Tag: Meg Benjamin

#DFRAT Excerpt and Giveaway: Medium Well by Meg Benjamin

Posted July 25, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Danny Ramos has always had a gift when it comes to selling houses; it’s as if the homes talk to him. When his jealous boss, Araceli, assigns him to an old and neglected carriage house, he discovers that perhaps his abilities are more than simple intuition. Danny sees and feels the history of the house and the bloody murder that happened there while Biddy, his assistant, feels nothing. If Danny’s going to sell this house, prove to his boss that he isn’t crazy, save his job, and get the girl, he’s going to need all the help he can find, especially when the demon inhabiting the house possesses a client. Lucky for Danny, his sixth sense runs in the family.

Excerpt

Danny closed his eyes. He was a lunatic. That much had been clearly established by the events at the carriage house. But he wasn’t a stupid lunatic. He was not—repeat, not—going to put any moves on Biddy Gunter.

“Danny?” Her voice sounded anxious. “Are you okay?”

“Super.” He managed to come up with a smile that seemed halfway authentic, although he’d never used the word super before, outside of the McDonald’s drive-through line.

“Well . . .” She didn’t sound entirely convinced, but she produced a slightly shaky smile of her own.

And then he did something absolutely boneheaded—he leaned close enough to smell her faint scent of performance sweat and gardenias, the mixture of sweetness and musk, the essence of woman that clung to her skin. Immediately, he was a goner. Almost before he knew what had happened, he leaned further and pressed his lips to hers.

Her mouth was warm and soft and faintly startled. Or maybe it was her eyes that were startled. He tried his best to pull back, not to lose it completely. But pulling back suddenly didn’t seem to be an option.

His logical half screamed at him. Get the hell back. Make it quick. Say something clever and move on. Do not—do not—get involved with Biddy Gunter. Your assistant. The manager’s sister. The one who’s watched you becoming a first-class nutcase day by ghastly day.

And then Biddy’s arms looped shyly around his neck, almost as if this was her first kiss, yet when her mouth moved against his, he knew it was far from her first. He pressed his hands along her sides and gently pulled her closer, feeling the warmth and softness of her breasts pressed against him. His logical half shrugged its metaphorical shoulders and took a hike, while other parts of his body began to clamor for attention.

For a few moments, he let himself feel the heat, the clenching in his chest, the rush of need in his groin, and then he pulled back, slowly, to rest his forehead against hers. “Holy crap, Biddy,” he whispered. “What was that? What just happened here?”

A millisecond later he wished mightily that he’d confined himself to a simple Wow.

She stared up, her forehead furrowed.

“That was . . .” He fumbled through the meager stock of adjectives his numb brain could supply. “. . . very terrific. Very, very terrific.”

Okay, the results were official. He was both a lunatic and a moron.

Her brow had furrowed even more. Of course it had. He was obviously certifiable and an idiot to boot.

“Terrific,” she said, slowly. “Very, very terrific.”

Her lips trembled, and, for one agonizing moment, he thought she might cry. Then he realized she was more likely to giggle.

He closed his eyes again. Once upon a time, he’d been able to handle a simple kiss without making his partner crack up. Of course, it hadn’t been exactly simple, had it?

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Guest Review: Medium Well by Meg Benjamin

Posted April 24, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Medium Well by Meg BenjaminReviewer: Tracy
Medium Well by Meg Benjamin
Series: Ramos Family Medium Trilogy #1
Published by InterMix
Publication Date: February 2, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Danny Ramos has always had a gift when it comes to selling houses; it’s as if the homes talk to him. When his jealous boss, Araceli, assigns him to an old and neglected carriage house, he discovers that perhaps his abilities are more than simple intuition. Danny sees and feels the history of the house and the bloody murder that happened there while Biddy, his assistant, feels nothing. If Danny’s going to sell this house, prove to his boss that he isn’t crazy, save his job, and get the girl, he’s going to need all the help he can find, especially when the demon inhabiting the house possesses a client. Lucky for Danny, his sixth sense runs in the family.

Danny Ramos is a real estate agent who is put in charge of selling a carriage house in a historic district of San Antonio, Texas. He’s not thrilled that he gets to sell JUST the carriage house when his boss is selling the actual house but he’ll do his best.

Danny and his awkward assistant, Biddy, head off to show the house to a potential client and it’s the first time they get to see the property. To say its in horrible condition is putting it mildly. The place is a nightmare mess and on top of that Danny starts seeing things – like blood all over the kitchen. Fortunately for him it’s not real but does that mean he’s losing his mind? Biddy feels like the place is freezing, but no one sees the blood but him.

After going to bed one night and being astral projected into the carriage house and seeing ghosts he decides to fess up about what’s happening to both Biddy and his mother whose family has had mediums in it for years. The three of them discover that the house not only has ghosts but so much more. Trying to figure out how to put the boss off from trying to sell the place, keeping his job and also figuring out if he can get rid of the evil spirit that’s inhabiting the carriage house makes for some stressful times.

