Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You Can Run, but You Can't Hide

Anywhere She Runs by Debra Webb has mystery, suspense, crazy family dynamics...ohhhh and some hot cop action. So this week the police badge gets to take the bike out for a little spin.

I Can't Run, but I Can Ride Results
♥♥♥ 1/2
Pages read 346
Riding Time 3hours 50minutes
Calories Burned 1,541
Distance Peddled 69.69 miles

For My Thoughts

Adeline Cooper's got a day off work, a hot and willing body warming the bed sheets and sex on the agenda until her plans are rudely interrupted by the Fed-Ex delivery man...and he's not delivering a book. But he does have a package for Adeline with a newspaper clipping of a missing district attorney, a candid Polaroid of the same missing woman and a cryptic note enclosed about "One dead Princess, two more to go". It's not what this Huntsville Alabama Police Detective needs or wants 2 days before Christmas. Even more annoying and stranger yet is that it's the second letter she's received in the last couple of days referencing Princesses. Someone is obviously trying to tell her something and in this book one thing is for definitely don't want to be a Princess. It has deadly consequences.

That's the opening hook in Anywhere She Runs and it's just the beginning.

Adeline Cooper is a hard as nails, straight shooting, no nonsense cop who can (or should) never go home to Pascagoula, Mississippi if she values her live. Nine years prior she left her hometown...well technically she was run of out town by her powerful Uncle Cyrus Cooper who threatened to kill her if she didn't leave after a case she was working as a brand new cop ended in results that royally pissed her Uncle off. Nice! With family like this who needs enemies? Well as it turns out - Adeline has a least one more enemy and he's determined to draw her into his twisted plot and to figure out her connection to the case, she's going to have to head home.

Waiting to assist Adeline in the investigation is non other than the love of her life, ex-lover and current Sheriff, Wyatt Henderson. When Adeline was run out of town nearly a decade earlier, Wyatt was just a green cop like herself and she is stunned to find out that the man she loved, but never forgave for what she perceived as betraying her is now the Sheriff. When another woman goes missing and another cryptic letter is delivered, Wyatt and Adeline must put aside their differences and race against the clock and to solve the puzzle before Adeline becomes the 3rd and final victim of a crazed mad man.

Anywhere She Runs is chock full of suspense, intrigue and questions - many many questions requiring answers that will keep you turning the pages. Like what exactly happened that caused Uncle Cyrus to threaten Adeline with her own death if she didn't leave town? What caused the riff between Wyatt and Adeline? What secrets is Irene Cooper (Adeline's mom) hiding from her daughter and what does she know about the missing women? Who wants to kill all the Princesses?

If you are like me, then you have to keep reading to get those answers, you have no choice. Anywhere She Runs was a great mystery with twists and turns and a clever plot that kept me engaged until the resounding end.

Back Cover Blurb

The first note is a warning—a bone-chilling reminder that Alabama Police Detective Adeline Cooper can run from her darkest, deadliest memories, but she can never escape a demented killer’s wrath. The second note is a threat…

The first victim disappeared near Adeline’s hometown in Mississippi—and she won’t be the last. Believing she is the killer’s ultimate target, Adeline decides to go back to work side-by-side with a sheriff she once loved…Now she will meet face-to-face the criminals she brought down—and fight the obsessed killer who craves her death…

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Workout Wednesday: It's the Nun of Napa vs The Hollywood Hottie...Something's Bound to Get Crushed Besides...Grapes!

Crushin' It Results
♥♥♥ 1/2
Pages read 277
Riding Time 3hours 3minutes
Calories Burned 1,257
Distance Peddled 51.24miles

The Baci sisters are on a mission to save the winery that's been in their family for generations-by transforming it into the perfect wedding destination. If only Alessandra Baci-affectionately known as the "Nun of Napa" didn't need the help of tempting neighbor and business rival Penn Bennett.

For My Thoughts

Crush on You is the first book in a new trilogy by Christie Ridgway set in Napa Valley wine country. I loved her previous series about knitting so it wasn't a stretch that this book (and the series) would be equally enjoyable and entertaining.

Alessandra Baci's grand plan to restore the Baci wedding cottage to it’s former glory and rent it out for wedding ceremonies, seems like just the ticket to bring in extra revenue and save Tanti Baci from certain bankruptcy. But her plan hits an unexpected roadblock when the contractor she hires to do the work bails on her at the last minute for a better paying job.

How convenient is it then, that Penn Bennett, TV personality, Hollywood Hottie and star of his own wildly successful home renovation show Build Me Up is home visiting his half brothers Liam and Seth Bennett, who also just happen to own their own winery and are the Baci sisters biggest rivals.

