Skip to main content

Review of "Need You for Always" by Marina Adair

Need You for AlwaysBefore finding this book on Netgalley, I'd never heard of Marina Adair, and that's a shame.  If you read my Video of the Day post yesterday, you know that I had a pretty big issue with Need You for Always, but once I was able to get passed it, I was also able to enjoy the book.  It was cute, funny, sexy, and romantic--all the things a straight contemporary romance should be.

Two years ago, Emerson dropped everything and returned to the small town of St. Helena, California to help her mom deal with the ALS she'd been diagnosed with years earlier, which suddenly got worse.  After her mother died, she stayed to help her dad raise her little sister and deal with the every day things that he was not able to do without her mother.  Instead of being a fancy chef, she's got a food cart filled with Greek delicacies and she's working towards opening up her very own food truck.

Dax has spent his entire adult life in the military as an Army Ranger, but in the blink of an eye, it was all over, leaving him with a shattered knee and his walking papers.  He returned to St. Helena because he didn't have anywhere else to go, but of course he had a back-up plan and an ace up his sleeve.  He'd already applied for a job in San Jose--2 hours away from anyone that mattered to him.  It didn't take long for those plans to lose their appeal as he quickly began a relationship with Emerson--a relationship that would change both of their lives.

Aside from the ALS issue that I mentioned in the other post, there really isn't much to complain about with this book.  There is a minor issue with the obligatory elderly plot moppet, existing solely to make you like the main characters because they're nice to quirky old folks.  I blame Jill Shalvis for the existence of such characters.  She did so well with Lucille in her Lucky Harbor series that it seems every small town contemporary has elderly social media gurus or something similar.  In Need You for Always, there was Ida.  She owned a wine and chocolate bar and ran an elderly ladies singles' night.  She also tricked both Emi and Dax into working for her, going so far as to advertise that Dax would be the bouncer for the singles' night (He wasn't allowed to admit any women with real hips because all the men who had real hips would pass up the women without them for them.  Also, he had to hand out gift bags with vibrators in them!).  Let me be clear about this: I hate this trope.  Hate it.  If your characters aren't likable enough without inserting elderly plot moppets, then you need to adjust their personalities.  Adding these extra characters is just lazy writing.

I did, however, like this book and both of the main characters, even without the elderly plot moppets popping up after the 50% mark.  These were both characters afraid of moving forward.  Dax seems to have been born with a guilty conscience, blaming himself for his mother's death when he was just 2 years old.  Because of this, he's likely to run away from his friends and family.  He doesn't want to hurt them or be hurt by them (not that he would admit to that).  I liked that he was this physically strong man, but on the inside he was afraid--afraid to be something other than the bad ass Ranger that he's been since he was old enough to enlist in the military, afraid to let his family into his life, afraid to let people down, and afraid to love.  (Personally, I don't think he loved himself--she writes listening to Whitney Houston sing about the greatest love of all.  His mother's death left him with the idea that if he wasn't born she wouldn't have died and so he didn't deserve to be loved or to love someone.)

Emerson is the exact opposite.  She clings to her family and uses them as a crutch, hobbling herself and them, making it so that none of them could move on from her mom's death.  All because she's afraid.  Afraid of failing, afraid of succeeding, and afraid of losing someone else.  She's stuck in emotional quicksand and doesn't have a clue how to pull herself out of it.

I did like how everything wrapped up in the end, but I think that Dax should have had to grovel a little bit more.  The dude just up and left and I don't think that he apologized enough for hurting Emi the way that he did.

4 Stars

P.S. Whoever designed the cover, obviously hadn't read the book because there is no way in hell that that guy is Dax, who is described as being built like The Hulk or Captain America.  He's supposed to be 250 lbs of tattooed muscles.  If that guy has a tattoo, then I'm Donald Duck.

Need You for Always is available for Pre-order and will be released on October 13th.  It is also available for free on Kindle Unlimited on the same day.

Comments

  1. […] Need You For Alway by Marina Adair (October 13th): Emerson and Dax have known each other forever, having lived in the same small California town for most of their lives.  When attending a mutual wedding, they hooked up, spending an enjoyable night having some pretty awesome sex, but that was supposed to be it.  Dax had to return to the Middle East and Emerson had to stay in town to take care of her father and sister.  Then, Dax came home and made sure that Emerson knew she was the one that got away.  I really enjoyed this book, although I took issue at the depiction of Emerson’s mother’s ALS.  4 Stars […]

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:


Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year--Christmas in September

The day after Labor Day I woke up to an email from my contacts at St. Martin’s Press, inviting me to review six of their upcoming Christmas books, all of which have release dates in early October. For most people, this would probably be a problem — who wants to think about Christmas before Halloween — but for me, I’ve always had a soft spot for the man in the red suit. Even after I stopped believing in the Christ-Myth, I still loved that one holiday. To me, Christmas represents everything that Thanksgiving is supposed to be, but with better music and no obligatory turkey. Some of my favorite books have a Christmas theme and so I jumped at the chance to review those six books (well, five of them because the sixth has to do with cowboys and if there is one sub-genre I just cannot do is cowboys). I read the first two, With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins and Deck the Halls by Donna Alward, fairly quickly, especially since they’re both novellas. Both are being released in a little o…

Review of "New York, Actually" by Sarah Morgan

Title: New York, Actually
Author: Sarah Morgan
ISBN: 0373804105
Publisher: HQN Books
Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96 (Audible)
Rating: ðŸ¶ðŸ¶ðŸ¶ðŸ¶1/2


If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen my posts about this book over the last week.  For the most part, they weren't very positive -- until about 20% into the book, I hated the hero.  If I could have set him on fire, I probably would have.  It was only Ms. Morgan's prose and the fact that I had been looking forward to this book for 6 months that kept me reading.  For once, I am glad I was so wrong about a character.

From the PublisherOne man. One woman. Two dogs.  Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.  Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce …

The Internet of Things: Review of "Hacking IT" by Kimberly Dean

Title: Hacking IT
Author: Kimberly Dean
ISBN: 9781386835561
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Hackers #1
Price: $3.99 (e-book) $9.99 (paperback)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2


Have you ever seen the description of a book and known immediately that it was going to be awesome and upon reading it were faced with the possibility that it might actually be better than you originally thought?  For me, that book was Hacking IT by Kimberly Dean.  A female white hat hacker using her skills to uncover a black hat hacker, who has stepped away from his computer and entered the real world?  Um, yes, please.

From the Publisher:
Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers some…