Category Archives: Realistic

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

Gone Without a TraceGone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Gone Without a Trace
Author: Mary Torjussen
Series: n/a
Pages: 352
Publisher: Headline
Date: March 23, 2017

Summary:

No one ever disappears completely…

You leave for work one morning.

Another day in your normal life.

Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn’t been at work for weeks.
It’s as if he never existed.

But that’s not possible, is it?

And there is worse still to come.

Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.

Review

I am not sure why I agreed to read this book. I rarely read straight mysteries. Don’t get me wrong, I like mysteries. I just normally read romantic mysteries, paranormal mysteries, historical mysteries, etc. I just don’t care for straight mysteries.

Wrong!!

I may not normally like them, but this book is amazing. I had a hard time getting into it because I didn’t think it would be all that interesting. I was so wrong. Once I gave it a chance, I was hooked. I had to know what had happened to her boyfriend. Was he alive? Had he left of his own free will?

At one point, I was convinced I knew who the bad guy was or maybe it was this other person. Hell, maybe they were working together.

My only criticism of the book is Hannah’s reaction to her boyfriend’s disappearance. She fell apart. She was completely obsessed with locating him. She quit eating; she quit bathing; she barely made it to work at all. I have issues with her giving up her entire life to hunt for him. It did not make her a likable character.

The mystery itself, however, was engrossing. Even though I had my moments of disliking Hannah so much, I didn’t want to continue, I HAD to know what was going to happen.

And I never saw it coming!

I’m not going to say anything further because you need to read this for yourself. It is an absolutely amazing book.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary, Mystery, Realistic

Quote-tastic Monday: All You Need is Love by Marie Force

all-you-need-is-loveI read this book because a later one in the series was recommended to me.  Because I am compulsive about reading series in order, I, of course, had to read the first one first.  And I have mixed feelings.  Let me say before I start, I am in a reading slump.  I have four books going at once and I don’t want to read any of them.  This is not a good time to start a new author.

Anyway, the book was good.  It’s a straight, contemporary romance with really likable characters.  And that is what has me hooked.  I love everybody in this book.  There are ten adult children, their parents, and a grandfather.  And I love them all.  I never intended to start a new series, not really.  I am so behind in my reading as it is, but these people are great.  I want to meet them and be friends with them.

See what I mean about mixed feelings.  The story is good, not outstanding, but good.  It is the characters that make this book.  I can’t seem to stop gushing about how wonderful they are and that’s why you should give it a try.

And because the whole point of this post is that it is Quote-tastic Monday, here are some of my favorite lines.

“You weren’t very nice to him,” Cameron said.  “I don’t have to be.  He’s my brother.”

I have a brother.  That makes perfect sense to me.

“You were right.”

“I thought women weren’t wired to say those words to a man.”

“It certainly doesn’t come naturally to us, but it’s the truth in this case.”

It happens, not often, but it happens.  I try not to say them in front of witnesses.

Anyway, even though I originally read the book just to ready for whichever one was recommended, I had decided not to bother.  By the end of the book, I knew I couldn’t abandon these characters.  I have to know they all get a happily ever after.  So, here goes another series.

“Quote-Tastic Monday” is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup.  Head on over there to see quote-tastic final with green borderwhat everyone else is posting about this week.

 

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Realistic, Romance

Giving In (Surrender, #2) by Maya Banks

giving-in

Title: Giving In
Author: Maya Banks
Series: Surrender, #2
Pages: 320
Publisher: Penguin Group
Date: May 6, 2014

 

Summary:

Kylie sees the way Jensen looks at her. The dark promise in his eyes. That rough edge of dominance she knows he possesses. But dominance is the one thing that frightens her above all else. She and her brother barely survived a childhood steeped in violence and abuse. She could never give up total control and submit to a man. Especially a man like Jensen. Could she?

Jensen sees the shadows in Kylie’s eyes. Knows he has to tread very carefully or risk losing any chance he has with her. All he wants is the opportunity to show her that dominance doesn’t equal pain, bondage or discipline. That emotional surrender is the most powerful of all, and that to submit—fully to him—will fulfill the aching void in her heart in a way nothing else ever will.

Review:

I thought I would like this book better than I did. I read it when it was first released and had so-so feelings about it. I still gave it four stars, but I thought Jensen was just too good to be true. He was just too noble and in touch with what Kylie needed. Perfection is unnerving, don’t you think?

