Tag: Contemporary

Review: The Kept Woman by Susan Donovan.

Posted June 20, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments


Rowena’s review of The Kept Woman by Susan Donovan.

WHEN A GOOD-GIRL DIVORCÉE Playing by the rules has left Samantha Monroe with an AWOL ex-husband, maxed out credit cards, and the task of raising three children on a hairstylist’s salary. It’s time for a new game plan. When Sam learns that politician Jack Tolliver needs someone to play the part of his fiancÉe for six months in return for a generous paycheck, she’s ready to sign up on the spot.

MEETS A BAD-BOY POLITICIAN

Jack needs Sam and her kids to help tone down his image from womanizing cad to dependable dad. But he was expecting Sam to be a frumpy single mom, not a wickedly smart, sexy redhead. Keeping nosey newshounds from discovering that his engagement is a charade is going to be a tough job, but one mind-blowing kiss from Sam and suddenly Jack is ready to put in all the overtime necessary…

LOVE WINS IN A LANDSLIDE…

Now, with scheming opponents itching to bring Jack down, Sam’s ex returning to stir up trouble, one stubborn pre-schooler, two squabbling teenagers, a crazy dog, and some out-of-this-world sex, Jack and Sam are discovering that playing make-believe can be complicated—but not nearly as much as falling in love…

I started this book yesterday because I just couldn’t finish Crazy Sweet, it’s gonna have to be a DNF read for me because I just couldn’t get into it. I hated the whole Red Dog crap and I’m still peeved that Jane isn’t Travis’ heroine, though I did like C. Rydell Smith sounds like a really hot character, but meh…I couldn’t be arsed to finish that story right now, maybe I’ll go back and read it later but I don’t want to right now.

Instead, I picked up this book from the hundreds of books that I stole from Holly the other weekend. And I read it all in one sitting. It was a fast read and just a really cute book. I enjoyed the characters, the storyline and the hero…man did I enjoy the hero, so much so that don’t be surprised if you see the hero featured in an upcoming Hero of the Month because I was totally over the moon for him.

You see, the story is like this….Samantha Monroe is a divorced mother of 3 who is trying to make ends meet day in and day out and though she loves her job, it’s starting to not be enough to pay her bills, keep her kids happy and a roof over their heads, one night while out for drinks with her friends, she muses out loud that she would gladly be a kept woman if she could find herself a sugardaddy.

Imagine her surprise when she’s given just that chance….for sexy politician, Jack Tolliver who has to clean up his image before the elections or the primaries. What better way to clean up his image then to start seeing a divorced mother of 3 who turns him into a family man, instead of the womanizing cad that everyone thinks him to be.

They set it up where he hires Sam and her family to play the role of doting fiance’ and family for Jack and as you all know, things get complicated because they are fiercely attracted to each other and Jack can kiss like no other and so they start to slowly fall for each other and of course, Jack’s ex girlfriend is a psycho journalist who won’t get over his callous dumping of her years ago. Then add a dead beat dad and gay ex husband who wants to make some money and you get one funny, witty and just all out cute stories ever.

I really enjoyed how this story came together. I loved how Sam and Jack fell in love and I loved Sam’s kids and the relationship that Jack built with all three of them. I loved the bonds he formed with all the kids and I totally loved his potty training game with Dakota, Sam’s youngest.

This book was a light funny read that had me laughing, sighing and saying, HOT DAMN! all throughout the story. There was so many things that I liked about this book, I loved Jack, I thought he was a fantastic hero, sexy, smart and hot damn sexy! His sense of humor made me laugh and the way he was so hung up on buying lingerie for Sam made me laugh, a lot.

I thought that Sam was a great heroine too, I loved her friendship with Monte and the love she had for Monte’s kid, Simon. I thought that it was sweet the way she had formed her own little family when Mitch, her gay ass husband left her high and dry with 3 kids, I loved how she built a life for her family and tried her very best to make them all happy. I loved how her kids weren’t just her kids who did what she said, but who were apart of her plans, she didn’t do anything without running her ideas by them, they were a team and I really enjoyed that.

