Sunday, October 29, 2017

Beginner's Luck by Kate Clayborn (Chance of A Lifetime #1)

Rating: ★★★+.5 | 320 pages | Lyrical Shine | Contemporary | 10/31/2017 | Buy Now !

In this new contemporary series from Kate Clayborn three best friends buy a wining lottery ticket and split their winnings to live their dreams !

University lab technician Kit Averin is keeping her new millionaire status under wraps and uses her winnings to quietly restore an old Queen Anne style house. It’s all going to plan until Ben Tucker, a recruiter for a big materials corporation, walks into her lab offering her a corporate job out of state. Kit has no desire to go corporate and at first Ben is easy to brush off, but it turns out Ben isn’t just in town for her; he’s also caring for his injured father and temporarily running his father's salvage yard. When Ben and Kit start spending time in the salvage yard finding things for her house, their attraction is undeniable but how can they be together when Kit is planting roots in a place Ben can't wait to leave again ?

This book is a journey and I enjoyed going along for the ride as Kit and Ben balance their family responsibilities, ambitions and fears to earn their HEA.

Kit was an interesting heroine because I think she suffers from impostor syndrome which we don't always see in romance. I feel like most scientist heroines have to be ambitious and overly confident in their work and abilities because of gender discrimination, so it was refreshing to see a character who wasn't quite there yet. Also I don’t know if Clayborn has a science background but Kit's work in metallurgry and some of the other science stuff is shown with such detail it seriously made my headspin.

Filled with complex heroes and heroines, rich supporting characters and colorful small town life I think fans of Susan Mallery will enjoy this solid debut !

Now...this book is definitely a traditional romance but it is in an alternating first person so if first person is not something you like be warned.

Also, I like how Clayborn never says the specific amount of money Kit and her friends win. It leaves it open ended for the reader's imagination to determine how much money is a life changing amount of money.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte

Rating: ★★★★ | 354 pages | Sourcebooks Casablanca | Contemporary | 9/26/2017 | Buy Now !

When self-proclaimed homebody Sadie Liberato is made to attend a Halloween party she plans to stake out a corner and fill up on the food.What she doesn’t plan on is hooking up with a masked devil or punching his ex-fiancée in the face.  Sadie quickly learns her  one night stand is Harrison “Gear” Blackstone, a custom motorcycle designer who was just kicked off his own reality show by said conspiring ex-fiancée  Gear and Sadie's chemistry is undeniable but they've both been hurt by love in the past and just want a friends with benefits situation, if only it didn't feel like everyone around them wanted them fall in love.

Honestly, if I've reviewed an author twice they are already on my keeper shelf and this is another keeper. Harte  has this great way of developing round characters with rich backstories, motivations and chemistry that makes them so easy to root for. And her dialogue is on fire; the characters talk in this part joke-y/part heckling manner--trading jabs back and forth that is just so fun to read once you get the hang of it. Speaking of fun, this was the first Halloween romance I’ve ever read and it’s a really amusing theme for a book because Halloween is all about frivolity and silliness. Between all the scenes about relationship angst and DTR moments, characters are munching on candywatching scary movies and wearing silly costumes.

Sadie Liberator has to be one of my favorite contemporary romance characters ever. She's such an interesting hodge podge of tropes. Typically it's the hero who is the emotionally distant, buff, gym rat but in this case it's the heroine. The book often describes her as being more masculine, not traditionally pretty and obnoxious, which she is, but then she’s also a pastry chef and just likes to create yummy treats. I felt like she could have gone in a “I’m not like the other girls” direction but it really doesn’t.

All I Want for Halloween is filled with equal parts Halloween hijinks and romance with a few tricks but also oh so many treats.

Now, this is a standalone but it does seem like the hero, Gear, is putting together his own custom motorcycle building garage with two mechanics named Smoke and Chains (as you do) and according to Harte’s website she  has an unnamed contemporary series coming out in 2018 so I wonder of that is what it’s about...

Also, while this is a standalone this book does take place in the same town as Harte's McCauley Brother’s, Donnigans and Body Shop Bad Boys series. I spotted Cyn and Foley from Roadside Assistance and Sadie's cousin is the protagonist of A Sure Thing  so in the back of my head I was trying to piece it all together. I'm going to have to get around to all of these one day!

