Friday, December 31, 2010

Review - Marry Me

Title: Marry Me
Author: Jo Goodman
Publishing Date: December 2010
Genre: Western
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I downloaded an ebook from Barnes and Noble for my Nook. The day I went to purchase the book, Barnes and Noble had it available for free. Lucky me!

Marry Me is the second book in Jo Goodman's Reidsville series. Cole Monroe finds himself accepting a position as town doctor for Reidsville, Colorado after his younger, mischievous sister sends the town his impressive resume. One of his first goals as the new doctor is to see all the patients in the town and that includes the recluses who live in the nearby mountains. Cole is escorted by the local deputy, Will “that no account Betty boy” to the Abbott's cabin in the woods. When he gets there he finds Runt Abbott in a very bad way. He stays to take care of her and then eventually offers her a position as housekeeper in his home.

Marry Me starts off at a very brisk pace with Dr. Monroe saving Runt or Rhyne Abbott’s life. I felt like the author started at the ending of the story and then slowly back tracked to allow the readers to figure out why Rhyne was in the situation she was in at the beginning of the story. This type of writing has the ability to just suck me right into the story and is one of the reason's I just love Jo Goodman. Not to mention that her characters are always fully fleshed out. In the case of Marry Me the situation was very unique and unusual.

Most of the book revolves around Rhyne and Cole, although Rhyne and her back story is the main focus. There are some secondary characters. I think Whitney, Cole's sister stands out the most to me. At sixteen she is a breath of fresh air. Most people think she has a strange way about her. I found her to be refreshing and her vibrancy was not annoying at all. She balanced Cole's staid personality very well. I wonder if she will get her own story down the road.

One little quirk in the book that sort of irritated me was that Will's character was always referred to as "that no account Betty boy". After a while that got old. Essentially, throughout the whole book he was ALWAYS referred to that way. But really, that aside, a Jo Goodman book is always a treat and Marry Me is no exception.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review - Fancy Pants

Title: Fancy Pants
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publishing Date: 1989
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased an ebook for my Nook from Barnes and Noble.

Fancy Pants is the first book in Susan Elizabeth Phillips Texas Wynette series. It tells the story of Francesca Serritella Day, an English socialite heiress who ends up penniless in the Southern United States with only the clothes on her back. It is a tale of a spoiled, self-absorbed woman who at the lowest point of her life faces self discovery to become one of the best journalists television has ever seen. Along the way Francesca meets Dallie Beaudine, a golf pro who seems to be the one man immune to Francesca's charms.

Wow! What can I say about this book? First of all, if you haven't read a book by the famous SEP, what are you waiting for? Ms. Phillips pens an incredible story. Now, granted this is not my favorite by her, but hot DAMN, what a story! The book starts out a little slow because it sets up Francesca's childhood and even goes into the details of her conception. Really, though it is all still quite entertaining, it's just that I know romance readers and they will want the author to get to the main romance right away. Be patient and you will be rewarded.

Don't worry though, once Francesca and Dallie meet - BAM it is like fire and ice. If you like polar opposites attracting then these two characters are right up your alley. Like cats and dogs these to fight with each other and their first encounter is especially memorable. I give Ms. Phillips and A+ for originality. That is for sure.

Now, this story is a little dated. It takes place in the eighties and some of the male perspective is definitely old fashioned. But these two characters are such strong personalities and the story is so entertaining I let a lot of the character's flaws go by the wayside. One thing that I really enjoyed about the story is that the characters GROW throughout the story. They are not perfect and because the story spans 15+ years Dallie and Francesca have time to learn from their mistakes. I really enjoyed this one. I wouldn't recommend this particular story to introduce people to SEP, but for those of you who have read her and liked her will want to read this one too.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Upcoming January Releases!

It seems like with the turn of the new year things will be picking up in the new releases department. I am looking forward to a decent amount of books this January. Here they are as follows!

Book 3 - Succubus Diaries
Urban Fantasy
December 28, 2010

Book 1- Scandal Series
January 1, 2011

Book 3 - Skin Series
January 4, 2011

Book 5 - Fever Series
Urban Fantasy
January 18, 2011

Book 3 - Halstead Hall
January 18, 2011

Book 6 - Wynette Texas Series
January 18, 2011

What books are you looking forward to?


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Review - The Bounty Hunter

Title: The Bounty Hunter
Author: Cheryl St. John
Publishing Date: 2005
Genre: Western
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from

Nick Harding after years of being a bounty hunter, finally decides that he would like to settle down somewhere and possibly start a family and become part of a community. He accepts a position for Sheriff in the mining town of Thunder Canyon where he meets Miss Lily Divine the owner of The Shady Lady. Lily insists that she is running a legal saloon and nothing else but the Sherriff is slow to believe her as he fights his growing attraction.

The Bounty Hunter is a touching story that explores the possibilities of love once trust is given. While Nick is very attracted to Lily it takes him a long time to trust her. This is one of the things that frustrated me with this book. He was willing to have a physical relationship with Lily and yet keep himself emotionally distant from her at the same time. It also bothered me that he couldn't see Lily for who she was right away. It took him too damn long, in my opinion.

I think that Lily was the stronger character. I really enjoyed her personality. She was very independent for a woman of that time period and she had a lot of confidence in herself and the choices she had to make due to life's difficult circumstances. The Bounty Hunter had good characterization and the town seemed like a character all on its own. Ms. St. John does a very good job of immersing the reader in Western town life. Overall, I enjoyed the story. However, Nick just needed to get a clue.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A December update: My Crazy Life!

December is a crazy time of year for most people. With the Christmas holiday celebrations and then New Year celebrations things can be quite hectic. I am experiencing the same. Today I was finally able to finish up my Christmas shopping, only one more day until Christmas. Now I have to worry about wrapping everything. Nothing like the last minute!

In keeping with the theme of "not enough time" I am behind in my reading. I haven't read this month's book choice for my new reading group, nor have I read the arc I received for Prelude to a Scandal by Delilah Marvelle. Delilah is a good friend of mine and I promised I would read her book, soon to be released in January and it is the first book in a new edgy, historical series. I am so excited for her and want to wish her the best well wishes for a successful launch of this new series. She even was featured in January's edition of the RT Book Review's Magazine.

Don't get me wrong, I love this time of year. But do any of you ever experience the pressure and expectation that comes with the holidays? Do you ever feel like you are three steps behind instead of just enjoying it from day to day?

This post is all over the place. Let's just chalk it up to my frazzled current state of mind because of this time of year. One other thing I would like to mention is that the RT Book Reviews Magazine is also hosting a Reader Survey. This survey is a great way to help the industry understand what romance reader's habits are along with their wants and needs. Please help to make sure the industry has a grip on what romance readers are looking for in the future. You can participate in the survey by clicking this link. The survey closes at the end of this month, so don't delay!

Happy Holidays to everyone from Romance Rookie!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review - Naked

Title: Naked
Author: Megan Hart
Publishing Date: August 2010
Genre: Contemporary (Erotic)
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Burning
Book Disclosure: I purchased an ebook from Barnes and Noble for my Nook.

