Tag Archives: Fluff

Catch a Mate by Gena Showalter

30 Aug

This is an exceptional find in the used bookstore I went to. I thought this was a fun and original story – I cannot wait until some screenwriter find this and makes it into a Rom-Com. For me, it took a little bit of time to get into the story, but once I got passed that, I devoured the book in a matter of hours.

The story opens up with a girl hitting on a guy at a bar, he immediately responds to her, flirting back. She turns the situation around on his bum when she calls him a lying cheater and walks away. Jillian, the woman,works for Catch a Mate. She is getting paid by women to see if men are willing to cheat. Catch a Mate is a business in Oklahoma, but is not about finding a possible date or relationship, but catching another’s mate in a precarious situation (or not) and reporting it back to the suspecting other.

Jillian got into the business because she hates men, she hates men because she works in this business. Vicious Cycle. Her life is thrown through the gauntlet when her man-hating boss sells the business to a man – and not Jillian. Worse of all, the moment she meets Marcus, she is attracted to him, and wants none of that. She is mean, vindictive, and cutting towards Marcus.

Marcus has similar thoughts a Jillian. He was spurred by a cheating wife, and considers women the evil sex. He runs the male version of Catch a Mate, so is more than willing to grow his business. The moment he meets Jillian, he feels the same attraction, but is repulsed by it. They bicker, fight, and make each others lives miserable. Before they know it, they are embraced in an affair with one another. They both fight their feelings and negotiate how to walk away from the other without getting hurt.

Gena Showalter has a great sense of comedy and characters. I both hated and loved the characters, and constantly felt the same pull they felt as they were figuring out their situations. The only part I did not like was how vicious Showalter made  Jillian. It was almost too much – too unrealistic. But as time went on, she found a balance for the characters. Her secondary characters  – and Jillian and Marcus’s interactions with them was hilarious – they made the novel.

While reading, and thinking about  it after, Catch a Mate reminds me of Jennifer Cruise, Carly Phillips and Sophie Kinsella. If you like to read them, I recommend picking up this.

If you want to see what else Gena Showalter as written (she varies so much – many paranormal) check out her website!

On the Steamy Side by Louisa Edwards

19 Aug

When reading, I am always so excited when I see a recipe in the book, within days I am attempting to replicate the dish in my own kitchen. That is probably why I am so excited of mysteries that involve cooks, caterers and bakers. When I originally picked up this book, I never thought there would be recipes accompanying the story. what an excellent surprise when I reached the end of the book and I saw them! (I was especially excited for the recipe for the biscuits… you’ll see.)

On the Steamy Side  has both positive and negative notes for me. The story is about Lilah Jane who leaves a broken engagement, overly stuffy Aunt and her life in Virginia and moves to New York City to be free to be herself.  She was raised to be prim and proper – the debutant of them all, so she purposely does what her Aunt would not want her to do – go to a dive bar,  pick a fight with a jerk and end up leaving with a stranger – and goes back to his place for a little (a lot) of fun that night.

In a twist of fate, the guy she went home with ends up being a famous chef – and stubborn and temperamental. As the saying goes – everything happens in threes –  and for Devon the Chef – it does.  He has to take charge of a restaurant, ends up with his son while the boys mother is in rehab, and ends up having his one night stand living with him because he irrationally hired her as a live in nanny.

One thing that I really liked was the fact that there were other point of views and stories sprinkled into the story. It gave a fresh perspective of the novel. After I read that this was part of a series, I understood why she did it, but she did it really well. I liked her character development, the fact that the characters actually fought (legitimate fights real people have)  and they did not perfectly fit the romance formula made it even better. There are only a few points that I did not care for. The book opened with a bang. Er, well, literally… That one night stand I mentioned earlier? happened in the first  20 pages. That was a little shocking. The other park that I could have done was the sheer amount of swearing that happened. I am ok with the occasional slip, but like the Lilah, I was not amused by Devon’s use of language.

