Saturday, July 31, 2010

Review - Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage



Title: Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Publishing Date: July 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage is book two in Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzie series. Isabella Scranton and Mac Mackenzie after a three year separation, are suddenly again in each others’ lives. Neither of them has been able to move on with their life after Isabella left Mac due to a broken heart. She moved out, took half of the staff and lived her own life without Mac in it. Mac spent those years dwelling on all the wrongs he did to Isabella and forcing himself to become the man he knows Isabella needs. Isabella comes to Mac after discovering that someone has been forging his paintings. It's just the excuse Mac is looking for to get Isabella back in his life. He screwed up one time and he is not about to let her go again.

I have to admit that I am not really crazy about the reuniting of lovers past. I chose to put that aside and read Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage because I adored the previous book in this series The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. While I didn't enjoy Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage as much as The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, it was still a compelling read that had me turning the pages. It was a book packed with intrigue, heart-break, healing and passion.

It was clear from the beginning that both Isabella and Mac were still in love with each other. The marital problems they had stemmed from a lack of communication. This book is the journey they needed to take to learn how to work through their problems. They finally learn that it takes patience, understanding and above all communication to make a marriage work, not just a lot of heat and passion. There is also a suspense plot that is the catalyst to bring these two back together. I thought it was a tad on the weak side, but it did allow the relationship between Isabella and Mac to be center stage.


Here is what others had to say:
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Dear Author
Book Binge
Smexy Books
Fiction Vixen
Babbling About Books and More
Alpha Reader

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

Friday, July 30, 2010

RWA 2010 - Literacy Signing



This year RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference is taking place as I write this in Orlando, Florida - more specifically at the Disney Swan and Dolphin hotel. I live about 40 minutes from this HUGE hotel. There was no way I could pass up the chance to meet some of my favorite authors and (as an added bonus) fellow bloggers: Kristie J, Wendy the SuperLibrarian, Rosie, AztecLady and AnimeJune!

I took a half day at work because I was completely useless. I was too busy thinking about the exciting evening I had ahead of me. I had my books picked out that I wanted to get signed. I thought I was being very good because I only had seven books picked out, one for each of my favorite authors.

I got to the hotel around 4:30 and the book signing was at 5:30. There was already a line forming at the room were the signing was being held. Fortunately, there was a bench near the line that only one lady was sitting on and I sat on the other side. She was very friendly. She flew all the way from Chicago to attend the book signing for her teenage daughter. They were not even attending the conference. They just came for the book signing. What a cool Mom!

The neat thing about sitting on the bench was that at about 5:00 and onward I was able to watch a parade of authors go by. Pretty much every author who was attending the signing walked by me and some I recognized right away and was able to say "Hi" as they passed by. (I know. I am a total dweeb!) It was doubly cool when I would say "Hi" and an author would recognize me from RT. I'll tell you Debra Webb is completely down to earth and so nice to chat with. I also saw my good friend, author Delilah Marvelle. It was such a treat to surprise her because she didn't know I was going to be at the signing. (On a tangent - she has a new series coming out next year that looks so good. I will be sure to fill you all in on her new gritty historical series with HQN.)


As I was sitting on the bench.  Look at that line!

Okay, so on to the good stuff. I was one of the first few people to get into the room. Lines quickly formed for the big authors. At least one line formed right away for "La Nora". I went to Linda Howard first and was the second person in line! I couldn't believe it. She is one of my favorite authors and I couldn't fathom why everybody wasn't in her line. I got her autograph and then moved on to Suzanne Brockmann, whose line was also short!! What crazy parallel universe had I landed in?! I was a total spaz when I talked to Suz. I had just finished her latest release Infamous earlier that day and had to tell her how much I enjoyed it (review to post soon).


Suzanne Brockmann

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Then I went around getting other signatures that I wanted. Come to find out, you were only supposed to bring in 5 books and I had 7. Nobody policed me though (phew)! As I was walking around, I happened to walk by Wendy (the Super Librarian) and introduced myself. That was fun. It's crazy to me that I can just say, "Hey, I'm Jill, Romance Rookie." and she knew who I was. I had plans to meet up with the bloggers after the signing.

After I finished with the signing I was walking out of the room and lo and behold I see Kristie J sitting right next to the very same bench I had sat on waiting for the signing to open. She was totally surprised and we hugged and then immediately went into a conversation about what books we got signed and so forth. LOL, you have got to love it!

I went back to Kristi's room while we waited for the signing to finish up. Kristie showed me her Kobo (the borders or chapter ebook reader). I couldn't believe how light it was. It was much lighter than the kindle or Sony ereader and just as big.

