Ten Good Reasons by Lauren Christopher #Review

Ten Good Reasons by Lauren Christopher #ReviewTen Good Reasons by Lauren Christopher

Series: #2 Sandy Cove
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley on April 7, 2015
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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three-half-stars  

I adored the first book in this series and was eager to pick things up with the sister, Lia’s romance. The small sea side town setting and focus on the sea with the whale watching business was a huge plus. I got a shock when I started reading because I was anticipating something much like I got from the first book in tone, pacing, characters and romance. It didn’t take me long to realize and appreciate that the author changed things up- two very different sisters in personality so two very different stories. The continuity was in the setting and writing style.

And because of what I disclosed just before, this also means that this story can easily be read as a standalone or out of order.

The book opens with Lia McCabe in a tizzy because she muscled through plans for her friend unbeknownst to him (hey its for his own good) that are now threatening to fall apart around them both because of Drew’s motorcycle accident that will keep him from captaining his whale watching boat for all the tours she set up and in particular the ones with wealthy potential investors particularly one that will help her land a dream position at her marketing company. Lia is a control freak and a fixer so in spite of Drew’s emphatic order to stay away from his brother as an option for replacement captain, she races over to Evan Betancourt’s boat to cajole the moody man into helping his brother. It doesn’t take long before she realizes that Drew might have had his reasons especially when she sees the mess that is his brother. Desperate times and all. She needs Evan to help land her dream job- oh, and help out Drew.

Evan has been numbly going through the motions for the last two years and still miserable from the death of his wife and son. Now he has Miss Perky Cinderella bull-nosing her way into his life and not taking no for an answer. She also doesn’t seem to mind her own business and thrives on managing other people. And she calls him bossy? But he owes Drew so he will do this. Captaining Drew’s boat, putting up with the tourists, and working with Cinderella aren’t as bad as he thought, but Lia pushes him in ways that force him to feel, to remember and to think. It’s painful and she just keeps pushing him for more. He can see that she’s a workaholic and her focus is trained on running ragged to please a demanding boss and a spoiled rich boy all to land her dream post in Paris for her firm. Evan is attracted and so is she, but he has his past and she has a boyfriend and it is just not a good idea, right?

Alright, so what did I think about this one, well…I wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was with the first book. In fact, I almost shut it for good several times, but I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt since I really liked the first book.

I’ll start with the things I liked. I liked the setting of Sandy Cove and the backdrop of whale watching industry. Very cool! The author did her homework and made me feel right there for such a fun activity. I have been on many whale watching expeditions growing up in Northern California and we had a few regular whale celebrities named just like in this book.   I thought the conflict between the brothers a painful, but interesting scenario. I liked the pressure of the rich guy and the pushy boss as the external conflict. The problem the heroine faced between choosing her tight controlled world and the adventure of the romance with Evan was full of sparkle and sizzle.

So, why the disappointment. Well, the heroine’s pushy and controlling personality was instant turn off. The author wrote her true to type and wrote her well with her flaws hanging out there obvious to the world, but I couldn’t stand her from page one and almost quit by the end of the first chapter the way she was manipulating a guy she called friend and shoving her way into his brother’s life all to save her own butt and a little of Drew’s. You can wrap it all up in pretty paper, but ultimately her behavior was selfish and oblivious to the core. Evan sees her as his heroine for plowing through his grief and guilt and making him open up. I never saw her as that big of a catalyst in his change and I never saw a woman that inspired a romance which is the pertinent issue since this is a romance. She was just so all over the place like a busy bee on speed and quick with her stinger particularly at her love interest that I felt the romance took a small backseat to her issues. It was near the end that her eyes were opened and I saw hope for her. After saying all that I have about the heroine, I will offer up the fact that I’m well aware this was a personal peeve and others may absolutely adore Lia and have no problem with her personality type.

I suppose shuffling all my impressions into one pile leaves me with an overall moderately engaging read. There was a lot of good blended with the drama and there was some spicy passion late in the book. Since most of my issue was with the heroine and I did have a good time with everything else, I am willing to pick up the next book in the series. I am going to recommend this book/series for those who lean more toward character-driven than action-driven plot, characters who have flaws that work out slowly as does the hard-fought for romance and particularly those who like the small town cute Contemporary Romance.

My thanks to Penguin Group for providing the book in exchange for an honest review.

