Review: Houston, We Have a Problem by Erin McCarthy

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Florida Doctors, Book 2
Publisher: Kensington
Hero: Dr. Houston Hayes
Heroine: Dr. Josie Adkins
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publisher: October 18, 2005
Started On: May 8, 2011
Finished On: May 13, 2011

Though I have had this book in my to-be-read pile for ages, I finally took the plunge after reading the enthusiastic review that my friend Zahu posted on Goodreads. We both (and I guess more than half of the romance reading population) have a thing for hot and tortured heroes who exert rigid control over their emotions and suddenly along comes the bubbly heroine who seems to bring down the walls of reserve that the hero has built so painstakingly over the years within just a couple of minutes. I absolutely love these types of books and though this book didn’t deliver on all of my expectations, nevertheless it turned out to be one hell of an entertaining read.

33 year old Dr. Houston Hayes has a huge problem that won’t go away in the 27 year old surgical resident Josie Adkins who is driving him completely nuts with her klutziness that brings to light just how much he wants Josie flat on her back, with him on top. Houston has never had a problem with the rules he has imposed on himself to never enter into a long term relationship and to never get involved with a co-worker. But the minute Josie Adkins steps into the picture, all Houston’s heart is capable of telling him is that rules are meant to be broken.

Josie is appalled that she has the Dr. Hayes-induced Dropping Medical Equipment Syndrome whenever she is around Houston. Her friend Sara keeps telling her that its the haze of lust that takes a hold of her whenever she is in Houston’s vicinity that plays havoc on her usual capable self.

When Houston proposes to Josie one single night of passion to get rid of the inconvenience of having the hots for each other all the time, Josie is reluctant because she is not the type to get physical in a relationship without her emotions getting involved. But every inch of Houston from his short black hair, to his gorgeous blue eyes, and all down the length of his muscular, toned body that screams power and control has Josie saying yes to abandoning herself to his lethal brand of seduction that has Josie screaming much more than yes long before the night is through.

But what was supposed to be just one night of passion cracks open the walls of reserve that protects Houston’s emotions and though he would rather die than admit to the fact, being over Josie is the farthest thing that Houston feels. Josie though she promises herself that she deserves someone who loves her and wants to commit to her, nevertheless finds herself falling for the complete opposite of what she needs though Josie is still strong enough to say no where it counts. Houston is a man who has a lot of issues with his past, his childhood playing a major role in how his character is portrayed in the story. For Josie and Houston’s problem to be totally over, they both do a lot of intense soul searching and makes some hard choices before achieving their much needed happily ever after.

I absolutely loved what Erin McCarthy delivers in the humor department in the story. From the first line itself, this book was a¬†continuous¬†laugh fest with Josie’s quirky comebacks and her sense of humor which is evident from the way she thinks out aloud about stuff. Houston is a delicious hero, and yes I say delicious in the best possible way. He is tortured hotness and broodiness in one package and his lethal brand of seduction left me breathless at all times. With borderline erotic sexual content, this book is recommended for fans of contemporary romances that delivers on character development, humor, love and rapid heartbeat inducing love scenes guaranteed to fire up your insides.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=4/5]

 Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Hot Finish by Erin McCarthy

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fast Track, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Ryder Jefferson
Heroine: Suzanne Hickey
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: August 3, 2010
Started On: September 9, 2010
Finished On: September 10, 2010

Finally, this is the story of Suzanne and Ryder which I bet most of the readers of the series have been craving for. I have enjoyed reading all three stories of the series out so far. What made these stories enjoyable was the fact that Tamara, Imogen and Suzanne are all so different from one another and find love with men who are all sinfully good looking as they are kind, generous and loving. Of the three women, Suzanne’s story is the one that starts out with a prior history between the two.

