Monday, November 25, 2013

12 NA's: Reviews Part 1


After my binge on Amazon, I am proud to announce I am not doing so badly on the reading and reviewing front of the 12 Na's for Christmas.
It's been definitely interesting so far. Funny how I enjoy some romance and others just make me roll my eyes...
I am reading them in no particular order, just pick and go with the flow.  I will review them however in that random reading order. I am going to write a few sentence to what I thought of plot, character building and prose to each novella. As it was requested on GR I will try and explain myself a bit more explicitly if I don't like a novella.
I think my reaction to romance novels in general is way more subjective than it is when I read any other genre. Partly it comes from the fact that these are aimed at my emotions rather than my intellect. I don't think that works in favor of them however, I do have to many walls and barrier and am simply not that easy to be swayed by emotio

ns - yep, I'm a coldhearted hardass. BUT I am not impenetrable... and good characters have not only know to sway my ice cold heart but even had me fangirling at times. So difficult I may be, hopeless I am not.
Here we go :

PART 1 


Brave by Zoe Dawson




Publisher: Blue Moon Creative
Genre: NA
Release Date: November, 2013
Summary:
In the season of hope, in the season of giving…

How far would you go for your friend?

Alissa Thompson has been the good girl her whole life. Her uninterested parents don’t understand her hopes and dreams. But this Christmas when her steadfast childhood friend Charlie needs her more than ever, she can’t back down. Crossing the line means being braver than she has ever been in her life. It means changing and growing and taking a stand.

Dakota Gray was brave in the face of debilitating fear. But he lost himself in that blood soaked day and has shunned everything he once knew. Now shattered and broken, he hides out in isolation, his wounds beyond healing. His heart closed, his emotions buried, he’s a man on the edge of self-destructing. Little does he know that courage would be found in another searching for the strength to be brave.

Now snowbound in the Colorado Rockies one week before Christmas, Alissa thought this was about her journey and her friend, about setting him free. But from the moment she meets Dakota, she learns about what real bravery is all about. What real love is all about. But is the season enough, her courage enough, her love enough to heal this hero’s brave heart and in the end set herself free?

Rating: 

Review:

PLOT: Here lies the issue I got with this novella.This is the reason for the low rating. The reason for me hovering over I didn't like it
I didn't like most of the story line. I don't like the whole insta-love or insta-lust thing, I simply don't get it. This had both thrown in so honestly it made me roll my eyes right from the get go. Oh and add to that the one and only. And I just can't deal.
I was not impressed with the smut. It just was, I don't know... not for me? I found it not very enticing.
In general this was too cliche and too emotional and too grand gesture for me. 
I did like the underlying message, or some of them. I didn't like how it was brought across.
The epilogue though is the reason I rounded this down. I know what it was suppose to evoke in me. But I just thought: "Really? Seriously are there men out there who speak like this?" To be honest should I ever have to face a situation like that - I would run! I am more of a actions speak louder than words kinda girl. And forget the gran romantic gestures, they scare the crap out of me and make me wonder what hidden agenda there is to it. Yeah I know, I am a cold-heareted hard-ass B.
I think however the story will appeal to loads of gals out there.

PROSE: Having said all this things about the story line, just loved the Prose (reason I am hovering towards this is ok)
I love the way Dawson writes. The novella was well thought out and well paced. I loved how she added flashbacks and slowly unravelled the story. Dawson held my attention despite the fact that I wasn't sold on the story and wasn't sure about the characters. Which is a feat. I gulped this up and when I was finished I realised that despite me not really liking this, I was totally captivated. Sure speaks for Dawson's skill as a writer.

CHARACTER BUILDING: I didn't like either MC particularly well. They were to soppy and melodramatic for me.  Oh and possibly not broke enough. The character building was done really well. One got to know them slowly, one reveal after the other. And considering this is fairly short, I ended up knowing a great deal about them. My issue was I couldn't find myself caring for them, they seemed to carefully planned and not quite believable.

It's a must read novella for lovers of the genre and the author. And I am planning on reading another of Dawson's books, hoping that I will like that story line better next time




If I return by Saywer Bennet




Publisher: Big Dog Books
Genre: NA
Release Date: November, 2013
Summary:
Would you wait?

College student, Hope Camden, is relentlessly serious, awkwardly shy and in complete need of taking a walk on the wilder side. At least, that’s what her sister tells her when she drags her off for an impromptu Christmas getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Hope’s plans to keep her nose in a book the entire vacation are thwarted when she meets Jack Freeman, the gorgeous and enigmatic Army helicopter pilot staying at the same resort. What was supposed to be a quiet Christmas holiday turns into a life changing event for Hope and Jack. The only problem? Jack is headed off to war, and there is no guarantee he will come back

Rating: 

Review:

PLOT: I so would have given it 1 more star without the epilogue! It kinda ruined it for me. Without epilogue, it was a great short story! It would have been way better without that kind of closure, I like short stories that end up holding a promise, that make you ponder what will happen to the characters in the future. The epilogue took that away for me. If this would have been a full length novel, I probably would have not mind the epilogue, but this isn't. So it felt like so we done let's quickly add the HEA to it.
I liked the story line, despite being totally predictable.
The smut was quite good. Well, except the bath thing. It made me cringe. Peronally it was just. NOOOO! Please! No!
But I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the romance, felt all gooey inside.

CHARACTER BUILDING: The MC were really well constructed but so were their support cast. I like the feel of the group of friends, in fact I would love to know more about several of the support cast. I could totally connect to either MC and understood why they acted like they did. But also I cared for both of them in this really short span.

PROSE: Love! Love! Love! Bennet totally evoked the feeling of being in the snow as example. She reeled me in and had me by page one. Her writing style is sensual and beautiful.

I am so reading another of Bennet's books! Beautifully crafted novella!




Christmas Catch by Chelsea M. Cameroon




Genre: NA
Release Date: November, 2013
Summary:
Two years ago, when Ivy Emerson bailed from the tiny fishing village she’d grown up in to go to Columbia, Sawyer McCallister was the only thing she was sad to leave behind, and she still didn’t look back. But when her mother guilts her into coming home for Christmas, she crashes headfirst into Sawyer, who’s also returned after being away. 
Now that they’ve both been dragged back to Saltwater, Maine, they might just realize it’s where they belong. Together.

Rating: 

Review:

PROSE: I actually have read one of Cameroon's Books already. So I knew I would most probably enjoy her prose . And I did. Cameroon's writing style crisp and straight forward. She manages to make one get a feel for a place, she paints moments beautifully without being to frilly or melodramatic.

CHARACTER BUILDING: This was my favorite part of the novella. It was great. I loved the Saltwater inhabitants. Sawyer and Ivy have great chemistry. And I wouldn't mind revisiting Saltwater in a fulllengths novel.

PLOT: Was totally predictable. It's a come home meet old flame story.
BUT who cares? It was cute and fluffy at it's best! I laughed and grinned and felt all warm and fuzzy!
There are some really great moments and the smut was pretty good as well. A light and sweet read

Cameroon has definitely established herself in my cute and fluffy author list. I am looking forward to her next book!






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