Green Frog Umbrella

Saturday, December 3, 2016

(Review) Wallbanger ★★☆☆☆

Author: Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail
Genre: Contemporary Romance
384 pages

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly...

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight...

I wanted to love this book.  I really did.  It was third on the list of humorous romance books on Goodreads.  At first, I found it pretty funny.  But after a while it seemed like the author was forcing the funny.  Near the end I was getting fairly annoyed with it.  Especially the "O".  Dear God, if I see that again I'll lose my freaking mind!  Suffice it to say I had to force myself to finish the book and ended up skimming over the last few chapters just to see what happened.

In the beginning I really liked Caroline.  About halfway through she really started to get on my nerves.  Maybe it's because I've been reading so many m/m books but I felt like she was such a girl.  I wanted to tell her to man up and get over it already!  Stop being such a woosie.  Simon, on the other hand I really liked through the whole book.  Although I found the whole "harem" thing a bit extreme and unrealistic.  

My favorite part had to have been the night of the horror movie.  If you're going into this book because of the "hot" part in the description though, you'll be disappointed.  *spoiler*  There isn't any hot until almost the end of the book and then there's just too much at once.  I read the first bit and then skimmed to see what they were saying through the rest of it.  Like any normal humans can have sex that many times?  Give me a break.

I know I make it sound like I totally hated this book.  If I had I wouldn't have finished it.  I did like it for most of the book.  I think it was just too darned long!  I kept checking to see how much longer there was left in the book at around 70% and it was like looking at the time on a clock when you really want to leave somewhere.  It dragged on so slowly.  I had every intention of reading the rest of the books in the Cocktail series but by the end of this first book have changed my mind.  If those books are anything like this one I don't think I can handle it.

Favorite Quotes:

"You know those moments when everything is exactly the way it was meant to be?  When you find yourself and your entire universe aligning in perfect synchronization, and you know you couldn't possibly be more content?  I was inside that very moment, and fully conscious of it."
"It breaks my heart the way young girls pick themselves over, never thinking they're good enough.  You make sure you always remember, you're exactly the way you're supposed to be.  Exactly.  And anyone who says otherwise, well, poppycock!"

Thursday, December 1, 2016

(Review) Can You Keep a Secret? ★★★★★

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
218 pages

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I've always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn't share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company's elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her...  

From start to finish this was a hilarious book.  I've been trying to read Christmasy books but truthfully so many of them start out pretty depressing that I have a hard time continuing to read until the happy part happens.  So I was trying to find something else to read and thought of a book I had enjoyed recently called Chez Stinky.  I had started to read the second book in that series Fuzzy Logic and lost interest.  It just wasn't funny like the first one.  Then it hit me!  Look for funny books.  I got on Goodreads and found this list called Humorous Romance Books. Can You Keep a Secret is the top one voted by over 850 readers.  

I set out to find a light hearted funny book and I wasn't disappointed.  If I had to compare it to something I'd say at least at the start it's similar to the Bridget Jones movies.  I haven't read the books so I can't make a comparison to those.   She's a bit silly and as most women are today uncomfortable in her own skin.  She's lied to her boyfriend about pretty much everything and stays with him because everyone says they're the perfect couple.  She's bounced from job to job.  Her cousin has out-staged her in every way and her family treat her like a child because of it.

As the book progresses I grew to appreciate Emma's personality.  I was totally rooting for her and Jack.  Even knowing everything would work out in the end because duh it's a romance book I still felt her pain when things all went to hell.  I don't think I could have been as brave as Emma was.  I think I would have quit my job out of humiliation and never saw Jack again.  Wouldn't that have been a pity if she did?  I suppose you'll have to read it to find out!  

Can You Keep a Secret reminds us that being ourselves, especially around the people who are important to us, is the most important thing of all.  It's not a paranormal book, there's no exciting enemy or anything.  No steamy sex scenes or big overdeveloped plot.  It's not even part of a series... which usually is a deal breaker for me.  It's just a fun and intriguing book.  Emma, Jack and everyone else in the book are like anyone else out there and I can imagine it all happening in real life.  It was different for me as I don't read many contemporary romances or stand-alone novels but a welcome change to be sure.

Favorite quotes:

"It's like Julie Andrews said.  When the dog bites, when the bee stings ... I simply remember I have a boyfriend - and suddenly things don't seem quite so completely shit."

