Author: Lori Foster

Review: Anthology – Santa Baby

Posted December 27, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Anthology – Santa BabyReviewer: Holly
Santa, Baby by Jennifer Crusie, Carly Phillips, Lori Foster
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 31st 2006
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 328
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Get ready for a holiday season you'll never forget with three of today's most sensational writers who know what every woman wants for the holidays. You'll believe in Santa all over again with these seductive stories from: JENNIFER CRUSIEMayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game--in the arms of a sexy secret agent. . . LORI FOSTERTwo dedicated coworkers with a lot of secrets (and fantasies!) between them must plan a Christmas party side by side--and discover a love worth celebrating--in this steamy office romance. CARLY PHILLIPSA "mistletoe moment" begins when a no-nonsense lawyer intent on seducing her boss meets his twin instead--after giving him a scintillating kiss that leaves him begging for more. . .

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

Holly: I love holiday anthologies. I would say 92% of my holiday reads come in the form of anthos.

This post was originally published January 6, 2009

I bought this anthology because the Jennifer Crusie was one I hadn’t read before and she’s one of my favorite authors. So I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when her entry turned out to be my least favorite of them all.

Hot Toy by JENNIFER CRUSIE

Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game—in the arms of a sexy secret agent. . .

Believe it or not my big issue with this story was the hero. Shocking, I know, since generally it’s the heroines I have trouble with. Trudy is out looking for a toy for her nephew when she runs into Nolan, a man she dated for awhile. A man she thought was different. A man she thought might be the one. Until their 4th date when he took a call, said he’d be back and just disappeared. His reasons for doing so seemed suspect in the beginning, and unfortunately were still suspect at the end – meaning I didn’t really buy his excuse.

Having said that, a less than stellar novel from Jenny Crusie is still better than some super stellar novels by other authors. I found the novella to have her trademark sass and humor and I really enjoyed Trudy and her sister. I even liked Nolan apart from his situation with Trudy.

Overall a fun, well-written story that probably needed a bit more depth to make it work a little better for me.

3.5 out of 5

Christmas Bonus by LORI FOSTER

Two dedicated coworkers with a lot of secrets (and fantasies!) between them must plan a Christmas party side by side—and discover a love worth celebrating—in this steamy office romance.

Lori Foster tends to be really hit or miss for me. I think I probably love 2 out of every 5 books of hers I read. This definitely falls into the “love” category. It was a sweet, cute story. Maggie and Eric have been attracted to each other for ages but age – and Maggie’s father, Eric’s boss – kept them separated. When they’re forced to work together planning a holiday party things quickly heat up.

The chemistry here really worked for me and the story – while short – really had some great emotional depth. I really enjoyed it.

4.0 out of 5

Naughty Under the Mistletoe by CARLY PHILLIPS

A “mistletoe moment” begins when a no-nonsense lawyer intent on seducing her boss meets his twin instead—after giving him a scintillating kiss that leaves him begging for more. . .

Carly Phillips, like Lori Foster, is an author that’s really hit or miss for me. Something about her writing style bugs me, though I’ve never been able to put my finger on just what. But, like Foster’s entry, this one really worked for me. Actually, this may be my favorite of the collection.

Something about Max and Toni really worked for me. Maybe it was her playing Elf and Max falling like a ton of bricks. Or maybe it was Max being super sexy and Toni falling for him like a ton of bricks. Either way, it as cute and I enjoyed it.

I did have an issue with the ending. I’m not really sure I buy them being head-over-heels in love after one night. I guess on a pure fantasy level it worked, but I definitely had to suspend disbelief. Otherwise it was great.

4.0 out of 5

Overall a cute collection of stories.

Total Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here.


