ARC Review: Jaded by Anne Calhoun

Posted February 4, 2014 by Shari in Reviews / 1 Comment

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: Jaded by Anne Calhoun

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Walkers Ford,
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Penguin Group
Released on February 4, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Jaded is the second book in the Walkers Ford series by Anne Calhoun. To be honest, I didn’t read the first book in this series and for about half of the book, I would get confused by a few names, but later in the story it really got confusing. Still, it didn’t overtake this story but it assumed you had read the first one and left out details I think might have been important.

Alana Wentworth has decided her time at Walkers Ford is coming to an end and she hasn’t changed much from when she left her upstanding and rich family in Chicago. After a proposal gone bad, she has come to Walkers Ford as a temporary librarian on contract to help save this treasure. But she wants to step out of her bulky librarian threads and get down and dirty with sheriff she is renting a house from. Just a fling is all she wants from this handsome specimen of a man because her sister and family need her back home doing the research for their foundation.

Lucas Ridgeway has returned to his South Dakotan home town of Walkers Ford to save his marriage. The marriage goes bad anyway and he finds himself divorced and the sheriff of the town. Living next door to his grandparents house, he is renting it to the hot little contract librarian. Broken emotionally by life, Lucas only wants a sexual release, but realizes Alana is getting under his skin. Oh, and he comes across as cold-hearted for a majority of the story.

I found myself struggling to like these two. Well, I liked Alana. She realized what she was good at, what she wanted and found peace with herself. Growing sexually was interesting and at times painstakingly tense. But through it all, Alana was not a push over. Just because she wasn’t in the public eye of the foundation her family runs didn’t mean she would bow down to just anyone’s demands. I watched her deal with a tough situation involving a sullen teenager with so much precision. Taking care of the part-time elderly employee showed her heart. She just seemed like a well rounded nice woman. I felt she deserved better than Lucas as he kept warning her not to get involved.

Lucas was just to hardened from his job in Denver. Add to that a cousin he adored turning to drugs and he is unable to help. His uncle was an ass that I wanted to punch even if he was the previous sheriff. Lucas knew what he was feeling, but he kept Alana at arms length, just wanting to keep it casual. I got tired of him warning Alana off on the teenager she was helping. I got tired of him never seeming to have an ounce of sympathy for anyone. I just plain got tired of Lucas.

The bedroom scenes sizzled and Alana grew along with opening Lucas’s heart up. There were brilliant moments I loved outside of the bedroom too. ¬†Overall though, it just didn’t engage me as much as I have come to know Anne Calhoun books to do.

I am not sure if I will continue with the series or even go back to pick up book 1. It is a toss up really. But for a book that looks at small town life, Jaded is the book that puts you smack dab in the middle of it and lets you feel just how messed up and honest a town like this can be.

Do you love small town stories? What draws you to them?
Is a haunted hero one you love to fix? Can they be fixed?

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Sophia Rose
7 years ago

That’s too bad about Lucas. There is a fine edge when it comes to writing a damaged character between they are just too damaged and should be taken at their word and the character that starts out really damaged, but changes and softens so that you’re willing to root them on to their HEA or at least HFN.