Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan

Synopsis: Once a heart is lost in shadow...

Life has been anything but kind to Mary Chase. But the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals has given her purpose. Now she's been tasked with catching a vicious murderer dubbed the Bishop of Charing Cross. But someone is already on the case—and the last thing he relishes is a partner.

Only someone who lives in darkness can find it.

Jack Talent has been alone with his demons for many years. He never expected to have the willful Mary Chase assist him on the Bishop case. Their age-old rivalry reaches new heights—even as their desire for one another reaches a fever pitch. Though he aches to bring her close, Jack's dark secrets are a chasm between them. With dangerous enemies closing in, Jack must find the strength to face the past...or risk losing Mary forever.

My Thoughts: What a great installment to this series!

What Worked: Jack Talent was everything I hoped he would be and more. I was intrigued by him during book 2. I was heartbroken for him in book 3. In this one I fell in love with him. In addition to Jack, Mary made me a believer of her. I wasn't a big fan of hers to begin with and wasn't keen on the whole GIMs (Ghost in the Machine) as a supernatural being but I found she was every bit a warrior as Jack was. She was not the MarySue I thought she was. That is for sure!

Characters aside, the mystery of was very interesting although not one we readers could have figured out as the big bad evil was one we didn't know. In addition to this, the sensuality was first rate. When an author can dedicate two entire pages on the introduction of a kiss and make it awesome she has mad writing skills(you'll have to read it to get my meaning).

What Didn't Work: It seemed at times the book could have ended earlier. Don't get me wrong, what kept coming up later was worth the 420 odd pages but sometimes it felt a little on the longish side. Also, as with the epilogue in book 3, I could have done without it. Since it had nothing to do with Mary or Jack it felt unnecessary except to peak the reader's interest for the next book. Which is probably the point but it annoys me.

In A Nutshell: So overall a wonderful spectacular awesome sauce of an addition to a fabulous paranormal romance series. I'd recommend the entire series. For reals.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy

Synopsis:  An experiment in romance!
New to Charlotte, stock car racing country, graduate student Imogen Wilson meets Ty McCordle, a driver who inexplicably has her pulse racing. After an encounter at the track with a woman whose main goal in life is to marry a driver, Imogen realizes she’s hit on the perfect thesis for her Sociology degree. If she follows The Rules on how to get a man, can she steer her way to into the hearts of the drivers and establish their dating,and mating,patterns?
That’s testing the limits of passion.
Although sexy and reckless Ty is the ideal test subject, she knows she can’t pursue him for the sake of science. Yet he’s the one who’s chasing after her, and Imogen realizes that she actually wants to be caught. A southern gentleman like Ty won’t fail to disappoint, will satisfy all her curiosity,and make all the risks worthwhile!

My Thoughts: Overall a good book but not as good as the first book in the series which I absolutely loved.

What Worked: I loved the Opposites Attract theme. Imogen was so smart to the point of social awkwardness and Ty was a popular likable guy but suffered from a learning disorder. He is an outdoors sporting guy and she's an inside, nose-in-book gal.

Their interactions were amazingly funny. Imogen spoke exactly what was in her head without thinking that it might not something that one discusses in everyday conversations.
 “I was born without the flirt gene. It's truly awful for me." That was no exaggeration. " I mean, look at how I screwed up last night with Ty. He was flirting and tossing off sexual innuendos, and I just looked at him and said I would not have anal sex with him."

"You what?" Suzanne shrieked so loud that Imogen saw half a dozen other fitness patrons swivel their heads to look at them. "Did he ask you to? At the party?"

"No, of course not." Which was what made it all the more ridiculous. "We were in the car and he was hinting about positions, what was to come, etc., and I just blurted out that I wasn't doing that with him."

"Girl..." was Suzanne's though on the matter, her expression one of total horror. "Do not bring up the back door unless he's knocking on it.”

Did I mention how much I love Imogen?

Not to be undermined, Ty was also pretty amazing. Because of his reading issues he developed the taste for audiobooks. To get Imogen to go camping with him he agreed to read Much Ado About Nothing. Not only does he listen to the full play but he memorized quotes.

What Didn't Work: The first half was full of wit and humor which I loved but I don't think the second half was as funny. In addition, Ty's reading issues were played out a little over the top for added conflict as his reaction to Imogen felt a bit extreme. In addition I thought Imogen's thesis idea was pretty ridiculous and I can't believe she thought to try a flirting experiment when she admits she can't flirt worth a darn.

In A Nutshell: I loved Imogen so much and Ty really complimented her personality by being her complete opposite.The interactions, humor and sexy parts between Ty and Imogen were worth the read even if the plot was a bit silly.

One of my favorite quotes....
“Ty:"It sounds pretty when you say it, but I have no clue what the hell you're talking about."
Imogen:"It's Shakespeare," she said.
Ty:"Well, I was pretty sure it wasn't Kenny Chesney.”