Tag: Susan Andersen

Joint Review: No Strings Attached by Susan Andersen

Posted August 29, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: No Strings Attached by Susan AndersenReviewer: Holly and Rowena
No Strings Attached by Susan Andersen
Series: Razor Bay #3
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: August 1st 2014
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Some mistakes are worth repeating… 
Tasha Riordan's one night with Luc Bradshaw was the best of her life. The following two—when he left her to be thrown into a Bahamian jail on bogus charges—were her worst. Now, seven years later, the undercover DEA agent is back. Invading her town. Her restaurant. Her fantasies. She can't trust a man who lied to her. Yet neither can she trust herself—not when their chemistry burns even hotter than before. 
Learning he has two half brothers shocks Luc. Discovering they live in the same town as Tasha—that's a different kind of thrill. Their mutual lust is still off the charts, but he can't get her to listen to his side of what happened on that long-ago night. Good thing he's got powers of persuasion that go deeper than words. Because nothing has ever felt this right….

 H: The blurb is pretty accurate, so no recap. I didn’t read the two previous books in the series, but I didn’t feel like I missed anything major. The main characters from those books play a large part in this one, only as they related to the hero and heroine of this book.

Holly:  Can I just say, I was all sorts of pissed at Diego/Luc on Tasha’s behalf. Even after we found out there were extenuating circumstances, I still held a grudge.

Rowena: I hear you. Can I just say that I’m glad that Tasha held a grudge against Luc? I mean, how often have we seen the heroine betrayed by the hero only to forgive him within two minutes of being together again? I’m glad that Tasha held that grudge and kept Lucas at arm’s length.  It took me a while to forgive Lucas too. I wasn’t happy with him at first. I think it took him too long to look into what happened back then. If I found out that the girl I spent a spectacular couple of days with went to jail after being caught with stuff the authorities found in MY hotel room, I would have found something out within the hour. I felt like he sat on it too long.  His answers came far too long.

Holly: I’m glad Tasha held the grudge too. His betrayal was too big for her to give in too easily.

I wasn’t as bothered as you about how long it took him to get that information. He asked for it right away, which won him some points with me. I really hate it in romantic suspense (which this isn’t, but still) when dude has answers within the hour, especially in a situation like this. It isn’t realistic for an agent to get answers like that immediately.

He called the agent in charge right away and asked for the information, but he was out of town. It was even explained later why his boss didn’t get back to him right away. Once he had the information he acted on it immediately.

Rowena: Yeah, I guess I can see that.  I just wish that he had been more adamant about the answers since he had that hinky feeling. I wish he would have stormed his boss’s office to find out what really happened since ultimately, Tasha was in that jail because of him. I wanted him to be more proactive about his answers, I wanted more than just a phone call for some answers.

Holly: Well have to agree to disagree about that. I liked the realism of it. Sure, the fantasy of him hopping on a plane and demanding answers RIGHT NOW is great, but that isn’t something that would likely ever happen. Just like a murder investigation being solved in an hour on TV.

Rowena: It’s a romance novel, not someone’s real life story. I can let a little non-realism slide…especially something like that.

Holly: Romance novel or not, I prefer the realism in situations like this.

I did like Luc, though. After everything is explained I was rooting for him. Just, you know, I didn’t want it to be too easy for him.

Rowena: I liked Luc too and I think it was because I liked him, I had higher expectations for him. But still, I liked the chemistry between him and Tasha and overall, really liked their romance.

Holly: I liked the family dynamic. I appreciated that Luc felt unsure of his place in the family. That felt more real to me than if he’d just felt immediately settled into the fold.

Rowena: I’m right there with you about Luc’s insecurity of his place in the family. I liked seeing him unsure of himself as a person in the family, I liked seeing the difference between his father’s betrayal to him (the son that had nothing but good memories of his Dad) and his betrayal to the other brothers, Max and Jake. I liked seeing Luc come into his own where his new found family was concerned.

I thought Tasha was pretty kick ass. To be so young and doing what she’s always wanted to do, not letting anything come between her plans was pretty great. I didn’t like Tasha nearly as much in the other books as I did in this book but man, I think she’s my favorite heroine in the series.

Holly: I, too, thought Tash was pretty kickass. I loved her honesty and how hard she worked to achieve her goals. I thought it was great that all the kids thought she was the bomb, and how surprised she was about it.

What did you think of the secondary story of Jeremy and Peyton, the teenagers who worked for Tasha? I thought they were really cute. At times I was more interested in them.