Suzanne and Ryder had met one another at Ryder’s cousin Brian’s wedding of which Suzanne had been the wedding planner. Ryder had then been just a rookie driver, a little bit full of himself. Having grown up as an only child with middle class parents who thought that he could do no wrong, Ryder was a happy carefree kind of guy. The instant attraction between the two inevitably ended with Suzanne becoming pregnant which prompted Ryder to propose and they both eloped to marry at Las Vegas.

Suzanne had never felt that Ryder had married her because he was in love with her, but rather because he wanted to do the right thing when she got pregnant. Having never established the proper channels of communication between the two from the very hasty beginning of their volatile relationship, when Suzanne miscarries neither Ryder nor Suzanne talks about their feelings when it both affected them so much. Having never talked about the subject of trying for kids again, Suzanne who craved for a family of her own when she had grown up as an only child dirt poor with grandparents when her mother had abandoned her, Suzanne had felt that their relationship would never grow into something more. And the fact that Ryder almost always never remembered to take care of everyday little things which in the end Suzanne had to take care of, made her feel like an assistant of Ryder’s rather than his partner and wife.

Inevitably, disagreements between the two had started with growing discontentment on both sides. The bedroom had been the only place where these two knew one another and Ryder had always thought that whatever problems or arguments or fights they had, they would never part. But when Suzanne has had enough and walks out on Ryder, he doesn’t know what else to do but let her go.

Now the two year alimony period was over and Suzanne who had spent the past four years working as a volunteer on the board of charity that funded children’s cancer research has no option but to return to work as a wedding planner, which the cynic she had become since her divorce makes the job doubly harder. But Suzanne is determined that she would earn her way through and not give into the charity that Ryder was willing to offer.

Planning Nikki (Ty’s ex girlfriend who grated on everyone’s nerves with her flamboyant and dumb blond ways) and Jonas Strickland’s wedding was her first job in venturing back into the wedding planning business. The stress of having no money and taking care of the tantrums that Nikki made her put up with is taking its toll on Suzanne when she receives a letter from their divorce lawyer stating that Ryder and Suzanne weren’t actually divorced because Ryder had forgotten to give the lawyer power of attorney to appear in the court instead of him and had evidently never signed the papers. When Suzanne receives the news, its a foregone conclusion that with her volatile temper she would burst at the top.

However, Ryder is not much bothered by the fact since lately he had been having thoughts of Suzanne occupy his mind more than anything else. Though Ryder doesn’t have a clue as to why Suzanne finally walked out on him, he is willing to become a better husband all around and try and convince Suzanne that what they had was special enough not to walk away from.

With Ryder hellbent on showing Suzanne what she was missing, these two finally end up scorching the sheets, and my my! What an explosive combination do these two make! I was expecting their coming together to be volatile but the actual scene just took my breathe away!

Although Suzanne tries hard to deny her feelings for Ryder, she has to acknowledge the fact that she still loves Ryder but she isn’t willing to trust Ryder with her heart and open up to him, something Suzanne has no idea how to do because she had never ever been that person.

In the end, Suzanne ends up pregnant once again, and Ryder makes an ass out of himself whilst trying to profess that he still wants to be together and loves her which drives them apart once again. It is with Suzanne’s friends Tamara and Imogen’s help that she comes to realize that her marriage to Ryder had not failed only because of him but Suzanne was also part of the problem.

In the end its all good with a happy ending for the couple. I always love reading more about Elec and Tamara, my favorite couple by far from this series. According to the author’s website, there are two more books of the series to come out next year, Evan and Eve’s story, siblings of Elec Monroe. Am hoping those two stories would contribute towards making this series a favorite all the way through!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fast Track, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Hero: Ty Jackson McCordle
Heroine: Imogen Wilson
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: May 5, 2009
Started On: September 8, 2010
Finished On: September 9, 2010

The second book in the Fast Track Series tells the story of Imogen Wilson and Ty Jackson McCordle both of whom we get to meet in the first book of the series which I reviewed earlier. Imogen is assistant to Tamara Briggs, sociology professor and Imogen is racking her brains to come up with a research topic for her dissertation for her graduate degree. Imogen and Ty first meet at Tamara’s place when Imogen goes to Tamara’s place to drop off some papers whilst Ty and Ryder are at her place visiting Hannah and Petey who were down with the chicken pox. Right from the very first moment Imogen lays her eyes on the sexy stock car driver, she falls inevitably in lust with him.

