Tag: Donovan Brothers Brewery Series

Review: Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl.

Posted November 8, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Real Men Will (Donovan Brothers Brewery, Book 3) by Victoria Dahl.

Hero: Eric Donovan
Heroine: Beth Cantrell

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 identity as the conservative Donovan. The “good one.”

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

In Tessa’s book I hated Jamie and Eric then in Jamie’s book, I hated Eric and Tessa, now in Eric’s book I hate Jamie again. It’s a vicious circle. These Donovan siblings get on my hot damn nerves if they’re not starring in the story.

The jist of the story is this, Eric meets Beth at a business expo. She thinks he’s Jamie and he doesn’t correct her. They agree on one night of well, you know, and then they go on their merry way. That’s it, one night. Then she finds out that his name isn’t Jamie and she gets all butt hurt and Jamie finds out that Eric let Beth believe his name was Jamie and gets all butt hurt (and acts like a straight up bitch about it too) and Eric feels like shit.

Ugh, Jamie turned into straight bitch boy in this book and it frustrated me because I loved him so much in his book. It was too easy for me to remember how much I hated him in Tessa’s book too. It’s like everything that Jamie went through in his book, all of the misunderstandings and the shit he took from everyone, went right out of his brain because he didn’t remember wanting them to give him the benefit of the doubt. He just shot off at the mouth without even letting Eric explain anything and I wanted to punch him in his stupid mouth so much and the book had just started.

My issue with the book is this. Eric and Beth agreed to a one night stand. They were never going to start a relationship, it was supposed to be pure fantasy- read that as NOT REAL, so who cares that he didn’t come clean about his name. Yeah, it’s a little creepy that he let her think he was his brother, but it’s not like he proposed marriage to her and was going to let her put Jamie’s name on the wedding invitations. Beth’s so pissed off that Eric didn’t tell her his real name but why? Why does it matter if you were never going to see each other again? He could have told you his name was David freaking Beckham and it wouldn’t change the fact that you were only going to be together that one night. You guys weren’t going to be friends after that. You guys weren’t going to be pen pals and your relationship wasn’t going to leave the freaking bedroom of the damn hotel you were banging at so why is it such a big freaking deal? I just didn’t get it.

Tessa was no less irritating too. The whole crybaby act that she puts on made me want to punch her in the face. I get it, you’re the baby of the family, but your whole deal in your book was that your brothers didn’t treat you like an adult. Is it any wonder they didn’t treat you like an adult when all you do is nag and cry when they get into a fight. All of the setting them up, forcing them to talk to each other after they fought made me roll my eyes because she acted like such a baby about everything in this book and it was annoying.

Aside from those things that annoyed me, the book wasn’t bad. Did you laugh? Yeah, sorry about that but really, the book wasn’t bad. I actually did enjoy the romance between Eric and Beth once I got past how dumb the whole using Jamie’s name thing was. I did get mad at Beth a few times throughout the book, the same with Eric but I think between Jamie and Eric, I enjoyed getting to know Eric more. He was so different from Jamie and I dug it. I thought he was sexy and how steamy were those sex scenes? The steamboats were off the charts. The steaminess of the romance between Eric and Beth went a long way toward making me enjoy this book. I usually don’t pay too much attention to the love scenes in books but in this book, I couldn’t look away. Victoria Dahl sure does know how to write a love scene that makes the reader pay attention.

Overall, this story wasn’t my favorite of the three (as annoying as Jamie was in this book, his book was my favorite) but I did enjoy the parts of the book that didn’t annoy the ever living crap out of me. I really enjoyed getting to know Eric and Beth grew on me as the story wore on and by the end, I liked her for Eric. I’m glad that I finished the series out because it was worth the frustration I had with the other siblings.

Grade: 3 out of 5.

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

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Review: Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl.

Posted September 20, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Rowena’s review of Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl.

Hero: Jamie Donovan
Heroine: Olivia Bishop

Olivia Bishop is no fun. That’s what her ex-husband said. That’s what her smart bob and glasses imply. And with her trademark determination, Olivia sets out to remake her life. She’s going to spend time with her girlfriends and not throw it all away for some man. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble – in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan – may be too tempting to avoid.

Jamie Donovan doesn’t mean to be bad. Sure, the wild streak in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before. But it’s time to grow up. He’s even ready for a serious romance. But how can that be when Olivia, the only right woman he has ever met, already has him pegged as wrong.