From the moment Penn spies Alessandra complete in her wedding dress (and pajamas), rubber soles of her flip-flops slapping against the heels of her feet, flying across the yard towards him, he can't help but be captivated by the youngest Baci sister. And after a few fake tears (yes he knows they're fake and calls her on it), no one is more surprised than Penn himself when he offers up his handyman services in order to get the renovations done on time.

Alessandra may not like the Bennett's (but does Penn really count since he's the newly discovered bastard son?), but she knows better than to look a gift horse in the mouth - or in this case a Bennett and so she accepts his helping hand. A hand attached to the end of a very infuriating, exceedingly hot Bennett that makes her girl parts tingle.

Neither Penn nor Alessandra is looking for a long term relationship. After all she's not called the Nun of Napa for no reason after her own wedding day ended tragically five years earlier when her fiancé didn't make it to his own "Big Day". And Penn is only home for a short time and has no intention of giving up his bachelor ways in LA. Yet neither can deny that they definitely throw off the sparks whenever they are around each other. Makes for some fun and muy caliente reading!

No review would be complete without mentioning Gil. It's always an unexpected pleasure when the secondary characters in a book are almost as interesting as the main ones. I fell just a little bit in love with him and his storyline is what made Crush on You more than worth reading for me. Gil is Alessandra's cousin, but also more importantly the best friend and "Maid of Honor" for Clare who's own impending nuptials are scheduled to be the first at the Baci Wedding Cottage. Mmmmm wonder how that turned out? Gil and Clare's story deserves its own book! Maybe a prequel?

Crush on You will certainly make you laugh, may even make you tear up and it's the perfect summer read for a lazy day at home or the beach.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Workout Wednesday: I Wish my Skin was Tight

Once again I hear the clock tic tic ticking as I attempt to get my post done in time for my weekly Workout Wednesday Read-n-Ride post. This past week I blame tennis - The French Open to be precise. I am all for multi-tasking, but it's very difficult to read, ride and watch tennis all at the same time. The upside: I peddled for 1hr 10mins while watching the men's final on Sunday. The downside: my butt sure was numb and only 6 pages got read (during commercials).

I wish my Skin was Tight Results

Pages read 308
Riding Time 4hour 10minutes
Calories Burned 1,612
Distance Peddled 70.32 miles

For My Thoughts

Skin Tight by Ava Gray (aka Ann Aguirre for anyone who doesn't already know it) is the second book in the "Skin" series and for the record, Skin Game (book 1) was one of my favorite reads last year. An interesting little tidbit, I loved Skin Game so much that Ann Aguirre was the very first Author I ever tweeted and she responded almost immediately - fan girl squeeee! I'd never heard of Ann Aguirre or read any of her previous books, but after Skin Game she became an auto-buy author for me.

Skin Tight is definitely a stand alone book and you don't have to read Skin Game first - but it was a great book, so why wouldn't you?

Thomas Strong (or Addison Foster as he was introduced to us in Skin Game) is a dark and deeply flawed character and if that isn't enough, he's got some spooky special abilities. As head of Human Resources, Thomas infiltrates Micor Technologies, because this lab is not what it appears to be and Thomas is a man on a mission. Nothing and no one will get in his way as he intends to expose all of Micor's nasty secrets, exact his revenge and make sure that people pay for the inhuman experiments they've been conducting. The same people who turned him into the man he is today and ultimately cost him the one thing he cared about most in the world - his little girl.

Thomas Strong or whatever he's calling himself these days is a loner, someone that no one ever really remembers or recognizes. This is where is "special" ability comes to light. People only see and hear Thomas as he wants to be seen and heard. That is until Mia Sauter reappears in his life, with the ability and knowledge to bring his well constructed world crashing down around him and all his carefully laid out plans with it.

Mia Sauter is a smart and savvy forensic accountant for hire who currently finds herself employed undercover at Micor Technologies to ferret out whose been siphoning off funds to line their own pockets. Shock doesn't begin to describe Mia's reaction her first day on the job when she comes face to face with Addison Foster (as she knows him), the same man who handed her over to kidnappers without regard for her own personal welfare in Skin Game.

Thomas and Mia may have a mutual distrust towards one another with good reason, but they also have an undeniable and smouldering chemistry between them. Once they decide to trust each other and work together, the action really heat up.

The scenes in the secret lab with the requisite "mad scientist" and the trusty henchman carrying out torture on the unsuspecting human subjects were both chilling and creepy, but they also provide the back story for two very interesting secondary characters in Gillie and Taye (who get their own book I am happy to report - can't wait for that one).

Thomas was a hard hero to warm up to at first, but as his story and character developed, you can't help but realize that he is a man who loves deeply and is willing to do anything to save and protect those he loves and cares about. And seriously how can you not love a man who visits a blind, elderly woman every week in the hospital pretending to be her absentee son just to provide her some company? If that doesn't melt your heart just a little nothing will.