Anyway, I re-read it a few days ago, so I could give it the review it needs. My opinion didn’t change. If anything, Jensen annoyed me even more this time around than he did originally. The only time he reacted as a human was when

SPOILER ALERT!

 

 

 

he had a nightmare and hurt Kylie. Even then, he was giving up what he wanted most in the world to protect her.

Of course, it all works out in the end and my opinion did not make me dislike the book. I think it was saved by Kylie. If ever there was someone who let her emotions, especially the hidden ones, affect her relationships with everyone around her, it was Kylie. I actually liked her the most because she seemed the most real.

Read this book, but read Letting Go first. This trilogy is tightly knit and you don’t want to miss out on anything. There are any number of great lines, so I’ll share a few.

“Some things are inevitable, Kylie. You and I are inevitable. No matter how much you fight it. No matter how much you deny it. We are inevitable.”

Yes, it’s sappy, but it is sweet.

Kylie, Joss, and Chessy are best friends with really distinct personalities. Joss and Chessy know Kylie is keeping something from them and she is determined to find out what.

Without Joss, the peacemaker, as a buffer, Chessy would latch onto Kylie’s ass and wouldn’t be able to be pried loose with a crowbar.

And regardless of how I feel about sappy, this is an absolutely wonderful description of Kylie’s and Jensen’s relationship.

But she didn’t want to exist without him and therein lay the truth. Loving him, leaning on him, didn’t mean she was helpless or hopelessly dependent on him. It just meant she was better with him.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Quote-tastic Monday: Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis

accidentally-on-purposeI wanted to read this book as soon as it was released, but I was in the middle of another series (one of which I need to review as well) and I just couldn’t get to it FOR ALMOST A WEEK!  I mean really, I had to wait a week to read the new Jill Shalvis book.  That’s cruel and unusual punishment.  And, like normal, I was laughing out loud from the first page.  My poor husband . . . I kept interrupting his reading to make him listen to passages.

So without any further buildup, here are a few of my favorite quotes.  And no, I didn’t include the one from the first page.

“It’s just tea, you weirdo. And I could totally survive without it if I needed to.” She paused. “I just can’t guarantee anyone else’s safety.”

Personally, I love my tea, but I don’t feel I am a danger to anyone else without it.  Don’t get between me and my Diet Coke however.

“Okay,” Max piped up. “I have a girlfriend now so I know this one. When Rory says ‘wow’ like that, it’s not a compliment. It means she’s thinking long and hard on how and when I’ll pay for my stupidity.”

Another word that men need to look out for is “fine.”  When a woman says fine in the middle of an argument, it’s never really fine and she certainly isn’t agreeing with anyone.

He snorted. “Elle, you’re always right. It’s your world and we all just live in it.”

Love it!  Love it!  Love it!

Read this book!  Read it now!  Don’t wait like I did.  It deserves your immediate consumption.

“Quote-Tastic Monday” is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup.  Head on over there to see what everyone else is posting about this week.

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Realistic, Romance

Jacked Up (Birmingham Rebels, #3) by Samantha Kane

Jacked Up (Birmingham Rebels, #3)Jacked Up by Samantha Kane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Jacked Up
Author: Samantha Kane
Series: Birmingham Rebels, #3
Pages: n/p
Publisher: Loveswept
Date: January 31, 2017

Summary:

The secret about the Birmingham Rebels is out: With a girl in the middle, two mouth-watering football studs are better than one.

Linebacker Sam Taylor feels like a ticking time bomb. He left the army with emotional wounds as fresh as the scars on his back. Sam’s been living like a monk, but his best friend, defensive lineman King Ulupoka, wants to get him laid. Easy for him to say. The larger-than-life Samoan is a hard-bodied, tribal-tattooed fantasy. Sam agrees, under one condition: King stays to watch.

ER nurse Jane Foster is done being a good girl, and nothing says wild like picking up two of football’s sexiest players and bringing them back to your hotel room. Trouble is, she can’t decide which one she wants more. Sam is hot, sweet, and vulnerable. Jane’s more than willing to ride him into oblivion. But King’s intense gaze from across the room promises that the best is yet to come.

Sure, King has had his choice of girls and guys in the past. That doesn’t mean he’ll jeopardize his relationship with Sam over a case of locker-room lust—until a naughty nurse pushes them both out of their comfort zones. Seeing Jane and Sam together turns King on more than he ever imagined. If they’re game, he’s ready to tackle a three-way play.

