book review

Book Review February 2019

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Hello Sugarbook Lovers,

Just a quick note about our book reviews.  We would like to state that we typically do not give a synopsis of the books we read along with our reviews.  This is mainly because you can go to “a million” different sites where you can read the synopsis.  Also, the reviews that we give are the opinions of the members of this book club and we do not want to influence anyone’s decision to read or not to read a book.  We want you to read the books…we would even love to get your opinion on the books.  If you would like us to include a synopsis of the books, comment below and we will see about making that happen.

Having said all of that, last weekend was our monthly meeting where we discussed two books, as usual.  The books that we read for the month of February were: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne and Reckless by Skye Jordan.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

99 percent mine

Everyone did not like this book.  We didn’t like that the book was entirely form Darcy’s point of view – her thoughts were confusing and all over the place.  We didn’t like the siblings relationship – were did the competition and meanness come from.  We didn’t like how they treated Tom like a lost puppy that they found and brought home – then they were competing for his affection and attention.  It was actually sad because we were a fan of the others other book, The Hating Game.  It was a unanimous vote of 0 smoochies.

Reckless by Skye Jordan

Reckless

There were mixed reviews for this book.  Some DNF and some did.  It was hated that they wouldn’t communicate with each other. The heroine was frustrating for not explaining the reason for her fears.  The hero frustrated us because he didn’t explain who he really was and why he had so many Hollywood connections.  They assumed and knowing what they say about that, that’s exactly what happened.  They were asses (in some opinions). It took so long to get to the true romance because of their hang ups.  They were both acting too scared for too long.  Now, based on what was just written, it seems like we didn’t like the book, and that would be a misconception.  We did like it.   Enough even to start the next book (some of have read or are reading it), but then there were a few that did not like it or thought it was just okay.  Because of all of these factors, we gave the book 2.3 smoochies. 💋💋.3

 

That’s all for this month’s review.  Comment below to tell us your thoughts of these books if you have read them, we would love to hear your opinions.  Next month we will be reading two books by Lauren Blakely, Once Upon a Real Good Time and Big Rock.  Take some time out to give them a try and let us know what you thought.  Until next time.

Smoochies,

Smoochies.jpg

 

 

November Reviews

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Hello Sugarbook Lovers,

It’s time for the recap of our monthly bookclub meeting book review.  Our meeting was postponed a week due to scheduling conflicts, but we were glad to be back together.  So let’s get right into the review.

The first book we read was a serial book (or so we want to call it), Shopping For A Billionaire by Julia Kent.  This book garnered mixed reactions for the books.  Two of us like it.  We thought it was hilarious and like several RomCom’s we’ve all seen (Something About Mary, Date Night, et. al.)  The remaining four quickly became frustrated with all of the issues that Shannon, the heroine, endured.  Really who could constantly go through what she goes through and not feel she has been cursed.  The mother seemed to ignite a negative reaction from our members who felt that she was a bit too invasive in the Shannon’s life.  Why didn’t Shannon set some boundaries with her mother?  There was a break-up between Shannon and Declan, the hero.  One reader felt that this “break” was not thoroughly hashed out.  Why didn’t Shannon get “closure” with Declan?  Why did she just let things end? It was like she just let it end.  Don’t get us wrong, there were a couple of us who liked the book and will continue on with the series.  So this book gets 2 smoochies.

The second book we read was Consumed by JR Ward.  This book also garnered mixed reviews.  For the most part everyone liked the book.  We just did not like nor understand the issues Anne, the heroine, had with her mother.  Self-righteous is a word that sticks out in this writers mind and was agreed with by other members.  We all agreed that therapy is needed by  A LOT of the characters, and the sad thing was that only one person really got it and that was the hero, Danny.  The highlight of the book in this writers opinion, was when Danny went back to the therapist and saying I’m in love with this girl and if I don’t get some therapy, I’m probably going to F-up this relationship.  We really liked the pre=quel books that led up to the first book and most of us will be continue with the series.  The series put Chicago Fire and Station 19 in mind.  We are HUGE fans of JR Ward and are glad to see something new to get hooked on.  So this book gets 3 smoochies.

