One Week as Lovers, Two ARCs

One Week as Lovers I ended up with two ARCs of Victoria Dahl’s One Week as Lovers, her August release from Kensington. (Thanks, Kensington!)  Given that Dahl’s heroines are usually on the neurotic, often-stalked side, and her heroes are often a bit tortured, let’s talk damage, shall we?

What’s your favorite or most enjoyed form of heroine neurosis, or hero damage? Conversely, what tortured devices make you want to throw things?

Me: I’m a total sucker for forbidden attraction, when one character’s personal code, no matter how flawed that code may be, will absolutely not allow them to act on what is one hell of a smoking case of the hotty mcwantingpants. If it’s based on pedophillic overtones, ick no thanks – same with really stupid foundation for said personal code. But when it’s done right, forbidding hotty mcwantingpants is deeeelicious. So if the neurosis/damage is based on trying to resist something that’s proving more and more difficult to ignore, and having to choose between predictably duty or breaking everything for the chance at the object of said wantingpants, I’m all over that.

Variations on the theme make me giddy, too, for example any Beauty and the Beast-type “Oh, noes, I is too ugly/scarred/well-endowed for her!” angst is always fun for my readerly eyes.

What about you? What’s your favorite angst? Leave a comment and you’re entered to win a random drawing for one of two ARC bound galleys of Dahl’s book. Comments are open for 24 hours. Ready, set, angst!

One Week as Lovers is available for preorder at IndieBound,, BAMM and Amazon.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    krsylu says:

    Can it get any better than Lord of Scoundrels? “Can’t have her ‘cause she’s an innocent gentlewoman and I’m a well-known rogue, I’ll ruin her reputation. Oh, yeah…not to mention my own.”

  2. 2
    Sabrina says:

    I love me a hero with damage – physical and emotional – that keeps him from thinking he deserves the heronine. Love that!

    A scar on the face or body here and there, and a heart with scars of its own…swoon!

  3. 3
    Sabrina says:

    @ krsylu – LOS – ALL TIME FAVORITE! Love that book.

  4. 4
    Pearl says:

    Definitely the Beauty/Beast angst. Scarring both physically and emotionally goes well with me too.

    And I must join you in the forbidden attraction too. Especially in the working environment. Competing business people or the boss/employee angle. I’m a real sucker for those stories

  5. 5
    limecello says:

    I have to admit, I love the forbidden attraction too – which is why I think I read Diana Palmers. The whole “you’re off limits to me because of this insanely weird family situation and I’m going to pine and be tortured then become bitter for years and years” stories are my reading fix.
    Otherwise, in romances, I love the boss/secretary stories -which is so odd because I’m definitely creeped out by it in real life.
    I HATE the “I’m doing this for your own good” thing – like “oh I love you but I can’t marry you because you’re too good for me so I’ll make both of us suffer.” I guess the female variation – and one I’ve noticed a LOT now is “I’m infertile and I know you want to reproduce/have kids so I can’t be with you.” >.<

  6. 6
    Jackie says:

    I also have to throw in for the “I’m just a big meanie evil man type and I simply cannot ruin this lovely flower of a woman oh but maybe I will anyways” man-angst.

    As for the ladies, I really wish one of these books would have extra shitty hair. Like “holy crap, I have limp/frizzy/ass hair and no one will love me because my hair clingstomyface/lookslikepubichair/smellslikeass” and then through the magic wang, they discover shampoo and hair conditioner and hair spray and everything is suddenly better.

    At that point, the sun shines, birds chirp sweetly, and the enveloping warmth of love radiates through everyone. Or everyone with good hair, at least.

  7. 7
    Jackie U says:

    My favorite angst? When the hero/heroine thinks they have this big, bad, horribly terrifying and debilitating secret that’s about as evil as a box of kittens.

  8. 8
    Heather Brewer says:

    I love the forbidden attraction and I agree, I hate the whole “I’m doing this for your own good” stuff.  It just makes me want to throw the book across the room.

    I love the dark totured hero too.  I’m drawn to the bad boys for some reason.

  9. 9
    Heather says:

    I hate, despise, absolutely loathe the “your family done me wrong and now I must get back at you” revenge neuroses. 

    And if they twist in “oh noes I’m attracted to you, so I’ll make you fall in love with me to hurt you as my revenge”, that makes it worse.

