Friday, August 31, 2012

But My Boyfriend Is by KA Mitchell

Why I read it: Love KA Mitchell's books - love the Florida series.  Pre-ordered and bumped to the top of the reading list as soon as it became available.

What it's about: For those who've read the earlier books in the series, Dylan Williams, Aaron Chase's brother (Collision Course).  Dylan and his mirror twin Darryl are in Texas - Darryl is about to graduate from college and Dylan is a line cook at The Cheesecake Factory.   Dylan is NOT GAY.  Except, he sometimes trawls local gay hangout Webber Park and to get a blowjob.  When Darryl cuts through the park one night, he is mistaken for Dylan and bashed.  

Mike Aurietta witnesses the bashing, calls 911 and the ambulance and helps scare he bad guys off.  He and Dylan meet in the hospital where Darryl is being treated.

Mike is a trainer at UT for the Longhorns.  He's out to his friends and family but not at work, because he doesn't want the football players to worry about him checking them out or feeling them up when he's strapping a hamstring.  And, this is Texas, where homophobia is strong.  

Mike's gaydar pings with Dylan and there is instant attraction between the two.  But Dylan is NOT GAY.   Dylan feels pretty guilty for Darryl's circumstances and he's also struggling with Darryl pulling away from him - apart from one week in foster care early on, they've never been separated.  As the family screw-up Dylan is pretty down on himself.  He finds himself drawn to Mike, someone who doesn't share the family baggage.  And having sex with Mike certainly relieves the tension.  But Dylan is NOT GAY.  Even though he likes buttsecks and blowjobs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Feeling Hot by Elle Kennedy

Why I read it:  After MinnChica tweeted about this book a couple of weeks ago, I had to pick it up.    The hook?  This is a m/f erotic romance in a series featuring Navy SEAL's who apparently all like threesomes - in this one, because the f in the equation thinks it's hot, the 2 straight m's  get busy.  Oh. My.  *fans self*. So, I pre-ordered and downloaded and scheduled it in immediately after the new KA Mitchell (hey, I can't read 2 books at once and I've been hanging out for Dylan's story!).


What it's about: The story starts when  Navy SEAL Cash McCoy (he has a really great story about how he got his name) is home feeling frustrated.  After being deployed for 6 months (he has a strict no sex when deployed overseas rule), he's horny and it's not helping that his buddy, his buddy's girlfriend and another male friend are going at it loudly in a nearby bedroom.    After considering - 
As it was, he was distracted as hell, and kinda wondering if he ought to knock on the door and ask to join in. 
Naah. Probably inappropriate. 
- and rejecting Plan A, he decides to go out to a club and get himself laid.  He's not doing so well - in fact, he's running away from a Navy groupie when he finds himself hiding in the same storage room as a beautiful sexy blonde woman and after some sexy conversation, they find themselves making out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Younger Man by Cameron Dane

Why I read it: I heard the buzz on Twitter.  The words "carrot sex" were used.  I bought.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  Recently divorced and out of the closet, Noah Maitland is a regular-Joe, salt-of-the-earth guy who is newly navigating the world of dating other men. So far he hasn’t had a lot of luck. Noah is a father first -- he has two teenage sons. As the owner of a handyman business in a small community, Noah wants someone to love who is also appropriate for where he is in his life.

Zane Halliday is a young man -- much too young for Noah -- who is struggling to take care of his brother and sister and meet his bills every month. Recently thrown out of his apartment, Zane stumbles on Noah, literally. Noah offers Zane a place where he and his siblings can temporarily live, and later gives him a part time job.

Each man is dealing with his own set of problems, and both crave someone to talk to and trust. Soon a friendship between Noah and Zane blossoms. But Noah could never fall for someone so much younger than he is -- not to mention Zane is not gay. But what if sexually innocent Zane isn’t as straight as he assumed he was? How will Noah be able to resist this much younger man once Zane figures out the only person he wants is Noah?


What worked for me (and what didn't): I read Grey's Awakening some time ago and barely remember it now.  I haven't read others in the series but I think this one works fine as a standalone novel.  Unfortunately, the novel didn't work that well for me overall.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Never Enough by Lauren Dane

Why I read it: I've read all the other Brown Sibling books and finally took the plunge and bought this one.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  ALL THE RIGHT NOTES…

Gillian Forrester spent most of her life running from who and what she came from. Until Miles came along. From the moment she held the tiny newborn her older sister didn't want, Gillian stopped running and began to build a life for herself and her adopted son. Now, thirteen years later, as Gillian's sister lay dying, she reveals the father's identity and makes Gillian promise to find him.

Adrian Brown is the epitome of the successful rock star. He's seen and done it all, with few regrets. It takes a lot to shock him but the bombshell that he has a thirteen-year-old son rocks his world. And Adrian is even more surprised when the buttoned-up, elegant woman who's raising Miles snags his erotic and romantic attention.

The last thing Gillian expected was to find herself getting hot and heavy with a person like Adrian. But as much as she wants to open up and give herself fully to this amazing man, she's afraid the secrets of her past and Adrian's problems with trusting people may keep them apart for good. If love isn't enough can they find the trust they need?


