Ashley is almost a given 4 or 5 stars from me. I find her books that compelling, but this one nearly dipped into 3 stars. I decided my biggest problem...moreAshley is almost a given 4 or 5 stars from me. I find her books that compelling, but this one nearly dipped into 3 stars. I decided my biggest problem is the h, Tess just doesn't do it for me. One thing that nagged at me is Tess isn't much of a friend to her best pal Martha, dropping out of her life when she gets caught up with her new man, his extended family and his problems. Basically, she calls Martha when she needs something -- to unload a past trauma, to cope with a current trauma or to help out with work. And then she consistently complains that Martha always has drama going on when (being an Ashley novel) Tess has nonstop DRAMA all around HER.
Then (OK, Tess REALLY bugged me), at the end of the book, Tess "just deals" with a horribly traumatic event. Anyone else would be talking to their doctor for meds or looking into the best treatment for PTSD. I guess in an attempt to show that Tess was a very strong person, Ashley has her go to bed with nary a problem slumbering peacefully that night or any other night. Well, there is strong and there is what the heck is wrong with you, you unfeeling wench? Tess just seemed self-absorbed, not that she doesn't have the usual amount of things to absorb her that you find in any Ashely novel
I did like hot Alpha Brock, though I didn't much care for his nickname, Slim. So why 4 solid stars? Because this is Kristen Ashley with all the action and yes drama that never fails to suck me in for a very fun ride.
I liked this but it is my least favorite entry in the Lucky Harbor series. The heroine was nice but too codependent and angsty for my taste. The hero...moreI liked this but it is my least favorite entry in the Lucky Harbor series. The heroine was nice but too codependent and angsty for my taste. The hero had his own angst and the story often revolved around the angst. I am not into angst. But there were some fun and sweet moments and it is hard not to like the idyllic, quirky Lucky Harbor and it's denizens. (less)
4 1/2 stars despite some crazy flaws. I just heard of this author this month and the first book I read of hers is apparently very different from her u...more4 1/2 stars despite some crazy flaws. I just heard of this author this month and the first book I read of hers is apparently very different from her usual work. Shorter, more erotic, and the H is an "anti-hero." Or as I thought of him, a sociopath. A criminal (truly, a criminal) who had to be in control of his woman at all times. In real life, the only sane thing to do would be to run as fast and far as you could the second he showed his controlling, criminal, violent tendencies before he is killed, arrested or does something terrible to you. But this, happily, is not real life and for all his anti-heroic, thuggish, scary ways, Knight could be amazingly sweet, thoughtful and tender with Anya. They both had lots of trauma and baggage from the past but they were a perfect fit for each other. I found their love for each other believable if at times twisted, and the story very compelling. I didn't want to put it down or have it end. When it was over, the epilogue was especially satisfying and I immediately went to buy another book by this author. With any luck, I may have found another prolific author whose works I can devour. We'll see, but Knight certainly grabbed my attention and made me hopeful her other books will as well. (less)
This my first Nora Roberts, chosen for it's short length and good rating. I can't say I was overwhelmed. The writing was decent. The story was ok. I w...moreThis my first Nora Roberts, chosen for it's short length and good rating. I can't say I was overwhelmed. The writing was decent. The story was ok. I wasn't crazy about the H or h and their conflict. Her giant issue of not wanting to be like her mother, catering to her man, wore thin. Alright, already, don't be your mom. He was kind of an asshat at times. During an extremely traumatic experience for her, it suddenly became all about his little feelings. Then she recreates a scene in Grease, that at least had me humming as I read, LOL. Despite my carping, I will probably give the phenom that is Roberts another try. So it was good enough, I reckon. (less)
I've been reading Holly Winter mysteries since the first one came out in 1990 and they are like comfort food to me. Holly is both endearing and irrita...moreI've been reading Holly Winter mysteries since the first one came out in 1990 and they are like comfort food to me. Holly is both endearing and irritating in her love of all things dogs and her at times canine viewpoint of humans. This installment is a leisurely mystery with a far-fetched (sorry. -- couldn't resist the pun) motive for the murder. Still, I enjoyed spending some time with Holly, her family, friends and dogs. At just over 200 pages, this is a quick, uncomplicated read. (less)
Very enjoyable mystery/romance/coming out of her shell story. Rose is 24 years old, socially isolated, living with her emotionally abusive and complet...moreVery enjoyable mystery/romance/coming out of her shell story. Rose is 24 years old, socially isolated, living with her emotionally abusive and completely controlling mother and working in the DMV. Part of her isolation is due to her visions of future events, usually trivial which she blurts out go those around her as soon as she has them. The story starts out with her seeing herself murdered and knowing it is the customer in front of her who will kill her. Unnerved by her experience, she suddenly is no longer willing to put up with her mother's abuse. Unfortunately for Rose, her long overdue fight for independence is overheard by neighbors and when her mother is murdered instead of Rose, she is the prime suspect.
