Thursday, December 31, 2009

Review - Full Moon Rising

Title: Full Moon Rising
Author: Keri Arthur
Publishing Date: 2006
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Full Moon Rising is the first book in Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson Guardian series. Riley Jenson narrates the story from first person point of view. She is half werewolf, half vampire and considered an anomaly amongst the supernatural kind. The setting is futuristic, but I am not sure exactly what year the story takes place. She also has a twin brother Rhoan, who is a guardian and has gone missing. Guardians are supernatural police and Rhoan was working on a mission when he is abducted. Riley teams up with the Guardians to get him back. As she becomes more involved in the case she discovers that Rhoan wasn't the only target. She too, is in danger.

Riley has more werewolf characteristics than vampire. This means that during a full moon she is a slave to her body's impulses. She craves sex like a fat kid craves cake. If she doesn't get it or lets the craving go unsated for too long then she will turn into a raving beast, literally. She becomes overwhelmed by blood lust. This behavior is perfectly acceptable amongst the wolves. It's their nature. While Riley's sexuality is a large part of this book, it's not overly graphic. Most of the scenes were closed door, except for a few to show relationship development between Riley and Quinn, a very old, very powerful vampire.

Riley was a little difficult to connect to. Her personality is very direct, and not necessarily very friendly. She is an interesting mix of girly and street tough. She likes to wear feminine clothes and show off her body. She doesn’t like violence, but will do what she has to in order to protect herself or those she loves. She is smart and I was a little surprised at how she had the wool pulled over her eyes by two people who were close to her. Really, I thought she would have had more of a clue.

The world building is good, as is the characterization. I feel this series has potential and am curious enough to read another book in this series. Hopefully, after another book I will warm up to Riley a little more. Quinn already has peaked my interest and hopefully he will appear in future books.

Here is what others had to say:

Love Romance Passion
Royal Reviews
Riley's Reviews
My Kingdom for a Book

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Anticipating 2010 New Releases

I don't know about you, but I already have a sizable list going, detailing all the books I am looking forward to next year. I keep a spreadsheet on Google Documents to keep track of new releases. Especially when blog hopping, as lots of times they will inform me of new releases and I jot them down so I don't forget. Am I just super anal, or does anybody else keep track too?

So far my list is pretty managable. I am only wishing for 39 books thus far. Of course, here we are at the end of 2009 and therefor I am positive my list is not complete. But hey, I have room for it to grow by about 30 (100) books!

1. Shattered - Joan Johnston (Romantic Suspense)
2. Sleep No More - Susan Crandall (Romantic Suspense)
3. Switch - Megan Hart (Contemporary/Erotic)

4. Truly, Madly - Heather Webber (Paranormal)
5. Lessons in French - Laura Kinsale (Historical)
6. Ravishing in Red - Madeline Hunter (Historical)
7. Pleasure of a Dark Prince - Kresley Cole (Paranomal)
8. First Drop of Crimson - Jeaniene Frost (Urban Fantasy)
9. Pride Mates - Jennifer Ashley (Paranormal)
10. The Next Best Thing - Kristin Higgins (Contemporary)

11. Provocative in Pearls - Madeline Hunter (Historical)
12. Naked Edge - Pamela Clare (Romantic Suspense)
13. Something About You - Julie James (Contemporary)
14. Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer (Romantic Suspense)
15. SEALed with a Ring - Mary Margaret Daughtridge (Contemporary)

16. Silver Bourne - Patrcia Briggs (Urban Fantasy)
17. Mind Games - Carolyn Crane (Urban Fantasy)
18. Tales of the Otherworld - Kelley Armstrong (Urban Fantasy)
19. Demonkeepers - Jessica Andersen (Paranormal)
20. Patience - Lisa Valdez (Historical)

21. Lover Mine - J.R. Ward (Paranormal)
22. Vampire Mistress - Joey W. Hill (Paranormal/Erotic)
23. Sinful - Charlotte Featherstone (Historical/Erotic)
24. Savor the Moment - Nora Roberts (Contemporary)

25. Forbidden Rose - Joanna Bourne (Historical)
26. Ten Things I love About You - Julia Quinn (Historical)
27. Married by Morning - Lisa Kleypas (Historical)
28. The Stars Below - Marjorie M. Liu (Paranormal)

29. Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage - Jennifer Ashley (Historical)
30. Demon Blood - Meljean Brook (Paranormal)

31. Infamous - Suzanne Brockmann (Romantic Suspense)
32. Demon After Dark - Kresley Cole (Paranormal)
33. Hot Finish - Erin McCarthy (Contemporary)
34. Last Night's Scandal - Loretta Chase (Historical)
35. Waking the Witch - Kelley Armstrong (Urban Fantasy)

36. Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning (Urban Fantasy)

37. Happy Ever After - Nora Roberts (Contemporary)

38. Love in the Afternoon - Lisa Kleypas (Historical)
39. Veil of Night - Linda Howard

For the most part these are all books from my favorite authors who have on going series. I am familiar with their writing and they they hardly ever let me down. I have also included two authors I have never read before, Charlotte Featherstone and Heather Webber. This is because someone pimped their books and they sounded good to me.

What books are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Review - Joe's Wife

Title: Joe's Wife
Author: Cheryl St. John
Publishing Date: 1999
Genre: Western
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Received a used copy from Paperbackswap.

Meg Telford's husband died while fighting in the Civil War. She refuses to give up their farm. Knowing that she has no hope of keeping it unless she marries, she proposes to Ty Hatcher. Ty recently returned to Aspen Grove after fighting in the War. He was always ostracized by the townsfolk because he never knew his father. One of the only citizens who were ever nice to him was Meg. She always had a smile for him even though others shunned him and now she is asking him to marry her. It was a dream come true, until he realized he would be filling a dead man's shoes.

