Thursday, August 27, 2015

Recent Reads

Suddenly One Summer by Julie James

 Genre: Contemporary

 Why this one: I’ve been a fan of her books since her very first book

 Steam Level:  You will need to blow on this one before taking that first sip

 Outline:  Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn't mean she's opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister's case, she's as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford....

Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He's willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. He might not be looking to settle down, but there's no denying the scorching attraction between them. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for…
My Thoughts: Ms. James has been an autobuy author since book 1.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with her a number of times now at conferences and I confess to a bit of a girl crush.  She’s friendly and warm and a very nice person.  But I found this out AFTER I’d read a few of her books so no conflict on how to do a review of a book by an author I’ve met and maybe not like the book so much.  While some I’ve liked more than others, I have enjoyed all of them.

This book is one of my favourites so far.  I found it just delightful and a few places, while in public, found myself snickering out loud unexpectedly.  I love a book that makes me do that.

One of the things Ms. James excels at is writing smart, quick witted and very likeable heroes and heroines and Victoria and Ford are no exception.  Both are very wary of getting into “relationships” – ugly word that – because of issues from growing up.  Victoria in particular had it tough and in her profession as a divorce attorney she sees people and dying marriages at their very worst so she’s very understandably leery.

And Ford doesn’t want anything lasting either.  He has enough with his family.  But as the outline says, sparks fly and neither can deny that the other is growing on them.  Victoria is brought into Fords orbit when she unexpectedly agrees to help his younger sister find the father of her baby and the dialogue between Victoria and Ford is sharp and quick and wickedly funny.

If you are a Julie James fan or even on the fence about this one – go for it!  It’s not often I pay as much for an ebook as I paid for this one – being the cheapy that I am, but I didn’t begrudge the extra money spent on this book one little bit.

Would I read this one again:  Just doing up this review makes me want to read it again so the answer is a resounding YES!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

~*~*~*~*~ One You Want by Gena Showalter

Genre: Contemporary

Why this one:  I read a couple of paranormals and while they didn’t work for me, it wasn’t so much the writing and plus this one was on for a real good price…..

Steam Level: Again, a few minutes may be needed for it to cool down before taking a sip

Outline: Rich, powerful and utterly untamable, Dane Michaelson is every woman's darkest fantasy. When he returns to his hometown to witness his father's upcoming nuptials, he is unprepared for the redheaded beauty soon to become his stepsister. He's never wanted anyone more.

Kenna Starr has no desire to join the long list of women on rotation in Dane's bedroom. The single mom learned the hard way—bad boys do bad things, and someone always gets hurt. But Dane isn't fighting fair. With every heated look, stolen kiss and illicit caress, he melts her defenses.

Soon, the girl with the rep and the man who claims to be heartless are locked in a passionate affair. But when trouble arises, will they stand together or fall apart?

My Thoughts: I read this one very shortly after reading Suddenly One Summer and while I liked this one, it didn’t have quite the bang for me as the other book.  It had shades of other books –ABSOLUTELY NOT that it was intentional or anything but the hero/heroine reminded me somewhat of Gray and Faith from Linda Howards After the Night.  Dane’s father and Kenna’s mother were involved when they were young; destroying both families and Dane took his pain out on Kenna treating her unfairly.  He has a lot of anger towards his father for the way his dad treated the family.  She’s had a bit of crush on him but it was quickly dashed by that event.  Dane is now a very successful businessman.  Here the two books diverge as it doesn’t take Dane long before he’s sure that Kenna is the woman for him.  Kenna however isn’t buying it.  She can’t really see why he seems set on her.  She was hurt very badly years earlier and after the incident with Dane.  Her mother is a bitch to her and she’s grown up to be pretty wild.  She’s slow to trust Dane, but with good reason. 

Would I read this one again:  Possibly, very possibly  The odd would be better if only I could quit buying books.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5


Seduced by Molly O’Keefe

Why this one: Wendy talked it up at RWA and as it’s a Western and a good price…….

Genre: Historical Western

Steam Level: good kind of heat to sit around a campfire by

Outline: Melody Hurst’s days as a Southern belle are over. Now she’s widowed and alone in the foothills of the Rockies, struggling to make a life in a dangerous world. She’s determined to secure a future by marrying – but love is out of the question.

Cole Baywood has turned bounty hunter after serving in the horrors of the Civil War, but the ghosts of the men and women he’s killed still haunt him. He’s drawn to the beautiful widow trying to seduce him, only the darkness in his soul forces him to reject her. Is it possible that Melody’s touch can heal the demons of his past? And how can he convince a woman who has lost so much to risk her heart?

My Thoughts: Hmmmmm.  I’ve read some really good Westerns so far this year so far, Outlaw Hearts and Do Not Forsake Me by Roseanne Bittner being the crème de la crème and while Seduced was ok, it didn’t even come close to the Bittner books for me.  I didn’t really warm up to either Cole or Melody that much.  I get that Melody was beaten and warn down by an abusive husband and thinks were much worse in those days, but I just didn’t really get her willingness to go along the her husband’s evil plans.  And if I couldn’t buy into that, the rest of the book fell somewhat flat.  I felt that Cole wasn’t really fully drawn as a character.  This is rather a short story at 167 pages and I felt it could have been much better if the author had made it longer with more rounded characters.  Also she brought in four characters right off the bat, Melody and her sister Annie and Cole and his brother Steven.  I got confused for a while with so many characters all seemingly the lead characters until I managed to sort out who was who and who would be with who.

I bought the second book in the series, Tempted and I do believe there is a third book and I will also read both of them, just to finish off the story but *heavy sigh* alas, this author is just one I can’t get completely on board with.  As I said, it wasn’t bad, but the ‘could have been’ knocked it down some in grades for me.

Would I read it again:  Probably not

Grade: 3 out of 5

Well - that's it for now.  I think 3 is a nice number

'til later

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Sigh. But...but...but....

OK, from now on just ignore all my O'Keefe gushing. Just remember, I'm the one who gave you the Lisa Kleypas ARC. That buys me some goodwill for a while, doesn't it?

I'm pretty sure I have the Showalter? I need to check. I think at one point it was a freebie and I snagged it because 1) major publisher 2) author I've actually heard of before and 3) the description sounded alright.

And I see you have LB Gregg as "Currently Rereading." I am...intrigued by the prospect of what you shall say about it.