She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
~~Louisa May Alcott
I thought Wild About Her Wingman was a cute read.
Erin had her heart broken epically while in college and she’s been a bit closed off ever since. But it’s been a couple of years and all her friends are coupling up and she realizes she’s ready to meet someone. Troy gets roped in as her wingman one night over drinks. He’s actually set up a few people in the past who have hit it off and so Erin agrees. The bet Troy accepts is with his coworker for grocery duty (they’re firefighters). But things go awry the more time Erin and Troy spend together. She’s not supposed to fall for her wingman.
Erin is an outdoorsy, risk taking adventuress. She sky-dives, bungee jumps and what not. As Troy starts to fall for her, he despairs over this aspect of her personality. His previous girlfriend (and someone he was going to propose to) died in a climbing accident and he’s afraid to fall for someone else who courts danger. The accident also resulted in him developing a fear of heights, something Erin helps him with.
I liked how these two acquaintances become friends and eventually more. Living in a small town and being two years apart in high school, they know of each other but never really hung out. But now that Troy has moved back home due to family stuff, they’re getting to know each other. And they quickly become friends, turning to each other in different situations. I like how Troy actually followed along on the dates he sets up for Erin, because these men are strangers to her. Yeah Troy tends to play it safe after his girlfriend’s accident, but he doesn’t try to stifle Erin. And there’s a cute scene with a puppy. Puppies will get me every time.
The few love making scenes were fade to black but the sexual tension leading up to those scenes was very well done.
I also liked the secondary characters. I believe this is the third book in a series but I didn’t feel lost when it comes to the other characters’ stories.
My only quibble was the subplot with Candace, a not so nice girl that Erin knows. That kind of got dropped and I didn’t feel like it added to the story at all.
This sweet contemporary gets a 3.75/5 from me.
This review is also posted at Book Binge.
I've got a buddy review with Nath up at Breezing Through for this book.
Rowena (from Book Binge) and I have a buddy review up at Breezing Through for this title. :P
I am a fan of Megan Hart’s and even though I said I’d never go the serial route again, I was tempted (har har) by the sound of this new project. And sure enough, the first installment whetted my appetite.
That’s all because of our heroine, Simone. I really liked her character. And I understood Elliott being intrigued by her. She’s an interesting character. She’s confident in who she is and she’s not afraid to be who she is. Part of that is calling people on their BS. She’s also comfortable with her sexuality and she’s looking for someone to give her exactly what she wants. After watching a failed encounter between Elliott and a blond woman who is her physical opposite, Simone believes Elliott is the one to give her what she wants.
But Elliott has tried to downplay that aspect of his sexuality that is darker. He’s afraid of it. Why does he want to be rough? And when Simone responds to him, he kind of runs off scared.
This first installment left me wanting more, in a good way. I want to see how Simone gets through Elliott’s defenses. I want to see Elliott unable to resist seeing Simone again. Part two should be good!
Also posted at Book Binge
I’m not the biggest fan of books set during either World War. It’s a personal choice, I just prefer books set during happier times. But Jojo Moyes had a guest post at Book Binge recently and I was intrigued by what she had to say. I took the plunge and decided to read The Girl You Left Behind. I’m so glad I did.
It starts off with Sophie Lefevre in France during World War 1. She’s moved back to her small town to be with her family while her husband is off fighting. Sophie and her sister run an inn and one night after a confrontation with the Germans over a pig, Sophie has caught the eye of the new Kommandant. Well, a portrait of Sophie has caught the Kommandant’s eye. Sophie’s husband is an artist and he was a contemporary of Matisse. The Kommandant is an art lover and after he forces Sophie to start cooking him supper every day, they have tentative discussions about art. The local people, prone to gossip, do not take kindly to the Kommandant’s favor upon Sophie and her family. When Sophie discovers that her husband was taken to the worst prison camp the Germans have, she goes to the Kommandant and asks him to have her husband moved. She’ll give him the portrait for her husband’s safety. The Kommandant agrees, but then something goes wrong…
After that, the story jumps to the present day and we’re introduced to Liv Halston. She’s a young widow who’s barely holding on. She lives in a house she can no longer afford and she’s avoiding facing her debts. But her husband built the house and it would feel like a betrayal to his memory to leave it. It’s been 4 years since his death, but she’s still grieving. Then one night she meets Paul at a gay bar (she was feeling a bit sorry for herself and wanted a stress-free drink, without getting hit on lol) and Paul is at the bar because his brother works there. Paul is a former cop and American (Liv is British) and now he works on locating art stolen by the Nazis and returning it to the rightful owners. And lo and behold, he starts a relationship with Liv when he gets a new case for a portrait. The artist is Edouard Lefevre and the portrait is of his wife. Paul doesn’t realize at first that Liv is the one who has the portrait but things definitely go downhill for them when he sees it.
