Customer Reviews: Dangerous Grounds (Seattle Steam)
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on December 11, 2011
OK, I NEVER write reviews, but after suffering through half this book I just have to express myself. I feel like the heroine must be based on someone the author hated, and she's written this book to get back at her. Really--that's all I can figure.

Every time I think I might have found something redeeming about the heroine, this author cuts the leg out from under her. Bad things we know about her: her parents have bought her everything she ever wanted, and she's still relying on their money to (badly) start a new business, which her brother thinks she wants to do b/c "she saw mom do it"; she keeps her house so messy the hero tells her "no one would choose to live like this"; she dresses like a tramp (At one point, we hear her thinking with satisfaction about how her thong will show when she bends over. Really, honey?); she absolutely cannot take a hint--she keeps throwing herself at the hero with pathetically corny "moves" that suggest she has no respect either for herself or for his intelligence. I love an assertive heroine, but she comes across like a desperate woman in a bar at closing time, not like a woman who knows what she wants. Does she do this b/c she's realized Gabe is the one for her and she cannot live without him? No. She does this b/c it's been four months since she "did the nasty" with the boyfriend who just broke up with her (smart man!) and she wants to rebound with someone who won't want to get involved with her. And for some reason left completely unexplained, that just has to be Gabe, whom she hasn't seen in 6 years and with whom she has almost zero conversation that doesn't boil down to 'do me, stud.'
Oh, I forgot--we do know a couple of good things about Madison: she has an MBA (which she must have bought online, since she thinks starting an espresso shop when she has never made a cup of coffee, hiring a single employee and asking her to work 12 hour shifts, and relying completely for her industry advice on a college student she lured away from Starbucks is a can't-miss formula. Her cop boyfriend and her brother instantly see the flaws in this, by the way: maybe they have MBAs, too). Oh, and also she has luscious curves, which apparently make up for everything else. Why is a nice guy like Gabe wasting his time with her? For that matter, why am I? I got this book for free, and I still feel cheated.
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on January 8, 2012
I thoroughly disliked this book, all of it.

The plot was incredulous. Madison, a spoiled brat, travels to Italy for a year and falls in love with coffee. She then decides to get an MBA and open an espresso shop, but it doesn't occur to her that she may need to learn how to make coffee.

Her brother returns from a tour in Iraq and at his homecoming party, she comes on to his best friend, Gabe, a police officer. She turns her down, unable to think past the fact that she is his best friend's sister.

Then, thanks to the Espresso Bandit, a thief who is targetting espresso shops, Gabe has to step in to protect Madison.

Madison, is thoroughly unlikeable. Materialistic, shallow, attention-seeking, self-centred, spoiled and stupid (who sets up a coffee business without knowing how to make coffee?), she is exactly the kind of person most of us would actively avoid if we met her.

The love interest, Gabe, though as flat and one-dimensional as all the other characters in this book, is a genuinely nice person, and rather than rooting for his romance and with Madison, the reader roots for him to realise how much better he can do.

There are some attempts at making the sex kinky, but they're so tame and poorly written, I barely noticed the characters were having sex.

I often contemplated giving up on this book entirely, but struggled through because I wanted to see if it got better. It didn't.

Don't waste your time.
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on December 11, 2008
Gabe and Madison's story is a wonderful read. I am a big fan of the best friend of the older brother getting together with the younger sister storyline and this book does it justice and then some. Ms. Stevens creates a great tension between the characters as Gabe fights his attraction to Madison while trying to protect her at the same time. Its a wonderful contrast and is written extremely well by Ms. Stevens. Once Gabe and Madison come together, it's hot!! This book has a great suspenseful storyline along with the steamy love scenes, all of which are wonderfully written by Ms. Stevens. This is a must read and one I will recommmend to all my friends!
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VINE VOICEon August 5, 2008
Madison Phillips had never felt more out of place than she did at her brother's homecoming party. There were couples everywhere, but she was on her own, again. She was thinking about her great escape when Gabriel Martinez found her. She hadn't seen him in years, and couldn't help noticing how nice he had turned out. Then and there she decided that he would be her rebound man, so she gave him her card for the grand opening. Maddie was opening a new coffee house, and was hoping to make her move on him when he came by. She couldn't believe it. Twice since Eric's party she had seen Gabe, and twice he had turned her down. Apparently her family was too important to him to risk it for casual sex, and he also felt their backgrounds were too different for them to blend.

While Gabe wouldn't sleep with her, he definitely was her hero. She was the victim of a robbery at her new shop after only being open for a couple of days, and knew the intruder planned to kill her if not for the interruption by Gabe and Eric. After the police left, Gabe brought Maddie to his house to stay with him. She was the only person that could identify the scum that held her up, and he had taken her identification during the robbery no doubt so he would know where she lived. The night she did a striptease for Gabe was the night both finally gave into the combustible passion brewing between them. Just as Maddie thought things were starting to settle down, the criminal was able to get to her again even while she was staying with Gabe, so he decided it was time to get her out of town. As their feelings continued to grow, their relationship changed, and Gabe just hoped he could keep his love safe, and that they could work out all the issues between them to find something long term.

Gabe and Maddie are an interesting couple. On paper, you wouldn't think they have a lot in common, but their vast multi layered differences actually compliment them as a couple. They both have to overcome past issues if they ever hope to have a future. This is a suspenseful story that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. There is a wonderful balance between the steamy scenes and the well-written story.
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on October 27, 2012
Madison is seriously the least appealing heroine in recent memory. She's spoiled and clueless and tacky (look out for the thong thing). Gabe is appealing enough, but his backstory is so hackneyed (street kid makes good after terrible tragedy that cripples him with guilt) that you just cringe. But what really bugs me about this book (okay, there isn't just one thing, but for starters) is that I have absolutely NO reason to believe that these people have anything more serious between them than good sex. I'm not against sex by any means, but a good romance is built around persuading your readers that one or other of your characters isn't going to wander off with the next appealing prospect who comes by, and I have no reason to think these two will stick together. And even less reason to care whether they do.
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on January 1, 2012
I took advantage of reading this as it was a 'download for free' e-book for my kindle fire. According to my kindle, I'm about 30% into this story. I've suffered that much to see if by chance this story improved and I feel like in doing so, I would be best served to rip out my finger nails one at a time.
The characters are weak, as well as the story. I had to laugh at the idea of a 'Coffee Bandit' because I felt this author could not come up with a better idea to force these two characters together (Madison, the ever-so-horny 26yr old & Gabe, the big brother's best friend.).
I'm not sure how this book is categorized, as it doesn't allow that option on the kindle but I have read better erotica fiction.
A very poor idea that missed the mark. I am happy it was free as I would be requesting a refund otherwise. I wish I could rate this as a 'no star' rating.
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on August 5, 2014
I loved Gabe and his reactions to Maddie, "Gabe watched as Madison stepped inside the house, her hips swinging provocatively. He fisted his hands, determined to not act out his primal desire to reach out and smack her a**." Although sometimes the boy tends to put his foot in his mouth, "it comes out edible. So try not to complain too much while I'm stuck babysitting you," he replied, further annoyed by her skepticism. Her eyes widened and he saw a flash of hurt in them. S***. That had been below the belt." When the boy has gotten laid he's a playful sort and I liked that, "his hand stroked over her a** in a gentle caress, then dipped lower between her legs to play with her. His chest bounced under her again as he laughed. "I don't know if you've noticed, but I am up." I really loved this book it shows that Shelli can not only write paranormal but contemporary as well.
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on September 18, 2015
Some people just can't read a story and enjoy it. That is from some of the reviews I have read. So here is mine.

I am an avid reader and writer, so I know what goes into deciding on a storyline and plots with plot twists. This story starts out at Madison's brother's coming home party. She had just recently gotten out of a long-term relationship, that everyone keeps asking her about. She escapes to the patio to only run into her brother's best friend, Gabe. She sees how he has changed over the years since she last sees him and decides he will be her rebound lay until she finds a new love interest.
Gabe sees Maddie as his best friends little sister, but in the same sense he sees her as a woman. Maddie comes on strong as she is a woman who knows what she wants and needs to find a way to get it. Gabe wasn't going to show up at Maddie's new coffee shop she was opening, but choose to anyway. He was later briefed on a thief that was hitting coffee shops, which initiates him and Eric, Maddie's brother, to check on her the following night when he was to see Maddie, but Eric had shown up at his place instead.
This is when the thief broke into Maddie's coffee shop and robbed her. Eric asked Gabe to protect.

Now this is when things turn from Maddie looking seemingly independent and on her own, looking as if she needs some big, strong protector. And at first she wants to be protected. Then things take a turn for the worse for Maddie and Gabe isn't there when she needs to be protected, she realizes she can protect herself just as easily.

I think regardless of what the storyline is - a rich girl who has access to mommy and daddy's money - to help start her business, along with along with a loan and rental agreements. Aside from the fact that she went to school and got her MBA and decided while in France she wanted to open a coffee shop up back home without even knowing how to make a good coffee - hello, that's what employees are for - this story, in my opinion, was very good. I mean, dang, I love a good romance.

The author did well and I really want to read the next one in the Seattle Steamed series.
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on August 11, 2014
Ok I got this book on free kindle, passed it up because it really had some bad reviews, I have to say "What the heck people "? This book was fantastic, I could not put it down , absolutely loved the story line and the characters. Original, suspenseful and super sexy romance. I adored the fact that Maddie wasn't a pushover she was strong and independent and knew what she wanted, loved it. I highly recommend this book, it will not disappoint period. So if you want mild and vanilla romance then no it has some steam to it, but it is done very tastefully. So check it out this book would deserve a 10 star rating from me. Highly recommended. Great job to the Author I have about 4 more books from her on my kindle right now and am looking forward to reading them as well.
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on May 7, 2015
Madison is is the owner of a brand new coffee shop. When she gets robbed by the espresso bandit (I can't even type it with a straight face.) Her brothers best friend Gabe, who also happens to be a cop, takes on the job as her protector. Madison has decided she wants him to be her "rebound" after the end of a long term relationship and even though she states that she isn't much of a casual sex kind of person she embarrassingly starts throwing herself at him in ways that come across as desperate and pathetic. Both characters seem very superficial, though Madison is more so than Gabe. I thought the last 25% of the book was going to be a little better and in some ways it was. I actually started to connect a little with the characters and believe that they had feelings for each other but it just wasn't enough. There was a lot of sex in this book and I did love that but I needed more of an emotional connection with the characters and a more believable bad guy. The espresso bandit was just too outlandish.

I would not recommend this book, but since it was the first book I have ever read by this author I will be giving her another try. I never judge an author by one book.
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