Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

  • Title: Along Came Trouble
  • Author: Ruthie Knox
  • Series: Camelot, Book 2
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher: Loveswept, February 2013
  • Source: NetGalley ($2.99 ebook)
  • Length: 121 pages
  • Trope(s): Uptight Single Mother, Ex-Army Hero, Insta-Lust, Evil Ex,  Big Misunderstandings
  • Quick blurb: A single mother’s tightly-ordered life is disrupted when her pop-star brother insists on assigning her a security guard.
  • Quick review: More great characterization and smoking-hot chemistry, but the short timeframe and small-town antics got in the way of the relationship-building.
  • Grade: B

Get a grip, she told herself, but her libido had no claws, and the situation was slippery — a bizarre combination of socially awkward and inconveniently arousing.

So. I first attempted just a One-Quote Review because I’m lazy, but this book made me have THOUGHTS. And FEELINGS.

Continue reading

One-Quote Review: How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

  • Title: How to Misbehave
  • Author: Ruthie Knox
  • Series: Camelot, Book 1
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher: Loveswept, January 2013
  • Source: NetGalley (99¢ ebook)
  • Length: 121 pages
  • Trope(s): Inexperienced Heroine, Angsty Hero, Trapped by a Storm
  • Quick blurb: Quiet community center director makes the most of an unexpected entrapment with a  local construction contractor.
  • Quick review: An amazing amount of characterization in only 100 pages. Also, hot storm sex.
  • Grade: A

Not like a cudgel at all. Like…wanting, if it had a shape.

Yes, I’m giving Knox YET ANOTHER “A” GRADE. I’m a fangirl. Just shut up and read this, it’s wonderful.

The ‘Oh Crap It’s Only A Week Until Christmas’ Holiday Book Binge, Part 2

I did a LOT of reading last weekend. My house is a complete disaster and I DON’T CARE. Santa and his stupid Naughty List can just bite my big ol’ you-know-what.

Unless he’s bringing me stuff from my wish list. I might even actually fold all the laundry on the couch AND put it away for one of those books.

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Naughty and Nice: Three Holiday Treats (Anthology)

Naughty & Nice: Three Holiday Treats anthology

  • Title: Naughty and Nice: Three Holiday Treats
  • Authors: Ruthie Knox, Molly O’Keefe and Stefanie Sloane
  • Series: Crooked Creek Ranch, Book 2.5 (O’Keeffe)
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, Historical
  • Publisher: Loveswept/Random House, November 2012
  • Source: NetGalley ($1.99 ebook)
  • Length: 210 pages
  • Trope(s): Grand Gesture, Family Drama, Small Town Guilt, Recalcitrant Farm Animals (thankfully not a goat this time)
  • Quick blurb: An homage to It’s a Wonderful Life, an HFN contemporary prequel, and a boring and silly historical.
  • Quick review: It’s all about Room at the Inn.
  • Grade: B

Room at the Inn by Ruthie Knox

Mother of God, he had great hands.

Carson Vance can put those hands on me anytime. I have a major Author Crush on Ruthie Knox because she knows exactly how to Push My Buttons. Including the Gloriously Groveling Grand Gesture. She makes me use Initial Caps.

All I Want for Christmas Is You by Molly O’Keeffe

“Any promise you make…half of the promise is commitment and the other half is faith. Faith that your commitment is enough.”

This was my first by O’Keefe — I was disappointed in the story as an happy-for-now prequel, but there was enough honest emotion and realistic angst to keep her Crooked Creek Ranch series in my TBR queue.

One Perfect Christmas by Stephanie Sloane

Blast that word, “if.” Two letters, without which there was no hope.

Also a first for Sloane — unfortunately, nothing about this impressed me. I’m a sucker for the friends-to-lovers trope and the MCs were likeable, but the story was oh-so-predictable and I found some of the smexing to be awkward instead of sexy.

Any Regency has to be very, very different to stand out among the hundreds of others out there, and this one was just too cookie-cutter to be memorable.

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Twelve Days by Ros Clarke

Twelve Days by Ros Clarke

  • Title: Twelve Days
  • Author: Ros Clarke
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher: Self-Published, December 2012
  • Source: Provided by the author (99¢ ebook)
  • Length: 35 pages
  • Trope(s): Big Misunderstanding (Big. HUGE.), Family Drama, Reunited, Flash Mob
  • Quick blurb: A public marriage proposal doesn’t go quite as planned.
  • Quick review: Sad-cry + happy-cry = *happysigh* (all in only 35 pages!)
  • Grade: B+

The singers had already reached the three French hens verse, and on cue a chicken ran across the road.

For anyone who cringed at the grand gesture in Room at the Inn, read this. Trust me.

