Aug 30, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Good Girls Don’t by Victoria Dahl (Donovan Brothers Brewery #1)

Contemporary Romance
August 30 2011
Mass Market Paperback
384 pages
Received from NetGalley

Yummy Man – Luke Asher
Kick Ass Chick – Tessa Donovan

From Goodreads
With her long ponytail and sparkling green eyes, Tessa Donovan looks more like the girl next door than a businesswoman—or a heartbreaker. Which may explain why Detective Luke Asher barely notices her when he arrives to investigate a break–in at her family’s brewery. He’s got his own problems—starting with the fact that his partner, Simone, is pregnant and everyone thinks he’s the father.

Tessa has her hands full, too. Her brother’s playboy ways may be threatening the business, and the tension could tear her tight–knit family apart. In fact, the only thing that could unite the Donovan boys is seeing a man come after their “baby” sister. Especially a man like Luke Asher. But Tessa sees past the rumors to the man beneath. He’s not who people think he is—and neither is she.


Good Girls Don’t is the first book in Victoria Dahl’s new contemporary romance trilogy, the Donovan Brothers Brewery.  After reading the blurb, I was looking forward to giving this book a go because it sounded light and fun.  Also, I’ve read Victoria’s Tumble Creek series and really enjoyed her writing voice.

The Donovan Brothers Brewery is a family run business whose owners consist of three siblings, Eric, Jamie and Tessa.  The siblings took over operations after their parents died.  When a break-in occurs at the brewery, the police are called in (of course) and that is when we meet Detective Luke Asher.  This book is about how Tessa and Luke meet and find their HEA.

While reading, I did find the story to be light and fun, but I didn’t fall in love with the main heroine.  Tessa is so worried about losing her family to fighting or bad business that she lies to them.  And to everybody.  All the time.  That sort of got on my nerves.  I understand why she felt compelled to do it, but it was a bit much after a while.  She was cute and all, but that aspect of her just overshadowed it.  I wanted to like her, I really did, but I just couldn’t connect with her.  I did enjoy her humor and her sass though.  Some of her lines did make me giggle.

Luke on the other hand was pretty cool.  He’s your typical hot and yummy detective with a sensitive side.  But he too has an issue with telling the truth.  It’s not that he lies like Tessa – he just doesn’t tell the whole truth or just ignores things so he won’t have to face the truth or admit to it.  The whole book, you wonder about the details behind his divorce.  The whole book!  And when the reasons are uncovered, it’s really not that big a deal.  But of course, because he won’t expand on things when people ask him about them, people assume the worst about him and his character.  But he’s a detective.  And he’s hot.  So I’ll forgive his misgivings.  *g*

I liked Simone, Luke’s partner, but again here is a character that is hiding things.  Even the brothers are hiding a few things!  I mean really?!  Why won’t anyone just tell it like it is?!  Don’t they not know how much lighter they will feel?

I wasn’t a huge fan of Eric’s until the very end of the book.  But even though he managed to salvage my feelings for him, I don’t know if I will read his book.  I will read Jamie’s book though, Bad Boys Do (due out September 27th 2011).  His character was a little cliché (he’s the bad-boy screw-up sibling) but I think watching him fall in love will be entertaining to read.  Besides, no doubt the other two siblings will be in here, and since Tessa won’t be the dominant characters, maybe I’ll bond with her more.

This wasn’t a bad book.  I just wasn’t able to really click with the most important character.  I liked the idea of the story, the family run brewery.  I enjoy contemporary romance books that follow families.  I find they tend to be the tales with the most heart.  It was a quick read (even though it was 384 pages) and there were many giggle worthy moments.

3 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“Tessa sighed into his mouth.  ‘I missed you,’ she said, the words barely a whisper.

The lurch of his heart scared the shit out of him.  ‘You’re just using me for my body,’ he joked in defense.

‘I know,’ she sighed.  ‘It’s so great.’”


“She shook her head.  ‘I’ve got to go with my gut here.  You’re not unattached.  And even if you were, you won’t be forever.  You can’t be dragging a fake baby mama around behind you.  It tends to scare the nice women away.’

‘I scare those away all by myself.’”

Books in the Donovan Brothers Brewery series –
Good Girls Don’t
Bad Boys Do (September 27th 2011)
Real Men Will (October 25th 2011)

  1. I never fell either, it kind of just, I do not know. Just all meh cos I never loved anyone. But it was still ok

  2. Now see, I loved this book (rated it an A)…LOVED Jamie’s book even more (gave it an A+), but I fell in love with the idea for the entire series in the novella Boys Next Door which intro’ed Eric’s story. I like him from that little novella, but I don’t think that I would have liked him at all if I hadn’t had that to begin with. It’s so interesting how they all affect us differently, but it probably helps that contemporary romance is my 1st or 2nd favorite genre. Great review, Julie! smiles…

  3. blodeuedd – Very well said. lol

    Christi – I’ve heard that you feel more gushy feelings if you read Eric’s novella first. And now I can’t wait to read Jamie’s story!

  4. LOL. I love how you and Christi have completely different thoughs on this book. (I haven’t been able to read her review yet but saw her comment) I do like the idea behind the story so I might check this out at a later date. I’m glad you at least enjoyed it for the most part and you’re quotes were very giggle worthy. 🙂 I’ll put it on my TBR list to make sure I check this out later. Thanks for the great, and honest, review Julie!

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