Book Review: Resisting The Rancher

 

review-cover-resistingtherancher

Title: Resisting The Rancher [Three River Ranch 4]

Author: Roxanne Snopek

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

AmazonButton

GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Country veterinarian Celia Gamble is in trouble. A misunderstanding from her past is rearing its ugly head and the only person she can turn to is Jonah Clarke—her family’s lawyer and, as it turns out, her brother’s best friend and her childhood crush. She always wanted Jonah to see her as a bona fide woman, but as a woman who’s being blackmailed for seducing a married man? Not on her life.

Jonah is happy to help Little CeeCee Gamble, if only she’d come clean about why she’s being blackmailed. But with his best friend Zach’s wedding on the horizon, and Zach’s fashionista fiancée Desiree giving CeeCee a makeover, the little duckling Jonah remembers is turning into a definite swan. And the unwritten law on sisters is clear—hands off. Jonah must resist or lose the only true family he’s ever known.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAYE ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I loved this book. I was excited to find myself on the other end of an invitation to read another one of Ms. Snopek’s books. I’d read her previous title His Reluctant Rancher last year, and I’d enjoyed every moment of it.  The author has a flawless, clean, engaging, and fast-paced narrative voice that I find draws me right into the story. I fell into this story effortlessly and for a few short hours, lived in the world of the characters, not to emerge until the very last word.

Celia and Jonah were an adorable couple, and I thought Celia’s spit-fire stubbornness was the perfect compliment to Jonah’s cowboy-next-door. Their relationship was filled with ups, downs, misunderstandings, and steamy moments that had me outright giggling with glee. I’ll admit it: I laughed out loud a handful of times.

The plot itself was a mash-up of formulaic romance (hey, I enjoy a good formula romance… it’s comforting like hot cocoa on a cold winter’s afternoon) and thriller. There seemed to be just enough danger and mystery to complicate things and spice up the sometimes sweet, sometimes steamy romance between the main couple.

The characters were vibrant, full of personality, and close knit. Despite the amount of characters and how little time some of them got “on screen”, none of them felt needless or truly secondary. Rather than being 1-dimensional cast-offs that appear for a scene, react, and then disappear, the characters spattered across the canvas of the story like vivid droplets of paint, bringing it to life. By the end, I wanted to live in this town with these people.

Overall, I really liked this story. Yes, it is a formulaic romance, but I don’t count that against it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was quick, fun, engaging read, and I think if you like contemporary romance, you’ll probably enjoy it. Would I read it again? Definitely. Would I recommend it? Without question. If you’ve never read any of the author’s work, I highly recommend that you take a look. Ms. Snopek is a romance writer worth reading.

Book Review: The Alpha Claims A Mate

 

review-cover-thealphaclaimsamate

Title: The Alpha Claims A Mate [Blue Moon Junction 1]

Author: Georgette St. Clair

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, BDSM

Rating: 2 Stars

AmazonButton

GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

New Yorker Ginger Colby, half witch, half werewolf, all curves, has made an immediate and lasting impression on the Alpha of Blue Moon County. Unfortunately, she did it by publicly insulting him – she turned down the smug, sexy werewolf sheriff when he asked her to dance with him at the local honky-tonk.

Now the furious Alpha of her pack is ordering her to make amends with Sheriff Sexy – or risk igniting a war between the Red Wolves and the Gray. The Sheriff’s idea of re-establishing his dominance includes a bare bottom spanking, making her work for him as his new assistant, and flirting with her outrageously. But is he flirting with her just to get revenge for humiliating him – or does he want something more? And can a liberated big city werewolf find happiness with a dominant small town shifter?

With the mysterious disappearance of an archeology professor, and a jealous Alpha female stirring up trouble…Ginger may not have a chance to find out!

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I read this book as part of the Fated Mates Box Set, so I am planning to give a review to each individual book in the set, and then the set as a whole at a later date. There are twelve books in the set, and it is currently for sale on Amazon for $2.99 at the time this review was written. This is book 12 of 12.

This book really wasn’t for me. Having received this book as part of a box set, unfortunately I wasn’t aware of the synopsis for the book or what it may entail (other than it was a paranormal shifter romance). BDSM isn’t something I’m into (but to each his own right?) so the sex scenes where stringing up girls and hitting them with paddles/whips etc occurred made me cringe. If that’s your thing, you may enjoy this book a lot more than I did, but going into this review, understand that a good deal of my negativity towards this book lays in part with that aspect of the book. I don’t have anything against BDSM for those that are interested in it, it just doesn’t interest me, so the sex scenes and dominant/submissive scenes made me want to skip pages. Other people may find those parts far more interesting than I did, but for me, a large part of the book wasn’t appealing.

