Zane by Christie Ridgway ~ Sarah A’s Review

Fall in love with seven sexy and irresistible soldiers who find their courage and heart tested like never before in the battle for love! This multi-author collaborative series of contemporary romance novels is brought to you by bestselling authors Barbara Freethy, Roxanne St. Claire, Christie Ridgway, Lynn Raye Harris, Julia London, Cristin Harber and Samantha Chase. You won’t want to miss a single one!

Ex-soldier Zane Tucker is perfectly happy with his single life and his adventure watersports business. A gambler by nature, he figures the odds of finding a woman for forever are a lot longer than finding a woman for right now. And as a man of action and not emotion, he believes a woman with lasting romance on the mind would want someone with less hard muscle and more soft sentiment. But then his dog hurtles toward the new county librarian, yanking Zane into her delicate, pretty presence. Will they both scare her away? And why does that worry him so?

Harper Grace has a bucket list of goals to tick off and is determined to live every moment to the fullest by overcoming her usual shyness. No one will call her too timid and too boring ever again. But then a giant of a man and his equally large dog charge into her life and she can’t decide if she wants to take a step back…or step fully into Zane’s strong arms. She’s been brave enough to change her life, but does she have enough courage to risk her heart?

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After finishing Adam, I had high hopes for his twin’s book.  Unfortunately, Zane didn’t live up to my expectations.  I felt like there were a lot of things that were never fully explored, minimal conflict, and the relationship, while it had terrific potential, wasn’t well developed.  That being said, it was a fun, light read, and I did enjoy the few hours I spent back in Eagle Ridge.

Zane is book THREE of the 7 Brides for 7 Soldiers series.  Each book is a stand-alone and focuses on a different couple.  I love the world building in this series, especially since each book is written by a different author, so I would highly suggest reading all of the books in order, but it isn’t strictly necessary.  I have been quite impressed by how seamlessly each book flows into the next.  It’s impressive.

While I do wish there was more build-up between Zane and Harper, more emotionality built into their relationship, I do think they had great chemistry when they were together.  They just could have used a little more on page interaction to sell their connection.  A lot of their time spent together as a couple, especially in those pivotal days before they realized how they felt about one another was off page, so it was hard to gauge how deeply they felt for one another.

Zane had plenty of chances for some heavy conflict, there were a few times I was sure a situation was heading for a blow-up, but nothing ever happened.  Even the climax of the book felt lackluster to me.  I know plenty of readers prefer a story where it’s mostly smooth sailing, but I need a good catalyst to keep me interested in a story.  There were a couple of situations that had been built up for all three books in the series that ultimately fizzled out when finally addressed in Zane.

Zane is the first book I’ve read by Christie Ridgway, so I am unsure if this book is typical of her work, if it is I doubt I’ll be revisiting her books.  The entire book felt rushed, almost as if it were a filler to get to the next book in the series and hastily wrap up a couple of storylines that had been built up in the previous two novels.  I don’t have a word count for any of the three novels, but Zane felt like it was significantly shorter than its predecessors; this lent to the rushed feeling of the story.  I think, had the book been even another 20 pages or so longer I would have felt a lot more resolution about several of the things I was disappointed in.

Ryder (#1) – Barbara Freethy
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Adam (#2) – Roxanne St. Claire
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Zane (#3) – Christie Ridgway
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Wyatt (#4) – Lynn Raye Harris
Goodreads

Jack (#5) – Julia London
Goodreads

Noah (#6) – Cristin Harber
Goodreads

Ford (#7) – Samantha Chase
Goodreads

Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of over forty-five contemporary romances. A six-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes sexy, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. She has a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews and twice has received their Reviewer’s Choice award for best contemporary romance of the year. Married to her college sweetheart, Christie lives in Southern California in a house filled with boys and pets. She writes as an escape from sports equipment, football on TV, and dog hair.

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