Ok Sugarbook lovers, we will not be reading any books for the month of December because our group will be having a Christmas dinner out and we won’t be able to really discuss anything (although we most likely won’t be able to not talk about something that we are reading) in that setting.  We did pick out books for January.  Drum roll please……

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts (Chronicles of The One #2)

Stay with Me by Alexandria House

Playing the Field by Erika Reed.

Yes!!!!  We are going to read 3 books for January!!!!  What are we thinking?  We are going to check out Erika Reed’s book at her request.  Actually she is a follower of the blog and commented that she would love to be on our roster.  So Erika-girl, hold on for your smoochies.  This is a shorter book, and we felt that we could read it with multiple books and not feel overwhelmed.  Last year we started the Chronicles of The One series and was BLOWN AWAY by that book and have been on pins and needles waiting on the next book – therefore we HAD to read it as soon as it came out.  The third book was a request by a member.  This was our thinking.  We have NOT picked out any other books for 2019, and would love suggestions.  If you have something that you feel we would enjoy, pass it on.  We can add it on to next years roster. 

Have a great holiday season everyone, love your family, and get take some time to get some quality reading done.  Finish up those Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge.

Smoochies,



The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward

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The Bourbon Kings

This book reads like an over-the-top primetime soap opera from the 80’s. Think Dynasty, Dallas or Falcon Crest. There are several storylines going on simultaneously, like the different scenes on any soap. And just like on my beloved soaps, the characters in this book piss me off to no end! I think part of my enjoyment of the soaps is the fun I have complaining about them with fellow fans, and that’s exactly what The Bourbon Kings make me want to do. Just like I yell at the TV, I want to yell at the book. Make no mistake, these characters are FLAWED! There are those you root for and those you despise.

I think the problem I had with the book is the hero, Lane. We are so used to uber-alpha males from J. R. Ward, that Lane comes across as a weak, spoiled brat. We’re used to our J. R. Ward heroes overcoming their pasts and becoming dominant, not running away from their lives and problems. But I do have to admit that Lane ends up stepping up to the challenges his family is facing, even though he really wants leave all the madness behind. Plus, we had a LOT of backstory to learn about this family, so much of the book is just that, a catch up on the backstory. I just want all the secrets of the past to be revealed so that we can just focus on the present events. But that is one of the drawbacks of the reunion romance trope. The readers are essentially just dropped right into the middle of these characters lives, so it felt like we had a lot of catching up to do.

All in all, I really liked The Bourbon Kings, once I let go of my preconceived expectations of what I’ve come to expect from J. R. Ward, and just got into my soap opera watching mind-set. Once I did that the book was very enjoyable. I can’t wait until the next episode! 🙂

posted by LaTisha Walker

Review: Quarterback Draw (Play by Play, #9)

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Quarterback Draw Cover
Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton

This is my favorite sports series. This installment in the series did not disappoint. Previously, we met the Riley sports family, well now we’ve moved on to another. The Cassidys. Three brothers who play professional football and one who plays major league baseball. They obviously inherited the athleticism from Dad, Easton, who has TWO Super Bowl rings.

First up is quarterback Grant. He meets and is captivated by super model Katrina Korsova while on a photo shoot in Barbados. Grant pushes his way into Katrina’s life, even though she’s pretty closed off romance of any kind. Katrina is fiercely independent, having raised her younger sister and brother since her mother died of cancer when Katrina was just seventeen years old. Her father, having cheated on her mom, left the family when she got sick. As a result, Katrina does not trust a man to stay for the long haul. But just can’t help falling in with Grant and the rest of the Cassidy family.

I just knew that Katrina would panic and run when feelings became deep and real. I was hoping that she wouldn’t be stupid, but no such luck. She let fear keep her from happiness. Good thing Grant didn’t give up so easily.

All in all, this was another good book in the Play-by-Play series and a good start to the new Cassidy arc.


