Lead Me On (Hqn)

Lead Me On - Victoria Dahl I somewhat forced myself to read the final installation of Victoria Dahl's "Tumble Creek" series, and usually when I have to force myself to read a book, it doesn't mean good things for the work - because a good book should allow you to easy immerse and captivate you without too much trouble. I kept phasing in and out of the book - picking it up and putting it down because it didn't hold my interest - the prose doesn't really jump out at me, and the story has predictable threads and far less character development or focus that I could latch onto for a romance work. Yet one could say its simple stylings make it an easy read, and its very frank in its sexuality (like most HQN releases) - right down to the mannerisms. After much debating, I did finally finish it (and it's really not a long read at all).Much like the previous books in the series, Dahl focuses on developing a specific couple in Tumble Creek. This time, the lens falls on Jane, an attorney who seemingly has a perfect job, life, and relationship, but it all comes unraveling. She breaks up with her boyfriend in the first chapter of the book because she doesn't "love him anymore" and the constraints of the relationship. She feels relief with letting him go. At the same time, she meets the rugged, yet suave Chase, whom she initially tries to deny her attraction to, but like her seemingly perfect life, she admits to being a fraud.I thought the fraud association with Jane beat me over the head too many times. Jane thinks she is, and given her self-perception and background, she continuously refers to it internally. Yet, it's more or less she has to come to terms with the reality around her and what she wants. And Chase's so-called bad boy image was overemphasized as well. I wish it had been shown more and not told so it would've been less cumbersome and more natural. The side story about Jane's family troubles was also shallow (in portrayal - not necessarily with respect to the events themselves), so I won't spare too many words on that.In the end, I think the best book in this series, with respect to balancing story, the supportive cast, and love scenes was "Start Me Up" - and I can't complain much about the supporting cast in "Lead Me On" (which include Lori, Quinn, Ben, and Molly) because they held up well enough in this story, but I wasn't taken much by Jane or Chase because their characters were rail thin.It's good for a quick read and if you like stories of this vein that don't really need that much development to them, but I think that for someone who is looking for something more than a light read, one might be disappointed. Unfortunately, I was.Overall score: 1.5/5