions that the two might grapple with appear briefly only to be pushed aside when the two fall into each other’s arms the day Nick returns. Whatever issues that kept them apart in the past aren’t well defined or explored.  The two are too busy getting into each other’s pants.

There were other issues: dealing with Nick’s fame; the big secret baby that Lauren kept from Nick; how the two deal with their son.  All of these issues could have provided the basis for a rich emotional conflict if there was not going to be any character development. (And there wasn’t).  But any exploration consists of a couple of dialogue exchanges interrupted by non stop sex scenes. Nick’s anger seemed to abate almost immediately under the fever of their passion. I guess I was supposed to see how overcome these two were with lust for each other, but I tired of the bedroom gymnastics that took the place of any storytelling or plot.

I thought the scene in which Nick storms Lauren’s house to confront her about the secret perfectly exemplifies the problems and probably the high points of the story.  He gets inside the house and instead of asking Lauren about her son, he takes her up against the door after saying “nice playlist” upon hearing his own music in her house. Presumably this makes him so hot that the pain of not knowing his only child for fifteen years pales in comparison with the opportunity to kiss and then take her.  Only after the several page sex scene is over does Nick demand an explanation.

I remember I tried a Bandicoot Cove book a while back and it read like a swinger story. This book isn’t a swinger story, but the heavy emphasis on sex above everything else, even hot sex scenes, reinforces my opinion of the series. It’s all sex, all the time. C-

Best regards,

Jane

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Harlequin Lightning Reviews

Harlequin Lightning Reviews

Mistress to the TycoonMistress to the Tycoon by Nicola Marsh. Ariel Wallace is an artist struggling to fulfill her aunt’s dream of sponsoring young troubled locals into launching an art career. The dream is in jeopardy due to the plans of a rich real estate developer. The straight laced dude v. the free form spirit is a worn trope and there is nothing new to see in this book.

The one thing that elevated this story, however, was the relationship that the hero had with his dad. Cooper Vance wants to close this real estate buy because it is his ticket out of his dad’s firm. The relationship between his father and Cooper has become increasingly strained over the years due to Cooper’s successes. The reader gets glimpses that both cooper and his dad regret the way their relationship has disintegrated but neither really is brave enough to speak out and try to mend it. C+.

This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

Book CoverThe Mediterranean Rebel’s Bride by Lucy Gordon. This book was recommended by Sherry Thomas who read it judging her RITA books. I bought it because I am easy. As Thomas said, some of the writing is awkward. Gordon has a specific stylistic way of writing and it takes a couple of chapters to get into the rhythm of it. Having said that, this is a very emotional story.

The rebel is one Ruggiero Rinucci who has very bittersweet emotions watching his twin brother marry. Ruggiero found his true love in London a couple of years ago. He and “Sapphire” spent two weeks together and then she disappeared. He thinks that she was the “one”. The twist in this book is that Sapphire’s cousin, a plain and pale imitation named Polly shows up to share with Ruggiero the true story behind his and Sapphire’s relationship. Essentially it was all a fraud. Ruggiero has to come to grips with the past deceit and his future without Sapphire. Ultimately, Ruggiero would have to convince Polly, and by extension the reader, that his love for Polly was not an extension of his feelings for Sapphire. B-.

This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.

The Italian's Wife by SunsetThe Italian’s Wife by Sunset by Lucy Gordon. I had to buy this one because the short references to Ruggiero’s twin’s romance was really intriguing. To wit: Carlo marries a woman 7 years his senior who is in very frail health.

I liked this one better that The Mediterranean Rebel’s Bride because it was so unusual both in the emotional arc and the ultimate happy resolution. Della is a 38 year old, twice divorced, mother of an adult son, and successful television producer. She wants to do a series of shows and wants Carlo Ruggiero to front the shows. She and Carlo meet up, sparks fly and they fall in love only Carlo believes it is a forever love and Della believes it is a ‘for right now’ love.

Della has made mistakes marrying in the past and while a fling with a much younger man is wonderful and she does truly love him, she believes that the relationship can’t be one that continues. Carlo is insistent that her age is of no matter and after some pressing, Della concedes until she is confronted with the fact that she will be a grandmother. Carlo is unable to sway Della and they part. Della and Carlo are eventually reuninted and without spoiling the story, Carlo makes some hard decisions about their future when confronted with the fact that Della will have a shortened life span. It was the ending that really made this book for me. B.

This book can be purchased in mass market or ebook format.