Excerpt: Going Against Type by Sharon Black

Sometimes finding the right word is easier than finding the right manBLURB: Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite as sure as she seems. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends, surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV. Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist and sophisticated man-about-town. The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking – and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain and shallow women. Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but is soon drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist The Squire – and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just whom the opponent is… When Charlotte and Derry meet at the Races, the attraction is instant. As their relationship develops, so much more proves at stake, than protecting their alter egos. But a blunder puts Charlotte’s job in jeopardy just as Derry’s past makes front page, and Charlotte begins to doubt her feelings. When Side Swipe and The Squire are finally forced to reveal themselves, will they revert to type – or confound everyone’s expectations?’

Buy: Going Against Type

EXCERPT:

Helen clapped her hands delightedly. ‘Oh Charlotte! Derry Cullinane? Don’t tell me you don’t know his by-line. I thought all you journalists knew each other.’

Charlotte looked bemused. ‘How do you know him?’

‘Well I always read his mid-week fashion feature. He’s a terrific writer…what?’

‘You read him, but you never read me?’

Helen smiled a little sheepishly. ‘Hey, nothing personal. Sport just doesn’t do it for me…’

‘Anyway, Fiona was obviously playing matchmaker,’ Charlotte continued, ‘but I’m not sure about him…’
Helen frowned.

‘What’s he like? His picture looks really hot! Oh God, please don’t tell me it’s airbrushed! Is he a troll? Oh wait, is he gay? He does write about fashion…’

Charlotte rolled her eyes. ‘That would make the matchmaking a bit pointless. No, he’s definitely not gay.’

‘So, what…three ex-wives? Does he still live with his mother?’

Charlotte bit her lip thoughtfully. ‘It’s nothing like that. We’re just very different. We have nothing in common.’

Helen nodded sagely. ‘No chemistry?’

‘Um well, no. I think there probably was.’

Helen started to laugh. ‘Charlotte, you’re blushing! Let me get this straight: the guy is gorgeous, available and you’ve got the hots for him.’

Charlotte shrugged. ‘It doesn’t matter. I don’t think I’m his type at all.’

‘So you turned him down?’ Helen looked disappointed.

‘He hasn’t even asked me out.’

‘Not yet.’

Charlotte shook her head. ‘Not ever. He’s Saville Row. I’m Wrangler jeans. He wouldn’t be interested. One of the other women there said he has a new, stunner of a girlfriend every time she meets him.’

‘Yeah, you wouldn’t stand a chance,’ Helen teased.

‘Well seriously, why would he be interested? I spend half my life out on the side of some football pitch or racetrack…’

‘Charlotte Regan, you have an exciting job,’ Helen interrupted sternly.

‘…and in my down time I do the kind of stuff most men prefer to do with their mates. The most expensive thing Iown is a wetsuit. He complimented me on your dress, by the way, he actually recognised the designer! I’d no idea.’ Charlotte paused. ‘How have I reached twenty nine without owning one designer dress?’

‘But there was a spark?’ Helen said, as if Charlotte hadn’t spoken. Charlotte rolled her eyes again.
‘Maybe. So what? This guy won’t stray from his comfort zone: women as deep as their cosmetics!’

SHARON BLACK Biography.

SHARON Black grew up in Dublin. She studied history and politics at University College Dublin and then did post-graduate in journalism at Dublin City University. She has worked for national newspapers, including The Evening Herald and The Irish Examiner. She had short stories published in U Magazine and won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition. When she is not writing, she reads, walks and sees friends. She co-founded a local book club 14 years ago. She loves theatre, old Hollywood films, science fiction and good stand-up comedy. She lives in a coastal village in Dublin, with her husband and their three children.

Buy: Going Against Type

Audio Review: The Tattooed Duke (The Writing Girls, Book 3) by Maya Rodale

tattoed dukeHero: Sebastian Digby, the Duke of Wycliff, is in need of a wealthy bride. His newly inherited dukedom is full of responsibilities and short on cash. All he wants to do is travel and discover Timbuktu. Unfortunately for him, all his dirty laundry is being aired by The London Weekly negating any chance he has at finding a suitable bride. He can’t prove who it is, but he suspects either his cousin or an employee.

Heroine: Eliza Fielding hasn’t had much to write about for her boss at The London Weekly. She’s about to be fired unless she can produce some scandalously meaty prose. Her undercover disguise as a housemaid in the duke’s household is perfect for getting close to the duke… in more ways than one. But as she gets to know this tattooed duke, Eliza has to wonder if getting her own dream – a column of her very own — is worth more than helping Sebastian obtain his dreams.

