Becca Robins, preserve maker extraordinaire, arrives at Bailey's Farmers' Market to sell heReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 3½ stars.
Becca Robins, preserve maker extraordinaire, arrives at Bailey's Farmers' Market to sell her goods one morning only to discover that customers might be a little put off by the atmosphere. A dead body and a bunch of police will do that though. Becca needs this murder solved quickly so that her sister doesn't lose her job, a close friend doesn't end up going to jail and she doesn't end up as the next victim.
It was very difficult for me to rate this book. What I enjoyed, I loved, and what I didn't care for, drove me absolutely crazy (expect some ranting but keep in mind these parts in the book were usually very short). I loved the farmers' market setting, it was a lot of fun and I loved everything it entailed (gardening, cooking etc). Some of my favorite parts of the book were simply reading about Becca getting her inventory ready or other ordinary occurrences. I felt that this was a great place to have a murder happen in.
Becca was a wonderful cozy mystery personality with an interesting voice. She was a lot funnier than I had been expecting. For the most part, I loved Becca... except when she was 'crime solving'. Whenever Becca attempted sleuthing I couldn't stand her. The writing in these parts became very repetitive too, to the point where it was distracting from the story. Becca would discover something and then we'd learn it all over again as she made note cards then again as she talked to herself then again when she shared her suspicions with other characters. At one point I honestly thought I might have accidentally been rereading pages. I like that Becca was a normal person and reacted like a normal person would to a murder. However, her reactions to 'tense' situations were too exaggerated and almost childlike. Becca at one point locks herself in her sister's office as she's sleuthing. Someone knocks on the door, who Becca assumes is just a customer, and Becca completely loses it in anxiety. You would have thought that she was instead locked in the office with the killer from the way she was acting. Becca is very independent, easy going, loves animals etc and if I ever met her, I'd probably want her as a best friend. My first order of business though would be to teach her that the 'sleuthing' solution to every unknown fact isn't blurting out the question to the suspect or just asking Officer Brion. There's a big difference between incompetence and whatever Becca was doing. Incompetent sleuthing can be amusing or used as a tool for character growth. Whatever Becca was doing was neither. Anyway, my point is that Becca was a perfect character until moments where the plot moved forward.
Because this book was primarily a cozy mystery, there wasn't much of what I loved most about that book. My absolutely favorite aspect of this book was the beginnings of an older woman and younger man relationship (Becca/Ian). It was glorious and perfectly written. Even if the last 75 pages of the book hadn't completely made up for my previous ranting, I would read the next book in the series just to see more of their budding relationship. The last 75 pages really did fix all of my complaints though. Literally not a single complaint I just ranted about appeared in those pages. I'm so glad that the murderer was a complete surprise too but also not so far out there that it would have been impossible to guess.
Despite my complaints that make this book sound worse than it really was, I did enjoy this book. I think if you know about its flaws before going into it, that you'll be able to enjoy the book more. I'm looking forward to the next book as well as trying out some yummy looking recipes from this one....more
Maddie is struggling from day to day as an outcast after moving in with her grandmother dueReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Maddie is struggling from day to day as an outcast after moving in with her grandmother due to a haunting family tragedy. Her world gets tipped upside down again when two new students make an appearance on the same day, both of whom can't seem to leave her alone. Chase takes on a role as her knight in shining armor while Dougal gives her the creeps. I don't want to give anything more away because a lot of my enjoyment in reading this book was finding out all of its secrets, but I do want to say that this is a paranormal like none I've read before. You won't be getting vampires, werewolves, or witches in this book. In fact, fantasy romance might be a more appropriate category.
I really enjoyed this read. Once I got started I couldn't seem to put it down. The story and characters' uniqueness is what really sucked me in. If you're a jaded paranormal reader and are tired of reading the same plot line with new characters, give this book a try. I bet you haven't read anything similar.
I think the book was written perfectly for teen enjoyment. I'm a little older than the target audience but I never found this detracting from my own enjoyment. There were no eye-roll moments or frustrating (as an older reader) scenes which are most often my problem with YA books. I found all of the situations and emotions relatable and believable despite the fantasy elements.
I completely adored Chase. It took a while for him to grow on me because I was convinced he couldn't be as wonderful as he seemed in the beginning but Maddie is definitely a lucky lady. Chase was literally my perfect YA hero; protective without being a caveman, caring, chivalrous, handsome, funny etc. I'm so glad the book split the POVs in half between Maddie and him with a few guests thrown in. I loved having a chance at getting into his head.
