Before you get started, you will need to be prepared. I advise the following. A glass of wine, a cold shower and a man on stand-by.
Sex. Sex, sex, sex. Sex.
Ok, now that I got that out of my system... Where should I start?
I have to admit, I wasn't crazy about the idea of Elizabeth being the heroine in this book. I hated her in The Perfect Play and I would have been okay with never seeing her in another book again. So, while I was excited about Jaci Burton's next book in the Play by Play series, I was skeptical about Elizabeth.
Well, from the very first chapter, I got a completely different impression of her. She seemed truly remorseful for what she did to Mick and Tara. Her shields dropped for brief moments and her hard exterior began to chip away. Through the course of the novel, the reader sees Elizabeth transform from a cold, calculating business woman to a caring, compassionate and emotional lover. But despite her allowing Gavin to reveal the most intimate and personal side of her, she still has reservations about her relationship with Gavin.
Of course, Gavin made his brief debut in the first book and I knew instantly that I was going to love him. I'm a baseball fan by nature and I was so excited to see a smoking hot baseball player as the hero in a steamy romance novel, especially since Hunter Pence came to the Phillies. But I digress. Gavin is smoking hot, passionate and insatiable. He knows what he wants and what he wants is Liz. And despite her facade, he can tell that she wants him, too. Once he gets her where he wants her, it doesn't take long to move things along.
Keeping her feelings bottled up creates more problems for Liz than she expects. Gavin's brother is still pissed at her and is convinced that she's out to do the same thing to Gavin. His constant badgering is leaving Gavin with doubts and without her honesty about her feelings, Liz doesn't give him much to contradict Mick.
This book starts out as hot as the last one left off, but Jaci Burton manages to weave a story full of emotion and drama throughout. The characters leap off the pages and come to life as they struggle with the same issues many people have first hand experience with. The passion between Gavin and Liz ignite this story and made me fall in love with both of them. Even after the climax (of the STORY!!!), when all of the issues came out and everything was laid out, I couldn't be mad at the characters. It was well written and I just had to keep rooting for them.(less)
I have to admit, the cover did me in on this one. It's been on my TBR pile for a while now and I just haven't had a chance to get out to...moreWow. Um, wow.
I have to admit, the cover did me in on this one. It's been on my TBR pile for a while now and I just haven't had a chance to get out to pick up a copy. And there was no way I was sacrificing a cover like that for the sake of my Kindle. No, this was one that I needed on my shelf. And it will stay there.
The story doesn't disappoint. At all. After meeting Tara at an even she organized, Mick knows that he needs to get to know her. She's not the super-models celebrity poaching women he's used to. She's a real woman with a real life. She's down to earth and naturally sexy. Everything about her intrigues him and despite her initially rejecting him, he still pursues her.
Tara is a single mom and small business owner. She's been on her own nearly her entire life and she's made it this far without a man. But when she meets Mick, she quickly realizes that he's the real-life version of every woman's fantasy, including hers. Sexy, strong, successful. He's compassionate and cares about kids, and when he sets his sights on something he wants, he doesn't give up.
This is an intense, emotional and erotic romance that is sure to leave any reader breathless. The passion between Mick and Tara sizzles and the story is real and relatable. Despite Mick's celebrity status, Jaci Burton writes him in a way that makes him tangible, bringing the fantasy of snagging a professional sports star a little closer to reality for her readers. But it's not all fun and football games. The story is full of real-life issues, including teenage drama, alcoholism and emotional neglect. For me, that just made this story more relatable and enjoyable.
I had mixed feelings about this book. I really liked the story and the characters but they made me so mad sometimes.
Tessa was a strong, independent ch...moreI had mixed feelings about this book. I really liked the story and the characters but they made me so mad sometimes.
Tessa was a strong, independent character, hell-bent on keeping her family together. I liked that she put her family first but there were sometimes I just wanted to smack her because of the way she was trying to go about it. She is outgoing, smart and headstrong. She always goes after what she wants, in business and in her personal life. Despite her brothers' attempts to derail her romance with Luke, she lets Luke know exactly what she wants and isn't afraid of putting it all out on the table. She takes the same approach with her business, making her voice heard and not backing down when things get rough. I like that she is a "grab the bull by the horns" kind of girl.
I wasn't really sure about Luke. He was a deep character with flaws and internal struggles. He wasn't an alpha, which is normally my favorite type of guy, but I still liked him. His issues with his partner as well as with his ex made him real. His struggles are straight out of real life and it helped me connect with him on a personal level. However, sometimes I wished he was more take-charge. There were times that he almost seemed to back down and I don't usually like that in the male characters.
The conflict was simple enough. A break-in, an investigation and a business deal in turmoil. And I really don't think that part of the story was anything extraordinary. There was a lot of focus on the business deal, but even that seemed to center mostly around the characters as opposed to the business. Overall, I think this book was more about the characters and their relationships, which is fine, except that I felt like the author could have taken this story to the next level if she had put a little more into the different conflicts.
The secondary characters made me just as crazy as the main characters, which is probably a good thing, since there are more books coming. The fact that they stand out in my mind after finishing this book is a pretty good sign that I will be picking up the next one.
The fantasy of a male strip club is what might happen if you were alone with one of the men. But what if you actually found yourself in that situation...moreThe fantasy of a male strip club is what might happen if you were alone with one of the men. But what if you actually found yourself in that situation? Me, I'd probably blush and run out the door. But Elyse Mady doesn't disappoint her readers when she brings this fantasy out in Learning Curves. Leanne takes the opportunity and runs with it when Brandon corners her in the dressing room after his performance. What better way to start off a novel than with a steamy hot sex scene between a delicious male dancer and an unassuming doctoral student?