One of my favorite laugh out loud scenes was when Jack and Sam came back from dinner at the steakhouse and they had that episode in the car and then one of my favorite awwww moments was when Jack made peace with his mother and everything was laid out on the table and they hugged…it was so cute!

One thing I hate to read in romance novels, is when the heroine lies to the hero to protect him, I hate when they lie because they think they can save him, like the hero isn’t strong enough to save himself. And it happened in this book and that was the only part of the book where I was like, “YOU IDIOT, JUST TELL HIM! Love him and trust him enough to help you!” But of course that’s not what happened and it all got just so stupid but Jack made everything all better and so I was a happy camper but goodness, through the part where Sam thought she was doing the right thing, I wanted to backhand her dumb ass!

Regardless of that little issue I had with Sam, I didn’t hate her. I thought she was still a great heroine and the story was great. You guys should definitely read this book because it’s just a great, light romance that will have you laughing at the same time you’re sighing with delight. The characters were fantastic, the storyline was easy to follow and it was just all sunshiny and happy go lucky fun and perfect for a beach read in the summer time…READ IT!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Paperbacks. You can purchase it here.

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Review: Crazy Love by Tara Janzen.

Posted June 13, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Review: Crazy Love by Tara Janzen.Reviewer: Rowena
Crazy Love by Tara Janzen
Series: Steele Street, #5
Also in this series: Crazy Kisses
Published by Dell
Publication Date: June 27, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Government operative Dylan Hart has survived some of the riskiest missions known to man. But no nemesis could have prepared the Special Defense Forces commander for the newest member of his team. A street-smart heartbreaker in Day-Glo pink and black leather, Skeeter Bang has been recruited to aid and abet Dylan’s latest mission: steal a top-secret file and bury it before all hell breaks loose.

Teaming up with a man who may be the last bona fide defender of the free world is a risk Skeeter’s ready to take. Until a black-tie Washington soiree erupts in a bullet-flying free-for-all. Now Skeeter’s got danger on her trail and Dylan arousing every bad-boy fantasy she ever had. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is about to plunge one man and woman right into the sizzling line of fire….

Okay, this is the second to the last book of the series and the second to the last book of my TBR Challenge that Ames and I started in the beginning of the year.

YAY ME!

Finally, we have Dylan Hart’s story. The story that brings Dylan Hart and Skeeter Bang (LOVE HER NAME) together forever, woo hoo!

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for some time now, I think since Superman’s book, I totally wanted to skip Creed’s book and then read Kid and Dylan’s book. I was super excited to finally be able to read it and though I thought the book was better than I expected (I heard a lot of people didn’t really care for the book and for Dylan’s character in this book), it’s not my favorite of the books.

And Kid is still my favorite.

But, I really didn’t mind this whole storyline, I mean, Dylan is taken captive and then escapes, he’s been pumped with drugs that could at any moment end his life but he lives and he makes some boneheaded decisions but none of that matters because in the end, he ends up with the woman of his dreams.

He ends up with Skeeter Bang.

And what a woman to end up with, Skeeter Bang is a kick ass heroine. I mean, she can really kick ass but I hated that TJ felt the need to make Skeeter Bang a better shot than Kid Chaos. I think she could have been kick ass without having to steal Kid’s thunder but hey, that might be just my love for Kid talking, who knows. I’m not a fan of goth, punk girls outfits, you know the whole fishnet stockings, and leather, leather and more leather pants/skirts and then the whole chain mail stuff, yeah not my thing but it seemed to totally work for Skeeter, I wanted to know how she would have looked in that Versace dress though. It would have been nice if I got to see that but I guess it was all about fishnet stockings and pink bras and lace shirts.

Oh well.

