3.5* If you want a sweet book with hot sex for an enjoyable few hours, this one fits well. But if you like any angst, conflict or tension, skip Hard a...more3.5* If you want a sweet book with hot sex for an enjoyable few hours, this one fits well. But if you like any angst, conflict or tension, skip Hard and Fast. Every time a hint of tension builds, McCarthy diffuses it quickly. Ty's bimbo girlfriend? Gone with no malice. Imogen's research paper as potential problem? Taken care of. And so on. the one emotionally tense situation is over in a matter of a few pages. The most tension in the story has to do with secondary characters, Susanne and Ryder.
So, "pie-filling" story with sweet characters and a little racing info thrown for "crust" to hold it together. A good book when you want stress-free reading.(less)
Re-reading for Romance Lovers Book Club March meeting.
3.5* Grade B
I think I liked it even more this time around than when I read it over two years ago...moreRe-reading for Romance Lovers Book Club March meeting.
3.5* Grade B
I think I liked it even more this time around than when I read it over two years ago. Both lead characters are good people the reader can care about, and the story and the emotions were believable. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of car racing, too. It doesn't get a higher rating simply because there's not that much depth to the story. It's a fun, quick, and sexy, read.(less)
2.5* I really, really wanted to like this book, enough that I went out and paid trade paperback price on my strained book-buying budget. I wanted to L...more2.5* I really, really wanted to like this book, enough that I went out and paid trade paperback price on my strained book-buying budget. I wanted to LOVE this book, but I couldn't. The sex scenes were good, but the plot was shallow and predictable, with too much depending on details that were all too neatly coincidental. The characters, too, were all 2-dimensional, with the exception perhaps of Jack. Jack was less predictable and more interesting than any other character in the book. Overall the book felt like a made-for-TV adaptation where the writers used simplistic plot devices that move quickly but only skim the surface of what could be a complex and interesting story.
I'm hoping to find some of Rice's other titles in used book stores so I can try her again since she comes so highly recommended. Maybe the Midnight Man series.
Midnight Man fits the ex-Navy SEAL romantica mold in most particulars. The overwhelming masculinity, the deadly, highly trained killing machine, the l...moreMidnight Man fits the ex-Navy SEAL romantica mold in most particulars. The overwhelming masculinity, the deadly, highly trained killing machine, the lust, the instant attraction,and almost instant sex scene. It could be typical "alpha-male crashes onto the scene with deadly purpose to save damsel in distress." And it is...only it isn't. It's much more. Rice sets the bar very high with this book. Her writing is surprisingly nuanced, and so are her characters. What should come across as simply "overpowering alpha" is instead a flawed, and sometimes awkward, man trying to understanding how caring for a woman is changing his life. And in the telling of his emotional journey, Rice adds something vulnerable and real to this hero. Her writing of the heroine is also more complex than I expected, especially in a relatively short novel (215 pages in trade paperback). While I still find the powerful sexual attraction unbelievable, I was pleased with the way Rice shows Suzanne's emotions in her writing. From the very first pages of the book I was impressed with the quality of Rice's prose. She evokes a very definite atmosphere and uses relatively few words to tell us a great deal about the hero and heroine. The book, although classified a romantic suspense, was much more about the relationship than the "whodunit". The suspense was decent, but it was the relationship that steals the show.
I've read one other book by Rice (Dangerous Lover) and thought it was just okay. Midnight Man on the other hand is what all the other alpha-male loving, romantica-writing authors aspire to produce. And it's what the readers want to read. (less)
TBR Challenge 2011- May theme: Fake relationships/ marriage of convenience. This book has been on my library list for a year.
Decent plot, but the auth...moreTBR Challenge 2011- May theme: Fake relationships/ marriage of convenience. This book has been on my library list for a year.
Decent plot, but the author doesn't allow the tensions to build enough. One reason is the sex scenes every two or three pages for the last half of the book. After the first few they seem very similar and began to detract from the story instead of enhance it, at least for me. The back stories provide the angst, but there was potential for some real heart-wrenching stuff here and it didn't quite happen.