Review:

This is the third in the Birmingham Rebels series and I have loved each of them. I didn’t expect to. I don’t like football and I don’t understand it. And yes, I realize there is probably a correlation there.

So, why did I read the first one?

Samantha Kane people! Brotherhood in Arms! One of my favorite series ever.

Of course, I had to give the book a chance, even if it was based in the world of football.

And I am so glad I did.

I think this may be my favorite book of the three if for no other reason than I adore King Ulupoka. As the description says, he is larger-than-life and that is just physically. He has a wonderful, wonderful personality and he knows how to go for what he wants. Unfortunately, that sometimes means he rolls over people because, of course, he knows best. It doesn’t matter. I love him. I love how he works to make the relationship between Sam, Jane, and him successful. And it takes a lot of work. Sam is suffering from PTSD and Jane is a “good girl.” They can be their own worst enemies.

And that is my one problem with the book. I wanted Sam to get over himself. I know that sounds harsh considering his background, but I wanted them to have a happily ever after.

Did they get it?

Obviously. This is a romance, albeit a nontraditional one.

It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first two books in the series (Broken Play and Calling the Play), but it will make this one more fun. Previous characters show up and have important parts to play. Not to mention, they’re great books.

Give these books a try. I promise you don’t have to be a sports fan at all.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary, Erotica, Realistic, Romance

Quote-tastic Monday: Telling Tails (Second Chance Cat Mysteries, #4) by Sofie Ryan

telling-tailsI love this author.  She writes as Sofie Ryan, Sofie Kelly, and Darlene Ryan.  I have never read anything of hers under the last name, but I have gobbled up her other books.

The main character (depending on your point of view) in this particular series is either Sarah, the upcycling shop owner, or Elvis the cat.  I know which way I lean.  Anyway, friends of her grandmother’s use the shop as the base for their private investigation service, Charlotte’s Angels.

Yeah, I know.

Everyone in the group is at least seventy years old and try as she might Sarah keeps getting dragged into helping with the cases.  Elvis, however, is integral in solving them and can be quite smug about it.

The relationships between the characters are like a large family.  They love each other, but they can certainly get on each others’ nerves.

“I heard that tone,” she said.

“Good,” I told her, leaning down to kiss her forehead.  “I’d hate to think I’d been too subtle.”

And sometimes the dialogue is just funny.

“Are you crazy?” she asked.

“It’s a possibility,” I said lightly.  “I’ve never been officially tested.”

“Well, may you should be so we can get confirmation.”

That sounds like a line right out of Big Bang Theory.

This book was released this past Tuesday and although I had another book I was supposed to read next, it jumped to the top of the list.  Again, as I say with most if not all series, read them in order.  They will be so much better if you do.

“Quote-Tastic Monday” is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup.  Head on over there to see what everyone else is posting about this week.

quote-tastic final with green border

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Mystery, Realistic

Quote-tastic Monday: The Cowboy by Jayne Ann Krentz

Talk about an oldie.  This book was originally published in June 1990 and yes, I bought it then.  For some reason, I had a reading slump a few days ago and my solution is always to read something that I know I will enjoy.  Needless to say, that means pick up a Jayne Ann Krentz regardless of what name it is written under.

She has always written alpha males and strong females.  Her earlier books sometimes make me (and the heroine) want to “Gibbs” the guy in the back of the head, they can be so controlling.  (If you’re a NCIS fan, you’ll get what I mean.)  Even so, I love them and I love that I can depend on JAK no matter what she writes.

So, a quote to demonstrate the relationship and the fact that JAK can always interject a little humor when it is needed.

“I want you to marry me.  But I want you to come to me willingly, Maggie, love.  Not because I’ve pushed you into it.”  Rafe drew a quick breath and got the rash words out before he could rethink them. “Take all the time you need to make your decision.”

“So long as I come up with the right one?”  Her eyes danced mischievously.

He grinned slowly, relaxing inside.  “You’ve got it.  So long as it’s the right one.”

And I’m over my slump.  I just needed something to make me remember why I love to read so much and this book did it for me.

“Quote-Tastic Monday” is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup. Head on over there to see what everyone else is posting about this week.

quote-tastic final with green bordercowboy

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Filed under Contemporary, Realistic, Romance