HERE TO STAY by Catherine Anderson
Copyright: January 25, 2011
Series: Coulter/Kendrick/Harrigan Series #12
Source: Received ARC from Publisher
Mandy Pajeck had a tough childhood — an abusive father, a mother who left, and a younger brother, Luke, who depended on her when she was just a child herself. Now twenty-eight, Mandy remains devoted to Luke and feels responsible for the accident that took his sight. When she meets handsome Zach Harrigan and his mini guide horse, she thinks she’s found the ticket to her brother’s happiness — and maybe her own.
Of the five Harrigan siblings, Zach is the hellion who parties hard and takes nothing seriously. But lately his life has felt empty. So, employing his skills as a horseman, he begins training a mini guide horse for the blind, never expecting that the project will lead him to beautiful, tenderhearted Mandy. She’s everything he’s ever wanted in a woman. But though she’s charmed by Zach’s patience and compassion, she can’t bring herself to fully trust him. And when Zach urges her to confront the truth about her mother’s disappearance, the secrets they uncover are so shocking that even Zach’s steadfast devotion may not be enough to win Mandy’s heart.
Read more like a General Fiction book than a Romance Book. Story was more focused on the relationship of the heroine and her 19 year old blind brother than it was on the heroine and the hero. Am really sad to say that as I used to love Catherine Anderson’s books but the last few have just not done it for me. Find them boring at times and the romance between the characters taking a back seat to whatever “issues” are going on in the book.
Also, not that I have anything against praying but I noticed God and praying was mentioned several times throughout the book. At one time, during a discussion of praying, I found myself checking the spine to make sure it wasn’t labeled Christian Fiction and I had somehow missed it. I’m not one for CF books…find them too preachy at times and that’s not what I want in the books I read.
The brother was a brat. That’s all I can say about him. A spoiled brat. Yes, he was blind but that he refused to help himself and made his sister do everything for him because he wanted to “control her” just made me want to take a bat to him. There was nothing good about the messed up relationship they had.
The heroine was a wuss. She let him get away with too many things without calling him out on it.
The only redeeming quality about this book was the hero. He made this book for me.
SEVEN DAY LOAN by Tiffany Reisz
Release Date: December 2010
Publisher: Harlequin / Spice Briefs
Source: Bought it.
A trained submissive, Eleanor will do whatever her master commands…even spend a week with a stranger. Daniel has been a recluse since his wife’s death, and Eleanor’s lover thinks spending time with her will be therapeutic—especially since Daniel is also a Dom.
Despite her defiant streak, Eleanor can’t resist giving in to Daniel’s erotic demands. But while she’ll let him have her body, she’s determined to keep a guard around her heart. Even if Daniel wants to make Eleanor his permanently….
I saw a review of this come through my email last night from one of the blogs I follow around 3am last night. Review intrigued me enough to find myself over at Amazon where for $2.39, I got a copy downloaded to my Kindle. I will be honest and say I haven’t read that many Spice Briefs because…well…I find them too short. Not enough time to really get to know the characters, I should say. But again, the review I saw intrigued me and while at Amazon I saw it had garnered 11 five-star reviews. Nothing less than that. So I told myself maybe I was missing out on something and should give this book and author a try. It took me less than an hour to read it. I’m not sure how many pages it is because Kindle just goes by percentage when you’re reading. One of the reviews said something like 50 pages while someone at BN said it was only 34 pages so I’m not quite sure about it.
Story starts off with Eleanor in a limo with her “Master” who is dropping her off at Daniel’s house for a week. Eleanor is a submissive, has been for years, although we know from the first sentence that Eleanor is 23 years old. Her Master is going out of town and Daniel is a widower who hadn’t left his house in over three years. Since his beloved wife died. Daniel and “Master” are friends so “Master” thought it would be a good idea for Eleanor to spend the week he was out of town with Daniel….to help him come back to the land of the living. “Master” tells her she has to do whatever Daniel requires because Daniel is a Dom, just like “Master”. She’s upset about this because while he (Master) has shared her with others before, he’s never ever left her by herself with someone else without “Master” being there too. Even though she’s upset about the whole thing, she agrees. (Woo, isn’t she a smart one?)
Once they arrive at Daniel’s house, “Master” doesn’t take long in taking his leave of them. Doesn’t even really say goodbye to Eleanor, just basically pats her on the head (or was it shoulder?) as he’s walking out of the room with Daniel. For a short story, it doesn’t take them long to start in on the smexy times in the bedroom. We find out their first time together was Daniel’s first time since his wife passed away. We’re supposed to believe that Daniel is a Dom but Eleanor kept pushing him with her remarks and he never really said anything in response. They have discussions in the middle of all their smexy times but Eleanor knows she’s only on loan and must remember at all times that “Master” owns her and she belongs with him. Although Daniel shows her more affection than “Master” ever did, according to her thoughts.
Then comes the day that Daniel wants to ask her to stay with him. She tells him she can’t because she belongs to “Master” and if Daniel actually comes out and says it out loud, she might be too weak and actually agree to stay with him. Because he’s given her more of his time than “Master” has ever given her and they’ve actually been able to spend the time together without it feeling like they’ve had to “steal” time to be together as it does when she’s with “Master”. We find out around that time what “Master” does for a living which came as a surprise, to be honest. More smexy times commence and then the day comes that it’s time for Eleanor to go back to “Master” and Daniel takes the steps to ask her to stay. She refuses. Says he “proved” to her, when he walked off his property to try to stop her that he no longer needs her. Seriously?
Epilogue starts three months later when she’s getting ready to take a shower because “Master” coming for her tonight when her mother tells her she has a stack of mail waiting for her. In the middle of the junk mail, she finds a postcard from Daniel. He’s taken the trip they discussed one day while she was with him and she can finally stop feeling “guilty” for the way she left him and goes off to finish getting ready for “Master” because she knows what love is and “Master” is love.
I had several issues with this. She never refers to “Master” as anything other than “he, him or sir” when thinking of him or talking to him because “Master” doesn’t want her saying his name. I didn’t like that there was no mention of using protection in all the smexy time scenes she and Daniel had. In this day in age? When he was a full out stranger to her when “Master” dropped her off? I’m not quite sure what possessed “Master” to offer Eleanor to Daniel. What was it about her that he thought would bring Daniel back to the land of the living? Her magical hoo-hah? She really didn’t show any true personality to me. She was just there for the sex. Because other than all the smexy times, they didn’t really talk to get to know each other outside of that.
So here we have a guy who is ready to devote all his time and love into making Eleanor happy and she chooses the guy who she has to “steal time” to be able to be together with him. Who basically feels he can loan her out whenever he wants because her hoo-hah belongs to him and he can do what he pleases to it. Given a choice between Daniel or “Master”, I probably would have chosen “Master” too….if I was completely brainless and without a thought in my head, that is.
Also, at the end of the short story, we see she still lives at home with her parents or at least with her mother so where did her mother think she was in the week she was on loan to Daniel? There was no mention of that at all that I could see.
Overall, I found this to be a quick read but had too many questions about the hows and whys to really truly enjoy it. I knew going into this not to expect a HEA but I was at least hoping for a HEAFN moment and sadly, it didn’t pan out for me. I’m giving it 2.5 stars for Daniel. Although he wasn’t the Dom we were lead to believe, he did grab my attention and had me wanting to learn more of him.
ETA: Curse you, Amazon! *shakes fist in air* You suckered me again with those fake reviews.