Friday, February 29, 2008

Highly Anticipated Books for March

 


Title: Thigh High
Author: Christina Dodd
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: March 4, 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 400 pages

I really enjoyed the last Christina Dodd book Tongue in Chic and I am looking forward to the next one Thigh High. (What is with these ridiculous titles? They are pretty bad in my humble opinion.) An added bonus to this book is that it’s set in New Orleans. Many of my favorite books have taken place in this city. I hope this is one I can add to the list.

Here is the summary from the back cover.
Nessa Dahl always had the good sense to steer clear of trouble. Then Jeremiah MacNaught showed up in New Orleans, determined to get to the bottom of a string of bank robberies by two women wearing Mardi Gras masks. Little does Nessa realize that the handsome investigator is convinced she's involved with the crimes-or that he's willing to do anything to get the truth. Even if it means taking the beautiful woman he's convinced is a liar and a thief straight to bed... Excerpt

 


Title: A Reason To Sin
Author: Maureen McKade
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: March 4, 2008
Genre: Western Romance
Length: 304 pages

A Reason to Sin is the third book in the Forrester Brothers series. The first two books in this series have been really good and I am looking forward to Slater’s story.

This is pathetic, but this was the only summary I could find on this book and I’m afraid there is no excerpt.

A former well-to-do young woman winds up alone, homeless, and desperate to get her son back. Little does she know that she'll encounter a man destined to change the course of her life.

 



Title: Witch Blood
Author: Anya Bast
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: March 2008
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 304 pages

I read the first book Witch Fire and loved the humor in it and I also thought it was pretty steamy. The different witch powers are interesting, so I am interested in continuing Bast’s paranormal world. Witch Blood is the second book in this series.

Here is the summary:
A water witch, Isabelle Novak has always led a chaotic, nomadic existence. But her life spins out of control when her sister—her only friend and emotional anchor — is killed by a demon. Driven by grief and a desire for revenge, she turns her back on the Coven and the rede they hold sacred: Harm thee none...
When Isabelle first encounters Thomas Monahan, she’s running on pure rage and sorrow, channeling her pain into power — and trying to freeze the life out of a warlock she holds responsible for her sister’s death. Together, they form an uneasy alliance to hunt and destroy a demon of tremendous power. As head of the Coven, earth witch Thomas must thwart Isabelle’s dark impulses, but his very presence stirs deeper desires she never knew she had…
Excerpt

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Review - Demon Night



Title: Demon Night
Author: Meljean Brook
Publishing Date: February 2008
Genre: Paranormal
Sensuality: Hot
Rating: A-

Ethan McCabe, nicknamed Drifter, has been ordered to watch over Charlie Newcomb. Ethan has been a guardian for the last 120 years. Recently, demons and vampires have teamed up in an attempt to discover a blood substitute so that vampires will not have to rely on feeding directly from another being. Famous scientists and their families have been targeted and their lives are in danger. Among these are Jane and her sister, Charlie Newcomb.

Wow! Demon Night gripped me from the first page and didn’t let go until the end. There are so many wonderful aspects of this book. First, both Charlie and Ethan are completely and fully developed. We know about their backgrounds all the way to their childhood. We learn what makes them happy. We learn what makes them sad. Meljean shows us little nuances that make them who they are and nothing is left out. For example, Ethan has a bit of a western drawl to his speech. Meljean even takes the time to explain the reason for it. It’s the attention to detail of that magnitude, which make this an incredible story.

I really enjoyed Ethan as the hero. He has a forceful, commanding presence but he never was forceful to Charlie. He always made sure that she had control over the final choice. This was a great pairing of people, because Charlie is the type of person who would let someone else make decisions for her. Ethan forces Charlie to think for herself and she becomes stronger for it. It was difficult at times to watch them struggle through their relationship and yet rewarding at the same time.

The plot of this book is just as intricate as the characters and I am sure I would shoot myself in the foot if I even tried to begin to explain it. Suffice it to say, more of this world is revealed in a very satisfying way. Twists and turns abound throughout this story. I cannot wait to see what the author will conjure up next. It’s sure to be heart-pounding entertainment.

