Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Unraveling The Past by Beth Andrews

Review of Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews

Published: June 5, 2012

4 out 5 smirks

Synopsis: "A life built on lies?

How do you work for a guy who took the job you wanted? Every time Captain Layne Sullivan runs into Chief Ross Taylor, she struggles with that issue. It doesn’t help that he’s a by-the-book cop who expects everything done his way. It also doesn’t help that he’s hot. Ignoring that little fact is impossible—she’s tried!

Then Layne’s world is turned upside down when human remains are discovered…and the case has a personal connection. Suddenly she’s glad Ross is so thorough, because he’ll get to the truth. And his search brings them closer, fueling the attraction that’s out of control. As secrets and lies from the past surface, Layne’s biggest challenge is fighting for a future—with Ross in it."

Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews is a story about being able to handle life on your own, but finally wanting someone to share your life with.  I'm hoping this book is the first in a series because there are a lot of unresolved issues that we as readers do not get the answers to.  While Layne and Ross are two characters readers can get behind and laugh with about all their heated arguments about nothing, I wish we knew more about what happens to them in the end.  Hence why this is reader/blogger is hoping for a series! The under current between Layne and Ross sizzles and their chemistry is certainly top notch; what makes these two characters unique is the fact they are both care takers wanting to finally be taken care of by one another.  I give Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews 4 smirks because the story is mysterious, the characters are feisty, and while there are unanswered questions I still couldn't put the book down.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller

Review of Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller

Published: July 24, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "With his rugged good looks, vast wealth and family name, hell-raiser Hutch Carmody is still the golden boy of Parable, Montana. But he’s done some growing up—making peace with his illegitimate half brother and inheriting half of Whisper Creek Ranch, which should have been all his. These days, Hutch knows there are some things money can’t buy: like the heart of loving, ladylike divorcĂ©e Kendra Shepherd.

Kendra’s quiet mansion reminds her of what she wants most— a devoted husband and the pitter-patter of little feet. She can’t get Hutch Carmody out of her mind. But a rough-and-tumble cowboy like Hutch, coming home for family dinner? Seems crazy! Then again, crazier dreams have become reality under the vast Montana sky."

Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller is a story about realizing being stubborn can stand in the way of your dreams. Kendra and Hutch are two characters who fuel fire to one another.  They go from mad to hurt to happy in under 60 seconds just based on how the other one reacts to the conversation at hand.  While they seem like an unlikely pair, it turns out they are two halves of a whole.  And though the story is about romance and finding your way back to the person you have always loved, the foundation of the story is about creating your own family when yours falls apart. What was adorable about this story was Madison and her eerie way of knowing exactly what is going on even though she is only 4 years old.  The one part of this story I had trouble with was the fact that we as readers did not get to see how Hutch and Kendra resolved solved those issues before they moved to the next step.  I give Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller 4 smirks because the story included all the characters from the previous book and we as readers got to see where in their lives they currently are; how their lives were progressing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

Review of Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

Published: May 29, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father—until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn’t sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody. Including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen—whom Slade has never forgotten.

But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect—plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter—Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she’s responsible only for her own actions. Such as her effect on this lawman’s guarded heart."

Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller is a story about trusting your instinct and having the courage to go after what you want.  At first I thought this story was extremely awkward because the two main characters didn't really converse in the way of actually talking. Slade and Joslyn seem to have this eerie connection where they know one another on a different wave length than everyone else.  The less they seem to talk, the more they seem to know about one another.  To be honest, at first I was turned off by how this author set up this romance story.  I like knowing what the characters talk about and this story was mainly about descriptive thinking.  Although after reading this story I can see the brilliance Linda Lael Miller brings to her books, by making them unlike any other romance books out there today.  So even though I didn't really like the way the characters just cruise by one another, I'm smart enough to admit the brilliance of this story because I know I didn't put the book down until I was finished.  I give Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller 4 smirks because brilliance is brilliance and this story was brilliant.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bet On A Cowboy by Julie Benson

Review of Bet On A Cowboy by Julie Benson

Published: June 5, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Love Is The Wild Card

Commitment phobic Colorado cowboy Griffin McAlister has it all figured out. Do the reality dating show, get the money his family desperately needs and go on with his life. Actually falling in love was never part of the deal…least of all falling in love with the show’s spunky director.

Maggie Sullivan knows she’s found a star the minute she meets Griffin. But as she gets to know the man behind the dimples, she realizes she might have found something more. It doesn’t matter, though; she has a job to do. Besides, how could he ever notice her while he’s busy wooing ten gorgeous women?

Now Griffin has a choice to make: stick with the plan and lose Maggie forever, or risk everything for a chance to win her heart!"

Bet On A Cowboy by Julie Benson is a truly fascinating romance story about looking beneath the surface to find true love.  Maggie and Griffin are two characters whose chemistry comes from the challenge they pose for one another.  I like that Maggie doesn't put up with Griffin's charm and chooses to ignore it, only taking him seriously when he's being honest.  I like that Griffin finally realizes that he can't get everything he wants with just some pretty words and a dazzling smile.  The story revolving around a reality dating show gave the story a unique spin and sitting back and letting things play out.  What I didn't like about this story was how played out calling Maggie plain was.  I mean seriously as a character I was surprised Maggie wasn't limping towards the end of the story from the endless "you're plain" comments kept rolling around in this book.  I also didn't like that most of the comments came from the mind of Griffin.  I give Bet On A Cowboy by Julie Benson 4 smirks because even though I didn't like how many times Maggie was called plain over the course of the  story, obviously this book got under my skin for me to rant about it in a review.  Even this snark can see the brilliance in that.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker

Review of The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker

Published: September 1, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Welcome to The Booby Trap, a seedy bar where waitresses' skirts are high, necklines are low and customers show up for the eye candy.

When brainy, beautiful, Harvard Ph.D. candidate Bambi Benson wants to study the women of the  Booby Trap for her dissertation, she goes undercover and joins them. All is going well for Bambi until handsome local celebrity Trip Whitley enters the scene.

Hoping to shock his high-society family by dating a bimbo, Trip offers to pay Bambi to pretend to be his girlfriend. She accepts his offer and bides her time, waiting for the right moment to reveal her true identity and teach Trip not to judge based on appearances.

After a series of dates carefully orchestrated for their publicity value, Bambi's trap is set. But there's one problem: the predator might have fallen in love with her prey."

If there is one word to describe The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker it is innovative.  Don't get me the wrong, the characters in this story are amazing with wit, humor, and vulnerability but what really makes this story what is it is the concept while it is still a romance book this romance is based on a partnership.  The Booby Trap displays an equally that the majority of romance books lacks.  In this story we get to see how the main characters are balanced and while there is still romance to the story, it is romance that is coming from both sides (not just one sided).  Partnership is what makes this romance book stand apart from others which is why I give The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker 5 smirks. Romance readers everywhere should indulge in this book because of how uniquely different it is from the rest of romance books.