Tag Archives: romance

The Read List: The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

thehatinggame

The Hating Gameby Sally Thorne

What Is The Hating Game about?

Lucy and Joshua are executive assistants to co-CEOs of a new publishing company formed as the result of a corporate merger. And they hate each other. And I mean, really-really-really hate each other. Their hate has evolved into a game–the hating game–and Lucy is determined she will not lose. Then she learns they are both competing for a position that she really wants. And things get very tense between them. But what kind of tension is it? And does Lucy really hate Joshua?

Quotable

He should be miniaturized and sold in toy stores for violent little boys.

List #1: What I Liked 

  • I don’t really read a lot of romances these days, but for some reason when I read the synopsis for this one, I really wanted to read it.
  • I hate to say it, because I know how, when you’re tiny and short, “cute” can have quite the sting to it, but Lucy is just so cute. Cute, and quirky and downright funny.
  • I have never been one for big, muscular men, but Sally Thorne’s Joshua might have just changed my mind a little. Wowsa!
  • In other words, Joshua is really hot.
  • And as his character was revealed to me, I liked him even more.
  • Actually, I liked a lot of things about this book. Like the fact that both Lucy and Joshua are executive assistants. They start out on an equal level and that never changes throughout. I found that very refreshing. The year I was 13, I binged on Harlequin romances; I would go regularly to the used book store and buy armloads of the books. I read them everywhere, including in science class, propped within the protective cover of my science textbook. (My science teacher that year was very strange and didn’t notice a lot of things that went on in the classroom; she also believed in the full moon, and I’m not talking about the science behind the pull of the moon and tides, either.) Anyway, none of the main characters in those Harlequin romances were ever on an equal footing. Not a chance. So yes, this was very refreshing.
  • Also, there’s no big stupid miscommunication thing that breaks them apart and causes a lot of heartache even though it could have easily been solved by them actually, you know, communicating. (This is one of my pet peeves and the main thing that stops me from reading more romances.) Instead, Lucy and Joshua do communicate, so even when it starts looking like there’s going to be a big stupid miscommunication thing that will cause a lot of heartache, it doesn’t happen because they end up talking things through. You know, like the adults they are.
  • This is also quite a funny book. It made me smile. A lot.
  • Great ending. And a great lead-up to a great ending.

List #2: What Was So-So

  • I didn’t like the way Lucy flinched when he reached up to touch her face after the elevator scene. Somehow, it didn’t feel right, that she thought he was going to be violent.
  • To be honest, I didn’t actually see WHY Lucy hated him so much, right from the start like that–it didn’t seem to fit her personality. But on the other hand, the story was so good and the relationship between them throughout was just so enjoyable, I didn’t care all that much about why, or that it felt odd that she did hate him like that.
  • This is probably just me, but I didn’t quite get the idea of the Or Something game. Exactly what did it mean? Not friends, since they weren’t friends, so it couldn’t be friends with benefits. Right? (Or maybe I’m wrong …) Anyway, I didn’t quite get the whole idea of Or Something. But see my point above (good, enjoyable story, so did I really care that I didn’t quite get this one thing? Nope.)

Final Thoughts

I still don’t know what it was about the synopsis that made me say yes to this book, but I’m very glad I did. If you like fun and quirky, a protagonist you feel you could be friends with and a hero-type who is hot and a bit quirky himself (oh, and did I mention muscles? I did mention muscles, right?), I think you’ll enjoy this read. Even if you don’t normally like romance, I say, go for it. I did, and I’m very glad I did.

And of course, a big thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with the opportunity to read The Hating Game.

The Read List: Summer at Castle Stone, by Lynn Marie Hulsman

summer at castle stone

Have you ever had those reading moments when you know you really need something light and funny? That’s how Summer at Castle Stoneby Lynn Marie Hulsman fell into my Read List. Something about the synopsis caught my eye, and next thing you know I had it on my ereader.

This summer, lose your heart in Ireland…

Shayla Sheridan’s a New York native born into big city luxury, but she’s never really fitted in with the “it” crowd. Desperate to make it as a writer and to finally step out from her famous father’s shadow, Shayla decides to take on a tricky assignment across the pond…

Swapping skyscrapers and heels for wellies and the heart of the Irish countryside, Shayla must go about ghost-writing a book of recipes by the notoriously reclusive and attractive head chef of Castle Stone, Tom O’Grady.

