Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: Good Girl Gone Plaid (The McLaughlins #1)

Good Girl Gone Plaid (The McLaughlins #1) by Shelli Stevens

Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd, 2013
229 pages, kindle edition
Source: Free through Amazon

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Falling for the bad boy is even more dangerous the second time around.

In high school Sarah fell for her best friend’s older brother—one of the sexy, Scottish McLaughlin boys. But a painful betrayal showed her she’d been a fool to give her heart to a bad boy. At least it made it easier to leave him and move halfway around the world when her Navy dad got stationed in Japan.

Eleven years later, the death of her grandmother has forced Sarah back to Whidbey Island for a month. It’s the length of time she must stay in her inherited house before she’s allowed to sell it, take the money and run. But when she sees Ian, bad as ever and still looking like sin on a stick, she can’t keep her mouth from watering.

One look at Sarah stirs up the regret lingering in Ian’s heart—and never-forgotten desire lingering in his body. He should walk away, especially since divorced single mothers aren’t his style. But when she starts showing up at his family’s pub, he can’t resist a little casual seduction for old time’s sake.

One thing quickly becomes clear, though. The heat between them is causing an avalanche of secrets and betrayal and nothing will ever be the same.

My Review:

I completely enjoyed this story! The characters were well written, both Ian and Sarah are deep with a great history. We got a pretty good look at the other brothers and sister, setting up for the following books. The plot was great, I've gotten a bit jaded with romance novels, boy meets girl, drama happens, sex happens, happily ever after happens. This does follow that pattern mostly, but the the drama in between was fantastic. Ian and Sarah were high school sweethearts, bad stuff happens, they seperate, and eleven years later are thrown back together. There is much animosity and distrust on both sides, neither is happy to see the other, and Ian's family doesn't help. Drama really happens then! Their history is revealed through flashbacks, which I really liked. Secrets are revealed on both sides, trust is rebuilt, family interfers more, and we get the pay off. No surprise to say we get a good ending, it's why we read romance novels!

Sometimes the female character in romance novels comes across as weak and needy, the weaker of the pair by far. That is not the case here, Sarah has a backbone. She has a moment here and there, but overall she is a strongly written character. I appreciate that. Ian is an ass, he's certainly the bad boy, partly cause he is, partly cause he's been told he is. But under the ass exterior is a strong loving man. It took me a while to warm up to him, but he grew on me, and I loved him by the end.

The setting was interesting, both the island and the pub, the characters were great, the plot was great, the sex was hot and just plentiful enough to be good but not overwhelming. There were hot Scottish men, in kilts at one point! Shelli told us about the island this takes place on, and the games being played at the Highland Games in a way that felt instructional but not like we were being talked down to. Her information fit in to the story, and didn't feel odd, or make me step out of the plot to learn something. If that makes sense!

My only let down was the same as another reviewer, there was a "bad guy" character introduced that never went anywhere. I would liked to have seen more drama caused by him. But that is a minor issue, not a complaint, just an observation! Great set up at the end for the next book as well, I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the series!

I've read several of Shelli's books, while they were all good, steady romance novels, but this one stood out as being particularly well written!

My Rating:

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