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My Need to Read

I love to explore genre fiction, and while I usually go for books with a romantic thread running through it, I just love great character and world building. And since I can hardly stand to let go of my favorite characters, I like series.

Start Me Up

Start Me Up - Victoria Dahl In a nutshell:Oh, this was a breeze to read. Finished it with a smile in my heart. Again, the characters were great.Ms. Dahl, you're two-for-two. :o) This book was a delight to read from beginning to end. The two characters highlighted in this book are supporting/minor characters from Talk Me Down: Vivacious mechanic Lori Love, and the very work-focused architect Quinn Jennings. Lori catches up with her best friend's brother when she is hired to repair some equipment for an upcoming building project. She's feeling like she's dead-ended in her life, and decides she needs a sizzle (read: hot fling) to distract her from her worries. Lucky for Quinn, he happens to be at the right place at the right time, and doesn't mind being her boy toy. ...at first. :o)As with the previous novels, the most enjoyable component of the book is the characters. Lori in particular was my fave. She's got a fun and outgoing personality that belies a hardworking, responsible-to-a-fault woman with a lot of regret and guilt. I love that she's a sucker for smexy romance novels! And likewise I found it (bitter)sweet that she basically "gave up" her original plans and dreams to care for her parent. It seemed like a sizable majority of the story was spent following her "perspective," so I suppose it's no surprise she comes out as my fave. But Lori and Quinn together...wahoo! It's actually together--even through simple interactions like chatting--that they really shine. And the romantic get-togethers, well...they were more than sufficiently hot.I also loved the gradual addition of a layer of mystery and thrill on top of the main romance. It's nothing outrageous--this is lil' ole Tumble Creek, after all--but it was exciting and very well integrated with the love story thread.Another fun little addition was the occasional snippet from (fictional) romance novels that Lori reads. At first I sort of didn't get why such a device was used, showing the actual "book" excerpt rather than simply making reference--though there was a story or two that was weaved into certain scenes with either Lori or Quinn, to hilarious effect--but after a while I didn't care; they were fun and cute cutaways. By the end, I think I'd decided that I liked this book more than the fantastic first installment. Dahl really knows how to create a read that is both effortless and immensely satisfying on several levels.