*Received for review from NetGalley

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Blog Tour: Make A Date With Harlequin + 25 Book Giveaway !

Seeing all the Harlequins in used bookstores is what made me want to start this blog and today we are hosting the Make A Date With Harlequin, Harlequin's campaign to encourage women to take some time with their favorite heroes and heroines. Check out the funny video below about what happens when women literally take Harlequin heroes on a  date and don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a set of Harlequins !

What kind of book is your most favorite? 

 Passion: Give in to temptation with steamy tales of irresistible desire. Passion series feature heroes who have it all: wealth, status, incredible good looks…everything but the right woman.

Suspense: Prepare for high-octane adventure, heart-racing romance, and just enough intrigue that will have you on the edge of your seat! Take the plunge and join these true-to-life women and strong, fearless men as they fight for survival

 Inspirational: Looking for inspiration in tales of hope, faith and heartfelt romance? Love Inspired has three lines for you

Fall in Love: Read satisfying love stories with the intensity, emotion and sparkle of falling in love.

Heroes Galore: Whatever hero you’re into, we’ve got him. Take a time-trip with a host of hot historical heroes; navigate the high stakes of falling in love in the high-pressure world of medicine; Delve into dark, sensuous and often dangerous territory, where the normal and paranormal collide.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Rating: ★★★ | 274 pages | Berkley Sensation | Contemporary | 3/1/2011

Jordan Rhodes may be a billionaire heiress but she’s most content spreading her love of wine at her little wine shop in Chicago, DeVine Cellars. She can say the same for her twin brother, Kyle, who is currently serving time in federal prison for hacking into Twitter.

When FBI agent Nick McCall swaggers into DeVine Cellars and asks her to help get an FBI agent into an exclusive wine party in exchange for her brother’s freedom, she has no choice but to agree. After all what can one fake date with an undercover FBI agent possibly lead to ?

Julie James was one of the first romance authors I ever read. I enjoyed her then and nearly 4 dozen romance novels later James is still at the top of my list. She does such a good job blending romance, a crime plot, cheeky humor and snappy dialogue into an addictive readable package. Her pacing really works for me, the characters don’t usually get together until about 60% into the book, giving the relationships time to breathe and other plots to develop..

I love some good competency porn and James delivers it with Jordan’s wine business. It’s always fun when I’m done reading and feel like yeah, I could do the thing. I especially loved that Jordan wasn't a wine snob, I liked to think she wouldn't judge me for $5 box wine I got from Aldi. There is so much detail about wine tasting and wine business, at one point the characters go to a winery and I felt like I was there.

That said, I am starting to notice a little bit of formulaic-ness with how the crimes are solved and at times Nick came off as a little overly macho at times. Like, I’m sorry watching Dancing With The Stars is to effeminate for you.

There are a lot of very specific references to the show Lost in makes the book feel kind of dated.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Conspiracy In Death by J.D Robb

After taking a break from the In Death series I decided to jump back in with #9 Conspiracy In Death.

Next to book seven, Conspiracy In Death my second favorite in the series so far as it puts our heroine to the test.  Homicide detective Eve Dallas  finds herself in the twisted path of a talented serial killer who uses surgical expertise to remove organs from the poor and homeless, when others turn their backs on the less fortunate, Eve Dallas decides takes a stand and finds herself framed for murder.

In the course of the investigation Eve is kicked off the force and Robb puts Eve through an emotional ringer forcing her to show what she's really made of.  At first it's frustrating at how easily she breaks down, but as she's in the depths of her despair you start to realize how much her badge is entwined with her identity/

Robb has been building on Eve as a character since book one.. In the first few books we see her come into her role leading a team, then we watch her develop a relationship and now I think Robb is  in a place where she wants to shake things up by having the career eve has given so much to bite her back.

Susan Ericksen channels every bit of Eve's emotional journey from her grief,  to her anger. to her conviction to find justice for the dead even without a badge. A stand out in the series that will bring everyone to their limits.

  •  I started reading Holiday In Death but I couldn't quite get into it (because, 2016)  and I don't think I missed much skipping a book except it seems there is a new relationship.
  • They use some crazysauce editing that can be a bit jarring. Like androids have computer voice effects and sometimes "dream" or "remembered voices" have a faraway hazy effect. I like that it's different but I'm glad all audiobooks don't do that cause it's a bit cheesy.