Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Taking What's His - Release Day and Review

Author: Diane Alberts (Jen McLaughlin)
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Series: A Shillings Agency Novel, Book 4
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:

Some lines are meant to be crossed...

One explosive device was all it took to turn Holt Cunningham from ass-kicking Marine to IT technician. Hell, he's still not over it. So when the cute little strawberry blonde at the bar asks him to kiss her, Holt can't resist the temptation of a sexy distraction. Before he knows it, she's blown his mind...and then skipped out the next morning.

Lydia Thomas never expected things with Holt to go quite that far, but oh, it was worth it. After being far too good for way too long, she was ready to be bad. Except that there's that tiny detail that Lydia kept to herself-Holt just spent the night doing naughty things...with his best friend's little sister.

One night isn't nearly enough. But with his friendship on the line, how far will Holt go in order to claim what's his?

My Review:

Why Hello Holt Cunningham

I am just going to put this right here.......

“Geeks were the dirtiest, freakiest, sexiest men of them all. Hands down. And this guy might be the king of them all.” -Lydia

Do you really need more of a review than that?  I didn't really think so, but sadly for all of us I am going to pull you away from that bit of gorgeousness up there and give you one.

Taking What's His is a sexy romance centered around an ex-Marine turned IT guy fighting his way through PTSD (and trying to do it alone, Oh Holt *sad frowns*) and Lydia the woman who corners him in a bar, agrees to go home with him, turns out to be his best friends sister, and the best thing to ever happen to Holt.

 I loved the layers of these characters.  Diane Alberts gives you a real look into their lives and in particular Holt's PTSD struggles...and you guys know being an Army Spouse myself this is something very important to me.  It has to feel authentic and Diane details Holt's struggles beautifully with out making light of them or making them more outlandish than need be.  Each Soldier deals with their PTSD differently and it comes in varying degrees, but every moment of living with PTSD and living with someone who has PTSD is a moment that we get to be thankful.  PTSD is a serious issue and I am so glad to see that while this is a fun romantic story Diane never fails to show the seriousness of Holt's challenges and Lydia's desire to be there for him, to help him heal.  So before we go on I am just going take a quick moment and leave this webiste here in case someone needs it...

 .... I loved how strong Lydia was in this book.  You come into it seeing her as this timid, inexperienced girl who turns out out to be this amazingly strong, independent woman and I love how she refuses to give up on Holt, they were truly a perfect paring. I know I have already talked a bit about Holt, but let me just add that he is on the top of my list for this new phenomenon we seem to be...these Nerdy Alpha Males...and I am all about it. I loved that he is this kick arse Ex-Marine/Nerd/Alpha/Boy Next Door/ All Around Nice Guy (even if he doesn't believe that is) and that he genuinely wants what is best for everyone even at the cost of his own wants and desires. I enjoyed the push and pull between the two characters.  I never felt like we were going on to the far side of annoying or emo between them.  Their desire to be together and the fears of the same were realistic and understandable.  Sufficed to say I never felt the need to chuck my Kindle or the unhealthy want to choke a book character.  What you want is just for them to find this amazing happiness and for Holt to feel free of his demons! You won't be surprised by this being an HEA, but the story between these two will keep you glued to the words and wanting more. 

If you are a fan of Dr. Who you will adore all the little moments where the series is brought up, they add a beautiful sweetness to the story of these two lovers

“You said if I knocked, you’d always let me in. I’m knocking.” -Holt

I have to admit here that this was the first Shilling Agency book I have read so that being said I can tell you that you can read these as standalones, but I will be going back to read the others, 1. Because I really enjoyed the story and 2. because there were little things that popped up and made me say....hmmmm, wonder what is going on here. I am also very curious to see where things go for Lydia's brother and Holt's Best friend Steven. If you love a romantic book with a heaping side of sexy, a struggling military hero and a woman who brings him back from the edge than this is a great read! 

Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. She's hit the Top 100 lists on Amazon and Barnes and Noble numerous times with numerous titles. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn't until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

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