This is how you write about drug addicts and love triangles. And cunthounds. The most irrepressible cunthound there ever was!
Seriously though, I thinThis is how you write about drug addicts and love triangles. And cunthounds. The most irrepressible cunthound there ever was!
Seriously though, I think this is one of the best love triangles I've ever read in that there's never really a question about who is going to end up with whom, but the dynamic between all three people is so fantastic. The lingering physical attraction and familiarity between ex-lovers is so well depicted. Mostly though, I love all the characters involved. Halfway through, I noted that I loved where Terrible/Chess/Lex were and where they seemed to be going but then Stacia Kane went and pulled up ALL the stakes and raised them even higher. I'm almost afraid to read the next book!
I can't wait to read the next book. Terrible is a hell of a drug. ...more
On Sunday, The Readventurer challenged us to read a book (or three) as part of their She Made Me Do It feature. Now, you know how I feel about a challOn Sunday, The Readventurer challenged us to read a book (or three) as part of their She Made Me Do It feature. Now, you know how I feel about a challenge. If you don't, here's a video that sums it up:
Basically, it's on like Donkey Kong. So yup, by later Sunday, I was done with one of the books of the CHALLENGE. Flannery picked a Nora Roberts book for me because whenever she would talk about Nora Roberts as one of her favorite romance authors, my reaction, never having read one of her books, would be, "Her?"
However, with The MacGregor Grooms, Flann promised a wily, matchmaking grandpa and a JFK Jr. There's exactly ONE thing I have in common with Taylor Swift and it's our fascination with the Kennedys -- although mine is more toward those who've actually graduated from high school. Needless to say, I was hooked on this book from the beginning.
Daniel, the grizzled patriarch of the MacGregor clan, is adorrrrrable. I read this after the VP debate so I pictured him as a lovable Joe Biden type. He's devoted to his family and determined to set up his single grandsons. There's D.C. the artist, Duncan the Steve Wynn of riverboats, and Ian the lawyer. The book is divided into 3 parts, with a diary entry by Daniel introducing each part and grandson. The short story format was a great introduction to Roberts' writing style and the characters in this series.
As a whole, I liked the characters and stories. I liked D.C.'s storyline the most, and I would've probably reacted to his father, the former president, the same way Layna did. I was a bit bored by Duncan's storyline and skimmed it until Daniel came for a visit, but it was short enough to keep my attention. Ian, aka the original Harvard Hottie, built a library in his house. Need I say more? What I really liked was the family dynamic. I loved how close-knit they were and how they indulged Grandpa's meddling, even as he blamed poor ol' Grandma for it. I loved that the boys always answered calls from Grandpa with a grin, even when they knew they were the targets of his machinations.
Verdict: Old people can be so sweet!
Daniel is such a memorable, lovable character. I'm reading The MacGregor Brides next for more of his antics. Great rec, Flann! Now that I've read one of your books, I have one thing to say to you and Catie:
This is one of the most enjoyable romances I've read. It was funny, it was modern,This is our inaugural Rory Curtain Review at Young Adult Anonymous.
This is one of the most enjoyable romances I've read. It was funny, it was modern, and MOTHER OF GOD, it was HAWT. Navy SEAL Vince Haven is so hot, I ended up pumping my bestie, who was in the Navy until he was kicked out for being gay (fuckery), over dinner for info on just how swoon-worthy he should be. I am nothing if not thorough!
Me: Are Navy SEALs that hot? Him: Oh yeah. Me: Okay, how hot? Are they hotter than regular Navy guys? Him: Hell yes. They look like elite athletes. Me: There's a scene in the book where Vince picks up a sledgehammer with one hand and just tosses it aside. Real or not real? Him: Real. Me: Can you tell a Navy SEAL from regular Navy guys? Him: Mags, I don't think you're understanding the ELITE ATHLETE part. For example, in the Navy, we did an exercise where we had to carry 40 pound weights in each hand and then stand on our tiptoes. Navy SEALs have to do that AND jump over a bench. Me:drops fork Server:drops mouth Me: So... where do these SEALs hang out?
I had to ask. For the purposes of this review!
Sadie Hollowell is 3 things a woman from Lovett, Texas shouldn't be: 33 years old, single, and flat haired. She left Lovett at 18 and created a nice life for herself selling real estate in Phoenix. A younger cousin's wedding pulls her back to Texas.
Vince Haven is a 36 year old ex-SEAL who left the service after an incident in Afghanistan blew out 60% of his hearing in one ear. Since then, he's invested in businesses while traveling and taking care of his sister and nephew.
