I love this book—not because it's well written, even though it sort of is—because I LOVE the characters. I want to be best friends with Janie and frieI love this book—not because it's well written, even though it sort of is—because I LOVE the characters. I want to be best friends with Janie and friends-with-benefits with Quinn. The plot was a bit clunky at times, and I had to skim a couple scenes that were just too much for me to cope with, but overall I found the whole thing to be smart, funny, and extremely engaging. I stayed up waaaay past my bedtime to keep reading, even though today is my day off and I could have finished it today :)...more
I'm not going to finish this one. I'm having a hard time with the writing, not connecting to the characters, and not invested in the outcome of the stI'm not going to finish this one. I'm having a hard time with the writing, not connecting to the characters, and not invested in the outcome of the story. I'm rolling my eyes so hard while I read, I just don't enjoy the experience anymore…. I think the novel went downhill for me when the menacing notes started to arrive and one of the central characters turned Amateur Sleuth. Until then, I was doing just fine enjoying the the flirty banter and legal jargon....more
YES!! Found out this had been released a bit early and immediately read it. Like, immediately. And I loved it! Alex and Sandra were fresh and unique (YES!! Found out this had been released a bit early and immediately read it. Like, immediately. And I loved it! Alex and Sandra were fresh and unique (a word I hate to use, but can't find a better one here) and I loved watching them fall in love. Can't wait for the next one! ...more
In the mountains of Afghanistan, a hostile situation goes FUBAR whenReview written for and published by the Portland Book Review on November 6, 2014:
In the mountains of Afghanistan, a hostile situation goes FUBAR when covert operative Sergeant Zak Hendricks is identified and captured by the group he was commanded to infiltrate. The US government writes Hendricks off, forcing his commander to turn to HORNET, a private hostage recovery team made up of former military and government agency tough guys.
New to HORNET, Seth Harlan has everything to prove – not only to his teammates, who doubt his capabilities, but to himself as well. Seth knows too well what happens to prisoners of war in Afghanistan, and has been struggling with PTSD since his entire team was killed in action.
Arriving in Kabul, Seth meets a woman named Phoebe Leighton a photojournalist with distracting red hair and closely held secrets. Phoebe recognizes Seth from the media reports of his rescue, and hopes he never learns of the malicious articles she regrets writing about him. Drawn together by rumors of a suitcase nuke held by a local militant, Seth must trust Phoebe despite the secrets he knows she is keeping. When he struggles with crowds, abrupt noises, and the pain of his own memories, only Phoebe gives him the focus and confidence he needs to bring Sergeant Hendricks home. The situation is more deadly than HORNET bargained for, but for Seth the real danger lies in trusting Phoebe with his heart.
Following last year’s SEAL of Honor, Tonya Burrows’ HORNET series continues with Honor Reclaimed, a redemption story with powerful emotional resonance. The author’s depiction of PTSD is heartrending; the agony of Seth’s past trauma rivals the pain of his hope for a future he craves, but can’t believe he deserves. Just as Seth has been punishing himself for his perceived failures, Phoebe has rewritten her life in order to atone for her callous treatment of a wounded hero. For both of these characters, trust and redemption go hand in hand. A decided improvement over the so-so series opener, Honor Reclaimed fully delivers on its promise of racing pulses and wrenching emotion....more
Ellice Traylor has spent a lifetime under her mother’s disapproving eyReview written for and published by the Portland Book Review on August 15, 2014:
Ellice Traylor has spent a lifetime under her mother’s disapproving eye, pouring all her scandalous thoughts and feelings into an erotic manuscript. The son of a wastrel skirt-chaser, Ross Forster has become an uncompromising rule-follower, but nothing could prepare him for a contradiction like Ellice. Once Ross reads her manuscript, he finds it impossible to get the carnal scenes out of his head, and refuses to believe that a virgin could write such eroticism. When stolen kisses lead to a hasty marriage, Ellice and Ross must heal their wounded hearts in order to write a passionate, loving future for themselves.
Readers can expect Karen Ranney to write memorable characters with potent chemistry, and this final Clan Sinclair novel does not disappoint. The Virgin of Clan Sinclair is a familiar story – girl meets boy, boy kisses girl, girl must marry or lose her reputation – starring delightfully unconventional characters. A termagant mother with a favorite-child complex, an acquisitive widow looking for love, and a virgin writer of erotic literature personify Ranney’s quirky style. All in all, The Virgin of Clan Sinclair is a terrific conclusion to what has been a fresh and imaginative series. ...more
I scored a used copy of this at Powell's this week, before the book was even released! I immediately went home and read it in a single sitting. This lI scored a used copy of this at Powell's this week, before the book was even released! I immediately went home and read it in a single sitting. This latest installment in the In Death series was a fresh twist on the series and on Robb/Roberts' writing. Justice was ultimately served, but not in the way that Eve Dallas hoped. I won't give the ending away, but it was slightly different from previous novels in a way that I really really liked. It's good for the series and the genre to leave a little ambiguity in a mystery novel. ...more
At first, I was completely put off by the unfortunate covers of Laurenston's books. They are real bad.
