Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review: LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid



      
       Title: Love On The Line

       Author: Kimberly Kincaid

       Release Date: February 24, 2013

       Publisher: Curtis Brown Digital

       Category: Contemporary Erotic Romance

       Type: Kindle






 


Blurb:

Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again.

For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s as if insult and injury have joined forces— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best. No matter how pretty Violet is.

Despite their differences, Violet and Noah share a surprising bond in the kitchen that grows into something neither of them expect. But as Noah heals and their feelings for each other extend from the kitchen to the bedroom, Violet knows she must make an impossible choice. She may wear her heart on her sleeve in the kitchen, but can she put love on the line?


Excerpt:

The muffled chime of Violet’s cell phone sounded off from her bag by the door, cutting off whatever smart response Tessa had almost certainly been working up, and Violet’s brow punched down in confusion. She only had the thing because her brother Jason had made such relentless fun of her for being a dinosaur, and even though she’d bought it just to hush him up, half the time she forgot to bring it with her. The other half, she ignored its existence in her bag, and usually, it returned the favor by ignoring her right back.
So who on earth would be calling her on it?
Tessa’s eyes flicked over Violet’s belongings, which continued to make an unholy racket from across the room. “Do you need to get that?” she asked, but Violet shook the question off.
“It’s probably a wrong number. And anyway, I’m working.” This was exactly why she hadn’t wanted a cell phone in the first place . Too many people glued to their various gadgets when they should be having real conversations instead.
But still the phone kept ringing, the sound burrowing in Violet’s ears.
“That is one insistent wrong number. Why don’t I grab it for you?” Tessa tipped her head at the sink, where Violet was currently up her elbows in a spray of bubbles, scrubbing a wooden spoon.
“Suit yourself. But if it’s a vacuum salesman, I’m going to say I told you so.”
Tessa crossed the room, unearthing the still-ringing phone from the side pocket of Violet’s bright blue hobo bag, and was it her imagination, or did the stupid thing actually sound pissed? “It’s a Brentsville number. Are you sure you don’t have a local guy on the side you’re not giving me the dish on?”
Before Violet could pop off a deserving reply, Tessa had the phone between her shoulder and her ear, grinning all the way. “Violet Morgan’s phone.”
For a minute, the only sound in the kitchen was the soft swish of water, and it brought with it the sense of even, soothing calm that Violet always found around food.
And then Tessa shattered everything Violet knew about calm as she held out the phone and said in a shaky voice , “Violet, it’s your brother. He’s at Brentsville Memorial. You need to get there right away.”


Dialogue Highlight:

“Speaking of which, if you have any food allergies , now’s the time to let me know so I can work around them.”
God, she really was all business. Too bad her emotions were slathered all over her sleeve. “You’re free and clear. But I’ve gotta tell you, I don’t do anything weird.”
“Weird,” she repeated, turning to look at him. “Like?”
“Like tofu and bean curd, and… salad.”
“You think salad is weird? Seriously?”
Noah snorted, mostly just to give her a hard time. “That’s not food. It’s what food eats.”
She curled her fingers into fists over the dish towel she’d pulled from the bag in front of her. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Violet turned back toward the counter, orienting herself in his kitchen with relative ease. Not that it was too hard, given that the space was the size of a shoebox. “I brought you a few pantry items to tide you over. Where would you like them?”
A pang rippled through Noah’s gut, and man, he must be hungrier than he thought. He blinked back the haze starting to form over his eyes. “Cupboard’s fine. Either one.”
She reached up to pop open the amenity in question, but it only rattled in the frame. “Um…”
Ah, crap. He’d been meaning to fix that. Last year. “Oh, it sticks. You’ve got to—”
As soon as Noah got behind her, the smell of coconuts and warm sand filled his senses, delivering a crystal clear image to his brain . His heart slammed in his ribcage, and without thinking, he cupped Violet’s elbow and swung her around, so tight to his body that he felt her gasp as much as heard it.
“You were in my hospital room yesterday. Before I woke up.”
“I… I—”
But he barreled on, the memory as bright and vivid as if it had just happened a minute ago. “Your hair was braided, on your shoulders, and you were wearing a… a bracelet that sounded like wind chimes . You said the doctor was coming. It was you.”


