Tag Archives: Jennifer Dawson

Debauched

Debauched by Jennifer Dawson

27856368Description: One night in a moment of sheer madness I confessed my secrets to him. All my life I’ve been pretending. Pretending to be the woman I thought I should be instead of the woman I really am. I’ve been faking it and I am good. No one has ever guessed. Except him. He just looked at me and knew.

Chad Fellows is not the man I want, but he’s fast becoming the man I need.

One night in a moment of sheer madness I held her in my arms and let her cry. I did the right thing, letting her walk away, no matter how much she calls to the part of me that wants to rescue her. We are nothing alike, and she’s a mess of complications in a life I’m trying to keep simple. But then I touched her and made her tremble and now I can’t turn away.

Ruby Stiles is not the woman I want, but she’s fast becoming the woman I need.

Review: 

In preparation for this book, I read the first two and a half books in this series. Jennifer Dawson is a relatively new author to me but I loved the other series I read by her. I was pleased to discover that her Undone series is an erotic romance one. I’m always on the look-out for new erotic series. This story follows Chad and Ruby and switches between each of their first person point of view. I’ve recently been reading more romances which have first person heroes, I’m looking at you, Emma Chase, and realize I really like them. It’s intriguing to see the plot and emotions unfold from the hero’s point of view. While most romances do have that, by using third person, these books are more in-depth.

The plot focuses around the relationship between Chad and Ruby. While Chad seems to be a straight-laced IT manager, he is also a dominant. Ruby, who is a graphic designer by day, singer by night, is clearly attracted to him but is afraid of his dominant side. Two of Ruby’s friends are in dominant/submissive relationships and while she is intrigued, she doesn’t think she wants that kind of relationship. A lot of time is spent of Ruby’s hang ups about having a BDSM relationship. What I like most about the story is how she is eased into it. As the reader, it is clear that Ruby has submissive desires which she is fighting. Instead of pressuring her or insisting, Chad sets out to have a normal relationship with her, while slowly exposing her hidden desires. Overall, a sensual read which presents a deeper look into BDSM relationships.

Rating: 4 of 5.

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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As Good As New

As Good As New by Jennifer Dawson

As Good As New (Something New, #4)Description: He was the high school hottie. She was the teacher’s pet. But in private, none of that mattered…

At the tender age of six, Penelope Watkins fell for her best friend’s brother, Evan Donovan, future hunk. By the time they were teenagers, they were having heart-to-hearts…and hot and heavy top secret make-out sessions. All that changed when Evan’s father suddenly died. Abruptly, Penelope lost him to grief—and to his true love: football. But now an injury had ended Evan’s NFL career. The notorious bad boy was in a depression no one could penetrate, except maybe the one woman who still knew him best—and still wanted him most…

Penelope is the last person Evan wants to witness the wreck he’s become. So when she shows up at his door he’s less than welcoming—even though the sight of her brings back the same old rush of desire. As a teenager, the emotions overwhelmed him. Now, when he wanted to be overwhelmed, Penelope wasn’t playing. She was telling the golden boy it was time to man up. It may have taken a concussion for Evan to realize it, but that’s exactly what he wants to do—starting with her…

Review:

I was so excited when I saw this book was available on Netgalley. I loved Jennifer Dawson’s entire series and I couldn’t wait for Penelope and Evan’s book! Guess what? It fulfilled all of the expectations and more! Dawson provided the steamy sexual tension of a high school love affair gone horribly wrong. I loved watching Evan and Penelope navigate their new relationship and figure out how to have an adult relationship. The chemistry between them was oh so steamy and sensual. By the time they finally slept together, I was mentally cheering!

