Prelim Review: I don't very often read contemporary romances or contemporary christian romances, but the blurb for this book caught me when it spoke aPrelim Review: I don't very often read contemporary romances or contemporary christian romances, but the blurb for this book caught me when it spoke about Issy needing to move past her panic attacks. As some one who has panic attacks more often then I like, about social situations, I was curious to see how Warren would approach the subject.
I fell in love with the book. Issy, Lucy, Caleb and Seb, they were all damaged in some way and were looking for redemption and resolution in the most stubborn ways possible. Very easily Warren could have made this a more competitive book--with Caleb and Seb both vying for the HS Coach position, and courting Issy and Lucy, it could have gotten nasty. Instead the four them strove to see the good, to ignore the circumstances and understand.
Full Review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality...more
I read very few contemporary authors, at least in comparison to the paranormal or historical romance authors I devour. Kristan Higgins is one of thoseI read very few contemporary authors, at least in comparison to the paranormal or historical romance authors I devour. Kristan Higgins is one of those writers who touches upon just the right blend of sweet, witty, and endearing, to make me want to read more.
Her latest book, MY ONE AND ONLY, has formerly married couple Harper and Nick reuniting during a cross-country road trip. The thing about Higgins that tugs at my heart strings every time is that she writes about problems that happen every day to couples. Nick and Harper are no different.
The rekindling of their romance is difficult and fraught with problems. Neither is able to let go of the past. After twelve years and lack of closure, they're both too wound up to think straight. Slowly they rebuild what they had, with the impending wedding as a mile marker almost. Harper looks at her sister's marriage as a disaster waiting to happen. Nick sees it as a work in progress that will smooth over.
And that was at the heart of their own problems. Harper was terrified that love would fail her, and Nick was blindly certain that love conquered all. There was no gray road for either of them.
The parts that really spoke to me were when Nick would ask Harper what happened, and Harper would tell him everything she should have told him twelve years before. I was a little bit peeved at a rather predictable outcome regarding her sister, as I think it only served to lengthen how long Harper and Nick stayed apart, but MY ONE AND ONLY was a relaxing and light read. ...more
Prelim Review: Contemporary fiction, whether it be young adult or mainstream, doesn't often interest me. If there's not some sort of magic or supernatPrelim Review: Contemporary fiction, whether it be young adult or mainstream, doesn't often interest me. If there's not some sort of magic or supernatural element running amok I'll probably not be interested. The blurb for SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD however had me hooked. I can't pretend I went through something similar to what happened to Payton, both of my parents are rather healthy all things considered, but Leavitt crafted a novel that spoke to my fears as a teenager.
Getting into fights with a friend, that first crush that blossoms into more, trying to maintain some sort of balance...that's all stuff that's easy to relate to and feel for.
Full review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality...more
Its a little bit dishonest to say that Parker was for 'sale'. Dean more or less manipulated her into a position where if she refused too much she wou Its a little bit dishonest to say that Parker was for 'sale'. Dean more or less manipulated her into a position where if she refused too much she would look really bad (PR wise). The rest applies--and the cover is very pretty isn't it?
As most of you know I don't read contemporaries too often, but I've become intrigued by Carina Press--the digital off-shoot of Harlequin with Angela James as its editor. They have one of my favorite historical romance writers, Donna Lea Simpson, as one of theirs and a couple of their paranormal romance titles looked interesting enough for me to buy a whole bunch of them with my left over amazon GC. Parker's Price is the first one I've read and I'm not disappointed in the least.
The story is hot and sensual; Parker and Dean's alternating hot/frustrated relationship seductive as I read to see how Dean convinced Parker to succumb. Dean's a real alpha male and though I found his tactics a little high-handed, I couldn't really blame him because Parker was being pretty unreasonable. I didn't feel the tension of her dislike for Dean, for a past misdeed he supposedly did towards her sister, because he was all she thought about. She would begin strong, then falter amazingly fast. There was an extreme lack of communication between the two I think.
There was a sinister secondary plotline, involving Parker's apartment being vandalized and escalating from there. Who was behind it all was a twist, but I guessed it about halfway through (you can blame my love of procedural dramas and mystery shows for this) so the pay out was the reasoning. I'll go on the record as saying her ex Tyler is a scumball.
I enjoyed my foray into contemporary romance with this new publisher. As a bonus I found an author I really enjoy and will look forward to reading more by her! ...more
I read this because a friend rec'ed it to me saying "You'll love the interactions between the two leads".
And you know what? I totally did. Ignoring tI read this because a friend rec'ed it to me saying "You'll love the interactions between the two leads".
And you know what? I totally did. Ignoring the sex and BDSM, the way that Javen and Devlin interact is pure wonderful fun to read. They had the sort of conversations that people would categorize as being 'ping pong' talks. Javen would say something, Devlin would respond, Javen would challenge that response, so Devlin would challenge her challenge and it would go back and forth like that for long bouts. And I never felt as if I was bored during these conversations, rather I was amused and wondered who would win out in the end.
Also, ordinarily I would be turned off by Devlin's very aggressive nature, but he doesn't come off as creepy or desperate, but rather the sort of guy who hates to put things off. Why wait when its inevitable? He does however give Javen space and 'romance' her. Which I think is more then she deserves at first; her entire rationale made me really cranky. You either love someone or you don't. You either want to marry someone or you don't. Wanting one last fling and then wanting to go marry the guy you rejected to have that last fling? Yeah no. As Devlin says at one point, Javen has a lot of issues to work on.
