Publisher: HGA Publishing
Publication Date: July 20, 2016
So I read and then skimmed a pseudo-romance called Autumn Allure, which I am not going to provide a formal review for because the only really good thing I have to say about the book off-handedly is that the “hero” on the cover looked a little like Scott Speedman and that makes a pretty nice cover. There are plenty of readers who will tell you how wonderful the book is if you visit Goodreads or Amazon. You’ll read that it is sweet and comforting and that Autumn (because, yes, the title refers not to the sensuality of the fall season but to the daughter the “hero,” Nate, doesn’t know he produced) is so sweet you’ll fall in love with her. There’s not much in the way of action, but there is a lot of useless dialogue and syrup. Sticky, sticky syrup.
If you are a romance reader, please drop me a comment to let me know if “story” and “action” matter to you in a novel. I really, really, really want to know as both a reader/reviewer and a writer. Thanks.
Anyway, with that little introduction, I chose from my tbr list without too much care or a lot of care, you decide. I selected Rachael Herron’s On The Market because The Songbird’s Call, which I reviewed here is pretty much the perfect romance for me. It is funny with likeable characters, sensuality, lots of “action,” and MUSIC! (No, I don’t expect all romances to have music, but it never hurts!) And, thankfully, Rachael Herron didn’t let me down. As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. No need to worry about skimming or wondering when (or if) the novel would end.
The blurb says (not verbatim): On The Market equals The Bachelor meets The Property Brothers. Alas, I don’t watch much tv and never watch reality shows so that reference didn’t mean a whole heckuva lot to me, but I did get the gist.
Liam Ballard is a realtor who sells the houses that his brothers, Aidan and Jake renovate. On a semi-celebratory night, he drunkenly suggests to a tv producer, Natasha, the idea of not only following the Ballard brothers as they flip houses, but also that they could romance the prospective female house buyers on the show as well. Natasha, who is known for her driving personality, jumps on this idea and sends Felicia to this Northern California Beach Town to scout out the possibilities. Unexpectedly, Felicia falls in love with one of the houses and ends up being the first buyer.
Herron writes her male characters extremely well, giving them vulnerabilities and endearing qualities as well as making them sexy. Liam is no exception. Felicia, on the other hand, is driven and her job is her life so that she makes an almost irreconcilable error in judgement that jeopardizes her likeability to Liam and to the reader. However, a grand gesture satisfies as does the inevitable ending. I will admit that the reason why I have given On The Market fewer butterflies than The Songbird’s Call is that I didn’t like Felicia that much.
While On The Market isn’t quite as humorous as The Songbird’s Call, it is nonetheless excellently written and will make the reader look forward to the next installment (which will hopefully have a better cover) of The Ballard Brothers of Darling Bay. Oh, and yes, it does have the same setting, Darling Bay as The Songbird’s Call so you revisit the wonderful characters from that novel.
Which reminds me.
As one of the first bits for the reality tv show, Liam takes Felicia on a date in town. Herron just makes Darling Bay sound, well, so darling! If you’ve never considered that romance writers world-build, you will probably reconsider here. The town itself is a character that Herron has moulded with love.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and HGA Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
rating: (4 out of 5 butterflies)