Review: Killer Heels by Tracy Tegan

Review: Killer Heels by Tracy Tegan

killer heelsReviewed by Cara Lynn

This was a short book compared to some.

Devlin Manning is a Hollywood actor. He has more girls throw themselves at him than he cares to think about.

And then he meets a girl that draws his attention who waits on him in a local coffee shop — and she disappears. All efforts to find her, to see her again, are in vain.

Then he sees her at the party of one of Hollywood’s most influential producers. Unfortunately Ray is connected to the mafia, and when Devlin returns later that night for his cell phone, he is mercilessly beaten. And how does it all connect with the woman who disappears again?

Later her friend tells Devlin that she has said (on a burner phone) that he is the only one that can find her. She is as enamored of him as he is with her, but she needs to be safe. So he begins the search in earnest.

I would call this romantic suspense, but there is really no sex in the book. If it’s going to be a gentle, almost unrequited love story, I was put off by him calling his member a c&*k. It didn’t seem like it fit.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Killer Heels

Review: Jinxed By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Review: Jinxed By Kathryn Leigh Scott

Jinxed_finalcoverReviewed by Karin

First book Down and Out in Beverly Heels

I really enjoyed this book.

This book takes Meg a bit further down the path from where she was dead broke because her ex-husband was a conman (now in prison) and she was living in her car because that was all she had.

She had had a successful TV series 20 years before where she played Jinx, complete with a magician’s hat. Now she is caught off guard to find they are reprising the show — but not with her. The young actress is surprisingly good, with an interesting voice, and a few secrets of her own. And Meg has been asked to give her lessons on how the hat was used in the old show and how it will be used in the new.

Then she goes missing.

Throw in an extremely irritating first husband; the wealthy woman who lets Meg live in her mansion (complete with paraphernalia from old movies and an old doll collection) … a young man who is talented as a film director who is filming Meg (who wants to further him in the business); a couple of detectives; an older male friend; … Jack, her lover, who is also with the FBI. He’s on a case involving sex rings, which may or may not be part of the missing actress.

And there’s a murder and attempted murder …

I didn’t see it coming (whodunit) … I suspected someone who wasn’t the one (good) …

The book was well written. I would definitely read another of her books.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Jinxed (A Jinx Fogarty Mystery)

Audio Review: A Passionate Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson

passionate affairSummary: Charley Lambert wants the perfect life and thinks she has the perfect career. Which is great for her because she is a workaholic who lusts for her boss. He’s hot, they click, and he’s a damn good flirt. But it’s been seven years! So when she breaks her leg, finds out her boss is getting married, and must take time off from perfect job – Charley searches for something to fill the void. Her friends guide her to the perfect hobby – providing online dating help to the luckless women out on the web. She does their flirting for them and they get to meet the guys they think are great. Charley’s friend and roommate, Sam is an actor wannabe who loves women and junk food. They’ve friend-zoned each other long before the story starts. He helps her with her get her business started. It’s fun and smooth-sailing until Charley falls for a guy she’s helping another woman snag.

Review (with spoilers): So it was clear to me from the start of the sequence for the online-dating that Sam was going to be perfect for Charley. They both just didn’t know it. I never liked Charley’s boss (what kind of guy claims to like a woman for seven years and never ask her out and what kind of woman waits seven years to be asked out?) – and his behavior and general smarmy attitude just didn’t work for me. Sam was very immature at the start and grows into a better guy through a series of events in the novel. My favorite sequence was Charley falling in love with Sam and Sam with Charley but both thinking they were falling for a stranger on the internet and ghost-writing for a client. Loved it.

