You know that feeling when, after having many, many, many debates with yourself, you finally decide to sign up for the gym, and meet your personal tra...moreYou know that feeling when, after having many, many, many debates with yourself, you finally decide to sign up for the gym, and meet your personal trainer who just so happens to be one of the most caring, sweetest, sexiest men on the face of earth, who not only likes you for who you are from the start, becomes your friend and helps you get your confidence back, but who also helps you better yourself and understand your own body's needs-both health wise and carnal- instead of having you give up your favorite foods, and finally falls in love with you and breaks his own rules for your sake? No? Me neither. Lucky Melissa does though.
If I have to state only one problem with this book, it would be its length. It read more like a novella than a novel. When I first realized the number of pages it's got, I wanted to make sure if that was right, like I could get only half of the book-silly me I know- but it turned out this book was a little shorter than its predecessors. And although I think it could've worked, the subject matter of this book along with the lovely romance, required more pages to tell its story. Melissa is a woman with a size a notch bigger than what is accepted fashionable these days, and she's been tormented by people in the past for the way she looks. So, she not only wants to get healthier, but her story is also about her coming to love her body the way it is, and seeing herself as a sexy woman. Her eyes and anchor in this, is Jake Sawyer. Personal trainer and gym owner extraordinaire, I know he must be the last of his kind.
I liked the romance blossoming between these two characters, and I liked how Jake already set her aside from other women when he first met her, before her journey to a healthier life. I would've loved to read about their friendship first, before delving into the romance, but still, their story was satisfying and sexy. I could relate to Melissa, and adored Jake. They had their own personalities that meshed together nicely. There were also a few people, and thus relationships, around Melissa from her less healthy past, and that's where my previous statement of the problem with length comes from. As much as I would've preferred more Jake and Melissa interactions-not that what they had was not enough but you know how, once the couple is cute and sexy you just can't get enough of them- but I also would've loved to see Melissa's relationship with some of those less understanding people in more depth. That's all about the only criticism I had with this story. Except for maybe it is not being mine, but let's just forget about that.
A lovely story between two people who are happy to be themselves and love each other for who they are, this one reminded me that a gym is not the torture chamber I keep thinking it to be, but perhaps a fit place-can I snicker here? Please?- where one can also find love with a sexy man if they're as lucky as Melissa. I wish you guys all such luck. Can I be persuaded to join the gym now? I'm not sure, since I already know all the guys from my previous gym and let me tell you, they were no Jake. I guess I gotta look for love elsewhere. Oh well. (less)
I always get a little more excited when I start a new series that takes place in a small town. I think it's a sign that one of these days I should get...moreI always get a little more excited when I start a new series that takes place in a small town. I think it's a sign that one of these days I should get in my car and leave for such a town, one that's named something like 'Harmony', or 'Happiness', or, you know, 'All The Sexy Men Are Here'. Something simple and just for my needs. For this series though, I have to make do with Rosewood, hometown to one famous singer named Ivy Hudson, who caught the fame train for her well known break-up songs, and one ex-NFL player, now coach to the local team, Blake Chamberlain. I'm not a big fan of second chance stories, but this one was different. Not only was the story funny and the characters likable, but the whole second chance plotline takes place years away from the first one. So I was able to make my peace with that. And you know, because this is a small town where everyone knows everyone else, people stick up for each other, and there's a big family line with potential heroes for future books. Plus, the town festival. I'm a sucker for those.
I had a lot of fun reading this. It was surprising how fast I liked the characters, it normally takes me a few chapters to get the hang of things and make a connection. But with everyone in this one there was an instant kinship. I laughed out loud a few times, shamelessly enjoyed the hard time Blake had with Ivy's best known song-the one she wrote after him-, constantly imagined myself in Ivy's shoes, and not just the designer ones too, and simply wished I lived in a place like that. Alas, this one's taken too, so I should now take a map and start playing 'point your finger anywhere'.
I strongly recommend this book. If you like small town romances like me, and when I say 'like' I mean get super excited when you see one, and you don't mind having your fun and laugh in the expense of the heroes and heroines' hard times-they do get their happy endings after all-, then this one's for you. Even though the ending was just a tad-and I can't believe I'm going to say this- too romantic, it still was a great read that I immensely enjoyed. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up, you never know, you might find yourself wanting to bake a pie, enjoy your local diner with a hottie or even be tempted to write a song of your own for one of your exes. It's worth a try, right? My only problem, I may not be as talented as Ivy, but all I can think about when considering writing my own song is Phoebe's Smelly Cat from Friends.