Top row - books Kristie J got in her RWA bag that she gave me :)
Middle row - books I purchased at the signing (except the last one they gave me at checkout)
Bottom row - The books I brought that I got signed.


Then Wendy got back to the room and proceeded to show us all the books she got at the librarian goody room. Damn! She got a lot of good stuff! We all headed down to a bar over by the pool and preceeded to have dinner, drink and good conversation. I was able to meet Rosie, AztecLady, Magdalen and three ladies from AAR - Blythe, Lynn and Sandy. That was surreal because my romance online experience was reading their reviews!

As you can see I had a fabulous time. I tried to do justice to my experience and I have to say, this might just be my longest post yet, LOL! I think I will leave you with this... My favorite memory of the night is getting to put a real "voice" to Wendy the Superlibrarian. She has the most wonderful midwestern twang to her accent that makes me think of solid, honest people. Every time I read a post by her, I now can truly hear her in my head.

Somehow, I didn't take picture of the actual blogger bash.  I don't know how I managed that one!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Review - Naked Edge



Title: Naked Edge
Author: Pamela Clare
Publishing Date: March 2010
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

Naked Edge is book 4 in Pamela Clare's I-Team series. Katherine James meets Gabe Rossiter when he rescues her after falling from a cliff and breaking her leg. Months pass and once again Gabe comes to Kat's rescue when a prayer session is broken up by the police. Gabe witnesses a police officer accosting Kat. Within the next week, Kat's close friend and mentor Grandpa Red Crow dies from what looks to be an accidental death. But after Kat does some investigating of her own, it looks like murder and Kat may be next.

Naked Edge is another great addition to Pamela Clare's I-Team series. Ms. Clare takes the reader into the world and traditions of the Navajo people. Kat's mother is Navajo and her father an unknown white man. Kat has always been rejected by her Mother and never knew her father. She has felt apart from both worlds. She is very closed off from people and has almost no experience of any kind in terms of a relationship with people. She doesn't really have any girlfriends and she has never had a boyfriend or sexual relationship.

Naked Edge is a great balance between Kat and Gabe's emotional journey and learning to trust the other and the mystery surrounding Grandpa Red Crow's death. Just like Kat, Gabe has to learn to let people in and get close to him. He suffered a tragedy in his past that he has never gotten past. With Kat’s help Gabe starts to trust again. Naked Edge allows the reader time to see Kat and Gabe morph into more emotionally open people.

One thing about the book that I wonder about after finishing it is why there wasn't anything about Gabe's background growing up with his family. There is a lot of background about Kat's family and the book feels unbalanced with not knowing anything about Gabe's family. Somehow they are left out. It's not overtly obvious when reading the story. It wasn't until the end, did I even notice it was lacking in this area. Despite my one gripe, fans of this series won't want to miss this latest installment.

Here is what others had to say:
Dear Author
Book Binge
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
World According to Books
Leslie's Psyche
Impressions of a Reader
Laurie's Laudanum

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

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review - Ten Things I Love About You



Title: Ten Things I Love About You
Author: Julia Quinn
Publishing Date: June 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: Received a used copy from Paperbackswap.com

Ten Things I Love About You is book three in Julia Quinn's Bevelstoke series. Annabel Winslow's large family of 10 siblings and her widowed mother are depending on her to marry well. Lord Newbury desperately needs to sire a son or his title will pass to his nephew Sebastian Grey, whom he despises. Lord Newbury is twice Annabel's age with wrinkles and flabby jowls. But she is willing to throw herself on the knife for her beloved family. The situation becomes complicated when Annabel meets the charming and hansom nephew.

Ten Things I Love About You was a nice story about two nice people, who were in a not so nice situation. Annabel and Sebastian were fine characters, but I felt like the book lacked that piece of pizzazz to really garner my interest. I hate to say it, but I was more than a little bored reading this book. It just had a hard time of holding my attention. It wasn't badly written by any means, but at the same time I didn't feel like there was anything that lends itself to really making an impact.

Sebastian is a sensitive man, and readers who like Beta characters will really like him. I myself thought he was a little too soft, but I like them really Alpha, so don't mind me. It's just there were times when Sebastian would be giving an inner monologue and it would come across as a little bit girly. I also thought the eeevil Uncle was too much and didn't really seem to fit with the story. It seemed like overkill to me. Okay, so the consensus now that I have summed up my thoughts is that I was not crazy about this book. Read it at your own risk!

