Tour’s Books Blog

December 18, 2010

Book Reviews: New Releases in Paranormal and Romantic Suspense

As we all rush around getting ready for the holidays, be they huge celebrations or small quiet ones, we usually have less time to read, and even less time to write.  At least that’s true for me.  So I’m knocking out a few reviews before I get completely bogged down in an orgy of food, football, and family.

  • Title: Hungry for You
  • Author:  Lynsay Sands
  • Type:  Paranormal Romance
  • Genre:  Busy business owner gets attracted to her new business manager
  • Sub-genre:  Jayne Ann Krentz with fangs
  • My Grade: D+ to C- (2.5*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full novel 90,000 words for $7.99
  • Where Available:  Available online or at most book stores
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased from online bookstore

Lyndsay Sands created the extended Argeneau clan of vampires (Hers are all decedents of Atlantis driven to drink blood to supply their nanos with the food they need to keep them forever young and healthy.) and is still writing her books around them.  Thankfully, her excursion into a darker style, the “Hunters” books, was short lived.  Ms Sands has a light hand and other than books like her excellent Single White Vampire, she doesn’t get better than average fluff.  Hungry for You is another of her light as air romances that pairs the last of the 3 Willian sisters with another vampire mate.  The first two were paired off within the Hunter series.

Like most of the Argeneau books, Hungry for You puts a vampire in touch with a potential mate with a certain level of deception.  Unlike Single White Vampire or The Accidental Vampire, there is no witty banter, clever twists, or just fun moments.  To say Hungry for You is more slight than usual, the storyline so slim it’s spun as thin as cotton candy to fill out the book, might be giving it too much credit.  It is a very fast easy read, but there just isn’t anything memorable about.  The tension between the characters and the suspense of ‘woman in jeopardy’ part were both missing in action.  The characters are barely fleshed out and overall, just forgettable.  In fact, that’s the book, was devoid of any memorable good or bad elements.

Alexandra ‘Alex’ Willam is the eldest of the three William sisters first appearing in Rogue Hunter.  At this point, Sam and Jo have both been mated to vampires and Jo has already gone through the change, something Sam is still reluctant to do.  Part of that is her fear of eventually losing her eldest sister when she would inevitably have to move away to hide her not aging, the rest her own insecurities.  When Marguerite calls Cale Valens in from Europe because she has one of her famous ‘feelings’ that’s he’s a match for Alex, he comes, mostly to humor her, but also because he’s been alone for thousands of years.  Sam is so anxious to get Cale and Alex, a chef and restaurant owner, together she lies to sister claiming Cale is a master french chef.  Too bad he knows nothing of cooking because he hasn’t eaten for over a thousand years.

Justin Bricker, a younger vamp, goes with him to Alex’s restaurant and sure enough, Alex is Cale’s Lifemate.  But now Cale has to cook and he needs Justin to control Alex’s mind and those of the dinners as he makes a mess in the kitchen.  This could have been lots of fun or over the top, instead it was flat and I was much relieved when Cale talks his way out f the kitchen and into the business side of things.  Thing is, there is almost nothing really going on.  OK, yet another setback at the new restaurant, there just isn’t much of anything exciting.

About the last third, things get moving a bit with the usual ‘shared wet dreams’ after Alex is attacked as she locks up one night and Cale spends the night at her house.  Then the big vamp reveal when a bad car accident nearly kills Cale, who was driving her car while she drove his, leaves him begging for the blood and she realizes he’s a vamp.  She abandons him and go straight for Sam to ‘save’ her.  naturally, Sam is ‘converting’ that night.  It’s Marguerite who does the whole ‘nanos caused vamps’ story while the hunters rescue Cale and clean up all signs of the accident.  Alex adjusts.   Cale knows who the problem is – something everyone else knew in the opening chapters.  HEA.

I kid you not, that just about the whole story.  When 350 pages can be pretty much summarized in a couple of paragraphs, and I’m hard put to write that much, the story is lame.  I feel compelled to point out I am in deep disagreement with the reviewers on Amazon who loved this book and gave it 4-5*.  It was just too insubstantial to make anywhere near that score for me.  Harmless fluff.

