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
Angieville

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:


NO ONE WILL FIND YOU.

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.

NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU

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.

NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU SCREAM

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
Reader.

(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
Fandomania
Darque Reviews

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

An Update...




So, I am headed to the Midwest tomorrow for my "real job". I have a training I will be attending for the week on a new piece of equipment my lab acquired. I am not sure if I will have access to a computer where I am headed. The hotel promises free wi-fi, but I will believe it when I see it. I have been burned in the past.

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up in case you are wondering what happened to me and why I haven't been posting or commenting. I will schedule a couple of reviews to post, but I might not be able to answer your comments until I get back. I'll be back late Friday evening.

I am excited to get away and do something different and yet I am also hesitant to leave my family. My husband will be by himself with the kids for 4 nights. He will have to get the kids ready for school, make lunches, dinners and get the kids ready for bed. I'll be honest. I am worried for him. It will be a lot of work. Hey, maybe this will mean he will appreciate me when I come back, right?! I just hope he isn't scarred for life, LOL!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Review - The Wildest Heart




Title: The Wildest Heart
Author: Rosemary Rogers
Publication Date: First in 1974, then rereleased by Sourcebooks in November 2009
Genre: Western
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Received an advanced review copy from the publisher.

The Wildest Heart is a sweeping, epic historical written by the famous romance author Rosemary Rogers. She is probably best known for Sweet Savage Love, one of the first romance books that gets talked about time and again.

The Wildest Heart is narrated by Lady Rowena Dangerfield. She grew up in India with her grandfather the Earl of Melchester, an unconventional man who believed Rowena should be given the same education as a man. To say Rowena is an unusual young woman is an understatement. The Earl dies and she is sent to London to live with her Mother and Stepfather. Her Mother resents her presence and her Stepfather lusts after her. It is quite an awful situation for Rowena. Eventually, good news comes and she learns her father has sent for her to come to America. He is co-owner of a ranch in New Mexico. So, Rowena sets off to the New World.

Things aren't what Rowena quite expected when she arrives. She learns her father has died, but he left her his journals where he chronicled his life. It seems there is a feud between the co-owner of the SD ranch, Todd Shannon and the Mexican family who claimed the land before, the Kordes. Rowena finds herself swept into the drama and intrigue.

I found myself swept into the drama and intrigue too! Rosemary Rogers excels at creating a stunning masterpiece with very intricate details that all tie into and explosive conclusion. This story was all over the map! On the one hand, it is incredibly well written. The plot is very detailed and thoroughly well thought out. On the other hand some of the subject matter is hard to swallow.

Since the story is narrated in first person, everything is discovered through Rowena's eyes. Rowena is a strong, prideful woman who is often described as cold or unfeeling as marble. She has built up this persona to shield the more vulnerable part of herself from the world. The reader understands this based on how Rowena grew up and the events that shaped her. I can't say I ever really warmed up to Rowena, but I understood her motivations very well. I also I can't say I agree with how she handled everything, but again I understand why. Rowena's personality so strongly leaps off the pages the reader will have no trouble understanding her.

What I think a lot of readers will struggle with in this story is the actual romance. Rowena eventually falls for Lucas Cord who is half Apache warrior. He is an outlaw and has an incestuous relationship with his mother. Yep, you read that right. Now, how in the world is this hero material? This was the main factor on what I struggled with and even though I did get past it (which is a testament to Roger's writing) I know it will be very bothersome to many readers. Also, it's not until the last half of the book that Rowena and Lucas begin their relationship and it is fraught with many obstacles. Of a 748 page book, I like my hero and heroine to spend more time together.

While I did enjoy this book, it is not one I would recommend to many romance readers. I think fans of historical fiction might be more intrigued by this story and then only those who enjoy more an anti-hero as opposed to a hero.

Here is what others had to say:

The Burton Review
My Book Addiction and More
Books Like Breathing
My Overstuffed Bookshelf
Revenge of the Book Nerds
Book Binge

This book can be purchased in print format from Amazon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review - To Desire a Devil




Title: To Desire a Devil
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Publishing Date: November 2009
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: A friend thoughtfully sent me her copy after she finished reading it.