The only problem? He has no idea that she’s writing it.

Shayla Sheridan is eking out a living as a ghostwriter. She has her principles, though, and refuses to make use of her father’s literary fame to get her the writing stardom she craves. So she ends up undercover in Ireland, trying to get on the good side of dishy chef Tom O’Grady.

A ghostwriter! And there’s food and cooking! Not to mention the lushness that is Ireland! Some really good combinations here.

This was a fun, entertaining read. And when I got to the last third of the book, I couldn’t put it down—which I found interesting, because I usually associate “can’t put this down”-itis with thrillers and mysteries and such.

Shayla gets into a lot of scrapes, most of them of her own doing, but it didn’t hit the type of silliness that made me want to put the book down. And there was, of course, the classic moment of miscommunication thing (in this case, it was the “I should really tell him, I really should, oh, here’s a good moment to tell him, oh, but I really can’t now … yikes, it’s TOO LATE, the damage is done” thing—I trust this isn’t spoilerish because of course it’s the expected narrative arc in this type of plot, right?). But Lynn Marie Hulsman pulled it all off quite well, I thought.

So, yes, a fun read. One caveat, though: this book could have used a lot more editing than it got. And I mean A LOT more. Which was surprising, considering this one comes from HarperCollins, a major publisher. So if things like that take you majorly out of a book, this might not be a great read for you.

Incoming! Crossed Wires, by Rosy Thornton

Incoming! is a feature at Ms. Bookish that chronicles new books that have arrived in the Ms. Bookish household. Here’s the latest new arrival:

Crossed Wires, by Rosy Thornton

Crossed WiresAbout the Book:

This is the story of Mina, a girl at a Sheffield call centre, whose next customer in the queue is Peter, a Cambridge geography don, who has crashed his car into a tree stump.

Despite their differences, they’ve got a lot in common – both single, both parents, both looking for love.

Could it be that they’ve just found it?

This is a story about the small joys and tribulations of parenthood; about one-ness and two-ness; about symmetry and coincidence; about the things that separate us and the things that bring us together.

First line: ‘Autocare Direct Motor Insurance. My name is Mina, how may I help you?’

Received from: The author

My initial thoughts:

It’s funny what makes a person decide on a book sometimes. Lately I’ve really been cutting down on the number of review books I’m accepting; but in the case of Crossed Wires, I took a look at Rosy Thornton’s website and immediately thought to myself (perhaps it was that first line, “Hello, I’m Rosy and I appear to be a novelist”), I really like the way she writes.

Books and Movies, one of my favorite book blogs, recently reviewed Crossed Wires and wrote: “Thornton’s writing reminds me some of Alexander McCall Smith, although (and don’t hate me if you’re a total Smith fan) I think Ms. Thornton’s characters are more authentic, less caricature.” If I hadn’t already been sold by Thornton’s writing on her website, this would have done the trick (I enjoy McCall Smith’s writing very much).

Crossed Wires is one of the books I will be bringing with me when I go on holiday at the end of this month. This list is my “short list” of must-reads, as I’m not able to load up the van with books, as much as I would like to; I am really looking forward to reading this book while relaxing on a cool Maritimes beach.

Related Links and other Fun Stuff

Rosy Thornton

“Books Should Be Books!” by Rosy Thornton In this tongue-in-cheek essay, Thornton talks about the mystifying distinction that is made between “Literature” and “Fiction” and offers up her own Utopian solution.

Where to buy Crossed Wires:

U.S. (Amazon.com)

UK (Amazon.co.uk)

Looking for reviews?

Shelf Life

the read feed

Books and Movies

Trashionista

Should Be Reading

Reading is My Superpower

Mailbox Monday – March 9, 2009

mailboxHere are the books that arrived at the Ms. Bookish household this past week:

Mystery: Bones, by Jonathan Kellerman. I have read all of Kellerman’s previous Alex Delaware books, and I’m definitely looking forward to this latest one – I’ve been waiting and waiting for it to come out in paperback (which it did before my turn came up for the hardcover version at my local library). Kellerman’s mysteries are complex and intricate, and since I know they’re difficult to put down, I’m waiting for a nice chunk of time when I can sit and read this one from cover to cover. (If I don’t, and give in to impulse, I’m almost guaranteed a 3 am bedtime as a result, and I’m getting a little long in the tooth for that kind of thing these days.)