Naked is loosely connected to Megan Hart's book Tempted. It continues with Alex Kennedy meeting Olivia Mackey the morning after a Holiday celebration. It turns out that Alex needs a place to stay for a few months and Olivia has an apartment she can rent out to him while he is in town on business. Both are attracted to each other but Olivia is very hesitant to become involved in a relationship with a man who might swing both ways. She was already hurt once by her former fiancé Patrick who finally came out of the closet.

Megan Hart's writing is so difficult for me to give a grade when reviewing. I think she is such a fabulous writer. Her characters are completely fleshed out and so human that it is hard not to be drawn in by them and have an emotional reaction. But at the same time sometimes the characters are so human, faults and all, that the very same thing that drew you in pushes you away. Am I making any sense at all?

Let's start with Alex. On the outside he seems so completely put together. All posh and circumstance, yet just past the surface the man is a mess. He thinks he knows what he wants, but I am not convinced that he does. Olivia's perception when it comes to relationships is very skewed and much of this is due to the fact that the only serious relationship she has had is with a gay man.

But despite all these obstacles it is obvious that these two when together are happy. They have baggage that they will have to work to overcome. I like that the author doesn't sugar coat things and faces the fact that for the relationship to be successful, Olivia and Alex will have to work for it. I really liked how Ms. Hart ties themes of acceptance throughout the book. She took religion, race and sexual orientation all without being preachy, and showed how these things can affect a person or people. I thought that was very well done of her and it gave the book quite a bit of depth.

I must admit the way the book was going I thought it was going to end badly. Fortunately, things were resolved in the end, but I felt that the ending was VERY abrupt. I wish that things could have been hammered out a little better and eventually this is what led me to lower the grade rating. I am not entirely convinced of the happy ever after.

Here is what others had to say:
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review - Warrior

Title: Warrior
Author: Zoe Archer
Publishing Date: September 2010
Genre: Historical Paranormal
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from

Warrior is the first book in Zoe Archer's The Blades of the Rose series. Captain Gabriel Huntley has only known the life of a soldier, but now that he has left the service he has plans to settle down in the English countryside. Not long after leaving the docks he witnesses a group of people attacking a man. Never one to stand an unfair fight, Gabriel comes to the man’s assistance. Unfortunately, the man dies and Gabriel makes a promise to go to Mongolia to deliver a message. When Gabriel gets to Mongolia, he becomes embroiled in a mission upon saving magical artifacts that must not get into the wrong hands. Never one to back away from danger, Gabriel takes it upon himself to protect Thalia Burgess, whose father is a member of The Blades of the Roses and is too sick to go on the mission himself.

For me the strength of this book is the unusual setting of Mongolia and the paranormal plot development. The scenery and customs of the Mongolian people is unique and interesting to read about. The history of the people and how magic is tied to the earth reminded me some of Native American culture. The fact that the story is told through an Englishman and woman makes it all the more different.

While I like both Gabriel and Thalia, I felt that the romance between these two seemed forced. Instead of showing me how the relationship developed, the author told me. At least this is how it was in the beginning of the book. By the time I had read half the book, I felt the writing had gotten better and the relationship felt less forced. For me though, I was more focused on the external conflict between the Blades and Heirs. I definitely see the potential in this series. It is unusual enough that I will be giving the second book Scoundrel a try.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Review - Play Dead

Title: Play Dead
Author: Harlen Coben
Publishing Date: 2010
Genre: General Fiction
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from my co-worker.

Play Dead is Harlan Coben's first published novel. It has been rereleased this year. There is a letter from the author warning readers that if this is your first experience to reading one of his books he suggests that they stop reading, go and get another of his books and then come back to this one. I had to laugh because this book is my first by Mr. Coben and I couldn't read a different one because this was December's book club choice. So, I went into reading this book with an open mind.

I can completely see how Harlan Coben has been able to keep readers spellbound and why he has such a following. The story he weaves is one that makes readers try to figure out what the hell is going on. He gives the reader just enough information to keep them hanging on to find out what next little secret he is going to reveal.

Now having said all that, I can see why he was apologizing to his fans and telling new readers not to start with this book. It is painfully obvious to me that this is an inexperienced author. The story is rich with its twists and turns, but it is executed poorly. The book was 500+ pages and could have been told in 300 and I would have been satisfied. Often times the clues where all too stingily delivered to have them pounded into the ground over and over by different character view points.

I found Play Dead to be an entertaining read. But I thought the two main characters were slightly superficial and the book a little too long. Other than that, I felt that Harlan Coben has great potential and wouldn't be averse to trying something else by him. Do any of you who have read him before have recommendations?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Nice Surprise!

In the mornings I leave myself an extra twenty minutes in the morning when I am getting ready for work to have time to read while I eat my breakfast and drink my coffee. Last night I had just finished Fancy Pants by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - really interesting book by-the-way, I can't wait to tell you my thoughts on it.

So this morning I was in the mood to read Marry Me, Jo Goodman's latest release. I don't have the book in my TBR pile, but lucky for me I have a Nook eReader and I can download the book in a heartbeat. To my pleasant surprise when I went to purchase the book I discovered that it was FREE!!!

Yep, for whatever reason Barnes and Noble is offering Marry Me in the Nook eBook format for FREE. If you have a Nook or the Barnes and Noble eReader app for your smart phone you can get it for free. Also, Amazon is offering the Kindle eBook for free as well. Be sure to check it out.

More Free Books

Also, I recently received an email from Sourcebooks letting me know that in honor of Jane Austin's birthday, certain books will be available for FREE.

Below I have posted the message I was sent. It looks like these books are only available for one day, so act fast!!!

Sourcebooks, the world’s leading publisher of Jane Austen fiction, is offering a unique deal to readers who want to celebrate Jane by reading special editions of all six of Austen’s beloved novels in a 21st century format.

Special e-book editions of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Mansfield Park will be available for free for one day only. These celebratory editions include the full novels, plus the legendary color illustrations of the Brock brothers, originally created to accompany the books in 1898.

In addition to the Jane Austen classics, readers can also enjoy these bestselling Austen-inspired novels. The following bestselling e-books will be free on December 16th in honor of her birthday:

Eliza’s Daughter by Joan Aiken
The Darcys & the Bingleys by Marsha Altman
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown
The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins
The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview
Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange
Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan
Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds

Available wherever eBooks are sold.

I downloaded Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll.  I loved that book.  Whew is it sexy!!  Ms. Austin would be rolling in her grave if she ever read that book.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Review - Happy Ever After

Title: Happy Ever After
Author: Nora Roberts
Publishing Date: November 2010
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from

Happy Ever After is the last book in Nora Robert's Bride Quartet, a series that revolves around four twenty-something women who co-own a wedding planning company. Parker Brown's three best friends from childhood have found the loves of their lives and are soon to be married. Parker, Ms. Super-Organized, hasn't made time for herself. She is great at micromanaging everybody else’s lives but when it comes to dating she has let the ball drop. Enter Malcolm Kavanaugh, Parker's mechanic and brother’s friend. He is not intimated by Parkers cool demeanor. He wants to take their relationship to the next level. He just has to let Parker know that his intentions are honorable.

