Friday, January 26, 2007

Compromising Positions by Dara Edmondson

Meet Crystal, Patsy and Maureen - three friends in their forties trying to run the obstacle course of mid-life. Crystal thinks she has the perfect marriage until she starts fantasizing about a handsome coworker. But when she suspects her husband is having more than fantasies about another woman, she digs in her heels and fights for what's hers. Patsy discovers her Neanderthal husband Bud having sex with his bowling buddy and wearing women's underwear. When Bud tries to take more than his fair share in the divorce, Patsy sets out to humiliate him into submission. Maureen has enough trouble trying to survive life with her rebellious teenaged daughter Rhianna. When she starts dating the teacher Rhianna has a secret crush on, the fur flies.

When I first started the book I had a huge "OH PLEASE NO!" moment, lol, but as it turned out it was really okay and I loved the way Dara opened up her story. You were hooked right away.

I enjoyed the dynamics between the girlfriends a lot. I always love close friendships in stories because we get to see and hear what is going on with them and their love life from a different angle. There are the thoughts in their heads, and what they share with their significant other, but what they share with girlfriends? That's always a hoot.

So let me tell you what I thought of each of the girls and their stories.

I never really clicked with Patsy. It's not that I didn't like her, but that she annoyed me. I mean yeah, I felt bad for her situation, even though it was kinda funny, but the way she dealt with it made me mad. She kinda just rolled over at first, doing nothing. I'm sorry but if that was me I would have done SOMETHING to get revenge right off the bat. But hey maybe I'm just spiteful like that. lol.

She moved in Crystal and her family, so you know there is going to be some boundary issues. I know these women are really close and all, but if they were that close wouldn't Patsy have known certain things? Like the fact that Chrystal had just lost a ton of weight and still struggles to keep it off? So why would she then go and purposely make all these fatty foods when Crystal even points out that she has been trying to go the healthy road with her family? It's like she was oblivious to the most obvious things.

And I don't want to sound snobby or anything but unless I was off on what I read, Patsy was in her early 50's. I swear it said she was married to Bud for 10 years and she got married when she was 42, correct me if I'm wrong. And she seemed so loud and obnoxious, and big. I by no means am a small woman. I actually struggle quite a bit with my weight but I just don't like reading about big women that don't care that they are big. I don't know, guess it's just one of my weird quirks. I mean age is always an issue with me and my books and it's not an authors fault by any means. Roz in Black Rose by Nora Roberts was the first older heroine I ever liked. And size goes the same way. I mean look at Night Play, one of Holly's favorite SK books, I could not get over Bride's size! But hey we all have our quirks.

So it was just little things like that bothered me. I also didn't like how uneducated Patsy sounded all the time. I know, I know she wasn't dumb, she had a degree. But she sounded that way! She was always talking with this "I'm so dumb accent". Actually that's a bad way to say it, cause I don't care that she had an accent (although I prefer if an author just says what kind of accent they have instead of writing with the accent. But again a personal preference), it was more just her way of talking or the words she used. Like always using ain't, stuff like that. I don't know. Guess I just wasn't really keen on Patsy and her part of the story.

I loved Maureen (I just hated the nickname Mo, YUCK!)! But I'll tell you now if I were her I would have smacked my daughter upside the head! And Holly I soooo know what your ewww moments were! Don't worry everyone, they ended up fine, but I can't tell you or it will ruin the book. lol. But Maureen was great, her personality and her issues with who she was attracted to had me laughing.

Rhianna, Maureen's daughter, annoyed me a lot. But I think she was supposed to. However I don't think the way her character just changed overnight was believable. And I think she acted a lot younger than her age. I don't really see a 17 year old doing the things she did. Well not all of it.

The only thing with Maureen's story was, I kinda felt it was left undone with one part. There is a major thing that is going on with Maureen in the book and when it comes full circle you're so happy for her. But then it's just done. Nothing else. I would have thought we would have seen more on that part, especially with her new friend, Hema, involved. But whatever I still liked Maureen the most.

Crystal was my favorite. That was until I found something out about her toward the end of the book that made me really cringe. I won't say what it is. But it is something that I am very, very against so it made her really unlikable for me. But I know everyone doesn't have the same beliefs as me so it may not be an issue for everyone.

Crystal and Wes were so great together and the issues she started to have were very believable. I loved watching her struggle with her weight and attraction to a different man, and her fight for a job she wanted and her husband. She was very real, and her feelings toward Patsy staying with her were very realistic. I liked that a lot.

All together? The book was good. I think what I was missing was an emotional attachment. I wasn't very emotionally involved, and I like to cry when characters cry.

I will definitely look forward to more of DE's work in the future. I'll just be looking for more emotion, or a better way of sharing the feelings, because I KNEW how the characters were feeling I just didn't feel it myself.

