Series: The Sullivans

Guest Review: The Way You Look Tonight by Bella Andre

Posted September 21, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Way You Look Tonight by Bella AndreReviewer: Tracy
The Way You Look Tonight: The Sullivans by Bella Andre
Series: The Sullivans #9
Also in this series: The Look of Love, Always on My Mind: The Sullivans
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: January 1st 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

As a very successful private investigator who has caught most of the cheaters in Seattle with their pants down, Rafe Sullivan believes true, lasting love only happens once in a blue moon. Needing to get away from the city to clear his head, he finds the lake house where he spent the best summers of his life is now a wreck...but the sweet girl next door is all grown up and prettier than anything he's ever seen.

While Brooke Jansen is happy making and selling chocolate truffles in her small Pacific Northwest lake town, she secretly longs to experience something wild. So when her favorite “Wild Sullivan” moves in again next door after more than a decade away, and sparks fly between them, she can't stop wondering if being bad is really as good as it always seemed...and just how long it will be before she can find out?

But when their summer fling quickly spirals into deeper emotions than either of them were expecting, can they survive the heat between them? Or will Rafe make the biggest mistake of his life and end up losing the best thing that's ever happened to him?

 

Tracy’s review of The Way You Look Tonight (The Sullivans #9) by Bella Andre

While Brooke Jansen is happy with her quiet, small-town life, she secretly longs to experience something wild. So when her favorite “Wild Sullivan” moves back after more than a decade away, she can’t stop wondering if being bad is really as good as it always seemed…and just how long it will be before she can find out.

It’s not long before a summer fling spirals into something much deeper. Can Rafe put his faith in love for once, or will he end up losing the best thing that’s ever happened to him?

Rafe was once a cop who eventually started his own PI firm and it has been a good move for him. Unfortunately a huge part of his business is catching cheaters. It makes him a bit crazy and he’s starting to not enjoy his job at all. It makes him cynical about the world in general and that’s having a negative effect on his whole life. His sister Mia wants him to buy a lake home so that he can get away from it all but he’s not sure that’s what he needs. He changes his mind when Mia finds the perfect home – the house that his parents had to give up when he was a teen. The Sullivan’s used to spend every summer there and Rafe loved it almost more than anyone else. He buys the house and within a day he’s back at the lake. The house is a mess and practically torn apart inside but he’s determined to make it right.

Next door to Rafe lives Brooke Jansen. She had spent summers at her grandparents’ house on the lake and had been great friends with the Sullivan’s until they stopped showing up. When her grandparents died they willed the home to Brooke and she has been living in it full time making chocolate truffles and doing a great business.

Rafe and Brooke see each other again and have an instant connection. It’s not long before they are finding every available surface to have sex on and becoming emotionally attached. Rafe, however, isn’t ready to give up his cynical ways and when he makes a huge error in judgment he finds that he may lose the Brooke and everything they’ve built in one fell swoop.

This book had all the charm and goodness that I’ve come to expect in a Sullivan’s novel. I really liked Rafe and Brooke a lot and it was wonderful getting to know the characters in this side of the Sullivan’s family better.

That being said I did have a couple of issues with the book – the biggest one being the central conflict. I could see where it all could go wrong but how the characters reacted really seemed a bit overblown. I guess I could see things from both points of view and if one of the characters hadn’t gone off half-cocked (can you tell I’m trying not to give anything away?) then the pair could have sat and talked and all would have been well. I think this is kind of an on-going theme in Andre’s books, though, with the conflict happening and then the characters spending time away from each other and then realizing their mistakes, etc., so I wasn’t too surprised.

The other issue I had was the speed with which the characters fell in love. I could totally see the lust and growing emotions happening and I loved that, but the “I love you” (for both of them) came so quickly I was almost surprised when it happened. One week just isn’t long enough to fall in love with a person imho, although I’m sure there are couples out there that would naysay that.

So, while I really liked so many different parts of the story and overall had a smile on my face when it ended, I did have a couple of issues with it. This certainly won’t stop me from reading the next book in the series. 🙂

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

This title is available from Harlequin MIRA. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

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Review: Always On My Mind by Bella Andre

Posted April 16, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Always On My Mind by Bella AndreReviewer: Tracy
Always on My Mind: The Sullivans by Bella Andre
Series: The Sullivans #8
Also in this series: The Look of Love, The Way You Look Tonight: The Sullivans
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: April 29th 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

In ALWAYS ON MY MIND, after a tragic loss three years ago, Grayson Tyler left his life in New York City behind and started over in the rolling hills of the California coast. He's convinced himself that all he'll ever need again is the blue sky, a thousand acres of pasture, and the crashing waves of the ocean. Until one day, Lori Sullivan barges into his life and promptly blows his emotionless and solitary world to shreds, driving him crazy as only a woman nicknamed “Naughty” can. But will Lori be able to convince him that it's safe to love her...and that forever isn't actually out of reach?

Lori is a dancer – it’s what she does and what she loves…except her no good boyfriend has made her doubt not only herself but her reason for dancing. After leaving a show in Chicago she flies home and instead of alerting her family or even heading home she rents a car and just drives. The car rental attendant had told her that Pescadero was beautiful so there she heads. During a stop at a Pescadero deli/general store she sees an ad on their bulletin board that says that Grayson Tyler is looking for a ranch hand. Lori believes she can do anything she puts her mind to so she heads out to see Grayson.

