Thursday, January 31, 2013

Making Him Sweat by Meg Maguire

Jenna Wilinski didn't know much about her father much less about the club that he was running. So when she shows up to claim her inheritance (which she plans to turn into an office for her newly franchised matchmaking business), she's more than a little surprised to find an MMA training facility.
Mercer Rowley is the driving force behind the gym, the man who is keeping it all going. He knows that they're just about to pop, he just needs the time to keep the gym open.
I don't know why, but I just couldn't invest myself in this story. Maybe it was that there was nothing I connected with in the characters. Jenna seemed a little flat; she wants to immediately close down the gym but is easily swayed to keep it open, she's been raised to believe that her father was a bad dude but accepts that he really might be okay with little proof and no animosity toward her mother.
I've never read Ms. Maguire before but I loved her attention to details. She painted realistic scenes that I could see in my head but without being too heavy-handed. That was what really kept me reading. The story was sweet without too many misunderstandings and a satisfying ending. The setup for the next book in the series was not overpowering.
I got this book from NetGalley because I had heard the Harlequin Blaze.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Back to You by Robin Kaye

Thank goodness Kaye is back on her regular track of fast, fun reads that can grab the reader and not annoy the hell out of them.
The only reason Storm Decker came back to Red Hook is because his adoptive father is in the hospital. Of course, this brings him face-to-face with the reason he ran from Red Hook in the first place, Breanna Collins.
Bree has been running their family's bar, updating and upgrading it to something fabulous. She's also been helping out with Storm's father's latest adoptee, ten-year-old Nicki.
Storm and Bree have a lot of trust issues to work through and for most of the book, I enjoyed watching them make their way closer to each other. Alas, the book is marred by the overused last-minute-unexpected-wrinkle just when the characters are safely at their HEA. However, still a great book and I look forward to reading Logan's story.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn Macnamara

This wasn't a perfect story, but highly enjoyable.
Miss Julia St. Claire doesn't believe in love. And she's made that clear in the ton. Even though her mother wants both her and her sister to marry well, Julia isn't worried about it. She's seen how it affected her parents' marriage and how love has ruined her sister's life. Her sister, Sophia, has been in love with the Earl of Clivesden for years and it has caused her nothing but misery because the man does not return her affections. In fact, the latest rumor and attentions has him focused on... Julia.
Benedict Revelstoke, though a second son, has been a friend of the family for years. He has never allowed himself to acknowledge his feelings for Julia until it appears that he is about to lose her to the Earl, a man who is a bully and just an all-around jerk (one who is sleeping with his best friend's fiancee).
Sophia is in something of a jam when she faints at a ball and the Earl of Clivesden leaves her alone with Earl of Highgate, compromising them. He is much older than her and the gossips would have it that he murdered his first wife. Sophia is still in love with Clivesden at this point so he agrees to an fake engagement until the end of the series.
Julia doesn't do the same. Instead, she asks Benedict for a more... scandalous solution.
I think this is the first book from this author and as such, I'm willing to give her a little more leeway. It's a good book, definitely some rough spots but I really cared about Julia and Shopia and what happened to them.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Importance of Being Wicked by Victoria Alexander

It is a testament to Victoria Alexander's writing that she had not one, but TWO, last-minute-unexpected-wrinkles and I still liked this book. A lot. If it had ended about 40 pages earlier, I would have liked it even more.
The minute Winfield Elliot, Viscout Stillwell (Win), was introduced in What Happens at Christmas, I knew that I wanted to read his story. The man has been engaged three times, three times! But Win is in a pickle not connected to a marriage at the moment. His family home has burned down (mostly, the wings are okay) and they have a limited time to rebuild before the annual summer fete.
Lady Garrett, Miranda, helped her husband with his architectural company. Actually, she was the architect, but let him take the forefront since they live in a time where women aren't allowed to be intelligent. Win's house is very important to her company. She knows that since her husband died, it's more and more likely that her secret will be discovered and she wants to make sure that her employees are going to be okay if her business fails.
I'm really, really enjoying the Millworth manor series (though I haven't read the novella) and read both books straight through. Can't wait to see if we get to read more, like maybe Bianca's story (Miranda's sister who is having problems with her husband... even to the point of considering divorce). Bianca is a caring sister and the glimpses of her character that we see in this book makes me hope that she can find her own HEA.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mating Intelligence edited by Glenn Geher

An interesting look at how humans play the mating game in the current age.
The writing style an be confusing at times. There is a paragraph where the authors try to make some point about successful artists but I can't figure out what that point actually was. There are a couple of times where they try to compare data but the first sentence would talk about A then B, the second would have data set B then A. I read a lot of scientific articles and, if you want to clearly compare data, you make the sentences equivalent.
Mating Intelligence: Sex, Relationships, and the Mind's Reproductive SystemHowever, it's a very informative book. They ask whether creativity is sexy (it is, and very important for short-term mating.) They compare the strategies for short- versus long-term mating.
Some interesting points: Flirting doesn't necessarily have a high correlation to interest
They mainly look at hetero-normative mating, because that is what most of the studies have looked at though there is some look at homosexual relationships as well.

Overall, an interesting and thought-provoking book that just needs a little better editing.