Joe's Wife was an absolute treat to read. It is one of those stories where the reader easily gets lost in the characters. Meg is grieving the loss of her husband and doesn't want to give up his dream - which was to make a success of their farm. Joe wants to prove to the townsfolk that he is worthy of their respect even though he is technically a bastard. Meg and Joe start off their marriage as one of convenience but eventually come to love one another. It is a beautiful journey between two people learning to come to terms with who they are and their new life together.

Leslie has written a really wonderful review, which influenced me to read this book. I just would like to point out one thing in addition to what Leslie said. I really appreciate that the love scenes are integral to the development of Meg and Joe's relationship. They are sensual, yet they are pivotal in moving the relationship forward. I love how Meg and Ty work through their problems. Even though the sex is great, they eventually have to talk about it! If you are in the mood for a wonderful Western or Marriage of Convenience, don't miss this one!

Leslie's Psyche
Impressions of a Reader

This book can be purchased in print format from Amazon

Monday, December 28, 2009

Review - Midnight Run

Title: Midnight Run
Author: Lisa Marie Rice
Publishing Date: 2004
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: C
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Received a used copy from Paperbackswap. Read it for Keishon's TBR Challenge but didn't quite make the date!

Midnight Run is the first book in Lisa Marie Rice's Midnight Trilogy. Lieutenant Tyler "Bud" Morrison is hanging out in a seedy bar undercover. While there Claire Parks catches his eye, mainly because she stands out like a pristine flower among tainted weeds. The person he was supposed to meet never shows. Claire is practically attacked by a persistent suitor and Bud comes to her rescue. He takes her home and they spend an unforgettable weekend together and the start of a new relationship.

Lisa Marie Rice is one of the first authors I read when I started reading romance and I really loved her sweet heroines and protective heroes. When I picked up Midnight Run, I knew exactly what to expect. It would be like settling in with an old friend. Only this time, I have realized my old friend and I have grown apart. We no longer have anything in common.

Midnight Run unfortunately is full of romance clichés. We have the sweeter than sugar heroine, who is a virgin who can't believe the sensations her man can give her vagina. We have the cop hero who rescues the heroine from danger and can still manage to give her an orgasm. All right, I admit I am being a little harsh, seeing as I really used to enjoy this stuff. But when I read this... how was I NOT supposed to role my eyes!!?

No, wait... he held her more tightly, slanted his mouth over hers, licked his tongue deep into her and she felt... she felt a flutter in her vagina!

I did enjoy the second half of the book better than the first part because finally there is conflict between Bud and Claire. Claire grows a backbone and becomes feisty and Bud in his over-protectiveness stifles Claire. Also, the heady internal dialogue diminishes to a tolerant level. This was a quick, pleasant read - if eye-roll inducing in the beginning.

Here is what others had to say:

I Just Finished Reading
J. Kaye's Book Blog

This book can be purchased in print and kindle format from Amazon.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Little of This... A Little of That

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

My family and I have just finished opening up our Christmas presents. My daughter is happily playing with her new toys. Hubby is hooking up his latest electronics. My son is over-dosing on candy canes (I think he has eaten 3 in the past hour). And I am blogging about the books I just got, lol!

Technically, I had an idea of the book I was getting because my husband called while he was out shopping. Our conversation went a little something like this:

Hubby: The bookstore is closing and all the books are 40% off. Do you want anything?

Me: Ummmm... YEAH!!

Hubby: Okay, what do you want?

Me: Hold on, I need to consult my list.

Hubby: (Sigh)

Basically, I ended up asking for 5 books. He was looking and told me he couldn't find any but one. Well, the sly little devil fooled me because I got 4 in my stocking this morning.

What did you get for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Review - Guardian

Title: Guardian
Author: Claire Delacroix
Publishing Date: October 2009
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from Paperspine.

Guardian is the second book in Claire Delacroix's Fallen Angel Trilogy. Delilia is the daughter of the heroine from the first book. The world she lives in is 100 years or so after a nuclear war. People who have been affected by the radiation are known as SHADES. These shades are without rights and treated as though they are inferior to normal, unaffected humans. Delilia has been labeled a shade and was taken from her mother as an infant. She has lived her life down in the underground serving as a slave to the Daughters of the Light, a group of women raised similar to nuns. Rafe, a fallen angel has accepted a mission to see that Delilia is rescued from her servitude and fulfills her destiny as the Oracle for the Republic.

There is a lot happening in Guardian and readers may easily become lost if they haven't read the previous book, Fallen. Guardian is unusual in that the book takes place in a post apocalyptic world in the future, yet it’s as if it has reverted back to old customs. Women have to be covered from head to toe and there is slavery. Technology is very advanced and everyone has to wear a palm - think smart phone implanted in your hand. Religion also plays a large part in people's lives, but has become corrupt. Hence the need for Angels to interfere.

Delilia is a young heroine at nineteen and Rafe is older, an Angel who has been around since the dawn of time. Usually, these huge age gaps annoy me, but that wasn't the case with Guardian. Mostly because Rafe, even though he is old, is new to his human body. He is experiencing humanity first hand and it's like he is a kid in a candy shop. The new sensations he experiences such as sight, touch and smell are all new and exciting. He loves sex and spends lots of time learning about it. He is very fun and impulsive. He likes puzzles and games. He is definitely not a stodgy, doddering old angel.

Delilia is the more serious of the two. She hasn't had much fun in her nineteen years of life. Unfortunately, no pleasure was to be hers, she spent much of her time drugged and undernourished. Her and Rafe are on the run throughout this book and it has very grim overtones much of the time. Delilia never loses her hope in humanity, even though she has been treated poorly. So, things aren't always so grim and this book does end well. A few things are left hanging and I imagine they will be wrapped in the final installment. I am definitely hooked.

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Breaking News... RT 2011 Heading to the West Coast!!

Hey Everybody,

I just heard from Carol Stacy that RT 2011 will be in Los Angeles 2011!!! I know many So Cal bloggers will be thrilled that RT is finally heading west. It has been many years since the Romantic Times Convention has been on that side of the continent. Living over here in Florida I am rather impartial to the change in location. I have never been to California, though so it will be a fabulous excuse to travel!

