Well, here were two protagonists I'd yet to meet in a historical: the Hero was a spy, whoring himself out to men who would sell their secrets for sexWell, here were two protagonists I'd yet to meet in a historical: the Hero was a spy, whoring himself out to men who would sell their secrets for sex and the Heroine had a crippling stutter.
This novel is dark in tone, explicit in its manner and would have been immensely satisfying if I'd had more of a sense of connection between the H/h. There was a bit of an "insta-love" thing happening, and while I normally will swallow that whole without complaint, in this case I felt there needed to be a bit more development between the two to explain how deeply they were committed to each other. As an erotic romance it worked for me completely. As an emotional romance, it didn't quite make it. Perhaps it was the page count - at 262 pages the author might simply have run out of time.
Brava to Ms. Harris for going to places not usually explored in historical romance -- (view spoiler)[it's not often you read an explicit homosexual encounter in these types of books (hide spoiler)], and Claudia's parents' treatment of her was absolutely abhorrent (by today's standards, of course, but I'm betting it was close to the norm for the time). Claudia's stutter remains throughout the whole of the book; not once does it seem as though Gaspard's mighty wang might cure her. Gaspard, on the other hand, is the one who is redeemed by Claudia's magic hooha, although his experiences with other men piques Claudia's curiosity and adds an interesting nuance to their intimate relationship. She has never been touched, and he has been touched only by those he finds repugnant. Hmm. That's something I just considered after I typed it.
I really enjoyed this one -- it was different, it was well-written, and I'm invested enough to read the next one in the series. I'm also going to check out her backlist.
Let me just say this - if this guy existed in real life, the woman he ended up with would have no friends.
She would be liAnother freebie from Amazon.
Let me just say this - if this guy existed in real life, the woman he ended up with would have no friends.
She would be like the woman all of us know who is constantly having to explain or apologize for what a complete DICK her husband is. Sure, sure, he loves her to the point of distraction (obsession?) but he's a complete asswipe to everyone around her. So possessive/controlling/desperate. Of course, all of the tortured desperate love that he feels for her can't make a girl feel anything but cherished, right? When your man can't hold you tight enough, have you close enough, fuck you hard enough?
It was a little too much for me. I couldn't help but imagine their relationship a few years into their HEA, thinking that if he doesn't get all that emotion sorted out he'll start using her as a punching bag. I was also not a big fan of the author's writing style in this novella - lots of very short sentences. That are very dramatic. And used to make a point. But can also get very tiresome.
Fans of OTT tough guy Heroes will enjoy this steamy little bit tremendously. I'm going to use the 3-book rule for this author and try some of her other stuff.
I have got to stop picking up free books from Amazon.
I got sucked in by the synopsis on this one, and who could b(Look out, I spill the entire plot.)
I have got to stop picking up free books from Amazon.
I got sucked in by the synopsis on this one, and who could blame me?
When Addison Hauser gives her heart to her best friend at fifteen, she never expects him to disappear with it. Working the ranch and caring for her alcoholic father after tragedy strikes, she doesn’t have much time to dwell on the hole he left.
Twelve years later, Mack returns to claim her and is reminded why bullies ran from his best friend when she was seven. It isn’t going to be easy to get back in her good graces.
He’s willing to do the work…if he can just keep her from shooting him
So much story crammed in to 111 pages - hoo boy, this author is busy. That was the whole problem for me with this.
We have their childhood, they fall in love, he leaves, her world falls apart, twelve years go by, he comes back with 3 black ops type folks to her dude ranch, she doesn't recognize him but when she does they fight then have pages of raunchy sex, she takes off for 2 years and becomes a professional sharpshooter (??) and travels the world, then comes home and all those people are still at her ranch (again, ?? Black-ops people still there? Srsly?) they have sex, sex, sex and more sex until she's pregnant, then more sex then I think there was an HEA. All in 111 pages.
Frankly, by that point my head was spinning from all the stuff thrown in here, and I'd figured out this had to be a book or two into a series, so I wasn't paying much attention.
Anyone who has been following this series will probably like this; I'd rather read a full-length novel. I'd like to see what this author can do when she has 350 pages rather than 111. Off to search her backlist.
