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Daily Deals: Detectives, cowgirls, accountants, and snowboarders

Daily Deals: Detectives, cowgirls, accountants, and snowboarders

Baltimore Blues Laura LippmanBaltimore Blues by Laura Lippman. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Until her paper, the Baltimore Star, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan was a damn good reporter who knew her hometown intimately — from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she’s willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent — including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her rowing buddy, Darryl “Rock” Paxton.
In a city where someone is murdered almost everyday, attorney Michael Abramowitz’s death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer’s notoriety — and his noontime trysts with Rock’s fiancee — make the case front page news…and points to Rock as the likely murderer. But trying to prove her friend’s innocence couls prove costly to Tess — and add her name to that infamous ever-growing list.

This is the first book in the Tess Monaghan series. A few reviews said the pacing was awkward and that the book spent too much time building up the family members. However it must be good enough because this was the first of a long running series.

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Accidental Cowgirl: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance Maggie McGinnisAccidental Cowgirl by Maggie McGinnis. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

In her Loveswept debut, Maggie McGinnis tells the tale of a city girl who’s running on fumes—and the cowboy who shows her all the good things she’s been missing.

After being betrayed by her con man ex-fiancé, Kyla Bennett nurses a broken heart. But Kyla’s friends have other ideas and when they whisk her off to Whisper Creek, a dude ranch staffed by cowboys so hot they dim the Montana sunset, all Kyla wants to do is hide under a quilt. Then in rides Decker Driscoll. He’s hauling about as much emotional baggage as Kyla, but when he stands close by, both of them want to stay close—and begin to succumb to an undeniable attraction.
After experiencing personal tragedy, Decker never thought he’d see Big Sky country again. But now that his family’s Whisper Creek property is in deep with a Vegas gambler, Decker’s back for the summer—and spending all his time running from “cowgirls” who come to the dude ranch to score some dudes. Then he meets Kyla, a kindred spirit who brings on a stampede of protective feelings . . . and a powerful hankering to sear her with a new brand of love.

The reviews say that this is a sweet romance with no explicit love scenes. The author has a tendency to skip over the big emotional moments which are sometimes recapped at a later date.

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Instant Attraction by Jill ShalvisInstant Attraction by Jill Shalvis. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

The first in a sensational new series, Jill Shalvis introduces Cameron, Stone, and T.J. Wilder–three bad-boy heroes who effortlessly mix breathtaking adventure and scorching sex appeal. . .
Get Wild. . .And Then Get Wilder. . .

Accountant Katie Kramer is a quintessential good girl–working hard, recycling diligently, all the while trying to ignore the feeling that she doesn’t fit in anywhere. That’s all she wants. Well, that–and amazing sex, and the kind of daredevil escapade she can look back on when she’s crunching numbers in a dusty cubicle. Which explains why she just took a job in Wishful, California, working for Wilder Adventures and Expeditions. Waking up to find a magnificently built stranger towering over her bed–that part defies explanation. . .

I really liked this series of books that starts with Instant Attraction. Instant Gratification and Instant Temptation are on sale for $2.99 as well. Instant Attraction features a former champion snowboarder as he deals with his loss of fame and career after a career crippling injury. This is one of the books that Sarah and I promoted during our Save the Contemporary campaign.

If you can’t remember four years ago, finding a straight contemporary was more difficult than hunting for truffles in the woods. Now they are everywhere. Like moss.

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Being Me by Lisa Renee JonesBeing Me by Lisa Renee Jones. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

I arch into him, drinking in his passion, instantly, willingly consumed by all that he is and could be to me. . . .
Sara McMillan is still searching for Rebecca, the mysterious woman whose dark, erotic journal entries both enthralled and frightened her. Tormented by a strong desire to indulge the demands of her new boss while also drawn deeper into her passionate bond with the troubled artist, Chris Merit, Sara must face a past as deeply haunting as Rebecca’s written words. In one man’s arms, Sara will find the safe haven to reveal her most intimate secrets and explore her darkest fantasies. But is safety just an illusion, when the truth about Rebecca has yet to be discovered?

This is the second book in the Inside Out series. If I Were You is the first in the series and has been on sale several times. The series is also being made into a television show by Starz.

