Panty M scenes, but I just didn't like Cole or Haley - individually or as a couple. Too much whining, secrets, and angst.
Then a weird turn in the storPanty M scenes, but I just didn't like Cole or Haley - individually or as a couple. Too much whining, secrets, and angst.
Then a weird turn in the story...the plot was all over the place. Not sure what's accomplished or how some of the plot issues are resolved. It's a series (Horus Group), but I won't be continuing....more
4-4.5 tstars PG-13 for minor language and adult themes
A gathering gone wrong... that's the tag line. Yep. The first couple of chapters felt slow, and I4-4.5 tstars PG-13 for minor language and adult themes
A gathering gone wrong... that's the tag line. Yep. The first couple of chapters felt slow, and I wasn't sure where it was all going. Then WHAM - it was on!
Now, I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the books with this structure - interspersing scenes from the Past with the Present. In this case, scenes from the Backyard Barbecue (The Event) with the Before, and then mostly, After. I found the back-and-forth reading irritating; so I skipped ahead to read each Day of the Barbecue chapter until I'd reached the end of them and finally knew what had happened. It helped me to stop guessing about what and who and when and the big WHY everyone was acting and reacting as they did.
Yes, I know the Author had a good reason to use this structure/plot device. I'm just not a fan. Ever.
I won't spoil The Event, but only say that I found it fascinating that each character, regardless of age (young or old) or how close or peripheral they were to the actual person involved, felt a sense of guilt and shame. As if they were the Responsible person. And then to learn the truth of what really happened and how/why/who... it wrecked me! And trust me, Readers, you aren't going to get the full story until you read the ENTIRE book. Because there are still nuggests of gold in the last 1/3 of the book.
I winced each time a character would think that about their supposed blame and guilt. It's easy to empathize and see how each would find a way to take the blame upon themselves. It's human nature, isn't it? It's really sad how what was a complete accident (mostly) becaomse such a Big Event - one that can tear everyone and everything apart. Because each gives The Event and his/her blame/guilt the power to do so.
As each tries to deal with it, some try to deny it or move past it; but ultimately, each has to rely on another to help him or her truly get past his/her own guilt... and let it go. I love that each learned something about himself or herself. And then DID something about it - made changes, even small ones that helped him or her grow as a personality and a human being.
This is my first book by this Author, but it won't be my last. Despite my annoyance at the book's structure, ths Author has a way of showing AND telling a story that's simple... true... vivid... organic. She provides enough background on each character that shows how each fits into the whole - relationships, attitudes, actions. I ran the gambit of emotions - laughed, cried, screamed, snorted in disgust and judgement, and then quietly acknowledged my own frailty and humanity....more
Hmmmm... I realize that I'm not the target audience for this book. And IMO, the books in this series are uneven. But I really liked the3 stars PG/PG-13
Hmmmm... I realize that I'm not the target audience for this book. And IMO, the books in this series are uneven. But I really liked the first book about Eadlyn - continuation of the previous series with a Female Heir and a twist on the Selection.
But this book, while it continues Eadlyn's story and the Selection that she's in the middle of, just seems as if it should have been finished off in the previous book (The Heir). Not enough true material to make a new book out of. And it just sort of ends.... everything is neatly wrapped up, but there aren't any real surprises in this book - nothing much new at all, except Eadlyn's realizations about herself....more
LOVED THIS BOOK! It was just what I needed to read. It let me laugh, cry, and swoon. Subtle and a little "quiet", this book starts with4+ stars PG-13
LOVED THIS BOOK! It was just what I needed to read. It let me laugh, cry, and swoon. Subtle and a little "quiet", this book starts with a bang - a death. Our main character, Ellie, has to deal with losing her husband... and what that means for the rest of her young life. When she's out of the "fog", Ellie's coping mechanism includes thinking her husband into her apartment at times - to chat or joke or just to "feel" his presence again. Ellie knows that Jamie's not really there - she never tries to touch or kiss him.