Happy Ever After is a good conclusion to a fun series. I feel like the women of Vows, Emma, Mac, Parker and Laurel are my girlfriends too. Nora Roberts is just good like that. She really excels at scenes with group action and dialogue, and there is plenty of that in Happy Ever After. Not to worry though, Parker and Mal get their one-on-one time too. Mal is my kind of hero. He knows what he wants and he is confident enough to go after it. He takes what he wants and asks for it after the fact. Uppity Parker doesn't have a clue how to handle Malcolm. He is completely unpredictable and the shields she keeps in place end up shattering in his presence.

I rather enjoyed Happy Ever After, however this book was not a WOW book for me. I feel that Mal and Parker were missing that magic ingredient, that certain something, to make it really shine. I don't know if the development of the relationship was too quick for me, or if I just wanted more scenes between Mal and Parker. I really don't know, but something was missing. All in all, this was a fun book to read and Happy Ever After was a satisfactory conclusion to the series.

Here is what others had to say:
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Nitty Gritty
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Touching Base

Hi Everyone. It has been a little while since I have touched base with you. I have some exciting news to share with you. I have joined a book club! A couple of ladies at my work belong to the same book club and have invited me to join with them. I went to the first meeting on Tuesday this week. We meet once a month.

This is not a romance book club per say, but these ladies are not opposed to reading romance. As a matter of fact, a couple months back one of the book choices was Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. This gave me a lot of hope that they might be willing to try books from the romance genre. Also, my co-worker A---, whom shall remain anonymous, loves historical romance and was reading a Christina Dodd book this week. Whoop! I recommended Jo Goodman to her (hee, hee).

The book club choice for this month was Play Dead by Harlan Coben. This is not a romance but I will be reviewing it shortly for those of you who are interested. It was very Sydney Sheldon-esq, not too bad for the first book.

There are eight of us in the book club and in alphabetical order each of us rotates choosing a book each month. The next book chosen is On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts. I haven't read this author before but on the cover Debbie Macomber and Susan Wiggs have quotes praising the book, both of whom are romance authors - again another good sign.

It is such a treat to discover that people I know read and read romance on top of it! I can't wait until it's my month to choose a book. I might need some of your help with the decision making process. I'll keep you posted on how the book club works out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review - A Virgin River Christmas

Title: A Virgin River Christmas
Author: Robyn Carr
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from

A Virgin River Christmas is the fourth book in Robyn Carr's Virgin River series. I absolutely adore this series. The men are the stuff of legends and it is such a feel-good treat to read. Even though this series is so great, I feel that this book can stand on its own. You really don't need to have read the other books in the series to enjoy this story. However, I do highly recommend them, but this is a fine place to see if Robyn Carr is an author for you.

Marcie Sullivan decides that she must find Ian Buchanan, the man who saved her husband’s life. See a few years back, Marcie's husband Bobby was severely injured in Afghanistan. Ian managed to get Bobby to safety but was devastated to learn that Bobby was paralyzed and never came out of the coma. Bobby considered Ian his hero and best friend. Marcie and Ian were pen pals during the years Marcie nursed Bobby. Then Bobby passed away and Marcie feels that she can't move on until she finds Ian and gives him Bobby's collection of baseball cards.

I picked up this book because I was in the mood for a Christmas read to get me in the holiday spirit and plus I love this series and Robyn Carr's writing. It was a no brainer. I am very happy I chose it because it was such a sweet story. Marcie and Ian are great characters and it was a treat to read their story.

Marcie is a little fire-cracker who once gets an idea into her head cannot be distracted. A little pit-bull is our Marcie. Ian on the other hand is a self contained mystery who wants nothing but isolation. His world is tilted upside down when Marcie disrupts his quaint, or maybe a better word is rustic, existence. These two have a large obstacle to overcome - that being the death of Bobby - but work things out and they do. It is a heartwarming story to say the least. I highly recommend this series and this book. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review - Touch of Scandal

Title: One Touch of Scandal
Author: Liz Carlyle
Publishing Date: October 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from the library.

One Touch of Scandal is the first book in a new trilogy by Liz Carlyle. The trilogy revolves around a secret society, Fraternitas Aurea Crucis. Lucifer, Lord Ruthveyn is one such member. He is surprised to find Grace Guathier on the front stoop of the clubhouse in search of help. Grace has been accused of murdering her fiancé. Her father now deceased had told her if she was ever in trouble to find Sergeant Welham. Instead of finding her childhood friend, Grace finds herself ensnared by the dark enigmatic Lord Ruthveyn.

There is a lot going on in One Touch of Scandal. Amongst the romance between Grace and Lucifer there is the mystery surrounding Grace's fiancé. There is also the secret society and its political intrigues and then there is a paranormal/psychic quality to Lucifer's personality. All of these different side-plots were very well thought out. I especially found the murder plot very intriguing. However, with so much going on in the book I thought the romance between Lucifer and Grace suffered some. This could be due to my lack of interest in the political parts of the book, when I would rather to get back to the romance.

I liked Grace's character. She was able to pull Lucifer emotionally out behind the wall he built up around himself. The trust between these two characters was crucial and for both characters. Grace is accused of murder and Lucifer intuitively believes Grace when she says she didn't do it. He never waivers in his belief of her. Similarly, Grace accepts that Lucifer is different and patiently waits for him to trust his secrets to her. I think if the external plot points had been toned down a little I would have enjoyed the story more.

Here is what others had to say:
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Access Romance - Come and visit!

It's my turn over at Access Romance. Today, I am asking the question "Does age matter?" Come on over and visit with us!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November Book Summary

Hi Everybody! How was the month of November for book reading?! For me it was a pretty decent month, if I do say so myself. I am so lucky that my reading mojo has continued on as long as it has. Usually, I have a book jag at some point during the year and I have yet to experience one this year. Even though last month was tough as far as book quality - no "A" reads among the bunch. This month was a little better. My best book was Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie and my worst read was Bound to a Warrior by Donna Fletcher. I had two fun surprises with Demon From the Dark and A Virgin River Christmas by two of my favorite series.

1. Touching Darkness, Rush (Paranormal) Rating: B
2. Wicked Lovely, Marr (YA/Paranormal) Rating: B
3. Bound to a Warrior, Fletcher (Medieval) Rating: C-
4. Pleasure Control, Fox (Contemporary/Erotic) Rating: C
5. Demon from the Dark, Cole (Paranormal) Rating: B+
6. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, Kleypas (Contemporary) Rating: B
7. The Pirate Lord, Jeffries (Historical) Rating: B-
8. Maybe This Time, Crusie (Contemporary/Paranormal) Rating: A-
9. A Touch of Scandal Liz Carlyle (Historical) Rating: B-
10. A Virgin River Christmas, Carr (Contemporary) Rating: B+
11. Happy Ever After, Roberts (Contemporary) Rating: B

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review - Maybe This Time

Title: Maybe This Time
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Publishing Date: September 2010
Genre: Contemporary/Paranormal
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from the library.

