You'll note I'm not classifying the Chicago Stars books as sport romances. That's because I feel there needs to be some actual sport played in the booYou'll note I'm not classifying the Chicago Stars books as sport romances. That's because I feel there needs to be some actual sport played in the book to be considered a sport book. There is an entertaining softball game, but as Kevin is a football player, it doesn't count.
I skipped the book before this because it was checked out of the library and I knew I'd already read this before. I liked it. It was an enjoyable read, although this is now the second SEP book I've read where the main couple has to get married because of an unexpected pregnancy. Come to think of it, this is also the second book to deal with homosexuality and gay rights. It'll be interesting to see if any other themes get repeated as I make my way through the series. It's funny, but I would probably rec this series for small town romance readers rather than, like, Rachel Gibson or Jill Shalvis fans. ...more
To put it quite bluntly, I didn't love this book, but I respected the hell of out it. It actually reminded me of a cross between Jean Auel's Clan of tTo put it quite bluntly, I didn't love this book, but I respected the hell of out it. It actually reminded me of a cross between Jean Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear and Elizabeth Vaughan's Warprize series.
Altered Destiny is your classic 'two races divided by racial prejudice/historical malfeasance are now at war over land/resources' story. Neither side is blameless nor 'good.' What really intrigued me about this book is the world Thomas created. She gives us just enough of the back story that the reader can make certain assumptions, but doesn't provide anything concrete. It appears that Altered Destiny is set on our world after a nuclear event that destroyed most of the existing civilizations and altered or mutated what remained. However, it could just as easily been some alien world where there was some kind of solar event. Thomas makes reference to animals and plant life that fit what currently exists, but they are different enough to indicate we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Except for horses. Horses don't seem to be any different, which I'm guessing was a convenience thing, because they are the main mode of transportation. This world seems to be at the technology equivalent of the 1700s.
Despite the skillful world building, this is a four star book for me because of two related reasons. First off, this is a book about war. It may be a war fought with bows and arrows, but it is a war nonetheless. Hard decisions must be made and there is collateral damage. This leads into the second reason: Thomas kills off a significant secondary character. It was a death that meant something and did help the story advance, but damn, it was heavy. This is not a book to be read as stress relief.
I do recommend this book, but know what you're getting into. There are a few sex scenes, but I feel like this would be a good rec for older high school students. It's got that apocalypse feel, a dash of vampirism, and an ending that offers a measure of realistic hope for the future....more
There's no description up yet so I shall attempt to cobble one together.
Okay, so there's this chick, Forebearance (that's her name, swear ta God), whThere's no description up yet so I shall attempt to cobble one together.
Okay, so there's this chick, Forebearance (that's her name, swear ta God), who works for this professor, Simon. Feebee, as she's commonly called, has been into Simon pretty much since she met him. Simon treats her very professionally, however, which majorly bums her out. She decides to go for it one day and kisses him. Their first kiss evolves into their first nekkid session, which is interrupted by the daughter of Simon's patroness. So now Simon has to choose between Feebee and the money that keeps his lab running.
That's the basic story. Sex, Lies, and Inventions is billed as steampunk and the invention that Feebee & Simon are working on does sound steampunky, but I've always felt like steampunk should be a descriptor of an entire alternate universe, not just technology. Barnette tells us very little about the world Feebee and Simon are living in. Emma Holly's 'Demon' series and Meljean Brook's Iron Duke spring to mind as examples of how to create steampunk worlds that are very different.
What really bugged me about the story is the age thing. I personally like the 'half your age, plus 7' rule. Here, the professor is described 48 and, while Feebee's age is never given, she comes off as very young. It was a bit skeevy. That perception may have biased me because I found the sex scenes a little...odd. Something about the language choices made the sexual interactions seem very...not passionate.
I'm kinda questioning now why I gave it three stars instead of two, but it's not like the story sucked. It read more like Armintrout was experimenting and playing around with new-to-her concepts. Instead of locking it away in a drawer, she decided to sell the results for .99. I think out of the three Barnette books, I preferred Giant the most....more
It is well known by those who follow me on my personal twitter that I have a deep love for Robin D. Owens's books. If I had to rank my top three favorIt is well known by those who follow me on my personal twitter that I have a deep love for Robin D. Owens's books. If I had to rank my top three favorite authors, it'd probably be Nalini Singh, Robin D. Owens and then Shelly Laurenston. So believe me when I say that I am incapable of giving this book anything below four stars. I am biased. You have been forewarned.
A longer reaction to be pub'd at my blog on 11/20/11, but I don't recommend reading this if you haven't already read Enchanted No More....more
That ending, oh, that sweet adorable ending! It pushed the book right up to five stars. I had to exclaim from the sheer cuteness of it, but thanks toThat ending, oh, that sweet adorable ending! It pushed the book right up to five stars. I had to exclaim from the sheer cuteness of it, but thanks to the sinus meds, I sounded slightly drunk.
