Welcome to Cozy Jo's Romance Review blog. This is where you'll find reviews and discussions on historical or contemporary romance books and maybe a few other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure.
So come on in, sit down and find yourself a good romance book to read.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Thrill Me by Isabel Sharpe

Sweet yet sexy Blaze romance
5 stars

May Ellison needs a sexual adventure. After being dumped by her boyfriend of 6 years for being too boring and predictable - she heads to the erotic hotel Hush in New York for a week of sinful pleasures with a man. Definitely a change from her normal small town life.

But when he fails to materialise - May's hopes of an adventure are crushed until star author Beck Desmond checks into the hotel. He's meant to be revising scenes for his latest action thriller but is having a little writer's block so he manages to persuade May to be his inspiration for the week. But when the week is over both May and Beck must decide whether it was just fiction or the real thing.

This is another book in Blaze's Do Not Disturb series which revolve around the gorgeous Hush hotel. Although part of this series - it completely stands alone as the main recurring theme tends to be the hotel rather than the people in it, although one or two from previous and future books do pop up.

I really loved this book and it makes a great addition to the series. May is so easy to identify with - she's sweet and fun with a wicked streak in her and she is very real in the way that she muses over her problems and the decisions she has to make. I adored her. Beck is also a great hero but then I do love the strong, brooding types! The way he treats May and how he is so unsure is very sweet to read - even with all the sensual fun that goes on in the hotel.

The story really draws you in and never does the author take you down the obvious plot route with silly misunderstandings or overblown conflict. The story keeps you wanting to turn the pages and see how things work out.

The sex scenes in this book are not as hot as I've read in some other Blaze novels and I might even say the main love scene was slightly anti-climactic. But that's probably only because the build-up and tension beforehand were so well written and exciting that it couldn't be anything but.

Overall - this is an excellent, well-written romance which is perfect for those who enjoy Blaze romances. May and Beck really make this book come alive and I would definitely recommend it.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Hush by Jo Leigh

A fun, light read
4 Stars

Hush hotel is Piper Devon’s dream. An erotic retreat with wicked and sinful toys, luxury, secret nooks and silky sheets – the place is designed for sex. Too bad that her hotel magnate, billionaire father is less than impressed.

So he sends the family lawyer, Trace Winslow to try and sort things out. Trace has to put a stop to Piper’s crazy ideas before the family name is dragged through the mud. But soon it’s not just Piper’s sexy tabloid antics that are making Trace crazy and he decides that if he’s in the hotel designed for sex he really should try and beat Piper at her own game.

This was an enjoyable book and the start of a new series of books set in the delicious Hush hotel. Surprisingly, I really liked Piper. For someone who was essentially a spoiled little rich girl – she was a very believable and sympathetic character and someone I really started to root for. Trace was also a good character although I was a little disappointed that he was written as almost 10 years older than Piper – although that’s maybe just me. I also have to say that I didn’t really understand why Piper felt she had to seduce Trace to get him on her side – but I suppose that’s not the point!

Being a Blaze there is obviously going to be some sex in the book and although there was some – it wasn’t as hot or sexy as many other Blaze books I’ve read. Still enjoyable though.

Overall, the story was quite fun and the hotel definitely sounds like somewhere that I’d like to visit! While maybe not being the best Blaze I’ve read – it certainly kept me interested and was good for a light, afternoon read. And it’s definitely made me want to read the other books in the Do Not Disturb series.

Friday, 13 April 2007

After Hours by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Hot and sexy Blaze romance
5 stars

Eileen Connolly is a sensible, level-headed lawyer who is nearly ready to settle down with her sensible, yet quite dull boyfriend. But recently she's had the most reckless craving for sex with a complete stranger. She promises herself just one night of passion and then she'll be ready to begin her new respectable, predictable life.

When Shane Nichols shows up at Eileen's office after hours to fix the phones, he looks good enough to eat - and good enough to be the one night fantasy guy that Eileen has promised herself. But suddenly one night doesn't seem nearly long enough to satisfy all Eileen's desires and fantasies...

This book is another winner for Vicki Lewis Thompson and it really lives up to the Blaze motto of being a scorching hot sexy read.

