Tag: Contemporary

Review: Ready or Not by Meg Cabot

Posted October 9, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Ready or Not by Meg CabotReviewer: Rowena
Ready or Not by Meg Cabot
Series: All-American Girl #1
Also in this series: All-American Girl
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: August 1st 2005
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 238
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three-stars

Top ten things Samantha Madison isn't ready for:

10. Spending Thanksgiving at Camp David
9. With her boyfriend, the president's son
8. Who appears to want to take their relationship to the Next Level
7. Which Sam inadvertently and shockingly announces live on MTV
6. While appearing to support the president's dubious policies on families, morals, and yes, sex
5. Juggling her new after-school job at Potomac Video
4. Even though she already has a job as teen ambassador to the UN (that she doesn't get paid for)
3. Riding the Metro and getting accosted because she's "the redheaded girl who saved the president's life," in spite of her new, semipermanent Midnight Ebony tresses
2. Experiencing total role reversal with her popular sister Lucy, who for once can't get the guy she wants
And the number-one thing Sam isn't ready for?
1. Finding out the hard way that in art class, "life drawing" means "naked people."

I guess it had to happen sooner or later, I mean, it happens with all kinds of favorite authors and Meg Cabot has finally written a book that I wasn’t too wild about, but I still hecka love her.

In the sequel to All American Girl, it’s a year later and Samantha Madison is a 15 year old American Teen Ambassador for the UN and we follow her life after having saved the President of the United States. She’s still taking art lessons from Susan Boone and she’s still dating the First Son, David and she’s still out of her frickin’ mind.

She’s one of those emo kids that drive me absolutely bonkers! She’s got great red hair, she dyes it midnight black and now she looks like a bootleg Ashlee Simpson. Her boyfriend tells her to come away for the Thanksgiving Weekend with him and his parents to hang out and play some parcheesy and she goes completely nuts because she thinks that David wants to have sex with her.

Now, it wasn’t so long ago that I was 15 and I can remember being completely boy crazy but I do not ever remember agonizing over having sex when I was 15 because I knew I wasn’t ready for it and though I know that teenagers are a lot more passionate about everything, Sam just drove me nuckin’ futs with all of her assumptions.

She gets invited to Thanksgiving with her boyfriend and his parents and she totally assumes that David wants to jump her bones. So like Sam does with everything, she agonizes over it until I want to choke her out for being so retarded about everything. The way she blabs on national TV that she said YES TO SEX made me roll my eyes and then the whole cafeteria scene where everyone is standing up and saying, “I’m a slut too” made my eyes roll down the street because that just doesn’t happen in real life and even though I really didn’t buy the whole thing, I can’t say that I hated the book, just that Sam drove me crazy.

I guess, I was disappointed in the direction that Meg Cabot took this book because I didn’t think that this book was appropriate for 15 year old girls because well, I certainly wouldn’t want my nieces to read this book and get any ideas because I have a niece that’s Sam’s age and sex better be the last thing on her mind, I also have a niece that’s 16 almost 17 and again, sex better be the last thing on her mind..I don’t mind them being curious but to actually be doing it, well I just hope that they’re not following the things that they see on TV and reading in books.

I wouldn’t want to shield my nieces from reading this book but I just, I don’t want them getting those ideas in their heads that since Sam is having sex, protected sex and whatever, that as long as they’re safe then it’s okay because I don’t think they should be having sex right now and this is me speaking from experience and well, I just don’t want them getting influenced from this book.

I would have liked the book more if Sam didn’t disappoint me by changing her mind at the end about being ready and I could have totally done without that scene where Lucy tells her how Sam can find out if she’s ready to have sex or not, the whole bath tub thing? GROSS! Who talks about crap like that? Nobody I know…

…so yeah, I didn’t hate this book but I didn’t really like it either, Sam drove me crazy and I wanted to bop her upside her head a number of times but I wouldn’t say that this is the worst book I’ve ever read…ehh, I guess where this book is concerned I’m just confused. It was just, okay.

