Tag: Jennifer Ryan

Guest Review: The Right Bride by Jennifer Ryan

Posted May 14, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of The Right Bride (The Hunted #3) by Jennifer Ryan 

High-powered businessman Cameron Shaw doesn’t believe in love—until he falls head over heels for beautiful, passionate, and intensely private Martina. She’s perfect in so many ways, immediately bonding with his little girl. Martina could be his future bride and a delightful stepmother … if only Cameron weren’t blinded by his belief that Shelly, the gold-digging woman he’s promised to marry, is pregnant with his child.

No matter how much his friends protest his upcoming marriage to Shelly, Cameron knows he has a duty to his children, so he’s determined to see it through.

Will he find out in time that Shelly’s lying and Marti’s the one who’s actually carrying his child? It’ll come down to the day of his wedding. After choosing Shelly over Marti at every turn, will he convince Marti she’s his world and the only woman he wants?

He’s wealthy and powerful, at the top of his game and in the peak of his prowess as a man, yet he is lonely and always on the look-out for a woman who is a dead ringer for his dead wife.  Well, much to his detriment, he finds her but soon learns she is nothing like his dead wife on the inside.  Just as he gets ready to jettison her from his life, she announces she is pregnant, as much to rope him into marriage and give her access to his millions, as to cover up the discovery of her bulimia.  Cameron Shaw is a tough negotiator and known throughout the international business community as a man who can hold his own.  But in the face of Shelley’s announcement, he reverts into this silly, insecure, unreasonable, less-than-thoughtful man who lets her get away with anything.  He’s essentially led around by the nose and won’t believe any of his friends when they point out that fact.

Enter Marti, a woman who is a world-class artist in her own right, a popular children’s author, and one of the directors of her own international business enterprise, but Cameron only knows her as simply Marti.  His daughter loves her, states clearly and loudly that she wants Marti as a mother, but Cameron just seems to have gone deaf.  And this three-way struggle:  Marti’s love and desire to be a part of Cameron and Emma’s life and how that crashes into Shelley’s golden dreams of wealth, power and position plus Cameron’s seeming inability to see truth about either of these women is at the core of this story.  It is a story that winds its way all the way through the novel and each time one of these characters crashes into the other it appears to become even more hopeless.  Emma, the five-year-old daughter is caught in the middle.

Here’s my problem:  on the one hand I am saying to myself, “Can’t Cameron simply take Shelley in hand and force her to pee on a pregnancy test stick?  Wouldn’t it seem to be the first question anyone would ask in today’s world?  Yet Cameron seems content to take Shelly’s word for everything.  On the other hand, it is evident that Cameron is being chased around by a whole household of demons, at least emotionally speaking.   There’s his mother’s refusal to tell him his father’s identity.  He battles anger over an incomplete family structure all the time.  There’s the guilt over his wife’s death, as if by getting her pregnant he killed her.  There’s the guilt over raising Emma in an incomplete family, something he is hoping to remedy with the woman who claims to be pregnant with his child.  So is he one of “the Hunted Ones?”  It would seems he is not only “hunted” but haunted as well..

I don’t like it when really intelligent people act like they are brain dead, and I really get angry when good people perpetrate unbelievable hurt on others for some pretty silly reasons.  Yet in this book the reader will see lots of that and unfortunately fiction/art imitates life.  So on the one hand I get really angry and impatient with Cameron for his thoughtless actions and words, but on the other hand, I know that he is being eaten alive by his old angers and guilt.  And all in all, maybe that’s the point of the novel.  In the end, do we often perpetrate so much hurt against those we care about thoughtlessly by letting our insecurities drive us down life’s path?  It’s worth considering.  Many will become tired of Cameron’s wavering loyalties, his stubborn choices and hurtful way of handling issues as well as the people in his world.  But again it begs the question of whether or not this fictional situation resembles reality far more often than we suppose.

Jennifer Ryan is a darn good writer and reading her work is a pleasure.  This story bothered me a lot, but I give it a 4 out of 5 rating because I think it poses some important questions and forced me to consider how my thoughtless actions and words can bring so much pain in the lives of those important to me.  It’s a book well worth reading.  But it isn’t fluff nor is it an easy story to process.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Avon Impulse. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Review: The Right Bride by Jennifer Ryan

Posted May 3, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

High-powered businessman Cameron Shaw doesn’t believe in love—until he falls head over heels for beautiful, passionate, and intensely private Martina. She’s perfect in so many ways, immediately bonding with his little girl. Martina could be his future bride and a delightful stepmother … if only Cameron weren’t blinded by his belief that Shelly, the gold-digging woman he’s promised to marry, is pregnant with his child.