I was kinda meh about the first two books in this series, but Nobody's Baby but Mine was excellent. Again, it's not really a sports romance as the hero could have just as easily been a famous actor instead of a quarterback. What made this book so great was the way Phillips designed the relationship between Janie and Cal. The progression of emotions between them was believable and the reader can totally see why they fell in love with each other. Neither of them were perfect and their flaws made them seem more real.
I must confess, I loved the way they continually fought with each other. Even from the beginning, when the fighting was hateful and mean, you could tell they were evenly matched. While my future Mr. Right needs to be a bit more of a geek than Cal was, I want that kind of relationship, with a guy who can say no to me. The supporting characters were also beautifully drawn and the subplot of Cal's parents' relationship was interesting.
The book is ever so slightly dated, but it's not noticeable as it was in It Had to Be You. I really recommend this to contemporary fans, especially those who like Debbie Macomber or Robin Carr. I wish I had the next book in the series, but I'll just have to wait until the library opens tomorrow and hope I'm not too sick to drive!...more
Still aboard the Sickly train. Gonna be reading a LOT this weekend. Yesterday, when I saw a tweet from RT_Magazine, I investigated Abigail Barnette akStill aboard the Sickly train. Gonna be reading a LOT this weekend. Yesterday, when I saw a tweet from RT_Magazine, I investigated Abigail Barnette aka Jennifer Armintrout and bought three stories from her.
This one, Giant, is a twist on the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. The hero, Andras, is a bean farmer who happened to inherit gigantism from his father. Jacqueline is the heroine, a princess who fled the Court and her boorish fiancee under the guise of being a tax collector for the realm. She and Andras meet when she attempts to collect his back taxes.
This is not a happy story. There's a happy ending, of sorts, but Barnette doesn't whitewash what life was like in medieval times or what Andras faces in life. He is completely alone, living in poverty, and he always must fear that the neighboring village will rise against him for some imagined evil. At the end of the book, Andras is forced to leave his home and the last mementoes of his parents. He consoles himself that the loss is worth it to be with Jacqueline, but I didn't really buy it. Unfortunately, Barnette didn't really answer the question of why Jacqueline. An argument could be presented that Andras falls in "love" with Jacqueline, simply because she is the first woman he's ever really known and the first woman he's slept with. There's also the fact that if Jacqueline had revealed her true identity to Andras when she chose to stay with him, perhaps they could have made plans, could have circumvented what happened next. To me, Jacqueline is the reason this story is at three stars rather than four.
One detail that I did like is that Barnette didn't assign ages to Andras and Jacqueline. The condition of gigantism is usually accompanied by a host of other medical problems and these people rarely live beyond middle aged. Andre the Giant, of The Princess Bride fame, died when he was 47 from congestive heart failure. Given the medieval setting and lack of advanced medical care, it is likely Andras would probably not even reach 40. Since no contradicting evidence is given by the author, the reader can pretend Andras is 18 and will be able to watch any future offspring grow up. ...more
I have a wicked headache and an irritating sore throat. Clearly, I am on board the train to Sickly, but I can't seem to find somewhere to get off. ItI have a wicked headache and an irritating sore throat. Clearly, I am on board the train to Sickly, but I can't seem to find somewhere to get off. It distresses me.
In any case, I really enjoyed Chasin' Eight. It was full of the hot steamy action James is known for, but it also had a great story. I was disappointed when it ended. I've read most, if not all, of the other Rough Rider books, but Chasin' Eight stands alone quite well.
Chase isn't your traditional hero. Not only is he on the short side (5'5"), he's self-centered with a propensity for alcohol and women. The heroine, Ava, comes off a little like a saint in comparison. However, Chase's flaws make him seem very 'real.' There were several points when I expected the book to lapse into various tropes & cliches, but James successfully navigated her way around those pitfalls.
There was also the slightest hint at who could be the next hero and I hope it's Ben. He seems right up my alley. I'd rec Chasin' Eight for anyone who's looking to give Lorelei James a try. I think this is the perfect intro to her work. ...more
I'm pretty sure I read this book back in the day, but I didn't really remember it and since I've been on a sports romance, I decided to re-read it. ItI'm pretty sure I read this book back in the day, but I didn't really remember it and since I've been on a sports romance, I decided to re-read it. It Had to Be You was published in 1994 and the book's age shows. I'm a big technology person and talk of answering services & landlines dated the book for me. In addition, the talk about safe sex, while certainly important and realistic, smacked a little of 'Hey, did you hear about this scary new HIV thing?' Why, yes, I do believe that I know about HIV. I also know that, according to a 2009 CDC report, the rate of STD transmission has dropped and is now more likely to occur in ethnic groups & the gay community. I think Phoebe and Dan, two straight, white, members of a high economic status, will be okay if they use protection. They spent more time on STDs than on the possibility of getting pregnant. You'd think that given how much Dan wants to be a father, the thought would have crossed his mind.