Here is what others had to say:

Breezing Through
The Good, The Bad, and The Unread
The Book Smugglers
Book Binge
Buried By Books

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

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Series Sunday - The I-Team Series by Pamela Clare



Every Christmas my husband stuffs my stocking with romance novels. This is how I was first introduced to Pamela Clare and her I-Team books. I found Hard Evidence in my stocking and was so excited after I started reading it to discover I couldn't put it down. This doesn't always happen because sometimes my husband picks out a dud. But I got really lucky that year when he put Hard Evidence into my stocking. It just so happened that the book had a man and a woman showering on the cover. He likes to pick out the books based either on their titles or book covers. The racier the better, LOL!

The I-Team series centers around women who are investigative reporters in Denver, Colorado. Each story is about a different woman who is investigating a story and meets Mr. Right. What is really special about the I-Team series is that the women protagonists are all investigative reporters and Pamela Clare herself was an investigative reporter. She writes what she knows and it shows. The newsroom comes alive under her tutelage.

I do want to mention that the women tend to put themselves in danger in order to get their story. Some readers may feel that the heroines are in the TSTL (too stupid to live) category. I'll admit to nail biting and wanting to scream at the heroine for putting herself in danger. Luckily the hero is always available to rescue his woman. And let’s be honest, the danger just heightens the experience!

These books are well researched and full of action. There is never a dull moment and the chemistry between the characters sizzles off the pages. I don't feel that these books have to be read in order. For the most part each story focuses heavily on just the hero and heroine, with secondary characters staying in the background. Each book is its own contained mystery. But I know what sticklers some of you are for reading order.


Series Reading Order:
1. Extreme Exposure
2. Hard Evidence
3. Unlawful Contact
4. Naked Edge

Pamela Clare has a great website with excerpts and author notes for each of her books. It's worth a look if you are interested in this series.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Review - Amethyst Destiny



Title: Amethyst Destiny
Author: Pamela Montgomerie
Publishing Date: May 2010
Genre: Time Travel
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I purchased this book new.

Amethyst Destiny is the second book in Pamela Montgomerie's Jewels of Time series. Julia Brodie is sent back through time to 1688 after her cousin gives her a special necklace. She finds herself in a castle in Scotland standing before a man who believes he is responsible for her time-travel. Talon, known as the wizard thinks the magical ring he wears brought her to him in order to help him find a lamp. Julia and Talon work together to find the lamp and send her back home, but they both harbor feelings for each other that complicate the situation.

Julia Brodie is one of those heroines who get on my nerves. She was a prickly little booger, always snipping at Talon and just being a pain in the ass in general. Now, Julia has valid reasons for most of her behavior, but it was annoying all the same. Talon has his own issues which stem from low self esteem. He doesn't think he is worth much without his magical ring. The good news is that Julia sees beyond that and believes him to be a good man and worthy of her love.

The pacing in Amethyst Destiny is good. There is plenty of action to keep the story moving forward. The nice thing about the characters is that they morph and grow as the story moves along. I have noticed that Mongomerie is not afraid to delve into more horrific events to stir up the readers’ imaginations. The time travel element, while fantastical itself feels more realistic to Montgomerie's writing, which leads a more realistic style as far as lifestyle and human emotions go. I didn't like Amethyst Destiny as much as I did Sapphire Dreams, however I am not ready to write this series off yet.

Here is what others had to say:
Smexy Books

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

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Upcoming August Releases!



Here are the books releasing in August that I am looking forward to reading. My list has grown leaps and bounds since I purused through my RT Book Reviews magazine, LOL!



7/27/10
Romantic Suspense
Not part of a series



7/27/10
Paranormal
Spin-off of the Night Huntress series



7/27/10
Contemporary
Not part of a series



7/27/10
Historical
(The main characters were children in Lord Perfect.)



8/1/10
Historical
The House of Rohan - Book 1



8/1/10
Erotic Romance
Loosely connected to Tempted
(Alex's story)



8/1/10
Historical
Maiden Lane - Book 1




8/1/10
Historical
Fairy Tales - Book 1



8/1/10
Urban Fantasy
Women of the Other World - Book 11



8/3/10
Contemporary
Fast Track - Book 3



8/3/10
Paranormal
Lucy Valentine - Book 2



8/10/10
Romantic Suspense
Not part of a series
Can anyone confirm that this is a new release? As far as I can tell this is not a re-release. If anyone knows for certain, will you please comment? Thanks!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review - Bitten by Cupid



Title: Bitten by Cupid
Publishing Date: January 2010
Genre: Paranormal
Book Disclosure: Received a used copy from Paperbackswap.