Rowena: I think I liked Jeremy and Peyton’s romance more…mostly because I’ve been a Jeremy fan since the last book. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks and is trying to build a future for himself. It’s not easy and you see that. People didn’t trust him. Hell, even Tasha wasn’t really big on hiring him on because of his past. She took a chance on him for Max and Harper’s benefit and I liked that he was making good for himself. He was learning about himself and he was learning to rise above the shit card he’d been handed. From the last book to this one, you really see him grow as a person.  Seeing him get the girl in the end was a treat for me. I heart him and Peyton!

Holly: I don’t know that I liked the romance more, since the romance aspect was pretty light, but I definitely enjoyed their individual stories. I wouldn’t mind a novella about them in the future.

I didn’t love the wedding epilogue. That’s a personal preference. I really hate it when we get head hopping/scenes from characters from past books. I may have felt differently if I’d read the other books.

Rowena: As for the wedding epilogue, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. I didn’t feel it was needed and I did read the other books.

Other than that, I thought this book was good. It was my favorite book of the three Razor Bay books.  I almost didn’t read it because I just wasn’t blown away by the other books in this series but I’m glad that I did. I enjoyed Tasha and Luc grew on me. I really liked him in the end.

What would you grade this book? I think I’d give it a solid 4. I really enjoyed this book and while I had some minor gripes with Luc’s handling of the Tasha in jail because of him thing, I still really liked this one.

Holly: I’d probably grade it a 4 as well. I liked both Luc and Tash, plus the secondary romance. I did have a few gripes, but nothing too serious.

Final Grade

Holly:     4 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Some Like It Hot by Susan Andersen

Posted August 20, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Some Like It Hot- Susan Andersen
Rowena’s review of Some Like It Hot (Razor Bay/Bradshaw Brothers #2) by Susan Andersen.

Wrong for each other” never felt more right…

Even a lifelong traveler like Harper Summerville has to admire the scenery in Razor Bay, Washington. There’s the mountains. The evergreens. The water. And Max Bradshaw, the incredibly sexy deputy sheriff. Still, Harper’s here only for the summer, working covertly for her family’s foundation. And getting involved with this rugged, intense former marine would be a definite conflict of interest—professionally and personally.

Max’s scarred childhood left him determined to put down roots in Razor Bay, yet one look at Harper—a woman who happily lives out of a suitcase—leaves him speechless with desire for things he’s never had. He might not be big on talking, but Max’s toe-curling kisses are getting the message across loud and clear. Harper belongs here, with him, because things are only beginning to heat up.

This is the second book in the Razor Bay/Bradshaw Brothers series by Susan Andersen. It follows Max Bradshaw as he stumbles again and again to his happily ever after.  Max is the Deputy Sheriff for the small town of Razor Bay and he’s one of those do-gooder types.  When he’s not making sure the town of Razor Bay is safe (from mostly, the drunks), he’s volunteering his time at the center, helping teenage boys stay out of trouble.

Max was a complex character.  He had some things that he was working through.  A relationship forming with the brother he hated growing up.  A bitter mother who never really moved on from his father leaving them and an attraction to a girl that was always on the move.  He wanted stability in his life.  He wanted roots and he wanted to share his life with someone who wanted the same things.  And even though he knew that getting involved with Harper Summerville wasn’t going to give him those things, he still fell anyway.  Sometimes you can’t run from things and he couldn’t run from Harper.

Harper lives her life on the go.  She’s got that travel bug and she got it from her Dad.  They moved around a lot when she was younger and while her mother wanted to plant roots, Harper was happy to see the world and meet new people every chance that she got.  That didn’t stop when her father died and she got older (much to her mother’s chagrin).  She just kept right on traveling for her job with the foundation her father set up and that job has sent her to Razor Bay.

The first book in this series was Max’s brother Jake’s book and I enjoyed that one.  I enjoyed it well enough that I was curious about this story.  While I’m not particularly pissed off that I read this book, I wasn’t exactly blown away by it either.  I liked Max and Harper fine.  I just wasn’t as wrapped up in their story as I had hoped to be.  The story itself was fine, the characters were fine.  Max and Harper were fine…but that was it.  It was easy to put this book down and read other things, which is why it took me so long to read this one.

I liked getting to know Max and I liked that he knew what he wanted and didn’t apologize for it.  I liked that when he laid things out for Harper, he stuck to his guns and left it up to her to make the choice to stay with him or take him with her.  Harper was more of a blah character to me.  I didn’t really find her all that interesting.  I was kind of hoping that we’d get more from Max’s mother, some kind of resolution so I was disappointed that she kind of just faded into the background but I wasn’t too mad about that.

