Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Recent Reads

Unguarded by Tracy Wolff

Why this one: Pure impulse buy. I'm new this year to the Super Romance line and I've really enjoyed most of the ones I've read. When I saw this one at Walmart for 30% off - I just got it.

Steam Level: Not very hot but when you read it you understand why and it makes sense that it wasn't.

Blurb: Rhiannon Jenkins is an events planner on the rise. And her latest client, Shawn Emerson, could make her career. Too bad the gorgeous man insists on mixing a lot of pleasure with his business. In Rhiannon's books getting involved with a client is the fastest way to exit a job. So, no. She''ll resist all his come-get-me looks and tempting offers.

While his charm is easy to overlook, Shawn in the role of confidant and friend breaks down all her best defenses. Suddenly the tables turn and she wants to be close to him. That means opening up about the ugly events of her past is —a risk she hasn't taken before now. Oh, but he could be so worth it!

My Thoughts: Sometimes one regrets impulse buys reckoning they wasted their money. Sometimes one is happy with their impulse buys, glad they went for it. And sometimes one is really amazed at one's own genius in giving into impulse. With Unguarded, my reaction is the third one. I'm amazed at my own genius. This book is really, really, really good. The back blurb isn't written so well and I bought this book almost despite it. One thing that's not mentioned in the blurb is it's a younger hero/older heroine storyline. I like this kind so it was a nice surprise.

Both lead characters in this book were very well done I thought. Rhiannon survived a tragic event in her past - barely. It turned her life upside down and though she is managing to survive, it's a struggle for her. She is less than pleased when she is hired by the younger and flirtatious Shawn, to plan a party he is throwing since his graphic novels have been sold to Hollywood to be made into a movie. Although she is just as attracted to him as he seems to be to her at times, an involvement with a younger guy is not something she plans to give in to. Rhiannon has many facets to her character and I really liked her. She's vulnerable yet stronger than she gives herself credit for. She is working on rebuilding her life and she has come much further than she realizes, considering what happened to her.

And Shawn is an equally great character. I'd say his most charming feature is that he's a nurturer. He realizes very quickly that Rhiannon has suffered something in her past and he is determined to help her. This kind of trait in a hero can be very yummy and it is in Shawn's case. He's not bothered at all by the age difference, another plus in his favour *g*. He does have some reservations though, as his cherishing nature has led him to heartache in the past. But it's really too late as he is totally gone for the heroine.

This book was a very delightful one and I am really doing a happy dance that I discovered this line. The only thing keeping it from being a 5 is I felt it was a scene short. Considering all the work that Rhiannon had done and the party planning was the basis for their meeting each other, I was disappointed that it didn't have that final scene I felt it needed.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Tempted by Fate by Kate Perry

Why this one: It was another impulse buy. Being shallow I'll confess that the cover may have had something to do with me picking it up in the first place.

Steam Level: I'd say between warm and hot.

Blurb: Willow Tarata is a Guardian who trusts no one. She hunts those who prey on the vulnerable. And she's driven by a vengeful goal - find the man who murdered her mother. Yet suddenly Willow's quarry now has her on the run....straight into the sights of San Francisco's most dangerous detective.
Three bizarre murders have Inspector Rick Ramirez baffled - and determined to uncover the truth. But to catch the real killer, he needs the help of his prime suspect, Willow Tarata, even though this fierce and sexy blonde is challenging his professional cool. And now, unless they believe in each other and trust their deepest instincts, a relentless evil will end both Willow's and Rick's life - and claim this Guardian's extraordinary powers forever....

My Thoughts: Sometimes one regrets impulse buys reckoning they wasted their money. Sometimes one is happy with their impulse buys, glad they went for it. And sometimes one is really amazed at one's own genius in giving into impulse.


I just said that about the previous book didn't I? But it applies to this one as well - and call me a happy camper that two impulse buys turned out so well! I really liked this one. I liked it so much that despite just buying two books I've been waiting months for, I kept reading this one. I was late getting dressed today 'cause I was so busy reading. I haven't done the housework I had planned because I was too busy reading. Gotta love when that happens.

I adored the heroine in this book. Willow is one tough cookie. She's had to be since her mother was murdered when she was only ten. As soon as she was old enough, she made it her life's goal to track down and wreck vengeance on the man who killed her mother even though Willow only knows him as The Bad Man. After tracking him for years, she finally hopes to corner him in San Francisco, even as she is aware that The Bad Man has probably lured her there. She is on her way to a meet with a private detective she hired when she comes across two dead bodies, the detectives and another man. Also at the scene is a police Inspector, Rick Ramirez. He senses Willow's presence, but because she has some pretty awesome superpowers, he's unable to find her; either that night or at other times when she seems to be at the same scene as other crimes. He suspects her, but doesn't really want to as their attraction to each other is overwhelming.

I really enjoyed Rick's character too. He's a rules kind of guy. He lives buy the book and his world is one of black and white until he's confronted by Willow who is all kinds of gray. Their opposite personalities really made for some great and spicy scenes between them. It was rather fun watching Rick having his carefully ordered world rocked.

The secondary characters were also very interesting - from his rather mysterious herself grandmother, to Morgan, Willow's computer geek best friend and partner. This is the third book in a series about Guardians, a select group of people who have inherited supernatural powers, but even though I haven't read the first two, it was no problem following this story at all. Though I did check my handy dandy spread sheet and it seems I have the first in the series - somewhere in the house. Once I get my library back, I'll have to see if I can find it!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5


Wendy said...

Not reading your review for the Wolff book's on my Sony Reader waiting for me. But I sorta skimmed, saw your final grade, so I'm moving it up the TBR ladder :)

I've read a couple of previous HSR titles by Wolff, and while I had some "issues" with both of them....I think she's a REALLY good writer, who works REALLY well within this HQ line. I autobuy her now.

Oh, and if you're interested in trying some steamy stuff by her - she's written some erotic romance stuff for Berkley. I've got at least one of those in Ye Olde TBR.

The Romance Girl said...

I don't read Super Romance's too often, but the ones I have read (especially in the past year) I've really enjoyed. I like that a lot of them have depth and deal with serious issues. Adding Ungaurded to my TBR list!

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy - I have read one of her Berkley books. If I remember right, I did enjoy it up to a point, but then the heroine started getting on my nerves. I like the way the author writes in a shorter format. But *g* having said that, I just added another one of her Berkley books to my cart at Chapters.

D.L.: I think this has been one of my best discoveries this year and I don't really know what took me so long to try it. But I'm glad that I did since I'm running about 80% to the good in books in this line I've enjoyed.

Marcella said...

I discovered Tracy Wolff a couple of months ago and have been glomming her ever since.
I'll be checking out the other one you mentioned.

nath said...

I really like the Super Romance line as well ;) I don't know, there's just something nice about it :)

Isn't it great when impulse buys pay off? LOL. Anyway, you were very lucky :)

Hmmmm, Tempted by Fate. What genre is it?

Leslie said...

I'm in awe of your genius. :) And adding both to the TBB list. Good to have you back!

Mary G said...

Hi Kristie
Glad you were pleasantly surprised
by Wolff's book. I don't read many HQ books but I do for an autobuy author like Tracy is for me. Although generally I don't go for younger men/older woman stories,I couldn't help but love Shawn's character. I loves the nurturing thing too. Becuase of it, I found the romance progression to be so smooth.

Anonymous said...

The guy on the cover of the first book reminds me of "The Situation" from Jersey Shore (and Dancing with the Stars). Ick

Lynette said...

Okay, just saw this post and have just downloaded Unguarded to my Kindle! LOL!