Thursday, August 15, 2013

REVIEW: Fourplay by Jane Moore

Title: Fourplay
Author: Jane Moore
Publisher: Broadway
Publication Date: January, 2001
Genre: Chick-Lit

Description: At age thirty-three, Josephine Miles is forced to come up with a brand-new life when her husband leaves her for "the cliché"--his very young, very pretty secretary. Suddenly she's single and back in the dating game with the added complication of children in tow. But Jo's no wallflower, and she soon finds herself with not one but four eligible bachelors vying for her time and affections. Add her two kids and her now booming interior design business to the mix, and she winds up with a nightmarish schedule but a dreamy love life.

So who are the contestants? There's Sean, the sexy foreign affairs correspondent who sweeps Jo off her feet and proves to be masterful in bed; Martin, the music industry mogul who offers luxury, stability, and a glamorous lifestyle; and Conor, Jo's trusted confidant, who knows just what to say to make her smile (why hadn't she noticed his irresistible smile until now?). Then there's Jeff, her ex-husband: she wouldn't consider hooking up with him again, would she? It could happen--especially when Jeff's romance with the sweet young thing sours and he launches a full-scale campaign to win Jo back.

My Thoughts: One of the reasons I am a fan of the Chick-Lit genre is how the stories resonate with me. The plots, characters, emotions, wit, sarcasm, and the humor are all elements I find so easy to relate to. Fourplay was no exception. This story and the lead character, Jo, drew me in quickly. Anyone who has had a long term relationship end unexpectedly and badly can see themselves in this story. Anyone who has had their trust betrayed by their spouse and has to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives and start over will easily connect to this story.

One of the things I liked about Jo was her determination to move forward through her husband’s adultery. She allowed herself to shatter and fall apart, but she didn’t stay there. She got up and began rebuilding her life. She restarts her career, takes care of her children, and takes her life back. Healing is a long process that doesn’t happen overnight, but Jo is a wonderful example of a woman who does exactly that. I loved that Jo is receptive to new relationships but that she doesn’t rebound commit to the first man who crosses her path. I had a lot of anticipation reading the book trying to figure out who she would ultimately end up with.

A very interesting aspect of this story was Jeff, Jo’s ex-husband. I found his character defects and flaws quite interesting and witnessing his behavior and treatment of Jo is typical of a man who is weak and selfish. His attempt to win Jo back when his fling fizzles out came as no surprise to me. As Jo’s life seems to shine as she becomes stronger and more self-confident, Jeff’s seems to become the opposite. I enjoyed seeing Jeff eating some Karma pie, but I also pitied him. I thought it was sad that a self-made successful attorney on the outside was so weak and pathetic on the inside that he threw everything away instead of working on his problems with Jo. I especially loved it when Jo actually tells him that she should thank him for walking out on her and the kids.

I also enjoyed all of the other supporting characters. Jo’s brother, her best friend, her parents and the prospective love connections added to the story in unique ways. Jo’s brother was entertaining and her best friend was a god-send. Jo depends on them a lot and I loved that they were there for her. I empathized with Jo about the relationship she has with her parents. Jo’s mother was overbearing and hard to tolerate and Jo struggles with it for most of the book. Towards the end, we get a wonderful twist that gives Jo a whole new outlook on her relationship with her parents, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked each of the men Jo dates, some more than others. They were all unique and being with each of them brings Jo a wonderful opportunity to figure out who she is once again.

My Final Verdict: Overall, a very good story of one woman’s journey to rebuild her life after betrayal ends her marriage. I recommend this for readers of romance who enjoy strong female characters who refuse to let life’s roadblocks keep them from pursuing happiness.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

REVIEW: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Title: Once Burned (Night Prince #1)
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy

Description: She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

My Thoughts: Jeaniene Frost is one of my favorite picks when I want a little “bite” to my romance. I love her Cat and Bones series. I didn’t love Vlad when I first met him in the earlier books. I found him to be very arrogant with an extremely large chip on his shoulder. With Once Burned, readers are given an inside and very in depth look into Vlad’s life. He’s not the typical vampire hero that readers will instantly fall for, but without realizing that it’s happening, readers will find themselves drawn to him, wanting to know more and get to know him better. I’m still annoyed that Ian has not gotten a story yet and still hoping for one, but by the end of this book, I found myself firmly a fan of Vlad.