Well. A gander at Goodreads has set my mind at ease. The reason the heroine has an answering machine with a tape is because this book was written in 1Well. A gander at Goodreads has set my mind at ease. The reason the heroine has an answering machine with a tape is because this book was written in 1998! Cripes, for a couple of minutes I thought I was going nuts.
This is currently free on Amazon and touted as a new release. The author must have gotten the rights back to her old books, methinks.
Anyhoo, a standard, run-of-the-mill contemporary romance with an impossibly beautiful, pregnant heroine and a super-hot handyman Hero, marred slightly by an implausible secondary love story that felt almost weird to me.
And I can't stand the new cover - my GR friends TJ and Tonya will immediately know why. ;D....more
Huh. I gotta say I've never read a book where the Hero was a drag queen. Not sure I'd ever read another, for that matter. Somehow I can't see this stoHuh. I gotta say I've never read a book where the Hero was a drag queen. Not sure I'd ever read another, for that matter. Somehow I can't see this storyline taking the world by storm and knocking those billionaire bdsm guys off their pedestals.
Lots of fodder for discussion and snarky comments in this book - self-proclaimed "chubby" heroine with no self-esteem when it comes to men, deals with everything by being quick with snappy comebacks and diversion; gorgeous metrosexual neighbour, acts like the witty gay best friend but wants to drill the heroine senseless; the tortured background - early death of his mother, sexual abuse, drinking problem, moodiness, etc.; throw in a little bit of kink (like having sex while he's in costume) and there you have it.
All a bit two-dimensional and wrapped up a little too neatly for me -- IRL the Hero would need YEARS of therapy, methinks.
I liked the writer's sense of humour though, I LOL'd more than a couple of times. ...more
Question: If a heroine was raised in the Ozarks by her kin, in a teeny tiny town perched on the side of a mountain, where no one came in from away, anQuestion: If a heroine was raised in the Ozarks by her kin, in a teeny tiny town perched on the side of a mountain, where no one came in from away, and no one left, folks jumped over a rock to celebrate a weddin', they say words like "caint" and are so intermarried they caint right remember what clan they started out from, and the clans decide that the widder Althea caint rightly keep her hunting dogs and her farm to herself so they hold a kangaroo court to decide who she should marry, if you are raised like that, in a time like that, in a community like that, would it even occur to you to say "I won't do it?"
That was my problem with this book. I kept asking myself that question. And the answer, I kept thinking, was "NOPE".
Colour me perplexed. Is this what "NA" books are? 21 and 23 year olds flailing about, finding love and discovering themselves? If so, this book ain't
Colour me perplexed. Is this what "NA" books are? 21 and 23 year olds flailing about, finding love and discovering themselves? If so, this book ain't it.
It has the other pre-requisites: heroine orphaned tragically, alone in the world and struggling to finish college; the stunningly gorgeous male lead with a tortured (well, this guy had a stutter. Sort of tragic, no?) past, tons of money and a weird family.
Otherwise, it was a standard, run-of-the-mill contemporary romance. Heroine agrees to act a fiancee to the love of her live in order to fool his family and patch up love's career, then runs into love's older brother, who has been in love with HER all of his life. Comedic love triangle and assorted goofy family antics ensue.
The problem I had with this (and it's too bad, because otherwise I quite enjoy this trope) was that although the author says her characters are 21 and 23, they don't talk that way, dress that way, have jobs that fit, or, for the most part, act that way. Hero is supposed to be 23, talks like he's 30 and has owned and run a millionaire's ranch for years. WHAT? The ne'er do well brother, who we are told is 21, has taken over his parent's multi-million dollar company, is stalked by paparazzi and tabloid reporters and has been in multiple scandals with strippers. The only believable thing about all of that is the stripper part. The heroine, who is also supposed to be 21, is the only one who remotely acts her age, but certainly talks like a woman in her late 20s.
So there was that. And the whole high school thing from my updates. It got to be surreal by 2/3 of the way through the book, and that's when I started skimming.
The first half of the book felt as though the characters and story were written to be in their late 20s, early 30s. By the end of the book nothing much was making sense anymore.
