Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Bro Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Why I read it: I saw tweets about this really funny book from a guy's perspective from Jane at Dear Author and then I saw it on NetGalley so I snapped it up.

What it's about: (This is the blurb from Goodreads) Women have been known to lament, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride." For Johnny Smith, the problem is, "Always a Best Man, never a groom." At age 33, housepainter Johnny has been Best Man eight times. The ultimate man's man, Johnny loves the Mets, the Jets, his weekly poker game, and the hula girl lamp that hangs over his basement pool table. Johnny has the instant affection of nearly every man he meets, but one thing he doesn't have is a woman to share his life with, and he wants that desperately. When Johnny meets District Attorney Helen Troy, he decides to renounce his bro-magnet ways in order to impress her. With the aid and advice of his friends and family, soon he's transforming his wardrobe, buying throw pillows, ditching the hula girl lamp, getting a cat and even changing his name to the more mature-sounding John. And through it all, he's pretending to have no interest in sports, which Helen claims to abhor. As things heat up with Helen, the questions arise: Will Johnny finally get the girl? And, if he's successful in that pursuit, who will he be now that he's no longer really himself? The Bro Magnet is a rollicking comedic novel about what one man is willing to give up for the sake of love.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Not Wicked Enough by Carolyn Jewel

"Am I too wicked, your grace?"        

"My love, if I may be honest-" 

"You are not wicked enough."

Why I read it:  I won an ARC from the author.  I promised a review - no hardship really because I review every book I read.  The book is out February 7.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads) When Lily Wellstone heads to the Bitterward Estate to comfort her widowed friend Eugenia, she certainly does not have romance in mind. In fact, the playful but level-headed Lily is amused to no end when, en route, a Gypsy gifts her with a beautiful medallion, claiming it will ensnare the romantic desires of a stranger.
But fate has other plans in the form of Eugenia’s ruggedly handsome brother, the Duke of Mountjoy. One day at Bitterward and Lily can’t deny the sizzling attraction between her and the roguish duke. Nothing can come of it, of course. She’s not looking for entanglements and he’s practically engaged. But whether it’s her outgoing nature and the duke’s outlandish ways sparking off one another; or the mysterious gypsy medallion working “magic,”—hearts are stirring in the most unexpected and wicked ways. . .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Unraveled by Courtney Milan

Why I read it:  After enjoying Unclaimed and Unveiled (and Unlocked) so much, I bought this on release day.  And, may I say, what an absolute bargain at $3.99.  Also, while I'm at it, I'll mention that ebook file is excellent and self publishers (and a few traditional publishers too) could learn from this example.

What it's about:  (Goodreads blurb) Smite Turner is renowned for his single-minded devotion to his duty as a magistrate. But behind his relentless focus lies not only a determination to do what is right, but the haunting secrets of his past—secrets that he is determined to hide, even if it means keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Until the day an irresistible woman shows up as a witness in his courtroom…

Miranda Darling isn’t in trouble…yet. But she’s close enough that when Turner threatens her with imprisonment if she puts one foot wrong, she knows she should run in the other direction. And yet no matter how forbidding the man seems on the outside, she can’t bring herself to leave. Instead, when he tries to push her away, she pushes right back—straight through his famous self-control, and into the heart of the passion that he has long hidden away…

What worked for me (or, let me count the ways I adore Smite):  Smite is such an interesting character.  Deeply wounded by his mother's madness, he nevertheless does not regard himself as "broken".  He actively does not want to forget what happened to him as a child.  He doesn't want to "get over it" and put it behind him.  He does not want pity or understanding. He does not in fact, feel sorry for himself.    
There was nothing easy about Turner.  He'd fashioned himself into one hard edge.  He was all blade and no handle.  If she held him close, she'd risk being cut.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hot Zone by Catherine Mann

Why I read it:  I picked this one up from NetGalley - I hadn't read this author before and I really like romantic suspense and military romance so I thought this might be a good fit for me.  Also, nice cover.

I actually got a bit confused about which book to read because shortly after I saw Cover Me was on a super Kindle special so I bought it (it may have been free I don't remember but if I paid for it it was only about 99c or something).  I started reading Cover Me because I thought THAT was the NetGalley ARC and I promised to read and review it around release time.  I realised when I was about 1/3-1/2 way in that I had the wrong book (which was a bit of a relief because I was not into it I'm afraid) and put it down and picked this one up.  You probably didn't need to know that...

What it's about:  (the blurb from Goodreads) Master sergeant Hugh Franco lives only to save others, until he plucks beautiful attorney Amelia Bailey from the wreckage of an earthquake and finds himself embroiled in ways he never expected. On the run from kidnappers, Hugh must call on all his training to protect them. But Amelia's fiery touch threatens to crack his world—and his heart—wide open.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I'm sad to say that this book didn't work for me all that much.  I did like the way the book started - it's kind of my favourite thing - heroine is in a dire situation and hero comes riding to the rescue - in this case, Amelia is trapped under rubble in an earthquake an PJ Hugh Franco comes to the rescue.  I liked that intense first meeting and I liked the instant drama the opening created.  Unfortunately after that, things went downhill for me.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

December Reads

on Paper/eBook

Hot Head by Damon Suede - B- I liked but did not love this one.  Sarah Franz at Dear Author gave it an B+  and her thoughts so often match mine when it comes to m/m romance that I was a bit surprised actually. I felt it took too long for Griffin and Dante to actually get together, there was a bit too much 'will they or won't they'  -  even though, given it was a romance novel, I knew they would, which made the experience frustrating for me.  However, there was a lot to like, I just didn't like it as much as Sarah.

Simple Gifts by LB Gregg - B- This was a short sweet story about a lonely man who has had a crush on his best friend's older brother for ages. There is history and when he comes home from the war in Afghanistan for good at Christmas, they meet again.   I've a feeling I would have enjoyed it even more if it had been longer and I'd had more detail about the history between the two. There is also origami.