I only had one issue while reading The Key. The very beginning, first two or three chapters (there are nearly fifty so it's not very much of the book), was rough going for me. I think it's because I was confused and there was a POV change, which was a little too soon for me, or maybe it was because I was simply acclimating to the characters and story and couldn't appreciate the book yet. Either way, I reread that section after finishing the book and found I loved it just as much as the rest. I wanted to mention that though for any future readers who might have the same experience. Stick with it, it's not a very long patch. The book gets wonderful really quickly and you'll come to appreciate the introduction of some great characters....more
When I picked up The Perfect Play I definitely wasn't expecting what I got. I wasn't familiReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4 stars.
When I picked up The Perfect Play I definitely wasn't expecting what I got. I wasn't familiar with Jaci Burton so I assumed the book would be a fluffy contemporary sports romance, something along the lines of Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I certainly wasn't expecting a super hot, steamy romance bordering on erotica. I really enjoyed the book though but I was off balance when I first started reading. It was so different from what I was expecting that I had trouble getting into it at first. My advice is to go into reading this book knowing that there's hot sex in nearly every chapter and Burton shares all the yummy and explicit details.
I started reading this book for it's cover. Ladies, you can't possibly convince me that you don't find the cover beyond swoon worthy. I could stare at it all day. I'm so glad that the romance turned out to be just as great as the cover because I honestly didn't even read the summary when I grabbed this book. Mick and Tara were wonderfully flawed characters to read about. Their issues were what really drew me to them because often times in romances either the hero or the heroine are nearly perfect. My only problem with the book arose from a possibly unintentional flaw Burton gave Tara, which drove me absolutely insane. In the beginning of the book Tara kept saying that she loved talking and that she wasn't with Mick just for sex, yet whenever Mick tried to talk with her, Tara would use sex to shut him up. This made her come off as incredibly skanky which was frustrating for me because I never had that opinion during the rest of the book.
I would definitely recommend this book to any 'hotter than usual' romance lovers. I'm not a sports fan but football was integrated so well into the book that I almost wished that I was a fan. I believe that true fans will especially love this book as I'm sure it's a lot of woman's dreams to end up with an insatiable football player. I'm so excited that Burton is writing a sequel. I'm a little nervous because I loved the upcoming hero, Mick's brother, but absolutely loathed the heroine because she was such a bitch in this book....more
Wine connoisseur Jordan is incredibly worried about her twin brother who was recently incarReview originally posted at Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Wine connoisseur Jordan is incredibly worried about her twin brother who was recently incarcerated for shutting down twitter after his girlfriend broke up with him via tweet. She's been given an opportunity to get him released if she allows sexy FBI agent Nick to go undercover as her boyfriend at an exclusive party hosted by a suspected money launderer. I don't think there's any part of A Lot Like Love's premise that didn't have me totally hooked.
A Lot Like Love was such a fun read. It had everything I desire in a romance novel; an interesting story, witty banter, great chemistry etc. I was especially appreciative of the fantastic characters. Our hero and heroine, Jordan and Nick, were both so easy to love. I loved each of them as an individual but together they were on fire. I even found myself falling for one of the minor characters, Kyle the very naughty, dramatic brother. I'm so excited that he will be getting his own book. He and Jordan were hilarious together, loved all of the jail jokes/humor.
Often times I honestly don't care about the storyline when it comes to romances. I have to say that I really enjoyed this one though. The special agent/undercover tension was very well done and added a lot to the the romance. I had expected to be turned off by the undercover scenes since I'm not one for the misunderstandings and confusion that it usually brings out. James didn't do that to us though. She used it as a tool to feed their banter and passion, and I loved every second of it.
I only have one itsy bitsy complaint about the book. I'm not a wine girl. I enjoyed the wine talk thrown in the beginning of the book because it made the characters' lives more real. I also adored when the wine talk turned sensual. However, it became a little tedious for me nearing the end of the book when it was just page after page of wineries and wine making.
That said, I enjoyed the book too much to let that bother me. A Lot Like Love was fun, witty and didn't have much of any angst, thank you Julie James! We got to see both Jordan and Nick's POV which is another aspect that I always enjoy. Both characters had great voices. Basically I can sum up this review by saying that this book was a quick read simply because I couldn't put it down once I got started. I look forward to reading more by this author....more
Pink Satin was a quick, heartwarming romance. The book remained lighthearted and fun even iReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4 stars.
Pink Satin was a quick, heartwarming romance. The book remained lighthearted and fun even in the face of more serious topics like insecurities and a potential stalker, both of which I usually find tedious and annoying. Greene is a wonderful writer and I will definitely be returning to her books since I enjoyed this one so much. Her writing style made the book flow very easily but it was the voices she gave her characters that drew me in.
