Friday, March 22, 2013

Michele Albert -- Getting Her Man

Michele Albert -- Getting Her Man

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ . ♥   {4.40}
Action: ♠♠♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥.♥ / Sensuous: ♦♦♦.♦ / Suspense: ♠♠♠
Action: 3.0 / Emotion: 4.0 / Romance: 4.75 / Sensuous: 3.5 / Suspense: 3.0  //  Laughter: 9 / Tears: 0

  RT Book Reviews: 2002 Best Contemporary Romance Nominee
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Setting:     New Orleans, Louisiana
Era:           Present Day [2002]
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Having read all the books included under The Avalon Investigations Series of Michele Albert's book list, would like to divide this selection into two different series; naming them: {1} The Pre-Avalon Series and {2} The Avalon Investigations Series.

Michelle Jerott changed her pen name to Michele Albert for this second book in The Pre-Avalon Series, Getting Her Man.   She did not, thankfully, change her writing style.   Getting Her Man is just as interesting, engaging, sexy and fun as the first book of the series, Absolute Trouble.   Because daily interruptions made it impossible to read this book in one sitting, the characters Albert created refused to leave me alone until I was able to continue reading their story.

Basically, the first two books of this series can very easily be considered stand-alone reads.   Albert loosely ties these stories together simply by: {1} introducing Diana (heroine of Getting Her Man) to Absolute Trouble's new family, Julien and Dulcie Langlois and their three-year-old son, Sammy, and {2} visiting the home of detective Bobby Halloran, the detective who plays a strong supporting role in both books.

Bobby Halloran played a small but interesting role in this book as the good friend to the heroine, Diana Belmaine.   Diana turned to Bobby when she needed to involve the police in her investigation.   Bobby is such an intriguing, charming, flashy-dressing character that cannot wait to read his story.   Bobby's multi-faceted, strong and vibrant personality jumps off the pages of this book demanding the reader's attention just as it did in the first book.   You just have to love a laid-back Cajun who hides his intelligence and steely determination behind a bewitching grin.

And even though Dr. Jack Austin, Professor of Archeology at Tulane, is not Cajun born and bred, he possesses that magic charisma and enjoyment of life that seems to be an integral part of a Louisiana boy's make up.   Jack's intelligence and quick-wit are featured in this book, even though we cannot help but enjoy his blatant good looks and beautiful body as we stare at him through Diana's lust-ridden eyes.

Private investigator Diana Belmaine specializes in retrieving stolen antiquities.   Suspicious red flags immediately start flying when Edward Jones, elegant lawyer to Steven Carmichael, the rich and powerful owner of the Jade Jaguar gallery, comes to Diana's office to hire her to discretely find and retrieve a stolen personal artifact -- a small alabaster box, containing a lock of Nefertiti's hair.   Diana is wary for two reasons.   First, Carmichael had interviewed, but not hired Diana to look into finding Mayan artifacts recently stolen from his gallery.   And, second, Diana was intuitive enough to know that Jones and Carmichael already had an idea about who took the alabaster box and left a "Jack of Spades" card in its place.

Diana is a gorgeous, intelligent, determined, sharp-dressing heroine.   Her strong will is humanized because it is soon obvious that she is trying to re-establish herself as a competent investigator in a specialized field after having lived through the scandal of having been used by an antiquities thief two years ago.   Diana is as bold and brassy as she is smart.   It takes Diana all of twenty-five pages to know that Jack is the antiquities thief.

Problems with Diana's investigation arise because Diana is attracted to the Discovery Channel bad boy featured in People as one of the most eligible bachelors in New Orleans.   Albert fills Getting Her Man with constant sexual tension and awareness between Jack and Diana.   Albert has the most amazing ability to tell an intriguing story as Diana and Jack are constantly fighting the losing battle of strong mutual attraction.   And, boy, does she know how to write love scenes.   Albert writes such magical, heated love scenes that you want to jerk Diana from Jack's arms and shout, my turn.

Albert does not forget the romance aspect of the story either.   Readers are drawn so deep into the lives of Jack and Diana as they each do some serious soul searching regarding past betrayals and how it has affected their lives.   Although there are several poignant dialogues between Jack and Diana (about their pasts and about the possibility of a joint future), the scene in the zoo where Jack (inadvertently) reveals his passion for archeology (and his affinity with children) is masterfully written.   Albert makes the joking, free-spirited Jack emotionally deep, real and alive.

