Review: Smolder by Karen Erickson

Posted July 7, 2016 in Review / 6 Comments

Review: Smolder by Karen Erickson


Series: Wildwood #2
by Karen Erickson
Published by HarperCollins, Avon Impulse on June 21st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 256
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Lane Gallagher wants Delilah Moore - bad.

He's imagined the sexy brunette in his bed more times than he can count.

She's everything he's ever wanted, but the only problem is…
She's his brother's ex.

For years, the stoic sheriff's deputy has fantasized about the sweet, bubbly dance teacher who stirs his deepest desires. But Lane's too loyal to ever move in on forbidden territory and he knows that while he can look, he definitely can't touch. Fighting his attraction to Delilah is nearly impossible, but the infuriating-and incredibly sexy-woman seems determined to drive him crazy.

And she's bringing him to his knees. One smoldering kiss at a time.

There are some romance tropes that just drive me up the wall and back down the other side.  The most obvious two are cliffhangers and love triangles.  Smolder had neither of these, thank Heaven.  But hidden in this tale was a storyline that had me putting this book down once, pondering a “DNF” status for it, but finally picked it back up and enjoyed the story for what it is: good writing and intriguing characters.

Smolder is the second book in Karen Erickson’s Wildwood series.  Lane Gallagher is a sheriff’s deputy and older brother to West from book one.  To say that Lane has issues is a gross understatement.  But he makes a darned good sheriff’s deputy with his cold, calculating mind.  He’s closed off to any sort of romantic entanglement but he can’t keep his mind and imagination from wandering in Delilah Moore’s direction.  And Lane is completely hung up on the idea that Delilah used to date West (his younger brother) in High School.

Delilah, for her part, has always had a sweet spot from Lane.  She had fun with West in High School but something about Lane really “does it” for her.  I enjoyed Delilah’s character when I first met her in Ignite (book one) because she seemed like such a good person and ran her own business, no apologies.

But this time around, Delilah’s relationships with others started to get on my nerves.  West and Lane’s younger sister, Wren, is Delilah’s friend and some of the interactions between the two of them just really put me off.  Friends don’t do what these two “friends” were doing to each other.

And then there was the entire premise of the story: Lane fighting his feelings for Delilah.  You’re probably thinking, “Why did you pick up the book if you hate that kind of story?  It’s right there in the synopsis.”  Well, the synopsis says they kiss, so I figured something has to happen pretty early in the story to move it along, right?  ∗blank stare∗  And Lane probably has a very good reason for denying himself a great girl, right?  ∗blank stare

This series still has an underlying mystery that I’m eager to see solved.  That plot point didn’t really progress too much in this book but I look forward to more information in the next book, Torch, which I WILL be reading.  I’m hoping Wren will redeem herself (taking it personal much?)  And Karen Erickson will always be a favorite author of mine, whether she’s writing as Karen or Monica Murphy.  She is a fabulous and talented author.

Unfortunately for me, my personal quirks kept me from thoroughly enjoying the romance in this story.  But sometimes I just need to throw myself on the sword to get to a book three…

About Karen Erickson

USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson writes what she loves to read – sexy contemporary romance. Published since 2006, she’s a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She also writes new adult and contemporary romance as New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy



About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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6 responses to “Review: Smolder by Karen Erickson

  1. I really liked Monica Murphy’s NA series, but the other books I’ve tried by her have been kind of ehh for me. I was curious about this series, but I think they might be a bit too angsty for me. And yeah, the fighting feelings nonsense can get old real fast. I want to see my couples together more than apart.
    I’m glad it got better for you though! 🙂
    Nick recently posted…Review: Every Move by Ellie Marney