Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 28: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

UnknownLike books by Janet Evanovich, Sophie Kinsella’s writing is a bit like comfort food for me. Except while Evanovich’s comfort food might be pizza and snack cakes, Kinsella’s is more champagne and sushi. But in a comfortable way.

You always know that you’ll get the following when you read Kinsella: an adorable heroine who doesn’t completely have her life together: she spends too much money, eats poorly, has a dream job that doesn’t really exist in real life, and usually doesn’t make the wisest decisions regarding her love life; a man who is probably too good to be true; and an absurd plot where ridiculous happenings pile up on each other until we reach a happy ending.

Wedding Night fits nicely into that mold. The only difference is that in this book, we have TWO silly and adorable heroines, sisters named Lottie and Fliss.

Lottie has just broken up with the love of her life, Richard, after he doesn’t propose when she thinks he is going to. Fliss is a recent divorcee and mother of adorable Noah. And then Lottie takes up with her ex-boyfriend Ben from when she was 18 and things start to spiral out of control. Crazy marriage proposals and elopements to Greece come out of nowhere. And Fliss needs to be the one to try and hold everything together, with the help of Ben’s gorgeous and super-smart best friend, Lorcan.

Yes, this book is absurd. And yes, I knew EXACTLY what would end up happening. But still. I enjoyed it and will continue to read anything Kinsella wants to write about (um, except for ghosts. No more ghosts, please.).

And it sure didn’t hurt that when Lorcan was described as having dark, serious features and dark hair with a widow’s peak, that I had just watched the trailer for Bad Milo with Ken Marino (my erstwhile Pajiba 10 nominee).

 You can read more of my reviews — and stuff about Ken Marino — on my blog.

The Mama’s #CBR5 Review #47: Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly

nutshellMy favorite thing about Janet Evanovich’s books is how nutty the characters are. I’m a bit of a mess in real life, and I love that her characters are a bit of a mess, too.

After Kate Appleton divorces her philandering ex-husband, she moves back to her family’s summer home, The Nutshell, to turn it in to a bed and breakfast. The only problem is that she’s run out of money and The Nutshell has a zillion and one things wrong with it, so she needs a job. Matt Culhane, owner of the local craft brewery, thinks that someone is deliberately trying to sabotage him, so he hires Kate to spy.

Read more here…

Katie′s #CBR5 Review #22: Special Offers by M. L. Ryan

Title: Special Offers
Author: M. L. Ryan
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: A nice light read with a well developed paranormal element, a fun romantic sub-plot, and a great sense of humor.

When Hailey orders a cheaper kindle with “special offers”, she gets more than she bargained for. Through a strange series of events, a super-natural being named Sebastian has been trapped in the kindle and is released to inhabit Hailey’s body when she turns the kindle on. Fortunately for Hailey, another super-natural (and also super sexy) being is look for Sebastian. With his help, perhaps she’ll be able to retrieve Sebastian’s body from his killer and put him back where he belongs.

Read more at Doing Dewey…

The Mama’s #CBR5 Review #40: The Heist by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg

heistConfession: I love Stephanie Plum. Actually, I love Ranger. I love Grandma Mazur, too, but it’s a different feeling than the feeling I have for Ranger. I want him to break in to my house, call me babe, and leave behind his Bulgari shower gel. I just want to go for cocktails and shenanigans with Grandma. My feelings for Janet Evanovich’s new character, con artist Nick Fox, lie somewhere in between Ranger and Grandma.

Read more here…

Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 9 – 11: Some Utterly Forgettable Quick Reads

Its only March, and already I’m a stack of reviews behind. Some of the books (The Twelve, Wool, Game of Thrones) deserve a well thought-out review, complete with analysis and opinions. But these three? Not so much. A few sentences are really all I can offer.

First off is Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich. Wicked Business is part of the “Diesel” series of books — they once involved bounty hunter extraordinaire Stephanie Plum, but really, Stephanie deserved better. Now the central character is Lizzy, a baker in Salem, MA, who has some sort of supernatural power. She and Diesel team up (along with his horrible monkey from some old Plum novel) to race around New England and prevent something HUGE from happening that could CHANGE THE WORLD. Lizzy and Diesel run around and collect artifacts from historic locations, while trying not to fall into bed with each other.

I’ve admitted again and again that I have a soft spot for Stephanie and her ridiculous adventures in Trenton. But these Diesel books? I have no excuse and I won’t be reading another.

One positive aspect to the book: I read the Kindle version, which included some fun and interesting footnotes of the locations in the book. Evanovich included her personal photos and wrote about why each location was special — both in history and to her personally.

One star.

