Favorite Quote: “Ugh. When had she become that woman?”
Taking A Shot is the third book in Jaci Burton’s hot and oh so steamy Play By Play series that revolves around the Riley family. Before I start this review, let’s take a minute to genuflect at the cover shall we? *happy sigh* Seriously, have you ever seen anything so beautifully lickable in your life? .
Jenna Riley has grown up in a family dominated by sports. She has lived, breathed, and now works in the field, since a child. Since her father’s heart attack, she has taken over the reins to the family sport’s bar, Riley’s, giving up on her own dreams and ambitions. This has resulted in her one and only non breakable rule. She doesn’t date sports figures. Ever. This attitude both intrigues and challenges Tyler (Ty) Anderson. A star pro-hockey player, he has been attracted to Jenna since the first time they met. Unsure as to why she dislikes him so much, Ty keeps coming to the bar and trying to temptJenna into taking a chance with him.
Taking A Shot has all the trademarks of being a Jaci Burton book. Hot male lead, sassy intelligent female, a plausible plot, and some heavy, heavy smexying everywhere in between. I enjoyed the way this story reveals itself to you. It starts out slow as Ty bids his time trying to find away to break through Jenna’s shell. Ty spends plenty of time on the seduction of Jenna. The sexual heat and playfulness in this book make it a fun read.. Ms. Burton has a way of writing intense scenes that are both sensual and raw.
I loved seeing the other Riley’s. Their gregarious nature is offset by the love they feel for one another. They have no boundaries and will be up in your business in a heartbeat, offering advice, encouragement, and the proverbial slap up side the head when needed. Ty fits in so well with the family which only serves to scare Jenna more. She feels pushed and that is a sticking point for Jenna.
As their relationship progresses, Jenna starts to see Ty is more than the stereotypical sports figure and finds herself at odds with the feelings he invokes in her. She tries hard to keep their relationship strictly sexual but Ty has a way of getting under her skin and soon she finds herself wanting more but unable to admit that to herself. We get to know more about Ty and Jenna and the reasons for their attitudes and actions.
Here is where I have problems. Jenna’s attitude bothered me throughout the entire book. She treats Ty like crap and plays games, though unwittingly, with him. When he’s around, she wants him to leave but then gets all sad when he’s not there. I found her reasons for not wanting to date with a sports figure weak and it didn’t reflect well on her. The same for her reasons for not having the courage to go after her dreams. She blames everyone else for her fear of success. Ty comes off more grounded and I enjoyed his easy laid back attitude. He’s a planner and it shows. At times he pushed when maybe he shouldn’t have but you learn quickly that Jenna needs the coercion in order to justify what she feels in giving in. I had to laugh at some of the things he did to make himself look better in her eyes.
Her and Ty’s relationship has its ups and downs and a tension heats up as the story’s main conflict comes into play. With any relationship, we all have the ability to hurt the ones we love the most and Ms. Burton doesn’t sugar coast or pull any punches in here. As we head towards the end, we wait on pins and needles with the rest of the Riley’s to see if the home team will win or lose this most important game. I liked that Jenna FINALLY shows some gumption and and realizes that she can achieve her dreams if she is willing to take the chance but it was too little to late for me.
Though I felt Taking A Shot was the weaker of the three plot and development wise, it is has plenty of romance, sexy men, hot steamy loving, and humor. Unfortunately, Jenna’s attitude brought this book down. I look forward to the fourth in the series, Playing To Win, which features the very sexy Cole Riley. Playing To Win is set to release September 4th, 2012.
3.5. A lovely somewhat dark rom com about a male prostitute who meets a young woman and falls in love, but has trouble getting out of the stable and a3.5. A lovely somewhat dark rom com about a male prostitute who meets a young woman and falls in love, but has trouble getting out of the stable and away from is pimp. Some minor issues but enjoyed overall....more
Favorite Quote: “Think she likes me? “Of course she does Liam. It’s the law isn’t it? Women must fall at your feet.”
When former bad boy heartthrob Liam Murphy walked into Cordelia (Posey) Osterhagen’s parent’s restaurant she had imagined a million scenarios…but never one involving her wearing an ill fitting German waitress outfit and her cheeks stuffed with potato dumplings. Posey has always loved Liam from the first moment she saw him ride up on his motorcycle, decked out in leather and wearing an attitude a miles wide. When he began to work at her parent’s restaurant, she thought she had died an gone to heaven, but Liam never noticed her beyond being his bosses daughter and unintentionally breaks Posey’s heart. Liam goes on to fall in love and marry the town’s golden girl and leaves town. Now years later, Liam is back with his fifteen year old daughter. His wife passed away a few years ago, and he wants Nicole to be raised in his hometown, close to her grandparents.
Liam is happy to be back in Bellsford. Though his high school reputation left a lot to be desired, he is all grown up now and just wants to raise his daughter in peace. The woman of the town all to well remember the former bad boy and stalk him like he’s the last chocolate chip cookie in the package. Except for one-Posey. Not sure if he should be relieved or put out; he enjoys the fact that Posey isn’t grabbing, pinching, or slipping phone numbers into wherever she can reach. As he and Posey run into one another more and more around town, he stops seeing the skinny sixteen year old from the past and begins to see the woman right in front of him.
When Liam is put into a precarious position with his in laws, he has to make a difficult decision that once again breaks Posey’s heart. Only this time, Posey’s got problems of her own and she may not be so forgiving this second time around.