Part of moving on with her life includes moving to another apartment in a nicer side of town and looking for a new job. And figuring out what, if any, relationship that she has or will have with Todd, Jamie's best friend since childhood. Ellie has friends, but most of her friends have kept her in the "young widow" box - pathetic and sad; they treat her as if she's fragile still - and it's been several months since Jamie's been gone.
So Ellie wants a life free of the "poor Ellie" mode. She makes a friend in her new neighbor, who's claim to fame (and money) was as a singer (Daisy Deeva) in a now defunct pop group. Roo (formerly known as Daisy to the world) is a real pip - loud, bright, brash, fun. She's not met a drink she doens't like or a man she won't sleep with. Roo is just what Ellie needs to liven up her life, and Ellie becomes embroiled in various Roo schemes, including stalking the wife of her current lover.
Then there's Ellie's father-in-law, Tony, an actor who's between LA and London. Tony is lonely, too, with his son Jamie gone. Tony is the one who gets Ellie out of the horrid living area and into a new place. And he's in and out of her life as much as he can be - Indian takeaway and good company. Tony falls for a woman painter that he sees in the park one day... but there are complications that seem insurmountable.
Ellie's new boss, Zach, fell for her the first time he saw her - going into a restaurant to meet Tony. Zach's been the player, but something about Ellie just seems to "click", and he tries to find ways to get closer to her. But there's always another man around... Tony (whom Zach doesn't know is Ellie's father-in-law, just a famous actor), Todd (Jamie's friend), and others.
However, when Zach gets the chance to hire Ellie as his Personal Assistant, he takes it. Comedy ensues between his trying not to creep out Ellie but get to know her and his exes showing up and throwing fits over Ellie's presence.
It's a gentle, subtle book about LIFE and love and friendship... about how we face adversity and deal with ourselves when we're no longer certain who we really are but we know we need a change.
Some REALLY annoying word choices (a few examples: "My cock hardened like a balloon." "...way he looked at me made ev3+ stars MA for steam and language
Some REALLY annoying word choices (a few examples: "My cock hardened like a balloon." "...way he looked at me made everything inside swell like a damn chocolate cake."), and yet a funny, steamy, dirty-talking romance.
This is my first book by this Author. I'll probably take a look at the 2nd when it comes out... to see if there are similar irritating word choices/descriptions. If so, I'll be done; if not, I'll keep reading - especially when I'm in the mood for this type of book....more
I *love* this series...and I realize not everyone does. Yes, I did discover how Beautiful Bastard came about, but I just pu4 stars Rating: R/MA - steam
I *love* this series...and I realize not everyone does. Yes, I did discover how Beautiful Bastard came about, but I just push that back into the dark, dusty depths of forgetfulness.However it started, it created a whole new “style” of book - one in which Christina Lauren got me hooked; it’s not exactly it’s own genre of book, but adding the male POV from an alpha male with attitude into the sexy, steamy… it’s like having the Bad Boy without all the crime, violence, or damage. Yes, that’s right - these guys aren’t so broken there’s no real hope. These are Corporate Bad Boys. If it hadn’t been for Christina Lauren, I’d never have given Tangled (author) or Alice Clayton a try, and that would have been a crying shame, because those are some of my favorite books!
OK, on to this book. It’s been awhile since I’ve read this series. I started in 2014, so it took me awhile to place who the He and She are. Thankfully, the authors give us plenty of context for that. He is 31-year old Jensen Bergstrom, lawyer, Hannah’s older brother and best friend of Will (of the Hannah and Will - ). She is 26-year old Pippa of London by way of Bristol, friend of Ruby married to Niall, Max’s brother (of the Ruby and Niall - )
Pippa decides she needs a break to get herself back together after discovering her older (40-something) boyfriend, Mark, in bed with another woman - in her apartment. The reason that Pippa was coming home early was because she’s sick and tired of her job and her boss; work just isn’t the same since her best friend Ruby left to marry Niall. When her two moms (Coco and Lele) decide to treat her with a trip to Boston, it ends up being a way to reconnect with Ruby through a 2-week wine and beer tasting tour in New England.
