There is nothing more Southern than hanging out in a beauty parlor. You can hear gossip, get the latest hair trends, and meet an amazing variety of pe...more
There is nothing more Southern than hanging out in a beauty parlor. You can hear gossip, get the latest hair trends, and meet an amazing variety of people. That's exactly what happens in Color Me Bad: we meet the movers and shakers of Blessings, Georgia.
And boy, does this town move!
There's allegations of an affair with a pastor, a vindictive and revengeful wife, and bedroom secrets of another couple revealed.
Color Me Bad is a great introduction to Blessings and its inhabitants, which segues nicely into Ms. Sala's full-length novel, Curl Up and Dye (February 2014). I'm looking forward to returning to Blessings! (less)
Cake has all the elements I typically expect from a Lauren Dane romance: sexual tension, a heroine with serious confidence, a gritty, prickly hero. Ye...moreCake has all the elements I typically expect from a Lauren Dane romance: sexual tension, a heroine with serious confidence, a gritty, prickly hero. Yet despite knowing this going in, I didn't love Cake as much as I thought I would.
Wren is an art student with a messenger job, so she gets to flirt with Gregori Ivanov from time to time as she delivers documents to him. She knows what she wants -- both professionally and personally -- and she's confident enough make her success happen.
Gregori is an artist with an attitude. At least that's the persona he projects in public. Wren, however, gets him; she sees him where he's most comfortable and real. But Gregori has female issues, specifically his crazy ex-wife, and he doesn't want Wren to be hurt.
As I read, I thought Cake should have been retitled to Sweet. Both Wren and Gregori crave sweets, and Gregori always has cookies lying around the kitchen, which he uses to tempt Wren into staying longer on her deliveries. A trivial matter perhaps, but I only recall them sharing cake once, yet they eat cookies together all the time. Is cake somehow more significant than cookies?
Wren is certainly the more aggressive of the two. She tells Gregori like she sees it and deals with whatever fall-out happens from there. I would have liked to get to know Gregori more to understand exactly what makes him so attractive to Wren (besides his physical appearance and artistic skills). (less)
Colton Bea isn't the same man Lean McMahon knew in high school, and when Leah returns to Sultry Springs after a ten-year absence, Colt is going to sho...more
Colton Bea isn't the same man Lean McMahon knew in high school, and when Leah returns to Sultry Springs after a ten-year absence, Colt is going to show her just how much he's changed. Leah's changed too, though, and she's certain her reason for leaving will drive Colt away once again.
It's unfortunate that after all the questions in the two previous books about why Leah had suddenly up and left Sultry Springs, the reason was that. It's a favorite trope of mine, yes, but it was not the answer I was looking for in this instance.
Surrender to Sultry was a nice ending to the series -- we were rewarded with glimpses of both couples from the previous books -- but the story was a bit of a disappointment to me. (less)
Lady Imaculata Egremont is a valuable commodity to The London List. Her scandals are notorious, yet they make for great reading (and great profit). Wh...moreLady Imaculata Egremont is a valuable commodity to The London List. Her scandals are notorious, yet they make for great reading (and great profit). When Imaculata is in danger, she turns to Evangeline Ramsey, who turns Imaculata into Anne Mont.
Anne arrives in Wales with very little property and even less knowledge about how to be a housekeeper. Major Ripton-Jones, however, is struggling also. He's literally drowning in filth and alcohol. Anne convinces him of her real identity, and they agree to help each other and help themselves in the process.
I was a bit surprised by how quickly Anne proposes the scheme for she and Gareth to marry so Anne would inherit and Gareth could restore his home and lands, and how readily Gareth agreed. He didn't seem like a desperate man, just a broken one. The murder mystery subplot with all speculation pointing to Gareth as the culprit was an interesting one and offset the romance between Anne and Gareth nicely.
Lady Anne's Lover is a fine ending to The London List series, and I will admit I'm going to miss what problems Evie manages to solve next. (less)
Cassie is a woman who doesn't let her physical needs overtake her brain. She has a plan and goals for her life, and isn't about to drop what she wants...moreCassie is a woman who doesn't let her physical needs overtake her brain. She has a plan and goals for her life, and isn't about to drop what she wants to fall in love.
Tuck is a former professional athlete, who enjoys the limelight and all the strings that came with it. He's getting a bit tired of the groupies and hangers-on, true, but he's still having fun and making the best of the situation he's been given.
Cassie and Tuck meet at the wedding reception of Reese Michael. Cassie and Reese were college roommates, and Tuck is one of Reese's cousins. When Gina, another roommate, dares Tuck he cannot get Cassie to dance with him, the groundwork is laid. And suddenly, that's not the only thing getting laid.
Cassie and Tuck are cute together, though the nerdy girl and jock boy trope can be a bit stale. Ms. Andrews made them lively and fun. Tuck shows Cassie a good time, much more than a good time, in fact, which alters both of their plans. Girls Least Likely to Marry is the second book of The Wedding Series, though I don't believe it's necessary to have read the first book, The Unexpected Wedding Guest.
A free ebook to start off this series. Ms. Carson also wrote the first book of the series, The Unexpected Wedding Guest, as well.
Amber Davis is a chi...moreA free ebook to start off this series. Ms. Carson also wrote the first book of the series, The Unexpected Wedding Guest, as well.
Amber Davis is a childhood friend from the wrong side of the tracks to Reese Michael. Reese is getting married, and Amber is helping her plan and organize the wedding. One of the jobs Reese has tasked Amber with -- though I think Amber actually has decided to take this upon herself -- is to invite Reese's half-brother, Parker, to the wedding. Amber had a crush on Parker while growing up, so reconnecting with him won't be a hardship for her.
There is a slight case of InstaLove, which I didn't necessarily buy, considering Amber hasn't seen Parker in ten years or so. Parker is a brooding hero, though, a cop who seems to be the polar opposite of Reese's Park Avenue Princess. This novella gives the backstory to the reason behind Amber's reaction when Reese mentions Parker in The Unexpected Wedding Guest. (less)
Blake O'Hara Heart's best friend, Vivi Ann McFadden, is pregnant and engaged, but that doesn't stop plans for a marriage and a birth from going awry....moreBlake O'Hara Heart's best friend, Vivi Ann McFadden, is pregnant and engaged, but that doesn't stop plans for a marriage and a birth from going awry. When Vivi and Lewis apply for their wedding license, the couple are shocked to learn Lewis is married. Blake agrees to help get to the bottom of this mystery.
Unfortunately, Blake is also pretending her marriage to Lewis's brother, Harry, is fine as Harry continues his senate campaign; she's sneaking around with Sonny, falling back in love with him; and she's trying to help Sonny and Belinda solve a murder.
Wedding Belles ends with a cliffhanger concerning Blake and Sonny's relationship, but it makes a nice segue for Sleigh Belles (October 2013), the final book of this trilogy. I've really enjoyed this little piece of Tuscaloosa and glimpse into Blake's life, and I'll be sad to see our journey together end. (less)