February 18, 2013

Book Review: THE BEST MAN by Kristan Higgins

Book Review:  The Best Man
Author:  Kristan Higgins
Publisher:  Harlequin
Category:  Adult Contemporary Romance

“Do you have bad dreams? Is that why you bake in the middle of the night?”- Faith
“Yes.”- Levi
“You could wake me up too.  If you’re sleeping over that is.”- Faith
“I don’t have those dreams when I’m with you.”- Levi

Description via Goodreads:

Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there's some great scenery there....

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief-and best friend of her former fiancé. There's a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it's not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she's having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosÉ, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk

**********SPOILER ALERT*********SPOILER ALERT ************

Faith Holland is healing far away from home.  Her boyfriend and fiancé of 8 years left her at the altar where he finally fessed up that..... He's gay. Distraught and heartbroken, Faith left for their supposed honeymoon destination, San Francisco, alone, and didn't return until three years later, forced to come home by her siblings because their father is being seduced by a great white shark... by that they mean a cleavage bearing, skintight wearing gold digger.
So off to their vineyard she goes.  And there she bumps into their town police chief, the man who, in her mind, destroyed her happiness.
Levi Cooper was the Best Man at Faith and Jeremy's wedding.  Having known the groom’s secret, he urged Jeremy at the very last minute, to tell Faith the truth.  He had never particularly liked Faith... Attracted to her? Yes.  Lusted after her? Yes. But liked? Not really.  She had always been just a little bit too sweet, too perky, too rich, too perfect... Princess super cute…. yep, just way too much.
Though there is THAT one moment, a secret that they share from when Faith and Jeremy were broken up, one they never told anyone else.
In their tiny town, there was no way they wouldn’t run into each other, no matter their dislike, especially since as Chief of Police, Levi is treated as a member of everyone's family.
Through their constant verbal spars (her sarcasm and his grunts), their chemistry builds and eventually explodes.

Hilarious...absolutely hilarious!
This has got to be the funniest cast of characters I have read in a long time. The only serious ones here are the 2 leads and everyone else is absolutely crazy.... Including the ex-coulda been hubby, Jeremy and 
Faith's dog, Blue, the leg humper .
Kristan Higgins has always been humorous in her story telling, but this book is extra witty and extra funny, giving (another favorite) Shannon Stacey's The Kowalski family a run for their money.

Here's a some of my favorite lines:

“My late husband was sterile… a groin injury when he was a boy. Tractor backed up, squished him in the soft parts so we never could have kids, though hell, we sure got it on!”- Lorena the gold digging shark

by author Kristan Higgins 
“Can you hook us up with the hottest men here? I like them fifty, fifty five plus.  Don’t mind a little beer belly. Missing limbs okay as long as it was lost heroically.  I don’t want some dumb ass who cut off his own hand chopping wood.”- Colleen, Faith’s best friend

 “Gays make the best dates Helena.  Everyone knows that.”- Jeremy, the ex

“People say to me, John, I don’t know how you do it.  And I tell them just look at my wife.  She’s got the face of a saint! A Saint Bernard that is.”- Mr. Holland, Faith’s grandpa

another book by the author
“Here he is.  Viagra for women.”- Prudence, Faith’s sister

Since Levi's character is stoic and a one word man, there's really not many romantic lines, yet this book is sweet in its simplicity.  I like Faith.  She is sugary sweet with a bite.  I also like that Jeremy still played a huge part in the family and Faith's lovelife after the non-wedding, since He is the best gay man everyone would love to have for a best friend.
There is a bit of a lag in the middle of the book that made me want to speed read but it picks up enough with the many crazy lines that's laugh out loud funny.  The book does not get too dramatic or too sappy but you do feel how and why Levi and Faith fall for each other.  This is a story with much heart.
So if you like books that will make you smile all through out and is laugh out loud funny, pick up The Best Man, and prepare yourself for a fun ride....