In the airport, Pippa gets a bit turned around and is helped by a tall, gorgeous man, who happens to be her seatmate in premier/first class. Yep, it’s Jensen to the rescue. But after a few glasses of free champagne, Pippa, in her most colorful way, tells Jensen her recent life story. She knows that she’s going too far, but she just can’t seem to help herself. After an embarrassing belch, she heads to the Ladies; upon her return, Jensen is feigning sleep.
A day or so later, Jensen is at Hannah and Will’s for the birthday part of Sara and Max’s eldest daughter, Annabelle. Jensen confides to his sister about the crazy woman he sat next to for his flight over...only to have Ruby quietly introduce Pippa - behind him. Yep - they heard the whole thing. But Pippa, being who she is, just laughs and tells everyone that Jensen is completely right! Best. Moment. Ever.
I love Pippa - her vivacity, her color (hair, clothes, personality), her joie de vivre! She just goes for it. Sure, she’s got her insecurities and doubts, but she doesn’t usually let them get her down. Pippa is unexpected, because she’s so very honest and imaginative. You just never know what she’s going to do next - like belt out bad karaoke or attempt yoga with Jensen’s ex, even though she’s never done yoga in her life!
Jensen… he’s the quiet, introvert. I really have to go back to read Hannah and Will’s book, because I remember so little about him. He was Will’s party guy in college. And Jensen was married - for 4 months - to Becky, the girl that he dated for 9 years through high school and college. Jensen is a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, but he’s not a bad guy; he’s just forgotten how to let loose and have fun.
That’s why Pippa and Jensen are so good together. It’s no secret that they’re going to get together. It’s the how and the why… and what happens after that makes this story so good. You see two people who are opposite in many ways and yet share a lot in common come together. Is it just a vacation fling? A Right Now thing?
I adore having previous characters part of this book - Hannah and Will, Ruby and Niall, Max and Sara, Bennett and Chloe… I love learning more about their lives and friendship. I really appreciated the multiple epilogues - one per BB couple.
Nice to be in England in 1940 and learn that perspective of WWII. Throw in a murder and more info about fascism and the IRA in L3.5 stars Rating: PG-13
Nice to be in England in 1940 and learn that perspective of WWII. Throw in a murder and more info about fascism and the IRA in London at the time, and I’m hooked!
Maggie Hope is half-American, half-British. Her Aunt Edith raised her from infancy in Boston after her parents died in a car crash. Maggie, a mathematics graduate, went to London to oversee the sale of the old Victorian house that her grandmother left her. The sale was supposed to fund her graduate work at M.I.T.; but the house wasn’t in the best of shape. While fixing it up, WWII was declared, and Maggie found herself unable to return to the States.
After the murder of Diana Snyder, a typist for Mr. Churchill, Maggie finds herself swept into the world of Mr. Churchill and 10 Downing Street. Churchill is at the beginning of being Britain’s Prime Minister, and there are still plenty who want to see Britain out of the war. Among them are Michael Murphy, an IRA radical who uses bombs to increase the terror of Londoners, escaping almost daily bombing attacks by German planes. Murphy believes that if Hitler takes over Britain, Ireland can finally win its independence. Malcolm Pierce is head of the Saturday Club, a fascist group that also wants Churchill to fail. He and his group spy for the Nazis.
At first, Maggie is strictly a typist in the pool. Secretaries for Mr. Churchill are typically men, such as her friend David Green who recommended Maggie for the typing job. Maggie applied for a Secretary position, but was turned down; she thought that her skills in mathematics would make her valuable in cryptology and other war efforts, and she was bitterly disappointed that she didn’t get the job. But Maggie gets the opportunity to type for Churchill, himself, and finds herself privy to inside information and war secrets after all. Maggie even gets involved in decoding a message from the Nazis to Pierce and his Saturday Club.
