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Mr. Rook by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Posted in Contemporary Romance/ New Adult/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 12th July 2017
Mr. Rook by Mimi Jean PamfiloffMr. Rook by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Series: Mr. Rook's Island #1
Published by P&S, Inc - Mimi Boutique on June 13 2017
Pages: 157
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three-stars

The women who vacation on Mr. Rook's exclusive island are looking for one thing and one thing only: to have their wildest romantic fantasies come to life. Pirates, cowboys, billionaires--there's nothing Rook's staff can't deliver.

But when Stephanie Fitzgerald's sister doesn't return after her week in paradise, Stephanie will have to pose as a guest in order to dig for answers. Unfortunately, this means she'll need to get close to the one thing on the island that's not on the menu: the devastatingly handsome and intimidating Mr. Rook. And he's not about to give the island's secrets away.

There are times when I’m stuck between ratings, particularly if it’s a 3-ish but not a 4-star read. But never quite have I found myself in a situation where I could give a book any amount of stars and that would have worked out as well.

“Mr. Rook” takes that kind of prize (it’s *that* batty!), even though it isn’t so much of a dubious honour as it is a book that I can’t quite let go of as much as I hate several parts of it. Still, this has to be one of the more bizarre reads I’ve ever gone into. Being taken for a wild ride doesn’t even begin to cover it and the cliffhanger ending makes is both dissatisfying and intriguing because well, nothing really quite makes sense and you know you are still 2 books—and what’s probably a good year to go—away from getting to the bottom of it all.

On Mr. Rook’s famous island that promises to fulfil all fantasies, the owner himself is this strange beacon of untouchable sexual magnetism when all is permitted and the odd way Stephanie inserts herself into this well-run hedonistic playground is nothing short of sliding down the rabbit’s hole into a sexually-deviant version of Alice in Wonderland, complete with half-truths, bizarre circumstances and partial revelations.

The truth is, I still don’t really know what’s going on. ‘Mr. Rook’ is a story full of extremes and loose threads, and at times it reads like a thriller or a paranormal ghost story (which it isn’t) but that right there, is the problem of the unreliable narrator coming to the fore with only Stephanie’s POV in place when suspense mixes with weird erotica and some odd gothic moments.

Let’s not even talk about a book hangover, because frankly, this has thrown me so far for a loop. With a sequel somewhere far on the horizon, it’s best I forget this for now…if only I could.

three-stars

Smart Tass by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Posted in Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ New Adult/ Reviews/ Sports 19th April 2017
Smart Tass by Mimi Jean PamfiloffSmart Tass by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Series: OHellNo #1
on April 11th 2017
Pages: 157
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three-stars

He’s the hot quarterback all the girls want. She’s the smart girl he loves to pick on.And now that they’re all grown up, things are about to get geekin’ ugly…
My name is Tass. I’m smart, I’m driven, and I am determined not to let prankster Hunter Johnson continue raining on my parade. When we were little, he’d pull my hair and call me names. When we were teenagers, he’d throw food and tease me for being a flat-chested virgin.
But now that we’ve ended up at the same college, he’s out of his hot head if he thinks he can keep messing with my life. It’s like he’s fixated on me or something. Well, guess what, Mr. Amazefootball? I’m not that geeky little girl anymore and you do not screw with a smart woman.
So what’s my plan?
It’s definitely wild, and he’s about to find out…

I’d initially assumed that ‘Smart Tass’ was in fact, a good ol’ enemies-to-lovers thing in college, between two people who’d known each other the whole time but hadn’t gotten along. But it’s so much more than that.

Written wholly in Tass’s POV though, I went from hating Hunter to warming to him, just as she did. Objectively speaking, there is really something quite smart about the way the narrative is set up that got me going. There’s the power of the unreliable narrator here (even though I loved the smart-ass, cocky, biased and very distinctive nerdy but alpha girl voice of Tass), given the very skewed perspective that makes us see what we’re supposed to see and assume before it gets turned on its head and the age-old lesson of not believing everything as it looks.

