Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review - Savor the Moment

Title: Savor the Moment
Author: Nora Roberts
Publishing Date: May 2010
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from Paperbackswap.

Savor the Moment is book 3 in Nora Robert's Bride quartet. It features Laurel and Del. Laurel has been in love with her best friend's brother Del for as long as she can remember. She has never acted on it because she believes Del thinks of her as just a sister. After an argument Laurel shuts Del up with a steamy kiss. This kiss leads to Del seeing Laurel in a completely new light.

For me, Savor the Moment was all about the friendship between the four women and less about the romance between Laurel and Del. Laurel is rather prickly and difficult to like, although she does have a vulnerable side to her which makes her endearing. Fortunately for Del, Laurel's brash personality doesn't bother him in the least and being the confident man he is just barrels through her insults.

I like that this series appeals to my own personal fantasies e.g. living out a dream job of being a wedding planner, florist, photographer, baker, getting to live in a beautiful historical house in the richest part of New England, vacationing in the Hamptons, wearing Prada shoes, having a live in cook and getting to use the home gym. Need I go on? The setting is just so perfect, like living in a catalog.

I just wasn't all that interested in Laurel and Del's romance, however I do believe that this book had one of the best proposals I have ever had the pleasure of reading. That was a fantastic scene. I find myself very much looking forward to the final book, which will be Parker and Mal's story. Robert's definitely suckered me in by providing a few good scenes between Mal and Parker.

Here is what others had to say:
Errant Dreams Reviews
The Book Junkie's Bookshelf
The Romance Dish
Impressions of a Reader
Love 2 Read for Fun
Leslie's Psyche
The Book Chick
Book Binge

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

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review - Everything I Ever Wanted

Title: Everything I Ever Wanted
Author: Jo Goodman
Publishing Date: 2003
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I downloaded the audio book from by library.

Everything I Ever Wanted is the second book in Jo Goodman's Compass Club quartet. It features The Earl of Southerton, Matthew Forester as he investigates the actress India Parr and her ties to several men who have recently been murdered. South must determine if she had anything to do with these murders. The more he gets to know India, the more he realizes mystery surrounds her and that she is in great danger. India refuses his help and therefore South takes matters into his own hands by kidnapping her.

I love the way Jo Goodman tells a story. Everything I Ever Wanted has that Jo Goodman signature style where she never gives you the big picture. She trickles in little bits and pieces slowly, which eventually come cleverly together. In this story, the reader is trying to figure out India Parr's mysterious past. Who is her protector and what hold does he have over her? It really is ingenious how Goodman delivers the facts. She is completely in control over the reader's experience and she is a master in the driver's seat.

The characterization is amazing. Yet this could be to the detriment for this story because I didn't like India Parr. She seemed too weak willed for my tastes. It was as if she enjoyed playing the victim to an extent. I tend to like my heroines strong and Goodman usually writes them that way. So maybe I was expecting too much. Even aside from not really liking India, Everything I Ever Wanted was still a captivating story and one I can recommend, especially if you like a book that twists and turns and keeps you coming back for more.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

July Wishlist!

I have a few books I am looking forward to in July. I have had an influx of books come in over the last couple of weeks. I have a feeling it will be a while before I get my hands on these July releases. But hey, a girl can still window shop, right?!

Ben Treven - Book 2

Hathaway Series - Book 5

Infernal Club - Book 2

Urban Fantasy
Dark Days - Book 4


Romantic Suspense

Part of a series - Book 2

Guardian - Book 6

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review - Mind Games

Title: Mind Games
Author: Carolyn Crane
Publishing Date: March 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy at the RT book signing. I was able to meet Carolyn Crane at RT. I will say that I consider CJ a good friend and it's possible my review might be biased :)

Mind Games is the first book in a new trilogy by Carolyn Crane. It is told in first person by Justine Jones, a very unusual character indeed. Justine is a hypochondriac who swears she is on the verge of having a vein star rupture in her brain. See her mother was also a hypochondriac who believed she suffered from vein star syndrome. Ironically enough Justine's mother died from the exact thing that she feared. Justine is approached by a man named Packard who mysteriously knows more about Justine than their first meeting would warrant. He asks Justine to be a part of his vigilante crime fighting team.

