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review 2018-02-14 15:44
Thoughts: That's Amore!
That's Amore!: Meet the ParentsI Do, Don't I?There Goes the Groom - Tori Carrington,Janelle Denison,Leslie Kelly

That's Amore! -- anthology
Authors include: Janelle Denison, Tori Carrington, and Leslie Kelly
Book 2 of Santori Stories

Average Rating:  3.1 Stars
(Includes personal rating:  3.0 Stars)



It's way too late to elope....

Meet the Parents by Janelle Denison

Like all dutiful Hawaiian daughters, Leila Malekala is expected to marry a Hawaiian groom handpicked by her parents.  But guess what, Mom and Dad?  Leila has wedding plans of her own.  The groom is California bad boy Jason Crofton... and the bride is pregnant.

I Do, Don't I? by Tori Carrington

Efi Panayotopoulou is about to marry her childhood sweetheart Nick Constantino.  Everything should be perfect.  But their families seem hell-bent on turning the wedding into a farce-or Greek tragedy.  And Efi is about a baklava flake away from running off... without her groom.

There Goes the Groom by Leslie Kelly

Luke Santori is engaged to "a nice Italian girl" from his Chicago neighborhood.  But wedding plans get tossed-like unbaked dough at his family's pizzeria-when Luke falls for blond-haired, blue-eyed Rachel Grant... the dressmaker designing his fiancee's bridal gown.

I'm really not a fan of the romantic Valentine's holiday, but I'm also a hopeless romantic and love to love some sweet, fluffy contemporary romances.  What better way to celebrate the holiday than an anthology of contemporary romances called That's Amore! that is based around three wedding novellas.  One of which was written by an author I like!

Meet the Parents by Janelle Denison
Rating:  3.5 Stars

This novella was cute, and I found a lot of the Hawaiian traditions quite interesting as well.  I liked that there wasn't a whole lot of angst in this sweet love story, even if there was a bit of a conflict involving the groom-to-be and his in-laws.  I wish I could say that I found Leila's parents a bit frustrating in their disapproval of her chosen husband... but the truth is, it doesn't surprise me, because I've seen more than my fair share of the same behavior among my own Asian relatives.

It's tiring, and yes, also frustrating.  But something that happens.  But we get a Happily Ever After in this novella, which is what counts.  That's probably more than I can say for other stories I've seen with the same, stubborn types of parental units who are more concerned with tradition than seeing how happy their children are.

A nice little read.  And while I'm a little reluctant to say that it was also a little boring... well, it kind of was.

I Do, Don't I? by Tori Carrington
Rating:  2.5 Stars

This novella was really full of crazy.  And while I loved seeing all the Greek wedding traditions, and reading about the loud, raucous actions of all of Efi's and Nick's relatives, and just overall witnessing a week full of partying and celebration... I couldn't help but feel extremely frustrated with both sides of the family.  This is why a lot of couples end up eloping...

And then maybe I was a bit frustrated with Nick as well.  It probably didn't help that we mostly followed Efi's point of view up until one small scene at the end of the novella.  I honestly would have liked to have seen more of the entire affair from Nick's point of view.  Because without his side of things, the story just felt like Efi was bearing all the stress of the wedding planning and the family crazy... while Nick just skated by and waited to get married.

Nonetheless, this story was a fun one, even if a little over-laden with angst, conflict, and made-for-television antics.

I would have liked to have seen a show down between Efi and Aphrodite, though I suppose it wouldn't really have been in good humor.  I would have liked to see more mature understanding from Nick--the fact that he seemed to be oblivious to everything, including cousin Aphrodite's attempts to seduce him made me cringe a little bit.  The fact that Nick had even entertained thoughts of doing anything with Aphrodite at all made me a little wary of how this marriage will be going forward; especially when Efi's confrontation didn't even seem to get through to his thick, ignorant head.

The fact that Nick has no idea that Efi had dreams of her own that shouldn't have been impeded by wedding vows felt a little immature.  In fact, neither of the two seemed to know what the other wanted, or had been expecting out of this marriage at all.  It got to a point where I was wondering if they were just getting married because it was expected for the two high school sweethearts--that they were in love with the idea of being in love and getting married, more than they were in love with each other.

