Tag Archives: Chick-Lit

Improper English

MacAlister, Katie. Improper English (2003). 369 Pages. Love Spell. $6.99

The trouble with Katie MacAlister is that when I start reading one of her books, I cannot put it down. I really and truly cannot bring myself to part with her books until I’ve finished them, and when they are a part of a series, I keep tearing through until I get to the end, and then I still want more.

This became increasingly problematic when I realized I had reached the end of the Dragon Septs series*, and I found myself wondering what the heck to read. Then, in the mail came a package. A book I had traded for had finally arrived, Improper English sat there taunting me, begging to be read. So I obliged, and found myself a day later, bemused, realizing I had lost yet another day and having finished yet another Katie MacAlister book.

Improper English is a lot like many of Katie’s other books; Alix, our (American) heroine, is insecure and flawed, more than a little neurotic, and prone to what I can only think of as verbal diarrhea. They prattle, they blather, they babble, they go on and on and on, and all I want is for them to just shut up already. I’m big on flawed characters, it makes them interesting, and it makes them likable. It’s the babbling I’m not big on. However, despite my annoyance, despite the fact that I sometimes just want to gag a character and move on with the plot, I genuinely enjoy her books. They’re good, they make you laugh, they make you sigh, they drag you in and have you yearning for more, all of which is great. It’s just the babbling that gets me.

Anyway, Improper English is about Alix, a neurotic, insecure babbler who has lived under her mother’s thumb for 29 years. She has left a string of failures in her wake, and is hoping to succeed with just one thing; a novel. Her mother has agreed to finance a flat in London for a month on the condition that should Alix’s novel fail, she will move back  to America and take care of her elderly grandmother without complaint. This seems fine to Alix, how hard can writing a novel really be?**

Alix’s landlady is the enviably perfect and poised Isabella, who represents just about everything Alix thinks she wants to be. She’s beautiful, prim, proper, and delicate. She knows scores of handsome, available men, and even offers to set Alix up with someone who is perfect for her. When Alix arrives for dinner at Isabella’s, she finds Alexander and Karl, only to be disappointed when Isabella says that Karl the Dentist is Alix’s perfect match. In fact, Karl is charming and considerate, and an all-around stand-up guy. It is, unfortunately, Alex whom Alix finds herself drawn to.***

As I have said so many times before, knowing this is a romance novel, we come in with certain expectations. They are met and exceeded. Alix’s romance is enthralling, you find yourself drawn in, and alternately horrified by what she has just said, worried about her stupidity, gasping at what she just did, steaming up your glasses over the next page, and laughing aloud immediately after. Adding to all of this is the story of Alix writing her book, and the excerpts which start each chapter. They are so bad they are funny, and all I can think is that Katie must have had a great time writing them.

The Quick Version:

Considering that this is one of Katie MacAlister’s first books, it makes sense that it’s not as polished as her later work. It is still incredibly fun to read, and I truly did enjoy it immensely. It gets a 4/5 because it really was good, even if Alix was annoying.

_________________________________________________________________

* And by end, I mean the latest book published, which came out earlier this month, and which represents the “end” only in that I can’t read the next one until it’s been written.

** Those of us who have attempted NaNoWriMo have got at least a vague sort of grasp on just how difficult novels can be.

*** I would make fun of the name thing, but I dated a guy named Aaron.

_________________________________________________________________

This book is part of the Into the Wild Book Challenge. It’s ready to go, and will be released Memorial Day Weekend at Fanime Con! Hopefully it will find its home soon!

5 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Romance

The Other Mr. Darcy

Fairview, Monica. The Other Mr. Darcy (2009). 351 Pages. Sourcebooks Inc. $14.99

This was another impulse grab from the library, and I’m actually sort of glad I picked it up. I had really only intended to drop off one book, but as I’d gone to the trouble of riding my bike there, I decided to spend a bit of time enjoying the coolness. The end result was me walking away with a couple new Pride & Prejudice reinterpretations (as well as a couple other books I hope to get through in the next couple days). I am actually glad I opted to pick this one up, because I really did like it a lot. (Once I managed to forgive the rather awkward character insertion which serves as the lynchpin for the main plot.)

Caroline Bingley sank to the floor, her silk crepe dress crumpling up beneath her. Tears spurted from her eyes and poured down her face and, to her absolute dismay, a snorting, choking kind of sound issued from her mouth.

“This is most improper,” she tried to mutter, but the sobs– since that was what they were– the sobs refused to stay down her throat where they were supposed to be .