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Guest Review: Holding Strong by Lori Foster

Posted March 26, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Holding Strong by Lori FosterReviewer: Tracy
Holding Strong by Lori Foster
Series: Ultimate series #2
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: April 1st 2015
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three-stars

Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn't share. That's why he's been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry's about to need more than she knows…

Denver's combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she's been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can't hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who'll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she'll trust him enough to let him…

Tracy’s review of Holding Strong (Ultimate #2) by Lori Foster

 

Almost from the first time Denver Lewis met Cherry Peyton he knew that she would be his. However he thinks she’s an incurable flirt and he hates how she is with other men. This causes him to back off and just watch her as he thinks she’s one who gets around and maybe even cheats.

Cherry is a social butterfly and likes to have fun and dance. She loves having conversations with the fighters she’s gotten to know, and their women, but that’s as far as it goes. She too knew that Denver would be hers when she met him and has been in love with him but he won’t give her the time of day. Finally after one fight she makes her move and he surprises the hell out of her by actually taking her up on it.

Once they’re together Denver knows that it won’t be enough and he’s not letting her go any time soon. Unfortunately Cherry has some foster brothers from her youth that are complete bastards and one of them wants Cherry for himself. He’ll stop at nothing to make her his.

The thing I like about Foster’s stories is that her heroes are always big tough guys with soft hearts who love taking care of their women and others. It’s a heady combination and that’s what I was looking forward to in this book. Unfortunately Denver, even when he was being thoughtful, wasn’t all that soft. He was possessive, which is not that unusual in an alpha male, but Denver went over that line and became angry and jealous when Cherry was with his friends – even though he knew full well that nothing was going on. It seemed that he was either having sex with Cherry or arguing with her about something throughout most of the book and that really rubbed me the wrong way. This was worded in a way that it seemed like it was because Cherry was holing back info and it was a trust issue but it just came off as him being a bit of an ass.

Cherry had had an incredibly bad childhood and then when her parents died it went from bad to worse with her foster family. She had gotten away from them, gotten her GED and had a good job. She was independent and stubborn because she’d had to take care of herself for so long. I could fully understand her desire to do things for herself and Denver was incredibly controlling so they were constantly butting heads. It was hard for her to give up complete control and frankly I really didn’t want her to – I wanted a compromise, that’s what she should have pushed for but she didn’t. sigh She was a good person, though and I liked her personality.

The story had its ups and downs and there was one part that described a molesting/almost rape that was a bit disturbing. The beginning of the book started off well and it ended on a good note but the middle lagged at points and it was a bit frustrating. A good story but obviously I had some issues with it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

 

This title is available from HQN books. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-stars


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Guest Review: Out of the Light, Into the Shadows by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and L.L. Foster

Posted August 17, 2009 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Out of the Light, Into the Shadows by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and L.L. FosterReviewer: Tracy
Out of the Shadows, Into the Light by Lori FosterErin McCarthy
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: August 4, 2009
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four-stars

This is an anthology by 3 authors that each have 2 interwoven story lines within 4 novellas.

 

In Have Mercy by Lori Foster we meet Wyatt Reyes and Mercedes “Mercy” Jardine. They’ve been dating for 6months and Mercy is ready to take their relationship to the next level: marriage. She really feels it’s something that needs to be done, especially before she gives birth to the baby that she’s not quite told Wyatt about yet.

Wyatt, who pretty much has a plan for his life is not ready for marriage. In fact he tells Mercy that he will never get married and definitely never have children. He loves Mercy, and wants to stay with her but moving in together would be as far as it would go. He’s got secrets from his past and he decided a long time ago that he wasn’t a family man.

I don’t want to tell you anything more of the story or it will ruin for you. This was a cute little contemporary story. I liked both of the characters, with Wyatt being a completely stand up guy, and wanted to see them get their HEA – which I thought was well done considering how hard it is to pull off in a novella.

 

The next story, Deal or No Deal by Erin McCarthy, focuses on Katie who was a russian princess about 1oo years ago. She’s now a vampire and lives in Las Vegas with the vamp that made her, Nick, and her 13 year old brother who’s also a vamp. She thought she had found true love all those years ago but she had been betrayed by her lover and hadn’t found another man to love and trust since then.

