An Alisa Release Day Review:Table for One by Connie Bailey

Standard

Rating:  2.5 stars out of 5

Exposing his body for work is no problem, but after his heart’s been broken, putting it out there again won’t be so easy.

Up-and-coming young executives Copeland Shore and William Donnelly have been friends and sometimes more for years. For Cope’s birthday, Will plans a very special dinner—at a nantaimori restaurant where the most enticing thing is the table. Dai—the naked man beneath their sushi—has both their mouths watering, but when it comes to Dai’s heart, there’s only room at the table for one, and Will gets there first.

Will’s everything Dai thinks he wants in a man… until he’s betrayed. The betrayal also ends the friendship between Will and Cope and leaves Dai shaken and unsure if he can put his trust in another man—not even when a second chance for love and happiness rises from the ashes of the broken relationship. Cope wants to tempt Dai to take a risk with him, but the pain of the past is hard for Dai to shake off… and Cope has obstacles of his own to overcome.

I’m not sure what I was expecting out of this story but I have to day what I read did not work for me.  First off Will is a self-important asshole from the very beginning and I don’t think that he has ever been anything else in his life.  Cope lets his first opportunity to woo Dai slip by and by the time he returns from his work trip he knows he has missed his chance when Dai is with Will.  Dai is looking for the one, which he says but then contradicts himself with his actions and words throughout the story.

I could not connect with any of these characters or understand most of their actions as they often did the opposite of what they said.  We saw almost everyone’s view point in the story which made it even harder to keep up as I would suddenly be reading another characters thoughts.  I had thought more of this story would have been Dai and Cope working through their issues but most of it seemed to be when Dai and Will were together and then the time until he is with Cope.  There wasn’t enough actual building of a relationship that I couldn’t feel it.  This story had all characters making assumptions about the others that weren’t true and then it caused problems later.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is wonderful and eye catching.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:
ebook, 224 pages
Published: December 18, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-083-0
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Finding Family by Connie Bailey

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Finding FamilyWhen you find your family, you’ll do anything to keep it.

When Charles Macquarrie inherits a fortune and an international clothing company, he also inherits three young cousins he desperately needs help raising. By a stroke of luck, he discovers and hires Jonathan Lamb, who spent his life in a children’s home due to chronic illness, to be his nanny.

If Jon thought a budding romance with his wealthy boss complicated his life, he has no idea of the hardships awaiting him when he’s charged with embezzlement and kidnapping. But even when threatened by accounting discrepancies and mob connections, Jon and Charles won’t let go of the family they’ve built together without a fight.

I loved the premise of this story immediately.  Orphan raised by nuns in an orphanage gets the call to become the nanny or manny if you prefer for a millionaire raising  his three young charges, his cousins.  Shades of Sound of Music and any nanny romance story you can think of.  Unfortunately this doesn’t quite measure up (as if anything could) but parts come close to making this a charming story.

Let’s start with the sections and characters I loved and thought  worked well.  Jonathan Lamb, the innocent from the nuns orphanage.  I really liked him.  Lively, interesting.  The author liked him too.  Enough to endow him with interesting traits that were  well researching and fleshed him out as a living, breathing person.  He may have been living life away in small town but it was a full one. Then when his character is meshed with that of three equally wonderful, sometimes snarly, but great kids, and the book was made for me.  I loved everything about that section.  The kids slowly accepting him.  Jon working his way into learning their personalities and their interests, great, great, great.   The wonderful basket weave of family dynamics Jon wove between himself and the children is full of warmth, love, and more than a little reality.  I could have used so much more of this.

And the comparison to them and Charles Macquarrie made his character that much more lacking in about everything.  He lacked, at least for me any sort of charm, or personality other than spoiled.  His friend Bunny came off far better in the warmth and charity department than he did, in fact I adored Bunny.  Switch out Bunny for Charles and the story would have been made…5 stars.

But no we plod along with Charles, and a money mismanagement scheme, and other things that just don’t help in the long run.

There is a instant love between Charles and Jon that is just not believable.  Would Jon really have an affair with his boss if it threatened the first job he’s ever had and would take him away from the children and apparently the only person who cared about them?  No, the author never makes a case for that flaw in Jon’s character.  Its just not believable nor is the connection.  To do that you need time to build it into the story and there’s not enough pages here to  do that.  If it had been made longer, then perhaps so, but not as it is.

So what we end up with is a potentially wonderful story.  I gave it 3 stars for Jon, Bunny and the kids.  They deserved it and a better leading man than Charles.

Cover by Paul Richmond works for the story and for branding the series. Not my favorite however.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, Dreamspun Desires #11, 234 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleFinding Family
ISBN 1634771524 (ISBN13: 9781634771528)
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersCharles Macquarrie, Jonathan Lamb settingPennsylvania (United States)
New York, New York