I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Already a fan of Ms. Harper’s Jane Jameson and Half-Moon Hollow series (also narrated by Ms. Ronconi), I knew I needed to try her contemporary Bluegrass series. The first book sets up the world of Sadie Hutchins, the assistant director with the Kentucky Tourism Commission. While there are no vampires or shifters, I felt like she could have been friends with Jane and lived her world, as the quirky characters and silly shenanigans were very similar.
Sadie’s boss, Ray, is retiring, and she is ready to step into his shoes. She loves her job and cannot wait to take things to the next level. That is until Ray tells her big-city Josh was promised the job by the Commissioner himself. So Ray sets up a competition for the job, with the winner getting the promotion.
What seems like a difficult situation for a romance plot, the battle for the job creates hilarious situations and, eventually, a reason for Josh and Sadie to get together. I appreciated that they fought their mutual attraction for as long as possible for the sake of fairness and such. The pair’s back-and-forth nature was entertaining and created wonderful sexual tension. And when they finally gave into their passion, it was explosive. The fact that they were coworkers, and eventually one would be the others boss, was handled well, until the end, when it really became a bit unrealistic.
Amanda Ronconi has that perfect southern charm for her narrative voice. She varies her tone just enough to create a handful of characters. While the familiarly had me thinking of the Jane books, after a while I was in Sadie's story. The timbre and pace was familiar and comforting, wrapping me up in the story without lulling me to sleep.
Overall, My Bluegrass Baby is a delightful, happy romance with all of Ms. Harper's trademark humor. She creates the most interesting, unique characters and brings them to live via silly escapes and fast-paced banter. The story is an escape. It's joyous and full of life.
My Rating: B+