Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review - Only in My Arms

Title: Only in My Arms
Author: Jo Goodman
Publishing Date: 1996
Genre: Western
Rating: A
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased this book used.

Only in My Arms is the fifth book in the Dennehy Sisters series. Mary Dennehy is at a point in her life when she realizes that being a nun is not the right path for her. She struggles with the decision but she decides to leave the convent and live a normal life. She wants to teach out west. Her sister is already there and so she journeys to Arizona. The West is not safe because Apache Indians are constantly raiding the area. One such raid has led to a man who was sentenced to hang. In his desperation he kidnaps Mary when he escapes.

I happen to really like Jo Goodman. Not only does she weave a good tale but, her characters are vivid and her writing lilting and lovely. I think Only in My Arms might be my favorite by her thus far. The two main characters Mary and Ryder are just wonderful, wonderful people. Both are so incredibly strong-willed with truly good hearts. It would be impossible not to fall in love with them. Both are so stubborn they butt heads a lot over the course of the book. Yet, it is really fascinating to read and see what the outcome of these disagreements is and who the victor will be. You might even be surprised.

This book is chock full of wonderful passages. If you follow my blog you may have already gotten a glimpse at one of them, through my "Guess the Book" post. I had a half of dozen great scenes to choose from and it was not easy to decide among them. I have not read all the books in this series and I do not feel that it is necessary to have read them to enjoy this book. But I do wager that after reading this book, you will want to go out and read the others.

This book can be purchased in print from Amazon.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Review - Slow Heat

Title: Slow Heat
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publishing Date: February 2010
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

Samantha McNead is the publicist for a Major League Baseball team. One of the players Wade O'Riley has been getting a lot of bad press the team doesn't need. Sam concocts a plan to pretend to be Wade's girlfriend to take some of the heat off of Wade and therefore the team. Only Sam and Wade had a one night stand a year ago and Sam has never been able to get over Wade. Since she is dedicated to her job, she is willing to go to whatever lengths she needs to, even stir up her feelings in order to help the team.

Unless you have been hiding in a cave, you must know that Slow Heat has been getting rave reviews all over the internet. Jill Shalvis is hit or miss for me and after all the fantastic publicity, I decided to give her latest release a try. I am happy to say that this one was a hit for me, as well!

Slow Heat has great pacing, while the romance is still front and center with enough side conflicts to keep things interesting. One of my favorite things about the book was Wade's confidence. Many times Sam would push him away or lash out at him. Of course Sam was doing this to protect herself from getting hurt and Wade caught on fairly early. He doesn't get discouraged. He is able to see through Sam's act and put Sam in check. Wade has his own commitment issues, but he is still remains the pursuer.

As much as I liked Wade being the pursuer, I wish that Sam would have thrown him a bone every now and then. She kept pushing him away up until the very end. I would have liked to see her come to terms with her fear of letting go and take a chance. I don't think she grew enough by the end of the story for me to really believe she had worked out all her issues.

One other thing I'd like to point out was that I enjoyed the addition of Wade's father and Sam's nephew, Tag. These two characters helped to showcase both Sam and Wade's commitment issues and were the catalyst that eventually got them to work through those issues. Plus, these side characters were able to add laughs when needed.

Here is what others had to say:

Dear Author
Book Binge
Leslie's Psyche
Pearl's World of Romance
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Stacy's Place on Earth
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Babbling About Books and More

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

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Congrats to CJ!

I received my copy of RT Book Reviews magazine in the mail today, or what my hubby calls my "smut magazine". *rolls eyes* Any whoo, so I was perusing the publication when a certain review caught my eye. Lo and behold our dear, sweet very own Carolyn Jean from The Thrillionth Page has a review on her debut book Mind Games, and what a fabulous review it is. Mind Games got a rating of 4 1/2 stars out of 4 and 1/2 stars.

Wow! Crane's writing style brings to mind old-school noir, with the compelling attitude of superheroes from a graphic novel. A masterful blend of dark and light, good and bad and all the grays in between, it will draw readers thoroughly into her tale, as they root for the good guys -- while trying to figure out just who the good guys are. The ending promises more adventures, and that is a very good thing.

Congratulations, CJ. I am so happy for you!!!! I am looking forward to your book and I can't wait to meet you at the RT Convention in April.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review - The Celtic Witch and the Sorcerer

Title: The Celtic Witch and the Sorcerer
Author: Lyn Armstrong
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Historical
Rating: C
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Won a contest the author was giving.

