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?

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.