Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Into the Wild by Beth Ciotta

Into the Wild
Beth Ciotta {Blog | Facebook | Myspace}
Publisher: HQN Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Mass Market Paperback {p.379}
Source: Personal Library
Genre: Contemporary
Characters: River Kane, Spenser McGraw
Challenge: 50 States, 100+, Contemporary
My Rating:

When River Kane's fiancĂ© abandons her at the altar for being too conventional, she's heartbroken. But everything changes when her estranged archaeologist father sends her his journal—filled with cryptic maps and a note indicating he's in mortal danger. Worried, River faces her greatest fears and flies to the Amazon to find him. But she needs a guide. Someone completely unlike danger-seeker Spenser McGraw.

A charismatic treasure hunter who thrives on risk, Spenser hosts the popular TV show Into the Wild, dedicated to locating lost treasures and mythical icons. But River's father's life depends on discretion, and too-sexy Spenser is all about publicity. Forced to team up, they embark on a jungle adventure ripe with temptation and danger…ultimately discovering a hidden treasure that could alter history—and a steamy love neither expected.

River has just been left at the altar by her husband-to-be, but she doesn’t feel heartbroken or even feel like crying. All she feels is upset that he had the nerve to tell her she was controlling and adventureless.

So when she receives a mysterious package from her estranged globetrotting father, she goes in search of him. Her good friend Kylie, being worried about River, enlists her celebrity globetrotting brother to keep an eye out for River. Because this is so unlike River to go on an impromptu adventure.

Of course there’s an immediate attraction between them but Spenser is too much like her father who abandoned her as a child. Spenser is the type that’s always chasing a treasure or the next big adventure, just like her father. Whereas she prefers structure and plan for her life, which is the reason for agreeing to marry her ex, Harry, for the stability.

River tended to be the kind of girl who was seeing everything from the worst case scenario. She had all kinds of phobias and was a walking pharmacy. At times it could be cute and funny and at others it was somewhat annoying. Even with that being the case, she was still a very likable character. She and Spenser both.

The entire Ecuador adventure had me trying to figure out who was the bad guy was. My theory was constantly changing throughout until near the end before all was revealed.

I’ve only read two books by this author, but I have really enjoyed them both.

Musical Monday {5}: Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy

So what's Musical Monday? It's a weekly meme hosted by Tipsy Reader. With this meme, you pick the book you are currently reading, or just finished, and match it with it's musical mate. Think, "if this book had a soundtrack, what would be the theme song?"

The Book:
Tyler by C.H. Admirand

The Song:

Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) by Big & Rich

+ show lyrics

The Reason:
The title is reason enough! Who wouldn't want to ride a cowboy! And this book is full of them. My alternate choice would be I'm N Luv (With a Stripper), because Tyler is indeed a stripper. Although the song is written about a woman, for these purposes it's about a man.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox {40}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail of that week.

Books via Paperback Swap
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Books via publicist
My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins {1}

1. Ooooh, I can't wait for the day when I can be my own boss.

2. The smell of mustard, I can't stand it!

3. How the heck did I end up with so many gray hairs at 27.

4. The beach is one of my favorite places to visit.

5. I'm not a snob, I'm not!

6. Wine with friends, it has to be good.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with the fam, tomorrow my plans include attending something we all wish there was no need for and Sunday, I want to read!

Book Beginnings & Friday 56: My One and Only

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Check out the rules and join in the fun.

Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
Turn to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog. Post a link along with your post back to this blog.

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by A Few More Pages. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence, or two, of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

Book Beginnings:
"Stop smiling. Every time you smile, an angel dies."

Friday 56:
Dennis grunted in his sleep, which Coco interpreted as an invitation. She jumped in his lap, then licked his hand, and he smiled without opening his eyes and petted her.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action by LuAnn McLane

A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action
LuAnn McLane {Facebook | Myspace | Twitter}
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Mass Market Paperback {p.283}
Source: Personal Library
Genre: Contemporary
Characters: Macy McCoy, Luke Carter
Challenge: 50 States, 100+
My Rating:
Macy’s chance for love is slipping from her fingers. College football coach Luke Carter has a penchant for hot-bodied babes, not curvy hairdressers like Macy. And some big-time schools may be luring him away. Then a country singing star’s hair emergency turns into a big break for Macy.