The Celtic Witch and the Sorcerer is the second book in Lyn Armstrong's Celtic Witch series. I haven't had the pleasure of reading the first book, but I had no problems following this story. Gavenia Roberts, a Celtic Witch has the power to see visions. With this power she sees her death after giving birth to her first child. Gavenia in turn fears finding her true love. Laird Tremayne Campbell is a sorcerer. In order to free his mother he must find a witch and with her death his mother will be set free. When Tremayne captures Gavenia he is immediately taken in by her lovely self. How will this unlikely couple solve these formidable problems?

The Celtic Witch and the Sorcerer had a fairy tale like feel to it with a good vs evil vibe. It's a short story, only coming in at 154 pages. The reader is just dropped into the world in which not a lot of details are forthcoming. The story does have good pacing, so it's a quick, easy read. The reader gets to know the two main characters through good dialogue and action. Thankfully, there is not a lot of telling instead of showing. Tremayne is hard to like at first. He comes across as cold-hearted and selfish. Eventually, he changes as the story progresses. Gavenia is a sweet girl if a little naive about things.

The major weakness for me was a lack of depth to the story. Being short in length there just wasn't enough time to fully develop everything that was going on in the story. Even a few thing were left unanswered at the end of the story, most disturbing was Gavenia's father. I don't know if this was a glaring omission by the author or if it would be addressed in another book.

This book can be purchased in print at Amazon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Review - Viking in Love

Title: Viking in Love
Author: Sandra Hill
Publishing Date: February 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: C-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: Won an ARC over at Book Binge.

Breanne and her sisters find themselves in a bit of a pickle. See they accidentally killed their brother-in-law and disposed of the body where no one will think to look - underneath a privy. He was an abusive jerk and without the body they hope people will just think that he went missing. The sisters decide to head to their nearest relative who really isn't a relative at all. Caedmon is distantly related to a distant relative, but his castle is nearby and can offer them shelter and hopefully protection. Breanne and her sisters find his castle and his twelve children in need of some tender loving care so each sister does her part to help out. Breanne and Caedmon find the other attractive but they seem to have clashing personality issues.

I was really excited when I won Viking in Love because it has been a while since I read a Viking book and I have been in the mood for something other than the typical regency or vampire book. Unfortunately, the execution was not up to my taste. I have read Sandra Hill before and enjoyed her books but this one seemed to cross the line as far as comedy goes. It was too slap-stick and silly for my taste. In my opinion, a little goes a long way and in this case it was over done. The characters used modern idioms and slang and quite frankly it was very jarring. There was constant bickering between Caedmon and Breanne. It got old real quick. There were also a lot of characters, but not a lot of depth. I really can't recommend this one.

Here is what others had to say:

My Thoughts on Nothing Much at All
Escape Between the Pages

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

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review - Out of the Darkness

Title: Out of the Darkness
Author: Jaime Rush
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I bought this book new.

Out of the Darkness is the second book in Jaime Rush's Offspring series. Zoe Stoker is a tattoo artist and owns her own studio. Her whole life she has had to keep a tight leash on her emotions. When she loses control things have a tendency to move without anyone touching them. She ends up running for her life when someone tries to kill her. While on the run she is rescued by a strange man who takes her to a group of young people also in hiding. These people all have something in common - some sort of psychic trait.

One of the things that I really like about this series is that it has a full ensemble cast. There are a group of characters who are holed up together. In order to survive they are forced to live and work together. The interaction between the different personalities is really well done. I also like that the story has a good verse evil vibe, but it's not entirely clear cut who is good and who is bad. The varying shades of grey make it more interesting.

The two main characters in this story, Zoe and Rand are both loners by nature. They each have learned based on past experience not to rely on anyone else but themselves. They have kept an emotional distance from everyone. The fact that they are drawn to each other is very unsettling to them. They fight their attraction for most of the book. Rand fights it more than Zoe and after a while it did get a little old. Although these two do end up at the end of the story their declaration of love wasn't completely convincing. However, I do think that there will be room in future books to see these two grow as a couple.

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

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Guess the Book...

Here is a passage from a book. Can you guess which one?

He spoke calmly, deliberately. "Take off your clothes."

Though he had said them quietly, R--'s words seemed to echo in the chamber. Take off your clothes...your clothes...your clothes... M-- stared at him, not moving.

R-- took a step toward her. There was nothing menacing or threatening in his approach, yet it prompted M-- to throw out a question as her first defense.