Until There Was You is classic Higgins. A small town story of unrequited love and second chances. Eccentric characters, humorous dialogue, and crazy situations will have you sighing in frustration while trying not to laugh as the hero and heroine take the long road to finding redemption. I enjoyed the fact that we got not only the heroine’s POV but also the hero’s. It’s always amazing to watch (or read in this case) the same scene told by two different people. What Posey remembers is vastly different then what Liam remembers and it causes quite some confusion on both sides.
Posey is a genuinely nice person. A successful business woman who feels she is cursed because of her diminutive statue. She owns a salvage yard which I found fascinating. She doesn’t waste time on artifice or games when it comes to what she wants. Her self confidence level is low due to her high school years and lack of dates; causing her to be a bona fide people pleaser. There were quite a few scenes when I really wanted her to step up and make her feelings known rather then allowing herself to be a doormat to so many people. She is well loved but the smell of desperation clings to her as you watch and listen to her around Liam.
Liam was harder to connect with. Not because he was mean but because he’s a bit self centered. Though I understood his attitude; his wife’s sudden death from cancer left him reeling and it hits him in the form of panic attacks that if something happens to him, his daughter will be all alone. He focuses a lot of Nicole, and becomes hilariously over protective when his baby begins to assert some independence. There is a funny scene where he asks Posey to the movies and while she thinks it’s a date, she soon comes to realize that he has brought her along to spy on his daughter and her date.
The lights went down and Liam reached over for some popcorn. “Get your own, “ Posey said, leaning away. “Wow, that’s not nice.” “Well, neither is taking me to spy on your kid Liam!” “Look, …she’s fifteen years old. Bozo there is a senior. Do the math.” “What math?” “The sex math.” “Your an idiot.”
While he does apologize, you get the feeling that he really can’t understand why Posey might be upset with the situation. I say he’s self centered because a lot of his dialogue centers around his high school sexual escapades and his attraction to woman. He expects it. And we are inundated with plenty of scenes of woman hitting on him. It’s funny but sad in a away as he begins to understand the harm he caused by his carefree attitude regarding females in retrospect to how he would feel if some boy did that to his daughter.
Posey and Liam’s relationship is very slow to start. It’s a lot of crushing on Posey’s side and obliviousness on Liam’s. Liam begins to notice her more for the fact she is one of the few women who doesn’t throw themselves at him. There have some wonderful funny dialogue between them that will leave you chuckling. The time they spend together is sweet yet part of me wanted Posey to harden a little. You can feel her crush from her past intermingling with her feelings now. After I was finished with this, part of me was left wondering if Posey hadn’t known Liam from the past, would she have been so desperate for him now?
The secondary characters in here are wonderfully strange. A little over the top in characterization. Posey’s parents are overwhelmingly protective and treat her like a child. Her best friend Katie gave me the creeps with her odd relationship with her son. She was way too close with him, and Posey made me happy when she finally told her she had to ease off because the things she said and did weren’t normal. My favorite characters though were Posey’s brother Henry and his partner Jon. Funny and ever supportive-they always had her back. Ialso liked that fact that Liam’s wife wasn’t portrayed in a bad manner in order to smooth the way for him to start another relationship. She was nice woman who befriended Posey in high school and honestly loved Liam.
The ending wraps up faster then I thought it would using some clichéd metaphors to finally put Posey ahead of the game with Liam. I also was disappointed in her cousin’s storyline. So much effort was put into building up her issues, then they just fade away to nothing. All in all a nice, somewhat lightweight story that is sure to appeal to Higgins fans.
Favorite Quote: “One word. His last wish. His last hope for her. Grow. “
Reagan Thurman is all grown up now. It’s been 3 years since the first time we saw her; a bedraggled 15 year old looking for a place to call her own. Jeremiah Thurman adopted her-letting the world continue to think she was his niece and has pretty much gave her the farm. Reagan knows her uncle doesn’t have long to live and she wishes her best friend, Noah McAllen, was back in Harmony where he belongs. But Noah is riding the rodeo circuit and has no reason to return to Harmony; except for one. Reagan. He loves Reagan with all his heart but fear of failing her and himself keeps him traveling and away from her.
Tyler Wright has spent the last four years emailing and occasionally "dating" Major Kate Cummings. He loves Kate but doesn’t know how to tell her. When a young woman is found trespassing on his land, a series of circumstances puts Tyler in the role of her savior and suddenly he finds himself thinking less about Kate and more about his own happiness.
Ronelle Logan has spent her life hiding from her mother and the town. Working at the post office is her only way of being free from the constant demands of her mother, Dallas. Ronelle’s life changes when a special delivery requires her to to meet the town recluse, Marty Winslow.
Marty was a world class skier till an accident left him without the use of his legs. Ronelle is a true gift to him for she only sees the man before her. As Marty and Ronelle get to know one another, Ronelle is given the chance to emerge from her shell and begin the process of becoming the special person Marty sees before him.
Denver and Clare began their affair over a year ago. Clare’s ex husband severely hurt her and she has yet to give up the pain and begin healing. For this reason she demands Denver keep their relationship a secret and only meet on her terms. Denver waits for Clare to admit she loves him but she denies him even that. Denver is ready for more so when his bet friend Gabe tells him that everyone already knows about their affair, he decides that the time has come to stop chasing Clare and start let her decide once and for all if she’s willing to take a chance with him.
Jodi Thomas’s Harmony series is like receiving letters from home. Brimming with gossip, news of family, and well wishes; you find yourself waiting with anticipation for the next batch to arrive. A smoothly written romantic contemporary that goes beneath the facade of a small town and examines and reveals the love, laughter, pain, and heartbreak that resides within.
