The Spy Who Saved Christmas by Dana Marton

The Spy Who Saved Christmas by Dana Marton

  • Title: The Spy Who Saved Christmas
  • Author: Dana Marton
  • Series/Category: Intrigue
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense
  • Publisher: Harlequin, October 2010
  • Source: Amazon, $3.82
  • Length: 219 pages
  • Trope(s): Virgin Heroine, Angsty Spy, Plot Moppets (x2), Secret Baby (x2), AWOL Underwear, Unauthorized Use of Prep Table
  • Quick blurb: Lady Butcher has Secret Babies with Fake-Dead Biker Baker Black Ops Guy. Also, it’s Christmas.
  • Quick review: A quick and goofy holiday read, but not quite as much gleeful fun as Black Sheep Sheik.
  • Grade: B
  1. kelly_instalove
    Spy Who Saved Christmas, chapter 1 – heroine has already kneed hero in the nads and head-butted him. Bring it ON.
  2. kelly_instalove
    Spy Who Saved Xmas, ch 2: “What was it with them and food preparation surfaces?”
  3. kelly_instalove
    “Is that why, instead of staying at a safe house…you insisted on coming with me to steal a deadly virus from a bunch of terrorists?”
  4. kelly_instalove
    “Tonight. Five minutes to midnight. Down by the river at the foot of the old railroad bridge.” !!! (hold me)
  5. kelly_instalove
    “She looked like she was trying to decide whether to cry or strangle him. Since she wasn’t the weepy kind, things didn’t look good for him.”
  6. kelly_instalove
    “…not only would she have been happy to see his ten-point buck, she would have gutted, skinned and chopped it all up for him. (1/2)
  7. kelly_instalove
    (2/2) “She was a helluva woman by his standards.” [Heroine is a 6-ft-tall butcher, in case you were wondering]
  8. kelly_instalove
    Hero is Biker Black Ops kind of guy who also bakes. His crusty roll recipe is coveted, especially since his fake death in bakery fire.
  9. Fibrobabe
    @kelly_instalove A black ops biker with a heart of pastry dough.
  10. kelly_instalove
    @Fibrobabe I’m kind of disappointed he doesn’t call heroine “sugar”
  11. kelly_instalove
    @Fibrobabe they’re in Pennsylvania, so maybe “my sweet funnel cake” instead
  12. Fibrobabe
    @kelly_instalove If it’s a Christmas story, “my fruity Weihnachtsstollen.”
  13. kelly_instalove
    @Fibrobabe I hope they’re not Swedish, because lutefisk and lefse would ruin the mood.
  14. Fibrobabe
    @kelly_instalove I’m not sure how I’d feel about being called a “darling rugelach” if he’s Jewish.
  15. kelly_instalove
    She: “You can’t have bad aim and wield a cleaver for a living.” He: “Hand-eye coordination is a beautiful thing.”
  16. WARNING: Random and gratuitous inclusion of Fake SyFy monsters ahead!
  17. kelly_instalove
    @oddmonstr I’m feeling the need to do a Storify mashup of my book snark and your movie pics
  18. oddmonstr
    @kelly_instalove I think that would rock! Do you need more sand sharks? Because there’s like 4 now and they’re chasing Brooke Hogan
  19. Oh, sorry…. Where were we?
  20. kelly_instalove
    He: “To get those boys back, you would have teamed up with the devil.” She: “Maybe I did.” (Boys = Secret Babies) (Twins, of course. Duh.)
  21. kelly_instalove
    Lady Butcher is OK with blood and innards, but scared of bugs. Especially spiders in outhouses.
  22. ann_somerville
    @kelly_instalove ah, so female stereotyping not entirely absent, even if ridiculous
  23. kelly_instalove
    @ann_somerville Hero’s partner’s girlfriend wants their next deer hunting trip to be catch-and-release
  24. kelly_instalove
    “It was like walking into a fantasy. A centerfold operating heavy machinery.” (Hero recalling Lady Butcher using industrial meat grinder)
  25. kelly_instalove
    He: “I always thought you looked not in a hairnet.” She: “You were probably distracted by all the machinery I was operating.”
