Thursday, June 30, 2011

I am Alive!

Hi All! I just want you all to know that I AM alive, LOL!! My lame excuse is that I have not been in a blogging mood. Actually, I am worried that maybe my blogging mojo might have left me forever...

But enought of that. I have been reading the book Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. For those of you not familiar with this book, it is what the first series of the new HBO show Game of Thrones is based on. My husband started watching the TV series. I watched a few bits and pieces, but not much. Then, I discovered the TV show was based on a book. Hmmmm. I thought, maybe I'll read the book and then watch the show. So that is exactly what happened. That is where I have been for the last 10 days, reading this very long book. I just finished it. I am still digesting it. I am not entirely certain how I feel about it. More thoughts to come later...

Get this, my husband who never reads, watched the show and then went and bought book two A Clash of Kings because he didn't want to wait for next year when the second series comes out again on TV. He is about 300 pages into it and is begging me to start the second one so we can discuss it. How cool is that? My husband NEVER reads and I am totally going to take advantage of this!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review - SEALed Forever

Title: SEALed Forever
Author: Mary Margaret Daughtridge
Publishing Date: May 2011
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased an ebook for my Nook.

Garth Vale, after suffering very serious injuries as a SEAL in Afghanistan, has been placed on duty at a covert airport in North Carolina. Planes that fly under the public’s radar sometimes use the airport Garth is stationed. Garth discovers an infant in a box on one such plane. Garth doesn't want to take the baby to the authorities because he fears for the child's life. Instead he takes the baby to the local doctor, Bronwyn Whitescarver. Garth and Bronwyn are drawn together as they decide what is best for the infant.

I really love Daughtridge's writing. She just sings to me. I love that her characters are so REAL. Out of all the SEAL books that I have read - and believe me, I have read a lot - hers just seem to feel so REAL to me. This is another great book by Ms. Daughtridge. Garth is quite a yummy hero. He is one of those guys who knows what he wants and goes after it. He takes one look at Bronwyn and decides she is the woman for him. LOL! Bronwyn isn't anywhere near ready to have Mr. Vale and a battle of wills ensues. Garth's interest in Bronwyn could have come across as stalkerish, but because of his earnestness and honesty it works for me.

Garth has these certain expectations built up in his mind about Bronwyn and the type of wife she ought to be for him. As the story progresses, Garth realizes that these expectations might not be right for him or Bronwyn. He really does a lot of growing throughout the story. One thing I would have liked to see would be Bronwyn working through her issues with her family. It is a big conflict in the story, but not once does she actually confront her family, although she does come to her own terms with these issues. Also there is a small paranormal plot that was interesting, but not overpowering.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review - Never Less Than a Lady

Title: Never Less Than a Lady
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Publishing Date: 2010
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Diclosure: I received a used book through

Never Less Than a Lady is the second book in Mary Jo Putney's Lost Lords series. I have to admit I put off reading this book because the first book in the series was just okay. But then one day I was in the mood for a historical and nothing was catching my eye until I read the back cover of this book. Nothing like a hero saving the day and rescuing a woman being kidnapped, and then since he's looking for a wife, decide that she will do! LOL! I am a sucker for these kinds of stories. Anyway, this one was pretty good and I enjoyed it better than the first book of the Lost Lord series.

Julia has some problems. Her late husband's family is after her and has plans to hurt her. Her first husband was abusive and to say Julia is skittish of men is an understatement. Alexander has always had a thing for Julia and once he learns of her precarious situation he comes to her rescue. Alex can't resist helping someone in need. He also has always emotionally distanced himself from people in the past to avoid getting hurt. Both he and Julia have a lot of leaning to do if they are going to make a successful go of their marriage.

Never Less Than a Lady is one of those books that is a study in marriage, especially for two people who are thrown together quickly. They have to learn to communicate and work through all their little quirks and insecurities. I found this book to be a quite enjoyable read. I recommend it for fans of the theme "Marriage of Convenience".

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review - The Curse of the Pharaohs

Title: The Curse of the Pharaohs
Author: Elizabeth Peters
Publishing Date: 1988
Genre: Mystery
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Kisses
Book Disclosure: I downloaded an audio book from my library.

The Curse of the Pharaohs is the second book in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Amelia Peabody is back after five years has passed between her first Egyptian mystery. Amelia and Emerson find themselves headed back to Egypt to continue an excavation that was stopped after the mysterious death of the patron investigator. Once again Amelia and Emerson find themselves surrounded by a cast of characters and wondering "who dun’ it?"

I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Peters aka Barbara Michaels. I read her as a young girl and have always loved her writing. I had only read the first book of the Amelia Peabody series and when I saw it was an audio book, I jumped at the chance to get it. It was a little weird at first to listen to Barbara Rosenblat narrate the story. She has a very distinct accent and delivery which you have to get used to, or at least I did. At first I really thought I wouldn't be able to listen to her, but I got over it after the first chapter and just sat back and listened. Some of her inflection is spot on. You just have to accept that the pacing is going to be slow.

There are a lot of characters in The Curse of the Pharaohs. I got mixed up a few times, but I think this was because I was listening to the book instead of reading it myself. I did like that the author used a different inflection in her voice every time a different person spoke, so it made it easy to follow along. This book is a little slow as far as action goes. There is a lot of dialogue and this is how the clues are discovered and presented in the book. The mystery will keep you guessing up until the end. The Curse of the Pharaohs takes place in a unique time period and setting with a gripping cast of characters and a decent mystery. Fans of Ms. Peters will enjoy this installment.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review - Laid Bare

Title: Laid Bare
Author: Lauren Dane
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Contemporary/Erotic
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Burning
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy from this year's RT Book Convention.

Laid Bare is the first book in Lauren Dane's Brown Sibling series. Erin Brown a wild, free-spirit rocker chic and Todd Keenan straight laced, very conservative cop had a fling which didn't work out. Ten years later, things have changed. Todd has accepted himself and all his kinks but Erin has had an extremely unfortunate life changing event. Todd and Erin meet up back in Seattle and resume their relationship, however things are more complicated.

With Laid Bare I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, the book had certain components that I enjoy: lots of dialogue, unique characters and plenty of action to move the plot along. On the other hand there were things that I am not such a fan of, such as a heroine that is hard for me to relate to and an alternative lifestyle for the characters that seemed out of place or fast paced. Erin was not a typical heroine and she was quite unique in her make-up. This could be good or bad depending on your point of view. If you are a very conservative person, she is going to be difficult to relate too. I typically don't relate well to these types of heroines, but because Erin wasn't overly aggressive, I found her appealing. I really liked her directness. It was refreshing when so many heroines are wishy-washy with what they want.

As far as Todd went, I found him much more my speed. He is a man's man, but needs to come to terms with who he is and what he is willing to accept about his own sexuality. I have to admit that while I found the change in him believable, I did have trouble at the speed with which he accepted things. It seemed like his changes were too abrupt for my taste. Also, there were certain aspects of the threesome lifestyle that seemed a little "too good to be true". Hey, this is a romance, so I am not overly complaining. However, if you are looking for a more realistic approach you will need to give this book a little bit of open-mindedness when you read it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Review - River Marked

Title: River Marked
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publishing Date: April 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new ebook for my Nook.

