Friday, November 21, 2014

Some Nerve by Jane Heller

Ann Ross works for a magazine that deals with celebrities. Her boss insists that she get an interview with Malcolm Goddard. Malcolm hates the media. He calls them parasites. But Ann finds a way to him. But it blows up in her face, literally. Then she gets a chance to interview him but she has to go up in his plane. Ann hates flying.  It is one of her phobias. She could not make herself get on the plane. She loses out on the interview and gets fired. So she goes home to Missouri.

Ann gets a volunteer position at the hospital when she learns that Malcolm is coming to have his heart checked out. What a small world. Ann decides to get even with him for everything he did to her in LA. But she gets something she does not bargain for!

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well written and very entertaining.

From the author:
Thirty-year-old celebrity journalist Ann Roth has one last chance to prove to her boss that she's the right woman for the job.
She's different from the other reporters at Famous, the L.A. magazine where she has her dream career interviewing stars like Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie. She values her ethics - she doesn't pick through people's garbage, doesn't print rumor and gossip, doesn't try to pervert the truth. But when her editor tells her she's too nice, that what he needs is a killer journalist who'll do whatever it takes to get a story, she realizes that she must do something drastic.
Of course, her plan backfires. Not only does she fail to score an interview with the notoriously media averse actor Malcolm Goddard (he'll only do the interview while piloting his Cessna and she has a terrible fear of flying), she gets fired. Her disappointment turns to rage when she learns that Malcolm knew about her phobia all along. He insisted on doing the interview on his plane just to get her off his back.
Hurt, disappointed, not to mention unemployed, she trudges home to her tiny town in Missouri to try to regroup, vowing to cure herself of her fears and reclaim her career. And then a surprising twist: she hears that the great Malcolm himself is in Middletown as a patient at the local hospital - under an alias. Opportunity knocks. Ann sees him as her ticket out of Missouri as well as a chance for payback. She volunteers at the hospital with the sole intention of pretending to befriend Malcolm and worm the story of a lifetime out of him. If she writes it, she'll have her career back and prove she's the killer journalist her editor had wanted her to be. But after facing her fear of falling in love, how much is she willing to risk for her job?