Ugh. Take this review how you want to, I just don’t know. LOL.

three-stars

Review: Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

Posted October 8, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Whispering Rock by Robyn CarrReviewer: Rowena
Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #3
Also in this series: Virgin River, Temptation Ridge (Virgin River, #6), , , , , , , , , Sheltering Mountain
Published by Mira Books
Publication Date: June 1st 2007
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 363
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Goodreads
four-stars

A decorated U.S. Marine reservist, LAPD officer Mike Valenzuela was badly wounded in the line of duty, but has found hope and healing in Virgin River. When he agrees to become the town's first cop, he does so knowing it's time he settled down. Twice divorced and the lover of too many women, he secretly longs for the kind of commitment and happiness his marine buddies have found—a woman who can tie up his heart forever.

He finds that woman in Brie Sheridan, a Sacramento prosecutor who understands his drive to protect and serve. Virgin River becomes a safe haven for Brie after nearly losing her life at the hands of a crazed criminal. Though tough and courageous, she's got some fears she can't escape—but now she has someone who will show her just what it means to trust again. Mike will do anything to help Brie free herself from painful memories. Passionate, strong and gentle, he vows to give back to her what she's so selflessly given him—her heart, and with it, a new beginning.

I had to sit on this review for a few hours to think back on my reading experience with Whispering Rock. I enjoyed the book quite a bit, loving every page that was filled with Mike and Brie. This book started with a definite bang with the whole Brie’s in trouble and Mike turning around and going back to be with her in her time of need…even if she didn’t want him around, Mike was there anyway because he knew that he had some deep feelings for his best friend’s little sister.

The story starts out with Brie in the hospital having been brutally beaten and raped by the man that she tried to put behind bars for raping other women….the trial she fought and lost. In Shelter Mountain, we see that Brie has lost that trial and we see the devastation she went through because of it…she felt like such a failure because not only did she lose the case against the serial raper guy, but she also lost her husband to her best friend. So you can just imagine the kind of pain that Brie was going through. She was down on herself and her life and it was with the help of Mike Valenzuela that she slowly came back to the world of living.

It was through constant phone calls and lunches in Santa Rosa that Brie finally started to feel alive again. It was in Virgin River that she started to fall in love with Mike and Mike with her. The small town that brought together great couples such as Jack and Mel Sheridan then Preacher and Paige has done so again with Mike and Brie.

For me, I loved that we got to see the gradual pull of Mike to Brie. I loved that we got to literally see these two fall in love over the course of this book and I seriously loved how understanding and compassionate Mike was. He reminded me so much of Jack in Virgin River and I totally fell for him in this book. He was a great hero, one that captured a piece of my heart and will stay with me long after I have finished this book. The way he knew how to help Brie without pushing and prodding softened my heart toward him like nothing ever could.

There was still that small town feel to this book, with everything else going on in this book. The new characters that were introduced in this book added greatness to this story and I enjoyed getting to know Tom and Brenda, Vanessa and Paul and even the General.

I think what I liked most about this story was that in order for great things to happen, there also has to be some sadness as well…losing characters that were near and dear to my heart and then going through the loss that Vanessa, Paul, Tom and the others suffered through felt so …real. Their grief was felt by me throughout this story and I couldn’t keep the tears at bay while I read page after page of this story. That’s the one thing that I love most about reading Robyn Carr’s writing, is the passion that shows through her writing. Everything felt so real and apart of my life that I felt apart of their world in the backwoods and loved every minute of everything that surrounded this book.

I loved how everyone found a place for themselves in Virgin River…it was great to see Mike in action, trying to figure out and save the girls of his town, I loved when Mike was telling Brenda that she was apart of his town and he would do anything in his power to keep her and the other girls safe from whoever is doing this to them…I loved the conviction in which he went after the bad guys and I just loved him. I admired Brie for her courage in standing up to her demons and I enjoyed watching her progress coming back to life and I totally loved her Dad, for showing Brad up when he came groveling…goodness, I loved that part so much.

What I liked most about this series was how much the men love their women. So passionately and so fully, it made me totally jealous. It made me long for that kind of commitment from well, you know. Anyway, this series made me fall in love with being in love and I just love this series to pieces.