Mind Games pleasantly surprised me with its highly unconventional plot and characters. It has a comic book, superhero kind of vibe to it. Only the superheroes in this book don't have superpowers. They have varying degrees of hypochondria that allow them to take down bad guys by transferring their fears into their evil opponents/victims. These superheroes are a group of misfits who never seemed to belong until Packard gave them a home and a focus - a way to channel their fears to let them live reasonably normal lives. Most of the characters are unusual, but Crane is able to walk a fine line between interesting and quirky. Yes, they are strange but not caricatures of strangeness.

Mind Games has a definite heroine, but two possible heroes. Justine has to determine which one is good and which one is bad. What is interesting is that things are not defined by black and white, but varying shades of grey. This makes Justine's decision all the more difficult, but makes for a much more interesting read. Hard core romance readers might not like that the hero is not clearly defined and by the end of the story it is still not determined who Justine will be with. I am very curious to explore this interesting world Ms. Crane has created.

Here is what others had to say:
Lurv aLa Mode
Dear Author
Alexia's Books and Such
Smokin' Hot Books
Babbling About Books and More
Read React Review
The Book Smugglers
Book Addict
Alpha Heroes

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

Monday, June 21, 2010

Review - Mad, Bad and Blonde

Title: Mad, Bad and Blonde
Author: Cathy Linz
Publishing Date: April 2010
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Diclosure: Nath gave me a copy and I couldn't tell if it was new or used, LOL!

Faith West finds herself dumped at the altar by of all things, a text message. Leaving her family to clean up the mess, Faith decides to go on to Italy by herself where she would have honeymooned. She runs into Caine Hunter and being on the rebound and romantic Italy, she sleeps with him. Afterwards she finds out that Caine was working for her father's arch rival as a PI. Caine is trying to clear his father's name and blames Faith's father for botching an investigation that eventually led to his father's suicide. Faith and Caine keep bumping into each other as they investigate the same case by trying to clear their fathers' of any wrong doing.

Mad, Bad and Blonde is my first Cathy Linz book. At first I found her writing style to be a little unusual. She has a tendency to keep descriptions short and sweet and the writing style comes across very straight forward and concise. I thought this was especially noticeable in the beginning. She also uses a lot of dialogue to move the plot forward. While I do like good dialogue, I felt that the setting and mood suffered. My emotional connection to the book was not as strong as it could have been.

I did enjoy both the main characters Faith and Caine. Faith is a no nonsense women not afraid to speak her mind or take charge if the situation allows for it. Caine can come across as gruff at first, but underneath he is a fair and reasonable man. Mad, Bad and Blonde had a good plot with good family values to help strengthen it. There are several secondary characters which added humor and depth to the book. I happened to enjoy Faith's grandmother and Buddy the private investigator as they start their own little romance.

Here is what others had to say:
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
The Book Lush
Babbling About Books and More
The Book Girl

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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Series Sunday - The Compass Club by Jo Goodman

One of my favorite historical authors is the talented Jo Goodman. I only recently discovered her and she has an extensive back list that I eventually hope to get through. I stumbled across Let Me Be the One, the first book in The Compass Club Quartet, in my library's downloadable audio book collection. I listened to it and loved it. Lucky for me my library has all four audio books which I have plans to listen to as I am driving.

The Compass Club books take place during the Regency period. It features four men who went to school together. Each was considered an outcast of some sort and they all banded together calling themselves The Compass Club, which was derived from their names North, South, East and West. They each get their own book which features a mystery they must solve for the Colonel Blackwell. The interesting thing about these books is they all take place at the same time and certain scenes are told in multiple books, but from different points of view.

I am reading these books in order, but I don't think it's necessary to do so. Since the books overlap, you really could read the books in any order and not lessen the reading experience.

