By Pamela Aares
Tavonesi Series, book 1
Category: Contemporary Romance
Overall Rating: 3.85
- Captivation: 3.75
- Sizzle: 3.75
- Romance: 3.5
- Enjoyment: 3.75
- Literacy: 4.5
Book Description: The baseball diamond isn’t the only field for all-star player Alex Tavonesi; he also runs his family’s prestigious vineyard. What he can’t seem to run is his love life. He’s closing in on the perfect vintage and the perfect game, but so far the perfect woman has eluded him.
Veterinarian Jackie Brandon is eluding her aristocratic past and memories of a soccer star who jilted her just before their wedding. She devotes herself to a marine mammal rescue center on the northern California coast, where hundreds of seals and sea lions are washing up dead.
A chance meeting in a midnight storm brings Alex and Jackie together to rescue a stranded whale.
Watching her work, he realizes she’s the passionate, courageous woman he thought he’d never find–he just has to overcome her deep distrust of jocks. Jackie’s passion and courage lead her to discover what’s killing the sea mammals. The culprits want to silence her, and Alex is the only one standing in their way. What will he sacrifice to save the woman he loves?
Captivation: I was quite interested in the plot of the story, more so than the romance of it. That said, I still found myself reading pretty straight through.
Sizzle: The intimate scenes in this book are a nice, realistic, tingle-enducing reads.
Romance: I struggle with the romance. I really like the way Aares doesn’t rush or force her writing – or at least it doesn’t feel that way. Aares does really well in allowing time to pass without awkward fill-ins. A few of the time-lapsed moments are started without immediate acknowledgement, leaving a moment of confusion for the reader, but this is a difficult situation for authors, and Aares handles it very well.
There’s a level of activity in this book that leaves me with a bit of distaste. The conflict and drama of characters avoiding each other by being with others instead, it feels rather like teenager drama rather than a mature relationship.
Additionally there were a couple of moments that seemed to contradict the character personality as initially portrayed.
Enjoyment: I enjoyed this book as a somewhat lighter read, however, the drama and teeter-tottering the characters do frustrates at sometimes.
Literacy: There were a few minor editing errors I caught, but not many, rather well done.
Overall, I rather liked this book. There was a minimal of the soap-opera that often occurs in romances to keep up suspense (which is a plus for me). I’m not a sport person, but Aares writes in a way that is both educational for us non-sporties while making the read interesting and fun.