Thursday, 9 October 2014

Captivated by Megan Hart & Tiffany Reisz

Captivated (2014) (short story collection) (Harlequin)
Featuring 'Letting Go' and 'Seize the Night'
Megan Hart & Tiffany Reisz
Grade: B- (average)
Genre: erotica / contemporary romance
Sex scenes: hot
Source: NetGalley
Romance RBC 2014: A book with a 'marriage of convenience'

In Letting Go, Colleen visits The Fallen Angel bar every Thursday night, ordering a whiskey but leaving it untouched. Bartender Jesse is enchanted with the beautiful but troubled Colleen and determined to make something of their connection. Colleen is wary: her ex-husband always accused her of being frigid and cold and she hasn’t yet got over their divorce. It isn’t until a snow storm forces them to spend time in each other’s company that Colleen rethinks her perspective on a new relationship and is confronted with her newfound desire for kinkiness in the bedroom …

In Seize the Night, Remi Montgomery knows that something is shifty is up with two of the biggest Thoroughbred racing farms in Kentucky, Arden farms and Capital Hills. She would do something to confront the problem, but Arden farm belongs to her parents, and Capital Hills, belonging to the Brites family, is their greatest enemy. To top it off, she and Julien, the Brites’ only son were the source of the original rivalry. Five years ago, a night of unbridled passion turned the two families against each other and it’s now up to Remi and Julien to get to the bottom of it …

I loved Seize the Night; I wasn’t so hot about Letting Go. STN did appear second in this collection, but it’s Tiffany Reisz: of course I read it first. I would have given Letting Go something in the region of a C- and Seize the Night an A, hence the average rating of B-. I’m not a huge fan of Megan Hart (of the little interaction I’ve had with her work) but any regular reader of this blog knows that I worship Tiffany Reisz, and this was no exception.

I’ve read excerpts of Megan Hart’s work, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a full-length novel – at least, from what I can remember. I wasn’t too impressed, but this was just a short story. Apart from Tiffany Reisz, I have yet to meet a writer who can impress me just as much with a novella or short story, as they can with the full-length novel. I think my problem was that I just didn’t like Colleen. I wasn’t Jesse’s biggest fan either, but there was something about Colleen that really got under my skin. Another limb of my problem was probably comparing the two stories and expecting a ridiculously high standard because that’s what my bar is for Reisz, and that doesn’t get me anywhere. Retrospectively, Letting Go was a sweet story, but not for me.

Seize the Night is the second of Ms Reisz’s short stories based on a play by Shakespeare, with this inspiration being Romeo and Juliet. I’ve never read Romeo and Juliet, but I did watch the 2013 adaptation starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld in the title roles. It had Douglas Booth in it – there was no question that I would love it. Anyway, it fleshed out the skeleton of the story that I had in my head and reading Seize the Night (almost) straight on the heels of the film helped to cement the story. As with Misbehaving, Ms Reisz has done a fantastic job in turning a Shakespearean classic on its head, while still remaining true to the story. As always, it’s inappropriately hilarious, full of innuendo and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. This was definitely the star of this duet and worth saving for last, if I had the chance to read this collection again.

Image courtesy of FF Adults Only

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