The event is scheduled for the beginning of April the 6th - 10th and will be located at the Westin Bonaventure. Apparently, this is the same hotel that was filmed in the movie True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis. It looks pretty posh from what I can see.  Whoo boy!  I am so excited!!

Consider yourself in the know... and start saving. I want to meet you!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Review - Too Good to be True

Title: Too Good to be True
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publication Date: 2009
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Received a used copy from Paperbackswap.

Grace Emerson in a moment of quick thinking makes up a fake boyfriend to fool her family into believing that she is over her former fiance Andrew, who is now dating her sister, Natalie. Grace's family is always on her case, making sure that everything is okay in Grace's life. She works as a high school history teacher for a prestigious private school. She lives alone with her little terrier, Angus. One evening she witnesses a man trying to break into the house next door to her. She calls the cops on him. It turns out he wasn't a bugler, but her new next door neighbor. Callahan O'Shea just got out of the slammer. Why can't Grace meet a nice man - like the pediatric surgeon she is "dating"?

Too Good to be True is narrated by Grace in the first person. This might be a deal breaker for some people, but I really enjoyed getting to know Grace. Her narrative is fast and fun. It's very conversational and the reader gets a real feel for Grace's personality. The book focuses a lot on Grace's relationships with her family. This involves her two sisters, Natalie and Margaret and also both her parents. I can't forget to mention Grace's grandmother Meme, who is somewhat of a cantankerous... bitch. I might as well call it like I see it. Even though Grace's fiance leaves her two weeks before the wedding and even though Andrew has fallen in love with Natalie - Grace never holds it against them. She doesn't play the victim. She has a great sense of humor about it and she is trying to move on with her life. Enter Callahan O'Shea.

Callahan is pretty much a mystery to the reader for much of the book because Grace is in the driver's seat, so-to-speak. Grace is narrating and the only glimpses of Cal that the reader gets are when Grace is with Cal - and that is not a lot in the scheme of the whole book. When Cal is in the scene he has a strong presence and the way Grace narrates the reader can easily deduce what type of person he is. It's just subtle and the reader has to work a little harder. I really enjoyed this story. I would definitely recommend it to fans of chick lit or readers who enjoy family relationships.

Here is what others had to say:

Book Addict
Books, Books and more Books
2 Read... or Not 2 Read
Princess Sara's Library
Dreaming on the Job
Tracy's Place
The Book Girl
A Few Good Books

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Review - Sweet Restraint

Title: Sweet Restraint
Author: Beth Kery
Publishing Date: July 2009
Genre: Contemporary/Erotic
Rating: C
Sensuality: Burning
Book Disclosure: Rented from Paperspine.

FBI Agent Shane Dominic is investigating the Chicago Police for crooked cops. He suspects that Laura Vasquez's husband is one of them. When Laura's husband turns up dead he thinks Laura knows something about the crime ring her husband was a part of. Only Laura's not talking. Shane and Laura had a relationship thirteen years ago until she abruptly broke it off and married someone else. Shane didn't understand it then and he still doesn't. But he wants answers and to get them he kidnaps Laura for a weekend to show her the fire they once had is still burning strong.

The main problem I had with this story was Laura. She is one very pig-headed, stubborn woman. She also does some very stupid things and puts herself in danger more than once. She resists Dante time and again as he tries to learn what forced Laura to marry Huey. I don't know how she could resist Dante in all his manly glory. I actually enjoyed Dante's character. He was smart and confident and had the "it" factor. But what he saw in Laura was beyond me.

There is A LOT of sex in this book. Most of the scenes helped to move Dante and Laura's relationship forward, but a few of them felt gratuitous. The problem I find with having too many of these scenes is that the author runs out of words to use and the same phrases get recycled, which happened by the end of this book. Kery was also very fond of the word "Dusky" to describe Dante's skin.

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Have your reading tastes evoloved?

Hey Everybody!! I am blogging at Access Romance today. Come and join me for a discussion on my recent discovery. My reading tastes have become more (dare I say it) sophisticated since I started reading romance four years ago.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Loot & Links

I have noticed that a few other bloggers do a segment called Mailbox Monday. Some do a segment called Library Loot. I also noticed that others do a link round-up of posts around the blogosphere that they think are worthy of notice. I have decided to combine those ideas to create a new type of post that will (hopefully) become a recurrent event.

Loot & Links will be the title. Since there is no day of the week that starts with the letter 'L', I'll just post it whenever the mood strikes me! It could be on a Monday, or possibly a Saturday. Who knows. I might just mix it up because I am CRAZY like that!

On with the show, you say? Alrighty then.

Sarah of Monkey Bear Reviews had a wonderful guest blogger during the month of November. Magdalan had a series of posts entitled Four Smart Authors - part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 in which she introduced me to four authors I have never read. Her reviews were very enthralling and I found myself over at paperbackswap trying to find these books, many of which are sadly, out of print. I was lucky enough to receive two in the mail this week.

I received two books for review from publicists. I am super excited about Daughtridge's latest, which will be in stores in March. I love her SEALed series! I have never read Joan Johnston but I seem to be a sucker for any romantic suspense. Shattered is part of her Bitter Creek series and I hope I don't feel too lost just jumping with this one.

I picked up two books from the library today, as well. What Happens in London I never planned on reading, but then word around the web was so positive I just couldn't resist. Katiebabs pimped it, so did The Book Smugglers, as did Tracy and many others. Heart Mate and this whole series in general, has been pimped extensively by Holly from Book Binge. Also, Ames did a joint review with Holly at Breezing through. Since Robin D. Owens will be at RT 2010, I had to give this series a try.

One more thing I want to share with you and that is the alternative cover for Heart Mate. My library book did not have the above cover with the nice bicep and tattoo as the focus. Instead, my library had quite a different cover - an older version that had I seen first I am pretty sure I would never have picked this book up. I know it's completely superficial of me, but what can I say?

