Monthly Archives: September 2014

He’s So Fine (Lucky Harbor, #11) by Jill Shalvis

He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor, #11)He’s So Fine by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?

He’s So Fine, book eleven in the Lucky Harbor series, is just that . . . fine. Really, really fine.

I love all of the characters in these books, but Cole and Olivia are special. Both of them have things in their past that make them untrusting and both of them have secrets. Watching them work through their pain to form a solid relationship is wonderful.

Like the other books in the series, characters from earlier books play major and minor parts in the story. It is like a small town. Everyone is in everyone else’s business or in this case in everyone else’s book and that makes it wonderful. I love reading series because I am invested in the characters. I want to see how their lives continue after the happily ever after. With Jill Shalvis, I get to do that.

As with all of Ms. Shalvis’ books I get heartache and laughter. I particularly like the gag about how rigid Cole can be and they’re not always talking about his personality. And then there is the geriatric squad run by Lucille who has been booted off Facebook for her explicit photographs. What’s not to love?

Shalvis also did an excellent job of introducing the main characters for her next book – One in a Million which is due out October 14th. Tanner has had a large part in the last two books and Callie has just returned to Lucky Harbor after being gone for ten years. I can’t wait to read their story.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Realistic, Romance

Festive in Death (In Death, #39) by J. D. Robb

Festive in Death (In Death, #39)Festive in Death by J.D. Robb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eve Dallas deals with a homicide—and the holiday season—in the latest from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash.

Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.

I love the later Eve and Roarke books. Their relationship is solid and I can just enjoy the mystery and not be upset by problems between them.

Eve has learned that it is okay to enjoy life as “normal” people do. She can help throw a party (even if she is forced into it) and just enjoy her friends.

The murder victim in this book is completely unlikable, but that doesn’t mean Eve doesn’t give the case her best effort. She definitely has a stronger sense of justice than I do. I think he got what he deserved.

The murderer wasn’t a complete surprise, but the plot getting there was engrossing.

Another great book and one that is making me think about Christmas in September. I guess I need to start planning soon.

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Filed under Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction

Scandal and the Duchess (Highland Pleasures, #6.5) by Jennifer Ashley

Scandal And The Duchess (Highland Pleasures, #6.5)Scandal And The Duchess by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scandal follows Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown, wherever she goes. It’s never her fault–honor bright–but newspapers love to write about the young woman from Scotland, and the much older duke she married, who died on their honeymoon. The duke left her with a large widow’s portion, now contested by his son, who kicks Rose out of the estate’s dower house and uses it to kennel his dogs.
Rose does *not* need to be found with a large, handsome Scot passed out at her feet, fueling gossips and giving her stepson more ammunition. The Scot is Steven McBride – a decorated soldier who is notorious for heavy gambling and womanizing during his leave time. Steven is happy to open his eyes and find the beautiful woman standing over him, and happy to help spirit her away. He comes up with a ruse to foil the journalists, but Rose will have to go along with his very scandalous proposal.

My Musings:

Rose, the Dowager Duchess of Southdown, and Steven, a officer in her majesty’s army, deserve each other. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Rose is the former Miss Barclay and has always had little use for convention. Amazingly enough, she ends up married to the Duke and it is a love match. Unfortunately, he dies shortly after their marriage and she is left destitute due to the machinations of her stepson.

Steven is an excellent officer, but when off duty, enjoys wine, women, and gambling far too much. Due to his drinking, he literally runs into Rose in the streets and gives the scandal mongers even more ammunition to write about her. Although not titled, Steven is a gentleman and knows he must help Rose with both her financial difficulties and her damaged reputation.

Steven enlists the help of both the Mackenzies and his own brother Simon to help Rose deal with her stepson’s efforts to keep her from her inheritance. Steven’s assistance is altruistic, but that does not mean there is not a strong attraction between he and Rose. From their first meeting, the heat is evident.

The ending of the book was different from what you would normally expect, but it was definitely the ending that fit the personalities of the characters. Rose and Steven are not the normal couple of the ton, so of course, their romance was not normal either. Don’t worry though. They definitely have their “happily ever after.”

I only had one problem with the book. Rose’s former husband was described as a kind and generous man. He was completely estranged from his son and that part of the story did not ring true. I felt that there should be more explanation of why the bad feeling between the father and son existed.

All in all, this is a strong addition to the Highland Pleasure series. It can be read as a stand alone, but I highly recommend the entire series. As I said, my favorite part was catching up with the Mackenzie family and friends.

Ratings:
Overall: 4
Sensuality level: 3

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Filed under Historical, Realistic, Romance