She had never sobbed in her life, so she could not possibly be sobbing now.

But the horrible sounds kept coming from her throat. And water– tears— persisted in squeezing past her eyes and down her face.

Caroline Bingley was raised to be a Proper Lady, one who would enter the peerage by marrying Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Unfortunately for Caroline’s plans, Darcy met Elizabeth Bennet- in a story I hope we all already know at least in passing- and married her. This book opens with Caroline’s breakdown on Mr. Darcy’s wedding day. She allows herself to privately weep for her lost love and indulge in tears for the first time in her adult life. However, Caroline is not as alone as she thought, and she is even more distraught to find out that she has been observed by a stranger.

Months later, the stranger appears at the Bingley’s door. It turns out that he is Mr. Robert Darcy from Boston– that’s right, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy has a cousin from America– and he has come to summon Jane to Elizabeth’s side. Charles and Jane dash off to Pemberly, leaving Robert to escort Caroline (and Louisa, the recently widowed other Bingley sister) to Pemberly. The two, having not met under the best of circumstances, are not exactly pleased to be spending time together. In an effort to make the situation less awkward, Caroline has invited along another Darcy-Cousin; Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Things happen, the two have to spend more time together, there is romantic entanglement, drama, intrigue, and more drama. I’m sure nobody will be surprised to learn that there is eventually the happily-ever-after; it’s obvious from page 1. What makes this book interesting is the way it delves into Caroline, explaining things about her personality, and showing that she is, in fact, not such a terrible person. Robert, too, develops into an interesting character through the course of the novel.

The Quick Version:

As long as we ignore the fact that the character-insert is an incredibly fan-fiction-esque plot device, and we allow for the fact that Caroline was a first-class manipulative bitch in Pride & Prejudice, this book is actually really, really good. The writing is top-notch, and the book does not try to force itself to sound like Austen. The book is romantic without being overly sexual, and is actually very well executed. I’m going to give it a 4/5 because while it is a very enjoyable book, the fact remains that it uses a terrible plot device as its main premise.
This book is part of the Local Library Reading Challenge!

6 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Historical Romance, Romance

The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy

Angelini, Sara. The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy (2009). 338 Pages. Sourcebooks Inc. $14.99

When I go to the library, even when it’s for something as innocent as “just returning a book” I leave with more than I intended to. This latest trip to the library saw me returning the un-censored version of Deep Secret and resulted in me checking out a stack of books, one of which I actually knew about before I got to the library. First up on this impulse-grab trip is The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy: A Modern Pride & Prejudice.

It takes some minor inspiration from the original; “While Judge Darcy avoided meditating on the very great pleasure a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow…” (13), for example, recalls a line from the original Pride and Prejudice. But as a whole, the only things which remain the same are the character names and relationships (in the barest sense of the word “relationship”). If you can disentangle the names from Miss Austen’s original work, then you might enjoy this book, but don’t expect it to be a good Austen retelling.

Elizabeth Bennet is a clever, sassy female attorney (who is more Ally McBeal than Austen). Fitzwilliam Darcy is a harsh-but-fair Judge. Charles Bingley is a successful surgeon, as is Jane Bennet. Caroline Bingley is a cutthroat real estate tycoon, and is Darcy’s friend-with-benefits. Mrs. Bennet is silly and marriage obsessed, but the logic behind her obsession is not present here. There is no such thing as en entailed estate, and that means that her daughters not marrying promptly does not put them at any risk. Mr Wickham does not appear, Mr Collins is mentioned only in passing, and Charlotte Lucas does not make sense in this modern context. Add to that the fact that Elizabeth has acquired a gay best friend whom (we are repeatedly told) she “would have married if he were straight”, and we’ve got absolutely nothing left of the original work.

Does this mean that it’s a bad story? No, actually. While the “oh my goodness they hate each other, but then they learn to love and they live together and are happy forever after” is not new, and is not really the most amazing of plots, it is an entertaining read. So, let’s take a few moments to consider it as a book which has no relation to Austen’s work (because if we really treat it as a retelling, it bombs).

Lizzie Bennet is a new attorney who had a horrible first day in Judge Darcy’s courtroom. Because of her horrible first day, she decided that she dislikes him, and spends a lot of time making “clever, barbed comments” which for some reason, Will (which is what Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is called) misconstrues as flirting. Cue a lot of infatuation-from-a-distance on Darcy’s part and continue building up to the point that Darcy asks Elizabeth to work with him on a legal paper and she says no. (I think this was supposed to parallel the first proposal, but I don’t know, and more to the point, it’s better if we pretend it’s separate from the work which it was trying to re-write).  They clash, and she commits career-suicide by telling him off.

