Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: ‘Bloodlines’ by Richelle Mead

“When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.”
I can’t tell you how excited I was to get back into the world of Morois, Strigois and dhampirs!  Bloodlines is the start of a brand new series set in the Vampire Academy world.  I must say, I worried a bit about the new series being narrated by the uptight Sydney, but I should have known there was more to her than what we saw in the last series.  Under pressure from the Alchemists because of her involvement in helping the vampires, Sydney is desperate to prove her loyalty, even if it means entering the vampire world once again. 
Even though this is a new series,  I strongly feel readers should read the Vampire Academy books first.  There are many overlapping characters—Adrian, Jill, Sydney, Eddie, Abe…even Rose & Dimitri—and in order to get the full effect of this book, you need to have a full understanding of their back stories.   I’m not saying that the book can’t stand on its own, the plot is solid and complete, but without the background knowledge, the reader would not get the full effect.   And while the story was contained, Mead also laid a whole new framework for plotlines to come.  I’m so excited to keep reading!
The new setting of Palm Springs was also an interesting choice.  Basically, as Queen Vasilissa’s only living relative, plenty of enemies in the Moroi community want her dead.  For her protection, she is sent off to a human boarding school.  The heat and sun of southern California serve as a natural Strigoi deterrent, but this time, the villains may not be so obvious.  Sydney and Eddie are sent with Jill for her protection and Adrian is forced to go because of his new supernatural connection with Jill.  Along with many old favorites, we are introduced to a plethora of new people.  At times this feels a bit confusing, but I’m sure as time goes on, they will start developing their own personalities. 
Overall, I give Bloodlines
Plot – 4 ½ bookmarks
Character development – 5 bookmarks
World building – 5 bookmarks  (Love the new stuff with the Alchemists!)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Emily Browning (Sydney), Ed Westwick (Adrian), Josh Hutcherson (Eddie), Nick Verreos (Abe), Elle Fanning (Jill)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Author Spotlight: Denise Grover Swank

I'm so excited to host author Denise Grover Swank on my blog today!  I have gotten to know Denise on Twitter and I can attest she is smart, witty and soooooo nice.  Her new book Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is available now.  

JLR :  As all aspiring authors know, writing the novel is the easy part—getting published is where the real work comes in.  Tell us about your road to publication.  Is there anything you would have done differently?

DS:  Actually, no. I did everything right, according to publishing standards.  I had critique partners. I joined a writers group. I spent lots and lots of hours writing and editing and editing and editing... you get the picture. ;-) I've queried three projects now, came close to getting an agent with two. The publishing market is rapidly changing and publisher's lists are shrinking.  Some really great books are going to slip through the cracks. Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is one of them.

JLR:  So much of book promotion today is done through blog tours.  Tell us about your blog touring experience so far.

DS: This is my second blog tour. The first was a lot of fun because my friends were excited about my book release and offered to be part of it. The beauty of Amazon and Barnes & Noble ebooks is you get pretty much real time sales numbers so you can try to gauge what is effective and what isn't. By far the best promotion so far has been positive book reviews from book reviewers. 

JLR:  There is so much advice given by authors about the writing process.  What type of writing routine do you have?  Are you a planner or a figure-it-out-as-you-go type writer?  Any tips you want to share?

DS:  I'm a combination of both. I usually have a general outline/flow chart I try to follow, but I let the characters lead me through the story and they often change things a bit (or a lot.) I think that's the key, to know your characters and trust them. My other books have more thriller elements and I often put my characters in a situation and let them loose. I know where they end up, but I usually have no idea how they get there. It's not uncommon for me to start whining, "How are we going to get out of this?" LOL

JLR:  I’ve always felt that to be a good writer you must first be a good reader.  What types of books do you read and how have they influenced your writing?