And this is where things really get interesting. The story now goes between the two time periods when the case goes to court. Liv refuses to part with the portrait. Her husband bought it fair and square from an American woman and it holds great sentimental value for her. The Lefevre family didn’t even know of its existence until a few years ago – and even Paul has his doubts that they hold any sentimental value about it. They just see money signs. So to court it goes – there is 50 years missing from that painting’s provenance and I cried as the story of that painting and Sophie’s fate unfolded. First I cried in sorrow, then in happiness. Any book that makes me cry is a good read.
The author did an excellent job of portraying both women’s lives in their different time periods. I was so caught up in Sophie’s story and the way it stopped to pick up Liv’s story made me read that much faster. I had to know how it ended for her. She was so sure she was going to be reunited with her husband. But the day to day living under German rule, that was well done and not too depressing. The way the book started is actually pretty funny. It hooked me right away. And then later, when Sophie’s story gets picked back up, oh man, that was so hard to read about. I cried.
I like how Liv’s story mirrored Sophie’s as the trial took place. And her search for the truth. I liked that too. Those genealogy shows are some of my favorites (Who Do You Think You Are?) and that part of the story was like that. And Liv’s search and Paul’s as well definitely led to some great finds. Again, I cried. LOL I cried for the last 50 pages I believe. Emotional hangover when I closed that book.
The Girl You Left Behind is going to make my top 10 list of best books of 2013. I highly recommend this. 4.75 out of 5
This review is also posted at Book Binge.
The blurb is a bit misleading in regards to the night they spent together. Sage and Dawson became friends on the rodeo circuit months before they gave into their attraction and slept together. Unfortunately, Dawson never explained that he was separated from his wife and Sage was humiliated when his wife showed up the next morning.
That was five years ago. Sage quit the circuit (due to an injury and the fact that she only competed to make her father proud, which didn’t work anyway) and opened up a chocolate shop in Marietta, Montana. She’s dated but never settled down. And then the Copper Mountain Rodeo rolls into town and brings Dawson with it. Dawson has never forgotten about Sage and now that he’s single, he wants to win her back. But Sage definitely has her defenses up and isn’t so willing to forgive.
I thought this was a cute novella. I liked Sage and Dawson together. She is justifiably upset over the events of what happened, but she was willing to listen to Dawson’s side of things and she thinks she’s moved on so they do become friendly again. But Dawson lets her know right off the bat that he wants her in his life. Dawson definitely made a mistake not telling Sage he was married and that he was separated from his wife and he realized that. My only beef about their romance is that their conflict is resolved a bit quickly but that’s definitely due to the short length. But I was not unsatisfied with the way things ended, I thought it fit the story.
I also enjoyed the way the friendships and sibling relationships were developed. It made this novella very rich character-wise. For its length, there was quite the story packed into those pages. A cute read. 4 out of 5.
(this review also posted at Book Binge)
I read and enjoyed After Hours by this author, so I was really looking forward to reading Unbound. I was not disappointed. In fact, I was surprised because I was unable to put this book down and read it compulsively in one sitting.
Merry is going to hike in Scotland for three weeks in a mission of self-discovery. She’s recently lost a lot of weight and she wants to figure out who she is now. On the outside she’s a skinny girl, but on the inside she’s still fat. She picks Scotland because her mother was from there and she wants to explore the city her mother grew up in.
Merry’s two weeks into her trip when she falls ill. She catches crypto from swimming in the lochs and she gets really sick and hits her head on a rock when she falls. She’d noticed smoke from an isolated cabin before she got sick and she heads in that direction. The owner of the cabin, Rob, doesn’t like strangers coming to bother him but even he can’t turn away a sick and bleeding woman.
Merry can tell straight off the bat that Rob does not do well with people. He’s a bit surly and blunt, but he does let her recuperate in his cabin. And slowly Rob starts to relax in her presence and he isn’t so uneasy with her anymore.
A friendship begins and Merry and Rob eventually give into their mutual attraction. But what is between them is deeper than plain old lust. Rob and Merry tell each other things they’ve never told anyone before. A big secret that Merry flushes out of Rob is a sexual fetish of his. At first he’s afraid to even show her that part of himself, but eventually he realizes that Merry is safe for him and they indulge each other. But there is a time limit. She had a week to hike to Inverness and the more time she spends with Rob, the less time she’s giving herself for the rest of her hike. And what happens when she goes back to America?
Oh goodness did I love Merry and Rob. I liked them together and I liked them separately. Merry is going through some big life changes. Her mom has passed away and she’s lost a significant amount of weight. She’s hiking across Scotland, trying out her new body and spending time alone. I thought this was very brave of her. To go off on your own, that’s something I can admire. Her physical intimacy with Rob also brings some new adventures. She’s not totally comfortable with the new look but she’s quickly shedding inhibitions, which is always fun.
