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Review: Gotcha! (Tall, Hot & Texan #1) by Christie Craig

Gotcha!

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Macy Tucker was five years old when her beloved grandfather dropped dead in his spaghetti. At twelve, her father left his family in the dust. At twenty-five, her husband gave his secretary a pre-Christmas bonus in bed, and Macy gave him the boot. To put things lightly, men have been undependable.

That’s why dating’s off the menu. Macy is focused on law school, and putting herself through—which means being the delivery girl for Papa’s Pizza. But cheesier than her job is her pie-eyed brother, who just recently escaped from prison to protect his new girlfriend. And hotter than Texas toast is the investigating detective. Proud, sexy…inflexible—he’s a man who would kiss her just to shut her up. But Jake Baldwin’s a protector as much as a dish. And when he gets his man—or his woman—Macy knows it’s for life.

Gotcha! is the second Christie Craig book that I’ve read, the first being Divorced, Desperate and Delicious. I enjoyed both Divorced, Desperate and Delicious and Gotcha! – but they are both rather similar books. Both books have a police officer hero and a divorced 30-40 something heroine. Both books have the hero being forced to stay with the heroine (almost 24/7) due to some type of police/murder case and both books have the heroine do something so incredibly stupid (in the name of plot humor?) that it made me want to rage.

I really liked the hero, Jake, in Gotcha! but I wasn’t that big a fan of the heroine Macy. Macy was…a little TSTL and a little too stubborn about her police protection. She almost gets killed several times but refuses to take the necessary precautions to keep herself safe. I’m never a fan of that.
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Review: Good Girl Gone Plaid (The McLaughlins #1) by Shelli Stevens *light spoilers*

Good Girl Gone Plaid

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Falling for the bad boy is even more dangerous the second time around.

In high school Sarah fell for her best friend’s older brother—one of the sexy, Scottish McLaughlin boys. But a painful betrayal showed her she’d been a fool to give her heart to a bad boy. At least it made it easier to leave him and move halfway around the world when her Navy dad got stationed in Japan.

Eleven years later, the death of her grandmother has forced Sarah back to Whidbey Island for a month. It’s the length of time she must stay in her inherited house before she’s allowed to sell it, take the money and run. But when she sees Ian, bad as ever and still looking like sin on a stick, she can’t keep her mouth from watering.

One look at Sarah stirs up the regret lingering in Ian’s heart—and never-forgotten desire lingering in his body. He should walk away, especially since divorced single mothers aren’t his style. But when she starts showing up at his family’s pub, he can’t resist a little casual seduction for old time’s sake.

One thing quickly becomes clear, though. The heat between them is causing an avalanche of secrets and betrayal and nothing will ever be the same.

Product Warnings
A bad-boy hero who’s good with his hands, a heroine who’s trying to be good. Contains liberal consumption of Scotch whisky, a Highland Games competition, men in kilts wielding large poles, and a potential Sarah McLaughlin of the non-musical kind.

I…don’t know what to say about this one.

It is not my favorite.

The writing is fine – good, even. The characterizations, etc all worked well. I can’t say that I met a lot of cut-out characters….

But come the fuck on. There’s suspension of disbelief and then there’s taking disbelief into the back shed and shooting it.

Good Girl Gone Plaid has two of my hated tropes: a secret baby and revisionist history. Revisionist history is technically “the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event.” What I mean in this specific situation is that the text takes events that are known by all parties and then changes the understanding of that history based on newly received information. Work with me here…

When Good Girl Gone Plaid started I was enjoying myself, for the most part. I could tell the author wanted to take me on a more angsty ride than I was looking for but the angst made me roll my eyes more than get the feels. So I kept reading. As I read I kept thinking…these two people are really tripping considering that they were only dating a short period of time. As the book continued and I learned why the couple broke up (in high school), I still thought they were taking their issues farther than expected. Then the secret baby showed up. And I rolled my eyes.

