Book Hoarders Anonymous

I have too many books. There, I admit it. I'm working on it though.

The tale of the emo hipster warrior dude

Warrior  - Elizabeth Lowell

(eyes emo hipster on cover, notes author, and mutters "this aught to be good" sarcastically.)

 

So our H, who we will now refer to as Emo hipster, for reasons I can only guess were a bright sunny over the breakfast announcement that he'd decided what to do with his life, spent time in Afghanistan teaching the natives to fight a superpower. No mention of military or government agency background so...why? Whatever his reasons, he must not have been as good as he thought he was since people died, and there's mention of starving babies and other things. He's sitting at the only bar when the h comes in, looking for the owner of the general store. She assumes it's him. it ain't. A bar fight ensues after some drunks make overtures toward her. Thereafter, he spends the next several weeks hovering around her, telling her he doesn't wanna want her...and eventually, having unprotected sex with her. The last times...it was an all-nighter. Then he bravely ran away away... Because he didn't wanna deal with the feels you see. So he took off, knowing he could have left her a "gift". Such a hero...

 

Heroine is 22, has never done the deed, and well, she is strongly attracted to the dude who keeps dogging her footsteps. Is questionable whether it would have gone beyond "oh, pretty" if he hadn't been *there* all the time, including staying with her in the cabin for close to a week. I mean really; you can't blame her for feelings developed when someone she was attracted to was constantly underfoot. And after he panicked and ran... She hung around another week or two before finally leaving, mostly in hopes he'd come to his senses. She went home. Not home - university; home home...to Alaska...to hide.

 

He finally located his balls and hunted her down, figured out a swimmer got lucky, and asked her where she wanted to live after they got married. She told him no...because she didn't think he'd ask her if there wasn't a bun in the oven. I would have told him no on the principal that I didn't wanna deal with a whiny bitch while pg. Obviously I wasn't the heroine as I *guess* he convinced her to marry him.

The Fall of Maggie Brown - Anne Stuart

4 stars for being well-written and an easy read. -.5 for the H being too busy being a dick to notice they were being followed...and he's apparently head of security?!

 

So the h and her late father have spent much of their lives keeping her mom and twin sister out of trouble/cleaning up after them. Father is gone now and the job falls on h. Her mother has "decided" she's dying and persuades h to take off to a small country that just happens to be in the middle of a revolution of sorts (uh...geez.)

 

H and sister's lover decide to keep h busy by going on a wild goose chase and making her miserable. H of course is chauffeuring her around...and somehow manages to a)miss being followed by an assassin he'd gotten the best of twice and b)not check his wheels for a tracking device. He hears that the guy is after his friend (sister's lover) so makes a beeline to warn him - without making *any* effort to see if he's being followed.

 

H/h manage to strand themselves on a bad road during a rain storm and they just...stick to the road (you'd think he'd have at least some survival training). They stop for the night in an abandoned house where they're too busy to notice assassin helping himself to the H's guns (!)

 

Of course, bad guy does get his just desserts, h's sister gets married (and gives birth shortly afterward, H apologizes for being an ass...and h's sister informs her that supposedly dying mom is in Vegas with a male friend.

Twice Bitten: An Argeneau Novel - Lynsay Sands

There were things that got in the way of this being a solid 4 so it's kinda a shaky, quivering, ready to shrink to a 3.5 sort of 4.

 

Elspeth was met a million years ago in Lisseane's book...as was her twin sisters...and mother. Mommy dearest is also the mother of Cale and Decker. Decker never said much about his family, but Cale revealed that his father and 8 of his brothers were killed by a rival 2 millennia ago. So I *guess* there's one more brother somewhere? maybe? The girls' father apparently only came into Martine's life a couple centuries ago, so she's been alone and fretful for a long time...and she's paranoid about the daughters' safety. So paranoid that when the h disappeared 4 years ago, she freaked and upon finding her daughter, rearranged her memories to make her forget that she'd spent 24 hours with her life mate. Elspeth finds this out later in the book. She's already fed up with being controlled (literally) so has undertook to move while her mom and sisters were out of the country.

 

Wyatt is the life mate in question, and is greatly puzzled that she does not seem to remember him, although being a mostly bright boy, he quickly figures things out. He's visiting his grandma - her landlady - to see if the elderly woman really does need to be shuffled into a nursing home. Fortunately, Elspeth's mom can't hold her hand while she eats so she's able to "encourage" the landlady's BIL to say what he really thinks during a meal, nixing any idea that grandma is incapable of taking care of herself.

