Bitchin' Blog Posts
: Authors, A-C
by SB Sarah | June 16, 2011 | Thursday at 8:25 pm | 4 Comments
It is RITA® Reader Challenge season ‘round these parts, and Rachel stepped up to review this book, which was nominated in the Romantic Suspense Category.
Plot Summary: Six years ago, Lucy Kincaid was attacked and nearly killed by an online predator. She survived. Her attacker did not. Now Lucy’s goal is to join the FBI and fight cyber-crime, but in the meantime, she’s volunteering with a victim’s rights group, surfing the Web undercover to lure sex offenders into the hands of the law. But when the predators she hunts start turning up as murder victims, the FBI takes a whole new interest in Lucy.
With her future and possibly even her freedom suddenly in jeopardy, Lucy discovers she’s a pawn in someone’s twisted plot to mete out vigilante justice. She joins forces with security expert and daredevil Sean Rogan, and together they track their elusive quarry from anonymous online chat rooms onto the mean streets of…
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by SB Sarah | June 12, 2011 | Sunday at 2:32 pm | 46 Comments
Taking a slight break from our steady diet of high-fiber romance (what? Sure it is. If you’re reading paper books, that’s fiber. And if you’re reading digitally, you’re eating air. Either way, healthy!) Carrie S. has a review of a nonfiction book.
And now for something - completely different:
I was at the library when I saw this book, A Covert Affair: Julia and Paul Child in the OSS. Well, who doesn’t love Julia Child? I was so excited that I got little heart shapes in my eyes, like a cartoon animal in love. Paul and Julia had such an amazing real life romance, and here was a tale of their war years as secret intelligence agents and, later, the pursuit of alleged communists by McCarthy. Then, I thought to myself, “Spies! Spies are geeky!” and I knew you wonderful geeky Bitches must hear all about this book even though it is a biography and not a romance novel. In some ways, I was deeply disappointed. The book lacked depth and context, and its primary focus was on characters other than Paul and Julia, which was a surprise given the…
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by SB Sarah | June 03, 2011 | Friday at 5:22 pm | 12 Comments
This book was a departure from romance reading for me. Spoiled is not a romance. It’s a YA novel, with a minor romantic element, and a long-distance relationship element. Without meaning to I stepped out of the genre and thoroughly enjoyed myself. But be ye aware, this is not a romance.
That said, I really enjoyed it. It’s freaking hilarious. It is funny and fluffy and sudsy and silly. Really, you have to like silly humor a bit to enjoy this book.
In fact, it can be summed up in two words: Chanandaler Bong. If you get that reference, and you like pop culture jokes and silly humor, this book will give you an abdominal workout to go with the increasing upper arm power of your Shake Weight. Here’s an excerpt.
No, wait, before I do the excerpt, I have to do the plot summary. Molly Dix is a regular girl in Indiana, reading celebrity magazines and running and going to school and coping with her mom’s illness, until her mother, days away from death due to cancer, reveals that her…
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by SB Sarah | June 02, 2011 | Thursday at 9:15 pm | 7 Comments
Anne tackled this Novel with Strong Romantic Elements for the RITA® Reader Challenge. Thanks, Anne!
Plot Summary time! A young woman plunges from a Las Vegas sightseeing helicopter, landing in the Pirate’s lagoon in front of the Treasure Island Hotel in the middle of the 8:30 Pirate Show. Almost everyone writes her off as another Vegas victim.
But Lucky O’Toole smells a rat. She’s head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, the newest, most opulent mega-casino and resort on the Strip, so she’s got a lot on her plate: the Adult Film industry’s annual awards banquet, a spouse-swapping convention, sex toy purveyors preying on the pocket-protector crowd attending ElectroniCon. Still, Lucky can’t resist turning over a few stones.
When a former flame is one of the snakes she uncovers, Lucky’s certain she’s no longer dealing with an anonymous Sin City suicide. To top it all off, Lucky’s best…
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by SB Sarah | June 02, 2011 | Thursday at 10:47 am | 30 Comments
Steph tried out this inspirational romance for the RITA® Reader Challenge, but alas, it was not meant to be.
Here is the plot summary: What happens when an idealistic student nurse encounters an embittered army doctor in a stagecoach accident? How will she react when she learns her training didn’t prepare her for tragic reality? How will he, an army deserter, respond to needs when he vowed to never touch another patient? Can these two stubborn mules find common ground on which to work and bring healing to West Texas? And now, Steph’s review:
I am a huge inspirational romance fan, but there were several (okay slightly more than several) times that I nearly gave up on Doctor in Petticoats. Honestly, had it not been on the old Kindle, I would have probably thrown it across the room a time or two. This makes me sad, because the title gave me such hope that…
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by SB Sarah | May 26, 2011 | Thursday at 10:40 am | 105 Comments
Every now and again I get irate email from readers who are absolutely hair-pulling livid about a book they just read. We romance readers take our book reading very personally, and if a book doesn’t live up to the expectations of a reader in the most basic of ways, there is fury like furies have never furied before. This is especially true when there’s infidelity, moral weakness, or a completely unhappy ending. Nina is PISSED about this book. She is IRATE. And she has a LOT to say about it. Behold: A Guest Rant Review.
