Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just the Sexiest Man Alive

by Julie James

Debut Author

Rated 4.5 stars (maybe 5)

Back Cover:

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her–not even her cheating ex-fiancĂ©. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.
Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize that she may just be his perfect match. . .

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I seldom try new authors who haven't been recommended to me by someone I trust. I went out on a limb to find someone (debut author) for the Readers of Romance Fall Reading Challenge. I found Julie James on FantasticFiction. I'm sooo glad I did.

Taylor Donovan was the right mix of confidence and vulnerability. She was forced to mentor Jason Andrews, Hollywood's IT Man for a role in an upcoming movie where he plays a "tough as nails" attorney. Upon first meeting Jason, I don't like him. I mean could he be more of a spoiled brat!!! Luckily, Taylor puts him in his place! Yeeeeaaa! He is at first offended then intrigued, but he pulls the Hollywood card, and gets his way. (Kinda makes me wanna put him in time-out!) It took me a while to warm up to him, because he kept pulling these stunts and getting Taylor in trouble to get his way. I was beginning to wonder if he was redeemable. However, not far into the plot, his Hollywood facade cracks a bit. We meet his best friend Jeremy.

Throughout this book the interplay between Taylor and Jason is witty and sharp. I love how they are sarcastic with each other. We also meet Jason's competition. Scott is a newer actor who feel jealous of Jason and wants to be the new Jason. He figures out who Jason Andrews mystery woman is and starts flirting and trying to "steal" her away. Very Pride and Prejudice. Jason appears to be spoiled and cocky, and ends up being warm and nurturing. Scott appears to be safe and kind and ends up being a real uh...um...jerk! (that's the edited version!!)

There were no sex scenes in this book, and though who doesn't love a good scene, I found that the romance took center stage without the physical stuff. I didn't miss it at all. We know that Jason and Taylor did the deed, but the description wasn't necessary.

I will say that I loved the part where Taylor has the concussion. She's so loopy, and he's being so noble. She imagines making a call to room service. Hysterical!!!!

I know that others have reviewed this more eloquently, but I loved this book. I will definately be trying other books by Julie James.


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Secret Life of Bryan

by Lori Foster

rated 4 stars

Back Cover:

When bounty hunter Bryan Kelly meets gorgeous philanthropist Shay Sommers he mistakes her for a prostitute. Despite Shay's denials, Bryan remains convinced that she's a hooker. Frustrated, Shay decides to conceal her wealthy lifestyle and moves into the Preacher's safe house to get to know some real "working women". Meanwhile, Bryan has an identity problem of his own, for he's masquerading as his twin brother, Preacher Bruce, in order to discover the identity of the person who assaulted Bruce and continues to threaten the women in his shelter. Bryan will do whatever it takes to find his brother's attacker and ensure the women's safety--especially Shay's. Both Shay and Bryan are keeping secrets that can destroy their growing relationship and neither of them are accustomed to trusting others. If Bryan can keep Shay alive, will he be able to convince her to trust him with her heart?

My Thoughts:

I liked Bryan, who kept slipping up as a "preacher". I mean, I've never met a preacher who cussed like that. However, Ms. Foster's initial description of Shay, left an image in my mind, that didn't connect with the lust that Bryan felt. I saw her as tall, Nordic, but more Helga maybe than Shay. Kinda robust, and solid. I think, I was supposed to see her as tall and slender almost willow-ey, but I just didn't. So, it was just not a picture I could see them together as a couple.

Also, something I don't get. She was nearly 6 ft. tall, and at one point she sits on his lap and is crying and he tucks her head under his chin......I don't see how that is physically possible. I mean, I'm almost 6 inches shorter than my husband, and if I were to sit on his lap, it would take an act of contortion for my head to fit under his chin.....Ouch!!!

Aaaanyway, I think the women at the shelter could have been better developed (literarilly speaking since they were well developed physically...ha ha ha ). I figured out, the mole right away. And for me, the sex scenes were too...not steamy, cuz I love the steamy scenes in BDB, but were so um, course? I don't know, it felt only physical not emotional. Almost clinical. I know, these are nitpicky things, but...

I think honestly with a few minor tweeks, this book for me would have been Great!!! As it stands, I found it good.

I will try, Say No To Joe, which was the 1st in the series. Am wondering if I'd read that one first, I'd have been more invested. And the minor tweeks wouldn't be necessary.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh My Gosh!!!!

So there I was doing a little grocery shopping at my local Wally World when I thought, well it's not a tuesday but I'll pop over to the book section, cuz you never know what you overlooked the last time you were here. So, I'm tooting around the romance section, and what do my eyes behold?????

