Tag: Donovan Brothers Brewery

Throwback Thursday Review: Good Girls Don’t by Victoria Dahl

Posted August 30, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Good Girls Don’t by Victoria DahlReviewer: Holly
Good Girls Don't (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1) by Victoria Dahl
Series: Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1

Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Point-of-View: Third

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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Too much of a good thing

With her long ponytail and sparkling green eyes, Tessa Donovan looks more like the girl next door than a businesswoman; or a heart-breaker. Which may explain why Detective Luke Asher barely notices her when he arrives to investigate a break in at her family's brewery. He's got his own problems; starting with the fact that his partner, Simone, is pregnant and everyone thinks he's the father.

Tessa has her hands full, too. Her brother's playboy ways may be threatening the business, and the tension could tear her tight knit family apart. In fact, the only thing that could unite the Donovan boys is seeing a man come after their baby sister. Especially a man like Luke Asher. But Tessa sees past the rumors to the man beneath. He's not who people think he is and neither is she.

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on August 30, 2011.

I didn’t think I was going to like this book. The first half was really hard for me to take. The lying and scheming of the heroine, plus the strange plot, really annoyed me. I was just about to give up when I got really intrigued. Plus, my husband helped calm me down (strange, I know), and pointed out that I was taking it a bit too seriously.

Tessa wants to hold her family together. When her brother Jamie sleeps with the daughter of a client they’re trying to land, she begs him not to tell their oldest brother Eric until she can figure out what to do. She’s worried that Eric will be furious with Jamie and not allow him to make any decisions in the business. In the meantime, their brewery is broken into and Detective Luke Asher is investigating.

Luke and Tessa are instantly attracted to each other. She makes the first move and they realize they have chemistry. They also have a lot in common and really enjoy each others company. Unfortunately, Tessa’s brothers don’t like that she’s dating and the stress of keeping so much from them is making her a little (a lot) crazy.

My issues begin and end with Tessa. Her lying and scheming was immature and silly. She didn’t act like a 27 year old woman. She acted like a 12 year old girl. This lying and scheming didn’t stop at her brothers. She also schemes and plays in other areas of her life. Luke accuses her of being a control freak and I would agree with that. I’d also say she needed to pull up her big girl panties and realize life doesn’t revolve around her.

In the end, I felt this was an extremely well done tale of Tessa growing up. I would almost call it a coming-of-age novel, except she’s 27. It worked, despite Tessa’s age. The family dynamics were interesting and the romance was well done, though I did struggle with how old these two were. The romance read more like that of a younger couple.

In any case, despite my hesitancy and the frustrations I had early on, I’m glad I read this. It was an emotional tale that pulled me in.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Donovan Brothers Brewery


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Review: Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl

Posted October 26, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Holly‘s review of Real Men Will (Donovan Brother’s Brewery, Book 3) by Victoria Dahl.

It was meant to be a one-night stand. One night of passion. Scorching hot. Then Beth Cantrell and Eric Donovan were supposed to go their separate ways. That’s the only reason he lied about his name, telling her he was really his wild younger brother. Hiding his own identity as the conservative Donovan. The “good” one.

But passion has its own logic, and Eric finds he cannot forget the sable-haired beauty with whom he shared one night of passion. When Beth discovers that Eric has lied, however, she knows he cannot be trusted. Her mind tells her to forget the blue-eyed charmer. If only every fiber of her being did not burn to call him back.

I was rather frustrated with Eric in the previous two books. I have to give Dahl a lot if credit for making unlikeable characters sympathetic. Although I didn’t expect to, I came to like Eric in the end..and even to champion him.

Eric and Beth had a one night stand several months ago. Only Beth mistook Eric for his brother Jamie..and he didn’t bother to correct her. They haven’t stopped thinking about the other since, but they agreed it would be one night only. When Beth runs into Eric at the brewery and realizes he lied about his identity, she’s humiliated. She jumps to the worst possible conclusions – and Eric does nothing to make it better.

Eric didn’t meant to let things go so far, but he felt free for once. Free of the responsibility of raising his siblings and free of the brewery. The time he spent with Beth was a much needed respite and he’s sad that it’s become tainted. He apologizes to Beth and finds he’s even more drawn to her than before.

There were parts of this romance I really enjoyed, but many of Beth’s actions bothered me. In the beginning I was really rooting for her. She got a really raw deal with Eric and deserved to get a little of her own back. I also understood that she was traumatized in high school and carried around a lot of baggage from it. But as the novel wore on her back-and-forthing really began to bother me. Without spoiling it, I have to say toward the end she makes a bad decision and I have to be honest, it really lowered my opinion of her. Her reasons for doing so were immature and ridiculous, which made it hard for me to forgive her.

I really disliked Eric in the first two books. He was condescending and rude and went out of his way to antagonize his brother. It’s here that Dahl excelled the most with this novel. Not only did I come to love Eric, but I was firmly on his side when it came to both his siblings. This has been a recurring theme throughout the series and the main reason I continued reading it, despite the fact that I had issues along the way. Surprisingly, I was also on Eric’s side when it came to Beth. Not at first, but over the course of the novel he won me over completely.

Dahl kept me coming back to see if each sibling could be redeemed. Eric and Jamie had a lot of tension in Jamie’s book, but I thought they’d moved past that. I expected to see more harmony between them in this book, despite Eric’s actions. I guess I thought Jamie had grown up more in his book. The same with Tessa. At the end of her book I was impressed by how much she’d grown over the course of the novel. And yet here she is, acting like a teenager again, the same as she did in the last book.

While I think Dahl did an excellent job of turning the siblings into likeable characters in their own books, they made it hard to enjoy the other books.

3.25 out of 5.

The series:

Good Girls Don't (Hqn)Bad Boys Do (Hqn)Book Cover

This book is available from HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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