REVIEW: Burn For Me by Dee TenorioThursday, November 19, 2009 13:00
I’ve only read a few of Dee Tenorio’s stories, but I think she’s an author to keep an eye on. (I said the same about Jess Dee.) I’ve read Burn For Me a few times now, and find it very enjoyable. I love stories where the hero and heroine knew each other. There are qualities and factors that make this story different from others, although some things are very familiar. For example, the secret baby. Evil potential in-laws, and so on. However, the small town and large family dynamic give Burn For Me something more. I believe there are more books set in this city, and I intend to look into that. Also, cliche, but I have to say it. Did you look at the cover? Love it. I want Scott Carpenter skills when I grow up.
Dr. Penelope Gibson is an interesting character. I think that she’s well rounded, and very human. She’s emotional, determined to be strong, makes mistakes, knows she isn’t perfect, worries a lot, but will do anything to protect her daughter. In short, she’s a mother. But that’s good. Her friends call her “Pen” – and I’m not sure if it was another book I was reading at the same time, but I found that distracting. I like how cautious Penelope is. Finally there’s a heroine who sticks to her guns, and really has to be sure about the hero before she’s all in. I thought it was realistic that Pen would be willing to be with Raul physically, but not certain they’d have a lasting relationship. (With good reason.)
Raul Montenga is a hero that you like now, but wouldn’t have if you had known him in the past. I think his flaws and colorful history really help his relationship (or the lack thereof) with Pen. He was a jerk, but now that he’s home, he’s all grown up. Raul needed that time to become a man. That sounds so cliche, but its true. I think Raul needed some time to play and figure out what he wanted from life. Once he does, Raul goes after it with single minded determination. Not only do I think that is admirable, I absolutely adore it when the hero is head over heels for the heroine, and doing his best to convince her to take a chance on him.
Perhaps its because I’m over thinking as I write this review – but the secret baby aspect. Raul’s mother knew immediately knew that Chloe is her granddaughter. That I can believe – sometimes with family you can just know. However, with the town being so small and everyone in each other’s business, one would have thought it’d be a bigger deal that Chloe is Raul’s daughter. Even before he knew. (Nobody knows who Chloe’s father is for years.) Although, I suppose that isn’t the focus. In a way, I liked that Penelope and Raul already having a daughter together is something of a collateral benefit, and not why Raul wants to be with Penelope.
The really interesting twist is the family aspect. Both Penelope and Raul’s families are well described and extremely different, but the disparities are enjoyable. There’s a twist, with almost reverse racism, for a lack of a better term. I liked that Ms. Tenorio addressed such an interesting and difficult subject, and that she made it integral to the story, rather than it being simply some personal agenda to “educate the world.”
While I really enjoyed this book, there was just something about it -not that it was off – its hard to describe, but maybe not complete, or that mysterious quality that made me want to hug the book after finishing it. The elusive squee, I suppose. Nevertheless, its great. Chloe is a likable character (I have to say I’m not a fan of children in romances. I guess kids freak me out. Anyway.) But she’s well written, and quite the kid. Raoul and Penelope’s relationship is real, and occurs naturally. They’re sweet, and their interaction is very sexy. While there are a number of secondary characters, most of the focus is on Raoul and Penelope… and their parents. Another interesting twist. I recommend this book if you enjoy Ms. Tenorio’s writing, or if you’re looking for a quick enjoyable contemporary.
[And... brace yourselves. Longest. Book blurb. Ever!]
Once burned is all it takes…
A Rancho Del Cielo Romance.
Twelve years ago, Raul Montenga left home to live life on his own terms. Yet for just as long, his nights have sizzled with erotic dreams of Penelope, the girl he left behind. Enough is enough. It’s time to find out if the sparks are real, or all in his head.
Not that he expected a warm welcome, but her cold shoulder and icy rejection sting more than he cares to admit. So he’s more than a little surprised to find her tomboy daughter standing nervously on his porch…claiming to be his child.
Dr. Penelope Gibson’s worst nightmare isn’t that her daughter wants to know her daddy. It’s facing—and keeping at arm’s length—her biggest youthful mistake. Now he’s back and the feelings she’d thought frozen solid are melting fast. Along with her inhibitions, her clothes and her better judgment.
Problem is, Raul’s not content to stop at getting acquainted with her daughter. He wants it all—Penelope’s love, her body and her soul. After twelve years building a life without him, though, she’s not sure she trusts him—or herself—enough to try.
Read an excerpt here.