It’s a great series, this was a great story and I gave it a B, only because I wanted more of Mike and Brie’s story…the bits and pieces of everything else was great but for me, I just wanted more Mike and Brie and I finished the book wanting more. Aside from that, I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to more from Mrs. Carr, but seriously, I cannot wait….for Rick’s story.

Crossing fingers that the wait won’t be long…another job well done, Mrs. Carr.

four-stars

Suspect by Jasmine Cresswell

Posted October 4, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments


Book description:

Cynical attorney Liam Raven hid his father’s bigamy… until it was too late. Ironically, Liam specializes in divorce cases. But when Chloe Hamilton is charged with murdering her husband, a popular Denver mayor, he makes an exception.

Liam’s relationship to Chloe quickly surpasses client and attorney. Her former husband had many secrets—including a connection to Ron Raven’s other family. And aquitting Chloe means uncovering a string of lies and treachery that leads back to Liam’s father.

Suspect is the second book in the Raven Trilogy. You can find my review of the first book, Missing, here.

Liam Raven went into family law as a divorce attorney as a way of thumbing his nose at his bigamist father. Having discovered years prior to his father’s death that he was married to another woman, Liam kept quiet. I thought it was strange that he wouldn’t tell his mother. What kind of son wouldn’t tell their mom that her husband is married to another woman? I’m sure it makes for awkward dinner conversation, but come on. Well, it seems that Daddy Dearest was blackmailing Liam. Daddy told Liam that if he ratted him out, he would choose wife #2 over Liam’s mom. Obviously Liam cared a great deal about his mother and couldn’t risk his mom having the heartache not only of finding out her husband is a bigamist, but being thrown over for the “other woman”.

Before his days as Denver’s most prominent divorce lawyer, Liam was a criminal lawyer. When the Mayor of Denver is murdered, Liam is more than surprised when his widow shows up at his office begging him to defend her. Having started divorce proceedings for her months earlier, he hadn’t talked to her since she told him she was stopping the divorce. Chloe Hamilton drops a bombshell on him (and me) right from the get-go. Liam fathered Chloe’s daughter, Sophie. Liam argues with her until she reminds him the exact when and where of their encounter. After that, his arguments went out the window.

Even though Liam agrees to help her, he’s leery. Having successfully defended a woman charged with murdering her husband, Liam didn’t find out she was guilty until the verdict came back as Not Guilty. Oh and that was after he fell in love with the murdering bee-yotch. So while he wants to believe that the mother of his daughter isn’t capable of murder, experience has taught him to be not so trusting.

As in Missing, the plot in Suspect circles back around to the mysterious disappearance of Ron Raven. It seems that Ron’s business partner and the brother of his 2nd (and not legal) wife was doing business with the Mayor before his death. Rational that he is, Paul Fairfax wants to make Liam’s life as painful as possible when sees that Liam is involved with the late Mayor’s wife. He does this by leaking DNA of Liam and Chloe’s daughter given to him by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. Though not willing to take the risk, he’s blackmailed into it. He either does it or the project that will refill his financial coffers will be axed permanently.

Though Chloe obviously played a substantial role in the book, I was more fascinated by Liam’s character. Chloe had been in a sham marriage from Day 1. Not knowing that she was marrying a gay man (yes, the Mayor was gay), Chloe had high hopes for the life and family she would make with her husband. That was a mistake. When she tried to get a divorce, Jason blackmailed her into staying married by threatening to out her father’s gambling habit. As a public figure, her father would have lost his job and his livelihood. On the night of his murder, her and Jason got into a spectacular fight where she vowed that she would be leaving no matter what his political aspirations were. Having encouraged him for years to come out of the closet, Chloe was sorely disappointed in his decision not to.

So together Liam and Chloe try to figure out who Jason’s lover was. What they don’t realize is that finding out the identity of his lover will also lead them to the identity of his murderer.

4 out of 5.

A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch

Posted October 1, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Book description:

Who says crime doesn’t pay?

