Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly

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waking up married Photobucket Blurb:

Her first thought: “Who are you?”

It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!

Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!

Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?

“I don’t want a divorce.”

This should have been a 4-5 star read but there were a few draggy moments in the middle that pulled the rating down.

For the most part…this is a rather cute story about finding the love of your life when you aren’t looking for it. The H/h meet in Vegas and wake up married…but that’s just the beginning.

Both characters have major hangups left over from childhood that has made forming permanent romantic relationships difficult (if not impossible). Watching them learn to trust and enjoy each other was a delight.

What started to feel flat for me was the constant effort by the heroine to “show her worst moments” so that she could run the hero off. It happened…two times to many for my personal enjoyment.

The other thing that pissed me off was the final Big Misunderstanding. (Spoiler, go to page two to see.) There were enough moments of foreshadowing for the reader to guess what the Big Mis was going to be. What surprised me was the execution of the Big Mis. I…just wasn’t feeling it.

So, the Big Mis. was a big FAIL for me.

But DAMN I loved the ending! HAWT and romantic! Plus I love the fact that her back biting cousin and friends saw that gorgeous man in love with Megan.

IF YOU CLICK THIS LINK TO PAGE 2 A BIG ASS SPOILER/RANT WILL FOLLOW. DO NOT READ THIS. ALSO, VULGAR LANGUAGE

How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren

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This is a hard book to review.

It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’m thinking that it is closer to the original than the Disney version.

How Beauty Met the Beast.

In this retelling Beauty is Jolie Benoit. Jolie is a burlesque dancer and the youngest daughter of a media mogul (ex: Rupert Murdoch). The Beast is Wesley “Hauk” Haukon, a severally burned and scarred ex-Army Ranger.

The story starts with Hauk and a friend being chased by some bad guys – part of a group that is run by Jolie’s father. In order to escape they drop by a (I hate to call it a strip club…) burlesque club that is run by a friend. Performing at this club is Jolie. Hauk gets a chance to see her perform and he is entranced.

After Jolie’s performance he goes to the back of the club to catch up with his friends when he runs into Jolie backstage. Jolie is changing clothes behind a white sheet. Hauk walks up to the sheet and they strike up a very short conversation that culminates in Hauk performing oral sex on Jolie through the sheet. They never actually touch or look at each other but Hauk brings Jolie to orgasm.

Afterwards Jolie is almost kidnapped and raped. Hauk saves her but she doesn’t realize that he is the same guy who ate her out via a sheet. The next day Hauk and Jolie find out her 12 y/o cousin Whitney was kidnapped at the same time. Hauk abandons his position in the Underlight for a time to assist Jolie in locating and rescuing her young cousin. It is assumed that Jolie’s attempted kidnapping (and attempted rape) and her cousin’s completed kidnapping is done to force her father in to publishing (via both TV news and Newspaper) some false story that would change the possible outcome of a major political event. The best example I can give is to imagine Rupert Murdock’s young granddaughter is kidnapped in order to have Rupert Murdock publish false information to influence the US Presidential election.

I really liked this book…but I also disliked it as well. I loved Hauk – he has been through so much and has so little. He’s such a great guy. I also liked quite a lot about Jolie. I loved that she had a gluten allergy and I loved that she was a burlesque dancer. She seemed to make her mind up quickly and didn’t come across as a helpless damsel in distress. I also loved the fact that she seemed to own her sexuality. She made no excuses for it and I ♥ that.
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Quickie: Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

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Powerful. Sensual. Seductive. He is all that is shamelessly erotic in a man. In her sexiest Highlander novel yet, New York Times bestselling author Karen Moning stirs up a sizzling brew of ancient mystery and modern passion as she brings together a devilishly handsome Celtic warrior trapped in time . . . and the woman who’s about to pay the ultimate price for freeing him. Age-old secrets haunt them. Deadly danger and irresistible desire shadow their every move. It’s a relationship for the ages. And all that separates them is a mere thirteen hundred years. . . .
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Review: Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

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Wow. This book? So depressing. Sooooo depressing.

I bought this book via a rec from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books…but actually from reading Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels. Damn. This book makes me re-think any contemporary rec she/the site gives. Cause I pretty much hated this book. I wish I had bought it in DTB format so I could have thrown it against the wall! And I don’t normally have that reaction.

Let me digress.

This book is well written and a lot of people love it…but it’s not a romance. It’s chick-lit. And the fact that it’s being touted as romance burns me up.

Guess what?? There’s NO romance here. None. Zip. Zilch. Nadda.
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Quickie: Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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People with parental issues should stay away. It’s full of bad parents who are forcing themselves on their traumatized adult kids – with overtones of the kids should just forgive all the crappy parenting (or lack thereof) simply because the parents are now “better.” Fuck that.

The ending was exactly what I was fearing. Everyone resolved all their mommy and daddy issues and became a happy family.

Those of us with families know that family issues don’t just get resolved like that. I was kinda annoyed with how easy it was for the HEA for everyone.

The beginning was rather funny but as more asshole parents and family members showed up, I stopped having so much fun.

But I did love Nina. She was great.

So. The book was ok. A lot more fun for other people than for me. I think I can see this one going to my mom.

I keep asking myself why I gave this three stars. Maybe I should lower the rating? hmmmm….

