Tag: 3.75 Reviews

Review: Finding Her Place by Midnyte Dupree

Posted May 28, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Finding Her Place by Midnyte DupreeReviewer: Holly
Finding Her Way by Midnyte Dupree
Published by Resplendence Publishing
Publication Date: May 27th 2008
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The war is over and Cameron Cabot no longer knows who she is. Her life was enveloped and consumed by the fight, but suddenly things have changed. Instead of fighting creatures wanting her planet, Cameron is now fighting the urge to lay claim to two men who believe she is their mate. Has Cameron found her new assignment in the arms of a Noah and Mars? Yes, if a mischievous little spirit has anything to say about it...

 

Cameron’s ship crash lands on a strange planet, and she wakes up naked in a strange bed to find two strange men snuggled up with her. They claim their king gave her to them and they want her for their mate, but Cameron is skeptical about love, because her heart has been broken before. A cute little spirit knows Cameron craves a family, however, and does her best to play matchmaker.

This was a cute little short story, with a fun setting and really hot sex. I liked both Mars and Noah. Mars is Commander of the Methuse army and Noah is their chief doctor. Both were strong and sexy in their own right, but I think Noah was the more sensitive of the two. At first Mars thinks this will be great, because he figures the only thing he’ll contribute is his seed to start a family. Watching him change his mind was great. I would have liked to know just a bit more about them, but since this is a short story, I’m willing to forgive the fact that we didn’t know them super well.

I did have a couple of issues, however. I found it odd that Cameron wasn’t more concerned about finding her friend, Simone, and making sure she was really ok,. Although an explanation was giving, it wasn’t a satisfactory one, in my opinion. Cameron is supposedly a soldier, a warrior, but they tell her her friend is recovering and fine and she just says, “Ok, I believe you.”? That didn’t really work for me.

There was also some cheesy dialogue between the three that I had to snicker over. It wasn’t too horrible or over the top, but it did make me roll my eyes.

I did really enjoy it, however, and I’m definitely interested in reading more from this author. I especially can’t wait to read Simone’s story (There is going to be a story for Simone, isn’t there??). For a short, erotic story it really hit the spot.

3.75 out of 5

This book is available from Resplendence Publishing. You can buy it here in e-format.

The author is going to be visiting tomorrow, so be sure to check back for that. We’ll have a copy of the story to give away, too! =)

three-half-stars

Review: Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches

Posted May 14, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Welcome to Heaven. Use your Wishberry to hustle up whatever you want. Have an online chat with God. Visit the attractions such as Retail Rapture, Wrath of God miniature golf and Nocturnal Theater, where your nightly dreams are translated to film.

Your greeter might just be Skye Sebring who will advises her newly dead clients on what to expect now that they’re expired. “Heaven is like a Corona Beer commercial” she assures her clients. “It’s all about contentment.”

So different than Earth where chaos reigns. Unfortunately for Skye, she’s been chosen to live her first life. She’s required to attend Earth 101 classes, which teach all of the world’s greatest philosophies through five Beatles songs.

Skye has no interest in Earthly pursuits, until lawyer Ryan Blaine briefly becomes her client after a motorcycle accident. Just as they are getting to know each other, he is revived and sent back to Earth.

She follows his life via the TV channel “Earthly Pleasures” but discovers he has a wife as well as a big secret. Why then does he call a show for the lovelorn to talk about the lost love of his life?

I read this book about a week ago, but waited to review it b/c I had mixed feelings. I’m glad I waited b/c it was my expectations as a reader of romance rather than the book itself that was effecting my opinion. This is not a romance in the fact that you can expect to read a HEA between the hero and heroine. As a matter of fact, there is only one scene that the h/h are actually together. That aside, I really enjoyed this book. It was hilariously funny and I’m glad that I read it. Here’s one of the many passages that made me laugh out loud while reading this book.

Saturday was always a brisk day. People on Earth had more time to drown, wreck their cars, or fall off roofs. The only day busier than Saturday was Monday, which ushered in the cardiac arrest and stroke victims. Apparently the prospect of facing another long workweek eked the life out of many people on Earth.

