Annajane Hudgens and Mason Bayless got married when they were fairly young. Both their mothers were opposed to the idea but the young lovers didn't ca...moreAnnajane Hudgens and Mason Bayless got married when they were fairly young. Both their mothers were opposed to the idea but the young lovers didn't care; they were in love. Their relationship slowly fell apart due to miscommunication, stubbornness, and the crumbling effect of both their mothers chipping away at them at every opportunity.
Five years after the divorce, Annajane is engaged to another man and attending Mason's second wedding. She finally admits to herself that she cares for him and she has to stop the wedding just as Mason's young daughter gets violently sick in the church aisle. Annajane finds herself with an unexpected opportunity to set things right with him.
I just adore Mary Kay Andrews's books because they are so much fun to read! The characters generally come to life for me, I find myself laughing at the trouble they inevitably get themselves into, and the settings feel real. Spring Fever is no exception.
Annajane is not perfect by any means but I liked her. She's doing her best with her life. She works hard, she's trying to get over Mason, she's trying to deal with her overbearing mother, and she's trying not to let her good sense be overruled by her ticking biological clock. Her best friend, Pokey--who has the best nickname I have ever heard-- is Mason's sister, so the ex-couple have been involved in each other's lives through Pokey whether they like it or not. When Mason unexpectedly brings home an infant daughter from a brief "fling" shortly after their divorce, Annajane is hurt, of course. But she learns to love little Sophie and the feeling is mutual.
I didn't know what to think of Mason at first. We first see him through Annajane's lens of "what went wrong" and he doesn't come out of that looking too good. But as the story moved on, I really started to like him. He's a true, responsible gentleman to be counted on. I pretty much loved him as much as Annajane did by the end!
There were a couple of things that did have me wanting to reach through my car speakers and knock some sense into everyone's heads. I don't want to spoil anything but there was one obvious whopper of a lie that gets told and everyone buys it, hook, line, and sinker. I knew what was going on as soon as the character in question said it! Ugh! There were a couple of other small instances of this too. I get frustrated when otherwise intelligent characters get a convenient case of brain death to further the plot.
I was a little disappointed by the ending. There were three characters who desperately needed a good old karma-slap but they never really got it. Two of them did to an extent, but it happened "offstage." The reader doesn't really get to see it happen, Annajane and Pokey just mention it in the epilogue. Talk about unsatisfying!
I have listened to several of Mary Kay Andrews's books but this is the first one I've listened to that was narrated by Kathleen McInerney. She sounded a bit young for the roles and her accents were uneven to say the least. Otherwise, I did enjoy her narration.
If you're looking for an easy, breezy beach read, you can't go wrong with this book or any of Andrews's other work.(less)
Ruby McMillan's husband announces out of the blue that he's leaving one morning. She has her initial meltdown, of course, but then she starts getting...moreRuby McMillan's husband announces out of the blue that he's leaving one morning. She has her initial meltdown, of course, but then she starts getting on with her life. Walter has left their finances in a shambles and Ruby has to scramble to hold everything together as he sails off into the sunset with his new lover.
I had a blast reading this book. Even as I knew I should be feeling bad for Ruby, I would have to laugh as her neighbors kept her apprised of Walter's latest exploits via his Facebook poetry. Oh, it was bad. I wanted to slap his face just for the poetry! She tries her best, finds her new groove as a single woman, and has some encounters with some seriously steamy men. What's not to love? While I felt that Ruby moved on awfully fast, the author explains that by saying that Rational Ruby rationally chose Walter as her husband; she was never head-over-heels for him. It was still a little hard to buy. That aside, I enjoyed watching Ruby expand her limits and learn to believe in love.
The one thing I felt was really missing from the book was a recipe section. Ruby is a fabulous baker and it's just not fair to describe all her mouth-watering creations without giving me a chance to try them for myself!
If you're looking for a bit of escapism, Ruby and her kids and friends definitely fit the bill. Give this a try when you need a pick-me-up.
Thanks to the publicist for sending me a copy for review.(less)
Violet Turner owns a vintage clothing shop in Madison, Wisconsin. She's on her own after her rocky marriage ended and she likes it that way. She's alw...moreViolet Turner owns a vintage clothing shop in Madison, Wisconsin. She's on her own after her rocky marriage ended and she likes it that way. She's always dreamed of owning a shop like this and she's happy enough.