Review: Always by Carol Rose

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Always (or “The Angry Heroine”) by Carol Rose

The Blurb:
Elinor Prescott has come home at last…to Oakleigh, the gracious antebellum mansion that was home to generations of her Southern family. But the beautiful old house is a near-ruin and she can’t afford to restore it. Elinor hopes to find a buyer who will cherish the home as she does. But she has one rule–she won’t sell to handsome, self-made millionaire Cole Whittier.

Cole has the locals upset over his plans to build a factory nearby and Elinor’s leading the opposition. He’s got a fight on his hands to convince the stubborn beauty of the merits of his plans–and of everything else he discovers he wants to offer her.

It’s up to Cole to persuade Elinor to see things from his perspective. The sexy industrialist is convinced that Elinor is well worth winning over.

I had a lot of problems with this book. There are a lot of good ideas but the bad execution destroys a lot of that promise. The story should have been right up my alley…but I found myself wanting to toss this book across the room on several different occasions. I also found myself putting it down and not coming back for long periods of time. In fact, I had to force myself to finish. That’s never a good sign. This book is in need of a good editor, STAT.*

I think that a lot of my issues with this book deals with characterization and the lack of character growth. Elinor was just too…angry throughout the entire book. She was mad about this, mad about that…yelling and screaming and flinging accusations left and right. With all of her explosions…I never once thought of her as feisty or as a spitfire – she was just plain annoying as hell and slightly unlikeable. I’d see her as more of a nag and really couldn’t understand why Cole liked her. I felt sad for him that he was dating her.

There was very little emotional or sexual tension between the hero and heroine. I saw Cole try and try with her…but all I saw from Elinor was anger and reverse snobbishness. In fact, by the end of the book I was so sick and freaking tired of her money issues that I wanted to shove some money down her throat so she could choke on it. Most people – especially Americans – respect riches that are the result of hard work. Cole came from nothing and did it all himself…but the reader is subjected to Elinor’s angry money issues time and time again.

While still carping on Elinor’s anger issues, lol, I wanted to say that her anger made it hard for me to believe the story. WHY would Cole want to marry her?? WHAT had she done beside be a bitch? I never saw any real growth in their relationship that would make me feel that leap was possible. I can’t even remember Elinor instigating affection between the two of them.

The only point that Elinor had in her favor was that Cole lied to her – by omission – about being the anonymous buyer of her grandfather’s house. And then he kept up that lie throughout the entire book…which – of course – clues the reader in to the final “big misunderstanding” that the couple will have (much too early).

And the ending. Wow. It just made me so angry. Wow, so angry.

*Note: a good editor is NOT a proof reader.

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

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Welcome to Temptation is a fun book! This short book has as many plot turns as an epic fantasy novel so it’s rather hard to summarize. Here’s the blurb:

Sophie Dempsey wants to help her sister film a video and then get out of Temptation, Ohio. Mayor Phin Tucker wants to play pool with the police chief and keep things peaceful. But when Sophie and Phin meet, they both get more than they want. Gossip, blackmail, adultery, murder, vehicular abuse of a corpse, and slightly perverse but excellent sex: all hell breaks loose in Temptation as Sophie and Phin fall deeper and deeper in trouble… and in love.

This is my third Jennifer Crusie book and I think I made a slight miscalculation. This book is fun and silly but it’s not quite as good as the first books I read. I think I cherry picked the best of the group first and it won’t get better from here until the next new release. The good part is that I felt this was a four star read…so I’m not really missing too much!

I really did enjoy this book. This book is set in a small town in the middle of Ohio – Temptation. The reader gets both the good and the bad parts of [this] small town life. A lot of romances that focus on small towns always try to make the small town the pinnacle of the American Way. What I loved about this book is that Crusie was able to show that small town life worked for some of her characters but was completely horrible for others. Crusie did not place small towns on a pedestal – she made them just as fallible as any location to live. I really enjoyed that.

Another thing I liked was that Phin didn’t sneak around with Sophie. There were lots of discreet moments…but when you’re a single dad trying to screw someone’s brains out, you have to be somewhat circumspect. But he didn’t try to hide Sophie and his relationship with Sophie from any adult or from his kid once he realized his kid already knew.

“I suppose you had to,” Wes said when Phin went back to join him at the table.
“Pretty much. She seduced me.”
“Yeah, right,” Wes said. “She said, ‘Please fix the kitchen drain,’ and you interpreted that–”
“She said, ‘Fuck me.’ ” Phin put two balls on the table and picked up his cue. “I interpreted that to mean she wanted sex.”
“Oh.” Wes picked up his cue. “That would have been my call, too.” He squinted at the table. “Why would she have said that?”
“On a guess? Because she wanted sex.”

Sophie and Phin were great characters and I really enjoyed watching their relationship develop. Also enjoyable is the fact that Crusie took the time to really flesh out her secondary characters. Again. Damn I love this author! I received an actual full cast of characters instead of two characters (the H/h) and a bunch of cardboard cut-outs. Delicious!

I’m also starting to really get a kick out of the Crusie’s book covers. So far all of them employ a visual symbol of a reoccurring theme or item in the book. In Bet Me the item are shoes, in Agnes and the Hitman it’s flamingos and in this book it’s a cherry. Very cool. The academic in me wants to cast symbolic meaning to these items…but this is fun so I fight that urge.

Four Stars and another good read! I really have to stop buying her books this year. I think I’m going broke, lol.