Covet!!!!! Oh, yea! In Paperback! So I clutched my copy to my chest. Then do you know what I did? The Happy Dance!!!! Oh, yea! Oh, Yea! Oh, YEA, YEA, YEA!!!! Yep, right there in the Walmart aisle.

After which, point I look around for witnesses to my spontaneous glee. Whew!!! Then another lady comes into the aisle and picks up random book x, then random book y, then ......Oh yea! Covet. She looks around too. I give her my best knowing grin, and ask if she's read JR Ward? Oh, yes! She says, I've read everything she's ever written, I Love Her! She says.

So, me and stranger lady with exquisite taste in literature have a brief bonding moment over our found treasure. Then I must depart so that I can get home and blog about it.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hard and Fast

by Erin McCarthy

#5 Borrowed from a Friend or Library

Rated 3 Stars

Back Cover:

An experiment in romance...

New to Charlotte, North Carolina, stock car racing country, graduate student Imogen Wilson meets Ty McCordle, a driver who inexplicably has her pulse racing. After an encounter at the track with a woman whose main goal in life is to marry a driver, Imogen realizes she's hit on the perfect topic for her sociology thesis. If she follows the rules on how to get a man, can she steer her way into the hearts of the drivers and establish their dating--and mating--patterns?

...That's testing the limits of passion.

Although sexy reckless Ty is the ideal test subject, Imogen knows she can't pursue him for the sake of science. Yet he's the one who's chasing after her, and Imogen realizes that she actually wants to be caught. A Southern gentleman like Ty won't disappoint-he will satisfy her curiosity and make all the risks worthwhile.

My Thoughts:

I remember Ty McCordle and Imogen Wilson slightly from Flat Out Sexy. I really liked them both and was really looking forward to reading their story. I LOVE a good mismatched couple story. It's actually one of my favorite plot devices.

For some reason, I just didn't connect with this story, or these characters. We barely get reacquanted with them and by around pg 20 they are aleady fully aroused and speaking in sexual innuendo that is heavy on the sex and light on the innuendo. Then the next day, they are having crazy hot monkey sex (CHMS). Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it felt so quick and so unrealistic. To top it off, the language during CHMS was so graphic to me. I know what oral sex is, and don't want to know every slurp and grunt and how wet/salty/earthy.......everyone is. ya know?! I know that others really dig that, and that's all fine and good, but I found the descriptions of all the CHMS to be too much.

As the plot continues, I found it all to be too fast and too.....I don't know. I just couldn't get invested. Even with the secret Ty was keeping and stuff like that usually endears me to a character. I just couldn't feel invested. None of it felt even remotely realistic to me. Unfortunately for me, as much as I wanted to Love Ty and Imogen, I just didn't.

It was ok for me, but not a keeper. Luckily it was a very quick read. And Thank you Randi, for loaning it to me. That was awfully sweet.


Monday, September 14, 2009

An Offer From a Gentleman

by Julia Quinn

#4 Book with a F Word

Rated 4.5 Stars

Back Cover:

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she'd be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton's famed masquerade ball -- or that "Prince Charming" would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other -- except, perhaps, this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid's garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers her his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?

My Thoughts:

This is a fresh modern version of the traditional Cinderella fairy tale. Complete with wicked stepmother and stepsisters, a Ball, secret identity, and the stroke of midnight. It definitely gives Cinderella a run for her money. Instead of mice and household animals as companions, Sophie Becket is loved and nurtured by the household staff. It is this loving, albeit limited family who come up with the idea for Sophie to "crash" the masquerade ball given by The Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton. There our Sophie meets her Prince Charming, in the very debonair Benedict Bridgerton. Benedict is immediately drawn to his mystery muse.

After the ball, Sophie returns to her life in servitude to her Step-monster-ish, and her two daughters. After a turn of events, Sophie find herself on her own and finds work with a family elsewhere, and the son of that family attempts to mistreats her in a most personal way. Enter Prince Charming again, who happens to be a guest at a party given by same Son, Son of a B#%&H more like. He rescues our Sophie and their unlikely relationship begins.

She from the working class and he from the ton. It could never work in the traditional marriage sense so......Benedict makes her an offer. Be his mistress. Now, this reader doesn't usually like it when Heroes make such an offer. This reader tends to begin to really dislike said, Hero. But this time, and in this situation it was done with such warmth, that This Reader loved the Hero in spite. It really was a "No Win" for this unlikely couple and he knew he couldn't live without her so........