The book has a lot going on. Rose trying to figure out who killed her mother while not getting murdered herself, Rose spreading her wings for the first time, embracing new experiences and standing up for herself, Rose dealing with the loss of her mother and trying to figure out why her mother seemed to hate her, Rose working out a new relationship with her loving but controlling older sister and entering into her first ever romance with a cute, but secretive neighbor.
I really am not the biggest fan of 1st Person Narratives, but Rose is such a great character and it was so much fun to watch her discover all her strengths and abilities, that I liked being in her head. The plot was very interesting. I guessed at a few of the developments but was surprised by others. I am looking forward to the next installment in this series and will check out other books by this author. (less)
3 1/2 stars. This started out rather slowly with lots of discussion about an artists' colony that had been established 130 years earlier. By the middl...more3 1/2 stars. This started out rather slowly with lots of discussion about an artists' colony that had been established 130 years earlier. By the middle of the book, the present and past mysteries became more interesting and the tension built nicely. I was a little annoyed by the heroine frequently running into potentially dangerous situations all alone and without telling a soul. But overall, a very interesting, increasingly suspenseful mystery that I wasn't close to figuring out and a quirky, unhappy but very well intentioned heroine to root for. (less)
3 1/2 stars. I didn't like the premise of 5 very grown siblings being given a year for ALL of them to marry or they will ALL be cut off from most of t...more3 1/2 stars. I didn't like the premise of 5 very grown siblings being given a year for ALL of them to marry or they will ALL be cut off from most of their money by their grandmother. But parts of the story were good and basically the writing was good. I just found the premise silly and nonsensical especially given the back story that the siblings's parents had a horrendous marriage that ended in tragedy. So everybody rush into marriage and life will be good. (less)
I miss Kleypas' historicals, but am enjoying these Friday Harbor books. Rainshadow Road is second in a family series about middle brother Sam who meet...moreI miss Kleypas' historicals, but am enjoying these Friday Harbor books. Rainshadow Road is second in a family series about middle brother Sam who meets glass artist Lucy at an extremely vulnerable time in her life. She has just been dumped by her narcissistic boyfriend who has been cheating on her with her sister, Alice. Kleypas does a great job of making you feel Lucy's anguish,,fury, shame and sense of helplessness. There is a long established history of her parents excusing and rescuing Alice. Meanwhile Lucy alternately seethed with resentment, felt guilty or did her own rescuing of the self-centered Alice. Until this latest act of betrayal, at least. With her family a wreck and her self-confidence shaken, Lucy has no interest in starting another relationship, even with the pretty much irresistible and charming Sam.
After resisting Sam's advances, circumstances throw them together in a very big way. This plot development I found a little hard to see happening in real life, but I went for it. At any rate, the two get to know each other and begin an affair. One thing I really like about this series is the relationships develop at a more normal pace than is often the case in Romancelandia. Sam is convinced he can't have a long term relationship because of his messed up childhood growing up with two alcoholics. Lucy determines to enjoy the time they have together while attempting to figure out how to deal with her horrid sister (I really couldn't stand that character!).
There is an element of "magic" in this book that I'm not sure that I like or not. It wasn't a paranormal book by any stretch, but there is this little theme of magic. What I did really like was the developing relationship between Sam and Lucy and seeing the family dramas in both of their lives. I look forward to reading the third brother, Alex's story. He is in seriously bad shape in this book so it will be interesting to see how Kleypas turns him into hero material. (less)
4 1/2 stars. Such a cute, funny and often touching book. A modern screwball comedy/romance. I couldn't give it a full 5 stars because the h, Poppy was...more4 1/2 stars. Such a cute, funny and often touching book. A modern screwball comedy/romance. I couldn't give it a full 5 stars because the h, Poppy was just way too dim for far too long regarding her fiancé. Otherwise, I loved this book and plan to read more by this author. She is so funny! The Scrabble game Poppy plays with her fiance's intellectual family had me laughing out loud and several other scenes had me grinning. The dialogue is very amusing as are the text messages between Poppy and Sam, the businessman whose phone she steals in a moment of desperation. Oh, and I loved the footnotes in this book, which were also very funny. And even though Poppy could get too silly at times, I loved her too as well as the seemingly uptight, Sam whose cool, remote persona hides many layers. This book was so much fun, that I am sorry it is finished. (less)