"Why?" she demanded.

His approach halted. He stared at her for a long moment. Her complexion was markedly paler now, and her hands had stopped twisting the bandana. Tension kept her body rigid and rooted to her spot. "I believe I've already told you that you don't have to understand my orders to obey them."

M-- sucked in a breath as if she'd been slapped. The first wave of anger had to pass before she trusted herself to speak. "There's something you should understand about me, Mr. M--," she said quietly. "I obey no man uquestioningly. Blind obedience is for my God alone."

R-- felt heat rush into his face as M--'s green eyes narrowed on him coldly.

M-- was satisfied with his reaction. "Now tell me why I should take off my clothes."

He held up a hand and began ticking off the reasons. "They're damp. They're mine. They don't fit you. They look ridiculous."

M-- stared at his hand. Four fingers had already come up and now the thumb was slowly being raised. "And?" she asked, her eyes going from his hand to his face.

"And I want you naked."

Good stuff, eh? If you haven't read this one, trust me you are going to want to!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review - A Matter of Class

Title: A Matter of Class
Author: Mary Balogh
Publishing Date: January 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Annabelle Ashton, the daughter of the Earl of Havercroft has recently caused quite a scandal by running away with a servant to elope to Gretna Green. The Earl who was financially suffering after some bad investments needed his daughter to marry into money. Now that she is disgraced after being caught he is forced to settle her to his arch nemesis Bernard Mason's son Reggie. The Earl has always shunned Mason because he earned his money through coal instead of being titled to it. Mason shunned the Earl, since the Earl shunned him. These two have a long history together.

A Matter of Class is another marriage of convenience theme, which is one of my favorites. I was worried about this books since in comes in at just under 200 pages. I shouldn't have worried. Balogh has outdone herself with this little gem. It is a perfect example of the right way to do a short novel.

A Matter of Class is told from two different perspectives, present time and then past time. The two are told in alternating chapters until they converge to present time with a very clever twist to the ending. The characters are fully developed. There is a lot of interaction, not just between Annabelle and Reggie, but also both sets of parents. Some of this leads to comedic relief between the Earl and Bernard Mason. This story has excellent pacing. When you want to squeeze in a good story and can't devote a lot of time, definitely pick this one up. It's a must read!

Here is what others had to say:

Phyl's Quilts & Books
Impressions of a Reader
Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review - Whispering Rock

Title: Whispering Rock
Author: Robyn Carr
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Whispering Rock is the third book in Robyn Carr's Virgin River series. These books are definitely interconnected and I don't recommend reading this one without having read the other two books in the series first. Brie and Mike have known each other for years now. Mike is a good friend to Brie's brother Jack. Mike has always had feelings for Brie since he first met her even though she was married. Mike kept his distance since it was obvious Brie was in love with her husband. Now Brie is divorced from Brad after she found out he was cheating on her with her best friend. Brie was devastated by that betrayal. Brie focused on her job as a prosecutor for the attorney DA. She was working hard to put a serial rapist behind bars, only he walked. He came after Brie and brutally raped and beat her. Brie needs to heal from this attack and Mike is there to help her.

This summary is actually only the beginning of what is going on in this book as Whispering Rock once again heads back to the town of Virgin River. There are familiar characters such as Mel and Jack, Preacher and Page (Preacher totally cracks me up in this book) as well as a host of new characters' that get story time in this book. This can be a positive and negative to the book. On the one hand, I love the sense of community that Virgin River has to offer. It is great to read about all the different characters and what is going on in their lives. The bad thing is that it leaves less time for the main romance with Mike and Brie. I think as long as the reader is already an established fan of Carr's work, they will be happy with Whispering Rock.

I love how Carr was able to connect Brie's rape and tie it into what was happening within the teen community of Virgin River. Mike is hired as a law officer and he investigates a series of date rapes that have happened locally. This establishes new relationships and characters and might eventually lead to future books. All in all I thought this was a solid read. I enjoy revisiting this town and its inhabitants.

Here is what others had to say:

Casee from Book Binge
Rowena from Book Binge
Scooper Speaks
Good Books, Bad Books & Everything in Between
Read With Me

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

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Turn at Access Romance

I am up at Access Romance brainstorming ideas for more diverse settings in romance novels. Are you as sick of the Regency setting as I am?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

CFl - Blogger Meet Up

Yesterday was the first ever Central Florida (CFl) blogger meet up. It was just me an Kris from The Reading Spot. We had a lot of responses from other local bloggers and authors wanting to participate, but they just couldn't make it to this one. We plan on doing it again and hopefully more will be able to join us because Kris and I had a great time.

