All of you may be surprised to note, my recent binge on contemporary romance, a genre I usually stray far far away from. However, I recently found Entangled Publishing’s Brazen collection and I found they were semi-decent so I devoured four of their books in as many days and here is my first two reviews on the books. Look out for the other two shortly.
Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Series: Fighting for Love #1
Publication: July 20th 2012 by Entangled Publishing
Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.
Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.
Soon Reid finds him himself in the fight of his life…winning Lucie’s heart before she gives it to someone else.
Seducing Cinderella was my first contemporary book I picked up by Entangled Publishing and I have to say, it is by far my favourite. There was something about Seducing Cinderella that entranced me from the first moment and had me hooked, flipping through the pages trying to get to the end. I think the fact that it wasn’t such a short 100 and something e-book also made the reading more enjoyable because I felt like there was some substance to the novel.
Reid Andrews was a man I could appreciate from the very first moment. He was tough and he had issues, but he genuinely cared about Lucie and I liked that there was a connection between the two characters from the start that wasn’t purely sexual and this is my general problem with contemporary books that they are overly sexualised and whilst this one had it’s moments I felt that we touched on the relationship between Lucie and Reid much more and managed to bring Lucie out of her shell to blossom. She was a character trapped in a general cliche that she hid herself away in books and baggy clothes and was smitten with another doctor. However I felt like we explored a fun side of her and I wanted to smack her half-way through the book because as usual she overlooked the best character so easily. Reid also had a great sense of humour that I really liked.
“Wait, why does my chart say Randy Johnson?”
Reid chucked at the ridiculous name he used for anonymity. “It’s an alias.” Wanting to erase the pained look from whatever had happened before he arrived, he gave her a wicked smile and added, “And sometimes a state of being.”
Her brother featured very little in this novel with not even a physical appearance, but I liked his character from the brief moment he appeared and his connection to Reid I felt could have been explored a little more since they were supposedly best friends and yet they never talked.. Rather bizarre if you ask me. Hopefully he’ll appear in the next book of the series with his own little story meaning we’ll get to see a little more of Lucie and Reid.
Overall, Seducing Cinderella was entertaining and enjoyable and it happily led me to finding more Entangled Publishing books to read.
No Flowers Required by Cari Quinn
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult
Series: Love Required #2
Published: August 23rd 2012 by Entangled Publishing
He’ll give her everything she desires…except his identity.
Flower shop owner Alexa Conroy had it all before the recession hit and her customers fled to cheaper shopping grounds. Desperate to make ends meet, she sells her dream home and moves into the rundown apartments above her shop. When she spots six feet of sexy distraction—complete with muscles, piercings, and tattoos—ripping up flooring, Alexa knows the karmic windfall she’s due just landed on her doorstep.
And the attraction’s definitely not one-sided.
Dillon James, reluctant heir to the corporation about to foreclose on Alexa’s shop, is not about to jeopardize their scorching chemistry by admitting he’s not the building’s handyman. But with only weeks until her business goes under and his identity is revealed, Dillon must find a way to convince Alexa cooperation isn’t a dirty word, help her save the shop from his brother’s greed, and persuade her that he’s not the enemy…or risk losing the only woman who’s seen the real him.
No Flowers Required was much shorter, much more fun and a little more humorous than Seducing Cinderella but I didn’t quite enjoy it as much. I skipped the first novel in the series because at 61 pages, it was more of a novella and I prefer reading something a little longer. It wasn’t really necessary to the plot to read it, so I don’t think I missed out on much, since this one seems to wrap itself in a whole different romance rather than a continuation of the last story.
Dillion James is a man that I liked a lot. He had a lot going for him, but I liked that he didn’t appear with his money first and that we met him when he seemed like an average guy and the dynamic of not unveiling his true identity made for an interesting plot. However, I felt this could have been played upon much more. Overall, he was sexy, wise and all around nice guy which tends to be the case in most contemporaries so I had no complaints.
“No kids. My hobbies are fishing, painting and riding my bike.” He scratched his scruffy chin. “Oh and I’m a Leo.”
Alexa I didn’t particularly like all that much. I appreciated her stubbornness, but she seemed to be two different people, the struggling shop owner and damsel in distress and then the sophisticated party goer with the collection of designer clothes and I could never quite mesh the two sides together to create one character in my brain. It’s like she was two entirely different people and she went from being poverty stricken to snooty in an instance and I didn’t like when she got on her high horse about things.
Overall the romance was fun, flirty and quick and the pace kept you turning the pages. No Flowers Required is an easy rainy-day read or something to cheer you up if you’re a little down.