Anyway... fun as fun was, this story turned out more like a family affair of crazy rather than a sweet romance.  It certainly DOES bring a realistic tone to all the crazy events that usually lead up to a wedding day.  Especially when family and relatives tend to get a little too involved.

There Goes the Groom by Leslie Kelly
Rating:  3.5 Stars

The premise of this novella could have gone in all sorts of bad directions--with an engaged man and his fiancee's dressmaker falling for one another, this could have been a disaster.  Fortunately, our lovely author managed to handle the events quite well, and we simply end up with a case of two people marrying for the wrong reasons.  Our hero sort of works through his own issues with the help of the heroine, as well as his brothers.

Simply put, this novella was a sweet one.

One of the things I DID NOT appreciate were the little comments here and there from our heroine that came off a little judgmental about random people in the story.  Some of those comments, honestly, I felt were uncalled for.

Meanwhile, this story also made me want a pizza...



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/02/thoughts-thats-amore.html
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review 2017-05-30 05:01
It's all Greek to me...
Private Parts - Tori Carrington

Did I miss something? Why were there all these Greek bazillionaires fighting over a dying little town in the first place? Oh I realize this is book 3. I also realize that the whole plot seems like a huge stretch.


From what I gathered... the H's family had owned the local lumber mill for a long time (century maybe?). They're Greek. They own an estate... and are trying to start something new with the closed mill. I get fuzzy here, because they're doing all this...stuff - big party, catering, etc - and bouncing checks with suppliers to the mill. Uh... right. Ok. In the meantime, the H's little brother apparently wooed away a would-be bride to some Greek gazillionaire while in Greece (what did they normally do - import their wives from the home country? Just...having a hard time grasping that both parents were apparently Greek (based on last names), as was the housekeeper, and yet they live in the middle of nowhere and have for a century).


The h - lawyer - essentially bought by said Greek gazillionaire, adds some things to the contract *after* it's been read, but before it was signed, thus screwing over the H. Does this because her dad's business is now owned by gazillionaire who tells her he'll close it if she doesn't.


There's a landslide in there, people insisting the H should kiss and make up with his best friend and ex girlfriend (who dumped him and married the bestie. Uh, no. No I don't think so).


And of course the H forgives the h because you know, you regularly forgive people who screw you over while uh...screwing you.

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review 2016-04-14 00:00
A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men - Tori Carrington Weird.
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review 2013-02-03 00:00
Queens Ransom (Sofie Metropolis Novel #6)
Queens Ransom - Tori Carrington

I have long been a fan of this series, but this book I had issues with. While I enjoy books with a slightly different cultural bent to the background, the Greek thing was waayy over done and it just got, well, annoying. I found myself saying 'yeah yeah yeah' every time I had to read a section about how Greeks do this or that or say this or that or eat this or that. It was out of balance and stuck out in the story, making it irritating.


This love triangle thing is stupid, annoying and needs to end or Sophie needs to find a balanced way to keep the two men in her life (she's single, I'm not opposed to a Stephanie-Plum type arrangement). Stop yanking the reader around by making us think first one, then the other man is the winner. It just pisses off the reader (well, this reader at least). And if Jake goes, I go. The baker does nothing for me.


I did like the multiple plot lines running throughout the book, it kept things interesting and fresh. I love the relationship between Sophie and her grandfather (although I find her mother unlikeable in the extreme). The main plot line kept me interested and while it wasn't the best planned plot line, I enjoyed watching the progression. I love the tiny twist at the end - it was a rather fun way to wrap up that mystery and it was unexpected.


I'll gladly look for the next book, but if the author's yank me around again re: the love triangle - I'm done.


NB: I classify this book as a cozy - but there is a serious amount of colourful language throughout - not for the prim and proper-ly inclined.

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review 2012-12-02 00:00
Distinguished Service: Distinguished ServiceEvery Move You Make - Tori Carrington So, not a good book. I found myself, drifting and skimming while reading this one which is not a good sign. I found the suspense/security aspect unnecessary though I guess it was supposed to make me read the Lazarus security books. Plus normally I have read books where the heroine is pregnant with someone else's baby and that hasn't bothered me, here it gave me an ick feeling, plus the author kept bringing the hero's cheating ex into the picture with her calls to the hero, which he ignored, btw, but that bothered me. Too many things crammed in to the book. Plus, I didn't believe the falling in love part at all. The book just wasn't for me.
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