Series: Things to Do Before You Die

His Fantasy Bride by Nina Croft

His Fantasy Bride by Nina CroftHis Fantasy Bride by Nina Croft
Series: Things to Do Before You Die, #3
Published by Entangled: Brazen on July 11th 2016
Pages: 148
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I can’t marry you. You don’t love me.

Two sentences, that’s all Gabrielle Harper left Vito D’Ascensio when she vanished the night before their wedding. If he wants his bride back, he’s going to have to hunt her down and prove his love. But when he searches for Gabrielle, he finds Gabby instead; it seems his perfect bride is nothing but a fantasy.

After six months, Gabby presumes it’s over, an episode in her life she’s totally ashamed of. But now Vito is back. He’s the one man she can never have, but as desire explodes between them, she has a tough time remembering why they shouldn’t be together. Oh, right, her family hates him, and he’s done terrible things. Or has he? But it doesn’t matter. When he finds out the truth about who she really is…he’ll never want to see her again.

It took a sinking ship for three friends to reevaluate their lives and their questionably decision making and in Vito D’Ascensio’s case, it was simply to go after a woman – who’d left him – to prove his love. Unbeknownst to him, Gabrielle Harper had merely been playing a part in an elaborate ruse to get close to Vito to solve several family problems of her own.

Unfortunately, ‘His fantasy bride’ is yet another case of a pairing that I didn’t like at all mainly because of the female protagonist who demonstrated every trait I despise in a romantic heroine: lying, yet playing the victim, cowardly to the very end but self-aware enough to know better yet not do anything differently. It was difficult to accept how this particular ‘relationship’ was built on Vito’s earnest wooing and Gabby’s unconscionable conduct: the constant monologue of hers that ran along the lines of not deserving him simply got tired and hypocritical when she never seemed to go anything about it anyway. Her selfish, unthinking behaviour – somehow it’d never occurred to her that a man as Vito would have taken her actions as a betrayal of the highest order – was beyond galling, enough to make me skim through the book. I thought Vito truly deserved way better than a poorly conceived character like her and I found myself consistently wishing that he’d in fact moved past her after her first deception.

Which probably means, I’d completely lost it by then.

I’ve had better read, sad to say; if not for the hero whom I actually liked, I think I would have simply not finished the book at all.


His Fantasy Girl by Nina Croft

His Fantasy Girl by Nina CroftHis Fantasy Girl by Nina Croft
Series: Things to do Before You Die #1
Published by Entangled: Brazen on October 19th 2015
Pages: 239
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There's nothing like a near death experience to make a guy reassess his life. And that's exactly what nightclub owner Logan McCabe decides to do, starting with looking up the girl he spent one wild night with eleven years ago, right before his life turned to crap. He spent a year fantasizing about her. Now he's ready to see how reality matches up.
Abigail Parker is a perfectionist. She's only strayed from the straight and narrow once in her life, on her eighteenth birthday. It was supposed to be one wild night with a totally unsuitable man before she settled into her sensible future. Instead it changed her life forever.
Logan might still be the sexiest man Abigail has ever seen, but a dirty-talking, tattooed, ex-con is the last thing she needs in her perfect life. He claims she's his fantasy girl, but what he doesn't know is she's also the mother of his ten-year old daughter...

Suddenly wanting a chance with his one-night stand 11 years ago – with only memories of hot sex driving him – after a shipwreck that supposedly made him reevaluate his priorities, Logan McCabe decides to look up a woman with whom he has had no contact ever since that day to replay his fantasies about her in technicolour. It’s as far as the plan goes.

That, in itself, made very little sense to me (there’s the assumption that nothing has changed in the intervening years and of course, sexual chemistry would be as hot as always) and the straight plunge into sex the moment he finds Abigail Parker made me wonder if this was one of those “plots” in porn videos that existed just so that characters could hurry onto the bedroom action. The story gets a little more grounded when Logan discovers that he is in fact, saddled with a daughter.

But for lust to turn to love when him and Abby have nothing in common…? Then again, if this is erotica, then the believability of the narrative really isn’t the point here, even if there’s really nothing wrong with the writing itself.