To Desire a Devil is the conclusion to Elizabeth Hoyt's quartet The Legend of the Four Soldiers. Reynaud St. Aubyn was captured during the French and Indian War at the battle of Spinner's Falls. His fellow comrades in war believed him to be dead, when he was actually living as an Indian captive for seven years. He managed to survive his captivity with the strong drive that he would make it back home to England - to his title as the Earl of Blanchard and his lands. The story opens with Reynaud literally crashing a tea party in the home of the current Earl of Blanchard. He is on death's door having taken sickness from the voyage from America to England. Beatrice Corning the current Earl's niece nurses him back to health for she has always been intrigued by the portrait of smiling young man. She recognizes Reynaud from his portrait even though he seems quite changed.

Again, Elizabeth Hoyt delivers! I really enjoyed the main characters Reynaud and Beatrice. Beatrice is a sweet, simple woman. Honestly, there is nothing complicated about her. What you see is what you get. She has many good qualities, such as compassion for both Reynaud and her Uncle Reggie. Reynaud's personality is more forceful and brash in comparison. He sees her quiet strength and compassion and wants to surround himself in it. He decides what he wants and is determined to have it. Theirs was just an enjoyable romance to read.

I felt the conclusion to who the traitor was over the Spinner's Falls massacre was a tad unexciting. I mean, there have been three previous books leading up to this conclusion and when we finally get to it, it seemed deflated. However, I did enjoy seeing Sir Alastair Monroe from To Beguile a Beast put to use a very clever ambush tactic upon the traitor. It made for a good laugh. It's little clever pieces like that which keep me coming back for more. Bravo Ms. Hoyt! You make it seem so effortless!

Here is what others had to say:

Babbling About Books and More
Dear Author
Closetwriter
Book Junkie
Love Romances and More
Anna's Book Blog

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

Monday, November 9, 2009

Review - Everywhere She Turns




Title: Everywhere She Turns
Author: Debra Webb
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Borrowed this book from the local library.

Dr. CJ Patterson learns that her sister Shelley has been murdered. CJ and Shelley grew up in Huntsville, Alabama on the wrong side of the tracks. CJ was able to make something of herself and become a doctor, but her sister Shelley wasn't so lucky. Shelley was a prostitute and drug addict. CJ goes back home to make sure the police are doing what they can to find Shelley's killer. CJ knows that since Shelley wasn't an important citizen that they would be more likely to ignore her murder than make it a priority. She won't stand for that and gets involved with the investigation.

Debra Webb pens excellent suspense. I was engrossed in the story right from the beginning. The suspense portion of the story is very involved. There are a multitude of suspects and angles that the police are investigating. The reader is privy to some of the suspects' points of view, as well as CJ's and the detective Braddock's. CJ and Braddock have a past, which unfolds a little at a time over the first half of the book. The sexual tension between CJ and Braddock is very well done and their first intimate scene together is a scorcher. Whew! I felt that the evolution of their relationship was excellently done and very believable.

The one thing that bothered me with the book was CJ. For an intelligent woman she sure did make some stupid decisions. She had a tendency to put herself in dangerous situations. I think for those readers who are sensitive to this type of heroine will be annoyed with CJ. I could over look it because Webb does pen a good story. The mystery/suspense had plenty of twists and turns where eventually everything culminated in a crashing crescendo. If you can overlook the heroine's bad decision making skills, Everywhere She Turns is definitely an entertaining read.

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

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Series Sunday - The Hathaways




I can't believe I haven't done a Series Sunday post for Lisa Kleypas's popular Hathaway series. Ms. Kleypas happens to be one of my favorite authors and those of you who follow my blog I'm sure have realized this. Her writing style is so easy to read and all of her books seem to resonate with me.

The Hathaway series focuses on the Hathaway family who on the surface seems to be a bunch of misfits. They don't fit into the perfect mold that most of London Society deems essential for survival. After their parents died along with a string of other relatives, the head of the family, Leo was left with the title of Viscount and a slew of sisters to care for Amelia, Winnie, Poppy and Beatrix.

This series features each of these siblings getting their own book and gaining their happily ever after. I have read the first three books in the series. I don't necessarily think that these books need to be read in order, as each stands alone. But the reading experience would be enhanced (especially for Leo's story) if they are read in order. In my opinion, just go ahead and read them in order. I can vouch that they are all good and you won't be waisting your time!

