Sunday, February 16, 2014

REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: LOVING CARA by KRISTEN PROBY

Loving Cara (Love Under the Big Sky, #1)Series: Love Under the Big Sky #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: 1/21/14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Rating: 2.5-3 stars

In this new Love Under the Big Sky series from a USA TODAY bestselling author, Cara agrees to tutor her former classmate's nephew—and learns some lessons in love!

Josh King is an expert at running his family’s multi-million dollar ranch in Montana. (And all that outside manual labor has done wonders for sculpting his six-foot-three body, too.) But as sure footed as he is when it comes to the ranch, Josh doesn’t know anything about how to deal with an adolescent boy—so when his twelve-year-old nephew, Seth, is dropped off on his doorstep, looking scared and acting surly as hell, Josh knows he needs help in straightening him out.

Cara Donovan loves her quiet life as a teacher in her sleepy hometown, so she jumps at the chance to make a little money over the summer as a tutor. But when she learns she’ll be teaching Josh King’s nephew, Cara’s sweet summer job gets a little bit hotter. Cara tries to focus all her attention on tutoring Seth, but Josh proves to be a delicious distraction, while Josh’s memories of the shy girl he once teased in high school are nothing like the beautiful woman he’s facing now. Can he persuade her that there’s more between them than a summer fling?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18115028-loving-cara?from_search=true

Let me start by saying that Loving Cara was not a bad book. It was fast-paced, steamy, and had likeable characters and several humorous moments. The thing is, I have read some truly wonderful romance novels lately, and my expectations are very high. I want to be completely in love with every book I read, and sadly, that's just not going to happen.

Loving Cara is a small town romance set in a charming community in Montana. We have Carolina Donovan, teacher and summer tutor to Seth King. Seth has been dumped with his father's family, including his Uncle Josh. Uncle Josh hires Cara to help the troubled Seth get caught up on his school work, but when she shows up at the ranch, he all but decides right there that he is hot for teacher. Josh sets out to win Cara's heart (spoiler alert: he doesn't have to try hard, at all).

At this point, I'm coming to a standstill because honestly, that about sums it up. We have the father/son issues when Seth's dad, Josh's twin comes home. We have some back-and-forth with Josh and Cara due to her not seeing that he truly cares for her and means what he says when he declares love, and such. It was fast-paced, had quite a lot of sex, which we all know is typically fine by me. Josh and Cara were nice people and I liked them together. She'd had a crush on him for years and I love seeing the nice girl win the guy. It's sweet, right?

But, I didn't feel a true connection with the story. Due to the quickness of the relationship, the plot lacked build-up and momentum. That made it hard to become truly invested in the outcome because there wasn't a lot to fight for. And it's not that I want undue or overdone angst or contrived situations, but I needed something to root for.

There were several instance in which the story and/or dialogue just didn't add up, or make sense to me. Here are a couple of examples:

-Cara and Josh have lived in the same small town their whole lives. But, when Cara shows up to tutor Seth, Josh acted like he hadn't seen her in years. And all of a sudden, he wanted her and had to have her. I didn't get it. Why the sudden new feelings, Josh? What was it about Cara that captured you today versus last week at the grocery store? (that's just an example)

-Josh's best friend Ty has also lived in this town forever. When Ty asked Josh where Zack (his twin brother) was at these days, Josh told him Afghanistan. Seriously, dude?  The brother had been deployed for at least a year, I think, so shouldn't his best friend know that? I mean, if my best friend didn't know something like that, I would be hurt and/or annoyed.

-I'm going to leave this one alone, mostly. It involved a creek and a circuitous conversation between Josh and Cara that reminded me of trying to get an answer out of my five-year old. But my husband, to whom I read the conversation, said that it could be taken a couple different ways. I'll begrudging concede that point.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I didn't read these particular passages clearly enough. Loving Cara has a rating average of 4.25 on GoodReads, so obviously I'm in the minority. I did look forward to reading it, and while I thought it was okay at best, I didn't hate it. I don't know, maybe it's just me. Have you read Loving Cara? Did you love it? Hate it? Was I just wearing a particularly tight pair of crankypants when I read it? I've read other books of Proby's and liked them quite a lot. At any rate, a lot of fellow readers seem to really enjoying this, and that difference of opinion is what makes the discussion fun.



