Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Midweek Review

That picture is totally pointless but it made me snort so you get it. Managed to get some reading done last night, and not much else. Ah well. Too bad, so sad.

Wranglers: Judgement by Vivien Dean (98 pages)

I was quite disappointed in the last one. I felt it was kind of superficial, there was no conclusion to the legal case, and I was kind of "huh?". Well this one fixed it all for me. It picks up a bit later and while you don't get the legal details of the case (which I think I would have enjoyed) you do get to see them put it to bed and that Derek made peace with the case and him being gay which he felt was playing the gay card. So everyone's happy they are having a big party at the office for Derek and Sam and ACK, Sam's parents (who have no clue he is gay) are coming to the party. So Derek and Sam run around telling everyone to keep the gayness a secret (since he's out at work) but they don't mention it to Rudy who invites Derek's parents to the party without his knowledge. So they blurt out how thrilled they are Derek and Sam are dating. *cricket chirps* The rest of the book is Derek helping Sam deal with this parents and the fall-out and finally admitting to himself that this thing with Sam is for keeps. I thought it was well done and showed how Derek has grown in the first and second book as he annoyed the crap out of me sometimes with his efforts to be gay but never show it in any way. He's more willing to go out on a limb and do things that Sam appreciates even if they aren't his style like PDAs and Sam is more willing to quit pushing quite so hard. So I was pretty content with the way things wrapped up in this little quartet of books. Definitely a more satisfying read this time. Your really need to read them all though to get the full effect.

Bull Rider by Jade Buchanan (42 pages)

I am going to cheat and steer you to Lynn's review at Wave's because she said it as well as I can. Yes, I have seen the mystery sex act on Xtube and likely a good thing I had or I would have scoffed. I knew it was one of two things and I was right. Aren't I special? Anyway, it's a fun short read about two guys, a Brit who moved to Alberta, and a former bull rider/rancher just meeting and connecting.

Love Ahead by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux (398 pages)

This is actually two books in one (like the double mint twins). Under Contract about two construction workers and Over the Road about two truckers. I think I preferred the first story about Ted and Nick or should I say Lucas and Cooper. Shall I save my pet peeves for now or later? Why wait. I HATE when characters are referred to by their last names but their last names could be first names. As in this case. Okay, in construction people are referred to by their last names, but I found it a tad annoying as I'd start to think of him as Cooper and then he'd call him Nick and throw me off. Okay, whine done.

Lucas (aka Ted) is the foreman on a construction site and Cooper (Nick) is his assistant. He's been attracted to Nick from the beginning but has been a meany to him to avoid having to deal with his attraction and eventual love. He finally asks Nick out for a beer and when Nick states he knows Ted obviously hates his guts, Ted confesses he loves him. Talk about a shock. Nick agrees to give it a try and is injured on the job site. Ted moves in to help him (broken leg and ribs) and they grow closer but Nick won't say it's love. Ted gets a transfer and when Nick doesn't confess to undying love the split and he leaves, only to have Nick finally get his head out of his ass and chase him down. It's typical Urban and Roux, likable characters, sexy smexin', HEA story. I did love the guy who faints when he panics. They referred to him as one of those goats who fall over suddenly. Very funny.

The second one is (Wait, should I vent about names again? But then the whole point of the story would have been over in 50 pages.) Elliot (Willis) is a trucker who is stuck in traffic. He gets on the radio and finds out from Jimmy (McLean) that there is a truck upset. They get to chatting and joking around and exchange cell numbers. Now Willis is the name of Elliot's company and McLean is the name of Jimmy's company, not their real names but it's how they refer to each other. Jimmy prefers to drive at night and Elliot during the day but they fall into the habit of calling each other fairly often to kill time and start sharing their lives. Meanwhile Elliot meets Jimmy at a truck stop (totally oblivious) and has sex and they make arrangements to meet up. Meanwhile he feels guilty like he's cheating on McLean. EVENTUALLY they figure it out after some logistical issues but I thought they dragged it out too long. Seriously the guy tells you EVERYTHING about his aunt dying and leaving him her ranch and how his family hates him and you share info about your brother's kids over a series of months and you never ONCE ask the guy you think you're in love with or at the very least your best friend his NAME? You keep referring to him by his company name? Come on. Fine for casual strangers but at some point you're going to say "What IS your name anyway?" So I started skimming at the back because I just wanted to get to the confrontation scene when they FINALLY figured it out. And you didn't recognize his voice? I was rolling my eyes by the end. I mean I liked them both and it was nice to see their friendship grow but I was so frustrated with their willful ignorance and the coincidences (guy goes outside to take a phone call, your phone rings, you talk, and just after you hang up he comes back - repeatedly?) Riiight. Anyway, I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, I did because I liked the characters but I found it a bit needlessly drawn out.


Average Reader said...

"So they blurt out how thrilled they are Derek and Sam are dating. *cricket chirps*

Ha, ha! Very vivid. I could just see this total hush falling over the gathering. I'd have to agree with you that I would've have liked to have seen more in Wranglers the Defense Rests about the case, so I'm glad that Judgement is such a strong end to this series. I'll have to get this really soon.

By the way, I know what you mean about names! It can be irking when characters are referred to by first and then last with no real pattern. The company-name thing would make it really confusing!

Tam said...

I was a bit worried after the last one Val but it was a very satisfying end to their story.

I'm a bit of a name snob I guess. I know many macho blue collar jobs such as cops, construction etc. use that last name thing but because I personally never think of anyone by their last name it makes it more confusing for me. Especially when the last name could be a first name, The last name is never Antonchuck or Delveccio or something that would never be a first name. LOL

Chris said...

Oh, good to know about this Wranglers. I was put off by the last one, too. Point was what?

Tam said...

Yeah, it could have been skipped and the story wouldn't have lost much but his made up or it. I was quite pleased with the final result.

wren boudreau said...

What Chris said. I was getting worried about Wrangler, but will go on with book 4 now.

I don't mind if last names are first names in disguise, but I do hate when the are used interchangeably. I prefer the names to be consistently used. Guess I'm easily confused.

Tam said...

Me too Wren. Stick to a name. Although in the second book when they met in person (and didn't know who each other was) they went by first names and used their company names for their on-the-phone relationship. So it kind of showed how their two relationships were separate.

Lily said...

I haven't read any of the Wrangler stories. I'm not sure why but they never appealed to me.

LOL on the names. It can get very annoying. I felt the same as you about Over the Road. It was so obvious at times and yet they were so oblivious to it. I did a fair bit of eye rolling on that one but overall enjoyed the book quite a bit.

Tam said...

I suppose it's like anything Lily, sometimes a book will call out to you and other times not for no apparent reason.

Love Ahead was a good read, but I did find it stretched the bounds of common sense a bit in the last story, but on the whole it was a good book.

K. Z. Snow said...

The name-confusion issue is one reason I like using more obviously ethnic surnames. The other reason is that they get short shrift in most erotic romance. Stories heavy on Anglo names make me feel as if I've wandered into a loaf of Wonder Bread.

Tam said...

I agree KZ. I grew up an anglo but in a region with tons of Ukrainian and Polish settlers way back in the day. Names like Adamchuck, Zenchyshyn and Kolowka were considered pretty everyday. It does get to be a sea of Browns, Jones' and McNeils out there.

Janna said...

Love the kitties pic :)
And thank you for your thoughts on the Urban and Roux book. I don't think it'll be the first book that I'll have to read by them, but I'll probably read it in the end anyway!

Tam said...

It's not their best I've read Janna but definitely still worth reading.