Review: This historical romance has a very modern edge. It worked for me where it might not work for others. I bought this book as an audiobook and I enjoyed the narrator, Carolyn Morris, immensely. Her accent work really placed me in the story and gave a sense of sophistication and Regency glamor. Sebastian Digby (whose last name, I must have missed… ha!) is a different duke than you’re used to meeting. He doesn’t want the duchy if it means curtailing his own desires for adventure, but it’s not exactly something you can just pretend isn’t yours. The scene where Eliza sees his tattoos for the first time was deliciously steamy (pun intended.) Eliza is a feisty heroine, who because she’s not gentry, can do things most well-bred young ladies can’t… like hide in plain sight of the hero she’s covering for her newspaper. Sebestian thinks the leak in his household is Eliza, but refuses to really give it credence because he doesn’t want it to be true. Overall a great listen!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Tattooed Duke

[phpbay]tatooed duke maya rodale, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

Review: C.J. Hawke on Assignment: Mexican Flames by C.J. Hawke

Reviewed by Cara Lynn

This book was long on sex, maybe short on story.  I finished it a while back and can’t say I particularly liked it.  I felt more neutral, so I put off writing a review. I read the PDF provided by LRP on my iPad.

What I liked: I liked the colored pictures in the text, though at times I felt she looked very young.  Does that let you know how old I am?

I liked that she was a journalist/reporter which is an interesting twist on a romantic suspense.

What I didn’t like: I didn’t like the idea that a professional journalist/reporter would sleep her way through her assignments.  Somehow that seemed like a setback for women, not progress.

The sex: Yes, it’s hot.  And with two men, at different times.  And which of them turns out to be the criminal?

But it doesn’t seem like the real dilemma that Janet Evanovich poses between Ranger and Morelli.

My feeling: I suspect that there are other books in the series, or at least planned for the series.  I would likely read another one to see if I still felt the same.

And I suspect she will sleep her way through the next assignment too. And that bothers me.  As a character, she seems too immature for the level of assignment and for her naivete about dangers, both real and perceived.

But the sex is hot.

Most other romantic suspense that I read has a more believable main character who actually falls in love with the man she is with, who also falls in love with her.  It is not gratuitous.  Ultimately it keeps them both safe.  That last sentence could be said about this book too.  But somehow it wasn’t as believable, at least for me.

Have you read it?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: C.J. Hawke on Assignment: Mexican Flames

Review: Off the Record (Love on the Line, Book One) by Camryn Rhys

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Katrina Parker is a chef at a new restaurant. Because of a mix-up, she’s seen buying some food at the local supermarket. There she gets a nice surprise by meeting Emily Reed. Emily’s son Ben seems fascinated by Kit’s coat. Kit is fascinated by Emily but she’s not sure if Emily feels the same.

They meet later when Emily shows up at Kit’s restaurant. Both women give off mixed messages which just confuses the other. Camryn gives us some indication in how Emily feels by giving us glimpses of her fantasies. You’ll just have to read to see if any of Emily’s fantasies come true.

Kit wants redemption for a less than stellar food critic review so she cooks a meal for Emily and a co-worker. We get to see the connection between the two women blossom. I like how Camryn keeps the story real by showing how prejudice still exists. But those prejudices don’t stop the women from forming a relationship.

Camryn also leaves the reader wondering what life has in store for Emily and Kit. But what happens to Ben? Does Kit’s restaurant become a success? What better way to end a story, where one of the characters is a chef, but with a delicious sounding recipe.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Off the Record (Love on the Line)

Review: A Tale of Two Lovers by Maya Rodale

A Tale of Two Lovers is the second Writing Girls novel by Maya Rodale. Don’t you just love the cover?

The Situation: A pair of lovers is caught in a compromising situation. Soon all of London knows. There’s just one problem – it wasn’t quite what it looked like!

The Heroine: Lady Julianna Somerset is a widow and a Writing Girl for the London Weekly. Gossip is her thing and she loves secrets, as long as she knows them. The ton suspects she’s the London Weekly’s Lady of Distinction but they have no proof. When she comes across a piece of gossip so juicy she’s ecstatic because she knows her rival at the other newspaper, the Man About Town, hasn’t a clue, and she’ll be the one to break the scandal.

The Hero: Lord Simon Roxbury is not happy. First his father gives him an ultimatum to get married with a short time limit or he’ll be cut off from his allowance. Then the Lady of Distinction insinuates that he was intimate with a man, ensuring that no respectable woman would talk to him let alone marry him. He’s determined to get the gossipy she-devil to recant and hopefully get his old life back.

Review: The public and private battle for control was predictable but cute. They both do stupid things that kind of make you roll your eyes. The heroine wants to eek out as much juice from her Roxbury scandal as possible and plays every situation in such as way as to continually cast doubt on the man’s sexual preferences. The hero causes such a huge ruckus that the ensuing scandal embroils both that can only be fixed by a marriage of convenience. If you’re looking for a romp this is the book for you. :)

The Writing Girls:

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: A Tale of Two Lovers (Writing Girls)

[phpbay]tale two lovers maya rodale, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]