Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Bare-Naked Lola (A Lola Cruz Mystery)

Author: Melissa Bourbon Ramirez
Publisher: Entangle Publishing
Released: May, 2012
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Contemporary Romance

Blurb: Meet Dolores 'Lola' Cruz.

Going undercover is second nature for Private Investigator Lola Cruz, but she’s out of her league when the case of a murdered Royals Courtside Dancer leads her to a local nudist resort. Parading around the sidelines of Sacramento’s professional basketball scene in a barely-there cheerleading outfit is one thing—but parading around in nothing but a smile?

If she has any chance of hiding this from her traditional family and on-again/off-again boyfriend Jack, she’s going to have to keep a lot more than her duct tape bra and killer dance moves under wraps….

My Thoughts: Someone is targeting the Royal Courtside Dancers and it's up to Private Investigator, Lola Cruz, to find out who it is. Little does she know, it will require her to wear a skimpy cheerleading outfit. Or nothing at all.

Lola is a strong Latina heroine (she has a black belt in martial arts) who is smart, fun, and feisty, but also vulnerable at times. She works hard to prove herself as a private investigator - much to her protective family's chagrin. She's good at what she does. But she's not without troubles. The situations Lola finds herself in as she tries to solve this case - from having to wear next to nothing, while dancing in front of thousands (and trying to keep it from her traditional Catholic family) to deciding whether she'll bare all at a nudist resort - adds humor to the book. The romance between Lola and Jack Callaghan, her sometimes boyfriend is just right. The sexual tension is there, but it isn't overwhelming. Although Jack is protective of Lola, he sees her as his equal. He has faith in her ability as a P.I. He wants her and is crazy about her, but he's dealing with an issue from his past. Also, the book hints at a possible attraction Lola's boss, Manny, has for her.

Let me say that I LOVE this series. I love everything about it from the storylines to the characters. Lola is, by far, my favorite character, but even the secondary characters make the book interesting. Each book can also be a stand-alone. A reader can read book three and not feel left out or confused. But I recommend reading the whole series. If you're looking for a fun mystery with the right amount of suspense and romance, I definitely recommend Bare-Naked Lola. I am (im)patiently waiting for book #4!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Long time no hear from, right? The only excuse I can give is it's been a hectic and tiring first trimester here in Abu Dhabi. But it's over. Done. Khalas ("finished" in Arabic). Thank God! The 2nd trimester has begun. Prayerfully, it won't be as hectic and tiring. Only time will tell. I do plan on catching up on everything I've gotten behind on, including blogging, reading, and reviewing books.

So, welcome back my loves! I'm excited seeing what this year will bring me. :D

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review: Sinful Seduction by Ann Christopher

Author: Ann Christopher
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Release: February, 2012
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5/5
Description: Scion of a powerful family, Antonios Davies has come home to take his rightful place as head of his family's respected New York auction house. But the former soldier is haunted by memories of war…and the woman who has consumed his dreams for months.

Talia Adams fell in love with Tony in the poignant letters they exchanged while he was overseas. But the beautiful painter has wounds of her own. She isn't prepared for the seductive stranger who shows up on her doorstep…or the passion that sweeps them past the point of no return. Are they ready to let go of the past for the most passionate future imaginable?
Review: Sinful Temptation is the second book in Ms. Christopher's Davies Legacy: Twins of Sin series. Though I liked the first one better (Sinful Seduction), this book was a good read.
  •  At times, the book was a bit slow for me. It didn't happen often, so I was still able to finish.
  •  The letters between Talia and Tony. We were able to take a peek into their characters through these letters.
  • This novel was emotionally charged, touching, and most importantly believable. Unfortunately, there are romance novels out there that aren't believeable and leave me feeling like, "Yeah right." Sinful Seduction is not one of those novels. Believeable from start to finish.
  • Tony was a strong character, but we were able to see his vulnerability while he suffered from PTSD.
  • I liked that the romance didn't come easily. Though they fell in love with each other through the letters, Talia and Tony didn't automatically fall in bed with each other when they finally met.
  • I would love to see a story about the romance brewing between Gloria, Talia's sister, and Cooper, Tony's cousin!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

W.O.W. is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.
I can't wait to read...
House Rules (A Chicagoland Vampires novel) by Chloe Neill
February, 2013
From Goodreads:
In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal —tested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined
I love, love, LOVE Chloe Neill and am hooked on her Chicagoland Vampires series (as well as her Dakr Elite series). Merit is such an awesome character.
So...what are you waiting on?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: Catch Me by Lisa Gardner

Author: Lisa Gardner
Genre: Suspense
Release: February, 2012
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5
Description: In four days, someone is going to kill me...
Detective D. D. Warren is hard to surprise. But a lone woman outside D.D.'s latest crime scene shocks her with a remarkable proposition: Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston's top detective to handle the death investigation.

It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle.
Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21st, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.

But as D.D. quickly learns, Charlie Grant doesn't plan on going down without a fight. By her own admission, the girl can outshoot, outfight, and outrun anyone in Boston. Which begs the question, is Charlie the next victim, or the perfect perpetrator? As D.D. tracks a vigilante gunman who is killing pedophiles in Boston, she must also delve into the murders of Charlie's friends, racing to find answers before the next gruesome January 21 anniversary. Is Charlie truly in danger, or is she hiding a secret that may turn out to be the biggest threat of all?