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Wish List by Sylvia Day

Wish List by Sylvia Day

  • Title: Wish List
  • Author: Sylvia Day
  • Series: White Hot Holidays
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher: Self-Published, December 2005 (originally published January 2005 by Ellora’s Cave)
  • Source: Amazon, $2.51 ebook
  • Length: 40 pages
  • Trope(s): Lawyers, Secret Santa, Secret [NO SPOILERS!]
  • Quick blurb: Law firm Secret Santa gift exchange gives attorney the opportunity to fulfill his colleague’s no-longer-secret wish list.
  • Quick review: Hero goes from Alpha to Beta in only 40 pages. I love it when that happens.
  • Grade: B+

“This isn’t about getting laid,” he insisted hoarsely.

“I know.” Her hands clung to his straining, sweating back.

“This isn’t temporary.”

“I – I…”

This is another author first (I know, I know), but I shall remedy that soon.

Doubleheader: Ride with Me and About Last Night by Ruthie Knox

After only two novels, Ruthie Knox has a spot on my DIK and auto-buy lists.

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Ride with Me

  • Ride with Me by Ruthie KnoxTitle: Ride with Me
  • Author: Ruthie Knox
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher:  Loveswept, February 2012
  • Source: Amazon, $2.99
  • Length: 207
  • Trope(s): Angst, Redemption, Dysfunctional Family, Beta Hero
  • Quick blurb: Chatty teacher and brooding loner on a cross-country bike ride.
  • Quick review: This is my new standard for contemporary M/F romance.
  • Grade: A

Interesting how getting your ass kicked by love could change your perspective.

The happy couple….

Lexie is a follow-the-map high school teacher who doesn’t trust her own judgment after two failed engagements. Tom is a brooding loner who most definitely does not want a female chatting in his ear for three months straight.

The setting….

A 4,500-mile bike ride across the United States – with a few scenic detours along the way.

The storytelling….

I was right there with them all the way across the country. The set-up was entirely believable, and the ups and downs of their emotional connection mirrored their physical journey.

The romance….

The relationship-building was perfect – it never fell into a predictable Romance-O-Matic formula. No Insta-Love, no “I Hate You Except When We Kiss,” no Big Misunderstanding. Tom’s honorable angst was just deliciously sexy, and Lexie was a realistic mix of smart, funny and vulnerable.

And the Red Bordello Motel Room Birthday Sex? OH. MY. GOD.

“—Right now you need to let go, sweetheart. Open your eyes and let go. I’ll keep you safe.”

He wouldn’t let her look away. When she came, his gaze held her in place, his eyes huge and black and unspeakably tender, and he didn’t allow her to shrink back from the tsunami of sensation that swept through her. He held her there and made sure she felt every last unbelievable second of it, and then he blinked and came himself with a helpless sound that was almost a roar. She watched him, holding on tight until it was over.

Still shuddering, her hot cheek pressed against his shoulder, Lexie closed her eyes and cursed him. Because now it was no longer possible to pretend.

Tom was going to break her heart, and she was going to let him.

It made me swoon and cry at the same time. Good lord.

The recommendation….

This is my new standard for contemporary M/F romance. And Tom Geiger is my new Contemporary Fictional Boyfriend.

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About Last Night

  • About Last Night by Ruthie KnoxTitle: About Last Night
  • Author: Ruthie Knox
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher:  Loveswept, February 2012
  • Source: Amazon, $2.99
  • Length: 207
  • Trope(s): Angst, Redemption, Beta Heroes, Dysfunctional Family
  • Quick blurb: Bad girl and banker in London
  • Quick review: Two-for-two puts Ruthie Knox on my auto-buy list.
  • Grade: B+

“I never thought I’d be penetrated by a Neville,” she said wonderingly. “Maybe a Colin, or a Simon….”

The happy couple….

Cath is a struggling museum assistant who’s sworn off men because she doesn’t want to have to add to her collection of “lessons learned” tattoos. Nev is a sensitive artist hiding behind a yuppie banker’s façade to please his overbearing family.

The setting….

London (Greenwich, to be specific) and a country estate complete with servants and formal gardens.

The storytelling….

Spot-on characterization and dialogue – and a lot of smokin’-hot sex – keep the poor girl/rich boy premise from becoming formulaic or overly melodramatic.

The romance….

Their relationship starts with her passing out in his bed – before they even know each other’s names –and it just gets better from there. I loved how Cath continually rewrote her self-written rules to rationalize her overwhelming and unwanted attraction. Nev seemed a little too perfect at first, and then too much of a wuss, but he totally redeems himself with a swoon-worthy Grand Gesture.

He’d stolen her whole life story and flipped it around, making it beautiful and tragic instead of sordid and stupid.

*~*happy sigh*~*

The recommendation….

Loved the characters, loved the writing – hurry the hell up with the next one, Ruthie!