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
Trinity is an artist who is having a majorly bad day. She decided to drown her miseries at a local dive with her best friend, who then left her alone. Trying to avoid her loser ex-boyfriend, she walks over and kisses the gorgeous stranger who she spied across the room. Luckily for Trinity, Walker is a true gentleman, and the pair sense an immediate connection.
Walker feels an unexplainable pull towards the slightly off-center woman who just walked up and kissed him hello. Knowing there is something more than just physical attraction, he convinces her they should go out on a date. Unfortunately, Trinity gave Walker the wrong number, and now he’s wondering if she’s just another misstep in his dating history. That is until the universe brings her into his life, again.
Just What I Needed is the second story in Ms. James’ contemporary romance series centering on the Lund family of the Minneapolis, MN area. A highly successful, yet genuinely real family, the siblings and cousins are hard-working, close-knit, and fun to be around. However, Walker, the only Lund-heir to strike out on his own and not work for the family, feels like a black sheep. He has a huge chip on his shoulder and feels like his family doesn’t care about him - are too busy for him. While I can appreciate his attitude and why he feels that way, I didn’t like how heavily it played on Walker and his actions. I wanted to give him a swift kick at times, telling him to buck up and talk to his family rather than mope.
Trinity has her own issues. At times, I thought that she may have a slight mental illness, but at other times, it’s treated more cavalierly, as if it’s only an “artist’s temperament.” It was confusing and a bit off-putting if she did have a mental illness and it wasn’t being treated/addressed. She also had a rough upbringing by a father and stepmother that cared little for her and her artistic abilities. Put this together with her work ethic and the artistic process, she’s emotionally unavailable and difficult to deal with at times. But I liked her a lot. She’s upfront about her “oddities,” and knows she’s not easy to be around. She’s kind and honest, but also apparently a doormat at times. She has a group of friends that I had to ask myself more than once, why she hung out with them. Luckily the author does address this issue, but then I wondered, what was the purpose of having that storyline in the first place.
Trinity and Walker are pretty good for one another. There is an obvious physical attraction, and they help center and calm one another. I like that they balance each other so well. However, this is a “love at first sight” kind of story that never really clicked that way for me. They declared themselves a couple after one date, and well before they had any chance to know one another. Maybe it’s too old-fashioned for me, but I just didn’t see how they could be “boyfriend and girlfriend” and declare it so adamantly without spending more time together first. Sometimes their relationship felt very immature and more “teenage” than adult, with emotional outbursts and small snipes at the other. I do like them together, I just wish that there had been more time developing the relationship before they declared they had one.
In the end, while I enjoyed Just What I Needed, it felt like a bit of a let down because I loved the first book so much. Trinity and Walker were good together, but their unconventional "let's be a couple" after one date just didn't hit home with me. I also struggled with Trinity's choices in friends and Walker's attitude about himself and towards his family. The overall story was good, but the meat behind the tale felt weak. Still entertaining, I would recommend the book and series to fans of light-weight contemporary romances. I look forward to seeing which Lund family member is hit with romance next.
My Rating: B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by publisher