Here's what others had to say:

Dear Author
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Jennie's B(ook)log
Rosario's Reading Journal
The Book Binge
The Book Smugglers

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooter Series

 


I just finished up the book Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann, which is book six of her Troubleshooter series. This series has been awesome so far. It is absolutely incredible. Brockmann has created the most unnervingly, realistic characters I have ever encountered in a romance series. As a matter of fact, it is hard to imagine her characters as just that; they seem more like real people than fictional ones. She has delivered time and again for me. All her books have received no less than a B rating from me. The weakest book was Into the Night and even at her weakest she is still a strong storyteller. These books definitely need to be read in order because some of the storylines continue from story to story. Each book has a soap opera feel to it with the interwoven story threads but all the storylines are most entertaining and interesting. I highly recommend this series whole-heartedly. You won’t be disappointed. Here is the reading order:

Book 1: The Unsung Hero
Book 2: The Defiant Hero
Book 3: Over the Edge
Book 4: Out of Control
Book 5: Into the Night
Book 6: Gone Too Far
Book 7: Flashpoint
Book 8: Hot Target
Book 9: Breaking Point
Book 10: Into the Storm
Book 11: Force of Nature
Book 12: All through the Night
Book 13: Into the Fire
Book 14: Dark of Night
Book 15: Hot Pursuit
Book 16: Last one of the series for a while. Finish Izzy and Gillman's story arcs

She also has The Reader’s Guide to the Troubleshooter Series, which details each book and the characters in the book along with a map of each story arc. You can check it out here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Review - Wolf Tales II

 


Title: Wolf Tales II
Author: Kate Douglas
Publishing Date: 2006
Genre: Paranormal (Erotic)
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Burning


Tia Mason decides to return home to San Francisco, after 10 long years away in Boston at a boarding school and then college. She has experimented with her sexuality; including, but not limited to, female and multiple partners. Even with all her sexual experiences, she has felt that something has been missing from her life; but she is not sure what. She decides to come home in search of answers. Lucas Stone has been Tia’s father’s right hand man for twenty long years. Tia’s father, Ulrich, taught Lucas about the legend of the Chanku and how they are shapeshifters. Ulrich wants Lucas to teach Tia about their pack and introduce her to true nature.

WARNING! While reading this book, a person is liable to spontaneously combust. I thought I was going to catch fire to myself while reading this book. It is hot, hot, hot. I have got to hand it to Douglas; what an imagination. Pretty much anything sexual is a given in this book. Prior to Tia, the pack consisted of all males all who are all lovers. The pack mentality is share, share, share. As the alpha female, Tia is supposed to accept all the members of the pack as her lovers. If monogamy is your thing, you will not like this aspect of the book.

I wouldn’t say there is anything ground breaking with this story, but Douglas did keep me turning the pages to see what outrageous thing she was going to concoct next. Her writing style flowed smoothly and there was enough conflict between Luc and Tia that gave their relationship some interest besides just the sex. There also was a small side story involving a suspense plot. This plot leads to the set up for the next book in the series.

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Interest in Science Fiction/ Futuristic Romances

 


I have been noticing lately the number of posts about romances in the Science Fiction/Futuristic genre. I haven’t ever paid attention before, because I usually don’t read these types of romances. I recently finished the book Jane’s Warlord by Angela Knight and I really enjoyed the futuristic aspect of the book and actually wanted more from the story.
I am wondering what other books I should read in this genre. Some of the books I have noticed getting lots of press are Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair, Grimspace by Ann Aquirre, and Driven by Eve Kenin
What other books fall into this category would you recommend? I mean seriously, I don’t have nearly enough books to read. I need to add many, many more to my tiny, deficient list; (I say with lots of sarcasm loaded on really thick).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Review - The Scottish Bride

 


Title: The Scottish Bride
Author: Catherine Coulter
Publishing Date: 2001
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm

The Scottish Bride is the sixth book of the Sherbrooke series. This is the story of Tysen Sherbrooke, the youngest of the three brothers. He is a widowed vicar with three lovely, precocious children: Meggie (10), Max (9) and Leo (7). He recently has inherited the title, Baron Barthwick, and Kildrummy Castle in Scotland. He decides a trip to Scotland is in order to make sure everything is in fine order. When he arrives, he discovers that Meggie has secretly ridden along without his permission. That is just the first in a long line of escapades that shortly ensue. Not long after his arrival, he meets Mary Rose Fordyce. She is being pursued, quite persistently, by Erickson MacPhail, and is in need of protection.

First off, let me say that I highly recommend you read at least the first three books in the series before you read this one. The story will be much more enjoyable if you do, because all three couples from the first books make an appearance in this one. Catherine Coulter is one of my favorite authors. She just has a way of sucking me into the story with only a few pages. I find this series a lot of fun and very light hearted reading. It is pleasant to revisit with Ryder, Douglas and Sinjin time and again.

Mary Rose is the perfect woman for Tysen. He takes himself far too seriously. She is able to bring him laughter and joy changing his bleak demeanor. This story is almost farcical in its events. Many of the characters, such as his Tysen’s inherited housekeeper, Mrs. Mac Fardle and Mrs. Griffin are way over the top. Their actions are very far from being realistic and their dislike of the heroine borders on ludicrous.

