Posts tagged ‘romantic suspense’

Tall, Dark, and Dangerous: The Navy SEAL

I like to Google myself.  I know it is the epitome of vanity, but hey, it’s who I am. And really, you can find some fun things.  For example, sometimes I spontaneously enter contests online only to forget about them.  If I didn’t Google myself I would never have found out that yes, I am indeed a winner.  Validation! Literally.  I won two contests I don’t even remember entering, and I found out because I searched my name online.  I’ve also discovered that I was in an episode of M*A*S*H, I am an expert on American Shorthorn herds, and some old stuff about me from high school.  Bet you never would have guessed I won the “Faith in Film” class award senior year huh? So yeah, Googling one’s self is fun!

Along with Googling “Lizzie Poteet,” I also Google “romance novels.”  Also really fun. Recently, I came across a news article in the Minneapolis StarTribune about the “new” trend in romance novels: stories featuring Navy SEALs as a result of the capture of Bin Laden (article here). And while I agree that yes, Navy SEALs are indeed sexy, I have to question whether they could be called a new trend. In fact–despite the title and byline–the article itself proved that Navy SEALs have been capturing the imaginations of romance readers for some time now!

I love me some romantic suspenses featuring the hunky, deadly SEALs. Yum. Seriously. But I’ve been a fan of these uber-heroes since the beginning of my romance days–even before I admitted I liked romances! Take my beloved Joe Quinn (who worked his way into readers’ hearts in 1999) for example.  This shiver-worthy hero in Iris Johansen’s Eve Duncan series is dangerous, possessive, passionate, and a former Navy SEAL. God, I love that man.  Then there is Zane Mackenzie, the tough, smart, sexy as sin SEAL in Linda Howard’s Mackenzie Collection.  His story was first released in 1996–WAY before the Bin Laden. Even my beloved Jenny Crusie has an ex-SEAL in her romance with Bob Mayer, Don’t Look Down. Not to mention Suzanne Brockmann’s numerous romances!  Based on my own reading, I would say SEALs have always been sexy.  There’s something about the whole elite military training thing.

And their Amazon Links: Rough and Ready (2006)  SEALed with a Kiss (2008) Peal Jinx (2007) Into Danger (2003)  Killing Game (2000)

The SEALs are tough–the modern day Knight in Shining Armor, and while modern women aren’t the typical damsels in distress, there’s still something about a man who can take care of a situation if needed.  But what about you dearest friend? Do you find military heroes to be a turn on or a turn off?  And do you think the SEALs are a trend or a romance staple?

May 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm 2 comments

Review: Wild Orchids by Karen Robards

Tropical setting? Check. Running woman? Check. Good story? ....

While browsing the Romance section of the Walmart book section–don’t give me that look we don’t have a bookstore in my smalltown–I came across this reissue of Karen RobardsWild Orchids.  The cover was nice.  Not great but catching enough that I was like, “Oh why not? Woman on the cover running for her life through a tropical background? Sure! Why not?” You know how they say never to judge a book by it’s cover?  Sometimes they are right.  See  the cover made the heroine seem like a sensible woman not a TSTL heroine.  My mistake.

Review

What can I say about this book? Firstly, it is utterly ridiculous. Quite terrible actually. I picked up Wild Orchids at Walmart looking for a quick weekend read, and I figured I could trust one of Robards’ books to be relatively enjoyable. Oh man was I wrong.

The premise? Teacher Lora Harding’s dream vacation to Mexico takes a horrible turn for the worse when a tall, dark, and muscular stranger commandeers her car at gunpoint, taking her hostage and forcing her into a world of danger. Max, our hard as nails hero, is cold, menacing, and aggressive. He threatens Lora with death, rape, and overall violence, and yet, our dear Lora finds herself oddly attracted to him. Can someone say Stockholm syndrome? Why yes, actually, Lora herself recognizes the symptoms, and yet despite the fact that Lora knows her attraction is wrong, she still falls in love with murderer Max, who underneath his tough-guy exterior apparently has a heart.

Could have fooled me when he tied her to a bed nude and threatened to rape her or what about that time he chillingly promises to kill her and a family with small children if she tries to escape? Yeah, Lora, he’s gotta heart of gold there. I mean what was Robards thinking? Rape. Not cool. Killing children? Not cool. A hero who seriously threatens both? Not cool at all. Of course Lora rationalizes that many men would have done much worse than threaten in that situation. Oddly enough that did not cut it for me. For some reason, I found the fact that our hero is not as bad as some heartless and violent criminals to be a great defense of his character. Real hero? He wouldn’t have even threatened to rape her. Thank you very much!

