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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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Review: Love Irresistibly (FBI/US Attorney #4) by Julie James

Love Irresistibly

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HE’S USED TO GETTING WHAT HE WANTS…

A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.

AND WHAT HE WANTS IS HER.

A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love . . .

The final read in my Julie James glomming.

So. Now that I have read all the books in the FBI/US Attorney series, I can say that I found this book to be…one of the more boring of the group. It’s not really memorable so I had to go read the blurb to remind myself of who, what, when, where and how. O_o

And the biggest transgression? Plot Moppet! Accck! James gave me a plot moppet in the middle of a contemporary romance series that stars career singles with no children. Along with a “forgive family anything” ending. I almost threw up in my mouth. O_O
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Review: Safe in His Arms by Renee Rose

safe in his arms

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For as long as she could remember, Becca dreamed of a dominant man to take her in hand, and Zac, the handsome Marine she met at her sister’s wedding, filled the role with aplomb… for a weekend. Then the fling came to an end, Zac went off to war and died for his country, and Becca learned she carried a child who would be born without a father.

Seven years later, Becca has done her best to move on and forget about Zac… until the day she walks into her kitchen to find the man she believed she would never see again locked in mortal combat with her son’s nanny, and realizes everything she thought she knew about Zac was a lie.

Like all Black Ops agents, Zac doesn’t exist in any government record. His life is a series of deadly missions, and relationships of any kind are unsanctioned. But he keeps one secret. He watches over Becca, the beautiful daughter of a rogue agent, and Parker, the six-year-old boy he fathered that fateful weekend. When he spots a known assassin in their apartment posing as a nanny, he’s forced to reveal himself and take them to safety… whether Becca likes it or not.

While Becca may have enjoyed his dominance once, bending her to his will again may not be quite so easy. He is determined to keep her safe, however, and if a long, hard spanking is required, he is more than willing to oblige. Having Becca over his knee rekindles more than his passion, though; even when the immediate danger has passed, he finds it much more difficult to “ghost out” on his family again. Must he resign himself to protecting those he loves from afar, or can he find a way to be the man Becca needs and longs for, the man who is worthy of her submission and her love?

Publisher’s Note: Safe in His Arms is an erotic romance novel that includes both consensual and non-consensual spankings, anal play, graphic sexual scenes, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

This is short story/novella length. I find reading and reviewing shorts/novellas to always be rather challenging – so I can only imagine that writing them must be just as challenging. There’s a lot of information that needs to be condensed down to its purest version to be able to fit into the required word count.

And that is the exact same reason why I find reading shorts to be challenging – I want so much (from the book, the author, the characters, the plot) but there’s so little space available. *sigh* One of the biggest issues I normally have with shorts is the relationship of the characters themselves (not the relationship the characters have with the reader). How do you convey the appropriate amount of tension and intimacy while not writing a full length novel? The mind, it boggles.
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Review: Sea Swept (Chesapeake Bay Saga #1) By Nora Roberts

sea swept

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A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight…

After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth’s sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth’s fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together–or tear them apart…

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. REALLY, really wanted to like it more. And I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy parts of it – even most of it – but the reality is that while I enjoyed aspects of the book the romance fell flat for me. Flatter than Flat Stanley. I just did not believe the romance…at all.
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Law Man (Dream Man #3) by Kristen Ashley

Law Man

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Four years ago, Mitch Lawson moved across the breezeway from Mara Hanover and she fell in love with the tall, good-looking police detective who had an uncanny ability to dress well even though he’s single. It was not a stalker kind of love; she knows she has no hope since Mitch is way out of her league. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s her dream man.

Then one day Mara’s faucet won’t turn off and she knows nothing about plumbing. Being a good guy, Mitch offers to help then he invites himself over for pizza. Mara gives it a go but finds herself running away from him (literally) on their first date, standing him up their second and then she runs into him (again literally) on her way to save her ne’er do well, criminal cousin’s kids who’d just run away from their ne’er do well, criminal Dad.
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Wild Man (Dream Man #2) by Kristen Ashley

wild man

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While filling her display case in her bakery, the bell over the door sounds and Tessa O’Hara looks up and sees the man of her dreams. Within thirty seconds he asks her out for a beer. Thirty seconds later, she says yes. But after four months of falling in love, she discovers he’s an undercover DEA Agent investigating the possibility she’s involved in her ex-husband’s drug business

Obviously Tess decides this means it’s over.

But DEA Agent Brock Lucas disagrees. A man on a mission who’s really committed to his job, he’s spent years in the underbelly of Denver with the dregs of society. And spending four months with Tess who’s as sweet as her cupcakes, he seriously enjoyed his job. But during Tess’s interrogation, Brock learns the devastating secret Tess is carrying and he’s determined to be the man who helps her heal as well as take her back as she walks on the wild side.
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