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Monthly Archives: August 2011

In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster by Stephanie Laurens

Stephanie Laurens consistently write exceedingly entertaining stories. She doesn’t disappoint with this new one which is the second book in her newest trilogy. Anyone who is a fan of Ms. Laurens is aware of the Cynster family and all of her previous reads of various family members and friends. I, for one, have not tired of reading about the family and enjoy reading updates on the lives that we have shared in previous stories.

An unknown Highland Laird has arranged to kidnap Eliza Cynster because of demands issued by his mother. He is to compromise a Cynster lady and force her into marriage for reasons that are unknown to us so far in the trilogy. Having lost the previously kidnapped Cynster lady, Heather, the Laird has engaged the services of a “gentleman” who has never failed in a job to kidnap Eliza. He successfully kidnaps our heroine but she has been seen on their journey to Scotland by a family friend, Jeremy Carling. Jeremy recognizes a damsel in distress when he sees one and strategizes to free Eliza from her captors. What is interesting about this plot is that Eliza has known Jeremy for sometime, but didn’t really look at him for a suitor because he is a bookworm and she considered him too stuffy. Jeremy goes out of his comfort zone when he decides to help Eliza. Once he frees her, the adventure is on. They elude the Laird and their captors in every way imaginable.

After the Laird decides that Eliza won’t suit because she starts falling in love with Jeremy, he calls off her kidnapping but our villain has never not delivered and he doesn’t intend to start now. The twists and turns as Eliza and Jeremy elude our villain is suspenseful and make the reader not want to put this book down until the very end. This is another successful story for Ms. Laurens and I highly recommend this book.

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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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Montana Sheriff by Marie Ferrarella

Ms. Ferrarella, a prolific author, has written romances with diversified plot lines. Her writing style, alone, is usually enough to hold my attention throughout a book. This book was very difficult for me to read because I did not like the heroine at all, along with her machinations and omissions.

Cole James and Veronica McCloud were inseparable all of their life and everyone knew the couple would marry someday but Veronica wanted more. Veronica wanted to go to college and she wanted Cole to come with her. Only Cole was happy living in Redemption and saw no need to go to college just make a bigger mark on the world. The night of their last argument, they made love and Veronica left town the next day without a word. Six years later, she reappears after a family emergency. Unbeknownst to Cole, she gave birth to his son and never informed him of his child.

Of course, it was stated earlier on that she had very good reasons for not telling him, but as far as I am concerned unless the parent is violent or unfit, there is no “good” reason why the father should not be informed of his child.  What was so ironic in the this story was that it took Veronica’s father two weeks to inform her of the family emergency and she took umbrage as to why she wasn’t informed immediately. Considering the fact that she waited six years to tell Cole of his child, she is the last person who should be complaining about someone not divulging information in a timely manner.

Ms. Ferrarella tried to give the impression that the heroine was so unselfish that she put in for a leave of absence to be at her family’s side for this emergency but she was still trying to figure out how she can get in and out of town without disclosing that she had Cole’s child. She was even “thankful” that Chris looked so much like her so no one could guess his parentage.  Her actions does not represent an unselfish person to me. She had so many chances to tell Cole about the child until we finally find out at the end of the story that she only wanted Cole to tell her that he loved her. That is about as asinine a reason as I have ever read in a book. The child is an individual and the situation should have been treated as such. This is a good reason for not marrying him, but not a good reason not to tell a man that he is a father. Cole could have kept the child while Victoria finished her education without getting married. There is no written law that a mother must have custody of her child and have to marry the father. Nor does it make you a bad mother because you recognize that a child would fare better being in the custody of his father while you get your life together. This book sends the wrong message to young women–limiting their options.

