Monday, June 10, 2013

Triple Whammy---Three Book Reviews!

I got my own review today by Lindzee Armstrong that's had me smiling all morning long.  Go here to read what she said about Ashes Ashes.

So, I had a weekend of reading and it was wonderful and relaxing.  I hope you got some in, too.

The first book I want to tell you about today, is True by Erin McCarthy.  It's a New Adult novel about a tall nerdy girl named Rory who just doesn't seem to fit in.  She has two hot college roommates who take her along to parties and such, but Rory is just socially awkward.  While she is waiting on the couch for her roommates, there's an incident with a guy trying to force Rory to do something she doesn't want to do and Tyler Mann, a sexy bad boy steps in to protect her.  The story goes from there about how these two very different people find love with each other even though there are some pretty big odds stacked against them.

I liked the characters a lot.  The author writes three dimensional characters so well that it's easy to come to love them all, even the secondary cast.  Tyler's brothers stole the show in some places.  I liked the idea of Tyler trying to do what's best all the time, even when it was hurtful and hard, and that underneath his outer layer of tattoos and attitude was a really caring person who saw Rory for what she really was inside.  I had a hard time with all the swearing, and graphic sex scenes, however.  It really took away from the story for me because I think the writer didn't need it to get anything across. Not my cup of tea I guess.  But the characters were compelling and the story was good.

Here's the back copy:

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

Home to Whiskey Creek

The second book I read is the fourth in Brenda Novak's Whiskey Creek series.  I did a book signing with Brenda once so I read her books occasionally.  This one reminded me a bit of her book Dead Silence when a successful woman comes home to her small town to face her demons and solve a mystery.  But Home to Whiskey Creek has Adelaide Davies in the lead role.

Adelaide comes home to Whiskey Creek to help her grandmother, and during her first few days there she's kidnapped and thrown down an old mine shaft---the exact place the event happened that changed her life and forced her to run away.  Thankfully, Noah Rackham is riding his bike near the mine that night and hears her cries for help.  He's stunned to hear anyone in the area, since the mine was closed off after his twin brother's death on graduation night, but he goes to help her. He's even more surprised and intrigued when she doesn't want anything to do with him.

Home to Whiskey Creek is a romantic mystery that had me turning pages to see if they would find out who was threatening Adelaide and when she would tell him what really happened that night.  Great suspense.  I loved the characters and how broken and flawed they were and the townspeople are realistic as well.  I felt like the end was a bit rushed and I wanted more out of the epilogue since there were a few storyline threads still dangling.  There was also a few fairly graphic sex scenes and some swearing.  Overall, though, these were easy to skip and I thought the story was well done.  Ms. Novak is a master at characterization and sympathetic characters.

Here's the back copy:

Sometimes home is the refuge you need — and sometimes it isn’t.

Adelaide Davies, who’s been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She’s there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran’s restaurant, Just Like Mom’s. But Adelaide’s not happy to be back. There are too many people here she’d rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago.

Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she’s wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible — men now — are punished. But she can’t, not without revealing an even darker secret.

So it’s better to pretend. . .

Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won’t have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she’d rather forget. Neither does he know she’s the reason his twin brother didn’t survive that party at the old mine.

A Timeless Romance Anthology---Summer Wedding Collection

This was an anthology that I loved.  There were some of my favorite authors with sweet, clean romances that I heartily recommend to anyone who loves the first butterflies of love.  Each story had great characters with chemistry and I finished reading with a smile on my face, although there were a couple that I wished went on longer, just because the characters were so great.  There was also one that was very poorly edited with words missing and tenses wrong, which made it feel out of place to me since the others were so well done, but if you can overlook that, it was an anthology that belongs on my rainy day shelf to read again.  I thought I would put which one was my favorite, but honestly, I can't choose.  There really were some great bite-sized romantic stories that made me sigh like a schoolgirl.

Here's the back copy:

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection. Readers will love this collection of six sweet contemporary romance novellas, centered on a Summer Wedding, all with one thing in common: Romance.

In Melanie Jacobson’s charming novella, Love Bytes, Bree is the maid-of-honor and Dallen is the best-man. Living across the country from each other, they commiserate over their prospective best friends’ unrealistic wedding demands. While they plan and plot over email and texting, Bree realizes that the best part about the Maui wedding might be meeting Dallen. She just hopes that he’ll feel the same way.

Romeo and Julie-ex is a sweet romance by Julie Wright. “Romeo” turns out to be a two-timing jerk, and when Juliet Moore’s pre-ordered wedding dress arrives from UPS, Juliet curses everything male. In a stubborn streak, she decides to keep the bridal photography appointment—if only because the money isn’t refundable and it was the one thing that her ex-fiance actually paid for. Plus, she has the perfect wedding dress. When Juliet shows up for the appointment and meets photographer Jack Montague, she might have to take back some of her curses on men.

In Rachael Anderson’s enchanting novella, The Meltdown Match, Courtney spends each summer in her hometown of Heimel, Alaska, to find inspiration for her next novel. Her writing method has become a pattern—outline a novel in Heimel, then move to the place her novel is set to finish writing it. But when she runs into former high school friend, Mitch Winters, and they both win the Meltdown Match—a traditional dating contest—Courtney discovers that leaving her hometown at the end of the summer might not be so easy this time.

In Golden Sunrise, an engaging romance by Annette Lyon, Natalie takes time out of her crazy schedule to fly to Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. Sierra and Jason, high-school sweethearts, are finally getting married. Fortunately for Natalie, her old high-school flame, Adam, has a work commitment and can’t be there as best man. But when she arrives at the wedding rehearsal—late and ragged—Adam is there. Memories from the past—and all her old feelings—come flooding back. When Adam makes a wild suggestion, Natalie just may take him up on it, even though she knows he’s moved on. A single choice may mean Natalie is taking a shot at reclaiming the past—or that she's putting her heart in harm’s way a second time.

Tide Pools is a captivating story by Heather B. Moore. When Lexi makes a quick trip to Hawaii to attend her friend’s wedding, she discovers that the engaged couple, Sydney and Apelu, are still trying to match-make for her. Lexi laughs because not only does their friend David have a serious girlfriend, but he owns a restaurant on the island. Lexi has too many plans that don’t include a long-distance relationship or coming between a guy and his girlfriend. But when Lexi meets David, she has a hard time remembering why all of her plans were so important.

In Sarah M. Eden’s delightful novella, A Regular Bloke from Stanmore, Abby is helping her sister, Caroline, plan her British wedding. That’s right, Caroline is obsessed with all things British and insists on an authentic wedding in . . . Oregon. When they arrive at Sainsbury House reception hall, it has everything Caroline loves, and the host, Matthew Carlton, even has a British accent. Yet Abby isn’t buying the whole good-looking-British man with impeccable manners thing; she’s determined to expose him as a fake. But the more Abby gets to know Matthew, the more she realizes how wrong she really is.


Debra Erfert said...

You've done some fast reading over the week, haven't you? I have A Timeless Romance Anthology on my Kindle waiting for me to read. I'd stack it by my bed, but that doesn't really work with e-books.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Yes, I did. I'm trying to plow through my to-read pile. It always seems to be getting larger and not smaller!

I think you'll like the anthology. :)