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Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: One Day in Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand

One Day in Apple Grove (Small Town USA, #2)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402269021
Pages: 312 pages
 Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Small Town
 Series:   Small Town USA-1
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, Sports Romance Reading Challenge 2013,The 2013 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Welcome to Apple Grove, Ohio (pop. 597), a small town with a big heart.
Caitlin Mulcahy loves her family. She really does. But sometimes they can drive her to her last shred of sanity—from her dad ("I'm not meddling, I just want what's best for you") to her eight-months-pregnant older sister to her younger sister, who will do just about anything to avoid real work. Cait just needs to get away, even if for only an hour.
When she sees someone in need of help on the side of the road, of course she's going to pull over. She might even be able to fix his engine—after all, the Mulcahy family is a handy bunch. She's not expecting that former Navy medic Jack Gannon and a little black puppy named Jameson will be the ones who end up rescuing in her.

 

My Review:

I will have to apologize for any errors in this review. I had a migraine today so everything is off but especially my typing and eye sight.

Intro Babble: I have loved C.H. Admirand's books from the first one I picked up and they just keep getting better. I loved this one just as much.

Heroine: Caitlin-Loved her. She was strong, smart and brave. She was easy to like. I think Grace is still my favorite of the sisters but Caitlin comes close.

Hero: Jack-Ever since Newsies, I have had a weak spot for heroes named Jack. And I definitely loved the Jack in this one. This Jack is a little bit broken from his time in Iraq and he definitely needs some healing.

Chemistry: They had very good chemistry. Very hot. But, for me, perhaps there was not enough tension. For some reason, I need a bit of conflict in my romance and I didn't get much of that here. I did, however, love both of their connections with Jaime, the adorable dog they adopt.

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble: I love the small town feel of this one...just like I do with all of C.H. Admirand's books. I want to live in Apple Grove. The secondary characters just help build up the small town warmth of the book. They are just as lively and interesting as the main characters. I also loved how well PTSD was treated in this one. It wasn't glossed over and it wasn't used as a throwaway plot device. Perhaps my favorite part of the book was Jaime. I love dogs and I fell in love with this one. I want a puppy now! Seriously. I do.






Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: A Little Night Mischief by Emily Greenwood

A Little Night Mischief (Mischief, #1)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402276311
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
Series:  Mischief
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Every Prize Comes with Complications...
A game of chance saves James Collington from the prospect of debtors' prison, and grants him ownership to Tethering estate. Little does he know that his winnings come with serious complications--not least of which is a beautiful but impoverished young lady who insists his new manor belongs to her.
If He Can't Stop Her, He Might as Well Join Her...
Felicity Wilcox is determined to run Mr. Collington off her land, Though James's charm and devilish good looks are a serious distraction. What she doesn't know is that she may be haunting him right back.

 

My Review:

Beginning Babble-I think Emily Greenwood may have a brandy new fangirl. Because I love loved this book. In a big way. I didn't really expect to love it as much as I did but I love it when a book surprises me and this one did.

Characters

Heroine: Felicity-I loved her. I loved how she went about driving James into a slow, painful place of insanity. Aside from the fake haunting of Tethering. That was stupid. Not because it was a bad idea but she shouldn't have done it herself...you'll see if you read the book. I did admire her attachment to her family home and her ability to stick with it and her strength in trying to keep her home and take care of it and her dullard of a father. 
 
Hero: James-I loved him too. First of all, his description was basically the perfect man. Floppy black hair, brown eyes. He kind of sounded like Flynn Rider from Tangled. He could have been quite unlikeable...he did kind of steal Felicity's home from her but he had his reasons and they weren't bad ones.

Chemistry-I loved James and Felicity together. They bickered and fought but it was easy to see their underlying affection for each other. Their connection in spite of their conflict was really impressive. And their verbal sparring was done so well.

Chemistry Rating-

Ending Babble-I really loved this book. To the point where I was up till early morning hours finishing it. This was sort of unexpected because the premise seemed a bit “Meh” to me but it may be my favorite book of June and it is definitely going on my favorites list. I will be awaiting more books from Emily Greenwood. The next one, Gentlemen Prefer Mischief, sounds just as good.
 




Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal by Jayne Fresina

Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal (Sydney Dovedale, #3)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402266030
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
Series:   Sydney Dovedale-1,2
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

When a Perfectly Proper Lady...
Lady Mercy Danforthe always has a plan. It's what makes her such a successful matchmaker, and why she's obligated to spend a great deal of time generously organizing the lives of her friends and family. But there's one man beyond her help. One man whose recklessness she can't rein in; whose chaos she can't contain. Her ex-husband, Rafe Hartley. Her one—and only!—mistake.
Flirts with a Reckless Rogue...
Rafe has never forgiven Mercy for running out on him. Their hastily annulled marriage may have one lasted three hours, but that doesn't mean he needs her help finding a proper wife. Someone needs to teach little Miss Know-It-All a lesson about keeping her adorably freckled nose out of other people's business. And it just so happens that Mercy "Silky Drawers" Danforthe still owes him a wedding night...
A Scandal's Never Far Behind

My Review:

Beginning Babble-I really liked the first two books in this series. The witty humor and light and fun storylines are really appealing to me. They are a nice break from the drama and angst I usually prefer to read. I was also looking forward to Mercy's book. So I walked into this one with rather high expectations and they were sort of met.

Characters

Heroine: Mercy-She was completely not my type of heroine. She was a prissy, Type A kind of heroine and I just didn't like her. I couldn't make a connection to her and she just spent most of the book annoying me. She did have a charitable and kind nature but it was underneath a layer of stuck-up, snooty badness.

Hero-Rafe-I liked him. He was perhaps a bit too much of a rascal for me. He lacked a bit of depth. I also think this could be because I found his heroine to be highly obnoxious and found him to be lacking as well in response.

Chemistry-I think the rating could have been higher if Mercy was...different. She was just so far up her own rear end to really form a connection to her and therefore to her hero or the couple. And I think their previous marriage was just brushed over. It was used more for chuckles than drama and I feel that I was missed opportunity.

Chemistry Rating-

 Ending Babble-I absolutely love Jayne Fresina's writing style. Her books are always so light and the humor is always so witty. I just wish that Mercy would have been a bit less troublesome because I think I would have loved this book with a different heroine.





Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: A Captain and a Corset by Mary Wine

A Captain and a Corset (Steam Guardians, #2)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402264836
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Steampunk
Series:   Steam Guardians-1
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

There's Trouble in the Skies...
For Sophia Stevenson, there's no going back to the life she knew. She never asked for the powers that make her a precious commodity to the secret society of Illuminists—and their archenemies.
Captain Bion Donkova would give anything to possess the powers that have fallen in Sophia's lap. If only the beautiful, infuriating woman could stay out of trouble, he wouldn't have to keep coming to her rescue...
Bion and Sophia have friction to spare—and nothing fuels a forbidden passion better than danger...

My Review:

Beginning Babble-This is another steampunk series that got me interested in the genre. The first book in the series, A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious, was one of my favorites. Needless to say, I was looking forward to this book in a big, huge way.

Characters

Heroine: Sophia- She was brave and smart. She was strong without being a Mary Sue. Amazing characteristics to find in a heroine in any genre. I loved that she kicked ass on her own and wasn't simply Bion's romantic foil and adventure sidekick. 
 
Hero: Bion- Honestly, the only thing negative I can say about him was I didn't like his name. I mean, that's a rather petty complaint but that's all I have. He was one of those heroes that are a bit cold and a bit hard to figure out. And I like that. He had the Darcy complex. 
 
Chemistry-They had this interesting dynamic where he was her teacher. He wasn't always nice about it. In fact, he was quite brutal at times. She had nightmares after one of his “lessons” and, while it was a bit on the iffy side, he had his reasons. He kind of had that Snape-ish tough love teacher thing going on.
 
Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble-I think it is safe to say that I love this book and this series. I have loved most of Mary Wine's books but this series may be my favorite. The worldbuilding was amazing and it was so detailed. I haven't read much steampunk but this series is one of my favorites in terms of worldbuilding that I have read. The action was gripping and just as interesting as the romance. The scenes in the airship were just so perfectly detailed and action-packed. I think I would have loved this book even if it wasn't a romance. I can't wait for the next book. 
 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Review: One Night With a Rake by Connie Mason and Mia Marlowe

One Night with a Rake (The Royal Rakes, #2)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 140227243X
Pages: 342 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical
Series:   The Royal Rakes-1
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

For King and Country, three notorious rakes will put all their seductive skills to work. After all, the fate of England's monarchy is in their hands.
Since the death of his fiancĂ©e, Nathaniel Colton's polished boots have rested beneath the beds of countless wayward wives and widows of the ton. He's careful to leave each lady smiling, and equally careful to guard his heart. So seducing Lady Georgette should pose no problem. But the beautiful reformist is no easy conquest, and Nate's considerable charm fails to entice Georgette to his bed. To woo her, Nate will have to make her believe he cares about someone besides himself—and no one is more surprised than Nate when he realizes he actually does.

