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Posted October 13, 2013
Posted October 11, 2013
Two unusual characters: Jess, a petite wanna-be movie producer, and and Tanner, a huge ex-con with a grudge (his wrongful conviction), with opposing goals. It's fast paced and well-written, but with a few things that bugged me. (YMMV.)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Additionally, I'm a big fan of Dee J. Adams and her awesome writing.
Sometimes, size matters. Jess is a "tiny little thing," it mentions in more than one place she's about a hundred pounds, which would put her at about five feet tall, MAYBE 5'2". Tanner is 6'4" and strongly built.
I'm 5'9", and I've dated men who are 6'4"; the kinds of accommodations that Jess and Tanner make in AGAINST THE WALL - she gets up on her tiptoes, he bends down, etc., are the exact same adjustments I've had to make, when there was only a 7" difference in height. So with a height difference of 14"-16", I was constantly "choreographing" in my head to see if certain elements of love scenes were even possible. IMO, many times, they were not. For example, he's on top, inside her - unless he's a contortionist or EXTREMELY flexible, I didn't believe he could ALSO be nuzzling her neck. I wanted these two to be closer in height, OR the adjustments to be more extreme - she stands on a box or a step, or he picks her up to kiss her, for example.
Another peeve; they were both a little too good at sex. Enthusiastic, I can believe, but with a partner you don't know, and without much experience on either side, there's usually some clumsiness.
Tanner went into prison as a young man of twenty (who at that age are rarely as sexually experienced as they brag) and hasn't been with a woman since. How can he be that good, that he knows where and how to touch, able to hold back, etc.? He should've been fumbling a little, perhaps even beating her to the finish line, in Round One. As for Jess, "She wasn't a virgin, but she wasn't a slut, either." If this book hadn't been so good otherwise (and if it wasn't on my Kindle), I would've pitched it against the wall at that line.
I enjoy romances where one or both leads are virgins, OR relatively inexperienced, OR where one or both are EXTREMELY sexually experienced. Or anywhere in between, provided the writing is good and the sexual tension is high. I can also deal with a book where slut-shaming goes on, as something a character has to deal with, or must overcome from inside her own head. But it pushes all my hot buttons to have a character/author casually toss off something like that, reinforcing the cultural slut-shaming message of no/little sex = good girl; much sex = slutty/bad girl.
That said, the sex scenes were VERY hot, in unusual locations (see title), and if you don't have my tape-measuring fetish or my hot button issues, those things probably won't bother you.
I liked that the ended was not a quick HEA, but there were legal complications to be resolved from the actions Jess and Tanner took. I loved Jess's family, especially her parents, and their courage and ingenuity. It's well worth reading for fans of romantic suspense who want an action hero different from all the SEALs and cops and werewolves and such.
Posted July 21, 2013
~Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
AGAINST THE WALL was a good read, but it wasn’t a book that kept me reading. I admit I put this book down a couple of times and picked up other books. And this has nothing to do with it being a bad story. Dee J. Adams is a very talented author with a knack for creating scenes that feel real and good suspense without going over the top.
I think my problem here was not being convinced in the connection between H/h. Tanner Bryant, the hero, just got out of jail. He had served a sentence for a crime he didn’t commit and is now looking for revenge. Revenge against the father of his best friend that made sure he went to jail to save his son from going. Jess gets caught in the middle of that by getting shot by Tanner instead of his intended target. And Tanner freaking out about that fact kidnaps her to help her.
But Jess has problems of her own. Her whole family has been kidnapped by another bad guy and now she has to get him either a ton of money or her boss so she can get them back.
Tanner and Jess are great at teamwork, great at helping each other achieve their goals and kick some ass. But I’m not a fan of Stockholm Syndrome type stories and this to me was all about that. I really didn’t feel a connection between them that went past that. I would’ve liked to see more relationship development and maybe a bit less of the details of their predicaments. Or just added on to that.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed this story and I do look forward to continuing this series! Maybe we can see stories about Jess’s brothers?
*ARC provided by author