Saturday, November 19, 2011

Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl

Ah! Finally, a return to Dahl's best form. The first two books in this series featured characters I wasn't very fond of. Tessa was whiny and needy, Jamie refused to be saved, and Eric was just a know-it-all jerk. The three are siblings whose parents died leaving Eric in charge. He felt like he had to become the man his father was. Well, the man who had adopted him and then fathered Jamie and Tessa. Even though Eric took over the family brewery, he never really felt like a Donovan, even after all these years.
He's incredibly uptight and has only let loose with a woman once in recent history. It was the manager of the local sex store, Beth Cantrell, and he pretended to be his brother Jamie (who is a man-slut, at least in Eric's view.) They had a torrid one-night-stand, he couldn't figure out how to admit the truth to her and, frankly, was a little scared of how much she did rock his world.
Beth has her own problems. She's not nearly as adventurous as she appears to be. The sex column she supposedly writes is actually authored by several of the employees in her store. Meanwhile, the scars of a horrible high school rumor still haunt her to this day, making her relationship with her father nonexistent. 
But the two are massively attracted to each other and there are some s-t-e-a-m-y sex scenes. The writing was awesome.
I couldn't give the book five stars because both Tessa and Jamie, who had come pretty far in their own books, seemed to regress back to their original personalities. That being said, I have to repeat that this is probably my favorite of the trilogy.
Read alikes: Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl, Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Return of the Prodigal by Kasey Michaels

The Return Of The Prodigal (The Beckets of Romney Marsh)
Picture from Amazon

Assumed dead by his family, Rian Beckett is actually somewhat less than whole (he lost an arm), but definitely alive. He is been kept alive, but drugged by his family's enemy, Edmund Beales. More specifically, he has been receiving personal attention (both figuratively and literally) from Beale's daughter, Lisette. Beales wants her to help Rian escape so that he can then track the two of them back to the Becket stronghold. Can the connection between Lisette and Rian overcome the ties she feels to her father?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Naked Heat by Richard Castle

It's always nice when a literary series follows the cinematic version. If I didn't watch the show, I don't know that I would have finished the book but I liked hearing the voices of Castle and Beckett in my head and thinking about that character writing this book.
Heat is pissed off at Rook for the profile he wrote about her. But they run into each other again when the famous Cassidy Towne, gossip columnist, is murdered. Rook had been interviewing Cassidy and seems to know more about her than almost anyone, especially her extensive list of enemies. That list includes almost anyone famous in the upper echelon of New York, baseball players, chefs, and the like. The sex that's missing in the TV series (so far) is definitely available in this book.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Love Letters from a Duke by Elizabeth Boyle

Mistaken identity to the extreme. Felicity Langley thinks the handsome man on her front porch is the new footman, not her presumed fiance. While she falls more and more in love with him, the Duke of Hollindrake is trying to figure out if she's really the woman she seems to be, not the schemer he had first believed (his grandfather had corresponded with Felicity making her believe that she was engaged to the current duke which he doesn't know about.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Girls Don't by Victoria Dahl

Good Girls Don't (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1)A break-in at a family restaurant usually has siblings circling the wagons. But the Donovans are a little different. Tessa is the youngest but she has been desperately trying to hold the three of them together for years. Ever sine their parents died, Eric has been raising both Tessa and their brother Jamie ("the irresponsible one.") The bickering between the two brothers threatens to tear the family apart and ruin a pending business deal. It seems that Jamie went home with the daughter of Roland Kendall, got caught by Roland, and may or may not have let her see the alarm code, thus creating more suspects for the break-in.

Luke Asher is on the scene as a detective investigating the crime. He's a friend of Jamie's who is rumored to have impregnated his partner. He and Tessa are immediately attracted to each other and when she asks him to dinner, Luke immediately accepts. Of course, Jamie and Eric aren't too happy about this but Tessa doesn't seem to care. She's too busy telling little white lies to keep her family whole. She doesn't want a reationship... but she can't seem to let Luke go.

I'll put it out there. Tessa irritated me. Alot. She had some issues stemming from her parent's death but it wasn't explained until the end. And really,, even with those issues, it doesn't explain why she's willing to risk the family business just to cover up for a brother who is old enough to take care of himself. Enable much? I like characters to have flaws but this Tessa is beyond annoying. It really took the entire experience of reading this book down a couple of notches for me. It is probably the least favorite of my books by this author.

That being said, I love Victoria Dahl and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell by Eloisa James

Okay, I've read a LOT of reviews from people who loved this book, so it might be worth a try. 
The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell (McBride Family, #1)Simon Blackwell has been hiding himself away since (from the back cover) a "cruel twist of fate changed [his] life irreperably." He came out of mourning only for his aunt's birthday and helped to save the life of Annabel's (honorary) nephew. Thinking that Annabel is the nephew's mother, he reams her a new one. When the boys actual mother, Annabel's best friend, shows up, he is seduced by her beauty. But he is still attracted to Anne. Enough to accidentally seduce her. He doesn't want to marry her but he does the right thing. Annabel has to somehow work to win Simon's heart... because he's already won hers.
Too dark and grim for me. I like stories with a moral but frankly, this one was mostly ruined by the back cover blurb.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Kicking off a new series, Evanovich sticks very close to the style that has served her so well in the Stephanie Plum stories. You could substitute Stephanie for Lizzie and come up with pretty much the same woman. A little klutzy, not quite comfortable in her own skin, but this one has a job. In fact, it's a pretty good job making cupcakes at a store in Salem, Massachusetts. Then, one day, two mysterious men show up. One (Gerwulf Grimoire) is described as your stereotypical vampire but he apparently has the power to generate heat through his hands. The other, Diesel, described as a super-tanned beach bum, makes Lizzie burn. 
Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel, #1)She discovers that they are all "Unmentionables" with certain powers, hers is to locate things. In the current climate of an overwhelming number of paranormal talents and creatures, having someone be granted such an underwhelming talent was... odd but refreshing. Well, she also makes perfect cupcakes which, IMHO, is much better than being able to move things with your mind or whatever anyway.
Diesel needs her help to gather seven stones, each of which represents one of the seven deadly sins, together, a person could rule the world.
Fast-paced, quirky and a fun read.

Also reviewed: Book #3 Wicked Charms

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I can't explain why I love this story, but I do. 
Set against the lush background of an Italian summer, Isabel Fortune is trying to gather up the broken pieces of her life. Her self-help empire fell apart when her boyfriend left her and her accountant steals all of her money. How can she help others when she can't even help herself. Even an attempt to cheer herself up with a gigolo goes awry when it turns out that the man is not only a famous actor, but her landlord as well.
Lorenzo Gage is well-known for his roles as fiendish criminals but his off-screen life is just as infamous. He's attracted to Isabel, not only for her "goodness," but because she doesn't fawn over him. In fact, she seems rather irritated by him, which only makes him want her more.
An intriguing situation with a couple of wonderful sub-plots (including Ren's ex-wife who has just moved her pregnant self and four kids into his house because she and her current husband are having difficulties and a mystery surrounding the house Isabel is renting) that make me re-read this book at least once a year.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Desire Me by Robyn DeHart

Second in a series of quick and highly enjoyable books.
Maxwell Barrett is a member of the treasure hunting society, Solomon's. He earned his membership by finding a map of the lost island of Atlantis. But now Sabine Tobias, a descendant of Atlantis, needs the map so that she can read the prophecy contained there. They get caught up working against another descendant of Atlantis who is determined to take down England and to do that, he needs to kill several high placed generals as well as the three Guardians, one of whom is Sabine's aunt