Making it in Nashville boosts Macy’s confidence, but when Luke interviews for a job at a local university, she’ll have to put up or shut up—or lose him forever…
I picked up this author because Amazon suggested that if I liked Dixie Cash I may like LuAnn McLane. With similar catchy titles, I can see why one may think that. But to me this author more closely matches Carolyn Brown. They both have a fondness for country music song references.

Macy is a hairdresser and best friend to her love interest, Luke Carter’s, younger sister. She has had a crush on Luke for as long as she can remember, but he’s only seen her as a little sister.

Throughout the book we hear Macy complain a lot about Luke never being interested in her because she as a curvy figure and not that of a Barbie. After a while it becomes a tad too much.

The book does offer a few comedic scenes, but it wasn’t as funny as I was expecting it to be. The relationship between Luke and Macy wasn’t all that interesting. It was more lukewarm instead of steamy hot. They may have had a mutual affection for one another, but I definitely wasn’t feeling the love.

Theme Thursday {2}: Touch

This meme is being hosted by Kavyen @ Reading Between Pages. Each Thursday she will be posting a new "theme" Anyone can join in; here are the rules:

  • A new "theme" will be posted each Thursday
  • Select a conversion/snippet/sentence from your current read
  • Post your selection, but don't forget to list the title and author of the book
  • This event is open for one whole week
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)

    Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”

This week's "theme" is: TOUCH

Because the Catholic church wouldn't touch Nick and me with a ten-foot pole, Father B. had managed to get himself appointed as a justice of the peace. His bishop wasn't happy, but the good father said it was worth it to be able to perform our wedding ceremony.
My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Simply Irresistible
Jill Shalvis {Blog | FacebookTwitter}
Series: Lucky Harbor #1
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Mass Market Paperback {p.311}
Source: Personal Library
Genre: Contemporary
Characters: Maddie Moore, Jax Cullen
Challenge: 100+, Contemporary
My Rating:

Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover.

In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.

Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.

The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes-and mouth-are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.
Maddie meets Jax when she almost runs him over on his motorcycle. She is fleeing LA where she has been fired from her job and dumped her abusive ex-boyfriend.

Maddie is a quiet doormat people pleaser. Everyone in Lucky Harbor knows her and her sisters by the personality nicknames their late mother Phoebe gave them. The Steel Magnolia, The Mouse, and The Wild Child. Of course Maddie is The Mouse, but she is trying to develop some of her sister’s steel.

Her relationship with Jax is sugary sweet but she still has some baggage from her previous relationship that makes her not able to truly open up to him. She’s a tad fearful and flinches away from him a lot when he tries to touch her. With her ex being a lawyer, she hates all lawyers, so Jax keeps the fact that he used to be a lawyer from her.

Plus he’s also keeping another secret from her and she is upset when she finds out. What really bothered me about that was the fact that the other person involved in this secret, she was not upset with.

Even though this book was just okay, I am still interested in seeing if my suspicions about who the other sisters will end up with will prove true.

Waiting on Wednesday {38} The Chase

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It is showcases upcoming releases of books that I'm looking forward to. It is somewhat similar to one of my previous posts, Anxiously Awaiting. {Button courtesy of Bewitched Bookworms}

The Chase
Erin McCarthy
March 1, 2011

Kendall Holbrook is determined to make it to the top, even with the challenge of being a woman on the male-dominated racing circuit. She doesn't have time for romance-especially not with racing rival Evan Monroe, the man who nearly crushed her dream years ago. Tricked into meeting him, Kendall is experiencing all those old feelings again-and she can't deny that they still have enough chemistry to set fire to the track.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday {8}: Play With Me by Janice Maynard

Tackle It Tuesday is a meme I started here, that's a play off of a similar meme of the same name hosted by Janice and Susan at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Here at the Book Obsessed version of this meme, the idea is to "tackle" books that have been sitting on your shelves collecting dust waiting to be read. Or to "tackle" those we've started, but yet to finish because life has gotten in the way. Also to help encourage blogger interaction, which is always a plus.

Anyone can participate!! Just link your posts in the comments section!