Skye Sebring enjoys her work as a greeter in Heaven. As a greeter, it is her job to make the transition as easy as possible for the people who have left Earth for Heaven. As a greeter, she has seen a variety of people. When Ryan Blaine turns up in her cubicle, she is astonished to see the man that many people in Heaven watch on their TV channel, Earthly Pleasures. Before she can begin adjusting Ryan to his new life, he disappears back to Earth. Thus begins Skye’s obsession with Ryan Blaine.

Ryan Blaine wakes up in an ambulance with a fuzzy image of someone named Skye that looks astonishingly like his wife, Susan, before the car accident that changed everything. Ryan has been having a hard time adjusting to his new wife and feels adrift as he tries to reconcile Susan before and after the accident.

There are several side stories that are happening simultaneously. There is also the back story of Ryan and Susan’s romance. I thought that Neches did a great job of tying all these stories together. The reader will understand what’s going on long before it’s revealed. I really did enjoy this book, though I didn’t like the ending at all. For that reason, I give it:

3.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Simon & Schuster. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Guest Review: The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

Posted May 4, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments

Nath‘s guest review of The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Cruise. Originally published with Bantam‘s Loveswept in 1996.

I love Jennifer Crusie, LOL 🙂

I discovered her a couple of years ago with Strange Bedpersons and she’s one of the few authors whose books I hunted down on ebay. When I first discovered Jennifer Crusie, most of her category/silhouette romances were out-of-print; however, I’ve been able to get my hands on most of them… even Sizzle. The only one that I haven’t read was The Cinderella Deal… Well, thanks to Holly and Book Binge, I finally got my hands on a copy of this book 😀

The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

published by Bantam Loveswept in 1996

Heroine: Daisy Flattery
Hero: Linc Blaise

Hmmm, I can’t find a synopsis, so here’s a quick summary…

Daisy Flattery is an artist. Four years ago, she quitted her job as a teacher to focus on her art. Now that her savings have been spent, Daisy is having doubts. She’s tired of being worried and scrambling for money and not having time to paint…

Linc Blaise is a history teacher with great credentials, writing his second book. Problem? He’s too busy teaching to write. That’s why he’s looking for a new position at private Prescott College. The hick? The dean seems more interested in Linc’s marital status than credentials and now, Linc has to bring his imaginary “fiancee” to his jobtalk audition. So Linc turns to his Little House On The Prairie on acid, downstairs neighbor, whose job is telling stories for help.

Genre: contemporary romance

What did I think? This book was a quick and enjoyable read. The premises reminded me a lot of Strange Bedpersons: both heroines are happy-go-lucky while the heroes are straight, dignified and very serious. Then of course, there is the fake “fiancee” plot… The difference is in The Cinderella Deal, Daisy and Linc do not know each other – they’re just neighbors that actually don’t really get along well. However, they both agree to this asinine plan because it advantages them both… Daisy needs money while Linc needs a fiancee. They also take it a step further than Tess and Nick from Strange Bedpersons by getting married. The whole resolution at the end however, is a bit similar.

Personally, I enjoyed Strange Bedpersons better. I thought it was funnier and I really enjoyed Tess and Nick – it helped that they had a relationship before. The Cinderella Deal is enjoyable and perhaps, more well-written. The plot is also a bit more realistic (as realistic as you can get for a fake fiancee plot). The whole marriage is pretty much a secret marriage of convenience, without the sex. I liked that Linc and Daisy didn’t jump into bed right away, that they got to know each other. I also liked that the storyline spanned several months, it just made it more real.

I enjoyed Linc and Daisy as characters a lot. Linc is serious, he has goals and is willing to do a lot to reach them. It’s a bit sad how oblivious he is to Daisy’s efforts at first, but once he got to really know and understand her, he was there to offer his support and help whenever she needed. I like how Daisy put colors, warmth and friendship in Linc’s life. Daisy is a fun character; however, she kind of faded away in the middle of the book. It’s not just that she conformed to what Linc wanted, but also because all the positive changes came from Linc… but I really like her character.

All in all, The Cinderella Deal has all the successful ingredients from Jennifer Crusie: great H/H, wacky animals, complicated situations and lots of weird secondary characters. It’s just too bad that there’s a sense of deja-vu to the storyline.

My Grade: 3.75/5

The book is currently out-of-print and I don’t know if there’s any plan for re-printing it.

You can check out more reviews from Nath on her personal blog Natuschan

and her joint review blog Breezing Through.

