Bare-Naked Lola – Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

Going undercover is second nature for Private Investigator Lola Cruz, but she’s out of her league when the case of a murdered Royals Courtside Dancer leads her to a local nudist resort. Parading around the sidelines of Sacramento’s professional basketball scene in a barely-there cheerleading outfit is one thing—but parading around in nothing but smile? If she has any chance of hiding this from her traditional family and on-again/off-again boyfriend Jack, she’s going to have a lot more than her duct tape bra and killer dance moves to keep under wraps….

Sadly, I haven’t read the first two of this series – though that doesn’t really matter as Miss Ramirez does a great job of seamlessly introducing any necessary history into the narrative without bogging the story down.

It was a great, light weight read. I powered through it in less than 24 hours and it provided me with a nice little escape and plenty of giggles. Lola Cruz is a character I could easily grow to love: she’s kick ass, loyal to her family and friends, true to her values (once she realizes what they are), and also has a softer side.

There is quite a large cast in the novel, loads of secondary characters, most of whom are a mix of the usual people you’d find in these novels, but each with a unique spin on that archetype. The story line was hilarious, and the situations Lola found herself in had me in stitches.

I’d recommend this book for anyone who likes these kinds of mysteries – so if you are a fan of Stephanie Plum, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. Worth checking out.

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Cover Reveal – Bare Naked Lola

The latest installment in the Lola Cruz mystery novels is coming out in May, 2012, and today we’re participating in Entangled’s cover reveal for it. It looks like a fun read, right?

The series has been likened to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, and if that’s anything to go by, this should be a great book to curl up on the couch with. Here is the blurb for Bare Naked Lola:

Going undercover is second nature for Private Investigator Lola Cruz, but she’s out of her league when the case of a murdered Royals Courtside Dancer leads her to a local nudist resort. Parading around the sidelines of Sacramento’s professional basketball scene in a barely-there cheerleading outfit is one thing—but parading around in nothing but smile? If she has any chance of hiding this from her traditional family and on-again/off-again boyfriend Jack, she’s going to have a lot more than her duct tape bra and killer dance moves to keep under wraps….

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be checking it out!

How do you read? Series

As I power through the Stephanie Plum series, I started thinking that this is the way to do it. Ah yes. One book after the other, enjoying the wider picture from start to finish. Though I have no idea if the series is finished yet. It just appeals to me, this back to back book-fest.

It made me wonder – am I the only one who likes it this way?

I do remember a day when I used to read each book as it came out. I’d wait, and wait, agonizing as the months rolled past, until finally the latest installment was in store. I’d rush out to grab it, devour it over the course of a few days and then be back to waiting.

There is something to be said for that. There is a certain sick twisted pleasure in all that waiting around. Long months agonizing over what might happen next. Providing the series is solid, you’re often rewarded for all that patience, but there is always more waiting.

Maybe it’s something to do with getting older that means I don’t have the desire for that any more. Maybe books aren’t the same as they used to be, not as able to capture my attention and hold that want until the next book comes out – because if I am honest, a lot of the time even if I really want to read the next in the series, I often forget about it until much later. There are just SO many books to read these days, I don’t have to get all impatient and fidgety waiting for something specific to come out because there is always something else I could be reading.

So I have to confess I really like discovering a series after everyone else has done with it. Once the hype has worn away and it’s complete. I can pick up one book after the other and follow it through to the end without all that angst and impatience building up inside me.

What about you? How do you like to read a series?

Comfort reading

My kids have been down with a tummy bug this last week, which has been draining for everyone. I’ve had very little energy left for anything but the bare necessities. However, I was still reading, because it’s a way to escape the scent of vomit and the gross reality of the state of my household (conjure up images of washing piled up in the laundry, dishes piled up at the sink, and a floor that hasn’t been vacuumed in 5 days).

I don’t want to read just anything, though. I want comfort reads. I want something easy on the mind, something light weight. Something I can pick up and put down quickly.

This time around I’m finding that Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum series is just the thing – good for a few laughs, doesn’t require huge amounts of brain activity, but interesting enough to keep me coming back for more. My brain really can’t handle anything more taxing than this right now, and it has highlighted for me that there really is a book for every occasion.

We don’t always want to read heavy, intellectual books. We don’t always want to read light-weight ones, either.

What books (or authors) do you turn to when you’re not feeling so great, when you need a little comfort reading? I’d love to hear what your fix is.