Tags: , , , , , , , ,

book cover Limecello’s review of No Stopping Now by Dawn Atkins
Contemporary romance released by Harlequin Blaze on 1 Apr 08

I haven’t read a book by Dawn Atkins before, but Harlequin Blaze is one of my category go-to lines, and No Stopping Now was a great find. The story wasn’t quite what I was expecting, and it was a pleasant surprise. A thoughtful, well written story with a little bit of everything, I’m glad I picked up this book.

Jillian James is a unique heroine. She’s one of the guys, and never really got over being the “fat girl” or her father abandoning her. However, those are subtly introduced undertones in the story. She’s smart and clearheaded. Jillian knows when she’s emotionally involved, but doesn’t let it affect her work relationship. Or at least, tries not to let that change. I liked how competent Jillian was at what she did, and how she still had compassion, even though she was so career focused.

Brody Donegan, better known as Doctor Nite, is a man’s man. Or at least, a frat boy’s man. He does a travelogue of sorts showing men the hot night spots, and how to be a player. His motto might as well be “hit it then quit it” (it actually is “the doctor is in”) – but Brody isn’t actually that guy. He has a conscience, and is looking to do something else in his life. Brody actually is a good guy. He doesn’t encourage men to be players- he simply wants men who are players not to get into relationships that will end badly for everyone. Brody also cares about people a lot. He notices small things – what they like, how to treat them, he makes every person feel important.

No Stopping Now is complicated in a good way, for being such a short book. The secondary characters are well written, and each character is well rounded. Jillian and Brody have the face they show the world, the one they show each other, and then who they really are inside. It was fun watching each character discover themselves, and the development of the various relationships. In fact, the action, including a gun-toting thug was rather peripheral.

The scenes are all engaging- at times I was worried as to the outcome, but Ms. Atkins controls the story masterfully. The character reactions are realistic, as are the emotions and concerns. Neither Jillian nor Brody are vilified, though they easily could have been. There are arguments, and at times mistakes are made, but rather than taking away from the plot, each aspect adds to it.

I plan to add Ms. Atkins to my list of authors to watch out for. The story was quite enjoyable, and had a lot more substance that I thought it might. For those of you who like the Blaze books, or just a great contemporary novel, I can happily recommend No Stopping Now.

LimecelloGrade: B+

Be careful what you lust for

Where is the infamous Doctor Nite when she needs him? Sure, Brody Donegan acts the obnoxious cable show host when documentary maker Jillian James shines the camera on him. When the lights go off, however, it’s the man behind the persona that has her libido working overtime. And once she’s had a taste of the real Brody, there is no stopping this fling.

But she’s promised a network the exclusive on Doctor Nite in her film about bad-for-you bachelors. And the more time she spends in Brody’s bed, the more she doubts how bad he is for her. Can she capture that footage…and keep the man?

Read an excerpt here.