Sunday, November 23, 2014

CAPTIVATED by Megan Hart and Tiffany Reisz

Publisher:               Harlequin                                   
Published:               28/10/2014 
ISBN:                     978 0 37362 247 4
Genre:                              Erotic Romance
Book Format:                    E-book
Obtained via:                    Publisher/NetGalley
Reviewed by:                    Helena Stone,

Rating:                  4                           

Captivated contains two stories by two different authors. Below I’ll review the stories separately, with an individual rating. The rating above is an average based on the individual numbers.

LETTING GO by Megan Hart (3)

Every Thursday night Colleen goes to the same bar and orders the same drink: a neat whiskey she doesn’t drink. Jesse, the bartender, has been noticing Colleen, her beauty and her sadness for weeks. The wall she has erected around herself appears impenetrable until one night, during a snow storm, she allows him a glimpse of who she is.

While Colleen has her doubts about Jesse and her emerging relationship with him, Jesse has only one thing on his mind; making sure their snowed-in weekend is the start of their union rather than the end.

This story didn’t really work for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is well written and has some really hot and engrossing moments, but overall it was a rather indifferent reading experience for me.

The problem, for me, was that I couldn’t really connect with either of the two characters. While I understand and appreciate that Colleen had  to overcome issues stemming from her failed marriage, I don’t see those as a valid reason to behave like a mixed up teenager or to treat Jesse the way she does. Every little thing Colleen does in this story has one reason, and one reason only; to satisfy Colleen’s needs.

Jesse on the other hand was very easy to like, and for most of the story I did. But, while I liked the scenes during which he submitted to Colleen when they were intimate, I lost patience with him when he didn’t stand up to her when she treated him in what can only be described as a bad and selfish way.

I wanted better for Jesse and honestly didn’t care about Colleen’s happiness at all. And that led to me being completely uninvested in the ending of their story. In fact, part of me is still convinced it would have been much better for them, or at least for Jesse, if they hadn’t reconnected.

The story line reverses the traditional roles in romance stories; rather than the man behaving badly and the woman being silly enough to just forgive and forget we watch Colleen behaving badly and Jesse not only allowing her to get away with it, but also taking her back without a word of apology or explanation. I don’t like it when women are portrayed like that and I don’t like it when men are described that way either.

This is a well written story. Unfortunately the storyline didn’t work for me.

SEIZE THE NIGHT by Tiffany Reisz (4+)

The first time Remi and Julien met the attraction between them was instant. When the two heirs to powerful and competitive horse-racing families gave in to the pull, it resulted in a feud which is still going strong four years later.

When the feud threatens to ruin both families, Remi has to find Julien who she hasn’t seen since the night it all went wrong. The attraction between them is as strong as it was four years ago. Both their family’s insistence they should stay away from each other hasn’t lessened either. Between the two of them, and with the help of Remi’s cynical assistant Merrick, Remi and Julien have to come up with a plan that won’t only safe their families from destroying themselves, but will also allow the two lovers to stay together.

I have been a fan of Tiffany Reisz’s books ever since I read ‘The Siren’ and pick up whatever she releases sure in the knowledge I won’t be disappointed. ‘Seize the Night’ was no exception to that rule. This is a fun, sweet and extremely sexy story with nice and relatable characters and a refreshing lack of angst although Julien’s back story certainly tugs on the heartstrings.

As always Tiffany Reisz’s writing drew me straight into the story. She makes it look so easy. Her words flow and her conversations sparkle to the point I could almost hear the character’s voices. And especially Merrick, Remi’s assistant, managed to put a smile on my face every time he opened his mouth.

Having said all that, I should probably add that, for me at least, this story didn’t compare to the Original Sinners’ books. Those really are in a class of their own. The characters in that series are unique while the characters in ‘Seize the Day’ were fun, but recognisable. The same is true for the story line and the way the conflict was resolved. It held my interest but didn’t draw me in to the same extend Reisz’s series does.

In short, this is a perfect story for those who are eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the original Sinners series. It may not be up to the exact same – very high – standard, it is certainly an engaging and delightful read and will tie you over very nicely until ‘The King’ becomes available.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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