Donna Reads: Out of Love by R.C. Boldt

Foster Kavanaugh is an ex-Navy Seal, and he’s done a lot of bad things in his life. He doesn’t think he deserves love, and he doesn’t think he has anything to offer a decent woman. His office manager, Noelle Davis, has a history of her own. She’s being stalked by her psycho ex-boyfriend. She and Foster have a sarcastic, teasing relationship that quickly becomes something more.

I wish I had realized that the characters in this book continued on from a previous four book series. I felt like something was missing by not knowing who they were. I didn’t know their history and not having the back story was a little annoying especially where his friends were concerned.

I liked the first part of this book a lot when they were trading insults, and Foster was protective and caring. His service dog, Harley was adorable when he got protective of Noelle, too. The second half of the book where Foster was stuck and couldn’t let go of his past drove me crazy. It was way too repetitive. The same events and conversations happened over and over again. Commit or quit! Without the repetition, I think I would’ve enjoyed this one a lot more than I did.

Donna Reads: The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos #1)

steelThe Blurb: Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning, summoning the nerve to take back her past. She’s determined to forget her old life and is looking for an artist who can tattoo over the scars on her back.

Trent Andrews, local legend and owner of the Second Circle tattoo studio, has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And in spite of her mysterious past and the difficult road ahead, he quickly realizes that Harper is funny, smart, and–under her ridiculously oversized clothing and SPF 100 sunscreen–totally hot. He’s happy to take on the challenge of designing a meaningful and deadly full-back tattoo for her.

But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper’s phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. Running was the only thing that saved her last time, but now that she’s started to put down roots in Miami, she’ll have to decide if she can finally fight back instead.

This is the first book I’ve read by Scarlett Cole. I believe it was also her first novel. I had a hard time getting through this one. It was so slow. I actually put it aside and read two other (faster paced) more interesting books before I could sit and finish this one. I liked the story although I didn’t care for the stalker aspect at all. I would’ve been happier if it had just been about the love story and Harper learning to trust again. I also had a hard time liking the hero. I wanted him to be different somehow. At times he seemed wimpy to me even though he did MMA training in a cage. He didn’t seem tough enough for that. I didn’t like the second person voice; it was lacking in description at times. Thinking back now, I couldn’t even tell you what Trent looked like other than extremely tall, dark and handsome. What color were his eyes? I don’t know. It didn’t stick with me. Since this story was so slowly told, it seemed at times like it would never end. When the story finally limped to its conclusion, Harper is the one who gets the bad guy. I kind-of wanted Trent to do that for her. I wanted him to do something other than love her and create an awesome tattoo. If he was that much man, he seemed a little wasted here. Harper spent three-quarters of the story worrying about his safety. Who was the guy here?

Image and blurb from Goodreads