Friday, March 8, 2013

2 SEP Reviews: Match Me If You Can & Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Hi all!

Here are two reviews for books from one of my favorite romance authors.




Title: Match Me If You Can
Series: Chicago Stars #6
Release date: 29th of August 2006
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint: Avon Books
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 388 in Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend

Summary:

You met star quarterback Kevin Tucker in This Heart of Mine. Now get ready to meet his shark of an agent, Heath Champion, and Annabelle Granger, the girl least likely to succeed.

Annabelle's endured dead-end jobs, a broken engagement . . . even her hair's a mess! But that's going to change now that she's taken over her late grandmother's matchmaking business. All Annabelle has to do is land the Windy City's hottest bachelor as her client, and she'll be the most sought-after matchmaker in town.

Why does the wealthy, driven, and gorgeous sports agent Heath Champion need a matchmaker, especially a red-haired screw-up like Annabelle Granger? True, she's entertaining, and she does have a certain quirky appeal. But Heath is searching for the ultimate symbol of success -- the perfect wife. And to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right?

Soon everyone in Chicago has a stake in the outcome, and a very big question: When the determined matchmaker promised she'd do anything to keep her star client happy . . . did she mean anything? If Annabelle isn't careful, she just might find herself going heart-to-heart with the toughest negotiator in town.

Review:
What can I say? Good old Susan Elizabeth Philips, this story again includes all the reasons why I love her books and more. Great humor, snappy dialogue, hot romance, ridiculous situations, diverse character relationships, etc etc. This book does not disappoint, I really had fun with it.
As usual, I loved the main couple even tough both had their flaws and impossible moments, but they were just human and they brought out the best and worst in each other, they were the ultimate opposites attract. I also liked how all storylines were wrapped up and solved in the end, some more predictable, some quite surprising.
One aspect that had me somewhat lost, however, was the fact that there were a lot of characters present from previous books I haven’t read, which in turn reminds me that I should start minimizing my SEP TBR pile and it would be more than ingenious to actually take them on in the correct order to fully appreciate the cameos.
Quibble: As with many previous books from the same author, I had an issue with the family of the heroine. Yes, there was talk on how they actually adore her and want only the best for their darling. but it didn’t seem like that at all. The mother was the biggest pain, ok, I understand that Annabel didn’t have the most stable job and no guarantee for success, but making decisions for her and degrading her choices was unfair and undermining.
Characters:
Annabel was very likable: quirky, hardworking, determine and she will cheat/break in/try everything to bring her grandmother’s business back to life. She was ruthless in a very cute and likable way. It was obvious that see was giving 110% to have the business succeed and satisfy every client with all hanging on her ability to dig up the perfect bride for Heath. I loved how she didn’t fall at his feet and was more than capable to stand up to him and counter everything he threw at her. I also absolutely adored her imaginary lover, I smiled ever time Annabel mentioned him. She just seemed like a fun girl to be around.
Heath was a textbook workaholic who was good and content at what he did. In his future wife he expected a Barbie with the whole arsenal of extras: brain, character, charm, and the endless list goes on. At times he needed to get off his high horse in regards to his expectations, but then again I can’t complain with him having a concrete idea on what he wanted and then requesting just that. Some of the limitations/conditions to the dates, while ridiculous and difficult for Annabel, made the whole situation quite funny. Heath was like a little kid with is wife conditions “I don’t want THIS, I want THAT!” But as always, unbeknownst to him, he was just waiting for the right girl who was under his nose the whole time. And all in all, I liked Heath, he had his quirks and a head up in the air higher than anyone, but despite that, he was a really likable guy.
The secondary romance with Portia and Brody, however, felt out of place at times, but I found them to be cute together, the unlikely couple that to everyone’s surprise just clicks.
I loved Dean, apart from being a hot bad boy who was actually quite a good guy, he had some great banter with both Heath and Annabel. Every scene he graced made me laugh, blush or just enjoy. His buddy-buddy relationship with Annabelle was cute and fun. They were like a younger brother/older sister couple or friends who were very comfortable around each other. Him trying to help her with Heath often lead to hilarious situations and dialogue.
Overall:
Awesome! Can’t wait to read Dean’s story!



4 stars!







Title: Lady Be Good
Series: Wynette, Texas #2
Release date: 13th of October 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

Lady Emma Wells-Finch--the oh-so-proper headmistress of England's St. Gertrude's School for Girls--has come to Texas with just two weeks to ruin her reputation, the only way she can save herself from losing everything she holds dear. And when a gorgeous man who can't afford another scandal meets this hardheaded woman who's determined to cause one, anything can happen, even love.

Review:

The premise of this book is ridiculous... and I just love it! Prim and proper English lady goes to Texas to dispose of her good image to escape being forcefully married to a creepy (he was SOOOOO disturbingly nasty) duke. What she finds is a town, Wynette, full of colorful and wacky inhabitants, but none as frustrating and irresistible as the lazy but sexy golfer (slash “freelance gigolo”) Kenny.

As with other SEP books, the humor took the number one spot on what made this story good. The hilarious banter, the spot-on one liners, the laugh out loud situations, ... I could go on an on. Here are some scenes that definitely go to my hall of fame: when Emma buys ridiculous things from the pharmacy because she thinks the duke’s lackey is watching and the subsequent conversation with Kenny regarding those items, Kenny explaining what his “fee” includes and what not, anytime Kenny mentions the Antichrist, Tories emus, etc.

The wide cast of characters is another thing I appreciate about SEP books and, again, we meet all sorts of colorful characters, from respectable citizens to total oddballs. The romance was also sweet and awkwardly cute, even tough the end result and the latter quarter of the book was a slight letdown. Still, Emma and Kenny were like a couple of kindergarten kids who didn’t know yet that you can actually like each other without any agenda or pulling the others braids.

The secondary romance was kind of halfway there, I didn’t completely feel it, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Even tough, I would usually dislike a character such as Torie (spoiled, slightly vain, expert in cussing, too in-your-face), in this book I found her flawed and slightly messed up yet charming. Dexter was a stud in geek’s clothes. Was I the only one who notices that he was kind of kinky?

Characters:

As much as I liked this book, I had a hard time warming up to Emma. I appreciated that she had quite a distinct personality with her own arsenal of quirks, but I couldn’t help thinking her extremely selfish. Yes, I did sympathies with her predicament and understood that she was tolerating everything for her beloved school, but the way she turned the already over the top lives of specific Wynette’s residents totally upside-down, causing mayhem and misunderstandings to everyone she saw as having a part in her escaping the clutches of the evil duke and her reputation, was too careless. It made for some hilarious situations and the cause was noble, but in most cases she didn’t really take into account what her victory might mean for the pawn in her plan. And a couple consequences weren’t really justifiable. Having said that, Emma was a refreshing heroine, no guesses, however, on who will wear the pants in her and Kenny’s relationship, Emma holds the reigns and I don’t think Kenny will mind being in the “service” of this composed and well-mannered English rose with an impeccable reputation (well not anymore when Wynette is through with her but it was dull reputation anyway) for the rest of his life.

Kenny was sexy talented, smart and full of potential, unfortunately, he didn’t like to show that part of himself outside of golf, instead he relished being this lazy and easygoing hunk. I adored Kenny, he was fun, wicked and misunderstood, but oh so swoony .

Overall:

Another win for me from SEP, not that I was expecting anything less. I enjoyed it less than other books I’ve read from her, but this was a great romantic and hilarious read and I recommend it fully.




4 stars!


LIIS


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