Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review: Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

Title: Scarlett
Author: Alexandra Ripley

Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: October 1, 1992
Publisher: Warner Books
ISBN: 0446363251
ISBN-13: 9780446363259

The timeless tale continues... The most popular and beloved American historical novel ever written, Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind is unparalleled in its portrayal of men and women at once larger than life but as real as ourselves. Now bestselling writer Alexandra Ripley brings us back to Tara and reintroduces us to the characters we remember so well: Rhett, Ashley, Mammy, Suellen, Aunt Pittypat, and, of course, Scarlett. As the classic story, first told over half a century ago, moves forward, the greatest love affair in all fiction is reignited; amidst heartbreak and joy, the endless, consuming passion between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler reaches its startling culmination.

My rating:

And this is supposedly the sequel to GWTW?

Tomorrow was supposed to be another day. Tomorrow was supposed to be the day Scarlett won Rhett back not the day Rhett would divorce Scarlett and marry another.

And when the author finally realized the uproar she was creating for those die-hard Scarlett and Rhett fans out there, she tried to compensate with the bad attempt at drama and epic ending. Urgh.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Review: Mouth To Mouth by Erin McCarthy

Title: Mouth To Mouth
Author: Erin McCarthy

Read copy: eBook
Published: November 1, 2007
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 0758228295
ISBN-13: 9780758228291

In Love, There's No Such Thing As A Simple Plan

Rule #1: Cops maintain their distance.

It was supposed to be your average stakeout. My partner and I would scope out both the coffee shop and Laurel Wilkins, the latest target of con man Trevor Dean's scheme to meet women online and bilk them of their money?and everything else.

Rule #2: Cops think fast on their feet.

So I went inside to get a better look. So she happened to be gorgeous with a body that made me temporarily forget how to order coffee. So she knew my name—Russ Evans—and hugged me like we were more than friends. So what the $#@ is going on?

Rule #3: Cops never, ever get involved.

At least she?s willing to offer herself up as bait. All I have to do is keep her safe—and keep my hands off. Anything else would be against the rules. And oh so tempting...

My rating:

Russ Evans is floored when the woman he and his partner have been watching, hoping a con artist would approach her, jumps up from her table, calls him by his name, and hugs him. What the heck? How does the woman know him? And what does she mean she was waiting for him?

Well, maybe she meant that she was waiting for him because they had a date, and she knows him because they've been chatting online for the past month or so.
Only that Russ doesn't even own a computer and even if he did he wouldn't have a clue what to do with it.

Laurel Wilkins, sweet, fuzzy bunny-like Laurel, has been set up, but she doesn't mind, the real Russ Evans is so much better than the creep sending her emails. Although he's starting to get annoying with his preaching about never meeting strange men online or in person, yadda yadda yadda. Well, maybe he can protect her...And make her fantasies of being wild come true.

Sorry to say, I expected more from this book. Sure, it was sweet in places. Sure, it was funny in places. Sure, it was hot in several places. And it did convey a good message for this era - about the perils of meeting strangers online...But still there was so much stalling in between all these sweet, funny, hot places that just didn't make for a constantly exciting and entertaining read.

The hero and heroine were walking contradictions for one. Though she more than him. He was just being the usual cop guy who wants the girl, but doesn't want to want the girl, convinced she could and should do better than him, constantly putting his foot in his mouth around her...
While she first came through as a strong, resilient woman despite her handicap, while the next she reverted into a spoiled, childish brat with absolutely no sense whatsoever, and threw tantrums when he tried talking reason.
I'm getting dizzy just thinking about it.
And I just didn't feel the connection between them. Sure they were cute together, but it just didn't convey romance. And sure they were hot together, but I feel there was too much sex and not enough love-story.

The three secondary stories (about Russ and his relationship with his brother, about the villain and his relationship with his latest victim, and about Russ' partner and Laurel's coworker), just kepr the pacing slow and sluggish. Cutting on the page count would've done this story a ton of good.

Good suspense subplot, though, and severely underdeveloped. I got the feeling the whole deal was inserted only as filler and as an afterthought. And the rushed "grand" finale didn't help matters.

I really wanted to like this story, but it just didn't deliver. I definitely expected more.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Review: Mistletoe And Murder by Jenna Ryan

Title: Mistletoe And Murder
Author: Jenna Ryan

Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: November 6, 2007
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 0373692943
ISBN-13: 9780373692941


Every Christmas the threats started again. They came delivered in red greeting cards, and this year Romana was forced to take them seriously. Even if it meant turning to Jacob Knight—the sexy detective she'd always kept at arm's length. After seven years, he was bigger, stronger and more man than she was prepared for. His dark past endangered Romana—but only his arms could provide protection from the convicted killer bent on exacting revenge. And as the nights grew longer and more difficult, their passions threatened to erupt—and expose them to dangers as irresistible as they were reckless.

My rating:

Six years ago, Warren Critch, accosted homicide detective Jacob Knight in a darkened Cincinnati alley, holding him at gunpoint and accusing him of wanting to kill his wife, Belinda Critch, a sexy, flirty, body-fluid-removal expert, was murdered. Rookie cop, Romana Grey, disarmed and arrested Critch, saving Knight's life.
Two days later, Belinda Critch was found shot in her apartment.

Now, Critch is out of prison and bent on revenge. He wants both Romana, now a criminology professor, and Jacob, still a Detective, to pay for his wife's death with their own lives.

Jacob and Romana form a reluctant partnership to try to find Critch before he finds them, and uncover the truth behind Belinda's murders. As Critch moves closer, the clues and suspects keep piling up, and soon Critch isn't the only danger on Cincinnati streets. The murdered would do anything to keep his identity secret.

This book had it all. Edge-of-the-seat suspense, dark secrets and even darker pasts, contradictory clues pointing from one suspect to the next, keeping the reader guessing, great chemistry between Jacob and Romana, and even greater sparkage. Ooh, boy.

Most of HQ Intrigue stories tend to focuse more on the suspense plot and a little less on romance...And even that little romance there is, is lukewarm at best, with no chemistry, no sparks, and no tension.
Well, Ms. Ryan proves herself to be the exception to that rule, because she once again incorporated a great, scorching hot romance story into the greater suspense plot. Incorporated it so well, it tangles nicely with the mystery, never letting up, but still never slowing the pace down. It just simply fits.

The characterization was wonderful, with realistically flawed characters, wonderfully snarky dialogs (loved Romana in this one), and so many sideline stories that it could be confusing if they weren't so well tangled into the main storyline.

The clues as to whodunnit were numerous, pointing in different directions at once, offering multiple suspects, discarding others, bringing up new ones, even knotted enough to, from time to time, point at the hero, making everybody wonder just what in the blazes did happen that night six years ago.

A definite keeper!