Thursday, July 30, 2009

Review: A Few Good Men (anthology) by Tori Carrington

Title: A Few Good Men
Series: Uniformly Hot!
Author: Tori Carrington
Read copy: eBook
Published: January 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 142682629X
ISBN-13: 9781426826290

Corporal Eric Armstrong is finally going to meet his sexy new pen pal in the flesh. Only, Eric already knows her...very, very well!

Corporal Eddie Cash has a reputation for living on the edge. Still, even he's worried about his next adventure—fatherhood.

Lieutenant Matt Guerrero has always been proud to serve his country. Only, this time it might cost him his marriage....

Captain Brian Justice loves being a Marine, almost as much as he's starting to love Angela Mitchell. Too bad he's about to lose them both....


My rating:

Harlequins are by rule rather short (of course it depends on the imprint), so it’s quite a feat to find a good story, with a proper arc, well-developed characters, and believable actions and reactions.
Unfortunately this Blaze book has four short stories crammed into the space of one story and the plots suffered greatly. Actually, none of the four "encounters" had much of a plot. Or interesting characters (despite the males being all marine hunks). Or gripping story lines. Or good bedroom scenes (which would be a small compensation for all the other lacks).

The first two stories were a complete waste of time and effort to try to relate to anything the characters said, did, or lived through. And I wanted to deck the heroines.
The third encounter also raised my boxing instinct. Thanks to the heroine, again, but mostly because there was so much potential, but so little space to develop anything. And the mediocre ending without heads or tails also didn’t help.

The final story, the hero of which was at the center of the main arc, was the strongest of the bunch, but still severely lacking in execution, plot and interest-holding. The h/H were a little more developed, the hero had more depth than his three buddies combined, and the heroine was a true breath of fresh air from her three nerves-grating predecessors.

If the prologue and epilogue were any indications, the fourth story – lengthened and strengthened – would’ve been quite a good read, instead we got a great prologue promising us a bang of a story, mediocre four novellas that could’ve been good PWP if the sex scenes were better, and an epilogue that was too short and certainly didn’t accomplish anything.

*disappointed sigh*



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Review: A Voice In The Dark by Jenna Ryan

Title: A Voice in the Dark
Series: He's a Mystery
Author: Jenna Ryan
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: January 13, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 0373693788
ISBN-13: 9780373693788

No one knew what Noah Graydon looked like, but they'd all heard the rumors. How he'd been broken, even scarred, on his last case. How he never showed his face...until the day he took an overwhelming interest in one very special agent.

Angel Carter would have been a serial killer's next victim if not for Noah. The rescue gave her a glimpse into his world of shadows—yet she dared to want more. To really know if the passion between them was real.

They would have to come face-to-face if the killer was to be caught—and Noah could only conceal his body from Angel for so long....


My rating:

A serial killer has apparently returned to Boston after a five-year hiatus. The case goes to FBI agent Angel Carter and her partner and though the clues are scarce, Angel has an ace up her sleeve - FBI profiler Noah Graydon, a man she's never seen. A man that is but a voice in the dark over her phone.

Noah Graydon is a legend and a phantom. The last time he tangled with the serial killer dubbed the Penny Killer for the two pennies he leaves on the victim's eyelids, a young agent lost his life, the killer was presumed dead, and Noah removed himself into the shadows.

But now the Penny Killer is back and has targeted Angel. Noah will have no choice but to emerge from the shadows if he wants to catch the killer and keep Angel safe.

This was the best HI I've read so far. Though it's a Harlequin - short and romance-riven - it reads like a thriller thanks to the twisted murdered and the constant suspense.

Usually in HI the hero meets the heroine at the beginning of the book so the story always seems a little rushed, but Noah and Angels have known each other for eighteen months prior to the beginning of the book, and though they've never officially met, their quasi-relationship was already established, leaving the author a lot of space to develop other aspects of the plot.

When we meet Angel Carter for the first time, she's on a crime scene fresh from the theater, in high-heel boots, yet there is something about her that speaks of a no-nonsense character and determination. She's strong and resilient, stubborn as a mule, and doesn't scare that easily (except for her bat phobia). She had a quirky sense of humor that brought even more life to the fictitious character and made her more "approachable" for an FBI agent.