Sadie sees Vince stranded on the side of the road into Lovett and ends up reluctantly offering to help -- but not before demanding to see his license and calling his info into her assistant. You know, in case he ends up being a "homicidal maniac, or worse. A Democrat." Even my true blue heart giggled at this because Rachel Gibson sets the light tone early. There's a ton of banter between Sadie and Vince and Sadie and the colorful townspeople. Sadie and Vince find themselves thrown together, yada yada yada, and Vince ends up saying "Hooyah!" during sexytimes. I, along with Sadie, died laughing. There are more sexytimes, more laughs, and some emotional scenes.
One thing that really stood out about this book was how young and modern it felt. There's a Rachel Zoe reference! I usually loathe all reality shows, but I was literally* addicted to the first season of The Rachel Zoe Project. There's also a character named Becca Ramsey, who I choose to believe was a nod to the Baby-Sitters Club character.**
I also liked that Rescue Me was significantly shorter than my usual romance books. It was a fun, quick read.
I swear, Susan Elizabeth Phillips has sacrificed more virgins than the Aztecs.
Usually (by usually, I mean the 8 books I just inhaled), she wins me oveI swear, Susan Elizabeth Phillips has sacrificed more virgins than the Aztecs.
Usually (by usually, I mean the 8 books I just inhaled), she wins me over with her banter and zaniness, but Glitter Baby was unappealing from beginning to end. I spent the first half of the book uncomfortable with the various plotlines and loathsome characters, and by the time the first "love" scene rolled around, I was mentally grabbing a habit and ruler and yelling, "STOP RIGHT NOW!"
In romance books, you know which characters are *breathy sigh* MFEO (made for each other -- shoutout to Sleepless in Seattle). I can forgive a lot of plot ridiculousness as long as there's fun and chemistry along the way. And okay, some smut. However, there was too little fun and too much fuckedupness in this one. Belinda would win the Dina Lohan Parent/Pimp of the Year Award. Alexi would get the Woody Allen Parent/Perv one. By the time you get to Fleur, the main character, you're so disgusted by everyone else that it's hard to care. Then there's Jake, the tall, handsome, basketball playing movie star/playwright. When alllllllll that (and basketball!) doesn't immediately win ME over, you know there's a problem. I wasn't cheering for the couple to get together even though I liked them individually. There's enough to the story to keep you reading, and I think Fleur developed into a strong character, but it wasn't enough for me to like the story overall.
Another problem I had was that this book is part of the Wynette, Texas series and yet there's no mention of Wynette or Texas. After Book 2, Lady Be Good, I was really hoping to hear more about the townspeople and check in on Kenny and Emma, but there's nothing. Fleur and Jake make cameos in Book 6, Call Me Irresistible, but Glitter Baby (Book 3) doesn't have anything to do with Wynette. I wonder if the book was meant to be a standalone but then later marketed as part of Wynette because of Call Me Irresistible.
I'm glad this wasn't my first or second SEP because it probably would've made me stop reading her books altogether. Of course, then I would've slept way more this past week, but I do really enjoy her other books, especially the Chicago Stars series. Read those or skip this one and go straight to Call Me Irresistible. ...more
I love how I just finished books with male leads named Dallie and Panda (yes, PANDA!), and yet Kenny was the one I had the hardest time wrapping my brI love how I just finished books with male leads named Dallie and Panda (yes, PANDA!), and yet Kenny was the one I had the hardest time wrapping my brain around. I kept calling him Nicky. (Why? Who knows where thoughts come from. They just appear. -Lucas, Empire Records) I liked this one even more than Fancy Pants. There was great chemistry and dialogue between Emma and Nicky Kenny, and the requires-suspension-of-belief plotline actually worked in this zany story. I cracked up at the low-speed car chase. You also see more of Wynette in this one. I read #6 in this series, Call Me Irresistible first, and there's a tiny detail about Ted Beaudine in this story that will make readers of #6 smile. Something I love about Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books is that she creates these gorgeous manly men and then plops books in their hands (swoon!) or has them defend the gay guy without it threatening their masculinity (double swoon! double rainbow?). The female leads tend to be a little too virginal or sexually repressed or have baby fever, but they're likable and feisty and smart. SEP (yes, I call her SEP now) writes great friendships between women, but I love that she also writes great male-female friendships. In this book, Kenny's best friend was his sister Torie. This was such a fun book and a perfect pool read.