Series Reading Order:
1. Mine Till Midnight (Amelia and Cam)
2. Seduce Me At Sunrise (Winnie and Merripen)
3. Tempt Me At Twilight (Poppy and Harry)
4. Married by Morning (Leo and Cathrine) coming Summer of 2010!
5. Love in the Afternoon (Beatrix)

*Fun Fact* Cam, the hero in Mine Till Midnight first appears in The Devil in Winter as a secondary character. He was appealing to readers then and easily garnered attention. Readers wanted him to get his own book and eventually he did!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Review - Tempt Me Tonight




Title: Tempt Me Tonight
Author: Toni Blake
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from Paperspine. Also, part of my RT Reading Challenge.

Trish Henderson and Joe Ramsey were a tight item in high school until the night that Joe chose lust over true love. Joe made a choice that he would grow to regret for a life time. Thirteen years have passed. Trish is a successful lawyer and comes home to the town of Eden where she grew up to help her parents sell their diner so they can retire to Florida. She runs into Joe at a local bar. Not making one of her better decisions she plots to seduce Joe to excercise her demons. Only what she ends up doing is opening a can of worms better left unopened and she realizes that she still harbors feelings for Joe after all these years.

Tempt Me Tonight is a fairly entertaining read if albeat a little uneven. The writing excels with the characters. Both Joe and Trish are protrayed realistically and are fully developed. The reader will come to understand both sides of the story and it will be hard to choose between the two. I felt for both Trish and Joe as they both suffered from mistakes made in the past and neither one of them was able to move forward from it. Tempt Me Tonight focuses soley on these two and what they need to do to work out their problems.

Occasionally, where my attention would wander would be when the characters took it in their mind to have a long internal discussion about the romance. I would have prefered to see action as opposed to internal dialogue. But, I can attest to some beautiful scenes, only these were few and far between. One in particular is a scene where Joe and Trish stay up all night talking and watch the sun rise in the morning. That was quite touching.

There is also the character Beverly who is sort of the villain in the story, although she isn't portrayed as "eeevil". I really appreciated that. She has her own secondary romance. I actually wanted more than we got of her story and felt that it ended all to abruptly and only scratched the surface. It got wrapped up with a neat and tidy bow, but I think there was more to the story.

All in all, I can safely say I think Toni Blake has a lot of potential and I will definitely be looking into some of her other books. I would recommend this one to fans of childhood love, or lost love themes in romance.

Here is what others had to say:

Erotic Horizon
Dear Author
Stacy's Place on Earth
Bluegrass Romance Reviews
Lovin' Me Some Romance
Laurie's Laudanum

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Review - King of Sword and Sky




Title: King of Sword and Sky
Author: C. L. Wilson
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Received from Paperbackswap

King of Sword and Sky is the third book in C. L. Wilson's Tairen Soul Series. If you are not familiar with this series, this is not the book to begin with. You'll want to start with the first book Lord of the Fading Lands. Ellysetta has been chosen to save the Fey. How she is supposed to do exactly that is not known. Ellysetta travels with Rain back to the Fading Lands to see how she can stop the Tairen and Fey from extinction. Meanwhile, back in Eld the High Mage is building up his troops preparing for war against the Fey. He has a few tricks up his sleeve that might just tip victory in his favor.

The Tairen Soul series is a sweeping fantasy tale of good verses evil. C. L. Wilson pens a visual story filled vivid imagery and numerous details. While many will find this writing style colorful and imaginative, I found it tedious. Often I found the details of Elly and Rain's plight over exemplified. It seemed every little detail made it's way into the story. Also, the Fey have so much magic. At any time they can create anything they desire, from food to clothing or even just heating up their bath water. The buildings and just about everything in the Fading Lands is so picturesque it has a Disney-like quality to it. It just seemed all to perfect to me.

The part of the story that I really enjoyed was the battle at the end. Here is where all those details really payed off. The battle just comes alive on the page and the imagery is astonishing. The intensity of the story really ratchets up a great deal. This book ends on a cliff-hanger and I can see why so many people were wanting to get the next book, Queen of Song and Souls in their hands right away. At this point, I am not sure if I will finish with this series. I don't want to have to slog through 300 pages of mundane details to get to 100 pages of really good stuff. I'm on the fence.

