17 Mar '13

A Nix Contemp Review – Lost in Petal by Lauren Dane (5 Stars)

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He’s faced down every demon…except one fast-talking Southern girl.

 

Petal, Georgia, Book 2

 

It hasn’t been easy for Joe Harris to live down his not-so-honorable past, but the military made him a better man. He’s determined to make up for past mistakes, starting with coming home to care for his ailing father.

 

Things are going as planned until his best friend’s little sister comes barreling into his life. Funny, quick talking, smart, beautiful, she’s a temptation he tries—and fails—to resist.

 

When Beth Murphy hears Joe is back in town, she makes sure she’s the first on his welcoming committee. Though he tries to pretend he’s gruff and unworthy of her, she sees the man who spoils his dog, who touches her like she’s precious. Cherished. But there’s one wall she can’t break down—the truth about what’s happening at home.

 

On the night the nature of his father’s illness becomes painfully, publicly apparent, Joe does the right thing—push Beth as far away as possible. But if he thought she’d go away quietly, he’s about to learn she’s made of sterner stuff.

I describe this series as the Chase Brothers series with far more spice. It has that same glossy romantic drama feel about it but the word count dedicated to making a reader squirm is far higher. I love the first two books in the series and can’t wait to read the third. This one had a biker and a romance-with-brothers-friend theme that made me simply melt.
I absolutely adored Beth. She was strong, feisty and kick-ass. She had been through the hell of living with an abusive father, but she refused to wear the victim label and grabbed onto life. She knew she wanted Joe so she made sure he noticed her. She didn’t sit and moon; she got off her butt and went out and tried to get the man she wanted.  Once she convinced him into her bed, she then fights to keep him there. She does everything in her power to keep him with her and I adored her for it. It’s probably why my heart then bled for her when Joe started to be a complete divvy. The breakdown of their relationship was completely beyond her control and it was awful to see her suffer that way.  
Joe….*sigh* oh Joe. Such a prat. He is a stone cold hottie on a motorbike but unfortunately has the emotional risk taking ability of a ferret.  He tries to fight his growing attraction to Beth due to “loyalty” to her brother (dude, that stopped being a rule when you became an adult) and then, when he finally sees the error of his ways and involves himself in a truly spectacular relationship, he throws it all away rather than take their relationship to a deeper emotional level and confide in her. It made me sad because it hurt them both so much. He needed someone to lean on but he didn’t know how to do that so he just hid. I wanted to rant and rave at him but I couldn’t because I just felt so bad for him; the man did not have it good!
The scenes between him and Beth though *fans*, well those were fun to read. There were so many amazing scenes that I simply couldn’t pick one but I will say that the combination of heat and gentleness that existed in these scenes made me so happy I was truly upset when the book ended; yes this will be a book I will read over and over again.
This book is a great addition to a now auto-buy-for-me series. A glossy, sexy, romantic drama that ticked all the boxes, it is a highly recommended read.

Nix

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