Red River Valley Novel by Shelly Alexander
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book will be released on June 14. If you continue to read through this post, you will find an excerpt and a GIVEAWAY!
It’s In His Smile (Book 3)
Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)
Quick & Dirty summary: Miranda Cruz is gambling with her life savings to make her dream come true. She has always wanted to run her own business and when her friend asks her to take over her bed and breakfast, Miranda is optimistic she can make everything work. But when her friend unexpectedly dies, she is heartbroken and almost broke. The contractor she had paid to renovate her new bed and breakfast has disappeared with most of her savings and while Miranda is optimistic she can succeed she is plagued by self-doubts. Talmadge Oaks returns home to Red River Valley to mourn the loss of his grandmother, forgetting that Miranda would be there but becoming instantly ensnared by her again. A world-famous architect, Talmadge’s career is also on a precipice and the conditions of his grandmother’s will could save him from a huge fall from grace. But will his professional salvation be his personal downfall?
This novel began very slowly for me. I almost gave up on it in fact. I wasn’t very happy with the character’s actions based on pride and the opening scene by the picnic table with the skiers didn’t make me laugh, as Shelly Alexander probably intended, it made me roll my eyes. However, I stuck with the novel because there is intense chemistry between Miranda and Talmadge. Everything else about the novel seems so small town and self-conscious that the intensely hot sex scenes are a surprise.
It’s not all about chemistry and sex though. Miranda and Talmadge both have complexities to them that make them more interesting characters than what initially meets the eye. As the plot line progresses along somewhat typical lines, Miranda and Talmadge both develop as they work through their past insecurities and fears. They are both sensitive to each other’s needs and respectful of their quirks. You can see that develop as Talmadge adjusts his autocratic ways to Miranda’s need to feel independent and in charge of her new business. The novel really depicts a strong foundation of a relationship that has sweetness, sex, and respect.
For a story that I almost didn’t finish, I am surprised by how much I liked it in the end. While I got a little frustrated with Miranda’s continual worry about her “reputation,” Alexander doesn’t allow the story to fall into romantic tropes and artificial conflicts. Sure, the will creates some fiction, but it doesn’t drag on or drag the characters down. In the end, the story moves at a great pace, the characters are relatable and lovable, and the writing and dialogue are strong. As a side note, I really dislike the cover of this book. The models look like they are 17 and it doesn’t exactly connect for me with the storyline. But I may be in the minority on that one.
Is it worth buying? ($3.99 Kindle)
Yes. In fact, if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member it’s free, which makes it even more worthwhile!
Something else you might enjoy: I recommend a lot of Kristen Ashley books, primarily because I love them, but in this instance, I think it’s really relevant to recommend Deacon. It centers on a woman who buys a series of cabins in the mountains of Colorado wanting to own her own business. When a man comes to rent a cabin year after year they develop a relationship as she tries to live her out her dream. It’s a great read with more intense sex scenes and a slightly darker storyline. You can read my review of the novel here.
Amazon CA http://amzn.to/1OkWFYu
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1X3UEBu
After Talmadge’s colossal gaffe yesterday at Joe’s, the chances of Miranda letting him take over the renovations at the inn were about as good as her contractor giving back her money.
The way he saw it, he had two options.
One: play the I’m-your-creditor card and take charge of the renovations whether she agreed or not. When it came to any kind of building project, everyone followed his lead. Hell, he’d earned that leadership roll in world of architecture.
Miranda’s face glowed red with anger.
Right. Option one wasn’t working out so well.
He shifted to option two: make her think she was still in charge.
“Don’t be foolish, Miranda. You need help with this place.” Talmadge was trying real hard to keep his mind and eyes off the taut nipples showing through her thin shirt. The moment he’d turned and saw her standing in the dining room staring at him with sleepy eyes and messy pillow hair…glaring at all of them over the absurdity of superheroes while wearing silly cartoon pajamas… Well, hell. His throat had closed up, and he’d wanted to toss her over his shoulder and take her to back to bed. This time with him in it too.
Enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire or one of 3 Amazon Gift Cards
(This Giveaway is sponsored and run by Shelly Alexander. I am not in charge of this raffle, but I wish you luck)
About the Author:
A 2014 Golden Heart® finalist, Shelly Alexander grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in the business world for twenty-five years. With four older brothers, she watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing steamy contemporary romances while tending to a miniature schnauzer named Omer, a tiny toy poodle named Mozart, and a pet boa named Zeus.
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