Favorite Quote:

  "I have a whole list of reasons that I'm attracted to you, sweetheart. It goes without saying, although I've repeated it many times, that you're beautiful. But more than that, you're funny. You are dedicated to you're job and you're proud of what you do."
  His hands glide up and down my back in long sweeping motions, soothing me.
  "You're kind and generous. You're so fucking smart, baby. I plan to spend a lot of time making you see you how I see you because the view is unbelievable.



Love Under the Big Sky Series

Loving Cara (Love Under the Big Sky, #1)  Seducing Lauren (Love Under the Big Sky, #2)

(covers lead to GoodReads page) 

 
Purchase Links
 
 
 
GIVEAWAY
 I have one copy of Loving Cara to give away, courtesy of the publisher.
Open to US/Can only; must be 18+ years of age to enter.



About the author
Kristen ProbyKristen is the author of the Amazon and USA Today bestselling With Me In Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.


Blog  |  Twitter Facebook  |  GoodReads




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38 comments:

  1. Oh my gracious, that is one fine cover. :D

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  2. the cover is very sexy,and the book description sounds really good,just the type I like to read.

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  3. So sorry you didn't enjoy this one.... sometimes you just don't feel it and that's it... Thanks for the honest review Andrea!

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  4. I've heard a lot about this book, so it's nice to see a mixed review. I can see why you were not able to connect with the story line as much as you expected to. Those examples you gave would also bug me. Your best friend not knowing about your brother is really stupid and insensitive. What kind of best friend doesn't make the effort to know more about your life?
    Great honest review, Andrea!

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  5. Absolutely LOVE the With Me In Seattle series!

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  6. I believe it's going to be a great romantic read

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  7. That sexy front cover and title just pull me right in. I am looking forward to reading this book!

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  8. Sounds cute but yeah....we've been spoiled with beautiful romances lately.

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  9. I think it's great to sometimes read these 3 stars, or even lower, books for a change because then you know how to appreciate the ones that are amazing. So it's not necessarily a bad thing that you didn't love it. The exact same thing is happening to me lately--I just don't feel connected with the stories I read. "Why the sudden new feelings, Josh?" bhahahahaha! I thought the same just now when I read this paragraph haha. I'd stop being friends with that person if something like this were to happen (seriously????? >.<) or ask if one had seen a doctor lately, because you wouldn't forget this fact that easily O.o Yeah, same thing on my blog today. E&P has such a high rating on GR and Amazon and my review won't change a thing, so not really feeling guilty over not liking it. I'm sorry you didn't like this one, but I had tons of fun reading this snarky review, so. Thanks, you! :)

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  10. I've been wanting to read this for a while now b/c I really want to try this author. but I totally feel ya about the "meh" feeling. There have been books that others have raved about and I just couldn't get into. Like you said, it could have been that you've been reading other books that have wowed you and kept the bar really high... or it definitely could have been your mood at the time. Hard to say, but I wouldn't let it bother you. Reading is a personal experience and we are all allowed to feel differently :)(

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  11. Oh, I was kinda excited about this one, Andrea. I'm sorry it didn't really work for you. It's just the way it is sometimes...I don't think it had anything to do with the tightness of your crankypants! ;) Reading your issues, I think I'd have to agree with you on your opinions and rating. I appreciate your honesty and your thoughtful review!!

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  12. Initially I want to read it for the shirtless guy on the cover because it's too cold right now for the guys to go shirtless around here.

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  13. I got this too but I'm iffy because I'm not a fan of cowboy/ranch settings or stuff like that. I think this is going to be low priority for me for now.

