Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kathy Love: Wanting What You Get

Wanting What You Get
Series: The Stepp Sisters Trilogy, Book 2
Author: Kathy Love
Original Release: November 1, 2004

List Price: Retail unavailable

Read: January 9-9, 2010
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)

IS HE FLIRTING WITH ME? I must be imagining things. Why would Mason Sweet, the gorgeous mayor of Millbrook, Maine, the man I've secretly been in love with since seventh grade, flirt with me? He's the town golden boy, and I'm, well, the local librarian. The Stepp sister who stayed close to home. The one who bakes brownies . . . then eats them all. My thighs make that whick-whick-whick sound in pantyhose. He can't possibly be flirting with me. So why is he giving me that melt-you-where-you-stand look? Why is he pulling me close? And what is he whispering in my ear . . .

IS HE FLIRTING WITH ME? I must be imagining things. Why would Mason Sweet, the gorgeous mayor of Millbrook, Maine, the man I've secretly been in love with since seventh grade, flirt with me? He's the town golden boy, and I'm, well, the local librarian. The Stepp sister who stayed close to home. The one who bakes brownies . . . then eats them all. My thighs make that whick-whick-whick sound in pantyhose. He can't possibly be flirting with me. So why is he giving me that melt-you-where-you-stand look? Why is he pulling me close? And what is he whispering in my ear . . .

Saying that Wanting What You Get is one of the best romance books I've read this year doesn't mean much, since it's only January 9, 2010 - so I will go ahead and say it's one of the best I've read in two years, if not more.

There are too many good things to say about this book and frankly, I don't want to say too much since you should just read it and see for yourself. Mason and Ellie are wonderful leading characters. They are three-dimensional, complex, and both flawed, but wholly lovable and they are --- surprisingly --- perfect for one another. I especially love books where the quiet/shy/wallflower girl gets the guy, and this is definitely that type of book.

Ellie has serious body image issues, since she's always been slightly overweight, and Love deals with this issue very well. You really see the transformation that Ellie undergoes as Mason shows her that what she expects/thinks he wants and what he actually wants are two very different things and she begins to see herself through his eyes. It's especially realistic because it's gradual, so you don't have one week of Mason telling her she's beautiful and Ellie suddenly puts aside 30-years of self-consciousness and self-doubt --- instead, as Ellie becomes more comfortable and secure with Mason and his feelings for her, she also becomes more comfortable with herself and her own body.

Mason has the extremely serious issue of alcoholism to deal with and I thought that this was well incorporated into the book. The way that it affected their relationship, his refusal to admit he has a problem, how everyone deals with it and what ends up happening and changing things around seemed, again, very realistic. The fact that the two main characters are dealing with real everyday problems instead of some evil psycho-murderer or plan-spoiler in the background trying to ruin their lives made the book that much more enjoyable since you can actually imagine all of this truly happening.

In addition to Ellie and Mason being amazing characters on their own, the relationship that develops between them is absolutely wonderful and just writing about the book in this review makes me want to pick it up and read it again. There are so many scenes between them where your heart will go seriously pitter-patter and the banter, as well as serious conversations, that take place really make their romance one of love, not just lust. There's also a lot of humor, which is a must, and the lingerie-bathroom scene had me literally laughing out loud.

This book is very hard to find - out of print on Amazon, so only used copies are available and they start in the $20 range, PaperbackSwap.com didn't have any, neither did my local library system, and I finally resorted to buying a used copy on Amazon.co.uk (no new ones there either). It cost me a total of $16, but oh was it worth it!!

1) Getting What You Want - Abby and Chase
2) Wanting What You Get - Ellie and Mason
3) Wanting Something More - Marty and Nate

If you're a romance reader, give yourself a late holiday present and somehow get your hands on a copy of this book!!! It is fabulous (*****^*) and I can't wait for the next time I read it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Julie Garwood: For the Roses

For the Roses
Series: Claybornes' Brides, Book 1

Author: Julie Garwood
Original Release: January 31, 1996
List Price: $7.99

Read: December 29-31, 2009
My Rating:

SUMMARY (from back cover)
In Blue Belle, Montana, everyone knew better than to mess with the Claybornes. The brothers had once been a mismatched gang of street urchins --- until they found an abandoned baby girl in a New York City alley, named her Mary Rose, and headed west to raise her to be a lady. They became a family --- held together by loyalty and love if not by blood --- when suddenly they faced a crisis that threatened to tear them apart . . .

