Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Test Drive by Marie Harte (Body Shop Bad Boys #1)

Rating: ★★★ | 06/07/2016 | Contemporary Romance | 384 Pages | Sourcebooks Casablanca

This may be the honeycrisp sangria and Lush bomb baths talking but I adored this book.

After being scared straight by a short jail stint “bad boy” Johnny Donnelly lives a simple life; working at the garage, helping our at his dad’s strip club and hanging out at the local watering hole--where he's had a crush on bartender Lara Valley for years. Lara’s  guarded and isn’t sure how she feels about Johnny, but when he comes through for her she finally lets him ask her out. * Insert car related romance pun here.*

Harte's characters were so complex that I could almost read a story book about them without the romance. We get to  watch as Lara and Johnny's relationship evolves from flirty friends to love with all the messy bumps along the way.  Johnny has some deep seated commitment issues and turns out to be very vulnerable despite being the titular bad boy. Lara is trying to move up in the world while also being her older sister’s emotional crutch.

The blue collar setting of this book was really refreshing. Like, I know it’s cliched, but I like books where people have real jobs and have to balance 9 to 5 jobs with life and romance as opposed to some romances where it seems like characters have so much free time. Lara is a bartender but she is also a nursing student and helps out her family.I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a character have to juggle so much.

Dear romance, let’s huddle for a second. I know I’m new here but we’ve really got to get together and define what we mean by bad boy. Does it mean he doesn’t follow the rules ? Went to jail ? Kills people ? Womanizer ? Is it just code for 'has tattoos '? Because the fact that this series is called Body Shop Bad Boys and we find out  Johnny just took a car joyriding once and has some tattoos feels like a Disney version of bad boys. I felt the same way about Helenkay Dimon's Bad Boys Undercover series. If I see the term bad boy I want an unlikeable character with some grit to them.

I’m not sure why this author has never crossed my radar, she’s written over 100 books (some of which seem to be connected to this series) and I am so ready for more in this series.





SIDENOTE
I read this book in the bathtub and I thought I was being careful but it didn't make it out well.




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Library Book Sale Haul



My reaction when the book sale volunteer said for $5 I could fill a grocery bag with as many books as I wanted


Lol, I did limit myself though and left some items I was only mildly interested in behind. I got mostly romance, but also some YA and women's fiction !


What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Yes, I own this book, but I am slowly replacing my Dessen collection with these newer paperback versions.

The Next Always and The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts
NGL, I just liked how these spines looks

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
I figured I needed to something literary and I've been meaning to read this.

When We Met and Only Mine by Susan Mallery
I love Fool's Good and have been collecting these as I see them in library sales / used bookstores.  With Only Mine I know have one complete cycle.

How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries
Somebody must have been cleaning out their Sabrina Jeffries collections because they had tons of her books. I had to speed read the synopsis to figure out which one I wanted and I went with this one where a spy novelist heroine who teams up with the hero to solve a murder.

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare
Tessa Dare is my favorite historical author and this is another book about an author heroine.

The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter
I started reading this series a few years ago on Oyster and I thought it was interesting and I have yet to read a paranormal romance.

McKetterick's Heart by Lina Lael Miller
I've seen this author around a lot and wanted to read one of her books. It looks like the version I got is a 2011 reissue so it must have been popular.

One Wish and The Chance by Robyn Carr
I've wanted to read Carr since I saw her get a lifetime achievement at RWA last year. I couldn't decide between these books so I got both.

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Confession time: I really like this movie. I head the book ends differently so I picked it up.

Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
I keep hearing about this book and I usually see the hardcover at Goodwill and used bookstores, but I was surprised to find the 2015 paperback with the pretty newer cover

Little Elephants by Jennifer Weiner
I was listening to a podcast where they read her books and I've been meaning to read her so I picked this one.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison
I see this book all the time on advertisements and decided to throw it in.

Rush by Maya Banks
I didn't love Surrender, but look, they gave me a bag to fill and this is the prequel and it looked SO NEW.

Everyone Worth Knowing by Laura Weisenberg
I really liked this book in high school and I'm sure I still have my copy but IDK where it is. I hope to re-read it one day.

Best of My Love by Susan Mallery
I also picked up this Susan Mallery at 2nd and Charles for 2.50...I'm really going to need Jess to start slapping books out of my hand.