Dangerous (3-in-1) - Nora Roberts
Risky BusinessThis was a decent story. While the plot was predictable and easily resolved (with a little feel-good twist up at the end), it allowed for complex characters with complex motivations. Jonas fancied himself 'not a nice guy' but really he was. His behavior at the beginning wasn't all that bad (standoffish, cold, willing to do whatever is necessary–including using Liz–to find his brother's killer) and really all came from his profound grief. Liz was a good, strong character. I think she let what happened to her at 18 control too much of her life (and kind of had an overreaction in the first place) but I like the determination it gave her. I also really liked when she'd shoot down things Jonas was telling her to do with good points. They had some sweet, romantic scenes together that were nice to read. Though, of course, they fall in insta-love. I also like how sweetly protective Jonas became of Liz (not psycho overprotective). 3 stars.Storm WarningThis story had a lot of potential when it started. I really liked the fast friendship between the Heroine, Autumn, and movie-star Julia Bond. It was sweet. The pacing of this story was slow and kind of off. It took forever to really get anywhere and then kind of tumbled together. The Hero, Lucas, started off as a jerk for what he did to Autumn three years prior. However, she'd hold her own (mostly) when she went up against him. Even getting in some good, and well deserved digs. Then, because she keeps rebuffing him pretty nicely, he quite clearly threatens to rape her if she keeps pushing him. She runs from him but doesn't think of it that way, she's more afraid of her feelings. But then literally two freaking pages later someone destroys her camera and she says, "The mutilation was rape." The first time that word is used and THAT'S why? Are you kidding me? RAGE. Cut to later on in the book and she does, in fact, push him too far and so he makes good on his threat. He throws her down on the bed, forcibly kissing and pawing at her and while she's fighting tells her that it's happening no matter how much she kicks and bites. I'm ready to throw the book across the room and then set it the fuck on fire because it was looking like nothing was going to stop it. However, she starts crying. NOT because she's about to be raped but because if they have sex she won't be able to hide how much she still loves him. I...are you...what in the fuck?? He sees her tears and assumes it's because of what he's doing to her. He stops and promises he won't touch her like that again. His excuse later is so fucking stupid I wanted to stab him in the head (he has missed her so much since he threw her out of his life that he has been a wreck and now being so close to her he couldn't control himself and was constantly doing the wrong thing). The only shred of a positive I have to say for his character is at the end of the book when he explains himself he does admit very clearly and with the actual word that he "nearly raped [her]". At least he actually understands what he did and the severity of it, even if she doesn't and doesn't call him on it. The worst is maybe only a page after he says those words he askes and she agrees to marry him. MARRY HIM. I CANNOT. What in the bloody hell '80s Romance Novels? Honestly what some people find acceptable just blows my mind.Autumn proved to be even more stupid though. It took her forever (I mean like the entire book) for her to realize that he was at the inn in the first place because of her. (That's not a spoiler, it seriously only takes like two seconds of deductive reasoning to figure it out.) She couldn't tell when she was in danger, when to keep her mouth shut, or really any basic sense of self-preservation (She almost gets killed at the end because she pulls stupid move after stupid move.). Then she decides, even with everything Lucas done and said to help him get away with the murder she thinks he's committed because she's just so in love with him still. IDIOT.The premise of the mystery was pretty ridiculous. Not particularly worth suffering through all that other B.S. to get to the end. 1 star.*The "male-lead-who-needs-a-junk-punch" and "pathetic-and-or-stupid-female-lead" tags were for this book only.The WelcomingI really enjoyed this one. It was a great palate cleanser after the second book. I really liked the characters. Roman DeWinter was the sweetest man. Contrary to what he thought of himself there wasn't an ounce of roughness, cruelty, or anything horrible about him. He was an alpha male that treated the people around him and his love interest with care and respect. The only times he got controlling/demanding with Charity I actually thought were nice because she was overworking herself and being blasé with her health. Charity Ford was smart and very strong. She was a sweet woman, it's no wonder everyone loved her. But she wouldn't take anyone's shit either. She could be ridiculous about doing what she needed to do if it meant slowing down or relinquishing control, but that was by virtue of the fact that she was dedicated to the inn and her grandfather's legacy.Roman didn't think he could be romantic but once he got going he seemed to have a lot of it in him. They had such loving, romantic scenes. It was like a big puffy heart over them.I really only have two complaints. First, even though there are small clues it took forever to lay out the story – the exact reason for Roman being at the inn. Meanwhile, their attraction to each other was almost a constant in the first part of the narrative. Second, insta-everything. She was in love in something like two days, he followed soon after. Then, once he was off it was like a bullet leaving the gun. Suddenly they were engaged and getting married in two weeks. This was all after a week! It was really difficult to buy into.Once Roman's purpose was laid out there wasn't a mystery, but the end had decent suspense. I liked the way it all played out. Even though Charity did pull a boneheaded move, even if it was with a pure heart of concern for someone else. 3.5 stars.