" . . . he was falling hard for a woman who was so damn right for him in so many ways, and at the same time, his worst nightmare."

All Albert's characters are well-developed and feel real.   She adds little tidbits of information about each character as the story develops to flesh them out.   For instance: {1} Diana doesn't know how to act around kids, Jack does.   {2} Diana goes shopping when frustrated.   {3} Jack skates to the zoo to be alone to think (and be as close to his archaeological dig, Tikukul, as possible).   {4} Diana calls her best friends for emotional support. {5} Jack has a big, loving family in his background.

Albert develops the characters of Diana's best friends (met freshman year at Ohio State) to a minimal degree.   However, they are just engaging enough to prompt interest in reading their stories (future books in the series).   Cassie Ashton excavates for fossils in the Wyoming area and lives with her young son, Travis -- and she has a nemesis that annoys her beyond belief (you know there has to be a story in there somewhere).   Fiona Kennedy is a bookish Irish lass who lives in Los Angeles.   Fiona generates interest because one can't help but want to find out how she overcomes the angst of a disastrous marriage.

Albert adds one additional interesting character to the story -- Diana's young, goth administrative assistant.   Although Albert does not spend a whole lot of time on Luna Benedetto's character, she is so well-developed and realistic, that you can almost seen the black fingernails and spiky hair.   And Luna acts like a typical young college coed throughout the book (including having a crush on hot Professor Austin).

Getting Her Man is a great read for so many reasons.   {1} A built, charismatic alpha hero who is strong enough to stand up to {2} a very strong-willed, gorgeous, determined, alpha heroine.   {3} Constant suspense about how the heroine is going to keep the hero from going to prison for art theft.   {4} Although not full of adventure, there is just enough action in the story to keep it interesting.   {5} Strong feelings of romance and angst as Jack and Diana fight their emotional attraction to each other in a no-win situation.   {6} Spicy, heated, well-written, magical love scenes.   {7} Interesting, intriguing, well-developed supporting characters.   Albert weaves all these characteristics together to create a wonderfully entertaining story.

There is just something about Albert's writing style that appeals to me, so it is very easy to recommend this book to fellow romance readers . . . as well as to quickly pick up the next book of the series and read Bobby's story.
--Vonda M. Reid (Saturday; March 12, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.)     [182]

Books In The Series: "The Pre-Avalon Series"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.09-1998Absolute TroubleJulien Langlois; stripperDulcinea "Dulcie" Quinn; former cop
02.10-2002Getting Her ManDr. Jack Austin; archaeology professorDiana Belmaine; Private Investigator
03.09-2003Off LimitsRobert "Bobby" Michael Halloran; detectiveEmma Frey; homicide detective
04.03-2005One Way OutDr. Alex Martinell; paleontologist; professorCassie Parker Ashton; treasure hunter

Books In The Series: "The Avalon Investigations Series"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.05-2006 Hide In Plain SightGriffith "Grif" Laughton; Avalon OperativeFiona Kennedy; bookstore owner
02.04-2007Tough EnoughWilliam "Will" Tiernay; Avalon OperativeMia Shaeffer Dolan; art restorer
03.03-2010Her Last ChanceVincent DeLuca; FBI Special AgentClaudia Cruz; Avalon Operative
04.hoping. . . Ben Sheridan; Avalon CEO. . .

