I adore Mediterranean holiday romance fiction (oh the absolute joy of rewatching Come Semptember or Gidget goes to Rome) and I really enjoyed Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger (the sole novel – I ignored the rest of the series) so when I saw Roman Crazy on the New Book display stand at the library, it was an auto borrow. To add to that, the cover art is all levels of awesomeness. This mashup of chick-lit (meh), Sex in the City lit (bleh) and romance (yeah) worked on many levels for me though there is some nitpicking to be had. But first, the blurb:
Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.
Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…
Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?
So the book opens with Avery discovering her husband Daniel “balls deep” in his secretary. Despite an intervention by Daniel’s mother for her to just accept his infidelity, Avery chooses to no longer be a part of the twin-set-and-pearls-country-club-set and flies off to Rome to hide out in her best friend’s apartment. Continue reading
I loved Rachel Gibson’s writing when I first discovered her. At one point I binge read 15 of her books in the one short month. I loved her tone and voice so much that, despite her last 3 books feeling flat, I continue to read her novels just to refind that magic reading feeling. This novel was slightly better than the last lot I read, however, I still had certain aspects that I found unlikeable in this story… but first, let’s start with the (problematic) blurb:
Just Kiss Me
by Rachel Gibson
“Hello, Ms. Vivian . . . it’s been a long time.”
And with those words, Vivian Leigh Rochet nearly melted. It’s been years since she last saw Harrison Whitley-Shuler. She was a teenager scrubbing houses for a living. He was the gorgeous son of rich parents, not fit for the likes of her.
Vivian had vowed to get out of Charleston, become a big Hollywood star, and stick it to the snooty girls who made her cry.
She got what she wanted—and more—but why does her glamorous life seem so trivial?
Harrison got out too . . . making it all the way to Wall Street, until a heart attack forced him to trade in his cufflinks for a good set of hand tools.
Making furniture soothes his soul, but escaping the Whitley-Shuler heritage is nearly impossible. And now he’s come face-to-face with the one who got away. He’s not looking for love. He’s not even looking for sex . . . so why is resisting her the hardest thing he’s ever done?
A rose by any other name…
So yeah. I start reading the (print) book and there is no Harrison. Nope. Not even a Harry. The hero in this book is a Henry. Sure. The first letter is an H but at no stage is he called/revealed to be a Harrison. Continue reading
This month’s SuperWendy’s TBR challenge is for a random pick. I read Rachael Lucas’s Wildflower Bay. Firstly, here is the blurb and be warned that I discuss spoilers beyond it including my opinion of the love declaration:
This little island has some big secrets…
Isla’s got her dream job as head stylist at the most exclusive salon in Edinburgh. The fact that she’s been so single-minded in her career that she’s forgotten to have a life has completely passed her by – until disaster strikes.
Out of options, she heads to the remote island of Auchenmor to help out her aunt who is in desperate need of an extra pair of scissors at her salon.
A native to the island, Finn is thirty-five and reality has just hit him hard. His best friends are about to have a baby and everything is changing. When into his life walks Isla . . .
Earlier in the year, I read both Rachael Lucas’s Sealed With a Kiss and Coming up Roses. Neither book set the world on fire for me in the romance corner but I did enjoy the overall stories. Her books are romances but they lean heavily toward the community and friendship, Aga-saga, small-town/village stories. Continue reading
It’s the end of August and for the THIRD time this year, Willaful from A Willful Woman has won the Bingo call! Woooooot! There was some fierce competition this month so a big congrats to all who have played and to a whole lot of new players this month too! Yay to more Bingo players! For a few tasters Valancy and Keira Soleore already have awesome reading wrap ups for this month.
As for my own Bingo! reading this month…..
So I have been trying to read a book called Tribal Law whose heroine is named Vassiliki Verity. I am not on an ego trip when I claim that this character is named for me. She is. I know this because I was told by both the author and Kat Mayo of Bookthingo.
So here is the story: Tribal Law is a crowdsourced story. Author Shannon B Curtis (full disclosure: Shannon and I have twittered together, supped together and presented on a panel at a library event together so are on pretty friendly terms) wrote a story whose plot and main characters were given to her by members of the Australian Romance Readers Association (another full disclosure: I am not a member of ARRA though I have attended all their conventions to date). There was a big meeting, I was told it was rather raucous and fun and I was also told that Kat Mayo – friend, borrower and romance reading mastermind – insisted that the heroine be named for me. Because she loves me. Or should that be loves torturing me.
I am up to Chapter 7 of this book and though it is well-written, interesting and funny I just cannot continue (at least at this point) because of the heroine being called Vassiliki and there are sex scenes and I just can’t stay in the story because I keep seeing my own name and I have no idea how all you “normal” named people can cope with reading books where you constantly see your own names.
