Sunday, February 19, 2012

who's your hot chef?


It initially started with this:

"Laurel McBane has always relied on her friends for support, especially when her dream of attending culinary school was almost ruined by her parents’ financial problems.

Now Laurel is repaying the kindness of her friends by creating extravagantly luscious tiers of cakes and other confectionary delights that add the perfect touch to their clients’ weddings. As for romance, Laurel believes in it — in theory. But she’s too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that other women seem to long for.

What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker’s older brother, Delaney Brown, on whom Laurel has had a mega crush since childhood. But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convi
nced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her, or so she thinks. When Laurel’s quick- silver moods get the better of her — leading to an angry, hot, altogether mind-blowing kiss with Del — she’ll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever… Adult Fiction."

I was too absorbed with my old flame called books. Naturally, when I was into books, I could not stop buying them (especially at discounted prices) and I would put a target on the amount of books that I should read. Eventually, without me realising it, I was reading and re-reading more than 100 books for the past few months of not updating my blog.

I was wandering around, finding the mood to write again even though I have occasionally attempted to finish the stories I wrote and re-wrote. I was thinking, "How could it possibly be difficult when it used to be damn easy last time?" Few years back writing blog was too easy, I could do it daily without even had to squeeze my brain. These days...things seem forlorn and lonely and unproductive. Well, frankly, my life now is more colourful with the work-fun time balance but, I just couldn't help thatit would be more interesting like Laurel's.

Honestly, I have tossed most of the romance novel underneath my bed. I had made this pact of reading something more realistic and rationale since I have decided that being dreamy would not bring me anywhere near the peak of a career. But I was wrong. I was still...somewhat...a romantic at heart. Hehehe...

So, one rainy evening, I went to pick up the reserved limited copy of Bed of Roses (Nora Roberts) from BookXcess in PJ. I personally had been eyeing for this book for quite sometime, but I just didn't have the time to buy it. I didn't know what brought me all the way to Amcorp Mall but I did, and eventually got hooked up the whole night - reading about how an architect fell for a florist. The architect debated that something exclusively built was supposed to be preserved but obviously the florist was telling him that not all things in the world was non-perishable. Some things in this world were meant to be caught for the moment only.

Well, that was how their love story started. Without realising that I had fell into the romance trap again, I bought the sequels of the Bride Quartet and spent 2 more nights with eyes half open; re-tracking my sense of romance myself. (ooo...it sounds disgusting in certain ways but I was wondering where did I kept my heart for quite sometime).

Suddenly, I got stuck with Book 3 called Savor The Moment. A love story between Laurel and Del. A lawyer and a baker. A sister's friend and a friend's brother. Nice. The guy was perfectionist (and I was supposed to hate that) and the girl was grumpy (and I hated that too). But today...

I am still wondering why the heck am I keeping this book in my bag, reading it while I'm travelling. This means, I'm starting a new book yet this week. And I have 20 more books in my keep...

Damn.

I'm stuck with the whole dreamy thing again. Oooooooo...

Well, I don't really like it; since I want to be more objective. No more this principle, metaphorical thing in my head. Yeah...that was me back then. The me who read Judith McNaught and fell for Jack Bass every time I surfed Google.

Now, it's Del. Wait, it's not just Del. I fell for Laurel actually. She made me think of this picture:

This was Katherine Heigl during The New Year's Eve - all blonde and temperamental. My favourite character ever. She was also funny in certain ways and she looked so...so....so hot in the chef attire until I was wondering whether there was someone as hot as she was in real life. Then, there came Laurel in the book that I've read - I couldn't stop imagining that Laurel was Katherine Heigl.

And, who was the guy?

In New Year's Eve, the guy was Jon Bonjovi. Well, he was favourite rock star...but he was not my type. He was too short and wrinkly with less sense of masculinity. Hahaha...memilih pulak!
Sorrylah...but when I was dreaming, it would better be good:)

And...there was another movie that I liked called No Reservations. It was Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. Nice...nice one. He was...cute. Like this:


But he was not really perfect to play Del in my mind. Boleh tak? I mean, when I read books, I would definitely want to imagine things...

Aaaaiiii...pagi2 nieh dah mula berangan. The face of Del - is faceless:)

Is it possible to dream of faceless people? Macam dalam Jalan Pandang Belakang kan?


Thursday, February 16, 2012

something blue

Something Blue (Darcy & Rachel, #2)


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Following the smash-hit SOMETHING BORROWED comes story of betrayal, redemption, and forgiveness. Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm. Her fiance, Dex. Her lifelong best friend, Rachel. She never needed anything else. Or so she thinks until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply--and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love."

Some people wrote reviews on this book and said that this book was better than Something Borrowed. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn't. I personally felt that these two books were actually about morale standings. If you were the type of a person who thought that infedility and loyalty to friendship of a strong believer of BFF - then Something Blue was a better book for you to read.

Well. Let's just express what I thought. I thought that a good friend was supposed to be daring enough to express any wrongs done by a friend. If a friend was drinking before driving, then it would be better for a good friend to send him/her home. Or, made it to the extend by saying, "Hey, don't drink! I don't have a car to send you home!"

