This book left me feeling a bit unfilled. It's the first book in what I'm guessing will be a five book series and it introduces what wi...moreShort review...
This book left me feeling a bit unfilled. It's the first book in what I'm guessing will be a five book series and it introduces what will apparently be a series wide story arc. But theres so much focus on it in this story that when you get to the end and get no resolution you feel really unfulfilled. Troy's story dominates over the heroine's stalker and so to not get anywhere with that part of the plot just kinda sucks. Plus, the romance is rather slow building and flat. Altogether I just wanted more out of this book. But I plan to keep reading the series. I'm curious as to who really killed Helene. (less)
Hmm...I didn't like this book nearly as much as I'd hoped I would. I found it mostly disappointing.
Midnight Confessions by Robyn Carr This novella is a...moreHmm...I didn't like this book nearly as much as I'd hoped I would. I found it mostly disappointing.
Midnight Confessions by Robyn Carr This novella is about Sunny and Drew. Each character is related to other Virgin River characters and are in the are for the holidays. Sunny is nursing a broken heart and lots of anger after being left at the alter a year ago. She wants nothing to do with men. And Drew is just hanging around VR, taking a break from his medical studies. But the moment he sees Sunny, he's drawn to her. To bad she won't give him a break...or will she?
For those of you familiar with Virgin River, this is a pretty typical type of Robyn Carr story. You'll get your VR fix and visit some favorite characters. I didn't mind it, but it's by far not a favorite of the series. Sunny's "poor me" mode got old. But I did like Drew a lot. Really, the only thing that I wished were different about this story was the length. It was too short. The entire novella takes place over I think one night. And for me, that's just not conducive to a HEA ending. I was left not quite feeling like these two were ready to embark on a future together. The story just needed more to it.
Midnight Surrender by Jean Brashear In this novella, Jordan is lawyer who goes through men like tissues and pretty much only has two modes in life - work and play. Settling down with one man is not in the cards for her. Then she meets carpenter Will Masterson. Though the two couldn't be more different, they can't stay away from each other. But can they get past their differences to find a future together?
Ugh. I didn't like this novella at all. I dragged out reading it for like 2 days and it was only 100 pages or so. I couldn't stand the heroine, Jordan. What an annoying bitch. Will deserved someone so much better. Overall, I just did not feel the romance between these two. They were too different with not enough middle ground to bring them together. I couldn't wait to finish this novella. Oh, and one other annoying thing...I was really ticked off about the whole thing with Marly in the story (one of Jordan's good friends). There are several references to problems she having in her marriage, but then you get no resolution to it at all. Drove me nuts to have such a big storypoint fall off the face of the earth.
Midnight Assignment by Victoria Dahl Third novella in this anthology, which is about to FDIC agents who are sent to Omaha to complete a bank take over. Elise and Noah have a bit of a past, and being thrown together again reminds them of it constantly until they can't keep denying the feelings between them. Throughout the course of the takeover, they learn there's been a lot of misunderstandings between them and that maybe once they're cleared up, there might be a relationship worth building.
I thought this novella was pretty good. I wasn't sure what to expect - I've read some other books by Dahl and some things about her writing I love, some I hate. On the whole, this was a solid little story. Interesting storyline, good characters. It kept me reading. I did think the characters could have been fleshed out more, but oh well. Honestly, this may have been my favorite of the three novellas. Hard to say.
Overall, is this anthology worth buying? For Virgin River fans, yes. You never want to miss a VR story, even if it's not a super great one. The second novella is skippable. The third worth reading. So yeah, I'd guess I'd say it's worth buying.(less)
After I finished this book, I really wanted to write a long, full review, but I just never got a chance to. And now that it's a month later I don't re...moreAfter I finished this book, I really wanted to write a long, full review, but I just never got a chance to. And now that it's a month later I don't remember enough details to do my typical type of review, but I still wanted to write what a could.