During all of this Danny sees a different side of Biddy than he’d seen previously. He finds out she sings in a band as well as plays the fiddle. While he’s surprised he also realizes that this is the true Biddy and she’s only at the real estate office to make her sister happy. Danny can’t keep his mind off of Biddy but every love story has its problems.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened this book. It’s not my normal kind of read but I was intrigued enough by the blurb to open it up. I have to admit that it was a bit…odd for the first part of the book – til about 40% in. Then the ghost story got more interesting, Danny and Biddy’s romance took off and I definitely wanted to see what happened in the end.

Danny was a character that I got good and bad vibes from. At some points he just seemed extremely shallow but then he seemed to come around the more time he spent with Biddy who was very down to earth. I liked how he was with his family but there were times that I wanted to slap him in the back of his head for some of the things he said to Biddy. Lol Especially since Biddy was so great. I loved the way the author described Biddy and her band. I could totally hear their music in my head as well as the excitement that their audiences were feeling – it was pretty cool.

My issues with the book included the fact that the ghost story was a bit convoluted in the end. I understood it perfectly but then the author felt that it needed to be explained to me yet again and that didn’t set well with me. I think the author should have had more confidence in her readers to understand. Also, in the blurb it talks about Danny having a gift of almost having the houses he sells “talk to him.” We were told that he had an affinity with the houses he sells but we never actually get to SEE it and it was a bit frustrating. When he sees the blood at the carriage house he freaks right out so I’m guessing that a house had never quite talked to him like that. I guess I thought since it was mentioned we’d get more information about that and we didn’t.

In the end it was a good story. Yes, it started off slow but it definitely got better. If you like ghost stories I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars

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What I Read Last Week

Posted February 12, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Ack! I’m a day behind but with good reason. My youngest woke up yesterday with all the symptoms of a bladder infection and a horribly upset stomach. We ended up at the doctors and she did indeed have a raging UTI and was throwing up continually because of it. Oh the joys of motherhood. lol Why are we supposed to be all stoic when we’re dealing with vomit? I just don’t get it. lol

Anyway, I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that. You want to hear about my reading week from last week so here goes:

I started off the week with a historical short called Love is Blind by Elizabeth Cole. This adorable story is about Olivia who is blind and while at a ball a cruel man decides to pull a prank on her. Luckily Adrian, also a rake, is there to save her as he dislikes rake #1 and wants to thwart his antics. Adrian sees in Olivia a different woman than he’s known before and sets out to court her. Her family, however, wants her to have nothing to do with him which makes the courting a little difficult but not impossible. SUCH a cute story. I really enjoyed reading this one as it made me smile and laugh and sigh and all that good stuff that I love in a romance. 4 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

Next up was Going Under by Lauren Dane. This is book 3 in the Bound by Magick series and shows up Gage who is the head security guy/hunter for Clan Owen. He is guarding Molly who is the PR person for Clan Owen and is a woman who is trying to bring all “Others” together to try and work out how they will deal with all being outed. It’s a story that was very interesting because of what the Others needed to deal with but the romance in this one fell short a bit, at least for me. It was good, but not as good as books 1 and 2, imho. 3.5 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan is a contemporary romantic suspense story about Jenna who is on the run from her ex-husband. He’s an abuser of the worst sort and he constantly finds her and messes her up. Her friend and lawyer Ben finally sends her to his buddy, Jack, who owns a ranch near Denver. When Jenna arrives she’s incredibly sick from an infection caused by her ex’s latest rampage and she’s exhausted. Jack takes care of her and they fall in love. The story was really great in some parts and then a bit much (as in over the top) in others. Without those over the top moments I think the story could have really rocked. 3.5 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

The Dark Lady by Maire Claremont is a dark gothic historical that started off really good and then petered out for me. The story is about a man who returns from India to find one of his best friends in an asylum. He vows to get her out and he does but she’s riddled with guilt about the death of her son and he’s riddled with guilt about the death of her husband and frankly it was a bit too much guilt for me. After the initial 40 percent I found the story a bit dull and it didn’t really hold my attention all that well. I read the reviews on Goodreads and it looks like I’m in the minority on this one so I think you’ll need to read it for yourself to decide what you think. 2.5 out of 5

Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks is book 2 in the Montgomerys and Armstrongs series. This book continues where book 1 left off and has Graeme’s brother Bowen heading to the McHugh keep to take over as Laird. He is taken with Genevieve who he finds out was Ian McHugh’s whore. Well there was a lot more to the story than that. They fall in love but when Bowen and the other Montgomery’s find out that Genevieve played a part in Eveline’s kidnapping from book 1 tensions are high and Bowen’s not sure Genevieve can be accepted. Another good Scottish historical from Maya Banks. I have really liked the historicals I’ve read of her so far and I have no doubt I will continue to like them. The story has its moments but overall I enjoyed the book immensely. 4 out of 5 (releases 3/19/13)

