Book Review: “Denied” by Lori Sjoberg

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Denied” by Lori Sjoberg! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“Shane Falco has it all: looks, money, power, and more women than he knows what to do with. The last thing he wants is to settle down and start a family, so imagine his surprise when he meets a little girl with eyes that are just like his.

Larissa LeClaire is reminded of Shane every time she looks at her daughter. He’s the very last person she wants to see again, even though she can’t forget the way he totally rocked her world. He snuck out of her bed without so much as a goodbye, and she doesn’t have time in her busy life for a man she can’t count on.

Shane’s determined to be the kind of father he never had, even though the girl’s hot-blooded mother doesn’t want anything to do with him. Yet as they agree to a truce for the sake of their daughter, it’s hard to ignore the explosive chemistry between them. But when a figure from the past comes back to haunt them, will it tear them apart or bring them closer together?”

Given that this is a primarily romance novel, I was hoping for better chemistry between Shane and Larissa. I could definitely sense the sexual tension these two shared in this book, but the overall romantic development felt a little forced. Yes, Larissa made Shane work for it, and he definitely put in the effort, but despite these two having a happy ending together (and I’m glad they did), I still feel like they lacked a bit of connection.

However, I did really love reading Shane and Larissa’s interactions with their child, Emma. Shane proves himself to really step it up in the parenting department, especially given that he wants to do better than his past father did when parenting him and all, and Larissa cares very deeply for Emma and wants the best for her, even if it means having to reconnect with her father (which works out for the best in the end).

Having Talia as the antagonist, basically acting as the psycho-ex-girlfriend role, felt very undeveloped. Did it result in some well-written conflict between Larissa and Shane? Yes. Did Talia herself stick out in any way other than being the psycho-ex-girlfriend? No. I kind of expected some more depth from her in terms of her character, because she otherwise just acts as a mere obstacle between Shane and Larissa getting together for good.

Overall, 3.5 out of 5 stars!

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