DDS REVIEW: The Danvers Series by Sydney Landon

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 1:00
Posted in category Review

Sandy M’s Duckies Do Series review of the Danvers Series by Sydney Landon
Contemporary Romance published by Signet Dec 12 – Feb 13

I always look forward to reading new authors. It’s exciting to discover a fresh voice in Romanceland. So when it came to my attention Penguin picked up Sydney Landon and her Danvers series, I couldn’t resist taking a chance to read her intriguing-sounding trilogy.

Book Cover Weekends Required
31 Dec 12

Danvers International is in the middle of a merger with Mericom, which will make it the largest communications company in the U.S. Claire has worked for Jason Davers three years now, enjoys her job, and has secret fantasies about her sexy boss. Of course, not another living soul knows that. Not even her best friend, Suzy, who also works for the company. Claire also has a second job with Partiez Plus. On weekends Claire jumps out of birthday cakes for celebrators of the male persuasion. That’s all. No hanky-panky, just a quick jump, some smiles and happy birthdays thrown about, and she done. See, the thing is Claire needs the money to pay her mother’s medical bills, of which there are many. So the weekend pay helps her out tremendously.

Jason has never really noticed the woman in Claire. She’s a top-notch, efficient assistant who comes to the office dressed professionally and comports herself in the same manner. But then one night at a friend’s birthday celebration, who should jump out of a huge cake and nearly into his arms? His assistant? In a skimpy outfit he never in a million years thought she’d wear. Now he can’t get the woman out of his head. And what a woman she is. How can it be he’s never noticed all her sexy before now? So begins his quest to make sure she doesn’t work anymore weekends jumping out of cakes. Claire will work weekends with him instead.

Of course, this causes problems, despite how close they become working those extra hours. When Jason learns the truth about Claire’s weekend work, he only wants to help. So he begins to make decisions so things will be easier for her. But Claire takes exception to those decisions, feeling Jason is taking over her life, just like her father did to her mother for so many years. She balks big time, and I’m not sure I’m on board with the extent to which she goes in this regard. Especially after finding out so much about Jason and the man he is, which info comes from her BFF. She believes all she hears from Suzy, but she still backs off to the point of calling things off between them. I realize what happened to her and her mother still haunts her, but I would have liked her to come to her conclusions a little bit sooner.

Other than that, I do like Claire and Jason a lot. They’re good people and work well together in every aspect of life. While the story isn’t something we haven’t read before, Ms. Danvers does a nice of job of making her characters likable and sympathetic. Suzy is a hoot, and you can’t wait to get to her story once you get to know her in this book.

Grade: C+

Summary:

Claire Walters has worked for Jason Danvers as his assistant for three years, but he never appreciated her as a woman—until the day she jumps out of a cake at his friend’s bachelor party…

To support her ailing mother, Claire is forced to work a second job at a party planning company. But when her handsome boss ends up with a front-row seat to the action, she’s mortified—and he’s intrigued.

With Danvers International in the middle of an important merger, Jason asks Claire to accompany him on weekend business trips—and suddenly all her fantasies are coming true. Her outspoken best friend thinks that getting a little “executive attention” will solve everything. But Claire sees more in Jason than just sex.

Jason is determined to know how the beautiful, sexy woman in the cake could also be his mousy assistant. The more time they spend together, the more he realizes how much fun it can be to mix business with pleasure. And how much he wants to offer her a happily-ever-after of her own…

No excerpt available.

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Book Cover
Not Planning on You
5 Feb 13

Suzy and Gray met a year earlier when Danvers and Mericom, Gray’s business, merged. She’s glad Gray hasn’t been in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina office, because though the man seems uptight and all business, she can’t deny an attraction. But all good things must come to an end – Gray is now slated to be working out of her office. Just what she needs.