Especially when I see the phrases such as “Vassiliki is a vamp” before my eyes.
I purchased my own copy of Tribal Law.
PS This book has a hatchback driving hero. I will return to read it just for this one reason!
I very nearly didn’t post anything for August’s TBR challenge even though Kicking it Old Skool is one of my favouritest topics in romance reading. I adore reading older romances especially from the 70s and 80s. I regularly reread old favourites and I also seek out titles from markets and op shops. My only foray into Old Skool romance this past month was revisiting Betty Neels.
Now let me start by telling you – nay showing you! how I felt about Betty Neels as a teenager:
When I would see her books I could feel my skin crawl. Continue reading
It’s the end of July and @Bardsong over at Flight into Fantasy won the call early in the month! Wooot! Here is a link to her entry. Meanwhile, the audience goes wild!
As for my own efforts…well! Having had a rather dismal fiction reading month, I was all prepared to admitting to only crossing off one square and then a few days ago I decided to read the last book left on my library TBR. It has been sitting on my shelves for 3 months and I could not renew it again. I thought I would give it a shot, DNF after 2 chapters and wallow in my fiction slump. But no! Not only did I get out of my slump but I also scored EVERY SINGLE SQUARE ON THE JULY SHEET WITH THE ONE BOOK!
July has been a bit crazy involved for me. Lots of family stuff and study stuff has kept me occupied and away from the interwebs. I have been able to occasionally mini-blog over on Twitter but even my engagement there is minimal.
I always knew that there would come a time in my thesis that I would go on hiatus with my blog. I feel that time is coming nearer but I don’t want to stop altogether. I have decided that I need to curb my propensity for 2K+ posts and just bring over to my blog some of my meanderings from Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads (but rarely ever Facebook). I will also continue with my Bingo cards. Even though there are only a handful of people playing, I love creating the cards (so much fun!) and I adore that handful of people. They all blow me away. I always thought I was a big reader but they are such avid readers I remain in awe of all of them.
So here goes with a super quick review:
Required to Wear the Tycoon’s Ring
Seth Broden needs this last deal to achieve the success he’s always desired—but to close it, he must make the one acquisition he’s never wanted: a wife! A chance meeting with pretty but penniless Imogen Hayes gives Seth the chance to propose a mutually beneficial arrangement…
Jilted bride Imogen vowed to save herself for her wedding night—but she never expected to be walking down the aisle to Seth! With the brooding tycoon waiting for her at the altar, will Imogen succumb to his charm and be his wife in more than name only?
I love a good As-If novel. For the most part, this is one of the most excellent aspects of reading category romance fiction. Plot lines are so absurd that they test a reader’s suspension of disbelief. Done badly, the reader rejects the story with disdain. But when As-If is done well, despite all the impossible, ridiculous plot bunnies you become lost in the emotional wellbeing of the two characters that you are reading about. So to test my As-If-O-Metre, I read Lynne Graham’s 99th novel The Sicilian’s Stolen Son.
The only link Jemima Barber has to her troubled late twin sister is her nephew. So when the boy’s father storms into their lives to reclaim the child that was stolen from him, Jemima lets the forbidding Sicilian believe she is her smooth seductress of a sister. Though his son’s mother might be gentler than Luciano Vitale remembers, he’s resolved to make her pay in the most pleasurable way imaginable. But when he discovers she’s a virgin, her secret is out! Now Luciano has a new proposal: Jemima can atone for her sister’s sins–by becoming his wife!
Occasionally, I will read a book that perplexes me. This time it is Sara Craven’s Seduction Never Lies because I am here to tell you that titles do lie because there was nary a hint of seduction in this weird-ass, out of place in Craven’s oeuvre, veddy-veddy English book. But first, to the blurb!
Seduction Never Lies
by Sara Craven
Octavia Denison has always known exactly what she wants – that is, until she’s caught in a compromising position by brooding former rock star Jago Marsh. Tavi is mortified, and judging by the gleam in his golden eyes, he’s seen everything – and liked it!
Used to getting what he wants, millionaire Jago is determined to uncover the identity of the mysterious, flame-haired temptress that trespassed on his property…and to satisfy the craving she’s awakened in him. But seducing Tavi proves harder than expected, especially when she’s set on putting as much distance between them as possible! It’s time to up the ante….
So Octavia/Tavy/Tavi (blurb copywriter mistake!) our virginal heroine rides a bicycle around her village, helps out her widowed vicar/reverend/clergy/priest dad (sorry – as I am not CofE I am not sure what the correct term is), she’s a dogsbody at the local school run by Mrs Wilding, a mean-spirited head teacher and Tavy is going out with her son, Patrick Wilding but it is a big hush-hush secret because Patrick is too scared to tell mummy he is dating her. Continue reading