Reviewed by:  LaTisha Walker

…in Death

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After reading enough “erotic” novels to need a mental cleansing, I decided I wanted to read something light and funny. Don’t think I only read erotic novels, I have a wide range of reading left in my TBR, although most it seems that there are a lot of paranormal novels on the list (could that be because the genre is “hot” now. I love to read about vampires, werewolves, dragons, etc.). It just seems that I’ve reviewed stories that have a lot of erotic notes to them. I did the reviews because I was excited about the books and I felt the need to give my thoughts. Also, so many people were going on and on about the fan fiction written by E.L. James like it was the very first novel of its kind and now everyone is running around buying books in the genre and comparing them to E.L. James like she was the first erotic author ever. I think I just started ranting…did I start ranting? No ranting…I apologize guys. I’ve digressed.

So, I read a couple of novels by Dakota Cassidy (part of The Accidental Friends series), these gave me a laugh when I really needed it and I have now gone on to detective stories. Now, I am not a huge fan of mysteries anymore. I read them a lot in my late teens and early twenties (I actually read Silence of the Lambs and Jurassic Park as well as most of the Mary Higgins Clarke and most of the John Grisham novels up till The Client), but I don’t read them much anymore. There is one exception to that…the JD Robb ..in Death series. JD Robb is the pseudonym for Nora Roberts and it is only used for the ..in Death books.

in Death

The main character of the series is Lieutenant Eve Dallas who is a homicide detective for NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department) in the mid-21st century. There are very human-like droids, flying cars, lots of interplanetary travel and living, and all kinds of technological advanced gadgets. Eve Dallas was found in an alley in Dallas bleeding, beaten with broken bones and without memory of her circumstances when she was eight. Social Services named her Eve after the first woman on earth and Dallas for the location where she was found. When the series begins Eve is very much a loner with the exception of her very close friend, Mavis. As the series progresses Eve acquires more friends, a husband in the form of multi-billionaire, Roarke (who was a suspect in the first book), a fat cat, Gallahan, the butler – Sumerset, whom she inherited when she married Roarke and is also her verbal sparring partner, and a gaggle of acquired friends that she never meant to have, but now doesn’t know what she would do without them (although she would reluctantly tell them so). The best thing about this series is the mystery and the characters. There are a total of 45 novels in the series eight of which are actually novellas. They always pick up within a week, sometimes days of the last book. I just finished New York to Dallas. This is one of the first full books that did not end with in Death. This book had been out for quite a while – the in Death books come out twice a year in February and September and this book came out in September 2011. Why did it take me so long to read a book that is part of a series that I love so much you ask?

I took some time away from the series because I knew this book would have a lot of information about Eve’s past that had the potential to take me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. It did not disappoint. I had started this book once before last summer but had to put it down after the first 20 pages because it began so intense and I found I didn’t want that intensity at the time. This time I set out to soldier through it all. I have said numerous times that I don’t give spoilers, but I think I can give this tidbit without giving the story away. Eve had to go to Dallas to apprehend a suspect who had escaped from prison. This “person” was a pedophile, murderer, and rapist and he had fled to Dallas hoping to trip up Eve because he knew that she was originally from Dallas and she had a very rocky start there. The emotional ride came when Eve had to deal with the memories of her mother. From previous books, we know that Eve’s father was a sick person who abused her until she killed him (in self-defense) when she was eight. We had never known anything about her mother. In this book we learn more about who she was.

The thing about these books are that you really fall in love with Eve and her kick-ass approach to her job and life, but also the vulnerability that comes out when you least expect it. In this book I knew I was going to see major vulnerability, I just didn’t know how it would affect me. Along with Eve’s vulnerability came Roarke’s awesome compassion, understanding and his need to protect. Even when he wanted to help, he knew he had to allow her to deal with some of it her own way. Only when he saw the cracks in the façade she held for everyone else did he step forward and bring in the reinforcements that she needed even when she didn’t know she needed it. Can you love a hero more?

I probably shouldn’t have reviewed this book being that it is the 33rd book in the series, but I ask you not to think of it as a review (because I really didn’t review the book), but as a recommendation. I’m recommended the in Death series to everyone. The series is so good my good friend and I have said on many occasions that we should petition HBO, FX, or some other cable network to make it into a television series. But then we (fans that I know) inevitably begin to argue about who would be best suited to play the characters.  Smile 

So go out and get them folks…start reading it today and let me know what you think. 

