Friday, June 22, 2012

The Virgin's Revenge by Dee Tenorio

Why I read it:  I was offered a review copy and the blurb looked fun.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads) If you can't beat 'em...seduce 'em

Amanda Jackman’s love life is the stuff dreams are made of...which is fitting, because it’s all in her head. Thanks to six oversized, overbearing brothers who treat her like the family jewel, she’s lived in a padded little box.

Determined to get a life before she needs a padded little cell, she sets out to throw off the yoke and live on her own terms. Except she seriously underestimates the lengths to which her brothers will go to keep her safe and sound.

Cole Engstrom’s life might just be at an end. Cornered by all six of the massive Jackmans—men he normally considers his friends—he learns he’s their choice to marry their sister...or else. Make that first choice, but not the last.

Rather than watch Amanda’s brothers club their way through potential mates, Cole figures it’s best to just play along for a while and buy her some time to find a man of her own. It’s a good plan. Until Amanda figures it out—and decides he’s the one to relieve her of her “sheltered little virgin” status. One seduction at a time...

What worked for me (and what didn't):  Amanda has crushed on Cole for years but thought he only viewed her as a "little sister". Cole has had the hots for Amanda for almost as long but thought she was off limits because of her big tough brothers.  It is only when they are forced together by the machinations of the eldest brother Locke, that the chemistry which has been kept under wraps for so long ignites.   This book takes the "big mis" and kind of turns it on its head.  Part of the fun of the story is that every time either Cole or Amanda have a plan, almost immediately, the other finds out about it and re-plans accordingly.  The device made those aspects of the story fun rather than annoying.  Also, there was no malice to the deceptions.

I did think this was going to be a funnier book than I ended up finding it to be.  Amanda has been so well looked after by her brothers that she feels incapable of doing anything for herself and in the end, the book is very much about Amanda coming into her own.  So, not as funny, but satisfying on a more serious note.  Cole, seeing (and overhearing - the sneak!) that Amanda lacks self confidence, sets out to help her "fly" on her own.  He believes (mistakenly) that she will not want to be with him forever and she believes (mistakenly) that he is not a long term man.  I'm not sure I entirely bought that Amanda didn't believe Cole's declaration of love when he finally fessed up - they really have been best friends for a very long time and he had never treated her like anything less than precious to him.  

The chemistry between Cole and Amanda was smoking and the author did a great job of the build up of sexual tension - I found myself a little frustrated on their behalf until they finally get it on! :D

It did have some funny bits - Amanda's brothers "the elder twins" are dense as two short planks and their apology card was something special.  Plus, I'm always one to laugh about snorting french fries up the nose.

This is a fun easy read with some sizzling chemistry, with a hot nerd hero who wants his lady to be everything she can be.  Really, you gotta love a hot nerd. :)

What else? I haven't read the other books in the series and I'm not sure what effect (if any) that had on my reading experience.  I bet that the next book will be about Locke and Susie and I think they have a secret....!

Grade:  B-

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