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Never Too Much by Lori Foster
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Never Too Much

by Lori Foster

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I've previously read several of Lori Foster's novellas, but Never Too Much was only the second of her full-length novels I've read. It is also the second book in her Brava Brothers series, with the first, Too Much Temptation, being the first of her novels I read. Despite seeming to be a fan favorite, that story was just OK for me, so I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy Never Too Much quite a bit more. There were two main reasons for this. First, I felt that the characterizations were more even and consistent this time around. And second, the supporting characters were much more likable, so I didn't mind the few POV scenes that they were given. On the downside, much like the first book of the series, the relationship between the hero and heroine of Never Too Much developed a little too quickly to be entirely believable to me, and the plot was pretty light and breezy, not digging particularly deep into the characters and their backstories. Despite this though, it was still an enjoyable read.

Ben was the only character from Too Much Temptation that I fully liked all throughout the novel, so I was hoping for a decent story for him. I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed. Ben quite simply loves and respects women. Maybe it's because he was raised by a single mom, but he can't get enough of them. He's a shameless flirt, who has had numerous affairs over the years, but even though the female employees at his motel and diner often come on to him very overtly, he draws the line at sleeping with any of them. Despite loving the ladies, Ben has never been in love, so no one is more surprised than he is when he starts having unfamiliar feelings for his new neighbor, Sierra. She's a cute, tom-boyish, girl-next-door which isn't usually his type either, but he just can't seem to get enough of her. Ben is ultra-confident and knows he's attractive, but he's bored by the ease with which he can have any woman he wants. He's ready to be challenged, and Sierra certainly does that with her mysterious past, her unwillingness to open up to him, and her seeming ability to resist him at first. In the beginning, Ben was a little too forward and sexually overt for my taste, but I couldn't deny that he had a certain charm about him. Ben may have the confidence of an alpha, but he's very sweet too. He's always willing to lend a helping hand, and he genuinely wants to protect Sierra and share her burdens. A couple of times, I thought he got a tad too pushy in trying to get her to open up, but most of the time, he was incredibly patient, gently coaxing her out. What I loved most about Ben though was his willingness and even eagerness to focus entirely on pleasuring Sierra, even denying himself, just to show her what a nice and sensitive guy he could be.

Sierra moved to Ben's hometown, looking for a new lease on life by starting her own landscaping business. She's a hard worker, who loves the outdoors, so it was a logical choice. Sierra has had a rough life, so when she finds out about Ben's brother, Noah's background, she can entirely relate. She has an independent spirit, but felt like all her choices were taken away, first by her controlling father, then an abusive husband. She finally feels like she's on solid footing when Ben comes into her life, trying to sweep her off her feet. A part of her enjoys the attention, but another part can't bring herself to trust him. However, she does trust her best friend, Kent, and while it was nice to know that she has someone looking out for her, it seemed a little unbalanced for her to rely on Kent but sometimes push Ben away. I felt like this lack of trust and her taking so long to open up to Ben put some emotional distance between them that made it a little harder to believe in their love. I understood the fear that kept her from revealing everything to Ben, and when she finally does, it was a touching scene. However, after that, I felt like things wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly to be compelling and fully satisfying, but it was still nice.

Never Too Much draws in several supporting characters, most of whom were introduced in Too Much Temptation. Noah and Grace, the hero and heroine of that book were there to support Ben and Sierra. There is also a secondary romance between Ben's mother, Brooke, and Sierra's best friend, Kent. I thought their relationship mirrored Ben and Sierra's in that Brooke was rather reluctant to get involved, while Kent is almost a carbon copy of Ben in his sweetly seductive, yet confident alpha ways. These two get a few of their own POV scenes to show the progression of their romance. I thought it was really cute the way Kent was all mooney-eyed over Brook in the final chapter. Kent's daughter, who was mentioned but not introduced, will be the heroine of the wrap-up novella for the series, The Christmas Present. Last but certainly not least was Ben's grandmother, Agatha. I really hadn't liked her much in Too Much Temptation, but it seems she has finally lightened up a little. She has definitely grown and changed since the last book, and I can honesty say I liked her in this one. It was really heart-warming how Ben's whole family came together in the end to protect Sierra and support her relationship with Ben.

I have to admit that I was somewhat conflicted on how to rate Never Too Much. There were parts of it that I enjoyed thoroughly, like Ben's flirtatiousness, seductiveness and unrelenting focus on Sierra's pleasure. On the other hand, there were things, most of which I've already mentioned, like Sierra's trust issues and the short time frame in which the story takes place that kept it from being a five-star book. Still, it almost would have received keeper status from me, except that at times, I found my mind wandering while reading, which tends to mean I'm not fully engaged. In the end, I settled on 4 stars, but I can say without reservation that it was a solid 4 stars, perhaps even a tiny bit higher. Anyone who is looking for a light, easy read that is also sweet and very sexy should enjoy it. ( )
  mom2lnb | Sep 24, 2013 |
Dates from most recent read. Similar to the prior book, Ben is very alpha (as is Kent) and Sierra has a hard time maintaining boundaries around Ben and his assertiveness until she is ready to drop those boundaries. Found it implausible (and pulled me out of the story) for her to be as young as she is, owning the business and already having jobs to perform when so new to the community.

