Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday Review: What She Wants

What She Wants
By Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: March 26, 2013

Friday Night is poker night in Icicle Falls where computer geek Jonathan Templar and four of his friends gather weekly for a friendly game. When the guys learn that Jonathan has started reading romance novels, they give him a difficult time. But Jonathan is undeterred in his “research” to discover what women want, and soon two of his friends have joined him in his research. The other two have no need to do so. Happily married Bernardo Ruiz is already romance-novel friendly since he regularly reaps the benefits of his wife’s romance-reading habit, and grumpy, cynic Vance fish is harboring a big secret.

Jonathan is an unlikely hero. At thirty-three, he is a skinny guy in glasses who is most comfortable with his computers and his dog. He owns his own business, Geek Gods Computer Services, and his own home, a log cabin that he built himself, but essentially he’s a grown-up version of the kid that the jocks stuffed in a locker in high school. No one knows that Jonathan has nurtured a passion for his friend Lissa Castle, once literally the girl next door—gorgeous and popular—and now host of a Seattle television show. Their fifteenth high school reunion is coming up, and Jonathan sees it as his last chance to impress Lissa.

His buddy Kyle Long has romance problems too. Short in stature and in cool, he is hopelessly infatuated with one of his co-workers at the Safe Hands Insurance Company, a beauty with a super model’s looks and a gold digger’s soul. Kyle, of course, is so blinded by her looks that he can’t see her flaws. He also can’t see as anything but friend material in cute, petite Mindy who works in the next cubicle.

Their friend Adam Edwards, a good-looking guy with a great job as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company, is more conventional hero material, but he’s already living out his HEA with his wife Chelsea. At least, he was until she grew tired of his self-absorption and changed the locks on their doors. Now he’s camping out in Jonathan’s spare bedroom and trying to figure out what went wrong.

Can these three men find the advice they need in the pages of romance novels, particularly those written by the bestselling Vanessa Valentine?

Sheila Roberts’s newest installment in her Icicle Falls series is a genuinely funny romantic comedy that both defends romance novels and gently mocks some of the genre’s most cherished conventions. The characters are endearing, the community appealing, and the conclusion that while men can learn something from romance fiction, what matters most is what’s in their hearts one that romance readers will approve. The humor is delightful and includes scenes that evoke an inner chuckle and laugh-out-loud moments. What She Wants gets a Best-of-Series ribbon from me.

The heroes in What She Wants are ordinary guys, no billionaires or über alphas or members of secret forces. Do you think ordinary guys can be convincing heroes?


quantum said...

This book sounds a lot of fun ... pity it's not available as an e-book over here.

Ordinary guys can be quietly unassuming but show great inner depths when required.
English type heroes! LOL

Hope you had a happy Easter Janga.

I bought the first 2 Eloisa serial books. I have great expectations following your reviews. *smile*

Janga said...

It is a fun read, Q. Maybe it will be available in the U.K. in digital format later. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the EJ serial.

I had a lovely Easter.I hope you and Mrs. Q. did as well.

irisheyes said...

I do like ordinary guys as heroes. I think the world is becoming more and more jaded and the women today are convinced there are no more good guys left. I know there are, though. Honest, hardworking, just want to settle down and have a family kind of guys. I'm not saying these guys aren't clueless when it comes to women and relationships but that's where the humor comes in. Basically, they're good guys just doing the best they can.

Can it stand on its own, Janga, or do you have to read the others in the series?

Janga said...

So true, Irish. And What She Wants definitely can be read as a standalone. There are a few references to earlier stories in the series, but they are not obstrusive.