Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Red Zone

Red Zone (Daniels Brothers, #2)

Title: Red Zone
Author: Sherri Hayes
Publication Date: February 7, 2013
Source: Publisher via Net Galley
Summary (from Goodreads)
 After a case ended badly for Rebecca Carson, she’s losing her mind sitting around her apartment waiting on her superiors to allow her to return to work. Since she was a teenager, the only thing she’d ever wanted was to join the FBI. Now that dream was in danger.

Gage Daniels has made a pretty good life for himself. A nice house. A career he loves. As a professional football player, he’s used to getting almost everything he’d ever want with just the snap of his fingers. This includes women. A well-timed smile is usually all it takes to attract the opposite sex, especially in Nashville.

When a stalker threatens Gage, the team owner calls an old friend, Rebecca’s ex-partner Travis Hansen, to help protect his star quarterback and find the person responsible. Hansen offers Rebecca the job, and she jumps at the chance. It’s work, and it will get her out of her apartment. How bad can it be?

Posing as Gage’s girlfriend, however, isn’t as easy as it seems. The man is relentless. Rebecca must work to protect Gage while staving off his advances. She’s there to do a job, nothing more. The last thing she wants is to be another notch on a hotshot athlete’s belt.

As the stalker continues to up the ante, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep her distance from Nashville’s star quarterback. He isn’t what she expected in one of the city’s most notorious playboys. Now all she has to do is keep him safe until they can find his stalker, and hope she doesn’t lose her heart in the process.

I’m not a football fan, but after reading Red Zone all I wanted to do was watch men in tights tackle each other—much to my husband’s joy. He’s been trying to get me interested in football for years. I think he wants to send Sherri Hayes a gift basket for making this miracle happen.

I admit that I was a little hesitant to request Red Zone. The summary was catching and made it sound like a good read, but the only book I have read by this author was Slave and I wasn’t a huge fan of it. So yes, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it and end up giving it a not so favourable review. But I’m so glad to say that wasn’t the case. And have you seen the cover? Yummy.

I can’t say that I was a fan of Rebecca’s. To me she was just so one dimensional.  Maybe it was because she had a hard time expressing her feelings or was unsure of how to feel about everything, but she really just seemed to lack emotion most of the time. Even when, as a reader, you knew she did care she was just so reserved that it was hard to connect with her as a character. It was clear she cared for her sister and even for Gage, but it would have been nice to see a little more depth to her.

It also seemed a little off for an FBI agent she didn’t really seem to know all that much about being undercover when it came to looking and acting the part. It was a minor thing, yes, but it just bugged me. I would think it would be second nature for her to know that if she was playing Gage’s girlfriend that she should look the part. I get why Hayes had her the way she was, so the hero could draw out that side of her no one else saw, but it just made her seem very unprofessional. 

I did love Gage, though. I have a thing for cocky, arrogant asses who are actually sweethearts beneath their cold layers. Although, I found myself wishing he was older the entire time. Not too much older, like 5-10 years, maybe. He’s twenty-six, so early to mid-thirties at the most would have been better for me. Maybe it was because of his actions or the things he said, he just seemed older than his twenties. Although being an athlete I know the older you get the sooner you’re out, so making him young made sense. (Plus, he’s the youngest of four brothers) Either way I still loved him.

If you like a little mystery with your romance than you should pick up a copy of Red Zone.  It is the second novel in the Daniels Brothers series, but it does stand alone. I haven’t picked up the first novel, but I think Behind Closed Doors will be the next one added to my (very long) TBR list. And with two more brothers in the family there is potential for two more books—I’m hoping for a “Paul and Megan” story to follow.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Harbour Falls

Harbour Falls (A Harbour Falls Mystery #1)

Title: Harbour Falls (A Harbour Falls Mystery #1)
Author: S.R. Grey
Publication Date: October 31, 2012
Source: Author
Summary (from Goodreads):
Best-selling author Maddy Fitch, researching material for a new novel, returns to her hometown of Harbour Falls to investigate a disappearance that has haunted the tiny Maine coastal town for the past four years. Maddy soon discovers that the case has gone cold, but the prime suspect, Adam Ward, is hotter than ever. Now living on an isolated island, Maddy takes up residence near the sexy Mr. Ward's home. As she begins to seek out answers, the mystery deepens, putting Maddy in jeopardy.
Lies, secrets, deceptions. Nothing is ever what it seems in Harbour Falls.

