Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review: Camelot Series by Ruthie Knox Part 2

I devoured this entire series, one after the other, last week. Incredibly enjoyable all around, you can read my reviews of the first two books here. Now, it's time for my two favorite books in the series.

Camelot Series
Author: Ruthie Knox
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Title: Flirting with Disaster
Book: 2
Release Date: 10 June 2013

Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.

Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.

This book was so much fun to read! Katie's a woman I found it so easy to relate to - she wasn't quite sure what she wanted out of life, or even who she wanted to be; she just knew that she needed more than what she'd had. So Katie pushed herself, trying new things, being 'her best self' and attempting to change her life by changing her attitude towards it. It was really refreshing to read about a heroine that knew she had to start with herself in order to make herself happy. When she gets paired up with Sean she can't figure out why he hates her so much - enough that he won't even speak to her. Her memories from school are fond, so what happened. Katie's got some of the same insecurities as nearly every female I've ever talked to. The nice thing was that she didn't let them own her, at least not for long. Her previous history had allowed her to learn to deal with what she was feeling, get past it, and make the best of nearly any situation.

Sean doesn't hate Katie, but he won't talk around her anyway. He worked years to get past the stutter that haunted him throughout school. Ten minutes around Katie though, and it's back and getting worse. He can't stand the thought of letting her hear him unable to control his own words. When he finally has to talk, it sets up some of the sexiest chemistry I've read about in a good long while. Plus, Sean's a geek, a hacker, and smart as all hell. He has Star Wars posters in his old room at home, disappears into his hacking and programming for days on end, and loves to solve real-world puzzles. I could not get enough of Sean! He makes a few mistakes with Katie, but he makes up for them so beautifully.

We first see a glimpse of Sean, and Katie, in Along Came Trouble. Sean's taken a temporary job for Caleb's security while he's home to deal with his mother's estate. Camelot's not a happy place for him, memories attempt to suffocate while he's there, so he spends as much time as possible avoiding what needs to be done and distracting himself with the work...and Katie.

Katie and Sean are perfect for each other. They, as corny as it sounds, complete each other. And I really loved the idea of the high-school geek ending up with his crush. I couldn't stop myself from grinning throughout this whole book. As they spend more time with each other, things really heat up and I have to say...Ruthie Knox writes some of the best sex scenes I've read. Not only are they sexy, but the emotions of the characters come through really well.

There's a minor mystery going on in this book, and while I felt it was interesting enough to drive the story along - mainly in bringing Katie and Sean together and making them interact - it wasn't the focus of the book. That was Katie and Sean's relationship and how they were going to make it work; if they were going to make it work.

I could gush about this book forever, but it's going to devolve into this: READ THIS BOOK! Go on now, pick it up. I'd be willing to bet you won't regret it.

Grade: A

Amazon | BN | Kobo | Sony | Goodreads

Title: Making It Last
Book: 2.5 (novella follow up to How to Misbehave)
Release Date: 15 July 2013

A hotel bar. A sexy stranger. A night of passion. There’s a part of Amber Mazzara that wants those things, wants to have a moment — just one — where life isn’t a complicated tangle of house and husband and kids and careers. Then, after a long, exhausting “vacation” with her family, her husband surprises her with a gift: a few days on the beach . . . alone.

Only she won’t be alone long, because a handsome man just bought her a drink. He’s cool, he’s confident, and he wants to take Amber to bed and keep her there for days. Lucky for them both, he’s her husband. He’s only got a few days in Jamaica to make her wildest desires come true, but if he can pull it off, there’s reason to believe that this fantasy can last a lifetime.
When I read How to Misbehave, I loved Amber and Tony and really wanted to see them make it. Throughout the other two, full-length novels in the Camelot series we've seen glimpses of them. Married, with kids and a dog. But that's about all we got. I was ecstatic when I saw there was going to be a follow-up novella.

This book ripped my guts out, over and over and over again. It had me near tears for the entire first 65%. You might wonder how that's a good thing, but the book totally paid off.

Amber and Tony's marriage is going along quite like a lot of people's, I imagine. They have kids, responsibilities, Tony's working a lot to make up for the down construction-housing market, Amber's last baby just started school so now she's home alone...and she doesn't quite remember who she is. After nearly 10 years of putting everyone else first, never thinking of herself, she's not even sure where to start to get herself back. And it doesn't help that Tony's so caught up in his job, and his brother who seems to be spiraling out of control, that he doesn't really try to help Amber. He takes for granted that his marriage is the one part of his life he doesn't need to worry about, because Amber'll be fine.

When they are getting ready to leave Jamaica and Tony sees Amber wiping tears he decides to give her some time to relax and have a real vacation. Amber doesn't know what to say, so she accepts it. After he's gone the thought that runs through her mind is that she wanted to spend time with him, not alone.

I can't even get into what all is in this book, because I think I might start crying again. This book shows that marriages are work. It's not all a fairy-tale after the HEA at the end of the book. People have to put in the time and care and love to a relationship, commit to each other and pulling through tough patches, and make sure they talk about what they need and want.

I loved this book. Loved it, so much. It was heart-wrenching, beautiful, real, and incredibly romantic. A man goes back to Jamaica to save his marriage - will he be in time?

Grade: A

Amazon | BN | Kobo | Sony | Goodreads

Ruthie Knox has easily become one of my favorite authors from my reading this series. She's going on my auto-buy list, and I can't wait to read the rest of the books she has out now. I'd highly recommend this series to anyone that enjoys contemporary romances. You can't go wrong here!

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