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review 2017-07-31 04:17
Brief Thoughts: Cutting Loose
Cutting Loose - Tara Janzen

Cutting Loose
by Tara Janzen
Book 8 of Steele Street

 

 

She's the unsuspecting beauty with something everybody wants.

He's the secret agent in so deep nobody can find him.

Until now...

CIA operative Zachary Prade made his name taking out world threats.  But now he’s tracking a very different kind of danger and her name is Lily Robbins.  Lily holds the key to a valuable encoded file that’s about to fall into the wrong hands.  All Zach has to do is retrieve the key and forget the rain-soaked beauty who came to his Central American plantation seeking shelter from more than the weather.

Lily knows him as Alejandro Campos, the seductive drug lord who saved her life.  They met when she traveled to El Salvador to film a documentary…and got caught in the middle of a nasty drug-and-guerrilla war.  Now, back in the U.S., hunted by spooks and assassins, Lily has to trust Campos again.  Except his name isn’t Campos, and he’s arousing a passion so hot it’s criminal.  That is, if they can survive long enough to enjoy it…



Cutting Loose still didn't feel like the reason why I ended up loving these Steele Street books, but it DID get right back into the heart of it's absurdly entertaining factor.  There are guns, there are cars, and there's the hot and steamy sex... of which our couple seems to manage over a very long period of time.  Whew!  There's high speed chase from danger, but no gun fights or explosions.

And it wasn't until nearing the end of the book that I realized that the entire setting of this 400 page book takes place over the time frame of one day.  Only the first couple and last couple chapters are not part of the one day.  And so that's when I felt a slightly bit more impressed--because for a book that manages to drag out an entire day of cat and mouse chase between several players, the progression actually flew by pretty quickly.

I hadn't even been aware that things were happening, because I kept thinking that we weren't in the middle of the conflict yet... and yet we technically were.  If that makes any sense.

These books don't make any sense.

So this review probably doesn't make any sense either.

Anyway...

While Lily and Zach were interesting characters, this wouldn't be the first time in this series where we didn't get enough of a chance to get to know the main couple.  And so, while you learn a few things about them as the story progresses, we really barely skim the surface of these two character's biographies.  Even Lily barely knows who Zach is until the end of the book.  The two of them are running from danger together, with secrets as the giant pink elephant in the backseat of Zach's Shelby Cobra Mustang.

And yet, somehow, they managed to make this partnership work.  Somehow, they develop a rather believable romance, even if most of it is based off of lust and adrenaline.  Somehow, I found the two of them rather intriguing.

Meanwhile, we get to meet previous characters, which I love doing, because usually I end up loving previous books' main characters as side characters.  They tend to be much more fun when they aren't center stage, ya know.  Unfortunately, like some of the previous books in this series, you also get introduced to a random secondary couple who kind of also manages to hog some book time along with other side characters... and you'd rather just get back to the main couple and learn more about them.

Entertaining book.  Lots of potential.  Lots of crazy.


***

 

Free Friday #7:

Page Count:  405
Cash Award:  +$10.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $268.00

 

 

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/brief-thoughts-cutting-loose.html
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review 2017-07-29 02:24
Brief Thoughts: On the Loose
On the Loose - Tara Janzen

On the Loose
by Tara Janzen
Book 7 of Steele Street

 

 

He's a special agent who never loses his cool.

She's the heat-seeking missile headed straight for his heart.

Keeping cool under pressure is the credo C. Smith Rydell lives by.  That’s why he was handpicked by the Special Defense Forces for a mission few men survive.  So why has the ex-DEA superstar been reassigned to Panama City, playing bodyguard to a blond in a black string bikini?  Except Honey York isn’t your average pampered socialite.  She’s the woman Rydell caught smuggling cash into El Salvador four months ago.  And now she wants him to take her back.

All Honey has to do is find the guerrilla camp, deliver the goods, and get the hell out of the jungle—all in forty-eight hours.  Only one man is up for the job.  But sharing an unforgettable one-night stand was nothing next to being stranded with Rydell on some third world mountaintop.  And with bullets flying and all hell breaking loose, now is not the time for passion.  As if these two could possibly resist it….



Not a whole lot to say about On the Loose except that it was just as absurdly entertaining as the previous six books in this series.  I'm glad I jumped back into Steele Street.

The difference between this book and the previous books, however, is that there really was a semblance of a plot, even if I'm still not sure what it was.  There was a direction, a conflict, a story, and a strange little romance with two people who didn't really make sense in real life.

But I'll be damned if I didn't really admire and enjoy the presence of Honoria York-Lytton.  This girl has all the public, stereotyped makings of a bimbo socialite; but who turns out to be much more intelligent, and much more insightful than anyone gives her credit for.  With the name "Honey" and her consistent appearances in the society pages that splash her around as just another Paris Hilton-type, no one would ever take a second glance at her and think that she's capable of so much more than partying, spending money, and setting fashion trends.

As C. Smith Rydell had put it, it takes a lot of forethought and guts just to pull all the adventure she ends up pulling, both in this current story line as well as the previous book's story line.  Little bits of pieces of her actions and behavior really DOES contradict her pampered, Park Avenue Princess image, and I loved that it gave us a better insight of this girl than even I had gotten from the introduction of her in the previous book.

This woman doesn't make any sense on a societal level, but in some ways, it's kind of nice that she doesn't make any sense.  If any of my opinions make any sense...

As for our hero, Smith... I suppose he's just your typical military hero with the penchant for neanderthal-like behavior.  I liked him enough, but not enough to wax poetic about him.