Characters Found In "Getting Her Man"
Character Description Also In
Dr. Jack Austin[Hero] People listed as one of most eligible bachelors (13) professor of archaeology at Tulane University; renowned Mayan expert; all around boy wonder; discovered lost Mayan city of Tikukul when 27-y-o; 37-y-o; rough, unaffected appeal; man's man (14) energy; magnetism; dark intense gaze; sun lent coppery highlight to his dark brown hair; tanned skin; lean strength; sexy. "If L.L. Bean ever recruited Jack Austin as a spokesperson, their stock in button-down shirts would skyrocket." (16) laid-back teaching style; deep, slightly raspy voice; hint of Boston accent (17) charisma (18) hot head (19) smart aleck; long fingers dusted with dark hairs (22) powerful, workman's hands (23) arrogant (25) fine lines around eyes (28) had temper; opinionated; tendency to get in way of trouble and camera; chose to teach in New Orleans (33) cocky; respected, tenured professor (34) smart; funny; interesting (47) late 30s (64) lean, muscular chest; broad shoulders (98) moved with grace and sinuous strength; determined stride; demanded attention (107) 4 younger sisters (173) in New Orleans 12 years; from Pennsylvania; dad a dentist; stay-at-home mom; far; moved to Boston when 11-y-o; Boston University undergrad (192) forceful personality (193) drive; ambition; vision (244) 2. Getting Her Man
3. Off Limits (e)
4. One Way Out (m)
1. Hide In Plain Sight
Diana Belmaine[Heroine] Private Investigator (4) catered to wealthy clients (5) blond hair; lightly tanned skin (5) specialized in stolen antiquities; art, jewelry, heirlooms, antiques, fraud; used to work for Sotheby's; looked like Grace Kelly society girl (6) majored in archaeology (21) sweet, musky perfume; hot blond; cool blue yes; saw too much (29) lot of brass (30) man-eater (77) poise; confidence; touch of arrogance; coll, patrician beauty; sharp intelligence; blue eyes (78) honest; fair; persistent; quick mind (79) not a team player, left law enforcement (137) musky sweet perfume (162) only child of image-conscious professional parents (173) '67 baby blue Mustang convertible (174) too serious; too careful; broken heart, won't let anyone get close (188) born in Columbus; went to Ohio Sate; quit junior year; move to NY; cop 1 year; not team player; 34-y-o; lived with wealthy Aunt, Uncle (big into art scene); worked for P.I. 4 years (192)2. Getting Her Man
3. Off Limits (e)
4. One Way Out (m)
1. Hide In Plain Sight
. . . . . .
Cassie Ashton[Minor Secondary Character] [Heroine of Book 4] Diana's best friend since Freshman at Ohio State; from Wyoming; sultry voice; long, curling dark hair; hopelessly cute face; broad smile; wise hazel green eyes; blunt, earthy personality (115) Hell Creek Fossil Company (115) single mom; young son (217) men flocked to her "cute and sexy" thing (218)2. Getting Her Man
3. Off Limits (m)
4. One Way Out
1. Hide In Plain Sight
David Austin[No Appearance] Jack's father (311)2. Getting Her Man
Lorna Austin[No Appearance] Jack's mother (311) 2. Getting Her Man
Luna Benedetto[Secondary Character] Diana's part-time secretary; 22-y-o; pretty; pale skin; penchant for dark nail polishes, blood red lipstick, black hair dye and black lace; moon-lighted as vampire guide for night tours of New Orleans (4) 22-y-o (146) incredibly organized; understands accounting; major in art history (147)2. Getting Her Man
Kurt Bentley[No Appearance] Diana's ex-boyfriend; romanced her to rob her client; currently in jail (95)2. Getting Her Man
Rhonda Carmichael[No Appearance] Diana interviewed; Steven's wife (145)2. Getting Her Man
Steven Carmichael[Major Secondary Character] owner of Jade Jaguar (art gallery); hired Diana to find a personal stolen artifact; had passed Diana up as investigator to find stolen Mayan artifacts for his gallery // gray hair; gray eyes; slight Texas twang; broad shoulders; younger looking than 64-y-o thanks to personal trainer, clothes, and haircuts; handsome; compelling; exuded power; used to getting his way (36) attractive (37) crisp, authoritative bearing (42) married; unfaithful (46) ruthless (67) better at lying than most (238) radiated a sense of power; smelled wonderful (239) low, manipulative bastard (242) 2. Getting Her Man
Carol[One Appearance] Tulane University's Anthropology departmental secretary; older; no-nonsense type (15)2. Getting Her Man
Mrs. Claire[No Appearance] an older teacher who had told a young Jack to hold on to his dreams (83)2. Getting Her Man