The Comforts Of Home is all about trust, change, and whether the people we have grown to care for have the courage to take what is being offered to them. There are four main story lines involved here with numerous subplots that intertwine and come together in the end. What I truly enjoy about this series is the sense of realism she injects into her characters and their situations. Ms. Thomas has such a gift for creating memorable and witty characters whose not so perfect lives enchant and beguile. She writes with such intimacy that we are instantly drawn back in to their lives as if we never left. These are folks you can find anywhere. They are your friends and loved ones. Ms. Thomas doesn’t answer all of ours or their questions in here. We aren’t promised happily ever after. She can’t because their lives aren’t over at the words, " The End, " they continue on past that page.
She gives voice to old and new characters in this story and each one plays an important role in the towns life and well being. Ms. Thomas gives a lot of background into her characters lives without overwhelming you. A strong character driven arc; it’s the steady and humorous dialog keeps you entertained and laughing throughout the book. I adored watching Gabe Leary try to deal with his wife Liz having twins. One particular scene between Gabe & Denver had me giggling.
“It turns out I don’t even have a voice on the breast-feeding question, and after my last suggestion on names, Liz and her mother both agree don’t get a vote on that either.”
“What did you suggest?”
“Well, after Thing-One and Thing-Two didn’t go over, I thought Thor and Loki. After that I was told to stop thinking period. Apparently my role in this whole thing is sperm donor and nothing else.”
Hints of suspense and mystery only strengthens the strong emotional connection of this series. Well written with a steady pace-this is the perfect book to lose yourself in on a quiet rainy day.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Ms. Thomas go in depth with Carol and Denver’s storyline. She does a great job of helping them overcome their obstacles. I really enjoyed Ronelle and Marty. Their story was especially bittersweet and has me eager for book four in this series. Even though this could be read as a stand alone, I recommend reading the first in the series, Welcome To Harmony. This is a continuation and is written as such. All in all a delightful contemporary romance that continues the Harmony saga and I cannot wait for the 4th book-Just Down The Road-set to release April 3, 2012.
Favorite Quote: “Your right, Sheriff, Noah’s got loose lips. It goes with his shifty eyes. “
Tinch Turner’s wife died after a long battle with cancer. Unable to handle her leaving him, he unconsciously begins a campaign to kill himself with alcohol and fighting. He meets the new ER doctor, Addison Spencer, when one particular bar fight leaves him lands him in the hospital. A beautiful woman who leaves Tinch cold with her brittle prickly personality. Addison has secrets of her own though. After spending her whole life trapped under her fathers thumb, she has come to hide in Harmony and try to discover who Addison Spencer really is. As Tinch and Addison circle around each other, each veterans to the pain human beings can inflict upon one another, they find themselves having to trust each other when a young child enters their lives and brings danger with him.
Regan Truman’s uncle is dying and that that leaves Regan feeling lost and abandoned. When Noah comes back to town with intentions of picking up where they left off, Regan realizes that she will forever love him but doesn’t really like who he has become. She begins to lean more upon the town and the people who have silently stood by her through thick and then, leaving Noah to face his own demons and wonder if his running cost him the only woman he ever loved.
Taylor Wright and his major have made a life together but Taylor wants the whole package and his major is dragging her feet. When the major is called away for one last mission, Taylor finds himself at a loss for this mission that may cost her life. As Taylor tries to contain his worries, Amber, his cook, brings a miracle into his life and soon Taylor finds the courage to seize his dreams with both hands.
In the 4th book of Jodi Thomas’s wonderful small town oriented series, Just Down The Road, we once again are submerged into the intricate relationships and the bonds that ties them together that make up the town of Harmony, Texas. Romance, friendship, and change all intertwine and revolve around one another as old and new friends try to live their lives in the best way they know how. Four main story lines unfold in here, each a study in the strength of the human heart and its capacity to love, learn, and forgive. While Regan still plays a dominate role in this heavy character driven series, other characters have wormed their way in to top spots and I find myself deeply vested in each and every one of them.
A heavy dose of mystery, suspense, and danger features more predominately in this installment then the previous ones, creating an addictive read that fills you with some strong emotions as you watch those you have come to love fight through the pitfalls of life. I love how human Ms. Thomas’s characters are. Not perfect or even pleasant at times, each one is a vibrant personality that takes command and dominates the scenes they are in. Each relationship is carefully cultivated and allowed to grow and bloom naturally. As with any garden, you may not see anything the first year, or maybe it will bloom hard and heavy only to die in the first frost. Either way, Ms. Thomas shows remarkable insight when she cultivates her garden and the results are a joy for all who are lucky enough to visit it.
Though I was disappointed that Ronnie’s and Marty’s story is still on hold, I enjoyed seeing she is still growing and breaking the bonds that her mother shackled her with. Bigg and his brother Bran are branching out and becoming more then the town ever envisioned for them. Bits and pieces of all the town residents make their way into the story, which rounds it out beautifully and leaves me satisfied yet still wanting book 5 now. Martha Q, one of my favorite characters in the book, is still around, butting into everyone’s business, and coming up with some pretty good advice every now and then.
“Next time you meet a girl, look into her eyes. Don’t walk away without knowing the color of her eyes, and don’t look down once you start talking to her. Second, if your lucky enough to have another female come on to you, you’ve got to spend at least five hours talking to her and listening to her before you touch her. That means no hand holding, or kissing. Five solid hours of talking and if she says one thing that bugs you, walk away. No, run. If she does anything that bothers you, run. I’ve got enough experience that it’s those little things people overlook the first hundred times will drive you crazy when you marry someone.”
I love this series and recommend it to everyone who wants a small town contemporary series with realistic characters whose romances, friendships, and lives will have you waiting anxiously for each new visit. Even though this could be read as a stand alone, I recommend reading the first in the series, Welcome To Harmony. This is a continuation and is written as such.