My Review:

Beginning Babble: I have been a fan of Connie Mason since...well since before I should have been allowed to read romance novels. I also happen love love her collaberations with Mia Marlowe and this one was no exception.

Characters:


Heroine: Georgette-I was kind of iffy about Georgette. She seemed very willing to let everyone else lead her around. She never really made any decisions for herself unless she was trying to help women from houses of ill-repute get their lives back on track.

Hero: Nathaniel-I really did like him. He was a true rake. Not one of those where the reputation is just a mask. He was also a bit broken because of his fiance's death which is the reason for the rake-itude. Did I also forget to mention that said dead fiance happens to be Georgette's sister? Yeah.

Chemistry-At first I wasn't sure how I would feel about Georgette and Nathaniel. Georgette seemed really content to do whatever her family wanted her to do and Nathaniel had really really bad reasons for pursuing Georgette. And not to mention that Nathaniel's dead fiance was Georgette's sister. But all in all, the really worked for me. There was enough conflict to keep me interested and the chemistry between Nathaniel and Georgette was intense.

Chemistry Rating:

Ending Babble-I just loved this book. Connie Mason's books are some of the most consistently excellent books I have ever picked up and I love her collaborations with Mia Marlowe. And this one was just amazing. I can't wait for the next one. 
 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: Smoking Hot by Karen Kelley

Smoking HotPublisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402263929
Pages: 288 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Paranormal
Series:   Good Girl-1,2
Challenges- 2013 150+ Challenge , 2013 Read-A-Latte Challenge ,Romance Reading Challenge 2013, 2013 Outdo Yourself Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Everything She Wants...
Working the night shift at the sheriff's office has given deputy Raine McCandless more than enough time to fantasize about the kind of man she'd like to take prisoner, so when she arrives home to find a sexy intruder waiting for her, she's pretty sure she must be dreaming.
...Can and Will Be Held Against Her
But Dillon Taylor, with his stunning blue eyes and killer tan, is 100% real, just not 100% human. Half-man, half-angel, he'd love to answer every naughty prayer Raine has ever had. But Raine is in serious danger. And Dillon can only fulfill her every fantasy if he can keep her alive.

 

My Review:


Beginning Babble-I have kept up with this series because I liked the first couple of books and I was looking forward to this one.

Characters

Heroine: Raine- This is one of the rare occasions when the heroine made no impact on me at all. She just seemed rather one dimensional to me. I didn't make any sort of connection to her. She was just there.
Hero: Dillon- I liked him. I did. I think I would have made more of a connection to him if I had liked his heroine better but I didn't. He has the potential to be my favorite hero in the series but, yeah, he fell a little short.



Chemistry-Raine and Dillon went well together in that I had no feelings about either of them so the chemistry was sort of lacking. I have a feeling I would have made more of a connections to them as a couple if I had liked either Raine or Dillon more. The sex scenes, however, we're some of the hottest I've read in a while.

Chemistry Rating:



Ending Babble: 

The romance may have fallen a little short but the mystery/crime aspect definitely did not. I was more into that storyline than the romance between Dillon and Raine. And I adored Raine's Grandpa. His name was Sock. How could I not?

I also didn't like the title change. The previous title was more in line with the rest of the books in the series. Smoking Hot sets it apart and I am not sure I like that. Nevertheless, I will be waiting for the next book. I hope it's about Hunter.

Overall Rating:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Review Format

This has been in the works for a while. I have decided to change my review style rather drastically. I have decided to break my reviews down a bit. Simplify them. Make it easier to get them out quickly and perhaps make them more fun to read...Big blocks of text are no fun to read or write.

Here's how I plan on going about it:


Beginning Babble-Initial impressions about the book, author, cover whatever.

Characters

Heroine-Description, what I liked about her. What I didn't. If she annoyed me or not. Mary Sue or not.

Hero-Description, rake-itude. What I liked and what I didn't. Did he make me mad or not?

Chemistry-How well did hero and heroine go together? Was their story believable. What type of chemistry did they have?

I have a separate rating system for this.

Note- my opinion of these couples are mine and mine alone. I don't really care that you think Hermione and Ron are perfect together. I don't. She should have ended up with Draco.