Even after Cole and his son, Christopher, bonded Veronica still did not tell them the truth. The child practically begged his mother not to take him away from his father because he wanted to stay with him. Cole’s mother even called her out about the not telling her son about his child. Both pleadings fell on deaf ears and Veronica did not give in until she got Cole to say “I love you” when she clearly did not deserve it after all of the pain and anguish that she had brought him. The author would also have us believe that Cole’s mother still liked Veronica even though she had seen all of the havoc that this woman has wreaked to her only son. That is totally unbelievable. This book had so many flaws and problems that I cannot fully enumerate them in this forum. They were about as numerous as there were pages in the book.

Veronica is by far the most self-absorbed and self-centered heroine that I have ever encountered in a romance. I found myself hoping against hope that for once this romance wouldn’t end with the hero and heroine having a happily-ever-after ending. I hoped Cole would wish Veronica well, take custody of Christopher, send her on her merry way, and find a woman who would really appreciate him. She is usually the woman the man got rid of before the story began. I cannot recommend this book under any circumstance.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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The Mogul’s Maybe Marriage by Mindy Klasky

This book was an interesting read. It had a little of bit of heart touching plus a plucky heroine that enabled me to finish the story. I would give it an acceptable rating because it had all of the elements of a romance but it just didn’t flow seamlessly.

Ethan Hartwell is told by his grandmother that he must marry by his birthday or lose his place in her company regardless of the fact that he has been doing an exceptional job as a CEO. The author kept telling us that the grandmother was threatening her grandson because she loved him so much. That kind of love you can live without. He searches out Sloan Davenport who he remembered as an excellent lover to ask her to marry him. He finds out that she is pregnant with his child and this gives him the perfect excuse to pressure Sloane to marry him. She puts up a little resistance at first but agrees rather quickly after surveying her resources. Because of a family secret, Ethan tends to distance himself from attachments and this didn’t stop with a new wife and puppy. Eventually, he learns to allow others besides his grandmother into his life and happily every after comes after a few bumps along the way.

I have already mentioned several flaws but the most glaring one is that if Ethan is as brilliant and successful as the author would have us believe he should have been able to either start his own company or at the very least be hired by another one in the same industry. Our heroine, Sloane, tries to bring some humanity into the book but the story just falls short in really retaining my full attention. There is also the obligatory cross purpose statement made by the well-meaning friend that causes Sloane to run away rather than to discuss it with her husband which could have saved us all from going through this “break-up”.

I can only recommend this book to fans of the secret baby and loving threats plot lines.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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Baby, Drive South by Stephanie Bond

The Armstrong brothers have come home to tornado-ravished Sweetness, GA to rebuild the town for themselves and their mother. The construction is coming along nicely except for one thing–there are no women. The men have to travel some distance to enjoy the company of womenfolk and you just can’t have a town without the fairer sex. Ms. Bond has given us a very entertaining read with the diverse characters and interesting events.

One brother, Kendall, has placed an ad in a Northern town for women who are willing to come South and help rebuild the town. A caravan of women have arrived in town and no one has thought of actually setting up a proper environment for them. Flying by the seat of their pants, the brothers have to build living accommodations and other facilities for the women. Trying to figure out how the brothers will keep the women from leaving will keep the reader turning the pages.

Parker Armstrong, is the Lothario of the brothers and has broken his leg trying to view the women from a tower as they entered into town. Fortunately, for him, a doctor is in the group along with some medical equipment which enabled her to treat him immediately. Parker is not at his best and makes the doctor, Nikki Salinger, feel unappreciated which gives her second thoughts about staying in town. She decides to leave the town as quickly as possible. The brothers know that if she leaves town, the rest of the women won’t be too far behind. The brothers told Parker to get the doctor to stay and sign a contract for her services. As Parker work to get her to stay, he starts to have feelings for our good doctor and he challenges her throughout the book until he wins her heart. An ex-boyfriend of the doctor shows up and put more flies in the ointment.

