Monday, September 3, 2018

New-To-Me and New-To-You: Spotlight Jennifer Hanks

Least you forget I have book pimp. She recently reached out to me saying she was sending an author my way. This author had several books published and was looking for readers to take a chance to read her back catalog. Word of mouth can be gold for exposure.

Now, this situation is a bit unusual. I'm not always known for making good choices. Beth, is asking me, the lone wolf to try out an author all by myself.


This is reader equivalent of jumping without a parachute. I can do this? I can do this! I mean, before finding social media other than Goodreads, I did this. So let's tap back into my adventurous side. Watch out Jennifer Hanks, here I come! 

Let's start with an overview of the two series: The Dimarcos and Elite Securities

Read as a series or Standalones? 
Recommendation: Series
Both series are interconnecting and I recommend you read in order to get the character relationship development. 

Karen's Category: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Karen's Trope: Suspense, Instalove, Alpha Males, Strong Females, Family Ties
Angst: 5 out of 10
Sometimes the categories on Amazon aren't the best, but really this firmly fits into the Romantic Suspense with each book. Think: Susan Stoker, Mary Jordan or Dana Marton. 

Now a bit of cover snark. To be honest, if I'd judge a book by it's cover (never do), I'd instantly think "sweet" and "instalove" while cruising the KU catalog. I'm a big fan of instalove so no problem, but in no way would I call these stories sweet. And for book 1, Lucy, I will admit I did do a bit of judging a book by it's cover, so I was surprised in the direction the story went. Although the idea of beautiful women standing on their own is represented in the image,  it's the Elite Securities that nails the main series trope. 

Time now to turn to each individual book for my review summary:

Lucy - The Dimarco Series Book 1
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Review:  Lucy introduces us to the family of the Dimarcos. They are loud, in your business but love you to death. Ben and Lucy are college friends and that's where it ends. But Ben is tired of the inquisition when he comes home and enlists Lucy in a 'fake relationship' favor. However, when they get home an unsuspecting insta-chemistry with twin Christian happens. There is an irresistible pull that Christian plays push away and I want to go 'Moonstruck' on him. Lucy gets into a situation that sends the lovebirds into a tailspin, but love wins out in the end. 
Angst level was a 7 for me, maybe a bit of repetition in the storytelling. However this is a debut so wide berth given. 
4 stars

Sydney - The Dimarco Series Book 2
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Review: Cameron is the perfect of overprotective alpha male, and Sydney is the unlikely female counterpart that isn't going to deter from her plan. Each one is keeping secrets from one another. But they are after the same result with putting away a scum bucket where he can't dirty their lives. 
This story ramps up the suspense aspect in Ms. Hanks storytelling. The reader gets insight into the characters associated with Elite Securities for future stories. Although there is some angst in the developing relationship, the suspense keeps the story moving for this reader. We fall deeper in love with these bossy men including their patriarchs. 
4 stars

Gianna - The Dimarco Series Book 3
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Review:  The story starts out with a case of mistaken identification and surprise from a one-night stand. However, this not the only mystery to be solved. Once everyone is partnered up correctly, Brody and Gianna make a go in the world of co-parenting. But the insta-attraction Brody felt isn't going to burn out but flame higher. 
Out of all the brothers, Brody is the 'yummiest' of them all. Maybe the overprotective, alpha, broody male but the way he takes to fatherhood, guard your ovaries ladies. 
The storytelling takes stride with better pacing. Readers get more story development for the family dynamics and emotions to keep the pages turning. 
4 stars

Elaina - The Dimarco Series Book 4
Release Date: December 12, 2017
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Review:  Jake is the funny brother. Always one to make any moment lighter. When a tragic injury happens while out with his brothers, Jake takes the blame and a lot of his bright light is dimmed. However, a beautiful neighbor and interfering family just might bring this single dad back to his happy self. However, once again, trouble still lurks in the Dimarco family shadows and it's time for the brothers to save the day. 
This time Ms. Hanks brings humor to the relationship development. But it's not all fun and games. There is seriousness with Luke's injury and those responsible. Elaina and Jake get pulled into the tension and leaves the reader wanting to help Jake see the light. 
4 stars

My Redemption - Elite Securities Book 1
Release Date: May 21, 2018
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Review: Now it's a turn for the adoptive family members of the Dimarco family to get their HEA. Who better to feature first than Pike. You meet him in the Dimarco family books and we get to learn all his insecurities when finding his HEA. This wounded vet has a heart of gold and Bella is just the woman to need to help heal her insecurities to find the perfect ending. 
This book expands the world of the Dimarcos introducing unique secondary characters. As always, Mom and Dad Dimarco are there to lend the right words at the right time. This story is more suspenseful scenes. However, they keep the story flowing and ready to learn more. 
4 stars

Overall Series Rating: 4 Stars
If you are on Kindle Unlimited, this is a great series binge to get hooked on and read through. It's entertaining romance with suspense.  It may have been a bit more angsty at the start of the series. However, this is storytelling growth. I found that as the author wrote more, she develops a style to apply angst to keep the reader engaged without drawing the reader over the emotional wringer. 
Jennifer Hanks definitely has a talent for storytelling and looking forward to more stories she will deliver to the romance bookshelves. 

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