Michael is also a vampire, and the man that Katie loved so long ago. When he finally locates her in Las Vegas he is anxious to find her and re-connect with his lost love. Problem is that Michael doesn’t get the reception he’s always been dreaming of and he can’t quite figure out what the issue is. On top of this there’s the vampire Rasputin who wants to take over all the vampires and eventually the world.

This was also a very cute story. Katie had dreamed of Michael for so long and then there he is in front of her. I could thoroughly believe her reaction to Michael and was so glad that it was a strong one. After everything she’d been through I would’ve been verbal about things too. Michael is just a patient man and though this was a novella, and we don’t get to see too much of the characters lives, I thought he was someone that I really liked.

 

In Total Control by L.L. Foster we got to find out more about Braxton Jardine. He is Mercy’s brother (from Lori Foster’s novella, Have Mercy) and he’s not who we thought he was. From Mercy’s story we believed that Brax was just a thriving business man. But we learn that he has a special ability…the ability to control someone’s thoughts and emotions. He’s decided that his assistant, Cameo Smithson, is the woman that’s going to help him with his emotional recovery. Read: sex. 🙂

Cameo’s more than a little shocked when Brax starts propositioning her but after proof of his ability as well as some terrifying events she’s ready to take control.

I really liked Brax in Have Mercy and was pleasantly surprised to see him as the star of Total Control. He is an alpha male all the way and there were a couple of times where it got to be a bit much. But in the end he was the perfect alpha – protecting those he loved and loving the hell out of his woman. Cameo was such a strong female character and I appreciated the fact that she didn’t take any crap from Brax.

 

The last story in the anthology was Undead Man’s Hand by Erin McCarthy. The story focused on Nick, the vamp who had made Katie in Deal or No Deal, and his relationship with a police officer, Jordan. Jordan is investigating a series of murders in Las Vegas and she goes to question Peter, Nick’s 13 year old son. But Peter isn’t really 13. He’s about 113 and he’s a vampire. Peter’s got issues stemming from living so long in a child’s body and isn’t real coherent when he’s questioned by the police. But Jordan and Nick hit it off and start dating.

I think this was my favorite of the 4 novellas. Nick and Jordan’s relationship just seemed so natural and I loved reading about the two of them. Yes, Nick had to lie to her because he’s a vamp (don’t they always?) but it just didn’t seem to be too big of an issue until the end of the story. This was a romance/suspense story and a very nice end to the anthology.

 

Overall a good anthology. I loved how the stories we inter-connected because I tend to want to read about a particular character right after I finish a story and with these stories that was taken care of. I was diggin the instant gratification.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

four-stars


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Review: Anthology – The Power of Love

Posted June 28, 2008 by Holly in News, Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Anthology – The Power of LoveReviewer: Holly
The Power of Love by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Toni Blake, Dianne Castell, Karen Kelley, Rosemary Laurey, Janice Maynard, LuAnn McLane, Lucy Monroe, Patricia Sargeant, Kay Stockham, J.C. Wilder
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 3rd 2008
Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors)
Pages: 320
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four-stars

Twelve all-new stories of women's resilience, empowerment, and fulfillment, by bestselling and award-winning authors.
In this engaging anthology of never-before published stories, twelve authors are united by their unique visions of the female experience. A young woman is torn between the security of her fiancé and the excitement of an old flame; a desperate wife is forced into the workplace for the first time in her life; an ambitious professional woman finally finds the courage to take control of her career; and her man; an emotionally fragile divorcee finds resolve in the ethereal visitations of an archangel...
These are just some of the women who discover and rediscover their own wonderfully fallible but ultimately strong selves in the shadow of love, romantic love, platonic love, new love, and lost love. Readers will be touched, inspired, charmed, and entertained by these original stories of disparate longings, unsettled lives, and the power of love.
Includes 12 stories by New York Times Bestselling Author Lori Foster and Erin McCarthy, Toni Blake, Dianne Castell, Karen Kelley, Rosemary Laurey, Janice Maynard, LuAnn McLane, Lucy Monroe, Patricia Sargeant, Kay Stockham, and J.C. Wilder.
A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE POWER OF LOVE GOES TO THE BATTERED WOMEN’S SHELTER OF CINCINNATI
 

