Sweet Tea and Sympathy (by Molly Harper)

Women’s Fiction / Contemporary Romance

As a high end event planner Margot can handle just about anything. But after her crowning glory in the Chicago event planning scene goes horribly awry she finds herself unemployed and unemployable. So when her aunt who she has never met offers her a job in the family business in Georgia she has little choice but to accept.

She quickly discovers the family business is a Funeral Home and Bait Shop, she has dozens of relatives and a father who abandoned her as a child. With spotty internet and cell phone reception, no Starbucks or even a shop that sells fruit, Margot is well out of her comfort zone but with the help of a brooding school principal, his two young daughters and her crazy family she gradually finds a place. The only problem is Lake Sackett is a dying town. The tourists have abandoned them, businesses are closing and there isn’t much of a future for someone with her skills.


I read a lot of books and honestly I’ve read pretty much every story before, usually more than once. There aren’t too many books I wished would just keep going. There aren’t too many authors I’ll buy just because their name is on the cover.

But this is that book and Molly Harper is that author.

I loved everything about this book. I wanted more of every single character. So much love for Sweet Tea and Sympathy

Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck (Southern Eclectic 0.5)

Marianne returns to Lake Sackett, GA and runs right into Carl whose heart she broke when she left town. As she reluctantly settles into a summer with the family she does her best to avoid Carl but the old spark is still there and if they can just deal with their past, they might have a chance at a future.


Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck is a quick enjoyable prequel novella. It’s well worth the effort but I think it would be better to read book one first. After Sweet Tea and Sympathy I can almost guarantee that you’ll want more, and this little novella will fit the bill perfectly.

Many thanks to Pocket Books and Netgalley for providing me with this review copy.

Yellow, Orange, Red – What it means: YOR-Guide

Accidental Sire (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

After being mortally wounded in a freak ultimate frisbee accident, Meagan finds herself the newest vampire at the University of Kentucky. But she’s not just any vampire. Someone has messed with her DNA and made her into some sort of super-vampire. She’s faster and stronger than the average vampire and unfortunately she’s also managed to turn her would be boyfriend on her very first undead day.

With two super vampires and no idea how it happened the head of the vampire council, Jane Jameson steps in and takes them under her wing. They just need to survive scientific curiosity, someone who is up to no good at the University of Kentucky and Jane’s very huggy friends.


The Accidental Sire is an entertaining book, a book that is fun and funny, but I wouldn’t describe it as a good book. It is a little rushed in the first and last chapters and in some ways it feels like it’s “by-the-numbers” Molly Harper.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good and well worth the effort. It’s not a 5 Star book but it well deserves the 4 Stars I’m giving it.

Many thanks to Pocket Books and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Yellow, Orange, Red – What it means. YOR-Guide

Where the Wild Things Bite (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

Delivering a rare book to a valued customer is definitely part of mild-mannered archivist Anna Winthrop’s job description. You know what isn’t? Protecting her precious cargo from mid-flight theft by the very pilot who is flying her to Half-Moon Hollow…while trying to appear as unappetizing as possible to the only other passenger, a vampire. Undead bookstore owner Jane Jameson could be waiting a very long time for her book. Possibly forever.

Fortunately, Anna’s dashing fanged companion Finn Palmeroy helps her fend off the attack, but not before their plane crash lands in the forest hundreds of miles from civilization. Great, now she’s stranded with a priceless tome and a rakish vampire whose bedtime is fast approaching. Why does everyone want this book so badly, anyway? Anna just wants to get it to Jane before Finn decides to turn her into dinner –– or sweep her off her feet. Okay, the second option is really tempting. But they’re not out of the woods yet…


There are some very real challenges in writing a much loved series like this one.  As the series progresses more characters are added and the author needs to write their stories and still somehow find time to give fan service to the older characters.  Characters and stories need to evolve but good luck getting that past the diehard fans without blood being spilled.

For the most part Where the Wild Things Bite delivers.  All the old characters we love and get their moment in the sun…errr….moon without in anyway detracting from the story which belongs to Anna and Finn.

If I have a criticism it’s that the first act where Anna and Finn find themselves going all Bear Grylls in the wilderness took up too much of the book.  The last third however was superb and more than made up for it.