There’s a new character that is introduced in this book and he’s introduction has definitely got me all curious about the next book so I’ll probably be checking that book out.  Even though I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, I still enjoyed it.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from HQN Books.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: That Thing Called Love by Susan Andersen.

Posted July 19, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment


Rowena’s review of That Thing Called Love (Razor Bay/Bradshaw Brothers #1) by Susan Andersen.

Hero: Jake Bradshaw
Heroine: Jenny Salazar

For a guy she’s fantasized about throttling, Jake Bradshaw sure is easy on the eyes. In fact, he seriously tempts inn manager Jenny Salazar to put her hands to better use. Except this is the guy who left Razor Bay—and his young son, Austin, whom Jenny adores like her own—to become a globe-trotting photojournalist. He can’t just waltz back and claim Austin now.

Jake was little more than a kid himself when he became a dad. Sure, he’d dreamed of escaping the resort town, but he’d also truly believed that Austin was better off with his grandparents. Now he wants—no, needs—to make up for his mistake. He intends to stay in Razor Bay only until he can convince Austin to return with him to New York. Trouble is, with sexy, protective, utterly irresistible Jenny in his life, and his bed, he may never want to leave….

I always enjoy books by Susan Andersen so it wasn’t a surprise that I wanted to read this one. When Jake Bradshaw blazes his way into Jenny Salazar’s life, she’s prepared to despise him for abandoning the boy who’s come to mean a great deal to her. In Jenny’s mind, Jake didn’t want to have anything to do with Austin for his ENTIRE life so he should just stay away and let Austin grow up, happy and with people who love him….but at the same time, she can’t begrudge Austin the chance of getting to know his Dad so she’s stuck in a pickle.

This was a great summer read for me. It had great characters, a storyline that isn’t fresh but felt refreshingly different from anything that I’ve read before and I really enjoyed that the hero wasn’t perfect. And when I say perfect, I mean his intentions weren’t pure but man did he have regrets. And hell if he didn’t try to make up for his mistakes, which I totally respected. I loved that he struggled with the guilt of leaving his young son behind and never coming back and I loved that he stayed and fought to get to know his son better and to build a relationship with him. I really loved that he wanted all of those things without being forced into it. It made the reading experience great.

Jenny was a great step-in older sister to Austin and I really enjoyed the relationship that they had. Austin loved and respected Jenny and Jenny felt the same right back at him. Austin was so lucky to have her in his life because she would have fought tooth and nail for him, if she needed to and I was glad that in the end, she didn’t need to.

Overall, the story was a good one. I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters (including Max and Tasha) and the romance between Jake and Jenny was sweet. This was another good addition to Andersen’s backlist and I’m glad that I read it but I can’t say that this is my favorite book because while it was enjoyable, that’s all it was. A good summer read. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series because I’m curious enough about Max to want more from him though I was hoping he’d hook up with Tasha instead of who I think will be his heroine but I’m sure that whoever he ends up with will be a good match.

I also thought the little romance between Austin and Bailey was an adorable addition to this book. I really liked Austin’s character and felt that he was completely fleshed out and I loved seeing his opinion of Jake rise and his distrust of him melt away. The scenes with Austin and Jake were too cute for words, even when Austin was being a bratty teenager.

This was a quick, fun summer read and I definitely recommend this book to lovers of contemporary romance and Susan Andersen. Fans of both will enjoy this one.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

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


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Review: Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen.

Posted July 18, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments


Rowena’s review of Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen.

Hero: Cade Gallari
Heroine: Ava Spencer

When high school golden boy Cade Gallari publicly revealed he’d slept with “fat girl” Ava Spencer to win a bet, he broke her heart. Now a decade older and a head-turner with her own concierge business, Ava isn’t the gullible dreamer she once was—and she plans to prove it when Cade, hotter than ever, breezes back into town with an offer she can’t refuse.
A documentary film producer, Cade is shooting a movie about the mysterious mansion Ava inherited. And he wants her as his personal concierge. She’s certainly professional enough to be at his beck and call without giving him everything he wants. Like another shot at having her in his bed. But Ava doesn’t count on Cade’s determination. Because he’s never gotten over her. And he’s not above playing dirty to score a second chance at a red-hot future…

It wasn’t until after I requested this book and then received it and started reading it that I realized this is the book that Holly blogged about last year. She blogged about the news the author broke about how it wasn’t likely that she’d get to write this book. A few months later, Holly blogged again that things turned for the good and fans of the Sisterhood trilogy books were going to get Ava’s book. Holly told me time and time again to read these books but like usual, I didn’t.