I wasn’t comfortable about how much of commodification of Tass’s virginity there was by the frat boys, yet it’s also waved proudly about like it’s nothing to be ashamed of from Tass’s side, which was quite a contradiction for me. Yet that was part of the conflict that I could sniff a mile away, which was resolved in a mere few pages at the end which stuttered to a stop in the form of a cliffhanger. I guess I wanted to see more than just a kiss-and-make-up scene or at least some more of a resolute ending before the next book kicks in…after all, there was barely enough of Tass and Hunter on good terms, as much as the antagonism was fun. It was over before I knew it and without an epilogue or anything, ‘Smart Tass’ felt more incomplete than it was a standalone.

three-stars

Tailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Netgalley/ Reviews 2nd July 2016
Tailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean PamfiloffTailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Series: Happy Pants, #1
Published by Ballantine Books on August 9th 2016
Pages: 368
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three-stars

SHE WANTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
Taylor Reed is no stranger to selfish, uncaring CEOs. She was fired by one, which is why she has created her own executive training program—helping heartless bosses become more human. So Taylor shocks even herself when she agrees to coach Bennett Wade, the cutthroat exec who got her unceremoniously canned. She’d love to slam the door in his annoying but very handsome face, but the customers aren’t exactly lining up at her door. Plus, this extreme makeover will give Taylor the golden opportunity to prove that her program works like a charm.
HE WANTS TO BUY IT.
Bennett Wade is many things—arrogant, smug, brusque—but trusting isn’t one of them. Women just seem to be after his billions. So when he hires Taylor Reed, he has no desire to change. Bennett is trying to win over the feminist owner of a company he desperately wants to buy, but something about the fiery Taylor thaws the ice around his heart, making Bennett feel things he never quite planned on. And if there’s one thing Bennett can’t stand, it’s when things don’t go according to plan.
They are a match tailor-made for trouble.

‘Tailored for Trouble’ starts out as delicious antagonism which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hilarious even, because I really loved the no-holding-back arguments that both Bennett and Taylor immediately got into. The tension between them is ugly and almost repulsive, without too much of a sexual undercurrent that makes you rub your hands in glee when they finally fall into each other’s arms by the end of the book. Yet what followed pretty much stumped me: a crazy traipse around the globe, filled with weirdness rather than building tension and so much pretence/evasion on both sides that I found myself as jet-lagged, exhausted and frustrated as the characters who seemed to be operating on a level beyond rational logic.

By the time I was halfway through, I didn’t have any clearer perspective of how that was going to happen, apart from a bewildering kiss when neither of them seemed to like each other much still, carried along as I was by Taylor’s voice that flitted from time to time towards hysterical.

I never felt though, as if I had a grasp on these characters at all, which is the primary reason for my lukewarm rating. Bennett’s behaviour particularly confusing and exasperating and near bi-polar: flirty yet domineering, crude yet supposedly protective, just to begin with. But he’s also blunt and an arse for a lot of the book, dragging Taylor around for business that no one really is quite clear about, and we’re only given hints given of Bennett’s ‘true self’ by his rather insane mother who never quite says directly. I also found myself wondering why Taylor pretty much let herself be taken along for the crazy ride – apart from the bouts of lust that she feels each time she glimpses what Bennet is like under the clothes – when there didn’t seem to be head nor tail of anything I could make sense of. The sudden realisation that she’d fallen in love with Bennett after 4-5 days made it too much of an instant-love case, rendered more unbelievable because I was never really convinced by Bennett’s (as tortured by his past as he may be) sudden personality switch in the last 2 chapters of the book.

Yet ‘Tailored for Trouble’ isn’t a bad read however; not really, not when it does have the elements of a rom-com that isn’t meant to be taken seriously and is good for a fun, laid-back afternoon.

three-stars
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