The Guy Next Door – Multiple Authors

Contemporary Romance
$7.99 (Amazon)
384 Pages
HQN Books
February 15, 2011

Overall Rating:

(2.3/5 Stars)

Ready, Set, Jett by Lori Foster
(1/5 Stars)

Favorite Quote: “Really loved her, like the forever kind. Like marriage, kids, picket fences and all that fanfare.”

A vacation from her no-strings romance with her sexy next-door neighbor. That’s what Natalie Alexander needs to get her head—and heart—together. But her solo trip south turns into a disaster when gorgeous Jett Sutter turns up with another challenge.

This book started off very unique for me.  A school teacher, Natalie, and her sexy neighbor, Jett, have a sexy fling going.  They have known each other for awhile, previous to us meeting them, and they have been enjoying hours upon hours of steamy sex.  Yet they both seem to be falling for each other.  Natalie decides a vacation is in order to get her head on straight just to find that spoiled when Jett decides he should go with her.  The two also come across an abandon dog that they take under their wing deciding to split the responsibility of the dogs care.  Natalie also becomes very worried for her sister when she has not heard from her in several days…

I thought this was all very fun because, unlike most romances I’ve read, the characters actually have some form of relationship prior to the start of the book.  I enjoyed how comfortable both Jett and Natalie were with each other in the sex department.  I had very high hopes when I started reading this story.  I loved the already formed relationship (I know I’ve already said that, but it’s the truth) between them.  I felt that the prior relationship would help shape a wonderful short story.  When the dog enters the picture I thought it was adorable how they both react to the stray animal but a few parts were a bit corny.  Corny being Natalie’s odd reactions to Jett’s tenderness that he shows towards the dog…it’s just a bit over board (I felt).  Then the whole part about Natalie’s sister not calling her back and her feeling worried about her.  I mean, here Natalie is heading off to the middle of nowhere with Jett while she is worried that something terrible has happened to her sister!  I’m sorry, if I felt something was really wrong with a family member, I wouldn’t be running off to seclusion…

Yes the book ends with them finally admitting they love each other and whatnot, but then after the book ends there is a plug saying something like “If you want to find out what happens to Natalie’s sister read Lori Fosters new books…”  I just felt like this book was just a way to get you to buy her other novels instead of being a light fun spring break novella.

Gail’s Gone Wild by Susan Donovan
(6/5 Stars)

Favorite Quote:“She moaned again. She was coming apart in his hands, with his words. ‘Fuck me.” Oh, yes she did. She said it.”

Single mom Gail Chapman insists on chaperoning her teenage daughter’s spring-break trip to Key West. But she never expects to face temptation—in the hunky form of Jesse Batista, the mysterious man in the cottage next door.

I loved and I mean LOVED this story!  I was very apprehensive to start reading this one after the first one but I had to remind myself that it was a different author and hope that this wasn’t a plug for another novel.  It was far from that!

The characters of Jesse, the hunky guy next door, and Gail, the sexy college professor were written extremely well!  I enjoyed how they both came in with some personality and since they were older characters (Jesse being in his early 40’s and Gail being in her late 30’s) they brought along a lot of experience and no bull shit!  It was awesome at how Gail let herself go to just have an awesome vacation (finally after 6 years of no vacations) and let loose to have a good time!  Jesse was so romantic and it felt good that they just enjoyed each other.  I don’t even know how to describe it…there was no high school, new love drama!  Most characters that I read are younger and not as experienced in life, they are new to this whole love thing while Jesse and Gail were not!

There was a wonderful beginning, a sexy and wonderful romance, a little struggle and a fantastic ending (even with an epilogue!)…I would def suggest this as a short wonderful Novella read!!!

Just One Taste by Victoria Dahl
(3/5 Stars)

Favorite Quote: “And when she met her own eyes in the mirror, she saw a sexual goddess on the prowl. Wow. Where had she come from?”

All-work-and-no-play businessman Eric Donovan won’t be distracted by a “businesswoman” who’s all wrong for him. Beth Cantrell owns a women’s erotica shop! And she has a juicy little secret. Can she tempt him to put pleasure before business for once?

The story started out well about a brewery owned up a family that has an older brother, Eric, who is always having to be responsible and follow the rules.  He sees a beautiful and conservative looking woman and can’t seem to take his eyes off of her….then he finds out she works at a sexy shop in town. That doesn’t keep him from being curious about her.

Beth has also noticed Eric from across the business expo floor and can’t take her eyes off of him.  She is the manager of the sex shop yet not as exotic as her co-workers.  She decides she needs to change that a bit.

Eric’s younger brother has a reputation with all of the ladies and Beth believes that Eric is actually his brother and decides that he would be perfect to have a little fling with no strings attached.  Eric never corrects her from calling him Jamie since he decides that it really would be a fast fling…

The way this book stops is also giving us a plug for Dahl’s up-in-coming trilogy!  Yep, that’s right, it leaves you hanging so that you want to go pick up her next novel so that you know what the heck happens!