River Marked is the 6th book in Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series. In this installment, Mercy and Adam are on their honeymoon. They are up in the woods of the North West, where a series of mysterious events have left the local authorities puzzled. As you know, where Mercy goes trouble follows. Mercy and Adam find themselves unexpectedly involved in helping with the problems that keep occurring along the river, problems that involve missing or injured people.

River Marked was such a treat for me. I loved that the author takes pity on romance fans and gives them what they want. As fans of Mercy and Adam we get to witness their wedding!!! In most romance novels the books end with the happy ever after and usually that doesn't include the wedding ceremony. In River Marked the reader is actually invited to the wedding. I thought that was a lovely surprise. I also loved that the book was entirely devoted to Mercy and Adam. Pretty much everybody else is absent from this book. While for me that proved to be a good thing, fans of Samuel and Sebastian might be disappointed.

As far as the actual mystery goes, I was really floored at the viciousness of the "bad guy". There is some very serious sh*t going down in this book. It was ugly and unpleasant to read about. I will say one thing for Ms. Briggs, she doesn't shy away from the hard stuff, as readers of this series know. However, there is balance with the good development between Mercy and Adam. This is another fantastic installment in the Mercy Thompson series. Fans will not be disappointed.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

May Book Summary

May was a fairly good month for me as far as quality of books. I only had one C read and the rest were B or above. I was fairly consistant with my reading mojo and have been for over a year now, however my blogging mojo is still lacking. I am really behind in my reviews and have some serious catching up to do. My goal is to focus on catching up on those reviews. I was able to do that a little bit this past week. Hopefully, I can stick with it!

May Reading Summary:
1. Unveiled, Milan (Historical) Rating: B-
2. Not another Bad Date, Gibson (Contemporary) Rating: B+
3. Hush, Adair (Romantic Suspense) Rating: B-
4. Lady Beware, Beverly (Historical) Rating: B
5. SEALed by a Kiss, Monroe (Contemporary) Rating: C+
6. River Marked, Briggs (Urban Fantasy) Rating: A-
7. Curse of the Pharoah, Peters (Mystery) Rating: B-
8. Never Less than a Lady, Putney (Historical) Rating: B+
9. SEALed Forever, Daughtridge (Contemporary) Rating: B+
10. Laid Bare, Dane (Contemporary/Erotic) Rating: B-

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review - SEALed by a Kiss

Title: SEALed by a Kiss
Author: Jill Monroe
Publishing Date: Jan 2011
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy at this year's RT Book Convention.

Rachel Sutherland has always found Riley Wilkes attractive. She has known him ever since she and her sister have used the local Navy SEALs to help with a speed dating service that they host at their bed and breakfast. Rachel always avoided Riley because she believes him to be a player and she is afraid of getting hurt. When Riley comes home on leave for a few weeks fate throws them together and they begin a rocky relationship.

For such a small book, SEALed with a Kiss does have a lot going on with it. It was mainly an okay read for me as I ended up enjoying the other aspects of the book instead of the main romance. Mostly this started out in the beginning because of Rachel's behavior towards Riley. She was very presumptuous about Riley and because of this there are a lot of misunderstandings. So right off the bat I had some reservations about the book. Both characters had some hang-ups and self doubt when it came to relationships.

I am glad I kept reading because what did work for me was that both characters grow throughout the book. Eventually both Rachel and Riley work out those misunderstandings. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was Rachel's marketing ideas. Rachel goes back to her marketing roots by helping out Bed and Breakfasts that need help improving their business and attracting new customers. It was interesting to read the ideas that Rachel had and the different themed places she and Riley would visit. Also, there is a series of old romantic letters that Rachel reads that add another dimension to the story.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review - Lady Beware

Title: Lady Beware
Author: Jo Beverly
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I downloaded an audiobook from the library.

Lady Beware is in Jo Beverly’s regency series A Company of Rogues. Lady Thea is accosted and propositioned - blackmailed really - into helping the notorious Vile Viscount Dorian. He wants to enter back into society and what better way with the most prim and proper Lady Thea on his arm. In exchange Dorian will help clear the name and honor of Thea's brother who is said to have deserted his duty in the recent war.

This book was a little weird for me because it was narrated by a man. I am much more used to women narrators that it threw me off a little. However, once I got over my initial shock of a male narrator I was able to enjoy the story. It really starts off with a very intriguing first meeting between the hero and heroine. I have to say that is always the highlight of a romance novel, is when the hero and heroine first lay eyes on each other. Lady Beware does not disappoint in that aspect.

I really enjoy Jo Beverly's writing. She has very well developed characters that seem very genuine to which the time period she is writing. The characters speak and act with historical accuracy, at least as much as my knowledge dictates me to discern. I found Lady Theo very likeable a heroine. She is graceful, virtuous and yet she has this underlying curiosity and intelligence that could possibly get her into trouble if she ever indulged it. Viscount Dorian encourages and enlightens Thea to be bolder and escape the rigid confines of her life. Thus these two interestingly enough balance each other out. Their discovery of each other and their differences was a delight to read.

There are a few places in the book when I thought that the story dragged. I don't know if it was the book itself or because I was listening to an audio version. Yes, right away the characters meet and then it felt like there was some time before thing really got cooking between them. The author had to set up the story, or some such nonsense! But all in all, I felt that this was an enjoyable story. I haven't read many books in the Company of Rogue's series and I need to remedy this.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review - Hush

Title: Hush
Author: Cherry Adair
Publishing Date: April 2011
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy for my eReader.

Hush is the first book of Cherry Adair's new suspense series, Lodestone. Zach Stark wakes up after a night of hot sex with a beautiful woman Acadia Gray, whom he picked up in a bar the night before. He wakes up to find himself and Acadia being held at gun point by a group of savage men. These men have been paid well to kidnap him and Acadia. Neither is sure who the target of the kidnapping is or why for that matter. But one thing is for sure, Acadia and Zach will have to work together if they are to get out of the jungle alive.

Hush started out with such great promise and intrigue. I was riveted for that first chapter or two and then things took a little turn for the worse. It's just that the book is really over the top. The action is way, way intense and dare I say it, just a little bit unbelievable. However, that can make for a fun read. Just be sure to remember when reading to add your suspension of disbelief, otherwise you might just have a serious case of the eye-rolls.

Zach and Acadia have mad, smokin’-hot attraction for each other, that even when faced with guns, scary bad guys and massive explosions, they can take the time to ogle the other person's butt, pectorals or glorious ta-tas. Okay, I am exaggerating a little bit, or maybe not. But these two had the mental lusting thing going on, all the while running from the bad guys in a jungle in South America. Sometimes I have a little bit of trouble with this scenario. I have to admit that the book is action packed and will keep readers on the edges of their seats. Just don't take this book to seriously and you will (hopefully) be entertained, like I was.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review - Not Another Bad Date

Title: Not Another Bad Date
Author: Rachel Gibson
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I downloaded an audio book from my library.

Not Another Bad Date is the final installment in Rachel Gibson's Writer Friends Quartet. Adele Harris is a successful Science Fiction author who suffers from the worst case of dating bad luck. The last man she was serious about when psycho on her and since then every date ends in disaster. Adele's sister needs her help, so off to her home town of Texas she goes to help her out. While in town, Adele runs into her college sweetheart, the man she was never able to get over. Zach Zemaitis pro-football player, turned high school coach, ambles back into her life.