Position in Series: Book 5

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1 –– The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
2 –– A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses
3 –– The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire
4 –– The Single Undead Mom’s Club
5 –– Where the Wild Things Bite

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Many thanks to Pocket Books and Edelweiss for providing me with this ARC.

 

 

From Russia with Fangs (by Jacey Conrad)

Urban Fantasy 

After her husband is murdered in front of her, Irina the adopted daughter of a Russian gangster finds herself at the centre of plots and intrigue. The only problem is, she isn’t at the centre.

Let me explain.


 

 

 

 

 

 

From Russia with Claws (the first lines)

“Galina Sudenko scanned the sea of vaguely familiar faces. The cream of the crop had turned out in full force at Katya Bulgakov’s Sweet Sixteen party.”

From Russia with Fangs (the first lines)

“If the DJ played one more Russian bubble gum pop song, Irina Sudenko Volkov was going to stab him with a swizzle stick. Well, she would pay someone to stab him with a swizzle stick. Her father had people who did that sort of thing. Irina knew it was wrong to be in such a foul mood at a Sweet Sixteen party.”
So these two books are basically the same story being told from two different perspectives. Book one was Galina, and that was a story. I might have even rated it 5 Stars, I don’t really remember. Book two is Irina, she was a minor character in book one and honestly she’s not really a major player in this book either.

It’s weird reading the perspective of someone who isn’t even a witness to the major events of the story as laid out in book one.

From Russia with Fangs is OK in the same way a Chevrolet Malibu is an OK car. Nobody stops to watch one drive by. Nobody dreams of one day owning a Malibu. Honestly you could park one in a crime hot-spot with the keys in the ignition, the windows down and five bennys fanned out on the front seat…come back in an hour and it will still be there.

And that’s this book. The author is great. One of the best. There just isn’t enough of a story to make it worthwhile.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 4.24.20 PMOrange, Red, Yellow. What it means:  YOR-Guide

Fangs for the Memories (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

After being used and abused by her former lover, Andrea is shy of relationships. The last person on earth she wants to have anything to do with is Dick Cheney who reminds her more than just a little of the asshat who broke her heart.

For his part Dick knows Andrea is skittish and makes every effort to woo her without frightening her. However it remains to be seen if his redneck charm, his whacky t-shirt collection and his 1973 Chevrolet El Camino are enough to win her.


Dick Cheney and Andrea have been supporting characters throughout Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson and Half Moon Hollow series’. Finally after 8 books we get the story that everyone has been waiting for. How Andrea and Dick Cheney became a thing.

Fangs for the Memories is on the shorter side of novellas coming in at just under 90 pages. It has Molly Harper’s trademark snark and wit and is an entertaining though very quick read. With books this short I always look at the price before I recommend them. The Kindle version is available for around $1.40 which in my opinion is a fair price for a novella from an author as classy as Molly Harper. An audiobook version narrated by the truly amazing Amanda Ronconi is also available for a few dollars more.

So no complaints from me. A great little book, a fair price, and I’m tempted to buy the audiobook just because Amanda Ronconi really is that good.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 10.26.54 PMMany thanks to Pocket Books and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Orange, Red, Yellow. What it means:  YOR-Guide

The Single Undead Moms Club (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

Shortly after her husband died, Libby was diagnosed with terminal leukaemia. But facing her own death isn’t the worst of it, when she dies her precocious 5 year old son will go to her parents-in-law. Her rigid judgemental dogmatic parents-in-law.

The knowledge that her son’s expressiveness and imagination will be snuffed out and he will be turned into a “man’s man” forces Libby to do something she would never have dreamed of. She puts an ad on Craigslist for a vampire to turn her into one of the undead.

But if she was expecting life as one of the undead to be easy she’s in for a surprise. Not only are her parents-in-law suing for custody, she’s being hunted down by an assassin, fending off the attentions of two very different men and dealing with life errr, death as a new vampire. Not to mention that vampirism is not an excuse to get out of organising the pumpkin patch prizes and regular PTA meetings.


Molly Harper is a talented writer. Her stories are filled with snark and humour, they’re entertaining and honestly she can’t put a foot wrong in my opinion. The Single Undead Moms Club is great from the first to the last page.


