MJ’s Musings: SEP-Ain’t She Sweet

Of all the Susan Elizabeth Phillips books I owe, Ain’t She Sweet is my least favorite. I don’t think the lack of Chicago Stars has anything to do with my feelings. My top three favorite SEP books are not in the Chicago Stars series (Kiss an Angel, First Lady, What I Did for Love). Granted, I’ve read the book only twice: once when I bought it and a second time when a friend said she enjoyed reading it.

When I lend my SEP library to co-workers, I do not say which ones are my favorites and which ones I don’t like.  Everyone’s taste is different. But every person to whom I’ve lent Ain’t She Sweet didn’t like it.

I think part of my issue is I didn’t laugh when I read it. Maybe small town high school angst bites too close to home.

This concludes my opinions of SEP novels. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them.

MJ’s Manuscript: Excerpt: BESIEGED BY THE MOON

“Just so you know, I’m allergic to strawberries.”
She must have been reading his mind, because he’d been frantically trying to think of a way to make the traditional mating offering of berries.
“I’ve never heard of a werewolf with food allergies.” He was an EMT. The only thing lycans were allergic to was alcohol, and even then the reaction wasn’t an allergy in the sapien sense. The homo lupus couldn’t consume a lot of things sapiens considered normal. Chocolate. Grapes in any form. Artificial sweeteners were deadly. You’d never find a millennial werewolf because avocado toast was poison. But none of these were allergies.
He had a mate. He needed to focus on what was important instead of being distracted by the trivial.
He needed to take Phoebe to Ethan’s house, where he’d better be able to treat her wound and access Selena’s stock herbal remedies. There was even a bed where he could do the deed.
He couldn’t think of a single reason not to mark Phoebe right away. Berries. Right. Not strawberries.
He jammed the key into the ignition and twisted. “Anything else I should know?”

BESIEGED BY THE MOON

Tentatively scheduled for February 2020

MJ’s Musings: Book Bingo-Single Word Title: BEACHCOMBER

One of the Book Bingo Squares this year was “Single Word Title.” I chose a Karen Robards romantic suspense I had not read before: BEACHCOMBER.

To be honest, I thought parts of this book were silly. Let’s see. There was a female attorney on the run from the mob and her ex-fiance (who turned out to be a mobster), an FBI agent posing as a beach bum, a serial killer, and a cranky stray cat. My favorite character was the cat.

I usually love Robards’ romantic suspense books–I own several–so I was surprised when this one didn’t do it for me.

Two stars.

MJ’s MUSINGS: BOOK BINGO–UNDER REPRESENTED AUTHOR

For my “under-represented author” square on the BOOK BINGO card, I chose Tikka Chance on Me, by Suleikha Snyder. Several people had recommended it as a good read, not necessarily for book bingo.

I loved it! It’s the story of an Indian girl who works in her parents’ restaurant and a biker bad boy, neither of whom are all they seem.  They’d known each other in high school, but their lives took divergent paths. The story is actually a novella, but it reads longer because it’s packed and fast-paced. And it’s hot.

Five stars.

 

 

 

 

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Dream a Little Dream

Dream a Little Dream is my least favorite of the Bonner brother/Chicago Stars books. I don’t like Gabe (hero), I don’t like Rachel (heroine), I don’t like Edward/Chip (Rachel’s little boy). I don’t like that a favorite character from Nobody’s Baby But Mine  was dead. Maybe Rachel and Gabe’s respective backstories are too bleak and dark and need the comic relief the dead character provided in Nobody’s Baby. I don’t know.

The humanizing of Gabe is well done. My heart breaks for him. But he’s not a romance hero. Rachel’s return to the scene of her late-husband’s crimes is well-motivated, but I still can’t warm up to her.

I’m the first to complain when so many romance novels conflicts seem trite (to me), so I’m not sure why the grim premises of this story bother me so much. It is a testament to the author’s skill that I feel this so strongly.

There were things about the book that I did like: I liked that the evangelical huckster got his (before the story opened); I liked that Gabe’s parents weren’t in the book (Jim & Lynn Bonner from Nobody’s Baby But Mine), and I loved Gabe’s brother Ethan and the subplot involving him and his secretary.  I love that God speaks to Ethan with Oprah’s voice.

Three stars.