We met at the resturant Panera Bread for lunch. It was crazy crowded, but Kris and I squeezed into a little table and happily chatted about books for an hour. Then we went outside to our cars to exchange books. We both each brought a tote bag full of books to trade. It was funny because Kris and I are both hunting through two big bags which we had put on the hood of her car. Ocassionally, customers would pass us. You would have thought a drug deal or some other shady business was going down with some of the strange looks we were getting. At any rate these are the books that I picked out.

Next we headed just down the road to stop at an absolute gem of a store, B and L Books. What is so fabulous about this store is it caters to romance readers. They sell both new and used books and they have a really great selection. I wish I would have remembered to bring my camera to take pictures. I could have spent days in this store and you should have seen their section on trade-size paperbacks. Wow. Just Wow.

I spent $35.00 and here is what I walked away with


I seriously could have picked out more books, but I was trying to be conservative, LOL! However, when I came home from the trip, my husband was aware how how full my bag was when I left for the meet up. He was also aware that when I came home, I somehow magically seemed to have retained the same number of books. Go figure. (At least it wasn't more).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Review - Ravishing in Red

Title: Ravishing in Red
Author: Madeline Hunter
Publishing Date: February 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased this one new.

Ravishing in Red is the first book in Madeline Hunter’s new Rarest Blooms quartet. Audrianna's father committed suicide after being accused of approving a bad batch of gunpowder the resulted in the deaths of man soldiers. Audrianna is positive that her father was unjustly accused and vows to clear his name. When she sees an advertisement in the paper that is meant for her father, she plans to attend the meeting herself. Lord Sebastian Summerhays, one of her father's persecutors also sees the advertisement. He plans to attend the meeting too. Unfortunately, things to go as planned and Sebastian and Audrianna are caught in a scandal. Sebastian offers a marriage of convenience in which they will mutually benefit.

First off, I should let it be known that I love the marriage of convenience theme. I love it when two people are forced into intimacy and learn to adjust to each other and eventually fall in love. That's exactly what happens in Ravishing in Red. I read this book in one day and had a difficult time putting it down. I enjoy Hunter's writing style. Her characters feel true to the time period and are solidly developed. Also, for a mainstream romance this book had a surprising number of love scenes. It seemed more sensual than most, although they weren't quite graphic enough to quality as erotic.

Besides Audrianna and Sebastian learning to adjust to each other, Adrianna has to learn to deal with Sebastian's mother and also Morgan, Sebastian's crippled brother. Audrianna develops a very close friendship with Morgan. When Sebastian realizes this it sparks jealousy over Audrianna and Morgan's relationship. Sebastian comes to the realization that his feelings for Audrianna run deeper than just lust. The conclusion to their marital woes is very satisfying indeed. There are illusions to future books, but they never overshadow the main romance. I am very much looking forward to Provocative in Pearls which releases at the end of this month.

Here is what others had to say:

Dear Author
Errant Dreams Reviews
Musings of a Bibliophile
Ramblings on Romance, etc.

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I am so happy!!!

I usually don't do posts about my personal life, but something has happened to me and I just have to share it because I am so excited about it. Last week I faxed my resume to Sunny Ridge Farms to apply for a job as a Product Group Field Representative. What is a that, you ask? Well, I wasn't completely sure either, but the job description sounded interesting and the starting salary made me sit up and take notice.

That Tuesday an HR person called me asking if I would do a phone interview. I set up one for the following day. She told me a little bit about the job. Of course, by this time I had googled the company and read everything I could get my hands on, so I already know quite a bit about the company. This company packages and distributes berries to stores like Publix and Walmart. They have contracts with independent farms for the berries. That's where I would come in. I would be a liason between the grower and the company. So, if the farmer encountered any kind of berry problem, I would help him solve it. Also, I would be in charge of inspecting various farms in the south for quality and safety. There is a lot of travel involved with this job.

After the phone interview, HR wanted to know if I would come in for another interview with the person who would be my supervisor. I jumped at the chance and had one scheduled for Friday. The interview went very well as far as I could tell. I found out that I would get a company car, a cell phone, lap top and company credit card. I'll get to go to trade shows and possibly travel internationally!!! Everything is sounding very good, but I am now worried that my family is not going to be happy with me traveling so much. When I got home, I explained everything to my husband and he suprised me by being very supportive, as were my in-laws. So that was a load off my mind.

