Friday, March 14, 2014

Chelsea & Jessica Get Blissed! Her Summer With the Marine by Susan Meier

Hi everyone! Chelsea and Jessica here! Instead of getting Brazen this week, we are getting Blissed! We love Entangled's Bliss line in addition to their Brazen one, so we decided to change it up on you this week! This week we are meeting ex- marine Finn Donovan in Her Summer with the Marine by Susan Meier.

Their competition has never been so irresistible

The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn’t need—she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.

Finn’s entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee, and test. So it’s no surprise she’d show up just as he was about to take over her father's struggling business. It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing—not even love—will get in his way.

Finn and Ellie have been fierce competitors since they were kids and it fuels their attraction to one another. What did you think of the chemistry between them?

Chelsea: Honestly, I had a hard time connecting with Finn and Ellie as a couple. I just didn't feel the chemistry between them. It was obvious they were attracted to each other but the connection just didn't capture me. What about you Jess?

Jessica: I felt the same way! I really struggled with them as a couple just because they almost seemed so harsh on each other for a good while. I didn't SEE them falling for one another again. They had some pent up lust after 9 years that's for sure though.

Finn and Ellie compete in a dunk the clown contest to raise money for charity. If there was one person you could dunk in a tank of water, who would it be?

Chelsea: Oooh, that's a tough one! Honestly, I would have to pick my college calculus professor. I would have loved to see her plummet into a tank of water.

Jessica: Bahaha! I want to know more about this woman and what she did to piss you off! Well, as most everyone knows I'm a teacher, so this list is literally ENDLESS. But I guess I can figure out how to narrow it down a bit. I'm not going to name any names, but there is one person in particular that springs to mind. He's pretty infuriating and a know-it-all and I don't like those 'holier than thou' types and he fits the bill. I'd dunk his ass in a heartbeat. (No- it's NOT an ex-boyfriend, either. LOL)

Ellie decides to keep the family mortuary business for her father instead of selling out to Finn. Do you think she made the right decision? 

Chelsea: I think that Ellie just wanted to honor her father, which is commendable, but her really wasn't in it and I think her father would have understood if she sold it. I think she let her need to compete with Finn get in the way of making the best decision for her and the business. I don't know much about the mortuary business but I can't imagine she could make enough to keep her father in the expensive long term care facility, especially with a competing business in a small town.

Jessica: Great answer, girl. I agree 100%. I definitely understood her wanting to help her father and keep his legacy going, but it just didn't seem very plausible long term. I know what it's like to work a job where your heart really isn't in it, but you feel like it's what you're supposed to do because it's what everyone expects of you. It's not a very good feeling.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

Chelsea: I really liked Ellie's talk with her dad in the hospital when he was lucid. Watching him disintegrate was really hard for her and it was great to see her have a real conversation with him and know that he loved her and was proud of her.

Jessica: I really liked that scene too. I think my favorite has to be the fundraiser with the dunking booth. I loved seeing Ellie and Finn compete against one another, but more than that they just had a really great time, laughing and enjoying each other too.

What did you think of Finn’s relationship with his father and the situation that he was in?

Chelsea: I really liked the way Finn handled his dad. It would have been so easy for him to strike out or go after his dad but that wouldn't have helped his mom and in such a small town, it would have ruined his reputation and his business.

Jessica: Finn's situation with his father was heartbreakingly hard. I hated that he had to endure years of what he did, but most of all watching his mother succumb to this man. It just wasn't right. I agree- he handled his father in the best way he knew how and while I don't know I would have had the same restraint, I'm glad Finn is level-headed and not a hothead. 

When Jess and I saw Her Summer with the Marine up for review, we knew we needed to jump on this one and give it a shot. That being said, this week we’re getting Blissed instead of Brazen. Like how we did that? ;-) This was definitely an easy and relatively quick read. However, I did have a somewhat difficult time really getting into the plot and the interactions with the characters.

Ellie is a big shot marketing executive in Pittsburg but when her dad gets sick, she has to go back to her small hometown to take care of him and figure out the family mortuary business. When she gets back, she runs into her old nemesis, Finn, whom she spent her childhood competing against and who she also lost her virginity to. Finn is now in the mortuary business and he wants to buy out Ellie’s family business. However, she wants to keep it going for her dad. Let the competition and rivalry begin again!

It’s obvious that Ellie and Finn are attracted to each other but I wasn’t really feeling their connection. They didn’t really have the chemistry that normally draws me in and it just didn’t feel real to me. I definitely felt the rivalry way more than the sexual tension. I did like the interactions between them when they were competing and I felt like the chemistry heated up a little more after then carnival fundraiser. I think they both realized that each of them are going through some real shit in their lives and that they can somewhat relate to one another. While their situations are different, they definitely both know what it’s like to feel helpless and a little lost.
I really felt for Ellie and her situation with her dad. She doesn’t have any other family and her she is all her dad has too. I couldn’t imagine having a parent go through Alzheimer’s and not remembering who I am. Watching her dad suffer through this disease was definitely heartbreaking for Ellie and I liked how Finn stepped in to be a friend and comfort her even though they were competitors. Finn has had a rough go too and his dad is a real piece of work. I liked how he stepped up for his mom and the way he handled the situation with his dad. His brothers were a huge support too and he was lucky he had them to help. I also liked how supportive and comforting Ellie was for him too. This is a burden he has carried for a long time and she was always someone he felt he could turn too, even when they are fiercely competing.

