Publisher: Berkley

Retro Review: Fair Play by Deirdre Martin.

Posted July 19, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Retro Review: Fair Play by Deirdre Martin.Reviewer: Rowena
Fair Play by Deirdre Martin
Series: New York Blades #2
Also in this series: Body Check
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: February 3rd 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

A little competition never hurt anybody...

Theresa Falconetti has it all: brains, beauty, a quick wit, and her own PR business. To the Deep disappointment of her large family, she never dates Italians, men from her old Brooklyn neighborhood, or professional athletes. Especially not athletes...

Michael Dante, popular hometown hero and winger for the Stanley Cup champion New York Blades is all three—and he is head over heels for her.

For Michael, Theresa's NO HOCKEY PLAYERS rule is a check to the heart. Nothing he does seems to melt her resolve. His stubborn refusal to give up on this wisecracking brunette, who—he knows—is hiding from her roots, is driving them both nuts. And whe he hires her to publicize his family's restaurant, more than the kitchen heats up. Then Theresa finds herself an Upper East Side kind of guy and Micheal is forced to take his game to the next level.

IT'S FACE OFF TIME...

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

Holly: I remember when Body Check, the first book in this series, was released. Everyone raved about it, but I didn’t care for it at all. I felt so vindicated after Rowena wrote this review because the heroine drove her crazy. Good times.

This review was originally published November 18, 2007

The book following Body Check follows Janna McNeil’s best friend, Theresa Falconetti’s journey to true love with Michael Dante’. We met Michael Dante’ in Body Check when he was trying to get at Theresa but failed to impress her because he’s everything she doesn’t want in a man…mainly he’s Italian and from Brooklyn and a hockey player so she’s not trying to have anything to do with him. She’s very snooty and she’s very stubborn and I found that I just couldn’t like her. No matter what DM wrote about Theresa, it set my teeth on edge. I understand that things happened in the first book that made her into the person that she is in this book but she had two guys in her life…one that was absolutely perfect and everything she SHOULD have wanted in a man but didn’t and then another one who was just totally slimey and wrong for her and who does she want?

Contestant # SCUMBAG!

It got on my hot damn nerves and I wanted to frickin’ shake some hot dang sense into her. Goodness each and every time she pushed Mikey away, I wanted to take a bat and beat her with it. He was so good to her and she just kept kicking him in the teeth and when he finally lost it and yelled at her I got mad at him for apologizing about that because he had every right to yell at her the way he did because he didn’t deserve everything that she put him through, he went out of his way to make sure she was comfortable AT ALL TIMES and what did he get for his trouble? A swift kick to the knee caps and every time she got pissed off because her family invited him to dinner at THEIR house?

Yeah, I wanted to smack the crap out of her. It was just more and more of all things annoying where Theresa was concerned, she was so annoying that even Janna was annoyed with her.

The whole Reese thing made me want to hurt someone because for her to want THAT when she could have someone like Mike totally went right over my head…I didn’t get it, AT ALL and the more she fell in “love” with Reese, the more I wanted to choke her the heck out.

This book was easy to read but it was easy to piss me off too…the more I read about Theresa, the more I wanted to backhand that tramp and the more Mike tried to win her over, the more I wanted to run him over with a motorcycle to get him to open up his dang eyes because he deserved so much more than Theresa gave to him and for him to pine away for her when he could have had any number of girls bothered me because it kind of made him look like a wimp to me…but my dumb ass still liked Mike. I loved watching him and Anthony fight and threatened and throw things at each other, I loved watching him with Gemma and the moonstone, she gave him was totally cute, the candles she gave him made me smile too. He was such a superstitious cutie patootie that I wanted so much more for him and I totally think that his reasons for not going to Theresa (the lie thingy with Anthony) at the end to tell her the truth was totally lame but whatev, I got over it.

The book could have been better but it was okay, I guess…It’s a total C read, not the best but it’ll do.

three-stars


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Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Posted July 5, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wired by Julie GarwoodReviewer: Casee
Wired by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard Series #13
Also in this series: Wired
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

A beautiful computer hacker and a bad-boy FBI agent must collaborate—in more ways than one—in the sizzling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…and longing for more . . .

If I had to pick one word for this book: tepid. The romance was tepid, the suspense was tepid. The whole thing was just tepid. Allison intrigued me, Liam intrigued. Together? Not so much. I just don’t understand what happened to Julie Garwood. I know authors grow as writers, but don’t they grow to be better? I saw glimpses of her trademark humor, but she fell short of the mark. It’s sad, really. Then again, when our expectations as readers are so high can authors really meet them? I say they should. They’re the ones that set those expectations by being so freaking amazing. Don’t be mad, Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent is basically a genius. A walking computer. She can do a thousand piece puzzle in twenty minutes. Who does that? It takes me like two weeks. She’s a hacker that likes to help people. Allison doesn’t like breaking the law, but she does it out of the goodness of her heart. Please. Every time she would tell herself that, I would roll my eyes. That’s exactly what the judge would tell her as she was getting sentenced. It’s not surprising that she didn’t like it when the FBI came calling.

