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Eye Candy

Eye-Candy-Generic.jpg de Jiffy Kate (2021) - Smartypants Romance

Résumé : Vali Erickson is the classic middle child—misunderstood, underestimated, and overlooked. He’s fine with it. Really. The overlooked part is actually serving him well during this phase of life. He’s in Green Valley in an effort to fly under the radar and regroup after a life-altering blow to his heart and ego. The last thing he’s looking for is a woman to warm his bed until one throws him to the mat and rocks his world.

Margaret O’Neal is an only child who has led a sheltered life. She’s used to being a wallflower. Her ability to blend into the background is what allows her to maintain her anonymity as a gossip columnist for the Green Valley Ledger. Since the Ericksons moved to town, she's never felt more inspired, especially with the newest addition. Vali Erickson is the definition of eye candy—devastatingly handsome with muscles for days—giving her plenty to report about.

The more Maggie observes, the more she finds herself wanting things she’s only read about in romance novels. Admiring Vali from afar is good enough for her until their paths cross and she finds herself trying to stay afloat in uncharted territory—no labels, no promises, and WAY out of her comfort zone. Will this arrangement be what finally breaks her out of her shell, or will her heart be a casualty of the Viking Invasion ?

Malheureusement, même si le héros est un viking, ce roman ne fera pas partie de mes préférés. L'histoire n'est pas mauvaise, mais elle n'est pas exceptionnelle non plus, c'est grosso-modo du déjà-lu. J'ai pas trouvé d'originalité qui donne un petit truc en plus qui nous donne envie de nous attacher à nos héros.

Vali est le 3e frère de la fratrie Erickson que l'on rencontre, le tome 1 sur Cage reste pour moi, le meilleur bouquin pour le moment (il reste encore 2 frères...). Il arrive à Green Valley pour fuir Dallas où sa précédente relation amoureuse a pris fin brusquement quand il a découvert qu'il était l'amant d'une femme mariée. Il est donc là pour soigner con coeur meurtri et son amour-propre qui en a pris un coup... Sauf que dès qu'il aperçoit Maggie, c'est le coup de foudre, il veut absolument faire sa connaissance et en même temps il ne veut pas commencer une nouvelle relation... Bon la logique du personne est un peu paradoxale, ses actions ne sont pas très cohérentes avec son état d'esprit xD

En face on trouve Maggie, jeune fille quelconque dans le sens où elle n'est pas une figure de la vie sociale de Green Valley, elle habite toujours chez parents, travaille dans leur magasin de fourniture pour animaux. Elle ne sort pas, n'a presque pas d'amies... Mais elle a un secret : c'est elle qui écrit la chroniques des potins dans le journal local. Gros clin d'oeil à Lady Wistledown dans les Bridgerton ;) . Maggie a aussi un méga crush sur Vali Erickson, sur lequel elle consacre plusieurs de ses chroniques.

Bon leur histoire à tous les deux est mimi, mais sans suspense et sans difficultés. Autre détail : je crois que j'ai de plus en plus de mal avec des héroïnes qui penche du côté nunuche de la force, ingénue, qui ne connait rien à la vie. Dans la romance historique ça peut encore passer, mais dans le contemporain j'ai du atteindre mon quota, parce qu'elle n'a pas du tout attirer ma sympathie. Elle pas stupide, Maggie, mais c'est un clichée ambulant :( dommage...

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Unfortunately, even though the hero is a Viking, this novel will not be one of my favorites. The story isn't bad, but it's not exceptional either, there is a lingering sens of déjà-vu. I havn't found originality that gives a little something else that makes us want to care about our heroes.

Vali is the 3rd brother of the Erickson siblings that we meet, the book 1 about Cage remains for me the best for the moment (there are still 2 brothers left...). He arrives in Green Valley fleeing Dallas where his previous romantic relationship ended abruptly when he found out he was the lover of a married woman. He is here to treat his broken heart and his self-esteem has taken a hit... Except that as soon as he sees Maggie, it's love at first sight, he absolutely wants to get to know her and at the same time he doesn't want to start a new relationship... Well his logic is a bit paradoxical, his actions are not very consistent with his state of mind xD

on the other side we find Maggie, a nondescript young girl in the sense that she is not a figure in the social life of Green Valley, she still lives with her parents, works in their animal supply store. She does not go out, has almost no friends... But she has a secret : she writes the gossip column in the local newspaper. Big wink to Lady Wistledown in the Bridgertons ;). Maggie also has a mega crush on Vali Erickson, about whom she devotes several of her columns.

