Series: The Donovan Brothers #2
Author: Susan Meier
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 265
Published: Entangled: Bliss, November 17, 2014
From cold feet to hot-blooded…
Former Marine and current rancher Cade Donovan left his hometown looking for a fresh start. But then Cade inherits the grocery store that his grandfather won from the O’Riley family in a poker game more than thirty years ago. The same store that caused a bitter feud between the two families. And worse still, Cade has to return home to confront his past—and share his inheritance with the enemy…the all-grown-up and sinfully tempting Piper O’Riley.
After ditching two fiancés at the altar, Piper has a reputation for being the town’s runaway bride. The irony is, Piper is woefully inexperienced when it comes to real, true physical attraction. And working with Cade is torture. The kind that can keep a girl up all night imagining naughty, delicious things. Things that Cade is more than happy to show her…
It’s all fun and sexy games…until the truth of why Cade left town comes out.
As much as I loved the first book, and as much as I wanted to love this one, unfortunately I can’t say that it impressed me. I’m a big fan of bickering love. I love the tension that it builds, later that tension leading to passion and finally to reluctant love. I’m sad to say this, but I saw none of that in this book.
Cade is a Marine-turned-rancher who comes back to his hometown to take care of business after his grandfather’s death. He avoids his hometown like the plague because that’s where his abusive father lives-though his father had been dealt with in the previous book and now everyone knows what kind of scumbag he is- and also because he’s left a pregnant woman at the altar and the whole town seems like they shunned him. Piper is a long time resident, but she has her own reasons for avoiding people, mainly because she’s already left two men at the altar herself, and now dubbed as the ‘Runaway Bride’ of town. Add to that the feud between their families and the gossip mill, and you’ve got the whole story.
Even talking about the plot makes me sad because it had so much potential to be great. Not only there’s my beloved bickering love, but also a small town and two fighting families whose two members who are about to fall in love.
In the previous book, the hero had a military background and that wasn’t involved in the story. The same happened here. Cade was a Marine, but his past had little to do with his present. Although he was a rancher now-and hello, cowboys- we didn’t get much from this side of his life either, except for his Stetson he seemed to carry around with him everywhere. And the whole thing with his father-I’m only telling about this here because it was already revealed in the first book- the resentment, the pain of the past, all of it, it was too weak as a plotline. I felt as though it was only given to us to create an obstacle for Cade and Piper to overcome. No depth, no detail. And since I’m a sucker for emotional baggage and how people get over things, this was disappointing. Cade, though as a character he was okay, as a hero he was too weak. He didn’t radiate the strength that I like in my heroes. Sure, he was casual and flirty like a cowboy, he had a tough exterior that contained a very emotional man who still struggled with the past he suffered in the hands of his father, but that’s all the surface information we get about him. It was as if he was only outlined for the story but never got his details that’d make it all him. And naturally I couldn’t connect with his character and when he struggled, I couldn’t get beyond my reader status to actually feel for him.
Unfortunately the same goes for Piper. She was good as a heroine outline, but there was no depth to her character either. A lot of things about her didn’t make sense to me, her leaving two men at the altar for example. I’m a woman, I should be able to relate to her reasoning but I’m never given any, except for the men not making her feel that passion she thinks she needs to get married. That wasn’t enough for me as a reason, I would’ve preferred something-and I know I keep repeating myself- deeper. I liked that she was ready to fight for Cade, but that alone wasn’t enough to complete her character.
Everything that happened in between, the town residents and their behavior towards Cade and Piper, the wrongs and misunderstandings that were supposed to comprise the plot, the family feud, the abusive father and the will, they all felt like they were there to fill in the pages, not to develop the story.
I liked the idea, I liked the characters as an idea, every obstacle too, but it lacked the details. While reading, I wanted more, more character development, more confrontation, more interaction, just more from this story as a whole.
I’m adding two spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge and see if I can stop by this town and meet the last Donovan brother. I know people tend to avoid lawyers but hey, I’m ready to give one a chance.
The Donovan Brothers series by Susan Meier:
- Her Summer With The Marine
- Chasing The Runaway Bride