In that first scene, she suddenly had a sensation of being watched, and though she saw only shadows behind her, there was someone lurking in the darkness. Instead of the killer, it was Noah Graydon, the legendary and enigmatic FBI profiler who was rather enamored of the shadows obscuring his visage from view.
I loved Noah from the start. He was a loner, rather grumpy when the mood struck, quite content with living in semi-darkness, yet there was constantly something drawing him out in the open, toward the light. I expected his fixation with shadows would bother me, but it merely added to the intrigue of the story and the appeal of the man.

Though it was obvious Noah and Angel have never met, there was something between them. Though they communicated over the Internet and phone, the attraction was there, center stage, waiting to be called into the game. Their banter over the phone might seem friendly at first, but there were those sexual overtones (her teasing, his sexy drawl whenever he spoke to her) that spoke volumes of what was said between the lines. I found myself looking forward to those phone conversations.
And when they finally met. Oh, boy. The ST was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Though the romance between the leads occupied a good part of the story, it never overshadowed the main mystery of the serial killer on the Boston streets. The murders were piling up along with the suspects, the notes left behind by the psycho were getting more and more cryptic with each murder, and the clues left here and there by the author led to different direction, to different people, successfully maintaining the edge-of-the-seat suspense.
Until the very end and such a twist it left me reeling.

Jenna Ryan truly did an amazing job with this book. The characters were amazing and nicely developped, their banter entertaining, their (hi)stories a great discovery, and the romance sizzling. But what made this a good book was without a doubt the suspense sub-plot. Maybe not overly original, but nicely executed with the final reveal that was the true surprise of the story.
Nicely done, indeed, and highly recommended.



Friday, July 17, 2009

Review: Pregnesia by Carla Cassidy

Title: Pregnesia
Series: The Recovery Men
Author: Carla Cassidy
Read copy: eBook
Published: July 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426836066
ISBN-13: 9781426836060

Pregnant. Alone. And running for her life.

Former navy SEAL Lucas Washington was an expert at tackling impossible missions. But when a striking - and very pregnant - woman turned up in a car he was repossessing, suddenly he was in over his head. Shaken and bruised, she couldn't remember what had happened to her or why she was terrified of going to the police. Lucas made it clear he could be trusted, and vowed to protect her until she was safe. Hours turned to days as they searched for clues to her hidden past. Then a family came to claim her, and a happy ending seemed imminent. But had he just delivered his Jane Doe to safety...or into the hands of a killer?


My rating:

This is the final book in Ms. Cassidy's The Recovery Men trilogy about three ex-Navy SEAL friends encountering woman-related trouble. Not the usual trouble of the feminine nature, someone wants these gals dead and its up to the boys to figure out who and why.

Lucas Washington, the only Recovery man still single (and preferring it that way), is on an errand to repossess an unpaid-for Buick with a pregnant woman in the back seat. No, she isn't incorporated, she's hiding. And not only is she pregnant, she also has amnesia, or so she says, not that Lucas believes her.

When he barely prevents her from being kidnapped from a WalMart parking lot, he finally realizes she just might be telling the truth. Witch, coupled with the near-kidnapping would mean she's in danger. But until she recovers her memory, they're at a loss as to who is behind the nefarious plot and what are their reasons.

Okay, so this wasn't any extraordinary literary work, but compared to the first two books in this trilogy, it was great. For the first time since I started reading about these three ex-Navy SEALs turned repo men I found myself liking both the female and male lead (he was still a jerk, but a little less of a jerk than his friends and he had a rather good reason for being that way).

Another plus was the fact the heroine was pregnant throughout the course of the story, so there was no sex to "lighten" the mood. Sure, the "suspense" part of the story had much to be desired (it sure didn't keep me at the edge of my seat until three chapters from the end), but it hovered somewhere on the outskirts of the plot, keeping the reader intrigued with wondering about the amnesiac heroine, giving us mere glimpses of what might have happened to her.

