Review: Perfect Partners (Love Unexpected) by Carly Phillips

Perfect Partners

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A “Love Unexpected” Novel …

No sooner had lawyers Chelsie Russell and Griffin Stuart lost their siblings in a car crash than they find themselves fighting for custody of their two year old niece. Griff wins only to discover Chelsie is the only one who can sooth the child’s night terrors and fears. Chelsie and Griff bond over the little girl and their growing sexual desire is mutual. But Chelsie’s been hurt before and Griff isn’t sure he can trust the woman who once tried to take his niece away. What will it take for these two unexpected lovers to believe they can be perfect partners after all?

 

 
Perfect Partners was…a rather “meh” category romance. I have no strong feelings about the book, the characters or the plot. The plot was is rather formulaic: Plot moppet’s parents (the hero’s brother and the heroine’ sister) are killed in an accident, orphaning the plot moppet. The heroine and hero are forced together by their love of the plot moppet and their desire to keep her safe and happy.

Since Perfect Partners is not an actual HQN category romance – just written exactly like one – the hero doesn’t force the heroine to marry him in order to deal with the plot moppet (which might have made the story more interesting, TBH). Instead of marriage, the two MCs create a marriage-like environment for the plot moppet by spending almost every evening together (and first) and then combining their businesses (both MCs are attorneys) to work out of the hero’s home office.

There are a couple of other threads of plot which were both more and less interesting than the romance arc: the actions and reactions of the heroine’s parents (less interesting) and the heroine’s work with domestic violence. Neither plot point did much to make Perfect Partners more interesting for me.

Meh.

Review: How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

How to Catch a Wild Viscount

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She’s on the hunt for a hero…

Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, returned from war a changed man. Battle stripped away his civility and brought out his inner beast. There is no charm or tenderness in him now; only dark passions and a hardened soul. He has nothing to offer the starry-eyed, innocent girl who pledged her heart to him four years ago.

But Cecily Hale isn’t a girl any longer. She’s grown into a woman—one who won’t be pushed away. She and Luke are guests at a house party when a local legend captures their friends’ imaginations. While the others plunge into the forest on a wild goose…er, stag chase, Cecily’s on the hunt for a man. She has only a few moonlit nights to reach the real Luke…the wounded heart she knows still beats inside the war-ravaged body…or she could lose him to the darkness forever.

This novella was previously published as The Legend of the Werestag

I’ve heard of Tessa Dare previously but How to Catch a Wild Viscount is the first book I’ve read by Ms Dare. Strangely enough, reading Lauren Dane’s The Best Kind of Trouble spurred me to read this short. The heroine, Natalie, in The Best Kind of Trouble is a librarian and Natalie recommended Tessa Dare to another character as a great historical romance read. I decided to read How to Catch a Wild Viscount next. So glad I did! It was a good read!

Tessa Dare’s author note for How to Catch a Wild Viscount states that this was her first published work. I don’t know if it was reworked any but this was a rather cute story – and if her first published work is this polished…I need to grab more! There are some parts that give a “dated” impression but on the whole this story is a very solid and very enjoyable read.
Continue reading

New Year, New Blog!

I’ve had a bit of radio silence – ever since the BS situation with that stalker: Kathleen Hale.

I lost the desire to review. I was more than just pissed by Kathleen Hale’s invasive actions – I felt powerless in relation to my reading. WTF is that about?? How can I spend googobs of money, time and energy on a fucking HOBBY that then allows for someone to stalk me(or anyone) over their fucking butthurt??!

I don’t know – I guess it’s the entitlement generation mixing with us people who had to grow the fuck up to function as adults?

After spending quite a bit of time just taking care of me, I decided to start reviewing again.

I decided to take my power back – the decision not to review wasn’t originally mine, it was a knee-jerk reaction when faced with assholery in the first degree.

I own my domain – no need for me to worry about censors – and had my site designed by Silvia at Darkest Sins. 😀

I’m feeling better and ready to review!

I hope you all enjoy my new site, I know I will!

MrsJoseph
bookslifewine.com
bookslifewine@outlook.com

Wine: Once Upon A Vine 2010 “Big Bad Red Blend”

once upon a vine red

A blend of several red varietals, The Big Bad Red blend appeases our inner dark side, satisfying that craving for the bold and daring. The wine leads with a bramble of berries, dark black plum and root beer flavors, framed by toasted spices. Fleshy and ripe, the palate delivers layers of black fruit with a savory and spicy character. Supple tannins hold flavors into a long, lasting finish. A perfect pairing for a dark and stormy night.

Made primarily from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel, The Big Bad Red blend pulls together the best of each varietal for a wine of complexity and depth. We began with Merlot, which makes up one-third of the blend, giving a round, plump base of juicy dark berry fruit and sturdy oak profile. Our Cabernet Sauvignon, which comes from Napa, lends the backbone to the wine with ripe tannins and layers of cocoa, plum and blackberry. Syrah adds depth with a meaty roundness and soft, fleshy tannins while a touch of Zinfandel gives a juicy berry impact.

This “Big Bad Red” blend by Once Upon A Vine is another one of my “OMG! I Love that label” purchases. And again, I was not a fan.

I recently purchased a red wine aerator. I really have no real reason why I haven’t purchased one in the past – I would just let the wine breathe regularly. But I finally made the purchase and this Red Blend is the first wine I tried my new aerator with. I have to say, there was a marked difference between the “fresh” wine and the wine poured through the aerator. I think I’m going to get one for white wines, too!

Other than the wonderful use of my new aerator, I was not a fan of the Big Bad Red blend. It tasted…more sour than bitter and alcohol-y. 😦

Obviously I need to stop buying wine on my own and make sure I talk to my wine seller.