P.S. if you're a Justin Timberlake fan you are going to LOVE his part in the story.  Let's just say he is such an "inspiration"to..... (**smirk**snort**)

Here are my reviews on other Kristan Higgins' books:



February 13, 2013

Book Review: THE DOWNFALL OF A GOOD GIRL by Kimberly Lang

Book Review:  The Downfall of A Good Girl
Author:  Kimberly Lang
Publisher:  Harlequin KISS
Category:  Adult Romance

“… You’re charming because it gets you what you want from people, and you’re glib because you don’t really care all that much.  You’re crazy talented- I won’t deny that.  And I know you’ve worked hard, so I give you proper credit there too.  I also know you can be very petty, extremely superficial and completely self-centered.  Oh and your ego is suffocatingly immense.”- Vivi

“While you, Miss Vivi, are sanctimonious and supercilious.  You are dismissive to anyone or anything that doesn’t meet your standards.  And I don’t know what’s more insufferable- your pride or your superiority complex.”- Connor

Description via Goodreads:

Carpe Diem. Be Bad.

Southern debutante Vivienne LaBlanc can't believe bad-boy rock star Connor Mansfield is back in town for the New Orleans annual Saints and Sinners pageant. He has a reputation as wicked as his devilish smile, and Vivi has no intention of becoming one of his latest groupies!
He once crushed her high school heart, so playing the saint to Connor's sinner should be easy. But how can Vivi get those less than angelic thoughts out of her head—especially when Connor's so good at tempting her to be bad?

Vivi LaBlanc can hold a grudge, especially when it comes to sexy Connor  Mansfield.  
They grew up together what with their families being close friends and neighbors.  But for some reason, she has never warmed up to him, except for that one VERY short time in high school.....but then she found out he was just using her to get to her girl friend.  So she did what any furious, hurt, scorned woman in her place would do.... slap Connor's pretty face on stage at the prom.
Years later, people still haven't forgotten that incident, or the fact that Vivi and Connor still hate each other's guts.
Then came the annual Sinners and Saints Ball where a committee secretly chooses a person to represent either the sinner or the saint (ergo the name).  The main point of this is a competition to raise the most money for charity.

Socialite Vivi is chosen to be the year's saint as she is the most qualified, known as an upstanding citizen who belongs to an influential family in New Orleans, she is also heavily involved in many fundraising committees pro bono.. 

To Vivi's horror, Connor is the chosen Sinner!

Which is perfect.  Free publicity is most assured as not only is Connor a famous musician, he is also controversial, very recently emerging from a scandal involving an easy woman and an unwanted pregnancy.  Connor is just happy to be back in New Orleans.  Apart from it being his childhood home, he seriously needs to get away from Hollywood.  So being asked to play the Sinner is perfect timing.  Never mind that he has to work with his nemesis Vivi on an almost daily basis.  He sincerely wants to help raise money and get his bearings back.

So forced to work together they are.  That there would be animosity is expected, but sexual chemistry? Not in their wildest imagination.  But here they are trying NOT to tear each other's clothes off..... Vivi is aghast at what she feels, but then again her sister put things in a different perspective with.....

“You don’t have to be a real saint.  There’s no Miss Perfect title to be won.  You don’t have to go full-out Sinner either, but consider being just a little bit bad.  It won’t kill you.  You might even enjoy it.”-Lorelei

Lorelei's story coming in march 2013
So she dives in headfirst with Connor, thinking in temporary but very fun terms.  Both expecting, and enjoying, nothing but games that adults play.  But that's the thing when playing with fire.... one will eventually  get burned......

I loved ConnorHe was straightforward and honest about his intentions from the very beginning.  He never tried to trick Vivi nor sweet talk her into doing anything.  He’s also appreciative of his roots, his home and his fans which quite frankly, you don’t see much from supposed superstars like him.
On the other hand Vivi is too competitive, envious and insecureShe is threatened by Connor’s fundraising capabilities (well…duh!), insecure about feeling like a has-been beauty queen who has peaked before 30 and is constantly battling with Connor about the smallest things.
Now obviously I am no Vivi fan.  She just rubs me the wrong way especially compared to Connor who seems to just do everything right. but beyond that they do have something right:  they don’t sugarcoat anything they say to each other because their relationship started from dislike. That honesty, sometimes brutally so, I appreciate.
The romance between them is nice… not fiery nor intense….just sweet and smooth.  I also like the supporting character Lorelei, Vivi’s sister.  She is funny and cool, the kind of sister you’d like by your side. (Lorelei will have her own story in the follow up book The Taming of A Wild Child).
This book is no roller coaster ride of emotions.  Just a straight read through that though I liked, would probably not pick up again. An enjoyable one time read.

