Tag Archives: Harlequin Mira

Review: The Look of Love by Bella Andre

18th June 2013

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 *I received this unsolicited from Harlequin Mira.

So by now, I think we all know about my hesitation when it comes to romance novels. But when the temps get warmer, and I’ve graded essays and had to email people about plagiarism, I typically want some light fare in terms of my reading.

This book came unsolicited in all its pink and lush scenic glory, and it was perfect timing. But as is typical, I had mixed reactions to this book. In the words of my best friend, “I think you think too hard when you read romance.” Guilty as charged.

What It’s About: Chloe Peterson has left a bad (and possibly abusive) relationship when she finds herself on the side of the road in a wrecked car. Chase Sullivan is a professional photographer with his pick of women, and he hasn’t yet tired of the selection. When he comes across Chloe on the side of the road, however, something tells him this one’s different.

What Irked Me: First of all, can we just talk about the name Chase Sullivan. It’s soooo romance novel-y. Or soap opera. Chase. Sloan. Slade. These names, I swear. But that’s superficial. So Chase is pretty sure that Chloe has been abused, and recently. Does this stop him from making a move pretty much as soon as they meet? No. Also, I’m not quite sure why Chase gets so aroused as Chloe tells him about her black eye, even as he’s boiling mad about it. It’s just…weird. On top of that, Chase’s brothers and sisters (because this is book one in the Sullivan series, and there are a LOT of Sullivans) are – I’m not making this up – a famous Hollywood actor, a professional baseball player, a race car driver, and a Napa winemaker. Of course, you also have the lowly choreographer, librarian, and firefighter. I kid. Those are some damn good genes, if you ask me.

What I Liked: This is one sexy book. When I could forget long enough about how absolutely horrifying it is that Chase wouldn’t even bother to hide his arousal from a woman he knows has been abused or that he enters the bathroom she’s in without even knocking, I figured out the reason Bella Andre is such a success story. Her writing is super steamy and full of the sexytimes.

Plus, even as boneheaded (forgive the pun) as Chase is in the beginning when he meets Chloe, he’s super sensitive and accommodating, giving her time to tell him what has happened and what she needs instead of forcing her to explain herself. And after finding out who has harmed Chloe, he doesn’t charge ahead without waiting to hear what she wants to do, and this is ultimately what saved this romance for me. I’d also say that if there had been a bit more awareness on Chase’s part as to his behavior, his actions in the beginning wouldn’t have bothered me so much.

Is the bff right? Maybe. Romance novels set themselves up to be criticized. Sexual politics are so complicated that any novel that has sex in it is bound to make missteps. Do I wish I could turn off that part of my brain? No. Does it inhibit my enjoyment of a romance novel? Maybe, but I still enjoyed The Look of Love. I’d even consider reading more about the genetically unbelievable Sullivans.

I guess ultimately, breaking down a book like this helps me justify why I like it but also may clue you in as to whether or not the aspects that caused me pause would make or break the book for you. What do you think?

Add this to your Goodreads shelf.

Review: Three Sisters by Susan Mallery

20th March 2013

Via Goodreads

Via Goodreads

*This book was sent to me courtesy of the publisher Harlequin Mira, in exchange for an honest review.

Andi Gordon was in need of escape. A successful pediatrician, Andi still manages to disappoint her parents – both esteemed in the medical field. Her fiance has left her at the altar and married his secretary in a quickie wedding in Vegas. But Andi doesn’t run to Fiji or drown her sorrows in some other frivolous way. Instead, she buys one of the Three Sisters Queen Anne homes on Blackberry Island. With plans to renovate the decrepit house into a home with a pediatric office on the first floor, Andi knows her venture with a fixer upper is an outer manifestation of her problems, but she doesn’t care. Nor does she realize she has inherited neighbors as well.

Deana Phillips thinks her husband is having an affair but is astonished to learn that he isn’t – but that he and her children are unhappy with her. Meticulous and exacting, Deanna had no idea her desire to be the perfect mother was turning her into a monster.

Boston King, on the other hand, is stalled. A painter, Boston has painted nothing but images of the infant son who died less than a year ago. Deeply in love with her husband but with no idea how to move forward, Boston takes Andi under her wing before realizing they both need one another.

Neighbors are…interesting. If you’ve ever lived in the type of neighborhood where you get to know your neighbors – or not – you know that they’re a bit of a mixed bag. These ladies are no different, but their isolation and love of their homes draw them together, and they slowly open up to the idea that they can share their pain without appearing weak. New and renewed romance enter the picture, but more than anything, Three Sisters is a tale of friendship and healing, as well as the love of home.

If you ever find yourself in the mood for a romance, I can recommend this one without my tongue firmly in my cheek. 🙂

Add this to your Goodreads shelf.