Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hot Stuff (Hot Zone series #1) by Carly Phillips

Book: Hot Stuff (Hot Zone series #1)

Author: Carly Phillips

Bookshelves: 2011, fiction, football, New York, romance, sports

Begun: August 9, 2011

Finished: August 11, 2011

Media Type: paperback (library copy)

Setting: New York City and upstate New York

Characters: Brandon Vaughn, Annabelle Jordan, Yank Morgan, Lola, Sophia Jordan, Micky Jordan

Review: When Annabelle, Sophia and Michelle Jordan were just little girls (12, 10, and 8 years old respectively), their parents were killed in an accident. Their care was given over to their bachelor uncle, Yank Morgan, who kept them together as a family and raised them as a bachelor would.

Years later, all three girls have gone to college and come back to Uncle Yank determined to help him with his business, a sports agency known as The Hot Zone. Annabelle Jordan, the oldest of the Jordan girls, is especially good at her job, as a publicist at the Hot Zone. When one of Yank’s former clients returns for help, everyone is a little skeptical.

Brandon Vaughn had it all: Fame, fortune, and the love of a good woman. Until a sports injury sidelined his football career and he learned that while in the hospital, his wife had screwed him over. She had begun talks with Spencer Atkins to lure Vaughn away from the Hot Zone and the only father figure who had ever helped him out, Yank.

Long divorced from his wife, Vaughn is back at the Hot Zone because he needs Yank’s help. He is building a lodge type resort for winter “campers” and, during the summer, it will be used for building up the confidences of children with learning disabilities. But problems have been cropping up, orders are being canceled or delayed, electric wires cut the day before the inspectors are due in, and everything is falling apart. Vaughn really needs Yank’s help.

Yank’s solution? Annabelle. The PR genius will work her magic at Vaughn’s lodge. But what Annabelle never thought she’d do again … she does. Slowly, Annabelle relaxes around the ex-sports star and lets her guards down. Vaughn no longer sees her as just a vapid blonde bombshell who dates her uncle’s players. No far from it. As Annabelle opens up to Vaughn, he learns of her loses and past while she learns just how much the lodge means to him, and how much it will help him with his own troubled past.

But when the sabotage at the lodge begins to turn quasi-deadly, will any of them be safe?

Great little read. Fun time trying to figure out who the saboteur is (not someone you would guess at first glance). I did read this series out of order and all I have left to read is the last book, Hot Property.

Awards: none

Recommended by: none

Recommend to: contemporary romance fans

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bloodsucking Fiend (A Love Story series #1) by Christopher Moore

Book: Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story series #1)

Author: Christopher Moore

Bookshelves: 2011, comedy, fiction, San Francisco, romance, vampires

Begun: August 8, 2011

Finished: August 10, 2011

Media Type: book on CD (copied onto iPod Touch) (library copy)

Setting: San Francisco, California, USA

Characters: Jody Stroud, C. Thomas Flood, The Emperor of San Francisco, Bummer (a dog), Lazarus (a dog) and the Animals (a group of Tommy’s coworkers at the Safeway)

Review: I picked up Bloodsucking Fiends after finishing Lamb (The Gospel According to Biff: Christ’s Childhood Pal), which was hilarious, incidentally. I do have a soft spot for vampires and paranormal romance in general. Throw in comedy … and I’m totally sold on it!!!

Poor Jody Stroud. Walking home for work, late one night in San Francisco, she is jumped by some random person who then decided to kill her. Low and behold, Jody wakes up the next day UNDER a dumpster with a blackened and burnt arm. Going back to her boyfriend’s apartment, she gets into a huge fight with him. She’s been missing for an entire day and the bf is pissed at her for that! After cracking his head with a plant pot, Jody starts to lick at the blood … and that’s when it hits her.

Jody’s a vampire.

Time for some help. After checking into a motel for the night … errr … day … Jody goes out to find a “minion” to help her during the day and rent her an apartment (since she broke up with her boyfriend and decided to move out). That’s when she runs into C. Thomas Flood, otherwise known as Tommy, an aspiring writer from Incontinence, Indiana who just came to San Francisco to get some life experience and brood a bit.

