(Dec) Miss Congeniality: 4* I read this years ago - one of my first SL stories I think. I loved it then and loved it now! Irene is a typical SL heroin(Dec) Miss Congeniality: 4* I read this years ago - one of my first SL stories I think. I loved it then and loved it now! Irene is a typical SL heroine - cold, bitchy, funny without realizing it. Van was funny, sexy, clueless and just a lot of fun. Not her best story, I still found this one enjoyable and like to go back and reread it every so often. I liked it wsa well when Irene and her family appear in Miki and Conal's story.
Wicked Ways: 3* I think this is the first (and one of only a couple of) Cynthia Eden story I've read. I liked it, but didn't love it. Cain and Miranda were a nice couple, but the story seemed too repetitive for such a short story. I did like the mysterious vamp who showed up towards the end but I don't know if he ever got his own story - if so I would read it. ...more
(Dec) I read the first in this series, about the cousins of this branch of Sullivans's, and was annoyed at how amazingly hot, successful, perfect all(Dec) I read the first in this series, about the cousins of this branch of Sullivans's, and was annoyed at how amazingly hot, successful, perfect all 8 kids were. Well, it appears this branch of Sullivan's is just as successful. Every one of them seems to be the best in their chosen career, from PI to house restorer to business tycoon to real estate agent, etc. So here we have Rafe, former cop turned PI, who buys his family's old lake house. He gets there and lo and behold, the little girl next door is still there, all grown up. There is an instant attraction, she begs him to sleep with her, he says no, they fix up his house, he says yes, he's leery, she's pushy, they sex it up and fall in love and live HEA - all in a week. It was all so quick it would have worked better as a 100 page story in an anthology, they type where when things happen fast, it makes more sense.
I don't always have an issue with love at first site. But here there was nothing but sex and really old memories to hold them together. They had nothing in common - well, maybe they did, but they didn't seem to talk all that much about themselves or the minutia of their lives. Every conversation seemed to be so heartfelt and dramatic and repetitive. Brooke seemed intent on saving Rafe from his cynical and negative self, and Rafe saw Brooke as a good girl who would be forever ruined by his wild and kinky ways (kinky in this book was using scarves to tie up Brooke for about 2 seconds). If you begin the relationshp by planning on changing the other person, it is doomed to fail. Said it before and say it again - Men go into a relationship hoping the woman will never change, women go into a relationship hoping to change the man - and usually they are both disappointed. Here we see Rafe jumping through Brooke's hoops to change to be what she wants. Is that what he'll need to do the next 40 years?
My other issues were:
1) He's a 32 year old PI. Why wouldn't he investigate Brooke? People Google their prospective dates all the time. He's got the tools and the means and what is the big deal? She says "you know me, I'd tell you anything!" But he's known her for a few days. She could be a black widow for all he knows, or a reformed thief or drug addict or professional liar. And to call upon their friendship? Really??? She was 8 and he was 14, they probably spoke 10 words to each other during the summers Rafe's family spent at the lake. 14 year old boys don't talk to 8 year old girls. Honestly, it's been 18 years, they really should barely remember each other, certainly not think of one another as best friends and have all these strong memories about time shared. And for Mia to get so excited about "finding Brooke" - in today's world, if Brooke had ever been a thought in her mind she could have found her on FB or any one of a number of other ways. They were friends when they were in SECOND GRADE, and only summer friends at that - not really a life long bond. So yeah, I'm totally on board for him doing a backgound check on her - and her business partner (he thought he was doing her a favor - which he was). And him being paranoid enough to insist on her having a deadbolt. I mean is Brooke so innocent that she does not realize bad things happen everywhere, especially for a young woman living alone in a secluded area??
2) The sex was so boring. It was the same thing over and over. I first read Bella Andre years ago - can't think of what it was, but she was an erotic writer who was wonderfully descriptive with body parts and sex acts. While there was actually way too much sex here for the length of the book, they were not descriptive scenes - I felt like I was watching through a fuzzy screen, there was no clarity of exactly what was happening. Dull and repetitive.
3) I don't know much about owning a home cooking business, but can she really run a business out of the kitchen of her personal house, having sex on the counter where she makes the candy she sells to customers? Just doesn't seem hygenic or realistic - aren't there rules and regulations you have to follow if you are selling food to the public? And now she's expanding - but will be continue to make candy for mail order and a store and supply other stores all out of the little lake house kitchen in her grandparent's old house?
