Debbie B. (orchid7) - - Reviews

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29
29
Author: Adena Halpern
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 4/16/2011


Funny story! I'm sure that pretty much everyone wonders what they would do if given a second chance at youth. There were several laugh out loud moments, although I think I enjoyed the first two-thirds of the story better than the last part. The ending started to get just a bit too heavy and "chick-lit" for me. Overall, though I did enjoy the story.


Absolutely, Positively (Lucy Valentine, Bk 3)
Absolutely, Positively (Lucy Valentine, Bk 3)
Author: Heather Webber
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 84
Review Date: 4/26/2011


Great book!
The mystery was interesting (although I did figure it out before the end), and the slight paranormal twist to the story isn't overdone.
Another thing I really like about this series is that with each book, the relationships between the characters are growing. Not too much, but enough to make you want to read the next one. The characters are still all funny and very likable.
I will definitely be reading book 4 when it comes out.


All Jacked Up (Rough Riders, Bk 8)
All Jacked Up (Rough Riders, Bk 8)
Author: Lorelei James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 86
Review Date: 5/9/2011


All I can say is, "Yay!" Finally, an erotica novel with a plot that is funny and sweet! I loved the constant sniping between Jack and Keely- it was hilarious. Ms. James does a great job of building the tension in the story too.

I do feel that the story falters a bit in the second half, and I wasn't crazy about Keely's whole "gang of brothers". They seemed a bit over the top. The ending was almost too silly for me, but then the author wraps up the story with a nice epilogue.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one!


All Mine
All Mine
Author: Piper Lennox
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/28/2018


This is a difficult book for me to rate. At times, I was utterly charmed, but at others, I was furious or the story brought me to tears. One thing I will say is that I haven't stopped thinking about this friends to lovers romance by Piper Lennox.

Blake and Melanie became best friends after Blake got lost in a shopping mall at the age of 4, when he approached Mel's family in tears. Blake's mother passed away from cancer while he was still young, leaving him with a father who never wanted a child. Mel's parents were strict, but loving, and Blake found a home away from home with them. All throughout their school years, Blake and "his Mellie" remained close- even to the detriment of several of their other relationships. Blake hid his secret crush on Mel (which he'd had from age 12 on.) Shortly before their 18th birthdays, these two virgins become lovers during a game of truth or dare. Melanie reacts poorly, terrified of the changes, and balks at a real relationship. Blake is terribly hurt by this, throws Mel out, and they part ways.

Flash forward three years, (age 21) and Blake is dealing with his absentee father's death. He breaks things off with his current girlfriend, who he realizes is simply annoying him. Mel goes to the estate sale, and they reconnect and once again become lovers. Blake is no longer the gentle, affectionate friend he once was. He is hard and demanding. He is determined to keep anyone from ever getting so close to him again. His ex gives him some rather unexpected (and unwelcome) news, and it causes Blake to turn to alcohol to numb all his pain, as he refuses to grieve or to deal with this new little development.

The book continues at intervals of ages 22, 25, and 30. There are several conflicts between Blake and Mel, and their relationship comes and goes. There are some tragic events that occur that were foreshadowed during the earlier parts of the book, but somehow, I still wasn't ready for them. It's not often that a book makes me cry, but this one did.

I wanted to reach into the book at times and give both Blake and Mel a good shake, but especially Blake. Then, at the end... I almost forgave him. Perhaps if the author had spent a bit more time developing the ending, I would have gotten all the way there. Even though the couple eventually gets their HEA, I was still left with an overall feeling of: why?? Too many should haves and could haves. Most times, life doesn't give us our HEA all wrapped up in a pretty little bow, so I just felt irritated at the couple for all the years worth of wasted time. The ending scenes were sweet and full-circle, just a bit rushed.
Overall, though, the story was very well written and it sure packs one heck of a punch.
I received an ARC of this book, and I voluntarily chose to write an honest review.


All That You Are
All That You Are
Author: Stef Ann Holm
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 6/30/2010
Helpful Score: 2


I generally like this author, but I found this story to be rather slow-moving and the characters were a little hard to connect to. The storyline tends to be repetetive. I really didn't feel like there was very much chemistry between the hero & the heroine either. An ok read, but not great.


Animal Attraction (Animal Magnetism, Bk 2)
Animal Attraction (Animal Magnetism, Bk 2)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 109
Review Date: 3/2/2012


I'm going to have the opposite opinion of the other reviewer. I happened to like this second installment of this series better than the first. My only complaint with this one is that I think that it took Jade too long to let go of her fear issues due to her previous attack. I liked the relationship between Dell and Jade, and I look forward to the third installment in this series.


Animal Magnetism (Animal Magnetism, Bk 1)
Animal Magnetism (Animal Magnetism, Bk 1)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 144
Review Date: 4/12/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This was sweet. I'll admit, it was definitely a bit predictable, but the animals in the story were cute. I liked the fact that it seemed like the hero realized he was in love before the heroine, which was an unusual switch for a contemporary romance.
I'll be reading the sequel for this one when it comes out.