I love a good mystery—actually my favourite is an erotic mystery. Now, while Harbour Fall doesn’t fall into the erotic category, it was a good mystery novel.  

Maddy Fitch goes back to her hometown to write a novel surrounding the unsolved disappearance of a local girl. Swept up in the mystery of Fade Island and suspecting everyone, Maddy soon finds herself attracted to Adam Ward, the main suspect in the disappearance of the local—his fiancée.

Adam has been attracted to Maddy since their high school days. Now that she’s back and living on his island it seems like the perfect time to make his move. Only how will he feel when he founds out the real reason she’s back in town?

Harbour Falls is one of those novels that once I got into it, it sucked me in and I was suspecting everyone of murdering Chelsea. It definitely kept me interested and wondering who done it—until about half way through when I figured it out. Well, I figured half of it out. There is a little twist in there. There is also a mystery within the mystery of this book since it’s the first in a series.

There were a couple of things I didn’t like, though. There’s a scene where Maddy and Adam set up a date and she sees him drive by with a woman in the car and gets completely jealous and wasted before he shows up for their date. I didn’t like her constant insecurities when it came to Adam, or her actions that night. Any man in his right mind would have taken one look at her drunken jealous behaviour and hit the road.

Adam went from being slightly childish to super aggressive and possessive in a flash. Like when he left the café when Julian (Maddy’s ex) arrives, yet sneaks into her cottage afterwards as if it’s okay. I don’t like controlling men…you know, unless it’s in the bedroom. So his stalker like tendencies irked me.

Speaking of Julian, I thought his visit was pointless. Even though he is mentioned in the book as Maddy’s ex, I don’t think there was a need for him to be a real character. Except to make Adam act like a territorial ass, which he succeeded in doing, but it was still pointless.

Over all I really enjoyed the book. It could have done with another edit or two, but the minor misspellings and grammar errors weren’t enough to pull me out of the story. There are a lot of unanswered questions I have so I’m really glad there’s a squeal. I look forward to reading the next one in the series.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: On Dublin Street

On Dublin Street

Title: On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Publication Date: August 31, 2012
Source: Bought
Summary (from Goodreads)
Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul

On Dublin Street was yet another book I picked up because of its popularity. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It kept me wanting more, but not in a stay-up-all-night sort of way.

Joss had a rough start, losing her parents and sister in a car accident when she 14 and being thrown into foster care. Because of this she closed herself off emotionally to everyone around her, which at times got to be downright annoying. What I really didn’t understand was why Joss went into foster care in the first place. Surely, with how liked her parents where, there must have been someone her family would have set up as guardian. It just seems a little odd that they made sure everything was set up financially for her in case something happened to them, yet they didn’t bother to make arrangements for her care otherwise. It said Joss had an uncle but he didn’t want to be bothered raising her. Fine. What about those close friends/neighbours? They were like family, why wouldn’t they take her? It’s just something that didn’t sit well with me.

Braden is the hot Scot with a fairly messed up past and family situation himself. Is it odd that I loved how he had imperfect teeth? I get so tired of reading about these men who have no flaws whatsoever, so reading that this guy had somewhat crooked teeth and wasn’t totally image perfect made me like him even more.

I didn’t like how he controlled Joss, though. Like with her hair being down and wanting to be the only man who knew how beautiful she was. That bugged me. It made me wonder what else he would want to end up controlling in the future.

He also came off as kind of a child considering his age. When he found the ticket to Virginia and Joss told him she was going home, he didn’t ask any questions like a normal person would, like “for how long?” “when?” “why?” etc. He just stormed out of her bedroom and pouted like a five year old. And then he stole the freaking ticket! Seriously, he’s supposed to be 30, not 3.

Now I get it, Braden is hot. But Joss is apparently always so wet around him I was starting to get concerned she may develop a mildew problem. And her constant freaking out over him doing things that were intimate? If I had to read “it was more than sex” one more time, I was going to give up sex because it would forever remind me of that phrase—or at the very least, scream.

Her constant shutting people out was annoying after a while. Yes, I get it. Once you lose someone so close, or several people in her case, it’s hard to feel like the bottom won’t fall out from under you again and leave you drowning. But she didn’t even try.

