Monday, May 30, 2016

#Anthology Review ~ The Stanton Family Boxed Set by Audra North

About the Boxed Set:

Lose yourself in four steamy novellas and meet the men of the Stanton family, who will melt your heart and scorch your sheets. Let author Audra North show you the passion and swoon-worthy romantic love that only the sexy Stanton men can deliver. This special edition boxed set features all four of the beloved Stanton Family novellas for one low price.

Find your perfect love with just one click.

Falling for the CEO

Finance genius Meredith Klaus prefers numbers to people, especially around the holidays. At least the large sum of money that’s mysteriously vanished from the company accounts will distract her from the ghosts of Christmases past. Until her sexy boss asks her to be his last-minute date to a fundraiser gala, that is. A beautiful dress. A handsome man on her arm. A challenge she can’t refuse. Can Meredith and Andrew find the missing money and fulfill their holiday wishes, or will Meredith be unable to overcome the demons of her past and lose her chance at happiness?

My previously published review:

"Meredith Klaus grew up in three different foster homes as child after the death of her parents. An awkward teenage, Meredith was called Klutzy Klaus all the way through high school. She was emotional abused and talked down to throughout her whole life. Getting a job at a top notch company is a boost to her self esteem. That potentially comes crashing down though, because as chief financial officer, it her responsibility to alert her boss of the missing money from her financial report.

Andrew Stanton is the CEO of Harbor Technologies. He knows he has brilliance in the form of his new chief financial officer, Meredith Klaus. When he cuts ties with his date to a very important fundraiser, he knows she's the perfect one to accompany him. What ensues is a cute and romantic story.

Falling for the CEO is a feel good story. The romance is hot once the story gets to that point. You have a genuinely written woman with low self esteem that meets the right guy to build it up. Meredith goes from someone never putting herself first to finally feeling a little more comfortable thinking that she's also important. Andrew is a very likable heroine. He might not have viewed Meredith as much more than a brilliant finance wizard at first but his views drastically change when they are forced to spend so much time together. Her finding the inconsistencies in the financial reports require long hours of togetherness and it allows Andrew to learn about her in more than a professional manner."

One Night in Santiago

Lily Stanton's vacation goes from bad to worse when a storm strands her in a foreign country, arguing with an arrogant—and very sexy—stranger over the last available hotel room. Successful CEO Bruno Komarov wasn't expecting the gorgeous woman checking in at the reception desk to challenge him over a room. Even more surprising, he actually enjoys their exchange. Lily proposes a compromise—she'll take the bed and he can sleep on the couch. It'll be strictly business. After all, what could possibly happen in just one night?

My previously published review:

"After spending a horrible time at a skiing resort in the Andes Mountains, Lily Stanton gets stranded in Santiago when a storm cancels her flight back to The States. Just another event that ruins the week a bit more, as she's supposed to be home in time to see her youngest sister graduate from college. Bruno Komarov is on his way back to California to accept a shipment into his family's corporate warehouse when his flight, too, is cancelled.

The stress both Lily and Bruno face comes to a head when the hotel informs them that there is only one room left in the entire place. A battle of wits ensues, with Lily ultimately offering the couch of the hotel suite to him. Much to her surprise, he accepts...

What takes place behind the suite door is a mixture of emotional support, life path recognition, and steamy sex. One Night in Santiago is a great read. I liked the limited background detail ~ it didn't flood the short story will a lot of useless filler. The author provided just enough world building to understand the emotional baggage that Lily carried and the burdens that Bruno faced at a wealthy CEO of a family company. Lily, herself, is also a highly successful President of her own consulting company, which also comes with its own set of issues.

Due to the short length of the novella, I won't divulge too much - if you want spoilers, you won't find them here.  I love the writing style of Audra North, and be rest assured, I will continue reading her work."

A Lesson in Temptation

Adam Harkness pulled himself out of poverty to become one of the world's most respected finance professors, but his personal life is non-existent. When he gets roped into a dance class, of all things, he doesn't expect it to change his life. Julie Stanton's hard work has paid off with her career, but finding the same happiness in the rest of her life is a challenge. When her former professor, the one she had a crush on in college, shows up at the same dance class, their tango becomes more than a dance; it becomes a lesson in how to love.

My previously published review:

"What happens when Adam Harkness, a college TA-turned-Professor, comes face-to-face with his former student, Julie Stanton? They dance!!

Adam was given the gift of ballroom dancing lessons from his boss. Not one to take time away from his career, he decides to show up for one class and then call it a day. That is, until a breathtaking beauty from his past enters the room. The chemistry between Adam and Julie is undeniable from the start. The second she enters the dance class the room erupts in electricity. Yet, Adam is still unsure about allowing anymore interruptions to come into his life. He's been so focused on his career that he's forgotten how to have fun. Enter Julie Stanton. She also has a great career but is more social and does her best to draw Adam out of his routine.

The author did a great job making the scenes in A Lesson in Temptation very realistic and believable. I enjoyed the plot and the reuniting of two people who were in no position to start a romance at the time being brought back together. The idea behind a dance class was unique and I enjoyed how Adam was able to look beyond his career and see that there is more to life."

Healing Her Heart

Dr. Greg Stanton is looking for ways to de-stress in the aftermath of losing a patient, and getting hot and heavy with Carrie Jankowski sounds like just what he needs to forget his high-stress life for a while. He doesn’t have time for anything long-term—his only focus is and has always been the well-being of the patients whose lives are in his hands. But when Carrie accepts his straightforward terms of a no-strings relationship, they realize too late that they won’t be satisfied with sex alone...

My previously published review:

"Greg Stanton is an overworked cardiac surgeon.  When he has to tell Carrie, the director of a local assisted living facility, that the resident she just brought into the ER didn't make it, Greg decides to take a week-long vacation.  Greg then finds himself volunteering at the assisted living facility at Carrie's suggestion.  There's always been an attraction between the two, so when Greg offers up a week of no-strings-attached, Carrie's deliberation time is short before deciding to go ahead and take him up on his offer.  At the end of the week, will this arrangement have ruined the friendship that Greg and Carrie have built?

I didn't find Healing Her Heart to be as interesting as the other 3 books in the series (yes, I accidentally read book 4 before book 3 - oops.  Fortunately, it wasn't a problem reading the books out of order).  The pairing up of Greg and Carrie seemed unnaturally rushed - even for a novella length story.  Only seeing each other in the ER while Greg is trying to save one of Carrie's residents doesn't really constitute relationship-building - at least not to the point that they can be where they are at by the end of their week-long arrangement.

I did enjoy the competitive nature of Greg and a couple of the residents when it came to chess.  I enjoy socializing with older ones in our society and their inclusion in this story made me happy.  I also liked the activity that Carrie developed to make the new residents feel more comfortable at the facility.  Even though I never really connected with either character, I found that I enjoyed Greg and Carrie more when the scenes didn't revolve around sex."


Review copy of the boxed set courtesy of the publisher at no cost, in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Overall Review of the Boxed Set:

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