That aside, there were parts of this book I liked, but there were more parts I didn’t. The dialogue was sometimes a little cliché and didn’t come across as natural to me. There was a lot of judgment getting thrown around between the characters, and cat fights seemed to be common. The characters seemed to be constantly bickering—and I think up to a point, that’s okay, but there was so much of it that it just got tiring after awhile.

Like the dialogue, the characters also came across as cliché. There was the self-righteous virgin, the slutty girl, the outgoing girl who thought she was too good for relationships, the meddling mother and grandmother, the boy-next-door southern sheriff, even the too-nerdy-to-understand-normal-people anthropologist…. I could go on for ages. The roles were all typecast. The character didn’t seem like real people, and there were so many of them that I never got a good feel for any of the characters individually. Most of the characters were small cameo’s thrown in for witty dialogue or drama, but overall didn’t have a huge impact on the story. I really almost wish the cast had been smaller so that the author could have fleshed out their depth a little more.

Another thing that stuck for me was the way the author handled the BBW aspect of the book. The main character was a larger girl, and that’s awesome—but the author made the choice to not only turn her weight into a positive, but pushed the issue so far over the line that it became unbelievable. For whatever reason, the entire town was infatuated with Ginger because of her weight. I think at the point  where people are drawn to the character just because she’s overweight, we’ve crossed the line. All you’ve done is trade out “skinny” for “overweight”. I wish instead, that Ginger’s weight issue would have been handled in a more positive, healthy way. Rather than making her the sexiest thing to walk into town, it would have been nice if people had been drawn to her due to other aspects of her personality, or people had fallen in love with her despite her weight, where her size just became a non-issue, or she became attractive because they were in love with her. As it is, people are still judging her on her size, and still objectifying all the other women in the book. I think this was more of a “wish fulfillment” situation that the bigger girl suddenly became the hot girl, but it makes the characters seem shallow.

Regardless, it was a funny, sometimes silly, book. It was short, it was cliché, and the characters were sometimes absurd, but it was still a fun read up until a point. Would I read it again? Probably not. I just didn’t care for how the story was handled. I’m sure there’s other people out there who would enjoy it much more than I did. This one just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Joined Bloglovin’

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Just a quick note to everyone that I’ve joined bloglovin’, so if anyone uses the site, you can follow my blog there as well. Also because I was forced to make this post in order for bloglovin’ to let me claim my own blog. I know. Weird.  A button has been added to the bottom of my sidebar. <3

Goodreads Will Soon Let You Add Amazon Books to Your Shelves – GalleyCat

goodreadsGoodreads Will Soon Let You Add Amazon Books to Your Shelves – GalleyCat.

 

Social reading platform Goodreads will soon let users add their Amazon book purchases to their Goodreads shelves.

The capability is part of a new feature called “Add Your Amazon Books.”  Using the tool, Goodreads members in the U.S., Canada and Australia will soon be able to add books that they’ve bought on Amazon, including print and Kindle, to their Goodreads shelves.

The goal of the tool is to help friends better share what they are reading and to help readers keep track of all of the books that they have purchased. Check it out: “More books added to your Goodreads shelves means better recommendations to help you find more great books to read. The super-smart algorithm powering our recommendations engine analyzes the books you rate to come up with the best book suggestions for your unique reading tastes.”

Original Post by Dianna Dilworth of GalleyCat. Posted April 16, 2014

Book Review: Curves For The Lone Alpha

 

review-cover-curvesforthelonealpha

Title: Curves For The Lone Alpha [Lone Alpha 1]

Author: Molly Prince

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

AmazonButton

GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

When Carrie is dumped by her fiancé on the eve of a naughty weekend away she makes an impulsive decision to go by herself. At least she’ll be able to drown her sorrows with champagne alone in a hot tub instead of alone in her dismal apartment.

It is a decision that puts her on a collision course with James. A packless alpha, working for the government to track down and eliminate rogue shifters. Other wolves consider James an outcast and a traitor to his own kind, but he has a hidden agenda. A mission to find out who wiped out his entire pack… and why.