“His words sank inside me so deeply I couldn’t breathe. Who was this guy? Was he real? He lifted my hand to his face, his fingers gliding softly along my jawline, and curving down my neck. I shivered. Yes, he was real. And for the next three months he was mine.”
I thought this was the start of something, the start of Joss letting him in, of letting someone in. But no, of course not. That would have made it too easy to not screw things up.  

Although, even with all her damaged shit, Joss never really pissed me off—until (SPOILER) she took Ellie’s tumor and made it all about her. She was the curse. She couldn’t believe this was happening again because of her. She couldn’t face dealing with it. She didn’t want Braden or Ellie to need her. She was going to lose Ellie. There was no thought of Ellie’s family or anything, it was all about her and how it was going to affect her. Self-absorbed much, Joss?  What a selfish cow! How about thinking about someone else for once?

In the end she did redeem herself, though. And even though I didn’t love the book, I have to admit I did kind of love the epi. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

Title: Out of the Blue
Author: Lisa Maliga
Publication Date: September 12, 2012
Source: ABG Reads Book Tours
Summary (from Goodreads)
Sylvia Gardner is a naïve cashier who lives with her mother in Richport, Illinois. Upset with being dumped by her first boyfriend; she later falls in love with an English actor after watching him on a TV show. For two years she researches Alexander Thorpe's life and career, saving her money to travel to his Cotswolds village, intent on meeting him. Staying in the village's only hotel, she gets room and board in exchange for working at the Windrush Arms Hotel. Complications ensue when the drunken proprietor, Harry Livingstone, takes a fancy to Sylvia. As in her fantasies, Sylvia and Alexander get together—but with unexpected results.

(Thanks to the author and ABG Reads Book Tours for the giveaway today. Info is at the bottom of review. And don`t forget to check out my interview with the author.)

I finished this book a couple of days ago and I’m still somewhat confused on how I feel about it. It was a very quick read—I finished it in two hours, and the writing itself was good. I guess my problem lies within the plot. I just felt like something was missing.

From reading the summary, I expected there would be some trouble between the characters. Maybe something dark considering how Harry’s attraction to Sylvia is mentioned. But there really wasn’t any story there. Sure he had dirty old man thoughts, but he never tried anything with her. He was pretty harmless as “bad guys” go.

I also expected it to be a love story about Sylvia and Alexander, but there was so little interaction between the two of them that it wasn’t really a story about them at all. I was incredibly disappointed by that. I felt the author spent more time telling us about Sylvia’s past and jumping from time frame to time frame that she forget to tell the story of our hero and heroine. Because really, a handful of encounters between these “star crossed lovers”, most of which they only spoke a sentence or two to each other, is not enough for me.

I like the idea of the story, I really do—even if Sylvia’s actions scream “stalker!” I understand the direction the author took the book and why she did it, and I even like the twist and that she didn’t make everything perfect between Sylvia and Alexander, but I really think it would have made the ending even better if there had been more between the two main characters. I just didn’t feel like there was chemistry between them, mainly because we weren’t given enough time with them.

But still, the author did put a lot of detail into Sylvia’s past and present and made a story there. So, while I’m disappointed there wasn’t more between Alex and her, I didn’t feel like the book was a total let down. I enjoyed learning about Sylvia, I just feel the summary misleads the reader about what to expect. 

Two winners will win an ebook copy of Out Of The Blue, and the first place winner also has their choice of one of the following. Simply comment on this post with your name and contact information. Winners will be announced November 19.

An Author's Nightmare
Hollywood Office Temp
I WANT YOU: Seduction Emails from a Narcissis
Love Me, Need Me: A Narcissist's Tale
North of Sunset
Notes from Nadir
Satan's Casting Call
South of Sunset
The Wilkes House Haunting
Nonfiction: 12 Easy Melt and Pour Soap Recipes
Monoi de Tahiti: Spa in a Bottle
Nuts About Shea Butter
Squirrels in the Hood

Buy Links:
Buy the Amazon Kindle version: Out of the Blue
Buy the Amazon UK Kindle version:
Out of the Blue
Buy the Barnes & Noble Nook version:
Out of the Blue
Buy the Barnes & Noble Nook UK version:
Out of the Blue
Buy the Kobo version:
Out of the Blue
Buy the Smashwords version:
Out of the Blue
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