Narrator: Cathleen McCarron’s voice is very distinct and so is the Scottish accent. On one hand she was a great narrator lending Charley some maturity when needed and levity when needed. On the other hand Cathleen was sometimes difficult to listen to as it seemed like she read slower in certain parts.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger

A Heroine Needs a Bestie, Too

Hi, I’m romantic comedy author Lucy Woodhull, and I’m here to celebrate the release of the third and final book in my Samantha Lytton contemporary romance series.  Samantha is a wannabe actress who gets accidentally involved with an art thief who ruins her life in the sexiest way possible.  Book three is called The Wrath of Dimple, and it follows The Dimple of Doom and The Dimple Strikes Back.

Dimple all 3 covers

Here’s a blurb for the first book:

The Dimple of Doom cracked me up. I laughed and laughed and then laughed some more.” —
Smexy Books

The Dimple of Doom, book one in the Samantha Lytton series.

It may sound like common sense, but never hump an art thief. Turns out, Samantha Lytton’s Common-Sense-O-Meter is super duper broken.

Failed actress Samantha Lytton is getting along just fine in her lonely little life when a charming criminal called Sam or Nate or maybe even Richmond kisses her, square dances most provocatively, opens his not-so-wicked heart, and gets her in trouble with not one, but two international art theft rings as well as the LAPD.

She’s either gonna end up in jail or famous.  Maybe both.

Along the way, she fights for her life and falls for this funny, sexy disaster of a man… and learns that finding happily-ever-after with yourself is the first step to real contentment. A cute dimple is just the second.

Buy: The Dimple of Doom

Samantha goes on the adventure of her life through these three books, and travels the world in pursuit of her own dreams (and the hot man, natch).  She’s accompanied many times by her best friend, Ellen, and they enjoy a fabulous female friendship inspired by the hijinks of myself and my oldest friend, K.  So for fun, I asked K to interview me for my blog tour of The Wrath of Dimple (book three).  She said yes like the humoring friend that she is, and so I present:  The interview of Lucy Woodhull by BFF K.

Dearest Lucy, we have been BFFs since long before the popularization of the term, “BFF,” much like Samantha and Ellen in your fabulous books. We even, as I recall, created our own secret language, of sorts. If Samantha and Ellen did similar, what would “BFF” stand for in their speak?

BFF in Samantha and Ellen’s language means “bshhhbr frappy froop,” which means “We are the unicorn queens of the universe, and we will, we will rock you (clap clap) rock you (clap clap).”  They’re big Queen fans, and also big unicorn fans.  Children of the eighties always are!  Also, “bshhhbr frappy froop” is really fun to say.  The first word is basically just a raspberry.

What is the square root of 69?

Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer, not a math wizard!  69 needs no square root, as it is the most tempestuous number.  Besides seven hundred and forty-three…that is one racy number.

Xanadu is Samantha’s favorite movie. What is Sam the man’s favorite?

Sam, Samantha’s unfortunately same-named art thief lover (and he of the infamous dimple), loves Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Indiana Jones is grumpy and runs around the world excavating artifacts.  Sam is also grumpy, and travels the globe, um, “liberating” pieces of art.  That’s kindof the same thing, right?  On a personal note, Harrison Ford UNF, amIright?

Samantha can be pretty badass at times — have you, Lucy, ever kicked a (deserving) guy in the nuts?

Ha!  No, I have not.  Not physically, anyway.  I have been known to try and ball-bust with my mind, but since I’m not an X-Man, it doesn’t work.  Samantha, however, busts criminals of both genders with shocking regularity, with the help of Ellen and her girlfriend Nicolette (a bona-fide cop).  These three ladies are a force to be reckoned with, even while singing “Xanadu.”  Nope, no kicks to the groin, but Samantha does defeat a bad guy while wearing roller skates, which is totally a Beyoncé thing to do.  I am worthy of neither of them.

* * *

You can read the blurbs for all three of Samantha’s funny adventures here.  My crazy heroine has brought me a lot of joy, and I hope she can do the same for you!

Thanks so much to Love, Romance, Passion for having me.  And thanks to K for putting up with me for more years than I care to admit to on the Internet.