Grade C+

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Don't Look Down by Suzanne Enoch

Hero: Richard Addison
Heroine: Samantha Jellicoe
Category: Contemporary
Page Count: 367 pages
Grade: C+(ish)

Samantha Jellicoe is no ordinary thief. At least, not anymore. She promised her significant other, British billionaire Rick Addison, that she'd retire from her life of crime. So no more midnight more scaling estate more dangling from the ceiling. From here on in, it's intimate dinners with Rick in posh Palm Beach followed by rock-your-world sex.

Who'd have thought that doing the right thing would turn out to be more deadly than her former life of crime? When the first client of her new security business is murdered, Sam is determined to find the killer. Now if only she can manage to stay out of jail, resist her former "associates" lucrative job offers, and keep Rick from sticking his nose into her business, she might just manage to stay alive. Because trouble isn't just walking -- it's running -- to catch up with her.

My issues with this book were not minimal. To give you an idea I will post two of my emails I sent to the other SF girls while I was reading this....

Email #1:
Okay Holly (and if anyone else read this book you too) I am reading Don't Look Down by Suzanne Enoch and I am not liking it! Well that's not totally true, I like the story/plot I guess but Sam is annoying me (she thinks his Ex's betrayal was bad but she lies to him every page and she did a B and E and isn't telling) and Rick bends over backward and is to pathetic about Sam (comon man get some balls) and Patrica? Ummm annoying Bitch! And Stoney? I just don't like him at all! Sam is trying to go straight and be with the man she supposedly loves but he keeps trying to get her to go back to being a cat! Annoying!

~Turns out Holly hasn't read it yet. lol.~

Email #2:
Can I just tell you all that I am getting ANNOYED as SHIT at Samantha in this book I'm reading? Okay so she's doing her own kind of investigation on a murder her way. Well she keeps letting this guy, her main suspect, kiss her so he will talk more around her and be comfortable, and the book just says stuff like "he lowered his mouth and kissed her, she allowed it but she didn't kiss him back." Same effin thing! Bitch! So you think your man won't care cause you didn't kiss back and it was for the investigation? Bull shit!

~end of emails~

So we get the drift that Sam/Rick annoyed me, in all honesty it was more Sam. This is the second book in a so far three book series. The first book was Flirting with Danger, and if I remember correctly I liked that book but just didn't like the fact that they didn't marry at the end. It was like, oh yay I get to move in with my rich boyfriend. But then I found out that there was another book and was okay with it. You know thinking I'd get some closure on the relationship? NOT! I'm even more frustrated.

Samantha was the best Cat burglar around. She rocked at what she did and got a huge rush out of it. But ever since she literally stumbled into Rick's arms she's decided to go legit. For him she feels it's worth a try.

Rick can tell Samantha is getting antsy with trying to start her new (legit) business in security. And when her first potential client ends up dead it's not a good omen.

Samantha is determined to find out what happened to Kuntz. Who murdered him and why. And when Rick tries to stop her they make a deal. Who can solve the mystery first? Samantha, with any means she chooses to use, or the police, the legit way? Rick is hoping this will show her that the right way to do things is better and just as fast.

As Samantha lies to Rick, if not right to his face then by omitting the whole story, and Rick does any and everything for Samantha, I found myself highly annoyed. Rick has already been married and divorced once. He found his wife and best friend in bed together. So to me when Sam uses her female assets (see email #2) to get what she wants from other men I think of it as betrayal to Rick. And what annoys me even more? Rick sees things doesn't like them but seems to have the mind set that if he presses Sam she'll run and he'd rather keep her.

See I don't like this. Rick is a very strong manly man until he gets all (excuse the vulgar phrase...but) pussy whipped.

And Stoney, he used to be Sam's fence getting her jobs and such, irked me just as much. Even though is is also supposed to be retiered he keeps pushing Sam to go back to do this work. He is supposed to be like a father to her and he is discouraging her relationship with Rick? Why??? Shouldn't he be trying to get her to better her life? Uggg!

Rick loves Sam, and Sam thinks love is a trap. So it goes round and round. I think the relationship is controlled by Sam having sex with Rick to make him forget which he doesn't he just is to whipped to say anything. About Rick making excuses to himself about Sam. And all that other shit.

So okay this review probably doesn't show it but I didn't HATE this book. And call me crazy but I'm probably gonna read the next one, Billionaires prefer Blonds. Actually I've already started it. And surprisingly (not) am already a bit annoyed with it. But I guess I'm asking for it.

So plot wise? Good book. Romance wise? Blah! Sex wise? Pretty good. Overall? Who the heck knows. lol. This review is to odd for words. lol.

Read the Series in order (or not at all, lol):
Don't Look Down
Billionaires Prefer Blonds

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dream Man by Kelley Vitollo

Hero: David
Heroine: Sadie
Category: Contemporary
Page Count: 10 pages
Grade: C

Sadie has the same dream every night. She dreams of a man with black hair, gorgeous blue eyes, and magical hands. When dream becomes reality and she comes face to face with her dream man, will he be everything she imagined, and more?

Okay I know it's been FOREVER since I've done Kelley's interview and honestly ... I have no idea how this review got pushed to the back. But never the less here it is.