Then she finds out that she's being evicted from her building, a good friend asks her to hire a pregnant teenager, and several of her customers' lives are falling apart at the seams as well. Will this circle of friends get each other through these tough times?
I did enjoy this a lot, I just had a good idea where it was going from the beginning.
I did like all of the characters and the strong stances they took. They've made mistakes in the past but they've learned from them. They're going to live life on their terms now. I think women need to be reminded to do that from time to time. April, the pregnant teen, has had a pretty tough life but she's doing the best she can. Amithi's marriage is disintegrating and she's questioning her whole life. Betsy is a do-gooder who's trying to get them all straightened out. Violet is the main character and I liked her a lot. She's caring, pretty spunky, and trying to keep her business afloat. I especially liked her taste in clothes!
I wanted so badly to visit this shop, it was ridiculous! I do actually have a taste for vintage clothes but you would never know it to look at my usual uniform of jeans and tees. I just don't have the patience to dig through all the junk to find the treasure. I need to find a store like this where someone like Violet has done the digging for me! I loved reading the descriptions of the items in the store.
This was a fun read with a good reminder added in. It was a tad predictable but that can be comforting at times. If you're interested, you should definitely give it a try. It's worth picking up for the cover alone!
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review.(less)
Laura Grey is tired of her life as a governess, so she joins forces with The Pink Carnation. After the requisite training, she is sent to work as a go...moreLaura Grey is tired of her life as a governess, so she joins forces with The Pink Carnation. After the requisite training, she is sent to work as a governess for Andre Jaouen, a high-ranking official in the French Ministry of Police. She's also tasked with finding out any information that might be of use to the Pink Carnation and her league of British spies.
I consistently love this series and rate them around 4 stars but this is one of my favorites. But maybe I say that about all of them--I wouldn't be surprised. They are full of intelligent women who don't need men to protect them but they like to keep the guys around anyway. I grin like an idiot at the witty dialog as I read and I hate to turn the last page. What more can you ask for?
I love the chemistry between Laura and Andre and I love that it is impossible to guess exactly what he's up to. He's a good father who genuinely cares for his children and grieves for his dead wife. He's doing his best to navigate the tumultuous politics of Napoleonic France while staying true to his ideals and protecting his children.
Laura is beautifully flawed and full of contradictions that work. She's the archetype of a strait-laced governess but it's easy to see that there's much more to her than that. She's learned to tame any desires and wishes that she has and just be glad that she's able to support herself and keep a roof over her head. She's scared when she finds herself in dangerous situations but she handles them beautifully and ingeniously. She's probably one of my favorite heroines in the Pink Carnation series. But I probably say that after I read every book too.
I'm over Colin and Eloise's glacially-moving romance. I've never cared for the modern-day story but it just gets weaker and weaker to me. It feels like the author is losing interest in it as well. I will admit that there was a development in this story that could be a setup for some interesting times in the next book though.
Fans of the series won't be disappointed with this installment. There are so few overlapping characters in it that new readers might be able to dive into it without reading the others in the series, but I would still recommend reading them in order.(less)
Scarlett O'Brien dreams that her life will one day become just like a romantic comedy. Her friends and family worry about her because she seems to be...moreScarlett O'Brien dreams that her life will one day become just like a romantic comedy. Her friends and family worry about her because she seems to be dissatisfied with the life she has because of her obsession with the movies. She's engaged to be married in a couple of months but she just doesn't seem to be very excited at the prospect.
When the opportunity to house-sit in Notting Hill comes along, everybody, including Scarlett, thinks it's a great idea. Those who care about her think it will give her time away from her fiance to think about what's really important to her. Scarlett is excited because it's the setting of her favorite movie. And what better place to live scenes from a movie and prove to her loved ones that life really can be like the movies?
This was cute but the underlying premise felt weak. I would be rocking right along, enjoying all Scarlett's misadventures and then something like, "Yet another movie moment for my collection! I knew I'd show everyone!" would come up. It was unnecessary and because of that, it kept pulling me out of the story. I think this could have been slightly re-worked to change that foundation and made into a stronger book.
That aside, I really did enjoy it.
