hollywood dirt, by alessandra torre

This was a fun and relatively fast read. There was a lot of humor infused with real emotion and just the right amount of sexual tension. Alessandra Torre is quickly becoming one of my most adored authors and I could easily go on a binge devouring one book after another from her. In this case, Hollywood Dirt is being made into a movie. And while not a big budget summer release, casting has begun and you’re sure to recognize a face or two on the big screen when it’s brought to life.

Cole Masten, the hero (a term used loosely) is the epitome of an egotistical a*s. He’s Hollywood elite, with over-the-top good looks and talent for days, all slathered in charm. He’s also the male half of ‘Codia,’ being married to Nadia Smith, a Hollywood starlet in her own right. But the demise of the Cole/Nadia acronym is upon them.

After returning home one day, Cole discovers Nadia engaged in extra curricular activities with another man in their bathroom. Needless to say, Cole doesn’t take it well. After arranging a meeting between the other man’s head and shoulder with a ceramic elephant, the divorce of “Codia” ensues; along with a lot of bad behavior on Cole’s part.

Enter Summer. A down home, tell it like it is, care free southern girl. She manages to wrangle a job on Cole’s next movie as an assistant to the location scout. But what starts out as a short-term assistant gig, turns into the part of a lifetime for Summer and as it were, Cole.

The interactions between Cole and Summer are rife with will they/won’t they as well as insults and pranks galore. It makes for a well-written enjoyable story that takes a light-hearted approach to dealing with serious matters of the heart. The reader has the dual benefit of knowing what’s going on inside both Cole and Summer’s head to get a clear view of where they stand, even though they aren’t expressing it to one another. Peppered with one liners and secondary characters almost as entertaining as the primary, this is one book I hope the movie-makers do right by.

the bourbon kings, by j.r. ward

the bourbon kingsWow! I read this book in 2 days. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. This is a new contemporary series by J. R. Ward that I heard is going to become a t.v. series–congrats to The Warden!

Ward describes The Bourbon Kings as a cross between Downton Abbey and Dynasty and that about nails it. Then again, she wrote the book, so she should know.

Lane Baldwine is from old money; old Kentucky bourbon money. Lizzie is the lead horticulturist for the family’s sprawling estate–Easterly. Two years ago, lies tore them apart and Lane fled to New York, not to return–until a family emergency brings him home. Now he’s back, just when Lizzie was almost over him.

There are more lies and secrets anew now that Lane has returned to Easterly. His older brother Edward, has distanced himself from the family after an awful life-altering tragedy. Gin, the only Baldwine daughter, is such a misguided self-preservationist that she sells her soul to the highest bidder. And then there’s William, the patriarch of the family, who is as cruel and ruthless as J.R. Ewing and shows no remorse for any of his actions.

Ward is a master of weaving multiple storylines together and she does so seamlessly in this tale. There’s intrigue and drama up to the very last page. The plot is well-written, though we do see a lot of cliché’s throughout its telling. And while there is some predictability, there is enough originality to keep the reader interested–not to mention all of the loose ends that are yet to be tied up.

Personally, I can’t wait for this story to come to the small screen. In the meantime, the next chapter in this hit series, The Angels’ Share, comes out on July 26.

rating:

the edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark rating

dirty rowdy thing, by christina lauren

dirty rowdy thingIt’s no secret, I loved Sweet Filthy Boy–really, who didn’t? But, I’m no 20-something and while the book was a lot of fun, I have to say I was a bit reluctant to keep going. Ever think that some things are good enough to stand on their own? Well, friends and the grapevine talked me into pushing forward with the series and once again, I’m glad I did!

Dirty Rowdy Thing focuses on Harlow and Finn–aka, the gorgeous Hollywood rich chick and the super-sexy Canadian fisherman. Harlow, was in the forefront a bit more than Finn in the first book, but admittedly, she was not my favorite character. Also, I didn’t think I could love anyone more than I loved Ansel, right now, it’s a tie; and Harlow has pretty much redeemed herself.

Harlow, is dealing with the serious illness of someone very close to her. Finn, is working through the troubles of his family business. While the chemistry between the two of them is off the charts, I think you actually feel it through the pages of the book, the former husband and wife decide to be friends. Even though their hook-ups are smoldering, with all of the emotional angst they’re both dealing with, a new long-distance relationship is not what either of them need. But how long will that resolve hold…

Dirty Rowdy Thing was impossible not to adore. While some of the subject matter was heavy, Christina Lauren infused plenty of humor while not making light of the serious content. We came to understand Harlow better and appreciate that her heart is always in the right place. And Finn’s maturity, loyalty, and general super sexiness played to the reader’s love for book boyfriends. Who knew fisherman could be so hot!?!?

rating:

the edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark rating

 

 

There are 2 more books after this one in the series: Dark Wild Night and the recently released Wicked Sexy Liar.

 

bloodkiss by j.r. ward

bloodkissThe Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) is one of my most favorite series ever. And, as evidenced by this blog, I don’t read a lot of paranormal series–2 if you’re counting.

Bloodkiss is a spinoff of the original BDB books. The story is focused on a younger generation of fighters but The Brothers are an integral part of the storyline. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Paradise and Craeg were introduced to us in the Warden’s (as J. R. Ward is affectionately known amongst her devotees) last BDB book, The Shadows. Paradise is the daughter of Abalone, adviser to Wrath. She was working as an administrative assistant to her father when last we saw her. She was interested in the training program The Brothers started to train civilians to be part of the fight against the Lessers. With her father’s approval, Paradise applied to the program and was accepted. And so was Craeg.

Craeg is your quintessential vampire from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s joining the training program for very personal reasons–revenge. But the chemistry between him and Paradise is a distraction that could derail his plans.

Bloodkiss is reminiscent of BDB books of old. The sub-plots aren’t overwhelming. You get the essence of The Brothers who are in the book, there’s humor, and there’s a real-world thread weaved in. The new adult genre is definitely benefiting from this addition to its shelves.

The Warden has set up the next book nicely and I look forward to continuing this series and enjoying characters old and new. But while we wait on the next installment in this new adventure, the release of the next book focused on The Brothers is closing in. The Beast will be here April 5th. True.

read rating: 3 bookmarks

the edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark ratingthe edible bookmark rating

rt booklovers convention

IMG_2101.JPGSo, I have been slightly MIA the last couple of weeks. Not because I haven’t been reading. And not because I don’t have some recipes in my back pocket. It’s because I’ve been spending the last few weeks furiously preparing for the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas, TX. And it’s here!

This is my first convention/conference of this nature IMG_2094.JPGand it’s not related to my day job. Already, I’m having a great time! My brother and sister-in-law surprised me and picked me up from the airport. The hotel looks awesome. And I’ve already met an author, Carrie Ann Ryan and a cover artist Charity Hendry!

So, bear with me. We will return to our regularly scheduled program next week, post convention, when I will have new knowledge, new books, and new insights to share. Stay tuned!
IMG_2099.JPG IMG_2095.JPG IMG_2098.JPG