Dylan Hart didn’t turn out into the man I thought he was going to turn out to be. I wasn’t really disappointed, but his constant issues with loving Skeeter did get on my nerves a bit. I mean, he didn’t want her on the mission even though Christian Hawkins, SUPERMAN for crying out loud said that she was the best person for the job, yet still Dylan didn’t want to take her. Christian read off how many missions she’s been apart of, the experience she got and still Dylan was like, “Nope, fat chance, not on my watch” and all because he was secretly in love with her, it got to be a pain sometime.

When Skeeter turns out to be a blessing on the mission, after the whole mission was shot to hell, I kept waiting for Dylan to thank her for the great job she did, SAVING HIS ASS!

And even though he disappears after everything goes down and leaves for a couple of months, I didn’t really get mad when Skeeter let him off the hook really quick, it was probably because I just wanted them to hurry up and be together already, they only had sex once in the whole book and I just wanted them to hurry up and get it on.

Some things that bothered me in the book was all the…

Stupid.
Crap.
Sentences.
Like.
This.

It was like, hello? Get on with the story already and It irked me how many times Dylan’s heart broke just by looking at Skeeter, all of the “She was so beautiful, she broke his heart.” crap, there were a few of those in there and I’m like, for all the times your heart broke just by thinking, looking and smelling Skeeter, it was no wonder that accompanied with the drugs in your system didn’t kill you clean off this Earth, I wanted to shake him and be like, GET OVER IT!

But I still loved Dylan. LOL.

I did love the way the book ended, with the whole “Screw You” thing going on, I just thought it was cute. Just like this book, it was cute, it flowed well, the story didn’t really drag any where, there was a nice secondary story with Travis James and Gillian, though I’m disappointed because I kind of liked Jane whatever her last name was.

Why couldn’t Travis end up with her? So that’s it, we don’t find out what happens with the James kid, he just disappears, we don’t get to find out how Jane is doing in L.A. Why couldn’t Travis be with her? Goodness, I liked Jane.

Another thing, I liked Gillian the way she was, I’m not really digging the whole amnesia thing that I glimpsed in the first chapter of the book (which was included in the back of Dylan’s book) …why couldn’t Travis fall in love with the girl he met, the Gillian that I liked, what was wrong with her? Ugh, now she’s this billy bad ass killer girl and meh, I’m really not a fan of amnesia books so I’m not looking forward to reading this book, but I’m going to…Ugh.

Should you read this book? Yes, because Dylan is still hot as all get out and the story is fast paced and just not what I expected, but it was still good and enjoyable. So yeah, you should read it and you should enjoy it, I did.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Morning Come Softly by Debbie Macomber

Posted June 13, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 6 Comments


Isabel’s review of Morning Comes Softly by Debbie Macomber.

A shy Louisiana librarian, Mary Warner fears she’ll always be alone—so she answers a personals ad from a rancher in Montana. Never before has she done anything so reckless, casting the only life she knows aside to travel to a strange place and marry a man she’s never met. But something about this man calls to her—and she knows this may be her very last chance at happiness.

Tragedy made Travis Thompson the guardian of three orphaned children—and determination leads him to do whatever it takes to keep the kids out of foster homes. When he decides to take a long shot on a personals ad, the results are surprising, and before he knows it, he has agreed to marry a mysterious Southern woman sight unseen.

It could be the mistake of a lifetime. But Mary Warner may be exactly what this broken family needs. And with a little faith, a little trust, and a lot of love, two lonely hearts might just discover the true meaning of miracles.

This book is really good. I picked this up after Rowena gushed about this book. I’ve only read the Blossom Street Series and was looking for more Debbie Macomber to read. I was not disappointed.

We have rough around edges Travis who has to take care of his niece and nephew after his brother and sister in law die in a car accident. He knows he sucks at the raising kids thing. His dinners are horrible, he can’t do his poor niece’s hair and ruins her dress. He realizes he needs a wife, cause he can’t afford a housekeeper. So out of desperation and fear of the children being put in a foster home, he puts an ad in the paper.