* * *

Bio:  Lucy Woodhull has always loved le steamy romance. And laughing. And both things at the same time, although that can get awkward. Her motto is “Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you’ll short-circuit your Kindle.” That’s why she writes funny books, because goodness knows we all need to escape the real world once in a while. She believes in red lipstick, equality, and the interrobang. Hailing from Southern California, she daydreams with her husband and a very fat cat who doesn’t like you.  

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Audio Review: Love in the Afternoon by Alison Packard

love in the afternoonHero: Sean Barrett is the sexiest soap star on TV. His father — an amazing actor in his own right — is embarrassed that Sean spent ten years of his life acting for a lowbrow soap, and tries to get him to audition for Hollywood hits. Sean refuses to use his father’s connections in the industry to get ahead and purposefully avoids leaving the soap for greener pastures. He and his father do not get along. Sean sees every attempt to reconnect as an attempt to manipulate him. His father’s pull is so strong others have tried to get close to Sean in order to get close to his father, something Sean finds distasteful. His fame-seeking ex-girlfriend has left a bad taste in his mouth and he’s determined to avoid his sexy new costar at all costs… until he realizes she wasn’t hired for her pretty face but for her acting skills. Then all bets are off.

Heroine: Kayla Maxwell’s biggest career move in seven years has been to accept a contract with daytime’s most popular soap, A New Dawn. It will give her the chance to show her acting chops and perhaps prove to her manipulative ex-boyfriend – also an actor — that she’s more than a bimbo in some B-rated slashers. Things seem to be going well, because the producers are expanding her role and slotting her character as Sean’s character’s newest love interest. But when real terror comes to the set, Kayla doesn’t know what to do. A hateful fan leaving threatening notes for her to quit the show and get out of town has escalated into vandalism and hints at more. Her handsome costar wants to keep her safe and Kayla is inclined to let him.

Review: Found this treasure on Audible for free one day and snagged it. I’m glad I did. I very much enjoyed the narrator. Gia St. Claire did an excellent job and I would listen to another book read by her.

I liked how the lines of dialogue at the top of each chapter reflect the growing attraction and love the two shared as both the main characters and their on-screen personas. I would classify this romance as sweet, despite the crazy fan mystery. I thought Sean and Kayla were great together on and off the stage. I liked the behind-the-scenes-look at filming day time soap operas with new tapings each day and the two’s interactions in the evening studying their lines.

The mystery is pretty good at keeping you guessing who is behind the threats. I won’t give you the choices, but I know I kept bouncing back and forth on it for a good portion of the novel. There’s a significant portion of page time devoted to Sean’s friend, Matt, a baseball player with some serious issues involving the death of somebody (wife, child?). It’s a clear setup for the next book in the series. Perhaps with Kelly, Kayla’s sister?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Love in the Afternoon (Feeling the Heat)

Review: Sonora Sundown (Americana, Book 3) by Janet Dailey

sonora sundownHero: Jim Corbett is a famous movie star. His specialty is Westerns and he plays a fine cowboy on and off the silver screen. While filming he retreats to his ranch and on this particular night decided to camp out under the stars. Imagine his surprise and frustration when a young woman enters his camp. She must be a groupie or a reporter. However as it turns out the girl doesn’t seem to recognize him and that alone intrigues him and takes him out of his cynical circular thought.

Heroine: Lost in the desert, without her horse, Brandy stumbles upon a dangerous looking man. He might be a cattle rustler, but he’s her only hope of getting through the ordeal in one piece. She knows her parents will be worried, she just hopes she makes it back before the search parties are sent. Her witless behavior catches the eye of the cattle rustler (who is actually not what he appears) much to her surprise. Of course she finds him gorgeous, but how does one talk to someone famous?

