Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Big Old Humpday Shout Bella Andre!

Howdy humpday peeps! What did you think of that moon last night? Magical, mystical, glowing orb hanging low in the sky just over the mountains my home looks out upon....sigh. I adore full moons: they conjure up images of fantastical creatures, pagan cultures, ancient symbols of fertility and power. They also mean wacky weather, crazy patients and bizarre behavior from pets and children....on second thought, I'll pass on the full moon. This has been a heck of a week - whether because the moon is full, the flu season is in full swing, the Giants won the Superbowl (which I watched - gasp - stone cold sober!)

Let's move on to our favorite time of the week...inspired by Superbowl's about we enjoy a little chocolate dipped Beckham???? Mmmmmmmm

So, to continue our week's spotlight of contemporary romance author, Bella Andre, I get the supreme good fortune (had to have at least one highlight this week!) of kicking off her Sullivan series -
these fellas make a gal reach for a glass of water and a hand fan! Check it out!

The Look of Love (Sullivan Series #1), Bella Andre

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.

Color me happily surprised that a true contemporary romance snagged my jaded heart: hook, line and sinker. What a stellar kick off to what will surely be a hugely successful family series! Perhaps that is one of the key components that I found so compelling, knowing that this was a large family of single, fascinating folks who are all holding the promise of finding true love. Admittedly, I am not a loud and proud fan of contemporary romance - most of my contemporary favorites incorporate paranormal or urban fantasy elements to make the modern day aspects more palatable. Good news for me, this series doesn't appear to need any of that to make a sexy, romantic, and more than slightly intriguing story.

Chloe, a woman on the run, serendipitously breaks down near the Sullivan family vineyard where Chase is staying. Chase, for all his playboy ways, falls almost immediately for the reserved, mysterious woman who captivates him mind, body and soul. I loved watching Chloe continually try to talk herself out of her attraction for Chase, doubt her feelings and eventually succumb to the love of a man humble enough to appreciate the moniker, HOTSTUFF. How can you not love that?!

The sexual tension between the pair teases the reader page after page, waiting for their inevitable combustion off the page. Bella Andre is one of those sneaky writers that can spin a romance that is at once sweet and sexy, spicy but not raunchy. Her males delightfully alpha, her females are more than capable of going toe to toe with them. The secondary characters are as enjoyable as the central ones and lead the reader on the journeys of this family, hoping each sibling in turn will find his/her HEA.

I enjoyed the writing style of Ms. Andre very much - it was a quick, breezy read but not without it's flashes of humor and moments of true emotional unmasking. The full spectrum storylines and multi-dimensional characters makes this one writer to watch. Available from Amazon, B&N, AllRomance eBooks and Smashwords, this Sullivan series belongs on the keeper shelf.
RATING: Five Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries and a bottle of Marcus' special vintage!

This book was given to us by the author. Many thanks.
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