Tommy’s car gave out in the middle of the street just as he was pulling into San Francisco and now he’s living with 5 Chinese guys in a boarding house. Flowers show up every morning and Tommy has no idea who they are from but someone has taken a fancy to him.

After getting a job as the head stocker at the Safeway, Tommy meets his stocking crew known as the Animals. Half insane and mostly pharmaceutical-ed up or drunk, the Animals take an instant liking to Tommy (one of them even going so far as to help Tommy figure out who is leaving the flowers at the boarding house – the five Chinese men were smuggled over to the US in a Chinese steamer and found out that if you marry an American, you can stay in America legally. And then, they learned that in San Francisco, men got together with men. So their next logical thought was that Tommy should be their bride … all FIVE OF THEM!!!).

Needless to say, when Tommy first meets the gorgeous red-headed Jody, he falls in lust with her and decides right away that he will help her out. I mean who doesn’t love an older woman (that part kind of weirded me out a little. Jody is 26 and Tommy is 19 … yeah five years isn’t that big of a deal … but Tommy’s still technically a teenager – whatever).

It’s a great book that mixes humor, mythology, crime, and romance into one. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, You Suck.

Awards: none

Recommended by: Milli

Recommend to: anyone who likes vampires, comedy, romance, crime or San Francisco

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson series #1)

Author: Darynda Jones

Bookshelves: 2011, angels, demons, fiction, New Mexico, romance, paranormal romance, the Devil, the Grim Reaper,

Begun: August 6, 2011

Finished: August 8, 2011

Media Type: audiobook (book on CD – downloaded to iPod Touch)

Setting: present day New Mexico, USA

Characters: Charlotte (Charley) Davidson, her uncle, Reyes Alexander Farrow, Garrett Swoopes, Cookie

Review: Charlotte (Charley) Davidson is a little … different. Sure she’s like every other girl. She likes her car. She loves her job as a “consultant” to the Albuquerque, New Mexico Police force. She has a host of friends and neighbors. And she has a disturbing ability to see the death. Not so much “Sixth Sense”-I-See-Dead-People … as … I am a Grim Reaper and I help ferry people over to the other side.

Yeah, so that kinda makes life awkward at times. Charley has a dead man (she calls Mr. Wong) living in the corner in her living room and a naughty elderly (dead) neighbor who just walks into her bathroom all the time to look at her naked.

As a consultant to first her father and then her uncle, Charley helps out a lot of cases when the recently deceased come to see her and explain what happened (or even who killed them!). But there are some strange occurrences in Charley’s past that she is having trouble coming to terms with (and if Charley’s calling them strange, then you know that something has to be downright odd).

A man has been entering Charley’s dreams and having mind blowing sexual encounters with her. Who is the strange man? She doesn’t know his face but there is something about him that is familiar to her … until one day, he calls her “Dutch.” No one has called her “Dutch” since a brief meeting with a teenage boy back when she was around 14 (and she estimated him to be 18 at the time).

Slowly things are starting to click for Charley and the case she is working on (3 dead lawyers all working on the same case of a wrongfully accused man who supposedly killed a runway boy) is moving fast and Charley is smack dab in the middle of it.

Great read. I’m glad I found this new series. I can’t wait to get my hands on Jones’ second book, Second Grave on the Left.

By the way ... Reyes is super model hot ... and this is Pickyme's depiction of him ... with all his flaws ... he can come and eat crackers in my bed ANY night. (check out Pickyme's blog - click on her name above - she's a fantastic cover artist with SERIOUS talent!!)

Awards: Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award (2009)

Recommended by: Jade (Goodreads.com friend)

Recommend to: all lovers of paranormal romance

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Abduct a Highland Lord (MacLean series #1)

Book: How To Abduct a Highland Lord (MacLean Curse series #1)

Author: Karen Hawkins

Bookshelves: 1800s, 2011, England, fiction, historical romance, London, Scotland, romance,

Begun: July 27, 2011

Finished: July 28, 2011

Media Type: paperback (library copy)

Setting: 1800s Scotland highlands and 1800s London, England

Characters: Fiona MacLean, “Black” Jack Kincaid

Review: The Curse, handed down from generation to generation of MacLeans, has struck again, killing the youngest of the MacLean brothers. To stop the curse from killing anymore of her brothers (and it is assumed, her also), Fiona will marry “Black” Jack Kincaid, brother of the man who killed her younger brother. Even though Jack is estranged from his family, Fiona knows that the Kincaids won’t go after her brothers (or the MacLeans won’t go after the Kincaids either) now that they are family.

