Blue Flame

December 27, 2006

Blue Flame CoverBlue Flame
by Jill Shalvis

Grade: B+

Synopsis:Jake Rawlins doesn’t know what to do with himself after an accident during a heroic fire rescue. Wanting to get away from the media and the possibility of never being able to fight another fire, Jake heads for the one place no one would look for him: Blue Flame, the ranch his father left him. Callie Hayes is not happy to find her employer wants to spend weeks at the ranch she knows he hates. And she is equally unhappy when things start to go wrong at the place she has made into her home. With everything happening all at once, how can two people with chemestry be expected to keep their distance?

The Review: Now I know I’ve said that I like guns with men, which I do, but everyone knows that of all the people the government pays to keep us civilians safe, firefighters are the hottest. So it’s hard to find fault with Jill Shalvis for writing three books about the San Diego fire department.

Blue Flame, the second book, happens to have the least to do with fire. It seems to focus more on Jake’s healing and learning to love the wilderness than fighting fires, though his skills do come in handy by the end of the book. The plot is similar to many other chick lit books. Jake never had a good relationship with his father, which he may or may not regret, but was left the ranch anyway. Callie lives for the ranch and doesn’t like the idea of Jake selling it to new owners who may force her to leave the home, the job and the people she loves. The two figure out how to love and reconcile. There are some interesting pieces of the plot, such as Jake’s major hero complex, his relationship to his half-brother, the brother’s relationship to the new girl at the ranch, the alcoholic and the character of Michael, Callie’s best friend.

Though I feel like I’ve read the same book before, it was still great fun. At times it was funny, at times it was sweet. It was really everything I could ask for in a chick lit. Maybe not exactly refreshing, but that’s okay.

Shalvis writes in a way that is very engrossing, maybe not the best, but entertaining at least. Though there are definitely plot devices she brings in yet never finishes, the book as a whole was fun to read. And who doesn’t want to read about firefighters?

Are you a romantic?

December 23, 2006

Photo by C.P.Storm

What’s your idea of a perfect date? Out at a romantic restaurant? A quiet evening at home? An exciting sporting event? Is your perfect date different depending on whether it’s the first date, or a later date?

The Other Writer

December 22, 2006

Hello everybody. My name is Hannah, and I’m the other writer. I’ll try to continue to put posts up as much as possible while Kel is away. But I have not yet figured out how to work this site well. I don’t know how to post pictures, so the reviews will be a little colorless until Kel gets back and shows me how to do it. And I also don’t know home to put the post on automatic publish. So they will come out when I have time to write and have read something new that I want to talk about. Thanks everybody. And happy holidays.

Southern Exposure

December 22, 2006

Southern Exposure CoverSouthern Exposure
by Karen Kelley

Grade: B

Synopsis:Jody Dupree didn’t think she would see the sexy stripper she spent one incredible night with again. But she couldn’t stop thinking about their night together. So when he turns up at the police station and is really a reporter wanting to ride around with her and learn about being a cop, she is wary and excited. But as a reporter, Logan Hart wants to find the story in this sexy cop he’s been paired with on his newest assignment. And Jody is not one to give up her secrets. Especially the ones about the day her father was murdered and she was left for dead.

The Review:This is, I think, the second book. It’s not part of a series, but I’ve read a book with some of the same characters by Karen Kelley that tells the back-story of some of the other characters, called Southern Comfort. And there is another one that deals with characters mentioned in Southern Comfort. But these are the kind of books where you don’t need to read them in “order.”

The book itself was fine. There were some sweet moments, but for the most part it is exactly what one would expect. Jody puts up a fight and doesn’t want to get involved because it’s too complicated. But she caves rather easily and the two fall in love in record time. And there’s a lot of sex. More than I thought was necessary.

I have to say, I have a thing for these kinds of book when they involve guns and fighting and cops. I think that’s why I kind of like reading books by Kelley, since all the ones I’ve ever read by her have either one or both of the main characters in law enforcement. I know it’s a little weird. But for people who can get on board with the idea of a sexy man with a gun who can save you, you know what I’m talking about. Not that Logan had a gun in this book. It was Jody, but for some reason it doesn’t matter to me. As long as there are guns.

The other thing I like about this book is that there weren’t any mistakes. At least none that I picked up. The right character names were used, there weren’t any typos that I could find. In my opinion, that moves the grade of the book up significantly, even when the book itself wasn’t the best.

Vacation

December 22, 2006

Hi everyone,

Kel here. I am officially on vacation starting NOW. I think I have a random post lined up for Saturday, but that was kind of just to see if it would work. The yet un-aliased PaperbackReviewer #2 should be posting some yummy reviews for you as she gets a chance!