Bitten by Cupid is an anthology featuring Lindsay Sands, Pamela Palmer and Jaime Rush. I only read the last two novellas in the book. I just couldn't get into the first story by Lindsay Sands.

Title: Hearts Untamed
Author: Pamela Palmer
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm

Hearts Untamed is part of Pamela Palmer's Feral Warriors series. Julianna is being blackmailed to find particular piece of jewelry. To complicate matters the one man she loved and offered virginity to is returning after ten years, but he left because he didn't return Julianna's love. What Julianna doesn't realize is that Zee left for a completely different reason.

This was my first introduction to the Feral Warriors series. Julianna is one of those heroines who gets on my nerves. She deliberately assumes the worst about a situation and then determines that she must handle the problem completely alone. She pulls away from the hero for most of the story. What saves this story is that Zee doesn't listen to Julianna and pushes her enough that she finally gives into him. I also thought that for a short story and this being my first introduction to the world building, the author did a really nice job of filling in the blanks without overwhelming the reader.


Title: Kiss and Kill Cupid
Author: Jaime Rush
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm

Kiss and Kill Cupid is an off shoot of Jamie Rush's Offspring series. I have read the first two books in the Offspring series and these characters are new. It's not necessary to have read any of the other Offspring books. Kristy Morgan is interviewing for a job as a writer for a popular adventure magazine. She has the ability to hear other people's thoughts and she hears a serial killer's thoughts to make her his next victim. Kristy isn't sure if her employer Adrian might be the killer, never mind that he is attractive.

I enjoyed this short story for the mystery. It's a quick and easy read with good pacing and a good solid mystery. It isn't too terribly hard to guess who the killer is, but the delivery worked for me. The chemistry between Kristy and Adrian was good for a shorter novel, but the staying power of the relationship is questionable because of the strenuous circumstances of them meeting.

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

Monday, July 19, 2010

Review - Hell Fire



Title: Hell Fire
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publishing Date: April 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Kisses
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from my library.

Hell Fire is book two in the Corine Solomon series. In this book Corine Solomon narrates the story. She heads home to southern Georgia to determine the circumstances of her Mother's death. Corine has always suspected that there were supernatural reasons associated with her Mother's death and they all stemmed from the town itself. She takes Chance, her former boyfriend back to Georgia with her to find out what really happened.

Hell Fire is an excellently written book. However, I didn't enjoy it as much as I did Blue Diablo, the first in the series. This mostly stemmed from the direction or lack there of that Hell Fire went in terms of romance. It seems Hell Fire has more questions instead of answers when it comes to Corine and her men, Chance and Jesse. Corine is at a crossroads in her life and she can't seem to make up her mind on who will fit in her life better. I think it is obvious, but she will walk that path with or without anyone's help.

Okay, so back onto the plot, which was excellent by-the-way. I loved the dark mysterious setting. There is plenty of tension and Aguirre knows how to set the mood. There is something dark and mysterious about the town and this book is about getting to the bottom of that. I love how Corine references that her team almost equals that of Scooby Do and she even goes as far as making a reference to "those meddling kids".

I think this is a series to watch. The writing is excellent. I just would like to know where the romance is going. You know me. I am totally romance driven!

Here is what others had to say:

Book Lovers, Inc.
All Things Urban Fantasy
Lurv aLa Mode
Book Binge
Renee's Book Addiction

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

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Guess the Book #5



It's been a while since I did a Guess the Book post. Can you guess which book this excerpt is from? The names have been removed to make it a little harder.

C--- gasped for breath, while her heart thumped madly. "You would have me in the same position as Miss D---," she said. "Pregnant and pleading for you to marry me."

"God, yes, I would love that."

She nearly choked with indignation, while his long fingers teased her inside and out. Her body began to clench in a slow, steady pulse of desire. There were great swaths of fabric caught between their bodies, layers of remaining clothing, and all she could feel was his mouth at the back of her neck, and that devilishly persuasive hand.

"I have never said this to anyone before." L---'s voice was like ragged velvet. "But the idea of you with child is the most insanely arousing thing I've ever imagined. Your belly all swollen, your breasts heavy, the funny little way you would walk... I would worship you. I would take care of your every need. And everyone would know that I'd made you that way, that you belonged to me."

"You...you are so..." She couldn't even think of a suitable word.

"I know. Woefully primitive." Laughter threaded through his voice. "But I must be tolerated, because I'm a man and I really can't help it."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review - Nothing But Trouble



Title: Nothing but Trouble
Author: Rachel Gibson
Publishing Date: May 2010
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from Paperbackswap.