Summary: Clarisse is on the run from her abusive ex. She believes he intends to kill her so she embarks on a cross-country trip to the one place she may be safe: her uncle's fishing boat. She arrives, falls asleep, and when she wakes up, she finds to strange men having sex on the deck.
What Clarisse didn't know was that her uncle had sold the boat to Brant and Sully. When the two find Clarisse on their boat, they soon realize she's a woman on the run and with the physical and emotional scars to prove it. They offer her refuge, with a warning that they don't lead a typical life.
Brant and Sully are involved in a full-fledged Dominance/submissive lifestyle. And they don't intend to shield Clarisse from the way they live. Clarisse is baffled, confused...and if honest, a bit turned on by what she learns about these two men. But she's got a lot of healing to do before she could consider letting herself get involved with these two intriguing men.
Review: This was such a fascinating book. There are a lot of erotic romances out there these days that involve Dominance/submission themes, but they tend to stick to D/s in the bedroom. This story isn't like that. It's about a full D/s lifestyle, initially between to male lovers, then adding in a woman who becomes another sub in the relationship.
I admit that lifestyle D/s stories don't tend to appeal to me, especially when it involves a male being totally submissive. It's hot in the bedroom, but as a daily life thing? I personally can't imagine living like that. But I thought author Tymber Dalton did an excellent job in this book giving an outsider some insight into this type of relationship. I was completely fascinated as I read this story.
Sure I don't quite get why someone would want to live a D/s lifestyle, but it was interesting to read and showed me what others may get out of it. There is definitely romance in the book, but I wouldn't say it's the focus or an overly romantic story. This book is all about the D/s relationship, how it builds, changes, grows, the whys, the hows. There's also a strong S&M element with the submissive male craving moderately serious pain. Baffling to imagine for an outsider, but Dalton really shows you why he craves it.
I was just so impressed with this story. It's stuck with me since I read it. It's not one you want to read if you just looking for a hot erotic romance or just a bi-menage story. But if you open-minded and want to read a D/s lifestyle story then this is one that you should definitely read. It's well worth it.
(and okay, that was longer than I planned to write...)(less)
I was hoping that I'd like this book more than I did the first one...and for a while in the beginning I thought I was going to enjoy, b...moreRating: 2.5 / 5
I was hoping that I'd like this book more than I did the first one...and for a while in the beginning I thought I was going to enjoy, but then it slipped down to just average. It just didn't hit the right spots for me.
Series Note: Second book in Phillips' "Bachelor Blogs" series. Possibly a standalone, but the setup is introduced in book 1.
Summary: Sara Rios and Rafe Mancuso were once partners on the police force who had a lot of unspoken chemistry between them, but Rafe transferred to hostage negotiation. The two reunite to do some off-duty security work at a charity auction. Things go wrong and Rafe is stabbed and Sara injures her knee. The situation puts Rafe in the spotlight and earns him a spot in the Bachelor Blog.
To escape the notoriety - and the reminder of his feelings for Sara - Rafe goes back to his small hometown for some rest and recuperation. But Sara also finds herself in the spotlight, which is not a good thing when she's supposed to be lying low since she's the star witness at an upcoming murder trial. So she chases after Rafe, hoping he'll help keep her safe. The situation forces them to confront their feelings for each other. Rafe hopes their can be a future for them, but Sara is seriously commitment-phobic and she'll have to do some major reevaluating of her life before she can give Rafe what he wants.
Review: I don't know whether it's that these light, beach-read type contemporary romances just don't do it for me anymore, or whether it was this book that didn't work for me. Either way, it was just an average read that mostly bored me, but didn't slip into "this book sucks" realm.
The first little bit seemed promising and I thought I was going to enjoy the book. I liked the chemistry between Sara and Rafe and the situation they found themselves in. It had a lot of potential to develop into a nice romance. But Phillips lost me along the way.