Darryl[One Appearance] truck driver that drove Diana from Grand Isle to New Orleans (261)2. Getting Her Man
Dawayne[One Appearance] Luna's fiend; member of Vamp Pack sent to stop Jack at airport; stocky; black; shaved head; nose and eyebrow pierced; tight black t-shire revealed heavily tattooed arms (347) voice a deep lazy rumble (348)2. Getting Her Man
Mrs. Ellie Evans[Brief Appearance] Diana presented herself as maid who lost key to gain access to Jack's house // Jack's neighbor (86) Ellie (99)2. Getting Her Man
Bobby Halloran[Major Secondary Character] [Hero of Book 3] Diana asked for his help when it came to legalities of her investigation // New Orleans detective; wide, engaging smile; pale blue (like Alaskan Husky) eyes; natural flirt (133) good looking; creative law enforcement (137) golden gorgeousness (138) ruthless, relentless copy (140) 1. Absolute Trouble
2. Getting Her Man
3. Off Limits
4. One Way Out
1. Hide In Plain Sight
Iris[Brief Appearances] Diana interviewed to discuss meaning of 'Jack of Spades' card left behind by thief // Luna's friend (61) cartomancer (62) wild hair; young; features hinted of black, white mix; slanted greenish, gold eyes (63) member of Vamp Pack; wild hair (348)2. Getting Her Man
Jennifer[No Appearance] Jack read and answered letter from this 13-y-o fan (nice touch; humanized Jack) (82)2. Getting Her Man
Edward Jones[Brief Appearances] met with Diana to hire her on behalf of his client // elegant; silver hair (5) lawyer to Steven Carmichael (7) pleasant, genteel features (66)2. Getting Her Man
Fiona Kennedy[Minor Secondary Character] [Heroine of Book 5] Diana's best friend since Freshman at Ohio State; owned Kennedy Antiquarian Books (116) cultured voice; 15 yrs in US; Irish; dark red hair; fair, freckled skin (116) calm; diplomatic (117) quiet homebody since selfish jerk of husband died (217) 2. Getting Her Man
3. Off Limits (m)
4. One Way Out (m)
5. Hide In Plain Sight
Dulcie Quinn Langlois[One Appearance] [Heroine of Book 1] long auburn hair; tall; strong athletic build (135)1. Absolute Trouble
2. Getting Her Man
3. Off Limits
Julien Langlois[One Appearance] [Hero of Book 1] dark hair; powerfully built; a Chippendale version of construction worker, drop dead gorgeous; deep voice colored with Cajun accent (135) graceful, taller than Bobby; more muscles (137)1. Absolute Trouble
2. Getting Her Man
3. Off Limits
Sammy Langlois[One Appearance] 3-y-o son of Julien and Dulcie; spitting image of dad (135)1. Absolute Trouble
2. Getting Her Man
Lisa[One Appearance] served dinner to Jack and Diana // waitress at local dive (190)2. Getting Her Man
Martin[One Appearance] Jade Jaguar accountant; shares Audrey's office; works Wednesday, Friday (45)2. Getting Her Man
Judith Mayer[One Appearance] confronted Jack about appearance of Private Investigator on campus; tall; graying hair; dressed sensibly; department chair (32) love / hate relationship with Jack sparked by academic envy (33)2. Getting Her Man
Melissa[One Appearance] young college student; came on to Jack, pretending to need help with assignment (30)2. Getting Her Man
Mike[Breif Appearances] Luna's boyfriend (151) tall; thin, white-blond; Van Dyke beard (155) tall; thin; peroxide blond hair cut short; black mustache; goatee beard; wore all black; canvas trench coat; clunky boots with lots of showy buckles; tight leather pants; mesh tank that revealed pale skin beneath; earrings; nose stud (348) 2. Getting Her Man
Danny Palmer[No Appearance] Private Investigator Steven Carmichael hired to investigate antiquities stolen from his gallery rather than hire Diana // good P.I.; handled workers comp, fraud, injury-related cases; little antiquities experience (239)2. Getting Her Man
Martin Palmer[No Appearance] fan who wrote Jack letter about aliens in regard to his Mayan (81)2. Getting Her Man
Patricia[No Appearance] sent Jack postcard from Kerry, Ireland (89) 2. Getting Her Man
Audrey Spencer[Secondary Character] had crush on Jack; Diana interviewed during investigation process; learned of tryst with Jack on night of theft // Jade Jaguar manager (37) petite; red hair; young; attractive; single (38) honest; didn't sleep with married men (47)2. Getting Her Man
Travis[No Appearance] Cassie's son (217)2. Getting Her Man
3. One Way Out
Tyler[One Appearance] Luna's fiend; member of Vamp Pack sent to stop Jack at airport; sullen; dark hair; decked out in black denim and knit(347) 2. Getting Her Man
 (e) = Epilogue // (m) = mentioned 