DS:  I read EVERYTHING-- except for non-fiction. I read that only when I have to.  I love paranormal romances (Shannon K. Butcher), some magical realism (Sarah Addison Allen) humorous mysteries (Janet Evanovich and Jennifer Crusie) young adult (mostly paranormal) paranormal thrillers (Steven King and Dean Koonz) Even middle grade (Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson.)  I used to just read for the sake of reading, but now I'm paying attention to elements of the story, the sentence structure, etc. I try to learn from everything I read. 

JLR:  There has been a lot of talk this year about traditional print books giving way to e-books.  For example, publishing powerhouse, Dorchester, announced that they were getting out of the mass market paperback market altogether in favor of e-publishing.  What affect for you think this will have on authors and readers going forward? 

DS:  I sincerely believe the shift to electronic will continue to grow but that print books will still exist. But I can see a future where debut and mid-list authors might publish electronically first, establish themselves and build a fan base, then the traditional publishers will be willing to take a risk. 

JLR:  What are three things that your fans would be surprised to find out about you?

DS:  First is that I have no sense of smell. I never remember being able to smell so I've never really thought much of it and don't mention it often. In fact, my kids tend to forget and start to say "smell this... oh yeah." Second is that I have six children and I'm a single mom.  My oldest child is twenty-four and my youngest is four. My oldest three are biological and my youngest three are adopted from China and Vietnam. And third, hmm... this is hard. Maybe the third is that I don't sleep much. I do a lot of my writing at night after my kids go to bed, so I'm often up until 2 or 3 am writing. And up at 7 during the school year.

 JLR:  Are you involved in any other projects aside from your novel writing? 

DS:  I like to garden, mostly flowers. And I love to travel which is hard to do with all of my children, but we still try. But honestly, I spend a lot of time writing or reading.

JLR:  Where can readers go to purchase Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes?

DS:  Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes is available in both print and ebooks at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And other ebook formats are available at Smashwords.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: 'Anna and the French Kiss' by Stephanie Perkins

"Anna is not happy about spending senior year at a Paris boarding school, away from her Atlanta home, best friend Bridgette, and crush Toph. Adapting isn’t easy, but she soon finds friends and starts enjoying French life, especially its many cinemas; she is an aspiring film critic. Complications arise, though, when she develops feelings for cute—and taken—classmate Etienne, even though she remains interested in Toph. Her return home for the holidays brings both surprises, betrayals, unexpected support, and a new perspective on what matters in life—and love. Featuring vivid descriptions of Parisian culture and places, and a cast of diverse, multifaceted characters, including adults, this lively title incorporates plenty of issues that will resonate with teens, from mean girls to the quest for confidence and the complexities of relationships in all their forms. Despite its length and predictable crossed-signal plot twists, Perkins’ debut, narrated in Anna’s likable, introspective voice, is an absorbing and enjoyable read that highlights how home can refer to someone, not just somewhere."  (Shelle Rosenfeld, Booklist)

A good book is one that makes you fall in love right alongside the characters. If this is true, then Anna and the French Kiss is a masterpiece! Seriously, my heart fluttered and I was giddy for days after reading this book. In my opinion, this makes it the perfect summer read!

I could assume by the title that Anna was going to end up with Etienne in the end, but the story turned out not to feel predictable at all. I think much of this was due to the interesting characters. Anna was funny and smart. She had to deal with a lot of disappointments throughout the story, but managed to do so without coming across as whiney or brooding. She had plenty of interests outside of school and her crush. Etienne was deeply flawed and made mistakes, but he also could be sweet and considerate...not to mention sexy as hell! The supporting cast of characters also felt real and not stereotypical.

The relationship between Anna and Etienne felt natural and yet was fraught with sexual tension. Several times they seemed like they were on the cusp of falling in love, only to have it disintegrate at the last minute. Rather than this being annoying, it was written in such a way as to suck the reader in further. The weekend of Thanksgiving and the communications over Christmas break had me on the edge of my seat! Brilliant love story!