“I feel all agitated, like one of those snow globes you see resting peacefully on shop counters. I was perfectly happy being an ordinary, dull little Swiss village. But now Jack Harper’s come and shaken me up, and there are snowflakes all over the place, whirling around until I don’t know what I think anymore. And bits of glitter, too. Tiny bits of shiny, secret excitement.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

After 2 Years... I'm Back!

Holy cow.  Two years.  That's insane.  I had no idea it had been that long since I'd posted on this blog. So you're wondering what happened to me eh?  Well, I've had a few pretty rough years to tell you the truth.  In some cases I wasn't reading at all.  Other times I was reading but not keeping track of what I was reading.  In rare cases I was reviewing books but only on Goodreads.  It all just depended on my mood I suppose.  If you want to know more about the whole "mood" thing check out my blog journal Rainy Writes.  If you want to see how I spent most of my non-reading time you can read my Sims stories on my other blog Rainy Gamez.

I'm currently blogging on WordPress for the other two blogs but I decided to keep this one on Blogger because it's the one everyone that used to follow me is familiar with.  If the format gets too annoying I might change my mind about that.

Soooo!  Let's see.  One exciting thing I learned about recently is Bookbub.  Like forever ago I participated in a challenge called Clean Out Your E-Reader.  Ummm yea.  Bookbub filled it back up in the first day.  Free books!  There are discounted books too but I haven't seen anything that made me want to shell out the cash.  The nice part is pretty much all of the books are either stand alone or the first in a series.  There's a liberation in knowing that if I don't like a book 10% in I can just stop reading.  When you read the free books authors give you to review you can't do that.  Or if you paid for it you feel obligated to continue reading because it's a waste of money if you don't.

I suppose I should peek at my "read" shelf on Goodreads and see what I've been reading the last 2 years eh?  I'll start with recent reading and work my way back.  It's starting the holidays so I've read a few Christmas books.  The problem is that all of them seem to start out so darned sad.  The main person always has some terrible thing happening in their lives.  I realize that it works out in the end but it's kind of depressing!  Let's see... before that I was on a major m/m binge.  I was trying to find some books I haven't read and read a m/m novella and loved it so I ended up reading a bunch of them including PsyCop, A Matter of Time, The Plumber's Mate, THIRDS, Cut & Run and The Administration.  I loved them all so much I would have a hard time picking a favorite!

Before my m/m stage I was re-reading some favorites including Half Moon Hollow/Jane Jameson, Dark Ones, Demonica/Lords of Deliverance, Night Huntress/Night Prince and Nightwalkers.  The problem with re-reading books is you can't really register the reading on Goodreads.  Some of them I barely remembered other than the main plot.  It was enjoyable. 

Rewind a year and I was reading Immortal Guardians, Glory St. Clair, Matrix of Destiny, Dragon Lords of Valdier, Kodiak Point, Dark Protectors, Celta's Heartmate's, Midnight Liaisons, Paranormal Dating Agency, Alpha Pack, Accidentals, Garnet Lacey and Outlander.  That year was pretty much all about the audiobooks because I was having a terrible side effect from my meds that prevented me from reading.  I wore myself out with all of those books so once my vision problems were fixed I avoided books for the first half of 2016.

I think I read some erotica in there somewhere too but for some reason I'm weird about putting those books on my read shelves.  Silly, I know.  I also read some of the newer books of favorite series that came out in that time like Argeneau, Half-Moon Hollow, Charley Davidson, Psy-Changling and Love at Stake.  I'm sure there's more but I skipped by everything that wasn't a series of a bunch of books when I was going through my read shelf.

You see!  I have been reading or listening to books in some form off and on over the last two years.  I just haven't kept up with the blog.  I think it started with the fact that I couldn't for most of 2015 because of that weird side effect and then I just didn't feel like it after I hadn't in so long.  Reviewing books is different than just reading them.  I'll highlight parts I want to remember to mention or quotes I want to use.  I'm usually writing the review in my head as I read and in some cases I might go as far as to start typing the review out as I read so I don't forget everything.  I don't have the luxury of just going on to the next book of a series when I finish the one before it.  I have to stop and write up the review first.  As much as I love it, it can be sort of a drag.  But, I miss it!  So look forward to hearing more from me soon.  I'm hoping to do 1-4 reviews a month to get back into the swing of it.  I've missed you all!  Comment and let me know what you've been reading.  I love to discover new books!
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