It didn’t stop me from reading this book though. I jumped right in and thought I’d just fill in the blanks later. This book read as a good stand alone as I didn’t feel like I’d missed much by not reading the other books. As a straight up contemporary romance, this book was great. Susan Andersen has a way with words and she definitely had my interest piqued while reading through this book.

Seeing Cade grow up into the man that he was today made for some great reading and really, how sexy was he? I wanted to do him right from the jump which is always a good sign. He was an ass when he was younger but he learned from his mistake and he turned out to be an a-okay man. I really enjoyed the fact that Andersen didn’t try to downplay Cade’s teenage antics with the whole bet thing. I loved that we saw how much Cade regretted it all and how much he wanted to make things right with Ava…and even with all of that, he didn’t come off as some cheesy bonehead. He came off real and I liked him.

What surprised me in this book was Ava. She starts off as this great heroine and as you dig deeper into her life and get to know more about her, you can see the insecurities all over her. I understood her insecurities and even sympathized with them and what I enjoyed about Ava was that she wasn’t blind to how dumb she was being (when she was being dumb) where Cade was concerned. She was woman enough to realize her shortcomings and I respected the hell out of her because of it.

I’m usually not a fan of playing games but the games that these two had going on cracked me up. The whole teasing and Eduardo stuff had me laughing all the while I was reading it and it all added to the overall reading experience. This wasn’t one of those books that was deep and held all of life’s meanings in it but it was still an enjoyable read.

The one thing that was a bit of a downer for me was the whole Tony thing. His whole deal with the hidden treasure and what not, I didn’t care for as it didn’t mesh well with the rest of the story but still, I enjoyed everything else to overlook that part. This book is the perfect summer read because of the steamy romance and charming characters. It was nice to see the friendship between Ava, Jane and Poppy. I enjoyed their scenes together and I really enjoyed seeing Beks peppered into the story (I so would have loved to get to know Beks more).

I’d definitely recommend this book to fans of Susan Andersen and fans of contemporary romance. It’s a good one.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

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


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Review: Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen

Posted July 13, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Playing Dirty by Susan AndersenReviewer: Holly
Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen
Series: Sisterhood Diaries #3
Also in this series: Cutting Loose, Bending the Rules
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: August 1st 2011
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

When old enemies are thrown together, all bets are off…

Way back in high school, golden boy Cade Gallari publicly revealed he'd slept with "fat girl" Ava Spencer to win a bet. Now a decade older and a head turner with her own concierge business, Ava isn't the gullible dreamer she once was— and she plans to prove it when Cade, hotter than ever, breezes back into town with an offer she can't refuse.

A documentary film producer, Cade is shooting a movie about the mysterious mansion Ava inherited. And he wants her as his personal concierge. She's certainly professional enough to be at his beck and call without giving him everything he wants. Like another shot at having her in his bed. But Ava doesn't count on Cade's determination. Because he's never gotten over her— and he's not above playing dirty to score a second chance at a red–hot future…

I can’t tell you how excited I was to finally read this book. I’ve been waiting years for it to be released. Thankfully it lived up to my expectations.

What Cade did to Ava in high school was pretty unforgivable. High school is such an emotional, trying time anyway – and Ava constantly felt fat and out of step with everyone else. Her mother really fed into that. So his betrayal was even more devastating..because for the first time in her life, she actually felt beautiful. To know it was nothing more than a cruel bet to him was almost more than she could handle. I really felt her pain. Not only on the day it happened, but in the years since, as she tried to overcome her low self-esteem and become comfortable in her body.

She has, for the most part. But she still has flashes of insecurity, especially after she speaks to her mother. That really worked against her and Cade as they tried to work through their past issues. It was hard to read sometimes, knowing how the past shaded everything in the present.

I like that Andersen didn’t shy away from that aspect of their relationship. Ava was hurt by Cade and that played a large part in their current story. They had chemistry in spades, but lust isn’t everything. They also came to care for each other, but love isn’t everything either. They both had to learn to forgive in order to move on from the past.

I really liked that Ava wasn’t a stick figure in the present day. She might have been overweight in high school, but now she’s a healthy size 12. Which is pretty awesome in a world full of size 2 heroines.

This is a sweet tale with a lot of emotional depth. They’re journey from past to present wasn’t always easy to read, but it was compelling. I couldn’t put it down.

4.5 out of 5

The Series:

Cutting Loose
Bending the Rules
Playing Dirty
This book is available from HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-half-stars


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