Review: Sonora Sundown is a classic Harlequin setup with a May/December pairing. He’s famous(ly cynical); she’s the naïve ingénue. There were signs of jealousy as the costar LaRaine tried to break up the happy couple. It was a little slow and I never quite warmed up to the characters. I felt the heroine was a little unbalanced – she was an odd mix of independence and codependence. The hero was determined to give nothing away until his final (first) declaration of love, which again is a classic Harlequin element.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Sonora Sundown (Arizona) (Americana)

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Review: Down and out in Beverly Heels by Kathryn Leigh Scott

Down and out in Beverly HeelsThis was a fun book to read and very well written. I read an ARC provided by LRP. There were a few mistakes, but not many, and it didn’t detract at all from the story. It is considered a romantic comedy. Not to mention it has a clever title!

The story: Meg Barnes used to have it all. An actress at the top of her game with a long running TV show in which she played a detective, she is now reduced to living out of her car, literally. She has lost it all, because her second husband has more or less faked his own kidnapping and disappeared after bilking many, including friends, out of a great deal of money in a real estate scam.

Of course there is more to it than that.

The book starts with a prologue where we feel Meg’s pain, fear, and confusion when she gets the phone call from her husband saying he was kidnapped.

The main characters: Meg is a delightful heroine, spunky, honest, forthright. The only thing she hides is that she is homeless, even though she does have good friends who look after her and would house her. Even they do not know she is homeless. She moves her car around so she isn’t caught; sleeps sometimes in what seems to be a safe garage; finds ways to shower and eat… And now she has to pre-audition before she can even audition.

Enter Donna, a fellow volunteer at Meals-on-Wheels who offers her a bedroom and friendship. Donna treats her like family, doesn’t admit she realized she was homeless, and has plenty of spunk on her own.

The two team up against the odds to have a new life and find Meg’s husband who turns out to have more flaws and a different past than he has let on.

Love: FBI agent Jack Mitchell is pretty sure Meg is innocent, but even he wants to know if she knows where her husband is. He would like to take her to dinner, but she’s not sure that is a good idea. Lucky for her, he knows his job. And by the book’s end, it is clear they will be a couple. It’s a love story of sorts, but heavier on the mystery solving, and only a few kisses and that is after the case is solved.

Humor: Most of the humor is how Meg looks at things and the comments she makes about the fresh-faced youngsters now running the industry. And it is funny — and I expect funnier if you really were on the inside of this industry. Scott knows what she is writing about. She is known for having starred as the doomed fiancee of Barnabas Collis in the TV series Dark Shadows. She has written other books.

My take: It is well written, fast paced; has quirky characters, some great lines, including a couple that give clues to the ending; and a surprising and dangerous conclusion.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Down and Out in Beverly Heels

Review: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires, Book 2) by Laurel McKee

two sinful secretsHero: Dominic St. Claire and his brothers continue to uphold a feud that started many years ago with the Huntingtons, involving older relatives on both sides. They brothers blame the Huntingtons for the loss of their family fortune. Revenge would be sweet and Lady Sophia would be perfect target. Dominic decides he will elope with her and then dump her at the altar, forever ruining her. What will he do, however, when his treacherous heart gets involved?

Heroine: When Lady Sophia Huntington, now Mrs. Westman, was younger refused to give up a man she thought she loved was banished from her family’s bosom. He wasn’t such a prince after all. Widowed now, Sophia is betting against the house in order to survive and maybe to finally make her way home. But blast it all! She can’t possibly win her family’s forgiveness if she shows up with Dominic St. Claire. Can she?

Review: I could have done without the obsessed stalker hunting the heroine. In my opinion, it was superfluous to the storyline. The revenge plot could have had more oomph. It’s hard to feel for somebody holding onto a grudge that really isn’t his to hold. One of the hottest scenes in the book is the very first chapter. It introduces both characters and a meeting they had prior to the start of the main action. She’s a masked figure gambling in his family’s gaming establishment. Sophia knows who Dominic is, but he does not know her. They share quite a passionate kiss before she breaks it off and runs away. It’s a moment neither party can forget or the reader.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires)

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