Trouble came to town with one Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald. Armed with a swagger and six-shooter, he cut a striking figure --- but it soon became apparent to Mary Rose that he was too much of a gentleman to make it in her rough-and-tumble town. She asked her brothers to teach him the basics of frontier survival, which he acquired with ease. And soon he possessed a deep and desperate love for Mary Rose. She returned his affection wholeheartedly . . . until MacDonald revealed a secret that challenged everything she believed about herself, her life, and her newfound love. Now her search for identity and meaning would begin, raising questions that could only be answered if she listened to the truth within her heart . . .

The second half was better than the first half, but this book was still my least favorite Julie Garwood book. Normally, I love her work, but too many things in this book drove me nuts. Eleanor was wholly unnecessary and although Garwood heroine's are always beautiful/smart/innocent/naive/etc., this one was just a little too much for me; they're always somewhat clueless and kind of head-in-the-clouds, but Mary Rose was more than I could handle.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Julie Garwood: The Secret

The Secret
Series: Highlands' Lairds, Book 1

Author: Julie Garwood
Original Release: May 1, 1992
List Price: $7.99

Read: December 28-28, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)

Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud and loyal. Her dear Scottish friend from childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another, private reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands: to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean. Nothing prepared her, however, for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land . . . Iain Maitland, Lord of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.

In a spirited clash of wills and customs, Judith reveled in the melting bliss of Iain's searching kisses, his passionate caresses. Perplexed by her sprightly defiance, bemused by her tender nature, Iain felt his soul growing into the light and warmth of her love. Surely nothing would wrench her from the affection and trust of Iain and his clan . . . not even the truth about her father, a devastating secret that could shatter the boldest alliance, and the most glorious of loves!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kathy Love: Getting What You Want

Getting What You Want
Series: Stepp Sisters, Book 1

Author: Kathy Love
Original Release: May 1, 2004
List Price: $5.99

Read: December 27-28, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)

In this delightful, heartwarming novel, Kathy Love introduces the Stepp sisters, three women whose lives are about to take a turn for the wild, the unpredictable, and the absolutely enchanting ... Meet Abby.

Remind me to have my head examined.
What exactly possessed me to come home to Millbrook, Maine, where nothing changes but the weather? Oh, right. A six-month grant to do genetics research at Rand laboratories. What can I say --- I'm a smart girl. And smart girls get what they need and get out again. Smart girls don't dream, they settle. And smart girls do not get completely tongue-tied while holding a basket of fried clams when they bump into the most gorgeous man they haven't seen in fifteen years: Chase Jordan.

Remind me to have my hormones removed.
Chase Jordan. Town bad boy. Rebel with a cause to show up in my dreams unannounced. Oh boy, this is not good. Not smart. It's like high school all over again. But in a good way. A heart-thumping way. An I-have-no-idea-what's-going-to-happen way. A way that's making me feel like maybe settling for what I have isn't so smart ... but really going after what I want is the craziest thing I may ever do ...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Linda Francis Lee: Sinfully Sexy


Sinfully Sexy
Series: Sexy

Author: Linda Francis Lee
Original Release: September 27, 2004
List Price: $7.99

Read: December 21-21, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)

After a close encounter of the sexy kind, Chloe discovers her wild side
Plain-Jane Chloe Sinclair has never been bad ... until she stumbles - literally - into the arms of a gorgeous stranger. To make matters worse, her world is rocked completely off its axis the morning after when the sensual dreamboat turns out to be the man brought in to save the TV station where she works.

Sterling Prescott is hard-driven, sexy as hell, and determined to take over the struggling KTEX TV. But all bets are off when the shameless wildcat who disappeared on him last night walks back into his life - acting like a squeaky-clean librarian. Life gets truly complicated, however, when Sterling decides to win more than the station - and to show  her that being sexy isn't a sin.

