Thursday, June 16, 2011

5 Minute Review: Under the Mistletoe by Maureen Child and Sandra Hyatt

Under the Mistletoe by Maureen Child and Sandra Hyatt

Two RITA nominees for Romance Novella for the price of one! In "The Wrong Brother," by Maureen Child, Sam discovers that when he told his brother to stop dating Anna, it was the best thing he'd ever done. They're explosive together, but can Anna forgive Sam from interfering in her life? Sandra Hyatt's "Mistletoe Magic" has Luke Maitland who married Meg Elliot when he thought he was dying. However, he's alive and back to reclaim what was his. He's just not sure if that includes Meg or not. 

Both novellas were well written and they both had their strong points, but there is something disconcerting about reading Christmas stories during a heatwave. It just doesn't compute. I think 'Mistletoe' has a slight edge over 'Wrong Brother' as there was more of a plot. However, I did like Anna's occupation of trompe l'oeil mural painting. It's a bit different from the usual 'artist' label. The sex scenes were also hotter in 'Wrong Brother.' Not much of a review, I'm afraid, but that's all I got! There's a more articulate guest review up at Smart Bitches.

I thought I'd already read the novellas in Heart of Darkness and Burning Up, but I can't recollect the details. I'm going to try to grab those from the library. Out of the three nominees thus far, I think I liked "Mistletoe Magic" the best.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

5 Minute Review: Her Singapore Fling by Kelly Hunter

Red-Hot Renegade/Her Singapore Fling (re-named for North America market) by Kelly Hunter: A RITA finalist for Contemporary Series Romance 

Jianne Xang-Bennett has a stalker problem and she has nowhere to go but the estranged husband she left twelve years ago. Jacob 'Jake' Bennett isn't particularly thrilled to reopen old wounds, but he's not about to leave her in danger either. However, the more time they spend together, the more they remember why they got married in the first place...

I tend to read books that are set in the US or regencies so books set in foreign locales are novelties. I don't always enjoy the disconnects and lack of innate familiarity that come with reading about a strange place, but I enjoyed this book. Of course, I always have a weak spot for marital artists. I think the appeal for me here, however, was Jianne. I liked how she stayed strong in a tough situation and she didn't back down. She had her reasons for walking out on her marriage and the elapsed time didn't cause her to sink into 'what-ifs.' She did what she thought was right, no matter how much it hurt her, and went on with her life. I admire that kind of courage in a person. Jacob was a little harder to get to know, mostly because he is reserved to begin with. However, he opens his life to Jianne again, protects her, and lets her redecorate. He's a man who does whatever he has to for the protection and care of those he cares about.

Out of Welcome Home, Cowboy, Zoe and the Tormented Tycoon, and Her Singapore Fling, I definitely preferred Singapore Fling. I hope to at least read An Unexpected Father by Lisa Ruff before the 28th, but I don't think I'll be able to finish the category.