Kelly Hunter’s Bennett Family series: Mini-reviews

It’s been a while since I last cross-posted my reviews from Goodreads here – I blame that on summer really. The Diamond Jubilee, Wimbledon, the Olympics, the Paralympics… next summer has a lot to live up to.

I just had a look at my October 2011 reads and it was mainly my Kelly Hunter glom – oh gosh, that brings back memories.  I remember being utterly stressed out at work, and these books were the perfect distraction.  They were relative quick reads because they’re category-length, yet each of them was packed full of wit and romance.

I can’t quite remember how I stumbled over the first book now, especially since I hadn’t picked up a category romance in years, but I hunted down her entire backlist within days (yay for digital editions!).  I started with her Bennett Family series as the first book in the series, WIFE FOR A WEEK, was the first Hunter I read.

So here are my Bennett series reviews from Goodreads – I posted these separately so forgive the slightly disjointed nature of the reviews here.  Note that her North American releases have had different titles and there are now various omnibus editions, so worth bearing that in mind if you decide to check out her books.

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Wife for a WeekWife for a Week by Kelly Hunter (contemporary romance)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book appealed to my sense of the ridiculous. When passages make you laugh or reread, you know you’re on to a keeper. Hallie and Nick kept me up late – I loved the banter and chemistry between them, and couldn’t put the book down. One of my favourites and made me want to read the next Bennett family book immediately.

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Bedded for Diamonds (Harlequin Presents Extra)Bedded for Diamonds by Kelly Hunter (contemporary romance)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kelly Hunter does it again. This had everything – humour, chemistry, romance, and great storytelling, and the (small) subplot around stolen diamonds tugged at my heartstrings. Both the h/h concede gracefully at the end and both end up winners. I haven’t been reading any Kelly Hunters before now – obviously I’ve been missing out.

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The Maverick's Greek Island MistressThe Maverick’s Greek Island Mistress by Kelly Hunter (contemporary romance)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love how Kelly Hunter writes strong alpha males coupled with women who give just as good as they get. As usual, the main romance was wonderfully convincing and sizzling, but the secondary romance and subplot was just as good. I loved the setting in this book as well – it had the great small-town feel, in this case, the small town being a Greek island populated with relatives and friends.

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Untameable Rogue (Modern Heat)Untameable Rogue by Kelly Hunter (contemporary romance)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fourth in the Bennett Family series, and just as good as the previous ones.

I liked how Kelly Hunter inversed the usual M&B tropes here, with Maddy, the heroine, being the insanely wealthy one. Luke was a very alpha hero, which could so easily have gone wrong, but I think it was pulled off perfectly here.

The (unusual for an M&B) Singapore setting and the secondary characters also stood out, especially Maddy’s housekeeper, with her hilarious pokes at Luke and references to the Chinese zodiac. And there was a sly nod to events in the first Bennett book (funeral vases!) which made me smile.

The story also did an excellent job of setting up the fifth Bennett book, Red Hot Renegade – good thing I had that to hand and could start reading immediately.

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Red Hot Renegade (Modern Heat)Red Hot Renegade by Kelly Hunter (contemporary romance)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The final Bennett book, and possibly the only one of the series that can’t be read as a standalone – in a way, I’m glad I discovered Kelly Hunter so late, as I could read the whole series in one go!

Jianne and Jake’s relationship was so intense, yet their story was leavened with the humour that I’ve come to expect in Kelly Hunter’s books. I’m a sucker for marriage-in-trouble plotlines – it’s the shared history and what-could-have-beens that always gets me, and this book delivered angst and romance in spades.

As with the previous book, Untameable Rogue, I liked the Singaporean setting and the freshness that it lent the story. The friendly rivalry between the Bennett brothers continued to keep me entertained, and while there was a bit of a Bennett reunion, it was kept to the minimum – which had the opposite effect of me wishing more of the family had turned up!

Normally with category romances, I end up bemoaning their shorter length, but with this one, I thought Kelly Hunter packed so much story into this one and it was the perfect length for Jianne and Jake’s romance.

So, an extremely enjoyable series overall, and this book ended up being one of my favourites in 2011.

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7 thoughts on “Kelly Hunter’s Bennett Family series: Mini-reviews

  1. Very nice post, Li! I gotta support this post because I gotta agree with you, Ms Hunter is a great author 🙂 Luckily for me, I have still quite a bit of her backlist to go through. I started this Bennett series and I think I read only the first 2… And Untameable Rogue sounds really good! 🙂

    The only complaint I have is the different titles between the North American and UK books. Although that’s not her fault.

    Do you know if she has a new release coming out soon? all I saw was the omnibus.

    • Hi Nath – I totally glommed her backlist this time last year, time flies!

      I agree – the different titles are very confusing, especially if you’re trying to track down a specific book. I got really confused when trying to figure out the Bennett family books especially.

      No new releases, I think – though she lists two new to NA releases on her website (I’ve read them already, sadly!):
      http://www.kellyhunter.net/2012%20Schedule.html

  2. I haven’t read the 2nd book in the West Family series, so I guess it’s something for me to look forward to 🙂

    Lucky, 2012 is almost over! Make way to 2013! LOL

    • Lucky you 😉

      SLEEPING PARTNER was a NA re-release (or new release) as well this year – this was the one book where I had trouble tracking down an e-edition, and ended up getting a secondhand one. It reminded me of how difficult it was to get hold of M&B/Harlequins once they were off the shelves.

  3. I went on a bit of a Kelly Hunter glom late last year too! Such fun reads. A few weeks ago I realised that I had a few that I still hadn’t read so I am not trying to find those.

  4. Pingback: Kelly Hunter: Take 2 | Me and My Books

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