In four days, someone is going to kill me. But the son of a bitch has gotta catch me first.
Review: A young woman has approached Detective D.D. Warren about solving her murder should it happen. Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant, known as Charlie, thinks she has four days to live. Two years ago, her bff, Randi was murdered on January 21st. Then, exactly one year later, her bff, Jackie, was murdered. Charlie believes she's next. Charlie's determined not to go down without a fight. Can D.D. help save Charlie before it's too late?
  •  Not much I didn't like. After the prologue, it started off a little slow, but definitely picks up the pace.
  •  This book had so many twists and turns. It kept me interested. Just when I thought something was true in the story, something else would come up to prove me wrong.
  • The prologue was so chilling. It immediately caught my attention and had me hooked. I read on, wanting to know what was next.
  • I like that it could be a standalone. I didn't know until after I read Catch Me, that it was actually part of the D.D. Warren series. I didn't have to read the previous books to understand what was going in in this one.
  • I love Charlie's strength. We can see her vulnerability. She's scared, but that doesn't stop her from doing what she has to do to stay alive. She takes boxing lessons, gets in shape, goes running, makes plans, buys a gun, takes shooting lessons. One thing's for sure. She's not going down without a fight.
  • I like D.D. Warren's character. She's a new mom and hates to leave her baby & boyfriend, but knows duty calls. She's good at what she does, but she's not hardened by what she sees. If anything, it makes her yearn for her baby even more. She agrees to help Charlie, even though she's not sure about it.
I will definitely be looking into reading more in Lisa Gardner's D.D. Warren series!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Review: Mesmerize by Artist Arthur

Author: Artist Arthur
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fiction
Release: January 31, 2012
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5/5

Description: You can't move forward until you deal with the past….

Starting over is nothing new to diplomat's daughter Lindsey Yi. She's grown up changing schools the way other girls change clothes. Still, moving to Lincoln, Connecticut, is different. Although she's still reeling from the loss of her parents in an accident, Lindsey is finally in a place that feels like home. Because here, Lindsey's ability to read other people's thoughts doesn't make her weird. It makes her one of the Mystyx.When Dylan Murphy—hot, popular and a senior—starts to notice her, things get serious, fast. But even as she's figuring out how she really feels, the Mystyx realize that they're not the only supernaturals in town. There are other gifted teens who have different motives. And they are hoping to get close enough to the Mystyx to convert them—and the world—to Darkness.

Review: Mesmerize is the fourth book in Artist Arthur's Mystyx series. This book focuses on Lindsey.

  • The action seemed a bit rushed, especially at the end.
  • I wasn't crazy about Dylan's character. He treated Lindsey like crap (and, unfortunately, she took it).
  • The cover model doesn't really match Lindsey, who is Korean-American.
  • I love the diversity in the whole series. The characters range from African American to Korean American.
  • The book is standalone. You can read it without reading the others, but I wouldn't suggest it. It's more enjoyable if you read the series in order.
  • We got to know Lindsey a little more. In the previous books, she seemed boring. I wasn't sure if I'd like her story. But Mesmerize gives her a bit more depth.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Review: First Date by Krista McGee

Author: Krista McGee
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Christian
Release: January, 2012
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4/5

Description: The last thing Addy Davidson wants is to be on a reality TV show where the prize is a prom date with the President's son.

She's focused on her schoolwork so she can get a scholarship to an Ivy League college, uncomfortable in the spotlight, never been on a date, and didn't even audition for it.

But she got selected anyway.

So she does her best to get eliminated on the very first show. Right before she realizes that the President's son is possibly the most attractive guy she has ever seen in person, surprisingly nice, and seemingly unimpressed by the 99 other girls who are throwing themselves at him.

Addy's totally out of her comfort zone but that may be right where God can show her all that she was meant to be.

Review: This story is a cute 21st century version of the biblical story of Esther. In the story, Addy, a Christian teen is told the principal of her small Christian private high school, that she's been entered into a reality show competition. On "The Book of Love", 100 teen girls compete to be the prom date of the president's son, Jonathan. Addy is not thrilled and doesn't want to do it, but her principal convinces to do it for the school, which needs exposure and funds. What follows is Addy's journey to finding out who she is in Christ.

  • I didn't like the fact that the principal entered her into the competition without checking or discussing with her first. I don't remember it mentioning him discussing with her uncle, who is her guardian, either for that matter. I think I would've liked the book even more had this whole competition been her choice.
  • I liked Addy and Jonathan's romance. It was very sweet...not intense. And it didn't happen too quick.
  • I loved the fact that Addy struggled with sharing her faith. Not every Christian teen finds it easy to share their faith with others, especially strangers who are seen as enemies.
  • The story behind Addy's missionary parents and their deaths was very interesting. I don't want to give up details, but it was interesting to see Addy struggle with whether or not she lived up to their legacy.
  • Addy grows in her faith.
First Date shows how God can use you in ways you couldn't imagine.