I have been trying to catch up on reviews and these two romances seemed to fit well together. Although one is steamy and one is sweet, they are both great stories with some turmoil and baggage that needs to be overcome.
Follow Your Heart by Brenda Jackson, Ron Butler (Narrator)
Published April 27th 2021 by HQN Books, Harlequin Audio
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the fourth book in the Catalina Cove series, but can be read as a standalone. Victoria Madaris’ great-grandmother is a matchmaker for the family and she is now looking for a match for Victoria. She decides on a match, but doesn’t tell Victoria who it is, all Victoria knows is that rising US Senator Roman Malone is unsuitable. She is sure that Mama Laverne wants to match her with Tanner Jamison, a man that she is not attracted to. The more she sees Tanner around, the more sure she is that he is not the right man for her, and the more she sees Roman, she finds more and more that she likes about him. What is she to do, Mama Laverne is never wrong.
In the installment in the Catalina Cove series, Brenda Jackson served up a two-for-one romance. I thought that Victoria and Roman were a perfect match from the start, both driven, the same interests and immediately attracted to each other. They have known each other through family friends, but never really thought about a relationship before. It took awhile for Roman and Victoria to realize how much they were attracted to each other on several levels, and once they do, things do not go well. With both of them being celebrities in the area, there are people watching. There’s is a well written friends to lovers trope, with quite a bit of sizzle and intimacy. Tanner and Lyric, the other couple were not quite as sweet together. Tanner was a womanizer and had interest in a relationship, he just wanted to use Lyric, “one and done” was his motto. Lyric was also not interested in a relationship, but eventually, their attraction to one another is too difficult to resist. Lyric is the one who resists and almost has Tanner begging her to give him a chance. This is a small town romance, so you know there will be some interactions between the two couples. There is a twist that causes some conflict and possible romance, but we do get two happily ever afters in this story. I will say that there are some rather descriptive sex scenes, so be warned. I did a read/listen with this book. The audiobook was narrated by Ron Butler. I found it interesting that it was a male narrator for a romance, but it worked. It was a good fit as most of the story is told from the POV of Tanner and Roman. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
Worth the Risk (The McKinney Brothers #2) by Claudia Connor, Johanna Parker (Narrator)
Published January 27th 2015 by Tantor Audio, Loveswept
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The second McKinney Brothers story was definitely a sweet read. Stephen McKinney is a rich real estate developer with a playboy reputation. Hannah Walker runs a therapeutic horseback farm working with children to help them through injury and trauma. Both of these characters have suffered trauma and they have a lot of baggage to get past. When they meet at the grocery store and find themselves invited to the same party, there is an unexpected attraction that neither of them wants or expects.
I really enjoyed this story. We have two large families brought together in this story. Hannah’s brothers want Stephen to back off. They are extremely protective of their sister and all that she has been through. Stephen’s family wants him to find someone to settle down with and are pushing him towards Hannah. Of course, if you read book one, you met Stephen’s brother’s children and although they don’t play a huge role, they are as cute as ever. As the story unfolds, we learn about the trauma slowly and the characters begin to deal with it. This is instant attraction, but not insta-love. It takes a while before Hannah and Stephen move forward with their relationship. There is also a conflict in this story that can cause another upheaval in Hannah’s life, as well as a major roadblock to the relationship. There is a twist at the end of the story before the final resolution that brought everything together. I really enjoyed this story and am ready to start the next story in the McKinney Brothers series. The audiobook was engaging and enjoyable and was well executed.