Any Wicked Thing
Any Wicked Thing
Author: Margaret Rowe
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 6/30/2011
Helpful Score: 1


I really did not like the hero in this book. Sebastian was a selfish idiot throughout almost the entire story, even towards the end when he finally gets over himself and reveals his "deep, dark secret" to Freddie.
Freddie deserves whatever she gets throughout the story. I would have dumped the hero on his backside and left him there where he deserved.
I guess you can tell that I never really connected with either character. There really wasn't any real chemistry between the hero and heroine, just a bunch of "let's get this over with" sex. Neither of them had very likable personality.
I was also disappointed with the story. Towards the end, the author attempts to toss in a bit of intrigue, but I felt that it was out of place there, and that it may have worked a bit better if it had been introduced earlier in the story. It was just too little, too late.


Article 5 (Article 5, Bk 1)
Article 5 (Article 5, Bk 1)
Author: Kristen Simmons
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 6/4/2012


Parts of this story were interesting, but overall I found most of it to be confusing and rather pointless. I did read it all the way through, but I found the ending to be very dissatisfying. If you're looking for a better dystopian, try Divergent.


A Babe in Ghostland
A Babe in Ghostland
Author: Lisa Cach
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 129
Review Date: 3/2/2012


This was a quick read. I'm not quite sure how to categorize it, because it felt kind of like a cross between a ghost- hunters show and a soap opera. At times it was funny, at times it was a bit over the top ghost-hunting paranormal, and then at times it got quite steamy. I think the ending felt a bit too much "Ghostbusters" movie for me, but overall, it was a fun read.


Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour, Bk 1)
Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour, Bk 1)
Author: Olivia Cunning
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 61
Review Date: 9/26/2011
Helpful Score: 2


I have mixed feelings about this one. I really enjoyed the fantasy of the rockstar falling for a woman in a hotel bar. The scenes involving the band's performances and their life on tour were good. I loved the way the author humanizes the band into a bunch of messy bachelors wanting home-cooked food.
What I didn't really enjoy as much were the book's sex scenes. While the actual content of them would be "steamy" to some, they left me a bit put-off. They felt contrived, and it felt like each one was there because the author was ticking different fetishes off of a master list as she added them to the story. There were several scenes that could have been left out and the book would have been better.
I also was not a big fan of the heroine at all. She was whiny, selfish, and too sleazy. The backstory of her abusive husband did nothing to enhance the story, and it actually made part of the ending feel cheesy. At least the hero was a mostly enjoyable personality.
An entertaining read, but definitely not a keeper for me.


A Bad Day for Sorry (Stella Hardesty, Bk 1)
A Bad Day for Sorry (Stella Hardesty, Bk 1)
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 5/9/2011


Hmm... I'll admit that I found this book to be somewhat entertaining, but I don't think I found it to be as "laugh-out-loud" funny as some of the other reviewers did. It definitely isn't a lighthearted book.

What I found was a rather gritty, hard heroine who dishes out her homespun-style justice in interesting ways. The mystery was not that difficult to figure out, but I thought that the story was interesting in the way the events unfolded. I wasn't sure if I really liked Stella or not at the beginning of the book, but there is some good character development, and by the end, I found myself rooting for both her and Chrissy. The author had a way of making the story seem so believable that I felt I was there watching.

I'll read book 2 (A Bad Day for Pretty), because I want to see what that Stella and Chrissy will do next.


Baited Blood (Madison Rose Vampire, Bk 2)
Baited Blood (Madison Rose Vampire, Bk 2)
Author: Sue Ann Jaffarian
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/27/2012


After not really caring very much for the first book in this series, I'm really glad that I decided to give the second book a try. I really enjoyed this one!
The relationships between the characters were much better developed in this installment, which is one of the things that I felt was so lacking in the first book. I really like how the tension is building between several key players in the storyline.
I also really grew to like Madison much more in this book. She is truly coming into her own, and showing quite a bit of backbone and a lot of smarts.
Even though I had the culprit figured out early on in the story, I still very much enjoyed watching how the whole book played out. I also liked reading about the vampire politics and relationships.
I will definitely be reading the third book when it comes out, especially since the ending held a bit of an unexpected surprise that really left me wanting the next one.


Banished (Hailey Tarbell, Bk 1)
Banished (Hailey Tarbell, Bk 1)
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 5/27/2011


I enjoyed this. The first few chapters were rather confusing. It took a while to figure out what was happening in the story, but once more details were revealed, I was unable to put it down. There is so much potential for this to turn into an exciting series-I can't wait for the sequel.


Barefoot with a Bodyguard (Barefoot Bay Undercover, Bk 1)
Barefoot with a Bodyguard (Barefoot Bay Undercover, Bk 1)
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 1/29/2016


This was just a great feel-good romance, with a touch of suspense added. (Although I use the term "suspense" very loosely.) The characters had terrific chemistry together, and the hero was my favorite part of the story. A terrific blend of tough and vulnerable that really worked. There are a few sexy scenes (not too graphic), but most of the fun comes from the great level of romantic tension built up by the author. I will definitely read the next one in the series, as I thoroughly enjoyed this one.