Random: I noticed while reading this book that I give male Texan characters the voices of either Eric Taylor or Tim Riggins in my head. ...more
This book is so over the top and ridiculous, with references to Eva Peron and Aristotle Onassis and Scarlett O'Hara... and I thoroughly enjoyed it. ThThis book is so over the top and ridiculous, with references to Eva Peron and Aristotle Onassis and Scarlett O'Hara... and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were some cringeworthy moments (racial slurs, nice to see you again), some corny moments (see: O'Hara, Scarlett), and yet, I couldn't put it down. I'm also completely inured to the birth secret plotline from watching Korean dramas, so I didn't have any WTF outrage. I've also totally fallen down the Susan Elizabeth Phillips rabbit hole (3rd book in 2 days), so there's that. I liked seeing Ted from Call Me Irresistible as a boy in this one. Bottom line: The book is kind of dated so it might not be for more contemporary fans, but if you grew up on soaps or 80s ridiculousness like Dynasty and Designing Women, you may like this one. NO NUKES!...more
If you ever wanted to know if a guy named Panda could be smexy (smoldering + sexy, not smelly + sexy), Susan Elizabeth Phillips definitively answers tIf you ever wanted to know if a guy named Panda could be smexy (smoldering + sexy, not smelly + sexy), Susan Elizabeth Phillips definitively answers that question. Hot damn. And yes, this is the second Wynette, Texas book I've finished in less than 24 hours....more
I swear, I spend as much time reading Shannon Stacey's books as I do searching tumblr for the perfect mental cast. She writes strong, career-orientedI swear, I spend as much time reading Shannon Stacey's books as I do searching tumblr for the perfect mental cast. She writes strong, career-oriented women and sexy, well-mannered men who love and support them. What's not to love?
Cameron Mayfield is a guy who gave up his fast-paced, stressful career as a lawyer to live at his family's cabin working odd jobs to pay the bills. Anna Frazier is his new old neighbor, someone who used to visit her family's cabin next door to his until she was 10, who is now back after having been downsized from her fast-paced, stressful job in finance. The difference is that she wants to get back to the corporate world, even though it was giving her an ulcer. There are a ton of steamy scenes packed into this short story as Cam and Anna fall for each other -- and find out one is a Red Sox fan and the other is a Yankees fan. The horror. I lived down the street from Fenway Park for 4 years and it was Capulets vs Montagues with shittier accents whenever the Yankees came into town. My favorite was the little old lady in the shirt with "Yankees suck" on the front and "Jeter swallows" on the back. The rivalry though adds to Anna and Cam's banter and foreplay.
For this short and sweet novella, I needed someone believable as both a lawyer and a lumberjack. For Cam, the sexy guy next door who knows how to use his hands ifyouknowwhatimean, I chose Tyler Hoechlin.
Mmm hmm! Speaking of hands, there's one scene where Cam holds out his hand to help Anna down that was very Matthew-Macfadyen-as-Darcy-esque. Well, if Darcy had a hard-on.
Slow Summer Kisses was cute, as all Shannon Stacey's books/novellas are. This was my favorite novella of hers and makes me even more excited for her next Kowalski book.
Pre-read: The Spurs are down 2-3 in a best of seven series. I'm allowing myself one two drinks and this book. ...more
As you may have noticed, I've been mainlining Susan Elizabeth Phillips like some crazed smut fiend all summer. Ironically, I started them to fill theAs you may have noticed, I've been mainlining Susan Elizabeth Phillips like some crazed smut fiend all summer. Ironically, I started them to fill the time before the next Shannon Stacey book came out. I LOVED the first 3 Kowalski books (Kevin Kowalski, you had me at hello). When I found out Mitch's book was coming out, I preordered it and and even took a nap (a nap!) yesterday so I'd be nice and rested when the book apparated on my Kindle around midnight.
Like the other Kowalski boys, Mitch Kowalski is tall, dark, and FOINE. He's a demolition expert, aka manly man who blows shit up for a living. He travels all over the country for his work and hasn't been back to his tiny hometown in 3 years. Paige Sullivan moved into town 2 years ago, bought the diner, and turned it into a staple in the community. She's been celibate during that time so she could focus on her business and not turn into her man-obsessed mother. Mitch meets Paige, sparks fly, and he's determined to end her celibacy for the brief time he's in town.
So. A few things.
One. Something called a fried bologna sandwich plays a role. Just when I think something that disgusting can't exist in real life, they add mayo to it. MAYO! Mayonnaise is so gross that I'll say "NO MAYO" to things just in case. Spaghetti bolognese please, NO MAYO. I'm not saying it's evil or anything, but I truly believe if mayonnaise didn't exist neither would weapons of mass destruction. So yeah, making me vomit is definitely one of my Oh-No-Nos when reading a romance.