When these two lost souls find each other neither can explain how they feel so drawn to one another. Carrie, still recovering from her recent rejection, can’t believe this untamed and sexy stranger could possibly be interested in her. And James is at a loss to explain how this cute and curvy human can possibly enter his dreams… and why it feels like they were fated to be together.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I read this book as part of the Fated Mates Box Set, so I am planning to give a review to each individual book in the set, and then the set as a whole at a later date. There are twelve books in the set, and it is currently for sale on Amazon for $2.99 at the time this review was written. This is book 11 of 12.

This was an exceedingly short novella, and one of the few I’ve actually enjoyed. I’m not a big fan of novellas; for me, they tend to feel rushed 98% of the time. That isn’t so with Curves For The Lone Alpha. I was immediately pulled in by Carrie’s sometimes self-deprecating, but chatty voice. After having read several of these BBW shifter books, I can say that this particular novella to me rang the most true. Though the main female lead was a larger girl, she didn’t spend the book telling herself she was disgusting (as often seems to happen in BBW romances) She saw her flaws, but she gave herself very real pep-talks to try and overcome them. Of course she was sometimes doubtful of herself and embarrassed, but she didn’t whine about it or dwell on it. It was a nice change. There’s nothing more unappealing than a character who does nothing but complain about how fat and disgusting they are.

Likewise, it was nice to see a main male lead (James) that didn’t proclaim in this really creepy way how he only likes larger women because being overweight is sexy. I’ve found that in a lot BBW books the men often come across as creepy fetishists. James, didn’t. Instead he focused on the fact that he didn’t care if she was overweight, because he wasn’t looking for a warrior to stand by his side—he was looking for a woman to come home to at the end of the day. Someone to have a family with and be there to hold him and patch up his wounds. I thought the author’s portrayal of his attitude towards Carrie’s weight was really well written, and 0% creepy.

The Characterization of the many characters in this novella was probably one of the biggest things that stuck out for me. These characters were beautifully written—in fact, the whole narrative was. Every time a question popped up for me on why a character would make a certain choice, a sentence later it was explained. The character’s thoughts and actions rang true and genuine. I never felt the need to roll my eyes or throw anything at any of the characters. The one exception perhaps was during the sex scene between Carrie and James. Carrie always seemed to have this slightly “timid but not going to show it” aspect to her personality, but when we hit the sex scene she suddenly threw it all at the window and became very dominant (if not right out brazen) in the blink of an eye. I know, I know… people are often different in the bedroom than they are out of the bedroom, but it seemed like too much of a jump for me. I wish she’d toned it down a little. Instead, it came across almost as if the author were using the shock-value of her actions/words to try and pump up the sexual tension of the scene… and instead, it just shot it in the foot. It broke the immersion for me.

I will say, there were a lot of things this novella did right. The portrayal of Carrie and James as  fated mates was probably one of the most convincing portrayals of soul-mates I’ve ever run across. Usually I look at these sorts of instances and go “oh yah… they’re instantly in love–scratch that–lust. I’m sure they’ll stay together forever.” insert sarcasm. I believed it in this novella. It was subtle, not forced, but before I knew it, I believed it.

Now, the major reason this novella didn’t score higher than it did, was the ending. It ended (for me) very abruptly. It felt like the story was half-finished (and maybe that’s in part because I was so engrossed in the storytelling that I didn’t see the ending coming). In the course of a chapter we went from a quick battle (which by the way, I don’t qualify as the climax of the story. It was over in less than a page) to sex, to shopping. I think in part, I was still waiting for the climax of the story to hit—and it never came. Instead, I turned the page and the book was over. It fell flat.

Overall, I’d say this novella was extremely well written. The narrative was convincing and gorgeous. The dialogue of one or two of the characters was a bit monologue, but for the most part, the story was engaging and sucked me right in. I only wish the ending had been better. Would I read this story again? Definitely. I really enjoyed it. Would I recommend it to others? Yes. I think if you’re looking for a peak at BBW shifter stories and want to see if they’re for you, this would be a great start. It was a really quick read, but it was well done.

Attention Women Writers: Meet the #WoMentoring Project!

Author Unpublished:

A mentoring program for women writers has begun over at Catherine, Caffeinated – be sure to check it out!

Originally posted on Catherine, Caffeinated:

Today I’m honored to help introduce something very exciting, timely and worthwhile: The WoMentoring Project! 

The Wo-what now?