Unfortunately the villain and his nefarious plot ruined a perfectly solid story. It was completely cuckoo and utterly inconsistent with the rest of the story. For what the villain had in mind (which was cuckoo!), the strange inactivity throughout the story simply didn't make sense. The final urgency completely belied everything that's transpired before.

Better than its predecessor, but still not worth a re-read.



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Review: Heiress Recon by Carla Cassidy

Title: Heiress Recon
Series: The Recovery Men
Author: Carla Cassidy
Read copy: eBook
Published: June 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426834748
ISBN-13: 9781426834745

Brianna Waverly had barely escaped death once. So she had little choice but to accept the protection of former navy SEAL Troy Sinclair. Spirited away to a tiny cabin, her safe house was as far removed from her heiress lifestyle as she could imagine. And her bodyguard so much more exciting than any man she'd ever known.

Troy wasn't pleased to be playing house when danger lurked behind every door. Especially when the woman he had to protect was proving impossible to resist. But emotion was an entanglement he couldn't afford...because the ultimate price would be their lives.


My rating:

This is the second book in Ms. Cassidy's The Recovery Men trilogy about three ex-Navy SEAL friends encountering woman-related trouble. Not the usual trouble of the feminine nature, someone wants these gals dead and its up to the boys to figure out who and why.

Brianna "Bree" Waverly is the darling of Hollywood and a paparazzi magnet. When she is almost stabbed in a nigh club, her father fears it has something to do with a mall project he's involved in and decides to call in reinforcements. Brianna is on her way home to Kansas City, so he asks Troy Sinclair, one of the three owners of Recovery Inc. to act as her bodyguard.

Reluctantly, Troy agrees to accept the assignment as a personal favor to the old man, though he despises the life Brianna's living in Hollywood and knows he'll be having a hard time shadowing the spoiled little princess, whom someone wants dead with a vengeance.

Another dud. Though I liked Brianna more than I did the previous heroine - at least Bree saw the world for what it truly was and didn't live in some fantasy landscape in her head - she still "rubbed me the wrong way". I can't put my finger on what truly bothered me, but it just didn't click for me.

Troy was the annoying one in this book. His stubborn refusal to see beyond the tabloid-painted picture of Brianna, his thinly veiled contempt and insults...They simply spoke of an obnoxious jerk and certainly didn't create a credible picture of him as a SEAL, jumping to conclusions without hard evidence or proof. What's even more sad, he refused to listen to reason even after it became evident there was more to the girl than the headlines and made-up articles in the magazines.
Maybe this was meant to create tension between the characters, give Troy more depth or something, but it accomplished the opposite for me. I just wanted to choke him and find a more "sensible" guy for Brianna.

Again, the villain eluded me all along, once again providing the only saving grace for this story, the rest was just "meh".



Review: Interrogating the Bride by Carla Cassidy

Title: Interrogating the Bride
Series: The Recovery Men
Author: Carla Cassidy
Read copy: eBook
Published: May 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426832850
ISBN-13: 9781426832857

Former navy SEAL Micah Stone could spot danger a mile away. And the alluring bride who'd stowed away on the plane he'd been sent to repossess set off every red flag in the book. Caylee Warren claimed she had nothing to do with her "fiancé's" murder. When it began to look as if Caylee was the intended victim, Micah had no choice but to take her into hiding. But for a man who never let anyone get close, protecting Caylee was more than he could handle. Could he let her break down the walls he'd erected around his heart...even if it meant distracting him from the mission at hand?

My rating:

This is the first book in Ms. Cassidy's The Recovery Men trilogy about three ex-Navy SEAL friends encountering woman-related trouble. Not the usual trouble of the feminine nature, someone wants these gals dead and its up to the boys to figure out who and why.

Micah Stone is the first to take the plunge. He travels to Fortuna island to reposes an unpaid-for airplane (because that's what the boys do, they're repo men) and ends up with an extra passenger in a wedding dress.

Caylee just wanted to escape the island and her rather psychotic boyfriend, but ends up on the lam wanted for murder and the only person she can turn to is Micah. He's wanted for murder along with her, so it's pretty logical they end up working together to clear their names.

