One Sexy Ride, Vivian Arend

Another winner from Vivian Arend. *yawn* What else is new, right?

This time it’s sexy, adventurous and great-with-power-tools Janey and her hero Len who has far less experience than everyone believes and a love for Janey that just won’t quit. Which is good, because she’s been in love with him forever.

He’d hate me saying this, but Len was adorable. He was so sweet and a little unsure and a little emotionally damaged. He lost his mom to cancer when he was 15 and he has some serious guilt which stems from that. Janey, on the other hand, was raised by emotionally distant parents and has siblings who disregard what she is doing with her life, but still she manages to grab as much happiness as she wants.

While I get that maybe Ms. Arend didn’t want to have too many issues come up for Janey and Len, and she probably felt they had quite enough going on, I wish Janey had been able to deal with her family. I kind of wish we had seen her tell them what was important to her.

Len is just adorable (there’s that word again). He feels he’s so damaged that he can’t even take the chance on finally going to Janey until he thinks she’s leaving town. And Janey’s finally given up. She’s been throwing herself at Len for years and nothing. But once Len has to step in and spend the night to protect her, all bets are off. He may be inexperienced, but he makes up for lost time with Janey. And OOOOOH BOY does he catch up QUICK.

If you’re a regular reader here, you know two years ago my mom finally succumbed to the cancer which had ravaged her. In One Sexy Ride, Len is still dealing with the loss of his mom to cancer when he was 15. Thankfully, I was warned before I ever picked this book up, so I was prepared, though I’m usually okay with stories like this. I’m not sure who Ms. Arend has lost in her life to cancer or other long illness, and, frankly, it’s none of my damn business, but she GETS it. She gets it in a way I’m almost certain she’s been there. This part here was like she reached into my brain.

The strangest things could set him off. A combination of words, the scent of antiseptic like at the hospital.

One time someone’s phone had gone off, and their ring tone had been a series of beeps eerily reminiscent of a heart-rate monitor. He’d come within three seconds of snatching the phone right out of their hands and grinding the case to pieces under his heel.

That’s one thing that still surprises me. Those little moments of rage where you just want to rip people’s faces off for little things. I still can’t leave the house on Mother’s day weekend for fear of just screaming at people to SHUT. THE HELL. UP. And it’s totally me and not them, and I know I’m being crazy, but knowing it doesn’t do anything to stop those emotions. It’s something I don’t know if people understand unless they’ve gone through it themselves.

One of my favorite things about Ms. Arend’s books are that the conflicts in the book are never ridiculous. There’s never the moment of frustration where the reader thinks if everyone would just have a freakin’ conversation, this would be settled. That’s not to say her characters don’t have miscommunications or don’t speak to each other about important stuff. It still happens, but she doesn’t drag it out. And her characters are never stupid, so they KNOW what’s going on, and everyone gets treated like grown-ups fully capable of dealing with their own issues.

I also love her sense of family in all her books, whether it’s by blood or by choice. In this case, both. The Thompson family is one that is loving and supportive and will tease the hell out of you in an heartbeat. I laughed hard during their first date at the cafe. “No one could torture you like family.” Absolutely true.

This book was HOT. The build up of sexual tension here was slow and expertly done. By the time Len and Janey finally made it to bed, I was practically sweating. And then what they do IN the bed…and the truck…and the shower…*fans self* Whoo. Vivian Arend does write them hot and sexy, and she believes in truth in advertising because this book really is One Sexy Ride.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Addicted to Viv
aka The Fish With Sticks

Rating: 4 Stars

Baby Be Mine, Vivian Arend

The biggest problem I have with Vivian Arend’s books are reading them in public without someone reading over my shoulder and being scandalized by all the hot sex. LOL  I’m all for it, but sometimes it’s best if I don’t read her stories in public, IfYaKnowWhatIMean.

If you’ve read the Marked anthology, you’ve seen glimpses of certain parts of Baby, Be Mine, but it can absolutely stand on its own. This book starts out with Gage finally seeing Katy Thompson as a grown woman and not just little Katybug. Things progress rapidly, as she’s finally dumped Simon, her asshat of a boyfriend. The problem being Gage leaves the next day for six months in the middle of nowhere working in the oil fields. They have a narrow window of time and they’ll take it!

Then disaster strikes. And the fates conspire to keep Gage and Katy apart for a little while. Just long enough for her to be injured, get amnesia, and not remember how she got pregnant. WHOOPS!

I love Vivian Arend and her writing. She writes people you just want to sit around and have a beer with, maybe play some pool, have a barbecue. The romance is always wonderful and the sex…*fans self*…Well. Let’s just say she doesn’t need any pointers on how to write sex scenes. LOL. For that matter, highly emotional scenes don’t seem to give her any problems either.

If you’ve been reading my reviews for any length of time, you know I LOVE Novellas. LOVE them. They’re like my book crack. I have a ton of them and I am an absolute sucker for a novella of any kind, but the good ones are SO AMAZINGLY GOOD. J.D. Robb’s Midnight in Death was so intense I remember having to put it down and walk away to literally catch my breath. Shannon Stacey’s Mistletoe and Margaritas makes me sob BUCKETS when I read it. I think this book will stay pretty high on my list of favorites, along with those.

Ms. Arend has made me fall in love with Gage, and then she broke my heart. Gage is amazing and supportive and wants nothing more than to love and protect Katy forever, and there comes a point in this story where it becomes…difficult…for him to do so. But it doesn’t stop him completely. He just gets creative to do whatever he can and as much as he can because Gage’s love for Katy won’t let him do anything else. Even when confronted physically, he only uses his strength to protect, and never to deliberately inflict harm. On anyone.

And what can I say about Katy? After everything that has happened to her, it’s amazing she has so much trust and faith in Gage. She loves him and trusts him and nothing shakes that faith, even when she can’t remember details. She and Gage end up doing something so difficult, so incredibly heartbreaking and difficult, and they do it because they know at the end, it’ll be worth it. It totally broke my heart for Gage and Katy, and I’m not sure I’ll forgive Ms. Arend for making me cry like that.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m a total slut for her books. We all know I’ll be back as soon as she has a new ARC for me to pounce on.

Lynda the Guppy
aka A Fish With An Arend Addiction
aka The Fish With Sticks

Rating: 4 Stars