4) Where exactly will they live? This made it seem like Seattle, where Rafe lives and owns a business, is quite a drive away. Will she move with him to the city and they'll just visit the lake occasionally? This was left quite completely undiscussed.
I may read a few more Sullivan books from either series, but I'm not sure this is the right series for me. Glad I got this as a Kindle freebie a while back. ...more
(Nov) This was a sweet story about Jeff, an avowed heterosexual Dom who meets Eddie, a kinky pain slut gay sub. Eddie volunteers to teach Jeff how to(Nov) This was a sweet story about Jeff, an avowed heterosexual Dom who meets Eddie, a kinky pain slut gay sub. Eddie volunteers to teach Jeff how to be a good Dom, and while Jeff is at first unsure about the idea of working with a man, he soon gets into his training and along the way discovers that maybe he's not as hetero as he'd always believed. There's plenty of painful kink in this book, as well as charm, and while I found the whole "hey, I'm actually bi" realization a bit quick, and the acceptance of his new status a bit unrealistic, it was overall a nice read - one of those books where you just truly wish the couple a long and well deserved HEA. ...more
(Nov) Eh - I was unimpressed with this one. Laura tells her story of how she met 11 year old Maurice and the relationship they developed. Maurice is a(Nov) Eh - I was unimpressed with this one. Laura tells her story of how she met 11 year old Maurice and the relationship they developed. Maurice is a black child, begging for money on the streets of NYC. He lives with his drug addicted mother and various family members, in a poor, dangerous neighborhood where violence permeates every aspect of life. Laura goes out of her way throughout the book to say how she didn't save Maurice's life but instead he saved her, made her more aware of life outside of work and the trials and tribulations of the poor and disadvantaged. I was particularly put off by how easily Laura cast Maurice out of her life when her new boyfriend (later husband) didn't approve and was not interested in having Maurice be a part of their life. However, while we get glimpses into both Maurice's family background and Laura's (alcoholic abusive father who terrorized his family when drunk), it still came across as "look at me, look what I, a well off white woman did for this poor black child." I think the book would have packed more punch if it'd been written by Maurice - less self serving and more interesting.
(Nov) This was my first Diane Chamberlain book. When reading the descriptions of her books, they always sounded a bit Jodi Picoult-ish to me, who is,(Nov) This was my first Diane Chamberlain book. When reading the descriptions of her books, they always sounded a bit Jodi Picoult-ish to me, who is, for me, hit and miss. I was not sure what to expect from this, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I found this quite gripping in parts and really had a hard time putting it down, as I really did't know how the various storylines were going to intersect and wrap up together.
Laura promises her dying father she will check on an older woman - a woman Laura has never heard of. After mentioning this to her husband, he begs her not to go see the woman, but does not explain why. She goes anyway, and thus begins a crazy spiral in her life, one that leaves her husband dead by his own hand, her young daughter mute, and the reintroduction into her life of her daughter's biological father. There were times in the flashback portions of the book where I was truly on the edge of my seat, fearful for what would happen next, particularly with one character who made a very yound and idealistic (but incredibly stupid) decision that would change all of their lives. I thought the story wrapped up well and while there were a few small points that bothered me (just seemed too unrealistic), I really enjoyed myself while reading this. Not sure I'm going to read others by her as not too many of the synopses are that intriging to me, but this one was really very good.
(Sep) Ok, so I'd heard about twincest - I'd even read a Dear Prudence (advice column) letter about it a year or so ago. But I wasn't sure about readin(Sep) Ok, so I'd heard about twincest - I'd even read a Dear Prudence (advice column) letter about it a year or so ago. But I wasn't sure about reading it. Finding it no longer for sale on Amazon made me think it wasn't supposed to be. But then I found it on B&N, and it was cheap and I figured "why not?"