Take a look at this baby. This picture doesn't really do it justice. You really have to see it in person to get the true essence of just how bad this cover really is. First, take a look at the hero's stance. Could he be any cheesier with his "He-Man" stance, pirate shirt and HUGE gold heart necklace. All I could keep thinking about was Jerry Seinfeld saying, "But, I don't want to be a pirate!"

Then what is with the cat? I could see if it was a big cat, like a tiger or lion. Seriously, it's a house cat. It's a shame it didn't turn out quite as noticeable on the Internet but those cat's eyes are a possessed and glowing emerald green. Then, as if that isn't enough, in the top right hand corner there is a label that says "Magical Love". Because we don't want to read about realistic love. No. We readers want "Maaaaagical Love".

Just saying. This was a really bad cover.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Review - Black Silk

Title: Black Silk
Author: Judith Ivory
Publishing Date: 1991
Genre: Historical
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Received a used copy from Paperbackswap. Chose to read the book for Jessica's book discussion over at Racy Romance Reviews.

Submit Channing-Downs finds herself widowed after a wonderful marriage to a much older man, Henry the Marquess of Motmarche. She has been asked by Henry to gift his nephew, Graham Wessit the Earl of Netham, whom he had a falling out with several years back, a little black box filled with illicit drawings. Submit is puzzled over the reason why Henry would have her give such a thing to his nephew. Eventually, Graham and Submit form a strange friendship. Also, the will that Henry wrote is being contested by Henry's illegitimate son, William as all of Henry's land and wealth were given to Submit and William is unwilling to accept this.

There is no doubt in my mind after reading Black Silk that Ivory is a skilled and often poetic author. She makes it seem to easy and effortless too. With her words she creates vivid, imaginative scenes that so clearly paint themselves in readers' minds. Yet, I found Black Silk to be a depressing story with two main characters who were almost too damaged to be likable.

Submit is a young widow, but acts much older than she really is. She was married at sixteen and never had a chance to be a silly young girl. She was groomed to be a gentleman's wife and that is all she knows. She took on many of the stuffy characteristics of her former husband. He basically shaped who she has become, which is a judgemental, contained woman. Graham is very frivolous in comparison. He is very social, throwing elaborate house parties. He drinks, gambles and has relationships with married women. He wears an abundance of elaborate jewelry and expensive flashy clothing.

I felt sorry for Graham much of the story as he so desperately wants someone to love him unconditionally. He seeks approval from Submit and she keeps holding him off, turning her back on him. I found their relationship frustrating. I felt like there was this unresolvable sense of doom for them. I couldn't see how this would end well. Then the last pivotal scene really surprised me. It was so upbeat and had a feeling of lightness. It really is a testament to Ivory's skill as a writer. I have reservations recommending this one. It is a slow story, but one not without merit.

Here is what others had to say:

Racy Romance Reviews (not a review, but a discussion)
Dear Author, Part 1
Dear Author, Part 2
Lusty Reader
Phyl's quilts & books

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Review - Hotter After Midnight

Title: Hotter After Midnight
Author: Cynthia Eden
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Rented from Paperspine. It also fills the requirements for the RT Reading Challenge.

Dr. Emily Drake is a therapist who specializes in Other clients. See, Emily has a special skill in that she can tell who amongst the living who is not quite human. Not only can she tell that a person is not human, but she can tell specifically what type of Other they are. For example, like whether they are vampire, shifter, demon, etc. Emily is asked to help aid the police profile a killer who has killed a man. It is obvious to Emily right away that the killer is a shifter. She also happens to partnered up with Detective Colin Gyth, who also happens to be a shifter.

I really liked the way Hotter After Midnight started out. In the first chapter Emily is counseling a newly turned vampire who is disgusted with the idea of drinking blood. So right away the reader gets a sense that the Other have problems just like people do and that they have a certain humanity to them. When Emily and Colin meet the sparks really fly. Emily is fearful of Colin because out of the Other, shifters are the most dangerous. Colin doesn't want to let Emily out of sight because him being a shifter is not known to the men on the police force. Most of the world do not realize that there are Others among them.

The middle part of the story dragged for me. Emily has secrets about her past that she is keeping from Colin and Colin is keeping what type of shifter he is from Emily. Too many secrets that went unrealized for too long, left the plot sagging in the middle. Also, the overall feel to the story felt light even though Colin and Emily are after a killer. I never really felt that the characters where in any true danger or felt suspense or tension. If you like your paranormals more on the light side then this might be more your speed. I tend to like mine a little grittier.

Here is what others had to say:

Leontine's Book Realm
Long and Short Reviews
Madame Butterfly
Cubie's Confections
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Monroe with a Twist

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Website Devoted to... Westerns!

The website, Love Western Romances is not new to the Internet, but new to ME! I don't know where this little gem has been hiding, but I am so excited to have discovered it. One of my favorite genre is Westerns, but it seems so few are published. This website even reviews erotic westerns, which I have never read. I plan to remedy this shortly! Whoo hoo!

I recently won a book from Cheryl St. John through a contest at Leslie's Psyche (Thank you Leslie!). Ms. St. John invited me to be a member of her yahoo mailing group, which I graciously accepted. In one of her posts, she had a link to THIS fabulous western review website. Please go forth and check it out. They are running a poll for the best Western of 2009. St. John's Her Colorado Man has been nominated as well as Jo Goodman's Never Love a Lawman, among other favorites. Go on and vote!

Review - For the Love of Pete

Title: For the Love of Pete
Author: Julia Harper (aka Elizabeth Hoyt)
Publishing Date: January 2009
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Received a used copy from Paperbackswap.

For the Love of Pete starts off with a bang right from the beginning. Zoey Addler is pissed because her sexy next door neighbor just stole the parking space that she managed to shovel free of snow. As she is standing there ranting at him, a man comes out of their apartment complex with a baby in one arm and a gun in the other. He starts shooting at Zoey and Dante - aka "Hot Lips". As Dante is about to give chase to the baby napper, Zoey hops into his BMW and is already dialing 911. That's her neice who was taken and Zoey is determined to get her back.