 

It's the niggling things that drag this one down. An ex special forces H who works as a body guard yet he fails to notice they're being followed? And I know walmart is busy but it's possible to maintain enough situational awareness to notice someone hovering around you or following you while you shop.

 

It's almost expected at this point that the superpowers the immortals possess are not used. Nobody notices someone lurking and watching the house (in the case of Marguerite's house, not only that, but the pet Mastiff didn't notice and try to eat him or at least bark a lot), nobody takes a minute or 3 to read minds of anyone wandering near them... Oh, and what's the purpose of letting a dog out when the dog door is a magnetic one that responds to his collar. Couldn't he go out any time he wanted?

 

And they all pile in the same car, setting the stage for Elspeth to be kidnapped near the end (mortal creep instigated an accident, and grabbed her while everyone was unconscious. Couldn't have gotten her if they'd split up)

Immortally Yours - Lynsay Sands

Well... Here we have Drina's only surviving member of the brothel she was a Madame of. We sort of know how she was turned...and Scotty was mentioned then as the rescuer when Drina and Beth confronted the rogue who had attacked the retired ladies of the evening, though not by name.

 

I was baffled as I'm almost positive Scotty was the name of one of the Immortals Dressler had in his clutches. I'd have to hunt that last book to see.

 

Beth is... well, let's put it this way, were I the H, I'd be wary of ticking her off. In the first chapter or two, she's taken down a rogue by nearly splitting him down the middle.

Scotty - H - is at times (in the h's words) an ass, stubborn, bossy, and just plain stupid. He keeps trying to convince her to let them do a 3-in-one so she won't have to remember her past. Besides the whole bit that she'd essentially have to be taught everything - again, there's also the little bit that he seems blithely unaware of - that as per Vampire Interrupted, it's forbidden to perform on Immortals. he's head of the UK council and unaware of this?! Even better, as demonstrated in the aforementioned installment, this gives the immortals performing the ritual permanent access to the victim's mind...and the ability to control them.

 

I kept hoping one of the others would grab him by the ear and "explain" things to him.

Then there's the ubiquitous villain - a fellow female Enforcer and rogue victim the H took in as a child and at some point (like, shortly after rescuing the h and Drina), assumed SHE was his lifemate so instigated a sexual relationship. He realized his mistake a few months later when for some ungodly reason, he undertook to attempt to persuade the European council the h was nuts and slept under the same roof as her. Naturally, the one who was nuts (and perhaps would have benefited from the forbidden 3-in-1) was the girl he'd raised.

 

What I didn't really understand is why, when they realized it was an inside job, they didn't call forth a meeting and read *everyone*. But as per usual, they poke into everyone's thoughts over personal stuff yet it never seems to occur to anyone to start reading minds when trouble starts.

Hard Breaker: A Beauty and Beast Novel (Gargoyles Series) - Christine Warren

Well, unlike the previous ones, the h's reactions weren't over the top, obnoxious, etc. I did think she fell over with her legs in the air way too quickly though.

 

I kinda feel cheated that we didn't get Rose and Ghrem's story as Rose seems to be a rational sort. OTOH, it seems they were the first, and they've spent at least some time apart.

 

So the h is inadvertently helping a warden traitor through the underground and it would appear, he is attempting to either lead the nocturnis to her or to find her contact. Not sure, but I'd guess they were after her. I also wonder if he didn't slip a tracker on her at some point and nobody even thought to look. Whatever - demons picked a bad spot to attack her as a Guardian just happened to be perched on the front of an abandoned church.

 

I have to ponder a bit. Where exactly did her uncle and cousin hide the Guardian they were in charge of. Indications were they lived in Scotland maybe, and yet... no Guardian was found there. So were they in charge of the one destroyed that triggered Ash's summoning?

 

Our Guardian is...our typical guardian - too much testosterone at times. although, he did seem to be a deeper thinker than the previous ones.

 

In some ways, I can't help but think the author saw a chance to return to her Others world and just thew something together to finish this one up. And maybe that's a good thing as the heroine didn't seem to be so attitude ridden.

The Trophy Husband (Harlequin Presents) - Lynne Graham

Hard to really appreciate a book when the characters irritate you, the plot is contrived and frankly, you don't give a damn.