Kevin and Kyle and 19 year old sexy high school football-player identical twins. One night, on the bus ride home from a game, Kyle is feeling pent up and needs release. Kevin is sitting next to him, tells him to go for it, and next thing you know, Kyle is pumping and Kevin is slurping and we're only on page 9! Mercy Celeste writes hot sex, there is no doubt. And for those who complain that the boys telling one another "oh you're so hot" is narcisistic - if you are truly good looking you know it. And while neither seem to give much thought to their own looks, they appreciate the other's looks - seems fair to me. Anyway, so while their parents are away taking care of an ailing grandmother, the boys take their sexual experimentation farther and farther. Kevin admits he's gay and has a bit of experience, but both are virgins. A lot of sex happens, but they are really incredibly careless and they end up getting caught.
There was something really sweet about this story, which really doesn't make sense when you think about the topic. But while the boys were kind of bland in the personality department, they were both sweet and sexy and in love. What can you do? I give MC credit for infusing a bit of a plot in what otherwise could have been just a balls-to-the-wall sexfest. But for me, the plot was weak. Jerk father, marriage falling apart, friends and adult figures not only find out but accept w/o any real judgment, evil cheerleader bitch...just seemed like MC created stock characters to fill pages.
This ended w/a HFN, which is about as realistic as a book like this can get. If they were just brothers, they could hide their connection and just be boyfriends. But where can they go (except maybe a Maya Banks conceived land where anything goes as long as the relationship is loving!)where they won't be judged? And also - why is it whenever you read a GFY or just coming out type of book it turns out that everyone they know is also gay, has just been hiding it, or it's all around them? Maybe I'm uber sheltered, but at 50 I've had one outwardly gay friend for about a year right after college, and know maybe 2-3 other gay people. My kids' don't have out gay friends, nor do they have friends w/gay parents. Am I missing something?!...more
(RR 8/14) I read this years ago, but every so often I find myself rereading this trilogy (which cries out for future books, but I don't think we'll ev(RR 8/14) I read this years ago, but every so often I find myself rereading this trilogy (which cries out for future books, but I don't think we'll ever see anymore). Sara is an orphan, raised by a crazy grandmother. Her two best friends are a bit crazy, but the three keep each other grounded. One day a bunch of bikers show up in the shop where Sara works. Among the pack of bikers is Zach, who she realizes she kissed the night before in a drunken haze. She's attracted, but afraid of her attraction. Sara is unaware of her shifter half, but is finding herself more aggressive, more sexual, and not sure what is happening to her. Zach knows who and what she is, and realizes she's the woman he's always wanted. The sex is scorching, the humor prevalent, and the sequels even better than this one (but you do need to read this for the next two to make sense). What can I say, IMO SL can do no wrong (well, hardly any wrong!). ...more
(Aug) This was just a lot of fun. Paul is a slightly hefty, kinda neurotic 30 year old gay man. His family is suitably wacky, as is his friend who moo(Aug) This was just a lot of fun. Paul is a slightly hefty, kinda neurotic 30 year old gay man. His family is suitably wacky, as is his friend who moonlights as a drag queen. Paul has never had a relationship, and cannot believe that new hire-at-work Vince, gorgeous man, could possibly be interested in him. Vince is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's very sweet and earnest. He works hard to prove to Paul that yes, Paul makes his motor run. I could see some people getting tired of Paul's wild musings and internal monologue, but I enjoyed him. The first time Paul and Vince get down and dirty, there is a scene that for some reason struck my mental funny bone and I laughed until I cried - my daughter made me leave the room as I could not stop for a good long while and she was over me! There were many other times I LOL, and as I've found with other TJK books, a couple of times I cried. This may not be for everyone, but I have officially become a TJK fangirl...the over-the-top way he writes, what can I say - it really works for me!
