Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Recent Reads

Hot by Julia Harper

Why this one: I read and reviewed (I think) all of Elizabeth Hoyt’s books. I know I did two of them. But nevertheless, I found out in Dallas that she had a contemporary book coming out in the new year under the name of Julia Harper and as I love the Prince trilogy, I was really looking forward to seeing what she could do with a contemp

Level of Steam: Nice and hot

Amazon Blurb: For four years, play-by-the-rules bank teller Turner Hastings has brooded over her uncle's wrongful imprisonment. But when two bumbling crooks stumble into her branch (barely disguised in Yoda and Sponge Bob masks) and hold up the place, she sees a chance to do something she's never thought possible: get revenge. She takes advantage of the melee to pull a heist of her own, seizing info from a security box that will exonerate her uncle. Sent to investigate a bank robbery in small town Wisconsin, Special Agent John MacKinnon discovers the robbers were two not-quite-so-bright thugs and one woman. Now, Turner is on the run. With SA MacKinnon on her trail, she's breaking into the bank president Calvin's house, kidnapping his Great Dane, and for the first time in her life, setting out to break a few rules. But when Calvin hires a hit-man, MacKinnon will have to decide between his career--and saving Turner.

My thoughts: Not to worry – she does just fine! I really enjoyed this book. I had just finished The Spymaster’s Lady and was a bit worried about that ‘after good book’ blues. Very Happily this was just the perfect book to read after. It started off with a hoot and kept it up pretty much all the way. Turner was a Most Excellent Heroine. It was a riot to see her outsmart a Gman time and time again. There was a wonderful lightness to this book even while not so good things were happening.

Although it was a while before Turner and John actually meet, their telephone banter is quirky and hilarious. If I were ever wanted by the FBI, I hope someone like John MacKinnon would be on my trail.

And normally I don’t mention supporting characters, but the two bumbling would be bank robbers had me laughing out loud in a number of places.

And this is only the second book I’ve read where I loved the dog in this story – not being a dog person myself. But the big Great Dane was another welcome fun character.

And it was interesting too because the authors ‘voice’ is entirely different in her contemporary than in her historical. Unless one knew in advance they were the same person, one would never guess.

Big kudo’s to Julia Harper for writing something fun enough and enjoyable enough to distract me from my kitchen woes! I hope this isn’t the last we have heard from this authors incarnation.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Touch of Texas by Tracy Garrett

Why this one: It’s a good price, it’s a western, it’s a new author all of which = autobuy in my books

Level of Steam: Kept me toasty warm in the cold winter

Zebra blurb: A blizzard blows Texas Ranger Jake McCain to Rachel Hudson’s cabin and trouble is right behind him. He’s badly wounded. Taking care of him is the right thing to do, but she knows the local gossips won’t see it that way. Suddenly, everything Rachel’s fought for is at stake—and the past she’d hoped to escape looms over her future. Still and all, when Jake turns his dark gaze on her, all she wants is his strong, seductive touch…

A Woman To Call His Own …

Jake McCain has never stayed in one place. A home and a family aren’t for the likes of a man accustomed to the rough life of the trail. But when he sees the trouble she’s in, he can’t leave her behind. Not when her innocent kisses burn straight into his soul, and the sight of her smile is the only bounty he cares to collect…

My Thoughts: Overall I was quite impressed with this one. There were a couple of things a bit off which I’ll get to in a minute, but it was offset by the fact that it was so nice to read a good Western.

The heroine of this book, Rachel Hudson was one I really liked. She was young and poor but she had a high set of morals that I really liked. She did what was the right thing to do and I admired that about her.

I liked Jake too although after a while I got a little tired of his excuses as to why he couldn’t stay and be happy with Rachel and her younger brother. It was explained a little late in the book – earlier would have been better, but he was a man of honour and he was very protective of this small little family who saved his life. I liked that. Other than that he made quite a fine loner of a hero. Another thing a thought a bit off was a certain story line that could have made all the difference for Rachel just seemed to be dropped for no apparent reason I could figure. I don’t want to say what it was a give it away, but it did have me scratching my head a bit. But overall I don’t have any problems recommending this book in a genre that we see far too few of for this little Western lover. Ms. Garrett has another book coming out and I will be looking for it and buying it.

Grade: 4 out of 5

*Note* I know I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I think Zebra is really thinking outside the box and have a heluvan idea in having debut author’s books on sale at a special price. Unless the book sounds like it’s really something I wouldn’t like, I’ve been buying them all. $3.99 (or $5.99 CDN) for an author’s debut book and $4.99 or ($6.99 CDN) for the second one is a great way to build readership. I wish more publishers would think of doing this!!

And in other news - my world is a little bit brighter today. You see my computer is on it's last legs. I've mentioned before that the sound is gone. Well, I had an optical mouse but had to switch back to the old-fashioned kind recently because my ports keep blowing up. The *&))&)*^ mouse was pretty much toast recently and the frustration of it really curtailed my time on-line. But I was talking to the computer guys at work today about my situation and one of them gave me a USB to Port conducter - or something like that. So now I can use my optical mouse again. And I tell you what a difference it makes!!!!!

I need a new computer desperately but what with the new kitchen, I'm babying this one for as long as I can.

And not only that - I called Contractor Guy today and it turns out the floor I purchased is OK! That means I (Ryan) don't have to haul it back to the store and buy something twice as expensive which is what they said I should do. But he was talking to Floor Guy in Home Depot and Floor Guy said the flooring I purchased is good and would do fine in a kitchen.

Now I'm off to catch up on everything I've missed lately!

'til later


Rosie said...

On book reviews: I'm with you all the way on Zebra's idea. I've tried a few new authors just because of the cover price.

HOT was good. I enjoyed the book. But I liked her historicals a smidgen more.

ames said...

Good news about the flooring. :P

And I had just talked myself out of buying Hot earlier. But looks like I'll be buying it! LOL

Kristie (J) said...

Rosie: I think I do too - like her historicals just a smidgen more. But I really did like Hot and I have no problems with her writing in both genres :)

Ames: I liked it and it came after reading a fabulous book so it was all I could ask for *g*