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.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Beware A Scot's Revenge by Sabrina Jeffries

Absolutely amazing historical romance
5 stars

Lady Venetia Campbell is on a long overdue trip to her childhood home in Scotland when she is tricked and abducted by her father's sworn enemy Sir Lachlan Ross. Despite his threats - Venetia remembers him as the wild boy that she adored when they were neighbours growing up. Now an amazingly sexy man, Venetia realises he poses a far greater risk to her heart than her wellbeing. And despite grand plans to use Venetia as a weapon against her father things start to go wrong when secrets are revealed and stolen kisses become more enjoyable than they really should.

This book is another winner for Sabrina Jeffries and has to be one of the best books that I have read in a long time.

Venetia is strong and independent but has enough compassion and wit for me to really like her as a heroine. Lachlan as well is an excellent character - strong and amazingly stubborn yet he still manages to have moments of tenderness and aching vulnerability which are always a joy to read. And the thought of him in a kilt makes my knees weak!

Which leads me on to the setting for the book. Apart from the prologue - this book is set entirely in Scotland. I'll admit that I am often wary of books set in Scotland but I am very glad to say that there was absolutely nothing stereotypical about this book and everything was very well written and wonderfully accurate. You can really picture yourself in the real Scotland when reading. And luckily you don't have to read through cringe-worthy attempts at Scottish accents. Each character's dialogue was exactly how you would expect them to be if they came from the Highlands - very realistic.

The story itself is fast paced and a real page turner - I couldn't put it down. Venetia and Lachlan are so well matched that you're all but cheering for them to get together. They have real chemistry which also makes for some very enjoyably sexy scenes on their journey through Scotland.

All in all I thought this book was excellent and one not to be missed. Although part of the School For Heiresses Series (after Never Seduce A Scoundrel and Only a Duke Will Do) this book stands nicely on its own so you don't have to have read the others to read this story. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys intelligent, fun, sexy and well-written romances. Definitely a 5 star read.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Her Last Temptation by Leslie Kelly

Enjoyable, fun romance
4 stars

Cat Sheehan has always been the wild one of her family. But when her family bar gets earmarked for demolition - Cat decides that it's time to straighten up and become sensible. And that includes hooking up with nice guys rather than her usual bad boy types. But her resolution goes out the window the minute Dylan Spencer walks into her bar because he's too much of a temptation to resist.

But Dylan has a secret. He's not a bad boy and he's also been in love with Cat since they were at school together even though Cat doesn't recognise him. But for a chance to be with Cat, Dylan decides he's willing to be any kind of man that she wants.

This book was the last ever book released on Harlequin's Temptation line and as a result the closing of Cat's bar is clearly meant to reflect the closing of the line. This means there are a lot of familiar characters and in-jokes from previous books in the line throughout this book.

The story itself is quite a fun one. Although I liked the character of Cat - I didn't feel that I could really identify with her. Dylan on the other hand was an excellent character - a typical Leslie Kelly hero. And although he claims that he isn't - he's got definite signs of being a bad boy afterall! The chemistry between the pair is real and although the sex scenes don't set fire to the pages - they are still enjoyable. The conflict of the story is slightly weak as it's not really a terrible secret that Dylan's hiding from Cat but it's still fun to watch the pair as they fall in love and to see how their story works out.

I would give this book 4 stars as it is definitely worth a read if you were a fan of the Temptation line, a fan of Leslie Kelly or if you want to try a well written, fun Harlequin romance.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Reading Between the Lines

Two excellent, fun short stories
5 stars

Mr Valentine - Vicki Lewis Thompson
Nobody knows that hot romance author Candy Valentine is really the rugged, masculine Jack Killigan - even his publisher. So when `Candy' is needed to promote the book, Jack convinces his best friend Krysta to pretend to be her for the week. Krysta has never seen Jack as anything more than a friend but after reading his book - she has to wonder whether Jack can make love as well as he writes it?

