contemporary romance reviews

5 Romance Novels at Once! – Intro/Ch 1

I’ve just gotten back edits from my first editor for Sweet Island Kisses and am doing extremely difficult in-depth research on how to make it more awesome…

…by reading 5 romance novels at once! Oh wait, this was supposed to be difficult? 🙂

Starting today I am reading 4 new authors that I hope will become new favorites and 1 familiar author that I already love. I’m also posting the reviews on GoodReads! This is super fun so far, and if it goes well, I will do it again with 4 more new authors and one fav. I usually read a novel in one night because I have no self-control. We’ll see if I can keep control when trying to ready all five, especially considering what other good things I have in store for this week (research trip + writing panel in Anacortes this weekend).

Here are the books:

Bella Andre – new – I Only Have Eyes For You
Shirley Jump – new – The Sweetheart Bargain
Jill Shalvis – fav – Head Over Heels
Jennifer Echols – new – Playing Dirty
Victoria Dahl – new – Looking For Trouble

Starting my reviews!

Intro/Prologue/Ch 1

Bella Andre – I Only Have Eyes For You – Quiet librarian is in love with her brothers’ best friend. I really want to like this book. Prologue is unexpected but sweet. So, this isn’t the first Sullivan’s book? Huh, my bad, and I still can’t figure out the book list. Chapter 1 has an awful lot of narrative and only a little dialogue. Getting bored. Kind of weird spontaneous decision for the librarian to ask the bartender to be her fake boyfriend. I like Jake though. Hmm.

Shirley Jump – The Sweetheart Bargain – Oh I loved how this one started – really interesting backstory about an abandoned heroine reclaiming her life by inheriting her biological mother’s fix-me-upper and a poor dog rescue – and the guy seems like a complete jerk. Hints that he might not be, but I don’t want to know. Any chapter that ends with crying is bad. I want to put this one down.

Jill Shalvis – Head Over Heels – OMG I love her. I missed Tara’s story and this is Chloe’s but Sawyer is sexy and I love Chloe. Finally a 100% yes (no surprise.) Oh, the plot? Chloe is the wild child of three sisters but too asthmatic to have fun (or anything else) in bed, and Sawyer is the sexy police officer who is probably going to change that…

Jennifer Echols – Playing Dirty – Not as good as Jill Shalvis, but already funny and I’m still thinking about it several hours later. The hero and heroine haven’t met yet, but it’s already going off in a direction I didn’t expect. The heroine is a PR agent intending to whip a country band into shape and the hero is the lead singer who has been faking their bad reputation for publicity, but really does have something to hide now…

Victoria Dahl – Looking For Trouble – I want to like this based on the cover quotes, but it’s starting out angry and emotional with the estranged hero getting drunk to deal with his brother and mother, who suffers from a mental illness. I suspect the heroine is the pissed-off business owner who shoved the crazy mother’s fliers in the hero’s hands and stormed off. Not an exciting start.

Continuing on…

The End!

If you followed my progress on GoodReads, you learned that I am the kind of person who can set down a book and stop reading if it’s not working for me. This is a fairly recent change. Before, I’d feel guilty or like I was missing a chance for the author to redeem themselves if I didn’t read to the end. One day, I hit a book so distasteful/boring that I gave myself permission to put it aside and never read it again. And now I can put down books all the time for any reason.

So on GoodReads, I posted for several chapters. Here is the update for how things ended:

Bella Andre – I Only Have Eyes For You – Put down in the 3rd-4th chapter. Her brothers told her she looked bad when she was trying to dress sexy at a wedding. (They were being overprotective/masculine or something.) I would cry if my brother did that! And the hero started being kind of a jerk about it too. I stopped finding any of it sexy, so I put it down.

Shirley Jump – The Sweetheart Bargain – I wanted to put this one down so I did. The guy is an injured Coast Guard hero with a meddling grandma. Many people love meddlers who get the right people together. But if I found out someone was manipulating me like that, I would end my relationship with them.

Jill Shalvis – Head Over Heels – Best! Finished in a day, then reread it twice. Jill Shalvis gives me the warm fuzzies.

Jennifer Echols – Playing Dirty – I started out really liking this, then put it down in the 3rd quarter of the book when the hero broke into the heroine’s hotel room to watch her sleep and the heroine continued to think he was a dumb coke addict despite all evidence to the contrary (he is a frickin’ medical doctor researching allergies who also happens to be a rich rock star). And there was something weird about driving a car. The rules were cute but I flipped ahead and the heroine remains ridiculously stupid for way too long.

Victoria Dahl – Looking For Trouble – This gets way better. It’s very sexy and the motorcycle hero is a bit of an alpha-hole. I actually did put it down to work on other projects but I’m 1/4 through and intend to keep going.

I seem to have a 25% success rate with new-to-me authors. Now, thanks to Liberation’s Kiss, I’m on an SFR kick. Friend me on GoodReads and find out!