Meanwhile Jane and Charley have fallen in love over the surgery table. Charley (Bingley)’s friend has a home in London and he’s opened his home for them to visit. Jane invites Elizabeth along, thinking the vacation will do her sister some good. Cue some silliness which leads to Lizzie and Will starting a torrid affair which will end when they leave England because in America, they are Ms Bennet the Attorney and Mr Darcy the Judge, and the American Bar Association says that they shall not be in a relationship if she tries cases in his courtroom. This is the major obstacle which they have to overcome. The romance in England is sweet, and the scenes between the two are detailed (a little too detailed at times, I think). When they get back to America is when it gets downright annoying. “I love you so much.” “We have to end it” “But I want you” “But it’s over” “But I love you” *implosion*

The Quick Version:

As a Pride and Prejudice rewrite, this book bombs. As a complicated modern romance, it does alright. The writing is not fabulous, but it’s not terrible. The story is pretty good, for the most part. It gets a 3 out of 5, because it’s a solid book, but it’s nothing  amazing.

__________________________________________________

I am going to rant, for a moment, however. Angelini claims to live in San Francisco, and while I attempted to accept this, she referred to the “Pacific Highway” as a main thoroughfare from San Francisco to its suburb of “Meryton”. In California, there are a lot of highways and freeways. None of them are the “Pacific Highway.” In Southern California, a stretch of Highway 1 is referred to as the “P.C.H.” for the Pacific Coast Highway, however in San Francisco it is called “Highway 1” or through section-specific nicknames like “Devil’s Slide” or “Shoreline Highway” or even, in one place the “Cabrillo Highway.” If you are going to set a book in a city, for goodness sakes get street names and freeway names right. As a native Californian (and not just that, but one who has lived within 2 miles of Highway 1 my entire life), I caught that, and actually growled in annoyance.

This book is part of the Local Library Reading Challenge!

7 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance

For the Love of Pete

Harper, Julia. For the Love of Pete (2009). 400 Pages. Forever. $6.99

“Things finally came to a head between Zoey Addler and Lips of Sin the afternoon he tried to steal her parking space.” With another solid first-line, Julia Harper drags us back into the world of FBI chases and romance. Some of you may remember Dante Torelli from Hot. It’s alright if you don’t though, because this book really stands alone. The references to Hot are there, but they are not key to the story.

Anyway, when the child of a key witness is kidnapped, Special Agent Dante Torelli (a.k.a. Lips of Sin) must find Pete (Zoey’s infant niece) in time for her father to testify on Monday. Of course, as difficult as finding a kidnapped baby in Chicago might have been, that’s not all that’s going on here. Pete is kidnapped from her kidnapper in a robbery-gone-wrong. Dante is framed for murder, and most everyone believes he’s a dirty cop. Zoey refuses to trust him, and will not just go home, or at least anywhere safe. Bullets fly, chases ensue, cat and mouse repeats itself.

Meanwhile, as with Hot, we get other points-of-view. Chapters may focus on Dante, Zoey, Mrs. Gupta & Mrs. Gupta, Neil Senior, and the “Senior FBI Agent”, to name a few. It could get a little confusing, but since it’s in third-person limited, the story stays reasonably clear. As with Hot, I feel that the bad-guy chapters can be a little too much sometimes, even if they are pretty funny (especially those which dealt with the Mrs. Guptas.) The story unfolds in an unexpected way, and the bad guys are defeated in some very surprising ways.

If you are surprised by romance novels featuring romance, do not read this paragraph, as it could spoil the book. If you are not surprised, hilight the text to read “spoilers”. Eventually the romance plot becomes primary; Dante is head over heels for Zoey. There are a few kisses which are badly handled; they act like the second kiss is the first, which it is not. They are equally as shocked by the third. By the time they’re truly involved with each other, you’re rolling your eyes and telling them to get it over with already.</ “spoiler”>

The Quick Version:

With a fun plot, an entertaining cat-and-mouse game, and a brief appearance by Mac, this book is nearly as entertaining as Hot. It does, unfortunately, fall a little short, and has a bit too much of the “uptight, structured man falls for free spirited hippie chick” which is not my favorite plot. It scores a solid 3.5 out of 5. I enjoyed it, but I won’t be re-reading it any time soon.

If you’re still interested, you can get it through Amazon or Swaptree.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Mystery & Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Austenland

Hale, Shannon. Austenland: A Novel (2007). 193 Pages. Bloomsbury. $19.95

Thirty-three year-old Jane Hayes– like many women– has an unhealthy obsession with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberly, specifically the version of him portrayed by the fabulous Colin Firth*. When her Great-Aunt Carolyn dies and leaves her a trip to the Austen-themed Pembrook Park, Jane views it as a chance to excise her obsession through gluttony.

When she arrives at Pembrook Park, she is versed in the rules of the era, stripped of all traces of the modern world, corseted, and sent to the manor** to live with historical accuracy (or something resembling it) for three full weeks. While she is at the manor, she is to be known as Miss Jane Erstwhile, and she is to behave like a proper lady. Also at the manor are Miss Charming and Miss Heartwright, who are both valued, repeat customers– something Jane will never be, due to her financial situation. For the enjoyment of the ladies, gorgeous gentlemen have been gathered; the Darcy-esque Mr Nobley, the handsome Colonel Andrews, and the dashing Captain East.

It takes some time for Jane to get over the silliness of the whole experience (as well as the difficulty she faces as the least affluent and thus least desirable guest).Despite this, Jane finds herself drawn to both the very 21st-century Martin the gardener (who shows her that it is possible to not compare every man to Mr Darcy), as well as Mr Nobley who embodies everything Austen’s books have brought her to desire. As she relaxes into the game, she finds her desires changing, allowing her to leave Pembrook Park as a new Jane.

Austenland is cute, but not deep. Jane is the sort of character who draws you in with her clumsy charm, and keeps you rooting for her as she stumbles along the path toward her goal. She manages to both fumble completely, and still wind up happy at the end. (And, big surprise, she gets the guy- though I won’t say which one). I feel like the end of the book would have been better if she had been more self-reliant, instead of wrapping up with a romance, and as much as I love romance, it does pain me to admit that it didn’t quite work right here.

The Quick Version:

As a whole, I feel that while this book was entertaining (they all are, to some degree), and I liked Jane, the story could have been better. It kept me busy for a few hours, and did manage to slip in some Austen humor. The romance is (mostly) believable, and does work, though the end feels a bit too much like a happily-ever-after. It gets a 3 out of 5.

Get it through Amazon or Swaptree.

__________________________

* Many Pride and Prejudice fans are polarized, and their Mr Darcy is either Firth or Macfayden. (Which one is yours?)

** Sounding familiar?

4 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Hot

Harper, Julia*. Hot (2008). 380 Pages. Grand Central. $6.99

Have you ever made the mistake of starting a brand new book right before bed, only to realize as you close the book that you’ve been reading all night, and the sun is rising? Harper’s book grabs you from the first line. “In Turner Hastings’ opinion, the bank robbery didn’t go truly bad until Yoda shot out the skylight.” From the dramatic first line until you close the book, you’ll be hooked.

When Special Agent John MacKinnon gets called in to investigate a bank robbery in small-town Winosha, Wisconsin, he expects an open-and-shut case. It isn’t until he stumbles across footage of  bank-teller and local librarian Turner Hastings ripping off her boss’s safety deposit box and smirking at the camera that he realizes there is more going on than meets the eye. He finds himself intrigued by the woman, and growing more enthralled by her with each passing day.

Having secured the contents of the bank president’s safety deposit box and fled, Turner begins the cat-and-mouse game which is the backbone of the story. She is not an experienced criminal though, so when her phone rings, she answers it and finds herself talking to MacKinnon. At first, he is professional, trying to capture his quarry by convincing her to come in, but slowly their conversations become more personal. He teases Turner’s story out of her; she’s seeking revenge for the framing of her late Uncle Rusty, and needs evidence to prove her case.

When a hit-man is hired to get rid of Turner, MacKinnon finds himself wanting to protect her more than he wants to arrest her, which makes the whole situation more difficult for him. The two grow closer and closer to each other, until the story climaxes with a few climaxes.

The writing is top-notch. I didn’t roll my eyes over stupidity (very often), or plot holes, or badly used adjectives. The mystery is more of a cat-and-mouse or keystone cops thing, maybe a bit of both combined. There are of course a few sex scenes, this is a romance, and this isn’t a prudish publisher. They’re very detailed, perhaps a little too detailed. The biggest issue is with the scenes with the escaping robbers- they’re a bit too stupid, and while they’re meant to be funny, they’re really not necessary to the story. You can skip the chapters without missing anything at all.