Swimming With Penguins by Charlie Richards is book 6 in Kontra’s Menagerie. In this story Yuma is swimming when he is shot. The man who shot him thought he was something else and takes Yuma home to be patched yup by the shooters son, Hunter. When Yuma turns back to a human he realizes that Hunter is his mate. Hunter is pretty messed up after his ex-boyfriend and his friends attacked Hunter with not only their fists but with bats. Needless to say Hunter and Yuma fall in love and Yuma’s friends help save Hunter from any more problems with his ex. It was a cute book and made me laugh. 3 out of 5 (FYI – when my oldest daughter saw the guy on the cover of this book I swear she practically swooned. She actually took a picture of him with her phone so she could have it to look at. lol)

Next up was Catlin’s Appaloosa by Charlie Richards which is book 2 in the series (yes, I’m jumping all over the place and not going in reading order). This story was about Catlin who is a police detective in charge of finding out about the John Doe that was brought into the hospital. Gallo (pronounced Guy-o) has lost his memory but he soons gets it back – especially after he turns in an Appaloosa in front of Catlin. Catlin takes him to his house and the pair fall in love. Catlin is happy that Gallo is a submissive but for me Gallo was a definite contradiction. He was submissive but turn into a horse when he thought his mate was in trouble. That’s great but it just, for me, didn’t fit with the rest of his characters action. 2 out of 5

Anything for You by Jessica Scott is a novella that’s kind of a continuation story of Shane and Jen from Because of You. This has Shane being an ass as he makes an appointment to get a vasectomy without telling Jen even though he knows she wants kids. You’ll have to find out more on Friday when I post my review. 🙂 And don’t miss her guest post tomorrow 2/13 where she’ll be giving away a copy of the book!

Last for the week was Medium Well by Meg Benjamin. This is the story of a real estate agent, Danny, who is asked to sell a carriage house in historic San Antonio. He discovers that the place is haunted and it’s pretty gruesome for him to actually even go into the place as he sees ghost blood everywhere. He gets help from his mother, who he finds out comes from a long line of mediums and his assistant Biddy who he falls in love with. It’s a cute book that started off slowly but got better as it went on. 3.25 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

 

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
crickets

Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Venus in Blue Jeans by Meg Benjamin

Posted November 23, 2011 by Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Ames’ review of Venus in Blue Jeans by Meg Benjamin.

A guy. A girl. A Chihuahua. Two of them will find the love of their lives.

Coming off a broken engagement to a lying charmer, all bookstore owner Docia Kent wants is a fling, not a long-term romance. And for her fabulously wealthy and fabulously nosy parents to butt out of her life for a while. The Texas Hill Country town of Konigsburg looks like the perfect place to get both. Especially when she gets a look at long, tall country vet Cal Toleffson.

Cal has other plans for Docia. One glance at the six-foot version of Botticelli’ss Venus, and he knows he’s looking at the woman of his dreams. Now if he can just fend off the eccentric characters of Konigsburg long enough to convince her romance isn’t such a bad idea.

One night of mind-blowing sex isn’t the only thing that leaves them both stunned. With Docia’s bookstore under attack, Konigsburg suddenly doesn’t seem so welcoming. Once again she finds her trust tested-and is left wondering if she was ever meant to have a happily ever, after all.

Cal is Konigsburg’s latest transplant. He has signed on with the local veterinarian as a partner. And as the newest piece of man-meat, the women in town are finding any little reason to bring Fluffy into to see him. But Cal is not interested in anyone until he sees her, his dream woman.

Docia Kent is in need of a margarita. And the only place to get one is the local watering hole. There she catches Cal’s eye, and he catches hers. But Docia leaves before introductions can be made.

A few days later, Docia comes home to find her cat has been shot. He’s still alive so she takes him to the vet, where she finally meets Cal. Cal saves her cat, and these two decide to test out their chemistry.

But Docia has been burned in the past and Cal doesn’t want anything serious. What are two commitment-phobe adults to do?

LOL I thought Venus in Blue Jeans was a fun book. At the centre of it all is the small, charming Texas town of Konigsburg. There is quite the cast of characters to this little town. And they all had some depth, even the couple of villains that were floating around.

Docia has a very well known family and wants to do something all on her own, thus her bookstore.  But Docia is having a bit of difficulty getting the locals to warm up to her, to see her as a true Konigsburgian.  She won’t give up though!  She’s tenacious.  And she isn’t totally without friends.  There’s her assistant, the gay couple who own the local winery and her friend who owns a bakery.  I liked Docia’s friends.

Cal…Cal is a guy.  LOL  He comes from a nice, mid-western family and he’s just looking for a good time.  He’s also incredibly hot (as all vet’s must be).  I really liked Docia and Cal together.  They meshed well.

But I did have a few quibbles with this book.  I felt like there was too much going on at the end – there was the wrap up of the mystery and then Cal and Docia were at odds.  I would have preferred if it was one or the other, because the mystery bit kept the conflict between these two characters going on too long.  But that’s just my opinion.  It wasn’t a major issue, just would have preferred the ending to be tighter.  That’s my only complaint though.

I thought this was a solid, light-hearted read.  Great characters and some humour.  All good stuff.  So I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series.  3.75 out of 5.

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

You can read more from ~ames~ at Thrifty Reader.

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