On Tuesday - yesterday, I recieved an offer for the position!!! I am so thrilled. This is an awesome opportunity for me. At my current, job my supervisor is retiring in 3 years and there is no opportunity for advancement. Unfortunately, it is a dead end position. I knew I would eventually have to leave, but change makes me nervous. I am still nervous, but I have very good feelings about this job change.

I wanted to share my news with all of you because 1. I am very excited about it and want to tell the whole world and 2. I may not have as much time to blog as I once did. I certainly still have plans to continue, but I will have to make adjustments to my new schedule.

As soon as my hubby gets home I plan on celebrating! (waggles eyebrows)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Review - Truly, Madly

Title: Truly, Madly
Author: Heather Webber
Publishing Date: February 2010
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: Received an ARC from a friend.

Truly, Madly is the first book in the new Lucy Valentine series by Heather Webber. Lucy Valentine comes from a long line of matchmakers. Her family has a very special trait that is passed down from generation to generation where they can see people's auras. When Lucy was fourteen she lost her power to read auras and gained the gift of finding lost items. Lucy has always felt like a failure. Her father needs her help to run his matchmaking business after he has a heart attack. Lucy knows she is no good at it, but she doesn't want to let her father down. When one of her clients needs help tracking down his childhood sweetheart, Lucy teams up with one sexy PI, Sean Donahue. She instantly gets thrown into a mystery when an unexpected dead body pops up. Hopefully, with Sean's help she will get to the bottom of this mystery.

Truly, Madly is told in the first person from Lucy's point of view. The writing style is very light hearted and humorous. The tone is reminiscent of Janet Evanovich's contemporary romances like Hot Stuff, not necessarily her Stephanie Plum books. It has a fun, quirky characters and nothing too dark or heavy. The romance is very subtle, just establishing Lucy and Sean's relationship. Lucy’s relationship with her family and friends also adds to the story.

Lucy at first doesn't appreciate her gift. She doesn't find it very useful and that frustrates her. As the story progresses, she discovers that her gift does have its advantages. This helps to add growth to Lucy’s character. Although at times, it seemed like we are only scratching the surface of these characters. They did seem a little superficial. Hopefully, as the series continues the characters will have more layers and depth. Readers who want to take a break from the broody, dark world of demons, vampires and shifters will want to give Lucy Valentine a try.

Here is what others had to say:

The Reading Spot
Rabid Reader
Emmegail's Bookshelf
Eve's Fan Garden
Reading With Tequila
Vixen's Daily Reads
My World of Books

This book can be purchased in print format from Amazon.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Review - Air Time

Title: Air Time
Author: Hank Ryan Phillippi
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Mystery
Rating: B
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: Received a free copy from publicist.

Air Time is the third book in Hank Ryan Phillippi's Charlotte McNally mystery series. Charlotte or known to her friends as Charlie is an investigative reporter for a television news station in Boston. This time she is investigating the corruption behind knock-off designer hand bags. Turns out there is big money in fake purses, even the FBI is involved. Charlie's relationship with Josh, the handsome English professor is getting more serious. Although, Josh feels like he plays second fiddle to Charlie's career. Will Charlie be forced to choose between the two?

Air Time is another excellent addition to the Charlotte McNally series. Once again the mystery is all encompassing and gripping. There are a lot of twists and turns to keep fans of the cozy mystery happy. Although, it is in the back of my mind how coincidental that Charlie always happens to be in the right place at the right time. Still I thought the mystery was very good.

One of my complaints about the book would have to be Charlie's relationship with Josh. Josh feels neglected by Charlie, because she tends to put her job before him. I completely feel where he is coming from and if I had to take a side, it would be his. Since I am a romance reader first and foremost, the relationship part of the book is disappointing. I would like to have the relationship be in the foreground, not the background. But hey, that's just me and my own personal preferences. I still really enjoy this series and highly recommend it to fans of the cozy mystery.

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

Friday, February 5, 2010

Review - Bed of Roses

Title: Bed of Roses
Author: Nora Roberts
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Bed of Roses is the second book in Nora Roberts Bride Quartet. Emma Grant and her three best friends started the wedding company Vows. Emma runs the flower portion of the company. She is in it for the romance. Everything she believes centers around romance. She has noticed her increasing feelings for their good friend Jack, but she hasn't wanted to act on them for fear of ruining their friendship if things don't work out. It seems fate has other ideas, as Emma and Jack keep getting thrown together.