One thing though - his book covers are pretty awful!...more
(Jul) I loved this as much if not more than the first one (and found the cover even worse - I mean blech!). I felt a few more things were explained, a(Jul) I loved this as much if not more than the first one (and found the cover even worse - I mean blech!). I felt a few more things were explained, and I loved seeing Bear, Otter and Kid become a family. Watching Bear finally explore the world outside his insulated makeshift family was a kick - seeing him hit on, watching him discover that he's not GFY but actually Gay, his experience at the gay bar and with Otter's family, etc. - all so, so, so good (and the dinner scene - OMG, loved it!). I loved seeing Ty find a new friend but I'mnot sure how I'd feel about a kid w/issues who is 6 years older than my son being his constant companion. 6 years is a lifetime in kid-time, and seriously - you find me a 15 year old who wants to play with a 9 year old, even a super smart one! Mrs. Paquinn got on my nerves a bit as she was barely a bit player until the end of the first book but here she's completely family and crazy (in a kind of stupid way, not in a fun way). One thing I didn't get (view spoiler)[Bear is horrified to discover his mother has had a child,wondering what kind of mother she is and why she is choosing to raise this child when she walked away from him and Ty. Yet at the end, when he gets custody, he barely gives his sister a passing thought. You'd think he'd want to see her, to get to know her, even if that meant being around his mother - or at least make sure she was ok and let Julie know he'd take her too if need be - because she is his and Ty's sister. But I guess that would open a whole new can o'worms. IDK, it just bothered me a bit that Bear didn't care about this child being raised by a woman Bear knows is no good. (hide spoiler)] But I laughed a lot, cried a bit (damn you TJK, I'm not a cried, but every book so far has made me cry!) and really loved this book.
I gotta say - I'm so leery about reading the next one. Why, if I loved the first two so much? Well...
(view spoiler)[I really,really, really hate that Ty is gay, or gfy. I find it hard to believe that both brothers are gay. Sure, I'm sure there are plenty of families that have more than one gay sibling, but I feel like this is the sort of thing conservatives would point at and say "see - homos raised this kid so now he's gay too!" I know, it's fiction, but it just bothers me - I feel like Ty's book is going to be Bear/Otter 2.0. I already know his lover will be Dominic, a boy several years older than him, just like Bear and Otter. I also don't want to see Ty with issues or problems or angst - I don't want to know he washed out of school and ended up an addict - how depressing for a sweet, light, loving and lovely little boy with so much potential. Again, I know it's fiction, but I'm a bit heartsick about it all! (hide spoiler)] But I probably will - and soon, too! If it's awful, I'll just pretend it never happened and their story ends here. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
(July) I continue to take one for the team by spending $ and reading this not very well done series. The first was kind of intriguing, the second move(July) I continue to take one for the team by spending $ and reading this not very well done series. The first was kind of intriguing, the second moved things along a bit, but here I just found myself bored and annoyed with Julz and not caring what happens. I assume she and Jase will end up together at the end (otherwise what a waste of time) but how they'll get there is still a mystery to me. In this installation we lose two more brothers (but this time they don't know who Julz is as they die), Dornan is still a psycho dickhead, and I still don't know if we are supposed to feel badly for Julz or think of her as a kickass heroine (she's neither kickass nor a heroine, IMO), or see the lost little girl she has cowering inside (meh). There are two more installments out, with #6 due in Sept and the final in November. I think I might take a break for a while - sounds like things get quite violent in the next one. I will say I appear to be in the minority - most of the reviews are OMG 5++++++***** - what can I say? I hate the gold digging money grubbing concept of a serial (this could easily have been 2 or 3 books for $1.99 each - I will end up spending almost $20 on this crap), it's not that well written, and the characters are just not appealing, good or bad (because I can totally love a book with shitty characters if they are interesting - and I just don't find Julz interesting). ...more
(Jul) 2.5* I know, I know - who reads Christmas books in July? But I must have downloaded this on my Kindle awhile ago and it looked like a quick, eas(Jul) 2.5* I know, I know - who reads Christmas books in July? But I must have downloaded this on my Kindle awhile ago and it looked like a quick, easy read. I was hoping for some charm and humor; instead all I got was 3 really boring, incredibly short mini stories.
I've enjoyed JS's Lucky Harbor books - some more than others. Tara's (book 2)ex is back in town. I liked him in Tara's book, and am glad he got a HEA. However, it turns out he had a one week fling w/Sandy, left for 6 months, during which time they didn't speak or see one another - and now he's back and decided he's in love with Sandy and they have sex and he proposes - the end. I think this was about 40 pages.
Hope Ramsey is a new author for me, but not one I think I'll bother to read again. This story is about a tired solider who has come home to deliver a holiday gift for his fallen best friend. He loved hearing stories about the small town his friend was from and especially about the woman his friend loved and left. Annie is a typical small town contemporary romance heroine - she brings this stranger home to sleep at her house, develops feelings for him in about two minutes, and it ends w/a promise of a future HEA. Two simple and sweet for my taste.
