Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What I Read Last Weekend

What I Read Last Weekend . . .

Dear Prince Charming by Donna Kauffman -- Contemporary Romance

Valerie Wagner has finally scored her dream job as a publicist for the about-to-be-launched Glass Slipper magazine. They snagged Prince Charming, a man who knows just how to fix relationship problems, as their cover boy and columnist. Eric is also a hunk, which Valerie knows will help sales. There's only one problem - when Eric realizes that the magazine launch will make him a public figure, he decides to come out of the closet. Eric wants to be able to have a private life but he also refuses to let his readers down, so he enlists the aid of his equally handsome best friend Jack Lambert to be the public face of Prince Charming. Jack thinks the whole idea of Prince Charming is a joke. He doesn't even believe in love, not after a horrible divorce to a hot model. He owes Eric though so he agrees to pose for the magazine. What he didn't bank on was his attraction to the control-freak publicist Valerie. Valerie sees Jack as an annoyance. He tries to have things his own way and she fears that the godmothers will find out and she'll lose yet another job. Yet, Jack is so sexy, she can't help but feel an attraction to him. As Prince Charming becomes more and more of a public figure, and Eric finds love, Valerie and Jack are forced to spend more time together. The more time they spend together, the more they feel attracted to one another. Jack is determined to get Valerie to loosen up but she refuses to mix business with pleasure. Should they act on their lust or not is the question and if they do, what does that mean for her job? I can't say I enjoyed this novel. The plot is thin, the characters unlikeable, and there's not much actual ROMANCE in this book. There's a lot of sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine and I was willing them just to act on it and get it out of the way and then the plot could go on with the romance. The love part comes too late to be convincing. There's really no reason for either of them to fall in love since they are both completely unlikeable. Valerie is career oriented, which I can relate to; and she has a lot of pressure from her family, I can also relate, but she's not a nice person. She doesn't even have friends and I don't see anyone wanting to willingly be friends. She's controlling and annoying. Women constantly complain about men objectifying women yet Valerie does the same thing to Jack and Eric without thinking twice. Jack is a typical rake. He enjoys one night stands and casual flirtations. He knows how to make women's hearts flutter but he's insincere. I liked his childhood backstory but his adult backstory wasn't convincing enough to make him the way he is. I just didn't find the relationship between Jack and Valerie convincing. The godmothers are unlikeable as well. Each one is a stereotype and even one would be more than enough. I would recommend this book to people who think sizzling romances, but for those of us who prefer a well-written story (see my next review), this is not worth the time. Warning: There is a graphic love scene but I skipped it and didn't miss it.

Honey Pie (Cupcake Club 4) by Donna Kauffman -- Contemporary Romance

When Honey D'Amourvell's Aunt Bea dies and leaves honey her small shop on Sugarberry Island, Honey sees the inheritance as a chance to start over. She's been living in a barn in Oregon for the last eight years, making and selling whimsical garden creatures and avoiding human contact. Honey has a sixth sense - she has only to touch someone to know everything bad that ever happened to them and things that will happen. People in Oregon didn't take to kindly to Honey's "gift" and Honey learned to dread and fear what she will see. The easiest solution was not to get too close to people, but Honey is lonely and wants to become part of society gift, curse whatever it is and all. Her arrival in Georgia is not what she expected. First, her beloved Volkswagen Beetle breaks down and then she discovers her aunt's shop is now home to a mail order cupcake business. Honey is forced to rely on the services of Dylan Ross, the local mechanic to fix her car. Dylan is handsome, brooding and not particularly friendly, but when they accidentally touch, they form a strong connection. Dylan isn't one for socializing and gossiping with the neighbors. He keeps himself to himself and likes it that way just fine. He's trying to move on from his dark past and keep his business going. He's a bit antagonistic towards the crazy chick with freaky green eyes, but when she accidentally touches him and freaks out, his protective instincts come out and he realizes he wants to take care of Honey, possibly for the rest of their lives. Honey isn't quite so sure she's ready for that risk despite the connection she shares with Dylan. Can these two lonely, lost people find a way to be together? This is a beautiful, true romance novel in the line of Kristan Higgins. Donna Kauffman surpassed all her other stories by far with this one. The story intrigued me, gripped me from the very beginning and didn't let go. I just couldn't put the book down from the minute Honey and Dylan first touched. I would have executed the plot a little differently. I felt that it went a little backwards. Honey and Dylan touch and form a connection too quickly and when they finally open up and become intimate, the story could end after that and be fine. There's a few more chapters after that that don't really fit the story very well. I would have saved the intimacy for the end and built up to it. I was hoping for some more intimate flashes, sort of like in the TV show Roswell High. I really liked both the heroine and hero. Honey is a bit socially awkward, though she longs for friends. She's scared of her gift and how others will see her. She's a very well-drawn character and I felt like I was right there on her shoulder the whole story trying to coax her and cheer her on. She's someone that I think many women can relate to. I'm not really into brooding heroes so I didn't quite fall in love with Dylan but I really liked him because he reminded of Luke of Gilmore Girls and I always liked Luke. Dylan is more emotionally fragile than Luke because of his past. He is proud and reserved which makes him difficult to know but because Honey has a gift, it made them connect in a way that they wouldn't normally do. The characters from previous novels make cameo appearances as do baked goods, but the cupcakes mostly take a back seat to the romance. Content warning: There is a short love scene. It's not too graphic and it's sweet. Despite a few minor flaws, I really liked this novel. I picked out who the next member of the CC will likely be, if there's another book.

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