Andie Miller goes to see her ex-husband North whom she hasn't seen in ten years to ask that he stop sending her alimony checks. After all, she has every single one he has sent over the years and not a single one was ever deposited. But seeing North is a shock to Andie's senses. She can't believe the overwhelming feelings that come rushing back after that brief encounter. Plus, she somehow finds herself the nanny to two unruly children who have recently been orphaned which North now has sole custody. When Andie arrives to whip the children into shape, she realizes it's not the children who are the problem, it’s the unruly ghosts that are haunting the house.

The last Jennifer Crusie book that I read earlier in the year, Wild Ride was a very big disappointment. I really wasn't sure what to expect with Maybe This Time, but I was definitely intrigued by the summary. It turns out that Maybe This Time is a huge score for me and I think fans of Ms. Crusie will delight in this latest release.

Where to begin...the characterization is great. Andie and North just jump off the pages. Andie and North are opposites. Andie is whimsical, flighty, impulsive and fun, whereas North is responsible, organized and serious. We get to see a lot of Andie through North's eyes and vice versa North through Andie's. These characteristic s are what attracted the other, but it is also what eventually drove them apart.

Even though these two aren't together through a lot of the book, we relive their past relationship through flashbacks including how they first met. I think this is the first book with the reconciling couple theme that I have really enjoyed. Ms. Crusie gets it right. This time I really do believe that they can make it work the second time around.

One little odd ball thing that I would like to point out with this book was that there were references to electronics that lead me to believe that this book was written a few years ago. For example, the little girl Alice likes to listen to her Walkman instead of an iPod and also there are references to them watching videos instead of DVDs. It just made the story seem dated. At any rate, this one was a page turner and it worked really well for me.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Review - The Pirate Lord

Title: The Pirate Lord
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Publishing Date: 1998
Genre: Historical
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from

The Pirate Lord is the first book in Sabrina Jeffries Lord Trilogy. Sara Willis, Stepdaughter to the late Earl of Blackmore, has devoted her life to helping those less fortunate than her. She learns that a group of women convicts are being shipped to New South Wales. Despite her brother's opposition Sara obtains passage on the ship as a schoolteacher. Shortly after passage Sara's boat is taken by a group of pirates. The Captain Gideon Horn learns that the ship is full of women and gets the brilliant idea to capture the ship so his men will have wives. Gideon has found an unoccupied island in the tropics and plans to create his own Utopia. His plans don't exactly go as planned once Sara puts her mind to riling up the women to disagree to the idea.

I picked up The Pirate Lord because my good friend Kristie J. recommended it to me. It sounded like a fun, yet silly book and I haven't read a good pirate romance in a while. I was pleasantly surprised that the book wasn't as silly as I feared. It actually had more serious undertones than I expected and was pleasantly surprised. It was a little slow in the middle and the ending was predictable. However, I thought both Gideon and Sara were strong characters.

Sara and Gideon have met their match with the other. Both are used to getting what they want, easily bowling over any opposition. Once they encounter each other it is like fire to water. Both are stubborn in the face of their own wants and beliefs and are not afraid to go after them. Their first encounters are fun to read. The middle part of the book drags a little bit for me because Sara takes so long to come to the conclusion that Gideon is a good man. It is pretty obvious to the reader that he is a decent guy despite his kidnapping a bunch of women for his own nefarious purposes! Gideon is one of those heroes who doesn't trust women and predictably the story foreshadows that Gideon will believe that Sara betrays him. While that was predictable there is still a surprise element that left me quite satisfied with the story. Thanks Kristie J for recommending this one to me!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review - Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor

Title: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publishing Date: November 2010
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from the library.

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor is the first book in a new contemporary romance series by Lisa Kleypas. This new series revolves around three bachelor brothers whose parents have passed away. Mark Nolan, the oldest of the group, finds himself the guardian to his niece when his younger sister unexpected dies in a car accident. Holly, at age 7, easily steals his heart as a solemn, silent child. Mark takes Holly into a local toy shop that recently opened up and is owned by Maggie Collins who is no stranger to grief. She, herself, is a recent widow and feels and instant connection with Holly and not to mention Mark. Maggie isn't sure if she is ready for the feelings Mark stirs in her.

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor is a sweet, stirring story about grief and recovery. Holly is such a sweet child, you can't help but feel tenderness towards her and it is no surprise that as reluctant as Mark is about his surprising parenthood he takes to it like a duck to water. I enjoyed the camaraderie between Mark and his brother Sam as they muddle through learning the ropes of child rearing and establishing a family atmosphere for Holly.

Holly is extremely reluctant to get involved in another romantic relationship after the devastation of losing her husband. So it is with reluctance that she develops a friendship with Mark and his daughter Holly. But the truth is Holly is irresistibly drawn to Mark. I enjoyed this sweet romance between Holly and Mark. Although, my major complaint would be that the story was too short!! The story is only 210 pages and of course as a fan of Ms. Kleypas I wanted so much more. Really, I felt like this story was just a tease of greatness to come from this new series. I can't wait for more!

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Turkey Day and December Releases

Happy Turkey Day, everybody!!! I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving. I know we sure did. Hubby and I went to my Uncle's place and he lives on a farm. The kids wore themselves out feeding the pigs, riding horses and chasing the dog. We're city folk, so we don't commune with nature nearly enough. I practically had to drag the kids inside when it was time to eat dinner, they wanted to spend every moment outside that they could.  Below is Annabelle and Jake on my Uncle's horse. 

On to the important stuff, like giving thanks to book publishers and authors for keeping me entertained. Coming up in December I have just a few books in which I am looking forward to their release.

Dirk and Steele Series - Book 10


Contemporary Erotic
What about you?  What's on your wishlist?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review - Demon From the Dark

Title: Demon From the Dark
Author: Kresley Cole
Publishing Date: September 2010
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from

Demon from the Dark is the 8th full length novel in Kresley Cole's Imortals after Dark series. Carrow Graie is a witch who has been captured by a group seeking to add to their paranormal menagerie. They have tasked Carrow with locating Malkom Slaine, a Vemon (vampire/demon). They have her sweet niece Ruby as collateral to make her comply. Things get tricky when Carrow starts to fall in love with the beast. How can she possibly choose between Ruby or Malkom?

I love this series, but the last couple of books have left me with a bad taste in my mouth, worried that the series isn't going anywhere. Things seemed a little stagnant in terms of the big war amongst the immortals. Well, I am happy to say this book pushed all those worries to the back of my mind. It was an incredible journey and things are finally starting to pick up in terms of the overall story arc. Yay!!!!

I had a little bit of trouble getting into the story. It started out slow giving us Malkom's back story, plus coupled with my own preconceived notions, made me put it down and pick it back up repeatedly. Once I got past the first chapter (I know, short attention span) things really picked up. Malkom is a crazy beast of a man. Well, not exactly a man, a demon really. But he is completely Alpha with a soft, sensitive inner core. Carrow can't help but be drawn to him. He is fiercely protective, yet extremely inexperienced when it comes to women. He is a very unique hero and a lot of romance fans are going to adore him. I know I did.