I really loved the first book in this series Vision in White and was really looking forward to Bed of Roses. Unfortunately Bed of Roses did not live up to my expectations. It's true that Bed of Roses did have some of the same elements that I loved about Vision in White in that the friendship between these four amazing women is still there. Where the book was lacking was in the actual execution of the main romance between Emma and Jack. Since this is a romance, that's not exactly a good thing.

For the most part I felt that Emma and Jack's relationship was overshadowed by the other things taking place in the book. The weddings being coordinated by Vows, the set up of Parker and Laurel's future books, and even Mac and Carter's relationship all detracted from Emma and Jack. Then to compound the problem, Emma's work took up so much of her time that she and Jack weren't together much of the book. This made their developing passion seem a tad unbelievable. Their relationship just didn't work for me. I found myself more interested in the teaser scenes for Laurel and Parker's books than the main romance of this one.

Here is what others had to say:

52 Weeks is Nothing
Love Romance Passion
Lesa's Book Critiques
Babbling About Books and More...
Breezing Through This is a great discussion about this book
Love Romances and More
Romance Reading Mom
I Just Finished Reading
Errant Dreams Reviews

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

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Review - Lessons in French

Title: Lessons in French
Author: Laura Kinsale
Publishing Date: February 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Received an ARC copy for review from a publicist.

Callie Taillefaire at the age of twenty-seven has resigned herself to be a spinster. She has been jilted not once, not twice, but three times at the altar. Callie didn't mind for herself, as she never really loved those men, but she did want to please her Papa. Callie's heart is still tied to her childhood sweetheart, her next door neighbor Trevelyn. Trevelyn went away to France after Callie's father caught him doing unspeakable things to his daughter. Ten years have passed and Trev's mother is on her death bed. He comes back and finds he also still has feelings for Callie.

Lessons in French is a definite gem of a book. It has a very light-hearted vibe to it that I found pleasantly refreshing. But it's also balanced by a touch of angst, and the two go hand in hand to create an enchanting read. Callie is a heroine that readers are going to fall in love with. She is terribly shy and is often embarrassingly awkward in social situations. Callie has a bull, Hubert that she has raised since he was a baby and he is almost like a pet dog.

When Trev appears back in her life, mayhem and havoc ensue. Callie and Trev were always getting into trouble going off on one adventure or another. Trev was always the ringleader, tasking Callie with some impossible role which she delights in playing. Callie can never seem to resist Trev's charms, and she is so lucky to have all his attention. But both don't think they are worthy of the other and that is where the angst comes into play. Lessons in French is a solid comeback for Ms. Kinsale.

Here is what others had to say:

Leslie's Psyche
Love Romance Passion
Good Books, Bad Books and Every Book in Between
Dear Author
Musings of a Bibliophile
Alpha Heroes
Babbling About Books
Cindy Reads Romance

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

Monday, February 1, 2010

January Reading Summary

January was a good reading month for me. Once I let go of any goals, and therefore any pressure, progress just flowed like honey. I read a nice mixture of books. I think the biggest and best surprise was A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James. It was just an amazing book and it has enticed me to read more books by that author.

I did have a couple of disappointments by two authors I normally enjoy, Untouchable by Kresley Cole and Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts. I do have a review planned for Bed of Roses, so be on the look out for that.

Also, I have included the two short Sookie stories in my summary, but I don't plan on reviewing them. They are so short. One of them was only 19 pages. I didn't even feel like I could give them a grade because of their length.

1. Blue Diablo, Aguirre (Urban Fantasy) Rating: B+
2. Breathless, Guhrke (Historical) Rating: B
3. Switch, Hart (Erotic) Rating: B+
4. Untouchable, Cole (Paranormal) Rating: C+
5. Shattered, Johnston (Contemporary) Rating: B
6. A Duke of Her Own, James (Historical) Rating: A-
7. Fault Line, Eisler (Suspense) Rating: B+
8. Dead to the World, Harris (Urban Fantasy) Rating: B
9. Simon Says, Foster (Contemporary) Rating: C+
10. Lessons in French, Kinsale (Historical) Rating: B+
11. Bed of Roses, Roberts (Contemporary) Rating: C+
12. "Fairy Dust", Harris (Urban Fantasy) Rating: NR
13. Air Time, Ryan (Mystery) Rating: B
14. Ravishing in Red, Hunter (Historical) Rating: B+
15. "One Word Answer", Harris (Urban Fantasy) Rating: NR