Mary is a shy librarian who answers the ad. She is looking for change and though she wants to marry for love, she thinks it won’t ever happen to her. She answers the ad and Travis picks her. She can sing, cook, clean and tell bedtime stories. Perfect, except… she’s plain. All he wanted was someone with long legs and as he says, “I got Minnie Mouse.” He starts thinking she wouldn’t be able to hang as a rancher’s wife, but she proves herself she can.

I liked how Travis and Mary got to know each other and fall in love. How though she wasn’t exactly what he had in mind, she turned about being the woman of his dreams. She wasn’t a weak push over like Travis might have thought. She held her own and gave Travis a piece of her mind a few times.

One thing that kind of annoyed me, although I forgive him, was Jim. Jim is the oldest nephew and he’s 12. He was mouthy and disrespectful at times. I know he was grieving and was just hurting inside but damn, I wanted Travis to give him the whooping Jim was just asking for. Seriously, Jim would challenge Travis and I was like, “DO IT!” but that would’ve been wrong. Jim just missed his parents that much.

There is a scene when Scotty and Beth Ann asked Mary if they can “visit” their parents. So she offers to take them to their parent’s graves. Jim chides them saying “That’s dumb.” But as Mary loads the kids the in car, Jim comes running out saying he doesn’t want to be stuck at home with Travis. At the gravesite, Scotty and Beth Ann “talk” to their parents. Mary senses Jim wants to do the same but doesn’t want to appear weak so she tells Jim he has 5 minutes and she walks the kids back to the car.

Also we have a side story with Tilly and Logan. A waitress who thinks she’s not good enough for a lawyer and his well to do family. There is also Travis out to find out who ran his brother and sister law off the road. Everything works itself out and is resolved towards the end.

This book is a feel good, sugar and sweet book. The sex scenes are tame so if you are looking for a book with some hot scenes, skip this one.

I give this one a 4.5 out 5

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here.

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Review: Crazy Kisses by Tara Janzen.

Posted June 11, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 13 Comments

Review: Crazy Kisses by Tara Janzen.Reviewer: Rowena
Crazy Kisses by Tara Janzen
Series: Steele Street #4
Also in this series: Crazy Love
Published by Dell
Publication Date: February 28, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Professional soldier Kid Chronopolous moves in stealth and shadow to take out the world’s deadliest threats. Now, after barely surviving a hair-raising mission in South America, the Special Defense Forces agent comes home to Panama City for some sorely needed R & R…and finds a bikini bottom that can belong to only one woman.

Nikki McKinney has never forgiven Kid for vanishing from her life after the mind-blowing passion they shared. Now he’s suddenly back on the planet, where she’s rising to the top of the local art scene. But her safe, sheltered world is about to be rocked to its core. Because there’s a bounty on Kid’s head–and his enemies don’t care if they take him dead or alive. With dangerous people gunning for him, Kid’s got Nikki running for cover…and right into his arms. Keeping her safe is his latest mission. Keeping their hands off each other is out of the question….

The fourth book in the Crazy series, I’ve got 2 more books to go before I’m done with this series. Dylan’s book and Travis’ book. But finally, I was able to read my sexalicious Kid’s book.

Kid frickin’ Chronopolous.

The ghost killer, the man of many talents, shooting you from way the hell back, keeping you in his sights long enough for him to blow you to pieces. There isn’t a person on the earth that Kid is scared of, there isn’t a person on the planet that Kid won’t hesitate to take out if you try to harm anyone he cares about.

He’s steady and he’s sure and he’s so hot damn sexy it makes me ache.

I loved Kid, even when he was being stupid and couldn’t get the words right with Nikki, I still loved him. I loved him for all the reasons I loved him in all the other books but more so because of the sweet gesture he did for Nikki. I loved how he loved Nikki even though he was so messed up in the head over his brother’s killing. I loved how even though she was engaged to someone else, he still loved the hell out of her. I just straight out loved Kid Chronopolous. I wonder if he was really stupid in the head and did something that irritated the hell out of me if I would still love him, I’m thinking yes because this guy couldn’t really do any wrong in my eyes, I LOVED HIM TOO MUCH!