Nina writes: Warning: This review is chock full of spoilers.
This book made me sick. And not only because the heroine of the story cheats on the hero, but because she’s cheating on a man who’s risking his life in a dangerous, scary place thousands of miles from home.
Don’t get me wrong— I’m not saying that infidelity can’t be addressed in an entertaining and intelligent way. Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s treated in Tori Carrington’s Reckless Pleasures.
Now this isn’t the first Harlequin Blaze I’ve read that featured a woman who cheats on her boyfriend.…
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by SB Sarah | May 09, 2011 | Monday at 6:00 pm | 59 Comments
I started reading this book because it contained some tropes I like, and a setting I thought I would enjoy. Vineyards! A winery! A small town/small community setting with a character returning home for whatever reason - I usually enjoy this kind of story.
The problem here is that most of the characters go too far into negative territory and I was afraid that the author wouldn’t be able to get them out. About halfway through I was worried enough that I went seeking a review to see if the story would have a happier resolution than I thought would happen. Nope: it doesn’t. So I stopped reading.
The book opens with Matt Sheppard, the hero, facing down his father and mother on graduation day. He’s not planning to work at the family vineyard alongside his two brothers, Brady and Aidan, the poorly-named “Diamond Dust.” (Yes. Dust. Just what I want to think of when I read about wine. *cough cough*) He’s going west, to UC Davis and plans to work at another vineyard instead of the family business. His rebellion and decision to…
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by SB Sarah | May 02, 2011 | Monday at 11:46 am | 59 Comments
Once Upon a Time, there was no urban fantasy. Then, there was Emma Bull and her novel War For The Oaks. Take note, Bitches, this is how to popularize (and, in fact, she’s widely credited as having invented) a genre. If you like urban fantasy, urban paranormal romance, and pretty much anything else that involves supernatural creatures in a city, you owe a big thank you to Emma Bull. Lord knows, I personally owe a big thanks to Emma, without whom I would not have spent the last 24 years saying things like, “A big rock”, “hanging arse up in gorseberry bushes, whist’ling pop’lar songs”, and, “You know, she got a little fey, and we just drifted apart” to the utmost confusion of those around me.
Here’s the part of the review where I try to sum up the plot without giving too much away, and let me just tell you that this plot synopsis is playing merry hell with my spell checker. The Seelie Court (that’s faeries, of course) is at war with the Unseelie Court. They want a real war, with real death, and since they are immortal, they…
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by SB Sarah | April 14, 2011 | Thursday at 10:33 am | 108 Comments
I will state upfront that I had an ulterior motive for reading this book. I read it for the anal.
Yup, you read that right. Blazing anal. Blazing the Hershey highway. Firing up the backdoor action. Hot poop chute lovin’. Avast me hearties, there be anal in this novel.
While at RT, I heard about this book from Andrew Schaeffer, who reviews the Blaze line for RT Book Reviews. You should have seen my face. I absolutely did not believe him. But no, there is anal. He even says so in his review.
I was hoping to like the story, because any time envelopes (and two-holes) are pushed, I’m curious. I’m all for boundary exploration and really, I didn’t go literary spelunking expecting to be entirely disappointed. But this is easily one of the most boring Blazes I’ve ever read. Even with the anal. Lackluster anal, can you imagine? It was somewhat mildly disturbing thing, too, because of the reason for the posterior penetration, and because of the motivation of the hero to rise up and head for the rear (I’ll give you a hint:…
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by SB Sarah | April 12, 2011 | Tuesday at 10:02 am | 44 Comments
Beverly Cleary has always been one of my favorite authors. I think I read every book she wrote, and while I liked the Ramona books just fine (I was, after all, an older sister who had acres of sympathy for Beezus), I loved Cleary’s teen books. Fifteen was one of my favorites, but my absolute mushy love is reserved for The Luckiest Girl.
From a romance perspective, this book is a perfect construction of romance tropes and expectations. There’s the plucky, pretty, enthusiastic and sensitive heroine, Shelley, who is invited on what seems like a whim to live with her mother’s college friend in southern California, a place that seems like another planet to Shelley, who grew up in Oregon. Shelley is almost too perfect, except that because the story takes place from her point of view, the reader is well aware of Shelley’s flaws, though the are correctable and forgivable.
