RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Christmas

Mary and the Captain by Nancy Lawrence

Posted on
Mary and the Captain by Nancy Lawrence

This is another sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that focuses on Mary. I can’t say this one was as good as others I’ve read but I can’t say it was completely terrible either. It’s better than a lot of the work I’ve read and had a decent story line.

The story follows Mary as she is planning for a small family Christmas with Jane and Charles Bingley. Charles’ sister Caroline invites their other brother, Captain Robert Bingleyand her best friend Helen. Caroline is hoping that Robert will propose to Helen over the Christmas holiday, as he has been majorly courting her throughout the season. Mary is not happy with this as she does terribly around people and just wants to be around people with whom she can be relaxed and let her guard down.

Throughout the holiday activities, Robert notices more and more things about Helen he doesn’t like that he hadn’t noticed (or was prevented from noticing) before – and there are more and more reasons he finds to spend time in Mary’s company. He and Mary  work together to help save a stable boy Robert encounters on his way to Charles’ house. As the two spend more and more time together, the more Mary fights her feelings and becomes miserable. The events culminate in an eventful ball right at the end of the story.

I have to say the story line was original. I had a few twists and turns that I didn’t see, but for the most part it was fairly straight forward. You could see most of the events coming and how the people would react to them. I can’t say there was a lot of emotional development throughout the book, but that is mainly because the characters are set up and described so well at the beginning of the book and don’t change overly much throughout. They are fully developed characters that work in the story line, but the time frame doesn’t allow for major emotional or personal growth.

I’d recommend it to fans of Pride and Prejudice sequels that focus on Mary. This book includes Kitty and Jane to some extent, and of course Charles and Caroline are there, but there is minimal influence to the story line outside of Robert and Mary. I liked the way Jane was portrayed in this book. She seemed to be the individual that grew the most between Pride and Prejudice and this book. Overall, it was a good, solid, interesting read. I can’t say I’ll read it again readily, but that is mainly because once you know the story line, there really isn’t much to draw you back in. It is completely clean, and therefore suitable for all audiences.

My rating:

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.29.30 PM

Christmas at Steel Beach (Night Stalkers #9) by M. L. Buchman

Christmas at Steel Beach (Night Stalkers #9) by M. L. Buchman

This is actually the second or third time I’ve read this book. It’s more of a novella and an add-on to the Night Stalkers series. I love the Night Stalker series and this book is about people connected to the Night Stalkers and not actually members.

The story follows Chief Steward Gail Miller as she assumes her new post as head chef on the Navy vessel currently housing the SOAR 5D division (though she doesn’t actually know that).The love interest is Chief Petty Officer Sly Stowell who is craftmaster of the ship’s hovercraft. Gail arrives to a kitchen in shambles and ends up in an accidental volunteer position on an active mission. While she is trying re-sort the kitchen, she is forming relationships with Sly and the women of SOAR. Her settling in is upended when she is faced with a man from her past waving an interesting transfer in front of her that may open up new ways to reach a dream she has. In the end, it is up to her whether to take the transfer or stay in her new home.

I love this book. It is short but full of life. The interactions between the characters are so believable and interesting. It is always fun to read how M. L. Buchman develops his characters emotionally. The book isn’t packed full of battle sequences but it definitely feels like everything moves along very well and in a regular speed. Your interest is kept throughout and there isn’t anywhere that it drags along. I highly recommend it for a short military romance read, a must read for anyone who likes the Night Stalkers series, or a fun Christmas read for anyone looking.

My rating:

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.27.43 PM

Heller Brothers Series – Hockey Romance by Kelly Jamieson

Heller Brothers Series – Hockey Romance by Kelly Jamieson

Breakaway (Book 1) – The story of Remi and Jase reviewed here.

Faceoff (Book 2) – The story of Kyla and Tag.

Kyla is an up-and-coming lawyer who grew up with the Heller boys. They have been close since they were little, Kyla trying to keep up with the much more athletic boys. She’d had a crush on Tag since her later years in high school, but she buried it. When her mom tells her about a week-long double family reunion between her family and the Hellers, Kyla is reluctant to go. She is in the running to become partner at the law firm and work is her focus. After fighting the boys club mind set at work for too long, she gives in and goes away for the week with the family.

Tag is dealing with the movie of his professional hockey from Phoenix back to his hometown of Winnipeg. With the crush of publicity, media requirements, and pressure to pull his teammates through the move, Tag is grateful for a reason to get away for a week. What he and Kyla did not reckon on was the firing attraction that blooms as soon as they see each other again. They spend the week getting familiar with each other again and dealing with their attraction and the impact it would have on their families.

The book wasn’t too bad, but it was very predictable. You could tell pretty much exactly what was going to happen and there wasn’t anything really surprising. There was the topic of developing a work/life balance that was a nice backdrop to the romance. It was very erotic and focused quite a bit on sex scenes. There was the addition of some kink in this book as well. I wouldn’t say it was my favorite book or even that I would read it again, but that is just me. It doesn’t mean the book is bad, just that I personally won’t reach for it again.