I have not read Louisa Edwards before, and after reading On the Steamy Side I think I am going to put her on my list of usuals. This is a better than average contemporary romance escape, but I am still on the fence. She has not jumped to the top of my list, but I am willing to give her book another chance.

Louisa Edwards has a website, you should check it out to see what else she has written.

Love to Love You Baby by Kasey Michaels

12 Aug

I picked this up a long time ago on the free bench at my library. I hate to say this, but thank goodness it was free. While it was a great fluff read, and I did read it in a day, it is not the pick of the day, week, month… you catch my drift.

Love to Love You Baby  is about as overdone as you can make it.  The novel starts with a middle of the night phone call from a cousin talking about Wyatt Earp and babies, I was probably as confused as the male love interest, Jack. The next morning, there is an infant on his doorstep, and not long after (but long enough for him) Keely, the interior designer hired by his aunt shows up. He enlists/tricks her into moving in with him and taking care of the baby while he broods about being a hurt / early retirement multimillionaire baseball player. She just has too much sass for him, so they constantly bicker, but is it really because they hate each other? Duh, obviously not. Romance novels don’t work that way.

For me, Michaels’ saving grace were her secondary characters. Each one was more unique as the last – and each brought a laugh or two from me. For me, these characters propelled the story, from the “finding herself” teenage genius enlisted to babysit, to The Godfather obsessed cousin to the social worker, the propelled the story and kept me interested – I wanted to see what they would do next, and was usually surprised.

The novel does have funny moments, and it is not a complete loss, I am just frustrated with how trite it is. As I said earlier, I loved the characters entering and leaving the novel, and some moments Michaels wrote about where great – especially the scene Jack and Keely go into the baby store to get everything the baby needs (or they think it needs). She does a great job livening up certain scenes.

I have read her works before, and I do enjoy them, some are better than others, but overall she does a good job, not really sure what happened here. To see her other books, or to give this one a go (don’t let my disappointment in the the plot veer you away, please read it and let me know what you think!) visit her website here.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Addison Fox

12 Aug

Starting a new job, moving twice in two months, and living on my own has lead me to  read more lighthearted books. One of the great things about where I live in the paperback exchange store that is just half a mile down the road from where I live, Hannah’s Books. Paperbacks (old, new, thriller, historical romance, trade, literally… anything) are just a fraction of the price you would pay normally, and the best part? Once you read them, you can bring them back, and you get credit. BEST. DEAL. EVER. Take as long as you want to read them, no late fees  :). Anyway, I have been introduced to so many new authors this way, and I am delighted every time I go into the store.

With that long sidetrack, I picked up a book by Addison Fox, Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Who doesn’t want to read a book about Alaska during winter when it is 100 % humidity and 95 degrees outside? In summation; Sloan gets a distress call from her best friend Grier who is in Alaska battling the contested will of estranged father, and immediately leaves the stifling New York City to help her.  This trip happens to fit perfectly into her job, travel writer, because the town is holding it’s annual bachelorette games. The games are masterminded by three grandmothers who’s wish is for the unmarried men of town to fall in love.

Sloan marches into town determined to have Grier win over the hearts of the people who live in the town, to write an excellent story, and to get out and take the reigns of her life back. What does does not expect is to have lasting interactions with Walker, one of the bachelors – who is determined to stay a bachelor despite his grandmothers intentions.

While reading this, all I thought was how this is so much like Sex in the City a la Alaska and three friends. Fox does not shy away from over-coffee-the-morning-after-best-friend talk. While it was a fun read, at times I felt overwhelmed with the sheer number of plots occurring in the book.  Fox is weaving the other two women, Grier and Avery (a townie who is befriended by the two) and their potential stories into this one, along with the personal struggles of each, and the town. It is a lot to take in when one may expect less to process.

This is the first book of the trilogy (Alaskan Nights). If you are interested in this book, or any others of Addison Fox’s her website is here
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