So, strong points to Ethan as a friend than Rachel.

In Something Borrowed, I read about indecisive woman who only knew how to listen to a guy that she loved for quite sometime. I mean, he made most of her decisions, in my opinion. In Something Blue, she made hers, stood by her ground and faced reality.

Realistically, I hate bullies. But I was a firm believer of nothing could be so sweet if it was not through a hell of struggle.

Let's toast air tembikai to Darcy!

Though she was not the best heroine ever, she was a lesson to learn:)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

happy ever after

Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet, #4)


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Dreams are realized in the eagerly-awaited fourth novel in Nora Roberts's Bride Quartet.

As the public face of Vows wedding planning company, Parker Brown has an uncanny knack for fulfilling every bride's vision. She just can't see where her own life is headed.

Mechanic Malcomb Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work, and Parker is no exception. Both know that moving from minor flirtation to major hook-up is a serious step.

Parker's business risks have always paid off, but now she'll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart..."

This is the book where everything ended and as expected, it ended with happily ever after scenes. Well, if you're the type of person who expects perfection when things come out as a surprise, don't read the book. It is, a romance novel and it must end happily, romantically - with the reader wearing a smile wider than Joker's.

However, we also must be fair that when it comes to romance novel, it is very much depending on description and the flow. I personally find that Bride Quartet meddled in the simplest issues and eventually telling us the common scenes in the battle of sexes. But not everyone has the idea on how to transform that into a story and Nora Roberts, in my opinion, is someone who manage to address each scenarios in 4 books.

It's just that when I was reading the book, I couldn't help finding similarities in each character and the common background of their problems. Maybe, we think that this kind of things can be boring but in another way, yes, sometimes a known story is a bitter fact to swallow.

I'm giving 3 stars for Book 4 since as for me, it was a bit to rushy in the closing where the author was trying to hard to get to the epilogue and made us lost the romantic senses. Well, maybe because the 2 leading characters are not as romantic as the other 6 but then again in my opinion, it was much enjoyable if those 2 characters could do something unexpected and out of bound. It will help the Joker's smile on the dreamy silly readers.

Like me.

Monday, February 06, 2012

the espressologist

The Espressologist


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie.

Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte.

But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

With overtones of Jane Austen’s Emma and brimming with humor and heart, this sweet, frothy debut will be savored by readers."

4 hours. I only needed 4 hours to finish this book. Frankly, the book was quite thin for a hardcover book and the font was big with nice spaces. I consider this book a relief after a heavy reading - both from work and also the romance novels and adults novel that I was trying to finish over the weekend:)

Strangely, even though the book was simple and considered a quicky, I enjoyed it tremendously. Perhaps it was because I was a barista myself or because I was watching 10 Thing I Hate About You and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai while I was watching it, I was not totally sure.

But here to simple book with lots and lots of coffee in it. Lazy weekend would never be too boring:)

Sunday, February 05, 2012

savor the moment

Savor the Moment (Bride Quartet, #3)


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


"#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac — the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies. Laurel McBane has always relied on her friends for support, especially when her dream of attending culinary school was almost ruined by her parents’ financial problems.

Now Laurel is repaying the kindness of her friends by creating extravagantly luscious tiers of cakes and other confectionary delights that add the perfect touch to their clients’ weddings. As for romance, Laurel believes in it — in theory. But she’s too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that other women seem to long for.

What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker’s older brother, Delaney Brown, on whom Laurel has had a mega crush since childhood. But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her, or so she thinks. When Laurel’s quick- silver moods get the better of her — leading to an angry, hot, altogether mind-blowing kiss with Del — she’ll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever… Adult Fiction."

I'm not going to comment much about Savor the Moment except that it is the best of Bride Quartet's so far. I mean, I have not read Book 4, Happy Ever After yet (reading it but have not finished it), so I can tell that I enjoy this book more than the other books.

It's just that I can't help feeling that this book is almost similar with Bed of Roses which is Book 2. From the part where both Emma and Laurel had feelings towards the men they adore for years and let it spill after a moment (with sexual attraction, of course) to the part where they eventually understand each other better (especially each other's job). Naturally, both have this scene of gifts which are related with the girls' job.

The only good part of this book is the involvement of Mrs. G and how independent Laurel character is compared to Emma. And Del seems to be practical - not too nerdy like Carter or too masculine like Jack. He is just fine. Yet he is the richest - so that minus some of my points. I don't like rich heroes.

And if you're expecting that this book will be all about desserts or cakes, you're wrong. It's more into cake decoration and design and this is where Nora Roberts' good spot. She is good in making drool over sexy chracter but not over cakes.

Other than that...the book is fine and is currently leading me to the last book of the Bride Queartet:)

p/s: it was quite disappointing that this book is coming from a different version. I wish I could get the big pages from Berkeley (like the one I had for Book 1 & 2) instead of the normal paperback from Jove something..