Nothing but Trouble is part of Rachel Gibson's Chinook's Hockey series. Mark Bressler is recovering from a very bad car accident which has devastatingly ended his career as a professional hockey player for the Chinooks. To make matters worse, his team has just won the Stanley Cup and he had to sit at home and watch instead of skating on the ice with his teammates. Chelsea Ross is a struggling actress who takes a position as Mark Bressler's home health care assistant. Mark's surly demeanor and grumpy disposition will stretch her nerves to the breaking point as she tries to stick out the duration of the job for three months, which will earn her a $10,000 bonus.

Nothing but Trouble is a solid read. I enjoyed the fast paced antics between Chelsea and Mark. Mark is a grumpy bastard for the first part of the book. Gibson makes this understandable because of his circumstances and he does have his sensitive moments. Chelsea puts up with a lot in the beginning but easily dishes it out back just as good as she gets it from Mark. They are evenly matched with their explosive chemistry.

Nothing but Trouble is not a deep read by any means, but it is fun and entertaining. It does have a rather predictable confrontation at the end. However, it is not dragged out to the point of frustration. Mark and Chelsea easily work through their misunderstanding and a sweet ending is had for all. For fans of contemporary or sports themed romances, Nothing but Trouble is a quick, fun read.

Here is what others had to say:

Breezing Through
Book Addict
Book Binge
The Good, The Bad, The Unread

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

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ashville, NC - Book Friendly but not Romance



I have been in Asheville, North Carolina this week. I had to come up here for work, but I took my family with me since my kids are out of school and my husband has plenty of vacation time saved. The first part of the week I spent working. I had to prepare one of our distribution facilities for an audit and then I spent Tuesday and Wednesday visiting growers up here.

We are staying near downtown Asheville and every night we head there for a nice dinner. The restaurants are plentiful and the food is delicious. The best description I have for the feel of Asheville is very hippy and artistic. The restaurants and shops all cater to local people. There are very few chains. Everything is hand crafted and unique.

The town could be a book lover's paradise. They have a large independent bookstore and four other used bookstores that I saw just walking around. I was really excited but soon I discovered that sure they had bookstores, but the selection of romance was slim pickings. Malaprops just had one shelf of romance and even that was questionable. They had Twilight and the Sookie books and a few other well know authors like La Nora etc. I was super disappointed.

We went shopping in a more residential part of Asheville yesterday. There is a two story Barnes and Noble attached to the Mall we stopped at. This is a big Barnes and Nobles. I think one of the biggest I have ever been in and disappointingly enough the romance section sucked! I was looking for Beyond the Night by Joss Ware and Vampire Mistress by Joey Hill. They didn't have either one.

I am beyond frustrated. I need a positive book shopping experience, pronto!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review - The Forbidden Rose



Title: The Forbidden Rose
Author: Joanna Bourne
Publishing Date: June 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

The Forbidden Rose is loosely connected to Joanna Bourne's other novels The Spymaster's Lady and My Lord and Spymaster. Marguerite de Fleurignac finds herself living in the woods after her home is burned down by mercenaries of the Republic. France is in an upheaval with noblemen and women fearing for their lives. William Doyle, a British spy is trying to locate Maggie's father as he believes him the man responsible for traitorous acts involving the death of important men. He discovers Maggie hiding amongst the rubble of her former home and offers to escort her to Paris under the disguise as a humble book peddler with his helpful servant Adrian Hawker.

The Forbidden Rose is a very complicated book filled with intrigue and passion. It is set during a very tumultuous time of the French Revolution. There are very complicated plots afoot. Maggie is involved with helping those who have been targeted by the Republic flee France. Doyle works as a British spy and wants to put an end to the Terror. There are other factions at work as well which make this a very complicated and confusing story. I am not really one for spy stories, but Bourne's writing is so compelling that I cannot seem to help myself. I was much more interested in the romance between Doyle and Maggie than I was the French intrigue. However, the backdrop of French turmoil created a very poignant and intense setting for this romance.

The characters are extremely well drawn and are what make the story come alive. This book was much more sensual and explicit than Bourne's previous two books, which I found somewhat surprising. For those who are fans of her character Adrian Hawker, who appeared in the previous two books, will be very happy to learn that this book delves more into Adrian. The Forbidden Rose takes place previous of the other two books and gives the reader insight into how Adrian came to be the way he is. I didn't enjoy The Forbidden Rose as much as I have Bourne’s previous books and I think this is due to the complexity to the spy plots. I had a hard time following things. Plus, I found myself trying to remember Doyle from the previous books and had trouble recalling the details. It makes me want to go back and reread The Spymasters Lady and My Lord and Spymaster. If you are a fan of Joanna Bourne you won’t want to miss The Forbidden Rose.

