Thursday, August 27, 2009

Goodreads: Don't Look Down

Don't Look Down Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For a book that was actually supposed to be a quick read, this one took me forever. Not because it was bad. On the contrary, like the rest of the Crusie novels I’ve been reading, it was pretty enjoyable. Some books just seem to stretch longer depending on what’s going on at the time with life.

This one was another collaboration between Crusie and Mayer; in fact, I believe, the first one (let me know if I’m wrong on this). Lucy Armstrong has been asked to direct a movie after the death of the previous directory by her ex-husband. The movie seems to have taken a different direction from the original script, however, and several action scenes have been put in at the end. The lead actor has even brought his own military stunt double on set, J.T. Walker.

Between Lucy’s niece seeing a ghost in the swamp, a CIA handler contacting J.T., and a weird assortment of random incidents, things start getting wonky on the set. Something’s not right, and the action scenes in the movie aren’t a coincidence.

The plot unfolds nicely as an action mystery, and of course we have our main love story between Lucy and J.T. There’s also some cute side characters, like the niece and J.T’s friend Rene (who would be good in another story should one come about in the muses of the authors...again, if I’ve missed it, let me know). One thing that sets this apart from the other ones I’ve read is that while I disliked a few of the characters, I didn’t feel as hateful as I normally do…not quite getting that “want to reach into the book and beat them all up” feeling.

The book was all about a fun read, and since that’s what I had, I can’t really complain.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Goodreads: Agnest and the Hitman

Agnes and the Hitman Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m still working my way through Crusie’s novels, and while I have a couple at home yet to finish, I had heard good things about “Agnes and the Hitman,” so I decided to spend an evening at Hastings just to read it. Mission accomplished.

Agnes has a lot going on in her life. She’s trying to write a column to follow up her cookbook success, she’s trying to get her fiancĂ© to move into the house they just bought, and she’s trying to put on a wedding for her best friend’s daughter in order to keep the house they just bought. On top of that, people are trying to take her dog and an old friend of hers has sent a hitman out to protect her.

Shane’s already in the middle of an assignment when his uncle calls him back to his hometown to keep an eye on Agnes, but in time, he realizes that his assignment actually connects with what’s going on. Not only does he have to keep Agnes safe from something that happened years ago with the local mob, but he also has to keep her from killing anyone else, namely the grandmother of the bride who’s hell bent on keeping Agnes from having the wedding at her house so she can get her house back. Plus, there’s Agnes’ reputation for beating her exes with frying pans.

I enjoy the collaboration of Crusie and Mayer a lot because they both add great things to the story that the other seems to feed off. Besides fun romance, you get some action suitable for a man flick. As always though, the characters are a little bit strange, but fun, and you tend to love them or hate them. And when you hate them….you really really hate them. Definitely recommended to Crusie fans and romance lovers.

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Goodreads: With a Tangled Skein by Piers Anthony

With a Tangled Skein (Incarnations of Immortality, #3) With a Tangled Skein by Piers Anthony

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I haven’t yet posted on the Incarnations of Immortality series, but book 3 seemed like a good place to start. While I enjoyed one and two, this one is so far my favorite. This could possibly be because I love the idea of fate, and I love the way Anthony portrays it in the book.

Niobe’s husband is killed and she goes to try her luck with the Incarnations at keeping him alive. Instead, they offer her the position of Clotho, the spinner of the threads of mortality and one of three women that inherit the single body of fate.

Unlike her predecessors, Niobe’s role is different because she plays a part in Satan’s evil scheme. It is her granddaughter who is slated to save the world from Satan’s plan and her daughter who is to become another Incarnation. After leaving her office as Clotho and returning to birth her daughter and help raise both girls, Niobe is once again asked to take a position with Fate, this time as Lachesis, the maker of the tapestry. And when Satan takes her son’s soul to hell, it is she alone who must go head to head with the devil to save the magician.

After reading two books where the incarnation is male, I enjoyed the female point of view. As far as the whole series goes, this one is proving to be enjoyable because of the way everything fits together. The time line doesn’t always seem to match up, but I’m of the mind that this is because I just can’t get my mind around some of the concepts. Luckily, I can still enjoy the books by taking what they give me at face values.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Goodreads: Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie

Crazy For You Crazy For You by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Crazy for You" takes place in a small town where the general thought seems to be that women need a man to take care of them, and most women would do anything to keep from being alone. After two years in a boring relationship in which she doesn't have much of a voice or personality, Quinn breaks up with her boyfriend who refuses to let her keep a stray dog.

This act of "craziness" is just the beginning for Quinn. She moves out, buys a house, cuts her hair, and starts flirting with her ex-brother-in-law, a committment phobe who's had a thing for Quinn since she was 16.

Pretty soon, her rebellion catches on. Her friend leaves her husband until he can give her some excitement, her mother leaves her father for another woman, and the town starts talking. But Quinn bears the brunt of the town's scorn for leaving "the Coach" after the baseball team doesn't make it to regionals, and then has to deal with said Coach going crazy stalker on her.

While not my favorite Crusie novel, this one was still cute. Crusie writes cute characters who go up against characters who are extremely easy to hate, so I spent alot of book wanting to jump through the pages and kick people. This was offset with Crusie's normal brand of humor though and the fluffy/steamy romance you get when her characters have chemistry.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Goodreads: Hot Target

Hot Target (Troubleshooters #8) Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm not a huge mystery reader and I rarely find interest in books where military or action is concerned. But this book may have changed my mind. Borrowed from a friend, the purpose of reading this book was originally to focus on writing a gay character since I have one in my current writing project. The book turned out to be highly serendipitous.

J. Mercedes Chadwick is producing a movie that centers around two gay men in WWII, one of them being the son of a highly conservative anti-gay judge revered by the anti-gay Freedom Network. When she starts receiving death threats, Jane (that's what the J. stands for) is forced to accept a team of bodyguards, including Cosmo Richter, who looks alot scarier than he is but takes his job very seriously. Especially when he finds a growing attraction to Jane (you saw it coming..admit it!)

FBI Agent Jules Cassidy is also brought in on the case, but unlike Cosmo, his main interest isn't Jane, it's her brother Robin. Dealing with a closeted actor is made only more difficult by his ex who shows up and lands a main role in the movie.

This is the first book I've read in this series and I have to say that while the romance between Cos and Jane is fun, Jules is a great character who gives the book alot of extra flavor. What could have been your standard romance mystery is giving a great twist with this character and his interactions with the others.

I'm definitely looking forward to reading more books in this series.

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Goodreads Review: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

I've decided to start using my Goodreads account again, at least for now. I phase alot, so we'll see how long it lasts.

Bet Me Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the second time I read this book. The first time was several years ago. I remembered loving it then and wondered if I still would on a second reading. And oh yes, I did.

The characters are set as modern day fairy tale. Min has just been dumped by her boyfriend for not having sex with him. Cal has just broken up with his girlfriend because she wanted to get married. When Min's ex bets Cal he can't get her into bed in a month...and hears him...hijinks ensue.
The characters are fun and well written. Min is the atypical heroine. She's not thin, she's rather plain, and the book starts with some not-so-nice comments being made about her. But it's not long before everyone falls for her sense of humor, and Cal starts seeing the sensual things about her.
The dialogue in this book is fun and gave me a boost for my own current writing project. "Bet Me" is also one of those cutesie sigh inducing romances that always tends to give me warm fuzzies. I BookMooched this one, but since it rates as a 5 star even after a second read, I don't think I can let it go again. It now has a permanent home on my bookshelf.

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