  26. ann_somerville
    @kelly_instalove has this author ever been in a butcher’s shop? smell of raw meat is not enticing
  27. kelly_instalove
    Crap, that last one should have been HOT in a hairnet. Also, auto-correct options for “hairnet” are quite entertaining.
  28. Autocorrect options for “hairnet” include “garnet” and “bairns”
  29. kelly_instalove
    “Hot in a Hairnet” would be a fantastic book title. Someone should write that.
  30. ann_somerville
    @kelly_instalove sequels. ‘Warm in a Wig’. ‘Snug in a Snood’. ‘Bootilicious in a booblehat’ :)
  31. kelly_instalove
    @ann_somerville “Snug in a snood” made my lady parts squirmy, and not in a good way.
  32. kelly_instalove
    @ann_somerville yeah, like a bedazzled hairnet. But I think it was the “snug” part that got me o.0
  33. kelly_instalove
    @sean__kennedy The fez thing is way too Doctor Who *shudder* and I must admit I had to look up trilby *shameface* @ann_somerville
  34. kelly_instalove
    “The next thing he knew, her bra was AWOL.” (His hands are on a humanitarian mission.)
  35. ReaderLas
    @kelly_instalove now I’m tempted to break my rule and read a Christmas story.
  36. We now interrupt this live-tweet for some much-needed sleep….
  37. kelly_instalove
    Live-tweeting of “The Spy Who Saved Christmas” will resume shortly. I know you’re all anxious about the Rendezvous at the Railroad Bridge.
  38. kelly_instalove
    @JenniferRNN I’ll be Storifying. Hero is a Biker Baker Black Ops kind of spy. Heroine is a 6-ft-tall butcher. Yes, really.
  39. JenniferRNN
    @kelly_instalove A biker baker black ops dude??? This sounds awesomely cracktastic.
  40. kelly_instalove
    @JenniferRNN The last discussion before I went to bed was alternate titles for “Hot in a Hairnet.”
  41. kelly_instalove
    @JenniferRNN It was 2 a.m., so “discussion” wasn’t exactly high-brow. And then @oddmonstr kept throwing in SyFy “Sand Shark” pics.
  42. kelly_instalove
    Live-tweeting of “The Spy Who Saved Christmas” is about to resume – for realz this time. I actually had to *work* at the day job today :-P
  43. kelly_instalove
    Chapter 8 – let’s just say the Rendezvous at the Railroad Bridge did not go well. Mostly because the heroine can’t follow directions.
  44. kelly_instalove
    “They probably weren’t used to people begging to be kidnapped…. This was why you didn’t bring a civilian to a hostage exchange, dammit.”
  45. kelly_instalove
    “He was pretty cool during missions. Someone had once compared him to the iceberg that sank the Titanic.”
  46. kelly_instalove
    “She was a woman, falling in love with the man who was the father of her children.” Also, she’s a Cleaver-Wielding 6-Ft-Tall Lady Butcher.
  47. kelly_instalove
    Hero’s newly-married ex-partner: “So anyway, I told her about the twins. And you know how pregnant women are. *OUCH!*.”
  48. kelly_instalove
    “Look, you obviously don’t know anything about intelligence work, lady. It’s an X-K-Red-27 technique.”
  49. kelly_instalove
    “..I know perfectly well that you don’t keep the general public informed when you are “debriefing KGB defectors in a safe house.”
  50. JenniferRNN
    @kelly_instalove I am so going to have to read this. I can see it in my future.
  51. kelly_instalove
    @JenniferRNN Hee – those last two were from A Fish Called Wanda :-)
  52. kelly_instalove
    I’m throwing in marginally relevant movie quotes to liven things up on the long drive to Slaughterhouse Road for the Secret Baby Swap.
