Friday, August 9, 2013

Mini Reviews: Keeping Her + I Dream of Danger

KEEPING HER
Losing It #1.5
Cora Carmack
Contemporary New Adult
Novella
William Morrow/HarperCollins
Available August 13th
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather . . . ahem . . . complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren't quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.


MY THOUGHTS
Keeping Her is an absolute treat for fans of Cora Carmack in general and original couple Garrick and Bliss in particular, giving us a look behind the curtain of happily ever after as the two of them find themselves taking the first tentative steps outside their shiny new romance bubble and into the complicated reality of navigating a partnership rather than a sole proprietorship. Because this novella is furthering the story of an already established couple, no lead in or build up is necessary, instead we get the pleasure of diving right into the thick of things, tension between Bliss and Garrick sparking and flaring as their individual insecurities are thrust into the limelight and put on display for the most critical of audiences: Garrick’s parents.

What’s so beautiful about Garrick and Bliss’s relationship though is their ability to communicate; neither of them the type of people to keep things bottled up inside until they poison what they have via emotional suppression, rather they both always step forward when something is bothering them and opt to share the burden between them. They aren't without flaws of course and their love isn’t magically perfect after the events of Losing It, but there’s never a moment where we question the rightness of the two of them together, their trust that the other person won’t let them fall wrapping their relationship in steel bands we know will never break no matter how much ammunition is fired in their direction. Cora Carmack has yet to disappoint me, and Keeping Her comes with my highest recommendation for Garrick and Bliss lovers everywhere.

Rating: 4/5
 

Find Cora:



Ghost Ops #2
Lisa Marie Rice
Adult Romantic Suspense
304 pages
Available now
William Morrow/HarperCollins
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In the second book of Lisa Marie Rice's thrilling Ghost Ops series, the Haven team is faced with a new addition to their secret society-and a threat capable of destroying everything they hold dear.

When Nick Ross disappears from Elle Thomason's life, she is certain she'll never see the man she loves again—except in her dreams.

Ten years later, as a respected researcher breaking new ground in psychic phenomena, she sends a desperate call for Nick's help. One by one, her colleagues have started disappearing . . . and Elle knows she's next. An elite soldier, Nick never meant to hurt Elle, duty kept him away—and then she vanished. Now troubled by unusually vivid, disturbing dreams of Elle in danger, Nick will rescue the only woman he's ever wanted and bring her back with him to Haven. Though powerful men are after Elle and her special abilities, Nick will die before leaving her side again.

MY THOUGHTS
I Dream of Danger is the type of romance that must be entered into with a sense of preparedness, fully expecting to embrace some familiar romance novel cliches like a hyper-sexualized covert ops soldier and a frighteningly naïve virgin whose body simply won't respond to anyone other than him. The physical aspect of their relationship happens quickly in this second installment of the Ghost Ops series, and while the speed with which they end up in bed isn't all that bothersome given Elle has loved Nick her entire life, their first sexual encounter reads a bit clinical, leaving us slightly uncomfortable as Nick introduces Elle to all the pleasures her body is capable of experiencing. Luckily, their later intimacies are more sensual, though they of course remain over the top and earth-shattering with absolutely no room in the moment of passion for safety or pregnancy concerns.

In addition to the extensive sexual exaggeration, the main mystery element involving Elle's missing coworkers is wrapped up rather quickly at the end, some interesting aspects regarding Elle's ability to astrally project not explored as thoroughly as we might have hoped going in, and we're left with one major plot point unresolved as we're presumably setup for the romantic pairing of book three. Despite its flaws however, there is still an addictive quality to I Dream of Danger, and the quicker we accept the romantic embellishments the more fun we have reading this story. By the end, we can't help but want to continue on and see what becomes of the next member of the Ghost Ops team and the woman who's clearly caught his attention, willing to dive back into this world just as soon as we're in the mood for the stretching of romantic believability and physical prowess once again.