Here is what others had to say:
Dear Author
Smexy Books
Babbling About Books and More

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

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Review - Magic Bleeds



Title: Magic Bleeds
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publishing Date: May 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

Magic Bleeds is the fourth book in Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. Kate Daniels is a mercenary who works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, an organization that polices the Magic in the city of Atlanta. Kate goes to investigate a murder that takes place in a border bar frequented by pack and necromancers. Kate encounters a dangerous enemy with the power to control disease. She must put her feelings for Curran the pack leader aside as she tries to hunt down this harbinger of death.

I will admit that it took me a little while to commit to this series. The romance between Kate and Curran was developing a little too slowly for my tastes. I will now gladly eat those words because Magic Bleeds delivered and delivered well even above my high expectations. Slow in this case really works. The build-up was well worth the wait and makes it all the more delicious. Kate and Curran have a lot of problems to overcome if they are to have a successful relationship. I loved that Curran really comes to light in this book. His motivations for why he does the things he does are revealed and the reader gets some back story on Curran.

The world that Andrews has created is complex and terrifying. These creatures that go bump in the night are very powerful. Amazingly enough Kate is able to fight against them and triumph. I found Magic Bleeds to be better balanced between the grimness of situation Kate is trying to fix and the sarcastic humor with how she handles it. Magic Bleeds was funny. I wasn't expecting that. It's always good when a heroine doesn't take herself too seriously and can see the humor in the situation. It lightens things up. This was definitely the best book in the series thus far and one for the keeper shelf.

Here is what others had to say:
Breezing Through
My Reading Addiction
Impressions of a Reader
Dear Author
Lurv aLa Mode
Smexy Books

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

Friday, July 9, 2010

Review - Married by Morning



Title: Married by Morning
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publishing Date: June 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: A
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from Paperbackswap.

Married by Morning is the fourth book in Lisa Kleypas's Hathaway series. Leo Hathaway and Catherine Marks have been fighting their attraction to each other for a couple of books now. Catherine has been installed as a companion/governess to Beatrice and Poppy Hathaway, Leo's sisters to help them learn the rules of society. Catherine has been hiding from something and been very secretive about her past. She thinks it is soon time for her to leave the Hathaway’s because she might be putting them at risk, however she doesn't want to leave the one family who make her feel like she belongs.

Funny thing about Married by Morning is that I wasn't sure I would like Leo for a hero. He really didn't have all that much appeal in the earlier Hathaway books as he chose the path of debauchery when he lost his childhood sweetheart. So then with having no expectations other than a good read by Ms. Kleypas, I found myself really enjoying Leo's transformation in Married by Moring.

The main appeals were the delightful scenes between Catherine and Leo that exercised their wit. I think my favorite would be when Leo demonstrated to Catherine how kissing can make a person lose their intelligence. He would kiss her and then ask her to solve a riddle. Because she couldn't answer correctly she'd make him ask another question. Of course, Leo would have to kiss her first before he could ask her another question.

There were several cute scenes like that and it amazes me how Ms. Kleypas makes them all seem so effortless. The pacing is great, the characters are wonderful. Even the little ferret drew me in. I can't help but be enchanted with Married by Morning.

Here is what others had to say:
Book Binge
Monkey Bear Reviews
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Babbling About Books and More

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

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Halfway There - Top of the Pack



It's July and half of the year has passed. According to Shelfari, I am behind my reading pace of last year. It's true that I haven't been able to read quite as much as I did last year. Real life has a habit of intruding into my reading time.

2009 - 83 books
2010 - 71 books

I am happy to say that I was able to read a higher percentage of books published this year. My goal was to have half the books I read published in this year. That hasn't happened yet, but I still can make my goal.

2009 - 30% of my reading was published in 2009
2010 - 39% of my reading was published in 2010

Other fun facts, I decided to keep track of the number of pages I am reading.

23420 pages so far this year
129 pages per day

Now to the good stuff - my top 5 list of the best books this year (three of which I just read in June).



Urban Fantasy
Book 5 in Mercy Thompson series

Silver Borne is the most romantic book in this series.  Mercy is having to come to terms with her relationship to Adam and what that means in relation to the whole pack.  Mercy is such a likable, down-to-earth character readers can't help but fall in love with her, just like Adam.  Somehow trouble always comes knocking at Mercy's door and not always so politely either.  Mercy's latest adventure will keep the readers coming back for more.