Not Another Bad Date was a really enjoyable book. As a matter of fact, I think this one is my favorites by Rachel Gibson, thus far. (I have only read three or four of her books, for what it's worth). Anyway, this book had a lot going for it, sweet poignant flashbacks of Adele and Zach's young budding relationship, zany evil ex-wife, pre-pubescent teenage girls, fantastic funny dialogue and great sexual tension. Can you tell this book has a lot going for it???

Not Another Bad Date is both funny and poignant. The characters Adele and Zach are fun to read about. I thought they were both smart and stupid about each other. But that is what made this book an entertaining read for me. It kept me laughing and wanting to cry or shout all at the same time. At some points it feels a little silly, but then there are other points where the author really touches on a real emotion. I think this is a fun, easy read for someone who enjoys contemporary romance.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review - Shady Lady

Title: Shady Lady
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publishing Date: April 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new book.

Shady Lady is the 3rd book in Ann Aguirre's Corine Soloman series. Corine Soloman narrates this book in the first person. Corine is a handler, which means that she can sense an object's history when she touches it. Corine in the past couple of books has become an enemy of a very powerful cartel near the Mexican border. She finds herself teaming up unexpectedly with Kel Ferguson. Without his help, she likely wouldn't live long with the Montoya cartel after her.

Wow. Shady Lady really surprised me. This book was quite a bit different from the first two books in the series. Corine is still the same... well maybe she has grown from the first book. Actually, now that I think about it, she has definitely grown as a character. I was just surprised at the direction the series is taken. I didn't really envision this. However, just because I didn't envision it, doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, quite the contrary. I found this installment to be quite enjoyable and thrilling. Oh and can I say, I just adore her little dog, Butch?!

I really like the world building that Aguirre has created in this series. It is still very much our world with a supernatural touch that feels eerily believable. For romance fans, Corine is in self discovery mode and has yet to understand her appeal to the male gender or who she wants permanently in her life, as far as love goes. I felt that this book was very transitional as far as romantic entanglements for Corine. I have my own personal bias about who Corine will end up with romantically, but at this point it looks like nothing is set in stone. I am enjoying this series. I am along for the ride and am definitely interested to see where things go.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Review - Unveiled

Title: Unveiled
Author: Courtney Milan
Publishing Date: February 2011
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new book.

Unveiled is the first book in a new series by Courtney Milan. Ash Turner made a vow to make the Duke of Parford regret the day he refused to help Ash in his darkest hour. Several years later that vow has come to fruition. He found a way to obtain the title for himself and make sure his brothers will never want for anything again. In Ash's quest for revenge, he didn't think about how his revelations would hurt the Duke's family, most especially his daughter Lady Margaret. When Ash comes to claim the manor, Margaret hides her identity behind a position as her father’s nurse. Margaret's loyalties are tested when she finds herself falling in love with Ash.

Unveiled is my first Courtney Milan book, brought to my attention by my lovely friend Delilah Marvelle. After reading the book I can see why Ms. Milan is fast becoming a Diva of Romance. Let’s first start with the characters. Ash Turner is a strong capable man, a man's man who is a little rough around the edges, but who hides his vulnerabilities deep inside. Margaret is an incredibly strong-willed woman uncertain of who she is and how she fits into the world. I loved that both characters were well balanced with strength and vulnerability and that they grow throughout the story.

Unveiled has a lot of depth to the story and a lot of angst. The situation for Ash and Margaret to fall in love is fraught with landmines all around it. I thought the book started out a little slow. The characters and plot were slowly being built up. However, it is well worth the wait. The writing is very picturesque and beautiful. There is plenty of angst, but I would like to classify it as a more modern angst. It is not like old school romances. Where the characters’ situation is what creates the angst, but the characters themselves act with forethought and a maturity that 80s romances lacked. I liked it. Ms. Milan is definitely on my radar.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Exciting June Releases!

This month I was purusing my RT Book Reviews magazine and was surprised at the lack of books I was looking forward to. Not much was snagging my interest. There are a few books that have caught my eye and one book that leaped out at me.

These are the books that have caught my eye:

I am very excited about this one!!!
Urban Fantasy
Book 5 - Kate Daniels Series
May 31, 2011

I need to catch up with this series
Book 6 - The Final Prophecy
June 7, 2011

Suprisingly, this only got a 3 star review in RT Mag.
Book 1 - Smyth-Smith Quartet
May 31, 2011

Can I just say "Yum" on that cover???
Not part of a series
June 14, 2011

Also, I know that Kiss of Snow, Nalini Singh's book is out this month too.  I stopped reading this series a while back after the third book.  Now, I must admit that I am tempted to read this after seeing that it got a 4 star gold rating in the RT Mag.  I want to know what readers are saying about it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Review - From Dead to Worse

Title: From Dead to Worse
Author: Charlaine Harris
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mystery
Rating: C
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: I listend to an audio book that I downloaded from my library.

From Dead to Worse is book 8 in Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mystery series. Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress for a Louisiana bar, finds herself in the middle of a werewolf war. There is actually quite a few plots going on in this installment of the series and somehow Sookie ends up in the middle. Sookie's boyfriend Quinn has gone missing and Sookie isn't sure what to do about it. Jason insists on involving Sookie in his life with the shifters. Sookie doesn't want anything to do with any of it, but she is involved anyway.

From Dead to Worse felt like a very transitional book in the series. There were a lot of little subplots without there being a major one. This book felt like the author had to tie up some loose ends before she could move on in a new direction. I am interested in seeing where the author is going to go with the series. However, Ms. Stackhouse needs to pull her head out her butt!

I have to say, I was not overly thrilled with this book. Sookie was getting on my nerves with her incessant whining. I have noticed before in other books, but this one really takes the cake. The hair that broke the camel's back for me was how she treated Quinn. It really pissed me off. Don't worry; I am not going to give away spoilers or anything like that. I am just going to leave it at that. I did NOT like how Sookie reacted or handled that situation. Of course, I am going to continue with the series, but this is my least favorite of the bunch thus far.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review - Corralled

Title: Corralled
Author: Lorelie James
Publishing Date: 2010
Genre: Contemporary Erotic
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Burning
Book Disclosure: I received a free, signed copy from the RT 2011 Book Convention.

Lainie Capshaw works as a sports therapist for two different rodeo circuits. She has had a physical relationship with two men, Kyle who is bull rider and Hank who is a bull fighter. Lainie's problem is that she can't seem to choose between either man and neither has asked her to be exclusive. But then on accident both men end up at the same bar as Lainie, on the same night and the gig is up. However, since Lainie won't choose and they don't want to lose her both men agree to share her.

I have to say Corralled really surprised me, and in a good way. I found it to be one of the most realistic takes on how people would really behave in threesome situation. It actually tackled the issues of jealousy between the men over Lainie's attention and affection. The ending surprised me. It wasn't what I expected to happen. I am not really sure I had any expectations, but it surprised me and I liked it! There is a lot of sex in this book, but to me I felt the emotional connection between the characters was displayed in addition to the physical component to the relationships. This book really worked for me. I am definitely going to be reading more of this authors work.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review - Defiant

Title: Defiant
Author: Kris Kennedy
Publishing Date: April 2011
Genre: Medieval
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy from the author.

