Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kiss Me - Susan Mallery

Kiss Me (Fool's Gold)
Kiss Me (Fool's Gold)
by Susan Mallery
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.19

Book Description:

"New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery creates the small-town destination for romance in charming Fool's Gold, California—where a loner cowboy finds the one woman who can capture his heart 

After Phoebe Kitzke's kind heart gets her suspended from her job in LA, she swears off doing favors—until her best friend begs for help on the family ranch in Fool's Gold. Unfortunately, sexy cowboy Zane Nicholson isn't exactly thrilled by the city girl's arrival. 

Thanks to his brother's latest scheme, Zane has been roped into taking tourists on a cattle drive. What Phoebe knows about ranching wouldn't fill his hat, but her laughter is so captivating that even his animals fall for her. One slip of his legendary control leads to a passionate kiss that convinces him she's exactly the kind of woman a single-minded loner needs to avoid. 

In his arms, Phoebe discovers she's a country girl at heart. Yet no matter how much the small town feels like home, she can't stay unless Zane loves her, too…but is this cowboy interested in forever?"

While this wasn't my favorite of the "Fool's Gold series, it wasn't a bad read. A bit formulaic, but then what romance really isn't?

This wasn't really a relationship based book-it was more of a personality 'flaw' based story. Zane is the hero and his flaw is that he can't seem to forgive and nobody can seem to live up to his standards. But of course he is hiding a bit of a secret.

Phoebe on the other hand, if I didn't know that she was supposed to be 27, I would have pegged her to be 18 or 19...her problem is her ultra huge heart and the fact that she talks to inanimate objects and animals - this was cute and quirky... for a while. She isn't hiding a single thing, she just lays everything out on the table and has no filter for either her brain or her mouth!

There is huge sexual tension that doesn't get... uhm...relieved until the last quarter of the book. Quite hot!

The idea of the cattle drive was a good one and it does drive the story, having a disaster happen (or near disaster) was expected.

Having this couple fall so deeply in love that they would get married in only a week is what made this a fairly implausible tale for me. Then again it IS fiction. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

ARC supplied by publisher.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wolf with Benefits (Kindle Edition) -Shelly Laurenston

Product Details

Wolf with Benefits (The Pride Series Book 8) by Shelly Laurenston (Mar 26, 2013)


Book Description:
"Hot shape-shifters and even hotter passion." —New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter
There's nothing like a good-ol'-boy wolf.  And ace security expert Ricky Lee Reed serves, protects and seduces with all the right moves. . .
Sure, Toni Jean-Louis Parker has to be the responsible oldest sister to a crazy-brilliant clan of jackal siblings. But now she's cutting loose for some hot, sweaty, no-commitments fun—and the sexy, slow-talking, swift-moving predator assigned to keep her family safe is just the right thing to shapeshift her love life into overdrive. Trouble is, he's starting to get all obsessive wolf on her every time he looks in her direction. . .
Getting serious about anyone isn't in Ricky Lee Reed's plans. Hell, even now he doesn't really have a plan—outside of catching whomever is threatening this dangerously brilliant family. But the more he sees of Toni, the more he's howling for her. And whatever it takes to convince her that what they have is everything, well, this wily wolf is down for the sizzling chase. . .
Praise for the novels of Shelly Laurenston
"Quirky characters, madcap antics, snappy dialogue, charged love scenes. . ."  —Publishers Weekly on Bear Meets Girl
"Bear Meets Girl is hilarious, sexy fun." —Heroes and Heartbreakers

Toni has always taken care of her more brilliant younger sisters and brothers.  She really has never had a life of her own.  For a while I didn't like this book because what kinds of parents leave it up to the eldest daughter to raise their 10 kids?  Then I realized that these are not `people' as we normally think of them.  They are shape-shifting creatures  with a completely different outlook (animalistic) on life. Once I got beyond that point this became the perfect read.

The sex was sexy and quite descriptive, but not to the point of vulgarity, just very adult.  However while you are inundated with lustful thoughts, the actual sex doesn't happen until you are  well over halfway done with the book.
There is a wonderful little secondary story with Toni's younger and more evil sister which looks as if it may be an ongoing plot line down the road.