P.S. I will also be posting this on my book clubs website.  If you are seeing this post there, come over and check me out at Red Oven Creations, I’d love for you to join me. 

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Reflected in You

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Reflected in You

 

I should have written this review about four months ago when I first read this book and I apologize for not doing so. In my defense, I’ve been busy and reading a ton of stuff.   Someone mentioned that I seem to review the books from this series and not many others.  I chose to continue to review this series because: 1) I reviewed the first book and since I’m reading them all it made sense to review them all; and 2) it seems that lately the BDSM millionaire/commoner (I know that’s not the right word to use but oh well) genre seems to be hot right now and why not give my opinion on something other than Fifty Shades.  I mean someone may actually open up their mind to something other than what is trending in the media and fall in love with another author they may not have explored without my review.  BUT…I’m digressing…I’m getting off my soapbox right now and writing my review.

I read the second book in the Crossfire Series as soon as it came out. I really enjoyed the first book and was extremely curious about the characters and where they were going to go.

The second book, Reflected in You, delves further into the relationship between Gideon and Eve. This book picks up right where the last book (Bared to You) ended. Gideon and Eve are committed to making their relationship work. When the issues that they suffer from (Eve’s insecurity and Gideon’s violent nightmares) threaten to tear the relationship apart, they commit to therapy. I really love their commitment to the relationship, it lets the reader know that although it is a very sexually charged relationship, it is not based upon just sex alone. They have feelings for one another. During one of the therapy sessions after a particularly violent dream by Gideon that also coincided with a nightmare that Eve was having about her past abuse; the therapist suggested that they stop sleeping together and date only to allow the relationship to grow. Gideon and Eve both said that wasn’t an option.

I don’t want to tell the story, because I’m not one to give spoilers. There were two things in the book that were really frustrating to me. Early on in this book, Eve is invited to a concert by her friend who is also the sister of her supervisors partner. Her friend has four tickets and her boyfriend is out of town, so Gideon invites a friend so that it will be an equal four. Now this is Eve’s first time meeting anyone that remotely resembles a friend to Gideon, you’d think she would be on her best behavior. You would be thinking wrong. It turned out that the lead singer was an “ex-boyfriend” and she didn’t reveal it to Gideon once she realizes it, nor did she react properly when she came in contact with her “ex”. Again, I don’t give spoilers, but you will be shaking your head saying, “girl you know you wrong for that.”

Gideon and Eve get over that hurdle and just when everything seems to be going smoothly for Gideon and Eve, Gideon starts acting flukery. He starts blowing Eve off, he’s being seen with his ex-girlfriend, just making stupid relationship mistakes. You are thinking to yourself as your reading…”Man what are you doing? Are you having commitment issues?” You get to a point where you can’t stand Gideon because he is acting like an ass and his only excuse to Eve is “trust me”. You are screaming at the book, “trust me, trust me what do you mean trust me?” I have to give a big thumbs up to the reactions of Eve. She did not sit around wallowing and acting like her world was going to end if Gideon didn’t start acting right. Of course there was a response…she did cry over it and do some yelling and accusations thrown, but once it seemed that he just wasn’t going to do right,; she made up her mind to let it go. Even when Gideon started yelling her to trust him, she didn’t fall for it. It is not until the end of the book that she understood Gideon’s actions and you want to high five him and you are left saying he is a true “ride or die” dude. The last couple of pages of the book left me with my mouth hanging open wand then I wanted to pump my fist in the air and yell, “YEAH!”

So that’s my take on Reflected in You.  I LOVE LOVE LOVED the book.  It was a great follow-up to the first and again I’m anxiously awaiting the third.  I will try to review other books that I read.  If you missed my post about my favorite genre check it out here.  This will let you know that I read a lot of romance.  BUT these are not the romance books of old, they actually have plots beyond the Millionaires Baby (sorry Harlequin Sad smile) and if you can name me one movie that does not have a romantic scene in it (or just a scene where someone is getting kissed) then I will admit admit something.  I don’t know what I’ll admit, because I don’t think there isn’t anything out there.  I watch all types of movies, action, comedy, musicals, independents, Sundance, even some documentaries; I don’t watch horror because I’m a chicken-butt, but everything I watch, and they all have romance so DON’T KNOCK ROMANCE NOVELS.