Series Reading Order
Let Me Be the One (Earl of Northam and Libby Pinrose)
Everything I Ever Wanted (Earl of Southerton and India Parr)
All I Ever Needed (Marquess of Eastlyn and Sophia Colley)
Beyond a Wicked Kiss (Duke of Westphal and Ria Ashby)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Loot & Links - June 2010

This post will be more loot than links. I have had an incoming flux of books over the course of last week. I am very excited to be adding all of these great books to my collection (of course my husband is outraged and wonders where all these books are going to go since my shelves are full)!

I made an impulsive purchase at Barnes and Noble's website the other night. No particular reason other than I want these books and don't have them. Plus, getting to a books store has just not been in the cards for me.
Ironically enough, all the books I bought were from Berkley Publishing. I just noticed that today and did not plan it. I wonder what that says about me!

Naked Edge has been getting good reviews. Here is one by Jane at Dear Author. Tracy highlighted The Forbidden Rose in her weekly post and had great things to say about it. Hilcia had great things to say about Magic Bleeds.

I also have been receiving quite a few books from paperbackswap, the used book online swapping club.

I checked these two out from my library.

I am in the middle of reading Silver Borne right now and it is sooooo gooooood!!!!  Honestly, I didn't want to take time out to write this post because I wanted to keep reading, LOL.  But I haven't posted anything since Monday and have been such a total slacker when it comes to my blog this week.

So you see, I have a lot of really great reading ahead of me.  If my posts are few and far between, now you know why, LOL!!

Don't worry, I have plans to review everything.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Review - Lover Mine

Title: Lover Mine
Author: JR Ward
Publishing Date: May 2010
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: C
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I checked out a copy from my library.

Lover Mine is part of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I am too lazy to look up which book it is in the series, but if I had to guess, I'd say it is book eight. Anyway, Lover Mine is John Matthew and Xhex's story. Xhex went missing at the end of Lover Avenged and John Matthew is determined to find her even though most everybody else thinks she is dead. Of course, there is a lot of other stuff happening because JR Ward likes to have multiple storylines going on at once. There is a thread of flashbacks pertaining to the brother Darius and Tohrment. Lash and the lessers have a storyline. Qhuinn and Blay have a storyline.

My overall impression with Lover Mine is unfortunately one of indifference. After reading it, I felt some disappointment and that in comparison to the other books in the series, Lover Mine failed to engage my emotions. There were some things I liked about the book, but there were also some things I didn't.

The things I did enjoy were the same things I enjoy about JR Ward's signature writing. Her characters are larger than life. She also uses a lot of euphemisms and slang which sets the tone of her books apart from the masses. She also has multiple storylines that all eventually coalesce at the end.

The problems I had with the book were that several times I wondered where the heck all of these different storylines were going and if whether or not they would eventually make sense. Eventually they do come together, but it feels like a case of too little too late. I could see the direction Ward was going, but the way she got there was ultimately unsatisfying. It’s like when you are craving potato chips and you finally go to the store and buy them only to discover that you bought the "no salt" kind. When everything is revealed at the end it all came together too quickly and with hardly any explanation of things. The reveal was utterly without JR Ward's usual pizazz.

Here is what others had to say:

Buried by Books
Book Binge
Pearl's World of Romance
Smokin' Hot Books
The Way I See It
Babbling About Books and More
Book Junkie
Fiction Vixen Book Reviews
Smexy Books

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

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Review - A Human Touch

Title: A Human Touch
Author: Glenda Sanders
Publishing Date: 1991
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from PBS.

Kyle Brooks is a divorce lawyer who likes to keep to his self. His good friend Mark convinces him to take in a homeless woman with an infant as his live in maid. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Meredith Quinn a college graduate finds herself destitute and living out of her car with her one month old daughter. Unable to provide for herself and her child she turns to Father Mark for help.

A Human Touch lives up to its title quite nicely. The book easily evokes feelings of forgiveness, understanding and happiness through the journey of Kyle and Meredith's relationship. Each of these characters has a reason to keep their heart securely locked up behind closed doors. Kyle is surly and rude at times. Meredith is cautious and hesitant. Yet these two eventually meet in the middle and learn from each other.