    And if the book ends with “I intentionally made you fall in love with me to hurt you, but I love you too much to continue my vindictive revenge fantasy and will gladly live with you and your father/uncle/grandmother/older brother/whoever else did me wrong” and then “oh I love you too much to not forgive you for being a vengeful jerk and ruining my family/business/life in a misguided attempt at revenge”, a book-sized dent will suddenly appear on my wall.

  10. 10
    Kathy says:

    Love the Beauty/Beast scenario… or even just scarred hero (internal/external… doesn’t matter) who not only withdraws from the heroine but from life in general (thinking of Houston from Lorraine Heathe’s Texas Destiny—I thinkthat’s the name of the book.

  11. 11
    Ann says:

    I love the rogue/rake as well.  One who just “can’t” cause he’s too jaded.  For her hang-ups?  I guess the kind that needs to learn to rely on someone occasionally. 

    But can’t stand?  I ABHOR secret babies.  And if it’s not on the cover or description?  I throw the book in the recycle bin—without finishing it!

  12. 12
    CrystalGB says:

    My favorite angst is when the hero is scarred both emotional and physically and he hides away from society and the heroine has to break through that tough shell he has built to protect himself.

  13. 13

    Though I wouldn’t have thought of the phrase myself, forbidding hotty mcwantingpants works for me. A lot.

    Beauty and the beast, including switching up who’s the beauty and who’s the beast. I like that lots too.

  14. 14
    Katie Ann says:

    Oh, the Beast syndrome, though which only the heroine can penetrate (hur) into his damaged soul.  Love it.  Am getting pretty sick of the “he’s the biggest baddest sexin’est rake that evah lived…until SHE came along!”  I seem to read that theme on the back of books way too often, and it usually results in my putting the book back down.

  15. 15
    hockeyvampiress says:

    LOL Too well endowed…. is there such a thing?? LOL

    I like when forbidden love/attraction is allowed to blossom and I like when they have to wait a while…. liked/crush as kids and grow to love each other more as time goes on.
    I am not into macho men who only pleasure themselves…. I want a give and take relationship that not into the hard ass who gives into love as an afterthougt.

  16. 16
    Sam D says:

    I am a total sucker for the wounded hero (literally), two of my most favorite historicals have been about men that can’t walk due to war injuries and the woman that nurses them back to health… of course it totally helps if she happens to be a bluestocking as well!

  17. 17
    Kristie says:

    As I am in a relationship with a man older than me I tend to like that plot.  Why? because it works for me:)  I also gravitate towards the forbidden relationship.

  18. 18
    Babs says:

    I love the buddy of the older bro thing—she has either (1) worshipped him from afar forevah or (2) sparred with him for years (hidden depths of passion on both sides?!?!) and then BANG, some event happens which makes them realize they are wildly attracted to each other.

    But they can’t act on it because it will (1) piss off older bro, (2) he’s kinda squicked because he’s known her since she was a child and even though she’s all grown up it freaks him out, (3) she’s believing he’d never be interested in her THAT WAY, etc. Or all of the above.

    Much angst all around with perhaps some thrashing from the older bro and then the HEA. Works for me!

  19. 19
    Jodi says:

    I am also a sucker for the beauty and the beast stories.  Rogues are usually good reads too.  Especially when they are matched someone they would generally not give a second glance…

  20. 20
    MaryKate says:

    I’m a sucker for the devastated widower. The one who TOTALLY loved his wife/partner and is having a hard time reconciling his new lusting in his loins for the heroine. Butterfly Tattoo comes to mind.

    @Babs: I also am a total sucker Hot For My Brother’s BFF. Love that storyline. Oh! Or, the hero/heroine wakes up one day and is all, “Damn my best friend is hot.”

  21. 21
    Joanna S. says:

    My absolutely favorite hero/heroine combination (the one that gives me a case of the hotty mcwantingpants, whether it is historical or modern) is the hero who is totally, completely hit between the eyes (metaphorically speaking) by a truly awesome, take-no-bullshit type of heroine.  She comes into his life for reasons he cannot control, and she completely changes him (and his views of women and control) forever because, from the beginning, she never fears him and always gives as good as she gets!

    This is why I love Julie Garwood’s The Bride so much and usually read it once every year or so.  Alec Kincade is the consummate alpha male who thinks about women and wives in the same category as he does a good horse – beautiful, well-bred, sturdy & loyal – but once he puts her in the stable, then she/it is out of sight, out of mind.  Until he forced to marry Jamie, who through various hijinxs, neuroses, and unexpected “manly” abilities, cannot be – and absolutely refuses to be – ignored.  This story shows in an hilarious and heart-warming way, just how often people fall head-over-heels in love when they least expect it and often when it would be most inconvenient.  And it is usually with the person you least expected to be your “type,” but who turns out to be everything you ever (secretly) wanted.