Smelly cat, smelly cat What are they feeding you? Smelly cat, smelly cat It's not your fault
I broke into at least ten little pieces reading this book. A part of me kept chanting the old saying 'too good to be true' the Ian version, another th...moreI broke into at least ten little pieces reading this book. A part of me kept chanting the old saying 'too good to be true' the Ian version, another thought Tiny wasn't the Tiny I came to know in the first book, then there was that little piece that kept wondering just how the hell was this whole thing going to end, whether Ian and Tiny would get their happy ending, would they resolve their issues, settle their emotions and move on, what was the deal with some of the supporting characters as the part of me concerning them was dying to know, and well, would the bad guy get his much deserved, hopefully painful, end? Rest assured, I get all my answers. Or, perhaps, more like I get all my answers concerning Ian and Tiny and their connected problems, feelings, their shared bad guy. So all the basic answers I need to close the book, give out a little sigh of relief and settle for a good night's sleep for all is right in the world. Except for the moment those supporting characters I felt sympathy for come to my mind and I wonder how they're doing. Well, that nagging thought is only slightly regrettable since I did get my happy ending. For Ian and Tiny of course, I'm still waiting for mine. Hear that, fate? Or whoever deals with this stuff? How about you, the guy who's going to rock my world, I'm still waiting for you.
The story starts where it left off, and though I don't want to spoil those who haven't read the first book, it's pretty clear in the blurb what our hero and heroine is dealing with here. And by the way, if you really haven't read the first book, go do it. It'll be painful at times to read about a guy pretty much perfect with someone not you, but hey, it's worth it. This second book was emotional, sexy, so damn sexy, and it even had a lot of action to go with Ian and Tiny's adventure. Stock markets, money changing hands, vengeful society people trying to ruin one another, men and women with guns and the ability to kick some ass, jealousy and resentment, all is here. But most of all, there was love. Lots and lots of love between two people who are not perfect-despite my earlier fangirl statement about Ian, make no mistake he's far from perfect- but still pretty damn close. At times I was surprised by the intensity of Ian's love and devotion for Tiny, at others annoyed by his overprotective and possessive manners that could've tipped the scales in favor of him being a brute but with one gesture, one look, one sentence, one burst of emotion tipped it right back to 'good hero'. Gotta be honest, whenever he made me cringe a little, I remembered this is the kind of guy he is, and that he actually tried hard to be a man worthy of Tiny, and besides, I already said he's not perfect right? Pretty damn close though. Pretty damn close.
A satisfying conclusion to the Kerr Chronicles series by Jen Frederick, this was a roller coaster of a ride for me. I read good people doing bad things, bad people taking a step back, and nice things being born off the ashes of nasty situations. I'm a little sad to let Ian and Tiny go, but then again, it was time for them, and who am I to wish they linger? (less)
You know how it feels like when you come across a book or a series every now and then that makes you wonder just how is it that the author came up wit...moreYou know how it feels like when you come across a book or a series every now and then that makes you wonder just how is it that the author came up with such funny and smart dialogue, witty and interesting characters and an extremely intriguing plot line? Well, if you don’t, then I say give this series a try because you won’t be disappointed. I felt the joy of finding a gem when I read the first book, and now having read the second, I relived that same joy. I didn’t know how time passed between an animal cemetery slash Crossroads for animal spirits-not Stephen King style, mind you-, ectoplasmic dead dogs and cats that have already used up seven of her lives. One minute I was trying to remember who was who, and the next, I’m rooting for a trio whose names’ first letters form ‘WTF’. How awesome is that?
Those who are lucky enough to have met Foxtrot and her gang will have yet another blast reading this story. This time, the ever workaholic and resourceful Deirdre ‘Foxtrot’ Lancaster has to solve the murder of a unique animal with a lot of fans looking to make him theirs. Before a decision can be made about who the animal-a liger, a mix between a lion and a tiger which is magnificent- will go to, he’s found dead and a few potential suspects are at hand. It is up to Foxtrot and her gang to not only solve the crime and find the culprit, but also prevent a potential catastrophe that could endanger every single spirit currently using the Crossroads. What a plot, right? Though I’m not so good with elaborate descriptions, the blurb gives all the necessary information and if that doesn’t get your attention, I don’t know what would.
I was already a fan of Foxtrot and her gang before starting this. In fact, I was so looking forward to it, you have no idea how high I jumped when I was given the opportunity to read this title by the publisher. In case you’re wondering, it was pretty high for someone as athletically challenged as me.