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  14. I agree with you Andrea, and was pretty shocked to see such high ratings on Goodreads. The lack of build up was the biggest problem for me, and I was confused why Josh had to have Cara all of a sudden too. He saw her around town, but he didn't notice her until now, and then instantaneously decided he had to have her. That just didn't make sense to me. I think this story had potential, but it fell short. J=Hopefully the next book in the series will be a lot better. I'm looking forward to Zach and Jill getting a story. Excellent Review Andrea! I love your examples of why certain things didn't work for you.

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  15. Sorry you didn't LOVE this one. It must be difficult to read so many books in similar genres around the same time. You really have to love something for it to work out. Those examples you gave would also have me questioning things if this is a small town.

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  16. The cover is to die for and I love a small town romance.

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  17. The steamy and humorous moments sound great, but sorry it wasn't quite up to expectations with the great reading streak

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  18. I ended up passing on this one after I saw your rating. I loved Kristen's other books but wasn't looking forward to this one too much. That horribly cheesy cover might have something to do with it. The fact that I just need a break from couple going at it like horny teenagers every 5 seconds might be another reason...

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  19. I love Kristen's 'With Me in Seattle' series... waiting for Matt's book (HINT!)
    AND cowboys are my kryptonite! So of course I bought Loving Cara and am eager to read it!!

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  20. I'm not gonna lie, the cove really makes me want to read this one ;) *fanning myself*

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  21. Sorry this one didn't quite work out for you Andrea! I am in the same boat as you- having just read some stellar romances, my expectations are also really high. I'm kind of with Nereyda- the cover definitely put me off this one, even though I've heard great things about Kristen's other series, which I have to read. The discrepancies you noted seem like they would bother me too- they don't seem to make much sense and weren't really thought out quite well enough. Thanks for being so honest with this one!

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  22. I want to read this book, I'm a country girl and I love cowboys :-) so I know I will enjoy this story!

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  23. I seriously considered this one. Love the idea of falling for the tutor but I'm glad now I didn't do it. :(

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  24. I so badly want to add a bubble thought over the horse's head saying. "Dude, you're too shiny, put your shirt back on"

    Cowboys make my lady bits shrivel up most of the time. Sorry this one didn't do it for you.

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  25. I'm not usually into the western thing, but I've read a couple lately that were leaning cowboy and I liked them. Although that cover is incredibly cheesy.....

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  26. I got this one in the mail last month and now I can't WAIT to read it and see if we agree lol! I love your bitchy reviews, I wish you had more :-P

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  27. I love small town romances, and this book sounds sweet and romantic :)

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  28. the cover is very sexy,and the book description sounds really good,just the type I like to read.

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  29. oh wow now I am super curious cause of all the praises I saw for this book mostly 4-5 star reviews. I think it happens to the best of us. I have read books that I absolutely hated while others wouldn't stop talking about them or giving them 4-5 stars. Your review has me curious thought. I think I would be annoyed with some stuff that you pointed out as well, but I do enjoy my Montana romances. I agree thought. Expectations in romance are now high some do set the bar.

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  30. It's too bad you didn't connect with this one. :( The setting sounds wonderful though!

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  31. I liked this okay, but it lacked that punch to the gut and tingle from head to know that you get with some romances. Nice review.

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  32. The cover is what makes me want to read the book, it's hot. The story sounds amazing and I love cowboys and ranchers. Thanks for this chance to win it.

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  34. Sexy cowboys! Thanks for the chance!

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  35. I completely agree with you here, Andrea! These two were supposed to be in the same town for years but Josh just notices Cara and can't do without her when she comes over to his house to tutor?! I thought the same thing, "what about when you saw her at the grocery store" a million times?! What changed? And then it was like he saw her and couldn't live without her, sex, sex, sex! I just didn't really get it and I wasn't really convinced. Overall, this was just and okay read for me, too.

    I will say the next in the series sounds a LOT better. The teaser was great! Wonderful review! :)

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  36. We've talked about this one a few times. I just couldn't get into it. I'll try again soon, but I'll likely DNF it. Great review.

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