This is the second book in the Donovan Brothers Brewery series and I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed the first book. This book is Jamie Donovan’s book, the middle child and the trouble maker. I wouldn’t call him the black sheep of the family because he wasn’t on the outs with his family, they just misunderstood who he was and he let them believe it about him. He never explained his side (not that Eric made it easy for him to explain) and instead of explaining himself, he thought that his actions would clear his name but it wasn’t always easy for him.

Jamie Donovan is part owner of the Donovan Brothers Brewery in Boulder, Colorado and he wants to be more hands on in the family business. He’s got ideas to expand the local brewery by adding on a restaurant and because he knows that his family won’t take him seriously if he threw his ideas around so his plan is to take some restaurant development classes and really work out the kinks of his proposal before bringing it to his family to make it a reality.

Olivia Bishop is a teacher who is teaching the class that Jamie enrolls in and she’s surprised when she comes across the handsome stranger from her book club meeting the other night. She’s newly divorced and is trying to find herself in this new life she’s making for herself. A life that belongs to her and only her, without a husband to hold her back from going after what she really wants out of life. She’s still smarting from the split because her ex-husband, Victor the douche told her she’s not fun and she takes it to heart.

Jamie needs Olivia to help him with his plan for the restaurant and Olivia needs Jamie to help her learn how to relax more, learn to be more fun and this book follows them as they try to give each other the help they need and find so much more in return.

While I enjoyed this book, there were quite a few things about the book that got on my hot damn nerves. First off, there’s Eric. Eric is such a dick! He’s not the asshole brother because he’s the more responsible brother, he’s the asshole brother because he jumps to conclusions about his family and he’s got that my way or the highway mentality that irritates the shit out of me. And then, AND THEN he yaps his mouth and totally ruins shit for Jamie because he’s an arrogant asshole but when he finally realizes it, I was so glad because I would have hated going into his book, hating him.

Tessa got on my nerves too. It’s funny how in Tessa’s book, Jamie and Eric annoyed the snot out of me and in this book, it was Tessa and Eric that got on my hot damn nerves. It wasn’t an annoyance that would turn me off from the books because that wasn’t it at all, they were annoying in that family kind of way where you needed to vent because they were driving you crazy but not because you wanted them to disappear and never come back.

My favorite thing outside of the romance between Jamie and Olivia was the friendship that blossomed between Olivia and Gwen. I really liked them two, their friendship was nice to read about. It was normal and it felt real and I appreciated Dahl’s efforts in making their friendship pop because it totally did.

When I was first introduced to Jamie in Good Girls Don’t, he annoyed me in the sense that his overprotecting nature of his younger sister made me roll my eyes down the street. I understood his reservations but some of the things he thought about Tessa and all of his he said she said crap where Luke was concerned made me want to kick him in the nuts but Dahl did a great job of redeeming him in my eyes because going into this book, I wanted to like him but I had my doubts. In the beginning of the book, I wanted to bang Jamie and by the middle of the book, I was sold on whatever he was selling. I wanted it all, forever and ever. I liked him that much. It didn’t hurt that he was sexy as all get out.

I was expecting Olivia to be one kind of heroine and was glad that Dahl didn’t go that route. I was expecting her to be this uptight, virginal heroine that jumped to conclusions about the kind of guy Jamie was and blah blah blah, I thought she would be too stuffy but she wasn’t that at all. She was fun, normal and I enjoyed getting to know. I thought she was the perfect heroine for Jamie and I liked her a lot.

Overall, this was another great addition to a series that is totally living up to the hype that I was building around it when I talked to Victoria Dahl about it at RT this year. She has definitely written two very entertaining and totally steaming contemporary romances that I thoroughly enjoyed and I’m eager for more. I have every faith that I won’t hate Eric in his book. I want it so bad, I’m thirsty for it.

I can’t help but wonder if Victoria Dahl watches Fringe because hello, the heroine’s name is Olivia Bishop and that is exactly what I’m hoping Olivia Dunnam’s name will be after she marries Peter Bishop, but that’s just my weird curiosity.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

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

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Review: Good Girl’s Don’t by Victoria Dahl.

Posted September 13, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Rowena’s review of Good Girls Don’t (Donovan Brothers Brewery, Book 1) by Victoria Dahl.

