Thursday, September 1, 2011

What I've Read This Week

What I've Read This Week . . .

Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins -- Contemporary adult romantic fiction

Chastity O'Neill is tall, athletic and confident. She's just returned to her hometown of Eaton Falls, NY from the big city and is starting a great new job at the local paper. She loves her large extended family and longs to have a family of her own and preferably soon. The problem is guys seem to be intimidated by her height, her athleticism and especially by her very rugged four older brothers and firefighter father. Everyone in their small town knows the O'Neills and Chasity is fed up with not having luck finding a mate. The real problem is that Chasity is madly in love with her honorary brother, Trevor Meade and has been since she was ten when her classmate (Trevor's sister) died and Chastity brought the lonely, grieving boy home with her. Trev and Chas hooked up once in college but it didn't work out. That doesn't stop Chas from dreaming and being jealous of the other women in Trev's life. Chasity decides it's high time to get over Trevor, no matter how perfect he is he will never want her the way she wants him. He sees her as a sister or just one of the guys. Chasity's mother also decides to get in the dating pool now that she's divorced Chasity's workaholic father. Chasity has her hands full mediating between her parents, looking for love and parenting her lovable mutt. Finally, she thinks she's found happiness with a handsome trauma surgeon who will give her everything she's dreamed of, but is it enough? This novel is an emotional journey. This book will make you laugh out loud but it will also make you cry. The characters are well-developed and very realistic. The O'Neill clan could exist outside of the pages of the novel and Chasity and Trevor's relationship is also very real. My biggest complaint is that I feel like a certain character took advantage of Chas twice when she was feeling bad but she was a willing participant and knew what she was doing both times. My other complaint is that the ending is rushed. This is Kristan Higgins's best novel yet! I highly recommend it. Some people may not like this book because Chasity is a Yankees fan. If you only root for two teams or just the Red Sox, don't read this book or have a friend change the Yankees references for you.

Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews -- Contemporary adult romantic fiction

Regina (Gina) Foxton is the host of her own healthy southern cooking show in Atlanta. The show has had local success but Gina dreams of the big time. Unfortunately, her sponsor is about to pull the plug on her show because her producer (also her boyfriend) was busted having a one-night stand with the sponsor's wife. Regina is faced with losing the job she loves and the home in the big city she shares with her party-girl younger sister. Then The Cooking Channel comes searching for their next big star and Gina is one of their top choices. Their other top choice is the hunky outdoorsman Tate Moody who is more known for his good looks than his hunting, fishing and grilling techniques. Gina and Tate's assistants, along with The Cooking Channel producers, decide to turn the search into the next battle of the sexes reality show. They arrange a series of challenges with the winner taking all. Gina thinks she can beat that arrogant butthead Tate and he's convince he's better than that plastic Barbie doll he calls Reggie. As the competition becomes more intense, sparks fly between Gina and Tate and not in the way they expected. The TV ratings system would state this book contains dialogue and language. There is some intense kissing and making out plus references to hooking up but nothing is actually described. Regina is a self-described "nice Christian girl" and tries to behave accordingly. This book is a good summer read. It's a quick, light read with a plot typical of most chick lit novels. The characters are fairly standard for the genre and the plot really doesn't yield any major surprises but the story is interesting and kept me turning pages at all hours to find out what happened next.

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