 

This is the book I blogged about here. It’s a collection of short stories by 12 authors dedicated to raising money for domestic violence prevention. I was pleasantly surprised by this collection. Although I enjoy most of these authors, I didn’t expect anything great from these stories, because they’re so short. 20-40 pages doesn’t seem like much, but these authors managed to utilize the content and deliver wonderful stories.

These never before published stories offer something for every reader. Friends to lovers, love late in life, lovers reunited. I was impressed with the quality of writing, especially from authors I hadn’t tried before. A woman is reunited with her old high school flame, a widowed grandmother finds love again in her neighbor’s father, a man finally convinces his best friend they should be together. Although I enjoyed some better than others, I wasn’t disappointed by any of them. I laughed out loud a few times and even got misty eyed.

Do yourselves a favor and pick this up. Not only is it for a good cause, but it’s perfect for light summer reading at the pool or beach.

I’m not going to grade each individual story, but overall I give the collection:

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here.

four-stars


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Review: Hard to Handle by Lori Foster

Posted April 2, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Hard to Handle by Lori FosterReviewer: Casee
Hard To Handle by Lori Foster
Series: SBC Fighters #3
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: February 5th 2008
Pages: 352
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three-stars

Sometimes Fate delivers a left hook.
After Fate deals Supreme Battle Challenge (SBC) fighter Harley Handleman a sucker punch, his uncle secretly hires a pretty lifecoach to get Harley back in the ring of life. Anastasia Kelley has actually known Harley for years, but never as well as she's going to now. Hot for his fighter's form, she has trouble keeping it professional, especially since Harley doesn't know she was hired. And when Anastasia turns the tables on him, it's as if he's been hit below the belt. But that's also where is uncontrollable lust for her burns.

 

Harley Handleman is determined to win the title belt for the SBC (see UFC). Every time he has a chance at the belt, something seems to go wrong prior to the fight. Very protective of his privacy, Harley is very careful who he allows in his life. When Fate puts him in the path of Anastasia Kelley, he’s not sure whether to stay and fight or run like hell. What he does know is that his landlord affects him like no other woman has.

Stasia has always been attracted to Harley, but has never let it show. She’ll never let herself be the type of woman that throws herself at Harley. When she finds herself run off the road late one night, it’s Harley that comes to her rescue. Harley that protects her from an enemy that she can’t see. Even after he comes to her aid, Stasia still refuses to ask Harley for anything. When they part ways, Stasia knows she won’t contact Harley again. As for Harley, he’s mystified that Stasia is so willing to cut all ties, especially since he knows she wants him.

That all changes when a meddling old man gets involved. Harley’s uncle is hellbent on helping his nephew get the SBC title. Even if it takes hiring a life coach behind his back.

This is typical Lori Foster fare. I’ve noticed that with each book she releases, I like it less than the last one. Hard to Handle is no exception. While I enjoyed the romance between Harley and Stasia, they really didn’t do it for me. I liked the secondary romance between Barber and Jasmine, but it happened too quickly to be believable. I mean, really. Then there was the mystery part of it. Give me a freaking break. It was so laughable that I can’t quite do it justice. I think without the secondary characters that Foster has brought into this series, I wouldn’t even read it anymore. What can I say? I’ve been reading her for years. I can’t just give up. So file this under train wreck.

3 out of 5.

Other books in the series:

Causing Havoc
Simon Says

three-stars


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