There are so many wonderful secondary and tertiary characters that it appears as if we will be lucky enough to have this an ongoing series for a very long time.

If you like this book, or any of the shape-shifter books by Ms Laurenston, then you really should try her other series which she writes under the name of G. A. Aiken about shape- shifting dragons in medieval times.  This Dragon series is as funny and sexy as this one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Killing Monica - Candace Bushnell

Product DetailsThis is the book fans of Candace Bushnell have been waiting for. From the author ofSex and the CityLipstick Jungle, and The Carrie Diaries comes an addictive story about fame, love, and foolishness that will keep readers enthralled to the very last enticing scene.

Pandy "PJ" Wallis is a renowned writer whose novels about a young woman making her way in Manhattan have spawned a series of blockbuster films. After the success of the Monica books and movies, Pandy wants to attempt something different: a historical novel based on her ancestor Lady Wallis. But Pandy's publishers and audience only want her to keep cranking out more Monica-as does her greedy husband, Jonny, who's gone deeply in debt to finance his new restaurant in Las Vegas. 
When her marriage crumbles and the boathouse of her family home in Connecticut goes up in flames, Pandy suddenly realizes she has an opportunity to reinvent herself. But to do so, she will have to reconcile with her ex-best friend and former partner in crime, SondraBeth Schnowzer, who plays Monica on the big screen-and who may have her own reasons to derail Pandy's startling change of plan.
In KILLING MONICA, Candace Bushnell spoofs and skewers her way through pop culture, celebrity worship, fame, and the meaning of identity. With her trademark humor and style, this is Bushnell's sharpest, funniest book to date

Could someone please explain to me what I just spent 2 days reading?  Maybe I am not the targeted audience which should have been YA but  with a lot of vulgarity, heavy drinking, drugs, and some sex; but I should have found some entertainment value in this book, shouldn't I have?  I mean the character of Pandy is supposed to be in her 40's -  well she is before and after part 2.

This is a cliched look into the lives of an author and an actress -how the author wants to write something 'meaningful' and what craziness happens when her meaningful book gets rejected. Oh yeah, it is also about the horrible choices that  Pandy makes in picking out a man, marrying him and then getting a divorce .

This book could have been written in the '90's  and for all intents and purposes just comes off as reconstituted Sex in the City but  without the freshness.  I mean come on, this woman is in her 40's, shouldn't she have had some dignity?

The 'mystery' of Pandy's sister -could it have been anymore obvious?

And by the way just what are "salty lights" and the "San Geronimo" festival?  Yes, I know this is fiction, but if you are going to do a take off on something real (the San Gennaro Festival perhaps?) at least give it a better name (unless this was changed  before publication?)

Flat, cliched, unbelievable characters - outlandish, trite plot - some humorous bits.

*ARC supplied by publisher.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Wicked Charms

Wicked Charms: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel…Janet Evanovich


Book Description:

Lizzy and Diesel are back in an all-new wicked adventure from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Janet Evanovich and Emmy Award–winning co-author Phoef Sutton. Murdered and mummified nearly a century ago, notorious bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle discovered and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice—the very item reluctant treasure seeker Lizzy Tucker and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. While Lizzy would just like to live a quiet, semi-normal life, Diesel is all about the hunt. And this hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas . . . or at least getting them from Salem Harbor to Maine. Greed is eternal and insatiable, and Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. People who have dedicated their entire lives to finding it are willing to commit murder or make a deal with the devil just to hold the fortune in their hands. One of those people may even be Wulf, Diesel’s deceptively charming and enigmatic cousin. Wulf desires the Stone of Avarice. He also desires Lizzy. It’s hard to say how far he’s willing to go to gain either one. Wicked Charms is a swashbuckling adventure full of raiders, monkeys, minions, and mayhem. Lizzy and Diesel are going to have to do everything they can to keep their heads above water and hope they’re living a charmed life.
I haven't read the previous books in quite a while and I was worried when I got this book that I wouldn't be able to follow it without doing a re-read. However, I shouldn't have worried. I had no problems reading this since it can be read as a stand alone book. Enough backstory is given so you understand what is going on, and there really is nothing in the book that you won't 'get' , so don't worry...it is just simply a fun light read.

