Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Why I read it: I picked this one up on NetGalley.  To be honest, the blurb didn't sell me - it was kind of confusing and didn't tell me what I wanted to know but I've read and enjoyed Sylvia Day before so I decided to give it a whirl.

What it's about: Because I thought the blurb wasn't very helpful, I'm not going to copy and paste this one - so I'll give you my own.  Eva Trammell (24) moves to New York with her gay BFF Cary from California to pursue a career in advertising.  She is the stepdaughter of a very rich man and so has a lovely apartment (which she shares with Cary) but has insisted on an entry level job which she obtained without his help.  She works at the Crossfire Building and there she (literally) runs into Gideon Cross, a 28 year old bazillionaire.  There is instant connection. Instant and sizzling lust.   But, both Eva and Gideon have past traumas which come back to haunt them - can they have a successful relationship?  Are they soul mates or are they destined to flash, crash and burn?

What worked for me (and what didn't):   With all the hype about Fifty Shades of Grey (50SOG) around the place, it is hard not to make a comparison between it and Bared To You.   I havent' read 50SOG and I don't plan to.  But, from what I've read about it, I think that Bared To You is what 50SOG could have been, maybe aspired to be (if it had left out many fanfic conventions and had some savvy editing)^.    Like 50SOG, there is a bit of the Harlequin Presents (HP) about this story. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins

Why I read it:  I picked up a copy from NetGalley and I'm a fan of this author.

What it's about:  (blurb from Goodreads) After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon's Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns—a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father's wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she's not thrilled -- …even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.


Having to fend for herself financially for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist's assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn't the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn't the only thing that needs a little TLC.
What worked for me (and what didn't):  First off, this is the second book Ms. Higgins has written in 3rd person POV and once again, we get (a lot - yay!) of the hero's POV in this story.  As much as I have enjoyed her 1st person POV books (well, mostly), my continuing "complaint" was that there was not enough of the hero for me.  I'm a very hero-centric reader I have discovered.  More hero, in general, equals more win for me.  I hope that Ms. Higgins decides to stick with 3rd person and giving us the hero's perspective because I just love it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm over at ARRA today...

I'm over at the ARRA blog today, with a review of Nora Robert's excellent new release, The Witness.  Feel free to stop by :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sweet Addiction by Maya Banks

Why I read it:  I've read all the other books in the series and I wanted to read Cole's story.  Isn't the cover pretty?

What it's about:  (blurb from Goodreads)  He awakened a need within her…

Cole is successful beyond his dreams. He can have any woman he wants, but there’s only one he can’t stop thinking about. His childhood sweetheart, Renita. He’s never forgotten his first taste of innocent love and the desire that consumed them—or the pain he brought upon her…

But now she belongs to another…

Her long ago brush with submission awakened a longing in Ren that drove her to walk the darker edge of desire. She’s become a beautiful woman at ease with her sexuality and unapologetic about her need for a dominant man. When Cole finds her again, he’s gutted that she belongs to another. Ren’s current master agrees to give her to Cole for a short time, but then she must return to his keeping. And though Cole agrees to this bargain, he knows he will never be able to let Ren go again…

Before I start:  I follow Maya Banks on Twitter and Facebook and she seems, from her interactions there, to be a very nice lady.  A number of my Twitter friends (or, as my 9 year old calls them "Tweet Pals") appear to actually be pretty good friends with her.    It makes it harder then, to write a review which is mostly negative.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Teach Me by Cassandra Dean

Grade:  C-

My full review is up over at the ARRA blog here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann, narrated by Patrick Lawlor and Melanie Ewbank

Why I read it:  I'm a big fan of Suzanne Brockmann's books.  Although I credit Sarah Frantz from Dear Author, it was probably Ms. Brockmann that introduced me to m/m romance.  I admit I wasn't super enthusiastic about her move to PNR - mainly because it meant I wouldn't be getting any more of her more traditional RS for a good long while, if ever. I have mixed feelings about the book but  I'm not really sure it has all that much to do with the genre change.

What it's about:  The plot is somewhat complicated but I'll do my best to summarise and introduce the main characters (of which there are 7 - that's right there are 7 POV characters in this story  and 3 romantic storylines).  So, here goes.

