Thursday, May 30, 2019

Book #Review: A Lover's Vow by Brenda Jackson

Book Title: A Lover's Vow (Grangers 3)
Author:  Brenda JacksonWebsiteTwitterFacebook
Publisher: MIRA Harlequin
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series/Standalone: Book 3
Format: ebooks, Mass Markey
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 410
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Publication Date: April 2015
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She's all he's ever wanted. He's everything she'll ever need.

Business mogul Dalton Granger is as passionate as he is gorgeous, but private investigator Jules Bradshaw won't give him the time of day. She knows all about the youngest Granger brother—a charming bad boy whose only interest is playing the field.

But Dalton is more complicated than that, and he's determined to show Jules that behind all the bravado is the honest heart of a devoted son, brother…and a man whose own life is in peril.

Jules is the only person who can protect Dalton, and they embark on a mission to save his family and his legacy. But when their late nights in the office turn into early mornings in the bedroom, Jules and Dalton soon realize they have more at stake than they ever imagined.
This is what books two wished it could be. It was a fantastic story, a great wrap up of the overall start, it shared information about the previous two books without being an information dump and the characters were well developed and well formed.

Now we are here with Dalton and  Jules, the younger sister of the main character from book 1. She and Dalton are super attracted to each other but they just don't mesh because she thinks he's too arrogant and he thinks she needs to loosen up. They clash from book one to now due to their personality differences and they clash and go at each other through most of this as well. The tension between them is off the charts even when they attempt to pretend they aren't attracted

As the story builds and we have more concentrated attacks on the family as Jules and her team work to figure out the puzzle of who murdered Dalton's mother. We learn more about what the family truly knows, we see old flames coming back, family friends who should have stood by the children are now trying to make amends. Old hurts are being brought to the surface and Dalton and Jules have to decide if they prefer their lives as it is or do they want to learn to work together. I loved the story and how it flowed. I loved the blending in of the previous characters, getting to know the bodyguards and learning more about Carson and Sheppard. Seeing how much the years impacted him and how much he loved his kids made this story so sweet.

Cons of the overall stories, I wanted to talk about how none of the characters were ever described in any way beyond basics. While I liked this because I would picture who I want the characters to look like just adding in the details she gave us like eye color and height. Skin tone was never discussed. Now I know you want nonpeople of color to be able to pick up the books and read them without feeling like they can't connect to the characters but when I read other books by authors of color and even other books by Brenda herself she's always discussed their skin tones. "The way the light reflects off his ebony skin", what her hair looks like, descriptions that clearly make the characters black. Like I know as a black woman I'm not thinking about my skin color every time I go somewhere, but when I'm describing someone I know that this comes up.

Now looking at the cover it's clear they are supposed to be black but nothing in their description beyond the first book makes that clear. This was a bit of whitewashing I didn't expect and it was upsetting because when reading it's clear where those descriptions could have gone and would have enhanced the story. Like in describing an intimate scene where Dalton is thinking about how much he loved her nipples but never describes how they are darker than the rest of her breast. Like things looking in the mirror, any black woman can see. Or when the female character describes him to herself she never thinks wow when he's wet from the shower his brown skin glistens.  Let me know how the melanin is popping.

Hair textures aren't described either so you can't really build the women in your head fully ( Like does she have locs, is the long hair from braids?? Is a sis permed?? She got Halle Berry fade?? She bald like Okoye?? Can I get a clue??) and when you do a slight description later lets you know that now what you thought isn't correct. It's just glaring that these descriptions were left out and it made me a little uncomfortable.

Outside of those glaring issues, I loved the story. This was more cohesive than the previous book and allowed the story to flow while giving us the enemies to friends then perhaps lovers troupe I love so much  The overall mystery and the break-in of the villains plotting against the Grangers worked well and amping up the tension.

When we get to the end and everything is complete it felt good. It was a great way to solve part of why Sheppard went to jail. It was good to see the progress the brothers made as they grew in their relationships. I loved that secrets were revealed, hell some I did NOT see coming. I enjoyed the depth that was conveyed in showing just how far the criminals would go to make their plans work.
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Happy Reading my loves, 

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