For the Love of Pete is a silly, light-hearted read. Zoey is very impulsive and is definitely not afraid to speak her mind. Dante is pretty much her complete opposite. He is very neat and likes things well thought out and planned. These two end up working together to get Zoey's niece, Pete back from the kidnapper. Some very silly things happen along the way as two little old ladies in Indian Saris steal the kidnapper's vehicle. The two little old ladies were quite a hoot. They have known each other since they were little girls and they have quite the history together. Their conversations were fun to read and very enjoyable.

The romance between Zoey and Dante was a little hard to believe. The story only takes place over a few days and suddenly they are in love. Ummm... okaaaaaay. It's just that I could believe Zoey would fall in love that quickly, but I figure Dante being the less impulsive one of the couple would need more time. For the Love of Pete isn't a bad story. The characters are fun and entertaining. The writing is clever and flows well. It's just the romance was a little lacking in comparison to the kidnapping plot. So far, I like Elizabeth's historical romances better.

Here is what others had to say:

Dreaming on the Job
Dear Author
Book Binge
The Book Girl
Leslie's Psyche
Babbling About Books, and More
CA Reviews
Book Reviews by Crystal
Book Reviews by Bobbie

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Review and Giveaway - Dying Scream

Title: Dying Scream
Author: Mary Burton
Publishing Date: December 2009
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: C
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Received an ARC from the publisher requesting a book review.

Adrianna Thornton is selling her husband's large family estate that has been his family's home for generations in order to pay off her husband's medical bills. She and Craig were hit by a drunk driver which put Craig in a coma for two years and caused Adrianna to miscarry their baby. Adrianna is trying to put her life back together but she keeps receiving these creepy gifts saying they are from her late husband Craig. Also, two bodies are found on her husband's estate and they are the bodies of missing women from several years ago. The detective Gage Hudson has Craig as his chief suspect. Then a new victim appears and what seemed an open and shut case becomes complicated.

As I started reading Dying Scream, I realized right away that there was a previous book with a connection to these same characters. I did a little research and discovered that Dead Ringer features Adrianna's sister Kendall and another detective Jacob Warwick. Oddly enough, the author's website does not disclose that these two books are connected. At any rate, enough information is given to clue the reader in to what happened in Dead Ringer.

I have mixed feelings about Dying Scream, as it has its good points and bad. On the plus side, the mystery surrounding the dead bodies was excellently done. I was never able to guess who the real killer was the whole time. Burton leads the reader through a twisting maze of clues, keeping the reader guessing up until the very end.

Where the book failed for me was the romance between Gage and Adrianna. Adrianna is described frequently in the book as cold and regal. Gage grew up in a trailer park while Adrianna lived in a mansion. Gage feels like Adrianna is too good for the likes of him. I never really felt a connection between them or got the sense that they really loved each other. Gage seemed more wrapped up in the idea of Adrianna, than the actual woman herself. On the otherhand, Adrianna never really looked passed what was on the surface of Gage's personality. I really can't recommend this book, unless you are a die hard fan of suspense.

Now after that glowing review, the publisher generously sent me an extra book that I can offer up in a giveaway. So.... if anyone would like a copy of Dying Scream just comment on this post. This contest will close Thursday, December 10th at midnight. I will pick a winner randomly and announce the winner on Friday. This contest is open to anyone.

Here is what others had to say:

Long and Short Reviews

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Great Contest!!!

Ho, ho, ho...'Tis the season for gift giving and Kimberly Killion must be feeling verra generous this year. She's giving away a sled-full of books...

Highland Dragon by Kimberly Killion
Her One Desire by Kimberly Killion
An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James
Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell
Untouched by Anna Campbell
Tempt the Devil by Anna Campbell
Before the Scandal by Suzanne Enoch
Death Angel by Linda Howard
Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgins
Wild Sight by Loucinda McGary
Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spears
Everything Forbidden by Jenna Petersen

You have to do two simple things to enter:
1) Go to Kimberly's website and fill out the form on her contest page
2) Follow Kimberly's blog, Wowf about Writing!


Contest Rules: One entry per person per contest period. Contest winner will be announced on Kimberly Killion's website and blog Dec. 26th, 2009. All entrants must be 18 years of age or older

Friday, December 4, 2009

Review - Indiscreet

Title: Indiscreet
Author: Carolyn Jewel
Publishing Date: October 2009
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Checked it out from the library after coming across many fabulous reviews on the web.

Lord Edward Marrack becomes the Marquess of Foye after his older brother dies unexpectedly. Edward had vowed never to marry after being engaged to a woman who runs off with another man, who was a close friend of Edwards. Edward wasn't the only one hurt by the scandal. Sabine Godard was also caught in the backfire and her reputation was ruined. Her Uncle, Sir Henry takes her along with him on his travels to the Middle East to escape the scandal. There by accident almost two years later, Lord Foye and Sabine meet in Turkey. Sabine is an unusual woman because she has been better educated than most men. Edward can't help his fascination with her and he begins to court her.

Indiscreet is a nice, entertaining read. Sabine is an unusual woman for her time because of her level of education, but reader's will appreciate that she still acts like a woman from the 19th century and not the 21st. I really liked that Edward and Sabine early in the story establish their relationship. Both are equally open about their feelings toward one another. It was nice that the two characters facilitated their relationship moving forward, rather than an external conflict.

Eventually, Sabine does find herself kidnapped by an important Pasha and Edward comes to her rescue. He uses his wit instead of his might to get her back. Edward was also unusual in that he is a very large, muscular man, about 6 1/2 feet tall and has (how to put it delicately) not a pretty face. He is self-conscious of his size and wishes he weren't so big. I am such a sucker for a large, ugly hero. He isn't really ugly - at least Sabine doesn't think so and that's what's important.