OVER ALL: I was a little disappointed in this anthology.  I really thought that anthologies were supposed to be novellas that are just short, well rounded stories that weren’t advertising more work for the author.  I guess I figured if an author could write a short story that you loved, that would be enough of an advertisement for you to go pick up more of their work.  I never thought a novella was supposed to LITERALLY be an advertisement for more of the authors work.

I LOVED Susan Donovan’s book! It was fabulous and NEVER mentioned ANYTHING about more work by her.  I will be going out to search through the other things she has written to see which one will be next on my list!

QUESTION: Do a lot of anthologies do this?? Do the short stories/novellas really just act as a plug for you to go out and buy their novel to get the full story??


14 responses to “The Guy Next Door – Multiple Authors

  1. Hasn’t happened to me yet. I’ve read short stories in anthologies that fill in the gap between an author’s series but never a plug for another book.

  2. I don’t read many anthologies because there is always one great story and the other just fizzle. Yes, many of them are “.5” stories in the author’s series. You can usually find out whether or not that ‘s the case by hitting GR or the author’s sites.

  3. Jen D – Yeah I kind of figured that if it was an author that had books out in a series they would use a short story to elaborate on side characters or what-not but never as a plug to get you to go out and buy their next set of novels…two of the three stories do that in this book and that was very discouraging!

    Julie – Good to know. Like I said to Jen above, I just figuted that if they had a series out it would be a way to elaborate on that series, not leave you hanging telling you to go buy their next set of novels being released to get the whole story! 😦 That really upset and annoyed me.

  4. Yeah – I think I’m skipping this one – I wanted it for the Dahl but then found out it is a prequel…BOO. Will wait for first full length in the series.

  5. Mandi – That would be my suggestion. I did really enjoy Susan Donovan’s novella so if you think it sounds good and it becomes available through Kindle as one you can buy by itself, I’d suggest that!

  6. I guess some really do, like one Patricia briggs books, it seems you really have to read the novella before buying book 1 in the series. I am not a fan of things like that. I might end up with one good novella and the rest crap

    • That’s what Julie said too (about the having one good one out of all the novellas). That is kind of depressing because I like the option of reading just the novella or reading the other novels written by an author. Sometimes we just want to read a nice well-rounded short story without having to go somewhere else for more information!

  7. I agree. Why not have just a well-rounded short story or maybe a prequel would be nice. I don’t read a lot of anthologies. The only one I read was Dead After Dark with Sherrilyn Kenyon, Susan Squire, J. R. Ward and Dianna Love. Only Dianna Love did that, but I like the way she did it. It was like a prequel to the bigger story. I loved all of them except for Susan Squires, that story was utterly pointless. No climax or suspense, the story rose and then died flat. The others were great, but J. R. Ward’s was the best. None of the BDB were in it (although I truly believe the male lead is the father of a once “dead” brother) , it was a separate story, but it is one of my favorite short stories.

  8. I meant son to a once “dead” brother.

    • I’m glad to see that you had a better experience with your anthology then I did with mine. LOL. I would rather have several that I did enjoy and only a few that I might not have liked as much…I’m also so happy to see that I’m not the only person in the world that wants just a well-rounded short story….is that too much to ask??!! I mean, if your short story is great I will be more likely to pick up more of your novels to read then if you try to “force” me to read more. I still need to read the BDB books, I really want to and they are coming up fast in my list of TBR’s but I just don’t know when I’ll be able to fully devote my time to them yet…

  9. Sorry you hated yours though. I have read some great well-rounded short stories though. You have read the Sookie Stackhouse series, right? Well you know about the short stories between each book? They are about the secondary characters in each book. I have only read Dancers in the Dark, but I loved it. I have read it eight times now. The Dead After Dark I mainly picked due to the names. J. R. Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon are some heavy hitters when it comes to amazing paranormal romances, so I knew it would be worth it. You actually don’t need to read the BDB to understand J. R. Ward’s short story, but still read the series. There is no rush to finish them, but it is highly recommended to read them. The BDB is why J. R. Ward is on my favorites list. So just keep hunting, trust me, they are out there.

    • I have read the Sookie Stackhouse series but I haven’t been able to read any of the short stories yet. I really need to get on that because I think it would be a lot of fun to read about the secondary characters! The next book for BDB comes out in March…I don’t think I’m going to have that entire series read before then, but I’m going to really try to start them up soon! This week is dedicated to getting Dead Until Dark read for the discussion on Sunday.

  10. Oh that is fine. I know you won’t be able to get them all done by next month, there are so many LOL. But the short stories aren’t all that important except for the on before book 6. The one about Sookie’s cousin. Everyone was so lost as to what happened, but in the short story before that, it actually goes into her story and what happened or whatever. Hope I can go back and actually get to those. Great no matter what though 🙂

    • Oh that is so good to know about Sookie’s cousin! Do you remember which short story that was? I remember reading about it and it was just a little confusing but I just went with it thinking that Harris didn’t really want us to know more. LOL.

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