I liked Scarlett a lot when she wasn't trying to orchestrate a scene from Pretty Woman or Sleepless in Seattle. She is an insecure dreamer who feels like she's missed out on something by never knowing her mom. She has a great group of friends and she actually knows it. And I mostly like her taste in movies. Luckily, there was an index at the end that listed them all. I'm in the mood to watch a lot of them again after reading this. My poor husband...
There's another character that I really like but I'm afraid talking about him/her would be a spoiler, so I'll skip it.
The situations that Scarlett gets herself into just cracked me up! A Star Wars wedding, a Disney wedding, being escorted home by the police, hanging from a balcony... Yes, it's a little goofy, but I'm grinning just thinking about it.
Fans of romantic comedies will definitely like this one.(less)
Old friends Ellis, Julia, and Dorie have rented a beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a month. They've realized that their lives are...moreOld friends Ellis, Julia, and Dorie have rented a beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a month. They've realized that their lives are moving along quickly and they want to spend some time together again. Ellis makes the arrangements and they all show up for a lazy vacation for the month of August.
But they're all in tough places in their lives. Ellis was recently downsized, Julia's disenchanted with her modeling career, and Dorie's just not her normal perky self. With Ellis and Dorie worried about money, Dorie seizes on the opportunity to rent out the extra bedroom on the top floor of the house to a perfect stranger she meets in a diner one day, Madison. But Madison has troubles of her own.
So this wasn't one of my favorite MKA novels (that would have to be one of the Savannah books), but it was still a fun little escape. It was wonderful to hear about August on the Outer Banks as I drove around in the last gray days of winter, wondering if there was really a sun up there somewhere.
I loved Ellis, Julia, and Dorie--from a distance. Ellis is a control freak and she was pushing my buttons at the beginning. Julia is pushy in her own way and too nosy for her own good. Dorie is a sweetheart though. And Madison is so bristly and quiet that I even felt like she was pushing me away--and we find out her story very early on. But they felt like a real group of old friends in the way that they laughed and fought and told it to each other straight.
Ty, the next-door neighbor, is a dreamboat of a man. He's not perfect either, being entirely too stubborn for his own good, but I was happy to "watch" him from afar.
This is the second book I've listened to that was narrated by Isabel Keating and I really like her. She doesn't go overboard with the voices but I can always tell who's talking. She just has a great speaking voice.
There were a couple of things that I didn't like though. The first is the big romance. It just happened waaaaay too fast. Don't get me wrong--I do love my happily-ever-afters, but this was faster than the speed of light! The other thing is that the author didn't quite capture the feel of the Outer Banks for me the way that she captures the feel of Savannah. The women could be on any Southern beach. The Outer Banks are a special place but I couldn't tell it from this book. Or maybe it's just that I'm a North Carolina girl and overly sensitive!
Those two things aside, this was a perfect escapist read that will have you ready to grab your girlfriends and head to the beach.(less)
Minerva Dobbs is a sensible girl. She's an actuary, the man she's dating is a sensible choice, and her clothes are sensible and "slimming." But then t...moreMinerva Dobbs is a sensible girl. She's an actuary, the man she's dating is a sensible choice, and her clothes are sensible and "slimming." But then there are her shoes. Her shoes hint at the real Min. Her shoes are fun, frivolous concoctions.
One night, Min meets Calvin Morrissey in a bar. As she's heading over to introduce herself to him, she hears her just-minutes-ago-turned-ex-boyfriend make a bet with him that Cal can't get her into bed within a month. Ouch. >_< That one stings a little. But Min isn't going to take this lying down, so to speak. She decides that she can play this game as well. She'll go out with Cal, string him along and make him and the barely-ex look like fools. At least that's the plan. Cal's charm is almost impossible to resist, as are his amazing good looks.
I did love this, but worst thing first. I listened to this book, and while I loved Deanna Hurst's narration, I picked up on a serious fault in the writing that I probably would have overlooked in print. I swear, every other sentence, and sometimes every sentence, ended with said. I obviously don't have anything in front of me to give a real example but it was literally this bad:
"Those are great shoes," Cal said.
"They're my favorites," Min said.
"They might be mine too," Cal said.
"Watch it, charm boy," Min said.
"I'm being honest. They're great shoes," Cal said.
Again, NOT a direct quote, but it might as well be. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to continue for a while there. It was driving me crazy! But it didn't take me long to get caught up enough in Cal and Min's almost-romance that I was able to overlook it. It definitely continued, it just didn't matter as much anymore. But it does matter enough to knock back a book that would have been 4.5 or possibly even 5 stars to a plain old 4.