Leila is also not your typical heroine. I really liked that she thinks quickly on her feet and makes the most of a bad situation to turn it around. I knew Leila would be an interesting character as soon as she is kidnapped in the beginning of the book, Instead of being a blubbery and withering victim, she turns the tables on her kidnappers. I found her gifts of telepathy and electricity very intriguing as well. Ms. Frost does an excellent job of bringing in the background of both of these characters to give the reader a better idea of who they are without digressing too much from the main story.

A lot of new characters are introduced that I really liked, especially Maximus, a vampire who works for Vlad and who befriends Leila. This story has a great mix of action, passion, intrigue and even some funny moments. Cat, Bones and Mencheres also make an appearance so there really wasn’t anything I could complain about too loudly. The story ends with a big unfinished twist that I hope will be addressed in the next book, Twice Tempted.

My Final Verdict: I found this to be a very good start to an interesting series that should appeal not only to fans of Cat and Bones, but also to all fans of vampire romance. Vlad and Leila are very strong willed characters that I enjoyed getting to know and look forward to what they face next.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

REVIEW: The Accidental Virgin by Valerie Frankel

Title: The Accidental Virgin
Author: Valerie Frankel
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: March, 2003
Genre: Chick-Lit

Description: From: Venus, Goddess of Love, 120 Main, Mt. Olympus

To: Stacy Temple, lapsed temptress

Stacy, Stacy, Stacy.

You were so promising at the beginning: Sexy, smart, personable and funny. Great on dates and really great afterward-if you know what I mean. But this is a sad state of affairs; or, in your case, non-affairs! It's been nearly an entire year and you haven't had your way with even ONE eligible male. You've been working so hard concocting sexy lingerie for -- and really, Stacy, if that little pink velvet bustier didn't put you in the mood, I don't know what to say! -- that you haven't even tried to be coaxed out of your own!

Are you listening, Stacy? Seven days to find the perfect man -- or else!

Happy hunting!

My Thoughts: To begin with, the description of this book completely misled me as the Goddess of Love made no appearance in this story, whatsoever. I quickly got over that, however, and became so immersed in Stacy Temple’s life that I finished this book in 5 days! I’m still surprised by that because I’m a notoriously slow reader and there just haven’t been many books that I literally inhale so quickly.

Stacy Temple is your typical young working gal who has had her share of ups and downs in the relationship arena. After her last relationship ended nearly a year ago, Stacy’s focus turned to her career at an Internet start-up company selling sexy lingerie that she has neglected her sexual needs. No big deal, right? Apparently Stacy discovers it is a very big deal. She learns through a sex column emailed to her by a friend that after one year of celibacy, a girl gets “re-virginated.” No, “it” doesn’t grow back, but according to the column, it may as well as you are officially a virgin again. This sends Stacy on a quest to get lucky before the one year mark. With failure after failure with several prospective partners (one of which is a paid escort gifted to Stacy by her boss!!!), Stacy’s desperation rockets upward.

This book was hilarious. I laughed out loud throughout the book while shaking my head combined with a little bit of eye-rolling at what was waiting on the next page. However, I couldn’t help but cheer Stacy on. I had to give the girl points for seeing it through despite the odds of overall failure. Who knew it would be so hard to find someone to have sex with in New York City? Finding out how this would all shake out kept my anticipation level rising at the same pace as Stacy’s desperation.

My Final Verdict: This was a very fast read for me that made me laugh out loud several times. I highly recommend this to fans of both the chick-lit and contemporary romance genre who are looking for an entertaining and humorous book to escape into…eye-rolling optional.


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)