Group Review – Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton

hope ignites by jaci burtonPublisher: Berkely
Publish Date: March 25th
How we got this book: NetGalley

Logan McCormack likes his isolated life on the ranch, until a movie crew starts filming there. When actress Desiree Jenkins blows into his life, she wrecks it harder than the Oklahoma winds with her brutal honesty and soft touch. Des knows this is a temporary stay, but she loves the open freedom of the land, and for the first time in her life, Des feels like she might have found a place she can call home, with a man she might be falling in love with. But Logan’s heart is tougher than the soil beneath them—can she convince him that they belong together?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

Thoughts on Heroine

MinnChica: I really liked Desiree. I thought she was totally down to earth and likeable as a heroine. The problems she faced as a star were not glossed over, and I liked the extra dimension it added to the story, even though this book wasn’t as “Hollywood” as I had hoped. There were a few times throughout the story that I thought Des let Logan treat her like crap, so when she finally stood up for herself toward the end, I did a little happy dance for her. I was glad to see that she wasn’t going to continue taking his crap, and that she made him grovel a bit to win her back.

E: I really enjoyed Desiree. She was honest about the pros and minuses of being a star. She also talked about the difficulties of the journey to becoming one and staying visible without sugarcoating or making it seem like she was asking for sympathy. I also really loved how she stood up for her friends regardless of how it impacted her romance with Logan. Like MinnChica I LOVED it when she called Logan on his BS and made him face up to what he had been doing. And yes she insisted on a decent grovel! 😀

Marlene: We’re three for three on liking Desiree. I liked the way that she recognized both the pros and the cons of her career and her current success. She values what she has, and recognizes both that she got lucky and that it’s a lot of hard work. Her ability to maintain her long-term supportive friendship with Cole was a big character plus, and I loved the way the author conveyed how close and easy they were. Desiree is strong and good at knowing what she needs/wants and what she doesn’t in her life, so I practically stood up and cheered when she told Logan he had gone too far.

Thoughts on Hero

MinnChica: While I liked Logan in the first book, I struggled a bit with his character in this one. Logan comes across as mean and gruff and he can be a bit of an asshat. There were times that I really wanted Des to walk away from him, because he did treat her like crap quite a few times throughout the story. I get that he was worried about falling into the same horrific relationship that his parents had, but that didn’t excuse his behavior for me. I kinda needed Logan to grovel a bit more at the end, and thought he got off easy with how badly he treated Des.

E: I had issues with Logan. I think he ended up with all of the worst traits of the rancher embittered because he was abandoned by his mother who couldn’t handle living on a ranch. I thought for much of the story he was an unmitigated jealous ass. So when he would surprise me and have a sweet caring moment then ruin it the fall seemed that much steeper. I will say he did start the journey to redemption for me with his grovel for Desiree but I wanted to see his good behavior last a bit longer given the pattern he demonstrated throughout most of the story.

Marlene: I have a love/hate relationship with Logan, or with Desiree’s relationship with Logan. He plays the “come here/go away” game with Desiree throughout most of the book, and when he’s in the “go away” mode, whether that is physically or emotionally, he’s not good for her. (Doesn’t mean she isn’t good for him) He starts out the book so certain he doesn’t want a relationship, so bitter about his mother’s mistakes, that he can’t get it through his head that he’s already IN a relationship. I will say that there were points where I couldn’t figure out why Desiree wanted him long-term.

Favorite Scene

MinnChica: Picking one favorite scene is always a struggle for me. I think my favorite would probably have to be the 4th of July picnic that Logan hosted at his house. It was the first time that Logan and Des admitted to one another that their relationship was more than just physical, and Logan really put forth an effort to show Desiree how much he cared about her. He was kind and attentive throughout that whole day, and it showed the depth of his feelings, despite his constant worries. For me, that really showed me just how great they could be together, when Logan finally pulled his head out of his ass.

E: I really enjoyed the scenes that involved Martha, Logan’s ranch cook and housekeeper, because she seemed to bring out who Logan and Desiree really were. Out of all of those I think my favorite was when Martha was able to see up close and personal what being in a movie was really like. She was so very excited and loved every second of it. Her joy seemed infectious and both Logan and Desiree were just as happy to see her joy.

Marlene: My favorite scene takes place at the end of Desiree’s “working day at the ranch”, when she figures out that Logan has been deliberately harder on her than anyone expected because he was testing her against the example of his mother, and he expected her to fail. Desiree stood up, told him off, and told him where he could take his test and his attitude.

Dislike about the book:

MinnChica: Other than Logan’s douchey ways, I really did like this story. While I understand this series takes place in the small town of Hope, I was hoping we’d get to see a bit more of the Hollywood way of life in this story. I thought Des’ fame was handled well, but I would have liked to see that aspect of the book explored further. And again, Logan needed to grovel a hell of a lot more than he did.

E: I was disappointed with how Logan character was for most of the book. I also thought the producer was rather one dimensional but I enjoyed how Burton handled the other characters. I liked how most of the story took place outside of Hollywood but I do agree with MinnChica that I think some challenges exist with Desiree’s fame that were only lightly touched on.

Marlene: I never quite saw what made Desiree fall in love with Logan, because he is so bitter through most of the story. (Why she wanted him, yes, why she fell for him, not quite convinced). It felt a bit like she fell in love with the ranch and the homeplace first. It fills her need to put down roots, and Logan is part of that package. I also expected the nasty director to make one more try, his douchery was made out to be bigger than it turned out to be.

Misc. Thoughts & Final Grade

MinnChica: All in all, I thought this was a good second installment to the Hope series. I love the McCormack family, and I liked all the page time spent on the ranch and the laid back way of life they had. I was intrigued by the secondary characters that were introduced, and can’t wait to read about Logan’s friends finding their own HEA.
I give Hope Ignites a B

E: This was an entertaining but light read. I found that unlike Burton’s other works the characters did not linger in my head after reading. Even though I did have my issues with Logan I enjoyed the overall interaction. I am curious to see what will happen next in Hope and the surrounding area.
I give Hope Ignites a B-

Marlene: I liked the people of Hope, and I particularly enjoyed Desiree and Colt’s friendship. All the scenes with Martha at the ranch were great fun. I just wasn’t wowed by Logan as a romantic hero, but it was terrific every time Desiree took charge.
I give Hope Ignites a B-

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