You may reach the Author at:

February 04, 2013

Book Review: ALL HE EVER DREAMED by Shannon Stacey

Book Review:  All He Ever Dreamed
Author:  Shannon Stacey
Publisher:  Carina Press
Category:   Adult Romance

“I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember Josh.  But I don’t want to spend the rest of my life watching you turn bitter and hateful because you never got out of Whitford, so I’m taking away the choice and saying goodbye.”- Katie
“Katie, please.  I need you.”- Josh
“You and I will always be friends…but you need to go find the thing that’s going to make you happy.  I’m just sorry it wasn’t me.”- Katie

Description via Goodreads:

Josh Kowalski is tired of holding down the fort—better known as the Northern Star Lodge—while his siblings are off living their dreams. Now that his oldest brother has returned to Whitford, Maine for good, Josh is free to chase some dreams of his own.

Josh Kowalski's story
As the daughter of the lodge's longtime housekeeper, Katie Davis grew up alongside the Kowalski kids. Though she's always been "one of the guys", her feelings for Josh are anything but sisterly. And after a hot late-night encounter in the kitchen, it's clear Josh finally sees her as the woman she is.

Katie's been waiting years for Josh to notice her, but now that he has, she's afraid it's too late. Giving her heart to a man who can't wait to leave town is one sure way to have it broken. But Josh keeps coming up with excuses not to leave—could it be that everything he's ever wanted is closer than he could have imagined?

Katie has always loved Josh but he only looks at her as just another guy, his best friend forever.  It doesn’t help that they grew up together since Katie’s mom Rosie has worked for decades at the Northern Star lodge, Josh’s family’s business. 

Sean Kowalski's story
Josh is restless.  He’s the only one among his siblings stuck taking care of the lodge.  Everyone else has had the chance to get out of town and build their careers…but not him.  So he wants to sell the lodge and get the hell out.

Slowly they are rebuilding the lodge for an eventual sale.  What they never expected is for their beloved Rosie to get sick.  So Katie decides to stay over at the lodge to take care of her mother and help Josh with it. 

An accidental run in finally makes Josh see Katie as the beautiful woman he has always ignored.  The attraction between them sizzles.  And though Josh tries to ignore and fight his feelings, he eventually succumbs.  At last Katie has her man.  But is what they have enough to stop Josh from leaving and doing what he has always dreamed?

Ryan Kowalski's story
I’ve said it before I will say it again.  I am a sucker for happy endings. And I know that anything by Shannon Stacey, particularly anything Kowalski, is sure to have a happy ending, so it was a no brainer for me to read this book.  An extra plus is the plot. I have always found stories of friendships that turn into love extra romantic and thrilling, and No, I never tire of reading these, so after getting the ARC copy I dove right into the first page and read straight through the night.  Another un-put downable book by Stacey, All She Ever Dreamed may be my favorite Kowalski story yet.

The Kowalski family has the best one liners:

Mitch Kowalski's story
you finally realized your trusty sidekick is actually a woman

I wanted to see how many licks it takes to get to the center of your tootsie pop

You’re the fantasy Katie.  The rest is just the setting

Also they are the best characters.  It is pretty hard to choose which Kowalski is my favorite but I would say that Josh is pretty much it right now. I wouldn’t hold my breath though because based on the side stories within this one, another Kowalski book will be on the way soon I’m sure, that of Josh’s sister Liz and Mitch Kowalski’s best friend Drew

If you like your imagination tickled, with lots of thrilling and romantic moments in between, read anything Kowalski.  Or better yet, read all of them!

Check out the author’s website for a list of these books:

For my reviews on the Kowalski books, click: