Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Workout Wednesday: If You've Got The MONEY, HONEY I Got The Time



I`ve discovered you can find just about any image riding a bike and a dollar bill this week seemed appropriate. I wish someone would pay me money to ride-n-read.





Show Me The Money Results

♥♥♥ 1/2
Pages read 293
Riding Time 3hours 3 minutes
Calories Burned 1,210
Distance Peddled 55.54miles








For My Thoughts


I swear I wasn’t two chapters into Money, Honey by Susan Sey when it struck me that it reminded me of a combination of two of my favourite TV shows. White Collar (yummy Matt Bomer) meet Castle (Nathan Fillion). If you haven’t watched either of these shows, you should check them out. The eye candy alone is reason enough.

Career thief gets recruited by the FBI (to prevent his sister from heading to the slammer) to use his particular skill set to catch other criminals (White Collar) and is now a bestselling novelist (Castle). So the premise had me hooked plus I had a nice visual in my head of leading man Patrick O’Conner and I was ready to rock-n-roll read-n-ride.

Suave, sophisticated, debonair Patrick O’Conner has not seen FBI agent Liz Brynn for 3 years since their “working” relationship ended (read he paid his debt to the FBI in full) and he’s never forgotten the beautiful agent who was married to her job then and now and is still wearing her stuffy, buttoned-up, bad polyester suits...some things never change. Patrick’s back in Grief Creek Minnesota to help his sister, Mara solve a little counterfeiting problem she’s having at the Brightwater Casino and Restaurant she runs. Watch out Agent Brynn cuz I think some grief is headed your way!

It's just like old times in Grief Creek when Patrick and Liz are forced to work together again as a team. Only this time around, Patrick is hired on as an FBI consultant and that makes him a contemporary to Liz rather than a subordinate. Liz has a few problems with their new "working" relationship and try as she might to keep her professional distance from Patrick, he's just as determined to work his magic and get at least a few of those darn buttons on her suit undone. Patrick may not have the best track record when it comes to personal relationships, but he’s always had the hots for the no-nonsense Agent and he knows she’s the one who got away. He plans on rectifying that oversight this time around.

One of the things I loved about Patrick was how his relationship with his sister Mara developed. He’s keep his distance from Mara and his adorable niece Evie for the past three years partly for their own protection and partly because he doesn't do warm and fuzzy family reunions. His scenes with the incorrigible Evie, sticky fingers and all were a test of wills to see who would break first. Made for some cute, funny scenes.

Patrick and Liz have a lot of sexual chemistry, flirting and innuendo of things to come. Liz is determined to hold out against the very persuasive reformed thief, but a girl only has so much willpower plus they both have a lot of old history, family baggage and personal issues to work through. So its down to business first for this duo because there’s a case to solve, a villain out for revenge against Patrick and said villain is willing to hit Patrick where he’s most vulnerable and those closest to him are in more danger than they realize.

In the end there was a pretty creative plot hatched to catch the bad guy and thank goodness for a blatant disregard for the law as a little "break and enter" opened the door for a HEA.

This is Susan Sey’s first book and I liked it. What makes me pick up a new author? Well in this case, I loved the title Money, Honey – it’s cute and catchy; the cover art hints at a sexy duo inside and of course the back cover blurb sounded just like the type of book I like to read. Win win all around.

Next up for Susan Sey is Money Shot and it sounds like Ranger Rush and Special Agent Maria “Goose” di Guzman (we meet her in Money, Honey) are going to be another fun read (n-ride).

Back Cover Blurb

WHEN A LAWMAKER...

FBI Agent Elizabeth Brynn has dedicated her life to her job, having earned her position through hard work and a firm belief in law and order. She played strictly by the book until she recruited a notorious jewel thief as an informant-a professional criminal who used his wicked ways to tempt her into something more personal...

BETS ON A HEARTBREAKER...

Patrick O'Connor assisted the Feds for three years before going legit. Now a successful crime novelist, he wheels and deals his way around Hollywood, getting anything and everything he desires-except a certain federal agent who remained immune to his charms...

THERE'S MORE AT STAKE THAN JUST THE MONEY, HONEY.

Cop and robber are unexpectedly reunited when Patrick agrees to go undercover to help bust a counterfeiter-but his true motive is to get Liz under the covers, and she's not sure she can keep her hands to herself this time....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Silent Scream

I Scream Silently Every Week While I Ride Results

♥♥♥♥♥+
Pages read 570
Riding Time 2hours 23 minutes
Calories Burned 892
Distance Peddled 44.61miles


Yes I did start out reading this book at the gym for my weekly challenge.
Yes the final numbers seem a bit low.
Yes you are correct in your assumption that I cheated and did not entirely read this book while riding a bike.

570 pages people !?!? There was no way I was going to be able to read this book in one week when I can barely squeak in a book just under 400 pages. I was willing to make this a 2 week adventure, but once I started Silent Scream, everything else ceased to matter until it was completed.



For My Thoughts

Ever since I read my 1st Karen Rose book You Can’t Hide in 2006 I was hooked on Rose’s suspenseful storylines, romantic relationships about people I actually cared reading about and amazing storytelling. She quickly became one of my favourite auto-buy authors and I did something I have never before done...I immediately went to Amazon and purchased her entire backlist. She is one of the few authors whose books I will shell out the big bucks for and purchase in hardcover because I can’t wait for the paperback. Rose delivers once again and does not disappoint with her latest release (in paperback..YEAH!).

Firefighter David Hunter and Homicide Detective Olivia Sutherland have both made appearances in Rose’s previous books (David - Don’t Tell and Olivia – Count to Ten), and can I just say how excited I was to discover that David was finally getting his own story (thanks Ms. Rose for that twitter confirmation). I can honestly say you don’t have to read the previous books to get full value from Silent Scream, but all of Rose’s books rock – so you really should read every one!

A suspiciously set fire and the death of a young deaf girl trapped inside a burned out condo under construction bring David and Olivia face to face once again since their unforgettable night two years ago where they may or may not have hooked up at a wedding. One of them can’t really remember what happened and it’s one of the reasons that these two have been tip-toeing around one another for the past seven months, since David packed up his bags and moved to Minneapolis where Olivia works.

David and Olivia have a few misunderstanding (ohhh the words you yell out in the heat of passion can do ALOT of damage even if you don’t remember doing it) to work through and are initially cool and civil towards one another, but you can just sense the powder keg of awareness and sexual chemistry simmering just below the surface. In past Rose books, the suspense and sometimes grisly nature of her storytelling has been in the forefront while the romance takes a back seat, but in Silent Scream, Rose definitely ratcheted up the romance quotient for David and Olivia...and I liked it!

David Hunter may well be Mr. Perfect. I’m pretty sure I developed a severe crush on the hunky firefighter while reading Silent Scream. He’s thoughtful and caring, can cook, risks his life to help people and seriously I just wanted him to rub my neck and stroke my hair. I melted a little inside everytime he did that to Olivia...you lucky, lucky girl!

Arson, murder, mayhem and a master puppeteer, blackmailing villain who pulls all the strings to get others to do his bidding have David and Olivia working overtime and racing to discover his identity before the body count can climb any higher.

I love a great romantic suspense novel and Rose out does herself with Silent Scream. The storytelling is superb. Everything follows in a logical, satisfying order towards a climatic end. I love it when I don’t question the villain’s motives or am shaking my head at some action carried out by the H/H. The story made sense and was all tied up with a nice big bow. There was one point when I actually gasped out loud and cursed Ms. Rose...WTF??? at the fate she delivered to one of the main supporting characters. I guess if you can illicit such reactions from your readers, then you know you’ve told an amazing story.

Silent Scream delivers 570 pages of pure reading enjoyment.