As we know this is Kelley's first published piece of work. So I'm going to break this down into two parts. Writing style and the story itself.

Writing style? I really liked! There weren't many, if any errors in the writing. It wasn't choppy at all, I would not have thought it was a first time author by the writing style at all. Even the flow was good. Now when I say that it doesn't mean I liked the pace of the story in which things happened. BUT I did like the way her words flowed. How her story flowed without seeming jumpy at all. I also liked the descriptions she used. Well for the most part, lol, of course we always have an issue or two here at SF right? So I'll tell you at one point David said that he loved her flavor, or he'd never tire of her flavor? Something but the fact is he said flavor, yuck! lol. Not a choice word of mine.

Okay now the story? A little unbelievable...BUT I think that the story could have been great. I don't really understand why it was so short. It seemed like we got the middle of the story and the rushed version of it. I would have loved to see more of who Sadie was and shared some of her dreams before we were even introduced to David. Then the part that was the story we got should have been stretched a little longer, then I think we could have had quite a bit afterwards. It wasn't the writing style that was fast it was just what actually happened in the few short pages we got was extremely rushed. This story could have been stretched to at least 50 pages. Minimum. But 11? Why would you even do that?

I think Dream Man has great potential and I personally hope Kelley picks it up again at a later date and expands on it cause I'd be very interested in reading a whole lot more of it.

Very good writing though. And I do look forward to more by Kelley in the future. Hopefully something a lot longer. She's got talent.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Heiress for Hire by Erin McCarthy

Hero: Danny Tucker
Heroine: Amanda Delmar
Category: Contemporary, Paranormal
Page Count: 300 pages
Grade: B+

Chicago socialite Amanda Delmar thought spending the summer in Cuttersville-Ohio's most haunted town-would be a hoot, until dearold-Dad cut her off. Now Amanda has to do the unthinkable and get... A JOB. Her attempts at joining the job market would crack up farmer Danny Tucker, if he weren't so turned on by the skinny, bronzed blonde. Hiring Amanda to babysit his baby girl may not be the smartest thing Danny has ever done. But seeing how she and her couture-clad poodle bring a smile to his shy daughter's face makes it all worthwhile. Now all Danny has to figure out is how to keep Amanda at arm's length, when she has already wriggled her way into his heart.

I don't really know if this is paranormal, but I listed it as such cause there was a tinnie bit of ghost stuff in it. Oh and one more thing before the review, THIS BOOK WAS THE SECOND IN A SERIES AND I DIDN'T KNOW TILL AFTER I WAS FINISHED!!! Kay, 'nuff said, you know how I feel about that.

Sooo.....I really liked this book. Amanda is a very rich, very spoiled, very self absorbed girl that is about to learn a quick lesson of the value of a budget.

Bored out of her mind with her normal life of clubs, shopping and partying in Chicago Amanda decides to follow Boston (who I had no idea who he was, and that's cause his book was BEFORE this book!) to this tiny town called Cuttersville. She rented out a supposedly haunted house for the summer and settled in to be entertained by the small town people. All is going according to plan until she calls her daddy for $200, a girls gotta have a mani, and not everyone takes a credit card in this town, and gets cut off! Tough love is what he's calling it. He says that the $2,000 he gave her last week should hold her over till she can get a job. Little does he know she's already spent it on a must have purse and other necessities.

Danny has always wanted nothing but a family of his own. He's been married and divorced so it's not looking to bright for him. And the attraction he feels towards Amanda is definitely not what he wants, she'll be leaving at the end of the summer and he's looking for long term. What could he possibly offer to a girl that has everything? When his 8 year old daughter that he's never even known about gets dumped on him it just adds one more reason why Amanda is not for him.

Danny is heart broken about having a daughter all this time and never knowing about her, especially since it seems she's been very neglected. As fast as he can he tries to recruit help from his ex wife to shop for his new found daughter and ends up with Amanda. Don't ask how, read the book. lol.

Piper takes to Amanda right away. She's obviously having issues believing Danny won't be abandoning her so if Amanda is the one she wants to stay with when he's working that's who he'll get for his daughter.

It works out for Amanda too. She needs a job badly, and even though she knows she could beg for money to get home and talk to her dad she has some pride and she's making some changes in her life. So if watching Piper, a little girl she's fond of, and getting to watch her hunky dad too is what she has to do for money she's in.

Watching the chemistry grow between Danny and Amanda is great, and seeing Amanda realize there is so much more to herself than the superficial. She definitely grows as a person right in front of us as we read. They are so cute and both bring their share of issues to the table. Danny and Piper and Amanda and Piper is another story all together...OMG I was actually crying at parts. This book isn't very deep, but I wouldn't call it fluff either.

It's a keeper and I definitely suggest all read it. But first go get A Date With The Other Side, the FIRST book!

Oh and it didn't get an A cause Danny was only 26. While I don't mind a heroine that young I like my hero's a little older.

Series Order:
A Date with the Other Side
Heiress for Hire