Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Anthology Review: A Nascar Holiday by Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire and Debra Webb

Posted May 13, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Anthology Review: A Nascar Holiday by Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire and Debra WebbReviewer: Holly
A NASCAR Holiday by Kimberly Raye, Roxanne St. Claire, Debra Webb
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: November 15th 2012
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Ladies, Start Your Engines… by Kimberly Raye All Savannah Calloway wants for Christmas is a chance to prove her talent with an engine—and hot young NASCAR driver Mackenzie Briggs is ready to play Santa. But they soon find that winning the race isn't nearly as important as winning each other's hearts…
'Tis the Silly Season by Roxanne St. Claire NASCAR Busch Series racer Clay Slater needs a ready-made family—fast—to impress a potential sponsor. Lisa Mahoney can't resist the chance to give her kids the storybook Christmas she's never been able to…and if that includes a kiss under the mistletoe, so much the better!
Unbreakable by Debra Webb Although she's been hired to prove that drivers are serious athletes, Dr. Maxine Gray doesn't think much of NASCAR racing. So in the spirit of Christmas, driver Rush Jackson is determined to show the good doctor the "rush" that racing—and race car drivers—can bring.

You might be wondering why I’m reviewing a Christmas anthology in May..and you know, I’m kind of wondering the same thing. I decided to organize my bookshelves last night and I found this buried under Mt. TBR, so I figured..heck, why not. And there you go.

I’ve read each of these authors away from the Nascar gig and really enjoyed them, so when I saw this I grabbed it, thinking I’d give it a go and see how the Nascar thing played out. I really enjoyed it.

Ladies, Start Your Engines… by Kimberly Raye

All Savannah Calloway wants for Christmas is a chance to prove her talent with an engine–and hot young NASCAR driver Mackenzie Briggs is ready to play Santa. But they soon find that winning the race isn’t nearly as important as winning each other’s hearts…

I enjoyed this story, but the way Savannah’s family took advantage of her really started to bug me after awhile.

Savannah’s father owns one of the largest racing teams in the Forth Worth area, and all she wants is a chance to prove to her father she’s as good with engines as she is with cooking him and her brother meals and cleaning up their messes. When he decides she should, “Take some time off” to find herself (a man) she decides to approach Mac and see if they can help each other out. She’ll give him a number one winning car if he’ll give her the chance to prove she can do it.

Mac and Savannah are cute together, and I really liked that he listened to her and encouraged her to do what she needs to do. The sexual tension between them was believable and worked because they knew each other prior to her approaching him.

My biggest gripe is with Savannah’s family and the way she lets them walk all over her. Throughout the story they dump one thing after another on her and expect her to just “fix it”. She finally was able to stand up to them, but I think it went on a little too long for the character Savannah was.

3.5 out of 5

‘Tis the Silly Season by Roxanne St. Claire

NASCAR Busch Series racer Clay Slater needs a ready-made family–fast–to impress a potential sponsor. Lisa Mahoney can’t resist the chance to give her kids the storybook Christmas she’s never been able to…and if that includes a kiss under the mistletoe, so much the better!

I enjoyed this one, though I think the premise behind it was just a little too over the top.

Lisa is having a crap month before Christmas (not that she really likes Christmas anyway) and the icing on the cake is not being able to get the two toys she promised her two boys would be under the tree. So when she overhears Clay and what she believes to be his girlfriend discussing Kincaid Toys she thinks she might have a chance to get what she needs. And she can, only it comes with a hefty price tag. To impress the owner of Kincaid Toys, Clay wants Lisa to pretend to be his wife for a weekend. If all goes as planned, they both get what they want..Lisa gets a Christmas for her boys, and Clay gets to race the next Kincaid car.

Like I said, the plot was just a little bit too over the top. Even so, both Clay and Lisa were good characters, and I liked her boys. Clay was just like a big kid himself, and the three of them together were adorable. It was nice to see him realize his feelings for her.

4.0 out of 5

Unbreakable by Debra Webb

Although she’s been hired to prove that drivers are serious athletes, Dr. Maxine Gray doesn’t think much of NASCAR racing. So in the spirit of Christmas, driver Rush Jackson is determined to show the good doctor the “rush” that racing–and race car drivers–can bring.

I think the romance in this story is my favorite, but the hero really rode the Beta line. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Rush is determined to prove Nascar racing is a sport, and one that should be taken seriously. They train hard and don’t get the recognition they deserve. But Dr. Max isn’t what he expected, and trying to get her to change her mind about racing could prove interesting, to say the least.