I will be back in action January 9th, and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday-ish sort of season!

Love,
Kel

Chick Lit Characters

December 21, 2006

Photo by podvinak
Often I find myself hating Chick Lit characters because of their stupidity, but maybe we’re more like them then we think?
How well do you identify with characters in Chick Lit? Do you find yourself overdrawing your bank account for a new pair of shoes? Do you spend your Friday nights drinking, eating chocolate, and thinking you’re just never going to get married? Do you find yourself dating “fuckwits” that everyone around you can see are worthless but you think is the perfect date?

I’m not old enough to worry about my single status, and I manage to control my shopping urges to the money I actually have in my bank account. However, I think I’ve definitely found myself dating some guys that I knew weren’t worth it, and my friends told me over and over again to leave alone, but I just couldn’t. So next time I read about a girl throwing herself at a man who stays in her apartmentrent-free and sleeps with her friends, I should have a little sympathy…

Review: Fat Chance

December 20, 2006

Fat Chance
by Deborah Blumenthal

Grade: B+

The Synopsis: Maggie O’Leary is a successful columnist. Overweight herself, she writes an advice column for other overweight women to help them accept and love themselves. However, Maggie gets an opportunity to meet her favorite movie star, spurring her to try one last diet.

The Review: I loved this book. The story is meaningful and fairly original. The character is loveable. You even get to read some of Maggie’s advice clumns, which seem pretty well-researched on Blumenthal’s part.
The only problem is quite a bit is discontinuity. Blumenthal suddent adds a sidestory in the middle about Maggie’s assistant, who we previously know little about. Despite this, you quickly become attached to the secretary and care about her story too. The other point of discontinuity is that while Maggie is in California, a day seems to pass in her plot line, but when she speaks to her coworkers back in New York, it seems as if days have passed for them. An example of this, to make myself clearer, is that one day Maggie decides to send a gift to her secretary, and the next night when she is talking on the phone to her, the secretary has received the gift and used it over the course of several days. I think Blumenthal meant for us to feel as if days were passing in Maggie’s time too, but she would have the characters say they’d do something the next day, and so the day they did it, you’d know it was the very next day, not weeks past like you were supposed to think.
I found the discontinuity pretty easy to read around, although it is a bit distracting, which is why I did not give this book an A. The story is fun and interesting, and I definitely recommend this book! Happy reading!

I'm In No Mood For Love CoverI’m In No Mood For Love
by Rachel Gibson

Grade: C-

Synopsis: Clare Wingate walked in on her fiance and the washing machine repairman. So she deserves to go wild. The problem is who she wakes up next to in the morning: Sebastian Vaughan, a sexy blast from her past. And he’s not going away again.

The Review: Now I picked this up at the drugstore after my last final and I just wanted to read something that was as non-academic as possible. And this pretty much met my criteria. Except it wasn’t very good.

I’m not saying that there aren’t worse books out there. It’s more that there are better writers, fewer typos (which drive me crazy) and better plot-lines out there. I think this book could have been okay if someone else, who knew more of what they wanted it to accomplish, wrote it.

It was inconsistant. Half the book is Sebastian (and the names are a little out there, since the woman is Claresta) struggling with his desire for Clare, thinking he can’t have her. His father works for her mother, so it’s almost like the bosses daughter. But all of a sudden, that no longer seems to be an issue. And it never is an issue for the father, the mother or Clare.

There are subplots that are never really finished. Sebastian’s mother died, and he talks forever about selling her estate, and I’m sure he does. I just don’t know anything about it. Clare’s friends talk about their men, though none are actually characters in the story. And there is some illusion to them meeting people, but nothing (and those would have been good subplots for this, it needed other relationships badly).

Overall, if you find yourself shopping for books in the supermarket or drugstore, it’s fine. But otherwise, don’t waste your night on this.

Time Person of the Year Award

December 17, 2006

Time CoverNo, this doesn’t have to do with books, but it does have to to with the majority of the people who read this blog. Time has awarded the “Person of the Year Award” to “you.” “You” meaning innovative internet users, who add user created content to the world. They applaud that people are on the web working and inventing and adding to our knowledge base–my favorite line:

” Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I’m not going to watch Lost tonight. I’m going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana?”

Read it here

Two Reviewers

December 12, 2006

Hey y’all! We now, with the most recent review, officially have two reviewers represented here! Myself, Kel, will still be writing the majority of the posts, and probably replying to most of your comments. My friend, I’m not sure what monniker she’ll go by yet, will be writing reviews when she has time, and we’ll see where that takes us!

Once I figure out what name my friend would like to give, I’ll mark the entries so you always know who is writing to you!