I know I've kept a low profile lately, but I had to come and complain about this book.
I'm about 95% sure that this book made it to the shelves with li...moreI know I've kept a low profile lately, but I had to come and complain about this book.
I'm about 95% sure that this book made it to the shelves with limited-to-no editing. Unless that's some kind of cadence I'm not familiar with, there are sentence structures in this book that made me literally grit my teeth and want to whip out my red pen.
Also, when your book is about 200 pages long, it's never a good thing to have a distracting secondary story that does nothing but provide more sex into the plot. I think this is the first Jill Monroe book I've read, and it will probably be the last. Very disappointing.(less)
Hands-down best Special Edition I've ever read. I don't normally give category length books 5 stars because typically they tend to not have the space...moreHands-down best Special Edition I've ever read. I don't normally give category length books 5 stars because typically they tend to not have the space to develop a really good story. This one proves that if you start off with a basic premise without trying to work in too many details, that a category-length book can be excellent.
Haley Foster is tired of being the good girl that everyone orders around. As a minister's daughter, she's spent her whole life doing exactly what people expect and never getting a chance to experience anything. When the fiance her father and his congregation has picked out for her expresses some last-minute doubts, she gets angry and sets out to do things she's never done: drink alcohol, dress in provocative clothes, wear makeup, cut her hair, and pick up men. And she runs away to eventually make it to Hawaii, starting out by driving to the Pacific Coast.
In Kansas, she runs across Kevin Harmon, U.S. Marshal. Kevin is in town delivering a prisoner to the federal pen and he wants nothing more to return to D.C. and his life there. The last thing he wants is to feel responsible for the beautiful naive woman who strikes up a conversation with him after he protects her. But when Kevin is injured helping out during a prison raid, and his mother calls him home to Possum Landing, TX, for some news she can't deliver over the phone, he can't help but take advantage of Haley's offer to drive him. They spend almost an entire week meandering through the states between, and of course, fall in love.
This was such a sweet story! It wasn't angsty or dark or complicated, it was just two people in a weird situation falling in love. Although Haley was unbelievably, absurdly naive for this day and age, it worked for her lifestyle, and I bought her and Kevin's connection and love. A-(less)
It’s very rare that I come across one five star book in a whole month, let alone two in one weekend. Saturday, I was fed up with reading book after bo...moreIt’s very rare that I come across one five star book in a whole month, let alone two in one weekend. Saturday, I was fed up with reading book after book where the protagonists spend half the book bickering or just hating each other. It seems like no writer is willing to introduce genuine emotional tension, so they manufacture some reason that the hero and heroine can’t get along. Which is fine – once in a while. But book, after book, after book seemed to be like that, so I took a much-need break. Luckily for me, Shawna had just reviewed this book, and it sounded exactly like what I was looking for.
And it was, all that and more.
I won’t waste time summarizing the story; I just want to rehash everything I loved about it.
-Russ, the hero, a strong, no-nonsense hunky cop with an ooey gooey center – especially when it comes to Laura. I swear I melted into a pile of mush every time he called her bunny. His thriftiness was pretty funny, too, though understandable on a cop’s salary when he’s raising his younger brother.
-Laura, our intrepid heroine, who was left deaf after a childhood bout with meningitis, but has tried very hard to live a normal life despite it. Although she’s kind of at a crossroads when she meets Russ – she left college to help her mom after her dad passed away – she definitely knows what she doesn’t want from life, and that’s to continue on the path she’s on. Her blunt proposition to Russ left me chuckling, and her spirit, independence and spunk were definitely something I admired and wish I saw more of in Romancelandia (as opposed to just being told the heroine is independent and spunky without any evidence).
-Russ’ relationship with Sean, his younger brother. I loved that it wasn’t completely up to Laura to help them re-establish a normal relationship, and that each brother bent a little to repair it.
-That the villain didn’t veer from his character and immediately begin trying to kill Laura. He was an identity theft and just wanted to get his hands on Laura’s money, not hurt her, and he didn’t even try until pushed into a corner. That was solid characterization, and I’m glad McCarthy didn’t try to convince me that this guy could go from thief to killer without any provocation.
-Laura’s cat, who was a great secondary character and helped show Laura (and me) just how sweet Russ was. After all, if that cat bit me before, during or after sex, I don’t think I’d have been so nice to him.
-And, finally, the romance. Russ and Laura were made for each other, and although there were times that both of them doubted that they could have any future, I was left with no doubt in my mind that they were deeply, irrevocably in love and going to live a long, happy, humorous and sexy life together. A
I will post a full review later, but I have to say that the last thirty or so pages rocketed Gabe into my top five favorite heroes of all time. This b...moreI will post a full review later, but I have to say that the last thirty or so pages rocketed Gabe into my top five favorite heroes of all time. This book made me a believer in Pamela Clare's romantic suspense titles, and follows Ride the Fire and Surrender as my favorite titles of hers.
Although we meet Gabe Rossiter in a very Jerveaux-esque type of situation that can be offputting, Pamela Clare knows how to redeem any misgivings I as a reader, and Kat as the heroine, had about him 125%.
After Gabe rescues Kat from a fall and then stands up for her a few months later when the inipi she is a part of is violated, he can't help but be impressed by her courage and strength. But he does something very out of character: he asks her out. Kat recognizes immediately that her goals and Gabe's priorities do not sync, and does everything she can to resist the attraction between them. Gabe is only looking for a no-strings-attached love affair, and Kat holds strongly to her Navajo mores and wants nothing less than love and marriage.