Favorite Quote: “I want to start each new year with a kiss and I want to spend each and everyday of each and every one of those years kissing the man I love.“
New York socialite Sloan McKinley is tired of her mother’s constant attempts to marry her off so when her best friend, Grier, calls her from Alaska, Sloan decides that a change of scenery is just what she needs. When Sloan arrives, she realizes the trouble Grier has been having with claiming her inheritance and the town’s animosity towards her. Sloan decides that the only way to gain the towns acceptance is to become part of it so she makes it known she is planning a series of articles about the town and its annual Bachelor Auction. The Bachelor Auction was set up by the town matriarchs in order to marry off their grandsons. It has turned into a popular event that brings women from all over the US. When Sloan meets Walker Montgomery for the first time, she begins to think her stay in Indigo just started looking up.
Walker Montgomery, a ruggedly sexy man whose grandmother is one of the reigning matriarchs, has avoided the Bachelor Auction for years. A lawyer who was born and raised in Indigo, he and his cousins have refused to have anything to do with their grandmothers’ matchmaking attempts and like it that way. Walker has no urge to get hitched; he doesn’t believe in true love or happily ever after. His parents relationship has him fearing anything beyond a physical relationship. Meeting Sloan though has him rethinking his single status in more ways than one.
Baby It’s Cold Outside is a light hearted humorous romantic contemporary by Addison Fox. Set in the frozen tundra of Indigo, Alaska, this small town uses a contest to help the men in the town find true love. Or at least a nice warm snuggle partner for the cold winters. Eccentric characters, humorous dialogue, and silly situations will have you laughing and growling as our hero and heroine try to each figure out exactly what they want out of life and each other. I enjoyed the fact that we get both the hero’s and the heroine’s point of view in here. It makes it so much easier when your able to see what each person is really thinking and feeling about the same situation.
Sloan McKinley is self assured, funny, warm hearted person that takes no crap from anyone. She comes to Alaska to help her best friend Grier who is going through a rough time. She comfortable in her own skin and it shows as she jumps into the fray and defends Grier to the town with skill and vigor. Having spent most of her adult life on the receiving end of her mother’s marriage manipulations, she has no urge to get caught up in the town’s Bachelor Auction but when she is dared, Sloan is able to turn it into a business venture for herself. What I really liked about Sloan is she isn’t into games or deception. She has a wonderful gift of being able to look past the artifice and see the person behind the persona they show.
Walker Montgomery is the town’s premiere bachelor. Many a woman has tried to tie him down but he’s slippery. Some of the town’s speculations on why he doesn’t want to be married are funny.
“Maybe Walker’s just trying to come out of the closet.”
Walker isn’t gay or against marriage but he hates having his personal life put on display; especially during the towns annual Bachelor Auction. He refuses to have anything to do with it much to his grandmother’s dismay. Walker has some issues stemming from his parent’s marriage that have the thoughts of “forever” leaving him cold. When Sloan arrives in Indigo, Walker feels like he’s been hit with a 2X4 and Walker does what any other red blooded male does…he panics. She is everything and nothing he wants and he knows that pursuing her is wrong but he can’t help the pull he feels towards her.
The chemistry these two generate would melt a glacier. Their hot sexual banter reinforces the delicious tension that rolls off the pages.
“I refuse to be influenced by my subjects.”
Walker leaned down to press his lips against her ear as he settled his hands on her waist. “I can’t promise I won’t try to influence you.”
Her voice fell from her lips in a hushed whisper. “I wouldn’t be a very good reporter if I allowed myself to lose my objectively.”
“You can remain as impartial during the completion as you like Ms. McKinley. Just so long as you don’t remain impartial about this.” With a tenderness that belied the crazy, raging need that gripped him, he pressed his mouth to hers and plundered.
These two dance, bicker, and play with each other through out the entire story; adding plenty of humor and steaminess. There is almost a role reversal with Sloan and Walker as she slowly learns to think more about what she wants and Walker learns to think more about what others want. There are multiple sub plots that branch out from the main storyline. We learn more about the other two grandsons and the woman who may or may not led them down the aisle. We also learn how the completion started and the main reason Walker is so against serious relationships. There are many hints towards various possible couples and look forward to reading more about them and seeing how it all works out.
I love the secondary characters we meet. Such an eclectic, eccentric group. From Chooch and Hooch to Bear and Skate-seems everyone has a nickname in this town. They are portrayed perfectly for small town residents. Nosy, gregarious, and truly caring about everything going on.
The contest is hilarious and I would have loved more in-depth descriptions on everything these woman have to do to get their “man”. My favorite character is Walker’s secretary Myrtle. We don’t hear much from her but what we do is hilarious. I also enjoyed meeting Avery and look forward to reading her story.
One thing that that bothered was Walker’s ways of dealing with his growing feelings for Sloan. He didn’t want to get involved with her but gets growly and jealous when other men come around her. So he initiates their interactions then pulls away and seems to blame her for the way he feels. He hurts and confuses her through out the book and I was ready to slap him by the end. He really pulls a whammy on her at the end and I thought she deserved much more grovelling.
His huge secret is also a bit of a let down. I can understand his hurt but his reactions over it were over the top.
Even with Walker’s mulishness, the story is still a treat to read. The ending comes at a nice pace; wrapping everything up nicely and giving us a sweet HEA and little epilogue. There is also a nice lead into the next in the series, Come Fly With Me, which is Grier’s story. Expected release in November 2, 2012. Readers who love lighthearted and romantic small town contemporaries will enjoy Addison Fox’s Baby It’s Cold Outside.