Liam Scott only sees Allison as an asset. At the beginning. It doesn’t take long for him to see under the surface. Allison can’t turn away the family that abused her when she was growing up. Not physically, but in every other way. She supports them financially when she is basically on a student budget. She signs a contract to work for the FBI to keep her cousin out of jail. Allison has a soft heart and she can’t say no.

Allison has plans and working for the FBI does not fall into those plans. She has a software program that is going to change the tech world. Problem with that? Someone stole it. Good thing about that? She has a safeguard built in. Between her family and someone trying to hurt her, she and Liam begin a non-relationship as she likes to call it. Allison is far from worldly, but even she can only watch him walk out the door so many times.

I just didn’t feel these two together. We got a ton of Allison’s backstory. Too much actually. Liam, not enough. Or maybe we did and I just skimmed it. I admit to some skimming. I was bored and wanted to jump ahead to some action. Liam was very protective of Allison, which was nice to read. I was just happy that the book ended.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

three-stars


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Blog Tour: What We Learned from Julie Garwood

Posted July 5, 2017 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 4 Comments

With the release of Wired, Julie Garwood’s latest FBI/Buchanan novel, Rowena, Casee and I took the time to reflect on our first Garwood, our love for her and how her novels shaped our reading..and our lives, as silly as it may sound. We learned a lot about ourselves, the world and our reading preferences from those early Garwood novels.

Blog Tour: What We Learned from Julie GarwoodWired (Buchanan-Renard, #13) by Julie Garwood
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

A beautiful computer hacker and a bad-boy FBI agent must collaborate—in more ways than one—in the sizzling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…and longing for more . . .

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What We Learned from Julie Garwood

Casee: The first book I read by JG was Honor’s Splendour. The first thing I really noticed was the selflessness of Madelyne. All she ever wanted was to escape her brother. Yet when she had the chance, she stayed to help his enemy. The second thing that really stuck with me was the humor. JG has a way of writing humor that remains with you long after you have finished one of her books. Honor’s Splendour is still one of my favorite books to this day.

Holly: My first Julie Garwood book was Killjoy, a contemporary romantic suspense novel. It was also my first foray into romance (outside of a few brief illicit Harlequin’s from my t(w)een years). I don’t remember a lot of the finer details now, but the happy ending was enough to convince me to pick up more books by her. My second read was The Gift. While it will never be my favorite, the historical setting and spunky heroine had me clamoring for more. It wasn’t long before I’d glommed her entire backlist. I fell into each new tale, fully immersed in the lives of these fictional historical characters.

Although these books aren’t perfect, I learned a lot from reading them. The heroines were all strong enough to know their own minds; to endure trials and tribulations without faltering. They were honest and kind, and often had to work around men (and women) who wanted to suppress them. But in the end they came out on top. The heroes were all strong, manly alpha-types who didn’t need nothing and no one..until a tiny slip of a woman strolled into their lives and flipped everything upside down.

I remember reading Honor’s Splendour and just melting when Duncan realized he loved Madelyne, long before she realized she loved him in return. Judith and France-Catherine, from The Secret, taught me that best friends really are forever, and can endure anything. Even backgrounds as far apart as English and Highland Scots.

When Nicholaa defeated Royce in The Prize with nothing more than a sling and a rock, I cheered. And when he realized he hated the woman he’d forced her to become by trying to mold her into what he thought a woman should be, I realized it was better to be yourself than change to fit someone else’s mold.

Even now, more years than I care to admit later, I can pick up a Garwood novel and be transported.

Rowena: For me, Julie Garwood will always be the author that taught me what true friendship looks like. From Judith Elizabeth and Frances Catherine to Ramsey and Brodick and Connor, Quinlan and Crispin, there are plenty of friendships that look a lot like family. Friendships that are solid and true. Sure, they don’t always get along and they fight sometimes but at the end of the day, they have your back and you have theirs.

I’m fortunate to have found friendships just like those with a little help from Julie Garwood herself. I met Holly and Casee on the JGBB and we came together through our shared love of Garwood’s books. We’re not perfect by any means but I still love them and know that they love me. Like Judith and Frances Catherine, there isn’t a thing that I wouldn’t do for them.

It doesn’t matter how many times I read these books, the thing that always sticks out to me are the friendships. I adored how Judith traveled to freaking Scotland to be there for her best friend and how there wasn’t a thing that Quinlan and Crispin wouldn’t do for Connor. The knowledge that no matter where they were or what was waiting for them at the end of the tunnel, they would walk through fire for each other and I loved that. The loyalty, the camaraderie, the friendships…those are my favorite things and Julie Garwood captures them so effortlessly. It’s why she’s one of my favorite authors.