  53. ViolettaVane
    @kelly_instalove your description of the ransom gone wrong reminds me of the one in The Big Lebowski where Walter jumps out of the car
  54. kelly_instalove
    @ann_somerville No, but a slaughterhouse is a vertiable treasure trove of weapons for a Lady Butcher who lost her gun.
  55. kelly_instalove
    Success! “We kicked terrorist butt, didn’t we?”
  56. kelly_instalove
    Biker Baker Baby Daddy can tell twins apart after spending 15 minutes of quality time with them in the back of an ambulance.
  57. ann_somerville
    @kelly_instalove of *course* he can. Because he used a marker pen to put a sekrit symbol on one of their ears :)
  58. kelly_instalove
    @JenniferRNN I’m waiting for the scene where he hides his coveted Crusty Roll Recipe inside a diaper @ann_somerville
  59. kelly_instalove
    “Our second time and you’re already bringing up variety? A lesser man could develop a complex.” (1st time was baby making in the bakery)
  60. kelly_instalove
    “Because the first time, on a flour-dusted table, I didn’t know you were a virgin.”
  61. kelly_instalove
    @GrowlyCub 1st time was deflowering on flour-dusted table in bakery. 2nd time 2 years later. In between, he fake-died in bakery fire.
  62. kelly_instalove
    Nookie Night in a cheap motel is apparently really good therapy for recently wounded hips and shoulders.
  63. kelly_instalove
    “The twins were quiet, happy as clams, thanks to their complimentary candy canes.”
  64. kelly_instalove
    “…narrow lips tilted up in an evil smile. Every instinct she had told her that he wasn’t here to do his last-minute Christmas shopping.”

  65. kelly_instalove
    “The way he scurried forward reminded her of a rat running from a sinking ship. Which gave her a really, really bad feeling.”
  66. kelly_instalove
    Chasing a bad guy through a crowded mall is difficult, but even more so when you’re pushing a double-wide baby stroller.
  67. kelly_instalove
    FBI Suit: “You’re here to provide intelligence only… There’ll be no rogue missions here.” Pfffft. AS. IF. It’s a Harlequin Intrigue.
  68. The_Book_Slayer
    @kelly_instalove lol. Who doesn’t love a man in a suit with the added bonus of a badge & gun?!
  69. kelly_instalove
    “Extra attention from a deranged terrorist was the last thing she wanted. Not unless they were one-on-one and she had a cleaver handy.”
  70. kelly_instalove
    “And she was willing to bet a year’s supply of filet mignon….” I personally would only bet six month’s worth of pork chops.
  71. kelly_instalove
    “Blue wire or red wire?” If this was a Bond movie, Q would saunter over and calmly flip the power switch to off.
  72. kelly_instalove
    “The perfect time for swearing his heart out, but he was a father now and just yesterday he had promised himself to let go of that habit.”
  73. kelly_instalove
    “‘Fudge cookies,’ he said instead, with feeling. Then cringed. If his SDDU buddies could hear him now…” THIS is why I love @danamarton.
  74. kelly_instalove
    ““I’ll go home with you for a while. The bread needs time to rise.’ Something between them clearly didn’t.”
  75. kelly_instalove
    He: “We should visit our old friend the dough-kneading table.” She: “The last time you said that, you got me pregnant. Again.”
  76. The_Book_Slayer
    @kelly_instalove This conversation sounds like one I have had with my husband. 0.0 *snickers*
  77. kelly_instalove
    “She had her own life, her own challenges, her own wonderful family. Her very own spymaster who was about to save Christmas. Again.”
  78. ros_clarke
    @kelly_instalove Why don’t I have my very own spymaster to save Christmas again? I’ve always had to share my spymasters.
  79. kelly_instalove
    @ros_clarke You need to move to Hopeville, Pennsylvania. The spies have taken over an entire strip mall.