DiscussionStarter

I was put off by the aggressive, controlling nature of this heroine who is oblivious to others particular personal boundary lines which is usually why I don’t warm up to heroines that are reporters or journalists. Out of curiosity, do you as the reader have any particular heroine personality traits or heroine careers that put you off ?

Romance Roundabout #148 CR

Cliché Klatch #70 ‘close call’

Books N Tunes #29 Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Southern Cross

About Lauren Christopher

Lauren Christopher writes fun, sexy contemporary romances set in California’s most secret and romantic spots. …

After graduating with an English degree from UCLA, Lauren launched a 23-year career as a nonfiction writer and editor — writing more than 100 newspaper, magazine, and online articles on everything from the history of auto racing to the origins of Santa Claus.
Lauren is the author of THE RED BIKINI (July 2014) and TEN GOOD REASONS (April 2015), both set in fictional “Sandy Cove.”

She lives in Southern California with her husband and three teenage children.

Come chat with her on Facebook, Twitter, or her blog — she loves to meet readers!

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Sounds like a goo laid back read. Not too dramatic or exciting, perfect for a lazy day.

    • Yes, it was a cozy, easy read. Perfect for summer vacation, Braine!

  • It’s neat it sounds like the book is so true to real life. Hmm, the whole cop and PI career choice is starting to become off-putting to me. I totally support women in these fields, but in books they act pretty ridiculous. I just feel like it’s saturating the market right now.

    • Yes, the author does a fantastic job of writing real people with real problems and that is indeed a draw.
      Hmm, yeah, I do know what you mean about female cop and PI characters and plots that seem to have a hidden checklist of character traits and actions they must do and be. It is hard to read a few in a row which seems to make it more obvious.

      • Ya, that’s why I just avoid them now unless it sounds like an amazing story but I got pretty burnt out on them last year.

  • From your review, I don’t think I would care for the female protagonist just from the way you described her.
    Manipulative.
    Definitely a turn off..I prefer the strong, stubborn, and snarky ones. What about you, Sophia?

    • Manipulation even when done for someone’s good doesn’t do it for me either, Keionda. Well strong and some snark. Some stubborn is okay, but not when its a safety issue. 😉

      Take my reaction to the heroine with a grain of salt. I’m funny about personal space and boundaries so its hard for me when even fictional people don’t respect that. Like I said, others may like her.

  • Oh yeah..just from reading your thoughts I think I would want to ring her neck..lol

    • I had a strong reaction- a very strong reaction. I do this once in a while. Oys!

  • I am not sure how much I would like this heroine. In fact from your description I am sure I would not like her at all. I do like seeing a focus on characterizations but I like a balance between that and the building of the plot, otherwise I feel like there is something missing.

    • I think she jumped out at me b/c I took a dislike of her at the beginning. Evan helped a lot. I felt so badly for him and the grieving he did.

      Good point, Renee! Balance must be there between plot and characterization development.

  • Oh the small sea side town setting setting sounds wonderdull. And I never read a book about wale wastchign before, I might have to check out the first book in this series.
    Not sure if I would like this heroine as she sounds a bit too pushy. I am a control freak as well, so I would understand that part, but I usually limit that to myself. It sounds that combined with her pushy and bossy behavior this wouldn’t be a heroine that’s easy to relate too and it feels like that also puts a damper on the romance as you didn’t like one of the characters.
    A character trait I am put off by in books is dishonesty or when people keep secrets for no good reason that only adds to the drama. That always makes me so frustrated or when people say they love each other, but are still holding back or aren’t willing to do things for the other.

    • The whale watching was a fantastic part of the story, Lola. Yes, it was her need to be in other people’s business even if it was for a good reason that started my irritation with her and not just that she had the need to strongly control her life.

      Oh yes, dishonesty and secret keeping drive me nuts too. I think trust is inherent if a loving relationship is to survive.

  • The heroine sounds like one that would test my last nerve but I do love that the author made their books so different to match their personalities. That’s pretty neat. I like that idea more than the ones that all blend because they’re so similar despite being such different characters.

    • Yeah, it was really neat. The first story is about her sister and a surf pro and their story was very different in tone and pace. I loved the surprise of feeling like the atmosphere created matched the different personality of this more A-type sister.

      Yep, she did more than dance on my last nerve. I think I lost a layer of enamel grinding my teeth too. 😉