Monday, November 23, 2009

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Smooth Talking Stranger
Lisa Kleypas
St. Martin Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-35166-3

I have read enough of Lisa Kleypas work that I pretty much buy her books on sight now if I happen to see one in the store. She is poignant and has the ability to design three dimensional characters that seem very real.

This time I was a little disappointed. It was like reading a bad movie on the lifetime channel for women. Sure, the book was full of drama and angst, but it's just not what I am looking for in a romance book.

I was irritated when I opened the first page and found it was written in first person. I hate reading books in first person. You don't get to look at all the characters points of view, everything's one sided. It's never as fun to read the sex scenes. I usually excuse this point of view in mysteries and I decided to do my best and ignore it in this case too.

Remember, I really like this author. I want to read this book. More than anything I want to enjoy it. So I keep reading.

Ella is in a long term relationship that is safe but not really committed. She doesn't speak to family because they are just weird and it feels like she is always tryiong to be the peacemaker and fix everyone's problems. Her mother calls to tell her that her sister dropped off a baby and if she doesn't pick it up, she will be dropping it off at Social Services.

Ella's current boyfriend wants nothing to do with it and won't even let her bring it home. He is very unsupportive and it's eye opening to the reader and to all the characters around Ella, but she is oblivious. Ella takes on the child wanting to do the right thing and immediately falls in love.

Her sister is very secretive about the father and is in a mental hospital recovering from her toxic relationships. Ella. does a little detective work and comes up with a list of possible Daddies. Jack is the first guy she accuses of being the father, and it's kind of a weird place to start a romantic relationship, but the sparks are there and Ella is currently in a relationship so she denies they are there.

She goes home at some point to find she has been in an open relationship all along and she didn't know it. In the end, she has to give back the baby and she commits to
Jack. In the Epilogue, the baby goes back to Ella because her sister can't deal with him on the road during an affair with a married man.

Now, don't get me wrong, but the open relationship that she was in bothered Ella. How is she supposed to be approving of her sisters affair with her married man? Does she just shut up so she can keep the baby? Does it really matter if her sister is happy living that way when it's almost guaranteed to end painfully?

I hated this book. It did stir up emotion in me but not in a good way. I understand what the author is probably going through and possibly even getting bored with her writing. So she is pushing the envelope. It's difficult to write a romance around a baby so she had to try it. She had to try first person because she needed a change, but I don't enjoy it as much as a reader.

There were things the author thought about ahead of time, and because the main characters of the book would be having sex, she set the crib up in the living room and not in the bedroom. The characters set to have a relationship were made for each other. One is a first born and the hero is a baby or middle child with those kind of traits. It's something this author is known for paying attention to, the personality traits and I love that, but the had to go in places I didn't like. Bringing up the sexual molestation, the mother who would seduce her boyfriends, the crap no one wants to deal with wasn't necessary. I read romances to escape the traditional problems in life, not to throw my mind deeper into the trash pit of modern day civilization. The happily ever after doesn't excuse that.

So I am giving her two stars for this book.

2 stars

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hungry for Your Love by Various Ravenous Romance authors

by Ravenous Romance Authors
Published by Ravenous Romance
Retail Price $6.99/ $4.99 on the publisher website
ISBN-13: 978-1-60777-308-5

Okay, I have to admit my curiosity was piqued when Lori Perkins the editor of HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE approached me to do a book review. (Yes that means I got a free copy so I could review the book, now that the FTC disclosure is out of the way, I can tell what I thought about it.) I was absolutle dumbstruck. An entire anthology of zombie romances? What's sexy about dead people? Oh wait, there's an entire sub-industry of vampire romances aren't there? Okay, I had to check it out and I was pleasantly surprised.

Anthologies are tricky to review because sometimes you don't enjoy every story the same. One may leave you with better vibes than others so I'm going to try to say a little something about most of the individual stories. Some I left out or this would be an unusually long review.

Romance Ain’t Dead by Jeremy Wagner--A first person recollection of a husband that brought his dead wife back to life after drowning in Lake Michigan. Cute and sweet in a slightly morbid way.

