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

Jo-Leigh

REVIEW:  Choose Me, Have Me, Want Me by Jo Leigh

REVIEW: Choose Me, Have Me, Want Me by Jo Leigh

Background

This is a connected three book series written by Jo Leigh and published by Blaze. They all center around trading cards made up of men. The idea was thought up by Shannon Fitzgerald, an owner of a printing press. Her idea was that every woman has a man in her life with whom, for some reason, the woman did not make a connection but might make a perfect hookup for another woman. The New York Hot Guys Trading Cards contains the guy’s picture, his occupation, whether he is a marry, date or one night stand, and his secret passion.

Choose Me

choose me jo leighThe first book, Choose Me, pairs Charlie Winston and Bree Kingston together in a sort of Pygmalion retelling. This one was my least favorite of the three and I pin my inability to connect based on the characters. Charlie Winslow is a celebrity blogger who owns a blogging empire. I immediately thought Nick Denton, the head of the Gawker Media empire. Denton, however, is gay (and frankly maybe I could have accepted this story a bit better if Charlie had been gay) but Charlie and Bree are all about the pursuit of the best party, the most fashionable looks, the best seats at Fashion Week. Charlie finds himself attracted to Bree because she’s everything that New Yorkers are not: excited, gamine, easily entertained. Bree is attracted to Charlie because he epitomizes New Yorkers: glamorous, sanguine, sophisticated. They probably make a perfect pair but their conflict lacked interest to me. Did Charlie love the creation he made in Bree and did Bree just love Charlie for what he could give her?  C

AmazonBNSonyKoboHQNARE

Have Me

Have Me Jo LeighThis was my favorite in the story but primarily because I liked the characters. I don’t think the writing was stronger in Have Me than it was in Choose Me. Simply put, these characters were more relatable to me. The heroine is Rebecca Thorpe, cousin of Charlie Winslow. She’s the head of the family’s charitable organization. She’s not looking for a long term relationship but she wouldn’t mind dating. She picks up Jake Donnelly’s card. Jake is a former cop who became disabled from the job after getting shot. He’s got a bum leg and rather than take desk duty, Jake retired. He’s not sure what to do with himself and thus not interested in a long term relationship. He feels like Rebecca is slumming but he’s willing to take a chance on dating her just for fun.  Jake’s feelings of uncertainty regarding his future played well into his feelings of insecurity about being with Rebecca. Rebecca doesn’t apologize for her wealth and delights in the company of Jake’s father and his father’s cop buddies.  It’s a sweet story.

B

AmazonBNSonyKoboHQNARE

Want Me

have me jo leighThe last story ran a close second in being a favorite in the series and I actually think that it was the best written of the three. It might have had the most thoughtful emotional conflict of the three. shannon Fitzgerald and Nate Brenner have been friends since kids. Nate is practically a member of her family. She puts him on a card with a One Night Stand only warning because Nate is only in New York City for a brief period of time. He’s come to wrap up the details of his inheritance after the death of his father and then he plans to return to the nearest disaster site where he offers his services as an urban planner. Shannon is struggling to keep her family printing press afloat.

I really liked the mirroring in Nate and Shannon’s situations. Nate’s family wasn’t close and he plans to sell his family’s business. Shannon’s family is tight knit but the family printing press is struggling to keep its doors open.  This is a classic friends to lovers trope.  Nate is wondering at his burgeoning feelings for Shannon and Shannon is struggling with the ethics of both having created the man trading cards and wanting to rip Nate’s card from the girl who picked it out of the trading card pile.  B

AmazonBNSonyKoboHQN

I think a reader could read the last two and not miss much of the overall story but who knows, maybe book 1 will strike reader’s fancies better than book 2 and 3.

Dear Author

Harlequin Lightning Reviews

book review One Night with His Virgin Mistress by Sara Craven. 19 year old heroine bedsits a flat while trying to write a historical adventure romance (reads like a classic bodice ripper btw). Hero is a quazillionaire who foregoes his fortune to work as a troubleshooting engineer. The two end up living together because she was conned into bedsitting and hero takes pity on the forlorn chickie. Standard HP angst drama with a bit of a twist because what ended up being the basis of the Big Misunderstanding was not what I had expected. A couple of things to note, however, is that the heroine does read older than 19 but the age of the heroine was frequently noted to be 19 no matter how I tried to push that from my mind. The core of her emotional trauma is that men she liked didn’t like her because she wasn’t sexually experienced enough and so she tries to get the quazillionaire hero to divest her of her virginity. In this, I thought the storyline was a bit. . . offputting. I am not entirely sure why making the heroine 19 instead of say, 23, wouldn’t have made more sense. C+

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon, Harlequin, or Powells or ebook format.

book review Greek Tycoon, Waitress Wife by Julia James – I kind of liked this one. The heroine is waitressing part time in London (small town girl in the big bad city). The hero is a bored tycoon who dumps his date at an art soiree because said date bores him. Classy guy, no? In any event, he passes the waitress heroine on the street, offers to drive her home, and then basically invites her to be his bed buddy for an undisclosed period of time. The heroine enters this dreamlike luxury cocoon where she is lavished with physical attention and monetary gifts. Tycoon hero is surprised at how much he enjoys spending time with this gorgeous girl. She’s compliant and enjoys the smallest pleasures. The fantasy tour of sexual pleasure and champagne, though, is brought to a halt when heroine wakes from her fuegue state to find out that the hero thinks she’s a down market bimbo and uses her in a crass way to get back at his mother. We have a pretty good Overbearing HP Asshole Hero (hereinafter OHPAH) to Doormat Ratio but the heroine is kind of a faux doormat. I found the twist at the end to be sweet comeuppance. B-

This book can be purchased in mass market from Harlequin or Powells or ebook format.

book review Marriage Manhatten Style by Barbara Dunlop. I’ve liked Dunlop’s writing in the past and the voice here is the same, engaging and competent. I hated the execution. The heroine realizes her marriage is in trouble because quazillionaire husband spends so much time working and the heroine doesn’t really do anything at all. But she wants a baby desparately and so does her husband. They can’t have sex unless her body temperature is just right but whatever they are doing isn’t working. At one point the heroine is confronted with the fact that the reason her life is so dissatisfying is that it is totally built around her husband’s life. Her social circle is her husband’s. Her topics of conversations are all around her husband. In a moment of self revelation, the heroine decides to get a job. But this moment, which should have been the turning point in the heroine’s character arc, is actually just a distraction. She never gets a job because the marriage will be saved by a baby! Oye. D

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon, Harlequin or Powells or ebook format.

book review Ms Match by Jo Leigh. I didn’t think I would like this. The hero was this super gorgeous guy who liked shallow, super gorgeous women. The heroine wasn’t pretty like her sister or anyone else in her family but the hero cozies up to her because he thinks it will get him in bed with her sister. The story arc was how the hero learned the pretty is only skin deep and that his life was empty because he had filled it with such shallow pursuits and the heroine had to get over her insecurity about not being the pretty one. I found the characterization of the heroine’s family to be a bit of a caricature. I really like Jo Leigh as an author. One of my favorites is an old release of hers called Arm Candy (which was originally recommended to me by Robin). This actually reminded me a bit of a Crusie like category romance without strong humor overtones. B

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon, Harlequin or Powells or ebook format.