I know that many readers compare this series to the Stephanie Plum series and I can easily see why everyone thinks that. Many authors who branch out, keep using the ideas that worked in the original series. Yes, we have the requisite goofy pals, sexy hunk, snarky and sometimes fumbling heroine -but we also have a lot of comedy and that comes fro the antagonists as well as the protagonists. I hate to admit this but I did get a lot of laughs...more than I've been getting lately from the Plum series.

This book reminds me a little of the early Mary Janice Davidson books; back when there was a lot of humor and the ideas and situations the heroine got herself into was fresh.

This book is concentrating on Ammon ( a wicked rich guy) who thinks he is Mammon, the hunt for the Blue Diamond and the hunt for the Stone of Avarice. Wulf is back and he is proving himself to be not such a total twit.

I loved the little hints to the other series you will find with Diesel talking about his cousin in New Jersey - especially the one about the Porsche!
I loved the sexual tension and appreciated the fact that what DOES happen between Lizzy and Diesel happen pretty much off of the pages...yes they do a sort of semi- down and dirty. 👍

So yes, all in all I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I still will look forward to my next Stephanie book, but this was a nice break for me while I'm waiting.

ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes.
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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Thunderstruck by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Thunderstruck (Thunder Mountain Brotherhood) by Vicki Lewis Thompson (Jul 1, 2015)

The lone cowboy… 
Damon Harrison never gets too involved. A cowboy at heart, Damon has turned his commitment phobia into a living—flipping houses. The only exceptions to that rule? His foster family at Thunder Mountain Ranch. And now those "exceptions" have talked Damon into working on a new project with a carpenter named Phil… 
Only, "Phil" is a nickname for Philomena Turner. She has a wicked way with carpentry and an even wickeder way of turning Damon's head. And the chemistry is like a lightning bolt of lust. But Phil wants a family and a home, and no hotshot cowboy—even a tantalizingly sexy one—will change that. All she can steal are a few nights of sizzling passion before she has to set this lone cowboy free… 

If you are looking for the perfect read for the beach, one that will only take you a couple of hours to read and one that is hot enough to make you jump into the water to cool off, then look no more.  You have found it with this book. 

The story is a simple one, yet it still is a timeless read; one that is sure to ring all of your romantic chimes.  It is about two people who embark on an affair who believe that they can just walk away from each other after two weeks and not feel real pain. The sex is hot and spicy, but the characters are a little one dimensional until you near the end of the book.  The story line is uncomplicated, with the book tending to lean more towards the heat than a plot. You do get the requisite ‘happily ever after’ .
A perfect book to spend the day with.

An Amish Harvest

    Product Details      

"Nursing His Heart 
When Amish carpenter Samuel Bowman is injured in an accident, he fears he'll never see again. He's always provided for his family—and now that it's harvest season, the Bowmans are needed in the fields, not at his bedside. So when a young Amish widow becomes his nurse, Samuel expects Rebecca Miller to make his life easier. But his caregiver is bossy, outspoken and challenges him to move on with his life. Though Samuel's sight is in question, he can plainly see the woman he's come to care for won't let herself love again. Now it's Samuel's turn to heal her heart."

This is the first book in the Amish Bachelor series and I enjoyed this book very much.  Normally I would stay away from religious themed novels because I feel I wouldn't understand them. However, this novel piqued my curiosity and I'm glad I followed my intuition.

This is a really good novel no matter what your religious background is or even if you have no religion like I do. Why? Because this is a novel about love lost, guilt and learning to accept the hand that fate or God deals you.  It is a novel of believing in yourself, but mostly believing and trusting those around you and trusting in a higher power.

The characters of Samuel and Rebecca are fully fleshed and they are characters that you will come to care about.   The story itself is quit believable and something that you can really sink your teeth into.  I had moments of frustration, anger and hope as I was reading this book.  It really brought out a lot of my emotions and that isn’t something easily done to me by a book.

