An update on an earlier post: Shopaholic and Baby paperback version will be released on December 26, 2007 (in the US.) You can pre-order it now on Amazon.com

Amazon.com Shopaholic and Baby Paperback

This could be a great holiday gift to get for yourself. If you order it now, you should get it a couple of days after Christmas, which should help that post-Christmas despression!

Review: Showdown

June 12, 2007

Showdown
by Tilly Bagshawe

Grade: D

Synopsis: Milly Lockwood Groves grew up deep in the racing world of England. Her dad owns a stud farm, and her brother is a jockey, but she is forbidden to ride. Then Bobby Cameron, trainer, stays at their house, and gives her secret lessons. Seeing her talent, he takes her back to California with him to live on his ranch and learn to race quarter horses.

Review: This book was one of the worst I have read in awhile. I nearly didn’t finish it, but I was imagining the review I’d write for it, and I felt obligated to at least finish the book before warning others away.
Personally, I like to read as an amusement or distraction, sometimes it can be an escape after a hard day. You get to know the characters, root for them, and it all works out. Author of this book, Tilly Bagshawe, forgot that her readers have to actually like the characters to care what happens to them. Instead, almost every character in the book is detestable. There are two minor characters that I could fall in love with, but they don’t get much time until the end. Additionally, one of them is supposed to be the supportive friend, but Milly treats her like dirt. Trampling on the feelings of one of the few loveable characters just makes me like Milly less.
Milly is pathetic. She has no backbone, never stands up for herself, doesn’t even manage to be nice most of the time.
Her love interest, Bobby, is rude to almost everyone he meets, so it’s no wonder he ends up with problems. However, he does not learn to be more polite, and instead Bobby’s problems are solved because someone else manages to be even more aggravating than he is. His and Milly’s relationship is based on sheer attraction, and most of the time they know each other they behave in completely unattractive ways.
The writing itself violates the “show, don’t tell” rule, that even small children are taught when beginning write. Milly acts like a brat, has extreme jealousy, and yet Bagshawe writes reactions in of people finding her nice and polite. She wanted her character to be sweet, so she told us she was, while actually writing actions of a self-obsessed spoiled brat.
The plot holes are ridiculous. Her father, a horse lover, forbids her to ride because she hurt herself on a horse once. However, he allows her brother to ride, and allows Milly to spend time around dangerous stallions. Horses are just as dangerous on the ground as they are while being ridden, and a truly horsey person would know that.
Also, one character is described as being 18 years old, but decided she’d get heself some education and so is studying law at Berkley. I don’t know where Bagshawe’s from, but generally you need a bachelors before you get a law degree. Additionally, all through the summer this girl is described as “studying” when it’s kind of difficult to study when you’re not currently taking classes! It’s a vague way to occupy the character, but shows thoughtlessness on the author’s part.

This book just made me depressed–I had no desire for the main character to “win” in the end. I did not find myself sighing at the end of the book about how cute and romantic it was. Note to self: Avoid Bagshawe’s books at all costs!

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

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!

Everyone Worth Knowing CoverEveryone Worth Knowing
by Lauren Weisberger

Grade: C-

The Synopsis: Bette Robinson quits her job at a New York banking firm after a particularly frustrating clash with her boss. Through a connection, she snags a job with a PR, event planning sort of firm. She finds herself having to fit in at wild parties with glamorous people.

The Review: The lucky main character, Bette, must having amazing connections to net herself two such highly sought after jobs in NYC, with absolutely no experience for the second. The romance angle in this book is a bit odd, and not particularly exciting. One celebrity pretends that she is his girlfriend to cover up for not having a real girlfriend, while the other love prospect just drifts in and out of her life, and you don’t get to know either of them particularly well.
I’m a big fan of getting inside other characters’ heads, or at least getting to know the main male character so that you can cheer him on. The guy in this book is pretty cool, but you only get to know him in a couple of scenes.
The majority of the people Better spends time with are through work, and they’re pretty shallow. No exciting dialogue to read there, so that was disappointing.
A good point was that both male characters had interesting backgrounds, instead of being a cookie cutter chick lit heo. The text itself is on the long side, so it’s a good time filler. There are enough interesting bits to get you through it if you’re just looking for something to feed your eyes with.