The setting also plays a strong role in the story. Paris, the City of Lights, is commonly referred to as the most romantic city in the world. But Anna at first sees it as this strange foreign place where she doesn't speak the language, doesn't have any friends and is scared to venture outside of her boarding school's gates. I think anyone who has ever traveled to a foreign country can identify with these feelings. It takes courage to even sit down in a restaurant and order. We see Paris through Anna's American eyes and it makes me feel like I was experiencing it there right along with her. I have not personally been to Paris, but I feel like I know it much better now that I have been there with Anna.

Overall, I give Anna and the French Kiss...

Plot - 5 bookmarks

Character Development - 5 bookmarks

Love Story - A million bookmarks! (It's my system, I can break the rules if I want!)

Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Emma Stone (Anna), Charlie McDonell (Etienne – If you do not know who he is, check him out on YouTube), Demi Lavato (Bridget), Skye McCole Bartusiak (Meredith), Alex Pettifer (Toph)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Author Spotlight: Britney Bronte + GIVEAWAY!!!

Today I have the pleasure in welcoming author British author Britney Bronte to my blog!  Britney's new book Do Not Lick the Phones delves into the humorous world of television psychics.  Not only is Britney a fabulous writer, but she is also kind.  She is donating all proceeds from the sale of this book to help clean up the damage done to London in the recent riots.  Normally, I try not to push sales to hard, but $3.99 will not only buy to an entertaining e-book, but it will help return London to order.  

JLR:  With advancements in technology, self-publishing novels has gotten a million times easier and more affordable.  What made you decide to self-publish, and how has that process been working for you?

BB:  It was an experiment for me. I have had work published by more traditional methods via agent, publisher, paper format, my real name, all very successful. But for Do Not Lick The Phones I didn’t want to wait and go through a long process with no guarantees at the end. There’s a message lurking under the farce and romance, and I wanted it out there quickly.  It has taught me not to be sniffy about e-publishing. I’m delighted that the book has reached so many more people than I expected.

JLR:  As all aspiring authors know, writing the novel is the easy part—getting published is where the real work comes in.  Tell us about your road to publication.  Is there anything you would have done differently?

BB:  Hah! Formatting, proof-checking, these are real headaches. Thankfully someone else did all that kind of thing for me. Looking back, I would probably have organized the blog tour before publication.

JLR:  There is so much advice given by authors about the writing process.  What type of writing routine do you have?  Are you a planner or a figure-it-out-as-you-go type writer?  Any tips you want to share?

BB:  I can’t plan. The moment I set a plan in stone, it’s as though the story’s done and over for me. Instead, I tend to just keep writing, scrawl it all out, get it done, leave it to stew, then go back and cut to pieces/insert plot. Having said that, Do Not Lick The Phones was written much more episodically.

The only tip I can give is the one everybody repeats: Just Keep Writing. One of the most frustrated authors I know is constantly going on to his blog to write about writing. He writes the word count, he writes lyrically about his writing block and his frustrations in writing, If he just shut up and got on with it, he’d have written War and Peace by now.

JLR:  Yeah, I know the type!  I’ve always felt that to be a good writer you must first be a good reader.  What types of books do you read and how have they influenced your writing?

BB:  I’ll read the back of a cereal packet if it’s in front of me! My heroine and I share certain things in common; we both love the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis.  I also love J.R.R. Tolkein, Philip Pullman, The Bronte sisters – of course! – and the grandmother of  chicklit, Mighty Miss Jane Austen.

JLR:  They say good reading habits are developed at an early age.  Have you always been a reader?  Can you pin-point a particular book or author who solidified your love of reading?

BB:  My parents say I was crawling all over dad’s newspapers before I could speak. They’re convinced I was trying to read. I had the most fantastic book of nursery rhymes and I remember being completely enchanted by Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where The Wild Things Are.’ When I started to write, words spilled out just the way they are now. It has always been a natural part of me. I am more myself when I write than when I do anything else. These words you’re seeing are as much the real me as a photo, perhaps more.

JLR:  In the past year or two, e-publishing has soared in popularity.  What made you decide to publish in e-book format?  Do you worry that you won’t achieve as much success as you might in traditional print?