Talented wide receiver Cole Riley should have the world at his feet, but his antics on and off the field have made him a liability. His agent tells him to shape up or else he’s done. Image consultant Savannah Brooks has agreed to help Cole clean up his image but isn’t sure she can take the bad out of this aggressively sexy man. When the sparks start to fly, Savannah lays down a few rules; hands off. But even Sam can’t help but respond to the sexual appeal Cole has, especially when he turns that gorgeous gaze on her. When Cole decides that he wants Sam in his life and bed, can she resist or will she play to win?
First off, once again, let us discuss Jaci Burton’s cover models. ZOMG! I know I’m not the only one who is staring at the strings on those pants, hoping they will magically start to unravel. Le sigh.
Playing To Win was, to me, a deviation from her last four books. The harder edges are distinctly softer, the romantic “conflict” more emotionally based, and there is none of the heavy external conflicts that came in to play with the previous installments, making it a little less enjoyable for me. Of course, we still have Burton’s requisite smoking hot male lead, sassy intelligent female, a solid plot, and some heavy, heavy smexying everywhere in between. I enjoyed the way this story reveals itself to you. It starts out with a VERY sexy masturbation scene and just goes uphill from there.
Burton does a nice job of developing Savannah and Cole’s relationship while revealing them to us as individuals. Starting out as a business relationship, even with the intense sexual chemistry, Burton keeps a healthy balance between the romance and the main plot. Savannah draws out Cole’s personality; letting us and herself get to know the real Cole. She soon realizes that he is much more complicated than she gave him credit for and not at all as the media portrays him. Cole likes to keep his personal and business life separate but his aggressive personality works against him.
Even though this is told from Savannah’s point of view, I almost felt as though I got to know Cole’s character much better than Savannah’s. Savannah is a gorgeous, intelligent woman. She is also very private and that privacy is felt in the book. She, like Cole, likes to keep her personal and business life separate and I found it very interesting how she pushed Cole to reveal all his personal life to her yet struggled to do the same. She says and does all the right things but you notice right away that she is hiding something.
The sexual heat and playfulness in this book made it a fun, abet, HOT read. Ms. Burton has a way of writing intense scenes that are both sensual and raw and neither of her characters are shy about what they want. Thanks goodness.
When he slid his hand from her breast to her rib cage to her belly, she wasn’t out to object. In fact, she rolled onto her back and spread her legs, hoping he’d get the message. He lifted his lips and gazed down at her. “Something you want?” “Yes. Well, I have a list, actually.” His lips lifted in a devastatingly wicked half smile that made her clit quiver. “care to share that list with me?” “Your hand on my pussy would be a great start.” He glided his hand down, cupping her sex, using his fingers to rub over her sensitive flesh. she arched against him, reaching for his wrist to hold him where she needed him most. “Feel good?” he asked. She turned to look at him as he brought her right to the edge. “Yes.”
I love seeing old Riley’s and meeting new Riley’s. Their boisterous, nosy nature is offset by the love they feel for one another, though Liz continues to annoy me on a small level and I’m not sure why. They have no boundaries and will be up in your business in a heartbeat; offering advice, encouragement, and the proverbial slap upside the head when needed. Savannah LOVES the Riley’s and you sense that this family is what she wants and needs in her life.
As their relationship progresses, Savannah begins to fall for Cole and finds herself at odds with the feelings he invokes in her. She tries hard to keep their relationship strictly business but Cole pushes all her buttons and she finds herself wanting more but unable to admit that to herself. Here is where Savannah’s issues begin to surface. It’s all very low key though. Not her issues, but the reveal and resolution. As I stated earlier, this book is somewhat softer and more focused on the emotional issues of our hero and heroine. Savannah and Cole’s relationship has it’s ups and downs but Burton’s normally delicious tension wasn’t strong in here. I missed that. The main conflict and subplots are resolved easily and without much fanfare, and I felt like that was a weak point of the book.
I look forward to the fifth in the series, Thrown By A Curve, which revolves around Alicia Riley (Cole’s sister) and very HAWT, very bad tempered star pitcher-Garrett Scott.. Thrown By A Curve is set to release in March 5, 2013.
When my review partner Mandi tweeted me that I HAD to read this book, telling me I would love it, I jumped to it. Know what? She was right.
Bro magnetWhen my review partner Mandi tweeted me that I HAD to read this book, telling me I would love it, I jumped to it. Know what? She was right.
Bro magnet is a hilarious rom com from a man's POV. Johnny Smith is always the best man but never the groom. Every guy loves him and every woman thinks he's an a arse. it's not he's a terrible person, he's just adorably clueless. When he meets the woman of his dreams, Johnny grabs his friends and does everything possible to reinvent himself with unbelievably funny results.
Favorite Quote: ”I don’t think pancakes can make you scream like I do.“ “You’ve never seen me eat a pancake.”
Dakota Cassidy once again leads us through the pitfalls of divorce with plenty of charm, laughter, and snark as we get to know Melina Cherkasov, the third trophy wife in her hilarious Ex-Trophy Wives series. A character driven series, it’s the fast pacing and conversational style writing that enhances the appeal of this story. Ms. Cassidy dances up a potent samba of humor and seriousness with zany one liners, reality checks, and a cast of eccentric characters tossed in that will have you laughing away tears. What I truly enjoy about this series is that she deals realistically with a serious subject. Divorce is hard enough but it’s even harder when your tossed aside for someone younger and are left to pick up the pieces of your life. Ms. Cassidy doesn’t sugar coat the ups and downs of divorce for the sake of an HEA in here. It’s a messy, heartbreaking, unfair, and all that and more is presented clearly and without apology.