 

Heroine... family doormat and borderline TSTL. She watched this guy pursue her beautiful model cousin, then when he gave up and went after *her*, instead of maybe being a lot hesitant at being the consolation prize, she...got engaged. A message at work said for her to check on her cousin, whereupon she finds the two of them going at it. She staggers back to work, gets plastered on coffee and brandy (coffee? In the UK?), and eventually passes out in the H's limo. She wakes in a night gown, and instead of wigging out, she presses him to pop her cherry (doesn't tell him that part - he finds it out) Over the next couple of months... she's pressed into marrying him (didn't resist v. hard), has to deal with his bipolar attitude toward her, has a meltdown and pretends to leave, meets the ex for a counseling session, deals with more of his douche-y behavior, meets yet another ex of his (yeah, she was practically tripping over them). And HEA supposedly...or until he has another temper tantrum.

 

Hero - stalker creepazoid who sicced a PI on her then-fiance in hopes of finding dirt on him - spent 2 months acting like a spoiled brat because the h actually objected to his manipulating her to get her in his clutches.

 

Cousin - spoiled heifer whose parents indulged her to make up for her being jealous of the h's friends (h was a nice doormat sort, of course she had friends)

 

Aunt/uncle - resented the cross they had to bear and also resented that said cross landed the douche...while their precious brat had to settle for the dumbass who'd wasted time pursuing her earlier.

Danielle's Doll - Angel Milan

Meh.

Heroine runs a construction company. H hires her to do a remodel of his bedroom. Of course, first he must mistake her for a teenage boy...

 

Heroine is tall, slender, and has the face of a model. She also is divorced, unable to have kids (why she's divorced) and the adoptive mother of her cousin's 4 year old daughter.

 

Hero... I wish authors would hang around a rodeo or two for a bit to actually see the sort of physiques that tend to be good at some of these sports. He's of course, tall...and a former bull rider. He also owns a KY derby winner and a ranch. Yeah ok...at least we never actually meet said prize winning stallion (funny that he supposedly won everything. Would that include the Grand National? <snark>) Likely he would have been giving pony rides if we had.

 

He starts trying to get a date right off the bat, and the h doesn't really try v. hard to resist. Score one for asking for a date. Pushing for afterdinner "dessert"? Not so much. Book does take place over several months, with the H/h actually not together due to work, so there is that. Over all, nothing really special so...

Basic Training (Harlequin Blaze, #238) - Julie Miller

Well, that went fast.

 

A friends to lovers plot, this one especially egregious in that the H has known the h since she was 14, has been besties with her all that time, neighbors, etc...and has suddenly noticed she has T&A. Oh, he's been celibate for a year due to a training accident. He's a Marine, in whatever their version of special forces is (military guys have to be special forces to qualify for heroes, don'tchaknow). His position is up in the air due to the extent of his injuries (and numbnuts' attempt to force healing by overdoing the therapy, resulting in a strained knee). He's home for...R&R. Heroine was asked by his dad to be his physical therapist.

 

Heroine has been secretly pining for him for years, particularly after a drunken kiss some 12 years ago - which he remembers everything but the identity of the girl. Ironic since he commented to her after a bit of action in a roach coach that he'd held every girl up to that girl's kiss for comparison and they'd all failed.

 

Somewhere along the line, she comments that the whole town has set her up to be the next resident spinster. Gauntlet dropped.

 

The initial "plan" was for him to give her ah...tips? during the 2 weeks in exchange for her physical therapy. The book took place over just a few days, during which...a former friend/rival/douchebag who'd had a thing for the h's sister and had attempted sexual assault on said sister(only to be interrupted by H) some years previous, attempted to get revenge on the H by attacking the h (who used to play softball and found a handy bit of pipe or something). This of course, forced the H to confront his feelings for the h.

 

So why 4 stars? Characters are actually likable. Story isn't unduly contrived. I mean; I suppose if you could ignore that he'd apparently failed to notice the h being female in 18 years - or at least, a female to bone... And maybe his being celibate for a year made him a little (or a lot) desperate whether he acknowledged it or not. And he gave thought to that - that his lack of action in the last year made him see his bestie in ways he hadn't before...or was it feel? After all, his first thought after she left following a welcoming hug and a chat was that she had tits. So I dunno. It was an easy read and I didn't put it down mentally rewriting it with myself as the h with the H writhing in pain at my feet and clutching his groin. :D

Between Midnight and Morning - Cindy Gerard


Heroine is older than hero by 8 years. She's a widow, and still hung up on her husband. She buys a vet practice in bumblefart nowhere both to get away from the identity of being someone's widow and because her late husband had wanted to move to the country.