But I was stubborn (and bored) so I read The MaAt first, I was completely put off by the unfortunate covers of Laurenston's books. They are real bad.
But I was stubborn (and bored) so I read The Mane Event. Was I disappointed? Not a bit. Was I merrily humming as I read? Once or twice. I very much enjoyed the two novellas in this single book. They are the foundational stories of her Pride series, and they do their job admirably. Laurenston introduces her readers to a world in which some humans can shift into predatory animal species, such as lions, wolves, bears, leopards, hyenas, etc. Throughout both novellas, the dialogue is fast-paced and sharp (if weighed down by exaggerated accents), and the action moves briskly. I think you could argue that there is next to no plot in either story, but that might be a novella problem. Regardless, the stories are steamy and enjoyable.
I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series! ...more
Review written for and published by the Portland Book Review:
Molly Gloss, award-winning author of The Jump Off Creek and Wild Life, returns to her WesReview written for and published by the Portland Book Review:
Molly Gloss, award-winning author of The Jump Off Creek and Wild Life, returns to her Western roots with a powerfully unsentimental story of innocence lost, the loneliness of grief and the transitional meaning of home. Beginning with a grimy bus ride south, and ending with a long ride north again, Falling From Horses spans the year of 1938, when nineteen-year-old Bud Frazer set out to become a stunt rider in Hollywood movies. Brought together by a shared bus ride, Bud Frazer and Lily Shaw—an aspiring writer with more backbone than beauty—would become lifelong friends, sharing hope and heartache in Hollywood and the years to come.
Though lightly educated and youthfully inexperienced, Bud learns to see clear through the glamour of Hollywood to the off-hand cruelty of budget-conscious studios, which have no concern for desperate riders and even less for the horses that carry them. Come to Hollywood looking to lose himself and the darkness he carries, Bud is slow to outrage against the violence around him, but a terrible accident finally unveils the reality of movie-making and forces Bud to find a way home.
Falling From Horses is mercilessly evocative, bringing to life the Western landscape and the diversity of characters that make it their home. The heartbreak of lost friends and loved ones—those left behind, those who have died—is nearly outweighed by the devastation of lost horses, carelessly sacrificed for cheap Hollywood thrills. Molly Gloss upends the cowboy archetype, exposing this cinematic construction as a hollow fantasy, and offers a more truthful depiction of the cowboy life. Both beautiful and unflinching, Falling From Horses may be hard to love, but it should prove impossible to forget. ...more
Definitely my least favorite in the KGI series. I loved Donovan Kelly in previous novels, so I;m disappointed by my own reactVery mild spoilers below.
Definitely my least favorite in the KGI series. I loved Donovan Kelly in previous novels, so I;m disappointed by my own reaction to After the Storm. Eve, whose last name I don't remember learning, arrives in the Kelly hometown with her teenage brother and infant sister, who she has helped escape from their abusive father. Naturally, she's pretty strung out from the stress and the Kelly's offer to help the family, once they learn their situation. In a matter of minutes, Donovan has decided that he wants to live happily ever after with Eve, Travis, and baby Cammie. He takes them home and repeatedly reminds them that they are his family, now, and he will take care of them forever. Don't worry.
Now, I can't for the life of me figure out why Donovan fell so hard for Eve No-Last-Name, who has ZERO back story and isn't even named in the back cover copy. Other than her golden eyes, I haven't a clue what she's like. Does she have a last name? Any skills or hobbies? How about a personality? Nope. She's a total damsel, but Donovan falls hard and spends the rest of the novel feeding her and giving her medical injections and rescuing her and then repeating the previous steps. Ugh. Why couldn't Eve's character be more developed? More interesting? After reading PJ's and Maren's stories, I was all set to meet another strong, nuanced heroine who would be enhanced, not defined, by her relationship with the KGI alpha hero she would ultimately fall for… But Eve is not that kind of character, no matter how many excused I want to make for her. I wonder if her character would have naturally seemed more developed and sympathetic if the narrative was from her perspective instead of Donovan's.
2 Stars (generous, because I love the Kelly family and still have faith in the series)...more
WOO YAY HAHAHA YES!!! It's just like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, except in Tennessee (my second favorite state, behind beloved Oregon), with a ViWOO YAY HAHAHA YES!!! It's just like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, except in Tennessee (my second favorite state, behind beloved Oregon), with a Viking (ish), and with knitting!! Like everything else Penny Reid has written, I already started rereading Beauty and the Mustache. It's just too cute, too romantic, too fun!