Final note, I really like seeing Penelope as a successful and intelligent business woman. It was really the icing on the cake of a delicious book!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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The Winner Takes It All

The Winner Takes It All by Jennifer Dawson

20949511 (1)Description:For two stubborn people…

Corporate mogul Shane Donovan sees the ultra-cool, collected Cecilia Riley as an ice queen—even if he can’t deny that, on the surface, she’s a work of perfection his body can’t ignore. Forced to spend two weeks in the same house for his sister’s upcoming wedding, Shane senses that deep down Cecilia mirrors his need. And he’s determined to draw her into a sexy game that will melt away her reserve…

Losing is not an option…

Career-driven Cecilia Riley has just enough free time in her schedule to head out of town for her brother’s wedding. But her agenda is thrown for a loop by the presence of Shane. Though his over-confident attitude leaves a lot to be desired, his insanely hot body has kept Cecilia up nights. Unsure what game Shane is playing, Cecilia takes the bait, bent on resisting him at all costs.

But as Shane and Cecilia discover, temptation follows no rules…

Review: Even though this was the second book in the series, I read it after reading the third one. Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I still think James and Gracie are my favorite couple but I did enjoy seeing Shane and Cecilia get together. Essentially, they were forced to spend time together because their siblings are getting married, i.e. Shane’s sister Maddie was marrying Cecilia’s brother Mitch. Which at first, seems a little weird but then I remember that my grandmother and her sister married two brothers. Weird family tidbit.

Both Shane and Cecilia shared similar traits which caused them to clash at times. They were both power-hungry and workaholics. Their devotion to their jobs reminded me of Julie James’s characters and really made me want to reread her work. Overall, I found I liked Shane better than Cecilia. His drive came from providing for his family while hers was for her father’s approval. I addition, it really bothered me that Cecilia was engaged for most of the book. Even if she didn’t love the guy and it was an arranged marriage, it made her relationship with Shane seem too much like cheating. While striving for parental approval can be driving force, I felt that Cecilia should have given up on her father sooner, especially with how horrible some of his actions were. That being said, I was a huge fan of the ending and how Cecilia eventually learned to twist the game to benefit her. Overall, this wasn’t my favorite book in the series but I did like how it tied together the first and third books.

Like the other Jennifer Dawson books I’ve read, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how sensual they are. The relationship between Cecilia and Shane was extremely steamy and it was clear their desire for each other was there from the start. On top of the attraction, I liked how much Shane cared for Cecilia and noticed the little things. It was interesting to watch Cecilia slowly unravel when she was in Revival and became her natural self. The theme of Dawson’s books seem to be finding yourself.  Finally, Cecilia’s friendship with Grace totally set up the next book!

Rating: 3 out of 5. 

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Take a Chance on Me

Take a Chance on Me by Jennifer Dawson 

Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1)Description: Gorgeous runaway brides. . .

When Maddie Donovan runs out on her high school sweetheart moments before walking down the aisle, she ends up at a bar in the small town of Revival, Illinois, with only the wedding dress on her back, fifty dollars to her name, and her “good girl” reputation in tatters. Not ready to return to Chicago and face the music, she accepts hot bartender Mitch Riley’s offer to stay at his place. But sharing such close quarters is driving Maddie insane with desire.

Always drink for free. . .

Mitch thinks he’s seen it all—until Maddie strides into his bar in full wedding attire and downs three shots of whiskey. Though the gorgeous knockout seems tough as nails, he also senses her vulnerability. With a troubled past of his own, Mitch has no interest in ties of any kind—yet he can’t help falling for Maddie. Now he’s got to find a way to convince her to give love a second chance.

Review:This is 3rd book I’ve read this month with the heroine named Maddie or Madeline. And the hero’s name is Mitch. Hmm… I wonder how many romance couples have names starting with the same first letter… That would be an interesting study. Anyway, barely two chapters into Dawson’s The Name of the Game, I knew I was going to read this book. Grace and James’ story was so good that I wanted to continue with the characters. Plus, it was obvious that their dislike, cough, attraction, had stemmed from earlier books. Take A Chance on Me is the first book in the series. It follows Maddie Donavon as she runs away from her wedding and into Mitch’s dive bar. Honestly, runaway bride stories aren’t my favorite trope. Despite being a devout romance reader, I have priced feelings about the price of weddings and while Maddie is climbing out the window, I’m calculating how much money was wasted on that wedding. Although, this book did remind me of Rachel Gibson’s first Chinooks book, Simply Irresistible and Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ The Great Escape, with the runaway bride and the guy she hooks up with. Okay, enough cynicism, let’s get down to the bones of the story.