Maggie shares her house with four other girls - Paige who previously worked for Ambassador Joe Kennedy, Charlotte “Chuck” dating an RFA pilot, and sisters Anabelle & Clarabelle who work for one of the local theatres. The relationships might seem unrelated, but in time, we see that everything is related, including a dark secret about Maggie’s parents.
It’s a book that gives insight into how the 20-something London crowd faced the threats of war and bombings and still tried to live life to the fullest and experience what remains of beauty through ballet, art, theatre, music, and more.
I was surprised at how much I didn’t know about WWII London and politics. I know some of the basics, of course, but I didn’t realize that the IRA was also causing trouble and terror. Or that fascism was so rampant in Britain. I suppose I shouldn’t have been overly surprised, given Prince/King Edward’s association with the Nazis and former Prime Minister Chamberlain's actions and viewpoints about the war.
Action, adventure, romance, espionage… a truly fun book! I’ll be looking for other books in this series to read. (Quote from Churchill re: having Hope in his office.)...more
Spin-Off of characters in the Hitched trilogy (Sterling Quinn and Camryn Palmer)
Sterling has to be married in 6 months2.5-3 stars Rating: MA for steam
Spin-Off of characters in the Hitched trilogy (Sterling Quinn and Camryn Palmer)
Sterling has to be married in 6 months to get his inheritance of 50-Million+ from his grandfather, according to his grandfather’s will. Apparently, his grandpa decided it was time for playboy Sterling to settle down. Sterling’s Uncle Charlie hires publicist Camryn Palmer from Olivia’s publicity firm - Olivia of Noah and Olivia from the “Hitched” trilogy. Sterling’s always thought he could have a “thing” for Camryn, but his playboy ways kept him from asking her out - she wants something too serious, he thinks. Camryn’s had a crush on Sterling forever, but as usual, she’s been waiting for Sterling to make the first move.
OK, here’s the thing: This author has a penchant for “forcing” people into relationships by wills or trusts or whatever. It’s hokey. And the fact that neither Sterling nor Camryn seriously considers getting married or even dating with the idea of fulfilling the 6 month term/marriage is beyond me. Everyone acts as if the will specifically says that Sterling *can’t* date or marry Camryn or anyone working for him - so untrue. It’s so OBVIOUS, people! We all know where this is going… and we could still have a story without some of this… this… stuff!
So why did I read the book? Good question. The truth is, despite some of the outlandish suspension of disbelief, there’s something about these stories that sucks me in - the covers? (Hot!) The alpha arrogant male POV? (Maybe). The writing is decent - no annoying typos, glaring mistakes, eye-rolling euphemisms, or troublesome e-book formatting.
I guess that these books are just plain fluff and steam for me - a guilty pleasure that fills a quick craving....more
This time, Mike and Rosie take on defending Skipper on a capital murder charge. Skipper, if3+ stars Rating: PG-13/R - violence, language, adult themes
This time, Mike and Rosie take on defending Skipper on a capital murder charge. Skipper, if you’ll remember, is now the San Francisco D.A. and a former colleague at their former law firm. Skipper is running for State District Attorney, so when he’s discovered in a hotel room with a naked, very dead 17-year old male prostitute in his bed… well, you can only imagine!
Once again, I’m astounded at how people OUTRIGHT LIE to their attorneys! When your life is on the line, why not tell the truth? How do you expect your attorney to defend you without him or her knowing the facts?
For awhile, this story felt as if it had a lot of similarities to the first book… hard to describe without listing them. But as I got deeper into the story, I realized that the author wasn’t building cookie cooker constructs. This is a unique story with its own elements of politics, dirty deals, drugs, prostitution, and pornography among other things.
Again, I was impressed with the respectful treatment of the police and the justice system. I wasn’t so impressed with the way that everyone automatically assigned labels of “pervert” to some of the activities in the book, but I suppose that without the advent of “50 Shades of Grey” and the erotica genre (especially BDSM), that most people would consider these activities perverted.
Mike takes more than one beating in this story, in every sense of the word. At the end, he and Rosie determine that they need some time off with their daughter Gracie. And I, too, need a bit of a break from this series. But I’ll be back!...more