Melina was a ballroom dancing champion who married a much older dancing idol and retired from the spotlight to teach underprivileged kids to dance. After twenty years of marriage, she learns of her husband’s affair when she is accosted by tabloid reporters trying to enter her dance studio. Left with nothing but the clothes on her back and her little dog Weezer, Melinda goes into hiding at her father’s house. Wallowing in chocolate frosting is all fine and dandy, but soon Melinda is soon pulled dragging and screaming out her of her death by sugar spiral by Maxine Barker, ex trophy wife #1 and owner of the The Trophy Jobs Employment Agency. Armed with Maxine’s motivational pamphlets and a job interview, Melinda becomes the new dance instructor at Westmeyer, a private all boys school for geniuses. While boys will be boys in all things, Melinda sees something mighty interesting at the end of the tunnel in the form of handy man extraordinaire-Drew McPhee.
Drew McPhee, a divorcee himself, does handyman jobs around Westmeyer to help pay for his son’s tuition. A gorgeous self proclaimed Neanderthal, he equals dancing with sissies and resents his hard earned money being used to fund it. When he first meets Melinda at the retirement village, he has some preconceived notions about her previous lifestyle and personality. It’s only after he gets to know her he realizes what an assuming jerk he has been. He himself has some underlying issues to deal with from his own divorce and I like how Ms. Cassidy chooses to address both characters problems and help them find their way towards forgiveness and acceptance.
The chemistry between Drew and Melinda is HOT HOT HOT and is made hotter by their clever wicked dialogue. Lust and snark makes for some wild and steamy times as these two bicker and flirt their way into bed and each others hearts. Though their relationship starts out rocky (Drew and his assuming…) they progress at a reasonable pace which is helped out by Melinda’s attitude. She isn’t as emotionally broken as the other heroines from previous books. This is explained later in the book but it was nice that the usual over the top misconceptions weren’t made a main focus in this installment. I enjoyed watching Drew and Melinda get to know one another and one scene, Melinda’s blind date, sets the tone of their relationship and had me howling.
“One word from your mouth, McPhee, and I swear, this compact and you are going to mate for life. Got it?”
“Far be it from me to remind you how cold the waters of the dating pool can be.”
Mel clenched her teeth, rubbing her head. “Shut up.”
“Should have gone on a date with me. I would have at least left my mother at home.”
The secondary characters are all well fleshed out as they add delightful snarkiness and humor to the story. I love that we see Maxine, Frankie, and Jasmine in here; each in a better place and offering friendship and unwanted advice to Melinda in her time of need. I found it hilarious that she, like Frankie, finds Maxine’s little idioms to be just as nauseating but effective. Her entries into the divorce journal are both enlightening and snort worthy.
Dear Divorce Journal, Stupid. That’s what this divorce journal is. How do you like that, Maxie Barker. Oh and suck this, Princess.
Melinda’s dad Jake and Drew’s insane Aunt Myriam kept me in stitches while Drew’s son Nate was a breath of fresh air through out the story. Melinda doesn’t come unprepared herself though in the “peeps who got her back” department. She is lucky that she has two incredible BFFs all her own, Neil and Jackie.
The main conflict is resolved in a unique fashion as we learn that there are no real villains in this story. Fear is hard battle to fight and when the whole truth comes about both Melinda’s and Drew’s exes, they learn that they were all victims. Though I felt the resolution came a little too easy, I enjoyed the different path Ms. Cassidy took with this storyline.
Waltz With Me is another delightful installment in this series and I recommend it to everyone who loves an engaging romantic contemporary brimming with laughter, love, and a healthy dose of lust. I look forward to the fourth of this series, title to be announced.
While I adore Jill Shalvis, I did not adore this book. The hero and heroine annoyed me something fierce. The heroine fights her attraction to hero basWhile I adore Jill Shalvis, I did not adore this book. The hero and heroine annoyed me something fierce. The heroine fights her attraction to hero based on something that happened 15 years ago. She embarrassed herself and he didn't take what she was offering so she lays all her insecurities on him. The hero is extremely alpha and dominant. So much so that I wanted to slap him myself many times for some of the stunts he pulls. When he comes back into her life, he just bulldozes right over her, and while she has to problems with that (smexy times galore) she wants more and he can't make up him mind if he does or not. The back and forth was tiring. By the book's end, I was just glad it was over and no one died. ...more
Seventeen yr old Sadie has been in love with her bff Garrett for 2 years. She has survived numerous girlishness, pretentious movies, and his casual f Seventeen yr old Sadie has been in love with her bff Garrett for 2 years. She has survived numerous girlishness, pretentious movies, and his casual friendship with her; waiting for the day he really sees her and they get together. When he gets into a writing camp that she doesn't, she starts working at a coffee shop and realizes that it's time to get over Garrett and starts a 12 step Garrett detox program. A fast, funny, light hearted contemporary that looks at first loves, best friends, and how one girl reinvents herself only to find out she was perfect just the way she was....more
An enjoyable romantic m/m story about 2 long time lovers who suffer through some emotional growing pains when one of them survives a school shooting.An enjoyable romantic m/m story about 2 long time lovers who suffer through some emotional growing pains when one of them survives a school shooting. I enjoyed how Sean and Kyle's relationship is realistically portrayed and we are taken through the good and bad times. I would have loved more reunion time between them at the end but all in all a lovely story and couple....more
Crazy On You is a short story by Rachel Gibson. In here we return to Lovett, Texas and meet Lily Darlington. Lily is the sister to Daisy (Daisy’s Back In Town) and has finally got her life on track. Her cheating ex-husband is paying attention to their child, her spa business is making money, and no one has called her “crazy Lily” for a couple months now. When Tucker Matthews moves in next door, Lily sees the potential to go crazy again staring at her from the eyes of a six foot gorgeous muscle bound deputy. Lily vows she won’t go down that road again, no matter how delectably the packaging looks. But Tucker wants Lily. From the head of her blond hair to the tips of her painted toes. And Tucker thinks that maybe, just maybe, they can go crazy together.