But Gray thinks it’s the best thing in the world. It was love at first sight for him when he met her, and now he can work on Suzy to bring her ’round to his way of thinking. Only problem is, he has a secret he needs to tell Suzy about but he keeps putting it off, hoping it will just go away on its own. That’s not about to happen, we know, while they’re getting to know one another. However, just as they are starting to date, Suzy ends up in a cast and temporarily moves in with Jason. So he has a lot of time to tell her his problem, but in the end she finds out on her own and that pushes Suzy away.

When we first meet Suzy, she’s a straight shooter, says her mind, and is a breath of fresh air. It’s interesting to watch her fall in love and show her vulnerable side, something you’d never see when she’s in Suzy mode. I have only one nitpick. Despite the bad news that comes their way and Gray’s efforts to do the right thing, Suzy doesn’t totally trust him. She says she loves him. Therefore, there should be some trust in the equation. Nick, Gray’s brother, is the perfect example of this. I realize Suzy is coming into the situation on the back end and she doesn’t know everything, especially the source of the problem, but I think because of everything Gray has said and done to this point, he deserves her trust. I do like how the situation is resolved, it normally doesn’t happen this way in most books. There’s much more drama and deceit involved, so this way is rather nice.

Ms. Landon does a great job of interspersing previous characters for us to catch up with, as well as bringing in new to work with this storyline. We meet Nick and also Beth, Suzy’s sister, who will be featured in the next book. I kind of hoped maybe Beth would be paired with Declan, a new partner in Danvers. I think his military background would have proved interesting with Beth’s insecurities and emerging personality. But Nick is also an interesting character and I’m looking forward to their story.

Grade: C+

Summary:

Suzy Denton thought she had it all: a great job as an event planner for Danvers International and a committed relationship to her high school sweetheart…

But now her life has gone to hell in a hand-basket. Not only did she discover her fiancé cheating, but a recent corporate merger is making her job very difficult—mostly due to Grayson Merimon, wealthy CEO. Gray is a man who goes after what he wants. And, after their first meeting, he wants Suzy.

Even though he looks like every fantasy she’s ever had, Suzy is wary of the powerful businessman. She likes her newfound independence, even if her best friend thinks it’s an excuse not to risk her heart again. Besides, she doesn’t think Gray could ever be interested in a relationship with someone like her. When he calls her bluff, Suzy agrees to one night together.

But when circumstances continue to throw them together—and with Gray determined to show her that two opposites can be a perfect fit—Suzy realizes that she might just have found the one man who can give her what she always needed….

No excerpt available.

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Book CoverThat third book in the trilogy, Fall for Me, is out in March. I’m hoping that gives Ms. Landon a little more time to work out some kinks that plague her writing, which happens to nearly every new author and even a few veterans. They sometimes latch onto a certain word or phrase and use it over and over again, and that’s the case in both books, but more so in Not Planning on You. Everyone throws their heads back and laughs. The heroes can’t wait to be inside the heroines, which is fine, but if I’d thought of it at the time I would have searched to see how many times the word “inside” is used, especially in the same paragraph or succeeding paragraphs and pages. Sometimes it’s a lot. The same with “up in flames” or just “flames” and taking “possession” of mouth or body or by mouth or body, as a couple more examples. There’s a few inconsistencies in each book that do pull the reader out of the story at times. All of these are new writer mistakes, so it’s a definite given that with each book Ms. Landon will only get better and these types of issues will disappear. That’s the beauty of the craft and those who are good at it.

SandyM

All that being said, the series is fun and the characters are enjoyable, especially the heroes, who are aren’t just handsome and sexy, but they’re not afraid to show their feelings or talk things out with not only their heroines but also their friends. And I enjoy those friendships. Claire and Suzy’s friendship is wonderful, as is that between the sisters, Suzy and Beth. Even the men have a great relationship between them, having known each other for years.

I’m glad I’ve found Ms. Landon. I look forward to future stories from her. Watching an author grow into her writing is almost as satisfying as reading one of her books.

 

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