What I liked most about this story is that is it about discovering yourself. Maddie’s entire adult life had been shaped by a horrible car accident she had been in as teenage. She lost her sense of self under the guilt and the pressure of a caring family and an overbearing boyfriend. Growing up she had been a rebel, a troublemaker but she stripped herself of that freedom after the accident. When she runs out on the wedding, she decided to become her own person, whoever that may be. This conflicted with her budding relationship with Mitch. She knows she needs to stand on her own two feet but she also wants Mitch and he wants her to need him.

While Maddie was embarking on her path to self-discovery, the hero, Mitch, was as well. He had been a big-time Chicago lawyer who, through bad choices and worse family ties, was in disgrace. He left everything in Chicago and was running a dive bar in Revival. Through his relationship with Maddie, and a little behind his back, Mitch was forced to face his demons and determine what he wanted to do with his life.  There was classic romance novel miscommunication as both tried to solve each other’s problems. And wow, Jennifer Dawson is now on the top of my list for steamy sex scenes. The chemistry between Mitch and Maddie was sizzling. There’s were some intense scenes and really drove home the relationship between the couple.

Rating: 4 out of 5. 

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The Name of the Game

The Name of the Game by Jennifer Dawson 

The Name of the Game (Something New, #3)Description: Some people follow the rules. . .

A professor of forensic anthropology, James Donovan is the reasonable sibling among the passionate, impulsive Donovans. But there’s nothing reasonable about his reaction to baker Gracie Roberts. She’s all wild curls and mouth-watering curves, as deliciously tempting as the sugary treats she’s famous for–and twice as irritating. But before long, James decides that getting a taste of her is one indulgence he can’t pass up. . .

Some people play to win. . .

Independent, smart, and sexy, Gracie’s year-long dry spell has her itching for a man. Responsible, health-obsessed James? Not in a million years! She needs a guy who knows how to let loose! But when James sets out to show her just how satisfying a disciplined man can be when pleasure is at stake, she learns just how sweet–and spicy–he really is.

Have James and Gracie found the recipe for love?

Review: I felt like I was thrown into the deep end with the start of this book. I was very confused the first few pages about who all the characters were. I quickly realized that this was not first book, and after looking it up, was actually the third book in the series. Despite that initial confusion, I quickly picked up who was who and now that I finished the book, I want to go back and read the first two!

This story follows the relationship between James and Gracie. Gracie is the best friend of both James’ sister and future sister-in-law so she is ingrained in his family circle. But, and this is probably seen in the first two books, James and Gracie are like oil and water together. It had been a while since I’ve read an enemies-to-lovers book and this is the perfect book for it! The chemistry between James and Gracie was potent and undeniable. It was clear that their dislike stemmed from a denial of their desires. Once they gave into their attraction for each other, they steamed up the pages. As a Whovian, it is now my life goal to play their alluded to Doctor Who drinking, and, *cough* other things, game. There was also a scene where they played out James’ high school fantasy of making out during a scary movie, complete with required cheerleader uniform. Their relationship even delved lightly into BDSM. James in control *shivers*. Even more so, I liked seeing James break his control at the end when he thought he lost Gracie.

I was really a fan of Gracie as a character. She was confident and flirty but had deeper layers. It’s also nice to see a poised, self-assured heroine who comfortable with her sexuality. I thought she was very well-developed. Underneath her confidence was a layer of hurt from her father’s abuse of her mother and abandonment. Gracie and James’ relationship had to move passed the hurts from their past to succeed.  They also had to move passed his tendency to try to control aspects of her life. For them, BDSM is fine in the bedroom but in the rest of their life, they need to make decisions together. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I just bought the first two in the series and can’t wait for the next book!

Rating: 4 out of 5. 

Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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Filed under ARC, Contemporary Romance, Reviews, Romance Novels