Author: Jessica Clare

August 8, 2016

Review | The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving by Jessica Clare

Review | The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving by Jessica ClareThe Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving by Jessica Clare
Series: Bluebonnet, #4
Publisher: Berkley, June 2014
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
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Playing innocent is easy.
After being the quiet, shy girl her whole life, Elise Markham is ready for a mental makeover. She’s done keeping to herself and staying out of trouble—it’s time to break out of her shell and maybe meet someone intriguing in the process. So, on a photography trip to Bluebonnet, she has a whole lot more on her mind than snapping photos, especially when Rome walks into the picture.
Playing dirty is fun.
The newest instructor at Wilderness Survival Expeditions has a colorful past, to say the least. Having come from a family of notorious con artists that destroyed his credit and reputation, all before his eighteenth birthday, Rome just wants a decent job and a quiet life in a town where no one knows his name. He’s exactly the kind of bad boy that an innocent girl like Elise should stay far away from.
But Elise is tired of doing what’s right. She’s ready to throw caution to the wind—and let Rome show her just how exciting being bad can be…

Elise Markham didn’t think the sexy, tattooed Rome noticed her. Why would he? She couldn’t utter a word in his presence without feeling like a fool. Instead, she’s determined to love him from afar…but what she doesn’t know is that the sexy Rome has his eye on her.

A self-made man, Rome has seen the dark and dirty of the world, but pulled himself out of it. He can’t keep his eyes off Elise, but how can he be with her when he can’t shake the shadows?

The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving was a hit/miss for me.

The hits:
  • I loved their chemistry. It was so deep and real. Set against their own personal issues, it was astonishing the pages didn’t catch fire.
  • The romance was sweet. I loved Rome’s reference to her as “my girl.” The light possessiveness was lovely in small doses.
  • The continuation of Bluebonnet was great. It was nice to see other characters play small cameos, but not overtake the novel.
The misses:
  • I started to really tire of Rome’s self-deprecating remarks. It soon felt like he couldn’t pay her a compliment without degrading himself, either mentally or out loud. It was hard to cheer for him when he didn’t even cheer for himself.
  • Throughout The Virgin’s Guide, Elise is painfully shy. She has to get drunk on beer to even talk to Rome in the beginning. By the end, she’s the image of confidence. The journey wasn’t there to support this transition and left me feeling like Elise had dual personality disorder instead of character growth.

In the end, The Virgin’s Guide gets a great rating on the steamy scenes, but the lack of character development brought down what would have otherwise been a stellar story. With a little extra oomph for the characters, this would have easily been a five star book.

3 Stars

Posted August 8, 2016 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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May 6, 2016

Review | Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare

Review | Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica ClareStranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare
Series: Billionaire Boys Club, #1
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA), April 2013
Pages: 215
Format: Paperback
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The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society of six men who have vowed success – at any cost. Not all of them are old money, but all of them are incredibly wealthy. They’re just not always as successful when it comes to love…
Billionaire Logan Hawkings needs a vacation. He’s had a rough time after the death of his father and the betrayal of his fiancée. But with a visit to a recent business acquisition—a private island resort in the Bahamas—he has a chance to mend his broken heart.When a hurricane blows in, a misplaced passport and a stalled elevator bring Logan together with an unusual woman named Bronte. She’s unlike anyone he’s ever met—down to earth, incredibly sensual, and even quotes Plato.She also has no clue that he’s rich…
Bronte Dawson, a waitress from the Midwest, is stranded with the hotel’s domineering yet sexy manager Logan. What’s the harm in a little fling when it’s just the two of them, alone in paradise? But after several steamy island nights in Logan’s arms, Bronte’s ready to give her heart—and her body—to the man in charge.
But she soon discovers there’s more to Logan than he’s told her…a billion times more. Now, Bronte’s caught in a whirlwind affair with one of the world’s most powerful men. But can their love endure their differences or will it all just blow over?

Bronte Dawson is going to enjoy her free vacation, thank you very much. She is ignoring the fact that it’s in a run-down resort and trying to ignore her coworker’s constant complaints. But when a hurricane bears down upon the island and leaves Bronte stranded in an elevator with the hotel manager, she has to face it: this is the worst vacation ever.

Logan Hawkings isn’t having much better luck. After heading out to tour the resort he bought, he ends up stuck in an elevator with a waitress who thinks he’s the hotel manager and spouts philosophy quotes when she’s nervous and, boy, is she nervous. Yet he can’t help but notice her…

After the hurricane passes and their relationship grows, Logan battles with the urge to reveal to Bronte who he really is (the owner of the resort, not the manager). Once she realizes her island fling is in fact one of the richest men in America, Bronte (understandably) freaks and heads home. Yet Logan isn’t used to anyone denying him, and the courtship is on.

I’ll admit it: I wasn’t a huge fan of the constant references to philosophers (I actually started skipping the paragraphs with quotes), but there was a lot about Bronte that I identified with. Just out of college, she’s still relatively young to the world, and her naivete gave the story a great perspective. Clare builds her up so that when Logan’s identity is finally revealed, her urge to run fits in with her perfectly.

I struggled a little with Logan as well, for one big reason: Logan has some Christian Grey in him. Luckily not the you-must-sign-away-your-body-and-obey-me-at-all-costs character trait, but the almost aggressive refusal to take no for an answer made me a little uncomfortable in parts. Clare did pare his character down and frame his internal struggles in Stranded with a Billionaire so they made sense, but it still sent up some red flags for me in the initial chapters.

The glimpse inside of the life of the rich and famous was glamorous, but I felt out-of-place like Bronte (maybe why I identified with her so well). The shift in their relationship and the need to adapt to make it continue was an interesting twist and kept the plot interesting.

But it really got good when Bronte finally stood up for herself and told Logan what she wanted. Her character needed the push to finally get there, but thank goodness she did.

It was after Bronte’s moment of clarity and gumption that Stranded with a Billionaire really came alive. It forced both characters to push outside of their comfort zones, to get uncomfortable, and see what happened. And it was worth it.

3 Stars

Posted May 6, 2016 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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