Chapter One
Things weren't going so well for the country that winter-the stock market was slumping and gas prices were rising and our soldiers were still at war-but they were going very well for Britney Spears, who was pregnant with her first child. She described the experience as "freaking awesome" during the two hours we spent together at her recently purchased nine-thousand-square-foot Malibu beach getaway, and she confided that sex with her husband, despite her swollen belly, was "crazy good."
No, the Britster and I weren't girlfriends sitting around having an afternoon gabfest, although there were moments when it felt like that. I was a thirty-year-old reporter for Famous, an entertainment magazine in Hollywood, and my beat was interviewing celebrities. Britney was an assignment for a cover story. She's generally viewed as a product rather than a talent, but she had a sweetness about her, I found, a giggly openness, and I enjoyed my time with her.
I enjoyed my time with all of them. I loved the feeling of gaining access to their private realms, loved trying to figure out for myself what it was that made them special. I'd been fascinated with famous people since I was a kid in Middletown, Missouri, a tiny place in the general vicinity of Kansas City. They were royalty to me-the beautiful ones with the beautiful clothes and the beautiful houses and the beautiful companions-and they were my escape from what was a dull and dispiriting childhood. I dreamed nonstop of fleeing Middletown and landing a job in L.A., and I'd made the dream come true. I'd really done it. So you could say that things were going very well for me too.
Well, you wouldn't say it if you're one of those snobs who thinks it's only news if it's on PBS or NPR. In fact, you're probably rolling your eyes right now as you picture Britney telling me about her morning sickness, her fluctuating hormones, and her cravings for pickles and ice cream, but I considered myself the luckiest woman on earth to be doing what I was doing. I could have been stuck in Middletown, where people get their kicks experimenting with different brands of snowblowers, eating casseroles made with cream of mushroom soup, and needlepointing pillows with bumper-sticker-type sayings on them, and where the biggest celebrity for a while was the guy who was cleaning his rifle and accidentally shot himself in the balls. I was bored out of my skull there, logy with the sameness of it all, convinced that if I stayed I would end up like my father, who died a slow and agonizing death, or like my mother, aunt, and grandmother, a trio of phobics who were too afraid of life to take risks and live it.
By contrast, I felt healthy in L.A., empowered, energized by the constant whirl of activity and by the people I met, most of whom were colorful and creative and the opposite of dull. I mean, I was attending movie premieres, film festivals, and Oscar parties, mingling with Clint Eastwood and marveling at the merry band of women who bear his children, waving at Penelope Cruz and admiring her ongoing battle with English, exchanging friendly glances with Meg Ryan and wondering why she looks so much like Michelle Pfeiffer now. It all seemed so glamorous to me, so Technicolor, especially in comparison with the grayness I'd left behind. Rubbing shoulders with exceptional people made me feel exceptional by osmosis.
Yes, the city was my oyster or, to be more L.A.-ish about it, my sushi. I had Leonardo DiCaprio's cell phone number, for God's sake. (Okay, his publicist's cell phone number.) It doesn't get much better than that, does it?
Not for me. Not then. When you grow up yearning to be in the orbit of movie stars and then actually hang out with them, albeit in the service of helping them promote their latest project, it's, well, freaking awesome.
And as far as I was concerned, there was nothing cheesy or demeaning about my career. I mean, I wasn't one of those tabloid creeps who picks through people's garbage. My methods weren't exploitative or intrusive. I had scruples. I didn't resort to underhanded tactics to score an interview. I didn't have to. I was a hard worker and a good reporter. The new and notoriously temperamental editor of Famous, fifty-year-old Harvey Krass, had been expected to clean house and bring in his own writers when he'd taken charge the previous month, and though he did fire some staff, he'd kept me on. I assumed it was because of my straight-forward approach to the job, my integrity. He hadn't said as much-he wasn't big on compliments-but the fact that he'd asked me to stay at the magazine spoke volumes.
So, yes, things were going very well for me, I was living my dream, as I said.
And then, suddenly, a jolt.

To read more, click here.

Pages: 328
Published: 2006

Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Maiden Lane #1
I loved this book. I started this morning and finished in three hours. Temperance is a widow that has carried on her father's charity, a home for children. She and her brother, Winter, run the home and live there. They need money badly. One night Temperance and her maid Nell are out to rescue a baby from a mother that died. They come upon a man bending over a dead man. They scurry away. Nell know who he is - Lord Caire. He has a reputation for perverse sexual behaviors.  They get back home and Nell and the baby go to sleep. Temperance goes to her sitting room for some tea. She finds Caire there. She is intrigued. He wants her help to find someone and in return he will give her money and help find a patron for the home. She agrees.
Temperance does not know that he is looking for the murderer of his mistress. Caire has many secrets and does not know why he is looking for Mary's killer. He did not love her. But temperance has secrets of her own. They have a need for each other. Will it be over when they find the killer?

From the author:
Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows the area like the back of her hand—she cares for its children at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk…

Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as a cold bargain soon falls prey to a passion neither can control—and may well destroy them both.

Go to Goodreads for an excerpt. The excerpt on the author's page is from Notorious Pleasures.

Pages: 382
Published: 2010

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Nate by Anita Claire

I got this one for free on amazon. The author did send me an email about it. Nate is one of the men that Juliette is dating in Meet Me in Silicon Valley.
We learn about how Nate treats women, starting with high school. He's a dog! A hit 'em and quit 'em kind of guy. During his residence in Minnesota, he falls in love with Mariana. But after 3 years, he proposes and she leaves him. Quite a few months later, he goes to California to visit his sister and he meets Juliette. He decides that he needs to leave Minnesota, so he applies for a job where his sister and Juliette live.
He and Juliette start dating. Will they end up together?