The characters are human; John and Turner both have their pasts, and they’ve got their futures. They develop through the book, and really learn to step outside their respective boxes. Other characters grow less, but that’s not always a bad thing. If every character is growing, the book can be overwhelming. (Anyone who’s ever read the Kushiel series knows how overwhelming too much character development can be.)

The Quick Version:

The funny parts are genuinely funny, the chase scenes enthralling, the characters actually develop and are slowly revealed. The dialog is brilliant, and as a whole, this book is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It gets a 5 out of 5.

Want to read it? Get it on Amazon or through Swaptree.

______________________________________________

*Julia Harper is a nom de plume** for Elizabeth Hoyt.

** I think it’s silly to have multiple pen-names*** just because you’re genre-crossing. I realize that authors can feel constrained by a genre, but they should be able to branch out without using a whole new name

*** And what is the point in having multiple pseudonyms for different genres if you link to them on your authorial website? I mean, really.

If you haven’t noticed, I do enjoy footnotes. I just wish I could anchor them properly.

2 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Mystery & Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Karma Girl

Estep, Jennifer. Karma Girl (2006). 360 Pages. Penguin. $14.00

I picked this one up on clearance at Borders, and thought “why not, for $2.99, who cares if it’s bad?” It wasn’t amazing, but it was interesting, and it kept me reading, which is key. I did not find myself laughing, but I was drawn in by the plot, and it invaded my brain to the extent that I found myself thinking about it while I was not reading.

Set in a superhero universe, where every town has its own villain and superhero*, Karma Girl is about Carmen Cole, and the fury of a woman scorned.

Once upon a time, Carmen was getting married and, concerned for the feelings of her husband-to-be, she went to speak with him before the ceremony. Unfortunately, she walked in on her fiancée and her best friend banging. To make matters worse, their spandex was revealed, showing her fiancée to be a superhero and her best friend to be the town’s villain and his nemesis. Carmen, journalist that she is, snapped some pictures and published them, unmasking her first heroes.

This is the start of the next part of Carmen’s life. She enters a town, unmasks their hero and villain, and moves on, leaving a path of destruction and confusion behind her. This continues until she reaches Bigtime, New York (i.e. Metropolis, New York City, Gotham City et al.) where the Fearless Five fight the Terrible Triad. Things happen, and there is a lot I cannot reveal without spoiling things. Suffice it to say that Carmen is definitely well behind the reader when it comes to realizing identities. Alliterative names are a dead giveaway, and a seeming joke on the genre.

So anyway, our heroes (the Fearless Five) are Striker, Tornado, Fiera (star of her own novel), Mr. Sage, and Hermit, all of whom have some backstory revealed. The villains (the Terrible Triad) are Malefica, Frost, and Scorpion, none of whom get any backstory revealed. Carmen gets forcibly yanked into the Triad’s long, drawn out, and horribly convoluted plot (perhaps the longest and most convoluted I have ever had to deal with). The “twist” is not a good one, as it is not very twist-y.

As far as the story goes, Carmen is a little too stubborn, a little too whiny, a little too obsessed with karma. She’s determined to sabotage herself, and is still bitter at her ex-fiancée three years later. She’s too determined to continue her pity party, even as it becomes increasingly obvious to everyone but her that the Love Interest is interested. Due to the genre, I won’t even bother expanding on this, except to say that it has far more stupid obstacles thrown in its way than are necessary. Carmen herself drags out the romance by being intentionally dense and denying everything obnoxiously. Striker himself is a sad analog of the badass misanthropic anti-hero who goes all mushy and soft on us very early on.

The thing which has doomed this book though, has really and truly made it take a nosedive is that attempted rape is the device upon which the romance hinges. She nearly gets raped, Striker saves her, he goes all mushy and interested, and she goes all “ooh you stopped them from raping me, now I’m going to jump your bones.” She’s really fucked up from this attempt for all of a day, and then she’s too busy being hot for Striker. Ugh.

The Quick Version:

Light, reasonably enjoyable, and vaguely resembling*** an actual superhero story. It attempts to make fun of the superhero genre, which might have been more successful had the author done a bit more research on her genre. Aside from the terrible romance plot device (see above), the book is alright. It scores a 3 out of 5. Mostly because if you set aside the whining and the angst and the poor-me and the stupid bits, you have a short story about a pretty kickass set of superheros.

Want to read it? Get it on Amazon or though Swaptree.

_________________________________

*Like The Incredibles, or Soon I Will Be Invincible** this world has, and believes in superheros.

