Tag Archives: characters

Protection for Hire

7 Oct

Protection for HireCamy Tang

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication Date: 2011

Paperback: 366 pages, though this was one of those Kindle deals for me.

Book Blurb:

Tessa Lancaster’s skills first earned her a position as an enforcer in her Uncle Teruo’s Japanese Mafia gang. Then they landed her in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Now, three months after her release, Tessa’s abilities have gained her a job as bodyguard for wealthy socialite Elizabeth St. Amant and her three-year-old son. But there’s a problem or two … or three …. There’s Elizabeth’s abusive husband whose relentless pursuit goes deeper than mere vengeance. There’s Uncle Teruo, who doesn’t understand why Tessa’s new faith as a Christian prevents her from returning to the yakuza. And then there’s Elizabeth’s lawyer, Charles Britton, who Tessa doesn’t know is the one who ensured that she did maximum time behind bars. Now Tessa and Charles must work together in order to protect their client, while new truths emerge and circumstances spiral to a deadly fever pitch. Factor in both Tessa’s and Charles’s families and you’ve got some wild dynamics—and an action-packed, romantic read as Tessa and Charles discover the reality of being made new in Christ.

Stand alone or series: One of two (that I know of/have yet been written)

Why I read this book: To be honest, it first caught my eye cause the cover looked cool. It’s even better!

Review:

I think the blurb sells this book a little short. Not because all those things aren’t true, but because the blurb writing isn’t nearly as gripping as the novel. I didn’t want to put this book down. I would go to sleep thinking through all the crazy things that happened, and I would wake up and think about the story some more.

Tessa Lancaster is one kick butt kind of girl. It’s all she’s known how to do ever since her early school days. Now out of prison and applying to every job she sees, she can’t seem to land any gig except a position as a bodyguard. Her new friend and protectee, Elizabeth, throws her right in the path of the family she’s trying to avoid and a family unlike one she’s ever known. Charles Britton and his mom and brother have the kind of bond Tessa doesn’t dare dream of. But even she, who’s turned into a sort of detective, has no idea of the dark past that glues this gleaming family together. Will their pasts drag them under or will they emerge stronger? Just read to see.

While the plot is nail-biting, the characters are loveable and layered. Just as in life, no one is truly good or evil, even the ones you’d expect to be… Cough, cough—mafia boss—cough, cough. It’s fascinating to see the light and the dark tugging at each heart. And I must say one of my favorite characters is Vivian Britton. This woman is as fiery as her new cooking concoctions and as sweet as her homemade cannoli. Yum! You want to wrap her up in a hug and take her to the craziest place you’ve ever eaten. Strange combination, I know, but that’s just one of the reasons Vivian and all the rest of the cast are larger-than-life.

Hmm… Now who is this book for? Gee that’s a tough one.

If you like action, this is for you.

If you like mystery, this is for you too.

If you like a little romantic tension, I’d point you this way.

If you like damsels in distress… Well, this damsel will distress anyone who stands in her way.

If you like strange families, Raman, California, car chases, or dancing, would you pick this up already?

Seriously, go pick it up! I know I can’t wait to lose more sleep over this awesome series.

ReMatch

1 Oct

ReMatchErynn Mangum

Publisher: TH1NK Books, an imprint of NavPress

Publication Date: 2007

Paperback: 326 pages

Warning: If you have not read MissMatch, everything from this point on is a potential spoiler!

Book Blurb:

There are no do-overs in love. Right?

With two matches under her belt, Lauren’s ready to get back to work. Lucky for her, her job at The Brandon Knox Photography Studio makes it even easier to work her magic on her best friend and boss, Brandon, and the adorable receptionist, Hannah. And since she’s at Shawn’s coffee shop anyway (a girl’s got to feed her caffeine and chocolate addictions, doesn’t she?), why not look for his perfect match as well? But with all her love-connection luck, Lauren’s thrown for a loop when her dad announces that he’s heading out of town for a singles’ retreat. And in the midst of panicking about her dad and potential future stepmom, there’s also that matter of Ryan—love interest or friend? Only time, vats of coffee, and pounds of chocolate will tell!

