Two reviews for the price of one!

Okay, so they’re free. I just thought I’d do a ‘doubly’. I thought making it shorter and more compact might make it easier to read.

My first book is ‘First Star I see Tonight’ and it’s by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. It’s a new one in the Chicago Stars series but it’s a perfectly good standalone if you want to pick it up.

Recap:

First Star I see Tonight tells the story of Piper Dove who is trying to be a detective. During her assignment, she spies on Cooper Graham, the Quarterback for the Chicago Stars. He catches her in the act and all mayhem ensues.

Reasons to buy it:

The dialogue is incredible. The comebacks, the lines, the quick jokes, Susan Elizabeth Phillips is known for her dialogue and this book doesn’t disappoint.

The characters are really likeable. From the tough Coop, to the determined Piper, they’re friendly, funny and yet quirky. Not a creepy, ew-inducing issue in sight.

Finally, the humour. I love a book that makes me laugh and this one did.

My second book is ‘Now that you mention it’ by Kristan Higgins. It’s just been released and, since I’m a big fan, I was waiting biting my nails for this one.

Recap:

Nora Stuart, successful doctor and specialist, gets hit by a car and ends up going back home to the teeny, tiny Maine community she left years and years ago. Back she goes to find her once quirky neighbours haven’t changed and she tries as hard as she can to mend relationships and her family. Along the way, she mends more than just that, which was fine by me.

Reasons to buy it:

I loved, loved the heroine. Nora wasn’t a hit in high school, she was a nerd. She wasn’t pretty or thin but she was smart and she used those brains to give herself a future. Being a doctor wasn’t easy but she did it. I loved that about her. She also had a wonderful doggie Boomer, who was immediately loved by yours truly.

The premise caught me right off. I love the concept of heroines who return to their tiny birth towns. I know it’s been done but I still find it awesome. I love the quirky characters and funny back stories. I would have loved to visit the island myself.

This wasn’t just a simple romance story. The main arc of the tale is more about the heroine mending relationships (including the one with herself) and owning her power, than about the romance. And, while she did it, she made me laugh. Awesome.

Note: If you’re interested in the books, click on the covers and you’ll go to the author’s sites.

Review: Heroes Are My Weakness

I first picked up Heroes Are My Weakness at the book store months ago. I was able to read only one chapter, hungrily and quickly, before I had to leave. Like all great books, the story haunted me until I finally bought it. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is absolutely amazing and certainly one of my automatic-buys, so I knew I was going to love this book. I just wasn’t prepared for how the story developed. This one is a little different for her.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips has incredible dialogue. I mean, the characters have lines that leave me staring aghast at the page unable to think how someone thought of that retort. It never grows dull, it never becomes repetitive or whiny. It’s fast, gripping, hilarious and stunning. She can also wind a story and make turns that leave me shaking my head wondering how she did that. And, finally, she has amazing characters. Not just fully fleshed out but with really interesting back stories that I just love to discover.

This book has all of that…but it’s different. Really different.

Heroes Are My Weakness is the story of Annie and Theo. She’s on a remote island to try and keep a cottage as a source of funds. He’s a reclusive author with a very dark past. They both share a common history that is slowly revealed in the book. They also fall in love.

I keep saying that this one is different but how? Well, usually, with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, you get great humour, great dialogue and a fantastic love story. This one had all of that…and a mystery. It was a bit like reading Sandra Brown. I would come to the end of one chapter to find out something that made me gasp and turn, in desperation to the next chapter. I wasn’t ready for that with S.E.P. There was a villain and there was danger and people almost died…mostly myself with anxiety. I don’t do well with thrillers or fear. I have two huge dogs for a reason, people.

I’m not complaining. I was delighted with the book, loved it and couldn’t put it down. My hubby made dinner, we had company and all I did was read. Terrible and really rude–I know!–but if you pick up this book, you’ll understand. I couldn’t rest until I knew what was going to happen. It was one of those.

I particularly loved how the back story is revealed so slowly, organically, weaved carefully into the story so that the relevant pieces appear just when they’re pertinent and interesting to the reader. I never once resented that the book went into the past. I wanted to know what had happened because it had to do with the present in the story.

