Friday, December 4, 2009
Breanna Parker is a typical Hollywood wild child. The daughter of parents in the music industry, she was sent abroad as a child to boarding school. But that didn't make her more disciplined. If anything it prepared her to be the Black Paris Hilton - sex tape and all. When she moves back to the states she launches into full sex, drugs and rock & roll party mode. One disastrous incident after another forces Breanna to recognized the dangerous road she is on and she moves to Rome to start over with a new man and a new career. But, as sometimes happens, her past soon catches up to her.
As you can tell from my previous post, I am a fan of Rochelle Alers' romance books. This one, however, is written as straight fiction and is just as enjoyable. She is able to really flesh out all aspects of the story rather than just focusing just on a couple's relationships.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Warning to my readers: I have been a little depressed lately, and when that happens I tend to read more romance novels. Well, I just finished a tangent! So, here goes in no particular order:
This is the first book in a new series by Jackson called Bachelors in Demand. It revolves around a group of friends whose fathers were best friends, so they all grew up together. At some point they made a pact to remain bachelors forever. Of course in the upcoming books, they will be picked off one by one!
In this one Ellie Weston is a teenage girl with a crush on her neighbor Uriel Lassiter who is several years older. Their families both spend summers at the same lake community. One summer, aware that Uriel is going away to college and she may never get another chance, Ellie's best friend convinces her to kiss him. Uriel finds out that it was a dare and is livid. He manages to avoid her for the next ten years until circumstances find them both at the lake for the summer.
43. Hidden Agenda by Rochelle Alers
Both books are part of the Hideaway series which Alers first started publishing in 1995. There are now 13 books in the series and I'm just realizing that I missed some along the way. The great thing about this series is that the Cole family is African-American and either Cuban or Puerto Rican (I can't remember which), and helm an international corporation, so the locales and languages vary. Secret Agenda is about Vivienne Neal the recent widow of a politician killed in a hit and run accident. She attempts to start over by moving to Florida and taking a job as an assistant to Diego Cole-Thomas, the CEO of the above mentioned company. There budding romance may be in jeopardy when it turns out that her husband's death wasn't an accident and Vivienne herself may be in danger. Hidden Agenda follows Eve Blackwell to Mexico to find her son who may have been kidnapped by her ex-husband. Eve's uncle enlists the help of Matt Sterling a sort of "soldier of fortune" to assist his niece. Matt comes up with a plan, but the two must pose as husband and wife in order to make it work.
44. Sweet Deception by Rochelle Alers
The second book in The Eatons series, a family of educators. Myles Eaton was an attorney engaged to Zabrina Cooper. Right before they were to be married, she called him to say that she was in love with another man and couldn't marry him. Now, ten years later, Myles is home for his sister's wedding (her story is told in the book Bittersweet Love) and Zabrina is now a widow. Will they rekindle their romance once she tells him the truth about why she called off their wedding?
Allison Sawyer moves to a remote cabin with her young son to complete work on her latest cookbook. And also to get away from her tyrannical ex-husband who has threatened to take custody of their son. Her son, starving for fatherly attention, befriends their neighbor, Brock Lightner, a private investigator taking time off from his dangerous job to write a book of his own. But he may have to use his professional skills to keep Allison's ex-husband at bay.
47. One Night With You by Francis Ray
Both books are part of the Grayson Friends Series. In Nobody But You Nascar racer Cameron Dunlap was the laughing stock of the racing circuit when his fiance Caitlin Lawrence leaves him at the altar. It turns out that she just can't handle the dangerous nature of his job. An accident on the track a few years later finds Cameron in the hospital where he bumps into Caitlin and the son he never knew he had. Duncan McBride is a rancher in One Night With You who discovers ancient drawings in a cave on his property. A friend of the family recommends archeologist Raven La Blanc to Duncan to authenticate the artwork. A task that will require her to spend several weeks on his ranch. The two must fight to overcome their distrust of the opposite sex and give in to their attraction.