This book was much better than Meet Me. The focus was on the couple which I liked. The writing was more mature. I enjoyed getting to know these people as a couple. But the ending was abrupt!

From goodreads:
Some nice guys weren't always so nice. 
Nate's a guy who prides himself on his no commitment lifestyle. He's a master at zeroing in on the hottest women for a quick and easy hookup, making a point of never spending the night. Until he runs into a women that makes him want more than a one night stand. After she blows his heart away he starts reevaluating his choices.

Now it's Nate's turn. Following Nate from high school through his twenties we learn that this wonderful man has a lot of history that would surprise Juliette if she ever found out. Enjoy their story from Nate's point of view.

This is a stand-alone book, but much more fun when read along with The Juliette Trilogy.

There is an excerpt on Goodreads.

Kindle Edition167 pages
Published November 1st 2014 by Anita Claire

Meet Me in Silicon Valley by Anita Claire

*Copy received from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The Princesses of Silicon Valley - Book 1

This book starts off with an x-rated dream! Juliette, an engineer who works with computers, is starting a new job at a place like Google. She is surrounded by geeky and strange men. But she swims almost everyday and has fantasies at night about the sexy abs guy from the pool. It takes awhile but she learns the guy's name but only after her girlfriends bother her about it. She also reconnects with Gray, a man from her childhood.
Juliette is a very busy woman. She plays soccer with her friend Isabelle and gets mowed down by a player from the opposing team. She meets Dr. Nate Lombard.  Is Juliette open to meeting a man? Has she gotten over her relationship with Stephan? 

To be honest, I was a bit bored by this story. Nothing really happened until the end, then it was over - get book two. There are a lot of college friends. There are friends from swimming and then her roommate. Just too many characters. No real focus.

From goodreads:
Meet Juliette Cole, she’s just arrived back to Silicon Valley after three heartbreaking months following her grad school love to London. Moving in with childhood friend turned blond bombshell she gets introduced to Cassie’s crazy over the top lifestyle. Taking a job at a Silicon Valley startup she learns that work is more than just hoodies and free gourmet food. Thankfully she has The Princesses, her close group of girlfriends from college who all went as princesses to a Halloween party their freshman year. 

They don’t call San Jose- Man Jose for nothing. Juliette’s heart is not lonely for long. Swimming before work she sees a guy with the most amazing six pack get out of the pool. Now she has a new quest – to meet him. While playing soccer she gets knocked out by an opposing player. The player’s hot doctor brother helps her to the sidelines then starts texting her. As things start heating up in Juliette’s personal life she now has two guys vying for her attention. Who will it be sexy swimmer Zach or hot Dr. Nate? 

Kindle Edition152 pages
Published September 14th 2014 by Anita Claire (first published July 1st 2014)

No Limits by Lori Foster

Ultimate #1
Three years ago, Cannon saved Yvette and her grandfather Tipton from some bad guys. Tipton has now died and left everything - his business and home -  to Cannon and Yvette, which Cannon says he will share with Yvette. Yvette had a thing for Cannon back then. He liked her but thought she was too young. After he saved her, they had a kiss. A kiss that he could not forget. Now she was in his life again.
Yvette has come home to Ohio from California. Things were not working out for her there. Soon after she gets home, her ex starts pestering her. Then he shows up in Warfield, acting all crazy. Will she ever get rid of him? Cannon and the guys will protect her from Heath.

Cannon is a character from the book Getting Rowdy, that I read the other day. I liked this one because the SBC fighters take care of their own. I like reading series with familiar characters.