Actually, much of the plot was far from being realistic. That was part of the charm of this story though. Many children play a vital role in this romance and they put on quite a performance. They say and do some of the cutest things. Again, I was thoroughly charmed. I liked this romance it was light hearted and silly. Both characters were enjoyable. I will continue on with the rest of the books in this series.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Review - Jane's Warlord

 


Title: Jane’s Warlord
Author: Angela Knight
Publishing Date: 2004
Genre: Paranormal (Futuristic)
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Burning

Baran Arvid is a genetically enhanced super soldier sent 300 years into the past to protect Jane Colby. Druas, a sadistic psychopath, has been jumping back in time ruthlessly slaying humans. Jane is his next intended victim.

Angela Knight does a good job building Baran’s futuristic world. I found the details and descriptions of the futuristic toys, such as the jumpsuit that catapults them into the past, very interesting. I also enjoyed Baran’s partner Freika, a genetically engineered timber wolf with a vocalizer. He added a bit of humor the story that was needed as a way to balance out the grimness of the murders. Baran is my kind of hero; strong, sexy, very dominant and protective without being a jerk. Jane is a good match for Baran. She is smart, brave and trusting. Thankfully, she never compromises Baran during his mission.

My one gripe with the story was (and I don’t know if I am getting squeamish in my old age or what) the suspense part of the book seemed particularly gruesome. It is hard for me to jump from one scene of horrific torture, to a make-out session in the bedroom. I can only suspend my disbelief to a certain extent. Also, there was a conflict with Jane’s father I would have liked to have seen resolved in more detail. Even so, this was a well conceived story and I was sorry to see it end. I actually would have liked for it to have been longer and seen more of Baran’s futuristic world.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Faefever update!!!!

 


I am a HUGE fan of Karen Marie Moning’s fever series. It’s funny because when I read Darkfever (the first book of the series) I thought it was just okay. I liked Mac fine. She has a fun personality that reads really well in the first person. I didn’t, however, like Jerricho Barrons. He is one intense, scary dude and I wasn’t sure if he was the hero of this story. The premise of this series is that one story will be told over five books. The first book did not have a conclusion and left me hanging. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Was this a cheap trick?

When Bloodfever was released I snatched it up from my local library. I was skeptical, but I had a lot of faith in Moning. I started reading it and COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN, PEOPLE!!! It was a real zippy read. I think I finished it in about five hours. Again, I was left hanging (Aaaughh). The good news is that there is more of a relationship starting to form between Mac and Barrons. Some of my questions were answered and new ones popped up. I was so excited about the book, that I continued to think about it for several days afterwards. I was not ready to leave Mac’s world. I found myself over at Moning’s website perusing her message boards looking for clues. Apparently, clues abound in her other highlander books. I have read them but I don’t remember any of these so-called clues. I decided to reread her highlander books. Then, I wasn’t done there, no siree. I had to go back and reread Darkfever. After that, I reread Bloodfever. Now what’s a girl to do? I had read everything.

Let me tell you Moning is a genius. Faefever, the next book in the series, doesn’t release until September 30, 2008. I have NEVER, NEVER been so anxious for a book in my entire life. I am hanging on to my sanity by a thread. Never-the-less, I must persevere. I receive an email from Moning once a month with updates on her fever series. Yesterday, I received her newsletter with an exerpt from Faefever. Here is the little morsel she left us with. Enjoy! (God, she is such a tease!)

excerpt from FAEFEVER:

And the sex, God, the sex! I never knew what sex was until him. It's not soft music and candlelight, a choice, a deliberate action.

It's as involuntary as breathing and as impossible not to do. It's slammed up against a wall in a dark alley, or flat on my back on cold concrete because I can't stand one more second without him. It's on my hands and knees, dry-mouthed, heart in my throat, waiting for the moment he touches me and I'm alive again. It's punishing and purifying, velvet and violent, and it makes everything else melt away until nothing matters but getting him inside me, and I wouldn't just die for him--I'd kill for him, too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Review - Untouched

 


Title: Untouched
Author: Anna Campbell
Publishing Date: December 2007
Genre: Historical
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot

Grace Paget’s husband recently passed away. Having no means to support herself, she travels to Bristol to come live with her cousin. For some reason, he does not meet Grace at the coach and she winds up kidnapped by two bruisers named Filey and Monks. These two goons are Lord John’s henchmen. They were charged with the task of finding a woman for Matthew, Lord Sheene. They mistake Grace for a whore and bring her back to Matthew.