That aside, this was fabulous. I just had to love Min. I don't know how she's as well-adjusted as she is with a mother like hers. Some girls really are just big-boned and no amount of carb-cutting will help, but Mrs. Dobbs doesn't buy it. Min has turned out strong and funny and she somehow has a good grasp on what's important in life. She has a sharp tongue on her and I even winced sometimes when she knocked Cal down a peg or two! When it's time to come to Cal's defense though, she more than rises to the occasion, and I found myself gasping in shock as she dealt with his awful family. Cal's nephew adores her, she has a great group of friends, and I was firmly in her corner throughout the book.
Cal was something else entirely. At first, he was a little too smooth. You know how guys are when every woman they meet immediately starts fantasizing first about taking him to bed and then about having his children. They start to take it for granted and they get a little sleazy. Well, sleazy is too strong a word, but you just want to wipe the faux charm off your skin. That's how Cal's gotten. But then he meets Min and he doesn't know what's hit him. He picks up on the shoe thing right away. Then Min is so mean to him that he writes her off. But somehow he can't get away from her. He keeps running into her and he can't stop thinking about her. Her direct approach catches his attention. And when he decides to seriously go after her, he pulls out all the stops. He's sexy and funny and caring, and he even tells Mrs. Dobbs to back off about the carbs. I cheered out loud when he did that! It's about time someone stood up to the old bat! Cal for one, enjoys Min's curves and convinces her that she's sexy and needs to show them off. You just have to love a man who loves a woman for the way she is, curves and all.
Min's and Cal's friends were mostly a lot of fun in their own right. Bonnie and Roger firmly believe in the "fairy tale" and they're going after it together. Tony is an outward jerk with an inner heart of gold. Liza--eh. Liza didn't quite win me over. It might have been Deanna Hurst's voice for her. It was very snooty and drawling. It might have been the way that she kept whacking Cal on the head while saying a line that I came to hate. I just felt like Liza felt she knew better than everyone else. Her heart was in the right place though.
The "bad guys" were a lot of fun to hate. Mrs. Dobbs got me rolling my eyes a lot with her constant comments about butter and carbs and Min's weight. Mrs. Morrissey was awful with her Ice Queen jabs at Cal's choice of career. Min's ex was a real slimeball. I wanted to reach through the speakers on him a few times. Cal's ex wasn't quite as bad, but she had her moments too. At least I knew she was coming from heartbreak rather than just trying to win a bet though.
I laughed, I cheered, I gasped, I smiled, I fantasized about chicken marsala and chocolate-covered Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I was fully invested in this and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I was desperate to know how it ended while at the same time, dreading the final words because I didn't want it to end. I highly recommend this one for a light summertime read, and even recommend it on audio if you can overlook that one glaring thing I mentioned. I thinkknow you'll have a lot of fun with it.(less)
Jane Hayes has a secret. Hidden behind one of her dying houseplants is her very own copy of Colin Firth's Pride and Prejudice. She drags it out and wa...moreJane Hayes has a secret. Hidden behind one of her dying houseplants is her very own copy of Colin Firth's Pride and Prejudice. She drags it out and watches it as she eats her ice cream alone in her apartment. When she's in a relationship, she tends to compare the poor guy to Mr. Darcy. Yes, she's obsessed.
But her wealthy great-aunt sniffs out her secret and sends her on a three-week vacation to Austenland, a total-immersion experience where everyone dresses in Regency costume, the servants are invisible, men and women are never alone together, and the electric bulbs flicker romantically. Jane packs up and goes, hoping to kick the Darcy habit for good.
This was very, very cute. Coming to Austen a little later than most, I can't say that I relate to the Darcy obsession (although if I had come across Captain Wentworth before I got married, I would probably have developed an unhealthy Wentworth-habit). But I do understand where Jane was coming from. Heck, if I'd had all the "boyfriends" Jane's had through the years, I would've given up and held out for a fictional character myself!
I did get a little tired of Jane's endless decisions that she was done with Darcy and she was going to kick the habit for good this time. It was a three-week stay and it felt like she analyzed herself to death and came to that resolution almost daily. I knock the book back to 3.5 stars largely because of this.
The men at Austenland were very Austen-esque and I couldn't help but like them. I have to admit my ears perked up when Captain Wentworth's equivalent showed up!