This is the second book that I have read by Linda Francis Lee and I'm very conflicted about what rating to give it - 3.5 stars (worth reading once, recommendable, check it out from the library) or 4 stars (will want to read it again, buy a copy of my own if I read a borrowed one). The other book was Looking for Lacey and it was really not a recommendable book, except for the side romance going on between the heroine's high school daughter and her classmate - that was literally the only thing that made the book worth reading.

Sinfully Sexy is Book 2 in Lee's "Sexy" Trilogy - it's preceded by Kate's story in Suddenly Sexy and followed by Julia and Ben's story in Simply Sexy. The three heroines are all coworkers at KTEX TV and have been friends since childhood.

In Sinfully Sexy, there were a lot of things that were a mess:
  • the story and the plot were not "tight"
  • there were a lot of contrivances created solely for the author's character machinations
  • the whole last-minute-dating-show-that-will-miraculously-save-the-station-and-oh-what-a-surprise-there-are-some-twists-that-make-certain-characters-have-to-be-contestants was ... yeah, not much appreciated by this reader
  • the secondary kind-of-romance between Julia and Ben that sets us up for Book 3 in the trilogy was annoying, felt very forced, and definitely did not make me inclined to read their story
  • Chloe's father was blah and the emotional scene and discussion at the end was far too corny and neatly-timed for me
  • ... and I could go on.
*However*, Chloe was (for the most - if one ignores some random weird spots here and there) a good heroine and Sterling was (also for the most part - if one ignores his too sudden realization of love and quick turnaround) a good hero. There were some great scenes between them that were very amusing, very enjoyable, and *very* chemically-charged and Sterling sometimes does or says things that will have you sighing out loud. The interactions between him and his brother Ben were also nice additions.

When I had first read the summary of this book, I thought that Chloe and Sterling basically have a one-night stand with one another and then are surprised to find out the next day that the stranger they slept with last night is someone they're going to have to work with. Although that's where things are heading, they *do not* sleep with each other at the beginning of the book and when they finally do it is absolutely perfect and at the right time in their relationship and in the book/story.

So basically it comes down to whether or not the good parts of the book outweigh the bad parts enough to warrant a 4-star rating instead of a 3.5-star one ... and after writing this review and being able to sum it all up for myself, I'm afraid to say that I'm going to have to go with 3.5 stars.

The pros of this book make it definitely worth checking out from the library (which is what I did), but I would hold off on buying it - I know some people have really liked this book, so it could be me, but IMO it just doesn't warrant a spot on my keeper and/or reread shelves.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Susan Mallery: Falling for Gracie

Falling for Gracie
Susan Mallery

Original Release: August 31, 2006
List Price: $6.99

Read: November 29-December 2, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Excerpt | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)

~ First comes love, then comes marriage . . . ~
And how can she, when she's face-to-face with Riley at every turn? The onetime bad boy has come back to town seeking respectability --- but the sparks that fly between them are anything but respectable! Gracie's determined to keep her distance, but when someone sets out to ruin both their reputations, the two discover that first love is sometimes better the second time around.

This is my second book by Mallery and I'm glad I gave it a chance, because the first book I read by her - Sizzling - was not very good. You can read my review here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jennifer Crusie: Charlie All Night


Charlie All Night
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Original Release: November 30, 1995
List Price: $5.99

Read: December 3-6, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Book Page | Excerpt | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)
Dumped by her boyfriend and demoted from WBBB's prime-time spot, radio producer Allie McGuffey has nowhere to go but up. She plans to make her comeback by turning temporary DJ Charlie Tenniel into a household name. And if he's willing to help her cure her breakup blues with a rebound fling, that's an added bonus.

Charlie just wants to kick back, play good tunes and eat Chinese food. He's not interested in becoming famous. But he
is interested in Allie. And after all, what harm is a little chemistry between friends?

But suddenly their one-night stand has become a four-week addiction. Night after night on the airwaves, his voice seduces her ... and all the other women in town. He's a hit. It looks as if Charlie's solved all Allie's problems ... except one. What is she going to do when he leaves?

