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, 30 August 2009

How To Engage an Earl by Kathryn Caskie

Unexciting and basic romance
2 Stars

The last thing Laird Allen, Earl of MacLaren wants is a wife. So he’s quite surprised when he awakens in his bed chamber to find a beautiful blonde there with him, claiming to be his betrothed.

All Anne Royle wanted was to find the truth about her heritage – so she’s none too happy that she’s managed to snag herself the biggest rake of the ton. But as time, and the ruse, goes on, she finds herself wishing that their charade was real.

This is the second in a trilogy of books regarding the Royle sisters, purported to be the “secret” daughters of the Prince Regent. There were quite a lot of characters that weren’t introduced and situations that weren’t explained so I’m assuming it would be beneficial to have read the first book in the trilogy, How To Seduce a Duke, before reading this story. This story then leads on to the final book in the series, How To Propose To A Prince.

I’m sorry to say that this story just didn’t excite me or interest me at all. I read romance for the romance between the main characters and that seemed to take a back seat to solving the mystery of the triplets parentage in this particular book. There was one tepid, lacklustre love scene and little else to make me believe that Anne and Laird were really falling in love. The characters felt paper thin and could have been from any time period not to mention the fact that they weren’t particularly likeable.

I’m also really not a fan of creative names in romance novels and while it’s not the most idiotic name I’ve heard, ‘Laird’ as a first name for a supposedly Scottish Earl is still quite ridiculous. There’s also Constance Henceforth, a butler called Festidious and of course the actual ‘Royle’ sisters – which is about as subtle as a brick considering the trio are supposedly secret princesses.

The writing was fair but not very thrilling and I personally didn’t find any of the wit that was supposedly sparkling through the novel.

Perhaps if you’ve read the first book of the three then you will want to read this one however, apart from that it’s really not a book I can recommend. There are much better romance novels out there that combine some action/mystery with romance so I can unfortunately only give this story 2 stars.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Wedding Trap by Tracy Anne Warren

Entertaining and engaging romance
4 Stars

Bluestocking Eliza Hammond has been in love with Kit Winter forever. Unfortunately, he only sees her as his sister in law’s mousy, shy, bookish friend. After 4 seasons without a sniff of an offer, it would appear that every other man thinks the same. But now Eliza has come into a fortune and is determined that this season will be her best yet – she just needs some help.

So she enlists the help of Kit to transform her into a stunning society belle that will be worthy of catching a great husband. But as their lessons continue, the sparks between Kit and Eliza begin to fly. Kit soon finds himself floored by his desire for Eliza, but will he realise his true feelings before he loses her to another man?

This is the third book in Warren’s ‘Trap Trilogy’ after The Husband Trap and The Wife Trap. The book features the couples from both previous stories but apart from this stands nicely on its own.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The writing was entertaining and engaging and the characters likeable. My main problem with the story was that there was a distinct lack of passion. It was a good read but lacked any great emotional depth so it was hard to develop a great feeling for Kit, Eliza or their emerging love story.

Another great annoyance was the huge number of Americanisms that popped up quite frequently in the book. This really pulled me out of the story and seriously grated after a while.

Despite all its faults, this is still a story that I would recommend. It may not be the deepest or most involved story but it’s still an entertaining and readable story. 4 stars.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Off Limits by Jordan Summers

Unrealistic but enjoyable romance
3 stars

ATF Special Agent Delaney Carter must go undercover if she wants to keep her job and land herself a big promotion. Unfortunately her undercover gig is as a flight attendant and she is scared to death of flying.

Luckily for Delaney, she has gorgeous Jack Gordon to keep her distracted in the air and on the ground. Too bad that he also happens to be an ex arms dealer and the very man she has been assigned to get close to. She’s sure that falling into bed wasn’t in her mission brief but Delaney just can’t help herself.

So long as you suspend reality, this is actually quite an enjoyable book to read on a lazy afternoon. Despite being an ex arms dealer, Jack is a great hero – sexy and masculine while still being caring and kind. Delaney was a harder character to get to know and although she was sweet but feisty, I found it much too hard to believe she had the experience (and guts) to be a federal agent.

This book would have got more stars from me except that I felt it took far too long to actually get into the story and for it to get going. Once it did, you could escape reality and just enjoy the fun, fairly sexy romance. 3 stars.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Naked Truth by Shannon Hollis

Entertaining, well-written romance
4 stars

Eve Best’s life is going really well. She’s just won the lottery, has great friends and her talk show is the hottest thing on TV. But when deliciously sexy executive Mitch Hayes comes into her office, the only thing she can think of is how to have her wicked way with him.

Mitch has been given orders to get Eve to sign with his network or else. One look at Eve and Mitch knows that he has the best job in the world and spending time with her to change her mind will definitely be no hardship.

This book is the third in the Million Dollar Secrets mini-series (after She Did a Bad, Bad Thing and Underneath it All) but stands easily alone despite the common characters and underlying storyline of the big lottery win.

Both Eve and Mitch were great, likeable characters and the excellent writing made their romance feel real and exciting. The book wasn’t as scorching as many other Blaze novels but when it did happen it was hot with great chemistry.

If I had to have one complaint it was that the secondary plot line of Eve’s family almost overtook the romance at the end and so I felt that there was no huge romantic conclusion, especially since the epilogue featured two characters that were superfluous to the story and that I didn’t care about at all.

Despite that, this is still an entertaining, well-written romance with good characters and an interesting plot – perfect if you’re looking for a quick read. 4 stars.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Pleasure to the Max by Cami Dalton

Entertaining Romantic Romp
4 stars

Cassie Parker's life hasn't been going so well since she was dumped by her cheating fiancé. Maybe the gypsy "lover's box" that her globe trotting great aunt has sent her will get her out of her funk. It is said that all you have to do is write down your deepest sexual fantasies, lock them in the box and the fantasies will come true. Cassie's sceptical so her shock is genuine when her own personal sex god turns up at her door.

Treasure hunter Max Stone isn't amused. His newest acquisition has been stolen and he's had to track it all the way to some little town in the US. But the woman he encounters claims that the box is hers. He'll just have to steal it back. Once he's finished fulfilling Cassie's fantasies that is.

This was my first book by Cami Dalton and all in all I have to say I really enjoyed the read. It was fantastical, entertaining and a bit of a romp but the storyline kept me hooked, the sex scenes were hot and the romance was satisfying.

Cassie was feisty and fun - a girl you could really identify with. She did start to get a little annoying towards the end but not so much that I stopped liking her. Max was your usual mysterious, sexy man who is brought down by love. I loved the chemistry between the pair and their interactions were good fun.

If I had one complaint about the book it was that I was never really sure where the gypsy magic stopped and the real feelings started. But it was hardly enough to ruin what is, essentially, a fun, interesting and entertaining romantic romp. 4 stars.