Review: Scions: Resurrection by Patrice Michelle

Posted April 21, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Scions: Resurrection by Patrice MichelleReviewer: Holly
Scions: Resurrection by Patrice Michelle
Series: Scions #1
Published by Silhouette
Publication Date: January 1st 2008
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy
Pages: 288
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Everyone believed vampires were extinct. Everyone was wrong.
When Ariel Swanson wrote a novel about vampires, she hoped it would exorcise her fear of the creatures that had, not so long ago, terrorized the human population.
Instead, it brought her to their attention.
And to the attention of Jachin Black—a man banished from the Saguinas, a vampire pack, and forced to hunt among the despised humans. For he clung to the prophecy given years ago, of a better way for his kind to live—a prophecy Ariel unknowingly used as the basis of her novel.
Ariel hates and fears vampires. Jachin despises humanity. But the prophecy—and passion—binds them in ways they could never have imagined. Ways that may heal the past, and change the future.…

It took me almost a month to read this book. Can you believe that? And the worst part about is it had nothing to do with the book itself, but whatever weird reading funk I was in.

I think Scions: Resurrection started off kind of slow. It took me a good 40 pages or so to get into it, but once I did I really enjoyed it. There’s a lot of action and adventure, and it was really fast paced. Unfortunately, I think that worked against the romance element.

Ariel hates and fears vampires because they murdered her family. So as a form of therapy, she writes a novel about vampires, depicting them not as the bloodsucking villains she knows them to be, but as a race struggling to fulfill a prophecy so they can live a better life. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that the prophecy she thinks she made up is in fact real, and one the vampires of the world think she’s the key to.

Even though Jachin was baned from his clan 10 years ago, he still believes in the prophecy and knows if they can fulfill it his race will finally begin to heal and find peace. So when he realizes Ariel is the key to the prophecy he knows he needs to bring her to Braeden, the leader of his clan. Only there are few small problems with this. First, Jachin isn’t the only vampire who wants to bring Ariel in, only the others aren’t willing to be as kind about it. Second, Jachin is attracted to Ariel and wants her for himself. But the biggest problem of them all? Ariel’s blood doesn’t poison Jachin. And it’s been a long time since he’s had pure human blood.

I think this book read like a fun, fast paced Sci-fi adventure I’d find on t.v. There were explosions, vampires, werewolves, a prophecy, action, adventure, and a little romance. The problem? I think there was just a bit too much going on.

I don’t think the characters were fleshed out quite enough. Though I enjoyed them, I never really connected with them. I also think they were somewhat contradictory. Take Ariel for example: She’s terrified of vampires, but within a few hours of meeting (read: being kidnapped by) Jachin, she’s already attracted to him and considers that he’s probably worthy of her trust. As the story progresses, she continues to trust Jachin, but not any other vampire. Which makes sense to a point, since they were bad vamps and not too worried about not hurting her. Still, the way she just flipped around and did a 180 in her feelings about vampires didn’t make much sense to me. Especially since she continued – in her internal monologues – to profess her belief that all vamps were monsters and evil and blah blah blah. Yet her actions clearly didn’t convey that. Jachin also seemed contradictory, constantly wanting Ariel but determined to give her to someone else. I don’t even think he liked her half the time.

Toward the middle of the story, however, I think things evened out and I was drawn to the story despite my issues with the characters. Ms. Michelle really put a new twist on the vampire mythology that I enjoyed. The idea that our government created them to be weapons against biological warfare and then abandoned them when they couldn’t be controlled isn’t all that far fetched. And vamps creating werewolves so they’d have something to hunt for sport? Interesting and different.

As I mentioned before, the action is well done and the background relationships are interesting. I’m especially curious about Landon, the werewolf Jachin interacts with (I believe his book is next in the series).