Katie Lane is also new to me. In her story, Samantha and Ethan were friends before she left home to go to school. Now she's back, and the feelings they've hidden from one another bubble to the surface. Another sweet small town story that just didn't do it for me.
There was nothing wrong with these stories, but I feel they tried to pack too much feeling into tiny stories (these were easily 1/3 the length of the average anthology short story). The rest of the book was filler, excerpts from the series these stories are all parts of.
(Jul) I liked Rule - the story of Rule and Shaw. I didn't like Jet - the story of Jet and Ayden. But Rome I loved! Rome is home from the army and not(Jul) I liked Rule - the story of Rule and Shaw. I didn't like Jet - the story of Jet and Ayden. But Rome I loved! Rome is home from the army and not sure what to do with his life. He also doesn't know where he fits in with his friends or his family. His surly disposition gets on Cora's nerves, and she ends up pouring a beer on him at a backyard bbq. As we romance readers know will happen, their animosity turns to sparks and before you know it, Rome and Cora are an item. I liked that Rome was not afraid to admit to himself his growing feelings for Cora. Cora was a bit of a mess, completely hung up on the fact that her ex from 5 years ago was cheating on her (which she found out about right before their planned wedding). But she too was willing to admit to her feelings about Rome, and most of the time, they talked and communication was not an issue. Instead they both had their own inner demons to battle as well as their growing realization of how much the other meant to them. The sex was way steamy, their supporting cast did not get on my nerves, and I was cheering when Rome and Cora found their HEA. One complaint - there was a lot of eluding to important things that happened in Rule and Jet; I think these should have been mentioned more specifically as I didn't remember all the details and would have appreciated being reminded. ...more
(Jul) This was just very sweet. Sam and Luke have been neighbors and close friends for years. 35 year old Luke is just now coming out of the closet to(Jul) This was just very sweet. Sam and Luke have been neighbors and close friends for years. 35 year old Luke is just now coming out of the closet to his family, but has never been able to tell Sam a) that he's gay and b) that he's in love with him. Sam is freaking out because he's about to turn 30 and feels like he's done nothing with his life since his son was born on his 15th bday. Said son Jeremy just wants to fool around with Suzy, but due to his parents' vigilance, he's barely given any time to be alone, and certainly not with a girl (they don't want to see history repeat itself). So Jeremy decides to pretend he's gay so his parents (especially Mom) will back off and not be worried he was going to knock up some girl.
It's fun to watch Sam bumble around, trying to figure out what to do with his life. It never seems to occur to him how important Luke is to him, until he decides to ask Luke to help him with his before-30-bucket-list, which includes sexual experimentation. Luke, trying to keep his lust and love undercover, is both pleased and pained to help Sam experiment, although he does not want to be an experiment, he wants to be forever.
GFY books make me happy, and this one was just cute, not angsty, and made me smile. ...more
(Jul) This was a short story about lovers who were part of a triad, until one of their members died. For reasons not really delved into, the two remai(Jul) This was a short story about lovers who were part of a triad, until one of their members died. For reasons not really delved into, the two remaining men then parted (did they see each other at the funeral?!) and 10 years later one reaches out to the other. There is strain between them, a lot left unsaid, but they somehow manage to find their way into bed and back to one another in a scant few pages. Ok, but would have made a much better story with more details filled in. ...more
(Jul) This is one of those tiny stories that should have been a freebie on the author's website. It is the prequel to the Brothers In Arms series, whi(Jul) This is one of those tiny stories that should have been a freebie on the author's website. It is the prequel to the Brothers In Arms series, which I really love. That series follows soldiers who were friends in the war, come home, become lovers (in pairs, one pair per book) and find a woman to complete them. Now, you of course have to suspend belief completely to read those, as no way in the world could a woman live with two men as her sexual partners in 1800 England. Doesn't matter, since the trios are all intriguing and damaged and lovable and boy howdy can SK write a good love scene. The first couple featured in the series is Jason and Tony. This book is a tiny glimpse of their friendship, and the first time they share a woman. You see sparks between them that they don't even acknowledge, and you get the first hint of their feelings towards Kate, wife of their leader. It's a simple, sweet/sad look at their beginning, before they truly begin. ...more