Hero: Luke Asher
Heroine: Tessa Donovan

Too much of a good thing…

With her sun-kissed hair and sparkling green eyes, Tessa Donovan looks more like the girl next door than a businesswoman—or a heartbreaker. 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.

Back in April at the RT Convention, I met Victoria Dahl (I even took a picture with her but my phone got washed in the toilet thanks to my one year old nephew Luke so the picture is gone from my life) and she talked about her new contemporary series that takes place in Colorado with a microbrewery in the background with brothers and I immediately wanted to read this book so when this book came up for review, I had to have it.

This book was such a cute read that I devoured it in one sitting. I opened the book and started reading and kept right on reading (and laughing) until I reached the end. I was annoyed with myself that I read the book so fast because when all was said and done, I wasn’t ready to party from the Donovan’s.

Tessa Donovan is the younger sister of Eric and Jamie Donovan. They trio lost both of their parents when Tessa was just fourteen years old and even since, Eric has taken care of both Jamie and Tessa. Now, Tessa is a fully grown young woman of 27 now but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the way that Eric and Jamie treat her. They treat her like she’s still fourteen and I found that equal parts exasperating and sweet.

The story starts off with a robbery at the family brewery that Eric has been running with the help of Jamie and Tessa. Someone came in and stole some computers and that’s it. They bypassed the bar alarm so the cops are trying to track down just who the heck is going around to local businesses and ripping off computer equipment.

On the job is Detective Luke Asher and his partner, Simone, who is seven months pregnant. Everyone and their mom thinks that Luke is the father and he lets everyone think it because Simone isn’t setting anyone straight and watching the relationship that Luke has with Simone frustrate him with her continued silence was interesting. It’s a male and female friendship and neither one of them was gay so it made for an interesting addition to the story. I loved that a man and a woman could be friends without being anything else so it was a refreshing change from the norm. I loved seeing Luke care enough about Simone to want to be there for her and the baby since there didn’t seem to be a father in the picture.

As much as Luke cares for Simone, it’s Tessa Donovan that has gotten under his skin. Luke went to college with her older brother, Jamie and Jamie knows that Luke isn’t a choir boy but the boy Luke was when he was in college is so different from the man he is today. Luke Asher, the college boy partied and got his freak on whenever he wanted and with whoever he wanted but Luke Asher, the grown man was married and had his heart broken. Rumors swirled about him and instead of setting everyone straight, he let them think what they wanted to think because it meant that he didn’t have to talk about the truth.

Tessa has been checking Luke out since he came to the bar to investigate the robbery. She liked what she saw and is one of those girls that sees something she wants and goes right up and gets it. She’s confident when it comes to men and she enjoys their company but she comes with baggage in the form of two over protective, meddling brothers who are gossip hounds…who thinks she’s still a virgin. Oh goodness, the way that both Eric and Jamie are portrayed in this book in the beginning made me laugh. They believe the worst in everyone (including each other) and the outrageous lies they told Tessa (that they totally thought was true) had me at times wanting to strangle them for believing everything that they’re told as if it’s the gospel’s truth.

Tessa goes after Luke and while he only begrudgingly puts up a fight, eventually they hit the sack. When that happens, Victoria Dahl puts on a show. This book is one of the more steamier reads that I’ve read (which made me feel like a total prude) in a while but I ate it all up. Luke Asher is swoonworthy in the sack and I enjoyed those scenes. Usually, I’m shrugging my shoulders, not really caring but Victoria Dahl can sure write her way around a love scene that didn’t have me wondering if it would hurt or anything. It was just fun.

The relationship that blossomed between Luke and Tessa was fun to watch and getting to know the others in the story from Simone to Eric and Jamie was fun too. I’m anxious for more from this series and am delighted that Jamie’s book isn’t too long of a wait. Of the three Donovan, I’m anxious to get to know Eric more. There’s something about him that just has me all curious…plus, he’s sexy.

This book is easy to fall into, there’s nothing too complicated about the plot, the characters leap right off the pages and it was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours of the weekend. It’d be a great beach read and if you’re a fan of contemporary romance than you should definitely pick this up. This book kicks off the start of a fun contemporary series and I’m thirsty for more.

Grade: 4 out of 5

reading Order:

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

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