Two. Paige goes from brunette in Chapter 1 (and I'm assuming 2-3) to blonde in Chapter 4. ¿Que? Oh-No-No.
Four. This one felt a little too instalovey without the push-pull, swoontastic tension of the original three books. Also, when a guy or a girl repeatedly says he/she doesn't want a relationship with the dating history to back it up, I expect them to not want a relationship. Like, I don't think George Clooney is unmarried because he just hasn't met The One who can make the perfect sandwich, you know? I needed a little more to be convinced by Mitch and Paige.
However, I still liked this and I think Stacey did a great job at setting the scene for the next two books. I wondered if mainlining SEP altered my taste a little. Did it feel flat because it was or because nothing wacky happened? I read Stacey's novella Slow Summer Kisses before my SEPathon and really, really liked it. I'll test my theory next month when All He Ever Desired comes out, which I'll definitely preorder....more
I really enjoy your romantic exploits set in Chicago, including your latest, About That Night, which I will review soon. I'm sure youDear Julie James,
I really enjoy your romantic exploits set in Chicago, including your latest, About That Night, which I will review soon. I'm sure you're thinking about the dashing Cade Morgan as the star of your next book, but I'd like to throw another name into the ring.
Joakim Noah, starting center of your Chicago Bulls, has a personality tailor made for one of your books. He's smart and sarcastic, witty and driven. He's also very honest. When playing the Cleveland Cavaliers during the playoffs, Jo said, "What's so good about Cleveland?" His honesty has a tendency to get him into trouble, but that's how you could work him into one of your stories! Maybe he says the wrong thing about the wrong person and starts getting death threats, requiring a smart and sexy FBI agent or US Attorney to work on his case. Your imagination is better and hotter than mine, so I'll leave it in your capable hands, but please consider this tall, dark, and half-French star. I'm sure your imagination will also rectify the fact that he and I are currently rocking the same hairstyle.
I don't know if it's because I was a Speech & Debate/JSA nerd, or that I grew up wanting to be Clair Huxtable, or maybe I just watched too many olI don't know if it's because I was a Speech & Debate/JSA nerd, or that I grew up wanting to be Clair Huxtable, or maybe I just watched too many old movies when I was younger, but to me, chemistry is about everything that is unsaid when you're bantering back and forth. It's the passion and intelligence behind good conversation.
Julie James's Practice Makes Perfect has a lot of passion, a lot of intelligence, and a helluva lot of chemistry. It's a contemporary romance that feels like a throwback to great old movies like His Girl Friday and Woman of the Year.
Payton Kendall and JD Jameson are senior litigation associates at a top law firm. They are equally matched, equally paid leads who are fighting for a promotion to partner that only one of them can get but both equally deserve. They've hated each other for 8 years -- 8 long years where they've had to keep tabs on the other for, um, you know, one-upmanship purposes. Yeah, one-upmanship purposes only. When they are brought together to work on a $20 million case, their forced camaraderie in front of the client has them acknowledging the other's competence for the first time. And you know what? Competence is sexy as hell too. Their snappy retorts back and forth for the past 8 years barely masked the tension between these two fierce competitors, but could it be sexual tension? *Dun dun!*
I liked Julie James's debut novel, Just the Sexiest Man Alive, but I liked this one even more. The bantering between the leads and their love-hate relationship reminded of the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn dynamic. The sex was also very PG-13, but that's okay because it's about the buildup before. I'll definitely be reading more of James's books.
This book also reminded me of one of my favorite songs, Mind Sex by dead prez:
See I ain't got to get in your blouse It's your eye contact, that be getting me aroused When you show me your mind, it make me wanna show you mines Reflecting my light, when it shines, just takin our time Before the night's through, we could get physical too I ain't tryin to say I don't wanna fuck, cause I do But for me boo, makin love is just as much mental I like to know what I'm gettin into
We could have mind sex, we ain't got to take our clothes off yet We can burn the incense, and just chat Relax, I got the good vibrations Before we make love let's have a good conversation.
It confuses me when I read a romance and the author goes out of her way to make the male lead realistic, i.e. short. WHY?! Victoria Dahl, thankfully,It confuses me when I read a romance and the author goes out of her way to make the male lead realistic, i.e. short. WHY?! Victoria Dahl, thankfully, doesn't do this. Her male lead, Chase, is 6'5'', muscled, and blows shit up for a living. When Jane sees Chase for the first time, our thoughts are the same:
The entire Tumble Creek series was fun and well-written, even though I thought each book was drawn out a little longer than need be. A nice distraction during the holidays. ...more