BB:  It occurred to me to consider e-publishing when I realized I had read more blogs than books over the last two years. I love the tangible reality of a book you hold in your hands, but in terms of sales success I can’t complain about the way things are going.

JLR:  What are three things that your fans would be surprised to find out about you?

BB:  1) I have been floored by Mexican midget wrestlers. It was a humbling experience, as if seeing myself in Lycra wasn’t bad enough.

2) I’m one of those popular people who not only likes to hear the same song repeated, but plays the same bit of the same song over and over again. How my neighbours love me!

3) My day job is as a TV presenter. Britney Bronte is a pseudonym I use to protect myself and my loved ones from the controversy around  Do Not Lick The Phones. Death threats and other craziness, I’ve had them all, but I’ve also received many messages of laughter and approval. I would never have expected such extreme reactions to my first chick lit novel, and I am very grateful to all my fans for their support. Thank you!

JLR:  Where can readers go to learn more about your work?

JLR:  Where can readers go to purchase Do Not Lick the Phones?

JLR:  Thank you so much for joining us Britney!  I love what you are doing for the city of London!

Don't stop reading yet!!!!  

As a special treat, Britney has agreed to donate copies of Do Not Lick the Phones to three lucky readers.  (pdf & mobi formats)  To enter, leave a comment below discussing any experience you might have had with a psychic.  Please leave your email address so I can notify the winners!!!!  

+ 3 extra entries if you tweet about the giveaway and leave me the link!!!  (Each entrant may only win once, but the extra entries will increase your chances.)  Open internationally!!!!!!!!!!  Entries must be received by midnight (central time) Friday, August 19th.  

Review: 'Before I Fall' by Lauren Oliver

"In this Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls teen hybrid, Sam Kingston is pretty, popular, and has a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a late-night party everything goes terribly wrong, and the life that she lived is gone forever. Or is it?"

Sam Kingston knows she has died. So why does she keep waking up each morning on Friday, February 12th? To be honest, I hesitated in reading this book, because I thought the reading the same day over and over again would be too repeatitive. I couldn't have been more wrong! Oliver does an amazing job keeping this story interesting and fresh throughout. As a writer myself, I became fascinated by the construction of this plot. Oliver took meticulous care keeping the timeline, dialog and other details straight, so the reader remains interested without getting confused. I loved the day where a pissed off Sam decided to dress in a skippy outfit, hit on her Math teacher and smoked pot in the restroom with one of the school outcasts!

Sam at first tries various ways to prevent her death at the end of the day, but in her attempts to change her fate, she learns that people have many sides to themselves, including herself. This new perspective about her friends, classmates and family teaches Sam about the important things in life. I think most teen readers will find at least one character to identify with.

Overall, I give Before I Fall...

Plot - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Character Development - 5 bookmarks (there is depth to almost every character)
Moral Lessons - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Love Story - 4 bookmarks (smaller plot line, but it was delightful)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Rachel Hurd-Wood (Sam), Aly Michalka (Lindsey), Nicholas Hoult (Kent McFuller), Kaya Scoldelario (Anna Cartullo), Alexander Ludwig (Jake), Henry Cavill (the Math teacher)

Monday, August 15, 2011

(Belated) BLOGGERVERSAY GIVEAWAY!!!! Win a copy of Richelle Mead's 'Bloodlines'

I missed my bloggerversary in April. (Bad blogger!) It's not that I forgot so much as...well...I was just being lazy about it, to be honest. But you should not interpret my laziness as a sign that I don't appreciate my readers. (I do! I really, really do!) I've just had a lot going on lately, so my time is limited.

Anyway! To show you all how much I love you, and because I love Richelle Mead so much, I have decided to give away a brand new, hardcover copy of her new book 'Bloodlines,' the first book in her new YA series.

'Bloodlines' Description:

"When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, 'Bloodlines' explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood."

The book releases on August 23rd, and I have it pre-ordered, so I'll mail it to the winner once I get it. Sorry, this contest is open to only residents of the US or Canada. I really love and appreciate my international followers, but I can't afford that kind of shipping. Please forgive me!