And I truly liked the characters. To me, they seemed both complete and perfectly flawed. They weren’t mouses who suddenly become lions, they kept their personality. Still they managed to step outside their comfort zones and grow into better people. The love story was completely believable and plausible.

I could really ramble on because there are facets of this book that are truly superior. The writing is absolutely fantastic and the humour made me laugh out loud. But this review is already ridiculously long. So, let me finish with with a recommendation. I’d recommend this for both contemporary fans and thriller fans. If you like Sandra Brown, or Nora Roberts this one is for you. Enjoy and let me know what you think! (But be brief, will you? No one likes some one who rambles on). 😀

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Note: to go to site click here.

Summertime Madness Book Tag

Alas…It already looks like summer is leaving us here in good old Canada. Today, it’s grey, damp and rainy. I won’t complain because we’ve had a lovely summer even if it only lasts two months here. Plus, I got tagged by Melissa Barker-Simpson for this lovely Summertime Book Tag and I can’t wait to share in. (thank you for thinking of me Melissa!)

Here are the questions (and none of them are crazy exam-like questions):

  • Show a book with a summery cover.
(credit:goodreads.com)

(credit:goodreads.com)

And yes, I read this one and absolutely loved, loved it. Mary Balogh is amazing.

  • Pick one fictional place that would be the perfect destination for a summer vacation!

I would love to visit England for the summer. I’ve been and it’s just beautiful, full of incredible culture and wonderful people. True, my hubby is British, so I’m a little biased. If I had to choose another destination, I’d love to see the East Coast of Canada. Halifax and Nova Scotia. They’re gorgeous places and I’ve never been.

  • You’re about to go on a flight to your summer vacation. But you want to read a book that lasts for the whole flight, what novella do you choose?

Depends how long the flight is. If we’re talking only a couple of hours, then I’d reread a book. Right now I’m rereading the Archangel series by Nalini Singh. It’s one of those I keep reading over and over.

If the flight was transatlantic, about 6 or 8 hours, then I’d choose a new book. I’d like to take something I haven’t read yet. Right now I’m reading a Chaos novel by Kristen Ashley. It’s nice and thick, she’s a reliable author and I’d love to have a few hours to just read and read.

On a very long  flight, I’d love to take something out of genre that I would read. I like to read Jodi Picoult…Its not my usual thing but I like the way she writes. Or something completely different for me. Just take a chance and test something off the shelf. You never know what you’ll find!

Okay…one thing is obvious, I sure can ramble! Time to shorten these answers!

  • You have a case of summertime sadness what happy book do you pick up to shine a smile on your face?

Anything by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I just finished one by her and she’s outstanding. Though, for honesty’s sake, I’d have to add that reading anything romance cheers me up.

  • You’re sitting at the beach all alone…which fictional character would be your beach babe?

Ah….beach babe?…….Ah…….ahem….let’s see….ah….

  • To match your ice cream you want an icy cool sidekick! Which fictional side kick do you pick?

Ah…side kick? I thought these questions were going to be easy!….ah….I’m going to choose my doggies…and thank Callum for the idea!

  • Share the Summertime Happiness! Who do you TAG?

Oh…here we are! The end! Hm…who do I tag…hee hee…the power…hee hee. I choose….Infinitefreetime, aka Luther M. Siler. Ha!

 

Review: Ain’t she sweet?

I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She has some of the best character dialogue I’ve read. It can be funny, poignant and deep without going over the top and sounding stuffy or pretentious. I have no idea how she does it, but she does and does so consistently.

So, when I picked up this book, I knew I was in for a good dialogue. It’s also got a premise that I love. Sugar Beth has returned to the town she took advantage of. She’s both broke and desperate but, worse, she has to face a man whose reputation she destroyed with a lie all those years ago. Colin Byrne.

Colin shows Sugar Beth no mercy and neither do her former friends but Sugar Beth won’t give up. Courageous and without any self-pity, she fights to win the money she needs for someone she’s trying to help. The arguments between her and Colin makes me want to pick up the book again and again.

