Series: Bluebonnet

Review: The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving by Jessica Clare

Posted June 5, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving by Jessica ClareReviewer: Tracy
The Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving by Jessica Clare
Series: Bluebonnet #4
Also in this series: The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 3rd 2014
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Playing innocent is easy.

After being the quiet, shy girl her whole life, Elise Markham is ready for a mental makeover. She’s done keeping to herself and staying out of trouble—it’s time to break out of her shell and maybe meet someone intriguing in the process. So, on a photography trip to Bluebonnet, she has a whole lot more on her mind than snapping photos, especially when Rome walks into the picture.

Playing dirty is fun.

The newest instructor at Wilderness Survival Expeditions has a colorful past, to say the least. Having come from a family of notorious con artists that destroyed his credit and reputation, all before his eighteenth birthday, Rome just wants a decent job and a quiet life in a town where no one knows his name. He’s exactly the kind of bad boy that an innocent girl like Elise should stay far away from.

But Elise is tired of doing what’s right. She’s ready to throw caution to the wind—and let Rome show her just how exciting being bad can be…

Elise Markham has absolutely no self-confidence. She once had a large port wine stain on one of her cheeks and was once chosen to attend a dog party (bastards!), so besides being painfully shy she doesn’t think she’s worth looking at. Though she had the port wine stain lasered off she still sees it every time she looks in the mirror. On top of that she feels she’s one step away from the Hunchback of Notre Dame because of her scoliosis. Sure she had surgery but her hips don’t line up and she has one shoulder higher than the other – who would want someone so freakish?

Well, Rome Lozado would. He’s quite taken with Elise but thinks she’s scared of him as she won’t ever talk to him. He doesn’t understand it at all and wishes he could ease her fear. Rome is out getting a drink when it starts to storm. His attempt to get home on his motorcycle fails and he ends up seeking shelter at the local B & B. Elise is there alone but is happy to let him stay until the storm passes. They start drinking beer and eventually Rome discovers Elise isn’t scared of him, she has an almost debilitating shyness. He manages to loosen her up with a question and answer drinking game and they discover they a lot about each other.

The next day Elise heads out to her brothers Survival Expeditions ranch to see Rome. She ends up asking him to take her virginity (brave girl). Rome agrees and they decide to meet. What started out as a sex date turns into a real date – with more dates to follow. The more time that Rome and Elise spend together the more they like each other. Too bad Elise’s brother Grant wants Rome to stay far away from Elise and threatens Rome’s job. Grant judges Rome by what he sees on the outside without getting to know the man inside. Because of this may just end something beautiful between Rome and Elise.

What a sweet book this was. I just loved Elise’s and Rome’s characters and together they were on fire.

Elise – with her painful shyness and lack of self confidence made my heart hurt. She seriously thought she was horribly ugly and because she was so sheltered all of her life she sometimes couldn’t even talk to people. Elise thought Rome was incredibly hot with his piercings and his tattoos but she just couldn’t talk around him. I was so happy when he finally figured out that she wasn’t scared of him and he so gently brought her out of her shell. I though Elise was perfect for Rome who had had such a horrible life up until that point.

Rome was…oh man, I’m not sure I can come up with enough adjectives to describe how wonderful he was. He was kind, thoughtful, hard-working, hot, sweet, gentle & sexy to name a few. He is amazing with people and Elise in particular. Despite his horrible parents he is an honorable man, though a tad bit self-sacrificing. I was so happy when Elise didn’t give up on him when her brother tried to scare him off. He was worth it in the end.

This was a great story that had wonderful characters, was written well and was fun to read. What more could I ask for?

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jessica Clare 

four-stars


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Review: The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild by Jessica Clare

Posted January 9, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild by Jessica ClareReviewer: Holly
The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild by Jessica Clare
Series: Bluebonnet #3
Also in this series: The Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: January 7th 2014
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Being out of control… 

The product of a rigid upbringing, Brenna has grown into a sexy free spirit who does things her way. No possessions, no debt, no man, and no rules to tie her down. And if she has to work, what better way than as assistant in a wilderness expedition team? So many opportunities to go wild. 

…can be risky when you’re falling in love. 

One person who doesn’t “get” Brenna is her boss, Grant. He prefers order and emotions kept in check, which means Brenna loves to push his boundaries. He’d be impossible to work for if he wasn’t so infuriatingly hot. But when his overbearing, matchmaking mother arrives in town, Brenna volunteers to be Grant’s pretend girlfriend. After all, it’s the perfect opportunity to drive Grant crazy at every turn. 

Brenna’s just a little surprised when Grant agrees to her wild, impulsive schemes. And she’s more than a little surprised when their games take them to the bedroom…
From the Paperback edition.

 

The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild is the first Bluebonnet book I’ve read. I don’t feel like I missed much by having skipped the first two.

Brenna is Grant’s assistant. She does her best to drive him crazy and get under his skin, mostly because she likes messing up his orderly life. But when Grant’s family comes to town and she feels like they’re pressuring him, she can’t stand by and let it happen. She decides to intervene…by pretending to be his girlfriend.

The last person Grant expected to come to his defense when his family started pressuring him to date again was Brenna. For months they’ve barely been able to stand each other, but he can’t deny her quick defense of him makes him feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And speaking of warm and fuzzy…the chemistry between them is off the charts.

Neither Grant nor Brenna is looking for something permanent when they begin their charade, but when things heat up in the bedroom Grant wants Brenna to make a commitment – something she isn’t able to do.

This book is refreshing in that the hero is the one who has sex once and decides he’s in love with the girl. That doesn’t happen very often in romance. Usually it’s the woman who decides she’s in lurrve after once between the sheets. I thought that aspect of the book was well done.

I really enjoyed both Brenna and Grant. Brenna is bright and upbeat, which countered Grant’s uptight, almost stuffy air very well. She’s all about taking life one day at a time and looking for the best in each moment. But she’s hiding some deep secrets, ones that make her pull away from anyone getting too close. Grant suffered his own hardships in the past and has a hard time accepting Brenna as she is. I thought both of their issues were deep ones and were dealt with well. Neither were brushed aside or not dealt with in the end.

Unfortunately I did struggle with how long it took to get to the bottom of their issues. I don’t say this often, but there was almost too much sex. The story only took up about 1/3 of the book. The rest was all sex. That isn’t always a bad thing, but in this case it seriously detracted from the major issues of both main characters.

There was also a few chapters from the point-of-view of Grant’s sister, Elise, whose book will be released next. Those had no bearing on the current story and served only to set up the next book. Had there been a secondary plot featuring Elise running concurrent to the main story, I wouldn’t have been bothered. As it stands, I just got irritated when the chapters from Elise popped up.

This was a good story with fun characters that had surprising depth. Had the book focused more on their romance and less on their sex life, I would have enjoyed it more.

3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley Heat. You can buy it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided from the publisher for an honest review.

three-half-stars


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