I got tired of Sara's commitment phobia. For someone who seemed so smart, she was dumb about relationships. I just got tired of her "it didn't work for them, it didn't work for them...so obviously it doesn't work for ANYBODY." Plus, it was such a typical, over-used romantic conflict that had nothing to set it apart from everything else out there. I wanted more from these two characters.
But that wasn't where the book lost me. It was the "plot." I liked the part about Sara being the target of hitmen because of the trial she was to testify in and I thought that would be the focus of the book...instead, this weird, sort of slap-stick storyling jumps of that had me rolling my eyes and thinking "good grief." It deals with Rafe's uncle procuring Canadian Viagra for his buddies as a secret side-venture...then somehow, a big-time drug dealer finds out and sends two of his goons to "convince" the uncle to start getting harder drugs and using the uncle's business trucks to ship them. It was so ridiculous. The whole thing had me shaking my head and totally bored. It was a weird aspect to the book.
Then there was a lot of focus on Rafe's brother's marital problems which took time away from what I wanted to read about. And there's the whole Bachelor Blog thing...
Really, this book didn't work for me much on any level. I had planned to give this one 3 stars, but the more I thought about it, the more the book didn't work for me. So it's a weak 2.5 stars. I'm disappointed in how this series went. I've read a lot of Phillips stuff and I think these two books are by far my least favorites of them bunch.(less)
What is it about Lora Leigh's books that keep us coming back for more even when they frustrate us so much? Not sure...something to ponder. Because lik...moreWhat is it about Lora Leigh's books that keep us coming back for more even when they frustrate us so much? Not sure...something to ponder. Because like her other books, this one had quite a few things in it that were irritating, but it wasn't a terrible book.
Series Note: Part of Leigh's long-runnin "Tempting SEALs/Elite Ops" series. This one has a pretty singular storyline so you could possibly read it as a stand-alone.
Summary: Clothing designer Mikayla Martin goes to her brother's job at a construction site one day to pick him up and stumbles upon a murder in progress. She recognizes the shooter and tells the police. But the killer seems to have an air-tight alibi. No on is sure what to believe.
Elite-Ops Agent Nik Steele owes a favor to a local builder and when that man is accused of murder (by Mikayla) he calls in his favor to Nik. The man wants Nik to find out what's up with Mikayla...he knows she's not the type to lie, but he also knows he's not a murderer. So Nik inserts himself into Mikayla's life.
The chemistry between good-girl Mikayla and the morose special agent is instantaneous. But whose side is Nik on? Mikayla doesn't know but she can't resist Nik. And as their digging into the murder goes deeper, Mikayla's life becomes in danger. Nik is there to save her at every step. Unfortunately, because of the life he leads, his stay is only temporary...at least that's what Nik tells himself.
Review: Initially I was enjoying this book quite a bit. It's got a lot of romance, a nice mystery and some hot sex. But after a short while everything started to get rather repetitive. To the point that I began skimming scenes because they weren't really adding anything to the story.
At the most basic, I liked the romance. Mikayla is a good girl who works hard, doesn't swear, is a virgin and is liked by everyone. Nik is a dark special agent, part of the Elite Ops - a team of men who are dead men with new identities as bad guys. It's a total clash of images. Over used and trite maybe, but still sexy. The two have great chemistry together.
But the way LL portrayed these two, especially together, was frustrating. Much is made of Mikayla's stature. The way LL describes her makes her seem like an 80lb, 4ft tall little person when in reality she's just a little below average - 5'4" I believe, with a normal weight. But all throughout the book Nik is constantly referring to her as a little fairy, the smallest woman he's been with, etc etc etc and good grief it got really old really really fast. It was so overblown it was ridiculous and it cast an annoying vibe over the whole romance.
Plus - and this issue has bothered me in previous books - but I hate all the secret keeping re: Nik's identity and job. By the time the book ends Mikayla still has no idea who Nik really is, what he does, how he ended up that way, etc. Personally, that's a lousy way to build a relationship and it doesn't really work for me.