49. Westmoreland's Way by Brenda Jackson
Yep, another series. These are published by Harlequin Silhouette, so there the stories are shorter and I read these in maybe a couple of hours each. In Tall, Dark...Westmoreland, Olivia Jeffries meets a stranger at a masquerade ball and shares a mutually agreed upon anonymous night of passion. She later finds out that the stranger is Reginald Westmoreland, her father's political rival. Dillon Westmoreland has just found out about a whole new branch of his family in Westmoreland's Way. When he takes a trip to do some research on his family tree, he meets Pamela Novak, the newly engaged granddaughter of his grandfather's business partner. Dillon finds himself also seeking the truth about Pamela's engagement.
Yes, he has on a cowboy hat, but no, he is not a Westmoreland. Darius Foster is an ex-policeman who now owns a security firm. During his policing days he once protected Summer Martindale, a domestic abuse victim who was being harassed by her ex-boyfriend. Darius & Summer had a romantic connection until a series of misunderstandings tore them apart. Now, years later, Summer has taken a position as a counselor at a battered women's shelter in a new town where Darius now happens to live.
51. Man of Fate
52. Man of Fortune
53. Man of Fantasy by Rochelle Alers
Kyle Chatham (Man of Fate), Duncan Gilmore (Man of Fortune), and Ivan Campbell (Man of Fantasy) are all childhood friends who made a pact to support each other on their way to success. They are all now co-owners of a Harlem brownstone that they each run their own business from. Kyle is an attorney who meets Ava Warrick, a social worker, when she runs into his vintage Jaguar, and is herself injured in the accident. Their casual friendship turns into much more. Duncan is a financial planner who meets E.R. doctor Tamara Wolcott, when they are stuck in an elevator together. Her previous marriage to a distant husband has made her wary of any serious relationship. Ivan is a psychotherapist whose fiance died on 9/11. Nayo Goddard is a photographer hired to add art to his home and convinces him that its time to move on from the past. A good series that focuses on self-made men and the friendships that help them through it all. Really nice cover art, too.
Athena Crawford moves to an island in the Caribbean as part of an education project that brings teachers from all over the world to help in underdeveloped countries. Her experience and fresh ideas about the school aren't always accepted by the program's administrator Collin Winslow, but they find other ways to connect.
Whew! That's a lot of happy endings! I might have to go read some Tolstoy now!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Hmmm. Didn't care for this one. It may be a case of my expectations being too high. The tag lines on the cover of the advanced promo copy that I read say, "Finally there's sex in another part of the city..." and "You'll never look at brownstones, babies or Bugaboos the same way again." Those lines are true, but the book fell flat for me.
Set in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, Prospect Park West, follows the lives of four married women during one summer.
- Melora Leigh, an actress who fears that her career is waning and will do anything to revive it, including moving to this currently trendy neighborhood and adopting a child from a foreign country.
- Rebecca Rose, an attractive freelance writer and stay at home mom, whose husband has stopped having sex with her now that they have the child he always wanted. Rebecca starts to look outside the marriage for affection.
- Lizzie O'Donnell, a "hasbian" (former lesbian) who wants yearns for companionship because her jazz musician husband is always on tour.
- Karen Bryan Shapiro, a mom who is always concerned with the "right" things: the "right" address, the "right" school for her child, even the "right" park for her son to play in. And she will do whatever it takes to get these things.
I can't really recommend this book, but I want someone else to read it and let me know their take on it.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
by Paula Froelich
I saw a review recently that gave this book one star. I totally disagree. This book was funny, smart and entertaining.
The book is named for the title character, Penelope Mercury, who is a struggling reporter at a mid-level, slightly tabloid-y newspaper. The opening pages find Penelope having a serious FML day as she has to chase a story in the freezing cold with a photographer who won't let her ride in her car, while she battles a horrible head cold and a tyrannical boss. Also featured are Lena Lippencrass, a socialite who takes her status and her shopping very seriously, and Dana Gluck, a recently divorced attorney who has now devoted her days to making partner at her firm. When circumstances find them all living in the same apartment building in Soho, the women become friends and each others support system.
Now, this could have been just another chick lit, Sex and the City type knock-off, but a couple of things set it apart. First, the women are all from different social and income strata but are still able to bond over other commonalities. Second, the author is a Page Six columnist and she infuses the book with a lot of real-life stories that she has culled from her newspaper (details and names have been changed of course to protect the guilty). What results is an at times hilarious story about social-climbing, women's friendships, and new beginnings.