Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

fashion-industry

REVIEW: Devilishly Hot by Kathy Love

REVIEW: Devilishly Hot by Kathy Love

Annie Lou Riddle had a plan: Move to New York City. Break into the fashion industry. Work her way to the top. Nowhere in that scenario did she expect to accidentally sell her soul in exchange for a job at Hot! Magazine. Oops. Demons, it seems, aren’t big on letting mortals off the hook. Now Annie is stuck working as assistant/personal slave to Finola White – diva extraordinaire, and glamorous she-devil. Whatever Finola wants, she gets, and she wants Annie to match her up with Nick Rossi, the gorgeous detective investigating shady doings at Hot! Frankly, Annie sees the appeal. Nick is effortlessly sexy, rugged, charming – and the one man Annie should definitely not be flirting with, or kissing, or…Oops. But some loves are too devilishly hot to resist…

Dear Ms. Love,

Devilishly Hot	Kathy LoveSo I guess this book is supposed to literally be “The Devil Wears Prada” or perhaps the more accurate “The Demon Wears Prada” since Finola, though a powerful demon, isn’t actually the devil. I’ve never read that book but after watching the documentary “The September Issue” I have some idea where it comes from and what you based your book on. It might sound strange but I’m glad that all the demon characters are evil and not about to be saved. The thought of demonic heroes or heroines makes me slightly uncomfortable. Even Tristan’s actions to help save Nick from Finola are more to keep their mission on track than due to any kindness from him. And Finola conveys the “it’s all about me and what do I care about anyone else – oops there goes another soulless assistant” I’d expect from her.

Annie Lou Riddle? Could the name be any more of a stereotype of Southerners? Also the cover, though cute, reminds me too much of “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” I found it strange that the newspaper articles which Annie reads about Nick would mention him so much by name and be so detailed that she’d get an idea of his almost breakdown following the murder investigation he headed. Maybe that’s an unjust niggle on my part but I wondered about that for far too much time.

So Annie signed the contract for the job. Sorry but the fact that she knew what was entailed makes Annie sound like a moron. If she’d been tricked into it or hadn’t read the fine print until after she signed it would be easier for me to swallow but honestly, signing your soul away for a job in the fashion industry? It’s not like she was doing what Nick tried to do and offer his soul to save hers. Okay, okay if she hadn’t then there would go the book plot but the set up didn’t wow me or make me as sympathetic to her as I probably should have been.

Her relationship with long time boyfriend Bobby also makes her look like a pushover marshmallow. Yeah, he does have some easy lies that could be true but wake up and smell the java, Annie. Though it does make their ultimate breakup quicker and take less page space. But did Bobby never once in three years question Annie’s job or how long her hours were or the stress she was under? Even he’s not that much of an idiot. And would it have taken the NYPD 3 years to start investigating the disappearance of all those workers from HOT! magazine? This strains belief. Ditto that Nick appears to the only officer working on this case.

The conclusion of Annie’s contract and her freedom from Finola is too easy. Most of the book is spent worrying about how Annie can possibly escape her fate since she read the fine print then BAM! it’s over. I won’t go into more but I just don’t see the humans’ threats as working against Finola. Her Master’s threats yes but not Nick’s.

This is a quick read. Easy, with enjoyable moments but I think ultimately also fairly easy to forget about. Perhaps I just didn’t get into the whole paranormal spirit of the thing. I get the idea that this is the start of a series but I’m not interested enough to keep going with it. C-

~Jayne

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

REVIEW: If the Red Slipper Fits by Shirley Jump

REVIEW: If the Red Slipper Fits by Shirley Jump

Dear Ms. Jump,

I was looking for something fun and quick and found it here. Maybe parts of it are more Romance Land than believable in real life but the ride was so much fun that in the end, I didn’t care.

Sarah G has put her life on hold until now. Something about the sexy red stiletto heeled shoes that she brought home from her job on a fashion gossip rag called to her. But when she and her sister got into a spat, sister Diane tossed one of them out the window of Sarah’s NYC apartment. Where it was found by….

If the Red Slipper Fits  Shirley JumpCaleb Lewis, son of legendary fashion designer Lenora Lewis, who’s been struggling at the helm of his mother’s business since her stroke over a year ago. His late night partying might keep his anxiety about his mother’s health and the health of the company at bay but it’s been noticed and commented on by several reporters including…

Sarah, who Caleb has sought out to confront about the unflattering articles. When he realizes the shoe belongs to Sarah and she desperate to get it back, he strikes a bargain with her. Write an in-depth and truthful story about LL Designs to counteract the tripe she’s been writing about him and she gets the shoe back before her boss finds out it’s missing. But will their blossoming feelings withstand the harsh lights once someone spills the news Caleb’s trying to conceal?

Early on, when Sarah was being described as the motherly sister who’d silently taken on all the family problems without complaint, I sighed “oh no. Not a martyr.” And behold, the next page has Sarah insisting that her pampered sister start to take on responsibility. Then Sarah is put behind the 8 ball by Caleb but she doesn’t cave in to him. She gives as good as she gets, zings him and acts like a woman with professional confidence. And it was good.

And Caleb isn’t the party hardy playboy of Sarah’s articles. He’s a hardworking businessman who is genuinely afloat in this business he had to suddenly take over. But he cares and works damn hard to keep it going and not see his mother’s life’s work sold down the river or the people who count on their jobs out of work. Sarah’s impressed with how ‘hands on’ he is – talking to designers, talking to shop owners, talking to those who’ll tell him the truth and she admits as much to him. And it was better.

These two communicate and negotiate and actually keep their promises to each other. Well, Caleb has to discover on his own that Sarah didn’t do what he thought she might have but he does this before he admits to her and to himself that he loves her. I love the way this is out of the way by the time Caleb and Sarah say their “I love yous.”

I did think that Caleb sitting Sarah down with a sketchpad to design a shoe for him then totally yanking the next collection days before fashion week is stretching things like Play-Doh. And even though I was glad to see Sarah’s sister and father suddenly stop hanging around her next and owning up to depending too much on her, it might have come too conveniently and quickly after ten years of this behavior. But I chalked it up to page counts and said “I’m enjoying myself otherwise so okay.”

But all in all, I had a great time reading “If the Red Slipper Fits.” Once again the “Romance” line comes through for me and I do plan on looking up anything else you’ve written for Harlequin. B

~Jayne

Book Link | B0041KLE64 | Amazon | nook | BN | Borders
| Sony| eHarlequin