Ok, I’m shallow. I admit it. But..well, the hero still lives with his Mama. I just had a really hard time getting over that. I think it’s wonderful when men – especially Southern men – show the proper respect for their mother’s, but I think Rush living with her when he was trying to woo Dr. Max was just…well, let’s just say it didn’t quite work for me.

Max was ok, but she had some relationship hangups I felt she clung to a little too tightly. Still, the story progressed nicely and I really enjoyed the characters.

4.0 out of 5

All in all, not a bad anthology, and I’m curious enough to check out some of their other Nascar novels. Total grade:

4.25 out of 5

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

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Breathless by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted April 30, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 4 Comments

Nath‘s guest review of Breathless by Laura Lee Guhrke, published by Pocket Books in July 1999.

I’ve been on a Laura Lee Guhrke kick lately, so after Not So Innocent, here is my review of Breathless 🙂 I’ve seen Breathless and The Charade around, I even own a copy of The Charade, but for some reasons, I never felt like reading them. Perhaps it’s because the setting is in America instead of Europe… I finally did read Breathless… and what did I think?

Lily Morgan may be Shivaree, Georgia’s most talked-about lady. Everyone in town knows about the bitter breakup of her marriage five years before, when Daniel Walker, her husband’s tough, uncompromising lawyer, tore her reputation to shreds and left her with nothing but a wish to get even. But now something about Daniel makes her blood boil and her pulse quicken . . . not with righteous fury, but with passion.

Daniel has returned to Shivaree to once again match wits with Lily Morgan. The thought of a rematch with Lily delights him, for he has never forgotten her hot temper–or her lovely looks. But when a shocking murder shakes the town, Daniel joins Lily to find a killer, and their unexpected partnership sparks something between them they never expected–desire. Now Daniel, the strong-willed lawyer for whom winning is everything, realizes he must win the one reward he can’t live without: Lily’s forgiveness–and her love.

Exceprt available here.

This was such a great read! I really, really enjoyed this book 🙂 The storyline goes as followed: Daniel is a lawyer with political ambitions. Indeed, he wants to present himself for the next senator election… this would go to prove how much he has achieved in life, how successful he has become and how far he has come from his humble beginnings. The wealthiest man of Atlanta is ready to give Daniel his support; however, there’s a price. Daniel must go to Shivaree and convince the judge to re-open Shiravee’s Gentlemen Club (read high class brothel), one of his most profitable sources of money. Problem is that Lily Morgan stands in his way. Five years ago, Lily lost all of her respectability when her husband asked for divorce and accused her of adultery. Thus, every year on the date of her divorce, Lily goes to the judge and ask for the Gentleman Club to be closed… finally, she has gotten what she wished for and she’s not about to let Daniel Walker, the one who contributed to ruin her life, re-open it.

Lily Morgan was such an enjoyable heroine. She’s a very strong woman who stands up for herself. She has a short temper and flaws that she acknowledged and once she’s determined to do something, she puts all her energy into it. I really liked her… I felt so bad that nobody believed her and everyone treated her so badly. I almost cried, because it was so unfair. The only thing I didn’t like was that Lily cared too much about what others thought and how she wanted back her respectability. After what she went through, she must have known that it didn’t matter, that’s respectability from those people is not worth it. I understand why she wanted it, but I thought she’s been through so much… that she didn’t need it.

As for Daniel Walker, he’s the typical hero – kid of the town’s drunk who achieved great things. He’s very focused on what he wants and a bit selfish as well. He doesn’t seem to ever look back… I liked how throughout the book, he became a bit more compassionate and started doubting himself over some actions. I mean, it’s good to be confident; however, it’s better to be sure that you’ve done nothing wrong in your life and be confident 😛

As for the story, I like how packed it was and how fast it moved. I mean, the book wasn’t just about Lily and Daniel falling in love or the re-opening of the club. There were actually a lot of things happening and it added suspense to the book. It added layers to the book in my opinion. I also liked how Lily and Daniel got to know each other before falling in love with each other and also, how their feelings didn’t change overnight. Seriously, Lily was right to resent Daniel abot the divorce… My only complaint is the part where Lily and Daniel finally got together was a bit short, although it did fit the storyline well.

All in all, a great book: great characters and storyline 🙂

My Grade: 4.25/5

This book is OOP from Pocket Books. You can buy it here.

You can check out more reviews from Nath on her personal blog Natuschan
and her joint review blog Breezing Through.