Jamie Lost is on a mission to retrieve a Priest who is a very valuable figure amongst the powerful men in Medieval Europe. Jamie’s task is to find the priest before the enemies of his King do. When he finds the priest he is distracted by a woman, Eva who also appears to want the priest. When the priest is taken by the enemy, both Eva and Jamie unite their forces to get the king back.

Defiant is a very well written medieval romance novel. You can tell the author really did her research to bring this period of history to life in her novel. As I was reading the book, the forests and people of the past were very easy to envision. There is a lot of political intrigue in the book. I don't really like politics in my historical romance books. Mostly, I find it difficult to follow along, and really I would just rather get to the good stuff. You know... the romance! And if I had to have a complaint about this book, it would be that.

However, I really did enjoy this story. I liked the characters Eva and Jamie. Both characters are very intelligent, stubborn and honorable. There is a lot of sexual tension between Jamie and Eva which made the book so enjoyable. Also, the author keeps us guessing at Eva's identity. We know she is an important character, but we don't know exactly how until the end of the book. What was so interesting was that most of the book you are directed to wonder about Eva's identity when really you don't know Jamie's either. Then it is all sprung on you at the end of the story. It made for a nice surprise. Defiant is another enjoyable read by Kris Kennedy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Review - Hunger Games

Title: Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: A
Sensuality: Kisses
Book Disclosure: I recieved a free copy from a good friend of mine.

Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The book takes place in the future in North America after it has been ravaged by war. What we know as America has been transformed into Panem. In this new world most people are just struggling to survive under this new harsh leadership. Each year two children between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected from each district to participate in a reality based TV show named the Hunger Games. In the Hunger Games the participants have to kill each other and the remaining sole survivor is named the winner. This year Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take the place of her little sister in the Games.

Oh. My. God! This book was incredible. I couldn't put the book down. I was riveted to the pages, on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. This was the book I chose for my book club and the other members I have talked to agree that they couldn't put the book down. As I write this, one other member has already read all three books in this trilogy. She had to know what happened next and I can hardly blame her.

First off, this story is extremely fast paced with a ton of great characters. The book is told in first person by Katniss, a sixteen year old mature beyond her years. A fighter to the core, Katniss will do what it takes to survive without losing her compassion for others. She is a compelling, wonderful heroine that everyone will love.

The Games themselves are very interesting and imaginative. The mood throughout the story is sad and imprisoned but with an underlining layer of hope. I just loved the story. There is a subtle thread of romance throughout the book. I love that Katniss is never sure of her feelings and as readers we get to experience all her thoughts and emotions. The end of Hunger Games leaves with some closure, but it definitely sets the readers up for the next book in the series, which I can't wait to read. This book comes highly recommended!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review - A Lot Like Love

Title: A Lot Like Love
Author: Julie James
Publishing Date: March 2011
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: A
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

Jordan Rhodes, the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of a Chicago wine store has been asked by the FBI to participate in taking down one of Chicago's notorious businessman. The FBI uses Jordan to infiltrate an exclusive charity event where they will have access to a crime syndicate’s office. Only things don't go as smoothly as planned and Jordan and FBI agent Nick McCall spend more time together than they bargained.

Woo hoo!! Julie James does it again!! A Lot Like Love is another brilliant contemporary romance by Ms. Julie James. Jordan and Nick explode onto the pages with their clashing personalities and witty banter. This couple exudes sexual tension. Nick is a hard-nosed cop who exudes testosterone from every pore. Jordan bumps elbows with the socialite crowd of Chicago and knows her way around fine wine. These two are as opposite as they can get and yet the attraction is magnetic.

This is Ms. James first novel where the heroine is not a lawyer. Instead Jordan is an entrepreneur owning her own successful wine store. James rocked her new heroine. I loved all the little snippets about wine and the fun that comes along with owning your own business. There is great dialogue and a slight mystery to the book. I thought this was a really fun read!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review - Notorious Pleasures

Title: Notorious Pleasures
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Publishing Date: February 2011
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

Notorious Pleasures is the second book in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series. Lady Hero , right before her betrothal to the duke of Wakefield is to be announced, finds her finace's brother having relations with a married woman. Hero finds everything about the Duke's brother off putting. So why then does she find herself attracted to the blasted man? Even when Hero is off helping the orphanage she is a major patroness of; she finds Griffin meddling in her affairs.

I actually wasn't going to read this book. I was just going to skip on over to Silence's story when it came out. But I was talking to Ms. Hoyt at RT and she was telling me that Silence's story continues in Notorious Pleasures and of course since I like Silence so much I caved in and read this one. I know. I act like it was such a hardship :)

I think if most readers can get past the first chapter where the heroine finds the hero with another woman, then they are in for good read. I really enjoy Ms. Hoyt's writing style. She does a fantastic job of balancing action, dialogue and internal insight to the characters with pizzazz and flair. Notorious Pleasures is no exception. There is a lot of really wonderful dialogue between Hero and Griffin. There is a lot of heat and sexual tension between these two.

There is mystery that has continued on from the first book Wicked Intentions that will continue along through the other books in the series. I think it would be best to read this series in order, although, each book does stand alone. I can't wait for Silence's book. Really, I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more of Silence in this book, but there was just enough of a teaser to get me really hungry for the next book.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Under the Northern Lights

Title: Under the Northern Lights
Author: Vivian Arend
Publishing Date: 2010
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new copy.

Under the Northern Lights is actually two books in one. Both the first two stories in Vivian Arend's Granite Lake Wolves series are included in this book. The first book is Wolf Signs which the story of Robyn Maxwell, a deaf woman who meets Keil, a local wolf shifter who is next in line for Alpha of his pack at a secluded cabin in the woods. Robyn is a wolf and Keil's mate, but she doesn't know it. She was adopted and hasn't learned her past heritage.

The second story Wolf Fight features Robyn's brother Tad who is a wolf but can't shift. Tad was never able to forget the girl from high school who moved away. Missy reenters Tads life and the sparks pick up right where they left off all those years ago. Tad forms a bond with Missy to protect her from her past.

Under the Northern Lights was a quick and easy read. The characters were likable. I thought Robyn was interesting in that she was deaf but still a strong, determined woman. If she set her mind to do something, nothing was going to stop her. The book was on the short side for my taste. I felt the pack dynamics were lacking and I would have liked to see more depth to the world building and characters. I did like that a lot of the book was action driven. It made for a quick read.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

April Book Summary

Hi Everyone! I know I have been absent lately in bloglandia. I hate to make excuses, but blogging just hasn't been a priority of late in my life. I am in the mood to read, rather than blog in the remaining spare time I have, which really isn't a lot. I have to admit that I am feeling guilty for the lack of reviews and posts.

On the positive side, I was able to read a total of twelve books this month and many of them are from my favorite authors. It was a great month of reading for me, while an exceptionally poor month for reviewing. I am really, really behind in my reviews. At this point, I have not given up hope of being able to catch up. My goal is to just break down and write all the reviews until I am caught up. Will I be able to do it? You'll have to tune in to my blog to find out, LOL!!