The ending was more than I hoped for. I was listening to this alone in the car on the way home and I was grinning from ear to ear. It wasn't as straightforward as I expected it to be; I had no idea who, if anyone, Jane was going to end up with; and it's something that should satisfy the romantic in all of us.
I listened to this on audio, and I really liked the narrator, Katherine Kellgren. She was pitch-perfect throughout all of Jane's ups and downs, and I loved how much fun she had voicing some of the other women guests. Miss Darling's rolling "R-r-r-r-r-rather!" made me giggle every time!
This was a very fun little take on Austen's world, and I highly recommend it for fans.(less)
Lucy Valentine has lost the family ability to match people based on their auras, and can now only find lost objects. After some negative publicity, Lu...moreLucy Valentine has lost the family ability to match people based on their auras, and can now only find lost objects. After some negative publicity, Lucy finds herself in charge of the family matchmaking business for a few weeks. Not realizing what she's getting herself into, she offers to try to find a new client's lost love, then asks the PI in the upstairs office to help her out. Sparks fly as soon as she walks in the door.
Really, this was a 3.5 star book for me. I'll get my complaints out of the way first. Some of the situations Lucy finds herself in felt very contrived. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll leave it at that. I also saw a lot of the small surprises coming, and I definitely knew what the big surprise/solution at the end was going to be.
Overall though, I had a lot of fun with this. It's been a while since I've read a chick lit kind of mystery, and I realized that I've missed it.
Lucy was a lot of fun, as was her family, but I have to say that I'm glad Dovie isn't my grandmother. I would die of embarrassment! Sean was hot in all the right ways, but in a personal preference, I wish he wasn't a retired firefighter. I love a man in a uniform, but that doesn't extend to firefighters. Lots of stories there. The chemistry between Lucy and Sean was maybe a little too instant, but that was part of the fun.
How many times have I used the word fun in this review? Too many! But that's the best way to describe this book, and I recommend it for a nice little break between heavier reads. I'll be looking for the next book in the series!(less)
Valentine Roncalli is turning 34 years old, she lives and works with her grandmother, and she's single. She's pretty happy though, until the day her g...moreValentine Roncalli is turning 34 years old, she lives and works with her grandmother, and she's single. She's pretty happy though, until the day her grandmother tells her that the family's custom shoe shop is in financial trouble. Now she finds herself trying to find a way to save the business she loves as she juggles a budding relationship with a hot new restaurateur.
I think my expectations for this were skewed by the first few sentences of the book. It begins,
"I'm not the pretty sister.
I'm not the smart sister either. I am the funny one. I've been called that for so long, for so many years, in fact, that all of my life I thought it was one word: Funnyone."
So I thought I was in for a funny book. It wasn't. Valentine stays entirely too stressed out to really be funny. Not that I blame her--she has a lot on her plate. It just wasn't what I expected from the setup.
Also, I should probably be ashamed to say this, but I don't really care about shoes. I know, I know! But that's me. So all the descriptions of the cute shoes with the perfect fabrics and darling embellishments were lost on me.
The food sounded divine, and I loved the part when Valentine and Gram take off for Italy. I'm ready to go back! They spend time in Tuscany and Capri, and the author's descriptions of both were beautiful. I didn't get to go to Capri when I visited Italy, but I did want to. Now I'm thinking I need to convince my husband that we should go back and spend time south of Rome. I don't think he would need much convincing!
I may not be girly about the shoes, but I am loving this girly cover. Isn't it great?
This was a good book, and I'll pick up the soon-to-be-released sequel sometime. I just thought I would like it more. I loved Big Stone Gap, so my expectations may have been too high. Other readers will probably enjoy it a little more than I did.(less)
I have waited entirely too long to write this review and gotten too deeply involved in the world of Ken Follett's World Without End, so this review is...moreI have waited entirely too long to write this review and gotten too deeply involved in the world of Ken Follett's World Without End, so this review is going to suck a little. Which is a pity because I had thought of all kinds of witty things I was going to write and now I've lost them.
Miss Alexia Tarabotti is soulless. When she touches supernatural beings, she neutralizes their abilities and they become human for a moment. That could be useful to the Bureau of Unnatural Registry if she weren't a lady of good breeding. She refuses to be treated as a wilting lily and goes about, wielding her tricked-out parasol and assisting in any way she can, as new vampires who appear to be entirely clueless about supernatural laws go about wreaking havoc on society.