Readers who enjoy erotica would probably give this book higher marks. I like steamy, but generally don't read books this explicit, or at least this explicit for this much of the book. ;-)
TBR Challenge 2012: April Category-- A new-to-you author. Release has been o0n my to-read list since February 17, 2010.
3.5* Grade B+
Release is an enjoy...moreTBR Challenge 2012: April Category-- A new-to-you author. Release has been o0n my to-read list since February 17, 2010.
3.5* Grade B+
Release is an enjoyable erotic romantic suspense. Erotica romance is not my favorite genre, so that impacts my final rating of the book. I was quite interested in the suspense plot and the gradually unfolding backstory concerning Max, Sean, and Genny. I was less interested in the lengthy and highly detailed sex scenes. I didn't enjoy the recounting of the menage (told in retrospect) because the husband, Max, put me off. Otherwise, the sex scenes were very hot, and even though I was more interested in the suspense plot I did appreciate how well-written they were.
Unfortunately, the suspense plot had a few too many holes in it. One person's blackmail "evidence" pointing to the supposed murderer would never had stood up in court. Photos can be doctored or faked, and even I could figure out where the guy came up with his key physical evidence.
So the suspense plot didn't quite hold up, but was still entertaining. The sex was frequent, detailed and well-written. to paraphrase my friend Jane from her review (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...), you don't read this book for the plot. ;-)(less)
This is the second Toni Blake book I've read, and I've officially decided to read all her back list. She has something different going on. Her stories...moreThis is the second Toni Blake book I've read, and I've officially decided to read all her back list. She has something different going on. Her stories are fresh and new feeling. This book doesn't have a lot of "plot" going on. Instead, it's a book about two people growing and changing due to difficult circumstances, and finding someone they can depend on. It's a very good story that has the strong male lead that I've longed for~ hot, aggressively male, without meanness. And the heroine takes a great emotional journey. Steamy book, but the the hot love scenes flow and blend instead of feeling like the main or only reason for the book.(less)
I liked this, but not as much as Fragile. I actually think this book is more smoothly written, but I didn't care nearly as much for the characters...more3.5*
I liked this, but not as much as Fragile. I actually think this book is more smoothly written, but I didn't care nearly as much for the characters as I did in Fragile. Even the whole macho-guy thing, there was so little action in this book that it was anti-climatic in the end. I especially thought the denouement was awkward. The last part of the book felt chopped up and disjointed to me, and although there is the HEA, I never felt like the two characters actually worked out the problems and questions. Lastly, the tension in this book was almost wholly dependent on the two characters NOT trusting/talking to each other. Definitely not my favorite plot device.
Even so, I read the book in a little over a day, and was compelled to find out "what happens next." (less)
Ms. Fisher definitely gets 4 stars for originality. I loved the premise and the slightly awkward hero. Plus he's a red-head! This is a short novel/nov...moreMs. Fisher definitely gets 4 stars for originality. I loved the premise and the slightly awkward hero. Plus he's a red-head! This is a short novel/novella, but really had a lot of promise. I felt the character development suffered some toward the middle/end of the book, and would have liked a little more discussion about the heroine's history to make the "crisis" more of a crisis. So, the plotting gets 3*. But this hero was such a great change of pace that I'll give the story 4*. (less)
It had a few good moments, but not that many. Line of Fire was like an X-rated blending of Leave It To Beaver and CHiPs. (If you're too young to know,...moreIt had a few good moments, but not that many. Line of Fire was like an X-rated blending of Leave It To Beaver and CHiPs. (If you're too young to know, CHiPs was a late 1970's TV show featuring two motorcycle cops from the California Highway Patrol.) Hunky guys and beautiful women spouting poorly-scripted lines, while occasionally having emotional heart-to-hearts with themselves or others. I thought I might be blinded by the virtual gleam coming off the shiny teeth. And the "we've been through hell but we're such a strong, above-average looking, loving family underneath it all" moments made me want to gag. So maybe this is more like an X-rated Lifetime movie...cheesy (my new go-to word for books these days).