Matthew has suffered horribly at the hands of his uncle, Lord John for eleven years. Lord John has kept Matthew his prisoner so that he can control all of Matthew’s wealth and estate. When Matthew was fourteen, he suffered from a horrible fever that gave him fits and, since then, has been diagnosed as being mad.. He has been kept isolated from the world. He hasn’t had any contact with anyone, especially a woman, outside the estate walls for eleven long years.

This book is unlike any other romance I have ever read before. The isolation in which the romance takes place is unusual. Three quarters of the book takes place in Matthew and Grace’s “prison”. I liked this aspect of the story though. It gave the book a cozy feel to it. Matthew is very unique. He is the first male virgin hero I have encountered in a romance. Grace and Matthew’s first love scene felt very honest and I really liked that. Grace and Matthew are very likable. They have both been beaten down; he physically and she emotionally. I can’t help but root for their happy ending.

The writing style of Untouched felt a little flowery to me. Campbell uses lots of descriptive, flowing words. It almost seemed a little over the top in some instances where I felt pulled out of the story. (If I was a more cynical person, I would have probably rolled my eyes at a few of the scenes). One other drawback was the eeevil villain. Lord John was quite the Drama Queen. Actually, now that I think about it, Grace was quite the Drama Queen too at the end of the story. Overall, it was an interesting, unique read.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Meme - Six Unimportant Things About Me


 
I was tagged by Ana over at The Book Smugglers.

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six unimportant things about you
4. Tag six random people at the end of your blog entry
5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I have already sent in my tax return. Yes, it’s sick isn’t it? I will be getting a tax return this year, which is why I have turned in my taxes early. In the past, I have usually had to pay the government money. When that’s the case, I like to wait until the last possible minute to do my taxes. As a matter of fact, last year I sent them in on April 15.

2. I love the Sims. For Christmas this year, Santa gave my six year old daughter a Playstation Portable (PSP). He brought me the Sims Castaway game. I am addicted.

3. I am sick of all the news coverage of Britney Spears. Okay, the girl has severe mental issues. I got it. Can we move on now?

4. I have lived in Winter Haven, Florida for eight years now. Winter Haven is approximately 40 minutes from Disney World. For the first time since I have lived here, my family and I finally spent the day at the Magic Kingdom. We had an absolute blast. Now, I want to get an annual pass and go every weekend. (We won’t, because it is too expensive).

5. I have two children; a daughter (six) and a son (five months). Both children were the same exact weight at birth, 8lbs 13oz. I delivered both children naturally without any pain medications. I am woman. Hear me roar!

6. I am an atrocious speller. I also have very poor grammar. My husband proof reads all my posts before I publish them. If I didn’t have his help everyone would think English was my second language instead of my first. (It’s that bad).

* Note from husband editor: Jill’s grammar and spelling isn’t that bad.

I tag Brie, Jace, Meriam, Christine, Jennie, and Nikki

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Review - Extreme Danger

 


Title: Extreme Danger
Author: Shannon McKenna
Publishing Date: February 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense (Erotic)
Rating: B
Sensuality: Burning

Becca Cattrell recently discovered, in a very public way, that her fiancĂ© was cheating on her. She works at a posh country club as an event planner. Her boss suggests that she spend the weekend relaxing and loans Becca the use of her boyfriend’s cabin. A depressed, downtrodden Becca accepts the invitation. Later that evening, after imbibing too much wine, she decided to take a swim (naked) in the neighbor’s pool. She gets a scary surprise when Nick Ward discovers her in the pool and thinks she is a femme fatale sent to kill him. Nick, a former FBI agent, has gone undercover to flush out Zhoglo, a Russian mafia boss. They both end up in “Extreme Danger”.

McKenna’s best talent lies with her ability to write fantastic conversation. The reader is able to get a true sense of the characters’ personalities through the dialog. Nick and Becca had fun conversations where I found myself laughing out loud; and yet they also had touching, tender moments too. This is true of Nick, especially, who was so desperate for something joyful or happy to grasp onto in his life. When Becca comes along, he can’t help but be drawn to her. The pages practically sizzled with the force of Nick’s desire for Becca. I liked that they kept constantly challenging each other and there was never a dull moment. It was really great to watch both of these characters evolve over the course of the story. Please note that McKenna uses crude language during the sex scenes. Usually, it was through the man’s point of view. This may bother some people. I did feel though, that it was in context of the person using the language, mainly Nick. He does, after all, refer to himself as basically a “caveman”.