Ain’t She Sweet? has that amazing dialogue I mentioned. It also has great characters and a fantastic plot. It’s not only a keeper, it’s one I reread anytime I need a pick me up. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary romance.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Review: Match me if you can

I love a feisty heroine who fights for a dream and this story was exactly that. Annabelle is determined and a fighter. She’s desperate to keep her matchmaking business going and to try to stay ahead of the bills. In order to do that, she wants to get the city’s most eligible bachelor, Heath Champion, as her client.

Heath and Annabelle set off sparks from the very start. He’s determined to have things go his way and, at the beginning, she’s got the losing hand. But here is where her intelligence and quick wit come in and soon she’s turning the tables on the tough Heath.

One of my favourite parts of any book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the dialogue. It’s fast, light, and really funny. This book didn’t let me down. I laughed out loud at Annabelle’s attempts to keep the elderly clients in her business happy, as well as the jokes the other football players played on her house.

Though its a book in a series, there’s no need to have read the previous books. This one is certainly one to savour and enjoy. I’ll keep it among my favourites and re-read it slowly. If you’re a fan of contemporary romance with a little bit of humour, don’t miss out on this one. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of the best of the genre for good reason.

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Monday Morsel: Ain’t she sweet?

Monday Morsel is a little twist I put on the bookish meme Teaser Tuesdays hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. It works just like Teaser Tuesdays…except it’s on Monday. 🙂

Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other Monday Morsel participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“It had been fifteen years, but she knew who he was before he spoke.

“Hello, Sugar Beth.” ” Pg. 19 from Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Monday Morsel

Monday Morsel is a little twist I put on the bookish meme Teaser Tuesdays hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. It works just like Teaser Tuesdays…except it’s on Monday. 🙂

Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other Monday Morsel participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

” “Anything?”

She didn’t flinch from his assessing gaze. “Whatever it takes.” ”

From pg. 13 of Match me if you can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Awesome September books

September in Canada always means beautiful fall colours and a return or cooler temperatures. For me, though there are a lot of books coming out that make this month, something to look forward to.

Here’s a post by the All About Romance site with the upcoming September romance books. http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=12940 They have covers and links so you can check them out at your heart’s content.

Here are a few of the books coming out, to whet your appetite.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is coming out with ‘Heroes are my Weakness’.

Rachel Gibson has her book coming out ‘What I love about You’.

If you’re a Nora Roberts fan, J.D. Robb has ‘Festive in Death’ coming out.

Lorraine Heath has ‘Once More, My Darling Rogue’.

Patricia Briggs has Shifting Shadows.

Thea Harrison has Night’s Honor.

Lisa Jackson has Close to Home.

Nalini Singh has Rock Addition.

Isn’t it exciting? What books are you looking forward to?

Book_lover

Review: It had to be you by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I’ve said before that Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a master writer and this book is proof. She doesn’t just have complete, believable characters who are loveable in spite being flawed, she shows you how they grow–you see it in the book. Then she knits in a great plot and adds a touch of humour. The resulting book is an absolute gem.

Phoebe, the heroine, has her flaws. I honestly didn’t like them at first…until I understood her history. Dan, the hero, has his issues and, though I thought he was a hot-head jock at first, I got to know him and suddenly I could see the remorse and the good guy under the easy one-liners.

Phoebe has gone through hell and back. Dan is only now starting to realize how messed up his love life is. They have scars that make them so interesting I could barely pay attention to what was going on with the other characters but they’re awesome in their own right. From quirky football players to Phoebe’s endearingly realistic teen sister, they kept the story going.

I love complex stories where sex doesn’t fix things and issues don’t magically disappear in the bedroom or at the end of the book. I think it adds a touch of realism and class to the story. This book had both in spades.

From another perspective, the author is someone who knows football. This book isn’t a lesson or a course on the sport but rather Ms. Phillips knows enough to add colourful elements of the sport that enrich the story, made me laugh and don’t slow down the plot or feel like a lesson. I loved reading about Phoebe’s innocent start into the Stars.

With summer coming, this is a great book for the cottage or the beach. And a great way to get to know one of romance’s finest writers. This is the book that seriously started Ms. Phillips’ writing career and that’s because it’s such a fantastic read.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“The door behind her opened and she tensed. She didn’t need to turn her head to know who had come in; there was something in the air.”

Pg. 73 of ‘It had to be you’ by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.