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, 23 April 2011

Second Time Lucky by Debbi Rawlins

Readable but ultimately forgettable romance
3 stars

Hot shot lawyer, Mia Butterfield, has decided to pack in her high flying career to open her own business. But before she settles down to the hard work and lack of money, she and her friends are going to have one final spring break in gorgeous Hawaii.

Mia’s boss, David Pearson, is determined to get Mia back so he can land a lucrative account. So he follows her to Hawaii – quite a departure for a workaholic like him. But is he really going to win Mia back for the firm, or for himself?

I liked the premise of this story and it was executed fairly well. However…the story wasn’t thrilling and really lacked any real sparkle or magic.

I liked both David and Mia but their relationship was a little bit strange. It felt as though the author couldn’t quite decide what the power dynamic between the couple was supposed to be. This made David especially seem at times quite weak and at other times a real alpha male – it was quite odd. There was the usual heat for a Blaze romance but nothing that gave me goosebumps.

And the twist – you could have seen it coming a mile away but when it actually arrived it was a little pointless and unbelievable.

Overall this was a good enough book to read on a rainy afternoon. It wasn’t overly exciting and it, if I’m honest, was a little forgettable but not wholly bad. I suspect that Mia’s two friends Shelby and Lindsay will have their own stories soon making this the first in a trilogy of stories.

Caught on Camera by Meg Maguire

Enjoyable wilderness romance
4 stars

Survival television star Dominic Tyler (Ty) and his assistant, Kate Somersby are in the middle of filming their series finale – a week long trip surviving in the wilds of Canada – when a freak accident and storm forces them to take shelter in a remote cabin. The accident forces Ty to take some drastic action – Kate will no longer be working with him on future series.

Kate is stunned by the betrayal of her best friend but when Ty tries to take her mind off her problems then she can’t resist helping to stay warm the good old fashioned way!

I wasn’t sure if I would like this story being that it’s a bit more outdoorsy than I generally like to be! But I was hooked from almost the first page and found I couldn’t put it down. Kate and Ty were likeable characters and fit brilliantly together both as friends and then as lovers. There was a lot of heat within the book despite it being set in snowy Canada and I really liked the pair’s interactions.

I know we’re supposed to suspend belief in these kind of stories but I did have a little issue with the pair going at it outside in the forest in the middle of a snowstorm! Maybe I’m being overly cautious but I would assume that at the temperatures they would have been facing things might have fallen off which is probably not very sexy!

I’ll admit to always being a little worried when either the hero or heroine aren’t American in these kinds of books because their “accents” more often than not are clich├ęd and cringe-worthy. In this book Ty was Australian but I’m pleased to say his lingo wasn’t overly embarrassing or stereotypical.

I really enjoyed this book and it kept me entertained from beginning to end. It’s not the best or most romantic story ever but for something to keep you occupied for a couple of hours then you can’t go wrong. 4 stars.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Bad Boys Next Exit by Shannon McKenna, Donna Kauffman & E.C. Sheedy

What a waste…
2 stars

MELTDOWN by Shannon McKenna
Jane Duvall is a great headhunter and she’s determined to snag her next client even if it means stealing him away from hotel CEO, Michael “Mac” Mcnamara. Mac plans to find out what Jane’s really up to even if that means he has to seduce it out of her.

This story started of well but pretty soon turned into absolute trash. Mac was such a bully that it was uncomfortable to read. I like an alpha male as much as the next girl but Mac’s treatment of Jane was emotionally abusive and I was horrified that anyone would class this as romance. Dreadful.

EXPOSED by Donna Kauffman
All Delilah Hudson wants is to get home for Christmas – too bad she’s stranded on a train in the middle of a blizzard. As soon as photographer, Austin Morgan, spies Delilah he’s interested in capturing her in more than just a shot. Perhaps they can heat up the holidays together.

This was a fairly bland story with characters I didn’t empathise with, identify with or particularly care for. The sex within five minutes of meeting each other seemed seedy rather than sexy and the thought of a stranger taking naked pictures of me gave me the creeps rather than turned me on!

PURE GINGER by E.C. Sheedy
Ginger Cameron is fed up with being judged solely on her looks. So she decides to change her look to something a little more dowdy. Cal Beaumann needs to hire Ginger to do PR work but he doesn’t believe that this girl is as straight laced as she appears. So he sets out to uncover her secrets one by one.

Easily the best story of this anthology, I still couldn’t identify much with Ginger. It was all a bit ridiculous and the silly conflict at the end of the story was a bit high school for my tastes. Still the best but still not so great.

This book has been sitting on my shelf for years waiting to be read. I’m actually beginning to wish I’d left it there to gather dust because I really didn’t enjoy it. I’ve previously read other books in the ‘Bad Boys’ series and by these authors and enjoyed them so this book was a little bit of a waste. There are much (much) better romantic anthologies out there and I would recommend you give this one a miss and try one of them. 2 stars and the extra star is only for E.C. Sheedy’s tale which wasn’t too bad.