November 24, 2008

Trouble with High Heels by Christina Dodd

Brandi Michaels just moved to Chicago from Nashville, she has everything planned out: she's going to start a great job at one of Chicago's finest law firms, and she will marry her doctor boyfriend soon. Things don't go quite as she expected when her boyfriend calls her from Vegas where he just married his pregnant girlfriend.

Brandi decides she's going to pawn her engagement ring and buy herself a fabulous dress and some fuck-me shoes and go to a great party and find herself a man to have a sex with and never see again. Said man is Roberto Bartollini, an Italian count.

Since this book is supposed to be suspenseful and mysterious I won't say more beyond that.

Trouble with High Heels is not Christina Dodd's first foray into contemporar romance (She's better known for her historical romance books) but at times it feels like it is. The book has a bit of a personality crisis, and the 'suspence' feels thin. I liked Brandi and her mother and I liked Roberto and his grandfather; but I didn't like the book as much as I liked the characters.

And toward the end, well, the end pretty much was ridiculous. It that gesture had been more meassured I would have thought in very romantic but it was just kind of silly.



November 15, 2008

To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt

SinnerTo Seduce a Sinner is the second book in the Legend of the Four Soldiers Series by Elizabeth Hoyt.

Melisande knows she's not exactly the Belle of the Ball, and she knows that, though she comes from a good family, at 28 she isn't much of a catch. But she has been in love with Japer Renshaw, Lord Vale; since she first saw him years ago and when his fiancée leaves him at the altar she decides that is now or never, so she proposes to Lord Vale.

Vale, for his part, was not having the best of days, actually, he has had lots of bad days since he returned from the colonies where he was in the military, after most of his company was killed in an ambush, especially when one the few surviors tells him that he knows for a fact they were betrayed (see To Taste Temptation). His body might be unharmed, but his mind has deep scars. When she asks, and even though he's not even sure of Melisande's name, he decides its not the worse thing in the world and agrees to marry her.

I would say more but I'll leave it at saying that Melisande has her secrets (though, arguably, there was more Mrs. Hoyt could have done with that bit of the plot); and so does Lord Vale (it feels funy calling him Jasper, somehow); the both have a past and things they regreat. However, and I this is very important to me, I was so glad when Lord Vale didn't react like a Judith McNaught hero (as in completely stupid and blowing things out of proportion) when he discovered some of Melisande's secrets, that was so refreshing and just great.

I was also very intreaged by Mrs. Firstwilliam and Sir Alistair (who, yes, are set to be the main couple in Book 3 To Beguile a Beast, out early-ish 2009), and I want to hear more from them.

As for Melisande and Lord Vale, I'm happy with their story. and Sir Mouse, Melisande's dog, was such a nice touch.

Oh, and by the way, we keep going through the stories of the four soldiers (which started with Iron Heart in To Taste Temptation, and continues here with Laughing Jack) and the way the stories changed hands was quite nice, it had me smiling.

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WIlla by Heart by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Willa by HeartOh, it's Willa-Time Again.

After successfully saving her beloved Bramble Library, Willa is back for more. Change has fallen upon Bramble and Willa is not quite sure where all that leaves her. Sure, her mother is happily married and she's planning on finally stop calling her stepfather 'Sam' and actually calling him Dad; Joey Kennelly is her boyfriend (why, they are the most compatible couple in Bramble Academy!) and summer will arrive soon.

But then, everything begins to change slowly, mostly when Mariel, a new girl, shows up to wreck Willa's word. The town's theater company is putting on "Our Town" and Willa thinks she and Joey are perfect for the lead roles, until Mariel gets the part of Emily and now she is going to kiss Willa's boyfriend on stage! It doesn't help that Joey and Mariel are friends, which sends Willa into a couple of jealous fits. Stella, Willa's Mom, has big news of her own, Sulamina Mum (one of Willa's friends and the minister at Bramble United Church) has news too.

Oh, and the Blazers are back (along with 16 bridesmaids).

Bramble is changing, and so is Willa.

It's such a joy when you start to read a book and you know immediately, right from the first page, that you're going to love it. That's exactly what happened to me with this book. Of course, I'm guilty of being a Willa fan, but it doesn't matter, trust me. It just takes a few sentences, where Willa is describing sunrise on the Cape and you're instantly in love.

I'm glad to see Willa grow up, and make mistakes. She's still true to character, a nice, lovable girl, but that doesn't mean she's perfect or that she doesn't feel the less savory feelings - like jealousy or anger - but, Willa is Willa, and she ends up doing the right thing even when, as she learns in Willa by Heart, it's not always easy. In fact, sometimes, doing the right thing is right down hard.


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