In the end however, they both learn a lesson and as its a romance no one should wonder at the outcome of their romance. This is actually my first story with such a high level of BDSM in it. I've read short stories where its been present, but not to the degree it was in this one. But then, I tend to just glance over the scenes of intense eroticism so it didn't discomfort me unduly. I don't skip them completely, can't write a review if you skip large chunks of the book!, but perhaps the better phrasing is I don't spend as much concentration of those parts as I do the rest. ...more
I won this book as part of a prize pack a few months back. At the time I wasn't sure I would read it, as I don't read contemporary romances too often,I won this book as part of a prize pack a few months back. At the time I wasn't sure I would read it, as I don't read contemporary romances too often, but the fact that the main character Jasmine was as shy as I am piqued my interest.
Some of the most humorous parts of the novel came from when Jasmine would fangirl over a certain design or fabric. I have clothing designer friends, so I could easily picture how many tubs of extra fabric or how lovingly she takes care of her sewing machine.
The romance I think was just a shade too unbelievable. The chemistry was there, but I couldn't believe in Josh as a character, so it threw the romance flat. He didn't act like your typical Hollywood hunk, but he didn't act like a guy who wanted to prove himself either. He spent more time trying to get Jasmine to loosen up about her fear of men then he did practicing his so-called 'serious' acting.
Jasmine felt real, until the end at least, in her behavior and her mannerisms. Though the trauma that made her so afraid of men, or groups of people at all, seems flimsy it really is the small things that affect you the worst. I think she got over it a little too easily, but I could relate to it.
The backstory with her parents and two sisters was a confusing jumble. Her parents divorced when she was young, she was carted off with her mother to India while her two sisters went with their dad. Jasmine lived the life while they struggled. Then when she went to go live with them as a teenager something happened to make her realize that they didn't want her or could forgive her so she ran away again. It stayed like that for ten years until the sisters reunited. I have a feeling there is a first book I am missing that may have explained some of these things better.
Overall it was a fun diverting read that was perfect to just relax and not bother thinking too hard on. Jasmine was a likable character and I enjoyed reading about how she overcame her social anxieties. ...more
Contemporary romance writer Liz Fielding is one of the few writers I will consistently read category romances from. Once upon a time I read practicallContemporary romance writer Liz Fielding is one of the few writers I will consistently read category romances from. Once upon a time I read practically anything I could get my hands on done by Harlequin, met my first Regency Romance and decided that contemporaries just weren't romantic enough anymore. Liz Fielding changed my mind and I thank her for it.
This book has been on my interest list for a few months, though I forget how I found out about it. Surfing Amazon I suspect, but at any rate it looked interesting. Then of course it had a look a like, trading places, hiding in plain sight etc etc and it moved up my list of romances to buy. Though almost more than the romance herein, I enjoyed the counterplay between Annie and George. Even before mutual attraction enters the bargain the two of them spark off each other in a wholly wonderful way.
George doesn't come off as a guy you want to cuddle with--his first interaction with Annie is fraught with tension, anger and family issues that she stumbled into unwittingly. They both come off on entirely the wrong foot in fact--she seems like a complete dunce, with no common sense or brains to give her life and he is a brute. She doesn't back down. And this is important to note because part of the reason she was escaping her 'Lady Rose' life was because she couldn't find the voice to tell her Grandfather that she wanted her own life.
Their time together is considered a whirlwind, at best, but Annie's innate sense of righting wrongs and helping people has her unconsciously trying to 'fix' George's problems with his daughter, his father, his life. George, beyond lust, is suspicious of Annie, but wants to protect her. Learn about her. Save her from whatever she was running from.
I liked the fact that Fielding had a definite 'tone' for Annie that was distinctly different from the other characters. Even as she relaxed and became a more 'ordinary' girl, her phraseology and gestures made it abundantly clear that she was born royalty. Born learning to be diplomatic, consoling, confident. After George figures things out she even uses it to her advantage, purposely teasing him.
The secondary characters--Hetty (George's mom), Xandra (George's daughter) and George (George's dad) were given less fleshing/embellishing, but weren't just ornaments to the story. Xandra was the teenager from hell, and the relationship between her and George was tidied up a little too nicely, but its Christmas. You get to have tidy bows in Christmas stories.
The companion novel, that talks about Annie's double (Lydia)'s adventures in the desert will certainly be interesting to read. Lydia, from the brief time we saw her, was much more down to earth, so it will be interesting to see how exactly she responds to 'royal' life. Plus we'll get to see what happened when she disappeared. ...more
The book started out rather awkwardly, as Colter tried to cram as much background information for Brody as possible before she introduced Lila, so itThe book started out rather awkwardly, as Colter tried to cram as much background information for Brody as possible before she introduced Lila, so it read like a very long exposition piece instead of flowing well, but after Lila's introduction the transitions became more fluid and the flow of the book was perfect.
I know that Harlequins are meant to adhere to a certain formula, which hasn't changed that much since the 80's Harlequins I used to devour, but I think for this story it was buried further than usual. There was definitely a sense of cheerful desperation on Lila's part while she struggled to forget what brought her to the small town in Washington to begin with and struggled with her feelings for Brody. It made her more real as we all know someone who thinks the 'perfect christmas' has to be a certain way.
Brody was kind of heart breaking. When it was from his third person limited perspective he wasn't a hard-nosed cynic at all. He was such a softie it hurt because he dwelled on loss so keenly. I wasn't really okay with what ended happening to his dog, by that point in the story it wasn't necessary as a sympathy factor believe me.
Their chemistry was amusing--the more Scrooge-like Brody became the more desperately cheerful Lila acted around him. The scene at the cabin was the sweetest I've read in a romance in a long time honestly.
As a holiday read this is fabulous--it reminds you why Christmas can be magical and gives you a warm boost to the heart. As a romance this is just as Lila wanted to create with her store--its a fantasy, but a fantasy we all need to desperately believe in. ...more