Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Glomming on Contemporaries

Yesterday I mentioned that I’m a bit burned out on historical romances, which is a bummer, since historical romances were my first "wuv, twue wuv." So to break the slump, I’ve been reading lots of contemporaries, which is a bit unusual. In fact, for me contemporaries usually rank right above Romantic Suspense. In other words, they fit in the take-em-or-leave-em category. But a few have really drawn me in lately, so here are some mini-reviews of ones I’ve enjoyed lately. I have to warn you, though - these may lead to your stocking up on the authors’ backlists!
Rachel Gibson Not Another Bad Date (Writers #4) I’m a sucker for reunited lovers, and this book is a charmer! Fantasy Author Adele Harris jumps to her sister’s rescue when her seemingly perfect marriage falls apart and her sister finds herself hospitalized. Adele steps in to look after her tween niece, little realizing that her niece’s new friend is the daughter of the guy who got away in college, former pro football player Zach Zemaitis. He’s a single parent, since his snooty Junior League wife was t-boned by a garbage truck, and trust me, her accident is definitely an example of karma at work. He broke Adele’s heart in college when his former girlfriend (aforementioned Junior League member) announced she was pregnant. He’s not interested in forever, especially since he’s got a 13 year old daughter, but true love manages to save the day, despite the former wife’s intervention from beyond the grave. Really cute novel that has me catching up on Ms. Gibson’s backlist.
Susan Mallery Only His (Fool’s Gold #6) You really can’t go wrong with Ms. Mallery’s heartwarming contemporaries. This is the last installment in her latest Fool’s Gold trilogy (more to be released next year, yay!). Like Not Another Bad Date, this book features reunited lovers, in this case triplet Nevada Hendrix and Tucker Janack. Nevada wants to spread her wings and work for someone other than her brother, and when Janack Construction announces they’re building a casino, she decides to apply for an engineering job, believing that she’ll be interviewed by the senior Janack. She’s shocked to discover that Tucker Janack is running the show. They had a one night stand that resulted in his calling her his ex-girlfriend’s name, and Nevada was crushed. They manage to work everything out in the end, despite the former nutcase girlfriend showing up, and this delightful romance features no fewer than 3 couples. The romance between bartender Jo and Tucker’s friend Will is just as appealing as that of Nevada and Tucker, while the third couple consists of Nevada’s mother Denise and her long-ago boyfriend Max. The older couple manages to create some cringe worthy moments that are hilarious, while Tucker’s former girlfriend decides to donate a statue to the city that’s in questionable taste. Definitely a fun read that leaves you wanting more, and you will NEVER forget where Tucker proposes.
Carly Phillips Serendipity I was prepared to dislike the heroine of this book, because I was afraid she’d come off as a spoiled little princess, but she’s actually nothing like that. Faith Harrington’s husband divorces her when her father is sent to prison for a Madoff type ponzi scheme, and Faith returns to her small town to start her own decorating business. When she runs into the town’s bad boy, Ethan Barron, her new business gets a boost when he hires her to decorate her former family home. Even better, her love life picks up. Ethan’s got his own family issues, since his parents died when he was 18, and he abandoned his two younger brothers to the foster care system. He’s hoping to establish a relationship with them, which becomes all the more complicated when their fourteen year old half sister is dumped at Ethan’s doorstep. Despite all the complications, Faith and Ethan are likeable characters you’ll want to root for, and the fact that Ethan is a bad boy on a motorcycle proves irresistible.
Christina Dodd Revenge at Bella Terra (Scarlet Deception #2) I confess that I had my doubts about how Ms. Dodd was going to pull this novel off, but she has another winner with Revenge at Bella Terra. Eli Di Lucca is in dire financial straits and too proud to ask his family for help, setting the stage for a marriage of convenience. He agrees to marry Italian businessman Tamosso Conte’s daughter Chloe if Conte will pay off his debts. Since Chloe is completely unaware of the deal, I’m sure you can see why I had my doubts! Chloe is starting her second mystery novel and already suspects her estranged father of matchmaking, so Eli has his work cut out for him. But the two end up spending a lot of time together when a mummified body is discovered at a local water tower owned by Eli, and sparks start to fly. He manages to get the girl, but convincing Chloe to stay once she learns the truth is the hard part. Watching the strong, silent type fall for the creative Chloe is a real pleasure, and while the villain was a bit predictable, the mystery is no less enjoyable. It’s going to be hard to wait until the third book comes out in April!


  1. Ok, I am a HUGE fan of Susan Mallery's and this book was definitely a great one. I was laughing out loud one minute and sighing with the romance of it all the next. The whole trilogy was great and this one wrapped things up nicely.

    Also, I've read a couple of Rachel Gibson books and hadn't heard of this one so I'll have to check that out.

  2. Only His was so cute! The DH asked me what was so funny about the proposal and about fell off the couch laughing when I told him!

    This was this first Rachel Gibson book I'd ever read, so I'm really looking forward to catching up on her other ones!

  3. I'm not familiar with Rachel's books so I'll check it out. I love Carly and Christina's books.

    However, I'm such a fan of Susan Mallery's as well. Loving her Fools Gold Series.

  4. I like to alternate contemps with historicals to keep from burning out on either. I would highly recommend Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis. I hadn't read any of her others but I'm definitely going to remedy that. I'd also recommend Jane Graves. Her heroes and heroines are usually just normal people, not glamorous models or billionaire businessmen.

  5. Jen, I completely agree about Simply Irresistible - so cute! Have you read Jill Shalvis's new release, Animal Magnetism? I haven't read it yet, but it looks great.

  6. I'm a huge fan of all these authors and I've actually read all 4 books! I won a copy of one of Rachel's books and have been a fan ever since. Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold books are WONDERFUL! I haven't decided if my favorite book in the series is Only Yours (with Dr. Simon) or Only His (for the comedy). I really love how strong the female characters are in her books. I really liked Carly's newest trilogy and can't wait to read about the other brothers. And Christina had been a favorite of mine since her very first book!

  7. Angela,

    Carly Phillips is a new-to-me author, as is Rachel Gibson, so I'm busy catching up on everyone's backlist. Christina Dodd and Susan Mallery are both long time favorites too. I'm really looking forward to this spring when the two of them release their next books!

  8. Love Ms. Susan & appreciate her gift. I don't want Fool's Gold to end...