And Rob. Rob was such an intense character. He’s living in self-imposed exile from himself, basically. The way I saw it, he thought by removing himself from temptation that he was dealing with his problem, but in fact he was just removing himself from temptation and not dealing with his problem, at all. Something that implodes later on in the book. But the pain that he feels, his exile is a form of self-punishment. And sweet Merry, adventurous Merry, draws him out of his shell and into the world of the living. I know I’m not doing any justice to his character, but he was intense.
My reaction to the book was intense. And when you add sex and Rob’s inclinations into the mix? Oh wow. LOL It was hot. And I like how Merry took him down roads he’d only imagined and I thought that was hot too. It was almost like he was a virgin.
I loved almost everything about this book. My only complaint would be the emails at the beginning. I didn’t feel like they added anything to the story. Especially the one friend’s comments. Meh. But everything after that was very good. 4.75 out of 5.
Why did this book have to end?
eta:Review posted at Breezing Through
(review posted at Book Binge)
Love Overdue started off a bit slow for me but it quickly picked up and I was immersed in D.J.’s story about fitting into her new town. And coming face to face with a one night stand that still haunts her. LOL
Eight years ago, DJ embraced her inner wild child and cut loose with some friends on her 21st birthday. She had a scorching night with a stranger but when she woke up the next day, she deeply regretted her actions. Since then, she’s been on the straight, prim and narrow. When she moves to Verdant, Kansas to head up the library, she comes face to face with her past. And he doesn’t remember her!
Eight years ago, Scott Sanderson set out to prove a point – to satisfy a woman, sexually. Encounters with his girlfriend left much to be desired for both of them. But his night with “Sparkle” definitely proved to him that he could handle himself in the bedroom. Unfortunately, he didn’t pay attention to the lesson and he still made a big mistake and married his girlfriend. Now he’s divorced and in a small town there isn’t much wriggle room to have hot smoking affairs. He figures it’s not his lot in life to find someone to grow old with. And he’s ok with that.
But something about DJ reminds him of that woman from eight years ago, a woman he hasn’t stopped thinking, and dreaming, about.
I liked Verdant, Kansas and all its characters. It’s a wheat town, so the harvest is very important. And that means that everyone comes together to make sure the wheat is all harvested. And that means that everyone is close and knows each other’s business. DJ is going to be a big deal, being a newcomer to this small town. She’s welcomed by Viv Sanderson, who hired her for the library. Of course DJ doesn’t realize that Viv hired her so she could set her up with her son, Scott, the town’s pharmacist. LOL Everyone kind of realizes what Viv has done, but when DJ gets the wrong idea about Scott (that he’s a player and a cheater) which is compounded by the fact that he doesn’t remember her, and she resolves to have nothing to do with him. And Scott’s totally confused. The whole town loves DJ but she very obviously has taken a dislike to him. Since it is a small town, DJ and Scott do cross paths (sometimes with his mom’s help) and eventually they become friends. But soon DJ is the one Scott is dreaming about, not his “Sparkle” from eight years ago.
Of course the reader knows the truth about Scott. That he isn’t a player and a cheater. So the dislike DJ takes to him is funny. And I enjoyed how DJ eventually grew to like Scott, despite the bad things she thinks about him. These two together were very fun to read about.
The other characters were good too. There’s Viv, Scott’s mother. She’s a widow and she’s still grieving for her husband, which is making her act a bit crazy. She’s hoarding canned goods like you wouldn’t believe. But she’s got the best intentions in mind for Scott and DJ and there’s no getting in her way. I also liked how she kind of took Dew away from DJ. Dew is DJ’s black terrier and he becomes a great companion for Viv. There’s a scene between them that almost made me cry. I also liked James, an employee at the library. He’s got Asperger’s and he likes to stay in the stacks at the library. He’s a good character and I’m glad with the way he defended the library against another employee who’s trying to stop the change that DJ begins to implement.
Overall, I really enjoyed Love Overdue but there were a few things that I felt were unresolved. I didn’t get it, or it wasn’t clearly stated, exactly why DJ is so hell-bent on the straight and narrow. It can’t all be blamed on her one night stand with Scott because it’s not like she wound up pregnant or with an STD. I didn’t feel like there was enough explained about that part of her character. There was also something with Viv’s machinations with Scott and DJ that wasn’t resolved. The clues were there, but DJ didn’t put them together and I kind of want to know if her and Scott ever did and if they had a good laugh over it, because it was funny. And with that library employee that hated DJ – what happened with her? I know they definitely showed her at the end but did she try and usurp DJ again? *sigh* This book definitely left me wanting more.
But the big thing I wanted was Scott’s reaction. Right at the end, before the HEA, he puts the pieces together and we don’t get to see his reaction!
Despite those few questions I had left, I did enjoy this book and the town and its characters. I’m giving Love Overdue a 3.75 out of 5.