I really wanted to like this book and it started pretty great, but unfortunately Micah and Caylee prevented me from truly enjoying this story. He was being the usual (ex) Navy SEAL suspense hero with a huge chip on his shoulder because of childhood trauma, so he couldn't make up his mind whether he wanted to stick around with Caylee after the heat was off or just get the hell out of Dodge and enjoy his fast bachelorhood with fast women. Yeah, he's your usual hero, add or deduct a few characteristics, but the constant repeating of this "handicap" was really annoying. Needless to say, I didn't particularly like the guy.

Caylee on the other hand was not your typical romance heroine (okay, depends on what books you read). She fell just shy off the TSTL category, but her naiveté just got on my nerves. She was too trusting for her own good, looking at her world through rosy glasses, and completely oblivious to the fact the real world was completely different from her picture-perfect (or so it seemed) life. She seemed to have jumped out of a 70's era Harlequin, instead of a romantic suspense set in the 21st century, until I kept secretly hoping she would finally get shot and be done with...I didn't get my wish.

The only good thing was the fact I didn't know who the bad guy was until the final reveal. But as much as I like this sort of surprises, the overall picture was less than satisfactory.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Review: Pursuit by Elizabeth Jennings

Title: Pursuit
Author: Elizabeth Jennings

Read copy: eBook
Published: April 1, 2008
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 0446536350
ISBN-13: 9780446536356

A shocking betrayal...her father's murder...and a life-threatening accusation...Heiress Charlotte Court has walked into a waking nightmare-one that sends her running from her wealthy home to anywhere she can hide.

Across the border in Mexico, Charlotte creates a new identity and finds refuge in the battle-torn arms of Navy SEAL Matt Sanders. Fleeing his past, Matt yearns to protect her and replace her pain with pleasure. But Charlotte can't trust anyone, not even someone she's starting to love. She knows she's a target-and out of sight, a soulless killer is zeroing in on his prey...

My rating:

This book started great. The power-and-money-thirsty CEO having the owner of the company killed and blaming it all on the daughter of said company owner, because she scorned his advances. What more could you want? Well, maybe the haughty heiress running for her life across the country with a bullet-hole in her shoulder, with no money, no hope for help (being framed for her father’s murder and all), crossing the Mexican border with her maid’s passport. Oh, and constantly chased by a hired killer.

It sounds great, doesn’t it?

Pity, the whole suspense thingy lasted only until the heiress settled in a picturesque little Mexican town. The third day of her stay she saw a broken man on the beach, a man who’s apparently escaped death just like her – and turned out to be the hero of this story, two months later they met face to face as he fished her out of the sea…And we slowly trudged forward.

I need my romantic suspense novels to keep the suspense throughout the course of the story. This one failed miserably to keep me intrigued. If it weren’t for all-too brief glimpses of the hired gun (aptly named Barrett) methodically searching for Charlotte, though the track’s been cold for two months, and slowly narrowing down her options, I would’ve probably given up altogether.

The initial premise was great, but the author failed in executing it. Any slower and the plot would be moving backward. The characters were rather flat, I didn’t like neither of the two and kept hoping for the killer to catch up with the chick sooner. The lukewarm tension between Charlotte and matt simply ruined the already non-existent suspense until I had nothing else to look forward to than some bedroom action – which never came!

And in the end I was robbed of the grand finale as well. It seemed rushed, without the usual (and much needed) climax-building. And it was definitely too easy and over too soon. And the epilogue was completely redundant.

Disappointing.



Saturday, July 11, 2009

Review: One Scream Away by Kate Brady

Title: One Scream Away
Series: Sheridan
Author: Kate Brady
Read copy: eBook
Published: July 1, 2009
Publisher: Forever
ISBN: 0446559377
ISBN-13: 9780446559379

Killer Chevy Bankes is a master of disguise, and just paroled, he's coming after the woman who sent him to jail, the beautiful antiques expert Beth Denison. A set of antique dolls brings Beth into his sight, and inspire Chevy's disturbing crimes as he draws closer to Beth and her young daughter. Chevy sends the dolls to Beth one-by-one and she soon realizes that these antiques carry the same marks as his victims, signaling that the final piece in his collection will be for her.

