➯ [Read] ➫ Signed and Sealed By B.A. Stretke ➻ – Dolove.info
The criticisms are true The dialogue reads like a period piece male female novel then as if the writer changes his mind in the middle and turns it into a modern day cowboy novel with gay leads Only this is the least rugged cowboy out there as they do not speak in contractions Wow an old English cowboy rancher hybrid Why 5 stars why i like it 1 The story hit all my kinks Loved the bad boy who falls hard for the conservative good hearted guy 2 You know what EVERYONE is thinking So we know before William and even Elijah does that Elijah was falling hard for unassuming William It soothes the control freak in me 3 The good guy gets rewarded by marrying the billionaire every nasty gold digger is targeting 4 The sex scenes were sweet hot 5 Your future hubby will have your dog shipped to the ranch so you won t have anything to worry about AWWWWW Hilarious but ADORABLE There were times that William was treated like a girl I mean who carries a guy so he does not step on broken glass if BA Stretke writes another novel I am buying it DNF at chapter three.This story reads as a 1980s Sandra Brown or harlequin romance novel The things I didn t like about this story are a direct result of that I don t read m f largely to avoid this type of story.What I didn t like Unrealistic cheesy and stilted dialogue.POV switches were confusing.I m pretty sure this was written as m f and swapped to m m Will reads as a female.Elijah acted as if he had multiple personality disorder.The plot especially the beginning made no sense to me The characters motivations were confusing Very cliched situationsLackluster narrator audiobook I didn t like it At all I m upset I spent money on this However, I you would like a m m Harlequin romance, this will be 100% up your alley. William Drake S Living An Ordinary Life He S Got A Job, A Dog, And A House Near Lake Superior When A Frantic Call For Help From His Ne Er Do Well Sister, Katrina, Throws A Big Rancher Shaped Kink In The Works Proving That No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Will S Arrival At The Montana Ranch Belonging To Katrina S Fianc , Martin, Is Marked By A Flat Tire And Unexpected Help From A Tall, Dark, And Handsome Good Samaritan Who Turns Out To Be Elijah Hunter, Martin S Brother, And The Most Unsettling Man Will Has Ever Met Eli S Fury Over Katrina S Misdeeds Boils Over Onto Will, And He Demands That Will Remain On The Ranch Until The Matter Is Resolved While Will Can Take Katrina S Place, Eli Doesn T Make It Easy, Testing Will At Every Turn, But Will S Uncompromising Morals Exceed Even Eli S Exacting Standards The Attraction Growing Between Them Is Further Complicated By Eli S Ultimatum He S Still Holding Katrina To The Pre Nup She Signed Unless Will Agrees To Marry Eli Instead I understand that Signed And Sealed is B.A Stretke s first published work if memory serves me correctly I will try to bear that in mind as I write this review which is, just MY opinion.First of all, the basic premise of the booki.e Will being held against his will in exchange for his sister until she can come up with the money to break her contract etc is completely unbelievable and I daresay illegal Even ignoring this fact, I still had issues stomaching Will s gallant show of arriving to save Katrina his gold digger sister given her character and the fact that he seemed torn up with guilt at a family that Katrina had broken up in the past.Knowing that she was up to no good AGAIN and then rushing off to help her despite the fact that they aren t close in the leastjust does not ring true to me Will seems to be be TOO much of a saint, too PERFECT in terms of ethics etc to be real The author also has will questioning himself why does Eli affect me like this Why am I being so wanton, too often for my taste It s like every other paragraph Will is asking himself these questions It s as if the author was worried we d forget Will is usually a saint and this behavior is new to him.Eli is a typical hard ass and mean sort but who everyone on the ranch claims is just misunderstood Of irritation to me were Mrs Coleman and the other woman the wife of one of Eli s ranchers Yet again an author falls into the trap of using hard as nails women who basically insist they know what s going on better than the main characters If, as they say, Eli really is a good soul inside then why the surprise at his recent behavior It seems one moment Eli is thinking that Will is a gold digger like Katrina wasand then admits to himself he doesn t really believe thatthen goes back to believing it again Worse, even when believing Will is up to no good he goes and buys a piano because he learns Will is a piano teacher Eli is the typical aggressive sort and basically tongue wrestles with Will and in the next breath threatens to destroy him and Katrina I am rambling and you will have to read the book to see what I mean The book also falls into the cliche of uber jealousy on Eli s part several times It got annoying.It seemed that everybody is so interested in Eli and his change and the constant references to it just got old We got it already No need to show us surprised townsfolk even giving us a peek into a waitress head over and over.I agree the characters were quite one dimensional There was saintly, hurt too often, Will Hard ass yet loving soul deep down Eli Know it all Mrs Coleman and what s her face Martin is basically just a sounding board to get Eli to talk so we see what he s thinking not that we need it given the author lets us hear their thoughts all the time Martin has no real depth, neither does Katrina but then she