Friday, October 7, 2016

The Watson Brothers - Lori Foster (Zebra - April 2016)

Series: Watson Brothers (Books 1 - 3)

My House, My Rules (Book 1)

Tough, rugged cop Sam Watson has a reputation for being a hero on the job and delivering mind-blowing pleasure in the bedroom. But the only woman who drives him over the edge is the one who's completely wrong for him--the sweetly sexy and extremely determined Ariel. When Ariel's headstrong ways nearly wreck one of Sam's sting operations--ruining her alluring dress in the process--Sam offers her a ride to his place to clean up. But once there, Ariel seems to have her own agenda, and Sam decides it's time to show the lady that if she wants to play games of seduction, he'll be calling the shots, turning her every fantasy into a night of unimagined bliss...

Good story, hot scenes. Sam is an undercover cop and the oldest of the Watson brothers. He's working undercover one night when he sees Ariel come into the bar and get hit on by several men. He wants to do something about it, but can't because of his mission. Sam wants her, but considers her off limits for several reasons. First, she's dated his youngest brother, who he thinks is in love with her. Second, she's twelve years younger than he is. And third, she's far too sweet and innocent for someone like him.

Ariel has been hot for Sam for months. She was at the bar trying to see if there is anyone else who could appeal to her and finding that the answer is no. When she spots Sam leaving the bar, apparently drunk, she follows him and witnesses him being attacked. Going on instinct, she leaps to his defense, getting hurt herself. Sam takes her to his place to help her clean up.

I loved seeing Ariel try to put the moves on Sam. She's a total innocent, but she knows what she wants. Sam decides to go along, but push the envelope, trying to scare her away from getting involved with him. I loved seeing her go along with his "rules", knowing what he was trying to do and refusing to let him succeed. It was fun to see him lose control of his plan and realize just how much trouble he was in. His brothers' appearances the next morning were pretty funny. Pete is pulling the protective friend routine, trying to get a rise out of Sam, and Gil appears with news of his own. In the confusion, Sam manages to put his foot in his mouth about Ariel, and she walks out.

I loved seeing Sam realize what he has lost, what he wants, and try to figure out how to get Ariel to talk to him. History repeats itself as Sam is working another sting and who should appear but Ariel? This one goes a bit differently, and Sam ends up injured. I loved the hospital scene with Sam's brothers, mother and Ariel all there, and Sam's desperate attempts to get Ariel alone. I loved his frustration at their interference, as it seemed only fair that he suffer a little too. Once he did get her to himself, it was pretty sweet to see them together.

Bringing Up Baby (Book 2)

Gil Watson has always been the responsible one, running the family business and keeping his brothers out of trouble. Of course there was that one wild night on a business trip two years ago...the one that resulted in a daughter he never knew he had. Now that the girl's mother is gone, Gil wants to do the right thing by his little girl, even if it means a marriage of convenience with the woman who's been raising her. Anabel Truman is sarcastic, free-spirited, and totally wrong for him. But the sensations she rouses in him feel totally right...stirrings that have nothing to do with being good and everything with being very, very naughty...and once Gil gets unbuttoned, there's no going back...

I really liked this one. At the end of the last story, Gil had just found out that he was the father of a two year old little girl. The child's mother wasn't really involved and Nikki was being raised by her best friend Anabel. When she shows up at Gil's office one day, Nikki in hand, she offers herself as wife and more to stay in Nikki's life.  But there's more to it than that.

I loved Gil. He's stunned at being a father, but he steps right up to it. I loved watching him fall in love with Nikki and become a daddy, not just a father. He's a bit more ambivalent about Anabel. He's been attracted to her since he met her, but being Shelly's friend put her off limits. She is also far different than the type of woman he sees himself getting involved with. She's free-spirited, plain spoken, and very independent. He can't deny her appeal.

Anabel was great. She's been mother to Nikki from the very beginning. I loved how she rearranged her life to do what was best for her. The love that she felt for Nikki just glowed, and she was willing to do whatever was needed to stay with her. She was also worried about Nikki's grandparents, who wanted to take Nikki away from her. It took a fair amount of courage to proposition Gil.

I loved the relationship that developed between them. They meshed well as parents, making a great team. On top of that, the attraction that had simmered between them before has come to a full boil. Gil hasn't said anything more about Anabel's suggestion of marriage, but he is definitely enjoying the benefits. Though she's nothing like what he had seen as his future bride, Gil finds himself quite happy with the way things are working out. He does put his foot in his mouth at one point, when talking to his brothers, but he becomes intent on showing Anabel that he wants her for more than convenience.

Anabel is being very careful not to rock the boat. She doesn't want to take a chance on Gil sending her away, so she tones down everything about her. She's loved Gil for a long time and would love to have that love returned, but she knows she's not his ideal. She's really enjoying what they have together, but she wants more.

When Nikki's grandparents show up, Gil deals with them by himself. Cutting Anabel out feeds her fears that she'll lose both Gil and Nikki. I loved seeing Gil handle them. They were terrible people and I completely understood why Anabel was so determined to keep Nikki away from them. After that, I got a little frustrated with Gil's game playing as he tried to figure out if Anabel loved him without coming out and confessing himself. I loved seeing them finally confess all.

There was also a really cute scene when Sam and Pete showed up at Gil's. Between them hassling Gil about Anabel and Nikki wrapping them around her fingers, I laughed through that whole part.

Good With His Hands (Book 3)

As next-door neighbors and best friends, Pete Watson and Cassidy McClannahan have a "no sex" relationship. "No sex" equals continuing friendship. "Ohmygodyes" sex equals big problems and probably some serious dish throwing. It may be a rigid rule, but it works. Until Pete decides he wants to push the line. If sensible Cassidy won't take his hints, he's ready to transform himself into the perfect "black tie" guy he thinks she wants. And once she's in his arms, he'll show her just what else that black tie can do...

Good friends to lovers story. Pete is the youngest Watson brother, who has been the pain-in-the-butt little brother in the previous two stories. Now it is his turn to suffer through the pains of falling in love. He and Cassidy have known each other for awhile, and work at the same gym. They also live next door to each other in the same condo building. Because of their work relationship, they have stuck to being "just friends".

Pete has been pretty much a ladies man, dating often but not getting serious about anyone. One day he suddenly realizes that his buddy Cassidy is actually a beautiful woman as well as his friend, and wonders what would happen if he pushed for more. He's always leaned toward the polished kind of woman, so his attraction to her comes as kind of a shock.

Cassidy has been friends with Pete because that seems to be all he wants. She's always been the tomboy sort, not interested on clothes and makeup and that stuff, which makes her totally opposite what he goes for. But she has been seriously lusting after him for months.  She has big plans for her future, but a little fun now would be a good thing. When Pete suddenly starts putting the moves on her she takes full advantage, even though he's nothing like the man she sees in her future. She's always seen herself with a man who wears a suit and has a regular job, not a fellow gym rat.

I enjoyed the development of their relationship. Because they've been friends, they already know each other quite well. What is new to them is the intensity of feeling that develops along with their physical relationship. As they grow closer and want more from the relationship, each decides to try to become more what they think the other wants.  It all comes to a head the night of a charity function. I loved how it was the big jock who showed them that it was more important to be yourself. That scene was really great, and showed how important it was not to judge by what's on the surface.

I loved the part where Sam and Gil showed up at Cassidy's looking for Pete. It gave them the chance to give a little payback for the torture he inflicted on them.

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