Grayson’s quiet day is interrupted when Lori comes barreling down his driveway and promptly crashes into a fence. When a gorgeous woman in spiked heels pops out of the car he’s momentarily speechless. When she says she’s his new ranch hand he’s baffled, and definitely not happy. He tries everything he can think of to get rid of her but he soon sees that she’s just as stubborn as he is.

Lori was expecting Grayson to be an old farmer but he’s the exact opposite. He’s not only young but incredibly handsome and built. She’s decided she’s off men so she tries not to look but sometimes it’s hard. She knows Grayson doesn’t want her around but she’s determined to make herself useful. She annoys him with her mistakes and her constant talk but she can’t help it, she’s friendly and social. He’s gruff and mean and pushes her away at every turn. But Lori can be just as mulish and after living with 7 siblings she knows how to give as much as she gets. Fate steps in, of course, and their soon realizing that even though they’re exact opposites they can’t live without the other in their life.

Such a good end to the stories of the 8 Sullivan siblings (I know there are more books in the series but this was the end of this particular family’s stories). I really liked Lori a lot. I thought it odd that she would ever want to be a farmhand but I guess that is almost the furthest away from dancing as she could possibly get. Though she made mistakes I loved her affinity for the land and the animals. They seemed to take to her just as much as she took to them.

Grayson was a bit of a butthead at first. Wow, he could be MEAN as mean could be but he always felt bad about it afterward. Doesn’t make it right but when we got all of the background on him we could see that it was all a defense mechanism and a desperate attempt to keep Lori out of his heart. I loved that even at the end he continued to be gruff (not mean) but Lori embraced it and actually enjoyed it.

The story was sweet, fun and sexy and I loved finally reading about Lori and what she’d been going through while all of her siblings had been finding love. Both Lori and Grayson found themselves in this story and it was definitely satisfying.  It was worth the wait and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the Sullivan series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bella Andre

(Kindle version available now, MMPB version out on 4/29/14)

four-stars

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Guest Review (+ a Giveaway!): The Look of Love by Bella Andre

Posted June 6, 2013 by Tracy in Giveaways, Reviews | 19 Comments

Guest Review (+ a Giveaway!): The Look of Love by Bella AndreReviewer: Tracy
The Look of Love by Bella Andre
Series: The Sullivans #1
Also in this series: Always on My Mind: The Sullivans, The Way You Look Tonight: The Sullivans
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

 

Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

Chase Sullivan is on his way to his brother’s vineyard, after having left a family party, when he sees a car in a ditch on the side of the road. He also sees a woman standing in the rain. He stops and though he offers to help she turns him down. He understands that she’s wary of a stranger but eventually his kindness calms the woman’s nerves and she gets in the car. She tells him that her name is Chloe and asks him to take her to a motel and he promptly ignores her request completely. He takes her to his brothers vineyard’s guest house where he’s staying and tells her that she can stay there while he heads to his brothers.

Chloe and Chase are greeted by a naked woman in the master bedroom who was supposed to be Chase’s hook up for the night. Chase is already ridiculously into Chloe after only knowing her for about a half hour and sends Ellen on her way. Not long after that Chase checks on Chloe and finds herself getting herself off with the bathtub jets and his name on her lips. This doesn’t help Chase’s lustful thoughts at all.

Chase is actually at the vineyard shooting a magazine spread as he’s a photographer and eventually Chloe helps out and they both get to know each other better. Unfortunately Chloe has a hard time trusting men as her ex-husband did a number on her – before and after the divorce. Chloe has trust issues and though she’s mightily attracted to Chase she knows she can’t trust herself around him or trust him. After only a few days though Chloe is not only in bed with Chases but listening to him proclaim his undying love for her. She knows she needs to keep her emotions in check but that’s so hard when Chase is so wonderful.

This is the start of the Sullivan series – a series about the 8 children of the Sullivan family. I can’t say that this was a completely auspicious start. The book, for the most part was centered on Chase’s insta-love for Chloe and her lack of trust in men. That didn’t stop them from spending ¾ of the book having sex. The problem for Chloe was that she wasn’t sure that she was willing to have it go further than a fling and Chase knew he wanted forever from the start. I have to say I had a real problem with that insta-love. I get wanting to know someone better and possibly liking them enough to want to date but LOVE? It was a bit much to swallow.

Chloe I understood a little better (although I will never understand why she got into a strangers car!). She’s had a rough life, although we only knew her ex was controlling and not much else about her. She had trust issues which were completely understandable and I felt that Chase didn’t giver her quite enough space with those issues to be quite honest. They did seem to work things out in the bedroom – or on the patio, or…wherever they happened to be. Most of the book was taken up with sex scenes and though it was sexy at first it got to be a bit old after a while.

The scenes when Chase and Chloe weren’t having sex were fun. They had dinner, danced, had a picnic…just fun normal things and it showed that they were very compatible.  I also had an issue with the setting.  While the setting was wonderful it didn’t show either of them in their real lives and that, I think, shows a great deal about a person.  Can they live with each other when real life comes buzzing in?  IDK.

Though I didn’t love book 1 in this series I’m curious enough about Chase’s vineyard owner brother, Marcus, to read the next book in the series and see what’s up.

Rating: 3 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.
Giveaway:
Leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, to enter to win 1 print copy of The Look of Love. (U.S. residents only)

three-stars

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