Review:

Admittedly, I do not know much about author Kimberly Kincaid. LOVE ON THE LINE is the first book I have read by this author. I found myself pleasantly entertained by this story and enjoyed Ms. Kincaid’s writing style. The cover was a good indicator in aiding my decision to read this story. While it does contain its erotic romance, I would almost classify it a sweet romance. Of course, it could be argued that my erotic detector is a bit desensitized with all of the smutty reads I generally encounter. And what seems tame to some (me), may indeed be pushing the taboo limits for others. Never-the-less, I enjoyed my time spent with these characters and consider the story refreshing.

Noah is a cop. Born and bred to live the life, he has never looked back, or doubted his career path choices. In the middle of an investigation, Noah wakes up to find himself in the hospital. He has been shot, he in now on leave from the force, and he has no memory of his shooter. What is plaguing his is the knowledge that the identity of the shooter is trapped somewhere in his mind. Curiously, his first recollection is the hazy image of a woman visiting him in his hospital room briefly and disappearing just as quickly. But he doubts the memory. Or maybe he is just losing his mind. His partner, Jason, thinks it is a possibility when he tells him of the mystery woman. But the apparent apparition takes a back seat to the immediate issue; identifying the shooter.

Violet is a chef; cooking extraordinaire. Cooking relaxes her in her times of turmoil but for the most part, she leads a simple, uncomplicated life and she prefers it that way. She has enough to worry about with her brother, Jason, putting his life on the line daily just going to work. Her father was already lost in the line of duty and the stress of the same possibly happening to Jason is a constant source of worry. And now Jason is in a bind with Noah refusing any type of assistance as he recovers so he quickly enlists Violet and her mad cooking skills to help Noah out. Still reeling from a near discovery when visiting Noah in his hospital room, she declines. No way is she going to help that stubborn lug … not after that amazing kiss a couple of years ago … certainly not after he seemed to forget it … and definitely not when she still likes him. Close contact, cooking or him in his house every day? Nut uh! Besides, he is a cop, so is automatically defaulted to off limits. She would be much better off staying far away from him. And so, she agrees to help him.

Violet, to me, is a very relatable character with tangible concerns. You see, I have always thought that my husband would have made a great career in law enforcement. But he never chose that path for his life and I find myself grateful for it. I also imagine that being the wife of a cop could quite possibly be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. And so, if only in a very small way, I was able to identify with Violet’s fear of getting involved with a cop. By the same token, Noah was also believable. A man’s man, he shuns pain meds, cannot stand the idea of being “benched” while recovering, and exhibits deep frustration with the memory loss. His actions and reaction are honest and true to the character and situations. I enjoyed watching this tough guy, unfamiliar with expressing his emotions, have to dig deep in an effort to make Violet see that a future could be possible.

Despite my enjoyment from reading this story, I did notice a couple of issues that bothered me. The first was related to both characters being under the misunderstood notion that neither was interested in the other. The reader is led to believe that there is some big fallout of some sort that led to them keeping a distance. Ultimately, the reason is quite trivial. Something I found annoying, particularly toward the end, was the unnecessary use of the word “and” within the intimate scenes. I felt that the word could have been easily eliminated in several of the sentences. The other thing I disliked was that no one was willing to give credit to the blooming romance of Noah and Violet, as the facilitator to Noah’s memory gradually returning. When asked, he would say he didn’t know why he remembered that piece of memory and that would be the end of it. To me, the reason was obvious, and Violet should have received recognition in some way.

On a bright note, these complaints only garnered a quick mental notation and did not, overall, affect my reading enjoyment. Jason, as a secondary character, does not give the reader overmuch, but does provide enough that he could quite possibly end up with his own story. LOVE ON THE LINE is a novella so would be a good way for a reader who is unfamiliar with Ms. Kincaid’s work to experience her writing style. One fun component was the cooking that took place. I think it may have been downplayed just a bit which is unfortunate because the author could have used it creatively in an … um … naughty way. But it added something fun to the story that I liked. And there is a special “treat” at the end; a fabulous idea that I loved.

Overall, my first experience with Kimberly Kincaid was a positive one. Given the opportunity, I would read her work again. I recommend this book for those who enjoy cooking, cops, and steamy sexual attraction. LOVE ON THE LINE is a novella so would be a good way for a reader who is unfamiliar with Ms. Kincaid’s work to experience her writing style. LOVE ON THE LINE is sweet and sensual without venturing into the over-the-top eroticism that readers frequently encounter. For those of you looking for a good book to pass the time, this book is a good choice. And those of you who want that HEA, look no further as LOVE ON THE LINE is guaranteed to satisfy your hunger.

(eBook copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.)

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