But when her investigation of the interrupted inipi leads to a murder and escalating attempts on her own life, Kat turns to Gabe. Gabe wants no part of the protective feeling Kat causes in him, but he doesn't want to see her hurt either. Plus, he knows that if he is persistent enough, there's no way Kat can resist the draw between them. He's right, but neither can he resist the stronger feelings that are growing.
Kat is a great strong heroine, who holds onto her values, but isn't preachy or judgmental about those who don't share her beliefs. She's a sterling example of the contemporary virgins who don't make that choice out of religious or ethical reasons, but because she knows it's the right decision based on her past and her goals in life.
Gabe - what can I say that could accurately paint a picture of why I love Gabe so much? Without spoilers, I will just say that Gabe does something in the last few chapters that is, without a doubt, the most selfless act I've ever seen a hero commit. I was bawling my eyes out the whole time.
Well worth the wait, and next time I complain about the rate that Pamela Clare's books are released, I'll have to read through this review again to remind me why. (Sidenote: I was a bit disturbed to find that the next release is another I-team novel, and not a historical, though)(less)
I really wanted to love this book, and I enjoyed Janzen's voice, but in the end, I couldn't buy the HEA, and I didn't really care about it, either.
Re...moreI really wanted to love this book, and I enjoyed Janzen's voice, but in the end, I couldn't buy the HEA, and I didn't really care about it, either.
Regan McKinney has reluctantly stepped out her safe world to search for her missing grandfather, Wilson. She follows a clue that leads her to an embarrassing blast from the past, Quinn Younger. Regan has dedicated her life to being safe and secure, caring for her grandfather and younger sister, Nikki, and after a disastrous marriage, she hasn't felt moved enough to risk anything for a man. But Quinn - former car thief and current Air Force hero - shares a special connection with Regan after spending a summer fifteen years ago lusting over each other from afar. When they meet again, Regan's not sure what to make of Quinn. Is he the national hero? The thief? A little of both? All she knows is he intrigues her the same way he always had before, and she needs his help to find her grandfather.
Quinn has no doubt in his mind what to make of Regan - she's the girl he's lusted and loved for fifteen years, and nothing is going to stop him from getting the girl this time. The only problem is he has to find some way to protect Regan and her family and catch the bad guys on top of it.
Janzen's voice is the closest I've found to Suzanne Brockmann's, and that much I enjoyed. I liked Quinn's devil-may-care attitude, and Regan's no-nonsense sensibility. The sequel bait was interesting enough, if overwhelming, and the action scenes intense. Unfortunately, that's about the extent of what I did like.
Jumping POVs, a cramped timeline, repetitious inner dialogue, and way too many details about cars make up the majority of what I did not like. I didn't feel like we got a sense of what was really going on in anyone's deeper character, most of all the two main protagonists. There were four? five? storylines going on, and none of them made me care about the characters' lives, their thoughts, their pasts, let alone their futures. All we got from Quinn was how much he desired Regan, and how he had been in love with her, and still loved her (even though he didn't even recognize her when he first saw her again). From Regan, it was more of an incredulous fear and lust. There wasn't enough time or word count to explore either of their characters more deeply, and in the end, when they exchanged ILYs, I had absolutely no reason to believe that they were really devoted to each other, and really in love. Since the excerpt for the next book (Christian's) seemed to be leading in a similar direction, I don't know that I'll continue with the series, but at least now I know. C+(less)
Overall, though I did have a few problems with this book, this was a fast, fun, sexy and not too deep read. Molly has returned to her home town of Tum...moreOverall, though I did have a few problems with this book, this was a fast, fun, sexy and not too deep read. Molly has returned to her home town of Tumble Creek, CO, after inheriting a house. She's hoping the move will jump start her muse (she writes erotic fiction), keep her stalker ex away, and give her time to reacquaint herself with police chief Ben Lawson. The last time Ben saw Molly, he was 22, she was 17, and he was caught in a very compromising situation. Molly has built fantasies about that night, even going so far as basing her first e-book on the encounter, and what she would've preferred the outcome to be. She's kept her career a secret from everyone, her ex, her family, and now Ben.
Ben has a hard rule about dating women in Tumble Creek, mostly because he faced big scandal in a small town when he was a teenager because of his father's sex life. But Molly is someone he can't resist, and soon the two are inseparable. The only problem is, Molly has secrets about her life in Denver and her career that she's not willing to answer about, and Ben hates secrets.
The chemistry between these two is smoking hot, as are the love scenes. Ben has true feelings for Molly, and is hurt and betrayed when Molly doesn't trust him enough to let him in. Molly seems to be very uncomplicated, but it's really just an act meant to cover deep-seated insecurity issues that come from constantly being compared to her perfect older brother.
This was the first problem I had with the story: Molly did have a reason for keeping her job to herself - she wasn't ashamed of what she did, she just didn't want to be compared to her brother. I'm sorry but this seems like such a bad reason to keep something so important from your family and the man you're having sex with, and supposedly falling in love with. Maybe it's because I'm an older child, and as such, I've always been the comparison point rather than the comparee, but it seems that Molly just blew things totally out of proportion. Also, she can't take anything serious! Even when Ben finds out about her career (from someone else) and finds out that she used him in her first story, she acts like a 12-year-old. Ben is far and away my favorite character in this story, but he has his flaws, too. Mostly being that he can say "I love you" but can't seem to manage "I trust you". I also felt a little cheated at the end, because the emotional resolution was cheapened, IMHO. We never really see Molly and Ben officially talk everything out and come to an understanding, they just jump back into bed.
All in all, though the last half was a bit frustrating, it was still a fun and good read. B(less)