Rating: 3/5
 
Find Lisa:


These books were sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

• • • • • • • • • •

CRAVE TWITTER CHAT

Romance is obviously the theme of the day on the blog, so in keeping with it I wanted to mention that I will be co-hosting a Twitter chat with new adult and adult romance author Monica Murphy today from 3pm-4pm EST. I'm hugely excited for the first book of her new Billionaire Bachelors Club series, Crave, which released this week from Avon, and I hope some of you will join me this afternoon to ask Monica all about it (look for #crave, @sprntrlsnark, @avonbooks and @MsMonicaMurphy
). We'll also be choosing one person at random to receive a printed copy of the book, so please drop in to say hi!

32 comments:

  1. I love when there's actually good communication between a couple, so that's definitely a bonus!

    I'm not so sure about that 2nd book, though anything with ghosts in the title gets my attention!

    The twitter chat sounds awesome! I doubt I'll manage to be on at that time, but I'll try my hardest!

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    1. I just adore Cora's books, it was so much fun to go back and see Bliss and Garrick post-Losing It:)

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  2. I so need to get with it and start the Losing It series, I have heard nothing but great things about it.
    I haven't heard of the second series, I do like a good ghost story though so I will keep it in mind!
    Great reviews!

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    1. They're really fun books Ali! I definitely recommend them:) The Ghost Ops book was interesting, super over the top, but it was entertaining.

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  3. I always love going back to an beloved couple and just like you I was never disappointed by Cora Cormack - I just love her writing and her characters! Keeeping Her is definitely a wonderful and cute addition to this series!

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  4. Ghost op, hm, now that sounds more for me

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    1. I had fun reading it even if I did roll my eyes a time or two:)

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  5. I really need to start that Cora Carmack's series as everyone are talking about it. I'm glad you enjoyed this short story. I haven't heard of the second one but it seems to me that the realization wasn't as good while the idea seems great. Great reviews Jenny :)

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    1. I definitely had some issues with I Dream of Danger, but it was a fun escape type of read. Not one to take too seriously:)

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  6. Is it bad that I added "coming" to the end of the Keeping Her title? I couldn't help myself. Plus, it's a Cora Cormack. Seems appropriate! Both of these sound great, though a clinical sexual encounter doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun. Where's the passion, huh?!?

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    1. Yes, that first love scene felt very "insert tab A into slot B" and I was all "ummmmmm awkward". Luckily the later scenes were better:)

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  7. Bwahahaha @ Mary's comment. #WIN

    I may have to creep on your Twitter chat today. :)

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    1. PLEASE DO AMANDA! It should be fun:)

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  8. I still haven't read Losing It yet! I feel like you're flying through this series and I so desperately need to give it a try and see what the hype is about. I'm so glad you continue to enjoy them, Jenny!(:

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    1. Hahaha I am flying through it! This one was short though, less than 100 pages, so it was easy to breeze right through. Plus her books are ones I just don't want to put down:)

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  9. I'm so excited about Keeping Her! I plan to read it this weekend and fall in love with Bliss and Garrick all over again. :)

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  10. So glad that you enjoyed Keeping Her. I just read the first 2 books in the series a couple of days ago and I really enjoyed it.
    A couple that actually communicates? That's such a rarity in NA books, so it makes me happy that Garrick and Bliss seem to share a healthy relationship.

    A "clinical" sex scene? Well, that doesn't sound romantic at all. I hate it when authors forget about the protection business! Seems like a really crucial thing for the characters to forget, in my opinion. It's a shame about the mystery wrapping up way too quickly. I don't think series is for me.

    Thanks for the lovely honest reviews, Jenny! :)

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  11. I really want to read Keeping Her. I hoping this will help me like the story a bit more. Plus, I got the second book and I hoping this story get better.

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  12. So much to comment on in this post! Two books and a twitter chat? I didn't realize you used twitter that much, and truthfully I'm still not sure how to get involved with chats. I always thought it was just the hashtag, but I seem to miss things when I only look at that.

    As for Keeping Her, I'm not a huge novella person, but I am sorely tempted because it's Cora Carmack, and I love the lightness and banter and romantic tension of her books. I wasn't a huge, huge Garrick fan but maybe that's all the more reason to read from his (and Bliss's too I heard) POV. Now here's the question: whatever happened to Hamlet? (Was that addressed and I just don't remember or o.O?)