I admit I was disappointed to see this was only a short story. I have always enjoyed Rachel Gibson’s romantic contemporaries. Her characters are eccentric, crazy, yet deal with some pretty serious issues. This story though just didn’t have the same zing as her others. The storyline is predictable and leaves nothing to the imagination. The romance felt rushed between Lily and Tucker. There was no build up in the chemistry-it was as if Ms. Gibson had to make them an item quickly in order to finalize the set up for the conflict between them. Tucker instantly decides he is in love with Lily and must have her without even getting to know her.
Neither couple is well fleshed out, though we know Lily better because she is introduced in Daisy’s Back In Town. We get a lot of lip service of their backgrounds and feelings but nothing is concrete as we just aren’t given enough time to really get to know them as individuals. Especially Tucker. The dialogue was stilted at times and certain scenes didn’t mesh well into the storyline. I did like the interjections with Lily’s mother and her son Pippen. They added some humor to an otherwise run of the mill story.
All in all, a easy lighthearted read, though not her best effort.
Favorite Quote: “ We’re saved. We shan’t have to eat either, that’s a relief. “
First off, I’d like to lodge a small complaint. Nothing in the write up indicated this was a reissue(first released in 2002). I don’t mind reissues but please, let the readers know this. I’d also like to add that I really feel Ms. Mansell’s writing has matured greatly since this was first published. Okay, I’m done.
Nadia Kindale is a twenty something landscaper who is relatively happy with her life. She is dating her childhood sweetheart and surrounded by her loving, abet, crazy family. When she is stranded in a snowstorm and is saved by the handsome Jay Tiernan, she‘s attracted to him but truly love her boyfriend and regretfully chooses not to pursue the attraction. When her boyfriend, Laurie, dumps her over dinner to pursue his career, Nadia bounces back rather quickly when Jay reappears and offers her a job. As Jay and Nadia get closer, Laurie reappears, sorry over his treatment of her, and asking for a second chance. As Nadia tries to decide between an old love or a new love, she is also dealing with the return of her absent mother, her crazy, selfish sister, and a mystery surrounding her grandmother that could put her in jail. Soon, Nadia realizes that she doesn’t know best.
Nadia Knows Best is classic chick lit. We have a nice heroine, an unsure hero, and a mix of crazy family members and friends to round out the story. A sweet, though predictable, light hearted romantic contemporary about love, loss, and choices. Ms. Mansell’s dry wit, comical romantic entanglements, and eccentric characters are back in force as we are once again transported to the other side of the pond and become entangled in the crazy escapades of these mad, mad Brits. The biggest draw of Ms. Mansell for me is her characters. She infuses a sense of realism into their personalities and situations; allowing you to connect intimately with them. They make bad decisions, say dumb things, and act inappropriately at times. Just like all of us. You’re never really sure what these people are going do or where they will end up till the end.
Nadia, our protagonist, has a snarky mouth, an infectious personality, and a dry sarcastic wit that engages quite frequently throughout the book. I like that she doesn’t hold back and has no problem saying what’s on her mind. She hasn’t had an easy life but takes it all one day at a time and enjoys each day as it comes.
Jay Tiernan was hard to get to know we don’t really get his POV. We only see what Nadia sees through their interactions. Jay has a lot going on himself and while his life seems to be a constant drama in the making, he seems like a genuinely nice person who likes Nadia and would like to get to know her better. They mesh well together and I found myself rooting for them, even knowing they would end up together. I’m not spoiling here. If you read Mansell, you know right off the bat the hero and heroine end up together. The story, or comedy of errors I like to call it, is merely the journey they take to get to their HEA.
There are actually five story lines here that intertwine and play off each other. Each one is given equal time which adds a sense of confusion to the overall plot. While I enjoyed getting an in-depth look into everyone’s lives, trying to keep up gets tiring and took away from our main couple. I found myself ready to stop halfway through as we are spending more time with everyone else’s lives while Nadia is caught in an endless loop of, “ Does she loves him, does she not?”
The secondary characters are both humorous and pathetic at times as they all scramble around trying to keep secrets in a family that prides itself on knowing each others business. I loved Nadia’s younger sister Tilly and her father James. They both put up with a lot as Nadia’s selfish mother and older sister proceed to make everything about them with no consideration for anyone else’s feelings. Nadia’s grandmother is quite a character whose own conflict was interesting until it jumped the reservation and I found myself wondering what just happened. The parrot is the best in the book and I want one just like him.
The ending wraps everything up okay though it takes a very long time to get there. All in all, Nadia Knows Best is a predictable example of a romantic contemporary that will entertain those who aren’t expecting much more.
Jack and Tony are a fabulous couple and I liked the emotional angst and realistic expectations that were placed on there relationship. Jack really comJack and Tony are a fabulous couple and I liked the emotional angst and realistic expectations that were placed on there relationship. Jack really comes off as an arse but as his story is revealed, you can sympathize with why he does some of the things he does. Tony was great in his support of Jack while staying true to himself. They both grow as a couple in here. I do wish some resolution would have come about concerning Jack's past. Maybe in the next one it will be addressed....more
Favorite Quote: “…that insane need to consume the other person. He didn’t know what it meant, but he held on to the feeling and put it back in the embFavorite Quote: “…that insane need to consume the other person. He didn’t know what it meant, but he held on to the feeling and put it back in the embrace.“
Police officer Samuel Briggs came to the small town of Stratton, PA in order to escape his painful past. All he wants is to fix up his house, work his shifts, and find some peace and quiet. He can’t handle another relationship, but finds himself tempted by the short order cook at the Dixie Cup diner.