The WoMentoring Project exists to offer free mentoring by professional literary women to up and coming female writers who would otherwise find it difficult to access similar opportunities.

The mission of The WoMentoring Project is simply to introduce successful literary women to other women writers at the beginning of their careers who would benefit from some insight, knowledge and support. The hope is that we’ll see new, talented and diverse female voices emerging as a result of time and guidance received from our mentors.

Each mentor selects their own mentee and it is at their discretion how little or much time they donate. We have no budget, it’s a completely free initiative and every aspect of the project – from the project management to the website design to the PR support –…

View original 638 more words

Book Review: A Change To Bear

 

review-achangetobear

Title: A Change To Bear

Author: A.E. Grace

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 2 Stars (2.5)

AmazonButton

GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Terry Spencer is curvy, spontaneous, and brimming with attitude. When a crazy job and a crazier family overwhelm her, she leaves for Vietnam with nothing but a backpack. But she doesn’t expect to bump into a strange and stunning traveler on a train in the middle of the countryside. She certainly doesn’t expect to find herself falling for that man who so obviously harbors a dark secret…

Liam is heading for Vietnam in search of an old friend. He happens across a beautiful woman with the unique capacity to both attract and irritate him. But he’s got a secret that ices is heart, that prevents him from falling in love. He’s one of the last of the shapeshifters, and he’s got a hunter on his scent who won’t stop until he, and everybody he cares for, is dead…

Will Liam give in to his desire, and allow his emotions to surface in the face of the hunter threat? And will Terry, confronted with the reality that shapeshifters exist, still feel the same way?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I read this book as part of the Fated Mates Box Set, so I am planning to give a review to each individual book in the set, and then the set as a whole at a later date. There are twelve books in the set, and it is currently for sale on Amazon for $2.99 at the time this review was written. This is book 10 of 12.

This book wasn’t as a bad as the star rating portrays it. I very nearly gave it three stars, but upon careful consideration, decided 2 stars is where it should settle. Here’s the thing: This book is well-written technically speaking. There were a few minor typo’s, but for the most part, the narrative was clean, engaging, fast-paced, and had some really gorgeous detail thrown in. There were one or two times when I felt that clarity was perhaps pushed aside in favor of poetic sentences, but for the most part, I really enjoyed the actual writing.

Here’s the problem: Putting this book into the “Romance” genre feels like a lie. Yes, the main characters have sex (once), but the romance really wasn’t there. I wouldn’t even consider Terry and Liam friends. The guy barely spoke to her during the book, and with the exception of finding her “interesting” never really seemed to show any attraction or romantic feelings towards her. Likewise, though Terry made one or two comments about how Liam was good-looking, she didn’t seem to lust after him, and certainly never declared love for him. I would have called them companions. Sure, they had sex, but the emotions behind it didn’t seem to be there. I know this book was toted as a “slow burn” but there’s slow burn, and then there’s vaguely warm day-old ashes. This story lacked warmth.

I did like Terry as a character. It was a nice change to have a larger heroine who wasn’t self-conscious all the time. She had a vibrant “I can do this!” attitude throughout the book that made you cheer her on. She was friendly, charismatic, and joyous. Liam on the other hand was a little harder for me to warm up to. He didn’t seem evil or particularly broody, but he felt… detached. The man hardly ever spoke, rarely said more than one word when he did, and smiled maybe once in the entire book. I wanted to like the guy, but honestly he had the personality of a brick wall. If I were Terry, I probably would have given up on him long ago. She really wasn’t getting anywhere with him.

The lore/backstory was also a little hard to follow. In the scenes were we followed Liam through conversations with other shifters it was really difficult to keep up with the many names and who they were. I got lost right away, and never really sorted it out. There was so much backstory there that didn’t seem to have any particular impact on the story at hand. I liked the idea of the shifter “gene” being in all of us, and only triggered in a few people – that was pretty interesting to me, but other than that, the whole lore was a bit of a tangled mess. I couldn’t seem to grasp who all these shifters were in relation to Liam, or why I should care about them.

Overall, the book was interesting to read all the way through, I found the narrative engaging, and I liked the main character, Terry—but the romance just wasn’t there for me, and Liam had no personality. Would I read it again? Eh… probably not. Would I recommend it? I don’t know. I want to say yes, because the narrative was nicely written, but the story itself fell flat. I wish more time had been spent developing the romance into something tangible. It could have been better.