Cupcakes- Darcy and Elizabeth- pretty much epic.

5 cups of tea- Anne and Gilbert-Perfectly perfect in every way.

4 cups of tea -Jo and Friedrich- Borderline perfect. Lacks some epicness.

3 cups of tea-Emma and Mr. Knightly-made of meh. I'll likely forget them in an hour.

2 cups of tea-Fanny and Edmund-didn't hate them but didn't like them much either. They bored me. I had to find other reasons to finish this book.

1 cup of tea-Ron and Hermione-How did this author find this couple to be compatible? It's like a horse mating with a goose. It's just not feasible. The most incompatible couple. Lazy writing. Lazy storytelling. Dreck.

Ending BabbleWriting style, author fangirling, anything I particularly loved, hated.

I really hope this works because I'm really loving breaking down my reviews like this. Let me know what you guys think :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: A Wedding in Springtime by Amanda Forester

A Wedding in Springtime (Marriage Mart, #1)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402271786
Pages: 391 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
Series:   Marriage Mart
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Her Timing Couldn't Be Worse...
Miss Eugenia Talbot's presentation to the queen is spoiled by a serious faux pas—the despicable William Grant made her laugh, right in front of Her Majesty. Now Eugenia is ruined and had better marry—someone, anyone—at once...


And His Couldn't Be Better...

Roguish William Grant has never taken anything seriously in his life. Until he meets Eugenia Talbot, who makes him feel and do thing he never thought he would.

Now Eugenia's great sense of humor and kindheartedness may be her undoing, unless William can help her find a husband. To his surprise, that's the last thing he wants to do

My Review:

I saved this one for last because I love Amanda Forester's books and that's what I do. I save the ones I am looking forward to most for last. And the cover is epically pretty.

I liked Genie. I did. I didn't quite get as much of the “ruined and must marry” from her. She never really came across as very desperate. But the lighthearted nature of the scandal kind of reflected the lighthearted nature of the book. I have been inundated with scampy, naughty heroes lately and William is one of them. Perhaps not my favorite out of the lot of them but passable and I did like that he wasn't vapid at all—like some of the scamps I've come across in my romance reading.

I liked this book a lot. It's somewhat lighter than what I have been reading lately. It's missing the angst and melodrama. And I found that to be quite refreshing. A Wedding in Springtime had a light and airy feel to it. This was a nice, lighthearted regency with a bit of a Georgette Heyer feel to it. The humor was excellent. I found myself chuckling often especially in that first chapter. I really did like this one. It's not on my favorites list but it really was an enjoyable read with fun characters and witty humor.

 




Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: The Look of Love by Bella Andre

The Look of Love (The Sullivans, #1)Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 0778315568
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Series:   The Sullivans
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Sometimes one look is all it takesChloe Peterson has vowed never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Her reasons are as vivid as the bruises on her cheek. So when her car skids off a wet country road straight into a ditch, she's convinced the gorgeous guy who rescues her must be too good to be true.

As a successful international photographer, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women. He's satisfied with his life—until he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley.

With every loving look—and every sinfully sweet caress—the attraction between them sizzles, and Chloe can't help but wonder if she's met the man who may be the exception to her rule…

My Review:

I am sorry this is posting late. Today was Malfunctioning Motherboard Monday. My (brandy new) computer decided that it wanted to die today and overconfident me decided that I wouldn't preschedule my post because brand new computers never malfunction. I had to rewrite this post so I apologize for any errors in spelling. I'm typing this up on my iPad.

I've heard a lot about Bella Andre. A lot of good things. I have read a couple of her books as Bella Riley and loved them so I knew I was in for good things.

Chloe was great. She was smart, she was likable and she was confident. Something I don't find too often. She was a very well-developed and easy to connect with. Chase was such a nice guy. I liked him instantly. I'm not normally in favor of nice guy heroes but Chase was great. I did like his somewhat tarnished past as a photographer who likes the models a little too much.

I'm in a state of like with this book. Bella Andre's writing style really appealed to me. It's very easygoing and flows very well. I liked both Chloe and Chase and they had AMAZING chemistry. Capitals were intended. The sex scenes were, as Chandler would say, “Wa Pow!”. The only issue I had with them was the instalove. I have trouble with it outside of paranormal romance. It's just not realistic and it takes a bit of depth out of the romance. The story also lacked a bit of tension which, I think, is the result of the instalove.

That being said, I am looking forward to reading more of this series because I really enjoyed her writing style and voice.
 

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