She categorically refuses his offer. Twists and turns later, I was pleasantly surprised at how Ms. Quinn worked the situation out for Our Sophie and Benedict "Charming". I knew she would. :::nods head for effect:::

I will not go into more details, so as not to spoil it for you, but This Reader loved this Cinderella story very much. I'm now referring to the entire Bridgerton series as my Vitamin B-ridgerton, cuz it's soooooo good. (and good for you!!!)


Romancing Mr. Bridgerton.

by Julia Quinn

Rated 5 Stars

#1 Beta Hero

Back Cover:

Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend's brother for...well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret...and fears she doesn't know him at all.

Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty headed charmer, tired of the neverending sameness of his life, and, most of all, tired of everyone's preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can't seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph. But when Colin returns to London from a trip abroad, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same---especially Penelope Featherington! The girl who was always simply...there is suddenly the girl haunting his dreams. But when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide...is she his biggest threat---or his promis of a happy ending?

My Thoughts:

I loved Colin. I loved that he is discontent but knows he has nothing to complain about. I love when he starts getting angry at things, and show his temper that noone really thought he had. I love that he falls in love with the "on the shelf" maid/used to be wallflower/almost kid sister. I love how, she is suddenly cute to him and he finds that quizzical. "When did she become cute?"

I love that, Penelope isn't what she seems. I love that underneath the sorta shy girl is a rapier wit and a true backbone. I love that she falls in love so young, and even though she could have been bitter about her spinsterhood, she isn't. I love that she has the last laugh.

The scene on the front steps, the flashback where she walks out and Colin and his brothers are there and Colin is complaining and Says. "I'm never going to marry Penelope Featherington!" And there stands Penelope. Cringe Worthy!!!! You just feel her heart shatter, and you also just feel how Colin wants to die. He'd rather do anything than hurt Penelope, she's a friend after all, but he's just really stepped in it this time.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Viscount Who Loved Me

by Julia Quinn
#15 Author Backlist

Rated 4.5 Stars

Back Cover:
1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London's most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry. And in all truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better...
--Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, April 1814

But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn't just decided to marry--he's even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield--the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate's the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams...

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes to not make the best husbands--and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate's determined to protect her sister--but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony's lips touch hers, she's suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself...

My thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was the perfect mix of fun, witty banter, and poignant moments. Each lead character (Anthony and Kate) had their own fears and obstacles to overcome. I really love Lady Whistledown too. I know this review is short and probably not very impressive and also not very inspiring, but Hey, it's one of those days.

If you haven't read the Bridgerton's, you simply must try them. This author highly recommends them......:)


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dreaming of You

by Lisa Kleypas
#14 Dream title
Rated 5 stars

Back Cover:
She stood at peril's threshold --
then love beckoned her in…...
A prim, well-bred gentlewoman, Sara Fielding is a writer who puts pen to paper to create dreams. But now curiosity is luring her from the shelter of her country cottage into the dangerous world of Derek Craven -- handsome, tough, and tenacious -- and the most exciting man Sara has ever met.
Derek rose from poverty to become the wealthy lord of London's most exclusive gambling house. And now duty demands that he allow Sara Fielding to enter his perilous realm of ever-shifting fortunes -- with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But there is a hidden strength and sensuality to the lady that captivates him beyond his better judgment. And in this world, where danger lurks behind every shadow, even a proper "mouse" can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress -- and a cynical gambler can be shaken to his core by the power of passion and the promise of love.

My Thoughts:
We meet Ms. Fielding in the beginning of this story, as she rescues our Derek from a couple of thugs intent on scarring him and beating him to a pulp. So, our spinster, country mouse has a little spunk. She is then allowed entrance into Craven's to do "Research" for her newest novel. Many things are done in the name of research but we begin to see that although Sara is innocent she has a courage and sense of adventure. She is the person who doesn't want life to be lived around her but wants to embrace life. She is drawn to our Derek, can you tell I love him? Our Derek is drawn to her even though he tries valiantly not to be. He knows he can never be good enough for her. Oh, Pish! Our Derek is Wooooonderful. He is a supreme tortured hero, and we Love him. He tries again and again to push her away, and somehow keeps coming back. Luckily for us he does. Sara and he finally come together, and even though Our Derek has never known happiness or contentment of even complete Love, he Loves her. He is unable to say, it until circumstances put him face to face with seeing that Love disappear.

I like Sara's sense of adventure and her soft heart. I love the Mathilda storyline too. We meet up again with Alex and Lily Raiford from Then Came You. And Stalwart Mr. Worthy. And of course, Our Derek. (did I mention that I love him?)
This book is a keeper for sure!!!