As much as I hate to admit it, I quite liked the Bridget Jones books. And the first couple of Shopaholic ones. I could iSPOILERS AND I RUIN THE ENDING
As much as I hate to admit it, I quite liked the Bridget Jones books. And the first couple of Shopaholic ones. I could identify with Bridget and Becky. They kept me in stitches with their adventures as they tried to find themselves, whether it was by keeping a diet diary or being chased by letters from VISA.
Their stories were told in a distinctive, breezy British manner. The wit in the writing and the charm of the characters was what made both of those series so hugely popular.
When I found this book (for free on Amazon - dammit, I should have known better) I was hoping to meet a heroine like Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood. Instead, I got Grace.
Grace is a elementary school teacher. During her free time she shops. Her pride and joy is the spare room in her house, which she has converted to a dressing room. She is shallow, materialistic and generally not very likable. She is engaged to a lawyer named Mark, who is equally shallow, materialistic and unlikable. They live in a pretentious little village where they pretend to be vereh impohtant and have dinner parties with their equally important couple-friends.
Grace and Mark have 8 years of DINK bliss until one day Mark tells Grace he'd like to have a baby. This causes a huge crack in their otherwise perfect shallow existence, as Grace is unwilling to have a baby with a man who won't marry her. (I had to agree with this point.) Mark can't understand why marriage is necessary, and they take turns pouting over it.
While Grace is pouting the principal at her school notices her and before you can say "holy crap, I really don't like any of these people" they are texting like crazy and she's thinking about having an affair.
So, suffice it to say that a fair bit of clandestine sex is had (including on a desk at their elementary school and if I ever caught so much as a WHIFF that my kid's teacher was boinking the principal after hours in the classroom I think I'd freak out), Mark turns into a completely different person, smooth and uncomplicated break ups happen and by the end of the epilogue the Grace and Mark have each married different people, one couple have had twins and the other is pregnant, they all hang out together and life is just one big perfect HEA. No hard feelings, no one is uncomfortable and everything is freaking peachy.
No problems with Grace's shopping. Or her sorrow over the loss of Mark's income, and the impact it is having on her shopping. Or the loss of "prestige" because Mark was is a lawyer and Tom is a principal. Or how Grace, who appears to be as deep as a mud puddle, will deal with watching Mark and her good friend have a wonderful, happy, MONEYED lifestyle while she looks on.
I see what the author was trying to do here, and it might have worked for other readers, but I simply didn't like the main characters. As a result none of what she was trying worked for me.
On the bright side? I learned a new British slang word: NAFF. Meaning stupid or lame. Hmm.
It all started with my GR friend Catherine, who almost NEVER steers me wrong, who said "You gotta grab this."
The other thing was that it was free yestIt all started with my GR friend Catherine, who almost NEVER steers me wrong, who said "You gotta grab this."
The other thing was that it was free yesterday on Amazon. (If those aren't also magic words, I don't know what are.)
So I was a good little girl and I grabbed it, and I inhaled it all today, and now I'm going to tell all of you: YOU GOTTA GRAB THIS. :)
It's pretty steamy, it has a relatable heroine, the Hero (of course) is super hot and who wouldn't like a fairy tale like this: you want to get rid of your pesky virginity, so you hire a hot guy to do the deed. He teaches you everything you need to know about sex, he's gorgeous, he's smart, he's funny, and he falls in love with you. What's not to like?
The writing here is good enough that it didn't bother me that a romance writer didn't have any sexual experience (I know, that's actually a groaner) or that hearing about Lori's channel got a little bit old after a while. So what!? There is no head-hopping here; everything we know about Ander we find out the same time Lori does. You don't see that too often in romances anymore, it was refreshing. It faltered a bit towards the end, where I felt as though the author had a finite number of pages and was running out of room to tell her story. Not a huge niggle, though, I was strapped in and along for the ride throughout.
If you're looking for a steamy, feel-good Pretty Woman in reverse, this will do the trick quite nicely. It's going on my favourites shelf.
Someone HAS to start telling me when I'm reading fanfic. Especially Twilight fanfic.