I really enjoyed Demon from the Dark. I have not been as enthusiastic about paranormal romance compared with urban fantasy, but I thought Demon from the Dark was up there with urban fantasy this time. I highly recommend this series and this book if you like paranormal romance. I recently posted an excerpt, which you can find here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review - Pleasure Control

Title: Pleasure Control
Author: Cathryn Fox
Publishing Date: 2006
Genre: Contemporary/Erotic
Rating: C
Senuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy from the RT Book Lovers Convention.

Pleasure Control is book one of Cathryn Fox's Pleasure Game series. Laura Manning is a scientist working on discovering a potion to inhibit a man's libido. For a long time she has had a crush on her lab partner Jay Cutler. With a deadline for the potion hanging over them, Jay suggests Laura try the potion on him and then seduce him to see if it works. Against her better judgment Laura goes along with the plan.

Pleasure Control was an okay read for me. This book kind of gets the kiss of death I guess since there is not a lot that sets it apart from other books, nor is there anything that really stands out in my mind about it. It was neither good nor bad but somewhere in between. The characters, the plot and the execution were all just mediocre. What else can I say?

The good things Pleasure Control has going for it are that is it short and sweet. There is not a lot of conflict. It's a relatively fast read at only 228 pages. Unfortunately, I can't really recommend it, unless there is not much else to read, or you want something short.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guess the Book #7

Can you guess the book this passage came from?

Before she could retreat, he cupped the back of her neck, easing the canteen to just before her lips. Apparently, he wanted to hand-feed her the water.

She didn't trust the demon, didn't like him. He was brutish, possibly a hardened murderer. She was tempted to tell him where he could shove that canteen, but she needed the contents too badly.

Humans could die after three days without water-- indoors. C--- had been in hell for more than a day, mostly running, and she was feeling it.

"Very well." She parted her lips, and he pressed the opening against them. Water flowed, hot and metallic. Never had she tasted anything as good.

As she drank, she could feel the liquid already hitting her system, the effects washing over her with the force and speed of a drug rush. Her eyelids slid shut.

Within moments, her headache and twinges ebbed.

He drew the canteen away, but only to let her breathe for a second. "So good," she murmured.

He hastily pressed it back to her lips. She peeked at him, saw how he stared at her, his gaze hooded. He was probably growing aroused by how greedily she hit that canteen.

But she couldn't worry about that. Water ran down her chin and neck, wetting her halter over one of her breasts. Doesn't matter.

What was wrong with her? She was being manipulated by a demon, was captive to his whims. He could bite her at any time. And I can barely keep my eyes open.

He pulled it away much too soon, his eyes glued to her sodden top. He got a sinful look in his eyes...then he poured water over her other breast. She jerked back, out of his hold, gasping, "Stop that!"

In the middle of a place like this, purposely spilling water seemed extravagant and wicked. She couldn't contain a shiver, and her nipples hardened beneath her halter, right before his transfixed gaze.

He gave a husky growl, emanating a weird sense of happiness. Like awe. Like wonder.

"Ara, minde jart," he finally said, hitting his hand against his chest. His voice had gotten hoarse.

"Female, my...heart?" Again, he tried to make her understand that she was his. So he thought that was the only reason she hadn't surrendered to him?

What do you think? Any ideas??

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review - Bound to a Warrior

Title: Bound to a Warrior
Author: Donna Fletcher
Publishing Date: September 2010
Genre: Medieval
Rating: C-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I bought an ebook from Barnes & Noble for my Nook.

Duncan MacAlpine, on his way back home to Scotland finds himself captured by the English. He is handcuffed to a brave English woman, Mercy. At the first opportunity Duncan and Mercy break away from their captors. They must travel over treacherous land riddled with English soldiers avoiding recapture while literally bound to each other by their wrists. Talk about teamwork. These two must learn to master the art of hiking, eating, bathing and sleeping as one unit.

Sounds like a winning scenario for a great romance, right? Not so much. After the first chapter I knew this book wasn't for me. I am one of those optimistic readers who hope that the book is going to get better. While it did get better, it still wasn't a stellar read.

My main problem with the book was the writing style. It was overly simplified and too explanative. I didn't need to be given an explanation for every little action made by either Mercy or Duncan. Readers aren't idiots. We don't need every little nuance spelled out. Give us good action and we can intuit what is going on between the characters for ourselves. Also, the characters especially Mercy seemed a little too "fairy tale" perfect. Their personalities were not realistic enough for my taste. It is difficult for me to recommend this book.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review - Wicked Lovely

Title: Wicked Lovely
Author: Melissa Marr
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from my library

Wicked Lovely is the first book in Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series. Aislinn has always been able to see faeries ever since she can remember. Her Gram taught her that no matter what, she must pretend as if they don't exist. Up until now that really hadn't been a problem for Aislinn to pretend as if they didn't exist, until Keenan the Summer King decides that Aislinn is his Summer Queen and must make it so. Keenan sets out to court Aislinn but to his dismay she doesn't want anything to do with him, no matter that he is the most beautiful man she has ever laid eyes on.

I don't usually read YA novels, but there has been a lot of buzz revolving around Miss Marr's popular series and what the hell, why shouldn't I jump on the faery train too? With that said, I liked the story. It was very captivating, although with Aislinn being so young I felt like her maturity level was difficult for me, personally, to relate too. This is one of the reasons I have hesitated to read YA. But that minor issue of mine aside, I did enjoy the story and wouldn't mind continuing with the series.

Wicked Lovely's pacing was great and the story just flowed beautifully. There is plenty of conflict between Aishlinn trying hard not to attract any attention from the faeries, Keenan not being successful with his courtship of Aishlinn and to Aishlinn and Keenan defeating the Winter Queen. I wish there would have been more description of the faery world and how everything works. Although as the series progresses, I am sure more will be revealed. Also, I thought Aishlinn was a little weak as a heroine, but that also could have been attributed to her age. I mean what teenager isn't riddled with doubts, right? Good story. Good writing. I'm definitely reading more.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Review - Touching Darkness

Title: Touching Darkness
Author: Jaime Rush
Publishing Date: May 2010
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy at the RT Book Lovers convention this year.

Touching Darkness is the third book in Jaime Rush's Offspring series. Nicholas Braden was recruited by the CIA to find a dangerous group of young people called "Offspring". Nicholas has always been good at finding things ever since he was a teen and now he can put those skills to good use, or so he thinks. After a while he discovers that the side he is fighting on may not be the right side. He has to convince Olivia, the director’s daughter that her Father is involved in illegal activities. Nicholas must find answers if he is going to survive and protect Olivia as well.

Touching Darkness is my favorite book in the series thus far. Plot wise things are really heating up. More information is revealed regarding the secrets behind the Blue Eyes science project. The bigger picture is starting to unfold and new intriguing characters are introduced with very interesting psychic powers. Also, it is interesting to see those "happy for now" endings in past books are continuing and evolving in this book, Lucas and Amy's relationship especially.