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About the Author

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

It’s no surprise that Julie Garwood became a writer. Growing up in a large family of Irish heritage, she took to storytelling naturally. “The Irish relish getting all the details of every situation,” she explains. “Add in the fact that I was the sixth of seven children. Early in life I learned that self-expression had to be forceful, imaginative, and quick.”

Creating stories was always a passion for Julie, but she didn’t focus on making it a career until the youngest of her three children entered school. After the publications of two young adult books, she turned her interests to historical fiction. Her first novel, GENTLE WARRIOR, was published in 1985, and there has been a steady parade of bestsellers ever since. Today more than 40-million copies of her books are in print, and they are translated in dozens of languages around the world. One of her most popular novels, FOR THE ROSES, was adapted for a HALLMARK HALL OF FAME production on CBS.

Whether the setting be medieval Scotland, Regency England, frontier Montana, or modern-day Louisiana, her themes are consistent: family, loyalty, and honor. Readers claim that it’s the humor as well as poignancy of her novels that keep them coming back for more. Julie described her goals this way: “I want my readers to laugh and cry and fall in love. Basically, I want them to escape into another world for a little while and afterwards to feel as though they’ve been on a great adventure.”

Julie lives in Leawood, Kansas, and is currently working on her next novel.


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Guest Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Posted July 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Wired by Julie GarwoodReviewer: Tracy
Wired by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard Series #13
Also in this series: Wired
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

A beautiful computer hacker and a bad-boy FBI agent must collaborate—in more ways than one—in the sizzling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…and longing for more . . .

Allison is in college and is a brilliant computer hacker.  She’s feels that everything she does she does for the good of the people, but technically it’s still illegal.  When she is invited to explore a new FBI facility, that houses their cyber task force, with a friend of hers, she quickly accepts. Once at the facility Allison and her friend are separate and Allison is questioned.  She is freaking out thinking that they know about her hacking but they end up offering her a job – which she turns down.

When push comes to shove Allison accepts the job after the lead in a particular case, Liam Scott, agrees to get her cousin out of trouble – which will keep him out of prison.  While Allison is working on the job she gets closer with Liam and soon they’re inseparable.  Unfortunately Allison has no idea what’s in store for her future and since Liam is on the road 90% of his life she knows that it doesn’t lie with him.  Love, however, has a funny way of changing things around so Allison may get the future she truly wants.

This was a good book.  It’s been about six years since I’ve read a Garwood novel so I was looking forward to this one.  I can’t say that I loved it and I did have some issues with it but overall I enjoyed the story.

My issues : while I liked Liam and Allison I didn’t truly ever connect with either one of them.  They were pretty down to earth – although Garwood did make them seem, at times, that they were too good for me to read about.  Because I didn’t really connect with either character it was hard for me to get too into their romance.  I think THEY had a problem getting into their romance.  It was like they were together, but not.  Then Allison would think that Liam was out of her life and bam! He’d show up again and stay with her like nothing ever happened.  And she allowed it.  Why?  IDK.  I didn’t see the love growing so when it happened it was puzzling.

The hacking part of the story was decent.  I’m not a hacker so I have no idea if anything that was written was accurate or not but it sounded good to me. Lol

I liked Allison’s friends as well.  I hadn’t read any other books in this series but I didn’t feel like I needed to in order to read this one – it was a good standalone.

Overall a decent read.

Rating: 3/3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan

Posted June 23, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine FeehanReviewer: Rowena
Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Series
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Genres: Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
dnf

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan continues her sexy new series, as the Ferraros—a Chicago crime family—use their power as shadow riders to protect their empire and the ones they love…

Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood - but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her - a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them...

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book in this series but that didn’t stop me from wanting to read this book because I was a fan of Ricco’s and I wanted to get to know him better. In the first book, Ricco goes through some stuff and you can tell because he keeps getting himself into scrapes that the family has to get him out of and you know that there’s a story there so I requested this book to find out that story.

This book starts off with Ricco in the hospital after getting into a car wreck that was damn close to ending his life. His siblings are a) pissed at him for putting himself in danger again and b) worried as hell about him. He’s going through some stuff and things are starting to spill over and I could tell that he was close to the brink which made me interested in continuing this series just to read his story.

I wish I could say that the story lived up to what I was hoping it would be but the whole thing was slow going for me and I ended up putting this book down for good after about a week and a half of trying to get interested in what was going on. Between the slow story telling and not being able to connect to either Ricco (that was a bummer, too) or Mariko, I gave up and don’t know if I’ll give it a try later on. I doubt it.

Grade: DNF

dnf


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