  80. Best epilogue EVER:

    “Due to the economy, a lot of stores had gone out of business in the small strip mall. And every time one did, the top-secret unit Reid worked for bought the place. They put a man behind the counter as a front. Business continued as usual. But in the sizable attic that stretched above the row of stores, a super high-tech mission center had been sneakily built. Reid had found a way to do his job and still keep them safe. The strip mall’s security—although invisible to the untrained eye—rivaled that of the White House. And since Reid was the coordinator, he rarely left on missions; he arranged for background support when needed, utilizing his considerable knowledge of the field. Oddly, business also began doing better than ever before. The strip mall was gaining steadily in popularity, especially with the ladies. The men on Reid’s team, handsome hunks to the last, didn’t escape notice.”

  81. kelly_instalove
    The End. Happy Holidays! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?

The Black Sheep Sheik by Dana Marton

  • The Black Sheep Sheik by Dana MartonTitle: The Black Sheep Sheik
  • Author: Dana Marton
  • Category/Series: Intrigue, Cowboys Royale miniseries
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense
  • Publisher:  Harlequin,  September 2011
  • Source: Amazon, $3.82 ebook
  • Length: 220 pages
  • Trope(s): Sheik, Alpha Male, Manwhore, One-Night Stand, Secret Baby, Pregnant Heroine, Coma, Kidnapping, Gangsters
  • Quick blurb: Sheik awakens from month-long coma thanks to Lady Doctor who is nine months pregnant with his Secret Baby.
  • Quick review: Author Dana Marton pulls out all the stops to save Kelly’s Month o’ Harlequin Experiment from its downward trajectory!
  • Grade: B
  1. kelly_instalove
    Continuing my Harlequin Experiment with Intrigue titled “Black Sheep Sheik.” I am determined to relax and enjoy it without cynicism.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 17:47:21
  2. kelly_instalove
    Pregnant Lady Doctor: “I’m not marrying you and you can’t make me.” Cowboy Sheik: *glares regally*
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 18:16:33
  3. Liz_Mc2
    @kelly_instalove You know there are less crazy ones, right?
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 18:21:18
  4. sunita_d
    @kelly_instalove I, for one, salute you. I have been unable to bring myself to read about Cowboy Sheikhs. @Liz_Mc2
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 18:23:37
  5. kelly_instalove
    “I think I preferred you in a coma. You’re much nicer when you’re not talking.” I think I like this heroine #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 18:25:08
  6. kelly_instalove
    “I am your future husband. You should not think angry thoughts about me.” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 18:27:52
  7. kelly_instalove
    “I’m thinking whether I’d lose my medical license if I strangled you with the IV line, Your Highness.” ::fistpump:: #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 18:29:26
  8. kelly_instalove
    Cowboy Sheik shoots bad guys with antique hunting rifle. Pregnant Lady Doctor ogles his ass through the open flap of his hospital gown.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 18:52:40
  9. kelly_instalove
    He: “I’m out of bullets. Do you have more?” She: “Sure, and check for that grenade launcher under the seat.” I *really* like this heroine.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 18:56:37
  10. kelly_instalove
    “Could you not accuse me of attempted murder in the middle of a high-speed, armed chase? It’s the first time I’m doing something like this.”
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:01:12
  11. kelly_instalove
    “Believe me, this is not your usual coma recovery.” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:11:01
  12. kelly_instalove
    Two hours after awakening from month-long coma, Cowboy Sheik’s manhood has returned with a vengeance, ready to make up for lost time.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:17:15
  13. kelly_instalove
    No need for paternity test; unborn son’s distinctive sheik-esque chin is clearly visible on ultrasound. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:33:15
  14. JenniferRNN
    @kelly_instalove Really? How can people not want to read romances like these?
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:36:44
  15. willaful
    @kelly_instalove Also, he’s wearing a tiny cowboy hat and boots.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:35:16
  16. JanetNorCal
    @willaful @kelly_instalove You are bad! I wondered if “chin” was substituting for another part of the anatomy.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:37:20
  17. willaful
    @JanetNorCal @kelly_instalove Think how painful it will be to deliver a baby with such broad shoulders.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 20:19:49
  18. kelly_instalove
    Cowboy Sheik is a seven-time veteran of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. More details to come after they escape hail of bullets. Again.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:40:58
  19. kelly_instalove
    Cue entrance of Russian mob. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:44:52
  20. kelly_instalove
    “Danger and romance are not as incompatible as one would think….” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:46:40
  21. kelly_instalove
    “…why action flicks rarely featured pregnant women. No movies called The Gestating Spy or Mission: Maternity ever topped the box office.”