Here is what others had to say:

Leslie's Psyche
Dear Author
Leontine's Book Realm
Babbling About Books and More
The Book Smugglers
Lurv a La Mode
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Bodice Ripper Reviews
Aneca's World
Alpha Heroes

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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

October RT Challenge





Bet you thought I forgot about my RT Challenge for the month of October. Well you would be right, LOL! Okay, so I am a few days short but better late than never, right? I was able to read three books by authors who I have never read but will be attending the RT convention in 2010.


Jill: A Perfect Darkness by Jamie Rush - Rated: C+
Jill: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley - Rated A-
Jill: Tempt Me Tonight by Toni Blake - Rated: B-

If anybody else participated in this challenge and you would like your review linked on this post, email me or leave a comment. I will continually update this post.

If anybody wants to participate but doesn't have a blog, I would be happy to post your review here on my blog. Just email me or comment and let me know.

I will be adding this post to my sidebar and another post for the month of November. More information about this challenge can be found here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Review - Practice Makes Perfect




Title: Practice Makes Perfect
Author: Julie James
Publishing Date: March 2009
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Acquired a used one from Paperbackswap.

Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are two associate lawyers who have worked in the same law firm for the last 8 years. Both are hard working individuals who are fantastic at what they do. That is where the similarities end. Payton and J.D. have a healthy dose of competitiveness to their relationship and are always trying to out perform the other. Recently, they have been assigned to the same case and will have to learn to work together. Not only that, they are both up for partner and have been told that only one of them will be chosen.

I loved Practice Makes Perfect! This is a witty, fun, fast-paced read that I couldn't put down after picking it up. Right from the start the tone of the book was set with the first scene when Payton is preparing for work. She is rushing around getting ready, trying to beat J.D. to work. The competition begins and may the best man, or woman win. It never lets up and there are many wonderfully clever written scenes. Scenes that remain memorable long after the book has been read.

Both Payton and J.D. have chips on their shoulders. They are flawed, but I think in a good way. They are not perfect people, yet they are down right likable. At first glance J.D. might seem like a pampered elitist pretty boy - but nope, he is not like that all. Yeah, he has a lot of money, but he doesn't flash it all around. At the core he is practical and a hard worker. Payton is fiercely competitive and strong in her beliefs, but she doesn't come across as pushy. She is fair and open-minded. Really, these two were very well balance individuals.

Another big point in favor to the story is that the romance was very believable. J.D. and Payton knew each other for a long time. For 8 years they competed and fought with one another. I think it could be thought of as 8 years of foreplay! Next thing you know, each is seeing the other in a new light. One of my favorite scenes is when J.D. and Payton discuss what the other felt the first time they met. That was a very sweet scene. I definitely recommend this book for fans of contemporary romance, or those who love a light-hearted comedic romance.

Here is what others had to say:

Dear Author
Tracy's Place
Babbling About Books
The Book Smugglers
Gossamer Obsessions
Closetwriter
Good Books, Bad Books and Everything in Between
Lusty Reader
Book Addict
Janicu's Book Blog

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

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October Book Summary




This month I read 13 books and they were pretty much all over the map. I had some standouts with The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Practice Makes Perfect and Tempt Me at Twilight. Then I had some duds with Dark Lover and A Marquis to Marry. I also didn't make Nath's Re-read Challenge this month. I just felt that with all the books sitting in my TBR pile, I didn't have time to devote to a re-read. So, a give a big apology to those of you who were anticipating my review of Lucky's Lady.

1. Wild Sweet Ecstasy Goodman (Western) Rating: B-
2. A Marquis to Marry Grey (Historical) Rating: C-
3. Club Dead Harris (Urban Fantasy) Rating: B+
4. Tempt Me at Twilight Kleypas (Historical) Rating: A-
5. A Perfect Darkness Rush (Paranormal) Rating: C+
6. Frostbitten Armstrong (Urban Fantasy) Rating: B+
7. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie Ashley (Historical) Rating: A-
8. Dark Lover Joyce (Time-Travel) Rating: D
9. Dark Paradise Hoag (Suspense) Rating: B
10. Practice Makes Perfect James (Contemporary) Rating: B+
11. King of Sword and Sky Wilson (Fantasy) Rating: C+
12. Tempt Me Tonight Blake (Contemporary) Rating: B-
13. Everywhere She Turns Webb (Rom. Suspense) Rating: B


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