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Guest Review: The Laughing Corpse (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Posted April 16, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: The Laughing Corpse (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel) by Laurell K. HamiltonReviewer: Melissa
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #2
Also in this series: Guilty Pleasures, Circus of the Damned
Published by Headline
Publication Date: October 1st 2009
Genres: Fiction, General
Pages: 300
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

'The older the zombie, the bigger the death needed to raise it.'
After a few centuries, the only death 'big enough' is a human sacrifice.
I know because I'm an animator. My name is Anita Blake. Working for Animators, Inc. is just a job - like selling insurance. But all the money in the world wasn't enough for me to take on the particular job Harold Gaynor was offering. Somebody else did, though - a rogue animator.
Now he's not just raising the dead... he's raising Hell. And it's up to me to stop it.

The Laughing Corpse is the second book in the Anita Blake series. I enjoyed the first, the second is just as good, and now I’m hooked. This is another piece of Anita’s life, and what she is up against. Anita is a very busy girl: she raises the dead to pay her bills, works on the side with the Police RPIT department (Regional Preternatural Investigation Team) handling supernatural crime, and slays vampires.

Jean-Claude, the new master Vampire, is still after Anita. He is trying to make her his human slave. Which totally has it benefits, but Anita has a strong attachment to her soul, so she fights her attraction to him. Anita is an animator by profession, which means she raises corpses, making them zombies. Mr. Gaynor, potential client, wants her to raise a 283 yr old corpse. But, in order to do it, she would have to sacrifice a human. She refuses. Man o’ man is he persistent. Money, violence, blackmail whatever it will take, Mr. Gaynor will try.

In Anita’s side job working for the police, she is chasing after some THING. Whatever it is, just scares the hell out of me. It is going across the city, consuming families, the whole family, very messily, leaving body parts here and there. And if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, the most powerful voodoo priestess in the Midwest, Dominga Salvador, is trying to recruit her. Dominga plays in the dark side of Voodoo and Anita doesn’t want anything to do with it. But, Anita is Anita, and offends Dominga. Not good, not good at all, someone who can conjure up creatures of the night is not a person you want to piss off.

I like how there is more than one bad guy, and multiple things going on at one time. The story itself is good. I also like the characters, old and new, they are all interesting. It really makes the pages just fly by.

My favorite quote from the book:

I nodded. “Okay, you got a deal.” It was a business expense. Computer paper, ink pens medium point, one prostitute, manila file folders. See, it fit right in.

Now for the parts I didn’t like. Anita’s relationship with Jean-Claude isn’t moving fast enough for me, but I will survive. The other piece that I did not like has to do with children. Families are being eaten. I can deal with that, but there are just some parts that have to do with the children that are too graphic for me. (Spoilers, highlight to read)One part in particular, at a crime scene she picks up a toddlers hand (that is all there is left of the child) and pretended to throw it at a cop. It straight up made me gag. I have small children myself, not something I want to picture.

Overall a little graphic, but I’m still addicted.

4.25 out of 5

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

four-stars

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TBR Day Review: The Hunters: Rafe and Sheila by Shiloh Walker

Posted April 16, 2008 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

TBR Day Review: The Hunters: Rafe and Sheila by Shiloh WalkerReviewer: Tracy
Rafe and Sheila by Shiloh Walker
Series: The Hunters #6
Also in this series: Private Places

Publication Date: May 4th 2005
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Paranormal
Pages: 125
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The Hunters: Rafe and Sheila Shiloh Walker
"Book 6 in The Hunters series."

Sheila is tired of it. Tired of him. She adores the sexy Hunter she works and lives with, loves him madly, but all he will give her is a good time in bed. And what a time that is. But she wants-needs-more. When Rafe makes it clear that sex is all he will offer, she leaves.

Rafe can't believe that Sheila walked away-he'll be damned if he just lets her go. Throwing caution to the wind, he sets out to track her down and bring her home. But when he finds her, she's lying in the arms of another man. Rage and jealously overwhelm Rafe.and a whole mess of trouble ensues.

An enemy of the Hunters has set up a playground in this land that seems to call to Rafe. He and Sheila, and the motley crew they assemble, must defend and cleanse this land of the evil that dwells there. And Rafe must lead them through horror and sacrifice as he comes into his own-a Master, defending his land, who must bring his woman home. But, to his home, his heart.

 

This is book 6 in the Hunters series and one of my favorites. I think that Rafe & Sheila’s relationship was well done. I appreciated the fact that Ms. Walker didn’t overdo the “I can’t want you” scenario that we see in so many romances nowadays.
I very much enjoyed the two characters that she brought into the book: Ella and Robbie. They had been through so much heartache and terror at the hands of the evil Pierre but were still so pure at heart. I don’t want to give away any plot details but let’s just say when things came to a head I was crying like a baby. Yes, I’m a big softy at heart!
Rating: B+/4.25 out of 5
four-stars

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