Play With Me
Janice Maynard
Shelved since September 3, 2008

It begins with a toast among three beautiful best friends-Catherine, who's used to putting business before pleasure; Kallie, who's in need of a casual lover; and Gina, a former party girl who's given up on romance. Their pact is to make their naughtiest fantasies come true before their thirtieth birthdays. They have one year to make it happen-and no position is too compromising. All it's going to take is finding the right man, capturing the perfect moment, and stirring up enough courage to issue the most provocative invitation of the year. The race is on. Who's going to cross the line first?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr

Harvest Moon
Robyn Carr {Facebook}
Series: Virgin River #13
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Mass Market Paperback {p.359}
Source: Personal Library
Genre: Contemporary
Characters: Kelly Matlock, Lief Holbrook
Challenge: 100+, Contemporary
My Rating:

Rising sous-chef Kelly Matlock's sudden collapse at work is a wake-up call. Disillusioned and burned out, she's retreated to her sister Jillian's house in Virgin River to rest and reevaluate.

Puttering in Jill's garden and cooking with her heirloom vegetables is wonderful, but Virgin River is a far cry from San Francisco. Kelly's starting to feel a little too unmotivated…until she meets Lief Holbrook. The handsome widower looks more like a lumberjack than a sophisticated screenwriter—a combination Kelly finds irresistible. But less appealing is Lief's rebellious stepdaughter, Courtney. She's the reason they moved from L.A., but Courtney's finding plenty of trouble even in Virgin River.

Kelly's never fallen for a guy with such serious baggage, but some things are worth fighting for. Besides, a bratty teenager can't be any worse than a histrionic chef…right?

Kelly comes to Virgin River to stay with her sister after quitting her job. She meets the handsome Lief Holbrook upon arriving, and they immediately hit it off. But both Lief and Kelly have baggage that may keep them apart.

The chemistry between these two came alive on the pages. Lief and Kelly were always enjoying each other’s company with laughter and love. But for a time there, it looked like that might not have been enough when Lief’s stepdaughter Courtney didn’t want her around.

Courtney was a troubled teen who lost her mother way too early, and had a father who couldn’t be bothered to care for her. That is unless he needed her to paint the picture of the perfect family man. I truly hated her biological father in this book and the way he treated her. It helped you to understand why she was such a troubled individual.

Carr has an amazing way of making you fall in love with her characters and absolutely hate the ones you’re suppose to dislike.

I always hate to see the end of Carr’s Virgin River novels, and this one was no different. Watching Courtney blossom into a more emotionally mature and stable being was a delight and a laugh a minute. Some of the scenes with Courtney and her counselor were among my favorites.

Kelly and Lief had a tender love affair that grows from a friendship and mutual respect of the other. It was truly believable because it wasn’t some hot and heavy affair that they jumped into five minutes after meeting. They were both real people with real problems.

As always the rest of the Virgin River played a big part. Of course Harvest Moon featured a lot of her sister, Jillian, and Colin but also Jack and Preacher as well. Also appearances from the Promise Canyon main players, which was nice since I didn’t really feel they were a part of the community in their book. But one character who was notably absence was Jack’s wife, Mel. It doesn’t deter from the overall story, in fact I didn’t notice her absence until I finished the book.

Harvest Moon has the right balance of humor and tearjerker moments to keep you enthralled. All the characters are amazing and offer enough spark to keep you coming back for more.

Musical Monday {4}: Come Away With Me

So what's Musical Monday? It's a weekly meme hosted by Tipsy Reader. With this meme, you pick the book you are currently reading, or just finished, and match it with it's musical mate. Think, "if this book had a soundtrack, what would be the theme song?"

The Book:
Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr

The Song:
Come Away With Me by Norah Jones

+ show lyrics

The Reason:
This song is the what came to mind when Lief and Kelly went on their picnic. It's a nice, sweet ballad that reminds me of their sweet, tender love for one another. My alternate choice would be Tender Love, because they do share a love that comes across on the pages as tender.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox {39}

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail of that week.

Books via publisher/review
Love Drunk Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
The Legend of Michael by Lisa Renee Jones

Books via Paperback Swap
Love Mode by Yuki Shimizu
What She Needs by Lacey Alexander

Books via publisher/win
Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione
Shiver of Fear by Roxanne St. Claire

Books via Public Library
Elixir by Hilary Duff
In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz
No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon
What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz
Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
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