I’m over at Dear Author with Janine, reviewing Someone to Remember by Mary Balogh. #JusticeforMatilda
Monthly Mini Review
Note: Spoilers ahoy
Quiet Man by Kristen Ashley – C/C- I was keen to read Lottie’s story – she’s Jet’s sister (Jet was the heroine in Rock Chick Rescue) and was on the periphery of the Rock Chick group for most of the series. Lottie is the headliner stripper at Smithies and my favourite of the Rock Chick books, hands down, is about another headliner at Smithies – Daisy (Rock Chick Reawakening) so I was keen to see Lottie get her HEA and to revisit the crowd at the fictional strip club in Denver.
One of the things I most loved about Daisy’s book was that Marcus wasn’t bothered by her being a stripper and loved her, breast implants and all, without question and without any reservation. I was hoping for a similar experience in Quiet Man. Unfortunately, Mo was a bit judgey about stripping and it made me a little uncomfortable. They worked it out and Lottie continued to do what she wanted to do but I would have preferred more cheering and less reluctant agreement.
What else? I feel I speak fluent Kristen Ashley but there were sentences in this novella which made zero sense no matter how many times I read them. There were times I could get the gist but other times remained a mystery. There were also numerous typos. The novella really needed better editing.
Lottie has breast implants and is described in the book (often) as having “fantastic tits”. Which, awesome. But I noted that Mo had no interaction with her breasts in any of their sex scenes, with mouth, tongue or hands, until after she had had the implants removed later in the book (her choice, nothing to do with Mo), apart from admiring them while they were boning. So, when Lottie was feeling a bit uncertain about what he thought of her breasts at the reduced size and he only then got busy it jarred and made me a little uncomfortable. Perhaps I’m overthinking.
Why I read it: I pre-ordered this one as soon as it was up and recently carved out time to actually read it.
Content Advisory: Anxiety
What it’s about: (from Goodreads) They’re pretending. Until they aren’t.
Thomas McKinney has never wanted a woman the way he wants Callie Adesso. Since she started working alongside him at the Colonial Marysburg Research Library, he’s spent his desk shifts fumbling pencils, tripping over his own feet, and struggling to remember both the Dewey Decimal System and the existence of her inconvenient boyfriend. Now, however, Callie is suddenly single–and in need of a last-minute faux-boyfriend for an episode of HATV’s Island Match. Thomas is more than happy to play the part…and in the process, convince Callie that a week together isn’t nearly long enough.
Callie has never found a man as irritating as she finds Thomas. He may be brilliant, kind, and frustratingly handsome, but the absent-minded librarian also makes every workday an anxiety-inducing exercise in stress. Even seven days in paradise by his side won’t change her opinion of him. Really. No matter how attentive he is. And gentle. And sexy.
One plane ride later, the two of them are spending long, hot days under the sun and on display, pretending to be in love for a television show. This may be a vacation, but it’s also an act–as well as Thomas’s last chance to persuade the woman of his dreams to include him in hers. And soon, the island heat isn’t the only thing steaming up HATV’s cameras…
What worked for me (and what didn’t): Thomas McKinney was such a delightful hero. It was something of a surprise actually because initially I only had Callie’s description of him and he was certainly making life very difficult for her at work. It all came from a place of good intentions and being lovestruck and it could also have easily turned into way-not-okay stalker territory. Callie has only been at the library for six months. She struck up a friendship quickly with Thomas but became frustrated with him because he’s very bad at multi-tasking and tended to get caught up in whatever question he was asking for a patron and taking ages to do it. This left Callie doing most of the actual work and not getting many of the interesting questions to answer. Callie has been trying to work with other librarians for the past few months but for some reason she is always on shift with Thomas. This has meant she has had little chance to build relationships with anyone else and has been very isolating for her. So, initially, Thomas comes across as a bit of a jerk.
I’m over at AudioGals with a review of Inferno by Rachel Grant, narrated by Greg Tremblay. Fast-paced and exciting with a great big dollop of steamy romance.
I’m over at Dear Author with a review of Playing House by Ruby Lang. Enjoyable novella about two Chinese-American urban planners finding love in Manhattan.
Monthly Mini Review
Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper, narrated by Amanda Ronconi & Jonathan Davis – B This is a novella-length audiobook which was free to Audible members and is set in the world of Mystic Bayou – a follow on from How to Date Your Dragon and Love and Other Wild Things, both of which I enjoyed very much. Rob Aspern is a human mathematician/data scientist with the League for Interspecies Cooperation. He was something of an antagonist (albeit a benign one) in Zed and Dani’s book – Zed and Bael still call him “Dr. Kendoll Assface” or “Dr. Assburn” – but now he gets his own HFN. Ingrid Asher is the tree nymph of the title. She moves to Mystic Bayou from New York, to open an Ice Creamery. She has been deeply hurt by a man in her past and Rob has a lot of work to do to get through Ingrid’s barriers.
Unsurprisingly, Ingrid is taken under the wing of Jillian, Dani and Sonia. Ingrid has little experience with Girls’ Night Out or friendships in general, having kept to herself for much of the last 70 years (she’s about 500 and is amortal) and the scene where she discusses dating with the girls is very funny. Penis size is mentioned. Also hilarious is the section where Zed and Bael are giving Rob dating advice. Bael shit-talks Zed constantly and it’s so funny. I bet Ms. Harper was cracking herself up writing them.