Monday, January 26, 2009

Recent Read

Under the Influence by Nancy Warren

Why this One: I have a goal this year to read at least 100 books. In order to reach that goal, I'm going to be reading some series books. I can read them in an afternoon and sometimes I enjoy a nice quick read. I've read a few Warren books now with mixed results - some I've loved, some were DNF. But the ones that I loved, I loved enough to keep me reading this author. I was in the mood for something nice and light and since it was 25% off at Walmart.........

Steam Level: Well - it is a Blaze so it was quite toasty warm.

Blurb: Sexy bartender Johnny Santini mixes one wicked martini. Or so efficiency expert Natalie Fanshaw discovers when she takes a seat at his beachfront bar one lonely night. It's Valentine's Day, and they're the only single people in the heart-strewn place

Natalie knows she spends too much time with her spreadsheets--she's forgotten what it's like to be "between the sheets." Johnny is such a charmer, mixing his signature cocktails while making her feel s-o-o-o very special. And when he asks her to help him create a fab new drink for the town's upcoming martini contest, Natalie can't say no.

A fantasy fling with Johnny could be a recipe for disaster. But hey, she could always claim to be under the influence

My Thoughts: I am very happy to report that Under the Influence falls under the 'Loved It' category! I enjoyed everything about this book.
Natalie was a fun heroine. A type "A" person is how she categorizes herself - a self confessed work-a-holic who carries her blackberry around with her everywhere, she does the unusual one evening and goes into a bar herself while on assignment in a tourist town. She is working as a management consultant at a local hotel. When she realizes it's Valentines day and everyone in the restaurant/bar is part of a couple, she strikes up a humourous conversation with the bartender Johnny. Although a bit uptight, she does unbend quite easily and it's cute to see her unbending throughout the book. She was a heroine who I really liked!

And Johnny - well he was just adorable. A surfer, sailor, laid back, environmentalist on the outside, there is more to him then meets the eye, although his main goal seems to be just enjoying life. He really *wink* makes Natalie's stay enjoyable.

One of the things that I really appreciate about this book is during the first love scene, Natalie calls a halt to things for the evening in order to think things through - weighing the pros and cons on what she wants to do. She's torn between her morals and really wanting Johnny.
And even though this is a series book, therefore shorter then a single title book, I found the characters very well developed. I've complained in the past that I thought with many Blaze books that they sacrificed character development for more sex - not so in this story. In fact there is even a believable secondary romance.

If anyone is looking for a sweet, quick read that will leave you smiling at the end I heartily recommend this book. Plus there is a wonderful bonus!! Since Johnny is a bartender who is trying to come up with an award winning martini, the start of each chapter has the recipe for a delicious sounding mixed drink - and there are a lot of chapters! I feel a stop at the liquor store coming on soon :)

Grade: 4.75 out of 5


Lea said...

Great Review Kristie!

I too enjoy the Blaze books for exactly the reasons you mentioned. And, I've read a couple of really good ones.

This one sounds particularly appealing.

Thank you for the heads-up. :)

Best Regards

Cindy W said...

I am so happy you like this one, I just got on Friday! When I first read your post, I was like ut ohh, then whew!

Anonymous said...

I've never read Nancy Warren but I like the uptight-laid back combination for characters. It can make for some really cute stories.

PS: I managed to read 101 books last year with a LOT of help from series novels. ;)

jillyfae said...

ooh, it sounds lovely. And I managed my massive amount of reading last year (didn't count the total, but I'm sure it was over 100) by including a lot of YA, since they're fast. I might have to add categories this year, since by glomming more reviews I've been finding some good ones. (There are just too many to wade through on my own...)

nath said...

Great review Kristie!! This one sounds good :D and LOL about reading more category romances to make it to 100 :) Good idea!

AnimeJune said...

I haven't tried too many series romances (I got seriously burned with a craptacular Silhouette one), but this one sounds sweet.

Although I find the cover to be a little too much on a skeezy side for me.

~ames~ said...

Sounds good Kristie. I'm not a fan of these books, but I'm always open to new things. :P Good review.

Anonymous said...

100 books! Good for you, Kristie! I wish I could say I would be able to do that but the truth is it's not likely.

I'm happy to hear you enjoyed this one!

Kwana said...

Thanks for the review. Good luck with your goal. BTW what does DNF stand for? Did not finish?

Tabitha said...

I've not heard of Nancy Warren before until just now as I am downloading one of her books that eharlequin is giving away in honor of their anniversary giveaway...and here I am reading your review also on a book by Nancy Warren. Looking forward to reading her book even more now. :)

Anonymous said...

love blaze
my tbr list