Books read this month:
1. Weekend Warriors, Michaels (Fiction) Rating: D
2. A Rake's Guide to Pleasure, Dahl (Historical) Rating: B
3. Pack Challenge, Laurenston (Paranormal) Rating: D
4. Burning Darkness, Rush (Paranormal) Rating: A-
5. Under the Northern Lights, Arend (Paranormal) Rating: C+
6. Notorious Pleasures, Hoyt (Historical) Rating: B+
7. A Lot Like Love, James (Contemporary) Rating: A-
8. Hunger Games, Collins (Young Adult) Rating: B+
9. Defiant, Kennedy (Medieval) Rating: B
10. Corralled, James (Contemporary) Rating: B+
11. From Dead to Worse, Harris (Urban Fantasy) Rating: C+
12. Shady Lady , Aguirre (Urban Fantasy) Rating: B+

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review - Burning Darkness

Title: Burning Darkness
Author: Jaime Rush
Publishing Date: February 2011
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a signed free copy at RT 2011.

Burning Darkness is the 4th full length book in Jaime Rush's Offspring Series. This is Eric Aruda and Fonda Raine's story. Readers first meet Eric in the first book Touching Darkness. Eric Aruda is part of a group of men and women whose parents were part of a government experiment. These people all inherited special powers from their parents. Eric can set people on fire and remote view another person. He meets up with Fonda Raine when she sets up a clandestine meeting with the intent to kill him. She is successful in her intent and instead her and Eric team up when they are attacked by others. Even though Fonda wants to hate Eric, his fierce protectiveness of her eventually leads more than either of them expected.

I have been intrigued by Eric from the first book in the series. Eric is one of those morally ambiguous characters who you aren't quite sure if he is good or bad. He definitely intrigued me and I couldn't wait to see what his character would do next in the series. I have to say that I was NOT disappointed with this book. Burning Darkness lived up to my expectation and so far is the best of the series.

For me this book was all about the hero. I just was totally hung up on Eric. I liked that he is big and bad and ferociously loyal and protective. Sigh. What's not to love? Also, I felt that Burning Darkness focused on the romance much more so than the other books in the series. I love that when Fonda has some hang ups in bed, Eric helps her work through it. For as pushy as Eric can be it is a good thing with Fonda at certain times. Fonda kept Eric guessing half the time too, which made thing interesting.

I think this series is getting better and better. I can't wait to see whose book is next. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Readers Gab Today

Hey all,

I am over at Readers Gab today discussing my Book Club choice. Don't you want to know what book I chose?!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review - Pack Challenge

Title: Pack Challenge
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Publishing Date: 2006
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: D
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: This was a free download as an ebook.

Pack Challenge is the first book in Shelly Laurenston's Magnus Pack series. This is Zach and Sara's story. Zach is passing through town when he needs work done on his motorcycle. He notices Sara at the shop and can't seem to get her out of his mind. Sara doesn't need Zach complicating her life right now. With her poor health and something strange after her she has no time to devote to her love life.

As you can see by my rating, this book did not work for me AT ALL. It was a combination of things. First and foremost was the heroine. I just could not STAND her. Ugh. She was such a bitch, LOL! She was rude and snarly. She is the type of person who solves problems with physical violence. I can see why she would make a perfect Alpha female, but it did not endear me to her. I tend to like my heroines a little more soft and cuddly, if you know what I mean. I just found her too abrasive and manly for my tastes.

My other main issue was that I felt there was no real development of the pack. There really were no references to pack politics or hierarchy, or really any details at all. It was all very superficial; nothing special to make it stand out from the crowd. I also didn't feel any real connection between Zach and Sara. To be quite honest, I didn't see why he would be attracted to her. This book was not my cup of tea.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

RT Treasure Trove!

One of the great things about the RT Book Convention is all the FREE books you get! Here is the list of what I brought back with me from Los Angeles.

1. Dancing with Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas
2. Starfire by Kate Douglas
3. Chase the Wind by Cindy Holby
4. How to Woo a Reluctand Lady by Sabrina Jeffries
5. Entwined by Elizabeth Naughton
6. The Guy Next Door (Anthology)
7. Live Wire by Lora Leigh
8. Swept Away by a Kiss by Katherine Ashe
9. Killer Heat by Brenda Novak
10. Sensless by Mary Burton
11. Night Betrayed by Joss Ware
12. Hunger Untamed by Pamela Palmer
13. Marked by Elizabeth Naughton
14. Love Me to Death by Allison Brennan
15. Cat in a Topaz Tango by Carole Nelson Douglas
16. When Marrying a Scoundrel by Kathryne Smith
17. The Hellion Bride by Catherine Coulter
18. The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day
19. Vampire Mine by Kerrelyn Sparks
20. Silent Night, Haunted Night by Terri Garey
21. Hungrey for You by Lindsey Sands
22. When Harry Met Molly by Keiran Kramer
23. Gunning for Trouble by Helen Kay Dimon
24. SEALed with a Kiss by Jill Monroe
25. Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin
26. Forgive the Wind by Cindy Holby
27. Tyler by C.H. Admirand
28. Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair
29. Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase
30. Getting Physical by Jade Lee
31. Siren's Secret by Trish Albright
32. Ghost Moon by Heather Graham
33. Southern Comfort by Fern Michaels
34. Passion Model by Megan Hart
35. Virtually Hers by Gennita Low
36. Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight
37. Giving Chase by Lauren Dane
38. Victoria's Got a Secret by Helen Kay Dimon
39. Awakened by a Kiss by Lila DiPasqua
40. Laid Bare by Lauren Dane
41. Fascinated (Anthology)
42. Seize the Fire by Laura Kinsale
43. Radient Shadows by Melissa Marr
44. Nemesis of the Garden by Cricket Starr
45. Passport to Passion Collection by Rhian Cahill
46. The Vampire Dimitri by Colleen Gleason
47. Dracula, My Love by Syrie James
48. Graveminder by Melissa Marr
49. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
50. Forgive My Sins by Tera Lynn Childs
51. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
52. The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
53. Afterlife by Merrie Destefano
54. The Panic Zone by Rick Mofina
55. Nowhere Near Respctable by Mary Jo Putney
56. Ransom for a Prince by Lisa Childs
57. The Devil's Heart by Lynn Raye Harris
58. Healing Dr. Fortune by Judy Duarte
59. G.I. Cowboy by Delores Fossen
60. Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
61. Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
62. Wuthering Heights by Annabella Bloom
63. Corralled by Lorelei James
64. A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley
65. Long Summer Nights by Kathleen O'Reilly
66. In Good Hands by Kathy Lyons
67. Protecting Plain Jane by Julie Miller
68. What Might Have Been by Kira Sinclair
69. By Honor Bound by Helen A. Rosburg
70. Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

That comes to total of $692.99 worth of books!!! What a fabulous haul!

Review - A Rake's Guide to Pleasure

Title: A Rake's Guide to Pleasure
Author: Victoria Dahl
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a free copy at last year's RT Book Convention.

Emma Jensen takes her leave of the country to head to London. She makes the acquaintance of an old family friend by portraying herself as a young eccentric widow who enjoys gambling. In reality, Emma desperately needs the money to live on so she can live independently from an ardent suitor from her past. In London she catches the eye of Somerhart, a Duke who has the reputation of quite the womanizer. In truth though, Somerhart is anything but a rake. He was once spurned very publicly by his lady love and has been extremely cautious of women since.