Stand alone or series: The second in the most excellent Lauren Holbrook series

Why I read this book: Because the first one was so great, duh!

Review:

And she’s at it again! After having successfully paired Ruby and Nick she sets her unwelcome sights on poor Brandon. But she’s so focused on everyone else that she doesn’t realize her little thing with Ryan has turned from a fake relationship to a real one. As if that weren’t enough… Sorry, I got distracted by reading for the last half hour.

The book pulls you in from page one. And hands down, my favorite part is the dialogue. Really, I lap it up. It’s so crazy and quippy and it flies by so fast that when you finish you’ll want to start again just to make sure you caught it all. And of course the dialogue wouldn’t be so great if it weren’t for the fantastic and rather large cast of characters. These people I would love to have as my best friends. They’re the perfect mix of fun, kindred spirit and a little bit crazy. And they’re a great Christian family there to offer the uplifting and Biblical advice you need.

I’m afraid to say much else for fear of giving too much away. You’d think it would be easy to talk about a book that I love so much but it’s hard to describe. It’s just one of those things that you have to experience. I don’t understand how every page can be funny. I don’t know how she does it. However I do know that after looking at one page I want to grab a venti mocha Frappuccino, no whip, and settle in for the next five hours to do nothing but read. The one catch is I’m not sure if this would be as funny to guys… I’m planning to test it out soon on my wonderful husband. Thanks hon! (He doesn’t know yet. He’ll be just thrilled. I’ll keep you updated.) For now I suggest it to all women, the young and single will find it particularly amusing. However the comedy still works no matter what stage in life. I’m in love with the books! Tune in Friday for the review of the final episode of the Lauren Holbrook series.

Lost in Rooville

17 Sep

Lost in Rooville

Ray Blackston

Publisher: Revell

Publication Date: 2005 

Paperback: 298 pages

Book Blurb:

Australia + woman + ring = ?

Jay Jarvis is pondering commitment. But his math is getting complicated.

Can he survive a trip from the beaches of South Carolina to the Outback with his cluster of crazy friends? Or will the allure of a wild roo-chase spoil his perfectly calculated plans? Ray Blackston’s back with more side-splitting humor, unconventional characters, and electrifying dialogue.

Stand alone or series: The third and, as far as I know, last in the Flabbergasted world. It is a series-ish as all three are set in the zany world Blackston first created with many overlapping character, but the second book strays from the main character, Jay, and switches to Neil. But who cares? Read them all!

Why I read this book: Loved the first two, wasn’t going to miss the third.

Review:

I’m just going to warn you now, it’s not possible to talk about this book without spoilers. However I will do my best not to give anything away past the first act.

Jay Jarvis plans an exotic trip with Allie to the outback. While Allie thinks she’s just along for the fun of it, Jay searches for the perfect rock on which to pop the rock. One minor problem is that their crazy will-they-won’t-they-commit friends, Steve and Darcy are along for the ride. In an attempt to get rid of them and find an alone space, Jay and Allie venture hundreds of miles into the orange encrusted outback in a burnt orange Land Cruiser. Not the best of plans.

As usual, this book is split up into three acts. I enjoyed the first act though not quite to the same standard that I had enjoyed the other books. To be honest, the second act dragged for me a bit. It took a while for me to get through. I think this is due to a lack of action/movement and the sad vibe it takes on. I’m used to getting hit with contemplative thinking in the middle of a laugh in these novels, but this strayed from pondering to… well, to unpleasant places. Act three is when it really picked up for me. I’m not sure if it was the change of scenery, but back in some familiar locations my love of these novels and characters returned in full force. I wouldn’t go to sleep until I finished.

Blackston has produced another wacky, I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened tale that will keep you wondering and wandering till the end. If you’ve read the others, this is a must to see how it all turns out for the nutty couples we’ve come to know and love. And I’ve got to say I love the epilogue. I’m usually not a big fan of epilogues (the Harry Potter one comes to mind in particular), but this one was spot on and ended the series on just the right note. All I can say is happy reading and if you’re going to the Australian outback make sure at least somebody knows where you are.