Locations, Organizations Found In "Getting Her Man"
Location / Organization Description
Columnsold hotel's stately, slightly musty lounge (123)
Jackson SquareDiana went to Jackson Square to talk to Iris (62)
Jade JaguarSteven Carmichael's gallery on Julia street (10) description of gallery (35)
MandevillePrologue / north side of Lake Pontchartrain; scene of theft (1)
Tulane University's Anthropology Buildingbuilding where Jack taught classes (13)

"Getting Her Man" Quotations
12. . . people lied to you.   All the time.   The boy next door, little old ladies, cops, priests, beggars and rich men, winos and pillars of the community . . . everybody lied.   (Diana)
120". . . you always do what you want, anyway.   We all know that."   (Fiona)
163"Deep inside us there's something so ancient that we remember what it was like to be hunted, a part of us that knows all the technology in the world doesn't mean a damn thing.   We're back hundreds of thousands of years with nothing but a sharp rock and our wits."   (Jack)
188"Seems to me, all the things worth having in life are messy."   He flashed a sweetly mischievous grin that made her breath catch.   "And hard."   (Jack)
197"I like beautiful things, especially beautiful old things.   They're a bridge to the past, to those who've gone before us.   They weren't mass produced in factories or sweatshops, but were made by true artisans, men and women who took pride in what they created."   (Diana)
198. . . when rich people steal, it's just greed, and greed is never pretty."   (Diana)
202. . . a boy band singing about love with all the yearning naïveté of kids barely out of high school, who didn't have a clue as to what love really meant.
202How confusing, terrifying, inconvenient, exhilarating, and challenging it [love] could be; how much work it took, how devastating it could be, how hopeless and yet ever hopeful.   (Diana)
229. . . a fact of life.   An imperfect world full of imperfect people, doing what we must."   (Edward Jones)
233For powerful men, controlling outcome was nothing more than a game.   (Diana)
301"What [x] did to me . . . it was one of those major turning points in life.   There's everything up to that moment, and then everything after, and you can't ever go back to being the same person, even if you try."   (Diana)
312. . . but life had taught her you don't always get what you want.   (Diana)
324Like most people, she really wanted companionship, friendship, and love -- a person to be with, to call her own, to grow old with.   (Diana)

"Michele Albert -- Getting Her Way" Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
---- Michele Albert's WebsiteAuthor (Michele Albert is Michelle Jerott's pseudonym)
---- Michele Albert's FacebookAuthor (Michele Albert is Michelle Jerott's pseudonym)
---- Michele Albert's Wikipediamini biography
. . . . . .. . .. . .
4.5009-02-2002A Romance Reviewconcise / very good
of interest10-08-2002All About RomancePandora's Box / enlightening, entertaining discussion
B / warm10-10-2002All About Romanceexcellent review
4.38 average{13 reviews}Amazonas of: March 21, 2013
4.50 average{2 reviews}Barnes & Nobleas of: March 21, 2013
7 / 7 / 811-03-2003Eye on Romance--Nathlie / very good, well written
----Fict FactList of Books In "The Avalon Investigations Series"
----Fantastic FictionList of Michelle Jerott's Books
----Fantastic FictionList of Michele Albert's Books
----Fiction DBList of Michelle Jerott's Books
----Fiction DBList of Michele Albert's Books
3.52 average{4 reviews}Good Readsas of: March 21, 2013 / {60 ratings}
3.92 average{12 ratings}Library Thingas of: March 21, 2013
86--Mrs. Gigglesa positive, well-written review / salient points
3.80 average{29 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: March 21, 2013
4.50 / top pick03-30-2010RT {Romantic Times} Book Reviews2002 Best Contemporary Romance Nominee
3.00 average{6 reviews}Shelfarias of: March 21, 2013
4.0010-28-2002The Romance Readerexcellent review (and take on Albert's career)
4.4003-22-2013Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

♥   Disclaimer:   I Purchased This Book
♥   Very Subjective Rating
♣   Will add your Getting Her Man review link to table, just ask

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