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Search tags: Romantic-Mystery
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review 2017-08-19 01:37
Historical Romance
All She Loves: a Regency Romantic Myster... All She Loves: a Regency Romantic Mystery - Amy Corwin

All She Loves is my first book by Amy Corwin.  I liked it.  Ms Corwin has delivered a well-written book.  The characters are entertaining.  Elspeth and Geoffrey's story is full of drama, suspense and a little spice.  I enjoyed reading All She Loves and look forward to reading more from Amy Corwin in the future.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read a free copy of this book that I received from BookFunnel.

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review 2016-08-16 19:43
The things we do for love, the things we do for love...
Midlife Crisis - Rob Rosen

Like walking in the rain and the snow
When there's nowhere to go
And you're feelin' like a part of you is dying
And you're looking for the answer in his eyes.
You think you're gonna break up
Then he says he wants to make up.

The Things We Do For Love

by 10 CC (with a little editing from me)

 

Sometimes when I'm reading a book things just pop into my brain randomly and 10CC's song 'The Things We Do For Love' was one such thing as I read this book. I haven't read a lot by Rob Rosen but I have to admit I'm glad this was one of them. 

 

'Midlife Crisis' was both a mystery and a romance with a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor thrown in. Jack is 35 years old and his latest relationship has just ended so he's having a bit of a pity party when his friend Monroe stops by for some Coke (of the cola variety) and to dispense a bit of sage advice in the form of a walk down the memory lane of Jack's love life which culminates with the memory of Jack's first love who of course was also the one that got away...Bing O'Malley (hey, I did not name this guy, sadly someone thought his parents should be allowed to. What the hell, it worked for Bing Crosby, right?). It's with a great deal of determination that Jack decides to go back to his hometown of Ono, California and yes, it is pronounce oh-no! trust me it's appropriate. This is where his search for Bing and in many ways his journey to get his own life back on track begins.

 

While Jack may have been the main character in this story he definitely was not the only 'character' there was Jack's mother and his father but especially his mom. She was one unique individual, Chompers the dog, David the hospital nurse and former high school bully who it turns out was more in the closet than bully, there was of course Bing, Monroe and his husband Paul, and just for good measure lets add in a host of small town characters and more twist and turns than a piece of abstract art.

 

I loved that like most of us Jack's hindsight was considerably better than his foresight and he was fully aware of this and like most of us it was more than a little annoying at times. 

 

I'm not really sure how to explain the humor in this book, it was quirky and at times it was even a bit lame but in a rather entertaining way. It just really, really worked for me. I was totally entertained and amused from start to finish and yet there were a couple of things that didn't work too well for me and honestly I'm not going to delve into them because in the overall scheme of things they didn't spoil the book for me or take away from the entertainment factor so really not worth spending any time on. 'Midlife Crisis' is however, worth considering if you're looking for a romantic, mystery that tends to poke at life and love with a very tongue-in-cheek and totally irreverent attitude.

 

********************

A copy of 'Midlife Crisis' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-08-04 19:30
Totally lame cover and blurb for a good book
A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas - Kim Redford

(Left: Totally Lame Cover Right: Much more appropriate cover art!)

 

“Every quirky girl doesn’t have to be the best-friend character. It’s a very limiting and self-fulfilling prophecy. People only write things that will get green-lit, so they write to those stereotypes.” – Felicia Day

 

But Then . . .

 

“Stereotypes lose their power when the world is found to be more complex than the stereotype would suggest. When we learn that individuals do not fit the group stereotype, then it begins to fall apart.” – Ed Koch

 

The author of “A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas” has tried very hard to stereotype herself and her work, to fit  into a very narrow, very self-limiting pigeonhole.

 

Pigeonhole: Verb (used with object) to assign to a definite place or to definite places in some orderly system:
to pigeonhole new ideas.

