Author: Victoria Dahl

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: Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl

Posted September 17, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Close Enough to Touch by Victoria DahlReviewer: Rowena
Close Enough to Touch (Jackson, #1) by Victoria Dahl
Series: Jackson #1
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: August 28th 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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Series Rating: two-stars

Can a city girl make it in the wild, wild West?

For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood isn't the land of golden opportunity. It's the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she'll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting....

Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can't help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. He wants to get close enough to Grace to see past her tough facade, but if he does, she might see the real Cole. The one with a Hollywood history gone bad. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it becomes harder for him to keep his demons at bay-and those fires from long ago may burn them both.

They'll need more than scorching-hot passion to make this opposites-attract affair work. But if they can learn to trust one another enough to reveal their secrets, they just might have a chance at forever.

This book follows Grace Barrett as she leaves Hollywood behind for Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She’s broke, owes her ex money and needs a place to stay until the job up in Vancouver opens up in five weeks. With her only family member in a nursing home, Grace heads up to Wyoming where a free apartment opened up from an aunt she hasn’t seen in years but remembers as a meanie from when she was little. Her grandmother called in a favor and Grace is set for the next five weeks. She just needs to get a job and then she’ll really be set.

The apartment that she’ll be staying at is known around town as the Stud Farm. It’s been dubbed the Stud Farm because the crazy lady that owns the place only lets hot guys live there. The crazy lady just happens to be Grace’s Aunt.

So the story revolves around the romance that blossoms between Grace and her next door neighbor Cole Rawlins. Grace’s plan is to stay here, make some money to pay her ex back and then move to Vancouver as soon as she can. She wasn’t planning on getting close to her hot next door neighbor and she wasn’t planning on staying in Jackson Hole either.

Cole is a cowboy on the injured list. He broke his hip and is going through physical therapy right now to find out if he’ll ever be able to ride a horse again. His future plans included buying the ranch that he’s working on now to make his father proud of him. Being a cowboy is all he’s been and he’s been working his butt off to buy this ranch. If he can’t ride a horse than he won’t be any good as a ranch owner. Being out of work until he gets better leaves him with a lot of time on his hands and being attracted to his new neighbor is looking like a good way to keep his mind off of his worries. He has some bad history with the last city girl that he got all starry eyed over so he was determined to leave those city girls to other guys but there’s something about Grace Barrett that gets to him and he can’t help himself, he has to get closer to her.

I really wanted to like this book but there were too many little things that got on my nerves so much that it was too easy for me to put it down. It took me too long to read this book because I kept getting annoyed with Grace and then with Cole that I almost DNF’d it. I wasn’t a fan of Grace’s attitude when she came into town. She was annoying in that, I’m independent and I don’t need or want help from anyone when really? She needed some damn help. I also wasn’t a fan of the way that they both handled their relationship toward the end. They over hear things, they explode on each other and then both feel like idiots because they assumed things about the other. And then they repeated their mistakes. It got old and when the past catches up with Grace? The way that she handled that business made me want to smack the crap out of her. All the way up to the very end, both Cole and Grace got on my nerves so my enjoyment of the book as a whole suffered for it.

I’m sure there are a lot of other people who would enjoy this book because it wasn’t badly written or anything but my enjoyment suffered because the main couple got on my hot damn nerves a lot. I did enjoy getting to know the other characters in the book. I enjoyed Easy, Aunt Raylene and the friends that Grace made in Jackson Hole. But for every good thing that I enjoyed, there was something that I didn’t enjoy. Like the whole deal with Madeline in the end, all of the assuming on both Cole and Grace’s part and the distrust that was evident on both of their ends throughout the entire book. Right from the very beginning, I knew what was going to happen, how everything was going to pan out and I wasn’t wrong. This isn’t my favorite book by Dahl but I know that it won’t be my last book either.

Grade: 2 out of 5

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


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