Wine: Fetzer Riesling (white)

fetzer

At Fetzer, we’ve been committed to environmental responsibility for over a quarter century. Because we believe sustainable practices not only make for a healthier planet – they make for better wines.

Riesling comes in many styles, and its popular enough that some call it the new Chardonnay. We just call it good. Our personal style blends fruit from cooler areas of California to create a wine both rich and floral, pale yellow in color with aromas of pear and apricot. In the glass, you’ll taste peaches and apricots, a gracious invitation to sit a spell and enjoy with friends.

Our Riesling is delicate, yet full of fruit forward flavors and aromas. There are aromas of dried fruit, lemon, lavender, jasmine and rose petal. In the mouth, the crisp acidity balances this well structured wine with flavors of peaches, pineapple and pear that lead to a smooth rich, mellow finish.

Another week, another stab at picking a tasty white wine.

I grabbed this bottle of Fetzer Riesling simply due to it’s label: I love sustainable items made in the U.S. And it’s a Riesling – I love a good Riesling. 🙂

The Fetzer was good – not great but good. It has a very nice fruity/flowery smell and I could taste apples and peaches. The Fetzer Riesling was sweet with a slight tartness when it first hits your tongue.

Sadly, the Fetzer was a little too sweet for me and hubby I paired it with a mild fish taco platter and the pairing worked ok. It didn’t quite have the flavor I wanted for sipping but I still enjoyed it. I did enjoy the Fetzer but not really enough to repurchase (except for the sustainability thing).

2014 Book Purchases: November

I always start the draft for these monthly book purchase updates at the beginning of the month. It gives me a chance to look back over the previous month and encourage myself to do better throughout the coming month.

13-Nov-2014: O.M.G! There was some kind of insane Random House Australia sale at Kobo this month! I got tons of books for less than $1.00!!! I hope I like them!

 
 

Broken OpenBook: Broken Open (The Hurley Boys #2)
Author: Lauren Dane
Cost: $6.79
Format: MMPB
Date Purchased: 25-Nov-2014 (release date) 15-Oct-2014 (Preorder date)
Notes: I read & loved book one: The Best Kind of Trouble
 
 
Night ShiftBook: Night Shift
Author: Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Lisa Shearin & Milla Vane
Cost: $5.51
Format: MMPB
Date Purchased: 25-Nov-2014 (release date) 31-Jul-2014 (Preorder date)
Notes: I have I mentioned that I’m a hard core, unrepentant Ilona Andrews fan?
 
 
The Other Half Of The SkyBook: The Other Half Of The Sky
Author: Various
Cost: $4.89
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: I bought this to support at least one of the authors who were harmed by WinterFox/RequiresHate/Benjanun Sriduangkaew – The link to the report is having some technical issues – a .PDF of the report can be seen here: http://laurajmixon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/A-Report-on-Damage-Done-by-One-Individual-Under-Several-Names.pdf
 
 
Operation ValentineBook: Operation Valentine
Author: Loretta Hill
Cost: $0.09
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: RandomHouse Australia Sale!
 
 
Dr No CommitmentBook: Dr No commitment
Author: Virginia Taylor
Cost: $0.09
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: RandomHouse Australia Sale!
 
 
Anybody But HimBook: Anybody But Him
Author: Claire Baxter
Cost: $0.09
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: RandomHouse Australia Sale!
 
 
Just BreatheBook: Just Breathe
Author: Janette Paul
Cost: $0.09
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: RandomHouse Australia Sale!
 
 
One Little White LieBook: One Little White Lie
Author: Loretta Hill
Cost: $0.09
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: RandomHouse Australia Sale!
 
 
Love on LocationBook: Love on Location
Author: Claire Baxter
Cost: $0.09
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: RandomHouse Australia Sale!
 
 
Losing PatientsBook: Losing Patients
Author: Virginia Taylor
Cost: $0.09
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: RandomHouse Australia Sale!
 
 
a bush christmasBook: A Bush Christmas
Author: Margareta Osborn
Cost: $0.04
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 13-Nov-2014
Notes: RandomHouse Australia Sale!
 
 
Continental AffairBook: Continental Affair (Continental Affair #1-3)
Author: Ella Dominguez
Cost: $3.49
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 20-Nov-2014
Notes: I read book 1 (free) and decided I wanted to read the rest.
 
 

 
 
November 2014 Totals:
Total Books Purchased: 12
Total Amount Spent: $21.35
Malazan Books Purchased: 0
(M) Amount Spent: $0
(O) Amount Spent: $21.35
Potential Sales Abandoned: 1
Money Saved (Lost Sales): $4.99
November Budget Available (not including Malazan purchases): -$1.35

Lost Sales 2014: Week of November 16-22

It’s been about 4 months since I last logged a Lost Sale! I realize that often I am willing to jump through quite a few hoops to get my preferred books but…I’m getting sick and tired of that. When will business people realize that if you cut off access to an entire segment of the population…people cannot buy your goods?

Just to recap, here are my primary reasons for abandoning a sale:

[Author] Bullshit
Exclusive Contracts
Geographical Restrictions
Not Available in preferred store/format

 

 
Nice Dragons Finish Last20-Nov-2014
Book: Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1)
Author: Rachel Aaron/Rachel Bach
How We Met: I saw a post somewhere on Goodreads that there was a new UF series released by Rachel Aaron. Since I’ve read her before and my friends all loved Fortune’s Pawn (Rachel Bach)…
Problem: Exclusive Contract [with Amazon]. This book is only available on Amazon Kindle (US/UK only). I do not own an Amazon Kindle. I checked Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords AND the author’s site. I even queried the author. Nothing.
Resolution: Will not purchase – cannot purchase.
Amount Saved: $1.99 Sale Price/$4.99 Regular Price