But how to get Jack to marry her? They had a love affair years ago and Fiona has never loved anyone since Jack. Finding him face down in a puddle in the road, Fiona takes advantage of her luck and drags Jack to the altar, lying to a priest telling him that she was pregnant with Jack’s baby.

Now married, Jack drags Fiona to London to his house in town. He refuses to give up his drinking, gambling and carousing ways. His one concession is giving up the extra women in his life, like the married noblewoman who doesn’t want to give him up.

When accidents start to happen all around Fiona and the MacLean brothers come to London will Jack survive the MacLean curse? And what will happen to his heart?

Awards: none

Recommended by: I don’t remember

Recommend to: Anyone who likes Lynsay Sands’, Kresley Cole’s, and Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley McGreggor’s historical romances

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld series #7)

Book: The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld #7)

Author: Gena Showalter

Bookshelves: 2011, Budapest (Hungary), demons, fantasy, fiction, romance, paranormal romance, the Underworld,

Begun: August 1, 2011

Finished: August 2, 2011

Media Type: paperback (personal copy - later donated to the Grafton Public Library)

Setting: present day Budapest (Hungary) and the Underworld (aka Hell)

Characters: Amun, Haidee, Paris, Strider, William, The Lords of the Underworld,

Review: Amun was dragged from Hell, literally, kicking and screaming.

Keeper of the demon of secrets, Amun must remain mute or he will divulge all the secrets of those around him. As Secrets, Amun picked up some extra demons when he went into the Underworld and now he’s carrying those around with him too. Locked by himself in a cell and then his bedroom, Amun is literally waiting to die. The angels have decided that they will kill him if he doesn’t start to get better soon.

Bring in the Hunter Haidee, Strider is stricken to see his best friend in so much torment. Leaving Haidee in a locked bedroom adjacent to Amun’s Strider goes to check in with the rest of his Lord friends, of which Torin seems to be the only one around.

When she awakes from her drugged stupor (the only way to get the blood thirsty and vicious hunter back to the Lord’s mansion), Haidee hears Amun mentally calling for help. She fights her way through the wall, literally (she finds a closed off doorway between their two bedrooms).

Thinking that Amun is a former lover of hers, Haidee cozies up to him. Like salve on a burn Amun’s demons retreat and he is able to heal slightly while Haidee holds him in her sleep.

Sparks rage between the two and secret abound (no pun intended!). Haidee isn’t all human. She’s been reborn many many times but always forgets the “good” things about her former lives.

Will Amun help her or kill her once he finds out that she was the one who killed Baden?

Awards: none

Recommended by: Kim

Recommend to: Sherrilyn Kenyon fans, paranormal romance fans.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hot Item (Hot Zone series #3) by Carly Phillips

Book: Hot Item (Hot Zone series #3)

Author: Carly Phillips

Bookshelves: 2011, contemporary, Florida, fiction, football, Mississippi, New York, romance,

Begun: August 1, 2011

Finished: August 5, 2011

Media Type: paperback (personal copy - later donated to the Grafton Public Library)

Setting: present day New York City, Florida, and Mississippi

Characters: Sophia “Sophie” Jordan, Riley Nash, Yank Morgan, Spencer Atkins, Harlon Nash, Anne Nash, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Nash, Annabelle Jordan, Michelle “Micki” Jordan

Review: Sophie Jordan, middle sister of the Jordan three. She’s always been the tight laced, upright, go-to sister. You wouldn’t want anyone else at your back in a fire fight. She’s got the brains, the talent and the heart to run the PR divisions of the newly merged Hot Zone and Athletes Inc.

Until, the unthinkable happens. Someone spills the secrets of one of the new co-owners. Spencer Atkins, a long time bachelor and close friend of Yank Morgan’s is out-ed. Afraid that, in an ultra masculine world of sports agencies, his clients will leave him for a straight sports agent, Spencer goes into hiding … just as the first draft of the football season begins.