There’s men, too. There’s the hot, handsome, socially shy and very desirable basketball player, Phillip, complete with letterman’s sweater and a coterie of admirers. There’s Phillip’s best friend, the delightfully named Frisbie. And…
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by SB Sarah | March 29, 2011 | Tuesday at 10:12 am | 17 Comments
Collision Course is my new favorite one-night stand of romance novels, and it was just the thing to see my through a very stressful week which culminated in Dear Daughter catching the flu. This is not a book that is likely to inspire anyone with deep thoughts about life, but for pure escapism you just can’t do better than this. Many thanks to Zoë Archer for transporting me to the outer regions of space in between earthly crisis!
I was so excited to read Collision Course that I lost my eBook virginity to it (it’s only available digitally), and although reading a book on my laptop is not my favorite way to read, it was still loads of fun. What really impressed me is that even though the novel is basically a collection of tropes, Archer is able to render them so vividly and playfully, and take just enough liberties with them, that the book feels reasonably fresh. We have the hot smuggler chick, the alpha military guy, spaceships, badass smuggler bars, intrigue, and tons of hot sex. All that’s missing is a chatty robot. Archer packs a surprising amount of…
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by SB Sarah | December 14, 2010 | Tuesday at 12:55 pm | 22 Comments
I tweeted about this book after I finished the ARC, and I still think about this book, AND remember the title - which is totally odd for me. Blake did a number of really interesting things that made this book different from a lot of contemporary romance:
The heroine, Tessa, has Crohn’s disease, which means she has periods where she’s very weak, nauseated, and ill, and she’s on a very strict diet to try to control the intestinal inflammation. Crohn’s disease is not a sexy disease, but it does profoundly affect the people who have it, often severely. If there’s a period of time where symptoms are active- more commonly called a “flare-up” - that person can be housebound, unable to work, and spending most of her time weak, sleeping, and near the bathroom. There is a real danger of becoming potentially dehydrated and malnourished. Crohn’s can be some misery, and that misery is part of Tessa’s character.
Yet Tessa is so determined to be upbeat and to focus on the right now, because tomorrow, you’ll pardon the really bad pun, could be shitty. While at times Tessa’s positivity came…
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by SB Sarah | November 17, 2010 | Wednesday at 11:30 am | 24 Comments
I finished this book feeling emotionally wrung out, with a bittersweet happiness at the ending. But the more I thought about it, the less the emotional journey was matched by an intellectual strength in the plot, leaving me with too much pathos in the argument towards a happy ever after, and not enough logos or ethos. Yet weeks after finishing the book, I remember it with the breathless “Oh, my Gosh” sigh because the journey these two go through is just painful and so very, very well written. This is some fine, fine romangst.
Rose Marlowe’s father left her family destitute, and she bears the responsibility for her younger brother, who has no idea that they have no money. Rose is, of course, stunning, and so once a month she travels to London from way out wherever, and spends one week in the most exclusive brothel as the most exclusive and expensive courtesan in the place. She entertains men for one week, then goes home with her share of the money, using it to keep herself alive and her brother in the style to which he is accustomed (you can see…
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by SB Sarah | November 17, 2010 | Wednesday at 11:20 am | 6 Comments
You were right. All the people who told me after the “Hint of Tuna” adventure that I should give the Konigsburg series another try, you were right. It was worth another try, and I’m glad I did. This book didn’t knock my socks off, but I enjoyed reading it.
“Venus in Blue Jeans” was a source of much Kindle ire for me, as the file was somehow locked for “another user” - except I was the one who bought it, so WTF? - and in order to read it, I had to get on the phone with customer support. But so many people told me to give the series another chance, and since I’d liked the setting and the four brother heroes from the Hint of Tuna story, I figured it was worth the call. It’s not like Kindle customer support takes very long.
This is the first book in the series. Cal Toleffson is the town veterinarian, and of course, as a big tall hot single guy, there are many single women bringing their animals in to his clinic. Docia Kent is the local bookstore owner in the small town…
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by SB Sarah | October 20, 2010 | Wednesday at 11:02 am | 47 Comments
>RedHeadedGirl is back, this time with a review of a romance from so far back, and so far gone in the WTF department, she calls it “Love’s Passion’s Flaming Bag of Poo.” It was an epic adventure. In pain.
Most of the time, reviews are written after you have finished the book. I admit for Season of the SunI started it before I even got the book delivered, but I’d read it so many times before, I could do that, and the hook wasn’t really that relevant to the specific book anyway.
This is not one of those reviews.
It’s really tempting to do this review just as transcripts of IMs and emails I sent while slogging through this bag of poo. But that wouldn’t really cover all the shitasticness of this book.
The day after I started reading this book, I sent Sarah this email:
“Oh my god, Sarah. Oh my god. I may have a bone fide “F” grade, old school 1992 romance. It certainly falls into “I read this shit so you don’t have to.” I think I’ve sprained my eyes from rolling them so…
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