Charlie All Night
is not my favorite Jennifer Crusie book and like a few of her other earlier ones feels more like a novella than a full-length novel. Regardless, it is an enjoyable read and very entertaining. The chemistry between Allie and Charlie is great and they have some fantastic dialogue, there are several humorous scenes, and the secondary characters are wonderful - especially Joe, Allie's gay roommate. All in all, the book is definitely worth checking out from the library (which is what I did).

In Charlie All Night, like in Anyone But You (read my review), Crusie features a heroine who is both older than usually found in the genre (Allie is 36) and than the hero (though only by two years here - not the ten that separates the hero and heroine of Anyone But You).

My favorite Crusie books so far are: Bet Me (5 stars - amazing!!), Manhunting (4 stars), and Getting Rid of Bradley (4 stars - read my review). They are all both read- and buy-worthy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Julie Ortolon: Drive Me Wild


Drive Me Wild
Author: Julie Ortolon
Release: March 7, 2000
List Price: $7.99

Read: November 28-28, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Book Page | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)
~ He was a devastating TV anchorman who thought he'd seen it all ~
With the face that launched a thousand newscasts, drop-dead gorgeous TV anchor Brent Michaels returns to his Texas hometown --- to be the "bachelor" in a Dating Game fundraiser. He can't refuse his old friend Laura Beth Morgan's request. And soon, he can't refuse the shy do-gooder anything. The tomboy he remembered had blossomed into a beautiful woman. An irresistible challenge for the man every woman wants ...

~ Until he rediscovered the girl next door ~
Laura Morgan yearns to break free, just as Brent Michaels did. He'd come a long way from the boy who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, the friend who kissed her once, then ran. But even as he warns her he's incapable of love, he's not running now. For Laura was stirring him like no woman had before, making him consider the "M" word for the first time, leaving him certain of only one thing: Laura Morgan could be his undoing ...

My first book by Ortolon was Lead Me On and I really enjoyed it and gave it 4 stars. Drive Me Wild was entertaining, but I don't think I would reread it because of several issues I had with the story/characters.

My biggest was Laura's realization of love for Brent happened **WAY** too soon. Two days after seeing each other for the first time in ten years she realizes she's in love with him? I don't think so! Once the story moves to Houston and their relationship actually kicks off the book is good and very enjoyable, but I had a hard time getting over my initial skepticism. Also, Laura towards the end of the book and leading up to the climax fight bothered me --- she's a little too pushy and somewhat manipulative (very "somewhat," because that word seems far too strong).

Brent was an absolutely wonderful hero and I liked how three-dimensional and realistic he was. Romance heroes always have some obligatory faults, but in this case Brent's issues didn't seem added on by the author because she can't make the hero absolutely perfect --- they were believable and made him very compelling (*very*, lol ;-).

All in all --- worth the read, but glad I got it from the library since I don't think I'll be coming back to it. ... Though Brent really almost makes it worth it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Julie Ortolon: Lead Me On

Lead Me On
Series: Pearl Island Trilogy, Book 2
Julie Ortolon

Release: January 20, 2003
List Price: Retail unavailable

Read: November 14-15, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Book Page | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)
~ When a woman who is willing . . . ~
Allison St. Clair has the face of an angel. That's part of the problem. She also sells quaint tea sets in the gift shop at Galveston's Pearl Island Inn. It doesn't exactly scream sexy! Years of having men treat her like a little sister is enough to drive a healthy woman crazy. Especially when a gorgeous hunk checks in and fails to recognize that Allison's more than willing. She's ready . . .

~ Meets a man who isn't listening . . . ~
Frustrated author Scott Lawrence is hoping to get lucky in more ways than one. A little fun in the sun with a beautiful woman may be just the inspiration he needs to cure his writer's block. No fuss. No commitment. But a "good girl" like Allison? No way!