It’s up to Sophie to find her uncle’s best friend and co-owner before it is too late and the damage behind the out-ing can’t be undone. Sophie’s only lead is two outrageous and nutty sisters who live in Florida. Just as she’s making plans to leave New York City, the very yummy Riley Nash saunters into her office demanding to speak to Spencer. To insure her silence, Riley hires Sophie as his publicist and then spills that Harlan Nash (a Mississippi senator) is not his biological father … Spencer Atkins is.

Sophie doesn’t know if she can handle Riley. He lusts for the little blonde in her power suits and bun-ed hair but he is a man on a mission: to protect his family. He’s got a 13 year old daughter to think about and a father with his sights on the election in November. In a Bible-belt state like Mississippi, it might mean disaster for Harlan Nash’s career if it was discovered that his son isn’t really his and that son’s biological father was gay.

For once, it was nice to read a novel where the male lead isn’t the one in total denial of his feeling. It’s Sophie. Riley knows what he wants after the weekend spent in Florida but Sophie is still afraid of losing everything that matters to her … her heart. Carly Phillips did another good job with this novel (the 3rd in the Hot Zone series). But honestly, at the very beginning, I had trouble getting into it. It just wasn’t a “seat of the pants” novel. It didn’t grab me. I had to push through it in the beginning but I’m glad I stayed with it!

Although, I DO plan on reading the next book (Hot Property) in this series which apparently is about Sophie's metrosexual friend (and Damian Fuller's teammate), John Roper. OH and I have to go back and read Annabelle's novel too!

Awards: none

Recommended by: no one (found the book on the shelf at the library when looking for new stuff to read!)

Recommend to: chick lit fans, sports fans, romance fans

Hot Number (Hot Zone series #2) by Carly Phillips

Book: Hot Number (Hot Zone series #2)

Author: Carly Phillips

Bookshelves: 2011, baseball, contemporary, fiction, Miami, New York, romance,

Begun: July 30, 2011

Finished: August 2, 2011

Media Type: paperback (library copy)

Setting: present day New York and Miami

Characters: Michelle “Micki” Jordan, Damian Fuller, Yank Morgan, Lola, Annabelle Jordan, Sophia Jordan

Review: Micki Jordan has always felt more at home in the locker room of a major league sports team with her uncle, Yank Morgan, than with her sisters in front of the makeup mirror. All grown up, the youngest of the three Jordan orphans (whose Uncle Yank raised them when their parents were killed in an accident), Micki wants to shed her tomboy ways … for the right guy.

Since a drunken New Years Eve kiss with the uber-hot New York Renegades outfielder, Damian Fuller (he was drunk … not Micki), she’s hopped her remembered her. But … alas … he ignores her at every chance and oogles the busty blonde TV sports show anchors while his trusty publicist, Micki, is forgotten at his side.

Except, that’s not how it really is. Damien can’t help but remember his kiss with the innocent and perfect Micki but he “knows” he’s not the right guy for her. He’s still too wrapped up in his own career (or the possible lack thereof). But after saving her from a younger upstart team mate who spikes her “ice tea” (ordering two Long Island Ice Teas in place of the regular ice teas Micki had ordered at the bar) and pulling her out of a strip joint, where she had just decided to do an impromptu drunken strip tease, Damian’s rethinking his options.

Micki and Damian have to decide whether it’s worth all the misery of the crap life throws at them to be together.

Good read. Much better than Carly Phillips usually pops out with. Maybe it’s the baseball lover in me but I totally bought the entire plot (especially the baseball stuff). Even though this is the second in the series (yeah I skipped over the first because I didn’t realize it until I was ½ way into this book and by then it was too late for me to stop and get the 1st book to read), there is no loss (as in, you can pick up the book and just read … no biggie). Look for my coming review on Hot Item (Sophie’s book - #3), and Annabelle’s book (can’t remember what it’s called sorry ;) )

Awards: none

Recommended by: no one (found the book on the shelf at the library when looking for new stuff to read!)

Recommend to: chick lit fans, sports fans, romance fans