Is Hungry for You worth $7.99?  Not to me.  Get it used, discounted, borrow it.  You’ll read it through in a couple of hours and barely remember it a few days later.

*******************************************************

  • Title: Worth the Trip
  • Author:  Penny McCall
  • Type:  Romantic Suspense
  • Genre:  FBI agent guards daughter of bank robber due for release
  • Sub-genre:  No nonsense psychologist must deal with a too handsome determined fed and her ‘gentleman’ criminal father
  • My Grade: B- (3.8*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full novel 90,000 words for $7.99
  • Where Available:  Available online or at most book stores
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased from online bookstore

A short while back I wrote a lamentation on the current state of romantic suspense as a genre.  Well, I’m happy to report that Penny McCall nailed it!  She wrote an excellent book that is funny, suspenseful, clever and has a decent romance at the core.  The romance never overwhelms the story, rather it is reminiscent of Romancing the Stone.  A really good read by a ‘new to me’ author.

Norah MacArthur is professor of psychology who wrote a book about understanding the differences between male and female communications that she titled The Gender Bridge and her secretary cum agent, Myra,  subtitled How to Create Your Mate.  Much to everyone’s surprise, it became a phenom and bestseller, so Norah ends up on a Chicago local morning talk show with a botoxed hostess, Hollie Roget.  When the woman starts making catty remarks about Norah’s single, unattached status, she goes one step too far with her snotty comments.  In the wings, FBI agent Trip Jones uses the opportunity to ingratiated himself into Norah’s life by walking on stage and kissing her like they’re a ‘couple’ – not the complete strangers they are.  Norah is sharp enough to play along and they bail on Hollie.  Norah is also much to sharp to not realize when she’s being played – by one Trip Jones.

Fifteen years ago, before her mother’s death, Norah’s father, the ultimate con man, participated in a bank robbery.  It was no ordinary robbery.  They went after safe deposit boxes in an affluent Chicago neighborhood.  But that kind of money has secrets, and secrets are often in safe deposit boxes.  When the contents are stolen, the heat brought to bear on the robbers is too much and all get killed in a shootout – except Norah’s father.  He’s refused all tries at revealing the location of the loot for 15 years.  His prison sentence nearly over, in a few weeks he’ll be out, and the FBI still wants the loot he hid before he got caught.  Trip is determined and despite his obvious appeal, Norah is very much her father’s daughter and too shrewd by half to take him at face value.

The ‘game’ is on, but it’s a very real one when Norah finds herself the center of too much attention when the old robbery once again makes the news thanks to the now fired Hollie Roget resurrecting the details on a morning news show.  Even neighbors want to get into her house to search it for hidden loot.  But Hollie isn’t the only one without a job, Norah is placed on leave from her teaching position at the college.  even her private patients start canceling appointments.  That leaves her with nothing to do but help Trip figure out where her father hid the loot.

The pacing of the action is very good, the dialog clever, Norah is strong female lead character, feisty,  intelligent and shrewd – with more than just a bit of distrust thanks to dear old dad.  Trip is less well developed and not as complex at Norah, a straight arrow ex-military man turned FBI agent.   As is often the case, Trip is not the usual kind of agent and works for a special division.  That’s how writers get around the grinding dull reality of investigative work by federal agencies.  It works here, as the liberties Suzanne Brockman takes SEAL teams and the FBI work for her.   The ending had several neat twists.  Worth the Trip lacks the depth and complexity of the very best of the breed, but the charm and the clever twisting plot makes up for it.

Is Worth the Trip worth the price of $7.99?  YES!  Lovers of old fashioned romantic suspense with wry wit and a nicely executed plot can sit back and enjoy.

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1 Comment »

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    Pingback by Tweets that mention Book Reviews: New Releases in Paranormal and Romantic Suspense « Tour’s Books Blog -- Topsy.com — December 18, 2010 @ 8:57 pm | Reply


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