Cara McKenna’s Hard TIme: the mini-review

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Hard Time by Cara McKenna

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting book and I give Ms. McKenna props for yet again giving readers an unlikely hero. That said, the hero seemed too perfect to me. I felt as if, in order to compensate for his one failing–a belief in violence as an act of punishment against the unreedemable, Ms. McKenna was afraid to give him a single other failing. I did, however, marvel at how well Ms. McKenna does “setting.” The prison, the downtrodden almost dead Michigan town, even the step above skanky bar the heroine lives above are all so vividly portrayed, I could imagine myself there. If you, like me, are tired of books where real life takes a backseat to florid portrayals of lives where the super-rich play at being geniuses, this book will strike you as bracing in the best way.
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Unfixable by Tessa Bailey: the mini-review

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UnfixableUnfixable by Tessa Bailey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I loved this book up until the end and then it just burned up for me. This is a 3.5 star book for me! Also, the heroine is maybe 18 and I think the hero is closer to 30. His age and the gap didn’t bother me as much as her youth.

Still, it was a really fun read and now I am dying to go to Ireland.

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Lexxi Callahan’s Sweetened with a Kiss: the mini-review

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Sweetened With a Kiss by Lexxi Callahan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked lots about this book. The writing is crisp and often moving. The couple has a lot of genuine heat and hurt and Ms. Callahan explores them both well.

I struggled though, to understand the plot for the first half of the book. Sweetened with a Kiss reads as though it is part of a series. Characters and background events are presented as a given and yet I felt utterly not clued-in. This made the first hours I spent reading the novel disconcerting. I also found the end far too speedily and tidily resolved. It felt as if all these serious threats evaporated overly easily.

Still, Sweetened with a Kiss was a fun read and, if you like bossy, alpha heroes, you’ll really like Stefan!

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Juliana Ross’s Improper Proposals: the mini-review

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Improper Proposals (Improper, #3)Improper Proposals by Juliana Ross

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well written but far too full of sex scenes that don’t further the emotional connection between the leads, Tom and Caroline. There’s a formality to the writing that is at odds with the tenor of the novel. I guess I don’t want to read a erotic romance that reminds me of a lesser Austen work.

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having my baby… or not

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My youngest son and I were discussing the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action today. This, naturally, let into a discussion about abortion regulation in the U.S. That conversation made me think of this post which was originally published at All About Romance last year. My thoughts on the matter remain unchanged.  Continue reading

a fan in fantasy rather than in reality

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Over the last few weeks, I assiduously avoided sports. Literally. Much of my family spent hours is in another room swearing at the television and the games of the NCAA tournament.

I’ve never been into sports. I didn’t play sports growing up. In high school I avoided jocks and the games they played in. In college and graduate school, despite being in the fabled Tobacco Road, I attended one quarter of one football game.

When I moved in with my now husband I was appalled at how much he cared about sports. If his team lost a big football game, our weekend could be shot. Hours I’d have preferred to spend canoodling, he preferred to watch the NCAA, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, and, fortunately not very often, MLB.

 Over the years I have become slightly closer with sports. I do watch the occasional basketball game, and enjoy the current era of women’s and men’s professional tennis. I still, however, don’t really understand football, find hockey terrifying, and loathe baseball.

Thus it surprises me many of my favorite contemporary romances feature athlete heroes. Just today I read a book with an ex-NFL hero I adored. I’ve read and reread Rachel Gibson’s Chinooks series more times than I care to confess. I harbor an abiding affection for Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Chicago Stars football players – and I hate football. Continue reading

good gods, I love this book and this review of it

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I am currently re-reading this book for the second time in a week. Usually, books with dom/sub relationships are interesting to me but not inherently engaging. (Have you met me?) The relationship in this book captivates me. I’d review it here but Michelle’s review is so spot on and well done that I think readers are better served reading it.