From the author:
Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He’s also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she’s older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon.
Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather’s legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette’s scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he’ll break all the rules to do it…

Cannon couldn’t stop looking at her. Damn, he’d remembered her as pretty, but she’d matured into killer good looks—and didn’t seem to know it. An angel’s face paired with that trim but curvy figure, and yeah, he was pretty sure every guy in the place had already started fantasizing.
Too bad, because none of them would touch her.
If he’d had any doubts about wanting her, they were put to rest in a big way. Instead of three years, it felt like a decade he’d been waiting on her. Yes, he wanted her. He would have her, too.
The only question was how soon.
A few weeks ago she’d lost her grandfather, and she probably needed time to acclimate to being home around the unpleasant memories. He’d love to segue right from hello to hell yeah, but he also enjoyed just looking at her and talking with her.
Sipping her Coke, Yvette stole a peek at him. Feathery lashes framed those big green eyes he remembered so well—eyes that used to watch him with innocent infatuation, but now seemed wary. She sat straight, proper. Spoke carefully. Avoided his direct gaze.
As Tipton had said, she was guarded.
She wore makeup, but not a lot. Even in a ponytail, her long dark hair made him think of it spilled loose on his pillows, or gliding over his chest.
Or his thighs.
And her clothes, while casual, covered such a sweet body it left him visually undressing her.

Knowing he had to get a grip, he asked, “Are you hungry?”
She shook her head. “But please go ahead and eat if you want.”
“I’m good.” Arms folded on the top of the booth, he smiled. “I can’t get over how much you’ve changed.”
That pleased her, he could tell. “It’s been almost three and a half years.”
Long enough for her to put the past behind her? To put him behind her? No, he wouldn’t let her. “I’m so damn sorry about Tipton.”
“Thank you.” She set the drink aside, then nervously drew her finger through the damp ring the glass had left on the booth top. “I wanted to talk to you about that. About—”
“Hey, Saint.” Two guys sidled up to the table. “Can we get a pic?”

Read more here.

Pages: 424
Published: 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fat Chance by Sandra Brown

Burke Basile is a cop in New Orleans. His partner was killed by Wayne Bardo who is employed by Pinkie Duvall. Burke cannot get over Kevin's death eight months ago. He goes home early one day and finds his wife with another man. So he tells her it's over, he quits his job and goes to a rundown boarding house. He decides to get Bardo and Pinkie. He comes up with a plan to kidnap Pinkie's wife and then kill the men. But he does not count on falling in live with Remy, Pinkie's wife.

I liked this story.

From the author:
The story revolves around Burke Basile, a narcotics officer in the NOPD, who’s driven by his own guilty conscience to seek revenge for the shooting death of his partner and the acquittal of the man charged with the crime.
The target of his vengeance is Pinkie Duvall, a wealthy and powerful crime boss. Basile strikes Pinkie where he knows it will hurt most — by kidnapping his young, beautiful wife, Remy, and hiding her in his fishing camp deep in the swamp.
But Duvall is a dangerous man to provoke. He sets his far-reaching into motion, swearing to kill Basile for this outrage. Too late Basile realizes how well-connected Duvall is — even within the police department.
Betrayed by his friends, his co-workers, and his own adulterous wife, Burke Basile is a man with nowhere else to run and no one to trust. Moreover, he never bargained on falling in love with Remy.
When Duvall’s machine begins to close in, Basile realizes that the only way to save Remy’s life is to return her to her possessive, abusive husband. But Basile has one more chance to rescue her — at the Duvall’s masked ball on Fat Tuesday.
And, just as the clock strikes midnight marking Ash Wednesday, Burke Basile must atone for his own secret transgression.

Chapter One
“He’ll walk.” Burke Basile extended the fingers of his right hand, then formed a tight fist. This flexing motion had recently become an involuntary habit. “There’s not a chance in hell they’ll convict.”
Captain Douglas Patout, commander of narcotics and vice of the New Orleans Police Department, sighed a discouraging, “Maybe.”
“Not maybe. He’ll walk,” Burke repeated with resolve.
After a moment, Patout asked, “Why did Littrell assign this particular assistant to prosecute this case? He’s a newcomer, been living down here only a few months, a transplant from up north. Wisconsin or someplace. He didn’t understand the. . .the nuances of this trial.”

