February Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

the hands of a white male, holding a hand of cards, an MC club emblem under the titleStill Standing by Kristen Ashley, narrated by Erin Mallon (with Jason Clarke) – B One of my favourite Kristen Ashley books is Motorcyle Man. Which is just as well as this book is basically Motorcycle Man 2.0. There were enough differences to keep me interested but so many similarities, from the names of the main characters (Tack/Buck and Tyra/Clara) to the fact that Buck has two children, a boy and a girl from a previous marriage, complete with an evil-ex. (In fact, speaking of similar names, Buck’s daughter is Tatiana. Tack’s daughter is Tabitha and they are approximately the same ages). Like Tyra, Clara has a best friend who is in trouble and who brings drama to her door, albeit in different ways. Like Tyra, Clara ends up working at the MC’s business (which is a hardware store and contracting business instead of a custom car business and autoparts shop). Clara also wears tight skirts and “librarian” blouses and spike heels. There is even a cop who is the stand-in for the Mitch Lawson character from the earlier book. It’s familiar in a way that works if you liked Motorcycle Man. Like Chaos, Aces High are a clean club and there are the usual biker characters we’ve seen before, up to and including the one who cheats on his partner with a biker groupie (who causes trouble for Buck and Clara). Clara supplies baked goods to the bikers, Buck is a good cook – although he does great hamburgers rather than pork chops. Tatiana gets into trouble and Clara comes to her rescue and this causes a drama between she and Buck – if this sounds familiar it’s because it is.

Buck and Clara aren’t Tack and Tyra and the story does more than search and replace their names. I’m not complaining. I was hoping for another Tack and while Buck didn’t quite live up to him, he was, for the most part, a very satisfying hero. There was that one thing however…

Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon, narrated by Teddy Hamilton & Erin Mallon

Stubbled, dark-haired white guy in a blue/grey suit and a light blue shirt and a blue tie, standing with his hands in his trouser pockets against a backdrop that looks like a projection of boiled lollies against a white wallWhy I read it:  I had this one on my TBR but hadn’t got around to reading it yet. Teddy Hamilton is a big draw for me on audio so it was a no-brainer.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Last call! At the end of the night, a clean-cut hunk and a rebellious bartender act on their unlikely chemistry in this frisky standalone novel from the author of Eye Candy. Davis: I’ve had my eye on Grace Buchanan for a while now. Unlike the bubbly blondes I usually date, the feisty, flame-haired bartender both intrigues and bewilders me. Something about Grace – the tattoos? The nose ring? – makes every part of me sit up and beg. There’s only one problem: She hates me. Trading insults and one-liners has become our M.O. But when Grace bets me that I can’t get a date with a non-blonde if my life depends on it, I’m determined to prove her wrong by landing the ultimate non-blonde: her.

Grace: I’m used to regulars hitting on me, and I’ve turned them all down except for one: Davis Price. I like giving him a hard time, and he’s kind of cute in his suit and tie – if you’re into that kind of thing. Anyway, I don’t care how many blondes he takes home…until one of them sidles up to him in my bar. Nuh-uh. But after my little bet with Davis backfires, our first date lands us in the sack. So does the second. And the third. Neither of us wants more than the best sex of our lives. The trouble is, it’s not a question of what I want. It’s what I need. And what I need is Davis.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I’ve heard great things about Jessica Lemmon books and I’ve bought a few but not managed to actually read them. (This isn’t uncommon. MOST of the books on my giant TBR will languish unread forever and ever unless I stumble across a time turner and live an extremely long life. And also if they stop publishing new books.) So when I saw Arm Candy in the Audible Romance package it was a nice opportunity to give her a try at little risk. Plus, I’ve recently become enamoured with Teddy Hamilton’s narrations and I was happy to have an excuse to listen to his voice in my ears again. I like Erin Mallon’s narrations too. But Teddy Hamilton’s voice has a sexy drawl which just does it for me.

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