Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Modern Tempted review #2

As promised, here are my review of the other two Modern Tempted titles, the first two books of the Wedding Season quartet.

Unexpected Wedding Guest
Aimee Carson

 ‘Surprised to see me?’

Getting caught in her wedding dress by her drop-dead-gorgeous ex-husband is Reese Michael’s worst nightmare. Especially when her perfect-on-paper fiancĂ© then cancels their wedding! Reese has spent years trying to forget how her marriage to Mason Hicks crashed and burned – yes, their chemistry was incredible, but a girl can’t live on lust alone! And what’s a jilted bride supposed to do when the one man she could never forget is back in her life, as irresistible as ever? Mason might be her own personal brand of Kryptonite, but surely life is meant to be lived a little dangerously…?

From the outset the mood of this story felt darker and more dangerous and Mason oozes trouble from the off. He has serious challenges to face – physical and emotional – following service in Afghanistan, and hopes to resolve some of his issues by coming face to face with his ex-wife.

It took a while to warm to Reese – she’s all confrontation in her first couple of scenes – and to be honest I felt rather sorry for her (soon to be ex-) fiancĂ©. But I read on, and I’m glad that I did.

I love a reunion story and characters who know all too well the challenges of trying to maintain a relationship past the honeymoon phase. So by the time they'd found their HEA, I'd forgiven them both their past transgressions (and, thankfully, they'd forgiven one another) and had overcome my initial trepidation. If you like dark and brooding, there’s a lot to love here.

This is the first of four linked stories, the second is ...

Girl Least Likely to Marry
Amy Adams

Talk nerdy to me
Samuel Tucker is absolutely the last person scientist Cassie Barclay would ever date. Yes, he’s gorgeous, but he’s also far too cocky for his own good and thinks that pi is a tasty afternoon treat. So when he asks her to dance at her friend Reese’s nonwedding she’s wondering why on earth she says yes! Tuck is used to people assuming he’s all brawn and no brain, and amuses himself by winding Cassie up. But when he finally takes her to bed, suddenly it’s Tuck who can show Cassie a thing or two! Can he convince her that love and sex have nothing to do with logic and everything to do with chemistry?

This story was my absolute favourite of the four, and I can pinpoint the reason in two words: Cassiopeia Barclay.

After being swamped with hormones and sensual tension from the last few stories, it felt like a refreshing change of pace to see the world through Cassie’s eyes for a few pages. She’s a scientist, rational, and not swept away by a sculpted bicep or a pretty smile. Not interested in men at all – until she comes within sniffing-distance of Samuel Tucker’s pheromones, that is.

She’s totally unconventional, and it was fascinating to spend a few hours in a brain so different from my own, and certainly very different from your stereotypical heroine. I really enjoyed the reverse-Cinderella – she meets the hero when she’s looking her makeover-best, but he doesn't fall in love with her until she’s back in her leggings and baggy tee. And her ideas of romance mostly remain unchanged too, even after she's fallen in love – the final scene when she tries to explain her feelings to Tuck is adorably hopeless.

This is the second of the Wedding Season quartet, and I can’t wait to read the other two stories (I suspect Gina’s, in particular, is going to be a hoot).

That was my take on Modern Tempted, but what do you think of this new line? And did you take the plunge and pitch to the editors?

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