Also, not sure what was changed in this version of the story from the first edition, but it seems weird for Kent to be moving so much with a daughter in college, unless Beth (the daughter, who shows up in the third story) was the addition for the 2008 version of the story, and the rest of the story didn't get realigned to make sense with references to her and the implications for Kent's life. Also, 40 and mostly retired is hard to swallow.

Anyway, didn't enjoy it as much on this read through, so I bumped it down a star.
( )
  crankypants16 | Sep 23, 2013 |
Let me get this off my chest right now... this book sucked!

Sierra Murphy owns and runs a landscape business and Ben Badwin owns a motel. That's it. That's about all I can tell you because there was no plot. Stuff happens, blah blah blah... more stuff happens. The characters were mostly flat. A smidge of conflict was provided by Sierra's wacko ex-husband who used to beat her and now wants revenge (for what I don't know) and is stalking her. Ben's perpetual hard-on got tiresome. The only two slightly interesting characters were Sierra's partner Kent and Ben's uptight mother, Brooke. Although Kent is younger than Brooke, he is instantly attracted to her and I liked their story more than Ben and Sierra's story. More stuff happens, some dialogue, ::skim::, blah, blah, ::skim::, nothing happens, oh yeah, they have hot sex, some more dialogue, ::skim::, blah. Ad nausem. The End (thank God).

OK, I can hear you thinking. Why did I start this and more importantly why did I finish it? I received this book as a gift so I wanted to read it in case I am asked about it. I'm a really lousy liar. I wanted to be able to at least say I read it.

My Grade: D ( )
  reneebooks | Sep 7, 2009 |
Ben Badwin is a self-made successful business man who liked to work hard and play hard. He also loves women, he flirts with them, cherishes them and loves them. And they love him in return. Then Ben meets his new next door neighbor, Sierra Murphy. Sierra is unlike most women Ben has ever met. Like Ben she is an independent, self-sufficient business owner and she has just moved into the neighborhood. Ben is determined to get to know Sierra better but Sierra is even more determined to keep her distance and her secrets from the irresistible rouge.

If I had been asked at the beginning of reading this story I would have had to say I was disappointed. Based on the little bit we saw of Ben in Foster's previous story, Too Much Temptation, I expected better of Ben's character. Starting off, the romance between Ben and Sierra and the sub-story romance between Ben's mother and Sierra's co-worker seemed to consist of, "all she needs is a good ---- and she'll be a better woman for it", which to me was just an appalling attitude. However, toward the middle to the end of the book when Sierra's past became more of a prominent plot point, the story did gain a little more interest for me. I was able to get past the attitudes and enjoy the middle and ending of the book. I'd have to say that although this isn't my favorite Foster book, it turned out okay. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | May 4, 2007 |
this was great i could ot put it down. ( )
  krystalsbooks | Dec 14, 2006 |
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A confirmed bachelor, Ben Badwin has had his share of women, and he likes them as sexy, wild, and uninhibited as his desires. Nothing at all like the brash, dirt-covered, wholesomely cute woman who just strutted into his diner for a cold drink. But something about Sierra Murphy's independent attitude makes Ben fantasies run wild. He'd love nothing more than to dazzle her with his prized sensual skills... to make her want him as badly as he suddenly wants her...

Sierra has her own plans -- and they don't include getting involved with a notorious Romeo. Fiercely independent, with her own landscaping business to run, she makes it perfectly clear that she doesn't need a man to help her, not even one as sinfully tempting as Ben. But the more Sierra keeps her distance, the more Ben wants her. And the more Ben wants her, the harder it is for Sierra to steer clear of his teasing touches and enticing eyes. To get him into her bed -- and out of her system -- Sierra makes him a proposition: she'll sleep with him, but for one night only. Now, it's up to Ben to turn one night of pure ecstasy into a lifetime of passion...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758200870, Mass Market Paperback)

A confirmed bachelor, Ben Badwin has had his share of women, and he likes them as sexy, wild, and uninhibited as his desires. Nothing at all like the brash, dirt-covered, wholesomely cute woman who just strutted into his diner. But something about Sierra Murphy's independent attitude makes Ben's fantasies run wild. He'd love to dazzle her with his prized sensual skills...to make her want him as badly as he suddenly wants her. Sierra doesn't need a man in her life, not even one as sinfully tempting as Ben. But the more she keeps her distance, the more Ben wants her. And the more Ben wants her, the harder it is for Sierra to steer clear of his teasing touches and enticing eyes. To get him into her bed - and out of her system - Sierra makes him a proposition: she'll sleep with him, but for one night only. Now, it's up to Ben to turn one night of pure ecstasy into a lifetime of passion.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Sierra doesn't need a man in her life, not even one as sinfully tempting as Ben. But the more she keeps her distance, the more Ben wants her. And the more Ben wants her, the harder it is for Sierra to steer clear of his teasing touches and enticing eyes. To get him out of her system, Sierra makes him a proposition: she'll sleep with him, but for one night only. Now, it's up to Ben to turn one night of pure ecstasy into a lifetime of passion.--From publisher's description.… (more)

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