Saturday, October 5, 2013

Novel Review: Mouth to Mouth by Erin McCarthy

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance (with sex)
Publisher: Brava (Kensington Books)
Publish Date: 2007
Spoilers?: Not really.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In Love, There’s No Such Thing As A Simple Plan

Rule #1: Cops maintain their distance.
It was just supposed to be your average stakeout. My partner and I would scope out both the coffee shop and Laurel Wilkins, the latest target of con man Trevor Dean’s scheme to meet women online and bilk them of their money--and everything else.

Rule #2: Cops think fast on their feet.
So I went inside to get a better look. So she happened to be gorgeous with a body that made me temporarily forget how to order coffee. So she knew my name-Russ Evans-and hugged me like we were more than friends. So what the $#@ is going on?

Rule #3: Cops never, ever get involved.
At least she's willing to offer herself up as bait. All I have to do is keep her safe--and keep my hands off. Anything else would be against the rules. And oh so tempting...

Something Specific:
  • "My whole life I’ve done what other people have wanted me to do. I’ve been good, polite, considerate, and most of the time I don’t mind that. I mean, I don’t want to be not nice or good or considerate, but for once I want to be selfish. Wild.’” (Mass Market Paperback, pg. 25)
  • You are so hot,’ the guy said, his hand sinking lower, a finger tracing the waistband of her skirt. What the heck was she supposed to say to that? I have good genes? It’s the alcohol talking? You’re hot, too? Laurel tried to smile. ‘Thank you.’” (Pg. 190) I mean, really. Why do some people think saying/acting like that is actually going to get a person to want them? 
  • I want something more for my life, but I’m not sure what that is.’ […] ‘I just know I’m going to get it, whatever it might be.’” (Pg. 247)
The Cover:

I like both covers for this series, the one above and the fish one. Admittedly, the one above is highly embarrassing, and it works for this genre without really having a significant symlence to this book, aside from, you know, the romantic aspect. The fish one is much more innocent, not embarrassing, giving a clue as to the cutesy, light-hearted parts of the book, as opposed to the steamy ones. They both work, a different one might be able to show the book better, but I like them. And, to be honest, I'm not even really sure what the title has to do with the book. It must be something deeper than I've thought of yet, I guess.

This is the first Erin McCarthy book I’ve read, aside from maybe some short stories in a couple anthologies, and I was really surprised. I’m not sure why I expected her books to be less in the sex, or why I’ve never picked up one of hers before, aside from maybe the fact that I’ve never heard much of anything about her books. But now I definitely plan to pick up another, because this was really good.
Laurel is deaf, and has inherited quite a bit of money and property, and has pretty much holed herself in the house she lives in with her mother for the past five years. Then she goes out to meet this guy she talked to online, Russ Evans. Only, instead, to find out that she’s been talking to a con man, and the real Russ is a lot more than she’d thought he would be.
I liked both Russ and Laurel. They were genuine, they shied away from their love at first, but gave into their lust relatively easily, and didn’t wait until the last page to admit their love for each other, and I really appreciated that. I liked their relationship, but I also liked them on their own.
Russ is an alpha male, wanting to take charge and care for Laurel, but he doesn’t ooze it like Lori Foster’s (who I will expand on the comparison in a minute) characters do, and I really liked that. Foster’s males are sometimes a bit too much, and Russ’ masculinity and power was a bit underplayed, even while obviously there at all times, and I liked that. A lot. He’s a cop, and he’s taking care of his younger brother, and I liked seeing him grow, as well. Coming around to accepting love, and growing into the parenting role, at least somewhat, for his rebelling brother.
Laurel is young and afraid and trying to grow into herself. She shied away from the world when her father died five years ago, using that as an excuse, but is ready to go back out there. And I really liked her deciding to go out and do stuff again, and where she was at the end of the book. I was kind of hoping she’d move out on her own to do some of it, but finding her part with Russ and his brother, that worked as well. I related quite a bit with Laurel, and that helped my liking her. Also, I liked how her deafness was explored, and how it wasn’t treated as a disability, just a part of her.
I liked the writing, and the switching of points of view (although sometimes there weren’t the blank spaces between them, although I think that was more a format error than a fault of the author). There was quite a bit of sex in this book, and that surprised me for some reason, and I really liked that. It was steamy, there was a variety, and it was just generally fun.
It reminded me quite a lot of Lori Foster’s books. It was steamy, the point of view changes, the general character set up, the instant attraction (admittedly, a lot of these characteristics could be used to explain a lot of these types of books, though). Although this one might have actually had more sex than Foster’s do, and the male character wasn’t such an overbearing alpha, as I mentioned above, which I liked. The characters didn’t wait so long to say “I love you” in this book. There was a more serious focus to the book, the cop case, although it seems like most romance authors feel they have to have some bigger plot for the characters to meet around. 
Overall, I just really liked this book. It was entertaining, fun, sweet, sexy. And I plan to get my hands on another of McCarthy’s books soon.

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