Throughout most of this book, I was hanging on the edge of my seat. The suspense part of the story was very detailed and gruesome. While I appreciated the depth of the suspense, I could have done without the passages involving the children. That was really hard to read. Also, I personally do not like being privy to the villain’s point of view. I most definitely do not need to know what turns him on sexually. For those readers who may be turned off by that…beware.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Valentine's Day!

Well, it's that special holiday of the year that people either love or hate. I used to be in the hate category, but since I have been married (for 7 years now) I switched over to the love category. My husband gave me a couple of books for Valentine's Day this year. I always get a kick out of the books he chooses, so I look forward to seeing what he picks out for me. So far, since he has been gifting me books, he hasn't done too bad of a job. He hasn't ever bought me a book that I have already read. That, in of itself, is quite an accomplishment. I haven't ever heard of either of these authors. Has anyone read any of these books or anything written by either author? I would love to hear what you thought, good or bad. So without further ado, cue the drumroll.... here is what he chose:

 


Title: Dead Perfect
Author: Amanda Ashley
Publishing Date: February 2008
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Zebra
Length: 346 pages

From the back cover: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR…
Only a woman with nothing left to lose knocks on a vampire’s door and asks for help. Shannah Davis is convinced that the mysterious dark-haired man she’s followed for months can save her life—if he doesn’t kill her first. But though Ronan insists he can’t give her what she needs, his kiss unleashes a primal hunger that makes her feel truly alive for the first time.

After centuries of existence, Ronan has done the unthinkable. He has fallen in love with a mortal—and one with only weeks to live. Sensing the fear and reluctance beneath Shannah’s request, he offers her a different bargain that will keep her near him during the time she has left. Every hour spent together leaves him craving her touch, her scent, her life’s essence. Soon, only Shannah can satisfy his thirst. But if he saves her from death, will she love him for it—or spend eternity regretting what she has become?

 


Title: Curveball
Author: Kate Angell
Publishing Date: June 2007
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Love Spell
Length: 292 pages

From the back Cover: THE BAT PACK
The bad boys of baseball, they are the top power hitters of the Richmond Rougues, and the team's best hope for a shot at the World Series. But when all three have to be benched for brawling, it's the beginning of a shole new ball game.

PSYCHO hits a home run with a decorator who manages to dress up his derelict Colonial while undressing him.

ROMEO slams it out of the park with a female reporter who is the first woman to throw hardballs at the third baseman known for his sweet talk and bedroom eyes.

CHASER almost strikes out with the girl next door, the one he always took for granted until he discovers she's known where his sweet spot is all along.

In the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded, each man realizes that happiness is just within reach, even when love throws a... CURVEBALL

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Review - Remain Silent


Title: Remain Silent
Author: Jamie Denton
Publishing Date: November 2007
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: C
Sensuality: Warm

Remain Silent starts off quickly with a bang. Laurel Jennings is attending the funeral of her good friend and business partner Jonathan Linton; when she is arrested by LAPD’s finest and accused of his murder. Jonathan’s family is very wealthy and prominent throughout southern California making it impossible for Laurel to get a lawyer to represent her case. Her only hope is her former lover, Damon Metcalf. Guilt forced Damon to leave his law practicing days behind him after one of his star witnesses is tragically murdered. After receiving an anonymous fax of Laurel’s arrest, he leaves his cabin in Montana to come to her rescue.

Meh; that about sums up my feelings for this book. I felt that this book had great potential, but was not utilized to its fullest. Nothing about Remain Silent really stands out for me. Even though the mystery part of the book was very involved, it still only felt skin deep. There is a very intricate mystery here with many different angles. The author presents the reader with many of the secondary characters view points. Among those were the cops investigating the murder, the actual murderer and a couple other people who tie into the mystery as well. While this feature should have strengthened the book, it actually detracted from the romance. More time should have been devoted to Laurel and Damon’s relationship. After all, this is a romance. I liked Laurel and Damon. I just wish there would have been more sustenance to them. Laurel was more developed than Damon, but over all not much time was devoted to either one. This wasn’t necessarily a bad book. It just wasn’t remarkable in any aspect for me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

AAR 2007 Annual Reader Poll

 


Yaaaayyy!! I voted today. For those of you who haven’t voted yet, there are only 5 days left to vote. I decided to go ahead and vote because I already had a ton of books for which I wanted to vote for and I didn’t need the extra stress of adding more books to the list. I am really excited about the variety of books. I tried to vote for as many of my favorites as possible. I hope some will be winners. Here is the ballot I sent in:

Best Romance
If His Kiss is Wicked – Jo Goodman

Favorite Funny Romance
Hot Wheels and High Heels – Jane Graves

Most Luscious Love Story
If His Kiss is Wicked – Jo Goodman
(This one was a cop out because I couldn’t remember any books with good love scenes)

Best Erotic Romance
Dirty – Megan Hart

Most Tortured Romance Hero
V from Lover Unbound – JR Ward

Strongest Romance Heroine
Lilith – Demon Angel Meljean Brook

Best Romance Heroine
Emma, And Then He Kissed Her – Laura Lee Ghurke

Best Debuting Romance Author
Shannon K. Butcher

Best Buried Treasure
Night Echoes – Holly Lisle

Guiltiest Pleasure Romance
Dark Rival – Brenda Joyce

Romance Author Most Glommed
Lisa Kleypas
(I read 22 books by her this past year)

Best Cabin or Road Romance
Lessons of Desire – Madeline Hunter

Best Medieval/Renaissance Romance
Ashblane’s Lady – Sophia James

Best European Historical Romance
If His Kiss is Wicked – Jo Goodman

Best Amer Hist or Frontier Romance
Klondike Doctor – Kate Bridges

Best Contemporary Romance
All or Nothing – Claire Cross

Best Series/Category Book
Beau Crusoe – Carla Kelly

Best Romantic Suspense
Count to Ten – Karen Rose

Best SF, Fantasy, or Futuristic Romance
Bloodfever – Karen Marie Moning

Best Paranormal or Time Travel Romance
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night – Kresley Cole

Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction
The Winter Lodge – Susan Wiggs

Romance Author you gave up on in 2007
Linda Howard

Most Disappointing Romance
Lover Unbound – JR Ward

Biggest Wallbanger
Chosen Prey – Cheyenne McCray

Monday, February 11, 2008

Review - And Then He Kissed Her

 


Title: And Then He Kissed Her
Author: Laura Lee Guhrke
Publishing Date: March 2007
Genre: Historical
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm

Emma Dove, a practical, no-nonsense spinster, has been working for Harry Lord Marlow for five years as his secretary. She has always dreamed of writing etiquette books and feels that Harry is her best chance for publishing them. Harry, on the other hand, has been politely refusing to give them a chance because etiquette books won’t interest readers. With a bit of dumb luck, Emma finds out that he hasn’t even read her manuscript. She then decides she has had it with Harry and quits her job, leaving Harry to wonder how he will manage without his very capable secretary.

Emma is an awesome heroine. She is the historical equivalent to the modern day Martha Stewart (without the jail sentence, of course). She is intelligent, creative, and organized; there is no task she cannot complete. I was on Emma’s side right from the beginning. Henry is pretty much a horse’s ass. He’s arrogant, selfish and downright thoughtless towards others and, because of this, I thought Emma was too good for him. (He did win a few points from me for taking such good care of the women in his family).

I will say that Guhrke has a very pleasant, easy-going writing style that kept me turning the pages despite my dislike of Harry. It takes, pretty much, the whole story for Emma and Harry to fall in love. That is a nice change of pace from romance novels where the couple jumps into bed after they first meet. The ending was very sweet and had me sighing, “Awwwww”. In a side note; I will never look at peaches and honey the same way again.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I Read Romance and Gosh Darn it, I am Proud of it!


I was out shopping on Saturday at the local Books-a-Million and was perusing the romance section; when I happened to notice another woman in the isle with me. She had the book Hot Wheels in High Heels in her hand and was reading the back cover. Now I don’t usually talk to other customers when I am shopping, but I was feeling friendly, so I leaned over in her direction and said “Hi, I just read that book recently and thought it was really cute.” She looked a little sheepish and then smiled at me and said, “Do you know if this book came out recently. I read so many books. I want to make sure I haven’t read it before.” I laughed and told her that I keep a list for this very reason. Well, we then proceeded to have a lengthy conversation on our author preferences and what genres we liked best; not to mention that she has been reading romance since she was 12 (she looked to be in her 50’s now).

Also, imagine my surprise (super thick sarcasm here) when she mentions it’s not just about the sex, but that the books had to actually have a well written plot for her to enjoy. Let me say that I was just tickled pink to have met another fellow romance reader and, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t one bit embarrassed talking about it either. I could tell that she was a little apprehensive at first to talk to me about her reading habits, but once she realized I wasn’t going to judge her and that I like romance just as much as she did, she completely opened up.

In conclusion, I would like to say thank you to the community of romance bloggers who have made me realize that I am a romance reader and damn proud of it! Take that; all you sarcastic, cynical, snooty, know-it-all bastards! (Man, that felt good).