As an added bonus...

If I should happen to hit 500 blog followers during this giveaway (Hey, it could happen!), I will also give away a hardcover copy of 'Ultraviolet' by RJ Anderson (also a new release and one of my favorite books this year).

To enter:
 Since this is a reader appreciation giveaway, you must be a follower of this blog to enter!!  Leave your name and email address in the comment section below. 

Additional entries:

+3 for tweeting about this giveaway (If you want me to get to 500 followers and give away the second book, you will have to help spread the word!)
(Be sure to leave me a link to your tweet.)
+1 for following me on Twitter (@Jesilea)
+1 for adding up your entries so I don't have to. Eight total entries possible.

Entries must be received by midnight on Friday, August 19th!!!!!!

Review: ‘The Plot Against America’ by Phillip Roth

In The Plot Against America, author Philip Roth explores the “what if” possibility of what would have happened if Nazi sympathizer, Charles Lindbergh, would have won the 1940 Presidential election over Franklin Roosevelt. Not only would the US not have joined World War II on the side of the Britain, France and Russia, but white supremacist ideas would have gained a measure of legitimacy. Told from the point of view of his fictional eight-year-old self, Roth explores the effects of Washington politics and anti-Semitism on a middle class Jewish family living in Newark.
 Writing an alternative history of the World War II time period is a really cool idea. Roth does a great job of incorporating facts into his fiction, so that as unbelievable as the plot is, it seems almost possible. Frightening, really. My problem with the book is that the pacing was incredibly slow, drawing out every detail and thought of this little boy’s life until the readers feels like they’ve been beat with a stick. Then, the cool plot-twist ending was written so poorly, the impact was completely underwhelming. After the twist, Roth tacked on several more chapters of nothing before cutting the end off abruptly. Basically, Roth had a great idea, but completely over-wrote and lost control of it. This might be a case where a movie version would be better than the book.

Overall, I give The Plot Against America

Plot – 2 bookmarks (could have been higher if pacing was faster and the twist was handled better)

Character development – 4 bookmarks

Moral lessons – 3 ½ bookmarks (makes you think)

Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Mason Cook (Phillip), Jesse Eisenburg (Cousin Alvin), Jennifer Grey (Phillip's aunt), Adrien Brody (Phillip's dad), Leonardo DiCaprio (President Lindenbergh)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: ‘Hourglass’ by Myra McEntire

“For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?”
( Blurb)

First off, this book has the most amazing cover! 

The author must have been ecstatic when she saw it. 

Secondly, the story held up to my already high expectations.  Yay!  Hourglass is the coolest mix of ghost story and time travel.  The beings from the past that seventeen-year-old Emerson sees are not dead so much as ripples from another time period.  Such an original idea!  Of course, Emerson doesn’t know this until her brother hires a consultant, Michael Weaver, to try to help her deal with the visions. 

I liked Emerson as a character.  The combination of her visions and her parents’ deaths sent her in and out of mental institutions from the time she was thirteen, so by the time the story opens with her returning to regular school, we can see how lonely and damaged she is.  When Michael is able to see the same visions she can, Emerson finally feels a connection with someone. 

Which leads us to the love story...  Honestly, I liked it, but something was lacking…sexual tension maybe?  I totally got why Emerson would be so into Michael, but I didn’t get enough on his side to make it fully believable.  One minute, he would act indifferent to her and the next he is wanting to kiss her.  I wish there had been just a little more to make the romance go from good to great.

My biggest problem with the story—and this is really more of a comment on the whole genre than just this book—I hate it when one character tells the main character not to do something because of danger and the person does it anyway.  In this story, Michael warns Emerson not to follow him several times, but she does anyway.  This has the predictable outcome of making the situation worse and causing Emerson to seem like a stalker.  I get that authors do this to move the plot along, but it’s getting a bit cliché.  Sorry, it just is.

