Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Five: Contemporary Romance Edition (#03)

Book: True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson
Series: Chinooks Hockey Team, #4
Published: April 28, 2009 (Avon)
Rating: Lunch Break Read
Thoughts: I had wanted to read this book for quite some time before I actually got my hands on it. Even though I know next to nothing about hockey (and still don't, even after reading this book), it was an enjoyable read. The beginning was extremely similar to It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips; I half expected the heroine's name to be Phoebe. But it was about Faith and hockey, not Phoebe and football, and the similarities pretty much ended at the premise. The book was good, but nothing about it was overwhelmingly wonderful. The heroine was attractive, and the hero was Alpha (and his name was Ty Savage, which should not be sexy but totally is). One thing that bothered me was that there were some awesome secondary storylines happening, but we really didn't get any resolution for them at the end. Overall, though, it was a cute and fast read.
"That might be inappropriate."
"The things I'm going to do to you are very inappropriate." He lowered his mouth to her ear. "You should probably be afraid."
"Are you planning anything illegal?"
"Not the first two or three times."

Book: Take on Me by Sarah Mayberry
Series: Secret Lives Of Daytime Divas, #1
Published: March 1, 2007 (Harlequin)
Rating: Lunch Break Read
Thoughts: I really liked the premise of this one because I used to love soap operas (Guiding Light specifically), and I am fascinated by the idea of how the making of them actually works. I know Mayberry used to (or still does?) work on an Australian soap opera, so it was nice to know what I was reading was at least fairly authentic. I just really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of writing and producing. Dylan and Sadie had great chemistry, and I believed the development of their relationship. I wish parts of it could have been dragged out a little longer, but I know Harlequin has pretty strict word limits for their category romance titles. I definitely liked how their history was woven into the story. I thought Dylan was a very complex character, but I enjoyed getting to know him. I could understand him more after seeing his struggles and what he had gone through to overcome them. Overall, while not my favorite Mayberry, Take on Me was still an enjoyable read.
We’re like the three musketeers – if one of us has to pee hiding behind a bush in the woods, the rest of us will have to, as well. It’s an unwritten rule of our friendship code.

Book: Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Series: Chicago Stars, #2
Published: April 1, 1995 (Avon)
Rating: Stash in the Glove Box
Thoughts: There seems to be a lot of love for this book floating about, and if you feel that way, I advise you to put on your big girl pants or skip my comments. I usually really like SEP, but I didn't get the appeal of this book at all. The heroine, Gracie, was spineless and "homely" (which she handily mentions 473,892 times, just in case you somehow miss it). She was self-deprecating like whoa and not in a humorous way. And then we have the hero, Bobby Tom. The guy was a sexist pig, and his behavior was too much for me to forgive, even if there had been a strong redemption element. But there wasn't even that. But he had a good side seemed to somehow be a good enough excuse for it. Guess what? Pedophiles and serial killers have good sides, too. THAT MEANS NOTHING. The side story was enjoyable in theory, but it took up too much of the book and got boring. The book did have some redeeming qualities, such as a fairly interesting main storyline and the fact that all the 90s references were totally cracking me up. As a whole, though, I was not impressed.
With the exception of that one unfortunate incident when he’d stopped the car on a bridge, dragged her to the side, and threatened to toss her over, they’d gotten along very well.

Book: Born in Shame by Nora Roberts
Series: Born In Trilogy, #3
Published: January 1, 1996 (Jove)
Rating: Staying in Tonight
Thoughts: Okay, singular complaint out of the way first: I don't enjoy random large paranormal/mysticism/whatever elements in books that are billed as straightforward contemporary romance. Much less in the third of a trilogy which has had none of it before! I'm still peeved about this, because I think the characters could have had a tremendous love story without the unnecessary elements that were included in the book. I do appreciate that Roberts did not go overboard with it, though. That aside, I loved so many things about this book! I could sympathize with Shannon and eventually grew to like her. I absolutely fell head over heels with Murphey, and I loved how he called her by her full name (Shannon Bodine) all the time like it was a term of endearment to him. I liked watching the bond between the three sisters grow, and I just love the Ireland setting in general. Also, I'm still in love with the voice of the guy who reads these audiobooks. Just saying. If you love a good Irish accent, look up the audiobooks of this trilogy!
Any woman who worked out three times a week should be able to outrun a cow.

Book: Double Play by Jill Shalvis
Series: Pacific Heat, #1
Published: July 7, 2009 (Berkley)
Rating: Staying in Tonight
Thoughts: My love of Jill Shalvis and her fabulous books continues! After reading Slow Heat, #2 in this series (yes, I read them backwards), I was excited for this one. It didn't let me down! I loved both the hero and the heroine. I enjoyed the way baseball was woven into the story, even though it is not my favorite sport. There were some great friendship portrayals, from Pace and Wade's close but easygoing and fun friendship to the one developing between Sam and Holly throughout the story. The dialogue was snappy and hilarious, and the chemistry between Pace and Holly was smoking. I could also totally relate to Pace and his Dr Pepper withdrawal. Poor guy! The love confession at the end was original and cute and fabulous. It also made me really happy to see the pre-set up for Wade and Sam, the h/hr from Slow Heat. All-in-all, Double Play was a great read, and you don't even have to love baseball to appreciate it.
The guy was edible. No other word need apply.

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