Urban Fantasy
Book 4 in Kate Daniels series

Fans of the Kate Daniels series will celebrate and dance in the street because this series just keeps getting better and better.  Magic Bleeds finally delivers and lives up to romance readers' expectations with the combustible and passionate union between Kate and Curran.  Kate is the perfect combination of grit, determination and vulnerability with a healthy dose of sarcasm.  Magic Bleeds is enchanting.


Contemporary
Loosely related to SEALed with a Kiss and SEALed with a Promise

Fans of marriage of convenience themed romances won't want to miss SEALed with a Ring.  Daughtridge has done it again with her realistic portrayal of military men.  She takes two extraordinary characters, puts them in an ordinary situation that anyone can sympathize with and creates a poignant and emotionally charged romance. 


Historical
not part of a series

A Matter of Class is a shining example of the right way to write a shorter story without compromising character or plot development.  Coming in at just under 200 pages, A Matter of Class packs a big punch.  Using a different approach of two perspectives, one at present day and the other of the past where eventually they meet in the middle, makes this book a very unique reading experience.  Short and sweet, A Matter of Class truly is a gem.



Historical
Book 4 in Hathaway series

Fans of Ms. Kleypas will love this latest installment of the lovable, quirky Hathaway family.  Married by Morning is a charming read and Leo and Catherine sizzle and sparkle with many delightful scenes.  Ms. Kleypas is on top of her game and makes it all seem so effortless. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review - All I Ever Needed



Title: All I Ever Needed
Author: Jo Goodman
Publishing Date: 2003
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I downloaded an audio book from my library.

All I Ever Needed is the third book in Jo Goodman's Compass Quartet. Lord Eastlyn finds himself embroiled in rumors that he is engaged to Lady Sophia. To right the wrongs that have been done to this young woman, he decides to meet with her at her Uncle's estate to discuss how the matter should be resolved. When Sophie refuses to listen to good sense and declares he has nothing to feel responsible for, Eastlyn finds himself proposing to Sophie even though it was his intention to avoid marriage from the beginning of this meeting. He finds Sophie's rejection of him intriguing and challenging. He is determined to change her mind for he fears she might be in danger.

It's true that there is treachery amidst Sophie's life. Her Uncle and Cousin are up to no good. It takes Eastlyn a while to gain Sophie's trust and pry the details out of her. I enjoyed All I Ever Needed a little more than I did Everything I Ever Wanted. I found Sophie and Eastlyn to have a more humorous relationship. Although, keep in mind with Goodman's writing style the humor is very subtle and dry. Again Goodman sets up the mood very well leaving this miasma of darkness surrounding Eastlyn and Sophie. Eventually, Goodman gets around to unraveling all the strands in this dark web she weaves.

I admit that it is not a good idea to read all of the Compass Club books back to back like I have done. They all start to blend in together too well. There are a lot of similarities to the style of each book which by the third one makes it somewhat predictable. I still am enjoying Goodman's writing as she is a master storyteller. I will wait a few months before I tackle the final book in the series.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Shadowfever Exerpt!



Yay!! Karen Marie Moning has sent out a new excerpt for her upcoming release Shadowfever, the final installment and exciting conclusion to her Fever series. I am so very excited about this book. I was bummed out that the release date was pushed back to January 18, 2011, but the book is almost double in length of the previous books. Whoot! I am in store for some seriously good reading!!!

Here is the latest teaser:

My ghosts whisper to each other across me but I can’t hear them. There’s only one way I’ll ever be able to hear them again.

I turn my head for Darroc’s kiss.

As his lips close over mine, the duality inside me threatens to tear me in half, and if it succeeds, I will lose my best chance at accomplishing my mission.

I hurt.

I need punishment for my sins.

I bury my hands in his hair, and channel all those feelings into passion, pour it into my touch, kiss him hard, violently. I turn us both around and slam him up against the wall, kissing him like he’s all that ever existed, kissing him with a full measure of humanity. It’s a thing a Fae can never feel, no matter the form they wear—humanity. It’s why they crave us in bed.

He staggers for a moment, pulls back and stares down at me.

My eyes are wild. I feel something inside me that terrifies me, and I just hope I can hang on to the edge of this cliff I’m on. I make a sound of impatience, wet my lips and shove at him.

“More,” I demand.

When he kisses me again, the last part of me that could stand myself dies.