One little factor that kept pestering me was the details surrounding Sir Henry's unfortunate incident. More information, or closure seemed needed to clear things up. Also, it is unclear whether the Pasha was ever held responsible for his misdeeds. Otherwise, the actual romance between Sabine and Edward was a real winner.

Here is what others had to say:

The Geeky Bookworm
Happily Forever After
Dear Author
Novel Addiction
Nobody Asked Me

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

November Reading Summary

It's that time again to list my monthly reading round up. It's not the greatest month I've had, but I'm happy with it. I read 12 books and I managed to participate in all three challenges I've joined.

1. To Desire a Devil, Hoyt (Historical) Rating: B+
2. Destined for an Early Grave, Frost (Paranormal) Rating: A
3. The Wildest Heart, Rogers (Western) Rating: B-
4. Highland Obsession, Halliday (Historical/Erotic) Rating: C-
5. Magic Bites, Andrews (Urban Fantasy) Rating: B
6. Take a Chance on Me, Donovan (Contemporary) Rating: B
7. A Most Unconventional Courtship, Allen (Historical) Rating: B
8. Face Time, Ryan (Mystery) Rating: B
9. Demon Forged, Brook (Paranormal) Rating: B+
10. Indiscreet, Jewel (Historical) Rating: B+
11. For the Love of Pete, Harper (Contemporary) Rating: B-
12. Rage of Angels, Sheldon (Mainstream) Rating: C+

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Review - Demon Forged

Title: Demon Forged
Author: Meljean Brook
Publication Date: September 2009
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I won this in a contest hosted by Tracy of Tracy's Place (Thanks Tracy!).

Demon Forged is the fifth book in Meljean Brook's Guardian Series (that's if you don't count the anthologies). Irena and Alejandro are Guardians who have been protecting mankind from Demons. They have a past history together and can't seem to make their friendship/relationship work. Many centuries have passed and they still harbor feelings for one another but neither Irena nor Alejandro can seem to get past their pride to make things work. Now, Irena and Alejandro are being forced to work together to stop a deadly prophecy from becoming true.

I think that so far Demon Forged is the most well written book of this series. However, it was not my favorite and I'll tell you why. But, first let's talk about what I really enjoyed. First of all, the world building is just phenomenal. Brooks really blows me away with her attention to detail and the well planned out plotting. Where she is going with this series? That I am not sure, but it's perfectly clear that she knows and that is what's important. Things are really starting to heat up between the Guardians and the Demons. Both sides are taking hits and things are super tense. At certain moments, I found myself on the edge of my seat.

Also, I was very intrigued by some of the secondary plots. I was especially enamored with the goings on between Michael and Taylor. I can't wait to see where that ends up! This brings me to the main romance between Irena and Alejandro, I wasn't super crazy about these two. I hate that they went some 500 years, unable to work through their problems because of pride. It just makes me question why it took them so long to let go of their issues and actually try to work things out. I will say 500 years of sexual tension sure does lead to some pretty steamy make-up sex. It was also obvious to me that these two were meant to be together. I just wanted to be like, "Get over it already!" But actually, this was pretty minor offence even though it doesn't sound like it. I did really enjoy reading this book and I can't wait to read more of this series.

Here is what others had to say:

Errant Dreams Reviews
The Book Smugglers
Alpha Heroes
Dear Author
Book Binge
Rosario's Reading Journal

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Re-Read Challenge - Rage of Angels

Title: Rage of Angels
Author: Sidney Sheldon
Publishing Date: 1980
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Checked it out from the library and re-reading for Nath's Re-Read Challenge.

Rage of Angels is the story of Jennifer Parker, a young woman whose life's dream has always been to become a lawyer. Her only living relative, her father was a lawyer but passed away Jennifer's senior year of law school. Being a devoted student she passes her bar exam in one attempt and lands a prestigious position with the Attorney D.A.'s office in New York City. Her first day on the job she is to assist Robert Di Silva in prosecuting Michael Moretti, son-in-law to one of the leaders of the Mafia organization. Things go terribly wrong and Jennifer makes a grave mistake that almost costs her to be disbarred from practicing law. The first part of Rage of Angels, is the story of Jennifer establishing herself as a lawyer despite the role she played in the disaster of Michael Moretti's trial. The second part of the book follows Jennifer's fall from grace.

The first time I read this book, I was in high school (guessing 15 or 16 years old) and I was absolutely riveted to the pages with the trials and tribulations Jennifer Parker faced in this story. I even remembered some of the details to the book, like Jennifer's first trial with the convicted prisoner who murdered a man while in the correctional facility. She wins his case and it makes her a huge success and gives her much needed positive publicity. I also remembered Jennifer being very likable and a really great person who was willing to offer her services for free to those who couldn't afford her. She believed in the law and felt that everybody had a right to a fair trial. I remember her being very clever and she would win cases that seemed just down right impossible to win. I was pretty sure there was romance in it, but I couldn't remember the details.

As much as I did remember, there was a lot of stuff I didn't remember. It's funny how we tend to block out the things we don't like about a book. Like I pretty much blocked out the whole second part of the book, which is the part where things take an ugly turn for Jenny. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I won't be going into detail. See the thing about Jenny is that even though she seems so great, she still makes mistakes and she pays dearly for those mistakes. Jennifer makes some choices that I didn't agree with. I understood them, but I didn't like her decisions. Jennifer has a relationship with two men in this book, Adam Warner a Senator and Michael Moretti the Mafia leader. Both of those men are married, so obviously a "happily ever after" isn't in the cards for her with either of those men. Since being a fan of romance, I really didn't like that Jennifer was committing adultery. It left a sour taste in my mouth.

I can still say that I was riveted to Rage of Angels once again. I really enjoyed reading this story. The amount of research Sheldon put into the court trials was meticulously done and they were fascinating. The characters are richly drawn. I would recommend this book to fans of regular fiction, but if you are looking for a "happily ever after", you won't find it here.