A friend recommended this to me (waves), I checked out the sampleSomeone HAS to start telling me when I'm reading fanfic. Especially Twilight fanfic.
A friend recommended this to me (waves), I checked out the sample from Amazon, it looked like fun, so I read it. And then found out it was P2P fanfic. I've said it before with other books, and I'll say it again - I feel like Eric Cartman:
So, without talking about the fanfiction angle, let me just say this about the book:
It was funny. Laugh out loud funny in parts, trying-too-hard to be funny in others. It had great bicker/banter. She called him "Wallbanger", he called her "Cockblocker". It had great tension. For the first 1/2 of the book. Then it just dragged on too long, IMHO. It had some great sex in it. 'Nuff said about that. It seemed like a pretty true portrayal of late 20-somethings. Or, at least how I remember late 20-somethings being. On an episode of Friends.
Overall I'd have to say I liked it. It was a fun read, even if it dragged on a little long, with a of other things that that brought my rating down. A Guest Reviewer at Dear Author reviewed this book the other day. She says things way better than I can, so here's the link to it (and if you read the comments there's an interesting discussion starting about fanfiction):
This was quite good -- a series I can reach for when I can't find anything that's screaming "read me!"
Killing Floor is a fast-paced, hard-boiled read.This was quite good -- a series I can reach for when I can't find anything that's screaming "read me!"
Killing Floor is a fast-paced, hard-boiled read. Lee Child's style took of bit of getting used to - the prose is tense and sparse. Once you get going, though, the story moves quickly, with a whole lot of action described in a way that seems at once flat and incredibly descriptive.
Mr. Child has a talent for effortless description, and the book spooled out before me like a movie. (My Jack Reacher looked NOTHING like that pipsqueak Tom Cruise, I'll have you know.)
There were a few coincidences that gave my "suspension of disbelief" muscles a bit of a workout, but they weren't enough to ruin my enjoyment of this tale of criminals, counterfeiting and small-town secrets.
Thanks, Catherine, for another great recommendation!...more
Snarky me has never read a Christmas romance. I generally stay away from them just on principle. How much more contrived can you get?, is usually howSnarky me has never read a Christmas romance. I generally stay away from them just on principle. How much more contrived can you get?, is usually how my mind works. This year I figured I should try one. They are freaking EVERYWHERE in December, and this one was free on Amazon so what the heck.
Jingle This! is a silly tale about a woman (whose name I can’t remember) who works as a writer at an ad agency. She is dating the schmucky co-owner of the agency, who dumps her at Thanksgiving. This comes as a complete surprise to her as she was expecting an engagement ring.
Now she’s angry and bitter and perhaps heart-broken (I say perhaps because it never really seems like she is), and it’s made even worse when she still has to write sappy ad copy for a client about love, romance and diamonds.
Enter the other owner of the ad agency. This is the hunky dude that runs the business end of the agency, and whatsername had a serious crush on him years ago when she worked with him on a project. Then he threw her over for her slutty sister and she hooked up with the schmuck.
Hunky dude (who has had the serious hots for whatsername since they worked together but thought she’d blown him off) tells whatsername that he needs to oversee her work since schmuck dumped her, because her writing is terrible and bitter and they are going to lose their client.
That’s the set-up. Hunky dude squires whatsername around New York at Christmas, helping her find inspiration to write her article. They fall for each other (again) and the parts of the book that are just those two shine. You can feel their chemistry and the banter between them is fun to read.
Where the book fails is the rest of it. Implausible situations, like that the schmuck cheats on whatsername with her slutty sister, her family knows it but tell her they are ok with it because they think the schmuck was a better match for the slutty sister; schmuck wants hunky dude to buy him out of the company but inexplicably (other than to create a conflict between hunky and whatsername) says he won’t sell if hunky dates whatsername; whatsername gets offered a job at Tiffany’s based on nothing more than an ad for another company.
All’s well that ends well, however – hunky dude and whatsername resolve their differences in a quick, convenient and fairy tale fashion, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Pffft. It was ok. I wouldn’t say I’d recommend it, mostly because I can’t even remember the characters’ names, but if you’re stuck in an airport this Christmas, it would help you pass the time.