No matter how much his friends protest his upcoming marriage to Shelly, Cameron knows he has a duty to his children, so he’s determined to see it through.

Will he find out in time that Shelly’s lying and Marti’s the one who’s actually carrying his child? It’ll come down to the day of his wedding. After choosing Shelly over Marti at every turn, will he convince Marti she’s his world and the only woman he wants?

Cameron Shaw knows that he needs to find a woman to be a mother to his 5 year old daughter but quite frankly none of the women he meets really floats his boat. That is until he meets Shelly in the bar of his building and since she looks SO much like his dead wife he immediately is drawn to her. Unfortunately Cameron realizes that the resemblance is only skin deep and when Shelly and his daughter Emma don’t get along he’s ready to break it off with her. Shelly’s not completely stupid and realizes the relationship’s tanking so she makes up a pregnancy to keep Cameron by her side.

Cameron is not only raising Emma by himself but he himself was also raised without his father. His mother was wonderful and loved him to pieces but it just didn’t make up for the lack of a father. Cameron is convinced that the only way to be a good father is to marry Shelly so that the unborn child, as well as Emma, can have a full family – even though he knows he doesn’t love Shelly at all. He’s completely A-OK with his decision until he meets Marti.

Marti is a woman that is amazing – Cameron can tell that from moment one. His daughter loves her and feels comfortable with her immediately. She is kind, giving and all that is good. He loves her almost immediately and she falls in love with him but he’s committed to Shelly and nothing will make him break up his soon-to-be family – even love.

I’m not sure where to start with this review. On the one hand I gotta give it to Jennifer Ryan for writing an intriguing story – because it really was. I couldn’t put it down because I HAD to know what happened. The problem was that I felt like I was watching an accident happen and I just couldn’t peel my eyes away. Let me explain…

Cameron – I can understand where he’s coming from because he’s quite desperate for a family. He, however, completely acts like an ass to Marti through most of the book. I had a hard time with their “love” as it was almost love at first sight. Yes, they got to know each other somewhat but the pure emotion that they each displayed after hardly talking to each other was a bit surprising. I went with it because I thought that they would continue to get to know each other – and they did, to a point. Cameron, despite his complete love for Marti treated her like dirt for almost the entire book – when he wasn’t sleeping with her. He so obviously loved her and wanted to be with her but he wouldn’t break it off with Shelly – even though Marti and all of her friends were telling him that they ALL believed that Shelly was lying about the pregnancy. Shelly lied about so much in this book and Cameron believed her every time. I wanted to crawl into my ereader and slap the man silly!

Marti was a woman who had been alone for many years. She had taken care of her dying grandfather and then her dying grandmother (they had raised her) and then spent a year at sea. She really had no friends so I could kind of see how she would get attached to Cameron so easily but then when he kept treating her so badly she kept hanging on. She wasn’t quiet and shy about it though. She got in his face and told the truth about her feelings and what she thought about Shelly and STILL Cameron wouldn’t give in. By this time in the book I honestly wasn’t sure that I wanted Marti to get together with Cameron because he didn’t deserve her.

Now there were extenuating circumstances to the way that Cameron was acting but I still felt he could have handled things differently. He really pushed my buttons and acted in a way that I thought was probably not the norm for him. In the end things worked out and everyone was happy but for me it wasn’t the satisfied HEA that I really wanted. Yes there was an HEA but I wanted Marti to give him a harder time because of his actions. That didn’t happen and he didn’t grovel enough for my liking but it worked out.

I really like Ryan’s writing and will continue to read her work but this one, while good, wasn’t great for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Jennifer Ryan

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Review: Lucky Like Us by Jennifer Ryan

Posted May 1, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Bakery owner Elizabeth Hamilton’s quiet life is filled with sweet treats, good friends, and a loving family. But all of that is about to turn sour when an odd sound draws her outside. There’s a man lying unconscious in the street, a car speeding toward him. Without hesitation, she gets the man out of harm’s way before they’re run down.