Overview
When a teenage girl dies in a suspicious fire, Detective Olivia Sutherland is assigned to track down the arsonist. Then she discovers something more sinister: a vicious blackmailer who preys on young people and murders without hesitation. Making her work even harder is sexy firefighter David Hunter. He's not only sharing the case but sparking memories of their long-ago night of passion, when feelings were left unspoken and hearts were broken. David has his own ghosts, and a million regrets. But while he and Olivia try to face the wall of pain between them, a diabolical puppet master is pulling strings to make a group of twentysomethings do his bidding. Soon Olivia and David are scouring the city for a calculating criminal who seems tantalizingly close—and is moving in for the kill.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Secrets and Lies But No Videotape


Shhhh! Can you keep a secret? Well there's lot of secrets, lies, politicians and blackmail pictures but no videotape in Our Little Secret by Starr Ambrose.






The Not So Secret Weekly Results
♥♥♥ 1/2
Pages read 356
Riding Time 3hours 17 minutes
Calories Burned 1,360
Distance Peddled 68.47 miles




For My Thoughts

Starr Ambrose's debut novel Lie to Me was one of my favorite reads in 2008. It was funny and well written, had great characters and was an easy, quick read so when I saw Our Little Secret was available, I was really looking forward to reading it for this week's Read-n-Ride challenge.

Welcome to the live styles of the rich and famous in D.C. where mistaken identities, blackmail, corruption, foreign dignitaries and politicians are the order of the day. Mmmmm sounds just like every other regular day in Washington. The only thing missing was Chris Matthews from MSNBC's Hardball.

Identical twin sisters Lauren and Meg Sutherland couldn't be more different. Where Lauren is the responsible, reliable, practical twin, engaged to an equally boring man, Meg is promiscuous, lives life on the wild side and is now newly married to her boss and a man twice her age US congressman Harlan Creighton. And it turns out instead of enjoying wedded bliss and a honeymoon get-away, the newlyweds are in fact M.I.A. and on the run.

With her sister missing, Lauren Sutherland hightails it to Washington D.C. where the first person she encounters is Drew Creighton, ski instructor and son of the missing congressman. Drew immediately mistakes Lauren for her twin sister and thinks she's a gold-digging hussy interested only in his father's wealth and power. The sparks immediately fly between Drew and Lauren with a close call involving a hair pulling incident and a well-placed kick to the shin (I'll let you figure out who did what).

Since Lauren was an engaged woman at the start of the book, I was interested to see how Ambrose would develop the relationship between Drew and Lauren. Turns out Jeff the fiancé was a bit of a dud and I could see why Lauren would dump his ass in favor of the gorgeous, irresistible ski bum...or someone she thinks is a ski bum. You know what happens when you ass-u-me and both are guilty of jumping to the wrong conclusions about each other.

As Drew and Lauren put their amateur detective skills to work, they are actually a good team once they get past their initial misunderstandings (ohh and Lauren dumps the BF), then the hot and steamy action really heats up between them. But they've got a job to do as they dodge bullets, an attempted kidnapping (Drew's not the only one who mistakes Lauren for her twin sister), and car chases while trying to figure out the good guys from the bad.

At this point the suspense plot involving the political blackmail plot, doctored pictures, secret service agents and foreign nationals was a bit long winded and tedious and I was ready for it to be over. To Lauren's credit she was surprisingly strong and smart and really held it together at the end when she was faced with some uncomfortable circumstances.

Our Little Secrets had it's moments with funny clever writing, some madcap adventure and great chemistry between Drew and Lauren. Although I enjoyed the story, it wasn't in the same league for me as Lie to Me and as is sometimes the case, I think it suffers from the sophomore jinx.


Back Cover Blurb

Lauren Sutherland tries to set a good example for her twin sister, from her practical job to her dependable, if boring, fiancé. So when impulsive Meg elopes with her boss, a U.S. senator twice her age, Lauren hops on a plane to talk her into an annulment...but comes face-to-face with the senator's handsome son, Drew, instead.