One Man Advantage (Book 3) – The story of Nicole and Logan.

After Nicole is basically called a hockey whore on live television by her ex-boyfriend, she vows never to date another hockey player. In walks Logan Heller and throws her plans off track. Logan is not searching for a relationship. He has just been traded to Minneapolis to try to help bring the team out of a slump. He is not happy about leaving his comfortable, sunny California, but he has not choice. He finds a happiness and love with Nicole he has never known anywhere else. Nicole however is fighting the relationship with everything she has and often hurts Logan in the process.

This book is probably the most believable so far. It seems like a perfectly plausible meeting and relationship development that would actually occur. Even the emotions the characters feel is quite real and logical even if the road from hello to love was quite fast. I wasn’t really able to connect with the characters though and felt they needed to be developed a little more. There was more kink in this book than the other two and also seemed to focus heavily on the physical relationship between the characters. I think that was an issue I had with it as I like to read about the emotional growth between the characters that leads to a relationship where this book was missing that.

Hat Trick (Book 4) – The Christmas book.

I was actually quite disappointed with this book. It was supposed to be the Christmas book where the boys and their girl friends go to the Heller house for Christmas. You would expect a standard issue or two popping up as they pretty much have to in a romance book, but for some reason the characters in the book had issues that caused a LOT of issues. One character became a real asshole for a while. I tried to think that yes there are really people like this, but it seemed a bit on the extreme end. It did a good job of showing how issues really disrupt lives and people deal with things a lot differently, but the book just didn’t come together well in my mind.

Offside (Book 5) – The story of Honey and Matt.

This was probably one of the best books of the lot. You have Honey, a young woman with the rich wildchild past trying to make something of herself now and trying to move on from her past. Your hero is Matt Heller, who was very comfortable in his position in California when he is traded up to Minnesota to help revive a sluggish hockey team. Honey and Matt had a past when Honey was in the height of her crazy days and he helped instigate her parents to finally curtail her. When they meet again, the attraction is still there, but Honey has a lot to deal with and fights Matt most of the way. Throw in the emotional turmoil that Honey deals with and the hard life reality she makes herself face, you actually have a good emotional read. You get to see Honey and Matt deal with difficult emotions and checkered pasts as well with the real life effects that people and pasts can have on current emotions. Like the other books, there is a lot of sex and erotica, but this book has a genuine storyline that makes you feel for the characters, particularly Honey.

Overall rating:

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.29.30 PM

All Through the Night: A Troubleshooters Christmas by Suzanne Brockmann

All Through the Night: A Troubleshooters Christmas by Suzanne Brockmann

 

I actually love this book. This is probably the seventh or eighth time I’ve read it. When I saw I needed to do a book about an LGTB character for my Book Riot challenger I had no clue what to do. For some reason I completely forgot about the Troubleshooters series with a character I love being gay. I luckily remembered it the other day driving to work. I chose to do the book that covers his wedding to his partner (it’ll also count for my book set during Christmas for my Pop Sugar challenge).

Jules Cassidy is a high-level FBI field operative that has planned a strong role in the majority of the Troubleshooters series. He is a fascinating and awesome character. There were several of the books I read just because he was in it. His partner is Robin Chadwick, an actor, recovering alcoholic, and a gay man who came out of the closet in a very big way. The two have had a really rocky relationship, actually no relationship – just a lot of wishful thinking and sex, over the course of I think three or four books. They actually share an ex – Adam Wyndahm. They decide to get married and this book covers the proposal, prep, and ceremony.

Suzanne Brockmann actually does a fantastic job of winding three or more story lines together. There is the main story line – the men getting married, but there are actually two or three secondary story lines that occur. There is a reporter who crashes the engagement party and falls in love with their assistant Dolphina. There story line plays a major role as the reporter is cover the story of the wedding. Third, Adam starts causing trouble with his idea he is being stalked and they are after him and Robin. The three story lines intermix and intertwine effortlessly. There is drama, stress, and emotional upheaval all through the book. Adding to the mess is the President rsvping to the wedding. As Jules and Robin know a lot of Navy SEALS, counterterrorist experts, and have friends in the terrorism field, there are some issues with the President attending the wedding. The final icing on the cake is the renovations the house is under, with people often getting accidentally locked in rooms due to faulty doorknobs.

I think my favorite thing about Suzanne Brockmann’s writing is her phrasing. Some of the way she phrases things is hilarious and I often find myself laughing at how she decides to describe different characters and events. It’s not street slang or anything like that, just crazy good phrasing. Like I mentioned before as well, she intertwines multiple story lines in an effortless way that keeps you engaged throughout the entire book. I didn’t give this book a five only because I’ve read her other works and I know she does a lot more complex, involved stories. This one is an in-between book with a relatively short story and a focused story line. I would recommend reading the other books before this one. You do not get a lot of the jokes or references if you haven’t read the other books first.

My rating:

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.29.16 PM