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.

Friday, 26 November 2010

It Must Have Been The Mistletoe by Kate Hoffmann

Christmas selection without much sparkle
3 Stars

This is Blaze’s annual collection of Christmas themed short stories. This lot focuses on the Cole sisters – a trio who grew up in a travelling singing family and who have all been unlucky in love.

When She Was Naughty – Kate Hoffmann
Alison Cole is up in the mountains to record old songs for her job when she meets Dr Drew Phillips and feels an instant connection. Luckily for her, a freak snow storms means she’ll have to stay in his cabin with only one way to keep warm.

This story was a little forgettable. Neither character had much chemistry and I didn’t believe that the couple would have a happily ever after. Disappointing.

Cole for Christmas – Rhona Nelson
When Layla Cole is invited to support a country star on tour, she’s determined but terrified. Luckily for her, tour security chief, Bryant Bishop, is on hand to give her the best kind of distraction.

This was a sweet story of two people who realise they’re perfect for each other but just need time to work it all out. I was disappointed with the ending though – I want happily ever after not just the promise of trying to work it out and not being sure if it’s forever.

A Babe in Toyland – Tawny Weber
Rita Mae Cole was always the wild child of the family. When her high school crush, Tyler Ramsey, comes back on the scene she decides it’s time to show him just how wild she can be.

This was an okay story and I liked the premise of getting together with your high school crush all those years later. I just felt that the story was a little flat although at least it had a proper happy ending!

Overall, this anthology wasn’t really the best I’ve ever read and although Christmas themed, didn’t really have any festive sparkle. It was readable and a quick read to pass the time but nothing overly special, unfortunately. 3 stars.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean

Entertaining novel but a little lacking
4 stars

Lord Nicholas St John is determined to get away from London and the simpering misses determined to catch him since he was named London’s Lord to Land. So when he’s hired to find a missing heiress in Yorkshire he jumps at the chance.

What he doesn’t expect is to find Lady Isabel Townsend – daughter of a nefarious wastrel and the most enticing and infuriating woman he’s ever laid eyes on.

Isabel has serious money worries and serious secrets that she’s determined to keep. What she doesn’t expect is that Nick could be the solution to all her problems and might uncover he secrets one kiss at a time.

Like another reviewer said, this book suffers massively when compared to MacLean’s previous novel, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake, which I agree was a truly wonderful read.

Having said that, I did actually quite enjoy this book on its own and although it didn’t set my world on fire, it’s still a well-written and fairly enjoyable tale to pass the time.

This book features Nick, the twin brother to the hero of Nine Rules… although the books do stand alone quite nicely and you don’t have to have read the first one to read this one. Personally, I would have liked to see more of Gabriel and Callie from the first book but that’s just me.

Both Nick and Isabel were likeable and sympathetic characters although I didn’t feel any deep or memorable emotions either for them or from them. Regardless, I liked their interactions and thought they went well together as a couple.

I think the main problem with the story was that there was too much going on. With Minerva House, the love story, the secondary love story, the Duke, the boy Earl – there wasn’t enough time dedicated wholly to Nick and Isabel to make me truly believe.

After all I’ve written I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve been too generous with my 4 star rating. But when I look at the book as a whole I enjoyed reading it, it was well written and it captured my attention so I’ve decided to stick with the 4 stars. It’s not the best but it’s worth a look if you have it on your shelf or you enjoyed MacLean’s first book. I also look forward to reading MacLean’s next book Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart which I’m hoping will be Leighton’s story to continue the series.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Star Crossed Sweethearts / Secret Prince, Instant Daddy!

One great story, the other disappointing
3 Stars

Star-Crossed Sweethearts – Jackie Braun
Hot shot baseball star Angelo Casali is back in Italy to simultaneously recover from a serious injury and meet with his estranged father. The last thing he expects is to find Hollywood starlet, Atlanta Jackson, hiding out from the media and a future he never contemplated.

I have come across Jackie Braun before and really enjoyed the emotion and understated passion of her writing. This was no exception as the story of Angelo and Atlanta grabbed me from start to finish. Both characters were rich and had good depth. I was surprised to find myself really rooting for the pair and really liking them both individually and as a couple. With this being from the Cherish line we only get a few kisses rather than anything more descriptive and while that’s not what I usually like, it worked with this story and didn’t take away from the romance and sensuality of the story.

Overall, excellent writing and a sweet, enjoyable love story that I very much enjoyed. 5 stars.

Secret Prince, Instant Daddy! – Raye Morgan
David Dykstra has big plans to reclaim his rightful place as prince of the small country of Ambria and doesn’t have time for distractions. Unfortunately, Ayme Sommers’ arrival with her neice Cici makes things complicated. And even more so when she claims that the baby is his!

At first, I was really enjoying this book. It was fast paced and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened, especially regarding the lost kingdom of Ambria. But after a while it got quite monotonous and we only ever heard about Ambria rather than about David and Ayme. Even then, there was zero spark between the couple and I felt no emotion or romance whatsoever. The baby might has well have been a sack of potatoes for all the point she played to the storyline and in the end the Ambrian storyline was left wide open which I’m assuming means that this is the first book in a series.

Interesting to begin with but seriously fizzling out in the end – a little disappointing. 2 stars.

It seems a shame to have to star this book so low as I very much enjoyed the first story. As it is, combined, I can only give the book 3 stars. Worth it for the first story alone.