Imogen knows that 22 years old bouncy, bubbly and blond Nikki Borden, who starves herself, and has breast implants and lip injections to enhance her beauty is more Ty’s type of woman than she is. Though Imogen and her friends Tamara and Suzanne can hardly stand to be in the same room with Nikki who seems to have attained her thin model like figure at the expense of frying up a huge amount of her brain cells, the fact that Ty was dating the girl proved that someone like Imogen who was smart, inquisitive by nature and academic would have no chance with the walking eye candy of a man that Ty was.

So it takes Imogen completely by surprise when she sees the desire she feels for Ty mirrored in his eyes when he gazes down at her after Imogen accidentally runs into him on the porch of Tamara’s home where they were holding a little dinner party. Ty had come outside to escape Nikki and her annoying chit chatter that was driving him up the wall. Ty had to acknowledge the fact that he had let things go for too long with Nikki. He was suddenly tired of getting together with women who had nothing to offer in the conversation department. Ty knows that the fact that he has severe dyslexia is one of the reasons that he doesn’t go for smart women like Imogen who was looking and sounding more appealing to him by the minute.

The only thing stopping Imogen from jumping Ty is the fact that he is still with Nikki. But when Ty is suddenly back on the market, Imogen knows that she won’t be able to say no to the man who makes her senses hum just by being in the same room. Ty and Nikki embark on a hard and fast affair though for both of them what they have together is much more than just a good time in bed.

Things progress forward and Ty asks Imogen to marry him and it is then that Imogen who always thinks things through to death starts having little bouts of doubts about their suitability together. The conversation that takes place has Ty confessing his dyslexia which is quite a sensitive issue with him which shocks Imogen and in the end they both handle things badly which lead to a break up 12 hours after Ty proposes marriage to the love of his life.

This story though not as interesting as I found Elec and Tamara’s story was still a good read. The conversations that take place between Tamara, Suzanne and Imogen had me laughing out loud at several points. Suzanne’s outrageous nature must make her one of the favorite characters in this series. The 3rd book in the series tells the story of Suzanne and Ryder who have been divorced for 2 years, but the encounters between the two definitely shows that there are a lot of unresolved issues between them. Am pretty interested in reading their story though their story hasn’t received as rave reviews as the first two.

Ooh! And yes! I heart the cover!! Very much so!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=3.75/5]

Caliber Seal: GOOD READ!

Review: Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Adobe Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fast Track, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Elec Monroe
Heroine: Tamara Briggs
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 4, 2008
Started On: September 7, 2010
Finished On: September 8, 2010

I normally don’t like romances that deal with race car driving or anything of that sort. But seeing rave reviews of this series on a lot of book review sites and countless recommendations of these titles got my interest piqued enough to give these books a go. And I am so glad I did! Though I had reservations about reading a book by the author since her book Heiress for Hire kind of fell flat on the sensuality department, this book literally set my heart racing everytime Elec and Tamara got together.

Tamara Briggs, widow of the famous race car driver Pete Briggs who was killed in a wreck in Talladega is ready for the dating scene two years on. Though she has her reservations about her appeal after bearing her babies, Petey and Hannah both of whom she loved more than anything else in the world, Tamara needs to feel that connection and is so lonely of being alone since her husband died. A sociology professor and 32 years old, Tamara ventures into the dating world by going out with anthropology professor Geoffrey Ayers who couldn’t be less suited for her even if she tried. When her friend Suzanne points out that fact and some more, Tamara knows that she had thought wrong when she started going out with Geoffrey just because she wanted someone safe this time, who wouldn’t end up getting killed on the racetrack. Tamara had sworn that she wouldn’t date a race car driver again and that she didn’t want to put her or her kids through the pain of losing someone like that again.

