In my endless quest to find a "better" version of FSoG I keep picking up these billionaire BDSM books. (And, to be fair, it's hard to find a contempor...moreIn my endless quest to find a "better" version of FSoG I keep picking up these billionaire BDSM books. (And, to be fair, it's hard to find a contemporary these days that ISN'T an homage to that stupid book.)
This one is set in Australia which immediately gets points from me, if for no other reason than I can imagine the hero talking dirty in an Aussie accent. The heroine is also NOT a clumsy ingenue. She's a lawyer with a snarky sense of humour and a potty mouth. Again, immediate points from me for that.
I'm not sure if I liked it enough to pay for the next two installments; on the other hand I've paid for some pretty bad books recently so I can't really use that as a yardstick.
...just waiting for the world to get tired of really rich guys tying up their girlfriends so that they can spank them...
This was an Amazon freebie. Briefly, it's about a woman named Elena. She fell in love with Alec when she was 14 and they were together until he was ki...moreThis was an Amazon freebie. Briefly, it's about a woman named Elena. She fell in love with Alec when she was 14 and they were together until he was killed in a car accident 16 years later. She's wracked with guilt about the accident, and has struggled all her life feeling as though she didn't deserve the life she had. Complicating things are her feelings for her dead hubby's cousin. She's known him all her life as well, and they fight like cats in a sack. Whatever shall she do?
Here's what I liked:
It was FREE.
The heroine swore. So did her sister, so did the hero. Just like real folks, and what a refreshing change. The f-bomb got dropped in conversation (sister says, "Oh for fuck's sakes, Elena!") They sounded like real people, and I liked that quite a bit. They insulted each other, flirted, and everyone that needed to had great chemistry.
The scenes with Elena and P.J. were good, and the subplot with Elena's sister and the hot cabin owner next door was nicely done.
....and that's about it.
I'm not sure why the author felt the need to throw a whole PILE of extraneous filler into what were the bones of a good story. To create tension, maybe? Anyway, I didn't think it worked. By 2/3 thru I was ready to kick Elena in the ass. I have no patience with the "I'm not worthy" trope when drug on too long. No wonder her sister was saying, "Oh for fuck's sakes!"
The heroine was a spicy chica with a Dutch surname. Apparently this is supposed to explain the gleam in her eyes as a teen and her vivacious spirit. (Which was stomped into submission by her perfect boyfriend in his attempt to turn her into a Stepford wife.) We're then treated to a pointless info-dump about how her parents met, blah blah blah. It would have been more interesting if it was ever mentioned more than the once. Or tied in at ALL with Elena's personality. I might be wrong, but I don't believe one has to be latina to be "fiery".
Then, we are treated to flashbacks of her life with the perfect Alec, including over-the-top scenes with her husband's law partners' wives at various social functions over the years. This sets the stage for an unbelievable visit by the wives to Elena's cottage, where they trade insults with her sister and have unbelievable conversations about what they expect her life to be now that her husband is gone because it reflects on them. And then the partners themselves call her down to the office and accuse her of, um, being a not very nice person! Because she bought a cottage! And they want to know about her marriage, because Alec was so perfect. (I've known/worked for/with lawyers for more than 25 years, and lots of them are so self-absorbed they don't even care how their OWN marriages are doing, let alone a dead partner.)
What else? Oh, the phone call she gets from the police/prosecutor, explaining how the accident happened, how it was completely unavoidable, it wasn't her fault even though she tries to tell them it was. And by the way, even though you don't remember the accident well enough to notice that it WASN'T CAUSED BY YOU can you testify against the fellow driving the truck that hit you? Or maybe not because he might plead guilty, he's feeling pretty bad about the whole thing.
And then she tells her in-laws about the details of the accident, including (view spoiler)[that she told him she was leaving him RIGHT. BEFORE. THEY GOT HIT. so she wouldn't blame them if they thought she'd killed him, so they immediately call her husband's former law partners and they all decided to sue her for wrongful death. (hide spoiler)]
And then everyone reconsiders for no apparent reason, and then she (view spoiler)[ falls through the ice walking her new puppy on the lake and is in a coma for 2 weeks and has a nice talk with dead husband Alec, who reminds her that he wasn't perfect, and if he had it to do over again he wouldn't have married her, because now he can see that he was smothering her, blah blah blah, and then she miraculously wakes up and is free of guilt and can now tell the long-suffering hero that she does in fact love him too. (hide spoiler)]
(takes a deep breath) And THEN, she goes with the hero to her former in-law's house for a holiday supper and finally tells her in-laws that she's dating their nephew and gets everyone's blessing (because the news that Alec wasn't perfect is only news to HER) and everything is coming up roses and everyone lives happily ever after opening presents at Christmas.
Or something like that.
Boy, I think I didn't like this more than I thought.
2 stars for the basic story idea, which I liked. And the swearing and banter, because, well, because.
The latest "thing" in contemporary romance seems to be the rock star romance. Most of the time I leave these alone - as fairytale-ish as the story wou...moreThe latest "thing" in contemporary romance seems to be the rock star romance. Most of the time I leave these alone - as fairytale-ish as the story would seem, I think they are pretty hard to pull off without being cartoonish.
What drew me to this story was that the rock star in question was one the heroine had had a super-duper teenage crush on. She interviews him for Rolling Stone magazine 22 years later and they fall in love. Cool! That's a double-whammy fairytale if ever I heard one. So I downloaded the sample, got hooked on it (just as Amazon intended) and like a responsible Kindle owner bought the book.
First of all, I must tell you all -- IT'S CLEAN. Sigh. Yes, mostly fade to black, not nearly as steamy as my usual romance diet. Although the characters are believable and I liked them, I had a couple of issues. The story is sweet, perhaps a little too? and I wasn't feeling the angst the way I knew I should be. The author classifies this novel as "romantic women's fiction" and I suspect that explains the sweetness and lack of explicit detail in the love scenes. (She has also written a couple of shorter works for Ellora's Cave, and I'm thinking those ones might be more up my alley.)
I loved the premise of this book, and while it didn't quite deliver the goods for me, it was a pleasant read for a Sunday afternoon. I will definitely seek out more of Karen Booth's work. (less)
Another take on a popular storyline lately in contemporary: heroine in love with her co-worker/boss/best friend,...moreA quick, clean, cute, enjoyable read.
Another take on a popular storyline lately in contemporary: heroine in love with her co-worker/boss/best friend, she pines for him until she gets him then realizes he wasn't worth her time and attention. Of course, by then she's fallen in love with new coworker/boss/friend and we have to wait and see if she sees the error of her ways in time.
The story isn't new, but I always like to read these ones just to see how the author gets me from beginning to end. This one didn't disappoint, although I might not remember it a couple of months from now.
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 li...moreAnother 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...more(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 1...moreWell. 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.(less)
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...more
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 i...moreSPOILERS 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 yest...moreIt 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 sample...moreSomeone 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):