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Friday, June 12, 2015

Review: Don't Walk Away by Elle Kennedy and Vivian Arend

I normally try to avoid writing duos because if the duo in question doesn't work out and a series doesn't get finished then it's like watching my favorite characters die. However, I just couldn't resist anything with Elle Kennedy's name attached to it and I'm glad I didn't resist this series. Kennedy and Vivian Arend did a fantastic job with this one and I can't wait to read the previous books in the series!

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Vivian Arend
Release Date: April 21, 2015

He wants to rock her world—in bed and out of it

For former Army Ranger Dean Colter, sexual escapades and wild flirtations are the norm—but it wasn’t always that way. Years ago, the DreamMakers co-owner was a one-woman kind of guy until he tore Emma Lee’s heart apart. Yet he’s never forgotten her, and when Emma waltzes back into his life, a second chance is suddenly within his reach…and he’ll be damned if he’ll screw up again.

She wants her world to stop spinning apart

Emma’s no longer the na├»ve girl she used to be. Now a successful designer in the fashion world, she refuses to let Dean’s killer smile and sweet-talking ways distract her from her goals. But being the target of Dean’s full-out seduction isn’t easy to resist, even as the dynasty she’s built teeters toward disaster. This time she might the one who breaks both their hearts when she has to walk away.

Once again I’m jumping into a series out of order. Remember when I said I didn’t like to do that? It was so long ago I’m not entirely sure I did say it. No matter. The truth is some books are too good to miss out on no matter what number they are in a series.

What an odd concept: Big badass former military type men and women who now run a matchmaking business called DreamMakers. Tough guys and gals dealing with the softer human emotions… Yeah no matter how many different ways I say it, I can’t wrap my head around it. Talk about something different. But then I would expect nothing less from Elle Kennedy, one of my absolute favorite authors. Kennedy once again teams up with fellow author Vivian Arend for the third book in the DreamMakers series, Don’t Walk Away and it was one steamy reunion!

Once upon a time, Dean Colter and Emma Lee were young and in love. On the verge of getting married and starting a life together, Emma never expected that things would go wrong. Except they did. Dean walked away from her and their life in favor of the Army. In fact, he didn’t even tell Emma he was leaving; she had to find out from someone else.

Years later and Dean and Emma find themselves in a hot and heavy situation one night, only neither one of them realizes who the other is. But when Dean abruptly shows up at Emma’s door in broad daylight they get the shock of their lives and a second chance at a happy ending.

As far as second chance romances go, Dean and Emma’s was pretty drama free. Sure Emma had her doubts as to whether man whore Dean could and would stay faithful and be happy with her but with so much evidence of his past constantly popping up, I couldn’t blame her! I mean, the guy did walk out on her without so much as an explanation.

Though to give Dean some credit, he really worked hard to show Emma that he was still the same guy she fell in love with, just with a few more sexy skills. I loved how much effort he put into winning her over, it wasn’t just so he could sleep with her, it was so she would let her guard down with him again. He wanted to have the simple things with her again and that to me made all the difference in the world. He was so considerate but at the same time such a dirty talker! Emma really had the best of both worlds! She had the loving, considerate Dean but at the same time the dirty talking, mouth watering, experienced Dean who loved showing her a good time.

I have to say that I loved the way Dean and Emma met up again, kind of like a kick in the butt for both of them to be attracted to each other without even realizing who the other was. From there everything went straight into a second chance romance with a little angst, a little fun, a lot of sexy and a dash of humor. It’s obvious Kennedy and Arend make a great team and while I’m familiar with Kennedy’s work (Have you not heard me gush over her Killer Instincts series?), I am a totally newbie to Arend’s work. Which I know I will be fixing over the next few weeks.

Dean and Emma aren’t the only interesting characters to be had in Don’t Walk Away and both authors do a fabulous job of setting up future couples, first with Colby and Suz, who was a definite favorite and then with Gillian and Chase. Frankly, I’d be happy with either couple being the next ones in the series. Though Gillian and Chase might have the edge because there seemed to be some serious tension between the two.

Don’t Walk Away was definitely worth my time as a reader, Dean and Emma were a great couple who had to work for their second chance (Though since Dean screwed up he had to work harder, go Emma for not being easy), but more than that the entire DreamMakers team was like a family. They fought, teased and generally gave each other a hard time but it was clear they had each other’s backs. I loved that unconventional family vibe they had going on. I definitely plan on picking up future books. In fact, I already have the first book and I’m getting ready to buy the second.

Final Verdict: Kennedy and Arend make an incredible duo and I can't wait to read more!

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