Resolving to break things off with Geoffrey before the party is through and she has to fulfill the expectations Geoffrey has of them sharing a bed¬† together, she bumps into a guy spilling her wine glass all over him to look up and see a man who makes her go weak at her knees. The attraction that sizzles right from the very beginning is not one sided. 25 year old Elec Monroe feels like his world had tilted on its axis when sexy and beautiful Tamara runs into him. Elec who has been rendered infertile a couple of years back, dates women who wouldn’t want anything more than to live in the moment because he doesn’t want the pain of being rejected by a woman he has come to care about because he wouldn’t be able to provide her with children. But when Tamara bumps into him all his rules change in an instant and he is smitten right from the very beginning.

Tamara has a lot of valid reasons not to start something with the only man who is able to touch her in all the right ways and make her feel good about herself. For one thing he is younger than herself, she doesn’t want the hassle of getting together with a race car driver and putting her heart and emotions on the line again, and she has her kids to think about and her in-laws who have been together with her through every step of the way and helped her through adjusting to life being a single mom. The Briggs who were like family to the Monroes had had a falling out with them and Johnny, Pete’s father hated them with a vengeance which also gave Tamara a pause every time she thought of her and Elec getting together.

But reason always seems to fly out through the nearest window whenever Elec is within her sight. Red hot need obliterates everything else and Tamara knows that she and Elec share more than just fabulous sex with one another. Elec shows Tamara that he is not just after her delectable body but something much more and that he is with her for the long haul. Elec is kind, passionate, sweet and a very endearing hero and Tamara herself suites him to a tad.

I loved the smooth flow of the story, the passionate scenes which were done so tastefully and contributed towards making the love between Elec and Tamara richer. The side characters Ty & Imogen (whose story is next in the series) and Ryder and Suzanne (whose story is in the 3rd book of the series) all contributed towards making this book an instant winner with me. Can’t wait to sink into the next one in the series! Highly recommended for all contemporary romance lovers!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=4.75/5]

Caliber Seal: FANTASTIC READ!

Review: Heiress For Hire by Eric McCarthy

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Cutterville, Ohio, Book 2
Publisher: Penguin Group
Hero: Danny Tucker
Heroine: Amanda Delmar
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 3, 2006
Started On: March 30, 2010
Finished On: April 1, 2010

Heiress for hire is the perfect chic lit read. A wealthy heiress who is forced to find where she fits in when her multi-millionaire father cuts her off and leaves her to fend for herself in the small town of Cutterville. Amanda has never worked for anything in her life. Born and bred to lead the life of the rich socialite she never thought that there would come a day when she would have to work for anything. But Amanda is not your usual rich socialite. She would rather die than beg people for anything and though she knows next to nothing about working she rushes headlong into working at the only saloon in town.

Things don’t work out exactly as she planned and before long she is fired from her job. A source of income comes quite unexpectedly from Danny Tucker, a farmer in Cutterville who has always gone out of his way to avoid her. Danny is shocked out of everything he has to find out that one night of lusty fumbling when he lost his virginity had resulted in a child who is now 8 years old. Danny would do anything to give Piper a good, stable home and the love that has so evidently been lacking in her life for the past 8 years. And the only person Piper seems to have taken a liking to is Amanda and though Danny would rather crawl into a hole than let Amanda know how much he is affected by her, Danny would do right by his child no matter what.

Danny comes to realize with time that Amanda is not the rich spoiled girl that she protrudes to be, but rather a woman who has been as lonely as he has been or for far longer if her pathetic childhood is anything to compare with his. These two polar opposites come together, though not with a bang and makes for quite a good read all round. An author worth giving a try!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo

[xrr rating=3.75/5]

Caliber Seal: GOOD READ!