Skin Tight has something for everyone. Page turning action and suspense, paranormal abilities and a touching romantic love story that will tug at your heart-strings. If you aren't reading this series - you should be...what are you waiting for?

Back Blurb
Uncovering the truth is her specialty
As a forensic accountant, Mia Sauter could usually tell when people had something to hide. She made her living exposing secrets while concealing her own. Then, in Vegas, she met a clever, ruthless man who called himself Addison Foster. One year later, she’s still haunted by his betrayal.

He’s a natural born liar
The truth of him had long ago been buried. Foster was only one name of many; he’d been so many men, he’d lost count. Reinvented as Thomas Strong and hell-bent on revenge, his mission is about to be compromised by the one woman capable of exposing him…

Reunited, they confront the explosive chemistry still crackling between them. But their chance meeting will have consequences, for a ruthless madman has his own deadly agenda. The question is—if they survive the fallout, will he choose love over vengeance?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Workout Wednesday: Sky's The Limit

What does a camera riding a bike have to do with this week's read-n-ride challenge you ask? Well I decided to use this graphic for 2 reasons: 1) because a very expensive Nikon camera is a major player in Shut Up and Kiss Me by Christie Craig and 2) because the camera is riding a bike so that part should be fairly obvious!


♥♥♥♥ 1/2
Pages read 320
Riding Time 3hour 12minutes
Calories Burned 1,270
Distance Peddled 57.59 miles

For My Thoughts

Shut Up and Kiss Me centers on the small town of Precious Texas - but for many of the characters in this largely Native American/Hispanic town - it was anything but "precious". This book started out hilarious and within the first 6 pages had me grinning from ear to ear like a mad fool at some of the antics the characters had to endure especially poor Jose, who was one of many memorable secondary characters. He seemed to be on the receiving end of the funny (or not) torture dished out by the author upon her poor unsuspecting characters. Rushing home to Precious after his father Redfoot sustains a nasty head injury, poor Jose had a car crash, fire ants making a picnic out of his family jewels and then being sprayed by a skunk and that wasn't even half of what he had to endure on his first night back in his not so precious home town (his character must have seriously pissed Craig off while she was writing this book LOL!). Hopefully Jose merits his own story in a future installment about the citizens of Precious because I can't wait to see what additional torture Craig cooks up for him.

Shala Winters just wanted to do the job she was hired to do by the Mayor of Precious; take pictures that showcase the town and prepare a marketing campaign to turn this little town into a Texas tourist attraction. She hasn't been in town a day when her very expensive Nikon camera gets confiscated at the local Indian Pow-Wow by a headdress-wearing, loincloth sporting, hard-bodied, oiled-up bare-chested Adonis who makes her girl parts tingle. So Shala may have broken the strict "NO Picture" policy by not handing over her camera (heeelllo? it's worth $8,000) before attending the ceremony, but she didn't take the flash picture she's been accused of taking. And she certainly can't do her job if the pig-headed, hotter-than-a-firecracker thief won't give her back her camera for a week.

Sky Gomez *sigh*. Yes you may be surprised to learn that Sky is the name of the MALE lead character in Shut up and Kiss Me. Even though it's an unusual name for a man, it actually fits him and don't let his name fool you or deter you from picking up this book to read because he's all man. Sky doesn't believe all the mumbo-jumbo soul-mate crap his foster father Redfoot saw in a dream and has been spewing lately (mmmm wonder who that soul-mate might be?), but when he spies the blond in the crowd at the Pow-Wow, her camera in hand and then an incriminating flash, he senses that trouble is just beginning with the newest addition in Precious. And taking her camera hostage (even if he does believe she may not have been the culprit snapping a photo), he can't help getting a rise out of Shala because teasing her is just too damn much fun.

Who knew one little camera and it's potentially incriminating contents could cause so much havoc in this Precious town. A chain reaction of events puts Shala's life in danger and working together, Sky and Shala attempt to uncover why someone is so hot-to-trot to get their hands on Shala's camera bad enough that they are willing to kill for it.

Sky and Shala had such a fun, sexy relationship and sizzle-worthy hot romance. These two are by far the stars of the show, but the supporting characters are really well developed and contribute greatly to the overall story. You can't help but be captivated by Redfoot, Jose and Maria as well as the secretive best friend Lucas (who I hope gets his own story too!).

Shut up and Kiss Me is the perfect blend of a highly entertaining, funny yet suspenseful romance and if this book isn't on your TBR pile than you are missing out. They say laughter is the best medicine and nothing makes the calories easier to burn or the bike easier to peddle than a great edge of your bike seat, make me smile, funny book. Shut Up and Kiss Me delivers the goods. What are you waiting for? Shut Up...and go buy this book!