Monday, July 11, 2005

More Recent Reads

Skintight Susan Andersen
My son, who until he moves back home next weekend – sigh – still comes over for dinner every Sunday. Because he doesn’t have cable where he is presently living, one of the attractions I’m sure, to moving back home, and he loves poker, he insists on claiming the TV to watch The World Poker Tour. This has been driving me crazy but when I saw the hero of Susan Anderson’s latest is a World Poker Tour member I mellowed out and decided to watch it more in preparation. Nothing like a romance book to calm our nerves. So when I read the book, I could actually relate. Susan Andersen is an autobuy who has very rarely written a book I didn’t like. After finishing this one, her record is still intact. I really enjoyed this one, much better than her previous Hot and Bothered. The hero of this book Jax, is very likeable and unlike most of her other books is much more of a Beta hero. When he was young, he was much more into schoolwork than he was the sport’s his father insisted he play. He was a math geek who never measured up to his “good old boy” dad and as a result hadn’t had contact with him for years. After his father’s death, he comes up with a (and he admits it later) cockamamie idea to steal a collector’s baseball away from his father’s young widow. Treena is a great heroine, a showgirl with a heart of gold. She falls fast for Jax and is devastated when the truth comes out. The secondary characters are great in this book and there is a rather sweet secondary love story between a retired librarian who is wilder than she seems and a widowed handyman. It looks like there will be a second story and I can hardly wait.
Grade 4 ½ out of 5

His Secondhand WifeCheryl St. John
If I were given one word to describe Cheryl St. John’s books it would be tender. She has been an autobuy author for me for years and I think if she wrote for a publisher other than Harlequin, she might be a better-known author. As it is, I shall start doing more to get the word out on this wonderful writer. Since Lorraine Heath moved away from westerns, Ms. St. John has come the closest I think to filling that gap.
Noah, the hero, is a scarred and introverted man who upon hearing of the death of his younger and not so innocent brother (he is shot while with another man’s wife) tracks down his brother’s widow to deliver the news. Katherine is in a terrible situation. Left pregnant by her disappearing husband and living with her bitter and critical mother, she leaps at the opportunity to leave with Noah, when he offers to take her to his ranch. What follows is a tender story of two lost souls finding their way to each other. Noah is a wee bit frustrating as he continues to misunderstand Katherine, but he is very sweet nevertheless. What makes this different is Noah is the virgin in this story. I’ve always enjoyed that turnabout. To me this book is reminiscent of Heath’s Texas Destiny and Sweet Lullaby. While not quite as good – both of those ones got a 5 out of 5 from me, this one comes very close.
Grade 4 ½ out of 5

Wanting Something MoreKathy Love
Her first book, Getting What you Want blew me away. I gave this one a 5 out of 5 and could barely wait for story of the next Stepp sister. Wanting What you Get was a big disappointment after Ms. Love’s amazing debut. I gave it a 2 ½ out of 5. So with one big winner and one not so much of a winner for me, I was wondering how I would like the third book in the series. Well, I liked it much better than the second one, but not quite as much as the first.
This is the story of Marty Stepp, the youngest sister. She’s a burned out supermodel who has reached a turning point in her life. She decides to come home to think out what her next step will be. She runs into Nate Peck, during a snowstorm and is not impressed. In the prologue to this book, Nate had done something to hurt her I think we can all identify with. He was just as big a jerk on a recent visit Marty made for her sister’s wedding so she wasn’t about to by his changed guy claim. At least not till she put him through a few tests first. Nate has changed though and truly for the better.
As I said, this is a vast improvement over her second book. I liked both Marty who had her own insecurities despite being a supermodel and I liked the new and improved Nate – for the most part. He seemed a bit too good since his life altering experience. I like a hero who isn’t quite so perfect. For those who like the grovel, it took a while, but there is a pretty good one in this book.
I’m not sure if I’ll be buying Kathy Love in the future. It looks like she’s another author moving into the vampire fold and anyone who has read this blog knows how I feel about vampires…….
But, if she ever goes back to straight comtemps, I will have no qualms about buying her books again.
Grade 3 ½ out of 5

Interesting Lost tidbit for fellow addicts like me:
I don't know if the cover of the TV Guide is the same in the US as it is in Canada, but Josh Holloway (Sawyer) graces the cover of the one in Canada. Of course I picked up a copy of this issue even though I haven't bought TV Guide in years. He's in a feature on interesting facts on the 11 sexiest stars. Also one of the stars is Evangeline Lilly (Kate). Quote:
"I told (Josh Holloway), there's gonna be toungue in this kiss,' and he said 'fine by me.'


CW said...


Ooooh, good recs. When I finally stagger back into the ubs, I'll check 'em out. ;)

Tara Marie said...

I enjoy Kathy Love's books, but what disappointed me (not enough to not recommend it) about this one, we didn't get to see Nate's transformation. She made such a point of him being an AH in the other books that I wanted to see the soul searching and changes, not have a new person show up from page one.

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