Well, their story is cute, but without suspense and without difficulties. Another detail : I think I have more and more trouble with heroines who lean towards the ninny side of the Force, ingenuous, who knows nothing about life. In historical romance it can still pass, but in contemporary I had reach my quota, because I didn't care about her at all. She's not stupid, Maggie, but she's a walking cliché :( too bad ...

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Dewey Belong Together

Dewey-Belong-Together-Generic.jpg de Ann Whynot (2021) - Smartypants Romance.

Résumé : Librarian Maxine Peters lives her life behind the scenes. By day, she's a buttoned-up cataloguing whiz in the basement of the Green Valley Public Library. By night, she's secretly dominating in an online role playing game as the legendary Maximus_Damage. Her in-game persona has the skills to back up the hype. But every hero has an enemy; every saga,a villain. And by her own invitation, Maximus’ arch nemesis, Wrath, has just landed in Green Valley.

Jonathan Owen is not at all who Maxine expects when she meets Wrath face to face. Eager to leave the past in the game, Jonathan takes this golden opportunity to win Maxine's heart. There's just one wrench in that plan: he may have, on a few occasions, acted like a bit of a jerk online. And to his puzzlement, she has taken their fun rivalry to the level of epic dislike.

When Jonathan and Maxine are unexpectedly alone for a weekend, secrets are revealed that make love hard and hatred even harder. Jonathan quickly learns fighting his own demons will take more than one elite gamer. And Maxine, who is busy rebooting her life in Green Valley, might not be up to the task.

When real life starts to override the game, can Maxine and Jonathan find a way to make it work ? Or will it be game over for this player versus player adventure ?

gros coup de coeur pour cette romance de geek *_* les deux héros vont très bien ensemble, l'histoire est bien écrite, les personnages secondaires sont supers, les challenges à relever cohérents avec les histoires personnelles de chacun.

J'ai bien aimé le contexte de l'histoire : des geek qui ne se connaissent qu'en virtuel décident de se rencontrer en réel (même si je ne suis pas une accros aux jeux vidéos, on peut se reconnaitre quel que soit son mode de geekage ^^). Un malheureux concours de circonstances fait que Maxine ne va accueillir finalement qu'une seule personne au lieu d'un petit groupe, et cette personne c'est Jonathan aka Wrath, son arch nemésis dans le jeu, le seul du groupe qu'elle peut pas encadrer tellement il la saoule xD. Mais Maxine a caché pendant 10 ans qu'elle était une "elle" alors que son avatar dans le jeu est un mec, et que tous les joueurs n'en ont aucune idée, et encore moins Wrath...

Jonathan a une idée bien précise en tête en venant à Green Valley : rencontrer pour de vrai Maximus_Damage, le joueur à qui il vaut une admiration sans limite, mais également un amour inconditionné. Pour lui c'est l'occasion de déclarer enfin ses sentiments... quelle n'est donc pas sa surprise en découvrant que Maximus est une femme, et qu'elle le déteste xD. Jonathan va en faire sa mission de conquérir sa guerrière, car homme ou femme il s'en fou, c'est la personne qui compte pour lui.

L'ambiance général du livre est très décomplexée, il y a beaucoup d'humour, beaucoup de références geek, et de la répartie dans les dialogues. Mais on y trouve quand même de la gravité avec les vies personnelles de Maxine et Jonathan. Maxine a été agressée et s'est coupée de vie sociale, elle a peu d'amis en vrai, elle ne sort pas, s'occupe de sa mère agoraphobe et le jeu vidéo est son exutoire ; Jonathan, lui souffre de bipolarité et doit faire attention à son traitement, il s'occupe également de sa mère dépressive et de ses soeurs, son meilleur ami et le seul qui connait sa maladie.

La balance est très bien fait entre le gros délire geek et les soucis de la vie réelle, la romance n'est pas too much et on est pas dans un "l'amûûr sauve tout". J'ai passé un bon moment avec ce bouquin, lu en 2 jours !

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This geek romance is a favorite *_* the two heroes are good together, the story is well written, the secondary characters are great, the challenges met are consistent with each characer's personal stories.

