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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Drea's Review: Seeing Red

Title: Seeing Red
Author: Holley Trent
Series: Hearts and Minds, #3
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley
Release Date: June 16th 2014
Publisher: Kennsington Books - Lyrical Press
Length: Novel (277 pages)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Rating: 3.5-stars

Drea's Review:
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Meg's rocker husband has filed for divorce. Tired of constant media coverage of "Poor Meg", she and her best friends devise a plan to get her out of the spotlight: a fake marriage. In steps Seth/Sergie “Red” Rozhkov playing the part of her One-True-Love. Seth is a member of Meg's circle of college friends, but one she doesn't know well. What she does know? He's a sciencey doctor who happens to be single, a "giant", and happy to oblige in her scheme. This pair plays house for the press until it turns into something more.

Holley Trent is my go-to author for camp and snark. I've loved everything by her. Unfortunately this book didn't really have either camp or snark (apart from the running joke about Rozhkov disease). So right there, it loses a half star in my mind.

Comparing this book to other contemporary romances I've read, I did have one major issue.

The skinny: Seth has to completely change his behavior/personality to win over the woman he loves. I'm not sure I've ever been able to get behind a romance that includes this.

The long: As with Ms. Trent's other work, mechanics wise, you won't be wincing at typos. Story wise, Meg is a fairly aggressive heroine (perhaps Trent's most aggressive to date), which isn't necessarily a bad thing. If Meg hadn't been calling the shots, this story would have gone nowhere fast because though Seth is a big, handsome guy, he's shy.

The love scenes are hot, probably even scorching (on Goodreads, some are marking this as erotic...I'm so warped now that I can't tell the difference).

And Seth is a successful sweetheart any woman would be lucky to snag.

However, Meg's BFF has coached Seth on how not to behave around Meg if he wants this fake marriage to turn into something real. There is a comparison to befriending cats in here, as though Meg is a skittish cat. Okay, I can understand how a gal who has been burned by her sleazy ex might need some coaxing. But early on in the book, Seth is told that Meg doesn't like small talk (and other such cautions). So this chatty fellow is stuck sitting in a room alone with the woman he's had a crush on for years...and he can't talk to her. That rubbed me wrong. He struggles through 95% of the book with how to behave because he doesn't want to push Meg away. That doesn't spell romance to me.

Thanks to their shared friends, and Meg's parents, these two somehow come to a common ground and get their happy for now (HFN).

Despite my major issue with the personality switching, I did like the book. Meg may not be the most pleasant of heroines, but she's far more realistic than many of the Mary Sues who pop up in romances. And Seth makes up for her shortcomings.

Grab this one if you have a thing for red-haired Russian hotties and their prickly crushes.


  1. I agree I would have been confused about the personality but it sounds like a nice one and I confess that I didn't know the book nor the author. thanks for the review!

    1. I love her snarky stuff. You might look into the Shrew series if you like tongue-in-cheek stories :)

  2. Yup, one has to act as themselves and not closely watch their action otherwise I'll feel like they're posing or something. I don't think I'll be reading this even if it's an OK read

    1. It is hard for some to resist the urge not to behave differently to please the object of their affection though...

  3. Hrm. Yeah I don't like when the hero or heroine has to do a complete180 on their true personality to keep their mate. Drives me nuts so probably good if I start with one of her others. I do love the fake mates set up though. Gah that's one of my favorites!

    1. Perhaps start with "The Problem with Paddy". It's more like chick lit and had me laughing. Plus its short and hot :)

  4. Im with Anna. the whole fake mate thingy myself. They sound like good likeable characters too. Great review Drea ;)