Several months ago JMC and I did a parcel swap where she sent me four books and some cinnamon sweets. (I don't remember what I sent her (Jennifer Crusie I think), but I know she got turkish delight as a sweet) She sent me the O'Sullivan trilogy (Shaken and Stirred, Sex Straight Up and Nightcap) from Harlequin Blaze that everyone was raving about in early spring. Smart Bitches gave Sex, Straight Up and Shaken and Stirred an A- which is high praise indeed. I finally had some free time to indulge in an afternoon of reading for a few days.
Of course the first thing I did was read them out of sequence. There was nothing to let me know which one came first so I read the middle one first. In the end it didn't matter so long as I got the last one right as it would have had spoilers for the other two but mixing the first two was ok. Now I don't want to go into detailed reviews of all three books, so I'll give impressions.
The first one is Shaken And Stirred featuring Gabe O'Sullivan and Tessa Hart. This book bugged me because I didn't really like Tessa. I found her annoying. She had a constant mantra to remind herself not to repeat mistakes from her younger self, to be reliant on no one but herself - obnoxiously so - and her constant affirmations that she's "The smart one" became tedious when we get to see her making so many mistakes and being intolerably rude. Gabe was a roll with it kind of guy, although he kept saying he wasn't a roll with it kind of guy, he seemed to roll over a lot. I like Him, not because I like guys who roll over, but he was nice, sweet and tolerant because he loved her even though she didn't know she loved him too. I loved it when he gave her the "fuck you" speech (He doesn't actually say fuck you) and told her off for making him pretend to be a stranger so that having sex with him was then acceptable in her blinkered mind. Their romance continues through the three books. The whole jist of this book was "Guy gets girl...kind of."
Book Two is Sex, Straight Up which is a title that doesn't really fit the story. Catherine is an art appraiser person, and Daniel is an accountant. A wounded, broken and very sad accountant who lost his wife in 9/11. Seven years later he's still struggling. These two meet up at the Hamptons where Daniel wants to get away from the noise of the party house he was thrown into by his brother and finds solace in a beach chair at Catherine's place instead. Somehow, these tow figure out between them without having said anything, that they're going to hook up and then never see each other again. A weekender. Fair enough. Except Catherine annoys the Crap out of me with her banal anxiety over being fat. Oh for fuck's sake! When you find someone willing to have a weekend of non committal sex it's a safe bet they don't give a shit about your cellulite. But Cath pulls out the, what I would expect to be, mood killer of "But I'm so fat..." Blah! Daniel ignores this and just has lots of rumpy-pumpy because like I said; in that circumstance men don't care. She is the vessel and he is the tool and no one cares about flab or hairy backs or warts or tattoos of Disney characters or anything. It's all about the grunt and the "O". Sure Catherine doesn't have experience at the one-night-stand. But really. Such a cliche. Apart from that it's really good except the extra quick resolution to the embezzlement thing that left me feeling a bit - what happened? Did they forget a few pages?
The last one is Nightcap which is again a weird title for the book and makes me think it was just there to fill in the whole bar theme that runs through the books. the brothers own a bar together. Anyways, this one is about Sean the slutboy and Cleo the Deputy Mayor who's so hard up and overstressed I'm amazed she doesn't implode. I liked this story the best. Best chemistry, most natural attraction and best plotted. Also I don't think there were any annoying typos or missed words like the other books had and I guess we have to accept with Harlequins seeing as they're so cheap and so mass produced. But if I could see it, why didn't the proofreader? Then again, what a tiring job. I bet my eyes would cross after eight hours, especially if I didn't like what I was reading.
Anyways, not a bad way to spend the afternoons of the weekend. O'Reilly writes great men and annoying women. I'm not regretting the read, but I think in a few weeks they will all be forgotten.
I saved the best looking book from JMC for last, but I can't read that until after I get the library books back which I didn't get to read - I started two of them and thought Ick, so boring. If you can't get my attention in the first ten pages then I'm not bothering. The other one is a serial that, of course, I've come in late on. So I'll go find the earlier works and rread through because I actually liked the writing in that one. It's a Gil Cunningham murder mystery written by Pat McIntosh. I didn't even notice it was all written in western Scotland. I also want to get the Spymaster books as folks all seem to be raving about them and I've read some of Joanna Bourne's blog and find her interesting and fun.