 I don’t want to spoil the book for you - there is a very interesting complication when Samuel is healing.  I don’t know if the author or someone she was close to suffered this, but it was written about quite believably.  I’m sorry that this will seem vague to you, but it was a surprise twist in the plot dealing with Samuel and his injury and I don’t want to ruin it for you.

This was a quick read, a sometimes heavy read and sometimes a light one.  It was a book filled with hope and inevitably happiness. I look forward to Lukes’ story which I believe is the next one to be released in this series.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Shadow Revolution: Crown & Key

The Shadow Revolution: Crown & Key

The Shadow Revolution: Crown & Key   by Clay Griffith
Edition: Mass Market PaperbackPrice: $6.47

Book Description

 June 2, 2015
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.

They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.

As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.

This was not the most perfect blend of genres as it could have been. It mixed so many elements, (Steam punk, Speculative Fic, and horror) that at times I did not know if I was coming or going.

For fans of action packed books -you are going to LOVE this trilogy. I don't think a single chapter went by that this trio of magicians and fighters didn't get bloodied, kill something or escape something. In this book it seems to me that the author/s traded complex, likable, empathetic characters for the shock value of blood gore and really weird monster's. This is something that may appeal more to YA reader's.

However, I did see potential for the next books. This book did keep me turning pages (although towards the end I just started skimming through most of the fighting - it became repetitive to me) and I did want to see how it turned out.

Did I get a hint of romance in this too, or was I seeing something that wasn't there. I may have missed something between Kate and Simon that I was just hoping for!

*ARC supplied by publisher for review.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tail Gait by Rita Mae Brown

Product Details

Tail Gait: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery

May 26, 2015

There’s nothing like a tail well told. Rita Mae Brown and her feline co-author Sneaky Pie Brown return with an all-new mystery featuring Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen, crime-solving cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and ever-faithful Tee Tucker the corgi. TAIL GAIT Spring has sprung in Crozet, Virginia—a time for old friends to gather and bid farewell to the doldrums of winter. Harry and her husband, Fair, are enjoying a cozy dinner with some of the town’s leading citizens, including beloved University of Virginia history professor Greg “Ginger” McConnell and several members of UVA’s celebrated 1959 football team. But beneath the cloak of conviviality lurks a sinister specter from the distant past that threatens to put all their lives in jeopardy. When Professor McConnell is found murdered on the golf course the next day—gunned down in broad daylight by an unseen killer—no one can fathom a motive, let alone find a suspect. Just as Harry and her furry cohorts begin nosing into the case, however, a homeless UVA alum confesses to the crime. Trouble is, no one believes that the besotted former All-American could have done the foul deed—especially after Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker make another gruesome discovery. As the questions surrounding Ginger’s death pile up, Harry’s search for answers takes her down the fascinating byways of Virginia’s Revolutionary past. The professor was something of a sleuth himself, it seems, and the centuries-old mystery he was unraveling may well have put a target on his back. As Harry edges closer to identifying an elusive killer, her animal companions sense danger—and rally to find a way to keep Harry from disappearing into history. Praise for the Mrs. Murphy mysteries  “As feline collaborators go, you couldn’t ask for better than Sneaky Pie Brown.”—The New York Times Book Review
I had vowed when  finished my last Mrs. Murphy book, to never read another - I obviously broke my vow.  

While this book still doesn't live up to Ms. Browns earlier works, it is much better than the last book of hers I read.  This book still tries to 'teach' us good things, but not as forcefully as the last few.  There is less politicking and more about history, less about organic farming and the hazards of eating/using non-organics products and more mystery.  And thank you Gods and Goddesses for this! 

This book actually has two stories going on at the same time, and until the ending you  may not see the necessity of it.  This was quite different reading for me, I really loved the secondary story almost more than the main story involving Harry and her mouthy (not too mouthy this time) animals.

There are enough twists to keep me rather engaged in the story and less inclined to put it down to do something else.  Again, I still think it isn't on par with her earlier works, but it seems that maybe Ms Brown is taking her readers concerns to heart and doing what she does best.

*ARC supplied by publisher.