As far as the main relationship, Nicholas courts Olivia with tenderness. Their romance was very sweet and not at all what I had expected compared to the other books in the series. Olivia is a very sheltered young woman who spent most of her life in isolation trying to please her Father. Nicholas's upbringing was very different from Olivia's as he came from a loving family and had a normal childhood. The romance is still the weakest part of the book for me because it is not nearly as well developed as the plot. However, because Nicholas and Olivia were very young characters, 20 and 23 respectively, it worked for me. And the plot is fantastic. Therefore I am willing to sacrifice some of the romance. I definitely will be reading the next book in the series.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review - An Unforgettable Lady

Title: An Unforgettable Lady
Author: Jessica Bird/J. R. Ward
Publishing Date: 2004
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

An Unforgettable Lady was originally published in 2004 under the penname Jessica Bird and was rereleased this year because of JR Ward's popularity. Grace Hall is a woman born of wealth and privilege. A madman had decided to target the richest most influential women of New York. One by one Grace's friends are being brutally murdered in their homes and Grace fears that she will be next. She hires John Smith, a body guard to the rich and famous who is the best in the business. What complicates things even more is that John and Grace shared a passionate moment a few days prior and neither thought they would see the other again.

An Unforgettable Lady was my first Jessica Bird book and a contemporary none the less. I am very familiar with Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books which I have enjoyed very much. I was looking forward to this with enthusiasm. I thought it was a solid read with a few minor annoyances.

I liked both Grace and John's personalities. Grace although a high society princess, never acted like one. She was very considerate and polite of others, albeit she was always very contained when it came to her own emotions. Her buttoned up demeanor is what John is drawn to and he can't help but admire her poise. John himself is very contained when it comes to his emotions except when he is around Grace. Then he surprises himself when he is unable to remain in control. I enjoyed his inner monologues when he is trying to rationalize his attraction to Grace and the steps he plans to take to resolve this problem. As logical as he tries to be it doesn't exactly work out like he planned.

John and Grace fight their attraction to each other for most of the book. This is where the book falters for me somewhat. This is not a romantic suspense therefore John and Grace's relationship is front and center. While this may sound like a good thing, I felt that the middle of the book became stagnant with not enough of the plot moving forward. Grace and John fighting their attraction is okay the first couple of times, but after the fifth time, things were getting old. Lather, rinse and repeat. Other than a dull middle, the beginning and end were great. I can see myself reading more of Ward's contemporary books.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Best of 2002

Another one of my "best of" posts.

Here are the top books for 2002 according to RWA and AAR.

***Bold means I read it - and () is my personal grade for that book. At the bottom will be my top picks for this year, based on what books I read.

Lets see how things compare...

RWA's 2002 RITA Winners
Shades of Honor by Wendy Lindstrom
No Place Like Home by Barbara Samuel
Never Say Goodbye by Irene Hannon
Taking Cover by Catherine Mann
Stealing Heaven by Madeline Hunter (B)
Contact by Susan Grant (B)
A Debt To Delia by Barbara Metzger
Three Fates by Nora Roberts
Taming The Outlaw by Cindy Kay Gerard
The Bride Fair by Cheryl Reavis
The Christmas Basket by Debbie Macomber

All About Romance - Reader's Poll
Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann (B+)
Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
No Place Like Home by Barbara Samuel
Beyond Seduction by Emma Holly
No True Gentleman by Liz Carlyle
Stealing Heaven by Madeline Hunter (B)
Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory (A-)
The Wedding Journey by Carla Kelly
Prairie Moon by Maggie Osborne
The Older Woman by Cheryl Reavis
Contact by Susan Grant (B)

Romance Rookie's Top Picks
Let Me Be the One by Jo Goodman (A)
Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (A)
Behind Closed Doors by Shannon McKenna (A-)
Untie my Heart by Judith Ivory (A-)
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (B+)
Out of Control by Suzanne Brockman (B+)
Lord of Fire by Gaelen Foley (B+)
Lord of Ice by Gaelen Foley (B+)
Killjoy by Julie Garwood (B+)
The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning (B+)
Romancing Mr. bridgerton by Julia Quinn (B+)
The Lady's Tutor by Robin Schone (B+)
Ravyn's Flight by Patti O'Shea (B+)
Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich (B+)

Some things of note:
  • I only read a total of 37 books published in this year.
  • No Place Like Home by Barbara Samuel made both the RWA and AAR lists.  Hmmm.. I might have to give that one a try.
  • Cheryl Reavis made both the RWA and AAR lists but with different books.  I haven't ever tried her but I might be changing that.

How about you? Any particular books that stood out in 2002? Agree or disagree with this list?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review - Hot Finish

Title: Hot Finish
Author: Erin McCarthy
Publishing Date: August 2010
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: C-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from the library.

Hot Finish is the third book in Erin McCarthy's Fast Track series centering around NASCAR race car drivers. Suzanne and Ryder Jefferson married young and could never seem to talk about their marriage problems. After a few years they divorced feeling it was for the best. But Suzanne and Ryder somehow seem to keep the other still in their life, not to mention the pesky little problem of still having feelings for the other. Suzanne and Ryder are once again thrust together when the wedding Suzanne is planning is a NASCAR wedding the Ryder is the best man of the groom. To complicate matters it turns out the divorce papers were never signed properly and Suzanne and Ryder are still legally married.

Hot Finish was a major disappointment for me. I really enjoy Erin McCarthy's writing. I loved her last Fast Track novel, Hard and Fast choosing it as a top read for last year. With that in mind I was really looking forward to her next release. The main reason for my disappointment was that Suzanne was such a BITCH!!! Honestly, she was not a very nice person. She was always griping and complaining. It was made even more glaringly obnoxious because Ryder was always so considerate and generous with her. I just couldn't stand the way she would treat him. Granted I will say that some of her behavior I could understand, but most of the time it just grated on my nerves.

Fortunately, Hot Finish is a well written book, with good dialogue between the NASCAR boys and the camaraderie between Suzanne and her friends. It's funny and fast paced like McCarthy's other books, but I just couldn't stand the heroine. If it wasn't for the stellar story telling I would haven't even finished the book. If you don't mind a prickly, bitch heroine with a stick up her butt, then maybe you will enjoy this more than I did.

Here is what others had to say:
Book Binge
The Good, The Bad and the Unread
Babbling About Books and More
Dear Author
The Book Girl
Smexy Books
Books, Books and More Books

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Access Romance, My Turn!

Hey Everyone,

I am over at Access Romance today discussing Holiday themed romance novels. Come join me!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review - Nicholas

Title: Nicholas
Author: Elizabeth Amber
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Historical Erotic
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Burning
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy at the 2010 RT Book Lovers Convention

Nicholas is the first book in Elizabeth Amber's The Lords of Satyr series. The King of the Fey is dying and has tasked the Satyr brothers to find his lost daughters and protect them through marriage. Nicholas is the first to find his bride, Jane. Jane is surprised when this handsome stranger wants to marry her after only one brief meeting. Jane accepts her situation and Nicholas whisks her off to his vineyard where Jane will eventually learn of Nicholas's beastly behavior.