    I hope you enjoy the next Ghost Ops book more than you enjoyed this one!

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  13. I wasn't planning on reading Keeping it because that series wasn't doing it for me anymore, but I'm having second thoughts. I loved the awkward and funny chemistry between Garrick and Bliss, and even though Bliss was a tad clumsy for me, I think I would really enjoy this short story. Great reviews, Jenny!

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  14. KNEW I would miss the chat. I just checked and yep... it's over. :P

    I will have to try the Losing It series. I just never thought it would be for me, but you keep hitting me with these awesomesauce reviews so I know I will try them one day. All are on my wishlist.

    As for the other one, I thought "yes!" but as I read on, I can see me having the same problems as you did. I can sometimes deal with suspension of belief, but right now don't really want to read that kind of romance. Maybe I could library book it one day.

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  15. Cliches, smiches, eh. I got a copy of I DREAM OF DANGER - and it looks SO BEAUTIFUL. I'm not sure I'll be diving into it soon thought.

    But I've heard some great things about the Losing It series - I'll have to pick that one up!

    Great minis, Jenny :)

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  16. Well F***! I totally missed the Twitter chat! Not even if you're in a different time zone! So sorry, I know I would have enjoyed it even if I had sat there and watched!*kicks self*

    I will have to read something by Cora Carmack someday to see what I think of her writing. I'm still not sold on New Adult.

    But I love this line in your "I Dream of Danger" review- a hyper- "sexualized covert ops soldier and a frighteningly naïve virgin whose body simply won't respond to anyone other than him." I know the type of book, though not with a paranormal bent to it. They always seem a bit too GI Joe meets Maria (from the Sound of Music). Not my cup of tea but very glad you could suspend your belief to enjoy it!

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  17. I cannot wait to read Cormack's newest book..I am a total fan. I have I Dream of Danger but it's the second book and I have just been pushing it around in my tbr pile..LOL

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  18. Your description of typical romance novel tropes cracked me up--it appears I enjoy "normal" romance more than you do. ;-) It's rare to get books about established relationships, so Keeping Her sounds good.

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  19. Great reviews Jenny. I have Keeping her on pre-order and I can't wait to read it. I just love Cora Carmack. I Dream of Danger sounds interesting to. I haven't heard of it before. Thanks for introducing me to it.

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  20. Oh I really need to read something by Cora Carmack! I love the sound of Garrick and Bliss' relationship in this novella. It frustrates me endlessly when there is a lack of communication in a romance, so I'm glad that's not really an issue here. I Dream of Danger doesn't quite sound like my kind of read, so I think I'll probably skip it for now. Thanks for sharing, Jenny! :)

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  21. I just got Keeping Her and I can't wait to read it! Losing It was super fun, and I'm excited for more of this couple. I like novellas to continue stories of couples we love, so that we can enjoy more of their relationship plus a little drama without it stressing me out over a full book.

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  22. Aww I'm bummed that I missed the Twitter chat! I was horribly sick last week and pretty much MIA from the blogosphere, and I'm kicking myself because that sounds like so much fun! Keeping Her sounds totally amazing, I'm sure I'm going to love it. The unrealistic sex in I Dream of Danger would definitely irritate me, so I think I'll steer clear. Thanks for these thoughtful mini-reviews! :-)

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  23. I feel like such a loser, as I haven't read any Cora Cormack books! :( I have heard fantastic things about this series, and I am very curious to see how its so different from other NA books. Plus, I love the sound of the characters, Garrick and Bliss (I LOVE their names!) and I am a sucker for beautiful relationships. I love that they actually talk! lol ;p But at the same time even with their flaws the romance is realistic! :D I can't wait to read this series! I'm glad you enjoyed this, Jenny!

    I Dream of Danger sounds disappointing. I don't think I could have overlooked the "clinical" romance aspect, or could have enjoyed the characters relationship there after. But I'm glad by the end there is still something to look forward to. I actually have the first book in this series, so maybe I will give this a try! :D

    Thanks for the honest reviews, Jenny! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

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