Vicki Lewis Thompson's story is very good (even if it did really remind me of the film Paperback Hero with Hugh Jackman!). Both Jack and Krysta are fun, interesting characters and they are well suited despite all their differences. The story is cute if slightly unbelievable but it's nice to suspend reality and just enjoy.

Thrill Me - Leslie Kelly
Sophie Winchester is an all-American, normal small town girl - except when she's writing best selling gruesome horror novels as R.F. Colt. No-one knows of Sophie's double life and that's the way she likes it. So when notes for her latest novel land on the desk of the new, very sexy police chief Daniel Fletcher he's convinced that someone is out to murder her. She really should tell Daniel that she isn't in any danger but it's so much more fun having Daniel protect her - day and night.

I am a huge fan of Leslie Kelly's and Thrill Me was just as good as some of her longer novels. Sophie is an excellent character - stifled by her small town reputation while also using it as a shield. Daniel is the big city cop who has just moved to the small town and he's just delicious. I loved both of them. The story is funny, fast paced and very sexy.

One of the good things about this book is that it only contains two stories so each is a decent enough length so you don't feel cheated or rushed.

If you like fun, interesting contemporary romance then this book is definitely for you. It is by far one of the better short story books out there and one I would highly recommend.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Get a Clue by Jill Shalvis

Wonderful, sexy mystery-romance
5 stars

Breanne Mooreland is having a terrible day. She's been dumped at the alter (and for the third time no less!), decided to go on her honeymoon alone, experienced the flight from hell and lost her luggage. And that's all before she arrives at her luxury lodge to find herself snowed in with the strangest staff she has ever met - and a (gorgeous) naked stranger in her honeymoon suite!

Cooper Scott doesn't care if there has been an error with the booking - he's not giving up his holiday or his large bed for Breanne - but he would be willing to share it with her!

Breanne's no men pact is taking a serious testing with Cooper determined to prove that not all men are scum. But Breanne is a strong woman who doesn't need a sexy ex-cop to protect her - but that's before she stumbles on a very dead body!

I enjoyed a previous shorter book of Jill Shalvis' and decided to give one of her longer length novels and I am really glad that I did as this really was an excellent read.

Breanne is a great heroine - strong yet with some very vulnerable qualities such as being afraid of the dark! Cooper is just as wonderful - a hero who is both a strong, sexy male as well as being a big softy! The pair have fabulous chemistry which translates into hot, hot sex and some seriously fun situations.

The plot is fun, fast moving and with just enough mystery to make it exciting (but not enough to truly scare people if you're a wimp like me!). As well as Breanne and Cooper - there are various secondary characters who are quirky without every becoming stereotypes. And I really liked the fact that the conflict in the story was real and not forced and that many obvious storyline clich├ęs were avoided.

If you enjoy sexy, mystery romances or just want a good book to take you away for a while then you won't go wrong with this novel. It's fun, sexy, romantic and will leave you with a smile on your face. Definitely recommended.

Temperature's Rising by Karen Kelley

Very light but fun read
3 stars

Jessica Nelson comes from a family of cops and she's really had enough being one of the guys. But new cop on the block Conor Richmond sees her as all woman when he mistakes her for a prostitute and arrests her!

Their relationship gets worse when they are forced by Jessica's matchmaking police chief dad to pose as an undercover newlywed couple to catch a serial burglary gang. Jessica doesn't want to get involved with another cop but she finds that playing house with the gorgeous Conor is too much of a temptation to resist. And soon the pair must fight both the bad guys and their growing feelings for each other.

This book is essentially a very light read. Jessica and Conor are both fun characters and they are likeable too which means you do become interested in their story. They have the chemistry you would expect from a Brava novel and it is quite a hot read in places - also as you would expect. The secondary characters are colourful and fun and add a little extra to the story.

My main issue with this book was that the plot, despite being fun and interesting, was fairly light in some places and the whole book didn't really ever get into high gear. And despite being a fun, frothy read - it just seemed to be missing that essential spark that would have made it a really good story.

Having said that - this really isn't a bad book and would be perfect for an afternoon in the sun if you're looking for a light, fun, sexy read.