Neil Sheridan gave up his FBI shield five years ago, but his best friend Rick, a cop, pulls him in as a consultant on a case involving a serial killer who is eerily similar to a murderer Neil encountered in the past. The investigation leads Neil to Beth's doorstep, and he is certain she isn't telling him the truth. Neil is the only one who can get through Beth's defenses and, as they grow closer, discover the secrets that Beth is hiding about her fateful night with Chevy.

My rating:

This was one heck of a book. It had everything I look for in a thriller.

Beth Denison's world falls apart (again). Chevy Bankes, the man who "let her get away" seven years ago is out of prison and is holding a grudge. Starting in Seattle, he's killing women, sending Beth dolls as testimony of his crimes. Moving closer to her with each kill.

Neil Sheridan, former FBI, is called on board when the Seattle murder rings enough bells to be similar to a case Neil'd been working on nine years prior. He'd shot the murderer then, but with each case more and more doubts arise. Did he get the wrong man?

Beth Denison seems to hold the main clue. Unfortunately, the woman won't cooperate and it's up to Neil to make her see the light. As Chevy slowly draws near, Beth and Neil have to work together, revealing dark secrets and painful pasts in hope of catching him.

Okay, so the summary sucks, but the book was wonderful. The suspense held from start to finish, slowly turning this romantic suspense novel into a true thriller.

The killer's identity is known from the first page, but that sure doesn't kill the suspense. Because with Chevy Banks the author created a wonderfully rounded character, twisted and creepy, yes, but also incredibly intelligent and resourceful, with a terrible childhood experience that shaped him into the strapping guy (notice the sarcasm) he is today. At times the reader finds it hard not to feel compassion toward him, which makes it for an even more exciting ride.

The other two leading characters (yes, you could call this one a threesome with the villain sharing equal on-screen time as the two leads) are greatly developped as well. Beth with her inner-strength, fueled by fear for her daughter, fear for her secret to be exposed, and bitter anger for what happened seven years ago, is wonderful. Though she may appear inconsistent at times, going from being strong, tough-as-nails, not needing anyone to a clingy, cowering mess of a woman, it still is consistent with what happened to her and the profile of abuse she's been through. She truly was a remarkable character.

Neil Sheridan is definitely on my top-heroes list. Scarred in and out, jaded and with his fuck-the-world attitude he seemed quite unlikely to slay Beth's dragons at first with all his doubts as to what side she was on. But as soon as she opened up, bam, he slapped his figurative armor on, pulled his figurative steed out of the figurative stable, and he was on a roll.
I loved the fact Ms. Brady didn't make him your regular knight in shining armor, the first time we meet him he's dead-drunk, fondling a woman who's name he doesn't know. Oh, he's a gem all right. But thanks to his friend and his deep-buried honor to see things through, to avenge the girl (first murdered girl) he presumably failed, he bounces back and shows us why he'd been the best in the Bureau.
And when he finally reveals his secret, the hints of which are sprinkled throughout the story, it's utterly heartbreaking and it justifies everything he's said or done and explains his dogged determination to do his damnedest to protect Beth and her daughter, Abby.
There was a line, something his former colleague said to him, in the book that pretty much summed it all up. Nine years ago the Bureau lost one of its best agents, but now, after all is finished, after all the demons (Neil's and Beth's) are slain, the Bureau might get its agent back. The author wrote in much better, though.

The romance was wonderfully subtle. Just a few heated kisses, bare hints to anything more, yet utterly "in character", consistent with the two characters. Anything more and the whole thing would go to posh. Kudos to the author for knowing how to maintain that fragile balance. Really masterfully executed.

What I loved most, though, was the sick little mouse-and-cat game between Chevy and the good guys. He was always a step ahead of everyone, almost as if he read their minds, knew what they'd do and anticipate them all. It was twisted, but it was marvelous to read, trying to guess what he'd do next, what plan he's devised. And to finally learn just who the heck "Jenny" was. We did, and let me tell you, I didn't see that one coming.