This book is by no means perfect. For one thing it is very dated. Kyle reminds me of one of those 80's business type heroes. He is the one with all the influence and money, while the woman is destitute and helpless. However, Kyle's personality always has a ring of humility to it. He has enough vulnerability to redeem him and make him likeable. Some of the fashion descriptions and electronics used date the book. Overall it is an enjoyable read where the characters emotionally evolve. For a reader looking for a short enjoyable read, look no further.

Here is what others had to say:

Monkey Bear Reviews

Friday, June 11, 2010

Review - Dawnbreaker

Title: Dawnbreaker
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: C+
Sensuality: N/A
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

Dawnbreaker is the third book in Jocelynn Drake's Dark Days series. Dawnbreaker is told in the first person point of view from the main character Mira, a centuries old vampire also known as the fire starter. She has a major battle coming up between herself and her unlikely partner Danaus against the Naturi, unearthly creatures that have been locked in captivity for years. If these Naturi were to escape, then vampires and humans alike would be in serious trouble, as the Naturi want to kill them all.

Alright, I admit it. I had some problems with this book and I did struggle through the reading of it. Mainly the romance is pretty much non-existent and by book three in the series, I really need a connection to be established between the main couple. To put it bluntly, I need more romance!

Mira is a hard character to connect with. She is fair and protective, but at the core of her is a killer. The plot and characters are very well drawn and well developed, but the pacing of the book is on the slow side. It is most evident at the beginning of the book when things are being set up. It had been a while between reading books in this series and therefore I couldn't quite remember everything that had happened previously. So for a little while there in the beginning I felt a little lost as to what the heck was going on. Eventually, things started to pick up, but it took me a while to be drawn into the story.

I really like the mystery surrounding Danaus. The reader really has no idea what is going on with him. As I heard it from Jocelynn herself, Danaus will be narrating the next book, Pray for Dawn. I think this is such a smart move on her part. I really don't think I would be all that interested to continue this series, but that is some serious temptation. I want to know more about Danaus!!

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

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review - Patience

Title: Patience
Author: Lisa Valdez
Publishing Date: April 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Burning
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from PBS.

Patience is the second book by Ms. Valdez featuring the Dare sisters. Patience Dare is the sister-in-law of Matthew Morgan who has recently discovered that he is illegitimate. In a very short time, Matthew has lost his fiancé, become a social piranha and finds his fortune quickly dwindling away. Matthew is certain his former fiancé’s father is behind the cause. As Matthew is struggling with the disdain of the Ton, he finds himself soothed by Patience and her gentle, caring nature.

I found Patience to be a very engrossing, all encompassing and emotional tale that lived up to my expectations. Ms. Valdez had no problems drawing me into the story and connecting me to her characters. Matthew and Patience are well drawn and complex. Matthew especially held my interest as he struggled with dark feelings of revenge and greed - not typically hero material. Patience is his opposite when it comes to honesty and integrity. Her innate goodness is what eventually rubs off on Matthew and gets him to set his own moral compass. Both of these characters go through an emotional journey which strengthens their bond for each other and draws the reader into the story.

I found it very interesting and unusual how Ms. Valdez is able to create a very sensual book and yet still tie in many religious themes. The nice thing is that it is not done in a preachy way at all. Actually if anything the sex is more the focus and is very descriptive and smokin’ hot (especially for those readers who like D/s). However, there were times when certain phrases or words were used excessively. It eventually became overkill and would pull me out of the story. Overall, I think that Patience is a great book and it was well worth the wait.

Here is what others had to say:

Pearl's World of Romance
Lovin' Me Some Romance
Romance Novels I Read
Babbling About Books and More
Smexy Books

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

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Turn at Access Romance

Hey everybody! I am over at Access Romance blogging about eReaders. Are you technologically savy or are you clueless like me?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Review - Tales of the Otherworld

Title: Tales of the Otherworld
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publishing Date: May 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Borrowed from the library.

Tales of the Otherworld is a collection of short stories by Kelley Armstrong. These stories are a part of Kelley's Otherworld series. I am going to review this collection of stories as one book, instead of reviewing the individual stories. Each story pretty well ties into each other and it will just be easier for me to give an overall review.