I have to say, I have heard a lot of rumors about this series, rumors about the crazy sexual things that happen in The Lords of Satyr series. I wasn't really sure how I would feel about the book because of that, but I have to say I actually enjoyed it. Yep, I confirm that there is a bunch of crazy, satyr sex happening but despite all of that I thought the characterization and plot were better than average. A lot of it was outrageous and I was expecting that, which allowed me to sit back and just enjoy my reading experience. It is what it is.

Since Nicholas and Jane didn't know each other before marriage, the book focuses a lot on Jane and Nick working out the kinks most newlyweds have but throw in a few fantastical elements, like the fact that she is half Fae and he is a satyr and these two have their work cut out for them. Nicholas's views on women were too archaic for my taste, but I loved that Jane was willing to address the situation head on and not let Nicholas run roughshod all over her. I will definitely be giving the next book in the series a try.

Here is what others had to say:
Alpha Reader

Monday, November 1, 2010

October Reading Summary

October was a very busy month for me. I am surprised that I was able to squeeze in 10 books this month. I can't really choose a top read for this month. Most of what I read was good, but not outstanding. Most of the books got a B grade and so sad to say that one of my favorite authors did not live up to my expectations. I had to give Hot Finish a C-.

Books read this month:
1. My Dangerous Duke, Foley (Historical) Rating: B
2. The Search, Roberts (Romantic Suspense) Rating: B
3. Down in Texas, Devlin (Contemporary/Erotic) Rating: B
4. Sins of the Flesh, Pineiro (Romantic Suspense) Rating: B
5. Where Dreams Begin, Kleypas (Historical) Rating: B
6. Wicked Appetite, Evanovich (Paranormal) Rating: B
7. Sinful in Satin, Hunter (Historical) Rating: B
8. Nicholas, Amber (Historical/Erotic) Rating: B-
9. Hot Finish, McCarthy (Contemporary) Rating: C-
10. An Unforgetable Lady, Bird (Contemporary) Rating: B-

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Review - Sinful in Satin

Title: Sinful in Satin
Author: Madeline Hunter
Publishing Date: October 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased this as an ebook through BN.

Sinful in Satin is the third book in Madeline Hunter's Rarest Blooms series. Celia Pennifold, the daughter of an infamous courtesan had managed to escape from reality for a few years as she lived in isolation among a few women in the country. When her mother dies, Celia is forced to come to terms with her identity and reconcile her estate. Celia chooses to leave the Rarest Blooms and live in a modest home her Mother's estate left to her. She is surprised by a tenant, Mr. Jonathan Albrighton one night when he accosts her in her room by mistake.

Madeline Hunter's writing is like an old friend. I love revisiting and catching up with her. Jonathan and Celia ignite on the page with their forbidden sexual tension. Jonathan is not sure whether or not Celia or her mother was involved with political ties, linking them to traitorous activities. His attraction to Celia and vice versa makes things very tense while he is trying to find answers.

I could have done without all the political intrigue. That is just me though; I have never been a fan of the spy plot and could care less about traitors and such. I felt that Jonathan was an upstanding character with much strength and confidence given his situation with his family. Curious as to where his strength came from. Celia was no wilting flower and was more the aggressor than one would suspect at first glance. I can always admire a heroine who goes after what she wants.

Since it is a series, there are glimpses at the mysterious Duke of Castleford. Will he be paired up with the lovely Daphne of the Rarest Blooms? I see hero material, but will he be redeemed? He is the ultimate, debauched rake after all. Dangerous in Diamonds will be released in May 2011. All I can say is that I am hooked.

Here is what others had to say:
Fiction Vixen
Book Binge

Friday, October 29, 2010

Review - Wicked Appetite

Title: Wicked Appetite
Author: Janet Evanovich
Publishing Date: September 2010
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from the library.

Wicked Appetite is the first in a new series by Janet Evanovich. Some readers might be familiar with her character Diesel who appeared in the Stephanie Plum series, the Plum books between the numbers. Diesel a man of mystery heads to Salem Massachusetts to find a woman Lizzie who will help him locate magical objects. But Diesel is not the only person looking for these magical objects, his cousin Wulf is also looking for the objects and doesn’t have good intention in his use of them. Trouble seems to follow Lizzy and Diesel has his hands full protecting her.

Wicked Appetite has a very similar vibe to the Stephanie Plum series. Lizzie narrates the story from first person point of view. Her life starts to get crazy when Diesel walks into the bakery. She becomes the reluctant owner of a one eyed cat, a monkey Carl and she can't seem to dodge a hunky, mystery man. Even her best friend starts thinking she is a witch and tries to cast spells. Of course these spells go awry.

I think that if you are a fan of the Stephanie Plum books then you will like her new series. As far as the romance goes there is no love triangle in this series. Diesel and Lizzie are attracted to each other, but there is a complication that will make a relationship difficult. I foresee this complication as a way for Evanovich to draw out the romance in this series, which could potentially be a problem for romance fans. However, I am willing to give this series another a try, after all the writing is fast paced and funny.

Here is what others had to say:
Book Chick City

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review - Sins of the Flesh

Title: Sins of the Flesh
Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Paranormal/Romantic Suspense
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy when I was at the 2010 RT Convention.

Sins of the Flesh is the first in a new series by Caridad Pineiro. Mick Carrera has been hired by a cutting edge researcher to find one of his missing patients who he believes murdered his partner. Once Mick is on the case he realizes that things aren't adding up. Caterina, the woman who he was hired to find, is no murderer. She is a very sick woman dying of cancer, only the cutting edge medical treatments she was receiving somehow worked. They worked but not without strange side effects. Mick and Caterina work together to find the real killer.

Sins of the Flesh is the first book I have read by Caridad Pineiro. She came highly recommended by my good friend Mary. I got this book earlier in the year when I attended the RT Convention. I thought the idea and premise behind this story was very unique and very well done. The reader can tell right away that Ms. Pineiro knows her science. Sins of the Flesh has a very "X-Men" vibe to it but with a more medical aspect.

I did struggle with the pacing of the book in the beginning. It took a while for the author to establish the characters and what was going on. Mick and Caterina don't meet for a while. Once they do, things pick up a little. However, if you are looking for fireworks between these two you will be disappointed. Their romance is very sedate and sweet. It actually worked for me. With all the other stuff going on the book it would have been too unrealistic to have Mick and Cat lusting after each other. As a matter of fact, that is a pet peeve of mine that thankfully I didn't have to worry about in this book. I also enjoyed the glimpses of Mick's interaction with his family. Pineiro has a way of capturing the essence of family. I look forward to reading more by her.

Here is what others had to say:
Paranormal Haven

Monday, October 25, 2010

November Releases

Once again time has flown by and the end of 2010 is approaching. Already I have noticed some stores have thier Christmas decorations out on display. Speaking of the holidays, I also see publishers are pushing their holiday romances as well. I have one on my wishlist. Here is what I am looking forward to in the month of November.