Eileen is a strong, driven character yet has enough insecurities and fears to make her believable and likeable. Shane is your typical hero - strong, sexy and absolutely delicious. What sets him apart from other heroes is that he has no problem admitting his feelings, at least to himself, which is quite refreshing.

The story is fairly uncomplicated yet the author didn't use predictable plot lines or conflict which she could have done. It is essentially a fun, light story.

And the book didn't disappoint with the sex scenes either. The book focuses on the fantasies of Eileen and Shane as they explore them with each other. These fantasies aren't particularly kinky but they were wonderfully hot. And there were plenty of them for such a short book. The chemistry jumps off the pages making everything come alive. Definitely one of the hottest Blaze books I've read in a while.

If you're a fan of Blaze romances, a fan of Vicki Lewis Thompson or just on the look out for a steamy read to pass a couple of hours - you really can't go wrong with this book. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Dark Roots and Cowboy Boots by Luann McLane

Fresh and Fun Southern Romance
4 stars

Jamie Lee Carter is a Southern girl through and through. She prefers bare feet to fancy heels, a bottle of beer rather than a fancy cocktail and a man in cowboy boots rather than a fancy modern man. But then Parker, a hot Hollywood producer comes to town and Jamie Lee realises that maybe some fancy things aren't so bad after all.

But just as Jamie Lee thinks her love life might actually be going somewhere - Parker's arrival is noticed by Griff Sheldon, her brother's best friend and the man she's been half in love with her whole life. As Parker grows more attentive and Griff grows more jealous, Jamie Lee begins to realise that having two love rivals after you is a lot of trouble. But so much fun!

I really enjoyed this book. Jamie Lee is a down to earth girl and for me she really epitomised the spirit of a southern heroine without coming over as a stereotype. Griff is a sexy, brooding cowboy and just reading about him made me want a cowboy for myself! Parker is also a fun character although maybe not as well-developed as the other two. I was pleased that the story wasn't written so that there was one 'good' male lead and one 'bad' guy as this kept you wondering and made it a more realistic story. Jamie Lee's brother and her best friend also featured quite heavily in the story and will more than definitely get a story of their own.

The story itself was fun, fresh and held my interest right through. What I would mention, which might put some people off, is that the story is written in first person so you only ever get Jamie's thoughts, feelings and opinions. Although it wouldn't be my first choice - I did feel in this case that first person made me understand Jamie Lee a little better and you really begin to feel what she feels. And she genuinely doesn't know what Griff, Parker or the other characters are feeling or thinking which makes things interesting and quite true to life. The obvious downside to this type of story (and the reason I only gave it 4 stars) was the ending felt quite one-sided because you only had the story from Jamie's perspective. Slightly disappointing but not enough to ruin what was essentially a good read. It is also written in the present tense which I found quite odd - so "Griff walks to the door" rather than the usual "Griff walked to the door". But again, once you get drawn into the story you barely notice it.

This book is something that I would recommend if you like quirky romance novels or if you like your heros to be sexy cowboys! It was a fun, light read which passed a couple of hours. 4 stars.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Room Service by Jill Shalvis

Fantastic, hot read
5 stars

Em Harris is an LA TV producer who has been sent to New York's newest erotic hotel, Hush, to recruit their famous chef Jacob Hill for her new cooking show which will hopefully save her career. Bur Jacob doesn't want to be a star and now Em has a bigger problem than trying to convince him otherwise as she realises that Jacob tastes just as delicious as his divine food.

I really loved this book - and would go so far as to say it is one of the best Blaze books I've ever read.

The story is fast paced, keeps you turning the pages and the author never makes the plot predictable or goes for the easy option when she could have done. There were also enough background characters and secondary love stories to keep things interesting but they never over shadowed the main couple which is sometimes the case.

The characters are also excellently well written and are perfect for each other. Em is a farm girl at heart but she is never stereotypical and I liked that she was quiet but not shy. Jacob is absolutely delicious - a real bad boy - and watching him struggle with his feelings for Em and his panic at realising he was falling in love was just a joy.

And of course, being a Blaze novel there definitely has to be some sex and this book didn't disappoint on that score either. The pages sizzled with sexual tension and the sex scenes themselves were very hot and sexy. Perfect.

Overall, I can't praise this book highly enough. It's perfect for a fun, sexy read about characters that you can really enjoy and a story you can believe in. Definitely worth 5 stars.