Romance: Married in Seattle, by Debbie Macomber. I actually bought this book by mistake. I’ve been meaning to read Jodi Picoult, but I couldn’t remember her name (that long in the tooth thing again) and when I saw the name Debbie Macomber, I thought, that must be who I was thinking of. Only it wasn’t.

Mystery: In a Dark House, by Deborah Crombie, via Bookmooch. I just finished reading this a few days ago – the review is on my to-do list. I read the first Kinkaid/James mystery last summer and enjoyed it, and after stumbling on a few reviews of other books in the series, I decided to pick up In a Dark House – and I am extremely glad that I did! I am determined now to read all the books in the series. Yes, it was that good.

Update: Forgot this one (not sure why, since I’m actually in the middle of reading it – oh wait, that long in the tooth thing, again, right?): Chick Lit: It Would Be Funny … If It Wasn’t My Life, by Lisa Dow. This one’s a fun one, so far.

Mailbox Mondays is hosted each Monday over at The Printed Page – it’s a great way to see what other book bloggers are adding to their TBR piles.

Under the Christmas Tree …

This is a bit late, but I have an excuse, since I wasn’t actually here after Christmas to write this post and Disney, incredibly enough, actually charges a daily fee for online access, so I also have an excuse for not writing this post while I was away on holiday. Not that I need an excuse, of course – but then again, I’m suffering from an attack of blogger’s guilt.

I was actually quite surprised at the reading spoils under the tree for me, because I handed my wish list to my nearest and dearest quite late in the game, and if they went online they risked my presents arriving after the big day. Despite this, they managed to find a lot of my requests at our nearest Chapters.

Here’s what I received:

Thriller: The Fire, by Katherine Neville. I know I’ve had this in my TBR pile, but it’s a library copy so I was very happy to return that copy and replace it with my very own!

Young adult: Kitty Kitty, by Michele Jaffe. I read Bad Kitty, Jaffe’s first book, last year, and enjoyed it very much, so I was very happy to add Kitty, Kitty to my TBR.

Fantasy: The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling. I’m definitely looking forward to this one, especially after I read Ann-Kat’s review.

Historical romance: The Darcys & the Bingleys, by Marsha Altman. I know I’ve mentioned that I don’t like reading historical fiction, but Pride and Prejudice happens to be one of my all-time favorite books, and when I first read about this book, it really intrigued me.

Mystery: The Private Patient, by P.D. James. I am a huge P.D. James fan, and it’s a delight to have the latest Adam Dalgliesh book in hardcover, rather than having to wait for it to come out in paperback (or my time in the long wait list at the library to come up).

Young adult: The Squad: Perfect Cover and The Squad: Killer Spirit, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I can’t remember the blog where I first read a review of The Squad: Perfect Cover but it sounded like a great read: a computer geek girl who is a rebel and an outsider gets an invite to try out for her school’s cheerleader squad. Definitely NOT high on her list of things to do, but they manage to entice her to check it out – and she discovers that the cheerleading squad (known as the God Squad at her school) is actually a covert CIA group of operatives.

How could I resist putting both of these on my wish list? And I read both of them while at Disney, and they were both delightful (full reviews coming soon).

All in all, I am extremely happy with these new additions to my TBR pile – huge thanks to my family for putting these under the tree for me!

Mailbox Monday: Another Eclectic Mix

It’s Mailbox Monday again, and here’s what arrived in Ms. Bookish’s household this past week:

Mystery/Thriller: The Book of Lies, by Brad Meltzer.

Chick Lit/Mystery: Big Boned, by Meg Cabot

General fiction/Holidays: The Christmas Train, by David Baldacci

Young adult/Fantasy: The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson

Thriller/Suspense: The Fire, by Katherine Neville

Romance: Sundays at Tiffany’s, by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Graphic novel/Children’s book/Mystery: Max Finder Mystery Collected Casebook Volume 2, by Liam O’Donnell and Michael Cho

Paranormal/Urban fantasy: Personal Demon, by Kelley ArmstrongYoung adult: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Children’s book: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, by Lenore Look

Mystery: Santa Clawed, by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

Chick lit/Romance: Daring Chloe, by Laura Jensen Walker

Mystery: Not in the Flesh, by Ruth Rendell

Children’s book/Fantasy: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick

I suspect I’m going to have to start reading just a little bit faster to get through my TBR pile. Reviews on each of these will be upcoming as I get through them.