The suspense plot was okay...I thought I would like it a lot more, but it seemed really underdeveloped. There never seemed to be enough focus on the case, the investigating, the possibilities. It seemed like all the investigating got done behind the scenes by other characters then relayed to Nik. I just wanted more out of this plot. And the bad guy, though you wouldn't be able to name him by name at the end, it was obvious which way the story was going.
One other thing I didn't like about the book was how separate it seemed from all the other books and characters. You didn't get the Elite Ops vibe - the teamwork, the danger - and all that. I missed it.
Oh, one other thing - the editing issue LL is prone too. It was nowhere near as bad as that one book, but there were still noticeable problems. Like Nik pulling up somewhere in a hummer, but then leaving on his Harley, or a character being called a wrong name. Stuff like that. Distracting, but it wasn't too bad.
So...hmmm...it was an okay book. The diehard LL fans will probably like it, the LL critics will find the same issues as they find in other books, and the ones in the middle will still probably be in the middle.
WARNING, this book contains: explicit sex and language, a little ass play, but overall it's fairly tame for an LL book.(less)
I'm not a huge Carly Phillips fan, but I tend to enjoy her books. This one was just so-so for me. Not bad, not good, just fairly average.
Series Note: F...moreI'm not a huge Carly Phillips fan, but I tend to enjoy her books. This one was just so-so for me. Not bad, not good, just fairly average.
Series Note: First book in Phillips new series "Bachelor Blogs" about sexy bachelors in NYC and the women they fall for.
Summary: Crime reporter Sam Coop is at his favorite hot dog stand one day when he sees a robbery in progress at a nearby jewelry store. Coop leaps into action and manages to capture the robber. The jewelry store owner is so grateful she lets Coop pick a piece of jewelry as a reward. He chooses an old, gaudy antique ring. Coop is later horrified to learn that his escapades capture the attention of a blogger who writes "The Bachelor Blogs" and he's now the newest hot bachelor in NYC. He's inundated with women wanting his attention.
But Lexie Davis wants his attention for another reason. She saw the ring he received on TV and is interested in buying it for her grandmother since it looks similar to a necklace her grandmother owns. When Lexie and Coop meet, sparks fly. But Coop is interested in learning about the ring's past - as it appears to be part of a set stolen in the 50's. Unfortunately, Coop's digging might implicate Lexie's family. Their newfound relationship might not survive the turmoil - or the fundamental differences between homebody Coop and world traveler Lexie.
Review: I don't have a whole lot to say about this book. There wasn't anything really great about it that I want to gush over and there wasn't anything really horrible that I need to criticize. The book was pretty average on all levels.
The romance was okay. I liked both characters individually. Coop seemed like a really great guy, and Lexie was nice. But I'm not sure I bought into these two being together. They're so fundamentally different in how they live their lives. Coop's a creature of habit and homebody, and Lexie's a traveler who likes to just pick up and go when she feels like it. She doesn't even have her own place to live. She just stays with her grandmother when she's in town. So it was hard to picture these two sticking together. They seem to work it out in the end, but I'm still not sure I bought into it.
There's also a bit of a suspense plot to the book. This is one of those contemporary romances that gives almost equal time to a plot separate from the romance. I don't think Phillips normally goes that route. But it was an okay plot. The secrets and stuff were fairly obvious. I knew how it was going to work out early in the book. It was a quirky story, though.
On the whole, though, there was just something missing from this story and I have no idea what. It didn't capture my attention in any way and it was just a story I was reading. There wasn't enough intensity in the suspense aspect to make it a romantic suspense and intriguing to read. And the romance was iffy for me so it didn't snag me there either. There was just something bland about this story. But it didn't make the book impossible to read, just not as engaging as I'd have liked.
The ending, though, which sets up the next book, hooked me enough that I've moved book two up on my TBR list. But yeah, for you Phillips fans, I think you will most likely enjoy it enough. This is a book for those of you who like light-hearted romance, though.(less)