    Just talking about it has made me want to read this book again…

    *toddles downstairs to bookcase*

  22. 22
    Nadia says:

    My favorite angst-ridden hero scenario is when he thinks he’s a Bad Person and loves the heroine too much to fuck up her life with his presence.  Don’t care if he’s truly a Bad Person who eventually redeems himself, a la Anne Stuart’s hotties, or he’s built up some past incident in his head – love ‘em all dearly.  Up to Our Heroine to show him that he is indeed worthy of her love, or maybe he isn’t but she wants him anyway, LOL.

    Heroine angst, I like a girl who comes from a family that puts the Fun in Dysfunction, and by the end of the book gets to hairflip them all and ride off into the sunset with her fabulous hero.  Overcoming bad family for the win!

  23. 23
    Heather Brewer says:

    I agree with Babs, the older friend of the brother works for me too.  Lora Leigh has used that in a couple of my favorite books.  She uses it with Clint and Morganna in Dangerous Games since Morganna is Reno’s little sister.  And then she has the Brother – younger step sister thing going in Nauti Boy with Kelly and Rowdy then you see it again in Nauti Intentions with Janey and Alex.  Alex has a lot to deal with Natches.

  24. 24
    MamaNice says:

    for example any Beauty and the Beast-type “Oh, noes, I is too ugly/scarred/well-endowed for her!” angst is always fun for my readerly eyes.

    That was some funny right there!

    I loves the Kinsale hero…broken/scarred/emotional wrecks that they are. Flowers From the Storm…where else ‘cept in Witness did going Amish seem so sexually appealing?

  25. 25
    Becky says:

    Reggie from Mary Jo Putney’s The Rake is one of my all time favorite wounded heroes.  An alcoholic hero wouldn’t normally do it for me, but Reggie has a good heart under all the booze and pain, and Lady Alys is truly his salvation.

    Alys is more like my typical favorite heroine- a woman who is smart and capable, but insecure about her beauty and attractiveness to men.

  26. 26
    Peyton says:

    I love a good Plain Jane story. Especially when the hero fell in love before the transformation and doesn’t just jump on the bandwagon after the fact. The angst of struggling to put aside past insecurities so the heroine can move on to a happier life *sigh*

  27. 27
    Heidi says:

    SarahB said: But when it’s done right, forbidding hotty mcwantingpants is deeeelicious.

    That is the most freakin fabulous phrase of all time. Seriously. Do you mind if I print it out and put it on my computer? I think it would work to lift me right out of any depression I am in, no matter HOW deep! I think I may have it on my tombstone: “This woman was wanted by many men with forbidden, hotty mcwantingpants” right above, wife, mother, romance reader…

    While I easily become incensed with angsty whining males, I do enjoy me some secret baby stories and the beauty and the beast is a great story. Plus, what is this about too endowed? Is there such a thing? Where I have been when these people were around????  Is there a place I can write, and please don’t mention this to my husband ;)

  28. 28
    SonomaLass says:

    I like infertility as a source of angst IF it is done well (no miracle cures from the Mighty Wang or Magic Hoohoo, plskthx) and they learn that love doesn’t require babies.  Conversely, I like “already a parent” angst—not secret baby (ugh) but someone else’s baby, who the h/h learns to love along with the parent.

    I also really love angst that is caused by the h/h’s past relationship, especially “I tried, but I can’t get over you.”

    Revenge angst, especially the family stuff, bugs me.  Angst that manifests itself in excessive self-pity also bugs me.  Damage of any kind that results in really stupid behavior is annoying.  And I really hate heroes who say “I have phobias about sex/childbearing because of what happened to my mother/dead wife, so I must try to avoid impregnating you and then be VERY ANGRY with you when you end up pregnant anyway.”

  29. 29
    Dottie says:

    I love the tortured hero, full of angst, questioning self worth, but at the same time, I want a powerful, knows his own value and ready for action hero.  I also love the Cinderella storyline and Beauty and the Beast, damn I guess I love them all.

    Dottie :)

  30. 30
    kathybaug says:

    I really enjoy the friends turn into lovers scenario.  They’re worried about ruining their friendship but hotty mcwantingpants cannot be denied :)  Conversely, I hate when couples separate because of a big misunderstanding and neither one has the guts to be upfront about things.

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