I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Shane “The Brick Wall” Conrad plays goalie for the Reading Redtails hockey club. He’s going though a rough spot and decides to stay in Reading for the Christmas holiday rather than head home to Minnesota to see his family. Even though he didn’t want to go out, he decides to take up assistant captain Cary Lenville’s offer to join his family and friends for dinner. Although once he arrives, he realizes he can’t leave soon enough, as long as Bliss is at his side.
Bliss Vescovi loves her life in Reading, close to her job and family. She watches over her special needs adult brother and helps her aunt run a popular bridal boutique. Even though her own wedding fell apart two years ago, she still loves helping brides-to-be find the perfect dress. Bored and restless at friend Lori Lenville’s party, she’s ready to go until the gorgeous Shane Conrad enters the room. Bliss wants some one-night action, and when she sees Shane enter the party, she decides he’s the one for the job.
The Brick Wall is the first book in Ms. Julian’s new Redtails Hockey contemporary romance series. The book does a great job creating the setting and filling in the world with likable, interesting characters.
Individually, and as a couple, I liked Shane and Bliss. They are both strong people who aren’t afraid to go after what they want. Yet both are slightly vulnerable and worried about getting hurt. Each is very kind and sweet, with just enough naughty, providing for some extremely steamy scenes. I did feel that their initial encounter was a bit over the top with respect to Shane’s insta-lust reaction to Bliss and her voice, but once that first night was over, I found the reactions more even-keeled and less hokey.
As much as I enjoyed the characters and their romance, I wanted more. I don’t know if this book is indicative of the series to come, but it was short. Too short. The author uses elapsed-time sections, with several weeks passing by with just the proverbial turn-of-the-page. I wanted more time getting to know Shane and Bliss and seeing them together outside the bedroom. Additionally, I was frustrated with the jump in time towards the end of the book, when I think there was no communication between Shane and Bliss (I was a little confused at this part).
The Brick Wall is a sensual, quick, entertaining read, with a solid romance developing after an initial first lust. I liked Shane and Bliss, and the romance felt real and believable. However, I felt that the story was too short, and I didn't like the lapse in time. Overall, I like the premise and look forward to more stories in the series.
My Rating: B/B-