I loved the chemistry between Alexia and Lord Maccon from the moment he threatens to bring her out of a faint with something stronger than smelling salts. He's an Alpha werewolf, but Alexia has enough alpha personality to hold her own against him. Their subtle yet pointed verbal sparring made this book for me. And can you say steamy? It wasn't too graphic, but oh my gosh. *Fanning*
Alexia herself was a fantastic character. At twenty-six, she's firmly on the shelf in Victorian society, but she's okay with that. Better to be on the shelf than married to some half-wit who can't keep up with her own intellect and curiosity. She gets enough of that from her family. They don't know she's soulless and put all of her quirks down to the fact that her father was Italian. But they've left her just a little insecure about her appearance and desirability. Just enough to make her feel real.
And Lord Maccon. Yum. That's all there is to say about him. But you know I can't leave it at that. Sexy, Alpha, protective, strong, and with a Scottish burr, who can resist him? I kept having an internal battle over his name. There's a Macon County near where I live and Lord Maccon kept sounding like bacon. As a carnivore, I'm sure he wouldn't object, but it kept distracting me.
I liked the way that some curious turns in history can be put down to supernatural intervention. I won't give anything away, and it was only a very small part of the book, but it amused me.
I really liked the cover until I read the book. I kept picturing Alexia as Nia Vardalos and that bony female on the cover just didn't cut it anymore.
I don't think I've read any steampunk before, but if this book is at all indicative of the genre, I am hooked. I'll be actively searching out more of this kind of thing as I eagerly await the sequel, Changeless.
Honestly, if you think that the only way The Pink Carnation series could be improved is by throwing in some supernatural beings, you will love this. If you don't know what I'm talking about but you would like a new take on the whole vampire thing, you'll probably like it too. It was just a hugely fun novel that I read with a smile on my face.(less)
Jane True is practically an outcast in her small town of Rockabill, Maine. She finds solace in swimming in the ocean, dangerously close to the whirlpo...moreJane True is practically an outcast in her small town of Rockabill, Maine. She finds solace in swimming in the ocean, dangerously close to the whirlpool known as The Old Sow. When she finds a body in the water, her world changes beyond all recognition.
I have gone back and forth, alternating between clicking 3 stars and 4 stars countless times. Hurry up with the half stars already, GoodReads! You're killing me here! (Said as nicely as possible)
The big draw for me was the cover. I love it! It does make the book like it might be YA though, and it is not YA. Sex. Lots of sex. Need I say more?
This was a lot of fun, and I really liked Jane, her problems and her world. There's such a wealth of supernatural beings to choose from out there, it's nice to see an author taking advantage of that rather than dwelling on the vamps and weres.
I don't know if I just had to get used to Peeler's style or if the beginning really was an info dump, but I was a little disappointed when I first started. I've been looking forward to reading this for a while, and I did not expect to be less-than-thrilled at the beginning.
Jane's Libido killed me. It was practically a character, hence the capitalization I gave it. It's pretty clear what part of Jane is thinking, "This guy's super-hot!" without being told that it's her Libido. Or her Lady Bits. Or whatever. There should be a supernatural rock band called "Jane's Libido" worked somewhere into the series! Hee hee! I obviously think I'm funny. ;-)
Jane is pretty funny. I laughed out loud pretty consistently throughout the book. Her descriptions of some of the "supes" she meets are hilarious, and I could appreciate her self-deprecating sense of humor. When she meets Trill the kelpie, my husband finally gave up and asked me what I was laughing at. Mostly he tries to ignore me when I go into gales of laughter for no obvious reason. (Now you're wondering how often that happens, aren't you?)
Mostly though, I just had fun reading this and checking out this world. Ryu is just hawt and I really, really, really want to find out more about Anyan. I knew what was going on there pretty early on, but I still want to know more. I'm definitely going to continue on with the series. I do recommend this. Just be prepared for Jane's Libido.(less)
Dempsey Killebrew is having a very bad day. She and her handsome boss, Alex, are all over the evening news, smack in the center of a political scandal...moreDempsey Killebrew is having a very bad day. She and her handsome boss, Alex, are all over the evening news, smack in the center of a political scandal. They're lobbyists accused of buying a Congressman's votes with a vacation to the Bahamas and, um, hookers. Not the situation that a rising young lawyer wants to find herself in.
