I picked this book up from Boise Book Fest, took it home and devoured it.
Bliss is the first in a military romance series that has the Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot bar and Mayhem Managers at its core. It is a traditional romance augmented with authentic details gleaned from the author’s experience as a military spouse.
I found the camaraderie of the “brothers by bond” just as entertaining as Maddox and River’s love story. I loved the banter and ribbing and enjoyed speculating on which characters might be featured as couples in future books. Logston was my favorite of the military men and the beach run was my favorite scene.
I thought the critical mother/high-ranking Master Chief made a unique antagonist with potential to bring interesting conflict into the heart of the story… it seemed odd that she only materialized at the end. I also expected Sarah to bring more tension by trying to win Maddox for herself.
I hope the author still plans to continue the series. I would love to see who ends up with whom. Shots and Rose? Phillips and Chrissie? Logston and… Sarah?
Maddox Bliss—a navy chief, bar owner, and mayhem manager—has sworn off women until retirement when in walks River Connelly, a stubborn beauty with no experience applying for a bartender position. Forced to hire her by his pregnant sister, Bliss gives River a chance to prove herself. Little does he know she's the sister of Mathew Wagner—brother by bond—who recently died in a car accident, and Bliss feels responsible for his death.
I picked this book up from Boise Book Fest, took it home and devoured it.
I'm not one for a lot of romance, But this book has a good store line and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I loved it. Definitely cried a bit. This is a completely unexpected rescue for both of them. Their lives and internal demons held them captive until they met each other due to bad circumstances.
It was hard to put the book down, I didn't want to put it down, kept my interest. Can't wait for the next book.
I absolutely loved this book! It was very easy to get lost in as soon as you opened it!
Read and enjoy. An interesting tale of two people coming together under unusual circumstances. The reader knows it will happen, but the fun is seeing how they get there.
Okay, before I get to the book review, I want to say something else first. R.E.S. Tidmore is a really sweet lady; I’m not sure if we’re more acquaintances or friends, but as a person, I’d give her a solid five stars. The reason I say that is because I’d like you to know that if you choose to buy one of her books, you’re helping out a truly special person. Now, with that being said, let’s get into the book review (cue ominous music).
I’ve read a few other Tidmore books, part of her Awakener series, which is sort of paranormal romance (decidedly NOT my genre). “Bliss” didn’t have any of the supernatural or fantasy elements; it was entirely a contemporary romance, with something of a military-life twist, but not like you may expect. The story is set almost entirely around a bar frequented by active duty military personnel. Enter the two main characters. River is a bit of a reclusive editor, whose brother has just died in an accident. That brings her to the bar, not to drink her pain away, but to be around some of the people her brother spent so much time with, to sort of let that proximity to his friends allow her to work through her grief. Enter Bliss, the proprietor of said bar. He’s basically an Adonis, who has never considered slowing things down for a woman or committing himself to a relationship; he has other things to do. But River throws a wrench into his plans. The story goes on from there. Add in a number of supporting characters, I won’t go into detail about them, but they help to breathe life into this bar, from the guy who thinks he’s God’s gift to women, to the “evil Barbie” who is a bitch to everyone, especially to River, and serves as the main antagonist I think.
Usually, I might complain about so much of the book being set in one place, but for it all, I never actually got tired of bar scenes. What comes to my mind is a play, you know, like at the theater, where one backdrop is used for pretty much the entire adventure. Somehow, it works. So the setting, I would give a solid A.
Now, the downside. And it will sound like a big one, especially because the book is a romance.
River and Bliss just don’t really click to me. They have obvious attraction to each other, and all of that is well-written, but I just didn’t feel chemistry between them. Attraction, yes, but not love. More than that, I don’t feel ‘in love’ with River or Bliss. Somehow, the characters just don’t have that spark to me. To try to put it bluntly (as if that weren’t enough), I think it would’ve either worked better as a pure erotica, cut out the dead brother stuff and add about ten explicit sex scenes, or, what I think could’ve been better, to make River and Bliss just friends rather than lovebirds. River’s primary goal in going to the bar was to get over the grief of her brother’s passing and to be around where he spent so much time, so I don’t think falling in love was really necessary for her character. Bliss and River’s relationship feels forced to me; I don’t see them really gelling, beyond having attraction for each other. Because of that, I give them three months until they break up. Maybe you’ll read it and have an entirely different opinion, maybe you’ll think they’re perfect for each other and love them, but something about it didn’t work with me.
Anyway, I’d still recommend the book. I was able to read it all the way through without difficulty, I didn’t get bored with the book at all, the supporting characters were fun to read about and their different personalities kept things interesting. I’d also recommend Tidmore’s Awakener series, again, not my genre, but somehow I was able to read it and enjoy it. Maybe it’s a theme with Tidmore’s books- I don’t like the premise of them so much, but I still like the books, if that makes sense. It’s like watching a movie you have no interest in, watching it all the way through without getting bored, and then saying, “Yeah, it was good, I liked it well enough.” I will add, on top of this, that romances aren’t my preferred genre, so … oh, crap, this review is already near 800 words. I’d better wrap it up…
It might be said that the biggest test for a book is whether or not it is a struggle to go on reading it. If you dread picking it up, it’s probably not a good book (or it’s so good you can’t bear to see what happens next). If you can read it without getting bored or finding something better to do, then it’s a good book, or you’ve just got nothing better to do. Either way, I was able to read Bliss all the way through, I didn’t get bored, I liked the writing itself, the supporting characters were fun to read about, I really like the author as a person, but Bliss and River just didn’t sparkle for me. One last thing --- every time River said “I will not cower, but overcome”, I wanted to throw my freaking kindle! She says it what feels like twenty times throughout the book, though it feels like fifty, and each time she said it, I did an increasingly larger roll of my eyes, until my head literally came off my neck, rolled around like a ball rolling downhill, and resettled upright on my shoulders. It became so annoying to me that just a few days ago, I have one of the characters in my books say “I will not cower, but overcome”, just for the hell of it. This being said, at the very end, River uses the phase again, but in a different way, and THAT time, it actually brought a smile to my lips. So after many an eye roll, it finally got a smile out of me. But gosh darn it, if I ever hear that phrase used in public, so help me God, I’m liable to end up in jail with a misdemeanor assault. I’ve heard that phrase too many times for one lifetime.
I enjoyed this book. Can't wait to read the rest of the series, and find out what happens to all the other characters.