 

 

 

The Blurb:

 

Trey Duvall is a rancher, proud as can be of his Wildcat Ranch. He’s also the top volunteer firefighter of Wildcat Bluff, the town that pulls out all the stops for its Christmas festivities. Misty Reynolds pulls into town just in time to help Trey put out a suspicious fire, leading him to dub her his “Christmas angel”. Unfortunately, Misty’s past has left her with terrible memories of fire, and of Christmas time. As the two are unwittingly thrown together again and again, can Trey win Misty’s trust —  and her heart?

 

Texas volunteer fire departments as part of Assistance to Firefighters ...

Sigh. I hate when this happens. You see, like other books I have reviewed, and suggested a wider audience consider, this book doesn’t fall into the “Only Read If You Like Mushy Romance” category. The characters shouldn’t be typecast as “Hunky Hero” and “Insipid Pseudo-Heroine” with a “Hero Rides in on His White Horse and Saves the Day” insipid sort of blurb such as this book is stuck with. It needs something more along the line of pointing out that the town of Wildcat Bluff is filled with quirky, unusual characters who care deeply for their town, their people, and their history. An important part of that sense of community is their volunteer fire department and all it does to keep their community safe.

 

A More Appropriate Blurb:

 

“There are bad things happening in Wildcat Bluff just before their Christmas in the Country celebration. Arson fires are spreading in the tinder-dry countryside, exasperated by the ongoing drought, and cut fences and grass fires are threatening Trey Duvall’s historic cattle ranch. When Misty Reynolds rolls up to a grass fire Trey is putting out in his pasture and he runs out in front of her to try and stop her for help, he has no idea that she is actually there as a troubleshooter for Texas Timber, the company that has had a Christmas tree farm burned already, and had others threatened. Finding the arsonist means that Misty has to stay undercover and spend time questioning, and suspecting, everyone in town. And when she learns that Trey has a bone to pick with Texas Timber, he moves straight to the ‘suspect’ column.”

 

OK, I am not known for my stellar ability to write blurbs, I give you that. But mine gives a better feel for what is going on. Misty isn’t a blond bimbo, Trey isn’t a hulking Alpha male bent on getting into every woman’s pants he can hold down long enough, and the people of the town are as important to the character list as the two main characters. There are important messages in the book about community, about overcoming horrors in your childhood that carry over into adulthood, and about the ways in which power and greed can destroy everything a community tries to build. The people of Wildcat Bluff are kind, they help one another, and the volunteers literally risk their life every time they go out on a call. The community has pulled together to form a strictly volunteer department, put on bake sales to buy equipment, and are proud of who they are and what they do. That deserves a lot more credit than it gets – either with the cover, or with the blurb.

 

housefire-kitten3
Volunteer firefighter saving the life of a kitten with a pet oxygen kit. Please as your volunteer fire department if you can help with a benefit for Pet Oxygen Kits to help save pets caught in fires! Thank you!!!!!!
http://www.petoxygenmasks.org/assets/images/logo.gif
 
Because the Pet's Life They Save May Be Your Own™

Click the logo to visit the "Pet Oxygen Mask Initiative" to make a difference! Thank you!!!!

 

Memorial Service for West, Texas (my old hometown) volunteer firefighters killed while fighting the April 17, 2013 fertilizer plant explosion. The memorial service honored those first responders and two civilians who tried to fight the fire and were posthumously named volunteer first responders.

 

If you like books that highlight a sense of community, that include a mystery, suspense, a few thrills – and yes, a good romantic storyline – overlook the blurb and the cover and give this one a try.

 

You will note I didn’t post the cover of the book in my review – any of the photos on this page give more respect to the book than the totally lame cover does. I am disappointed that the publisher tried so hard to minimize, pigeonhole and lower the impact of the book. I hate seeing that happen to books with such promise, that many will simply skip over based on poor art and a poor blurb.

 

It is still available for request on Netgalley.

 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. If you enjoy my reviews, please take a moment to “Like” my review on GoodReads. Thank you!

 

“A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas” is in preorder status until publication on October 6, 2015.