~ Then it's time for action. ~
When Allison makes her move, every bachelor bone in Scott's body tells him to swim for safety. But stronger instincts prevail, and the heat climbs higher than the temperature on the Texas Coast. Now a four-letter word called love could turn a sweet spring diversion into the most unexpected and complicated fling of their lives.

SERIES: The Pearl Island Trilogy
  1. Falling For You - Aurora St. Claire and blue-blooded banker Oliver Chancellor
  2. Lead Me On - Allison St. Claire and bestselling author Scott Lawrence
  3. Don't Tempt Me - Adrian St. Claire and ship owner/captain Jackie Taylor

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Suzanne Enoch: A Matter of Scandal

A Matter of Scandal
Series: With This Ring, Book 3
Suzanne Enoch

First Release: July 31, 2001
List Price: Retail unavailable

Read: October 19-19, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Book Page | Excerpt | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from back cover)
~ School for Scandal ~

Miss Emma Grenville, who is no silly debutante, has had her fill of thick-headed noblemen who believe women exist solely to satisfy men. And her arrogant new landlord, the Duke of Wycliffe, is the worst of the lot! The too-attractive cad wants to triple the rent on Emma's finishing school for young ladies to help get his uncle's estate out of debt. Well, Greydon Brakenridge clearly needs educating --- about women. And Emma's just the one to enlighten him!

The sinfully handsome duke has never met a woman he couldn't outwit and seduce. And now that he's tricked Emma into a wager, he has the stubborn headmistress right where he wants her --- and hopefully, soon in his bed. But the confirmed bachelor underestimates the intelligent and surprisingly sensual Miss Greenville. For she may be leading Greydon to a place neither dreamed they'd ever go --- to the altar.

SERIES: With This Ring
  1. Reforming a Rake - Alexandra Beatrice Gallant and Lucien Balfour, Sixth Earl of Kilcairn Abbey
  2. Meet Me at Midnight - Victoria "Vixen" Fontaine and Sinclair Grafton, Lord "Sin" Althorpe
  3. A Matter of Scandal - Emma Grenville and Greydon Brakenridge, Duke of Wycliffe

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eloisa James update

Eloisa James sent out one of her "Newsflash" emails; some of the contents are reposted below or you can read the full thing at her website.

* Reminder to read the reprints of her first two books, Potent Pleasures (what a name! LOL) and Midnight Pleasures.

* She now has a Facebook fan page and is on Twitter, on which she sends out about 2-3 tweets a day right now since she's in Paris.

* First paragraph (don't think that qualifies as either a teaser or an excerpt really ... who ever heard of only putting up one paragraph???) of her next book, A Kiss at Midnight (described as a "fractured fairy tale), is now available online. Release date is unknown; we've only been told sometime in 2010.

* Read her most recent Barnes & Noble column, the subject of which is "heroes who aren't particularly hairy or rakish - but truly decent." ... At first I thought she meant "hairy" as in, well, hairy, but it's basically about those decent heroes that aren't rakish skirt-chasers and completely irresponsible, irreverent, a man's man, etc.

Sidenote: I've never really been a James fan from the few books of hers I read; it was awhile ago, but I remember her characters don't always sit right with me and there are too many secondary/tertiary romances and stories going on with other characters besides for the main ones (or at least that was true for those books of hers I read).

Mary Jo Putney update

You can access the complete version of Mary Jo Putney's latest newsletter online; below is a summary of pertinent/interesting information.

* She gives thanks to readers for buying Loving a Lost Lord, since it made it to the New York Times bestsellers list. My sidenote: I technically helped put her there, since I rushed out to buy the book ... but if the list were based on what people thought of the book, she definitely wouldn't be on it with that one, IMHO. Harsh sounding, I know, but that was one of the worst books I've read all year - maybe even in two years. You can read my review here. Compared to wonderful works of hers like The Rake and The Wild Child, it was almost hard to believe they were all written by the same author!

* Book 2 of the Lost Lords Series, Never Less Than a Lady will be coming out in May 2010 (though Amazon has it listed as being released on April 27, 2010) and two more Lost Lords contracts have been signed with the publisher.

