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Lauren Stewart lives in Northern California with two of the most amazing children that the world has ever seen. She grew up reading Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Piers Anthony, and Agatha Christie, and spent far too much time studying Shakespeare in college.
But her writing took a turn to the more tortuously romantic side because of the influence of a few hardcore women like JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Nalini Singh, Charlaine Harris, and Janet Evanovich. Since she reads almost every genre, naturally, her writing reflects that. With every book, every story, you'll find elements of other genres--fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women's literature, all with a touch of humor because what doesn't kill us should make us laugh.
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on Jan. 07, 2013 :
OK - so I am already a huge Lauren Stewart fan - thanks to her Hyde series, but I have to say I think I like her Summer Rains series just a smidge more. I can't really put my finger on why that is but it might be because it is on the lighter side and I love humor in my books. I am doing a Read to Review for the author and I must say I am so glad I got to read this book.
Summer Rains(great name by the way)grew up in a commune with no TV, internet, cell phones and sharing a bedroom with all the other kids in the commune. She has a biological mom & dad but also calls all the other parents in the commune her parents as well. She falls head over heels for Gan(short for Ghandi) - a boy who arrived at the commune when she was 7. Unfortunately he moves away to college and has always seen her as a little girl. She follows after him but mistakenly enrolls in Hale University instead of Yale University and spends four years studying history and watching TV to catch up on everything she has missed in the commune. She moves to San Francisco with her college roommate Jordan and has been looking to find a good job to support herself.
At a music video shoot she catches the eye of the music star Dustin Wiles who won't take no for an answer and finally agrees to meet him in his hotel room so she can help her friend Jordan get some publicity. Everything goes to crap after that and the way Summer goes about clearing herself is hysterical.
Now the main reason I fell in love with this book can be summarized in one word - SUMMER. What an excellent character. She is quirky, fiesty, naive, funny, sweet, always stumbling head first into trouble and sarcastic. I may have a mini crush on her.
Gan(who changes his name to Will - short from Willow - his middle name)pops back into the picture after 7 years and he is incredibly sweet in a wake up and smell the coffee kind of way. Obviously he has feelings for Summer but is still fighting them. He and his girlfriend Audrey are in the middle of another breakup when Summer stumbles into them.
Then there is Detective Ronin. He sounds like a real hunk and I am curious as to how he is going to fit in to subsequent books because I really liked him too. I am still snickering about the gift basket that got delivered to him in error.
I can't wait for the next Summer Rains installment. Hurry up and keep writing Lauren!!!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Jan. 01, 2013 :
Summer hoped that she could get rid of the pop star who was stalking her and concocted a bullet proof plan of making that happen. Honestly, what could go wrong? The next morning though she finds out that someone else's plan to get rid of the pop star was to murder him making her the last known person to see him alive. So naturally Summer ends up being a main suspect with a gorgeous detective investigating the case. As if that wasn't bad enough, her only help comes from the man she's been in love with since she was twelve and his beautiful girlfriend.
Solving this case becomes number one on her to do list. Can she find out who murdered the pop star before she ends up getting hurt herself or getting into more trouble?
I thought this book was witty and found myself chuckling throughout the book. I read this book in less than 24 hours. It was a pager turner to say the least. The two men in her life, Detective Ronin and Gandhi "Will" Rhys are devilishly handsome and I loved the chemistry between them and Summer. I thought that this was a good start to a good series and I looking forward to the next one. If you like humor and mystery mixed together, than this book is for you. Personally I'm looking forward to finding out what Summer could possibly get into next. A whole lot, I bet!! I can't wait to find out.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Dec. 31, 2012 :
I will first begin by saying that I was given No Experience Required (A Summer Rains Novel) in exchange for an honest review.
This story is about Summer Light Rains, (yes...that is her real name), grew up in a simple living commune with her parents and a few other couples outside of San Francisco, CA. Summer's best friend, Gandhi Willow Rhys, (I swear I'm not making these names up...*snicker*) is two years older than her but the two of them are inseparable in their youth. As they reach adolescence they recognize their budding attraction for one another but Gandhi quickly puts a kibosh on it. Once they reach college age, Gandhi goes to Yale University and Summer goes to Hale University (yep, there is a LOL story there). The two friends lose touch and Summer settles her adult life in San Francisco.
For Summer, her life moves along at a mediocre pace. She has no "real" job and takes odd jobs like being a video hoochie to support herself. Enter rock star: Dustin Wiles. Dustin decides that Summer must be his and stops at nothing to get her. And THAT is where all her problems begin.
After reading her paranormal books, Lauren Stewart has quickly become one of my favorite authors so I jumped at the opportunity to review this book when asked. Let me tell you that about 50% into the story, I started to get a bit frustrated with it. Why you ask? Because, frankly, Summer irritated the snot out of me with her hijinks and sarcastic rejoinders to mostly everything. But, I kept reading, because of my commitment to the review.
When I reached 65% in the story, I had a mindset shift. I "GOT IT". Summer was absolutely created that way for a reason. She is an unlikely "heroine" because she just couldn't seem to stay out of trouble...trouble that she often created...but trouble nonetheless. So, in that respect, Stewart's writing is genius because I was as irritated with Summer as Detective Ronin was. She raised my blood pressure. LOL.
With my new mindset, I reflected on the first half of the story as I read the rest of it and thoroughly enjoyed the story's direction. It was very well done and it was masterful the way that Summer stumbled into who done it! Stewart created a story that was, in fact, witty, detailed, and highly engaging. I never expected the story to end as it did but it was an excellent and fitting.
Lovers of comedic mysteries will greatly enjoy this story. I look forward to seeing what's next for Ms. Summer.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Dec. 30, 2012 :
After spending her childhood in a commune enjoying the simplicity of life, Summer Rains learns to cuss using stronger phrases than the Spirit's and Mother Nature's she's been exposed to so far.
Summer decides it's time to get into the real world. Or rather she follows the boy she's loved forever into it after he flees their modern utilities free surroundings. But due to a mother's sob-infused words, Summer doesn't quite end up where her heart went with Gan. Instead of Yale, Connecticut, Summer finds herself in Hale, Alabama. With no Gan.
Years of studying, not really anything school related, but the pleasures the modern world, the real world, offers, Summer ends up in San Francisco struggling to keep a roof over her head. And, as it turns out, to stay alive.
Through some unexpected and unfortunate events, Summer finds herself gasping for air watching her life pass by her eyes with hands with murderous intent around her throat.
But before that happens, there's this incident with a rock star. And the one with the detective with the best ass in the world. And the one with her now ex-room mate. And the one with Gan, who now goes by Will, and his couch. And the one with her best friend at the police station. And the ones with the paparazzi. And the one with the fancy and uppity French chef. And the modeling thing. And... Well, you'll just have to read the book.
Ms. Stewart promises a book in the spirit of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, a book filled with fun. That, she delivers. While I may not have burst out laughing throughout reading No Experience Required, I did find myself snickering more often than not.
In my opinion, No Experience Required is a book for anyone looking to spending a few hours curled up on the sofa giggling. Me, I think I'm going to start waiting for the next book in the series to see how things go with Summer and Will, where detective Ronin fits in, and, most of all, what's the new job.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Dec. 27, 2012 :
No Experience Required by Lauren Stewart.
I give this 5 stars.This is a fun comedic-mystery. I had a smile on my face threw out the whole book. I have to say that who killed the pop star was a mystery till the end for me, I was so focus on everything that was going on with Summer I didn't think to much on who did it. Love Summer, she really draws you in.
Also this is a nice clean read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)