Unwittingly, Elizabeth has put herself in the path of a serial murderer, and as the only one who can identify the FBI’s Silver Fox Killer, she’s ended up in the hospital with a target on her back.

All that stands between her and death is Special Agent Sam Turner. Against his better judgment, Sam gets emotionally involved, determined to take down the double threat against Elizabeth—an ex desperate to get her back, despite a restraining order, and a psychopath bent on silencing her before she can identify him.

They set a trap to catch the killer—putting Elizabeth in his hands, with Sam desperate to save her. If he’s lucky, he’ll get his man … and the girl.

FBI agent Sam Turner has a case that went terribly wrong. He goes to meet a contact and instead ends up being drugged and beaten by the killer they are after. Elizabeth Hamilton is at home when she hears sounds that sound like fireworks and goes to investigate. She sees a man lying in the street and goes to investigate. When a car comes for them she rolls them both under her Suburban to save their lives. Unfortunately the killer didn’t stop there and ends up almost killing both Sam and Elizabeth.

Elizabeth barely survives her gunshots and stabbing but she does survive. Elizabeth and Sam are put into the same room so that they can be under guard and during the time in the hospital Sam forms an attachment to Elizabeth. Yes, it started out as feeling responsible for the state she was currently in but once Elizabeth awakens it soon morphs into so much more. Assigned to her protection detail (from both the killer and a stalker that Elizabeth had) Sam and Elizabeth start a relationship that may or may not survive the threats that they are under.

I really liked this very different type of romance. There definitely wasn’t much of a “traditional” romance involved but I think that’s what I liked about it.

For Sam I think it was all about the guilt when he first started having feelings for Elizabeth and felt attached to her through the ordeal they had been through. Later though, after she woke up, he felt connected to her in a different way and his feelings grew from there. I loved that he felt so comfortable with her that he just rambled about his life getting all of those feelings out in the open. As an FBI agent he was really facing a major burnout because it was the only think in his life. Yes, he had his brother and sister and their families but they lived in a different state and he needed someone to come home to at night. I think Elizabeth filled those empty spaces he had inside and seeing the change in Sam was pretty great.

Elizabeth was an amazing woman. She was a business owner, fed the poor and needy and still did all the charity work that she had started before her business began. She came from a prominent San Francisco family so the social events that she had to go to were many and still she made time for helping the less fortunate. It was understandable that she had a ton of fear from not only the original nightmare but things that happened after that (I’m not giving you a spoiler, so stop asking!). She was very intuitive when it came to people and could read them quite well – including Sam. She was really good for him and I loved seeing them together.

Overall it was a very good book. I had kind of been in a mini reading slump and had picked up 4 or 5 books and then put them down after 3-5 chapters because nothing appealed to me. When I clicked on this book on my ereader I started reading and was completely engrossed from the first chapter – I love those kinds of books. The ones that grab my attention and won’t let go – this was definitely that type of book and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jennifer Ryan

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What I Read Last Week

Posted April 29, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 6 Comments

Hey there,

Again, it was a pretty quiet week last week – yay! 

It was incredibly hot the last part of last week and this past weekend so it was off to shop for bathing suits (for the kids, not me) and wow – what a pain in the ass. lol I didn’t think it would take half as long as it did but I was SO wrong. The youngest tried on 3 and picked one of the 3. I think my oldest must have tried on every suit in 2 different stores. I was ready for a margarita afterwards! 🙂

Yesterday my oldest went swimming with some friends and the youngest and I went off and got pedicures – so fun. I should have taken a picture of her little piggies with their hot pink polish with white polka dots. So. Cute.

Alright on to what I read this past week: 

I started off the week with a book that released 2 years ago and has been on my shelf for a year. I honestly never thought I’d pick up another Ward BDB book but I did. It wasn’t horrible. lol So I read Lover Unleashed by JR Ward. This story was supposedly Payne and Manny’s love story – and it was – but the majority of the story, imho, was about Vishous. He was dealing with his past and coming to terms with who he was and I liked that part. I realized how much I dislike the way that the brothers talk most of the time. Some of the things that come out of their mouths just made me roll my eyes but there you have it. I gave this one a 3 out of 5

So I finished the above book on Tuesday and then tried to read about 4 or 5 other books (both m/f & m/m) and put every one of them down. I was getting a bit worried because I’m normally pretty open to just about anything but all of them were either boring me to tears or the dialogue was written too dramatically and I just kept laughing at how ridiculous it was. Ug. 