* Two reissued books coming out: The Rake (which as I said, is absolutely great and a must-read) and The Bargain. One Perfect Rose will also be reissued, out in April 2010.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Suzanne Enoch: The Care and Taming of a Rogue


The Care and Taming of a Rogue
Series: The Adventurers Club, Book 1
Suzanne Enoch

First Release: October 27, 2009
List Price: $7.99

Read: October 30-31, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Excerpt | Amazon.com

Can't believe I'm saying this about an Enoch book ... but it wasn't that great

Suzanne Enoch is a fabulous writer and some of my absolute favorite historical romances have been written by her, namely London's Perfect Scoundrel and Always a Scoundrel, with close second favorites being England's Perfect Hero, By Love Undone, and After the Kiss. Needless to say, I was ecstatic about this book coming out and expected it to join my "all-time favorite" bookshelf - it won't, and frankly, I'm considering whether to post it on PaperBack Swap right away, because I doubt that I will want to reread this.

The Care and Taming of a Rogue (The Adventurers Club, Book 1) wasn't bad in the sense that I didn't actively dislike it, but in almost every aspect it either fell short or just didn't click; it was boring and I was at times somewhat tempted to just put it down and forget about it. The premise was an interesting one and quite original, and I'm always a huge fan of books where the heroine is overlooked, shy, bookish, unusual, whatever. Plus, taking into account it's written by Enoch, it should be a natural five-star book, right? Wrong: The Care and Taming of a Rogue did not live up to my expectations. Both of the main characters were pretty forgettable, their relationship is not compelling and I never really understood how they got together or why they felt (or even THAT they felt) so strongly about one another, and the chemistry just wasn't there (which starkly contrasts with some of Enoch's other books).

Both Bennett (29) and Phillipa (20) felt somewhat flat and one-dimensional. Bennett is supposed to be this "uncivilized explorer" who won't obey any of London society's "rules" and wants to drag his woman back to his cave ... and although we're told this repeatedly and other characters constantly describe him this way, it didn't really ring true. Yes, he was blustery and aggressive, but it ended up just being annoying and not at all endearing, adventurous, bad-boy-attractive, or any other positive thing; he wasn't as unconventional as he was made out to be (an example of where that type of unconventional adventurer-hero was well done and *did* work is Christina Dodd's Rules of Surrender).

Phillipa is a nice heroine, but nothing to write home about. We're told that she's practical and logical ... but I didn't see that emphasized very much (there was no resemblance to someone like Dr. Brennan from the TV show "Bones," who is definitely an extreme of those two adjectives). She's also supposed to be unconventional in her own way - embracing her "bluestocking" tendencies, completely bookish and somewhat anti-social (though friendly) - yet she insists on Bennett courting her according to the rules and keeps placing emphasis on teaching him how to behave in London society (no such teaching really occurs) ... while then going in broad daylight to the house he's staying in and making love for the first time with him in a kitchen larder (umm, can you say unromantic?).

Then there is their relationship, which seemed completely unsubstantiated to me and so was hard to believe. Basically he hears her voice - is attracted to her, sees her face - likes how she looks, remarks on her smelling of lemons - oh how nice, and bam! they're off. We know that Phillipa already has a little thing for Bennett in that she has been an admirer of his travel/adventure books, but why this romantic interest in Phillipa in particular? We're never really shown why he is THE ONE for her and she is THE ONE for him. [Sidenote: Why is it that aside from our heroines (and whatever friends they may have) almost all the other women in these novels are nitwit chits who only giggle, simper, and are catty when it comes to men??? Even Flip's sister, Olivia, kind of falls into this category - at least for the first two adjectives.] Bennett and Phillipa are both nice people, sure, but I just don't see why their relationship takes off so quickly, with no trouble going from hello to kisses to making love to declaring love to talking about marriage (though actually that happens before some of those other ones) ... which brings me to another point ...