s meant to be shallow The only characters that have any hint of substance are Will and Eli and not enough.If it were a short story you can get away with it But for a book introducing characters who don t add to the story just doesn t seem right Anyway, I think the book wasn t a complete failure, but there was room for improvement as is to be expected given it is the author s first work I for one have read much, Much, MUCH worse from authors who churn out book after book and never improve.I hope I haven t insulted you, Mr Stretke and if I did my sincerest apologies I m just being honest Hey, even the best authors had criticisms leveled against them and many still do P All the best for future writings of yours 2.5It was like reading a mm version of a 1980s Harlequin Crazy, vengeful, super rich rancher and the poor little innocent Of course, the rancher quickly realizes the innocent is truly innocent and falls in love, but by then there s nothing he can do to convince the innocent he s sincere and that his protestations of love aren t just part of his vengeful scheme It even included the ubiquitous scene where the rancher is overcome by lust and almost takes the innocent against his will, only recognizing at the last minuite that the innocent is reacting with fear instead of passion.It was entertaining in the sense of providing a nostalgic flashback Diana Palmer, I think, right down to the significant age difference But I m no longer as naive as I was back then, and I m so very grateful that romantic fiction has for the most part evolved along with me to leave that crap in the past.Also, I found the constant POV jumping distracting and, at times, confusing Not only did we jump between the main characters, but also to various bystanders for maybe a paragraph each, such as the waitress in a diner It might not have bothered me so much if I d actually gotten involved in the story, but since I wasn t it was an additional distraction and source of unintentional amusement at times. I read this story in a hundred Harlequins back in the early 80s, when I was young and foolish and I was interested to see one of the old classic tropes in a current day M M romance Nostalgia only takes you so far, and the early 80s were kind of a low point anyway I kept reading to see if it would get better or interesting or something It didn t Eli has no redeeming qualities at all, but at least he s not as annoying as Will Terrible. I think this is another one of those stories you ll either love it or you ll hate it It s got the feel of a harlequin book but make no mistake neither of the characters are effeminate I personally loved it but of course I ve always been fond of arrangement type books and this one definitely can be found under that classification I don t really want to give spoilers about it but basically William has a quiet life but when his sister calls it s thrown into chaos He flies to Montana to help her out only to realize she sold him out and now he s stuck on a ranch with a gorgeous man until she can pay off her debt I liked William and I loved Eli William is the type of character where it s no, no, no with anything revolving around Eli He doesn t trust Eli because of how Eli treated him so it takes Eli doing some fancy moves to convince William that he s genuine The story was very amusing to me In the beginning I loved William s reluctance but by the end I was a bit annoyed at William for not seeing how much Eli cared I loved, loved, loved Eli because he s such an alpha man Pushy and manipulative at times, cold and ruthless, too, but he s also gentle and caring when he needs to be with William What I loved MOST about the book was Eli s easy affection with William I also liked that people realized William was someone special because of how Eli wasn t so touchy with others While I loved the story, there were some things that annoyed me William s constant denial in the end was one of them There was some head hopping I really didn t care for especially when it would hop into a strangers thoughts and they d think how strange Eli s behavior was It was amusing what they all thought but it got annoying pretty fast I also hated Willian s sister She bugged the shit out of me but I can understand why William put up with her and her schemes Overall, I liked the story a lot I wouldn t mind reading about these two or reading something else from B.A I know some people think it was just a silly book but it all depends on what mood you d be in and whether you d be open to reading something like this Either way, I d recommend it. I probably would have never read this story except I saw a few reviews from some of my GR friends that were so bad I had to do it.OMG this was the best bad book I have read in so long I was so entertained that I could hardly put it down, and then I wanted to go slower so it would last longer Yes, this book will not appeal to many readers It is the epitome of a cheesy Harlequin romance from the 80 s If ya read my bookshelf lists you would know how much I love to read those literary gems even in 2013 Seriously, it s like someone took all of my favorite Diana Palmer cowboy stories and wrote an M M version Yep, not everyone s cup of tea but I make no apologies for my questionable judgement This book is so awesome, there are actually lines it in like, stroking the fullness of his member, and plunders the moist softness of his lips I could go on and on with examples I know terribly awesome right Now you have to understand a bit about my reading habits to question why I enjoyed that since at this point you have lost all respect of me Really, I read all kinds of romance and I