Author: Brenda Rothert

Buried by Brenda Rothert

Buried by Brenda RothertBuried by Brenda Rothert
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing on 15th November 2018
Pages: 167
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two-stars

Do you believe in fate?

I didn’t. I’d worked since childhood to become an NFL starting quarterback. All the blood, sweat, and tears were about to pay off with my name in the record books. Setting an NFL record was going to be the crowning achievement of my career. Hell, of my life.But then fate, the cagey bitch, threw me a curveball I never saw coming. I ended up trapped in a doomsday bunker with four strangers, my chances at that record slipping away as days turned into months.

I never would’ve given Erin a second look. She was gorgeous, sure, but not my type. I liked women who were strong. Fearless. Resilient. Not to mention that she hated me.

But I was so wrong about her. And in that bunker, I fell in crazy, stupid love. I thought a record would be my greatest triumph. But now, all I want is a shot with Erin. I’ve faced down massive linebackers intent on ending me. For her, I’ll go toe-to-toe with fate.

I’ll say from the outset that ‘Buried’ rubbed me the wrong way. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but putting people in a forced underground bunker albeit by accident wasn’t the scenario I’d envisioned at all. Being stuck in close quarters or rather, cabin fever does make people do things they normally wouldn’t—including hooking up with other people who don’t normally cross their radar.

The life-changing event took place long enough to get everyone’s priorities rearranged while showing up the good, bad and the ugly. But that this was the basis of Erin’s and Derek’s relationship bothered me more than it should, because I wasn’t convinced that he would have spared her a second glance otherwise, nor chosen a woman like her to fit that smarmy playboy athlete lifestyle. How often has the excuse of sports taking up so much time that it becomes a valid reason to become a player on and off the field?

That he also had the urge not to ‘fuck’ her as he did with other women (as usual, she made him want more when he never wanted before, though I’d question if this was just prolonged cabin fever talking)…was a comparison that proved the last straw and an absolute put-off.

It was far easier to like Erin’s more even keel and compassion, and her matter-of-fact view of the player lifestyle not meshing with hers, and how she didn’t turn hysterical when it was clear that their time together was up.

The twist at the end felt more like something done for shock value (things just didn’t really add up satisfactorily as well), after which we were skipped straight to the epilogue. It didn’t seem to do much more other than add an unfinished touch to the entire story, instead worsening what already was a middling read for me.

two-stars

Blown Away by Brenda Rothert

Blown Away by Brenda RothertBlown Away by Brenda Rothert
Published by Loveswept on May 3rd 2016
Pages: 205
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three-stars

One year after her fiancé died in a heartbreaking accident, Drew McGovern decides to honor his memory by joining his old storm-chasing buddies on their latest excursion. What she’s not so sure about, however, is whether she’s ready to move on. Drew wasn’t expecting to feel the powerful pull of desire toward Colby’s best friend. But there’s no denying the intensity of their connection . . . or the heat he inspires in the parts of her that are still very much alive.   Aiden O’Neal doesn’t trust himself around Drew. He’s wanted this girl for a long time—long enough to remember the stab of jealousy he felt the first time he saw her in Colby’s arms. Now he’s trying his best to behave himself. But when the wind starts blowing and the adrenaline starts pumping, Aiden can’t resist the urge to claim Drew as his own. Because when it comes to desire, he’s hoping to make lightning strike twice.

After a year spent mourning her dead fiancé, Drew McGovern is ready to move on – on to stormchasing and making a difference in her and other people’s lives. In the midst of the thrill of facing unpredictable weather changes and the tragedy of ruined lives when a bad storm hits, Drew rediscovers herself as well as secrets that were never meant to be spoken about in the very seat that her dead fiancé had left empty.

There is so much to love about Drew, whose steely instinct for survival and coping won me over immediately. Her calm acceptance of her attraction to Aiden, her lack of fear when it came to treading the treacherous waters of a relationship with her fiancé’s best friend left me with open-mouthed admiration for a character so well-drawn and I found myself hoping that Aiden O’Neal would be the strong solid man that I’d wrongly initially assumed he was for her.

I was wrong, having landed myself in a rare case of liking a particular main character in a pairing, yet disliking the other.

Call me stodgy, but I prefer heroes who don’t play fast and loose with women, which is what Aiden is – and I’d really rather not read about his sexual encounters with anyone else other than the heroine, which is proving to be a test of a hard limit for me right from the beginning. He’s also a bundle of crude and coarse contradictions, claiming to care and want Drew, yet cowardly insisting that he can’t be anything but distant and detached with women, consequently treating them without the respect I personally demand of protagonists in the romantic genre. In fact, I liked the version of Aiden only in the first and last chapter, and felt that Drew simply attributed to him – an overestimation in my opinion – certain qualities that I simply couldn’t see. Drew and Aiden’s bourgeoning relationship could be best described as fitful and unsteady through no fault of the former; Aiden’s tendency to diminish Drew’s feelings and his inability to accept her affection for him were simultaneously aggravating and off-putting.

My long gripe aside however, ‘Blown Away’ was absorbing for its setting and action, giving a fascinating yet sombre glimpse of those who live in tornado alley and the very specific challenges that they face because of the weather.

three-stars