Friday, February 8, 2008

Review - Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night


 

Title: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Author: Kresley Cole
Publication Date: November 2007
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Hot

Wicked Deeds is book four of the “Immortals After Dark” Series. This book is able to stand alone, but I recommend reading No Rest for the Wicked first because both books overlap. The ending of No Rest overlaps with the beginning of Wicked Deeds, plus Bowen and Mariketa are involved in the Hie which takes place in No Rest. The Hie is essentially an immortal scavenger hunt that takes place every 250 years. Bowen wants to win the prize desperately so he can go back in time and save his mate Mariah from her death. He has spent the last two centuries suffering from guilt because he was chasing her when she fell to her death. Mariketa, a witch, wants to win the Hie to prove to herself and to her coven that she is as powerful as has been foreseen.

First off, let me start by saying, this is a really awesome series. The world building and interesting characters make this a really fun read. Each book, so far in the series, has been really good and Wicked Deeds is no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed Mari and Bowen’s story. Mari is a delight. She is funny, smart and courageous and quite the match for Bowen. Bowen is loyal, determined and fierce; and I loved seeing Mari get the best of him. This book was sort of like an episode of “Moonlighting,” with Mari and Bowen each trying to one up the other; very entertaining. I just loved it when Bowen would screw up and say something wrong and then try and fix his blunder. He did this multiple times, which then ensued plenty of groveling.

I did get a little worried towards the end of the book though, when there was still a lot of conflicts not yet resolved and only a few pages left in the book. Not to worry; it all works out at the end. I love the world and I was sorry to see it end. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Please excuse the dust...

 



Pardon me, while I fool around with the layout of my blog. I am having way too much fun learning html language and changing the font color and adding borders and such. In fact, I am having so much fun that my reading has taken a back seat. No worries though because I think, I am (almost) certain, I like this layout. But, if you happen to check back with me and everything is different do not be alarmed. It's just me messing around and trying a few things out.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Review - Demon Moon


Title: Demon Moon
Author: Meljean Brook
Publication Date: June 2007
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot

Demon Moon is the fourth book in Meljean Brook’s “Guardian Series.” This is Colin Ames-Beaumont and Savitri Murray’s story. Both were in the previous book, Demon Angel, and their story begins about seven months after that. Colin is a vampire who was turned over two centuries ago by nosferatu blood. He is unlike other vampires because his blood is tainted. He is also cursed by seeing Chaos in mirrors. A younger son of an Earl, he relied on his charm and good looks to be received in society and maintain his extravagant lifestyle. Savi is a human and Hugh’s “adopted” sister. She is extremely intelligent and is a genius with electronics. She created the video game “DemonSlayer” and is financially set for life. Something happened between her in Colin while they were in Caelum and since then, neither she nor Colin has been the same.

The best thing about this book was Colin and Savi and their love for each other. I just loved everything about Savi; her everlasting curiosity, her ability to forgive easily, her extreme intelligence and her loyalty towards others. Colin just absolutely worships the ground Savi walks on. He realizes how wonderful she is and it’s great to see him express to her how much he loves her. I loved his protectiveness towards her and the lengths he was willing to sacrifice to make her happy. They have a long, difficult journey to reach their “Happily Ever After” and it seems as if the odds are insurmountable, but they do make it.

Demon Moon’s story was less confusing than Demon Angel, but I still had an issue with it. I noticed that Brook’s writing starts out a bit cryptic and you feel as if you have the information, but you are missing a few key details. This leads to uncertainty of your reading comprehension and more questions. Then, as you continue reading, you realize your questions get answered. It’s sort of like starting out with the puzzle finished except with a few of the pieces missing. Then, as you continue reading, the gaps are filled in. Once I noticed this, I found myself rereading less frequently.

I really did enjoy this story and I look forward to reading Demon Night, the next book in the series.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Smokin' Hot Book Covers

Meljean Brook is guest blogging over at The Book Binge and she brings up the question of whether or not a book’s cover influences your decision when buying a book. For me, if I like a book cover, it will definitely draw me to the book and I will be more likely to purchase it. This is usually the case if I haven't ever heard of the author before. I purchased the book Release by Jo Leigh only because of the cover. Is this shallow? I suppose from a marketing view point, it means the ad campaign is working.

Over at Smart Bitches they regularly post book covers that are really bad and then they make fun of them. Now while I do find this hilarious, I thought I would change it up. Instead of posting covers that are really bad, I will post covers I think are sexy! Here are a few covers that I like.