 

vfisoftexas

 

About The Author

Kim Redford draws her inspiration from a Texas lifestyle of cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, rodeos and small towns to create her bestselling novels. When she’s not writing steamy romances, she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider. She divides her time between Texas and Oklahoma. A Cowboy Firefighter for Christmas is first in her Smokin’ Hot Cowboys series with Blazing Hot Cowboy coming soon.

 

I don’t know about the “bestselling novels” thing. Her site is nonexistent, and goodreads shows only this book, set to publish October 6, so maybe she is writing under a pseudonym? If this is indeed her first book, I hope she will widen her audience by moving away from sticking herself into a single cubbyhole with her publication, marketing and cover strategy. The whole “steamy romance” thing is self-limiting when she can write good stories that encompass a wide ranging storyline such as this book exemplifies.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2015-06-09 10:54
Missed Potential
Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder - MaryAnn Kempher

Sometimes, as I have pointed out possibly too many times, one simply needs a simple read. Cozy romantic mystery can very easily fill that spot, allowing for a relaxing read on a rainy day. And “Mocha, Moonlight and Murder” had the potential to be quite enjoyable. Katherine O’Brian, the heroine, has had it rough lately. Kate is newly divorced from a cheating scum-bag of a husband, recently orphaned, and trying desperately to build a relationship with a sister she barely knows. Throw in going back to school as an adult student and witnessing a shadowy figure pulling a blanket-wrapped body from the trunk of a car and the stress is almost more than she can stand.

 

The ideas are good, however the execution left a bit to be desired. One of my least favorite things is the old, worn-out “triangle love affair”. Irritates me to no end. Of course, that is a personal issue, so if you like that sort of thing you will like this. The other thing that bothered me is that the mystery wasn’t handled well. I was rather ‘fumbling’ though the idea was good.

 

The romantic aspect was totally irritating – it took a full star away on its own. I found it stiff and unrealistic, though there were some funny moments. The culmination was awkward – but giving any more info will possibly give too much away, so I will just leave it that it didn’t feel realistic or smooth.

 

Finally, as the book is already published, I can’t help but wonder if that means the grammatical errors made it through to publication? I received my copy of this book from Netgalley.com in return for a realistic review, so that is something I have to consider.

Overall, it will be more enjoyable for the proper audience. I simply couldn’t really identify with the characters.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2015-01-03 03:58
She gets some really good references!
The Paid Companion - Amanda Quick

I listened to this on audiobook while I made my Christmas cards, and it was an enjoyable read and kept me entertained while I attend to my crafting. The narrator used a voice for Arthur that was a bit stuffy, and not at all brooding and sexy, but otherwise, I can't complain. There was a good balance between mystery and romance in this book. The mystery was quite authentic, and the villain was a fiend. The reveal was suspenseful, and I hadn't figured out who the villain was until the correct time. The storyline was cute, the way that Elenora and Arthur enter each other's lives was a good setup for the building of their relationship. I like that they feel like unique people, even with some of the typical historical romance character traits they have.

Elenora was a very likable heroine. She was intelligent, independent, brave and self-sufficient. But she was also warm and open to love. I liked how she bounced back from some very difficult circumstances in her life, and wasn't going to allow anyone to bully her. She took an active part in solving the mystery, and she was a very good detective.

Arthur was sexy and manly but also gentlemanly and cerebral. That was a very nice combination. While he definitely had a dangerous aura, he was a principled person. I like that he treated Elenora as an equal and it was evident that he really respected her.

The romance was believable and I rooted for their happy ending. Their love scenes were nicely sensual (although it was a bit odd hearing the older, stuffy-sound narrator read the naughty bits).

I think Amanda Quick's book are really good audiobook listens. I feel I enjoy them in this format more than I might in reading them. I think it's because the mystery is so prominent and Quick gets the historical details just right, and her style of romance works really well in this format.

I'd recommend getting this on audio if you can. I realized today that I had a paper copy but I'm glad I did the audio. It's worth the listen.

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