Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: The Look Of Love by Bella Andre (The Sullivans, #1)

Title: The Look of Love
Author: Bella Andre
Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: Sept. 1, 2011

4 out of 5 Stars

Bella Andre's Sullivan series was on sale recently and these were books I had wanted to read for awhile now. I grabbed the first five books in the series and dove into first, The Look of Love, with a vengeance.

From Goodreads:

Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

My Thoughts:

Let's get the fun stuff out of the way. Or perhaps better described, the sexy times. YOWZA!  First of all, I loved the characters and the heat between Chloe and Chase was off the charts. And then, to top that, the author throws in that scene in the beginning when she is in the tub? I was like, oh no she didn't! But she did. She seriously did! And then I was all fanning myself because that even made me blush a little bit and that is saying something. (Not to mention when the two re-create the scene later. Ohmigod!)

I know some may grumble about what they call "insta-lust" or "insta-love". I can see how a reader could be frustrated by this. But as a writer, I understand that it's near impossible to write a story where things happen as slowly as they do in the real world. Not to mention that, when I read fiction, I can suspend my beliefs in this regard. I want to see that instant connection, that spark between the two. If I didn't want that, I wouldn't like this genre. But I do, so I don't complain about that. Or I try not to. As long as I can feel the connection, it usually isn't an issue. And I definitely felt a connection in this book.

The writing was tight as was the plot. I didn't run into any glaring editing errors that took me out of the story. But what I really loved about this story was the pace. It was like drinking a glass of wine. You don't chug it back like a shot of my favorite vodka. You sip it. You relish in the words and the images the writer is creating. I know that this might sound odd, especially considering many of my book reviews revolve around the steam factor (ahem, see above). But what can I say? It's the truth about the way this book spoke to me. So yeah, it was hot, steamy and I loved the tension, and the release of that tension, between Chloe and Chase. But it was also more than that. To me, this was what a romance level should be: a great story and character combined with the steam and love we have all come to expect. And if the rest of the series is like this first one, I seriously cannot wait to read about the rest of the Sullivan siblings.

I haven't mainlined this series because when I do that I tend to get burned out really fast on the author. Before I started doing a lot of book reviews, I would often read the first in a series and then plow through the rest until I was done. I did this sort of thing and totally binged on Kristen Ashley's books. I found that eventually the books run out and I am left with a serious craving for more. So, unlike the old me, I will take a break before I start the second book. I'm in no rush after all and I can already tell that this is a series I want to savor.

You can find The Look of Love at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and likely other fine retailers out there. If you pick it up, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and if you've read, let me know what you think!

*This book was a self-purchase and I was not in any way compensated for, or even asked, to review this book. All opinions are my own*

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