I liked the characters, Leanne and Brandon. Leanne was highly intelligent but the author writes her in a way that she is relatable to most women. She has all the insecurities, stresses and ambitions that many people have. She has specific goals and works diligently to attain them.
When Brandon isn't dancing, he seems like an average guy, although very good looking. He's a college student as well, with his own goals and dreams. He comes from a tough background and it only fuels his drive to achieve more in his life. He's passionate, caring and down to earth. I liked that he hit it off with Leanne's father because every girl knows, Daddy is important!
The story line was good, although the focus on Leanne's doctoral canidacy did leave me scratching my head at times. Maybe it was a little too detailed for me to understand, but I guess if you're familliar with that kind of process, it would make the story more believable. I also liked the relationship building between Leanne and Brandon, the feud between Leanne and Gillian, the fondness between Leanne and her father and the tension between Leanne and her mother. All of these elements aided in plot development and moved the story along without slowing down the reading process. The only thing that bothered me was all the doubt and excuses that Leanne and Brandon made about why they couldn't be togeter. Especially Leanne. Through the story, it seemed as though she was embarrassed by (or thought her reputation could be tainted by) the fact that Brandon was a dancer. But, the author does address that issue by the end of the book and was relevant for the development of the final few scenes, so while it was frustrating to read, by the end I was ok with it.
I have to admit, I was hesitant to start this one. First, it was a freebie on Amazon. Usually I don't shy away from a book based on that alone, but the title made me feel like it was more historical, which isn't really my thing. When I finally picked it up, though, I was pleasantly surprised.
I really liked Samson and the fact that he seemed to possess many human characteristics made him much more relatable. Sometimes male characters (especially vampires) are written so "perfectly" that it's hard to imagine them being real. The fact that Samson struggles with real issues (trust, candor and his, um, equipment malfunction) makes him more likable and believable. I also love the way he seems to pine over Delilah. His lust is instant but it doesn't seem to be enough for him.
Delilah was an interesting character, different from most heroines found in your typical vampire romance. Sure, she's swooning over Samson right away, and she's in danger from which Samson must protect her. But she's not a pushover and when things get dicey in their relationship, she pushes back. She stands her ground and doesn't back down. I also enjoyed the refreshing change of pace in the way that the author writes Delilah's reaction to Samson's true identity.
The story is solid, with more to the plot than just Delilah and Samson. There is plenty going on to keep readers interested, including fraud, scheming, manipulation, betrayal and pain. The characters are multi-dimensional and so is the story. (less)
I'm a big fan of chick-lit that centers around a group of friends. Something about filling the Sex and the City sized void in my life. And for the most part, this book got the job done. It had all the crucial elements: witty dialogue, devoted friends, sexy encounters and a Mexican vacation. For the most part, I enjoyed this book. The only thing that bothered be was each woman's initial negative attitude towards men.
I'm all for a story about women having hang ups due to their past relationships. It's the past that makes us who we are. But to throw three women, each with their own issues, into one book... well, it seemed to create one long man-hating rant from three different perspectives. Their attitudes (well two of them) were cranky, miserable and stuck up.
However... When you think about it, that's how Carrie and the girls were, too. They all had man issues and most of the time were kind of bitchy about it. It's what kept me watching the show, and it's what kept me reading this book. I probably wouldn't have kept reading if the women were pushovers, whiny or self-loathing. For the women of this story to stand up and take charge of what they want took self confidence and guts. I like strong characters like that. I guess my point is, bitchy and cranky isn't always a bad thing in a book (or show or movie, for that matter). As long as it's done in a way that moves things along.
Of course, the friendship element was a crucial part of this story. The women are very close, which I love, and they confide in each other about everything. As the story moves along, there are trial points in their friendships, but nothing catastrophic. It's just enough to add tension and drama to the plot without derailing the whole story. And when a life-threatening event lands one friend in the hospital, it brings the women together, along with the realization that sometimes it's best to let the past stay in the past. (less)
This book started out with promise. I like that the author addressed the "taboo" of romance writers and their struggle to be taken seriously within the writing community. I also like that what started out as instruction soon turned into passion. I mean, who hasn't had that fantasy?
The problem I had was that while the sparks between the characters certainly fly, the chemistry between them was lacking. There was no denying that they lusted after each other and the author writes some amazing, steamy scenes. I just couldn't really imagine their relationship moving past the sex.(less)
What a fun novella this turned out to be. The story has been told before, but I honestly never get tired of it. Calista Fox did an excellent job, writing characters that were fun and relatable. She took a new spin on it, though, creating a history between Fiona and Michael. It made the chemistry between them much more believable.
The fact that Fiona has been emotionally scarred makes it difficult for her to trust again, but with some gentle nudging from Michael, her walls start to break down. I love their conversations. They are close friends as well as lovers and when Michael starts to talk to her about her past, she opens up to him, making me feel like they have a deeper connection than just sexual.
Oh, and who can resist the slap in the face it was when Fiona showed up at that engagement party looking smoking hot with a delicious man on her arm. I could almost hear women everywhere cheering for Fiona as she made her presence (and eventually her opinion) known. I think that's why I still love this story, regardless of how many times it's been told. Who can resist a good come back story?(less)