I hate secret babies because I do not feel that there is any real justification for keeping a parent and child separate. I mean, life and safety are the only real reasons to do so…and the heroine in this book did NOT have those reasons. So it pissed me off something fierce.
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Book Review: Dangerous Passion (Dangerous #3) by Lisa Marie Rice

Dangerous Passion

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Feelings kill faster than bullets.

That is Drake’s creed. A legend, a renegade, a ruthless, powerful enigma understood by no one and feared by all, Viktor “Drake” Drakovich heads up a billion-dollar empire—and shows no mercy to the many enemies who would stop at nothing to destroy him. He is a man with no love and no weakness, until…

Grace Larsen takes Drake’s breath away the first time he sees her—and quickly becomes his obsession. Never before has he burned for someone the way he desires this hauntingly beautiful artist who is plagued by troubling dreams. He aches to possess her, to protect her, to carry her to new heights of sensuous arousal and rapturous release.

But entering Drake’s world means becoming a target—for relentless, bloodthirsty foes have been eagerly waiting for him to expose his weak spot. And the price of their passion may be their lives.

Dangerous Passion is the third book in Lisa Marie Rice’s Dangerous series and the forth book I’ve read by her. Dangerous Passion is also the first book I read using my Scribd trial. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $1.99.

As I’ve read three Lisa Marie Rice books previously – I’m pretty familiar with her M.O. Rice’s heroes – so far – are almost all ex-military (usually some type of Special Forces) or military trained and filthy stinking rich. The heroes are also normally…very large – they are tall, they are muscular, they have big penises and big hands. They are typically very self-possessed and in control of their mind and body at all times – except when it comes to the heroine. The heroes are all obsessed about the heroines to the point of stalker-ish behavior. They are all extremely possessive of the heroines as well. Typically something in the heroes’ past makes them feel unworthy of love or “dirty” in some way – and the heroine make them feel clean again. Continue reading

Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology Review: Delta: Retribution by Cristin Harber

Hot Alpha SEALs
 

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Fallen Navy SEAL and Titan Group’s Delta recruit Trace Reeves wants nothing more than a one-night stand to forget that his twin brother was killed-in-action. But when his one-time fling becomes his high value target, the lines blur between her rescue mission and saving himself.

 
 
Another book in the Hot Alpha SEALs anthology and the first book of an upcoming new series – Delta – by Cristin Harber. Delta will be a spinoff from Harber’s Titan series.

In a review for a different book in the Hot Alpha SEALs anthology – Unbreakable SEAL – I noted that the author did not utilize the “magical vagina,” to my great relief. Well, Delta: Retribution utilizes the magical vagina trope for all it’s worth.
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Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology Review: Unbreakable SEAL by J.M. Madden

Hot Alpha SEALs

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Maxwell Tate fights against a psychotic dream world, until he no longer knows what’s real. Lacey Adams knows she can’t save all of her cases, but can she salvage the unbreakable SEAL?

I both really enjoyed and was really irritated by Unbreakable SEAL.

Unbreakable SEAL deals with emotional trauma and recovery – and this aspect is where I was both intrigued and uncomfortable. The heroine meets the hero for the first time as he is having a hallucination (about spiders, I almost died). As a former Walter Reed nurse, Lacey could tell immediately that the hero was military and in serious trouble.

I loved the fact that J.M. Madden did NOT utilize the magical vajayjay. The hero’s issues needed real professional help and the author showed him doing just that. Max had to deal with flashbacks, hallucinations and the “minor” issues of being prescribed a shitton of psychotropic, addictive drugs. Unbreakable SEAL had another draw for me – one of my family members is currently experiencing flashbacks of his military days. The flashbacks have become overwhelming and he had to be hospitalized. Of course, being forced to go to the hospital has aggravated the condition – he’s now terrified that his wife will leave him due to his issues (she’s not, he’s just panicking). This family member was on my mind throughout my reading of Unbreakable SEAL.