One thing that I just couldn’t get into in this book was the plot surrounding the funeral homes. Ellie’s family business is a mortuary and Finn has decided to open his own in their small town. I just felt that it was a little unbelievable that of all the things, Finn would want to go back to his hometown to open a mortuary, especially when he knew there was already an established one and it is a tiny town. Also, the whole competing for dead people’s business and pre-paid funeral packages was kind of weird for me. I did like the competitive nature between Ellie and Finn and the way it fueled their fire and their relationship. The big question is who will succeed and who will fail? Will one of them buy the other out or will they merge? I’m not going to tell you that. You’ll just have to read it to find out.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, even though there were a few elements that got to me a little bit. I still think that the writing was nicely done and the plot did flow well together. When the chemistry increased between the characters, I definitely felt more of a connection. Let’s be honest; funerals kind of creep me out so that could play a role in why I struggled at times with this one. In the end, I did enjoy it though.

Let's face it folks. I'm a sucker for anything having to do with a sexy marine. Oh come on- can you blame me?!  I am also a sucker for a little competition! Her Summer With the Marine definitely had its cute, fun moments, and I admire both Ellie and Finn for doing what they both thought was best for their families. 

However, I really struggled to see the connection between Ellie and Finn. I think the sexual tension between them was a bit lacking and I didn't feel it was quite drawn out enough to make an impression. That's not to say they didn't have some hot scenes together, because OH BOY did they ever! Whew! I am going to LOVE this Red Hot Bliss line! They definitely had the physical connection, but I really didn't see much of an emotional one. I almost think their initial meetings and interactions were a bit harsh and harder than I would have liked. 

Ellie left her small town behind to escape the rumors and gossip surrounding her mother, but now she has returned to help her father who is suffering from Alzheimer's. First of all- gosh. I can't even imagine how hard it must be on a person to watch someone you love deteriorate right in front of you. Ellie feels coming home to help her father is the right thing to do, and while I appreciate her good intentions, I feel she wasn't being fair to herself. She knows nothing about running a funeral home, but because it is father's wishes for her to continue on the legacy, she does so. However, Ellie isn't the only one running the mortuary show in town. Former HS rival Finn Donovan is also in the mortuary business and is Ellie's biggest competition. These two have been competing since they were kids and it seems things haven't changed one bit. Ellie spends a lot of the book battling between what she thinks is right and wrong when it comes to Finn. She knows she's attracted to him still and she thinks he's attracted to her, but she has a hard time getting a read on him. She is still confused as to why he didn't contact her after the night they spent together in HS and thought she was being played. 

Finn on the other hand knows Ellie is his competition and shouldn't mix business with pleasure. However, he's having a difficult time getting his lust under control when it comes to her. Seeing them at each other's throats one minute and then practically devouring each other the next was quite amusing and I liked seeing them give in to that pent up passion they've been harboring for years. Finn has had a difficult home life and because of this, has a hard time believing in love or the institution of marriage. I understand his reservations, after seeing his mother endure a situation she never should have and is just now seeking her sons' help to break free. It was never his intention to hurt Ellie as a kid, but being in the position he was in, he simply didn't know what to do. 

Aside from not feeling Ellie and Finn's connection, I really struggled with the setting of this book. To be honest, I just wasn't feeling the mortuary business. It was cool that Meier dared to be different and gave readers a completely unique scenario, and I definitely commend her for that. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out so well for me. In fact, it was kind of strange to see these two young, vibrant individuals competing over which funeral home would get the business. I do want to mention that I felt Meier's plot was well thought out and I feel she did a good job with her pacing. She didn't get too hung up on any one scene, but rather they seamlessly flowed one into another.

While I didn't love this one, I was still able to enjoy it. She wrote some fun, catchy scenes and I really loved the one about the dunking booth. Seeing Ellie and Finn let loose and truly enjoy having fun with one another put a huge grin on my face. I also really liked they had so much lust and longing for one another that they literally couldn't take it anymore. Because those scenes were totally hot. And I do love my sexy scenes! 

That's it for us! We'll be back next week getting Brazen with Tempting the Best Man by J.Lynn!


  1. Love this discussion ladies! And your reviews too! I chuckled when you answered about dunking your calculus professor, there are a few accounting professors I would like to dunk lol

  2. Good times my friend, good times! Even though this wasn't our fave, I'm glad we branched out and got Blissed!

  3. Haha, love that you are getting blissed this week :) Hmmh, I know what you mean, I need to really feel that connection too to care what happens to the characters. It can feel a bit flat without it. Glad you enjoyed it despite the few issues though.


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