A year ago, Samantha Jellicoe robbed from the rich and gave . . . to herself! Now, though, she’s using her larcenous skills for good as a private security consultant, trying to walk the high road for her sexy billionaire boyfriend, Richard Addison, and asking herself if there’s anything more torturous than tracking down priceless artifacts (only to give them back!).

So when the Metropolitan Museum of Art asks for her help, she’s only too happy to leap into the fray again: If nothing else, this adventure will help her avoid that little (not!) sparkly item Rick’s been hiding in his pocket, and postpone another kind of walk—down the aisle. It’s only when she’s targeted by a deadly adversary after the same treasure that Sam starts to think that “till death do you part” is maybe the lesser of two evils . . .

Suzanne Enoch is one of the few historical-turned-contemp authors whose contemps I like more than her historicals. The characters of Samantha Jellicoe and Richard Addison have intrigued me from the beginning.

Though not many people in the world have more money than Rick Addison, Sam’s bank account is nothing to laugh about. It was really the difference in their lifestyles and the instant attraction between the two that just flew off the pages. Both of them being so used to going through life alone, to see them both have to compromise for the other was (and is) engrossing.

The 3rd installment finds Sam fighting boredom as the owner and operator of Jellicoe Security. Though she’s promised Rick that she’ll stay on the straight and narrow, Sam will take her adrenaline kicks where she can get them. When the Met again contacts her to find Japanese armor that went missing 10 years before, Sam knows that this will be her last chance to make a name for herself in the art world as something other than a cat-burglar. Given a mere week to find the armor, Sam must ask Rick for his help. With his contacts in Palm Beach, Sam soon narrows her search down to three people, one man and a married couple.

Determining who actually has the armor is another story entirely and will take a few of Sam’s “special skills” to figure out. Though she doesn’t want to outright lie to Rick, she doesn’t want him to worry, either. She also admits to herself that she doesn’t want him tagging along or trying to stop her. She’s sure that he’ll do one or the other. Breaking and Entering is harder when you have a novice tagging along.

In between Sam trying to find the armor, she’s also trying to help Tom Donner’s (Rick’s lawyer) daughter, Olivia, find something that went missing out of her 5th grade classroom. Though it’s not her usual type of job, Sam finds that she can’t turn Livia down when she’s asked to locate “Anatomy Man”. A life-sized doll, Anatomy Man has removable organs and was going to be part of a class project that Livia’s class was really looking forward to. The interaction between Tom and Sam in this book is highly amusing, especially when Sam takes Tom’s Wife, Katie, on a little afternoon B&E.

All this going on and Sam can tell that there is something on Rick’s mind. Having just past their 1 year anniversary together, Sam can’t exactly figure out why Rick is so uptight. What she doesn’t know is that everyday Rick still worries that Sam could easily take off. Though he’s sure of her feelings for him, she still has her emergency backpack in the closet so she can take off at a moment’s notice. When he decides to propose to Sam, he’s both elated and terrified. All he knows is that he’ll do anything to keep Samantha in his life.

What I love about these books is that I can laugh and find humor in them, but it doesn’t detract from the intensity of the emotion between the two characters. I also love the interaction between the secondary characters. Stoney and Sam’s relationship is at once heart warming and humorous. Stoney’s reluctance to completely end his career as a fence is in direct contrast with Sam’s persistence to stay straight. When Stoney disappears, Sam can’t help but be worried, especially when shit starts hitting the fan with her armor deal. I think one of the funniest parts of the book was when Stoney kept referring to Rick as the “English muffin”. LOL. Sam’s receptionist, Audrey, also plays a more prominent role in this book. As an escort during the season, Audrey has ins into certain houses that Sam finds very useful.

The ending to the book was perfect. I highly anticipate the next book in the Sam/Rick series. Sam’s laid-back personality is a perfect compliment to Rick’s uptight British ways. I always know that I’ll be satisified after I read about these two characters.

4 out of 5.

Review: Virgin River by Robyn Carr.