I absolutely loved Tales of the Otherworld, if for no other reason than it had the story of how Clay and Elena met. For those readers who are familiar with Ms. Armstrong's series, will know exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who don't, go out and read Bitten, the first book in the series and you will be as hooked as the rest of us! Aside from Clay and Elena's story, there is also the story of how Eve and Kristof met and it has a story of Lucas and Paige investigating a murder that may have been done by a vampire.

Kelley Armstrong is such a fantastic writer. Her characters are fully fleshed out and she has a way of making the reader really connect with them. It doesn't matter which character I am reading about, I am 100% involved in them and their plight. She makes her characters seem so human, with problems and emotions that everybody has experienced at one point or another in their lives. They are so relatable and thus it makes for a very enjoyable reading experience. I highly recommend Kelley Armstrong. You could easily read this book as your first introduction into her writing, but it would mean so much more if you started with the first book in this series Bitten. If you enjoy paranormal romance or urban fantasy and haven't read Ms. Armstrong out, you are truly missing out.

Alpha Reader
Love Romances and More
Tez Says

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

Friday, June 4, 2010

Review - Outcast

Title: Outcast
Author: Joan Johnston
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy from the RT Book Lovers Convention.

Ben Benedict is trying to make is way in the world after leaving the military because of suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has joined a task force in Washington DC to fight the ever escalating drug problem. Ironically enough, Ben finds himself back fighting terrorism when Al Qaeda operatives target Washington politicians as their next victims through a DC gang Ben has been working with. As if that isn't enough, he finds himself attracted to the doctor treating him for PTSD.

Outcast reminded me a lot of the 80's old school romances. Here, Ben is one of those hero’s who is a real jerk to the heroine and doesn't want to own up to his "softer" feelings. Ben has a lot of Mommy issues and only uses women for sex. He doesn't want to have to depend on any woman and then have her push him away and therefore leave him vulnerable to a broken heart. He'd rather break their hearts first instead of have his own broken. So this pretty much sums up his poor treatment of the heroine.

Even though, Ben is quite the jerk, it is a true testimony to what a good job Johnston does as a writer because she had me coming back for more time and again even though Ben annoyed me. The story is very gripping and entertaining. If you are looking for heroes of the old days and a gripping, dramatic story then Outcast is for you. Good news is that Outcast is the start of a new series and Ben comes from a very interesting high society Washington family. It looks like there will be more great books on the horizon featuring his brothers and sisters.

Here is what others had to say:

Scorched Sheets

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

May Book Summary

May was a pretty decent month reading wise for me. However, it wasn't to great for reviews or blogging. I seem to be blogging less and less these days. It's not that I don't want to blog or don't have anything to blog about, because I do. However, it's just not a priority right now. So hang tight as I straighten out my life and get things in proper balance.

Good news is I am still reading plenty. This month was really great as far as quality goes. I had three A rated reads. I am pretty stingy with those A grades, as I am sure you all know. Those books were just what I needed to keep my reading mojo going.

1. Undead and Unreturnable, Davidson (Urban Fantasy) Rating: C
2. Undead and Unpopular, Davidson (Urban Fantasy) Rating: B
3. Wolf Tales, Douglas (Erotic) Rating: C+
4. Blood Born, Howard and Jones (Paranormal) Rating: D
5. The Truth About Lord Soneville, Jeffries (Historical) Rating: B+
6. Countdown, Maddox (Futuristic) Rating: A
7. Let Me Be the One, Goodman (Historical) Rating: A
8. His Fantasies, Her Dreams, Anthology (Erotic) Rating: C+
9. Outcast, Johnston (Romantic Suspense) Rating: B-
10. Tales of the Otherworld, Armstrong (Urban Fantasy) Rating: A
11. Patience, Valdez (Historical) Rating: B+
12. Dawnbreaker, Drake (Urban Fantasy) Rating: C+
13. A Human Touch, Sanders (Contemporary) Rating: B

Also, I just want to mention that I have updated my review archive. I had slouched off for the past three months, not adding any new reviews to it. I finally played catch up over the weekend and managed to get it up to date. I even cleaned up my sidebar.

I hope everybody else is having a good, productive month too!