I think the other thing that diminished my entertainment was the fact I didn't particularly like the hero. Dan basically juggles two women, sleeping with the heroine while dating someone else. He's very dismissive of Phoebe on multiple occasions and the dude has communication problems. He's like your typically good ole boy. There's also a bit at the end where he basically beats the crap out another person. It's meant to be justifiable and Phillips's kinda glosses over the specifics, but Dan clearly has a violent streak buried within him. Phoebe fell in love with him way faster than I thought was realistic and I didn't quite get why.
The book really read more like fiction than a romance. It wasn't about Phoebe and Dan as a couple. It was about Phoebe overcoming the trauma of her past and her father's dickhood. It was about Dan overcoming his own dickhood. They had to grow as people before they could be a good couple.
I don't know enough about sports to really gauge how well those portions held up over the last seventeen years. An eight million dollar contract seems a bit low to me, but Google reveals that a standard contract would be for four years and two million dollars a year is actually on the high side for a wide receiver, so I don't know. I kept thinking about the movie Moneyball. While that was baseball, I think most of the same principles apply when managing a team and, in that respect, It Had to Be You was right on the money.
My public library system has the rest of the books in this series and I do plan on reading the next book in the series. It'll be interesting to see how it compares to It Had to Be You....more
Since the book is not coming out until February 2012, I won't write anything in depth, but I will say that if you have strong feelings towards Brooks'Since the book is not coming out until February 2012, I won't write anything in depth, but I will say that if you have strong feelings towards Brooks' Cat Star series, negative or positive, Stud will not change your mind. I definitely don't recommend picking this up unless you've read the first book, Slave, and book six, Hero. Characters from book seven, Virgin, make a very, very minor appearance and none of the other past couples show up. A side note, Hero remains my favorite book in this series, thanks to the unique (for these books) heroine. ...more
I know what you're thinking. Another sports book? Really?
Okay, here's what I was thinking: "God, I'm tired. I should start reading Blood Rights becausI know what you're thinking. Another sports book? Really?
Okay, here's what I was thinking: "God, I'm tired. I should start reading Blood Rights because Kristen Painter is going to be at Comic-Con this weekend. But I'm tired. And I don't want to stare at my computer screen while I eat my hot pockets. I don't feel like starting a new author right now. I just wanna read. I downloaded those football books last night. Because I liked the one I won, From This Moment On. I read the last one (Game For Love) already. It didn't suck. Andre is a pretty consistent author. I'm just gonna read one of these."
On the brainless read front, it delivered. The plot was fairly simple. Ty and Julie knew each other in high school, she lost her virginity to him, and the morning after was a disaster, fraught with miscommunication. Fast forward ten years, he is a superstar football player with a bad personal reputation and she is the image consultant hired to straighten him out. There's lots of sexual energy and more miscommunication, now sprinkled lightly with personal growth.
Now that I'm emerging from my hot pocket haze and my brain has started to sort through the different aspects of the book, I find a lot of WTF-ery is emerging. Like the ending. I mean, this was a pretty straightforward contemporary. However, the ending was a grand reveal worthy of a Scooby Doo episode. While this is slightly explained by the aforementioned grand reveal, I don't think Ty necessarily needed a image consultant. He didn't have a DWI, get caught doing drugs, nor did he have a revolving door in his bedroom. By today's standards, his perpetual house party is actually pretty tame. It seemed like he was still doing his job, showing up to practice, etc. So one would think Julie, as an experienced image consultant, would have kinda been like 'Huh? Something ain't right here.' A much better take on this concept is Jill Shalvis's Slow Heat.
This was also another book that takes place during its sport's off-season. As a result, there's actually not a lot of football in it, aside from a few scenes in the weight room. I would have liked at least an epilogue with Julie in the stands, watching Ty play. The reader also meets a grand total of ONE of Ty's teammates who, not-so-coincidentally, happens to be the hero of the next book.
I am definitely going to read the next book at some point, but I would recommend this series for those times when you just want to be mildly entertained without taxing your brain. I should really re-read the Susan Elizabeth Phillips football books now. ...more
Saw this in passing on my library's 'new' shelf. Not much to say. It's certainly a cozy because you can't put the pieces together to figure out the kiSaw this in passing on my library's 'new' shelf. Not much to say. It's certainly a cozy because you can't put the pieces together to figure out the killer. You just have to meander along with the heroine to the end. There were some nice library bits and McKinlay sprinkles in some authors & book recs. ...more