Overall, the plot was interesting, the action well written, but the romance and character depth somewhat lacking. I am anxious to read the next book in the series however, so I’m going to give it:

3.75 out of 5

The series is as follows:

Scions: Resurrection
Scions: Insurrection (Available May 1st)
Scions: Revelation (TBA)
This book is available from Silhouette Nocturne. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-half-stars

Review: The Murder Game by Beverly Barton

Posted March 30, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Murder Game by Beverly BartonReviewer: Casee
The Murder Game by Beverly Barton
Series: Griffin Powell #8
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.
Publication Date: February 1st 2008
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

New Game
The game is simple--he is the Hunter. They are the Prey. He gives them a chance to escape. To run. To hide. To outsmart him. But eventually, he catches them. And that's when the game gets really terrifying. . .
New Rules
Private investigator Griffin Powell and FBI agent Nicole Baxter know a lot about serial killers--they took one down together. But this new killer is as sadistic as they've ever seen. He likes his little games, and he especially likes forcing Nic and Griff to play along. Every unsolvable clue, every posed victim, every taunting phone call--it's all part of his twisted, elaborate plan. And then the Hunter calls, wanting to know if they're really ready to play. . .
But Winner Still Kills All. . .
There's a new game now, and it's much more deadly than the first. A brutal psychopath needs a worthy adversary. He won't stop until he can hunt the most precious prey of all--Nicole. And with his partner in a killer's sights, Griff is playing for the biggest stakes of his life.

I really wish I could say aloha from Hawaii again, but alas I’m back in cold-ass Boise. Why did I wear shorts back on the plane again? A fifty degree temperature difference is fairly noticeable.

Anyway, I read this book before I left and I completely forgot to review it. Strange that I would forget, no?

I’ve always liked reading Beverly Barton, eye-rolling at times though she may be. Her heroines always tend to be helpless debutantes from various southern states. They say “Mercy!” a lot and are usually sweet-tempered virgins who make stupid ass decisions when they know their lives are in danger. They get smart after they almost get killed. It tends to get rather annoying. That’s why Nic was a refreshing heroine. I can’t think of any other Barton heroines that are like Nic.

Griffin and Nic are the only people that believe that the Beauty Queen Killer was actually two people rather than one. Unable to convince anyone at the FBI, the case was subsequently closed. Only Griff and Nic shared the belief that they hadn’t heard the last of the sadistic killer. When they both get a phone call, their worst fears come to life. There are at least two women dead and another one has gone missing. The killer has given both Nic and Griff clues that could eventually lead them to his prey, if only they can decipher the clues before he strikes.

The relationship between Griff and Nic was interesting. I don’t know any southern men, but Griff is what I’d imagine a southern man to be. He enjoys taking care of women. He really has no use for feminists. Nic has always felt she had to prove that she’s as able as any man. After growing up with a father determined to mold her into the perfect girly-girl, Nic rebelled and has been proving herself ever since. Griff doesn’t understand Nic’s need to prove herself and their personalities obviously clash. Nic believes that Griff is a womanizing bastard and Griff believes that Nic is a man in a woman’s body. Their personal feelings for each other aside, the two agree to work together to bring down the man who is now calling himself “The Hunter”.

Onto the villain. He was one evil S.O.B. The problem was that I couldn’t really take a sociopathic killer seriously when his name was “Pudge”. Yes, Pudge. That was the eye-rolling moment for me in the book. I mean, really. Pudge?

Barton does a great job of of making the victims seem real(see The Dying Game). Every time Pudge would choose his victim, we’d get a small glimpse into her life. So whenever Pudge would call Nic and Griff with a clue, I wanted them to figure it out even more. Before Pudge got to them and tortured them in a way that’s almost unimaginable.

Overall I liked this book. There was one thing that really made me like it and one thing that I really didn’t like.

First what I didn’t like…the character of Griff has been built up over several books. He was always sort of an enigma. There were 10 years where he just disappeared. Once on his way to being a professional football player, he just disappeared one day. When he resurfaced 10 years later, he was a rich man. He also had secrets. We never learn the secret of those 10 missing years until this book. It was what the secret was that I didn’t like. Maybe if I knew that this was his secret all along, it would be different. However, I feel like his big secret was somewhat of a cop-out, chosen specifically because of the kind of killer that Pudge turned out to be. I can’t reveal anything else because I don’t to spoil it for those that will actually read it.

Obviously the reader knows that Nic will eventually be taken by the killer. Usually this would happen at the end of the book. What I thought made the book good was that Nic was taken in the middle of the book. That made it really interesting. It was right at the time that Nic and Griff realized that their beliefs about each other were wrong and they started getting close. That made her being taken even more powerful.

Anyone that wants to read a good romantic suspense, give this one a try.

3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars