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Just Desserts: Holland Springs, Book 4 (Contemporary Romance) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 400 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the third Holland Springs novel I’ve read, the third pairing of a Romanov man and a Holland Springs, NC local, and the one I was most excited about. It is Sebastian’s story, my favorite of all the Romanov men. He is the powerful one, the ruthless one, the favored son of his Russian mobster father. The baddest boy of all the bad boys. In the previous two installments -- Twice Tempted and Third Time’s a Charm -- you see occasional glimpses of the real man beneath the icy exterior. Who doesn’t want to be the one to melt that ice, to love the unloved one, to save him?
I was soooo looking forward to this story.
I am a big fan of Marquita Valentine, with her romance novelist name and her smart, resilient, individualist heroines. The other two novels of hers that I read - the other Romanov men books - were fantastic. This one, not so much.
For starters, the woman she chooses for Sebastian is the town’s cupcake lady. I love sweets myself, and it does make sense for the never-loved boy to fall in love with a baker, since kitchen arts have long been equated with home and family. It is the image of Sebastian, with his classic Russian looks and large powerful body, clothed in a fine suit and overcoat, eating a frosted cupcake decorated with a candy cane with his fingers, that kills me. Maybe there was to be a fork, but it wasn’t mentioned. The mental picture is just absurd.
Then there is the timeline. Baker Daisy has an online relationship with a man for nine months. Then only three months have passed. No, wait, it is nine months again. No, three!
Well, which is it, nine months or three?
When I actually added up the time lapses listed in this online relationship, it came to thirteen months. Two similar timeline issues pop up at the end of the book, where one day is suddenly three days and then back to one day, but it was really two weeks. Or a day, depending on how you look at it. And then two weeks is actually ten weeks but it is really two weeks.
Lastly, there is the issue of Sebastian’s title. He starts out as a viscount, and then is suddenly an earl. His father dies during this book, so I assume that accounts for his promotion of title, but it is never acknowledged in the text. Since such a big deal is made of his title, I expected at least a passing mention of his elevation in status.
The story itself is sweet, if a little predictable. I think Daisy and Sebastian are well-suited for each other, and I am happy he got his Happily Ever After. He surely deserved it. However, it feels like Ms. Valentine wasn’t really eager about writing this story. There are situations that you expect to see reoccur – such as cooking together, which was basically foreplay - but they do not. At one point Sebastian tells Daisy he wants to do something really wild to her, and then they just have the same sex they had been having. Sure, Sebastian is a skilled lover, but when you are in a shower with a man, naked, and he says he wants to do something wild, that he isn’t sure if his less experienced partner will be into it, I expect something more than adorning her in jewels before they go all missionary position. Was that supposed to be the wild aspect? I don’t think most women would be off-put by being bejeweled by their blue-blooded lover before sex.
There are also numerous typing errors -- missing words, extra words, bad auto-corrections. It is almost as if an early draft was accidentally published, rather than a finished, polished, final copy. Did the beta readers and proofreader even see this story before it was published? Ms. Valentine is a better writer than is evidenced by this book.
All that being said, she keeps the continuity of the family storyline between all three books, which I appreciate. In each one we learn a little more about the Romanov family without a whole lot of back-tracking to relearn what was shared in previous stories. Ms. Valentine also stays true with the Holland Springs crew. Every new set of main characters was met in a previous book, thus avoiding that horrid gaff of introducing a new cast in every book even though it all takes place in the same small town.
I wanted to be thrilled by this book. I wanted to write a rave review.
Maybe next time.
Immediately into the purchased book, Daisy is an insecure naive wimpy mess. She takes back her user loser ex-boyfriend and starts an email “love affair” with a man across an ocean. Of course Jules, her perfect virtual boyfriend is really Sebastian pretending to be someone else for some ridiculous reason that I’m not quite sure is given a suitable explanation because I started skimming for several chapters hoping it got better. It does improve once Daisy and Sebastian hook up and their earlier chemistry is revived AND Daisy quits pining for “Jules.” The romantic development in England is not bad once Daisy starts to get to know the true Sebastian. The break up at the end and then hurried reconciliation felt a little forced and honestly just for added drama.
All in all, the author needed to get a better hold on the characters and firm up their actual personalities and motivations to make the story flow better. The email correspondence between Daisy and “Jules” is a snooze fest and takes up way too much time. (If you are thinking witty and sexy like FSG Ana and Christian, think again!)
3rd person. HEA. No Cliffhanger.
I know love at first sight can happen, my husband said that's how it was with him, when he met me, so I believe that Sebastian could have happened that way, too. They are a match made in a sweet shop, and a very great story it was.
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