Meanwhile, the drug lord, Alejandro Campos, was a lot more interesting to follow--which I'm glad about, since he'll be our next hero in the next book, along with Lily Robbins, the school teacher who decided to take a sabbatical and ended up running for her life and then into Campos's life.

That will be an interesting pairing.

Overall, On the Loose is a book that can be quite enjoyable, exciting, and entertaining if you don't give it too much thought.  Truth be told, it DID drag for a good while, especially whenever we hopped back and forth outside of Rydell and Honey's story tangent--there might have been entirely too much going on in this book.

But it was a fun time, so I'm not complaining.

On a side note, there was a lot less about cars and guns in this book than there has been present among previous books.  Though I suppose it's a little hard to talk shop about cars or guns when our main couple are in the middle of espionage.


***

 

Roll #32:  Luxury Tax says:  "Read a book where someone gets married, with jewelry on the cover, or where any character is a millionaire/billionaire!"

The heroine is a wealthy socialite, millionaire heiress.

Page Count:  403
Cash Award:  +$15.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $254.00

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/brief-thoughts-on-loose.html
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review 2017-07-23 05:51
Nothing happy about it, yet...
The Gunslinger - Stephen King

Well, I... Shit. This is ambitious as fuck, in the fiction and existential department.

I don't like Roland, and I get that lofty ideals are useless from his position. But it's... He reminds me of that adage, the third part of which is that a man with only one reason to live is the most dangerous man in the world. His type of drive, his dogged pursuit, puts me in mind of a slow going bulldozer, and also of persistence hunting. All scary concepts. And his name, wasn't there an old poem...

It was dreary, and weird, and heart-breaking. And I'm puzzled and will continue reading.

 

This finishes my BLopoly double roll, and puts me almost halfway the 24 in 48 readathon.

 

 

The seven hour stretch was this book in almost one sitting. I had to take a break after Jake.

 

I'll roll again in a bit and maybe continue onto the next book. The neighbor is having a loud party with karaoke.

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review 2017-07-22 21:00
British and Zanny in Space
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

I would call this sci-fi on mushrooms. Funny, but very weird.

On a side note: I've never been afraid of rats, but I might reconsider.

 

 

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review 2017-06-28 22:45
Brief Thoughts: Pushing the Line
Pushing The Line (Line Series) - Kimberly Kincaid

Pushing the Line

by Kimberly Kincaid
Book 4 of The Line series

 

 

Free-spirited artist Harper McGee is happy to go wherever the wind takes her… until her flight pattern sends her back to Brentsville, New York for her beloved grandmother's funeral.  Harper’s grief turns to shock, however, when she discovers her grandmother has named her sole proprietor of her candy shop, Luscious.  But she has no intention of being anchored to one place, and anyway, she doesn’t know the first thing about running a kitchen or a business.  Selling Luscious is the only viable option— until the shop catches fire due to old wiring.  Fixing the damage requires major work, and if Harper wants to put it on the market, she needs major help.

Thrill-seeking firefighter Aaron Fisher has never walked away from a challenge or a friend.  So when a fellow firefighter is hurt on a call and can’t complete a side job for his contracting company, Aaron’s quick to jump in.  He’s done plenty of fix ‘er ups for his buddy in the past, and despite his silver spoon upbringing and his no-holds-barred attitude, swinging a hammer suits Aaron just fine.  That is, until he discovers the client is the same impetuous woman he forcibly dragged from the flames of Brentsville’s local candy shop.

The more time Harper and Aaron spend at Luscious, the hotter their attraction burns, daring them both to shed their tough outer layers to reveal the tender desires beneath.  But when a buyer makes Harper the offer of a lifetime, she must choose between roots and wings.  Can two people who live in the moment learn to see past the moment, or will Aaron and Harper always live their lives pushing the line?



I hadn't reviewed any of the previous books in The Line series, as they were also short, novella-length stories with light and breezy, cute romance, with a touch of sexy... and it was enough to satisfy a couple hours of my day.  Not much to think about, but readily enjoyable.

The Line series was where I had been introduced to Kimberly Kincaid for the first time, finding that I immensely loved her writing style.  I remember calling it enjoyable and witty-good, or something to that effect when I reviewed a book from a different series of hers.

Simply put, Kimberly Kincaid is a fun author to read.

Pushing the Line is a great addition to the four book series (which was originally a trilogy, by the way, so don't know if more books are in the make).  It feels like a wrap up for the series, however, since all the couples from the previous three books were brought back in a very Couple Curtain-ish manner, despite the fact that their presence DOES kind of fit.

Like the previous books, Pushing the Line was fun and flirty, enjoyable and cutesy-sweet, with a nice dose of steamy hot.  If it's one thing I would have loved for this short book, it would be a more fleshed out, better developed story line.  There was so much potential to the events and the conflict in this book, but a lot of the action took place in time skips.

I would have loved to see Harper start to realize her love for making candies with her grandmother's recipes, and maybe a scene or two of her slowly softening to the idea of remaining in Brentsville.  I would have liked to see her get along with everyone in town and find that she loved being in Brentsville.  Instead, Harper and Aaron make their first batch of pecan clusters, and then suddenly we're a week later--feelings have grown deeper, and Harper has made batch after batch of her grandmother's candies for all her new friends.

And then the ending was rather abrupt, truth be told.

And that's really the only thing I would have wanted about Pushing the Line:  More.  Because Harper and Aaron are interesting characters, fun to be around.

And I like firefighters and would have loved to see more of that aspect of Aaron's life...


***

 

Booklikes-opoly

Roll #22:
Start Space says:  "Read any book!"

Page Count:  122
Cash Award:  $4.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $119

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/06/brief-thoughts-pushing-line.html
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