Thursday, August 27, 2015

Series review: Grey-haired Knitting Detectives by D.E. Haggerty

Today I have a double dose review – books 1 & 2, from the Grey Haired Knitting Detectives series by D.E. Haggerty.

24787493My name is Izzy. I drink too much, am clumsier than a newborn foal, and my brain-to-mouth filter often malfunctions. My daredevil husband killed himself in a parachuting accident five years ago and my best friend Jack has decided it’s time I jump back in the dating pool. He’s perfectly happy to throw me in if I don’t listen. Just when things in the dating world start to heat up, my grandma dies. Only her knitting group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes is sure it’s murder. I’m not convinced but I’m always up for a bit of excitement as long as it doesn’t lead to a night in jail. Well, more than one night anyway. Will I miss my chance at love because I’m chasing imaginary killers? Did someone really kill grandma or am I and my merry band of geriatric thieves imagining things? ~ Goodreads

Source: Purchased

Review: This was a really cute story with a fun mystery and kooky cast of characters. I thought the romance was a little underdeveloped – especially when the love interest, Noel, starts calling her baby and saying "I'm your man" seemingly out of nowhere. But that's just a minor part of the story. In fact, despite frequent f bombs, this is a clean (fade to black sex) story. BFF Jack & the grey-haired Knitting Club girls were a hoot.

25552260Jack’s life is awesome. His store is making money hand over fist and his best friend has found love. So what if he’s feeling a bit restless and put out about his upcoming birthday and his ex is being a pain in his fabulous behind? That’s nothing he can’t handle, but then his super hot new bookkeeper discovers things at the store aren’t actually as they seem. Someone is playing fast and loose with the finances. Jack’s bestie and his gal pals, the grey-haired knitting detectives, jump at the chance to solve Jack’s problems. When they aren’t re-enacting scenes from spy thrillers, they’re setting Jack up on dates and generally insinuating themselves into his love life. They’re determined to find love for Jack as well as his missing money. Will Jack catch a thief or find love? Either way Jack’s going to get his man. ~ Goodreads

Source: e-book provided by the author in exchange for my honest review

Review: The gang is reunited when Jack suspects someone is skimming profits from his clothing store for cross dressers and plus sized women. Is is his spiteful co-owner and ex, Noel, his new super sexy bookkeeper or an inside job by an employee or supplier? Bring on the grey-haired knitting club girls to crack the case!

This is another cute addition to the series. I enjoyed the romance more (although it’s very understated) in this than the first book and I was intrigued by the mystery – but the ladies didn’t integrate as seamlessly in Jack’s story as they did in Murder, Mystery, & Dating Mahem. Having said that, they’re still adorable and fun to have around.

I don’t read many cosy mysteries so I’m not great at judging this series against other books in the genre, but these are super light, humorous, fast reads that provide a little mystery and just a dab of romance. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Speed Date–Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2) by Emma Chase

22926485A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do. ~

Source: E-arc provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Speed Date Review:

1st date: Jack, if I went by how you behaved on our first date, we wouldn’t have had a second. Jack is a player. The type of guy who has one night hook ups, doesn’t promise more and moves on. I actually don’t have a problem with that – as long as the guy is up front BEFORE the hook up. But the book starts with him basically telling his latest hook up AFTER the fact and that just rubbed me the wrong way. He also doesn’t remember a random hook up after being confronted by the girl because she wasn’t hot. Yeah – I don’t like you Jack.

2nd date: Now the 6 kids start entering the scene one by one and I’m like noooooo…this book is more about the kids than the romance!!! But a funny thing happened. I LOVED the kids and the way Jack interacts with them. His is completely changed the second he meets them but he doesn’t become soft, mushy and boring. Instead he uses his ruthless reputation for good, helping the kids and, their aunt and guardian, Chelsea. It's all so funny and endearing - but mostly side splittingly funny.

3rd date: Third date’s the charm! This was such a fun romance that had me totally changing my mind about Jack and kids in romance. Very well done!

I really loved Chelsea and how Chase showed how difficult it is to juggle instant parenthood with putting aside your own hopes and dreams to help the kids have a stable environment. Chelsea and Jack have major chemistry but it’s more than that. They build a solid relationship based on trust, respect and security.

*Speed Date reviews inspired by The Book Swarm

Friday, August 21, 2015

The week in books–mini reviews…


Shattered Secrets (The Secret Trilogy #3)  by Lana Williams
Historical Romance ~ Goodreads

My thoughts: Tortured, scarred hero with a secret. Hot, sexy, romance…blah blah blah. Not bad but I feel like I’ve already read this story at least 100 times. Nothing unique to make it stand out.

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
YA Contemporary suspense ~ Goodreads
Source: BEA15

My thoughts: Plot holes ahoy! DoDS is primarily a revenge/mystery tale but it requires such a huge suspension of disbelief, that I could never buy into any of it (or maybe I was too dumb to *get it*). Also, the romance – a pivotal element to the story for sure - but it’s so hard to believe a) you can be in “soulmate” level love at age 14, after less than a week. b) it carries over 4yrs of not seeing each other. c.) It overrides your need for revenge to the point that your lust is more important than justice for your family?? Not buying into any of it. Harumph! lol

26051138Full Exposure by Amy Jo Cousins
M/M Contemporary – Freebie ~ Goodreads

My thoughts: Fun, sexy short about a self described shy, geek who meets a temperamental rock star and sparks ignite. There was an odd tense change a few chapters in – and then it switches back. That totally threw me but otherwise a good freebie read.

25605902Treble Maker (Perfect Harmony #1) by Annabeth Albert
M/M Contemporary ~ Goodreads

My thoughts: I really enjoy Albert's very sweet Portland Heat series but I think Treble Maker is even better.
I love the way she writes romance - super swoony and sexy.
It's a tad lower on the angst scale but I'm a sap and I love books that keep me reading until midnight and relationships that make go AWWWWWW.

8076157Butterfly Swords (Tang Dynasty #1) by Jeanine Lin
Historical Romance ~ Goodreads

My thoughts: This book has been on my shelf for years.

I enjoyed the setting for this book - Tang Dynasty in 758 AD China. It’s different than anything I've read before but everything else about the book was pretty generic. A fun adventure but the romance was nothing too exciting. In fact Mr. Hormone hero was super annoying trying to keep his lust in check with the (kick ass) heroine but thinking dirty thoughts almost non stop from the get go. Ai Li walks – his pants get tight, her braid falls out of her cap – his pants get tight. lol Nothing wrong with that – it just had me rolling my eyes at the frequency.

Me thinks I might be a romance cranky pants these days!