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REVIEW:  Rome by Jay Crownover

REVIEW: Rome by Jay Crownover

Dear Jay Crownover:

I really find the guy on the cover attractive and I liked book 1, Rule, despite the fact that grammar was optional. Yet I couldn’t make it past the second chapter and sadly I had the same problem with Rome. Everything about this book’s package appealed to me. Aside from the cover (did I mention I like the cover), I was intrigued by the wounded warrior and the tattoo artist girlfriend.

Rome (Marked Men #3) by Jay CrownoverI even liked the opening with Cora not falling for the brooding warrior but I didn’t find Rome to be intriguing in any fashion. He was very surly and I guess I was supposed to immediately feel sorry for him because he has PTSD – it says so right in the blurb – but I needed that in the text. His point of view seemed very emo, as well, and not very well differentiated from the heroine’s POV. He notices the barkeep’s “charcoal eyes” for example. He told us that Cora’s eyes “were unique in themselves, but the fact that whatever she was feeling literally ran from one color to the next was fascinating.”

Further, if Rome really did have PTSD (and it said so in the blurb) then no one really gave him enough slack. I hadn’t seen enough of his being an asshole to anyone other than messing up some party. I know other readers enjoyed seeing Rule stand up to his brother Rome to protect Rule’s girlfriend but the asskicking came out of nowhere in its intensity. Ditto for the dressing down he got from his “sister” Shaw.

The concept of the warrior trying to reintegrate into a civilian world was a good one. Rome’s job was to be everyone’s caretaker and problem solver but his friends and family have all grown up without him. (Although how he took care of everyone since he was enlisted from the age of 18 – 28 and the book begins when he separates, I’m not sure).

The couple has unprotected sex even though both of them view this hookup as temporary. I would have thought Cora, at least, who was looking for Mr. Right would be interested in protecting herself while enjoying Mr. Wrong, physically. While it was necessary for the plot, there wasn’t a good explanation for it in the book so the two seemed stupid and foolish and given that they didn’t much like each other, the “carried away by passion” didn’t fit very well either.

Spoiler (spoiler): Show

Their nonchalant attitude toward unprotected sex seemed crazy to me particularly when Cora was looking for Mr. Right. “What if the result is a baby?” “Then we’ll dealt with it.” What is this? The nineteenth century??????!!!!!

I wished more of the story had focused on Cora and Rome. About 70 pages in Rome began to take shape for me as a character but just when I felt I was getting to know Cora and Rome, other characters from past books or future books would take center stage. This happens in the epilogue as well. The story ends rather abruptly and the epilogue is the set up for another book.

The cast in this book is really large. There’s the entire crew of Marked (Rule, Shaw, Rowdy) including Nash and his uncle who owns the shop. Nash’s book is constantly on the peripheal of this story and had zero to do with the Cora and Rome conflict. You could have eliminated that part and Rome would have read exactly the same. There’s Brite, the grizzled Marine/Bar owner, who provides pithy statements to Rome. “Grief is a hard mistress to have.” There’s Cora’s roommates – Asa, Ayden and Ayden’s boyfriend, Jet. It was hard to keep track of everyone.

Cora’s POV scenes were the best. Some of Rome’s came off to cheesy (and too similar to Cora’s) for me to enjoy entirely. Some of the reviews found Cora abrasive but I didn’t get that sense at all. She wanted to fall for the right guy who wouldn’t hurt her and she was envious of her friends pairing off. She had a confidence in herself that I don’t see a ton of in other New Adult heroines. At one point when they are about to have sex again, Cora says “Don’t be scared, Captain No-Fun, we got this.” And I laughed out loud.

There were still sentences that I had to read twice or more to make sense of because of sentence structure and odd word choices.

“When I was overseas there had been a female intelligence officer who’d been down to be friends with benefits whenever we were in the same place at the same time.”

Or “I barely finished my senior year and the damaged had a lasting effect on my GPA. I could go back and finish fairly easily but …” (If she barely finished, then she did finish)

Or “I probably outranked him in the reality of things.”

Or “However, I had promised Rule I would get it on lock, so that’s what I was going to do.”

It’s too bad that William Morrow didn’t serve this author better but I’m giving this a C because the issue of unprotected sex really, really bothered me combined with the technical issues. The story took too long to unfold and then kind of chased its way to the ending and the “I love yous” came a little early.

Best regards,

Jane

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