My favorite of the Donovan series, Eric and Beth's romance is as smoking hot as their origin was in THE GUY NEXT DOOR. There is still more angst than I'm used to for a Dahl book (and I traced that to both hero and heroine having issues to work through, while in most of her prior books, Dahl tended to have at least one partner relatable but confident), but Beth and Eric's anxieties were more palatable to me than Tessa's tension and Jamie's self-loathing. I think it also helped that I was invested in both hero and heroine prior to starting this book, after their stellar debut short story.
Beth and Eric working through their respective crises of confidence with little issue, but it was a little upsetting to see Jamie Donovan back in the antagonist's seat after he was the hero of BAD BOYS DO. But if Rome wasn't built in a day, it makes sense that familial bliss shouldn't be achieved in one book. I got choked up when the brothers finally hugged it out, and it was definitely worth the wait to see this family healing.
REAL MEN WILL is a strong contender to join my list of Victoria Dahl favorites, Beth and Eric's chemistry is outstanding (and may join Molly and her sexy lawman as a regular re-read). Only time will tell, however, if I reach for them or the hilarious courtship of Luke and Tessa when it's time to revisit the Donovans.
Reread #2 (4/13/12): Oh, Eric and Beth, you are just so loveable. As much as I dislike the Kendalls, they're not skippable in REAL MEN DO. I enjoyed this re-read cover to cover, and wish The White Orchid was in my neighborhood.