Beartown
Beartown
Author: Fredrik Backman, Neil Smith (Translator)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 31
Review Date: 1/16/2018


I was excited to read this one, since it was getting such high star ratings, and I loved Backman's Ove book. So did I love Beartown? Not really.
The book is about a struggling town that is filled with hockey fanatics. Their junior league team is gearing up for the semi-finals, and the boys of the team can do no wrong... until one of them does.
I struggled with getting into the book- the tone is very dark. I never really became overly attached to any of the characters, maybe due to the sheer number of them. They just weren't very likable. I was also very frustrated with Backman's choice of writing style here. He would drop these little "hints" about future events, and the writing seemed somewhat choppy and repetitive. The ending was also frustrating, because Backman simply dropped more hints as to the futures of some of the characters. I had to go back and re-read a few times to make sure I hadn't missed anything, and even then I'm not 100% sure I got it right.
This one felt like Backman was simply trying too hard to be profound, and I think he missed the mark.
Trigger warnings: Rape, bullying


Beast Behaving Badly (Pride, Bk 5)
Beast Behaving Badly (Pride, Bk 5)
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 113
Review Date: 6/19/2011


I had a hard time getting into this book. I was actually tempted to put it down for about the first 60 pages. Once the main characters actually began to relate to each other, it did get funnier. There wasn't all that much steaminess, but I did enjoy the way the hero and heroine got on each other's nerves- the dialogue was quite funny. At times I found the story to be confusing because there were just too many characters to keep track of, and the whole bunch of "hybrid shifters" were a bit strange. Not the best book I've read, but it was entertaining.


Beautiful Bastard: A Bad Boy Romance
Beautiful Bastard: A Bad Boy Romance
Author: N.L. Blake
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/19/2018


Hollywood's beautiful bastard squares off against a spunky author in Beautiful Bastard by N.L. Blake.

Tandy O'Hara is a smart, self-assured author who pens political thrillers. She has been approached by a movie studio to write the screenplay for her latest successful novel- A Moment in Time. Initially, she refuses, but after some pushing by her agent Stephan, she relents, on the condition that she won't have to deal with the lead male actor, Jake Morgan.

Spoiled, rich, and entitled, Jake Morgan is a Hollywood superstar. He knows that he can get whatever he wants using his "charm" and good looks. He buries himself in drink, drugs, and women, but he still can't outrun the "darkness" he feels within. Jake is completely put off his game by the sassy little screenwriter who shows up at the pre-production meeting with her attitude, motorcycle boots and leather jacket. He determines to figure out why she isn't interested in him, and decides that he will use her up and crush her.

When I first started reading, I was quickly taken in by Tandy's snarky character. I burst out laughing several times, and I was tickled that she was putting Jake the jerk in his place. Jake went out of his way at every possible opportunity to be a crass, disgusting pig to everyone around him.

Sadly, once Jake decides he "will have" Tandy, this self-assured, spunky woman turns into a spineless doormat. No matter that Jake is a complete douche to her, cheats multiple times, and is never sober enough to actually figure out who he is or what he wants... when he crooks his finger, she comes running. Ugh. Who is the bigger fool? Hard to tell.

The sex scenes were hot, but there really wasn't a believable chemistry between the characters. Their "relationship" was like watching a train wreck- I wanted to look away, but couldn't. The ending really made no sense- I was left saying, What?? I'm sorry- I just didn't buy it. There was no lead up to his miraculous change, so it rang false to me.
I wanted to like this one, but it just didn't work for me.
I received an ARC of this novella, and I voluntarily chose to leave an honest review.


Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet, Bk 2)
Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet, Bk 2)
Author: Nora Roberts
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 573
Review Date: 4/17/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I enjoyed this one more than the first one in this series... even though the ending seemed a bit rushed. I also liked how the author hinted at the relationships in the upcoming two books... I can't wait to read the next one about Laurel. I enjoyed the descriptions of all the floral work in this novel.


The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, Bk 1)
The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, Bk 1)
Author: Kelly Gay
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 100
Review Date: 12/27/2010


Wow! I really loved this book! I felt like I was watching it as it happened, like being on the inside of a good action movie. It had me right from the opening scene, where Charlie is telling her partner Hank to "Get over it" because he ended up getting punched in the nose for something she said, and he's holding napkins from the glove-box to his nose to stop the bleeding.

I found the author's characters to be different but believable, and her urban fantasy world to be incredibly interesting. There was so much variety and descriptiveness that I never got bored with the story. In fact, my family had to wait for dinner because I had such a hard time putting it down!

My one complaint with the book is that the ending doesn't really tie up anything... even the mysteries with Charlie's abilities. I'm glad that I have the sequel in my TBR, because I really want to see where the storyline goes next, and to see whether the author gives any more answers to all the questions she's left me with!


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