I found A Rake's Guide to Pleasure to be a pleasant read. I found both Emma and Somerhart likable characters. Emma can be impulsive and reckless at times, but her overall disposition is a sweet and caring woman. Somerhart is a confident man on the outside, but inside he feels less than worthy. By the end of the story he comes into his own, though. I liked that even though things were rough between him and Emma at the end. He doesn't give up and goes after the girl. Overall, I found this book to be an entertaining read, a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review - Weekend Warriors

Title: Weekend Warriors
Author: Fern Michaels
Publishing Date: 2004
Genre: Fiction
Rating: D
Sensuality: subtle
Book Disclosure: I borrowed an audio book from the library.

Weekend Warriors is the first in the Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels. Myra Rutledge, a wealthy billionaire takes it upon herself to form and fund a vigilante group of other women who have been victimized and whom the law was unable to help. Myra formed this group after her own daughter was hit by a drunk driver and could never place charges on the man. These women formulate a plan to vindicate each woman in the group. The first woman whom they help is Kathryn Lucas, who was raped by three motorcyclists while her invalid husband watched helplessly.

First let me say that my dislike of this book was not due to the writing, it was more due to the content of the story. The whole premise of the book is one of revenge, anger and hate. These women are out to get those who did them wrong. Since the law didn't help them they are now going to take matters into their own hands and the punishment will fit the crime. The subject matter was too brutal for me.

I had trouble connecting with the women’s' vindictiveness. I understood where they were coming from, but in my mind what they were doing was wrong, even if justified. It made it difficult for me to enjoy the story and the characters. I didn't like how Myra enlisted the women to join her group. I felt like she coerced them into doing it. On lots of levels this book just didn't work for me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Highlights of my RT 2011 Experience

RT Magazine held their annual Book Lovers Convention in Los Angeles, California a little over a week ago. This was my third year attending and I wouldn't have dreamed of missing it. Dear Hubby was able to come with me to LA. We came on Sunday before the convention started to do touristy things in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Then on Wedsday we went our seperate ways, me to the convention and him to Laker's games and TV tapings. I joke that this is the secret to a successful marriage, seperate vacations!

At any rate, I had the best intentions of blogging about my RT experience each day I was there. I had my laptop, camera and iPhone. I was all set. Well, my good intentions fell to the wayside amongst the craziness and busyiness that is RT. Even after I got back home I need a week to recouperate (and catalog all my new books) before I could even begin to blog about it. Better late than never, right!?


1. Getting to see my book buddies from past RT conventions. Mary, Linda, Delilah, Courtney, Deborah, Dana and Cathy is such a treat. I only get to see them once a year and it is like we instantly pick up where we left off a year ago. I also made some new friends Tracy, Anne, Kristen, Teresa, Denise and Kristi. Here is a picture of some of us on the last day of the convention at the dance sponsered by Borders. Don't we rock jazz hands or what, LOL!?

Me, Cathy, Courtney, Cathy, Anne, Linda, Teresa, Mary

2. Meeting up with the authors. I was in club RT and just happened to run into Catherine Coutlter, one of my all time favorite authors. I cut my teeth on her books. Hers were some of the first romance books I ever read. I read The Cove and then went to glom all of her back list. It was such a treat to shake her hand and tell her how much I have enjoyed reading her books. She also has a new medieval out now. Yay!!

The question and answer session with Catherine Coulter, Cherry Adair and Gregg Hurwitz was amazing! They were so funny and had us all in stiches with their antics. It was really neat to hear how they write, where they get their ideas and what they are working on next. It was one of my favorite sessions.

Cherry Adair, Catherine Coulter, Gregg Hurwitz

3. The free books! This year RT was very generous with the amount of books we were given. In the goody room the last two years we were allowed to each pick 2 books, this year we could choose 9 books! And they were by great authors too. I picked up Megan Hart, Lauren Dane, Laura Kinsale to name a few. Despite not winning a single raffle item, I managed to bring home a total of 72 books!

All the free books I received! (list to come next post)

4. Getting to meet the SoCal Bloggers. I finally got to put a face with a name when I meet Holly and Rowena, Nikki, Lori and Tracy. Nikki and I had a fabulous discussion about Suzanne Brockmann. I just love that you can sit down with a person you have never met and feel like old friends. It is such a wonderful feeling. Silly me forgot to take pictures of this meet up. Whoopsie!

5. The book signing on Saturday. This is an opportunity for you to pick up the latest release from your favorite authors, tell them how much you love their books and get the books you have signed. Here are a few pictures of me with the authors I was excited to meet.

Joanna Bourne, Me

Lauren Dane, Me

Me, Megan Hart

Me, Julie James

Sabrina Jeffries, Me

Me, Elizabeth Hoyt

Me, Delilah Marvelle

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review - Bloodlist

Title: Bloodlist
Author: PN Elrod
Publishing Date: 1990
Genre: Mystery/Paranormal
Rating: B
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from

Jack Flemming wakes up wet, with no recollection of how he got that way. His clothes are torn and bloody; his body is badly beaten and bruised. As he is running away from a man and is shot with a bullet amazingly he is unharmed. Turns out Jack died and is now a vampire. Jack knows his death was no accident but he doesn’t know why he was murdered. Now he is on a mission to find out what happened with the help of his new friend.

I am sure some of you might be wondering about this unusual choice of book for me to read, but P.N. Elrod is going to be at the RT Convention and I wanted to give this author a try since they have been around a long time and was one of the first to write about vampires. Bloodlist takes place in Chicago in the 1930s during that period of Al Capone with gangsters and such. The story is told in first person by Jack Flemming who is an investigative reporter. Turns out he has to investigate his own death because he can’t remember.

I found this short book to be an enjoyable read. There isn’t much romance. Mainly this book is a mystery. It is descriptive and I really enjoyed the time period. I haven’t hardly read any books set in the 1930s. It is fun to read about the cars and clothes. The mystery was good, but fairly violent. However, it wasn’t unbearably gross or anything.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review - Fearless Fourteen

Title: Fearless Fourteen
Author: Janet Evanovich
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Mystery
Rating: B
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: I borrowed an audio copy from my library

Fearless Fourteen is part of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series. In this book Stephanie is looking for a missing woman. This woman is possibly tied to a bank robbery that happened 20 years ago. Stephanie finds herself the temporary guardian of a teenage boy. She also helps Ranger with a body guard assignment for a famous aging singer.

This review is going to be short and sweet. If you have read other Stephanie Plum books, number fourteen is just more of the same. There is not really anything more I can say about this series having read and reviewed the other thirteen books. Stephanie is with Joe, but can't commit. Hijinx and trouble are still the norm for Stephanie and her crime fighting team. Although, no cars blow up in this book, Stephanie does manage to dye herself blue. This series is great if you want an escape.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review - Embrace the Night Eternal

Title: Embrace the Night Eternal
Author: Joss Ware
Publishing Date: 2010
Genre: Futuristic
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from the library.

Embrace the Night Eternal is the second book in the Envy Chronicles. Five men were somehow preserved in a cave for 50 years. Simon Japp was one of those men. As he emerged from the cave, the world he once knew no longer existed. Most of the population died and geographically continents and water shifted. Simon and the other men find themselves in a town called Envy. There Simon meets Sage. He and Sage team up to go undercover in another community as a pretend married couple to learn what they can about Remington Truth. On this mission Simon and Sage battle their attraction for each other.