Next, I read Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. This was a Kindle freebie one day as the deal of the day. Do I need to say anything more?

OK, well. This tells the tale of teenage Jenna, who used to be poor and fat and went by the name of Jennifer. Her only friend in the world was Cameron, but he disappeared (and maybe died?) when she was in elementary school. Jenna shared a traumatic experience with Cameron when they were young, and she never got over his absence. Now she’s in high school, beautiful and popular, with a wealthy step father.

And OF COURSE Cameron comes back out of nowhere to shake things up for Jenna and her new life. Can Jenna and Cameron finally get closure over the bond that they shared for so many absent years?

This wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t anything new and interesting, either. I will give it an extra star for having the “traumatic event” not be of a sexual nature, which I was expecting it to be.

Two stars.

Lastly, we have Gone with A Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West. Another Kindle deal with similar results.

I bought this immediately after reading Sharp Objects, and I needed some fluff to get the dark stuff out of my mind.

Teeny Templeton (who, you guessed it, is really small) loves to cook and bake. She’s from Georgia and loves peaches and Elvis and all things stereotypically Southern. She lives in Charleston and has just broken up her engagement, when suddenly her fiance turns up dead and she’s the number one suspect. OH, and the best defense lawyer in town just so happens to be the-boy-that-broke-her-heart-and-she-never-got-over-him-from-back-home. And he’s super cute, too.

Of course Teeny didn’t do it, but who did? And who wants her framed for it? And who cares? Not me. What I did enjoy was the detailed description of Charleston, a city I’ve not been lucky enough to visit, but would like to see very much. This book certainly painted a lovely picture of the town.

Maybe Ms. West should write travel books instead of fiction.

Very fluffy nothingness, that apparently was popular enough to spawn a few sequels. Which I will not be reading.

Two stars.

 You can read more of my reviews (of books I liked much better than these three) on my blog.

Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 3: Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

images-1I can’t help myself. I keep reading these books.

For the uninitiated, these books (all 19 of them — PLUS the weird books with magical Diesel) are about Stephanie Plum, worst bounty hunter in New Jersey. She lives with her hamster, has a cop boyfriend named Joe, sometimes sleeps with her gorgeous coworker Ranger, has a best friend who used to be a ‘ho, eats a ton of junk food, has an insane grandmother, and has her car blow up a lot.

And of course, this book was no different.

Stephanie and Joe are still together and still dancing around the subject of marriage. Stephanie’s car blows up once. And Joe’s car blows up once, too. Stephanie and Lula eat A LOT of donuts and fried chicken. Ranger looks hot and says “babe” a lot. Stephanie’s mother drinks at dinner to get over the fact that her daughter will never have a normal life. And Stephanie chases after some of the strangest characters New Jersey has to offer.

Her main target in this book is a guy who embezzled millions from the nursing home that he managed. He disappeared in the middle of the night from the local hospital after having his appendix removed. Not a trace left behind on hospital security cameras, and none of the staff remembers seeing him. Meanwhile, Stephanie is also chasing after a local kook who is trying to bring a Hawaiian Tiki relic back to Hawaii. Of course, Stephanie ends up bonding with the Tiki — talking to it, taking it out for margaritas, carrying it around like a baby.

And lastly, Stephanie is working an undercover job with Ranger. Someone from Ranger’s past is trying to kill him and another of his army buddies. While chasing him, Stephanie is poisoned and her apartment is bombed. And Stephanie has to wear a really ugly bridesmaids dress, which really is worse than the poisoning or the bombing.

I know, these books are ridiculous. But I can’t stop reading them. If she keeps writing them, I’m going to keep reading them.

You can read more of my reviews — including at least three other similar write-ups about the never changing world of Stephanie Plum — on my blog.

HelloKatieO’s #CBR5 Review #1: Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Sadly, my prediction from last year was wrong. I will say this though – I’m not crazy.  5 people have been referred to my blog by the search “Stephanie PlumPregnant” so other people were wondering. But yes, Stephanie Plum is not pregnant. She still has not chosen between tall, dark, handsome and secretive Ranger and tall, dark, handsome, and moderately wholesome Joe Morelli.

But you know what? I just don’t care. Everyone I talk to about these books says some variation of “I stopped reading after Book X” (whether it be 5, 10, or 15). But I will keep reading these books because I love Stephanie Plum. She’s from New Jersey, she’s pretty hardcore, she’s had two hot guys fighting over her for 19 books now and she gets to be with whichever one her heart desires, whenever she wants. She’s good to her family, she’s responsible for a pet, she pays her rent on time. She has a whole cast of hilarious sidekicks that are hilarious, loyal and probably more bad ass than she is.

There’s more….