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:50:19
  22. kelly_instalove
    Pregnant Lady Doctor escapes kidnappers by using earring to pick lock. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 19:53:15
  23. kelly_instalove
    “You’re getting used to me. You’ll barely notice that we’re married.” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 20:07:52
  24. kelly_instalove
    “The regular rules of conduct could take a break when you were in middle of woods, have been kidnapped and were about ready to have a baby.”
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 20:42:39
  25. kelly_instalove
    I am much better at multi-tasking at home than I am at work.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 20:50:32
  26. kelly_instalove
    Bad Guy: “Hotter than a whorehouse on nickel night out here.” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 20:51:12
  27. kelly_instalove
    Heroine uses Phillips-head screwdriver found in car as weapon. Which is fortunate, because a mere flat-head screwdriver just wouldn’t do.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 20:56:19
  28. kelly_instalove
    I don’t think Cowboy Sheik knows about the six-week post-partum no-sex thing. He’s going to be awfully disappointed. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:04:20
  29. HeidiBelleau
    @kelly_instalove Haha six weeks? It’s been like a year and my vag is still basically a no-go zone.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:05:50
  30. ann_somerville
    @HeidiBelleau gee I’m glad you shared that with us all :) @kelly_instalove
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:08:06
  31. HeidiBelleau
    @ann_somerville @kelly_instalove sorry I have no filter lol
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:08:58
  32. kelly_instalove
    Trap door under rug proves difficult to open. If only they had a flat-head screwdriver. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:09:13
  33. kelly_instalove
    I think this trap door is the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. I hope they speak Parseltongue. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:14:09
  34. kelly_instalove
    ” ‘Look out for snakes,’ she suggested.” SEE??? I *told* you. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:15:34
  35. kelly_instalove
    Flashback to meet-cute at costume party. She: Belly dancer. He: Persian prince. I was wondering how author was going to get sexy times in.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:19:08
  36. kelly_instalove
    He mesmerizes her with A LOOK and leads her out to the balcony. Her reputation as a virginal maiden is *ruined.* Oh, wait – wrong book.
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:21:06
  37. kelly_instalove
    Oh FFS, flashback was just a dream and take a wild guess when she wakes up. So unfair. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:27:32
  38. kelly_instalove
    “She could see those hands wrapped around the steering wheel of some superexpensive sports car, or reining in a wild camel.”
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:30:11
  39. kelly_instalove
    “Or holding their baby.” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:30:23
  40. kelly_instalove
    Hero: “You’re not going to get away with this.” Bad Guy: “We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that, I’m afraid.” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:34:45
  41. kelly_instalove
    FYI: The Royal Palace of Jamala is surrounded by lemon tress. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:40:11
  42. kelly_instalove
    “he needed to find the end of this tunnel and clear the exit, then he needed to widen the hole in the floor so she would fit through it.”
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:49:16
  43. kelly_instalove
    “It was official. Pregnancy hormones did give her brain damage.” Sing it, sister. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:56:13
  44. kelly_instalove
    “So help me God, I will shoot you dead right now, right here. I’m a pregnant woman in labor. Do I look like I’m kidding?” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 21:58:32
  45. kelly_instalove
    “The warrior blood of his ancestors rushed in his veins. Savagery filled him and he embraced it. He would not let her be harmed.”
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 22:13:04
  46. kelly_instalove
    “Now is SO not the best time to go medieval on me.” #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 22:16:42
  47. kelly_instalove
    Royal wedding! Bride wears jewel-studded breastfeeding bra. I’m not kidding. This book is AWESOME. #BlackSheepSheik
    Fri, Aug 03 2012 22:22:56