I enjoyed Embrace the Night Eternal a little more than I did the first book in this series. It had nonstop action from the beginning. I liked that there was more romantic development between Simon and Sage than there was between the characters in the first book. Sage was a very likable character. Simon had a few hang ups with his past that caused him to doubt himself around Sage. Unconfident heroes usually bug me, but Simon didn't dwell on it too much. I think this was due to the fact that there was a lot of action and not a lot of internal monologues, which I really liked.

There was lots of development as far as the overall story arc was concerned. You can tell the author has a definite direction with the series. I also enjoyed the little inserts from the diary that Sage found and how it tied into the community they went to visit. I liked the story and the series. I have plans to continue on with it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review - Postmortem

Title: Postmortem
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Publishing Date: 1990
Genre: Suspense
Rating: B
Sensuality: Subtle
Book Disclosure: I borrowed an audio book from my library.

Postmortem is the first book in the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. Kay Scarpetta is a medical examiner. A serial killer is on the loose in Washington DC. He has been brutally raping and murdering women and Kay has been the medical examiner awoken in the early hours on Saturday mornings. She must take the clues the killer leaves behind to help the police apprehend him.

Postmortem reminded me a lot of the CSI shows on TV. Only instead of Gill Grissom, you have Kay Scarpetta. Kay is a divorced woman in her early 40s. She has no children, but a niece Lucy who is very important to her. But she doesn't see Lucy very often. Kay is married to her job, which is pretty much her sole focus in her life at the moment. She does have a lover, Bill but romance fans will be disappointed because in this book there wasn't much to the relationship.

Despite the lack of romance, I found I enjoyed listening to the book. It is probably not a book I would typically read. Kay is the narrator and she goes into a lot of graphic detail about what the murderer did to the women. It definitely isn't for the faint of heart. I thought the research and details were very well done. I think fans of suspense or mystery will enjoy this book.

Review - Iron Duke

Title: Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Publishing Date: 2010
Genre: Steampunk
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I received a used copy from

Mina Wentworth is a detective in London, England. She is investigating the death of a man found on the property of the Iron Duke, Rhys Trahaearn. The Iron Duke is England’s savior when he managed to defeat the Horde by blowing up the tower. The political ramifications for the body being found on the Duke’s property will be treacherous for Mina to wade through. The investigation becomes even more complicated when the Duke decides he wants Mina in his life and in his bed.

Iron Duke is a very unique book and I can’t say I have ever read anything quite like it in the romance genre before. Of course, this is my first experience with the subgenre, “steampunk”. I am not quite certain what time period the book is set. The book still had the feel of a regency romance with the same feeling of the ton, but there were strange inventions that felt more futuristic. Take the fact that there are metal sharks swimming in the ocean, air travel and mechanical bugs that can heal a person. Yet Mina’s mother was trying to protest for women’s rights. So it is a combination of old fashioned and futuristic.

I really enjoyed the sexual tension between Mina and the Duke. I always love a hero who knows what he wants and goes after it with steely determination. Mina has valid reasons for resisting the Duke’s overtures. She is constantly harassed because she has Horde blood in her. There are themes of racism in the book which complicate Rhys and Mina’s relationship. I do wish that the author would have touched a little more on why Mina’s appearance so distinctly gave away her Horde heritage. Also, I found all the politics confusing. But I always do. I liked the book and I am excited to see what Meljean Brook does with this interesting genre.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

March Wrap Up

Hey Everyone, I know I have been scarce the last week. Work has been crazy. On top of that I will be attending the Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention which begins this Wednesday. Since I would be in Los Angeles for a week, I had to make sure all my work was caught up and so I have been working overtime.

I am super excited about RT!! I leave tomorrow and hubby is coming with me. We are going to sight see for a few days and then we will go our separate ways - me on to RT and him more sight-seeing. I have plans to write up all those reviews I haven't gotten to in the last few weeks on the plane tomorrow. I also have plans to blog and twitter during RT as to keep all of you updated on all the fun!

On to my book summary, I was able to read a decent number of books this month despite the fact I was so busy. Most of that was due to the audio books I listened to on my commute from Florida to Georgia.

1. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Gabaldon (Time Travel) Rating: B
2. Dreams of a Dark Warrior, Cole (Paranormal) Rating: B-
3. Match Me if You Can, Phillips (Contemporary) Rating: A-
4. Undead and Uneasy, Davidson (Urban Fantasy) Rating: C
5. The Perfect Wife, Alexander, (Historical) Rating: D
6. White Tigress, Lee (Historical) Rating: B+
7. First Lady, Phillips (Contemporary) Rating: B
8. Iron Duke, Brook (Speampunk) Rating: B
9. Postmortem, Cornwell (Suspense) Rating: B
10. Embrace the Night Eternal, Ware (Futuristic) Rating: B
11. Fearless Fourteen, Evanovich (Mystery) Rating: B
12. Bloodlist, Elrod (Fantasy) Rating: B

How about you? Are you attending RT? How did your reading stack up?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review - White Tigress

Title: White Tigress
Author: Jade Lee
Publishing Date: 2005
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I downloaded a free ebook from Amazon.

White Tigress is the first in a series by Jade Lee. Lydia Smith left England to sail to Shanghai in search of her fiancé. Once there, she mistakenly accepts the help of a captain and ends up in a brothel, sold to Cheng Ru Shan. Ru Shan is a prominent businessman who buys Lydia in the hopes that her Yin will help his Yang reach full enlightenment. They both come to many misunderstandings because of culture clashes before they begin to realize that they truly care for each other.

I found White Tigress to be quite an entertaining story that captured my interest right from the beginning. Lydia is kind of a bone head for getting herself into the situation she is in by being impulsive and not thinking things through. Lucky for her, Ru Shan is the man who ends up taking her home at the brothel. She is lucky that a worse fate did not befall her. Ru Shan needs Lydia, for he believes that by being with her - as she is the Yin to his Yang - he will reach enlightenment. He treats her with respect and reverence. Even though she is there against her will, Lydia begins to see that Ru Shan is a good man.

Eventually, these two characters develop real feelings for one another. They have to learn to accept their different cultures. This was one of the highlights for me in the book. I enjoyed experiencing the different cultures through the character’s different view points. There are lots of misunderstandings that they have to talk about and work through before they get to their happy ever after. I liked that this book was different from most regency historical books that I have read and I found the change refreshing. Lydia's impulsiveness may be off putting to some readers but overall, I found this book to be quite enjoyable. I recommend it for those who are looking for something different from the norm.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review - First Lady

Title: First Lady
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publishing Date: 2000
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I listened to the audio version that I borrowed from my library.

Cornelia Case wants nothing more than to escape her life in the public eye. After her husband, the president of the United States was assassinated Cornelia longs to experience the ordinary. She manages to disguise herself and elude the secret service men tasked with her safety. On her adventure she meets up with Matt Jorvich who finds himself the guardian to two children Lucy and Button. Lucy at 14 whose Mother recently died has been raising Button by herself. Cornelia finds herself on a journey with the Jorvich to find the girls' grandmother. Along the way Cornelia finds herself part of a family.

