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The education of Caroline by Jane Harvey-Berrick

The Education of Caroline (The Education of..., #2)The Education of Caroline by Jane Harvey-Berrick
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh, I don’t know, I expected a lot from this one, but somehow I am disappointed. When I started reading I wasn’t even aware that it was a sequel, so I did not get to read all the falling in love part. At the beginning of the sequel the love is already established, albeit somewhat hidden at first due to hard feelings. There was a separation ten years earlier because of the age difference and Caroline and Sebastian haven’t heard from each other since. Much to his chagrin.

The older woman – younger man angle I liked, why should it always be the other way around? Unfortunately – even though there were tons of declarations of love and feelings galore, I just wasn’t feeling it, I’m sorry. It might have to do with the fact that Sebastian leered and smirked quite a bit. I cannot stand guys that do that! There were too many love scenes (who knew I would ever say that), some of them – at least for my taste – even inappropriate. Picture this! A small makeshift room in a makeshift barracks in Afghanistan. You can barely stand upright or stretch out. You are dirty and sweaty. The disclosure of your relationship can cost both of you your careers. An attack can happen anytime and you have to run for your lives. And you can’t help having sex!? Give me a break! I am not buying it.

And afterwards? The problems after returning home were just too superficially dealt with. These were big issues and all of a sudden they were gone? And then as a cherry on top, the inheritance! All too much, this. I don’t know, I couldn’t get into this book.

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Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Crossing (Open Door Love Story, #1)Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story was definitely different from what I expected, it had a GLBT feel to it.

The heroine Dani did get on my nerves in the beginning with her constant whining about her plain looks and her non-deserving nature. I don’t have much time for people who always think the worst because “they don’t deserve better”. Where is your self-esteem? If you don’t respect yourself, not many other people will.

Anyway, she got a bit better later on in the book, and I forgave her anyway, as she was extremely funny. And for once I read a scene with imminent sex where the girl actually followed through with her original plan and kept wanting to talk about stuff! Have you ever heard of that in a romance novel before? Normally it’s like “no, we need to talk….oh well, we can still talk AFTERWARDS” – but THAT never happens because either they are both so knackered from the hot sex or the guy gets up and leaves, because of, you know, his issues.

So Dani was sort of good. Liam was better. I suspected what his secret was early on – which was a first for me, usually I am oblivious to these things – and found it quite unusual for this kind of romance story. And for some reason I missed a bit more insight into it. This is a topic not many people talk about, let alone experience it first hand, so more of what was going on inside Liam would have been good.

Other than that, this is a good romance with likeable characters and an original storyline.

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Coming in from the cold by Sabrina Bowen

Coming in from the Cold (Gravity, #1)Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were quite a few things wrong with the plot, starting with the main driving force, Dane’s secret/problem.I understand that without that secret there is no story, nevertheless I need to say it.

Why could Dane not divulge his secret to Willow and tell her, look, this is how it is, now what do you say? Why did he not get a test earlier? OK, I understand he did not want to know but this makes no sense. It’s not that not knowing made his life any better, not even in his own mind. He suffered from the word go and didn’t enjoy his life AT ALL. Getting a positive test result would have meant his life was misery, getting a negative result would have meant enjoyment. So the worst consequence would have been the status quo.

Willow is a bit clueless, isn’t she? Going on about her money situation when it was clear that Dane was not only loaded, but willing to share with her. Yes, yes, she might not want to be kept and all that, but, after all, this is not only about her.

(view spoiler)

All that being said, I loved the story, I loved the characters. There was chemistry from the start. I usually hate sex scenes when there are no established emotions, but Sabrina Bowen pulled it off beautifully. Because Dane and Willow were extremely likeable and the connection between them was great I let all the other things slide.

Some people complain about him not grovelling enough towards the end. Come on, people! If you accept the somewhat contrived problem then you must cut the poor guy some slack and give it a rest. He went through hell, after all, so don’t make him crawl to boot!

I also liked the fact that the book did not end with the reconciliation but continued a little afterwards to see how the relationship develops a bit.

What can I say? I might like books for all the wrong reasons, but I loved this one.

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Hannah and the Highlander by Sabrina York

Hannah and the Highlander (Untamed Highlanders, #1)Hannah and the Highlander by Sabrina York
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had thought that the highlander theme was dead. You would think that by now every possible angle of the Scots has been throughly explored, but it seems, there is still a demand for them.
Hannah and the Highlander ist the first book in the series and I got it because of the more than enthusiastic reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. It was supposed to be completely different from other books, made people happy and what not. I was intrigued.

To cut it short, the hype is a bit over the top. How Hannah, who is a down to earth and sensible girl could take a speech impediment for a lack of attraction – even though clearly Alexander was attracted to her like there is no tomorrow – is beyond me. I would imagine that even the least observant person would notice the difference between not WANTING to talk and NOT BEING ABLE TO. Again, as so often, the misunderstanding device failed for me.

The “desperate secret, one that could destroy them both” I could not even identify. But that doesn’t matter, as I hate those things anyway.

There was an interesting secondary romantic couple that will get its own book in the series. Hannah’s little sister and Alexander’s overlord, the duke, were quite appealing (once he had changed out of his dandy outfit and into a kilt, that is). As the romance has been almost established already, maybe their book will be more of a mix between a romance and a quest to remove Lachlan’s curse. That would be a change.

The love scenes were quite nice – sorry for the lacklustre word, but as the first love scene was done in the wrong spirit (at least for me. I hate love scenes where there needs to be talking first and there is none, leaving the love scene taking place under the wrong star.). There are other books that pull that off, but this is not one of them. Again, this is just my personal bugbear, other readers thought that they were steamy and perfect.

I am definitely giving the next book a miss. It is about the middle sister and Alexander’s younger brother. He suffers from the second son syndrome and was neither fleshed out nor appealing to me. A kissing contest? Give me a break! I might do him an injustice, but I am not interested. However, the third book I will pick up immediately as Lachlan and Lana sounded like they will make an interesting couple, more interesting than this one here.

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