Onward with the RITA® Reader Challenge reviews! I had an email this morning asking why I didn’t do any last week. Sorry! There’s plenty more a-comin’, fear not!
This review is by Julie C. She read Not That Kind of Girl by Susan Donovan. Behold, ye plot summary: Roxanne Bloom is through with love. Fresh on the heels of a bad break-up, she’s decided to devote all her time to her man-slamming website—and her man-hating dog, Lilith. But this pit-bull-Boxer is so good at unleashing her fury (and her owner’s) that the male victims keep piling up…and now it’s time to get some sensitivity training. Enter Eli Gallagher, one of the best—and hottest—canine experts in town.
The more Eli gets to know Roxie, the more he senses that she’s been hurt by men in the past—just like her dog. With a little gentle prodding, and a whole lot of patience, Eli hopes to gain Roxie’s trust and soothe her broken heart. Eli can see that Roxie’s bark is way worse than her bite. But she’s not putting her guard down just yet—even if she is falling deeply, madly, doggedly in love with him…
And now, Julie’s review:
What I liked: There’s growth for both characters, but mostly Roxie. She learns to let her guard down and let Eli love her, and that just because she’s had bad relationships before doesn’t mean she’s doomed to repeat the same cycle.
I also liked Roxie’s friends, a tight-knit group who all support and understand each other. It was also great to see a same-sex couple as the secondary romance.
What didn’t work for me: Sometimes Donovan told me how the characters felt instead of showing me; in the beginning of the book she used italics to express the characters’ thoughts. I don’t need to know every thought going through the characters’ minds! I can see how they feel through their actions and dialogue.
As for Eli, he seemed like a nice guy. It just felt like something was missing between him and Roxie. Donovan makes a few references to the electricity or spark between them, and there were very few times I could feel it, too. I think their romance happened way too quickly; I’m the kind of reader who loves tons of build-up and tension before the hero and heroine get together. It didn’t seem like their attraction had enough time to grow and develop. Within a week, they were discussing a future together, and I was just like, “Hey, slow down! You just started to get to know each other!” (The characters acknowledge this, though.)
The final courtroom scene was ridiculous and hilarious, and the epilogue was sweet. This was a good book and at times I didn’t want to put it down.