By My Side (From This Day/Temptation) by Nora Roberts
Publication date: 01 September 2006 by Silhouette
Category: Adult contemporary romance
Keywords: Contemporary, romance, summer, anthology
Format: Mass market paperback
"From This Day"
When B. J. Clark, manager of the Lakeside Inn, met the new owner, Taylor Reynolds, she was fully prepared to dislike him. She feared--and with good reason--that he planned to transform her lovely, sleepy old hotel into a resort for jet-setters. But when sparks flew between them, B.J. soon found herself torn between her professional antagonism and her growing attraction to the man she had sworn to despise.
Socialite Eden Carlbough didn't expect running a girls' camp to be easy, but she never thought she'd literally be run up an apple tree by the little monsters--nor did she think she'd come crashing down into the capable arms of orchard owner Chase Elliot. Chase knew he'd caught a windfall when he looked at the woman in his arms. He didn't like being cast as the serpent, but how could he resist when she'd just offered him such forbidden fruit?
From This Day - 2 stars
This is one of those repackaged 2 for 1 collections of older Nora Roberts stories. Reading From This Day, it’s clear that this was written in another era because there are things in this book that modern romance readers will probably not enjoy. First of all, the male lead Taylor, is a tool. Don’t get me wrong. I love an confident, somewhat arrogant alpha male any day. But Taylor crosses that fine line between confident bad boy and domineering chauvinist. He breezes into town, demanding explanations and threatening changes, all the while calmly telling B.J. that it’s only a matter of time before he gets her into bed. And while I usually appreciate a man who goes after the woman, Taylor was just too forceful and didn't take any of B.J.’s feelings into consideration. There were times, too, where he would flash hot and cold, kissing her passionately one moment and then pushing her away the next. There was an explanation for it at the end but it didn't make much sense to me. He would also have these odd flashes of anger and violence that were never explained. I think part of the problem is that the book is told from B.J.’s point of view so we never get a glimpse of what Taylor is thinking. We have no clue what his internal struggles might be and indeed, we learn almost nothing about his past. Without any context for his actions, I can only take them at face value. It made no sense to me why B.J. would have fallen in love with him.
It’s also strange that that B.J. is is described as being very young looking. Taylor actually mistakes her for a teenager when he first meets her. But then she puts on grown up clothes and everything goes on as normal. Then at the very, very end after all the misunderstandings are understood and they are about to live happily ever after, Taylor stares into her eyes and tells her that she looks like a child, that she has a child’s lips. Ew, creepy.
I’d skip this one unless you’re a Nora Roberts completionist. I didn’t feel any connection between the two main characters and didn't like the male lead at all.
Temptation - 3 stars
The second story in this collection is much more of what I was expecting from Nora Roberts. Set at a girls’ summer camp, it is a quick, sweet read with a little bit of heat to keep it interesting. Eden is a very likable heroine. Once a spoiled socialite, she has lost everything, including her fiancee who ditched her as soon as scandal hit her name. Even though she’s grown up with a silver spoon, she isn’t snobbish or mean. Though not accustomed to work, she doesn’t shy away from working hard and is intent on making the camp succeed and proving herself.
Chase is sexy and just the right amount of confident. He pursues Eden but it never veers into stalker territory. There’s also just something super hot about a guy who outdoors and knows how to use his hands. The romance between Chase and Eden believable and they had some great chemistry.
I also really enjoyed the camp setting. I never got to go to camp as a child but it make me think of those movies from the 80’s set in summer camp, complete with the troublemaker campers and food fights. A very fun, quick read.
Averaging the rating for these stories this collection would be 2.5 stars. However, I am bumping it up to 3 stars (since there are no half stars) and because I liked the second story. I recommend skipping From This Day and going straight to Temptation.
Visit the author online at www.noraroberts.com