Author: Diane Alberts

His Best Mistake by Diane Alberts

His Best Mistake by Diane AlbertsHis Best Mistake by Diane Alberts
Series: Shillings Agency #6
Published by Entangled Publishing on October 3rd 2016
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One night with a stranger…
Security expert Mark Matthews has loved, and lost, and has no intention of ever loving again—especially not a woman who thrives on her life being in danger. Now, hot, meaningless sex with strangers he had no intention of ever seeing again? That’s a whole other story. And it’s all life as a single father allows him to enjoy. But when he meets a woman who refuses to tell him her real name, the game is on, because she’s everything he swore to stay away from. Daisy O’Rourke has bad idea written all over her, but he’s in too deep to walk away now…

A short, pretend-role play in a bar leads to the bedroom where anonymity allows both Mark Matthews and Daisy O’Rourke a steamy night before parting ways. Except that having a common network of friends and colleagues piles on the strings neither had been wanting. A series of misunderstandings ensue because of the way Mark and Daisy assume things about each other that they shouldn’t and like most of the men in the Shillings Agency, screw up in some way or other because they cannot give enough until hit on the head with a meteorite.

‘His Best Mistake’ I think, would be best for readers who like to see a man with a broken past brought to his knees because of his own stupidity and then later fighting for what he’d mistakenly thought was easy.

It isn’t a difficult or unpredictable read yet my lukewarm reception of the story isn’t with Diane Alberts’s writing, but rather the romantic leads—particularly Mark’s—whose mind games and contradictory stance on relationships and casual sex all in the name of shielding his daughter and himself became progressively annoying as they form the bulk of the conflict. Which of course, also happens to provide a convenient excuse for having one-night stands with random women. He clearly wants Daisy, chases her, then pushes her into a friends with benefits situation before warning her not to expect anymore because of his apparent complicated family situation.

Conversely, it was easier to admire Daisy more who had her eyes more open than Mark’s own delusions and I liked her for finally calling out this sexist and hypocritical behaviour especially when he implied that she should have gotten a safer job even if his is just as dangerous as hers. I understood Daisy’s caution around Mark, yet knowing with dread that she would still take the fall for his indecision at the end.

Not that Mark’s rather spectacular grovel and the subsequent quick slide into a rather rushed HEA aren’t fun to read, but I think my preference for an emotionally smart male lead whose major flaw isn’t with commitment that is dependent on not dying or great sex is showing up a little strongly here. Even as my allegiance lies with Daisy and her stalwart partner Tim here, Alberts however, does throw a lot of effort into redeeming Mark Matthews, as her epilogue proves that much.


Say You’re Mine by Diane Alberts

Say You’re Mine by Diane AlbertsSay You're Mine by Diane Alberts
Series: Shillings Agency #5
Published by Entangled: Brazen on December 7th 2015
Pages: 181
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Navy SEAL Steven Thomas has only ever been able to count on three things: waking up in the morning, going to sleep sometime during the night, and Lauren Brixton. She's been his best friend since grade school, and what they have is the only relationship he's managed not to ruin.
Until one drunken night puts that all in jeopardy.
Lauren's watched Steven flit from one-night stand to one-night stand, seemingly not interested in something more. So when the long-ignored attraction between the two of them blows up in their faces, she does the only thing she can-she pretends she doesn't want him. But all's fair in love and war, and Steven's not about to lose the only person in his life who matters...

If childhood friends suddenly turn lovers, I’d love to read about a believable reason why this happens but this book doesn’t offer a plausible one for me – other than it just so happened with the help of alcohol freeing moments – at all. Instead, a non-committed manwhore with PTSD issues who couldn’t get mature enough to face his issues suddenly wants his best friend and decides, at the flip of a switch, that she is all he needs. And really has ever been all he wanted, despite the promiscuous behaviour he has been exhibiting for a long time.

I just wasn’t able to get on board with the story, at least not when both leads (particularly a male one) behave with the emotional range of a goldfish at age thirty, so clearly this isn’t a book for me.


Beauty and the Boss by Diane Alberts

Beauty and the Boss by Diane AlbertsBeauty and the Boss by Diane Alberts
Series: Modern Fairytales #1
Published by Macmillan on November 16th 2015
Pages: 225
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Beauty is about to tame her beast...
Researcher Maggie Donovan has no luck with men, and it doesn't help that she can't keep her eyes off of her sexy boss – the one everyone else in the office calls The Beast. Relationships in the office are forbidden. So no one is more surprised than Maggie when she pretends to be his fiancée to save him during a difficult situation. Not only has she put her job on the line, but the future of the company.
Billionaire Benjamin Gale III doesn’t believe in love or romance, but the look on his mother’s face when Maggie tells her that she’s his fiancée is worth millions. Instead of firing her for her insubordination, he goes along with the ruse. In his arms–and in his bed–she’d be everything he could ever want...which is why he can’t have her.
But if he doesn’t let her go, they’ll lose everything...

Fairy tales are tricky things; adapting and reworking them and not turning archetypes into clichés is an even trickier task. Beauty and the Boss is one such book – a mismash of several tales with the very popular use of role reversal: Maggie is both Belle and Cinderella at the ball while her aloof, closed-off boss Benjamin is the grumpy beast, the prince as well as the masculine version of Cinderella with the wicked stepmother – who is probably better known as the witch. But even padded with the familiar tropes of contemporary life, Maggie and Benjamin stayed better as flat-ish clichés rather than the mythical archetypes in the fairytales themselves, with personalities that just aren’t compelling (with some wild swings in mood) to leap off the book for me. By the time the epilogue swung around, I found myself cringing at the effusive and rather unbelievable outpouring of emotion, and wondering if Cinderella/the prince and Belle/Beast are better confined to where they should be by the end of their story – long faded off into their personal sunsets.


Seducing the Princess by Diane Alberts

Seducing the Princess by Diane AlbertsSeducing the Princess by Diane Alberts
Series: Shillings Agency #3
Published by Entangled: Brazen on December 15th 2014
Pages: 221
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Protecting a princess is not what former marine Gordon Waybrook signed up for when he joined the Shillings Agency. But instead of the spoiled, regal little creature he expects, Isabelle VanGuard is a fiery, sexy-as hell woman who's been denied what she needs for too long. And he's just the man to break through her frozen public facade and give it to her.
When she's with Gordon, all Isabelle can think about is pleasure. Their blistering chemistry is immediate and intense, but volatile. In fact, the only thing they agree on is that their one night together is just that—one night. Even after it becomes more. But tempers and temptation can't disguise reality. Isabelle is a princess, and a hot, hard, and tattooed bodyguard isn't the Prince Charming her country expects…even if he's exactly what she needs.

Not one that worked for me, unfortunately. The characters lacked depth – in this case, sex equated to love – and I couldn’t wrap my head around the fake countries and the funny name that Isabelle had.