Great job on that one, TJ!

Nikki, I liked this girl right from the time we met here in Regan and Quinn’s book, when she’s all into her painting of a naked Travis and not giving a damn what anyone thinks. I love that she acted her age, she was 21 and she acted that way, she wasn’t the most perfect of heroines who always made the right decisions, who was always so perfect in everything, I loved that she talked way too much when she was scared and I loved how her love for Kid stayed with her, every time that he up and left her. I loved that her love for Kid was solid and strong.

Even when he was breaking her heart.

The story as a whole was just great, I mean we’ve got Kid, the best killer in all the land trying to keep the woman he loves safe from HIS enemies, the enemies he made while avenging the brother he was closest too. The brother he loved with all that he had and grieved endlessly over. The killing of his brother changed him in so many ways from the man that Nikki McKinney fell in love with and when Nikki flies out to Panama or wherever Kid was, she’s almost killed by just being in the same house as the ghost killer.

It kind of put things into perspective for her, I think. I mean, it explained why he stayed away from her for so long or why he stayed away from home because he was still trying to kill everyone that was trying to hill him and for him to find the time to do what he did for Nikki, just solidified my love for this man. Goodness, that was just SO sweet, Awwwww…

Kid’s biggest enemy, Juan Consuelos is looking for him and gunning to get him since Kid is the bane of his existance, not only is Kid killing off all of his men, but he’s putting a real wrench in his drug dealing business, the man hates him some Kid and wants to destroy him and everything he loves.

But in true romantic form, the good guys come out on top (YAY KID) and I was quite content with the way this book ended, I loved the very last chapter because it was just sweet of girly girl Nikki to do something for Kid, make one of his dreams come true like he does for her, this entire book was really good and has made me ever so curious about Travis James and his book. I’m not like jumping at the chance to read it (I’ve got too many new books to peep out to be excited about any one book) but I did like the Travis and Jane bits.

It was nice getting to know the Rat Queen and Travis better, I even like Travis’ cop friend, Cody. It’ll be nice to see him try to get at Skeet in her book to Dylan, I started Crazy Love and so far so good but I’m not completely blown away or anything but it’s Dylan and I love him so I can’t wait to keep reading more! =)

The only thing that I didn’t really care for in this book was Kid’s inability to talk to Nikki, everything for him in the beginning (even in the other books) was all about sex with her. He doesn’t know how to tell her exactly how he’s feeling at any given time so he just doesn’t say anything and just kisses her until they’re doing the wild monkey dance, it’s like, COME ON, SAY SOMETHING MEANINGFUL already…but other than that, the book is a sure winner for me!

This book was a good read, I loved Kid’s story second of all, Kid is my favorite Crazy man but Superman’s book is still my fav of the series, there’s just something about that Superman that I absolutely love! Read this book, it’s really good and you’ll totally enjoy it and plus, Kid kicks some serious ass in this book and it’s hot!

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

five-stars

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Review: Crazy Wild by Tara Janzen.

Posted June 7, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments


Rowena’s review of Crazy Wild (Steele Street #3) by Tara Janzen.

It’s a long way from the jungles of Colombia to a Colorado library, where Special Forces operative Creed Rivera is staking out one of the world’s most dangerous women. With her prim librarian looks, Cordelia “Cody” Stark doesn’t look like a nuclear arms broker. But nabbing her is Creed’s latest mission-until a trio of thugs shows up and he’s suddenly forced to play hero…. Armed with secrets that could ignite a global inferno, Cody was already running out of places to hide. And now a hotshot government agent has blown her cover by throwing himself between her and certain death. Trusting the hero who just saved her life is not an option. Resisting him is something else entirely. And when bullets start to fly, a man and a woman running out of time are gearing up for the wildest adventure of their lives….