This was truly a wonderful debut novel. Major kudos to Kate Brady for thinking of this story and managing to keep it all in line. The characters were wonderful, the plot nicely-flowing, the suspense great...What more could you want. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

P.S. I can't wait for the next one.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Review: On Target by Catherine Mann

Title: On Target
Series: Special Operations
Author: Catherine Mann
Read copy: eBook
Published: July 1, 2007
Publisher: HQN
ISBN: 1426802757
ISBN-13: 9781426802751

On his way to deliver divorce papers to his soon-to-be ex, a terrorist attack put U.S. Air Force Sergeant Shane 'Vegas' O'Riley back into soldier mode. His wife and her two adopted children were in danger. He didn't give a damn if she wanted him out of their lives—they were under his full-time protection now.

Being back with her husband had Sherry in upheaval. She still wanted Shane. Yet she was afraid obligation was the only reason he was sticking close. With a terrorist targeting their lives, Shane was all she had to hold on to.

Danger lurked close to home. But it was a marriage that had to survive the ultimate battle.


My rating:

Watching a bird take a dump is more suspenseful than this book. At least you get to wonder where the bird poo is going to land. With the first 19 chapters filled with the leading couple pre-divorce marital problems and pseudo-angst, and another couple’s skirting the issue of him having called her a different name in bed (four years ago!), this book had no room for wondering about the bad guys and their martyr-ish quest.

All the action and resolution was crammed into the 20th chapter, offering no specific reason for the bad guys’ martyr-ish quest, but only serving as the turning point for the solving of the pre-divorce marital problems and pseudo-angst of the leading couple. The other couple resolved their issue early on.

Call me nuts, but I expect much, much more from a romantic suspense labeled book. Some suspense would be nice. And female characters that I don’t want to bitch-slap into kingdom-come. For all their self-sacrificing, NGO-working, third-world-country-children-adopting, holier-than-thou qualities, the two female protagonists (the married and single one) just plainly got on my nerves. I’m all for girl power, but not everything is the man’s fault. And it figures the two would figure it out when it was almost too late and proceeded with "celebrating" their newfound knowledge in the last (21st) chapter.

Boring, uneventful until the second-to-last crammed chapter, and with characters that did absolutely nothing for me (not even the men, hunky flyboys with god-like looks). A total waste of time and brain-cells.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Review: Twin Seduction by Cara Summers

Title: Twin Seduction
Series: The Wrong Bed
Author: Cara Summers
Read copy: eBook
Published: July 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426835469
ISBN-13: 9781426835469

Jordan Ware has always had Wild West fantasies. But she's more Jimmy Choo than Tony Lama. Until her long-lost twin sister arrives...

...and they switch places! Jordan heads to Santa Fe. And ends up bunking down with her twin's hunky fiancé!

Cash Landry has never met a woman like Jordan. A whole heap of trouble has followed this city girl on her Western adventure. Still, Cash won't have any trouble protecting her. But can he convince her to ride into the sunset with him for good?


My rating:

The back story is the same as in Twin Temptation: two sisters who never knew about the other are reunited after twenty-six years, but thanks to their mother's will have no time to get to know each other before having to spend 21 consecutive days in each other's shoes.

Now it's time for Jordan to live Maddie's life. A life that includes the hunky cowboy of a neighbor, Cash Landry. And while Cash and Maddie are just friends, Cash and Jordan are anything but friends...Again at night, before they even officially meet. But Cash isn't as quick on the uptake as Jase was.

So the author took the blazing attraction between h/H, and thrown in an attempted murder or two...And got an almost exact replica of her (aforementioned) previous book.

Again, the romance was rushed—sorry, but I just don't buy people falling madly, I-want-to-spend-my-lifetime-loving-you in love in two days. And to take the same initial nudge—making love while at least one of them thinks it's a dream, while they don't even know each other—isn't exactly the best way to start.