Foxtrot is a strong and capable character who does things her way, only occasionally might annoy people, though in her defense, even when she herself acknowledged she was annoying I never got that impression, and she’s definitely one of my favorite heroines in urban fantasy. Although she’s smart and all that, she has her limitations, her fears and most of the time she’s a dork. And I mean this in the highest level of respect. To be that good a workaholic and still successfully manage to be a dork, that requires talent. And she has that in spades. As for her sidekicks, though to call them sidekicks is not really fair and doesn’t do them justice in the least, they have their own personas-that are awesome if you must know- and they add a wonderful balance of intellectual and sassy banter into the story. This series wouldn’t be what it is without them which is why I take back my earlier reference to them as ‘sidekicks’. Sorry guys.
A brilliant and funny addition to the Whiskey, Tango and Foxtrot series, I cannot recommend this book, and the previous one, enough. If you want a genuine laugh, a good mystery to make you want to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa even in the heat of summer, a good band of interesting and amusing supporting characters, and hell, even a little bit of romance and a lot of friendship, then give this series a try. Really, I could beg you for it. I’ll throw in a muffin too, for dessert. And a cup of coffee? Or tea? C’mon, you know you wanna.(less)
They say never judge a book by its cover. I try not to, but for this once I admit that I saw the cover and even though zombies are not my favorite bre...moreThey say never judge a book by its cover. I try not to, but for this once I admit that I saw the cover and even though zombies are not my favorite breed in paranormal stories, went with this book. Yes, I can be shallow like that sometimes. When you think of zombies, you might think of mindless brain eaters, but these zombies were a little different than them, thankfully. I never thought that the idea of romancing a zombie could be an interesting one, but here we are. I guess there’s a first for everything.
Henri is a zombie, a good looking, not at all decomposing, always thirsty zombie. He’s considerate, quite kind, and not much of a fan of swear words. Him and a few others, including his young sister, escape their current Master after hurricane Katrina, and try to stay off his radar. Henri is one of those zombies who agree with the saying ‘dead things should stay dead’. So while looking for a way to end his undead misery and trying to make sure his sister and friends are safe for the future, he crosses paths with Josie, one of the local news reporters who’s trying to climb back up to the good graces of her boss with a story about the hurricane survivors.
I have to say, despite being a book about zombies whom I’m not a fan of as I said earlier, this plot was intriguing. I’ve never encountered a story before where the zombies were the good guys rather than brainless, decomposing corpses. So I did like the plot, but the execution seemed like it needed a little bit more work.
The timeline, for instance, or rather the timeline of the hero and heroine’s points of view seemed a bit off. I got used to a certain, shall I say, system when it comes to these novels that I enjoy. We spend some time with either the hero or the heroine, and then, when it comes to a climactic point, we shift the view to the other. I don’t think there’s a rule when it comes to this, or in my excited readings I never paid much attention to it, but the time we spend with one point of view is not that long usually. But in this book, it seemed like there was no such balance when it came to the hero or the heroine’s perspectives. Sometimes we were with Josie for a couple chapters, and then we’d switch to Henri for a few paragraphs only to go back to Josie again. I felt like this took a little from the flow of the story, this unexpected and untimely shift in perspectives.
Another thing that prevented me from falling fully into the story was the storytelling itself. It wasn’t bad per se, it just seemed like it needed more work to make it flow more smoothly. This may sound a little silly, but you know how zombies walk in movies? They stagger woodenly instead of the the usual gait of us non-zombies, and this story was that stagger of zombies. It was okay, but it didn’t go as smooth as I expected. But with a little work, I think this can be overcome easily because the idea is a good one, the characters interesting, and the plot is unique, I mean I never read a romance about zombies before.
As for the characters themselves, I gotta say it was a bit difficult to connect with them. Not that they weren’t relatable or interesting, because they were, but simply because I think we weren’t given much chance to fully get inside their heads. Sure, we did have their perspectives, but I felt like we weren’t truly there, as if the point of view approach was simply a way to tell the story. It wasn’t as if we were listening to the story from their points of view, but rather, we were listening it from, well, the author. Does this make sense? It was like reading a biography while I expected to read an autobiography, if it makes more sense.
All this may sound like this wasn’t a worthy read, but make no mistake, it was. Like I said, the plot was an intriguing one, the zombie crew was a peculiar one that made me very much curious about them, and just the general idea of romancing zombies-yes, I know what it sounds like- made this debut novel a good one to try. What I read was the advance reader’s copy, so the final product might be a smoother one, and if not, then I’m sure the author can make it flow better in the next book, hoping there will be one. And that, I’d be looking forward to as well since we left things hanging a little bit, and for that I’m glad. I thought the relationships needed more time, and more books covering the same people over a longer period of time might just work if the author turns it into a series.
Those who like stories about zombies, and those who don’t mind a different, and sexier, approach to this breed of creatures, give this book a try. I have no doubt you’ll find at least one zombie to your liking among this group of the undead.(less)