What bothered me was the…quick relationship that developed between the hero and heroine. They really didn’t know each other well and most of the time the hero was a drugged out psychotic mess. It was difficult for me to understand the strong attraction heroine felt for the hero. It was so difficult that it pulled me out of the story quite a bit. Lacey is a major Mary Sue but the hero was such a mess…I could understand seeing that he was worth effort but the emotions between the main characters didn’t quite ring true.

The final chapters of the book showed some real growth in Lacey and Max’s relationship and I really appreciated that portion of the novel.

Sp, it’s a quick read but it’s not cute and it’s not really sexy. There’s a bit more emotion in this book than the ones I previously read – the author does not shy away from the very real and debilitating issues the hero has – but the shortness of the book left some plot holes and forced the relationship a little.

Review: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The Wizard of Oz

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Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival – will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?

 

 

 

I used to consider myself a Wizard of Oz expert. I’ve seen the 1939 movie a ton of times. I’ve seen the musical adaption movie The Wiz about a million times (Micheal Jackson, Diana Ross, Mabel King, Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor? YES, please). And then – just to put 10 on the 20 – I’m a theatre geek from waaaaaay back. I served as Technical Director and Lighting Designer (and I also danced in!) for the stage version of The Wiz. I used to know that script backwards and forwards. So you can’t fault me for thinking I knew my The Wizard of Oz.

Well, guess what? I did NOT know my Wizard of Oz!

I went into this read thinking I knew what was going to happen. I had the movies and the plays all circling in my head so I spent the entire read fighting with my memories and knowledge of the adapted works. The Wicked Witch that Dorothy kills is wearing silver shoes; the Good Witch that meets Dorothy upon her landing is NOT Glinda and she’s an old, weak witch about the size of the Munchkins; The Wicked Witch of the West has very little on-page time and Glinda doesn’t get page time til the very, very end. Like, Glinda didn’t even know Dorothy was in town til she came pounding on the Witch’s front gate. And those are just the initial big differences. There was just so much changed…
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Review: Brianna (Celestial Passions #1) by Judy Mays *spoilers*

brianna

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Brianna did what any other decent human being would do-rescue a pair of aliens her boss was about to dissect, and get them back to their space ship. In the process, she was captured by an alien scientist and became a experiment herself-a sexual experiment.

Captain Alalakan don al’ Chardadon was not about to let Dr. Rodak don al’ Bakom conduct his ridiculous sexual experiments on an inhabitant from a newly discovered world. Even if it meant he had to marry the Earth woman to protect her. Marriages were easily dissolved on his planet, and this alien was very beautiful. Besides, he wanted her-in his bed, on the floor, against the wall, or anywhere else he could think of.

Brianna had to choose-marry the captain or try to find another way to escape Bakom. Easy choice. Even though he was an alien, Char was the most desirable man she’d ever met.

So, Brianna finds herself hurtling through space married to a very sexy alien-with a very flexible tail-from a planet where hedonism is the norm and there are three sexes: male, female, and hermaphrodite.

But Bakom wanted Brianna too, and is willing to do anything to get her back.

Have you ever read a Romance novel and thought to yourself, this is the most ridiculous cliched bullshit I’ve ever read? How did this get published?? I’m obviously in the wrong business…

Well, this is almost that book. But it’s not. Because this book is a cliched ridiculous mess on purpose (which makes it funny). This book has it all: beautiful red-haired “spitfire” heroine (with green eyes, of course); handsome and rich hero; being kidnapped by aliens for weird alien sex; princesses; cat people; assassins….

Well, you get the point. It’s like…everything is here. There is no way this wasn’t written tongue in cheek. How does Brianna communicate with these people from a different galaxy? They use a Medirian ghena instead of a Babel fish…but it’s the same thing and performs the same function. There are also several hints in the book that shows that Mays is writing a comedy.
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