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.