Review: Taking the Heat

Review: Taking the HeatTaking the Heat (Jackson: Girls' Night Out, #3) by Victoria Dahl
Series: Jackson: Girls' Night Out #3
Published by HQN Books on July 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384

FINAL DECISION: Supersexy male librarian — I don’t think there is anything else to say.

THE STORY: Veronica Chandler feels like she is a pretender is her own life. She is seen as a sophisticated city girl when she knows that she has come to Jackson because she couldn’t make it in New York. She writes an advice column but knows that people think her more experienced and knowledgeable than she really is. She ends up meeting the new librarian, Gabe MacKenzie, and a ill advised number of margaritas ends up with her confessing her darkest secrets to him. The irony, he is more interested in the real her than her fake facade.

OPINION: I really liked Veronica in this one. As the book begins, she is uncertain and lacks self-confidence. She is a woman who is too much in her own head which keeps her from living in her present life and enjoying her sexual experiences. She also struggles against her own mental expectations of herself which makes her feel like a faker in her own life.

Gabe is a beta hero but is simply adorable. He is also struggling with expectations and trying to be the perfect son and a problem solver. He is so supportive of Veronica and respectful of her that I just loved him. I would have liked more library or reading time though!

This book really worked for me. It was comforting and the focus on the relationship between these two just made me happy in these difficult times. There are some misunderstandings and some problems that arise from failures to communicate, but that felt real here. I don’t think that people who are just getting to know one another are likely to tell everything about their lives to one another. That causes problems in real life just as it does in this book.

I really enjoyed how things turn in this book and Veronica leverages her strengths to demand what she deserves and being willing to call out the truth to Gabe even if it damages their relationship — because a true relationship must be based on truth. I loved how adult this book ends up being.

WORTH MENTIONING: My only negative is that this book ends up being a happy for now ending. I wanted and needed more for this to be a 5 star read. The ending might not bother some readers, but I felt cheated a bit at the end.

CONNECTED BOOKS: TAKING THE HEAT is the third book in the Jackson: Girls’ Night Out series. I haven’t read the other books in the series and didn’t feel that I missed anything so this book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: Lessons in Pleasure

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Lessons in PleasureLessons In Pleasure by Victoria Dahl
Published by Lyrical Press on May 10th 2016
Genres: Historical

“Sarah Rose Hood was in love with her husband. She was almost sure of it.”

FINAL DECISION:  An enjoyable read, LESSONS IN PLEASURE is the story of a new husband and wife exploring their sexuality together.  The historical context gives some twists to the story that makes it especially intriguing.

THE STORY:  Sarah Rose Hood married with hopes of companionship and care. She cares for her husband, James Hood.  James is a young barrister with a seat in the House of Commons.  The two have been marrried for two months.  Just as the two begin more deeply exploring their sexual relationship, Sarah begins having fears about a secret she kept from her husband.

OPINION:  This was an enjoyable read.  Sarah and James are a sweet couple together. The story is really about Sarah’s innocence and the historical ignorance about women’s sexuality.  This novella is sexy and I really do enjoy books about married couples finding deeper levels of intimacy between them both emotionally and physically.  This novella hits all those points.

A very enjoyable one time read that brings a different historical perspective.

My only complaint is that the format doesn’t really allow much time to get to know these characters.  The focus is on the situation and thus I never really completely connected with the characters in a way that would make this novella one I would want to pick up again and again.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is a very short novella.


STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.