So here is the second half of my contemporary binge, with the last two reviews on the four novels I read whilst I was feeling rather sick.
One Night with a Hero by Laura Kaye
Series: The Hero #2
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult
Publication: October 20th 2012 by Entangled Publishing
He wants just one night…
After growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father, Army Special Forces Sgt. Brady Scott vowed never to marry or have kids. Sent stateside to get his head on straight—and his anger in check—Brady’s looking for a distraction. He finds it in his beautiful new neighbor’s one-night-only offer for hot sex, but her ability to make him forget is addictive. Suddenly, Brady’s not so sure he can stay away.
…what they need is each other.
Orphaned as a child, community center director Joss Daniels swore she’d never put herself in a position to be left behind again, but she can’t deny herself one sizzling night with the sexy soldier who makes her laugh and kisses her senseless. When Joss discovers she’s pregnant, Brady’s rejection leaves her feeling abandoned. Now, they must overcome their fears before they lose the love and security they’ve found in each other, but can they let go of the past to create a future together?
One Night with a Hero started out alright, but it quickly went downhill, it’s probably my own fault for not reading the premise, but the word “pregnancy” I should have noticed. It’s not the kind of thing I really wanted to read about, luckily it didn’t play a major part for the first part of the novel, but I didn’t enjoy the relationship between Joss and Brady once she was pregnant. I didn’t hate One Night with a Hero but it wasn’t my favourite contemporary novel, I just didn’t enjoy the direction of the plot and felt that it was a little repetitive in places in that Brady and Joss always seemed at each others throats or rejecting each other and whilst I enjoy certain aspects of tensions within a relationship I felt that this dragged on too much.
I didn’t like Joss and that was probably my biggest problem. Not being able to connect with the main character is always an issue and it tends to put you off when reading. She felt cliché to me and she was supposed to be a smart women and then she was blindsided by this pregnancy that she just seemingly allowed to happen. I can’t fathom it really.
“Having spent so much time alone, reading had always been her biggest source of escape. When she read, she lost track of what was happening around her. Many time in her life, that had been a damn good thing.”
Brady was a rather sexy solider, however we didn’t really witness anything about his solider side other than he had problems he needed to deal with to get a promotion. So for all I cared he could have been a nurse who had to go through some training to get a new job. It just didn’t matter other than that he kept in shape. There was very little focus on this and when it’s supposed to be his life and focus, it seems a little bizarre to me.
On the plus note, the novel wasn’t that long and there were some fun flirty moments. However I felt like the characters fell too quickly into a physical relationship and the emotional repercussions were clear that they spent the whole novel restraining themselves from killing the other.
Recipe for Satisfaction by Gina Gorden
Series: Madewood Brothers #1
Genre: Contemporary, Adult, Romance
Publication: January 1st 2013 by Entangled Publishing
Being the financial caretaker for her deadbeat parents isn’t the life professional organizer Sterling Andrews dreamed of. Tired of being the dependable—and boring—daughter, Sterling decides to have a little fun. And what could be more fun than seducing rich bad boy chef, Jack Vaughn? Except, after one scintillating night together, Sterling’s not only lusting for Jack, she’s working for him. And remaining professional becomes harder every day.
Already a major success thanks to his exclusive restaurants, Jack Vaughn is looking for something more. Ultra responsible Sterling is unlike anyone Jack has met…but she’s his employee. Unwilling to give her up, Jack makes Sterling an offer she can’t refuse—for four sexy weekends, he’ll indulge her most wicked fantasies with no professional strings attached. But will mixing business with pleasure spell disaster? Or will they find the recipe for satisfaction?
Recipe for Satisfaction doesn’t really contain recipes of the cooking king, in fact, there is very little cooking to be seen, except for a couple of choice moments which I enjoyed so I think there was more than I expected there to be because the food element that’s hinted in the innuendo as the title does fulfil in the novel which I liked. The romance isn’t quite straight forward and the synopsis I found to be a little bit misguided, whilst Jack does give Sterling four sexy weekends, they’re of his choosing to surprise her which I liked. Overall, Recipe for Satisfaction was fairly satisfying –(pun intended).
However, again I found myself not really connecting with Sterling. I could see her problems and understand why she behaved the way she did, but it made her appear like two different people and it was clearly giving Jack a wrong idea of her by the end of things because of how she behaved. She seemed to be this quiet, conservative girl that she was saying she was, but for most of the story I found that she was a rather wild child and that it would take a lot more than “having fun” to do some of the things she did as it didn’t seem to ‘fit’ her character for me. It wasn’t that she was dislikeable because I found myself smiling from the start, but I thought she was honestly a little thick and insensitive in places to other people and she annoyed me.
“Jack wasn’t a violent man, but he wanted to hit the asshole who’d made her feel this way, something fierce. “You want to do things that please you and only you?” It had been a long time since he’d done something for pure pleasure. And to experience it with the first woman to stir up his latent desire would no doubt be unforgettable.”*
Jack was all good fun, and there was an emotional aspect to his character that tends to come with the genre of him being a little brooding and misunderstood. He appears to be the typical playboy, but he’s a lot more than that, and I liked Jack and his siblings. He could be serious and have fun and I liked the balance the author got with him. He seemed to understand Sterling really well and he was always thinking about her and putting others first. He had a couple of stupid moments, but all around he was charming, entertaining and my favourite character.
The pacing of the novel was pretty quick, things kept up and there were a few plot twists and changes, mainly predictable ones, but it still made for an entertaining read. I liked the dynamic of the four brothers that make up the Madewood family and they were all down to earth and lovely despite the wealth they’d been adopted into and I’ll be interested to read future stories with the brothers in because I presume each will be getting their happily ever after. Ultimately, Recipe for Satisfaction isn’t a bad novel with it’s fun and flirty attitude, but I prefer something with a little more substance.
*Quote taken from an uncorrected eARC copy provided by NetGalley and thanks to Entangled Publishing.
Aristotle said that “What gives a story unity is not as the masses believe that it is about one person but that it is about one action.”
Therefore this indicates to me that plot is integral to any novel whether it’s contemporary or not, so I think this clarifies not only to me how important it is to a novel even if it’s just fluffy which is what I think contemporary needs to do more for me, focus on a plot.