Plain ol' romance is a genre that I rarely read. Normally I either get my romance mixed with something else, or go straight for the erotica shelf when feeling frisky.
But I enjoyed Natalie G. Owen's first book, Something to Live For, so I read her second, Everything to Lose. And it's a novella!
1. This book has mystery elements but not paranormal.
Dane Marsh is a mysterious man. Apart from his travel-heavy career, this was the big things that caused his marriage to fail. The "strong but silent" deal got stale.
Before she will fully commit to restarting a relationship with Dane, Lisbeth needs to know more about his past. And if he doesn't open up on his own, well then she will trick him into it.
I like mystery and romance fine but they aren't the genres I get really revved up about. I preferred the magic in the first book, but that's just my taste.
2. Relationships should be based on honesty, but what if you have to lie to get the truth?
It's an interesting concept. Lisbeth convinces Dane to accompany her on a 'work trip' that has nothing to do with her job. It is a handy excuse to get a grasp on his past.
He doesn't really seem to mind in the end, but it's an unusual tactic. I suppose it is better than just giving up on the marriage as long as lying doesn't become habitual.
3. An alpha male reigns in the end, but Lisbeth is a strong lady.
Going back to the whole lying-to-her-ex scene, Lisbeth has some gumption. Her husband is a career climber with a definite stubborn streak. He does only what he wants. She manages to maneuver him into a situation to get the information she needs to commit to him.
Really, buying someone a ticket to Italy and giving them more attention then they thought they would get...not such a bad lie.
The Italy trick is a clever device and I think it shows Lisbeth can stand up to her husband even if he is an alpha in the bedroom.
4. Alphas are a personal choice that every woman must
decide for herself.
Alpha males are not my personal bag, so it rates a little lower for me. I think I enjoyed the dynamic more in Something to Live For because the heroine was blind and the hero hurting.
5. Natalie G Owens always writes in awesome locations.
Her first book was set in Malta. This one, Everything to Lose, begins in England and then jets off to Italy.
Italy, a place I love.