Injury is added to insult when Alex fires her. With no other options, Dempsey reluctantly accepts the deal her father offers--she can fix up the family mansion back in the tiny town of Guthrie, Georgia, and he'll give her part of the proceeds from the sale. Life in a small town is more interesting than Dempsey expects, especially when she realizes that the "mansion" is a dump, a belligerent old lady has decided the house is hers, FBI agents are sniffing around, and there are some very eligible men in town.
I had a ball listening to this! I'll admit that this isn't really any new ground for Mary Kay Andrews, but she does this so well that I just don't care. Old houses/antiques, spunky heroines, and handsome men are a winning combination in her hands.
Dempsey herself is a little whiney at first, but if I'm being honest, I would whine much more if I found myself in a similar situation. And then to go running home to Daddy! I just wanted to tell the girl to grow up. But when she gets to the house and she has to start dealing with contractors and Ella Kate, the mean old lady, and the FBI, she has to learn to stand on her own feet. And she handles it beautifully. I'm pretty sure I was cheering by the end.
Speaking of Ella Kate, she is mean as a rattlesnake. I wanted to reach through my car stereo and smack her around. I am not lying. The things she says and does! At least she was good for a laugh after the initial frustration wore off. She's got her own story too.
And those Berryhill men--I'll take either one, father or son. Carter has all the genuine charm of the Old South and Tee is an enlightened representative of the New. They both know how to treat a woman. And Tee is hot. Not in a let's-get-naked kind of way, although there is a touch of that, but in a let's-have-a-real-relationship kind of way. He's a guy that you want to be around for the long haul, and you know that he's got commitment on his mind too.
The narrator, Isabel Keating, did an amazing job. She resisted the urge to go with a syrupy Southern accent. That's not to say that old Carter doesn't drawl his vowels out, but she kept it to a minimum. Her character voices were great. She covered everything from 4-year-old boys to an ancient old lady and she pulled it off. I was startled the first few times I heard the boys or Ella Kate speak. I would have sworn that someone else was doing their voices. It was almost eerie.
For a fun, romantic read that will keep you smiling (except for when you want to hit someone who is just asking for it), I highly recommend this one.(less)
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in small-town Louisiana, in a time after vampires have "come out of the coffin." Sookie is thrilled when Bill the vamp...moreSookie Stackhouse is a waitress in small-town Louisiana, in a time after vampires have "come out of the coffin." Sookie is thrilled when Bill the vampire movies next door. But shortly after he moves to town, women who are widely known to be "fang bangers" start dying. Everyone knows of Sookie's interest in Bill. Can she find out who the real killer is before she becomes a victim herself?
This was hugely fun. I read 230 pages in one sitting, and the only reason I didn't finish it was because I just had to get to bed. I'd read one of this series a long time ago, before I realized it was a series. It was fun to go back and start over at the beginning.
The men in this book are delicious! I did like Edward Cullen from Twilight, but let's face it, he's practically jail bait. These guys were written for women with a few more years on them. It kind of seemed improbable that every guy in this little town was gorgeous, but hey--that's the fun of fiction, right? And I just have to add here that I'm so glad these vampires don't sparkle.
I loved Sookie herself. For a character in a supernatural mystery, she was very relatable. She mostly tries to be strong and do things for herself, but she also appreciates it sometimes when a man just steps in and takes care of some of her problems. My somewhat-feminist self hates to admit it, but sometimes that is nice. She also has big issues of her own, but she tries to move past them and just live her life the best she can. Plus, she's got a great sense of humor, and she's one of those characters I would love to know in real life. I love it when I find one of those!
It's a little steamy, so if you're super-sensitive to that kind of thing, this might not be good for you. I think it was just enough for most women to actually enjoy without going too far.
The author writes in a very conversational style. I didn't feel like I was reading a story, I felt like the story was being told to me. I love those kinds of books too. I didn't guess "whodunit," (I rarely do), but once I found out it all made sense. And I love this whole vampire vocabulary she uses: "fang bangers," "drainers," a bar called "Fangtasia."
I just thought the whole thing was a lot of fun and I can't wait to read the next. I highly recommend it as one of those fun books you almost have to read between the weightier books. (less)