Add to all this, a female lead who has no commonsense panics at everything, is always screaming in fear, and is overall just Too Freakin Stupid to Live…Yeah. This book? One word. Terrible.

1 Star

April 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm 4 comments

Steaming Up Spring Break: Some Suggestions!

I am faced with a lovely 13 hour drive in the car tomorrow about to embark on my last spring break. EVER.  Well, probably for a long time unless I end up working in education.  I think adults call “spring break” vacation or something odd like that.  But anyway, in honor of my final foray into irresponsible, youthful vacays, I am dedicating this post to spring break reads…and some spring break romance suggestions.  I’ve got my kindle all packed–with wonderful romances that is–and don’t you want to know what made the cut? As I said before, I love me some lists.  So here it goes:

Whatcha Readin? Lizzie’s Epic Plans for Poolside Reads:

Damanding title no?

1. Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  Finally, after waiting for months, I have the time to pick up SEP’s newest release.  For those of you who are SEP fans, Call Me is Teddy Beaudine and Meg Koranda’s story.  Those names sound familiar?Think back…coming to you yet? If you said, “Wait, aren’t Ted and Meg the children some of our former SEP favorite characters?!?” Yes! They are.  Let’s see if their story is as good as their respective parents’ 🙂

2. The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexander.  This spring break, I am taking chances on some new authors for me and stories. A spicy Regency period historical, this book sounds charming, funny, a little spooky, and undeniably sexy, as it follows Lady Julia Winterset and Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale.  Come on–who doesn’t want a little historical seduction to go along with their spring break?

3. His Heir, Her Honor by Catherine Mann.  I am not typically a HUGE fan of category/series books that deal with the whole “having a baby” theme.  I don’t know.  They don’t usually apply to my life or where I am right now.  Goodness.  College student + babies +pregnancy = scary as shit.  But I LOVE the title. Plus, maybe I need to expand my horizons and all that…

Past Readings? Lizzie’s Epic Former Poolside Reads:

1. Anything by Jennifer Crusie.  I know, I know.  Y’all are tired of me going on and on about Crusie.  But…I first discovered her on spring break, so I cannot not suggest her as a spring break read.  Plus.  Her books are so funny and sunny and the perfect reads for a lazy afternoon by the pool.  Go with a class like Welcome to Temptation or her newest Maybe This Time. You’ll fall in love–assuming you are not a robot.

Fairytales never mentioned the dangers of becoming a swan

 

2. Iris Johansen.  Another great spring break read.  Her romantic suspense stories are spooky, edge of your seat, and completely engaging.  Just what you need on a relaxed vacation.  A little spice and danger.  I really love The Ugly Duckling and The Face of Deception.  Only bit of advice–before starting one of the Eve Duncan stories–like her newest release–pick up Face of Deception.  It gives you the background and really will make the whole experience so much clearer.

3. Ransom by Julie Garwood.  A clear, fun, passionate, and suspenseful medieval romance.  Two things make Garwood’s book epic–in my opinion at least–the dialogue, which is witty, clever, and very realistic, and the characters who are more than one-sided stereotypes.  Sure the hero is a hunky, warrior, laird Alpha male who is a little cynical, but he is also protective, understanding, and too sexy for words.  Plus, Gillian the heroine is not TSTL (Too Stupid to Live), which is always really nice in my books.

4. Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh.  A clever, sexy urban fantasy, this book is wonderfully written and really the hero Raphael?  He is simply angelic–note: he is actually an angel.  The first book in Singh’s Guild Hunter series, the book takes place in a world where angels and vampires are out in the open.  Some danger, some hott sex, some good reads.  Perfect for the beach–cause you just might need the ocean to cool off after this one 😉

So there you go my dearest friends.  Some books I hope turn out to be great, and some books that I personally think are worth multiple reads.  Trust me dearest friend, if you are looking for something to spice up your spring break and really get you warm, take a look at some of these books and bon voyage!

March 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

Strange Love

I have a plan. Sure, I probably won’t stick to it but I have a plan! I am going to systematically go through the complete works of Linda Howard. I have read the biggies–Mr. Perfect, Open Season, Kill and Tell, Dying to Please–but I haven’t really read any of her earlier works. And as I love her, it seems like a shame!  So, to start off this wonderful idea, I visited my local used bookstore and picked up Howard’s Strangers in the Night.  I like to judge books my their covers and titles–cause I’m cool like that–and this title: perfect for me.  It’s about strangers and as people who know me can attest….

Strangers love me.  I am like a magnet for random people, random conversations, and random encounters.

