Tuesday, January 20, 2015

review || IMPULSE CONTROL { blitz }

He can't resist a challenge. She can't resist a dare...
To celebrate IMPULSE CONTROL, there will be daily #giveaways on each day of the blitz! Each day THREE winners will receive a signed print copy of one of Amanda’s backlist titles (international winners will receive a digital copy). Daily drawings will be held at 4:00pm EST and winners will be announced on Amanda’s Facebook page and on Twitter.
And wait, there’s MORE! The grand prize winner, chosen at the end of the blitz, will #win a digital copy of each new release in the Men of the Zodiac Series, as they release each month, for a total of 12 books over the year! Winner will be announced on Amanda’s Facebook and Twitter at the end of the blitz.
Winners will need to contact Amanda with their preferred digital book, email address and shipping address, at amanda AT amandausen DOT com.

Impulse Control by Amanda Usen

Publisher: Entangled: Indulgence (1/19/2015)
Series: Men of the Zodiac, Aries
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Barclay Publicity // NetGalley
Buy from || amazon | bn || goodreads

My Rating: ★★★★1/2

Survivalist Russ Donovan is the toughest man in America, with a reality TV show to prove it. Now he’s been strong-armed into filming a new show with dainty lifestyle expert Susannah Stone. But while “At Home in the Wild” could mean millions for his family’s charity, Russ plans to put Little Susie Homemaker to the test—in the Adirondack Mountains in the dead of winter. And there's no way she'll be able to hack it...

Susannah is tougher than she looks. She's had to fight her way through life, and there's no way she'll let a bossy mountain man show her up. When she gets him on her turf, he’s in serious trouble. But now she's run into a bit of problem. Because no one—least of all Russ and Susannah—expects sparks to fly both on camera and off. And now everyone will see their risqué rivalry break all of the rules...

about Amanda || Amanda Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for breakfast, and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. They live in Western New York with their three children, one gerbil, four fish, a tortoise, and a beagle. Amanda spends her days teaching pastry arts classes and her nights writing sexy contemporary romance. If she isn’t baking or writing, she can usually be found reading a book and trying to get out of cooking dinner.

connect with Amanda || Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

{ review } .

The day after I finished reading this book, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson climbed the summit of El Capiton -- free climbing the mountain with use of ropes and hands/feet only. I saw the headlines while waiting for my (wait for it...) quad venti nonfat 3 pump mocha 2 pump peppermint with whip mocha, before a night shift. 

One paper only had a picture, another had a blurb. Finally, three papers down was a full, front-page story. I had to read it... for no other reason than the story seemed like something Russ Donovan would have accomplished.

Russ and Susannah really couldn't be more different... but in reality, they're pretty much the same. They both have deep insecurities, but they hide them extremely well behind their personas -- Russ being an extremist, and Susannah being little Miss Susie Homemaker. When Russ is pulled in to the old headquarters of his first show and is told they want to do a show that intermixes his with Susannah's 'at home' one, both he and Susannah want to say no.

He reminds her of her ex... And she is the epitome of everything Russ doesn't want.

Watching these two was entertaining. Russ's part of the show is first and while he doesn't set out to make Susannah a joke, he's fairly certain he can make a point out of her -- little housewife wouldn't (...shouldn't) know the first thing about hiking up a mountain. But Susannah, who's dealt with many humiliating years with her ex, researches and proves him wrong.

Susannah's ex did a number on her. I'm sure she may have been a confident woman before Ethan made her feel less than great, but she's very much not there anymore. Understandably, as many abuse victims do, she sees Ethan in many of the things Russ does -- and when he realizes this, he does his best to squash them...
Donovan's icy blue gaze narrowed. Her stomach turned as color rose into his cheeks. Ethan has always flushed right before he started yelling. She felt her breath turn shallow in her throat, and she clamped her lips shut on an apology. Challenging a man like Donovan guaranteed return fire, and she wasn't going to fall back into her old pattern of making peace at the cost of her self-worth. She dropped her gaze to the center of his chest and waited, determined to hold her ground, even though she trembled and her already-warm skin heated further, which was the most humiliating thing of all.
He stepped closer, leaning until his warm breath tickled her ear. "I took the lead because your ass in those tight snow pants give me a hard-on, Susie. Don't look down," he whispered...
...he'd been trying to embarrass her, and he'd succeeded, far and beyond his expectations, she was sure. What the heck had she been thinking? Men like Donovan did not go for women like her. He was just using his sex-god abilities to keep her off-balance.
...not that he succeeds (at squashing them).

And because she feels he makes a fool out of her on his part, when he comes to do the 'at home' portion, she has every intention of making a fool out of him.

These two are hardheaded; they tend to think the worse of the other even when that isn't the intention. They fell for one another rather quickly, but that's the case in many romances. Some of the dialogue was too long and drawn out. It would be more believable with pauses, breaths, and moving eyes or hands, rather than one long paragraph of simply verb-age but... 

As a whole, I enjoyed this book. Russ, as much as he doesn't want to be, is a family man through and through, and makes a great addition to the Home of Susie.

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