Revanants Anonymous by Francesca Lia Block--This one leans more towards the horror side of the spectrum. It opens in a meeting for flesh eating zombies who want to connect with what's left of their human side. This one showed the main characters connecting really well.

I Heart Brains by Jaime Saare--This was like reading something out of the Twilight Zone. A man needs to buy a new body since catching the zombie virus. He finds one that will work, but he has to meet the wife of the deceased as a stipulation to buying it. I feel like I missed out on something to miss nine months and then have a glimpse of the relationship at the 'I love you' stage.

Everyone I Love is Dead by Elizabeth Coldwell--Elizabeth has integrated the undead with the living and they have jobs and eat animal body parts so they don't have to eat human brains. Mark comes back after being dead four years and dates the woman he used to love. It was enjoyable and kind of sweet in a morbid way.

Through Death to Love by S.M. Cross--This starts out in a speech therapy session for zombies but does turn into a date.

Later by Michael Marshall Smith--The hero loses his girlfriend suddenly in an accident but is able to bring her back later. It's written using telling and not showing in some places and I was disappointed in the ending, but this story does overcome death sharing just how much the hero loves his woman.

Overall, this was a good read. It may have been started on a double dog dare, but HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE was good enough to start a cult following. I can see zombies being the new vampires of romance. Which is good, because I was getting a little tired of fangs.

Buy your copy today here:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cowboys Don't Dance by Missy Lyons and Cherie Denis

This book was given to me by one of the authors for the sole purpose of reviewing it, and I was happy to pick up something different to read for once. A western romance always catches my attention and who could ignore that cowboy on the cover? Certainly not me.

Cowboys Don't Dance
by Missy Lyons and Cherie Denis
Published by Siren Publishing
Price $3.99

Cowboys Don't Dance has more than a sexy cowboy on the cover to offer readers. Even though he is oddly disconcerting and mesmerizing, I tore my eyes away long enough to read the ebook.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

It had a slow start for the first few pages, but then the story takes off suddenly with Jesse returning home after years on the rodeo circuit. Angela is his best friends baby sister and she secretly loved him while he could have any woman he wanted. He seems to be engaged, but it turns out Linda has jumped the gun, announcing the engagement before she bothers to tell him. The breakup was kind of funny actually.

Jesse shows up to the dance lessons, because he feels obligated and he likes Angela as a friend, while she thinks he is there for his fiancee. One thing leads to another and well, let's just say things get pretty hot and heavy there in that little dance studio.

The sex scenes between Jesse and Angela are emotionally charged and full of heat. Just the way I like them. The story over all was extremely well written and layered with action and more drama than a daytime soap opera. The romance wasn't as predictable as some other stories I have read recently from bigger name authors. I can't wait to see what comes next from this writing duo, and what Missy Lyons and Cherie Denis have in store for us. I just fell in love with a dancing cowboy named Jesse Burke after reading this story. Cowboys Don't Dance comes highly reccommended.

5 Stars

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pure Magic by Anne Sorgeson

Just to get the new FTC regulations out of the way, I did receive a free copy from the author to review the book.

Pure Magic
be Anne Sorgeson
Red Rose Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60435-175-0
length 47 pages


Is there more than magic in the air?

Cassie and Harold have worked together for a long time. Hearing about a great opportunity to do a nude magic show, Harold is all for it but knows that Cassie will need to be too.

Cassie has kept her feelings to herself for so long, now she finally sees her chance to let him know how she really feels but will she regret it or will it be Pure Magic?

My opinion might be a little prejudiced because I am not overly fond of the "we were friends forever but we suddenly turn lovers books". This story has a cute premise, and the two main characters are to perform naked together in a magic act, but it still left a few unanswered questions for me. Why would they suddenly begin to kiss all the time if they never had before? Two naked people not having sex until the end of the book felt like there was tension trying to be added that just wasn't really there. It just felt unnatural. Anne Sorgeson was at times funny and the idea of the magic being real was rather cool, but the relationship of the characters left me flat. Even the tension between the sisters kind of just fizzled. The conflict was resolved without anything happening.

This rated three stars:

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If you are still interested you can buy your copy here: