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Review – The Changeup – Rhonda Shaw

the changeup The Changeup
Author: Rhonda Shaw
Series:#1 in the Men of the Show series

Description:
After nine years of striking out in the dating department, Maddie Hamlin is throwing in the towel. But just as this mom resolves to remain single, she meets sweet and sexy pitching phenom Chase Patton at a family dinner. He’s perfect for her–aside from the fact he’s only twenty-two.

Chase knows he should be focusing on his rookie year with the Detroit Rockets, but he can’t stop thinking about Maddie. He doesn’t care that the beautiful school counselor is twelve years older, and he’s already lost his heart to her adorable daughter. When an incredible date leads to an incredible night of passion, he knows he never wants to let her go.

But dating in the media spotlight is a whole new ball game. Maddie quickly discovers that not everyone accepts their unconventional relationship and that finding love may mean losing everything else.

Review:
So normally I’m a sucker for sports romances – I mean, hot sweaty guys (or girls) participating in feats of athletic prowess…I mean, who wouldn’t be. And to top it off, it was an older woman/younger man storyline which I am normally a fan of (it isn’t my favorite romance trope, but I often enjoy it). And while the Changeup worked for me on the level of a sports romance, it was how one of the main characters acted and the secondary characters that I had the biggest issue with. But I did love Chase until the very end…

Unfortunately, I don’t think Maddie deserved him – she was too weak-willed and a doormat – I swear, if I had to hear/read about her questioning him or his motives again, or doing her woe is me, my ex dumped me behavior, I was going to reach through my kindle and bitch-slap her. And then there were her daughter, who was supposed to be 9 if you read her description, but I don’t remember the last time I met a 9 year old who acted like her. In fact, the daughter acted much more like a 4/5 year old (grabbing Chase’s hand to go and play toys; wanting to be swung between Maddie and Chase when they were out) – I mean, its been a while since I was 9, or hung out with a 9 year old, but most I know are more likely to be in the pre-teen/sullen phase. Honestly, it just didn’t work for me

And then there were the antagonists – don’t worry, I won’t spoil the story for you by revealing how they are – I’ll just say that for me, it didn’t work – yes, I know this is fiction, but this forced me to suspend disbelief just a little bit too much on how everything played out and how it was just executed perfectly…ugh!

Overall, a disappointing read for a book that seemed intriguing and I could tell when it came to baseball, that the author had done her research because while I know little about baseball, what I did know seemed to show up in the book. A disappointing 2 stars.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Book Review

 

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Review – Spokes – P.D. Singer

spokesSpokes
Author: P.D. Singer

Description:
Pro cyclist Luca Biondi lives for the race. For the star of Team Antano-Clark, victory lies within his grasp—if he can outdistance 200 other hopefuls, avoid suspicion from race officials, and keep his lieutenant more friend than foe. Luca also has secrets, and eyes for amateur cyclist and journalist Christopher Nye.

Christopher understands Luca’s need to keep their relationship under wraps, but chafes at hiding in the shadows of his lover’s career. He’s ready to cheer Luca’s victories, but he knows too well how triumph can turn to tears. While Christopher’s heart sees Luca the man, his inner journalist—and his editor—sees the cycling world’s biggest scoop.

From the jagged curves of the Colorado Rockies to the viciously steep Belgian hills, Luca can ride out any bumps—except rumors.

A few words in the wrong ear could crash everything. With miles between them, hints of scandal, and Luca’s fierce need to guard his reputation, a journalist might have to let go of the biggest story of his career or risk forcing his lover to abandon the race. Christopher and Luca face a path more treacherous than any road to the summit in the Italian Alps.

Review:
A lot of my friends who read m/m romance rave about PD Singer, but until now I had never actually tried anything by her. So when my friend Frances offered to let me borrow her copy of Spokes, I took her up on it. And then I’ll admit, it got added to Mt TBR and it loitered there for a while…lol (what can I say, too many books, too little time). But then one day, I picked it up thinking that I would just read a chapter…boy was I wrong.

I was immediately sucked into Christopher and Luca’s relationship, or rather lack thereof at the beginning. I loved the whole cycling team set-up, or rather the cycling team, and a wanna-be cyclist who needs help – I mean, I’m a sucker for a guy who will actually ask for and accept help (no comments from the peanut gallery!). And I could really tell that the author had done her research into the world of cyclists – yes, she had the major things down, but it was the small things like when Luca explained to Christopher how to improve his stroke on the pedals to give more power while riding.

The story itself was pretty action packed without being too angsty – although, there were a few moments where I wanted to slap both Christopher and Luca upside the head. It was like talk guys!! But thankfully, everything did work out and the ending was happy, albeit bittersweet. Overall, I gave Spokes 3.5 but rounded up to 4 stars on GR and I’m looking forward to checking out more books by PD Singer in the future.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Book Review, Uncategorized

 

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Review – Naughty and Nice: Three Holiday Treats

naughty and niceI would be remiss if I didn’t actually review a Christmas book on Christmas – so even though it is still a couple of hours away, voila! Now time to go back to NORAD and tracking Santa ;)

Naughty and Nice: Three Holiday Treats
Authors: Ruthie Knox, Molly O’Keefe, Stefanie Sloane

Description:
ROOM AT THE INN by Ruthie Knox
Carson Vance couldn’t wait to get out of Potter Falls, but now that he’s back to spend Christmas with his ailing father, he must face all the people he left behind . . . like Julie Long, whose heart he broke once upon a time. Now the proprietor of the local inn, Julie is a successful, seductive, independent woman—everything that Carson’s looking for. But despite several steamy encounters under the mistletoe, Julie refuses to believe in happily ever after. Now Carson must prove to Julie that he’s back for good—and that he wants her in his life for all the holidays to come.

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU by Molly O’Keefe
Maddy Baumgarten and Billy Wilkins are spontaneous, in love, and prepared to elope the day after Christmas—that is, if Maddy’s family doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans. After all, Maddy’s barely out of high school and Billy’s a notorious bad boy. Maddy doesn’t care about Billy’s rough past—all she cares about is living in the here and now. But after Maddy’s mother stops speaking to her in protest, and a Christmas Eve heart-to-heart with her father leaves her with butterflies, Maddy starts to get cold feet. She loves Billy, but is she taking this big step too soon?

ONE PERFECT CHRISTMAS by Stephanie Sloane
After being jilted by her fiancé, Jane Merriweather turns to her dear childhood friend, the Honorable Lucas Cavanaugh, for support—and unlocks the smoldering desire simmering in the man’s troubled heart. Frightened by his newfound feelings, Lucas flees to Scotland. But when the Christmas season brings them together again, one glance is all that’s needed to reignite his yearning. If Lucas can convince Jane that his intentions are as pure as the falling snow, they’ll turn a dreary December into a joyous Yuletide affair.

Review:
I always have a hard time writing reviews when it comes to anthologies, but an even harder job rating the book – do I rate it overall or do each story separately; should I average out the reviews for an overall (and yes, I know that I am probably overthinking this!) Anyways, I think for this instance, I am going to break them down into individual ratings and then average the ratings out.

The star of the anthology was definitely Ruthie Knox’s book – i have to say that she has become one of my favorite new authors that I discovered in 2012. Her romance set while biking across the US is a top 20 book for me. I loved the tension between Julie and Carson until they finally caved and gave into their feelings that had never really gone away. Carson’s relationship with his father was entertaining – you could see a hint of a matchmaker in him – a bit of deviousness. I have to admit when I saw the title of this story that I was expecting a trite play on the birth of Christ that seems to always happen in books set around Christmas – so I was pleasantly surprised to not have to deal with that. I’d give this story a solid 4 stars.

My least favorite of the three was Molly O’Keefe’s. I think mostly because it was the shortest and I just didn’t feel like I got a chance to know any of the characters. Maddy drove me nuts with her naivity and it was like I could easily see what was going to happen in the future (which was confirmed with the glimpse into the next book in the series that I saw). I honestly don’t know if I will be picking up any books by her in the future – probably only borrow from the library, or with a very strong recommendation from a friend. Overall, I’d only give this story 2 stars

The last book in the anthology fell right in the middle for me. I didn’t like it as much as Ruthie’s, but I am intrigued enough, that I added one of the authors other books to my ever expanding TBR list to read in the future. I liked that it was the only historical in the bunch – it was something different that was needed. The secondary characters/animals kind of made the story for me – especially the donkey – I just laughed as his antics. There were a few moments of stupidity between the main couple (and I wanted to Gibbs slap them for sure) – but they did kind of grow on me. I hope that they appear in other books by her in the future, because I want to know more.

The anthology in general was well-written, and aside from the one disappointing story, it was well worth the read. And even then it wasn’t like the disappointing story was badly written, it was (for me) just too short and lacking omph. Overall, averaging out the ratings, I would give it 3 stars, but making it 3.5 to weigh in the fact that the story I liked the most, was a chunk of the book (I think that is good justification!).

Merry Christmas Everyone! Hope to see you all in the New Year!

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2012 in Book Review

 

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