Rey King lives to work. Cook, handyman, salesmen…Rey does it all. Relationships have no place in his busy schedule. Sam’s strength calls to him though and after a no strings attached night of sex, a cautious friendship forms. But Rey and Sam both have scars from the past that could destroy the fragile foundation they have formed unless they can be honest with one another. And themselves.
A.M. Arthur’s debut, Cost Of Repairs, is a emotionally heart tugging male/male romance about pain, loss, and forgiveness. Smoothly written with a viable plot and interesting sub plots that intertwine and pull together to give us a poignant realistic story. Engaging characters and descriptions add to the overall “small town” appeal that the story’s foundation is built upon.
Our protagonists, Sam and Rey, are tortured individuals. Both have suffered a devastating loss that has crippled them emotionally and chained them in their pasts. Officer Sam Briggs left New Mexico after his boyfriend was the victim of a fatal hate crime. When he finds himself unable to go forward, he leaves his family and friends and moves to Stratton, PA with only his possessions and a devastated heart. Rey (Reign) King is a short order cook who is continuously paying for crime he didn’t commit. He finds himself teetering on the brink of ruin each and every day; buried on obligations he feels committed to carrying.
The author does a wonderful job of introducing Sam and Rey in the present, then revealing their individual pasts slowly to coincide with events happening now. Their layers are peeled back, allowing us to understand where they came from and where they are at now. Sam’s an instinctive protector. He feels the need to help Rey in the beginning and offers him friendship and an ear. As their relationship progresses, he realizes that Rey has become more than just a friend; he has become very important to him. The relationship is taken slowly with plenty of emotional and physical tension. These two men are not easy and it stands to reason that their romance would not be either. They are both scared of loss and are reluctant to allow someone into a position that could hurt them again.
The sexual side of the relationship is sweet and emotionally sticky. In it we are offered even more insight into Sam and Rey. I really liked that their relationship isn’t made a sticky point with the town or the residents. While neither is shouting their sexual nature from the rooftops, they also aren’t hiding it.
The main conflict and subsequent conflicts are used to facilitate Sam and Rey’s relationship. Each problem mirrors a past issue that Sam and Rey are dealing with. The solutions are used to help heal the past. With these problems comes the introductions of the secondary characters who play equally important roles. The staff of the Dixie Cup who love both Rey and Sam to Sam’s buddies on the police force. I loved the easy familiarity of the diner and the support Sam and Rey receive when problems present themselves.
The ending is the dramatic final straw that breaks Sam and Rey and forces them to confront their deepest fears. I admit I didn’t see this particular situation coming but it’s played out with delicious hyper tense awareness that has you wide eyed with shock.
I thoroughly enjoyed A.M. Arthur’s debut romance and look forward to reading more.
An MM romance with werewolves? Count me in! Fellow book reviewer, Jen from Red Hot Books, tweeted me and let me know this was a book I needed to read.An MM romance with werewolves? Count me in! Fellow book reviewer, Jen from Red Hot Books, tweeted me and let me know this was a book I needed to read.
Dylan Webster seems to have it all. A great job and a wonderful family. The only problem? He's a werewolf. Changed against his well by an ex boyfriend, Dylan lives in fear that one day he's going to hurt or kill someone. That fear drives him to purchase a handy man's special out in the country. Plenty of acreage for his wolf to hunt seems a small price to pay for abandoning the city. That is until Dylan meets Chris. Chris, the sexy boy next door, is both thrilled and dismayed to find Dylan as his neighbor. Having been abandoned by his own family, Chris has learned the hard way that no one ever stays. As Dylan and Chris slowly go from friends to lovers, both will have to learn to trust one another if they ever want to make this work.
Good Bones is a delightfully sexy and emotionally fulfilling MM romance. Well written with well plumbed characters and a engaging story line. Heavily character driven, Dylan may be the main character but Chris steals the show. His insecurities steal your heart as you watch him try to understand why Dylan is attracted to him. Add the fact that he knows Dylan is hiding something from him makes for some emotionally impacting scenes.
I enjoyed the slow build up of their relationship. Ms. Fielding allows them to become friends and work through issues on both sides before facilitating a romantic connection. Hot sexual tension makes for wonderful smexy times as Dylan and Chris don't have a single problem relating to each other in bed.
The secondary characters round out the story perfectly. From Dylan's lovable and nosy brother and sister in law to the villainous ex boyfriend, they keep the story clipping along at a steady pace. The ending is dramatic and heartfelt as the conflict is addressed and handled in a impacting fashion. Everything resolves itself nicely and our heroes get their much deserved HEA.
Barefoot In The Sand is a cute beach read. Small town dramatics revolve around a secretive architect and an older, single mom who wants to buy her a rBarefoot In The Sand is a cute beach read. Small town dramatics revolve around a secretive architect and an older, single mom who wants to buy her a resort after a hurricane levels her home. Thrown in an ex boyfriend who decides he's ready to be a family after 14 years, and 3 best friends who are hiding their own secrets, and you have a fun fast read.
I loved the characters in this story but I did feel some of the drama was over the top and dragged the story out. I was also confused about the addition of the ex boyfriend. Our heroine didn't want him and made no bones about that so he was more an annoyance then anything else. ...more