What worked for me (and what didn't): Lauren Dane writes hot dirty sex scenes and the ones in Never Enough are no exception but there were other issues in the book which ultimately left me feeling unsatisfied.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews, narrated by Renee Raudman

Why I read listened to it: Love this series, love Andrea and Raphael.  Got it as soon as I could.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Some people have everything figured out—Andrea Nash is not one of those people. After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is to try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend Kate Daniels.

When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano—the male alpha of the Clan Bouda and Andrea’s former lover—die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate…and must work with Raphael. As Andrea’s search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, she knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a back seat to saving the world…

What worked for me (and what didn't):  This is Andrea's book and Kate doesn't feature all that much (and neither does Curran *cries*) - they were busy doing other save-the-world-type things I gather - perhaps we will find out more in Kate 6.  Because it was so strongly Andrea's story, it felt very appropriate for Kate to be more in the background - she has a way of taking centre stage when they're on scene together.    

Monday, August 20, 2012

Are Eve and Roarke archetypes?

ar·che·type/ˈärk(i)ˌtīp/

Noun:
  1. A very typical example of a certain person or thing.
  2. An original that has been imitated.

Wikipedia has an extra definition:  An epitome— a personality type exemplified, especially the "greatest" such example.




I've been listening to some of the In Death books on audio lately and then I found I just had to skim the first 3 books for the Eve and Roarke bits (plus a bit of Portrait in Death too) because I just enjoy them so much.  I started to wonder if because I enjoy them so much I am seeing them everywhere lately - or, are Eve and Roarke archetypes?

 Eve Dallas:

*  kick ass cop
*  devoted to justice and the rule of law
*  tortured childhood
*  tough but has a streak of vulnerability associated with said tortured childhood
*  has very few close relationships

Roarke:

*  criminal past, now (mostly) legitimate
*  super rich at a very young age
*  has his own idea of justice and the value of the law
*  tortured childhood
*  is totally and completely devoted to Eve

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Forever and A Day by Jill Shalvis

Why I read it:  I picked this up from NetGalley. I'm a fan of Shalvis and Lucky Harbor.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  LOVE CAN HAPPEN IN A HEARTBEAT.

Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s loveable mutt to caring for his rambunctious kids. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family–until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…

What worked for me (and what didn't): Looking back over this latest three books, I think that At Last was my favourite.  I enjoyed Forever and a Day but some things about Grace bothered me too much for me to really like her.  And Josh was not a good dad or brother for most of the book.  His priority was clearly his patients and his family was suffering.  There are other doctors but only one Toby's dad and Anna's brother.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tangle of Need review up at ARRA


I'm over at the ARRA blog today with a review of Nalini Singh's Tangle of Need. There's a giveaway for members - closes September 5.   Feel free to stop by and comment.  :)

At Last by Jill Shalvis

Why I read it:  I picked this up from NetGalley.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  HER LOVE HAS COME ALONG . . .
Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor. A waitress in the local diner, she's looking forward to her first weekend hike through the mountains. But when a wrong turn takes her off the trail, she finds herself up close and personal with forest ranger Matt Bowers. And even though she's tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, she won't make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob.

A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn't let anyone get too close. But something about the feisty beauty caught his eye the moment he first saw her in the diner. After a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can't deny their attraction-or the fact that for the first time in a long time, he feels the stirrings of something more. Now it's up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I think I liked this one a little better than Lucky in Love.  While I found the device of Amy's grandmother's journal a bit hokey, I did enjoy the relationship between Amy and Matt very much.  They are both tortured by past mistakes and hurt and each, for their own reasons, believes that they are unworthy of love.  After 6 months of dancing around their attraction, they finally give in and in scratching what they think is only a physical itch (did they ever really think that? Deep down inside?), find that worthy or not, love has found them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

Why I read it:  I picked this up from NetGalley. I'm a fan of Shalvis and enjoyed the previous Lucky Harbor books.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Mallory Quinn has had enough of playing it safe. As a nurse and devoted daughter, she takes care of everyone but herself. And as the local good girl, she's expected to date Mr. Right. But for once, she'd like to take a risk on Mr. Wrong. And who could be more wrong than Ty Garrison? The mysterious new guy in town has made it clear that he's only passing through, which suits Mallory just fine. Besides, his lean, hard body and sexy smile will give her plenty to remember once he's gone . . . 