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A Review of “Bared To You”

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The book scheduled to be read for our August meeting was Bared to You by Sylvia Day.  When I looked back at our review of it, I really had to shake my head; because it was so very basic.  This was not a basic book at all.  No…it was actually a book that required a much more in-depth look at the beginning of what could be a great series.  So in order to give it the review it deserves I’m going to attempt to put my thoughts down on paper.  Mind you, I read this book a few months ago (because I was curious to see for myself what people were talking about and the Heroes & Heartbreakers review REALLY had me intrigued) so my memory may be a little hazy.

First let me give a little background.  Bared to You is a story that has been said to closely resemble Fifty Shades of Gray.  I have not read Fifty Shades so I cannot attest to how good it is.  I chose not to read Fifty because I was told it was possibly a fan fiction novel of another story that I chose not to read and watch because I am not a fan of the Young Adult genre.  And I also have read other novels by Sylvia Day that I really enjoyed.  So let me begin….

The story is about Eva Tramell and Gideon Cross.  Eva is a recent college graduate who has left the west coast to work in a New York City advertising agency.  While doing a trial run of her route to work, she collides into an extremely handsome gentleman who just so happens to be the owner of the building.  She does not know this at the time, she just knows that he is sharply dressed in a three-pieced suit, he looks damn good, and there is an instant sexual charge when they touched.  Gideon Cross is the young, billionaire owner of Cross Industries.  The “charge” that Gideon felt with prompted him to pay attention to Eva’s work badge and find out more about her within his company.  When the opportunity presented itself to get to know her better he grabbed it.  Initially Eva resisted any type of relationship with Gideon (he propositioned her to just have a quick affair), she made him come to her the right way… respectfully.  Once the affair does start Eva and Gideon realize that it something more than what either bargained for.  They both have had traumatic events in their lives that have caused them to be resistant to a “real” relationship.  They both don’t want to be involved with anyone that would require them to open themselves up to anything deep.   Also because of their past traumas, they both suffer from issues of distrust, slight possessiveness and what I like to call the “flight syndrome” (when you don’t like a situation, you run away from it to avoid dealing with it).  Even with all the things that they go through, the characters do not come off as young (they are both in the twenties) or weak-minded.

There is secondary storyline that is slowly being developed with Cary, Eva’s best friend who also has commitment issues.  You get to know Cary; where you feel there is a story waiting to erupt.  You feel like he might be up for a book of his own.

I’m being vague about the storyline (not giving spoilers) because I really want you to read this book.  I finished it wanting to know what happens next.  I want to know about the “event” that makes Gideon dislike/act coldly to his family; what to makes him have the nightmares; what makes him afraid of commitment.  I want to know how Eva handles her relationship with her mother who feels guilty because Eva was sexually assaulted by her step-brother; does she learn to confront Gideon when she is upset about something and not “run” and not respond to phone calls or text for days; I want to know how she grows in her job and the friendship that grows between her and her boss.  I want to know what happens to Cary.  I could not believe that I have to wait another month (in my case it has been three months) for the next book.  I mean, the Fifty Shades books came out bam-bam-bam (if I’m wrong about how soon they were available, correct me).  But I have to say in all honesty, that feeling that I have about wanting the next book is an indicator that the author has done their job.  They have pulled me into the world within their book.  I have begun to feel something for the characters.  I want to know what happens next.

I’m not a professional reviewer; I’m a lover of books, a seeker of a good read, a hater of junk.  I have read some reviews of Bared and I actually feel bad that a lot of people found this book after reading Fifty.  I’ve come to the realization that readers tend to either love or hate books that are similar to another book they’ve read.  They compare them all the time and the second book may get the short end of the stick.  I think that this is what happened with Bared in this case.  So…my final take on Bared to You.  I think you should read it.  I think you should read the next book in October.