I picked up Lucky Like Us by Jennifer Ryan (book 2 in The Hunted series) thinking that I would put it down like the previous 5 books but no, this one stuck. Woohoo! The story is about FBI agent Sam Turner and bakery owner Elizabeth Hamilton who meet and fall in love after an incident with a killer. I’ll post my review of this one this week. 

After that it was book 3 in The Hunted series, The Right Bride by Jennifer Ryan. This one was good but not as good as book 2. Actually I found it pretty frustrating at times and seriously wanted to smack the hero a time or two…or 8. 🙂 I’ll post my review for this one this week as well. 

Last for the week was The Secret Life of Lady Julia by Lecia Cornwall. This was the story of a woman who lets her passions free – at her betrothal ball. Oh, and she didn’t let them free with her betrothed. Oops. She gets pregnant and ends up as a companion and ends up in Vienna for a peace conference after Napoleon is exiled to Elba. The book had more political intrigue than it did romance, imho, as the h/h spent most of the book apart, but it was still good. I’ll post my review for this one next week. 3.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Medium Well by Meg Benjamin

Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan

Posted April 18, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Tracy’s review of Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan

From the moment rancher Jack Turner rescues Jenna Caldwell Merrick, he is determined to help her. Soon, he is doing more than tend her wounds; he is mending her heart. Jenna is a woman on the run—hunted down by her ex-husband, David Merrick, from the day she left him, taking part of his company with her, to the second she finds herself in the safety of Jack’s ranch. More than just a haven, Jack’s offering the love, family, and home she thought were out of reach.

Jack’s support will give Jenna the strength she needs to reclaim her life. The hunted will become the hunter, while David gets what he deserves, when they have an explosive confrontation in the boardroom of Merrick International. But not before Jack and Jenna enter into a fight … for their lives.

Jenna Caldwell is running for her life and has been for two long years. After just a few short months of marriage she realized that the man she was married to was a monster. She ran and ended up getting a divorce – and half of his international multimillion dollar company. Yes, David was pissed about the company but he was completely obsessed with Jenna and not willing to let her out of his life. As much as she tried to hide herself he always found her and when he did he usually beat the hell out of her.

Jenna has help in her lawyer, Ben, who helps her move around. Ben sends her to Colorado after her latest beating to get help from his friend Jack. When Jenna arrives she’s feverish due to a cut on her leg being infected and Jack and his sister Summer end up taking care of her.

Jenna is understandably thankful but what she feels for Jack almost immediately is a hell of a lot more than gratefulness. They have an instant attraction and when Jack finds out about what Jenna’s been going through he swears to take care of her and never let her ex hurt her again. Unfortunately plans don’t work out the way people plan and not only does Jack have to save Jenna but Jenna has to take down David and hit him where it hurts.

In this book Jenna is a strong heroine. She goes through a lot of shit but it doesn’t make her sit down and give up on life. She realizes when she meets Jack that there can be more in her life then running from her ex. She sees how Jack is with his sister and her family and though she knew this family love and togetherness existed before she met David Merrick, she had since let her realities get skewed, which was understandable. I also liked seeing her get back at David. I don’t know about you but I personally love seeing jackasses get theirs. For someone like David he needed to be horsewhipped for all the pain and agony – both physically and emotionally – that he put Jenna through. That may sound harsh but if you read the book I think you’ll feel the same way.

There honestly wasn’t much romance in the story because Jack and Jenna fell together so very quickly but the author did a great job of showing them being happy and we got to watch them grow while together. This somewhat appeased my sense of romance and I very much liked reading about the couple.

I did have a few issues with the book in that I thought some of the scenes were over the top. There was a time when Jenna wanted to do something wonderful for Jack and his family – well, Jenna has millions so she went hog wild…and I mean totally overboard. IDK it just didn’t seem to sit right with me – as if she was buying their affections even thought I knew she wasn’t – but then I don’t know anyone with millions so it’s out of my realm of reality. I understand doing nice things for those you care for but it just seemed too much. A couple other scenes made me feel that they were just over the top as well and it shot me out of the story each time it happened.

That being said I was pretty involved in the book. Ms Ryan has written a pretty compelling story if you can get past the physical abuse descriptions. The characters had depth and humor and I enjoyed getting to know them.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Avon Impulse. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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