Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Minis: Harper Fox, Jill Shalvis, Jodi Thomas

It has been a while since I posted mini-impressions. So today instead of one long review, I decided to post three minis on my latest reads.

Driftwood by Harper Fox (Goodreads review)

I loved Harper Fox's prose, characterization, the chosen setting and atmosphere in this story. Fox's characters are complex, flawed and quite human (and that obviously counts as a plus for me). I couldn't stop reading the story of these men who were acutely hurt by either war or violence, and their painful journey toward healing through a little tenderness, love, self-awareness, lies and angst.

I had to suspend disbelief during the climactic scene with the "villain" due the physical condition both Flynn and Tom happened to be in. However, by that time I liked the story and characters to the extent that this did not become a big detriment to my overall enjoyment of the story.

After reading Life After Joe, Nine Lights over Edingburgh and now Driftwood, Harper Fox is fast becoming a favorite author in this sub-genre. (LGBT) Grade B+


The Heat is On by Jill Shalvis

The Heat is On is another hot and sexy Blaze by Jill Shalvis and part of her Santa Rey series. The story of Bella the sexy baker, and Jacob the Tall, Dark and Drop Dead Sexy Detective begins hot, sizzles through the middle and ends in a scorching heap. There's a dead body, shootings and a need for protection (lots of protection). Great chemistry, baking, some role play, action and romance.

Bella's the type of woman who moves on from town to town and doesn't commit to relationships. Jacob is a cop whose love life has been severely affected by his job. Lack of communication between Bella and Jacob toward the last third of the book became frustrating, but other than that, this was a quick, enjoyable, hot contemporary. (Contemporary Romance) Grade B


Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas

Twisted Creek is a lovely and heart warming story that features a young woman, her grandmother and an undercover ATF agent as main characters. Allie and her Nana make a place for themselves in the small lakefront town of Twisted Creek, Texas after Allie inherits property from an "uncle" she has never met. They join a community of misfits, slowly bring them together and eventually become a family. There's also a secondary story line related to a mystery/suspense that brings the community together and strengthens their bond.

As Allie tries to figure out if she really belongs at Twisted Creek and weather or not she should allow herself to dream again, through conversations, intimate moments and passionate encounters, she falls in love with Luke.

Twisted Creek is a great read. The relationship between Allie and her Nana is lovely, tender, touching and frankly it made me tear up more than once. The secondary characters have depth and contribute as much to this story as do the central characters. I love that! And last, but not least, the romance between Allie and Luke is developed slowly and it's heartfelt. There are no graphic sexual scenes, but they're not necessary to make the romance between this couple an enjoyable one. Twisted Creek is a well-rounded story with a sweet and lovely plot, excellent characterization, an interesting if somewhat predictable secondary plot, and a romance I enjoyed. (Contemporary Romance) Grade B+


  1. Aww, I love your mini impressions.
    And I have to say that I love books with grandmas, so I'm going to try to check Twisted Creek.

  2. Hey! I enjoyed Driftwood as well... I do agree about the scene you mentioned.

    Do you know I can't read Jodi Thomas! The fonts she uses on her book covers turn me off so much... isn't that the silliest thing, but it's true O_o

    When are we getting together? We should soon, weather seems to be holding :)

  3. It's been a couple of years but I still remember scenes from Twisted Creek with a smile and some sadness. (The pies and buns bring a smile then a bit of sadness) I agree about the secondary characters.

    Another contemporary by Thomas which I still think about is The Widows of Wichita County. I think I might go back and reread it.

    Have you read The Texan's Wager. Loved it (but I found out that Jodi Thomas really isn't a farm girl when it comes to fruit -peaches. And neither were her editors.)

  4. Hils,

    I've never read Harper Fox, but after reading your mini review I want to! LOL

    What book do you recommend I start with? Life After Joe sounds good.


  5. Yeah! You finally read Twisted Creek. LOL Nath loves that books, she got me to read it. It's a comfort read. :)

  6. Indi, I really think you'll like Fox! Life After Joe is a great place to start, and Driftwood is just great I know you'll love the characters in her books. Enjoy!

    Leslie, I know! Nath loves Twisted Creek. *g* She was right, it's a great read. I'm glad I finally read it, it was such an enjoyable story. :)

  7. I really like the mini-impressions format . . . helps get in a few books that are floating around my book chamber and I think these little glimpses into books are just enough to help someone decide if they want to read that book. All of these look really good. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I need to read some more Harper Fox. I loved Life After Joe and Nine Lights Over Edinburgh - it was the latter, which introduced me to her work.

    Oh, and I saw on Mariana's blog that you haven't tried Amy Lane yet? I adore Amy Lane! I agree with Mariana, they are very (angst) heavy. My favourite is Keeping Promise Rock - I'd love to be part of that family. If you do try Amy Lane I look forward to hearing what you think :)

  9. Alex, Twisted Creek is a WON.DER.FUL grandma story. The relationship between Allie and her Nana is sweet and touching. The whole story is really good!

    Mariana... the font? LOLOL! Maybe the ebook? I was thinking we should make plans to get together on a weekend! The weather is SO beautiful, and it's been a year since we met for the first time already. :D

    Reny, thank you SO much for recommending this book! I really enjoyed it. You're absolutely right, though... there are moments that made me smile and others that hit close to home. But I found the story quite sweet and loved the relationships.

    I'll check out The Widows of Wichita County. I've had The Texas Wager in my TBR for a while, but have not read it yet. That series will be my next Jodi Thomas project. :) LOL on the peaches... I'll look out for that part in the book.

  10. Orannia, Nine Lights Over Edingburgh was also my first Fox read and really loved her writing style. Her backlist is great so far!

    I heard about Amy Lane's Little Goddess series (Vulnerable, etc) a few years back, but I never read her M/M romance. I've been reading less M/M romance these past year since I'm concentrating on reading other genres, but I have her name down for the future! I'll definitely write down Keeping Promise Rock in my list of books to try. :)

  11. I'm happy you enjoyed Twisted Creek, Hils! I really love that book, it's just so... gentle. I love the sense of community that it gives off and the romance. Allie really needed a break and I'm happy it worked out for her :P

  12. Nath, I did! I loved that sense of community and the relationships in this book. You were right, this is definitely a book to curl up and re-read in the future.


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