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!?

Highlights

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 Paperbackswap.com.

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 paperbackswap.com

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?


View My Stats