This book can be purchased in print format from Amazon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review - Face Time

Title: Face Time
Author: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Publishing Date: August 2009
Genre: Mystery
Rating: B
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: Received this book free from the publisher.

Face Time is book two in Hank Phillippi Ryan's Charlie McNally mystery series. Charley McNally is an investigative reporter for a Boston news station. She's won numerous Emmy's for her ability to uncover a story. This time Charley and her producer Franklin have been asked to investigate the likelihood that just maybe the infamous Dorinda Sweeney didn't kill her husband, even though she confessed to the murder. Meanwhile in Charlie's personal life, her mother is getting remarried. But before she ties the knot, she goes in for a face lift. Charlie's mother keeps insisting she should consider plastic surgery. Even though Charlie is 46, she isn't quite sure she wants to go under the knife just yet. Also, Charlie's relationship with Josh is starting to become serious. Serious enough that Charlie is having problems bonding with Josh's eight year-old daughter, Penny.

Face Time is told in first person through Charlie's point of view. Charlie is a character that readers will easily sympathize with right away. She has a no-nonsense way about her, but she also pokes fun at herself. Her tone of voice is an easy one to follow with a descriptive narration. The main focus of this book is Charlie's investigation in to Dorinda Sweeney's murder confession. Yet, the book is also balanced by events happening in Charlie's personal life.

Face Time focuses less on the romance between Josh and Charlie and instead focuses on Charlie's relationship with her mother and Josh's daughter Penny. I personally would have liked more romance, seeing as I am a big squeeing fan girl of romance in my novels, however I really enjoyed seeing Charlie work through her issues with her Mom, which gave a little more insight in to Charlie's character. The mother/daughter relationship was a theme centered throughout the book. Not just the relationship between Charlie and her Mom, but also Dorinda and her daughter and then with Charlie and Penny. Fans of mystery won't want to miss out on this series.

Here is what others had to say:

Reviews by Cindy
My Book Views
Meritorious Mysteries
Mystery Books News

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon

Friday, November 27, 2009

Review - Take a Chance on Me

Title: Take a Chance on Me
Author: Susan Donovan
Publishing Date: 2003
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Requested from paperbackswap after realizing it made Kristie J's top 16 list. Also, it met the requirements of my RT Reading Challenge.

I was in the mood for a light, funny romance and after hearing this was one of Kristie J's favorites, I decided to move Take a Chance on Me up in the TBR pile. If you are a fan of light-hearted contemporaries, then this is a story for you.

Thomas Tobin unexpectedly finds himself the temporary owner of a Chinese Crested dog named Hairy, when his owner is found murdered in his kitchen. Since that fateful day, little Hairy seems to have issues with anxiety. Thomas takes Hairy to see Emma Jenkins, an animal behaviorist who might be able to help Hairy with his anxiety issues. See, it just so happens that Hairy happened to witness a murder and Tobin needs Emma's help to make sense of it all.

One of the things that really stood out for me in this book was Donovan's ability to clearly describe her characters. Sometimes, I'll read a story and the character descriptions are kind of vague or glossed over. That is definitely not the case here. I had a very clear picture of what Emma or Thomas looked like, and now that I think about it, the secondary characters too - even little Hairy.

What is also nice about Take a Chance on Me is that yes, it is a light-hearted book and there are plenty of funny moments in it, but that is not all. This book also has some bittersweet more poignant moments as well. Emma has just divorced her ex-husband and is learning to value herself and also draw boundaries. Thomas is a big cynic who thinks all relationships are doomed from the start because he sees the worst of humanity through his job day in and day out. It is a nice change of pace for both Emma and Thomas to meet and interact with each other.

The only excuse I can find for not rating this book higher is mainly because I found Thomas to be a big stick in the mud the first part of the book. He was kept giving Emma mixed signals because he was mixed up himself, not sure of what he wanted. He does come around and the journey is a fun one to read.

Here is what others had to say:

Book Binge
Penelope's Romance Reviews
Tracy's Place

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November RT Challenge

I should have posted this sooner. Oh well, things just have a way of falling to the wayside. Any hoo, here is the post for November. If you are joining in my RT Reading Challenge this month feel free to comment or email with your post. If you would like to post on my blog, just let me know. I will be adding to the list as the month continues on. You can find more about the RT Reading Challenge here.

Kristie J: Undercover by Lauren Dane - Rated: 4.25 of 5
Jill: Highland Obsession by Dawn Halliday (AKA Jennifer Haymore)- Rated: C-
Jill: Take a Chance on Me by Susan Donovan - Rated: B

Monday, November 23, 2009

Review - Magic Bites

Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: B
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Magic Bites is the first book in Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. Kate Daniels narrates this futuristic series from the first person point of view. She finds herself alone in the world after her guardian is brutally murdered. She takes it upon herself to investigate his murder. As she begins to do this it appears two big factions have been set up against one another - The Pack, a group of shapechangers and The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires.

Kate Daniels is a complete Bad Ass (with capital letters). It takes a little while to warm up to her at first. She has a very sarcastic and blunt demeanor. She is a loner and likes it that way. Readers aren't exactly sure just how strong Kate is, or are aware of just what powers she possesses. All they know is that she is quite capable of holding her own against a few very powerful, scary foes. Even Curran, the leader of The Pack and Nataraja, leader of the Undead, aren't exactly sure what Kate is capable of or where her powers are derived from. There were hints, but nothing definite came out in this book.

The real strength in Ilona Andrews writing lies in the world building and descriptions of all the unique creatures that inhabit this world. I was amazed at the imagery and creepy depictions of the variety of life living in Kate's world. Some of it is just darn right gross, yet fascinating. I wish that there would have been more of a romance in Magic Bites. As it was, a certain relationship was just barely hinted at, but that is all there was and fans of romance might be disappointed. I found the characters very compelling and the writing very easy to read that I am definitely interesting in continuing with this series. I have heard it mentioned from others that the romance does pick up in later books.