Demanding to know what she's done with his father, Drew is as infuriating as he is annoyingly irresistible. But he's not the only one who mistakes Lauren's identity. A relentless foe is on a deadly hunt for the missing newlyweds -- unless Lauren and Drew can find them first.

Venturing into the elite Washington social scene, they discover an elaborate web of explicit photos and blackmail, but the biggest surprise is the fiery attraction they can barely control. The clock is ticking, and while the sparks between Lauren and Drew burn hot, the trail of clues is growing cold....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You Can Fool Some of The People Some of The Time....


You'll get the significance of this week's graphic in a minute. Sometime I wish I had a big wind behind me to help me blow through my workouts!




Blown Away by my Results?
♥♥♥
Pages read 368
Riding Time 3hours 29 minutes
Calories Burned 1,385
Distance Peddled 68.85 miles






For My Thoughts

Blown Away is the 1st book in a new trilogy by Sharon Sala. I haven't previously read any books by Ms. Sala, but this book looked like it had an interesting premise so I decided to take a chance on a new (to me) author (like I don't have enough books in the TBR pile O-o).

The next time you think you're having a bad day and your life sucks, I'm pretty sure the heroine of Blown Away Carolyn North has you beat by a country mile.

While on a walk near her home, Carolyn stumbles across Lance Morgan, ex-boyfriend and owner of the neighboring farm burying a body wrapped in a carpet in woods. This actually is the highlight in what is to become the worst day possible in the life of Carolyn North and in fact probably saved her life. As Carolyn flees (Lance has every intention of silencing her before she can expose his crimes), back at the North homestead a tornado has made landfall totally demolishing Carolyn's home, killing her parents and her visiting cousin Susan (who coincidentally looks enough like Carolyn that they could be twins) and gravely injuring Carolyn herself. I told you she was having a bad day.

And yet even after all these traumatic events, somehow Carolyn has the presence of mind to think that if she doesn't leave the area immediately that Lance will track her down and kill her for what she witnessed him doing in the woods. Good thing her cousin Susan's car was unscathed during the storm so Carolyn buckles up and beats a hasty retreat deciding to assume her dead cousin's identity until she can prove that Lance is a murderer.

Well you can fool some of the people some of the time, but when Carolyn passes out at a traffic light and is hospitalized and “Susan’s” contact information is her boss Mike Beaudreaux, once he arrives – she ain’t fooling nobody, especially Mike.

Mike Beaudreaux is a smart, savvy, sexy businessman, who once he learns the true nature of Carolyn’s story is most compassionate and agrees to carry out the charade as he invites her into his home to recover from her ordeal. Although the relationship between Mike and Carolyn was quick to develop considering they only knew each other for a couple of weeks, it was sweet and loving and Mike being a southern gentleman does treat her with the utmost respect. Considering what Carolyn endured, the romance isn’t too hot and heavy but it seems Mike was just what the Dr. prescribed for Carolyn's road to recovery.

While I did finish Blown Away I did have some issues with the logic/storyline that made me shake my head and roll my eyes a few times.

I admit to knowing next to nothing about tornadoes other than they are very scary and windy - but shouldn't there have been some tornado or wind warnings that day before Carolyn decided to go for an afternoon stroll in the woods? Can a tornado really form that quick that you have no inkling one is just minutes from striking?

Why not just go to the police immediately and report what she saw Lance doing in the woods? For some reason Carolyn thinks she needs to amass evidence against Lance or no one will believer her. For such a smart guy, why would Mike go along with her harebrained plan (with his help and resources of course)? Lance as the bad guy was kind of lame. He was more like a spoiled, selfish brat who got himself into a heap of trouble and then couldn’t deal with the consequences.

The set up for the next two books in the series sounds intriguing (a missing little boy and prison escapees from the tornado wrecked jail) and while I had some minor issues with Blown Away, I will in all likelihood read them as well.