The book is set in the not to distant (maybe 35ish years) future where the government, law enforcement and most other services have been privatised.  Unemployment is high and poverty rampant.    Various scientific types around the world are studying something called "neural integration" whereby some people naturally have the ability to integrate their neural pathways more efficiently than others and those people train to enhance their talents.  The science is not widely accepted by the government, the authorities or the public.  "Normal" people are called "Less Thans" or "Fractions" and their neural integration is about 10%.  A "Greater Than" (not, in my opinion the most interesting or exciting name for a group of super hero types) may have 30% or more neural integration.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas, narrated by Tanya Eby

Note:  Review originally written for Speakingof Audiobooks .  Permission has been granted to publish review in its entirety here.

Why I read it:  I was so looking forward to listening to this book.  I adored Blue Eyed Devil and Smooth Talking Stranger and I love Tanya Eby’s narration.  The combination of this author and this narrator felt like an automatic win for me.  And I did enjoy it, but...  well,  let’s get to what the story is about first.

What it's about:  Sam Nolan is the owner of the old Victorian House and proprietor of the vineyard at the end of Rainshadow Road on San Juan Island, Washington.  We met him in Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor which featured his brother Mark and his, now, wife-to-be, Maggie.   Sam’s gorgeous and talented and friendly and sexy but he doesn’t do commitment.  Ever.  He’s always honest about it.  He’s not a cheater or a deceiver but his experience with his alcoholic parents and their toxic marriage has scarred him for life.  

Lucy Marinn is a glass artist, working mainly on stained glass windows.  We first meet Lucy when her boyfriend of 3 years, Kevin, dumps her for her younger (and very spoiled and not at all nice) sister Alice.  We are told that Kevin has awakened Lucy’s sensuality and taught her about trust in a relationship (as she’s not otherwise a very trusting person) but frankly, Kevin is an asshole.  We see that there are no redeeming aspects to his character at all.  He whines.  He blames everyone else for his shortcomings (eg, “It might be your fault, but it’s definitely not my fault” [that I cheated on you and slept with your sister]).  I wondered why Lucy had been with him at all.  Kevin was a caricature and didn’t fill me with confidence in Lucy’s judgment in men.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

March Reads

on Paper/eBook

Woman on the Run by Lisa Marie Rice B+  *This romantic suspense by Lisa Marie Rice was written in 2004 when email and mobile phones weren’t quite so prevalent and data encryption wasn’t as good as it is now.  But, leaving those things aside, this book was a win for me.  LMR books have a kind of a crackalicious flavour to me – like those glorious B movies some people love.    Julia Devaux witnesses a mob murder and is placed on the Witness Protection Program.  Her new name is Sally Anderson and she’s relocated to the tiny town of Simpson, Idaho.  There, she meets Sam Cooper, former Navy SEAL and current millionaire horse breeder/rancher.  He’s a typical LMR hero – once he sets eyes on Julia/Sally, he’s gone for all money, has an instant and persistent hard-on and will literally do anything to keep her safe.   Julia/Sally is suitably clueless about how to be safe and, while she borders on TSTL territory from time to time, I was able to accept that most of her stupidity was actually due to her naiveté. 
How Julia/Sally didn’t have at the very least a massive and constant UTI was beyond me because once this pair start having sex, they are at it all night long.  Literally.  He’s inside her all the time!! Cooper is not big with words and isn’t much for foreplay either – he just wants to be inside her and with the power of his mighty wang of loving, he is able to give Julia/Sally instant and repeated orgasms.   They don’t use condoms so there’s a lot of... fluid about the place but after 4 or 5 orgasms, he has a really smooth ride!  The sex isn’t really terribly sexy as mostly it’s plain missionary, there’s not a lot of dirty talk (or any other kind actually) and, like I said before, not much foreplay.
But, despite Cooper’s lack of verbosity, we do get to see inside his head and WE know he’s a complete goner over this woman.  And there is something so terribly appealing (if in a slightly guilty way) of the hero who would do anything for his lady, with single-minded purpose. Jane from Dear Author said on Twitter that a LMR hero would carry his heroine around all day if he could and she wasn't wrong.