There are no obstacles in their romantic relationship!!! Well save one, to be fair, which was in fact a good one: she likes to stay at home and read, he's Mr. Adventure, so how is a real, lasting relationship (i.e. marriage) going to work for them? This was an interesting twist because it was a real consideration that is similar to the problems that nowaday long-distance relationships face. However during the book it isn't really dissected, just mentioned repeatedly and put aside; then in the end, it's resolved very nicely and quickly (TOO nicely and quickly). Other than that though, which wasn't even fully explored, any hurdles placed by themselves or other characters were either completely missing or not very substantial. I *HATE* books that have those big misunderstandings or throw obstacle after obstacle in front of the main characters for no apparent reason, but can't there be a happy balance between those two extremes??

Finally, the whole "Adventurers' Club" was a little ridiculous and when that's first introduced in the beginning of the book my reaction was "What? This seems very contrived ... Maybe it's going to be made into a series?" ... Which I then discovered it is. I don't understand the purpose of the club, don't see it's use or understand how it works or why it exists, etc. - basically it's all a huge contrivance.

I feel very bad about giving such a negative review for a Suzanne Enoch book, but I was so disappointed! She has such talent and has written other novels that literally have me going to sleep with a smile on my face and waking up the next morning wanting to read the book all over again; The Care and Taming of a Rogue in no way compares to those books. There were some funny moments, some sweet ones, Kero (Bennett's pet monkey) was a great addition, but check it out from the library if you're set on reading it, don't buy it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts): Naked in Death


Naked in Death
Series: In Death, Book 1
Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb

First Release: June 30, 1995
List Price: $7.99

Read: October 7-8, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | J.D. Robb Page | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from inside front page)
Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In more than ten years on the force, she's seen it all - and knows that her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire - and a suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about - except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

Naked in Death is absolutely fantastic - both a great romance and a wonderful murder mystery. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series and seeing the relationship between Eve and Roarke progress and continue to develop; they are both fantastic characters and complement one another very well. Definitely one of my favorite books by Nora Roberts so far, if not my favorite - it's hard to decide, because she does have some really great ones. Is automatically going on my "to-buy" list!

Naked in Death is followed by Glory in Death, Book 2.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jennifer Crusie: Getting Rid of Bradley


Getting Rid of Bradley
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Release: November 30, 1994
List Price: $6.99

Read: October 7-8, 2009
My Rating:

Author Homepage | Book Page | Excerpt | Amazon.com

SUMMARY (from inside flaps)
High school physics teacher Lucy Savage is finally getting rid of Bradley - and his hideous green recliner. In fact, her front lawn is littered with her cheating ex-husband's belongings. Because despite standing her up in divorce court, Bradley is out of her life for good. Or so she thinks.

When her sister takes her to lunch to celebrate Lucy's single status, all their talk of a no-good louse named Bradley catches the attention of a cop - who wants to arrest the very same Bradley fro embezzlement. And Officer Zach Warren figures the lovely Lucy can lead him straight to his target.

When someone shoots at Lucy and then blows up her car, Zach insists she needs twenty-four-hour protection. What does he think her three dogs and attack cat are for? Still, he insists on moving right in to Lucy's house.

Now there's danger lurking outside and in her own kitchen, bathroom - and bedroom. Or maybe Zach, who looks like a bad boy with that shaggy dark hair and black leather jacket, is really one of the good guys, and just what Lucy needs.

Getting Rid of Bradley was a wonderful, light, breezy, and humorous book that I would definitely recommend. Reads very quickly and in a way it almost feels like a short story.

The two main characters, Lucy and Zach, are absolutely great and the type that you would have love to have as friends. Lucy is hysterical, I loved her dogs and self-reflections, and the whole blinking gag throughout the book was funny. Zach is extremely intense and energetic and is himself also hysterical; he's perfect for Lucy and they counterbalance one another very well. Their interactions were charming and Zach is so sweet to Lucy and says/thinks/does wonderful things that just made me sigh and wish for my own Detective Zach Warren.

The supporting characters were extremely well done, especially Anthony (Zach's partner) and Tina (Lucy's sister). They both made the story that much better, that much more entertaining, and that much funnier.

Jennifer Crusie has written some great other books, including Bet Me (5 stars - FANTASTIC!; read my review here), Manhunting (3.5 to 4 stars), and Anyone But You (3.5 stars; read this review).