Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bed of Roses - Nora Roberts

Since she was a little girl, Emma Grant has always loved romance. So it’s really no surprise that she has found her calling as a wedding florist. She gets to play with flowers every day and work with her three best friends in the process. She couldn’t ask for a better job.

And on the surface, Emma’s love life seems to be thriving. Slim and sultry, she brings color into every room she enters, just like the arrangements she creates. Men swarm around her, yet she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.

But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s been best friends with Parker’s brother for years, which makes him practically family. The architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. And when Emma returns his passion — kiss for blistering kiss—things start to get complicated at Vows.

Jack has never been big on commitment. Emma yearns for a lifelong love affair. If the two are to find common ground, they must trust in their history — and in their hearts…


Cole's Review:

This is the second in Nora Robert's "Bride Quartet" and I utterly adored this book.  The characters are so heart-warming and rounded.  It would have been easy to be put off by Emma's perfection.  She smart, funny comes from money, is absolutely beautiful and is perky like nobody's business.  However, by showing Jack's agitation with her perkiness from time to time and the other girls envy at her dedication to working out - she comes across as amazingly likeable.

Didn't read Vision in White?!?!  No problem!  The beauty of this book is that, while the series will cumulatively show the relationships that the "Vows" girls enter into - it can be taken as a stand alone book and enjoyed as well.  I particularly like all the wedding hijinx that the girls encounter. Outside of the love story that is the center of this book - you'll get lots of chuckles at the MBs (monster brides), SMOB/Gs (step mother of the bride/groom), ex-boyfriends and wedding guests!

Next stop, Savor the Moment - the third book in the series!

Grade: A

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vision in White - Nora Roberts


 #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts presents her first trade original-a novel of love, friendship, and family-Book One in the Bride Quartet.

Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be's encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac's type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends-and business partners-to see her way to her own happy ending.


Cole's Review:

Nora Roberts has written so much, that it's easy to identify her standard formula to romance writing - and this book definitely follows that formula. 

However, for all the girly-girls out there - this book hits the spot.  I dove right in and immediately fell for Mac & Carter, the fabulous photographer and hapless high school English teacher.  I also enjoyed their extended family, and there was just the right amount of tension; the "will they or won't they" before you get the fun, romantic ending that you can expect with Nora Robert's books.  I can't wait to read and review the remainder of this series!

Grade: B

Monday, May 10, 2010

Money to Burn, James Grippando


At twenty-nine, Michael Cantella is a rising star at Wall Street's premiere investment bank, Saxton Silvers. Everything is going according to plan until the love of his life, Ivy Layton, vanishes on their honeymoon in the Bahamas.

Fast forward seven years. It's the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday and Michael is still on track: successful career, beautiful new wife, piles of money. Reveling in his good fortune, Michael logs into his computer, enters his password, and pulls up his biggest investment account: zero balance. He tries another, and another. All of them zero. Someone has wiped him out. His only clue is a new email message: "Just as Planned. xo xo."

With these three words Michael's life as he knows it is liquidated along with his investment portfolio. Saxton Silvers is suddenly on the brink of bankruptcy and he's the leading suspect in its ruin. Michael is left alone, framed, and facing divorce with undercover FBI agents afoot, spyware on his computer, and mysterious emails from a "JBU." Embroiled in corporate espionage, he's desperate to clear his name and face the fact that several signs point to his first wife, Ivy, as a key player. But what if Ivy has come back from the dead, only to visit on Michael a fate worse than death?

Sara's Review:

I didn't technically read this book - I listened to it on CD during my hour-long commute. I do this a lot because it makes the time pass quickly. This book actually made me look forward to getting in the car for the drive to and from work! That's the hallmark of a great book!

The beginning of the book, setting up Cantella's swift downfall, felt a little bit forced. His current wife's reasons for leaving him seem shallow and shaky, but the book picks up quickly from there. I like to think that I can usually tell where a book is going fairly quickly, but this one kept me guessing up until the end. A few of the twists seemed silly but overall I thought it was very intriguing and not at all what I had expected (in a good way!). I highly recommend this one.

Grade: A