Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Pair of Reviews: Seducing the Girl Next Door and The Movie Star's Red Hot Holiday Fling

Today I'm reviewing a pair of novellas from Entangled's Indulgence line.

Seducing the Girl Next Door by Inara Scott, from her Bencher family series.
Amazon Kobo

When Jenna Kellington was fourteen, her first high school boyfriend—her first love—moved away. Now a divorced mom, she never expected to see Simon Hastings again...until a business trip to China brings them face-to-face, and their connection explodes beyond her wildest fantasies.

When he was young, Simon swore he would never be like his father, moving from place to place and never settling down. As a billionaire venture capitalist, however, he's every bit the wanderer, never tying himself down. Seeing Jenna again reminds him of who he once was, even as their old spark intensifies into very adult desire. With every touch, every caress, Simon teaches Jenna how to let go. To own her own pleasure.

He wasn't supposed to fall in love. Neither was she...

And second:

The Movie Star's Red Hot Holiday Fling by Christine Glover, from her Sweetbriar Springs series.

Amazon Kobo

One dare and he'll lose his heart...

Determined to qualify for the fire department's grueling physical, former marine Jessie Sullivan never gives up, despite the pins in her leg. The last thing she needs is a tall, incredibly hot action movie star sharing her gym...and who makes her want to trade in her reps for some sexy physical activity. Of the naked kind.

Blake Johnston is more than just a Big Screen Sex Machine, and he's willing to prove it. Especially to a spirited and sexy ex-marine like Jessie. But when a harmless dare leads to sizzling fireworks, Jessie and Blake's workout ends up generating some serious heat between the sheets. And it's more than Jessie could have imagined. Much, much more.

But flings don't last forever. And in two weeks, Jessie will have to say goodbye to her red-hot Christmas fantasy...

My thoughts:

I reviewed an Inara Scott book back in January of this year with mixed feelings, so I was curious about this novella.

Seducing the Girl Next Door was a well-written 'second chance at love' romance. I liked that these two were close friends during an intense period of their childhoods - those early teen years. It's the perfect time of life to have romanticised their relationship, and to really feel the loss of it when Simon was forced to move by his father. 

I liked the way these two come together with very little pretense, embracing the present and the moment. It's very sexy! I like that they've both had lives since their time together - there hasn't been years of pining and wasting time - and yet there's still a very real spark between them, making the leap from lust to love reasonably believable.

I do think that the resolution of the novella tries to do too much. I think the epilogue was an unnecessary leap into the future. I would rather have seen these two show up in Bencher family novels as secondary characters, with their relationship moving forward in the background.

Bottom line:

I liked this one. Some of it felt very relatable - the divorcee with children trying to redefine herself with a new career, the childhood sweetheart, lust/love blossoming while on vacation/away from the familiar routine of life.  Lots of good components with an epilogue that overreaches.

4 stars

The Movie Star's Red Hot Holiday Fling takes a wounded war vet trying to find her way outside of the military and mixes in a very sexy, desirable movie star with a bit of a inferiority complex. 

This novella does suffer a little for having to accomplish so much with so few words. This couple doesn't have a pre-existing relationship so there's a lot of ground to cover. I think that the flirtation alongside the exercise works really well. I liked the back and forth, noticing each other's physical assets in the skimpy workout clothes, while also developing respect for each other's strengths (physical and emotional). Respect is really the watchword for this novella and I was okay with that. It provides a good point of conflict!

Again, I think the novella tries to go a bit too far to deliver a complete happily every after. I would have been satisfied with the sexy times alongside the romance of, well, the romance. There's a real emotional connection here, and tough work to be done around survivor's guilt that gives this novella unexpected depth.

Bottom line:

Another satisfying novella that leverages the movie star fantasy and makes him delightfully accessible. 

4.5 stars

Either of these two contemporary romance novellas could fill an hour or two on a cold afternoon. They're certainly smile-worthy. I found it interesting that both revolved around affairs with time limits placed on them. 

Check them out and send me your recommendations for Christmas-themed novellas! I'd love a few good ones to curl up with as we head into the holiday season!

No comments:

Post a Comment