“Don’t let me be alone,” I warn my friends because when I’m alone….well…I don’t ever stay that way too long.  However, despite good intentions, somehow my friends always wander off, leaving me all by my lonesome. And BAM, the next thing I know, I have a new best friend.  People think I’m joking about how much strangers seem to love me, but I’m not.  Here are a few examples:

Once my friend Flo left me alone in an airport in Rome.  Shame on her.  So there I was just sitting in my uncomfortable chair at the gate, surrounded by our bags, while she went off the the restroom.  Thanks Flo.  Next thing I know a man two seats down goes, “Are you on the flight to Glasgow?” As fate would have it, I was on the flight to Glasgow, and then somehow I end up with a new best friend named John.

He was from Nigeria, living in Rome, 30 years old, about to be a student in Scotland, studying business management, and staying with a friend.  John sat next to me on the plane–between Flo and me– and he talked the entire way, commented on my iPod touch, the weather, nighttime, Scotland, his friends in North America.  He even asked for my email so he could come visit, as he was planning a Stateside visit.  I didn’t give it to him.

Strangers on a Plane...I mean Train

I am glad my life is not this movie.

Another time my mother left me alone in a fastfood restaurant as we were road-tripping up the East Coast.  A  nice trucker walked in, ordered, waved at me, and came over to say “hey.”  When I was by myself in a DC airport, I met a an accountant while standing in a line at burger joint.  He was flying north, I was flying south. He was going to a funeral–but don’t worry it was more of an obligation than anything–while I was going to visit family.  I could go on and on about the random people who have approached me for no reason whatsoever and simply decided to tell me their life stories: the young graphic designer from Canada flying to see her BF, the grandmother from Little Rock, the bouncer at a nightclub, a mother giving blood, the nice man with a butterfly collection at a coffee shop, the man in a van telling me “the bus doesn’t run on Sundays.”  It’s such a common thing I usually don’t think twice.  I mean why not tell me your life story?

But this weekend…I was alone. And shopping.  It was Friday afternoon and I was on the quest for the perfect little dress for a night dancing with some friends from out-of-town.  Deciding TJ Maxx was my best bet, I hopped into my car and set forth on an epic adventure–a whole 1.5 miles away.  When I got there, I did what any normal person would, I got out of my car, locked it, and started to walk the few feet from my parking spot to the store.  But I didn’t take more than one step before a car pulled up beside my Honda CR-V and rolled its window down.  When the man in the car called out to me, I figured he wanted directions or something, so imagine my surprise when he goes: “Are you from [Insert name of hometown here].” Next thing I know Ted, that’s the man in the car’s name, is telling me that he saw my licensed plate and just had to talk to me because he is from [hometown here] too, and isn’t that ironic, and what am I doing 1,272 miles from home?  He then shares with me his life story, as I make sure to keep plenty of space between me, his car, and the window.  You never know about strangers.

So later that afternoon, when I saw the cover and title for the Linda Howard book, I figured it was fate.  Strangers seem to love me, hopefully I will love Strangers. 

Read my review HERE!

March 8, 2011 at 1:07 am 2 comments

Review: Veil of Night by Linda Howard

Linda Howard's "Veil of Night"Linda Howard’s newest release Veil of Night combines humor, suspense, and faster than you can say “hello” romance.  Like Open Season and Mr. Perfect, it’s written with Howard’s trademark quirky, off-the-wall, in-each-others-faces romance and with plenty of suspense, making it a fun and light read, very different from Howard’s latest assassin-filled novels.

A dedicated and talented wedding planner, Jaclyn Wilde, the heroine, is spunky and classy–all at the same time.  Her newest client, Carrie Edwards, takes the term “Bridezilla” to a new level, but when Carrie is found dead, Jaclyn is thrown into a world of murder, suspicion, and lust with police detective–and real “Studley Do Right”–Eric Wilder.

Readers will love the insane interactions between Carrie and Jaclyn, literally laughing out loud as Jaclyn tries to deal with her demanding client.  But the heart of the book is Jaclyn and Eric’s sizzling relationship.  Completely chaotic and uncontrollable, their passion both amuses and scorches.  And with funny and fresh dialogue, it is impossible not to like the pair.

However, while I was glad to see Howard return to the lighter side of death and murder, I felt the action and threat in the book was underplayed. Just a little more danger, and this book would have been a 5 star for me.  But all-in-all, it was a good read, filled with that instant, possessive passion that Howard portrays so well and pretty decent plot to boot!

4.5 Stars!

March 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm 1 comment


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