ARC Review: Good Girls Don't (Victoria Dahl)


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. The last thing he needs is a nice girl like Tessa getting under his skin.

Tessa has her hands full, too. Her brother’s playboy ways may be threatening the business, and the tensions 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.


I had mixed feelings about this book.  I really liked the story and the characters but they made me so mad sometimes.

Tessa was a strong, independent character, hell-bent on keeping her family together.  I liked that she put her family first but there were sometimes I just wanted to smack her because of the way she was trying to go about it.  She is outgoing, smart and headstrong.  She always goes after what she wants, in business and in her personal life.  Despite her brothers' attempts to derail her romance with Luke, she lets Luke know exactly what she wants and isn't afraid of putting it all out on the table.  She takes the same approach with her business, making her voice heard and not backing down when things get rough.  I like that she is a "grab the bull by the horns" kind of girl.

I wasn't really sure about Luke.  He was a deep character with flaws and internal struggles.  He wasn't an alpha, which is normally my favorite type of guy, but I still liked him.  His issues with his partner as well as with his ex made him real.  His struggles are straight out of real life and it helped me connect with him on a personal level.  However, sometimes I wished he was more take-charge.  There were times that he almost seemed to back down and I don't usually like that in the male characters. 

The conflict was simple enough.  A break-in, an investigation and a business deal in turmoil.  And I really don't think that part of the story was anything extraordinary.  There was a lot of focus on the business deal, but even that seemed to center mostly around the characters as opposed to the business.  Overall, I think this book was more about the characters and their relationships, which is fine, except that I felt like the author could have taken this story to the next level if she had put a little more into the different conflicts. 

The secondary characters made me just as crazy as the main characters, which is probably a good thing, since there are more books coming.  The fact that they stand out in my mind after finishing this book is a pretty good sign that I will be picking up the next one.


I enjoyed this book and had a lot of fun reading it.  I wouldn't say I loved it but I will definitely be picking up the next book in this series, Bad Boys Do.

Heat Factor:

The sparks are definitely flying between Tessa and Luke.  I liked their chemistry and the playful banter that goes on throughout the book.  

Good Girls Don't is scheduled for release on September 1, 2011.

A copy of Good Girls Don't was provided to me for review by the publisher and netgalley.com

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