Posted September 28, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Virgin River by Robyn Carr.Reviewer: Rowena
Virgin River by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #1
Also in this series: Whispering Rock, Temptation Ridge (Virgin River, #6), , , , , , , , , Sheltering Mountain
Published by Mira Books
Publication Date: April 1st 2007
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 386
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

"Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included."

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves.

But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she's made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.

But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans...and a former marine cements them into place.

Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.

For the record, I’d like to announce that I didn’t doubt Holly when she told me that this book was really good, when I picked up the book and read the first chapter…I just wasn’t in the mood to read the book but a few weeks later, I picked the book up again and read and read and read until I finished it and I’ve got to say that Holly has struck again because I absolutely loved this book. So thanks to Casee for sending the book to Holly and making her fall in love with it and then thanks to Holly for sending me home with it so that I can enjoy the book as well because enjoy it, I certainly did.

In this book we have Melinda Monroe who is a nurse practitioner from L.A. who is grieving over her dead husband who was shot and murdered on his way home from work. She loved her husband deeply and his death devastated her and she was tired of her life in L.A. being a constant reminder of Mark and everything they built for themselves so she wants out. She’s tired of everyone feeling sorry for her and asking her twenty million times a day how she is, if she’s okay and all that stuff so she ventures out to Virgin River, answering an ad from the newspaper. She thinks that a fresh start in Virgin River where no one knows her and will pity her is just what she needs.

So off she goes to Virgin River with pictures of cozy little cabins and fresh air in mind. No drive by shooting victims or cracked out hookers in crowded hospital waiting rooms anymore…just small town medicine, easy peasy…

Yeah right.

Small town medicine comes with it’s own adventures and Mel in her journey to move on with her life after her tragic loss finds herself falling in love with the small town of Virgin River, after quite a few downfalls, she finds what she’s looking for in the small town hidden away from the world.

Enter Jack Sheridan.

Jack Sheridan owns the only bar/restaurant in Virgin River. He’s a 40 year old ex Marine who is the Captain Save a Hoe in Virgin River. He is all that and a bag of chips, a great BIG bag of chips. And I lubs him a lot. He was smart, solid and oh so sexy and the way he fell for Mel was just too cute, even if it broke my heart a lot.

What I liked most about this book was that the problems that these two main characters went through were real problems and they felt real. I connected with both Mel and Jack, even though I’ve never personally went through what they went through. I felt Mel’s pain at the loss of her husband and I felt the emotions she went through, especially in the scene where she broke down, in the rain, against the tree. I heard her cries, I felt her pain, it was almost as if I was standing right there when all of it was going down, watching Jack rush to her side and hold her.

And Jack.

Having to compete with a dead ghost for the affections and the love of the only woman you’ve ever loved…oh man, I felt his pain. I felt the hollowness in his heart when he ran back into the house to hold Mel for just a little longer because he was a man in love to come upon her crying to her dead husband, the heartache that must have done to Jack, I totally felt that and I think that Robyn Carr did a fantabulous job of getting the reader to feel apart of this book instead of just reading it. I highly enjoyed the emotions this book evoked in me.

It made me laugh out loud many a times and I just liked the whole small town feel to the book and the country hospitality this small town showed to the newcomer, Mel. I loved how Jack was so protective of her and so understanding…you saw how much he loved her and how much he wanted her anyway that he could get her.

I loved the friendships between Jack and his Marine pals, even with Preacher. I loved how he took care of Rick, how he was there for Rick and how he cared about the people of the town. I loved the relationship between Mel and her sister, Joey. I loved meeting the Sheridan brood and seriously, I just loved this whole book. The secondary characters were great and Doc Mullins was a riot and I absolutely loved his character, he rocked my socks! The whole town of Virgin River did and I cannot wait to start Shelter Mountain, even though I’m not sure how I feel about Preacher (who in my mind looks like Mr. Clean and I do NOT find Mr. Clean sexy, AT ALL) as a hero…

If I had to pick one thing bad about this book, it would only be that the book started out slow but that didn’t deter me this time around, I pushed right through the first few chapters and as soon as I got to know the characters, I fell right in with the rest of the story and I just loved loved loved it.

Read this book because seriously, it’s the bomb!

five-stars