For the first time in his life, Ty can't bear to leave. Helping this sexy seductress-in-training walk on the wild side is making him desire things he shouldn?t?including leaving the military for good. As their just-for-fun fling becomes something more, Mallory and Ty wonder if they could really be this lucky in love. After all . . . anything can happen in a town called Lucky Harbor.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Instalment 4 of 6 of the Lucky Habor series, this is the first book in the second trilogy.  The first was about the sisters Tara, Maddie and Chloe. This trilogy features the "Chocaholics", three friends, Mallory, Amy and Grace, who bond over chocolate.   It was fun to return to Lucky Harbor, catch up on their Facebook page and some of the other characters (I'm looking at you Lucille).  The girls from the first trilogy don't appear and their men are barely mentioned or only have small parts to play.  You can absolutely start here in the series if you haven't read any of the previous books (although I have enjoyed them all).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August Ice by Dev Bentham

Why I read it:  The author offered me a review copy.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  It takes a special kind of person to work in Antarctica. Max Conway, an ex-Navy Seal, loves working at the bottom of the world. Like any other diver, he's tough and hard drinking. Half the year he's stuck in the States traveling the commercial dive circuit and hitting gay bars every night. The other six months he's lead safety diver at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, reveling in the cold blue Antarctic Sea. The only drawback to life way down under is that Max feels like he has to tuck his libido into storage while he's on station, stashing all those free condoms for use back up north.

That is until Andre Dubois, a gorgeous French scientist, shakes up his world. Not only is Andre out and proud, he's sober as the day is long. And the days are long during an Antarctic summer. Max must choose between his comfortable inebriated closet and a life in the sun with Andre.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I enjoy this author's voice and loved the idea of the setting.   I also love broken/tortured heroes so I was pretty happy to dive in to this book (pardon the pun).  The descriptions of Antarctica and life at McMurdo Station were interesting and felt authentic.  I'd love to visit Antarctica (well, except for the cold) - I guess reading about it will have to do for now.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sophia's Secret (aka The Winter Sea) by Susanna Kearsley, narrated by Carolyn Bonnyman

Why I read listened to it: I've become a Susanna Kearsley fan and when I had a choice of reading The Iron Duke (Meljean Brook) or Sophia's Secret (both of which I have in print) I decided to "read" both at once and downloaded the audiobook from Audible. 

When this book was released in the US it was renamed The Winter Sea and the US audiobook release won narrator Rosalyn Landor an audie award this year.  I'm not a huge fan of Landor audie or not, so I went with the Bonnyman option - she narrated Mariana and I enjoyed her narration very much so I chose this version which, apart from the title, is exactly the same. 


What it's about: Carrie McClelland is a successful historical fiction writer. She is writing a novel about the Jacobite rebellion of 1708 and travels to Scotland to attend the christening of her agent and BFF's child.  While there, she visits the ruins of Slains Castle, where The Dowager Countess of Erroll and her son the Earl of Erroll lived during that time, they both having great influence and involvement in the rebellion.  Her book hasn't been coming together and she decides to relocate to Cruden Bay, near Slains and start again, with a "point of view" character.  That person is not supposed to be real, but rather someone who can "link the scenes together by her presence".  When Carrie gives this character the name Sophia Paterson after one of her ancestors, she thinks it is a deliberate, conscious choice. She also thinks the ideas about her book, which are coming thick and fast now, are subconscious.  She's wrong on both counts.    


Monday, August 6, 2012

Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Why I read it: I bought this one a while back after hearing the buzz.  More recently Mandi at SmexyBooks loved it and I moved it up my TBR. 

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
 

What worked for me (and what didn't): Generally speaking I'm a fan of masked hero/Beauty and the Beast stories.  Unfortunately, this one didn't work for me as well as I'd hoped.  Perhaps it was at least partly that I'd just finished The Iron Duke (which I felt was much better written) or maybe it was a hangover from listening to some wonderful Susanna Kearsley novels on audio (her writing is just beautiful).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

July Reads

on Paper/eBook

A Little More Scandal by Carrie Lofty - B+   This recently released novella is a prequel of sorts to Flawless and the just now released Starlight and features the patriarch of the Christie family.  I've heard good things about Ms. Lofty's books but had never read one before. A 99c novella is a good way to test the waters with a new author.  I do think it is hard to write a complete story in such a short word count so I was especially pleased with my reading experience.  William Christie is a self made made, a large, arrogant, boorish Scot who is tolerated in Society because of his wealth and a previous advantageous marriage (he is now a widower).  Catrin Jones is a Welsh nurse who, on returning from the Crimea, was the only survivor of a shipwreck.  She realises she will have notoriety for a short time and wishes to use that time to find a suitable husband.  William wants shares in a newspaper and his part of the bargain is her story (which she has been notoriously closed mouth about).  Both have mercenary goals but both are deeply attracted.  I enjoyed the banter and the curious honesty between them.  It definitely made me want to read both Flawless and Starlight - and there are lengthy excerpts from both in the back.  Well played Ms. Lofty.

Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood - See my full review here.










Seven Day Loan by Tiffany Reisz - C-/D+  I found this hard to grade because although the story was written well, ultimately I found parts of the story distateful.  Also, it's not so much romance as erotica. I think I may have missed something. Maybe it is something to do with The Siren (which I haven't read yet)? I definitely got the sense that this was related to another book.  I think I would have had a better connection if I had understood the context more clearly but as it was, it felt a bit like a mid book excerpt rather than a complete story. There was something a bit unsavory and unsettling about Eleanor's background and primary relationship. Daniel seemed nice enough but I wasn't 100% sure about Eleanor's ability to give consent.