I really liked the context of the story : geek people who only know each other in virtual reality decide to meet in real life (even if I'm not a video games player, we can recognize our geek self regardless of our geek means ^^). An unfortunate combination of circumstances means that Maxine will welcome only one person instead of a small group, and this person is Jonathan aka Wrath, her arch nemesis in the game, the only one in the group that she can not put up with as he annoys her so much xD. But Maxine has been hiding for 10 years that she was a "she" when her avatar in the game is a guy, all players have no idea, let alone Wrath...

Jonathan has a very specific idea in mind when he comes to Green Valley : to meet Maximus_Damage, the player to whom he has a limitless admiration, but also an unconditional love. For him this is the opportunity to finally declare his feelings... what a surprise it is to discover that Maximus is a woman, and that she hates him xD. Jonathan will make it his mission to conquer his warrior queen, he doesn't care if is she's a man or woman, it is the person who matters to him.

The general atmosphere of the book is very uninhibited, there is a lot of humor, a lot of geek references, and repartee in the dialogues. But there is still some seriousness with the personal lives of Maxine and Jonathan. Maxine has been assaulted and cut herself off from social life, she has few real friends, she does not go out, takes care of her agoraphobic mother and the video game is her outlet ; Jonathan, suffers from bipolar disorder and must be careful with his treatment, he also takes care of his depressed mother and his sisters, his best friend is the only one who knows his illness.

The balance is very well made between the big geek delirium and the worries of real life, the romance is not too much and we are not in a "love saves everything" storyline. I had a good time with this book, read in 2 days !

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Steal My Magnolia

StealMyMagnolia_Ebook.jpg de Karla Sorensen (2021) - SmartyPants Romance

Résumé : Life lesson from Grady Buchanan: If you're going to fall in love with the untouchable girl in town, don't hire her as your only employee. Even after he bungled the interview with Magnolia MacIntyre, he knew better than to hire her. The list of why it's a bad idea is a long one. Her father could ruin his fledgling business. She is completely overqualified. And he’s attracted to her. What does Grady do? He offers her the job.

Magnolia knew better than to take it. Normally, she'd make the safe choice, and working for Grady is anything but. He's new in town--and entirely too charming. Her dad will be furious. She hates the outdoors and working for an outdoor adventure company is not exactly the right fit. What does she do? She says yes on the spot.

Grady and Magnolia will have to prove to everyone in their life that they're not crazy. And prove to each other that the list of why it's a bad idea should be tossed out the window. For these two opposites, sometimes doing the wrong thing is exactly right.

Je suis restée un peu sur ma faim avec ce roman, j'ai trouvé qu'il était très mal équilibré entre la phase de séduction et le moment où le couple est formé. En gros, le bouquin se termine sur le moment où ils passent enfin aux choses sérieuses, on a un chapitre et un épilogue qui nous montrent Magnolia et Grady ensemble...

L'histoire est pas mauvaise, mais c'est beaucoup trop long. Ils ont beaux être choupi-chou les deux là, passé un stade on n'attend plus qu'ils se jettent l'un sur l'autre xD .

J'aurais voulu avoir plus de scènes de couple, où Grady va passer du temps avec les parents de Magnolia, des moments avec la soeur de Grady, Grace, et son copain Tucker (l'ex de Magnolia) (on peut pas dire qu'il n'y avait pas du contenu à creuser sur cet arc narratif).

Le livre se termine sur un avant-goût de ce que sera le tome de Hunter, le Buchanan qui a fuit Green Valley et sa malédiction. ça promet !

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I was a little unsatisfied with this book, I think it wasn' very well balanced between the seduction's phase and the moment when the couple is formed. Basically, the book ends with when they finally get together, we have a chapter and an epilogue that show us Magnolia and Grady as a couple...

The story isn't bad, but it's way too long. They may be the cutest people, after a time, all we want is for them to throw themselves on each other xD.

I would have liked to have had more couple scenes, where Grady is spending time with Magnolia's parents, scenes with Grady's sister, Grace, and her boyfriend Tucker (Magnolia's ex) (we can't say that there wasn't content to dig into this story arc).

The book ends with a taste of what will be Hunter's book, the Buchanan who run away from Green Valley and his curse. Sounds intruiging !

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