No lie: I read the first 26 books in this series in about a month. I have been saturated in Lora Leigh's Breed series for weeks (which sounds unhygienNo lie: I read the first 26 books in this series in about a month. I have been saturated in Lora Leigh's Breed series for weeks (which sounds unhygienic and kinky when you think about it too long, so don't). With this newest book, I was left feeling about the same as I did about most of the previous books. I won't go raving about it, but I didn't poke my own eyes out with a fork either. I came away from this one asking, Why would it be so bad to remember your past? For Liza, her real past is dark and painful, and presumably remembering it would be painful as well. But if remembering your own identity could save lives, then why wouldn't you try to remember it? Liza spends a lot of time pushing her past away, and the supporting cast is constantly referring to her refusal to remember. Why refuse? However, if she hadn't been refusing her entire life, then this series would have ground to a halt about four books back. ...more
Oh boy was Jackie annoying. A giant pain in the ass. She whines and whines and whines that she wants to go back to her "real" life as a corporate noboOh boy was Jackie annoying. A giant pain in the ass. She whines and whines and whines that she wants to go back to her "real" life as a corporate nobody, rather than live and work with the Theronai as a badass. She is constantly characterized as someone who would never turn her back on someone in need, if she could help them, but she spends the whole book avoiding her responsibility and refusing to use her abilities TO HELP PEOPLE. It's infuriating the way she tries to avoid making commitments and then turns around and makes sweeping promises to people she hardly knows. I hate Jackie. I wanted to punch her in the face for several hundred pages. I don't understand why anyone would love someone who behaves and talks so selfishly, and only helps other people when they are about to be killed. Doesn't she realize that helping people now would keep them from almost (or completely) getting killed tomorrow?! Ugh. She totally fails to fulfill her character's potential. I understand why she is written into the series, but I don't understand how Butcher could have made her so unlovable. Badass abilities are no good if the person wielding them is a limp noodle.
That being said, the series is good and the worldbuilding continues to impress. Just skip this book and read the Wikipedia page instead. ...more
Couldn't finish this one! I was on a romantic suspense kick, but I may be done now. When you learn to write, or edit, you learn to show, not tell. SoCouldn't finish this one! I was on a romantic suspense kick, but I may be done now. When you learn to write, or edit, you learn to show, not tell. So the entire time I was reading this, I wanted the author to shut up and give me a chance to figure out that metaphor for myself, to understand--on my own--that this character was sad, to use my own wits to identify the criminal mastermind, etc. If you've a better tolerance for obvious storytelling and clunky writing, then you might like this book!...more
This book is what I like to call a "kitchen sink" story, where there's everything but the kitchen sink. Brends Duranov is a Fallen angel, which makesThis book is what I like to call a "kitchen sink" story, where there's everything but the kitchen sink. Brends Duranov is a Fallen angel, which makes him a Goblin, which means he trades favors for souls. If he doesn't, then the Thirst drives him crazy until he murders women or turns into the Goblin beast thing, which basically is a big rapey hulk with long fingernails. When his kind bonds with a woman, they feed off of their emotions and soul...until the soul is gone? That part was never really made clear. Some women are soul mates, which is rare and special, and if one of the Fallen/Goblins bonds with one—by screwing her in front of witnesses and biting her—then they get their wings back. They can go back to Heaven if they want, and start to feel the pretty emotions again. But I don't know what happens to the Goblin bits. Do they stop being Goblins?
So, we're looking at angels, vampires, shifters, goblins, and incubi. All in one horny asshole who wields a sword, hunts down Rogue Fallen when he isn't hanging out at the nightclub and taking advantage of desperate women. With all that going on, it's no surprise that the story made almost no sense. In maybe three days, Mischka the Repressed falls in love with Brends the Bully, who gets his wings and feelings back just in time to save the day and live happily ever after. Except that Heaven may be broken, and the Angels up there might be murderers.
Also, Brends natters on and on about being dominant and kinky and too hot to handle, but he wasn't. The steamy scenes were full of arching backs and neck kissing and descriptions of lingerie, but not much else.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book, although there were some scenes that I thought were much better than others. I wish this book was four different books, and that the central characters weren't so all-over-the-place. On a sentence level, I think the book is not outstanding but not distractingly bad either. My problems with this one were with the storyline and characters....more
Since this is a two-book volume, I had different ratings for each story. The first, Trouble in High Heels, is 4-star material. I really enjoyed readinSince this is a two-book volume, I had different ratings for each story. The first, Trouble in High Heels, is 4-star material. I really enjoyed reading it, especially enjoyed the Italian jewel-thief. The second, Tongue in Chic, only gets 3 stars. It starts out confusing, but definitely picks up towards the end. Both stories do a good job of making the reader second-guess everything about the characters and the storyline. Fun!...more