Excuse my dust while I do a little remodeling!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Afternoon Delight by Ann Calhoun

22872970“Anne Calhoun’s romances define the erotic”* and now the national bestselling author of Uncommon Passion serves up a delicious new novella of savory food and hungry men—and one woman’s challenge to get creative with each…

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck's menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who's fast becoming her favorite customer.

Goodreads | Source: Purchased

Yikes! I don’t know what happened here. This book should have been a slam dunk for me. A food truck chef, a paramedic hero against the backdrop of Manhattan. These are my favorite things to read about but instead Afternoon Delight fell completely flat for me.

Tim is a paramedic that rushes through life and rushes through his meal until he meets a breath of fresh air, Sarah, a chef at a local food truck. She helps teach him to slow down and appreciate food and life. Sarah is trying to get back out there and live life fully, like she used to, before caring for her terminally ill aunt.

This should have worked for me. Tim and Sarah are mature, passionate with each other and their romance is a nice balance of give and take but I was so bored with them. I guess they’re so mature and balanced, despite having a few issues, I just didn’t feel the passion brewing between them.

Their encounters are just so matter of fact and felt choreographed. Let’s go have sex. OK. We’re going to do it this way. OK. They go back to work. *shrugs* I dunno – it was written well – I just can’t say that I cared about them or their afternoon quickies.

I thought the food would at least spark something but nope. Sarah keeps going on and on about finding the right sauce for her food bowls. Did she ever find one? I don’t even remember.

I’m a super fast reader. I can read one book per day easily but it took me two days to read this 8 chapter novella. I wish I could say why.

I’m going to recommend this one even though it didn’t work for me. The story is well paced, the characters are strong and independent and they have sexy encounters that don’t spiral into “just sex”. It had all the right ingredients for a perfect read but I just didn’t connect to it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Music: Maxine Nightingale


Here’s my current ear worm…

Maxine Nightingale – Right Back Where We Started From

I saw a sign near my local retirement (55+) community advertising that Maxine was playing a concert at their cultural center in October. I knew the name but couldn’t remember what songs she sang. Once I looked her up I realized I used to listen to her all the time in the 70’s.

It kind of makes me feel really old that “my” music is now being played as entertainment for a retirement community lol - but it’s a fun song to have as an earworm. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

20519005When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.

Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.

~ Goodreads

Source: ARC provided by Farrar, Straus and Giroux for my honest review

I have a feeling that quite a few readers are going to be turned off by Dyna’s brash personality at the beginning of Adrenaline Crush. She’s an unapologetic risk taker and teaser of boys but I liked her. She’s the rare, confidant YA female who knows what she wants and what she doesn’t. I have absolutely zero things in common with her (even from when I was a wild teen) and I wanted her to slow down, tell her to stop climbing things, lol, but it was still nice to read about that type of character.

Of course all that changes when Dyna is injured in one of her thrill seeking adventures and she finds herself being cautious for the first time in her life and allows her new boyfriend to take care of and shelter her.

Dyna’s family are also daredevils. They are a little out there but very present in Dyna’s life and recovery. That was another thing I really enjoyed seeing in a YA. I can’t say I really always agreed with their choices for their daughter but they tried to do their best.

The book floundered in two areas for me. The first is the recovery center that Dyna’s mom sends her to. It’s supposed to have the fastest and best results for any center of it’s kind. They approach healing as a mind/body experience so there is both physical therapy and group counseling to overcome the fear of whatever caused your injury. This is where I was like no….these people should be shut down. For example – one man was struck by lightening so the counselor's idea is to throw everyone out in the middle of a thunder storm because hey! statistically the chances are you won’t get hit twice. A lot of these things seemed to be used as a catalyst to instead move Dyna's romance forward with an Afghanistan War vet who lost a leg. He pushes her to step outside her comfort zone and go back to adrenaline junkie ways.

And the romance was problem number two. There is a bit of a love triangle but for some reason it didn’t bother me in the least (and I hate love triangles with a fiery passion). Maybe that’s because I wasn’t feeling the romance with either guy. You know one doesn’t have a chance – but he’s the one we get to know more and he’s really nice. The guy that you know will be “the one” is an ass most of the time. An intriguing, well intentioned, ass but still – we needed to hear more from his side to root for him. That would have been the more interesting story IMO. I just didn’t care either way but it’s not the sole focus of the story so I didn’t mind all that much.

Despite a few bumps, I really enjoyed this book plus it’s a super fast read.