**I will review this one soon

*** I mean cut apart, mangled a bit, and sort of mashed back together.

1 Comment

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Holy Smokes

MacAlister, Katie. Holy Smokes (2007). 341 Pages. Signet. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book Four || Dragons Universe Book Four

Please be aware that there may be are spoilers present, as this is the fourth (and final?) book in a series!

Seemingly, Holy Smokes is the last book which we will read about Aisling Grey, but it is certainly not the last we’ll hear of the Dragons. The rest of this review has been placed behind a tag because it is very full of spoilers (for the first three books, rather than the fourth). Click at your own risk.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Light My Fire

MacAlister, Katie. Light My Fire (2006). 329 Pages. Signet. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book Three || Dragons Universe Book Three

Please be aware that there may be spoilers present as this is the third book in a series!

Having seemingly given up on being a courier (perhaps because uncle Damian has come to his senses), Aisling Grey once again stumbles through more danger than she even knows. What this girl needs is a whole series of How-to books; How to be a Demon Lord, How to be a Wyvern’s Mate, How to be a Guardian, and most of all How to Stop People from Trying to Kill You.

Despite having walked out on Drake again, Aisling finds herself face to face with her mate when he informs her that her presence is required at a gathering of the Green Dragons. She obliges, and quickly learns that she cannot keep her hands off him. The feeling is mutual. Once again, there are several steamy scenes that will have you blushing.

Unfortunately for Aisling, being reunited with Drake is perhaps the only good thing that happens. Drake is challenged, the Red Dragons are trying to eliminate Aisling, Fiat is up to something and Gabriel is seemingly complicit, and that’s just the dragons. Jim has eaten an Imp monarch and the Imps want Aisling’s blood, a Demon Prince wants Aisling’s vote, the Otherworld of Paris want Aisling to step up and be Venediger, Drake’s mother is scary, and she may or may not be pregnant.

Certain truths are revealed about characters, truths which explain occurrences from the last few books, and make things fall into place. More is set up for the future, and the fourth book promises to be quite a culmination. Many more laughs are to be had, and as a whole, the book is very enjoyable. The real trouble comes in the way that nothing is truly wrapped-up at the end, and it is very nearly a cliffhanger. It’s a good thing I thought to pick up the 4th book already, or I might be in bad shape.

The Quick Version:

Aside from the storylines which have been left open at the end, this book is as solid and funny as its predecessors. The thing which caused this to score lower is in fact the lack of wrap-up. I believe one storyline is concluded in the entirety of the book, and the rest are left hanging for what I suspect is the grand finale. It is still a good book, as long as you do not expect a standalone. It gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Want to check it out? Get it on Amazon or Swaptree.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Fire Me Up

MacAlister, Katie. Fire Me Up (2005). 352 Pages. Penguin. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book Two || Dragons Universe Book Two

Please be aware that there may be spoilers present, as this is the second book in a series!

“Dammit, Jim, I’m a Guardian, not a doctor!” (276). I giggled, I laughed, I snorted, I sighed, I blushed, and then looked around to be sure nobody was reading over my shoulder (or paying any attention to my craziness). I enjoyed the story, and couldn’t put it down. I kept reading and reading and couldn’t wait to get to the next page.

Aisling Grey, Guardian, Wyvern’s Mate, Demon Lord, packs up and goes to a convention. Not just any convention, but GODTAM, a convention for the denizens of the Otherworld. Her goal: to find a mentor who can show her the ropes, and teach her to be a good Guardian. Unfortunately, Aisling is in for more than she bargained for.

Rene is conveniently in Budapest, to help Aisling out. Drake is, as well, and he’s after Aisling with a vengeance. He will claim her, and she will be his forever. Meanwhile, there is GODTAM going on, tons of Incubi, an amulet which Aisling is meant to deliver, and a Dragon summit. All in Budapest, and much of it related directly to Aisling.

Suddenly, Guardians Aisling meets with begin turning up dead, and all eyes point to her. The only way to avoid execution or expulsion from the Otherworld is to find the real murderer and bring them to justice, but is Aisling up to it? (Of course she is)

The Quick Version:

Katie MacAlister may not do drama well, but she sure does humor and paranormal romance. I was laughing at nearly every page, wondering what would happen next, and enjoying every moment. The biggest drawback is Aisling herself; she doesn’t listen to herself, and doesn’t seem to learn from past experiences. This book gets a 4 out of 5.

You want to laugh, too? Buy it on Amazon, or trade for it on Swaptree.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy