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.


  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 […]


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)

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…

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 …

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.

The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Review of "On the Surface" by Kate Willoughby

Title: On the Surface
Author: Kate Willoughby
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: In the Zone #1
Price: $4.99 (e-book) | $12.47 (Audible Audio)
Rating: DNF

From the Publisher
NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.
Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.
Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of an…