In summary: Characters have emotional angst (collectively and individually), hero and heroine decide they will try relationship anyway. Sex is really good so they go at it like bunnies. Now they know it's true love, only ADVERSITY happens and one character must pull away so the other character can get on with their life. Thin suspense plot intervenes to bring characters back together. Blood is spilled, and emotional, dramatic scenes ensue. Really corny lines are said with supposedly straight faces. Everyone crazy happy at end of book, except we are given a sinister teaser for the next book.
What do thousands of romance novels and Sugar Creek have in common?
~Two feuding families--check ~Instant dislike between hero and heroine--check ~Instan...moreWhat do thousands of romance novels and Sugar Creek have in common?
~Two feuding families--check ~Instant dislike between hero and heroine--check ~Instant sexual attraction between H/h--check ~Nasty bantering between H/h--check ~Multiple, repeated musings about fluttery stomachs, or tingly, aching, and/or throbbing body parts just at the sight of H/h, or the sound of his/her voice--check ~One protagonist from big city/one from small town--check ~One protagonist reckless and free-spirited, one controlled and by-the-book--check ~Traumatic event leads one protagonist to finally come to their senses and confess real feelings--check
It's not that I didn't enjoy this book (I did), but for half of it, Sugar Creek could have been swapped out with any number of other contemporary romance novels. The novel did pick up about halfway through when Mike and Rachel became more complex characters and the flashback story of Edna's life got more interesting. But this book didn't come close to One Reckless Summer, or the truly moving emotional portrayal of Brody in that story.
Maybe 3.5* for a good book that was enjoyable to read but not really unique.(less)
2.5* Two stars on goodreads means it was "OK." So this book was better than OK, but not quite to the "I liked it" stage for me. The story is basically...more2.5* Two stars on goodreads means it was "OK." So this book was better than OK, but not quite to the "I liked it" stage for me. The story is basically absurd and convoluted. I did come to enjoy the two main characters, Charlotte and Bay, which is why it didn't get a worse rating than 2.5*. The near virginal, prim miss who becomes an impassioned, multi-orgasmic lover when the hero touches her was too unbelievable to make anything else in the story work. I don't read many historical romances, because after Austen and Heyer, they all seem rather anachronistic. This book could have been set anywhere for that matter. The author throws in a few period wardrobe items and terms, and voila! an historical novel. If you like lots of sex and don't require a believable story, then this might work.(less)
This is an amazing book. Very powerful emotionally. I was intrigued at how different the dynamics were with the m/m relationship. I loved how the...more4.5*
This is an amazing book. Very powerful emotionally. I was intrigued at how different the dynamics were with the m/m relationship. I loved how the relationship between D and Jack developed, and though I have almost nothing to compare it to, it felt believable. During the book I kept thinking how differently this book would have felt if Jack (or D) had been a woman. It's a great story, and it would have worked well either way, but the relationship dynamics aren't interchangeable. If I'm sounding stupid here, you'll have to forgive me. This is the first m/m romance I've read and I'm still pondering the different feel of it all. The relationship dynamic is very powerful when both parties bring that male brand of strength and passion to it. I'd like to read more m/f books with this kind of even/equal feeling partnership.
The suspense story was nail-biting, as well. Ms. Seville unfolded the story slowly and the timing was perfect. There was enough pulse-pounding action to keep the book moving along, but it fit the plot and wasn't there for filler or just to drag out the suspense.
I was fully prepared to give this book 5 stars, but I was somewhat disappointed in the last few chapters of the book. The action story was resolved, the book kept going for several more chapters and through the longest epilogue I think I've ever read. One one hand I enjoyed the denouement, but I didn't like how it brought the pace of the story down to a stroll. The book went from being a taut and intense thriller to being a sedately-paced romance in the space of a few pages.The epilogue felt like a short story tacked on the end of the book.
I saw that Ms. Seville has three short stories on her website about Jack and D, and plans a sequel. However, there have been no new entries on her blog in almost a year, so I don't know if the sequel is still in the works. (www.janesevillebooks.com)
Edited to add: I actually found D's dialect a little distracting, since I kept hearing him as a "hick" in my head. I finally had to gloss over the dialect, translating "yer" to "your" and "fer" to "for" in my head.(less)