O.M.G!!! What is going on? January can't come fast enough, LOL!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Review - Fade to Midnight



Title: Fade to Midnight
Author: Shannon McKenna
Publishing Date: June 2010
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Hot/Burning
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from my local library

Fade to Midnight is the long awaited conclusion to Shannon McKenna's McCloud Brother series. It features the long lost missing brother Kev who is Sean's twin, whom they believed has been dead all these years. Sean troubled by nightmares believes his twin is still alive. Kev is alive but has no recollection of his former life. As a self protective mechanisim his brain has chosen to forget the torture Kev experienced at the hands of a mad scientist.

Fade to Midnight starts out with a fairly intriguing premise. Kev McCloud can't remember is past but for some reason he continually pictures a beautiful girl, whom he deems his "angel". He discovers that his angel is actually a real person, Edie Parrish. She has made him the main character in her popular graphic novel. Edie had horrible experiments done on her as a child. These experiments eventually lead to her psychic abilities which come out through her drawings. Edie has always been shy and a disappointment to her father.

The best part of Fade to Midnight is in the beginning when Kev and Edie first meet. They come together in an emotional and fiery explosion. If you have read McKenna before than you’ll know what I am talking about. Kev immediately knows that Edie is the woman for him and he must have her and protect her at all costs. He struggles with wanting to keep Edie safe and do what is best for her, yet he can't seem to keep his hands off of her which places them in danger. Oh, what a conundrum.

Unfortunately, after Kev and Edie get separated from each other because of the bad guys, the book takes a downturn. I felt like things got dragged out too much. The bad guys are so completely over the top eeeevil. Actually, why we are on the subject, everything about this book is over the top. Which can be great in small doses, but in this book at close to 500 pages it got old after a while. In the beginning it is exciting and addictive but by the end of the book I was uninterested and ready for it to be over.

I think fans of the McCloud Brother series will not want to miss this conclusion. But do keep in mind that Fade to Midnight is not without its share of problems.

Here is what others had to say:
Book Binge

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

Friday, July 2, 2010

June Book Summary



The month that was June... Well, it was fairly decent month with a total of ten reads. I managed to play catch up with some of the new releases from the past month, three of which I rated as A's. Bouyah!

On the downside, I haven't been able to read as much as I want to because of real life. How dare my family and job come before my reading time??? And as usual I am behind in my reviews. *Sigh*

1. Lover Mine, Ward (Paranormal) Rating: C
2. Mad Bad and Blonde, Linz (Contemporary) Rating: B-
3. Mind Games, Crane (Urban Fantasy) Rating: B+
4. Everything I Ever Wanted, Goodman (Historical) Rating: B
5. Savor the Moment, Roberts (Contemporary) Rating: B
6. Silver Borne, Briggs (Urban Fantasy) Rating: A
7. Fade to Midnight, McKenna (Romantic Suspense) Rating: C+
8. All I Ever Needed, Goodman (Historical) Rating: B
9. Married by Morning, Kleypas (Historical) Rating: A
10. Magic Bleeds, Andrews (Urban Fantasy ) Rating: A

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review - Silver Borne



Title: Silver Borne
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publishing Date: April 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from my library.

Silver Borne is the fifth book in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is a coyote shifter, but she is a little fish in a big pond. She constantly finds herself surrounded by creatures stronger, faster and much more powerful than herself. Trouble constantly comes knocking on her door and this time it's because of a book she borrowed from a Fae. The Fae Mercy borrowed the book from is either missing or dead. Yet, some other faction wants the book bad enough to try and kill Mercy too.

Silver Borne is another excellent addition to this series and I think the most romantic book of the bunch. Mercy is learning more about her mated bond to Adam the pack's Alpha. Mercy loves her independence and the bond between her and the pack scares her. She must come to terms with this bond or it will weaken Adam in the eyes of the pack. This brings to the front all of those pesky pack dynamics, which I just love reading about. Briggs does such a good job of describing wolf behaviors and why they act the way they do. It’s such fascinating stuff!

The world building is very descriptive and imaginative especially when it comes to the Fae. This book was a balance between the werewolves and the Fae. We also get to see a much more romantic side to Adam. He is openly courting Mercy as she comes to terms with their mate bond. Also he accepts Mercy just as she is and wouldn't change a thing about her, even though she sometimes scares the hell out of him with all the trouble she manages to get herself into.

Another shocking aspect to this book was the direction Briggs took with Samuel's character. It was very heartbreaking to read, but I am just so very glad how everything works out in the end. I only wish Briggs would write a book and make him the main character! I love this series. If you haven't started it yet, don't wait another minute. You must read this series!

Here is what others had to say:
The Book Smugglers
My Reading Addiction
Books, Books and More Books
Leslie's Psyche
Alpha Reader

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


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