don t flinch over much it was just such a novelty to read a story written like this in 2011 If I could write a romance I would probably want to write one like this, but then again my skin isn t thick enough to handle all of the negative reviews it would generate I wish I had the guts to do it though.So now you have an opinion formed on this book with my highly questionable judgement, and if like me you find this sort of far fetched cowboy fantasy tale to be entertaining then I highly recommend you read it. Spoilers are scattered here and there, so please read at your own risk I won t deliberately give all the major parts away, but there s just too much to be said that cannot be clearly explained without giving some sort of context.I m torn between giving this a two or a three but decided to settle for two stars because while there were times where I found myself enjoying the book, as a whole I wasn t really satisfied However, I could ve easily given this book four stars if it was correctly billed as a historical novel there were just too many old fashioned things that I just had a tough time believing this was happening in the present.To be completely honest I bought this on a whim Knowing that this is B.A Stretke s first published novel, I didn t have any expectations at all, except perhaps the great mistake that Will has to pay for according to the blurb And I m glad I didn t enter it expecting a great read while the author has a pretty solid and engaging writing style, I do believe he s writing for the wrong genre His voice screams sophistication and is very much old fashioned Throughout the book I would sometimes catch a glimpse of casual writing here and there, but these moments were too few and far between that they just couldn t erase the feeling of a historical novel This all carried over to the dialogue And how Here s a piece of dialogue that you can easily spot from the end of the first chapter I will see to your comfort I promise you will be well cared for during your stay Who says that in the modern world Personally, I would ve put it this way Dude, I promise I ll take good care of you so chill, okay Of course, I wouldn t be that crass and rude but still There s a fine line between sounding polite and sounding just plain fancy and uptight Like I said, it all contributed to the big feeling of a historical novel There are so many factors to this, but the writing style and voice are the first things a reader notices so those were the aspects of the novel that I mentioned first.There weren t that many references to any modern conveniences, although within the first chapter we already encounter a Ford Focus, so it was in my great understanding that the story was taking place within the last decade Otherwise, it would ve just been one big anachronism stew There were cellphones and planes and cars And oh, there was also a mild continuity error with Elijah s cars in the first chapter it s described as a large one and after a first chapters we are told it s a sports car Unless SUVs are considered sports cars these days, I don t see how a sports car can be anything but sleek and compact and not large and bulky But that s just a minor thing The disconnect between the given time period and the writing itself was a big point of contention for me I m going to sound like a broken record once , but by golly I can t repeat how many times I can say that I wouldn t have minded so much if Dreamspinner Press and the author billed this novel as a Timeless Dreams book and edited out all references to modern stuff Also, the author seems to be quite fond of using the phrase out loud which is completely unnecessary if you ask me because Will s thoughts were enclosed within quotation marks, which should ve made the point in and of itself that Will was saying them out loud I hope that made sense I feel bad for saying this, but it just felt like a Harlequin novel to me Countless times I would recall all the old Harlequin novels my mother used to read Personally I ve never read a novel published by Harlequin Enterprises myself, and so when I say that this novel felt like one, that must be saying something Even Will himself admits to it He thinks, and I quote from the book, Talk about a gentleman, I feel like I m in some sort of Harlequin novel The fact that his characters seem to think so too should ve been a big wake up call to B.A Stretke The plot was just so reminiscent of one of those old fashioned bodice ripper stories that it made me internally cringe at times Will was sent there as collateral and basically all he does is mope and spend time with Elijah and just stay in the house or talk to people all day long It would ve felt modern and realistic if Elijah made him work so that he could pay off his sister s debt of 500,000 What did they accomplish by letting him sit around Nothing, really Will felt to me like a helpless damsel in distress most of the time, not the independent young man he professed himself to be.Elijah was also a bit of a problem for me Not to sound rude or anything, but does he have PMS One minute he s shouting at Will and saying hurtful things and the next he s putting his arm around him and leading him into his room I admit that his actions pretty much even out as we move along further into the book, but his hostile behavior in the beginning doesn t really justify his sudden change of heart And Will How clueless can one person be The character traits pale in comparison to the major point of the writing itself, but I still felt bothered by them To be completely honest I wanted to see of Martin but it was like he was just brushed off to the side, which is