First Lady was an enjoyable read. I thought the characters were endearing. The adventures they found themselves in were fun to listen to. First Lady isn't my favorite book by SEP. I can't really put my finger on why. I enjoyed the characters. Although I thought maybe towards the end that Cornelia and Matt were extremely stubborn in their resistance to their feelings for one another, Matt especially about having a family. If they would have just talked about things, misunderstandings could have been avoided. I know this review is short, but I just don't have much more to say about it. I enjoyed the story, but it wasn't my favorite by SEP. That about sums it up for me.

*Interesting factoid:* Lucy makes an appearance in SEP’s latest release Call Me Irresistible as Teddy Beaudine’s fiancé.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Perfect Wife

Title: The Perfect Wife
Author: Victoria Alexander
Publishing Date: 1996
Genre: Historical
Rating: D
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I received this as a free book from a friend a year ago.

Sabrina Winfield has longed for stability for her daughter and herself since her first husband died young and virtually left her penniless. She has been an example of just what a young woman should be, not calling attention to herself and living an exemplary lifestyle. The Earl of Wyldewood's son is engaged to her daughter, yet he might just have designs on the Mother of the Bride. After all, he is in need of a wife himself and what a lovely woman she is. Sabrina has vowed never to need to depend on a man. Very uncharacteristically of her she decides to head to Egypt in search of treasure that will provide her daughter with a proper dowry.

I had a lot of problems with this book. I will say that I was quickly sucked into the story by a charismatic character in Lady Sabrina and her wild adventure after a treasure. However, Lady Sabrina after a few short chapters turned out to be a very annoying character. She was extremely hard headed with her own perception of things with not much bending room. She came across as immature and flighty, which I did not find endearing in the least. I liked Nicholas more than I did Sabrina. He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and I was quick to take his side over things rather than Sabrina's, but in the end, I wondered what he saw in her.

There was a secondary love story between Sabrina's daughter Belinda and Nicholas's son Erick. Their relationship was just touched upon but did not really delve beneath the surface. I cringed at Sabrina's reaction to her daughter at times and vice versa. Belinda was exactly as Sabrina raised her, yet Sabrina would get annoyed with her daughter's behavior when that was how she was taught to behave. Sabrina and Nicholas’s love story was moderately believable at best. I can't really recommend this book. It was definitely not my style.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review - Undead and Uneasy

Title: Undead and Uneasy
Author: MaryJancie Davidson
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: C+
Sensuality: Warm
Book Disclosure: I listened to an audio book that I borrowed from my library.

Undead and Uneasy is the 6th book in MaryJanice Davidson's Betsy Taylor series. Betsy Taylor is the Queen of the Vampires. She really doesn't want to be a Queen. She didn't even want to be a vampire. She woke up one morning to find that she was dead and had been turned into a vampire. In the big Book of the Dead, it prophesied that she would be queen and her consort would be the delectably sexy, Eric Sinclair. Sure enough it comes true and now Betsy is planning her wedding to Eric. Betsy is about to pull her hair out because nobody wants to help her with all the arrangements most of all, the lucky groom.

I have only listened to this series on audio and never read any of the books. I like the way that Lucy Woo narrates the stories. She does Betsy's voice really well, but I don't like the way she does Sinclair. I think it is hard for women narrators to do men's voices well. Sinclair always comes across as sounding very condescending and I don’t think that if I was reading the book myself he wouldn’t sound condescending.

Anyway, I thought this Betsy book was average. Betsy is very demanding in this book and she tended to get on my nerves. Sinclair and most of the usual cast was missing in this book most of the time, so it was mainly Betsy front and center. I thought the mystery was obvious and it takes Betsy a while to catch on. It was just an okay read. I don't know if I will continue on with the series.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review - Match Me if You Can

Title: Match Me if You Can
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publication Date: 2009
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I borrowed the audio version from my library.

Match Me if You Can is the sixth book in Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Chicago Stars series. Annabelle Granger is desperate to land Heath Champion as a client for her new match making company, Perfect for You. With such a prestigious client, her new company will be sure to succeed and in doing so will get her family off her back. She is basically the black sheep in the family. Heath Champion is a very well known sports agent who is as ruthless as he is handsome. He is looking for a wife and has unrealistic expectations of the type of woman he is ready to settle down with. Annabelle has her work cut out for her if she is to be successful in finding him his perfect match.

I had a lot of fun listening to Match Me if You Can. First of all the narrator Anna Fields does an excellent job of getting the humor just right. She is able to use really good inflection when delivering those zingers. There is a lot of really great dialogue between Annabelle and Heath. These two go back and forth throughout the book and readers who love a lot of banter between the hero and heroine are going to really enjoy this book.

I loved Annabelle. She is my kind of heroine. She is funny, smart and completely driven and focused. She was a little insecure but it was only a small part of her character. Heath too was an excellent match for her. He is just as driven, funny and smart. He too has his own little insecurities to get over. I thought this was a great read with many memorable scenes. The dialogue is fantastic and is chock full of rich characters. I even found the secondary love story between Portia and Bodey a treat. Two thumbs up. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Review - Dreams of a Dark Warrior

Title: Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Author: Kresley Cole
Publishing Date: February 2011
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot
Book Disclosure: I purchased a new ebook for my Nook from B & N.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior is the ninth book in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. Regin the Radiant and Aiden the Fierce have an ill-fated love. Throughout the centuries, Aiden a mortal Berserker was killed before he could earn his immortality. Since then, he keeps being reincarnated but as soon as he kisses Regin he remembers Aiden's memories. Shortly after that, he dies. Regin is taken captive by Declan Chase the Magister of the Order. Regin realizes right away that Declan is Aiden reincarnated once again. Somehow Regin has to escape without alerting Declan to his past or she knows he will be killed again yet at the same time, she must keep her own self alive too.

I didn't enjoy Dreams of a Dark Warrior as I have some of the other books in this series. Mainly it was because of Declan. I had a really hard time with his character. He was very badly damaged as a teenager and his hatred of immortals has shaped his whole life. I found his character not very appealing. I thought his behavior was hard to redeem.

Now having said how much I didn't like Declan, I did really like Regin. She had a lot of funny one liners that were quite humorous. If you have liked Cole's humor in the past you will continue to enjoy it in this book, as well. Regin and Declan have such a struggle in this book. The reader really wonders how all the problems are going to be solved between Declan and Regin. I think the author did a pretty good job of showing a change in Declan. He just wasn't a very appealing hero for me, though.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bad Audio Book Experience

Recently, I have been listening to audio books more because I have been on the road driving a lot. It is a great way to pass the time. A week ago I checked out Diana Gabaldon's A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I started listening to it and I thought it was weird how all of a sudden one scene would jump to the next. It turns out that after reading the cd cover, I realized that I had gotten the abridged version of the book.

I was already more than a quarter of the way into the book and I thought it would best just to continue listening to it. I did end up finishing it and I enjoyed listening to it. But it just really irked me that I was missing parts of the book. Over and over, in my mind, I kept wondering which scenes I was missing and just exactly how much was I missing. This was really messing with my head.

I went online to find out if there was an unabridged version of the book. Yep, sure enough there is. You will not believe how much was cut out of the book. I was just shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you! The version I listened to was 13 cds and 15 hours long. The unabridged version is 47 cds and 56 hours long. That means that the version I listened to was less than a quarter of the whole book. That's crazy!!!

Needless to say, I feel gypped! I am going to have to go back and read the book. Lesson learned. Pay attention to abridged/unabridged books. Sheesh!