 

Hero is a veteran and I'm somewhat baffled about his past... a Marine shrink told him he had PTSD, he had Navy buddies...but supposedly he was army. Ok, he was a medic so maybe a field hospital would put him in a position to be around all branches. Still... he wouldn't need to hide his issues from fellow medics, but he'd never told his Navy buddies what he'd seen. Seems more like a slip up there. In any case, his way of dealing with life now is not let anyone close. So he's apparently the local playboy. In a small town. Wouldn't that get awkward after a bit?

 

He starts hitting on the h practically the minute he sees her. The book starts a month after she moves. I wouldn't think she'd been around long enough to really establish herself. He has the somewhat belated thought that he needed to be careful not to screw up her reputation. In a small town? That would mean keeping your hands to yourself and your zipper zipped - which seems to be beyond him. He pursues her until she caves, and well, in a small town, someone is going to notice who is parked in front of whose house. Townsfolk seem more curious than anything.

 

Eventually, he finds out she's widowed, and runs. Sulks really. She finally goes and confronts him about it, then suggests he get another vet.

 

My issues - she said no, let it go man. Small town + reformed player = she's going to be meeting a lot of women who know him biblically. Sooner or later, she's going to run into someone who didn't like being cast aside.

The Virgin and the Vagabond - Elizabeth Bevarly

If I'd realized I had the whole series, I could have pulled and read them all at once. Oh well.

 

Series thoughts:

Author writes offbeat, tongue in cheek sort of humor, often with a side of sarcasm. This one came across more as sad and/or pathetic. The three girls grew up into three women who the town more or less dismissed. And for whatever reason, the women stayed. Why? I'm mostly ignoring the whole comet bit here - why under the circumstances, would anyone remain?

 

Book itself:
15 years ago, h, along with her friends, wished upon a comet. Her wish was to find true love (with the expected picket fence and 2.5 children of course). She's now 30. I'm not sure if she's been on a date. The still-single men in town don't look at her as a woman, which is weird when you think about it. And worse, they've decided she's on the make and are making her the town joke. Lest one feel too sorry for the woman, the reason the H saw her nude is because SOMEbody sunbathes in the nude. 8' privacy fences only go so far. Add to her being blond and being about to doze off sunny side...down I guess. Skin cancer, wrinkles, and sunburns don't exist in this world apparently. The doorbell rings (H) and instead of getting dressed, she dons a kimono and just...opens the door?! Later, she goes outside looking for her newspaper while wearing a teddy.

 

Then you find out later the various escapades being attributed to her were indeed accidents and some jerks are having a laugh at her expense. But you know...having seen her cavorting in the supposed privacy of her property like that, it's easy to think otherwise.

 

H - philandering playboy millionaire - spies her through a telescope, pays her a visit, and is astounded when she manages to shut the doors (her door has a peephole door - why didn't she just open that in the first place?) on him. He starts pursuing her in spite of being terrified at the implications she wants commitment. She even tells him he's not what she's after in her efforts to push him away. He manages a makeover (her since of style seems strange, btw), attempts to "ruin" her reputation, only to stand guard dog over her. She finally gives in and puts out, which scares him into deciding he's leaving as soon as he can get his clothes packed.

 

He finally comes to his senses and well, HEA.

It Happened One Night - Marie Ferrarella

It might have been better if the apparent cause of the H/h getting together wasn't a rift between their comedy act fathers. And if we didn't spend entirely too much time around these two old farts variously moping around and annoying the hell out of the H/h... and in the case of the h's dad, kvetching vaguely about something his partner did. 

 

The h had the vague sense of unease that she was in over her head with someone who wasn't exactly her type. She tried to keep him at arms' length but it didn't work. And then they had a fight... To be fair, she was attempting to remove herself from his life, and he was expressing resentment at what her intrusions had done to him. So...who started it? Not sure. He did come around the next day and have a heartfelt talk with her, followed presumably by the expected HEA - there were tickets to Vegas involved.

Uncontrollable - Susan Kearney

I'm not sure how this one ended up in my pile. I must not have read the synopsis too closely. Basically, it's a romantic suspense of sorts where the bad guy has some sort of psychic powers over women with regards to sex. There's a point (where I put it down and just can't make myself finish) where he put the whammy on a couple of models (he's a modeling agent) and every female in his condo is affected...as is the h watching on a spy cam.

 

I assume the H took care of that for her.