The third book in the Crazy series and Creed Rivera’s book. This story takes place in the jungles of Denver where Tangos, or terrorists known to us civilians are running wild trying to find, Cordy Stark. Creed has just gotten back from South America where he was with Kid, killing everyone that had a hand in torturing him and killing JT. Creed hasn’t been the same since he witnessed JT’s death and even after the whole killing spree, he’s still not all there.

With everyone out, Dylan Hart has no choice but to send in the Jungle Boy on an assignment to capture and keep a well known terrorist, Cordelia Dominwhatever safe until he can turn her over to Dylan and Dylan can turn her over to General Grant and he can turn her loose on the government peeps that want her. Cody is in negotiation with every bad terrorist in the world over some nuclear bomb that only she knows where its at. The location of the bomb is hidden in the depths of a book that Cordy has and that’s what everyone wants.

After a few hours in her company, Creed has decided that she’s basically innocent and and then after just one night with her, he’s convinced that he’s in love with her.

And she’s in love with him too.

So he’s waiting for the perfect opportunity for him to sweep her away and not let her serve any jail time because of course she’s innocent and she doesn’t want him to die or get in trouble because she loves him so of course she’s going to try to fix things and blah blah blah.

This story wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that good either. I mean, I guess the timing of this whole story was off for me because in the other books, Creed was mostly in the background and while I was reading this book, I still felt like Creed was a background character to Skeeter and Dylan’s story.

I didn’t get a sense of what kind of man Creed was, only a troubled one because of what he went through with JT. It would have been nice to see Creed’s family, get to know Creed a little better all the while he’s jumping through flying bullets to save Cordy’s life and well, I just didn’t feel like I knew Creed, the way I knew Christian or the way I knew Quinn after reading their books. And what is up with the falling in love after one night thing?

With Quinn and Christian, their books were the falling back in love with their first loves and then with Kid and Creed, it’s the after one night with these women, they’ve fallen deep in love. Are you serious? One story, maybe I can believe, I guess the way Kid and Nikki met, Kid was sent to protect her and she wasn’t the bad guy but with Creed…she WAS the bad guy and in ONE NIGHT, he falls in love with her and is ready to run from the law just so he can stay with her?

Yeah, it was just hard for me to believe and their chemistry was just rushed. They met one minute and the next, she runs from him and he’s like, “Damn but I love her” okay so that’s a gross exageration but still…it’s kind of hard to believe that Creed, stone cold ghost killer that he is, would fall in love so fast with someone he just met….who is supposed to be a Tango! Let’s be real now.

And Cordy, I just couldn’t really get a fix on her. I knew she wasn’t bad since she was the heroine of this story but she didn’t really wow me with anything. With other heroines, I can see why the hero would fall for them but I didn’t get that with Cody. I got, ohh I feel sorry for her but that’s not enough for me to be like, “Oh she’s perfect for Creed” …I just didn’t get that with this story.

I did love the little snippets of Skeeter and Dylan. Man but I’m excited to read their story, even if nobody liked it (did anyone like it? I’ve only heard bad things about Dylan, am I going to hate him? Oh hell no). I love Skeeter, I think she is so awesome with her platinum blonde pony tail, her scar on her forehead and just her personality. She’s going to be a kick ass heroine and I’m so excited to read her book. I also love me some Dylan Hart too and am anxious to see what he turns out to be in his own story…man, but I love that man and his little crush that he’s got on Skeet is SO cute. BRING IT ON!

This whole story was just too fast and too furious and had too slow to start. Throughout this book, I looked forward to the Dylan and Skeeter parts more than the Creed and Cody parts and then half way through the middle I wanted to hurry up with the book so that I could start Kid’s book already. I’m really really excited for Kid’s book.

So was this story good? It was okay. It was average. Regardless of the lack of depth to the characters in this book, I found it enjoyable but it’s not going to get a reread anytime soon and it’s a good set up for Dylan and Skeeter’s book which is next after Kid’s book, right? YAY…so yeah, read this because it’s part of the series but don’t expect fireworks or anything because you’ll end up only with a couple of BOOMS and that’s about it.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Dell. You can purchase it here.

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