Burke, who’d been staring out the window, turned back into the room. “Pinkie Duvall understood them well enough.”
“That golden-tongued son of a bitch. He loves nothing better thanto hammer the NOPD and make us all look incompetent.”
Although it pained him to compliment the defense lawyer, Burke said, “You gotta hand it to him, Doug, his closing argument was brilliant. It was blatantly anti-cop, but just as blatantly pro-justice. All twelve jurors were creaming on every word.” He checked his wristwatch. “They’ve been out thirty minutes. I predict another ten or so ought to do it.”
“You really think it’ll be that quick?”
“Yeah, I do.” Burke took a seat in a scarred wooden armchair.
“When you get right down to it, we never stood a prayer. No matter who in the d.a.’s office tried the case, or how much fancy legal footwork was done on either side, the sad fact remains that Wayne Bardo did not pull the trigger. He did not fire the bullet that killed Kev.”
“I wish I had a nickel for every time Pinkie Duvall said that duringthe trial,” Patout remarked sourly. “‘My client did not fire the fatal bullet.’ He chanted it like a monk.”
“Unfortunately, it’s the truth.”
They’d tramped this ground at least ten thousand times — ruminating, speculating, but always returning to that one irreversible, unarguable, unpalatable certainty. The accused on trial, Wayne Bardo, technically had not shot to death Detective Sergeant Kevin Stuart.
Burke Basile wearily massaged his shadowed eye sockets, pushed back his unkempt wavy hair, smoothed down his moustache, then restlessly rubbed his palms against the tops of his thighs. He flexed the fingers of his right hand. Finally, he set his elbows on his knees and stared vacantly at the floor, his shoulders dejectedlyhunched forward.
Patout observed him critically. “You look like hell. Why don’t you go out and have a cigarette?”
Burke shook his head no.
“Coffee? I’ll go get it for you, bring it back so you don’t have to face the media.”
“No, but thanks.”
Patout sat down in the chair next to Burke’s. “Let’s not write it off as a defeat yet. Juries are tricky. You think you’ve got some bastard nailed, he leaves the court house a free man. You’re practically assured an acquittal, they bring in a guilty verdict and the judge opts for the maximum sentence. You never can tell.”
“I can tell,” Burke said with stubborn resignation. “Bardo will walk.”
For a time, neither said anything to break the heavy silence. Then Patout said, “Today’s the anniversary of the Constitution.”
Burke looked up. “Pardon?”
“The Constitution. It was adopted on February fifth. I noticed it on my desk calendar this morning.”
“Didn’t say how many years

Pages: 368
Published: 1997

Heartbreakers by Lori Foster

This is 2 books in one. In Treat Her Right,  Zach is an EMT paramedic. He is a single dad with a 4 year old daughter, Dani. One morning they get awaken by a new neighbor moving in. Her name is Wynn. Dani is taken with her right away, so is her father! But Wynn is not the woman he pictured for himself and he fights the attraction. Will he give in?
Wynn has never been attracted to a man. She is surprised by how much she wants Zach. She has fallen in love with Dani too.

In Mr. November, Zach's friend Josh finds love with Amanda, a woman who wants him to pose for her firefighter calendar. He tells her that he will pose if she agrees to spend time with him. josh is smitten by her, but she tells him that she is frigid. He wants to know what she is hiding. They take it slow but when he is in a firefight one night Amanda realizes something.

I liked these books. Cute stories.

From goodreads:
Treat Her Right
Gorgeous, statuesque fitness expert Wynn Lane can't help but fall for her sexy neighbor, paramedic Zack Granger, and his adorable daughter. But brash, outspoken Wynn is not Zack's idea of mommy material, even though she's making daddy's libido do flip-flops. Still, the laws of attraction rule—and Wynn is a force of nature all her own!
Mr. November
Creating a beefcake calendar for charity, Amanda Barker has found the perfect Mr. November, super-buff firefighter Josh Marshall. But the notorious ladies' man is a hard sell, and she's forced to negotiate with the only collateral he'll accept: a date with her! Josh knows where there's smoke, there's fire—but this could burn completely out of control....
Pages: 440
Published: re-issue 2008 originally 2001