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(note: I know that love triangles are triggers for a lot of people, but the triangle in this book is very much under-played and it’s hard to see it causing offence)

From Russia with Claws (by Jacey Conrad)

Romantica / Romantic Suspense

After studying in California Galina returns to her home in Seattle to help out with the family business. That business being crime. She is an alpha-werewolf and a part of the Russian mob. When her sister’s abusive husband is killed she enlists the help of Audrey Lupesco, the brutal boss of the Roma mob to investigate.

Adding to her woes, it quickly becomes apparent that her brother is completely unhinged and unless something is done he will take over the family business and usher in an era drenched in blood. Galina has some plans for the family but the Russian mob is conservative and patriarchal. As a woman not only does she have to fight for a seat at the table, she will need to challenge her brother in a fight to the death if she’s to have any hope of taking over.


 
What you really need to know about this book is Jacey Conrad is Molly Harper and there is a reason she’s writing under a nom de plume. While the book does have Molly Harper’s trademark wit, it’s much more violent and sexual than her usual offerings. I can’t be sure of this but I suspect some of the lower ratings this book is getting is a reflection of Molly Harper’s diehard fans getting offended by the content.

Honestly it’s pretty damned brilliant, but if you want cute and quirky you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.


Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 6.20.31 pmOrange, Red, Yellow. What it means:  
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The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

When Gigi accepts a job working for the vampire council, her sister Iris is none too happy. But the job pays well and has a killer benefits package. Unfortunately it appears there really is a killer benefits package. Somebody is out to get her and she has to look to her coworkers to find the culprit.

Nik is a very old vampire from Europe who is in Half Moon Hollow to do a job, though he can’t quite remember what the job is. Still it has something to do with Gigi so he makes sure he keeps bumping into her. Can he protect her from the vampire who is hunting her? Can they hunt down the person who paid for the vampire to hunt her, break a curse and live happily ever after? Well…yeah, I mean you know that when you buy the book, but getting there is still great fun.


 

I have a lot of love for these books. They’re just such great fun and this book, book three in the Half Moon Hollow series is the best yet.  Not that the first two weren’t great, they’re definitely worth reading but Molly Harper has managed to hit all the right notes with this one.

So if you want a lighthearted snarky, witty vampire book, this is the book. Molly Harper is the master of snark and wit.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.12.41 pmYellow, Orange, Red. What it means: red-orange-yellow-guide

Snow Falling on Bluegrass (by Molly Harper)

Contemporary Romance

Kelsey is the best person to have around in a crisis. She’s prepared for just about anything and can turn a disaster into a success. But when the staff of the Kentucky Tourism Commission find themselves stranded and without power after a once in a hundred year blizzard even her organisational skills will be tested.

Adding to her problems, Charlie, the guy she has secretly loved for years has been acting strangely around her and as cabin fever hits, her co-workers go on the warpath. If that’s not enough, her ex won’t leave her alone and now that Charlie finally seems to be noticing her, a sexy ranger decides to muddy the waters and express his interest.


It’s quite difficult to review this book, not because it isn’t good, it’s very good. No, it’s difficult because what I want to say I’ve said before. Snow Falling on Bluegrass is filled with witty banter and snark. It is funny, sometimes laugh out loud funny. Molly Harper delivers a book that is cute and quirky but in no way dumb. She’s one of my favorite authors and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 7.25.29 pmMany Thanks to Pocket Star and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

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Better Homes and Hauntings (by Molly Harper)

Paranormal Romance

Trying to rebuild her business after her former business partner decided to ruin her reputation and send her to the wall, Nina accepts a job away from the city restoring a mansion on an isolated island. Together with a very small team they are restoring the house and gardens which have stood deserted for more than 100 years. But they quickly encounter a malevolence that is haunting the house.

As they work, they begin to uncover a story of murder, betrayal and a curse that has passed down the generations. Now it seems that the ghost has decided to focus all of its fury on Nina.

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Better Homes and Hauntings is such a great book. Molly Harper writes with an intelligence and wit that is refreshing and completely addictive. This book actually has a slow build to the story which I haven’t noticed in her previous books and it took a little commitment, especially in those early chapters, but once I was hooked that was it, I just couldn’t put it down.

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 5.42.32 pmMany thanks to Pocket Books and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Yellow / Orange / Red –– What it means. http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l