This book is the first in Ms. Bond’s new trilogy and I can’t wait for the next installment. We can see a preview of what’s to come since an ex-lover of one brother is a best friend of Dr. Nikki and she did not come to town with her. This is a very good start to the trilogy and I hope Ms. Bond keeps up with what she has begun in this very enjoyable read.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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Merciless by Diana Palmer

Merciless was an intriguing novel that was entertaining but just missed being very good. Ms. Palmer always gives us a good read with suspense and mystery along with a few twists that keeps the story going. She usually falls short with the romance part and characterizations of the hero and heroine.

Joceline Perry has been Jon Blackhawk’s assistant for several years and has kept his office running very efficiently. In Jon’s work as a FBI agent, he has gathered a lot of villains wanting to exact revenge on him. He is attacked and was put in the hospital with serious injuries. Joceline decided to go with him to his family vacation home to nurse him back to health. Joceline is also responsible for her son which she has told everyone was conceived during a brief affair and he is totally out of the picture. Her son has illnesses and she has used all of her money to keep him healthy. Besides dealing with these issues, Jon has a very doting mother who does not like Joceline and does everything in her power to keep this romance from getting off the floor.

My problem with this story is that I didn’t feel much sexual energy between our hero and heroine. It was obvious that she was hiding something about her son from Jon and everyone else at the office. I saw no reason why she withheld the real identity of her son’s father. This did nothing for the story. As to the the mystery, it was obvious to just about any reader the identity of the office leak. How this book got as far as it did without all of the law agencies finding the perpetrators early on is beyond me.

As usual, Ms Palmer’s stories have a lot of potential. They just don’t reach the stars. I can recommend this book for anyone wanting to read a decent suspense mystery but beware of the overt flaws. Don’t look for a great romance in this book.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Book Reviews

 

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Protective Custody by Wynter Daniels

Ms. Daniels has written a wonderfully suspenseful story. Megan Jackson witnesses a murder through the window but after calling the police, there was no body or evidence. She calls her ex-boyfriend, a former cop, to help her solve this murder before the murderer kills her. Fortunately, for Megan, Will McCoy believes her and vows to protect her. Will still loves Megan and could never understand why she broke up their relationship. The sparks are still there and romance heats up immediately after being in each other’s company. Along with solving this murder mystery, Will intends to re-kindle the flames and not let Megan walk away from their relationship.

Megan never told Will that she broke up with him due to the prejudices of her grandmother regarding interracial relationships. This books takes us through Megan’s desire to please her grandmother and also stay with the love of her life. The author does an excellent job in showing how love conquers all. Ms. Daniels also had plenty of twists and suspense while Megan and Will prove that a murder occurred and who did it.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who not only wants to see lovers triumph over their difficulties but Ms. Daniels also gave us a thrilling suspense story that kept us guessing throughout the book.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen

Playing Dirty is a fast-paced, entertaining romp. Ms. Andersen has given us well-written leads and sub-characters that kept me glued to this book.  The prologue in the book starts ten years earlier when Cade Gallari accepted a dare from his friends that he could seduce Ava Spencer–the girl with the few extra pounds.  He wins the bet but Ava gives as much as she got during the announcement.  For thirteen years, Cade has regretted taking the dare and has tried to apologize to Ava any chance he gets but so far she hasn’t really forgiven him.

Over the years, Cade has become a well-known documentary producer and his next project entails writing about a mansion that was bequeathed to Ava and her friends.  Its previous owner, Miss Agnes, is also a prominent figure in both the film and the book.  Cade has always wanted to do a film on the mystery surrounding the mansion and now he has the clout to get it done. He arranges to rent the mansion and retain the services of Ava as the show’s concierge. Ava has lost the extra pounds and has gained an excellent reputation as a concierge and Cade is certainly attracted to the new Ava although he does admit to himself that he liked the old one too.

This book has it all–wonderful plot with an opportunistic villain, sparks between our love interests and a very satisfying ending.  I highly recommend that you get on board and enjoy this entertaining ride of a book.  Ms. Andersen has knocked this one out of the park.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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