Tag Archive | 2014 Reading Challenges

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.
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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

2014 Book Purchases: October

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.

I’m surprised I busted my budget this month – especially since I’ve been more than a little infuriated regarding the situation with Kathleen Hale stalking and terrifying a reviewer over her butthurt feelings.

I have two pre-orders scheduled to be delivered in November 2014 – those I am not going to cancel. But I’m still pissed about stalker Hale and it’s put me off my books. I have a few reviews to post and a slew more that I haven’t finished. And I’m thinking of not finishing them – too many self-indulgent writers are bitching that bloggers had not right to “punish them” when the Blogger Blackout happened. Pfffft. I do what I want, this is not a job.

 
 
Twice TemptedBook: Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2)
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Cost: $7.19
Format: MMPB
Date Purchased: 01-Oct-2014
Notes: Currently reading book 1, now own 2/3
 
 
The Banished KingBook: The Banished King
Author: Carolyn Faulkner
Cost: $3.99
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 19-Oct-2014
Notes: Because apparently I’ll buy anything Carolyn Faulkner writes even though I often end up disappointed. I’m such a sucker.
 
 
Fifty Shames of Earl GreyBook: Fifty Shades of Earl Grey
Author: Andrew Shaffer
Cost: $11.07
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Purchased: 27-Oct-2014
Notes: Previously read sample and enjoyed – got an email for a signing that reminded me to grab a copy
 
 
Grace's DemonBook: Grace’s Demon (also published as Talus)
Author: Carolyn Faulkner
Cost: $3.22
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 30-Oct-2017
Notes: I’m such a sucker.
 
 
All Hallow's EveBook: All Hallow’s Eve
Author: Carolyn Faulkner
Cost: $1.99
Format: ebook
Date Purchased: 30-Oct-2014
Notes: I’m such a sucker.
 
 

 
 
 
October 2014 Totals:
Total Books Purchased: 5
Total Amount Spent: $27.46
Malazan Books Purchased: 0
(M) Amount Spent: $0
(O) Amount Spent: $27.46
Potential Sales Abandoned: 0
Money Saved (Lost Sales): $0
October Budget Available (not including Malazan purchases): -$7.46

Review: The Heat is On (Out of Uniform #6) by Elle Kennedy

The Heat is On

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As a Navy SEAL, Matt O’Connor specializes in Bad Boy. At least, that’s what he thinks…until he finds himself face down on the floor during a bank robbery, arguing with a sexy, bad-girl blonde who wields her sharp tongue with surgical precision.

Just like that, Matt begins to wonder if maybe the idea of settling down with one woman isn’t as crazy as he thought.

Savannah Harte is addicted to first kisses and whirlwind romances. Once the thrill is gone, though, she’s outta there. She’s eager to follow the adrenaline rush she feels with Matt into the nearest bed, but when tangled sheets begin to feel like tangled heartstrings, her first instinct is to cut him loose. There’s only one problem: Matt’s not going anywhere. And not even a steamy threesome seems to dull her growing feelings.

Which leaves Savannah having to decide what she wants more. The casual thrill of now…or the scary thrill of forever.

Product Warnings: This title features a hot threesome with explicit sex, a bad-girl heroine, and two Navy SEALs guaranteed to make you sweat.

Meh.

There was a lot to like about The Heat is On…but there was also a lot I didn’t like. And frankly, I’m going to chalk part of it up as a learning experience.

The Heat is On is one of those rare romance books where gender roles are slightly reversed. Savannah, the heroine, doesn’t like relationships – her drug of choice are relationship firsts: first kisses, first dates, first fucks, etc. As soon as a guy Savannah is dating starts getting serious, she starts packing her bags. This works for her until she meets the hero, Matt.
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Review: Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned

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She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

I think I know how the heroine of Once Burned, Leila, feels: I don’t really know how I feel about Vlad. He’s scary, he’s handsome, he impales people, he’s sexy. He’s a freaking scary ass, incredibly sexy, horribly arrogant and domineering man…and I decided to re-read Once Burned in honor of the soon to be released movie Dracula Untold. The handsome man on the cover even has a passing resemblance to the actor playing Dracula in the upcoming movie.
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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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