Here is what others had to say:

Babbling Book Reviews
Stacy's Place on Earth
Ink and Paper
Michelle's Book Blog
Items of Interest
Dear Author
Brooke Reviews
Today I Read
Scooper Speaks
Ciara Stewart

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Upcoming December Releases!

Okay, so this is totally crazy but I am only looking forward to reading ONE book in December. That is Dying Scream by Mary Burton. I haven't ever read her before, but I am always looking for new authors to worship and this one sounded pretty darn good. Dying Scream is a romantic suspense and here is the summary blurb:


An aspiring artist. A high-school senior. A stripper. Three women who seemed to have nothing in common except their sudden disappearance. But one man knew them all. Wealthy, privileged Craig Thornton even claimed to love them. And for that, they paid the ultimate price.


When Adrianna Barrington receives an anniversary card from her husband Craig, she assumes it's a some crackpot's idea of a joke. After all Craig is dead. But then come phone calls, flowers, messages...all reminding her how much Craig misses her. While Adrianna begins to doubt her sanity, grisly remains are found on the Thornton estate. Detective Gage Hudson is convinced the bodies are linked to Craig. But the biggest shocks are yet to come.


A psychopath has taken up his chilling work again, each death a prelude to the moment when she is under his control at last. And the only way for Gage and Adrianna to stop him is to uncover the truth about a family's dark past--and a twisted love that someone will kill for again and again

I am always looking to discover new authors. Are there any books out there that sound really good but you haven't ever read the author before? Also, since this was a slow month for me, are there any December releases you are curious about and would like to see me review?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TBR Challenge - A Most Unconventional Courtship

Title: A Most Unconventional Courtship
Author: Louise Allen

Publishing Date: May 2007
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Requested from Paperbackswap.

Alessa Meridith witnesses two local ruffians attacking an English nobleman in the courtyard outside her home after getting her laundry. She efficiently disarms the men, but unfortunately not before the nobleman is knocked unconscious by a nasty hit to the head. With the help of her neighbors, Alessa manages to get him upstairs to her apartments. She plays nurse to his injuries that night. When Lord Blakenly awakens in the morning, he finds himself entranced by this local green-eyed woman. She is obviously educated and English, but just what is she doing living unchaperoned on a Greek island?

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with this story. I put off reading it for a long time - I have no idea why. The plot carries the book, as most of the conflict is external. Alessa has an interesting back story on how she came to be on the Greek island of Corfu. It's even more interesting how she makes her way back to England. Pirates, no less, are a part of it.

There are quite a few interesting characters, especially the Albanian Count, Voltar Zagrede. These characters weren't amazingly developed, but they were still captivating and fun to read. My one quibble with the book would be how quickly Chance and Alessa fall in love. It seems that their feelings were established too quickly in the constraints of the story. All in all, I would say this is a light,
pleasant read.

This was part of my TBR Challenge, hosted by Keishon of Avid Book

(Please excuse the lack of links and pictures. I will clean it up when
I get back home)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review - Highland Obsession

Title: Highland Obsession
Author: Dawn Halliday (AKA Jennifer Haymore)
Publication Date: August 2009
Genre: Historical (Erotic)
Rating: C-
Sensuality: Burning
Book Disclosure: Rented from Paperspine and part of RT Reading Challenge

Alan MacDonald is Laird to the small village of Glenfinnan. He comes home after growing up in England to take a wife. He chooses Sorcha Stewart. Sorcha hides a secret from Alan in that she was first lovers with the Earl of Camdonn, Alan's good friend. Alan and Sorcha are wed and on their wedding night Cam kidnaps Sorcha after he realizes his feelings run deeper than a casual affair. Cam, Alan and Sorcha are tangled up in a web of deceit and will need to be honest with each other if they are to untangle it.

I was disappointed with Highland Obsession. The characters were flat and undeveloped. The situation between Alan and Sorcha, Sorcha and Cam and Cam and Alan could have been very intense, instead it was bland. Especially, the first half of the story because Alan withdraws both emotionally and physically from the situation and the action can't move forward until Alan is willing to confront both Cam and Sorcha. He finally does in the second half of the book and that is when the book does pick up.

Overall, my impression is not a good one. If this story would have been a little more even in it's pacing and I had been more emotionally drawn to the characters it would have been a better reading experience. On a positive note, at least the book was short.

Here is what others had to say:

Pearl's World of Romance
Errant Dreams Reviews
Book Addict
Lovin' Me Some Romance
Happily Forever After
Book Binge
Stacy's Place on Earth

This book can be purchased in print and kindle format from Amazon

Monday, November 16, 2009

Review - Destined For an Early Grave

Title: Destined For an Early Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publishing Date: August 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: A
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Received a signed ARC at RT 2009.

Destined For an Early Grave is book four in Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress Series. If you are not familiar with this series you might want to check out this post. Cat Crawford is half vampire and the only one of her kind in existence. She hunts the undead, but she is also married to one, Bones. Cat finds out that another vampire, Gregory is claiming that he married her before Bones, only Cat has no recollection of it. Cat is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

I think Destined For an Early Grave is my favorite of the series so far. Cat has come such a long way since the first book. She has really come into her own skin. She is much more mature and has more knowledge of the world now. All this is really made obvious in the few flashbacks that Cat has when she learns of her past with Gregory. I think Frost did a fabulous job in showing the differences between the young and older Cat.

Destined For an Early Grave focuses on Cat and Bone's relationship. They have some kinks in their relationship that they need to work on. This book focuses on those problems. Certain parts come across as very angsty and that is what I loved about it. The emotions - the highs and the lows really come across to the reader. I felt like I was right there with Cat and Bones. Not to worry, there is still plenty of humor to balance things out. Cat still zings those one liners like nobody's business. As far as I am concerned, Jeaniene Frost is at the top of her game.

Here is what others had to say:

Babbling About Books, and More
Literary Escapism
Darque Reviews

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.