Now, I don’t want you to think that this one thing turned me off on the whole book.  I actually liked this book a lot!  It was smart and exciting, had a bit of mystery with the murder of Michael’s mentor.  The ending had a twist on it that I didn’t see coming.  I’m sure there will be a sequel, and I plan to be first in line at my local bookstore when it comes out!

Overall, I give Hourglass

Plot – 4 ½ bookmarks
Character Development – 4 bookmarks
Love Story – 4 ½ bookmarks (could easily been a 5 with a little more spark)
World Building – 4 ½ bookmarks (Very smart & inventive)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Taylor Swift (Emerson), Grey Damon (Michael), Alexis Knapp (Ava), Beau Mirchoff (Kaleb), Shenae Grimes (Lily)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: ‘Fantasy Lover’ by Sherrilyn Kenyon

“Dear Reader,

Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn't. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior's day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander's sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace--the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon
(Back cover blurb)

I’ve been wanting to read the Sherrilyn Kenyon books for ages!  While Fantasy Lover is not technically part of the Dark Hunter series, it takes place in the same world, and serves as a prequel. 

Let me start by saying, this story sucked me in quickly and didn’t let go.  (I read it on one sitting.)  I have been a little bored with my romantic heroines lately, but I really liked Grace.  She was smart, kind, flawed and very realistic.  Okay, so it is another book with a sexually inexperienced female with a total sex-god male, but I’ll let that go because the rest of the book was so good. 

Julian also had a surprising amount of depth to him.  He starts as this drop dead gorgeous love-slave, who women are mysteriously drawn to, but there is so much more to him than his looks.  Julian is courageous and fearful, strong and vulnerable.  Kenyon does an excellent job of explaining his complicated history and the relationships between those in the ancient world without churning out pages and pages of info dumps. 

I also love the idea of bringing the Greek mythology to urban fantasy.  I've always had a fascination with the Greeks and it's great to see them given a fresh spin for a modern audience. 

My only criticism of the book has to do with a certain repetitive element in the writing.  Many, many sentences started with the phrase, “Never before had she....”  Why the passive voice?  What’s wrong with “She never...?”  You might think this is a picky point, and you are probably right.  It just jumped out at me.

Overall, I give Fantasy Lover...

Plot - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Character development - 4 bookmarks
Love story - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Sex scenes - 4 bookmarks
Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Alexander Skarsgaard (Julian), Katie Featherston (Grace)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: ‘Divorced, Desperate & Delicious’ by Christie Craig

Lacey Maguire is fed up with relationships.  Her mother and grandmother have accumulated a dozen divorces between them.  After Lacey’s first marriage ends in divorce also, she fears she is heading into the same family pattern.  So, she focuses on her photography career and her friendships in order to keep from getting involved with another man. 

Chase Kelly is a cop on the run after his dirty partner frames him for theft of drugs and shooting a fellow officer.  With his face plastered all over TV and a bullet wound, Chase needs a place to recuperate and figure out how to get out of his mess.  While hiding behind a garage, he is spotted by a yappy dog...Lacey’s yappy dog. 

Stuff happens, but basically, Chase ends up hiding out in Lacey’s house while his police partner helps him to clear his name. While the plot was a little predictable, it was entertaining enough.  I thought the author tried a little too hard to make Lacey seem quirky.  The stupid t-shirt, the constant Christmas music and her annoying friends and mother calling on the phone every two pages were tiresome.  Chase as a character was much more interesting.  The dirty cop storyline was interesting, but it seemed most of the action was done by Chase’s partner Jason.  I guess I would have liked to see Chase take a more active role. 

So if you are looking for an entertaining book to keep you company on the beach, ignore this stupid title and give this book a chance.  Overall, I give Divorced, Desperate & Delicious...

Plot - 3 bookmarks
Character Development - 3 bookmarks
Love Story - 3 bookmarks
Detective Story - 3 1/2 bookmarks
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Sam Worthington (Chase), Rachel Bilson (Lacey), Ryan Phillippe (Jason)