I think these covers are sexy without being "in your face" sexy. What do you think? What covers do you really like?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Review - Marly's Choice


Title: Marly’s Choice
Author: Lora Leigh
Publishing Date: 2002
Genre: Erotic
Rating: D
Sensuality: Burning

Marly grew up as a teenager with Cade and his brothers. They took her in to protect her from her stepfather. Cade’s early relationship with Marly was that of an older, protective brother. He saw her as a child; not as a woman. Marly is home from college for Cade’s father’s funeral. Marly is all grown up now and wants Cade in a way that is anything but sisterly.

I had many problems with this book. I will get to those in minute, but first what I liked. The best part about this book was Marly. She was a feisty woman who wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted. Another bonus was that she never had any too stupid to live moments. However, it all went downhill from there. As much as I like my bad-boy heroes bad, Cade was not likeable at all. He really annoyed me. He spent way too much time brooding over the fact that he wasn’t good enough for Marly, and then on top of that, he would be deliberately mean to her as a way to try and keep his distance from her. I would have liked to have seen a better balance between his dominance and tenderness for Marly.

This book also had much too much mental lusting for my taste. After a while, it became redundant. Yeah, I get it, you think she’s hot and she thinks you’re hot. Gotcha. There is no need to repeat it a thousand times. Also, there was one point where there was voyeurism involving the villain. Can we say “eww?” I really didn’t find that too sexy. As a matter of fact, it kind of grossed me out. I hate to say it, but Lora Leigh and I just aren’t working out.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

January Summary

January was a slow month for me. I only read eleven books this month. I usually read between 17 and 22 books. I think blogging might be cutting into my reading time; oh the horrors! Here is a summary of the books I read and what I rated them:

1. Over the Edge; Brockman; (Rom. Suspense) Rating: A
2. Out of Control; Brockman; (Rom. Suspense) Rating: B+
3. Into the Night; Brockman; (Rom. Suspense) Rating: C
4. Demon Angel; Brook; (Paranormal) Rating: C
5. The Courtship; Coulter; (Historical) Rating: B
6. To Love and To Cherish; Gaffney; (Historical) Rating: C-
7. Hot Wheels and High Heels; Graves; (Contemporary) Rating: B+
8. Dirty; Hart; (Contemporary-Erotic) Rating: B+
9. Midnight’s Bride; Johnson; (Medieval) Rating: DNF
10. Beau Crusoe; Kelly; (Historical) Rating: B+
11. Marly’s Choice; Leigh; (Erotic) Rating: D

Friday, February 1, 2008

Review - To Love and To Cherish

 


Title: To Love and To Cherish
Author: Patricia Gaffney
Publishing Date: 1995
Genre: Historical
Rating: C-
Sensuality: Warm

To Love and To Cherish is the first book of my Classic Romance Challenge. I have previously read To Have and To Hold, the second book of The Wyckerley Trilogy. I really enjoyed To Have and To Hold and I was very anxious to read Christy and Anne’s story, since they make an appearance in the sequel. I cringe to say it, but I really didn’t like this story.

Christy Morrell is the vicar for the little village of Wyckerley. He grew up in the village and his father was the vicar before he followed in his footsteps. Geoffrey, Christy’s best friend from childhood, has come home just as his father dies; which leaves him to become the new Viscount D’Aubrey. Geoffrey is a very sick man who has lost so much weight that Christy barely recognizes him. Geoffrey wants to go back to war and cares nothing for his new role as Lord of D’Aubrey, leaving Anne his wife of four years all by herself. Before he leaves, he asks that Christy look after his horse and his wife. While Geoffrey is away, Anne and Christy cultivate a friendship.

I really struggled to finish this book. The pacing of the story is s-o-o-o-o-o s-l-o-o-o-w-w. I wanted to yell, “Get on with it already – Sheesh!” I was literally about to give up and stop reading the book for good when the poop decided to hit the fan, and this wasn’t until about 300 pages into a 370 page book. So, I pretty much slogged through the first 300 boring pages for 70 pages worth of good stuff; not a very well balanced book.

A good part of the story is told through Anne’s diary. That was one reason why the book was so boring, because you were told the story rather than actually living it. Another point is that Anne and Christian themselves weren’t the most exciting people. Don’t get me wrong; Christian was a wonderful person. He actually would be the kind of person you would want to take home to your parents in real life, (instead of the macho, alpha male). I just found him to be a little too “perfect”. Come on, make a mistake already! I thought that the author had a lot of potential with this story and she didn’t take it where it could have gone.

On the positive side though, those last 70 pages are beautifully well-written. There is one scene in the mine shaft that was especially riveting. It stole my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. That one scene was enough to drive this review from a D to a C. It’s such a shame that I wasn’t able to like the book more.


View My Stats