Good Girls Don't (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1) by Victoria Dahl
Series: Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
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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
Agree here with you, Holly. The book was great, except for Tessa… and in the end, I don’t even feel like she’s grown that much. Although she told her brothers her concerns, so that will probably help in the future.
Another issue I had was the whole “Madonna-whore” complex that kept being brought up.
I thought Tessa was a bit neurotic in that way. A manipulator attempting to control everything. I liked that Luke called her out on her issues. That kind of saved it for me.
@Nath – I felt like she grew and learned from her mistakes.
What about the “Madonna-Whore” thing bothered you?
@Amanda – You’re right, Luke calling her on her issues really helped. Plus, I liked the premise. I read the second and enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to reading the third.