2nd book in the Ralston trilogy
Regency Historical

1st of a new series

2nd book in the SINS series
Paranormal/Romantic Suspense

4th book in the Bride quartet

Another month of slim pickings. How about you? What books are you looking forward to this month?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review - Where Dreams Begin

Title: Where Dream Begin
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publishing Date: 2000
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from my library after I realized that there was a Kleypas book I hadn't read yet.

Holly Taylor was widowed at a young age when her husband died unexpectedly of a fever. Holly has grieved for three years. Even though she is still grieving, because hers was a love match, she attends a ball to reinsert herself into society. Unexpectedly while taking some air, a man mistakes her for his lover and steals a kiss. Holly is shocked, yet surprised at what this stranger awakens in her. The stranger is Zachary Bronson, a self made millionaire in search of a wife to gain him entre into London's most prestigious sitting rooms. When Zachary sets his sights on something, nothing can stop him and he sets his sights on Holly.

Where Dreams Begin is not my favorite book by Lisa Kleypas. I graded this book a B which is a favorable grade, yet there where things about this book that drove me crazy but Kleypas's writing and her ability to draw me in kept me from giving this book a lower grade.

My major problem was Holly. I liked her but sometimes her behavior was wishy-washy and inconsistent. She had already experienced love with her first husband and is hesitant to love again for fear of losing it. Could she survive the loss twice in one lifetime?

Zachary is the best part of the book for me. He is the ideal man, self sufficient, sensual, protective and willing to put his needs aside for Holly's. Wow. What a man! I enjoyed seeing him slowly fall in love with Holly over the course of the story. This is the strength of the book to me, the fact that Simon and Holly fall in love slowly and the discovery of their mutual love.

Here is what others had to say:
Books, Books and More Books

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RT Convention launches a website

A few weeks ago RT (Romantic Times) Magazine launched the first ever website for their annual Book Lover's Convention. I have been to the convention the last two years and I wouldn't dream of missing it next year. It is going to be in Los Angeles, California and hasn't been on the west coast for a number of years.

The website is very conclusive featuring all the workshops that will be held as well as the details surrounding those events. It also lists the authors who will be participating. Keep in mind that the agenda and authors attending aren't yet complete, but you can get an idea of the thought and planning that goes into this event.

I have had such a wonderful time attending this event the last two years. I have made so many friends and met many wonderful authors. I really hope that fellow bloggers and readers from the west coast who haven't been able to attend in the past will be able make it in April. I think RT is making next year's convention top of line since it is in LA. So far they have a really exciting agenda.

I entice you to go and check it out. Let me know if you have plans to attend. April will be here before you know it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review - Down in Texas

Title: Down in Texas
Author: Delilah Devlin
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Contemporary (Erotic)
Rating: B
Sensuality: Burning

Down in Texas is an anthology of three stort stories written by Delilah Devin. All three of the stories are centered around two ranching families the McDonoughs and the Dermotts.

Wearing His Brand
In this first story Lyssa and Brand Tynan have grown up together. Lyssa has lusted after Brand for years but he has always treated her like a little sister, since she is his best friend's sister after all. Brand has been tasked with looking after Lyssa while her big brother Mac is off on a military mission. Brand comes across Lyssa trapped in barbed wire fencing after an accident and things begin to heat up between these two on the shared horse ride back home.

I really enjoyed this first story. Lyssa and Brand already have an established relationship and the pace moves fairly quickly. I love that readers get to just jump right into the story. Lyssa is a spunky character and isn't afraid to maneuver the situation to suit her needs. I also liked that this story easily set up the next story in the book and that the smuggler plot was carried on through till the end of the book.

Slow Ride
Daniel Tynan ten years ago worked as a farm hand for the Dermott's. As a young man he found Maggie Dermott to be the woman of his dreams and to his shame he found himself lusting after an older, married woman. He answers an employment ad to once again find himself back at Dermott's ranch when Maggie is now a widow and in desperate need of help to keep the ranch afloat.

Slow Ride was probably my least favorite of the book. Maggie has quite a bit of baggage that she needs to overcome before she can be truly comfortable with a relationship with Daniel. I felt that in such a short period of time her acceptance of their relationship was too quick. However, it was probably the more compelling and emotional read of the book.

Straight up Soldier
Suki Reece is running from an abusive ex-boyfriend. She is hiding out in a cabin her good friend Tara helped her secure. Tara, worried about Suki, asks Mac McDonough to check in on her and make sure she is safe. Mac is recovering from a bad leg wound on his latest military mission. When he gets to the cabin he finds that Suki can hold her own.

Straight up Soldier is a slight change up, now the hero is a military man instead of a cowboy but he is still just as alpha as the other two heroes. Suki can go toe to toe against this big man and brings him to his knees a time or two.

The nice thing about these stories is they are short and sweet. The men are alpha heroes who like to take control in the bedroom and make sure their woman stay safe. The stories are fun and entertaining, although, there are similarities between the men's personalities and the fun that is had in the bedroom. If you like the first story, than I can't see why you wouldn't enjoy the rest.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Review - My Dangerous Duke

Title: My Dangerous Duke
Author: Gaelen Foley
Publishing Date: July 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased this book used.

My Dangerous Duke is the second book in Gaelen Foley's Inferno Club series. Kate Madsen is abducted from her home by a band of thieves and offered up to Rohan Kilburn as a gift. Rohan is known by most as "The Beast". Those who look upon his ferocious countenance fear his wrath. Kate is taken to his estate, drugged and against her will as a peace offering of sorts. Fortunately for Kate, Rohan might be a Beast, but he also is intelligent and easily realizes that Kate is much more complicated than she seems. Her mysterious origins, once discovered, lead Rohan to make a tough decision when it comes to their future.

I have always enjoyed Gaelen Foley's writing. One of my favorite historical romance books is The Duke which was written about ten years ago. I read the first book in this series and I wasn't too crazy about it. However, I enjoyed My Dangerous Duke more than I did My Wicked Marquess. First of all, I enjoyed the setting and characters. The book sets a very gothic feel to the mood by residing in the gloomy winter time off the cliffs of Cornwall. Kate is taken to a dark and dismal castle complete with dungeons. Rohan is a Beast of a man with a surly disposition and plenty of scars, both mental and physical.

I wouldn't necessarily say My Dangerous Duke is breaking any new ground with this story. Yet, I found the characters enjoyable and the writing entertaining and fast paced. There were a few times I was annoyed with Rohan and his tendency to jump to conclusions where Kate was concerned. Fortunately, he quickly comes to his senses and realizes Kate is not hiding anything from him. What you see is what you get with Kate. She really is a sweet and likable heroine. I also enjoyed how Kate and Rohan work together at the end of the book to solve the mystery pertaining to Kate's heritage. I found My Dangerous Duke to be a fine historical romance, one certainly worth giving a try if you haven't ever tried Ms. Foley before.

Here is what others had to say: (I seem to be in the minority on liking this one)
A Book Blogger's Diary
Dear Author
Book Chick City
Love Romances and More
My Overstuffed Bookshelf