weird considering it was his supposed marriage that opened the plot Overall, it was just the Harlequin feel to it that bothered me the most, especially since this wasn t even a historical novel to begin with I know, I know you re all tired of me blasting about how the time period is inappropriate But I cannot reiterate it enough because this was perhaps the biggest mistake the author made It would ve shown a lot of promise and potential had it been in the right genre Perhaps a shift in genre would benefit the author a lotSigned and Sealedisn t a bad read it s just the fact that it was placed in the wrong genre that bothered me the most. CAUTION Slight SpoilersHoly Hell A mm romance that s your standard Harlequin romance Aaaaaaa crazyfanmomentIf you don t like Harlequin or you don t like western romance, move on If you like at least either one of them, this book may be your cup of tea I don t care for western romance but I do occasionally read Harlequin and the sort What can I say I m a sucker for those baby mama stories PInstead of a chick, it s two guys with dicks, one being all alpha you better listen to me and the other I m a good guy with a lonely heart This is a romance and not erotica, because there are only three mundane sex scenes to tug the heart.Disregarding my the 5 stars rating I gave the book, Signed and Sealeddoes have its flaws IMO, flaws are inherent in Harlequin or Harlequin esque stories GripesI have a few gripes with the plot I wished Will would have phoned his lawyer the moment Katrina pulled him into another of her gold digging scheme That should have been his first warning if not the phone call from Eli at the start of the story I wished he would have done so especially when Eli demanded Will to stay in exchange for Katrina s freedom Two words illegal imprisonment Well, almost Will only agreed to stay because Eli threatened to sue and take away Will s home Wake up Your sister accused you of being an accomplice to her gold digging scheme, there s a guy threatening to sue you because of her, and you re not calling your lawyer I get Will was hesistant to call his lawyer because then Will will have to deal with the loss of his parents again, but come on I thought the imminent threat of homelessness would have beatdown the grief of family death of two years ago Another impossible thing was how Eli was able to get his hand on Will s safety deposit box that his parents left for him in their will A safety deposite box filled jewel heirlooms and the deed to ancestral land Apparently, Will s lawyer trusted Eli enough to for Eli to give it to Willuh, what Seriously Maybe the reason why Will didn t call his lawyer is because his lawyer is a crappy one WTF happened to lawyer client privilege Moreover, I thought the three tests Eli gave to Will for proof of duplicity were too apparent A credit card with a thousands of dollar limit, a dubious marriage proposal, and access to Eli s bank account A big reason why gold diggers are so dangerous is because they re sneaky It s not until AFTER the marriage AND several stack of bills later that you ll find out she he is a gold digger The other kind of gold diggers, the ones who are so obvious you have to be blind and deaf and retarded, are not dangerous because their rich lovers know what they re getting into Hugh Hefner, the face of Playboy, is one such example Yeah, those young, hot girls really love Hugh for his look and personality sarcasm So I thought those tests Eli gave didn t really prove or disprove anything other than Will s intelligence Nonetheless, these plotholes didn t break the story for me It was pretty much the standard it is this way for convenience to make good drama Harlequin always throw around Like I said, if you don t like Harlequin and similar romances, then you will not like this story at all A possible gripe people might have is how the setting of the story rural Montana was so liberal, i.e pretty much everyone were all into gay acceptance Realism, thy name is not Signed and Sealed, especially not in Harlequin I tend to avoid the contemporary subgenere of mm romance because of this, so I was all for having a setting where romance is main issue, not sexuality or social acceptance or civil rights blah blah blah Not My Thing, I like reading Harlequin remember Of course, there s only so much suspension of belief a reader can handle, but this story didn t irritate me with its plotholes of convenience.CharactersI love Will and his vulnerability I usually loathe goody two shoes characters, but Will s personality of being levelheaded the lawyers thing aside was refreshing Eli was always testing Will and provoking him that I was delightfully suprised Will didn t throw a temper tantrum the entire time I sure as hell would have I m suprised Will even managed to stay the entire time that Eli forced upon him I also like how there were no slut shaming that is often prevalent in Harlequin romance But that s most likely because Will was male not female No double standard here.I like Eli, he s your typical aplha male Beneath that rough and tough exterior lies a heart of gold that cares deeply for family and friends Hot sexy cowboy The man all the ladies and gay laddies want Eli may have been stereotypical but he wasn t dull It was compelling to see him so conflicted between testing Will because he s the brother of a gold digger and wanting Will because he s may be The One.OverallIf I can change one thing about the story, I wish the ending would have extend after the wedding and in the honeymoon Signed and Sealed gets a five from me because it s the first Harlequin esque mm romance book I ever read, so there P.