The chemistry between Greer and Ryan was tangible, very satisfying to read about. It was easy to picture the two of them as my neighbors and their romance actually playing out. The craziness to their situation and the circumstances of the relationship only added to the believability. Greer keeps receiving creepy phone calls from The Breather and to alleviate her fear, she seeks out company. Enter Ryan, a new neighbor, who ends up sprawled across Greer's robe clad body then somehow talks his way into her apartment for dinner so that he can protect her. A normal beginning, their situation is certainly not but it fits them perfectly. Ryan was a very sexy hero and not just because of his looks. His protective and caring nature are what made me find him delicious. What woman wouldn't love a man who played chess in the apartment's hall to calm her down, stormed into her apartment whenever he heard the phone ring to protect her or carried her cat about between apartments even though he dubbed it his nemesis just to keep her happy?
There was a slight plot to Pink Satin other than the romance. It definitely took the backseat but it was still interesting and held my attention. It was also well integrated into the romance, they never felt like separate entities....more
I absolutely loved The Secret, the previous book in the series to Ransom, and didn't thinkReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
I absolutely loved The Secret, the previous book in the series to Ransom, and didn't think it was possible that the follow up could be better. Garwood did it though! This book was absolutely spectacular. I was so worried that I might not love Brodick as much as I did in the previous one since so much changes when a character goes from a minor one to the hero of a story. Yet Brodick retained everything I loved about him in The Secret. I love how much fun he is to irritate and I really enjoyed seeing his loving/caring sides. He might just be my new favorite highlander, I would definitely let him whisk me away.
I nearly put the book down to read at a later time because the beginning was so dense and confusing. It was a lot longer than The Secret's introduction and I honestly thought I might have been reading the incorrect book. I cannot put into words how thankful I am that I kept reading though. Once I made it through the 'prologue'-eque scenes and Ramsey's scenes, the book really picked up and was intensely enjoyable. I actually came to like the beginning once I understood everything that was going on, I don't think it was the best way to start the book but I can't think of how else it could have been told.
I loved how similar this book was to The Secret. It has the same humorous, witty tone, which I absolutely love in historical romances since it's so rare. I loved the wedding scene in the previous book, it blew me away with how unique and funny it was. Ransom had nearly the exact same wedding yet the whole scene remained fresh and hilarious. Garwood is definitely a talented writer to take something she's done before and make it so interesting and enjoyable that the reader doesn't care.
I'm all about the characters for this book. I was especially excited by all of the returning characters, mainly Iain, Judith, Catherine Frances and Patrick. Judith was a little... blah but Iain was just as lovable as a minor character. It was interesting seeing the interactions with him from Brodick's POV. Brodick was the highlight of this story for me. I fangirled all over him in the last book so seeing him as a main character was amazing for me. I would definitely swoon had I been the heroine whenever he was around. I love how fierce, protective and possessive he is yet sweet (secretly). I'm so glad that he got a heroine that I felt was worthy of him, that was another concern for me after reading the beginning of the book. I was so worried that Gillian would be annoying and pathetic so I'd feel bad for Brodick the whole book. I fell in love with Gillian too though. It's hard not to after witnessing how caring and brave she was with Iain's son (another character I fell madly in love with.) I usually hate 'future' stories featuring the characters' children but I would be all over a book with him as the hero. The side hero and heroine, Bridgit and Ramsey, were cheated. I loved reading about Bridgit while see was adventuring and causing trouble with Gillian. Her love for Ramsey was heartfelt and believable despite how quickly it was forced to develop (pagewise). I liked Ramsey and enjoyable how put off he was by his horde of women followers. His side of the relationship with Bridigt was forced and happened in a matter of paragraphs which drove me crazy. If they'd had a whole book, or even a shot story, I think Garwood could have done wonderful things with them. Shoved in to, Brodick and Gillian's story just wasn't fair to their romance....more
I couldn't have even begun to imagine a more heartwarming and amusing story than Judith andReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
I couldn't have even begun to imagine a more heartwarming and amusing story than Judith and Iain's. Everything about this book was absolutely perfect. I loved all of the characters and loved to hate the villains. I'm amazed at how quickly each character stole my heart. Many of the minor characters, who only had their say for a few characters, manged to carve a place for themselves too.
The relationships were really what made this book. My favorite obviously being Judith and Iain's. I loved how sweet it was but at the same time it was fiery and banter filled. I also adored Judith and Frances Catherine's friendship as well as the odd friendship between Judith and Brodick (so funny).
I never picked up this book expecting it to make me laugh, especially not laugh out loud. Judith was an amazing character to read about and she always kept me laughing. The responses she drew from other characters were always amusing. My favorites were usually when she was purposely making Iain or Brodick mad.
I'm always wary before reading a medieval historical romance because of the extra religious nature they tend to pick up as well as the anti-women attitude some characters have. I'm so glad I gave this book a chance despite my misgivings. I thought Garwood did an amazing job with these common medieval values. She included them but they were never overbearing or tedious.
I love reading historicals but after about a year I find that they tend to blend together with the others I've read. The Secret is memorable, and while an hour hasn't even pasted yet, I don't see myself forgetting this wonderful story any time soon....more