Though I complained about the first book's "indecision" about genres, it was the suspenseful edge that kept it flowing, and this is even more true about this one.
It was the mad race downhill with a van glued to the bumper, the old man allegedly falling half-way down a cliff, the vandalism on the ranch that kept me interested enough to even finish this story.
And the final reveal of the baddie was truly a surprise. Well done, Ms. Summers, maybe you should stick to suspense from now on.

Well, if you already own this book (or two books), you might go ahead and give it a try, but I'd recommend you rather read the two-book series from 2008 by Leslie Kelly: Slow Hands and Heated Rush. A much better (and romance-driven) reading experience.



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review: Twin Temptation by Cara Summers

Title: Twin Temptation
Series: The Wrong Bed
Author: Cara Summers
Read copy: eBook
Published: June 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426834217
ISBN-13: 9781426834219

Maddie Farrell is about to get a double surprise—not only is she an heiress, she has a secret twin sister! What's more, their inheritance depends on temporarily switching places.

Unexpected bonus? Sex with her sister's superhot roommate, Jase Campbell! But he's just a passing—if mind-blowing—distraction.

Because as soon as the twin switch is over, Maddie's heading home. Unless she can't outrun the killer who'd rather see her dead than inherit. Or Jase, who'd like to keep blowing her mind—permanently!


My rating:

Unfortunately, this story didn’t live up to the expectations brought on by the previous two books. It’s not a series per se, the authors themselves describe their work as a two-book series, but the works are all tied loosely into a "people mix-up" miniseries—appropriately titled Wrong Bed: Again and Again.

Anyway, Leslie Kelly’s two stories have set quite a high standard to follow and Cara Summers just wasn’t up to the task. Hopefully it was just a one-book fluke and the next one will be a vast improvement. I certainly hope so.

To me it seemed the author had a hard time deciding on the genre. At first the suspense subplot kept distracting me from the romance, but slowly I was rather thankful for the aforementioned suspense subplot. At least it kept things lively around New York.

Why?

Because the romance blew. I don’t know if it could even be categorized as a romance, since it happened so suddenly I almost got a nosebleed. ... Okay, kidding on the nosebleed part. What bothered me was the speed with which everything evolved.

Maddie Farrell has learned that her mother, whom she thought died when she was a baby, actually died only a few days ago. And Maddie wasn’t an only child, but had a twin sister. Her mother’s will is specific, Maddie and her twin, Jordan, must spend the next three consequent weeks in each other’s shoes in order to prevent their mother’s business from being sold.

Maddie and Jordan promptly switch places, with Jordan leaving for Maddie’s Santa Fe ranch and Maddie for Jordan’s New York apartment. Poor, jet-lagged Maddie is so tired upon arrival, she crashes in the first bed she finds. Unfortunately, she crashes in the bed of Jordan’s roommate, an ex-special ops member, Jase.

Jase returns from a rescue mission in South America that same night, and upon finding a woman in his bed, thinks he’s only dreaming, she thinks she’s only dreaming, and they end up doing the hanky-panky. Imagine the surprise when they wake up and realize it wasn’t a dream, they actually slept together. Without knowing each other and without protection! Okay, the whole putting the glove on can sometimes get tiresome in a book, disrupting the flow so to speak, but it was never mentioned in this story which was a bit off-putting.

So, they have sex on their first pseudo-meeting, then they can’t keep their minds and hands off each other, they suddenly know each other after spending less than twelve hours together, and are madly in love by the end of the book—mere two days after they meet.
WTF?!

The only redeeming thing about this so-called romance was the fact Jase immediately knew Maddie wasn’t Jordan (imagine that, their smells didn’t match) and he didn’t feel a thing for Jordan (they were truly just friends), but with Maddie he went completely haywire. That was sweet.

It was the suspense that kept the entire story above water in the end. The robbery, murder, attempted murder, break-in etc. kept it interesting. And the fact only one part of the puzzle’s been resolved, left a nice cliffhanger for the next (final) story, and the resolution to take place on a cattle ranch near Santa Fe.

I’m actually looking forward to the next story. Mostly because I’m curious as to what the heck is going on, and I’m dying to meet Maddie’s neighbor (and would-be fiancé), Cash. The cowboy and a city-bred businesswoman. That should keep things interesting, don’t you think?