 

Too skeevy for my tastes, particularly near the end (I tend to skip around a bit) where he cornered the h and she was stripping in spite of not actually wanting to even be in the room with him.

Hunter's Way - Justine Davis

It isn't often that the style itself lands a book in the "meh" category with me. Usually, a character or plot device manages to do that.

 

I don't understand really - the author wrote two of my favorite futuristics. What happened? The H was fine, if a bit of a dick in the beginning. The h was fine. The cast of characters was fine, plot...

 

What wasn't fine was how you'd be cruising along in the narrative and suddenly a thought bubble would interrupt the flow, as if the character was talking to themselves - out loud, only without quotations. Very confusing at times, particularly when it happened right after a conversation, then you realized that wasn't part of said conversation but someone's random thought.

 

Also, the sex scenes could use a bit of work - the first one gave me the impression they were on a giant Scat Mat powered by a small substation...or hit by tazers simultaneously.

Sandra And The Scoundrel - Jacqueline Diamond

It was actually pretty good - if you ignored that the H is actually the h's stepson. That's a little hard to ignore, particularly since you were constantly being reminded of it - or that the kids were variously her stepkids or her grandkids (H convinced her to marry him on a temporary basis). I mean; I guess it's good that the elephant in the room is noticed, but it seems more like a passing joke than a topic for a real discussion.

 

Of course, the book was about half serious so I guess it goes with the territory. Still...

The main plot of the book is that the h, widowed 7 years prior when the H's dad keeled over abruptly, entrusted - without actually reading anything, mind you - her finances and well, everything, to a lawyer who dreamed of hitting it big in hollywood, and a PA who hid everything from her. The end result - he embezzled every last cent, and because dummy didn't read anything she signed, thus granted him power of attorney, mortgaged the houses. End result, she discovers via reporter that she's broke and her house is in foreclosure. She calls the PA (who knew what was going on, and ran), who pretends to be gone... In the meantime, the H is kidnapping her...

 

The next several weeks involve them living in the same apartment, trying to figure out where the lawyer has vanished, and her running into his decidedly immature "Imma do this my way even if it kills someone" attitude when she tries to help. So she finds a lead and rather than tell him (because he's being a jackass again), takes off after the guy. Kids have neighbor call him to tell him, so he shows up in time to play hero after a fashion.

There is a HEA - the money is for the most part, long gone, but she knows someone in film so gets the film in the pipeline, and well, he unbends enough to accept aid.

If He Only Knew... - Debbi Rawlins

Creepy chick on cover doesn't seem v. into it.

 

Because I totally relate to a poor little rich trust fund baby and her almost gratuitous law degree from Yale...

 

The book starts out at her going away party. Not the going away party you assume; the going away party for her alter ego who has decided she can't take living on a legal secretary's salary and doing without her favorite booze and high class dining one more day. She's going home.

 

Chapter one is several weeks later when the former boss she had a crush on calls her out of the blue and wants to meet for dinner or something. The next 2/3 of the book is her hiding her identity from him while sleeping with him. I sort of wondered if she would ever have told him. Her sister, not realizing the poor guy was completely in the dark, arranged a double date and clued him in.

 

Near the end, she reluctantly invited him to a reception of some sort her parents were hosting. His client showed up drunk and said things to her in his (the H) hearing, prompting him to decide they were mostly just tolerating him, so he started to leave but changed his mind.

 

Epilogue has them back in NY (she was from Atlanta) so I guess they worked things out.

The Cowboy - Jayne Ann Krentz

This is the sort of theme I have a hard time getting behind.

The H - corporate shark - spotted, pursued and appeared to snag the attentions of the h - employee of another corporate shark and competition. Besides marginalizing the h, he didn't tell her he was the competition until after she'd talked about work, etc...for 2 months. She did what any person with integrity would do - went to her employer and told him everything. Cost the H the deal. He went off on her and left.

 

Apparently he expected her to come crawling to him on hands and knees.

 

So now, he and her father have manipulated her into coming to his ranch where he intends to win her back, although he gives the impression that it's less a winning her over than a railroading.

 

In the meantime, his PA, unhappy that he's seemingly lost his edge over the h, is selling him out..and trying to frame the h.

 

Yeah I don't know. The feeling of being used would be a hard one to ever get past, no matter how much he assured me otherwise. Perhaps if there wasn't the lie by omission (failure to disclose that he's in competition with her boss), or his blowing up on her for her doing the right thing...

Currently reading

Beauty and the Black Sheep
Jessica Bird