Harlequin Temptation #123
MILD SPOILERS 😉
3 1/2 Stars
This review is of The Strong, Silent Type, book #2 in the “Bachelor Arms” series and the 2nd of 3 books in the series written by Kate Hoffmann.
The book begins with Josh Banks, the hero of the book and a tax accountant (yes, you read that correctly), meeting with one of his clients, actress Olivia Wilde (NOT the current actress using the stage name, this Olivia Wilde is a 75-year-old octogenarian actress). Olivia asks Josh for a favor; to keep her granddaughter, Taryn, out of Los Angeles for a few weeks (Olivia is up for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and feels that Taryn–a tabloid darling–might scupper her chances for the award with her behavior).
When Josh meets Taryn, the heroine, he offers her money to leave L.A. She refuses. She’ll only agree to behave if Josh does something for her, which he is not willing to do at first. (He does agree, eventually, to pose for her).
Take Me as I Am
As the book goes on, Taryn gets into some mishaps which Josh has to extricate her from. They also discover two things: One, their personalities are very different; and two, they are ragingly attracted to each other. They later act on this attraction and become lovers.
Like We Never Loved at All
For a while, Taryn and Josh are happy. That happiness ends when Olivia tells Taryn that she suggested that Josh seduce her to keep her out of trouble while Olivia’s Oscar nomination is pending (Olivia later wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). Taryn leaves L.A. to get space and clear her head. One thing remains clear, though; she’s still in love with Josh.
Let’s Go to Vegas
In the end, Taryn and Olivia begin to reconcile their relationship, as do Taryn and Josh. They elope to Las Vegas, marry and begin their Happily Ever After.
First, I really liked Josh as a hero. (This is highly unusual for me, being a straight man, to view heroes as anything more than necessary evils in romance novels). “The Strong, Silent Type” is probably the first book-at least the ones I’ve read-to feature a tax accountant as a hero. He’s also very shy and, at times, uncomfortable around women. However, being raised partially by a single mother-his father passed when Josh was 12–and having three older and two younger sisters have given Josh a great understanding and respect for women. Although he does do a few arrogant things, overall, Josh is very respectful towards women, which is great to see.
Ms. Hoffmann made a great decision to pair him with Taryn. A quiet man in a romance novel needs to have a spirited woman to play off of, and Ms. Hoffman has certainly provided that in Taryn Wilde.
When I read a romance novel, I want to love the heroine, even if just a little bit.
I didn’t feel that way entirely about Taryn. I liked her, I understood why she acted the way she did without Ms. Hoffmann’s explanations, but Ms. Hoffmann also didn’t get me to love Taryn the way I wanted to. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker, but it was an issue for me.
One love scene that generates some heat, but for the most part, is fairly tame.
Several scenes of assault and battery. The violence is not graphic.
Reviewed by Blue Falcon