Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quick Review: The Greek's Bridal Bargain

The Greek's Bridal Bargain (Harlequin Presents)The Greek's Bridal Bargain by Melanie Milburne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A man from Bryony's past has popped into her life again, after 10 years. Kane was the bastard son of the Greek housekeeper who intrigued and confused Bryony, even as a teenager.

Ten years later, he's back and has informed her that he will be marrying her in a week or her parents will be headed to jail. He's going to get her dad out of his enormous debts and take possession of his bride.

Bryony thinks Kane ruthless and cold hearted as she believes him to be exacting his revenge for being kicked off the family estate ten years ago. But looks can be deceiving and Kane has ulterior motives.

Great read (as always) from Melanie Milburne. Quick read that kept me interested from the start!

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Quick Review: In Her Boss's Special Care

In Her Boss's Special Care (Medical Romance) (Medical Romance)In Her Boss's Special Care (Medical Romance) by Melanie Milburne

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not a huge fan of medical romances but I like this author ... so I thought I would give it a try ... yeah ... still don't like the medical romances!

Allegra (yeah like the allergy drug!)'s new boss is Joel Addison who doesn't like her work with touch (and other sensory therapy) in coma patients.

Joel's got hidden issues of his own (what romance novel hunk doesn't?) but he's seriously attracted to Allegra.

The pair have just received two new patients in their trauma unit. A mother and her son (seven y.o.) with drugs in their system who had driven off an embankment into a body of water. It's suspicious in the least.

Joel and Allegra work both against and with each other to help their patients as they slowly fall for each other.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Untamed (House of Night #4) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Book: Untamed (House of Night #4)

Bookshelves: 2010, fiction, read, romance, paranormal romance, vampires, USA, Tulsa

Begun: October 18, 2010

Finished: October 22, 2010

Media Type: book on CD (listened to on iPod Touch)

Setting: present day Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA), alternate reality where vampires exist as part of everyday life

Review: (Spoilers for book #3 ahead!) Oh Zoey. Poor kid. There’s nothing like being a teenager. The hormones screw with your mind and cause you to do the worst things sometimes.

After Stevie Rae rejected the change and “died,” Zoey was so overcome and confused with all the things that had happened to her that she turned to poet laureate, Loren, who literally screws her over. Erik catches them post coitus and turns from Zoey. A confrontation later with Zoey, her friends, and the newest red fledgling, STEVIE RAE, leaves Zoe … all but alone.

She still has Aphrodite. I never would have seen this friendship coming two books ago but I do say it shows what a 3D character Zoe is that she can befriend Aphrodite after what she did in the first book.

Aphrodite is having visions left and right and most of them show poor Zoey’s death in one manner or another!

Suddenly, there is a malevolent presence on the House of Night campus and it’s after Zoey. Flapping wings in the night and something lunging at her out of the dark. Zoey’s forced to travel from building to building with a friend in tow.

Speaking of friends, Zoey has a new friend from the House of Night Chicago, James Stark, the international archery phenom. But once again, nothing goes right in Zoey’s life. Hours after meeting Stark, she watches him reject the change. Knowing this is her chance to out Neferet and shed some life on the Native American tale of Kalona, that her grandmother told her about after one of Aphrodite’s prophecies, Zoey and the “nerd herd” set up some surveillance on Stark’s body … but it all falls apart … again.

Recommended by: Michaleen (sister in law)

Recommend to: Mindy

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark #10)

Book: Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole

Bookshelves: 2010, fantasy, fiction, read, romance, romance-paranormal, vampires, demons, witches

Begun: October 19, 2010

Finished: October 20, 2010

Media Type: Book (paperback)

Review: Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole opens on Malkom (I assume pronounced just like the name Malcolm) Slaine, a demon who was once a blood slave to a vampire in the demon plane of Oblivion. His mother was a prostitute who sold him off to a horrible vampire master when he was seven. Eventually, the master threw him out (because he was a perv and Malkom got too old for his tastes – this part skeeves me out!), but Malkom was able to make a life for himself and eventually got to be friends with the much older Demon prince who eventually became his best friend. That is until the Viceroy captured them both when an ally of Malkom’s becomes a traitor and gave up Malkom and the prince. The Viceroy tortures and beheads Malkom and the prince only to force the demons to come back … as vampires. Now they are what the Lore calls Venoms (vampire/demon combos). They are locked together in a cell and forced to wait until one kills and drinks from the other. The prince succumbs first but Malkom has a fight to live and will not allow himself to be drunk from again (like he was when he was a blood slave). The prince dies by Malkom’s hand.

Oh did I mention that all this action is JUST THE PROLOGUE! This book is action packed and hilarious as most of Kresley Cole’s books are!

Eventually, we get to the main plot where a group (called the Order) has kidnapped a witch, Carrow Graie. Carrow is the epitome of the poor little rich girl. All she ever wanted was for her parents to give her five minutes of attention and to love her but they were more interested in dry martinis and golfing. She is forced by the Order into the demon plane of Oblivion to seek out Malkom (who now controls huge amounts of water – a big deal in the desert wasteland of Oblivion) and bring him back to the Order’s strong hold (an island masked from all other creatures of the Lore somehow).

Carrow finds Malkom where another problem arises … language. Malkom spoke what he calls Anglish (English) hundreds of years ago but he refuses to speak it now (it was the language his vampire master used). And, Carrow only speaks a few words of Demonish. The two try so hard to communicate that it’s comical. And all the while, Carrow is starting to feel something for this Venom … this vemon who has recognized her as his Bride (for his vampire side) and his Mate (on the demon side).

But he doesn’t know that she’s going to betray him. Carrow has to get him back to the Order’s stronghold or they will kill another witch who they’ve captured, a seven year old recently-orphaned witch named Ruby.

Hilarious, heart warming, heart-string pulling … typical Kresley Cole. I can’t wait for more from her! But her next book, Dreams of a Dark Warrior, doesn't come out until February 15, 2011.

Recommended by: no one

Recommend to: Mindy, Michaleen, Erin

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chosen (House of Night #3) - PC Cast and Kristin Cast

Book: Chosen (House of Night #3)

Bookshelves: 2010, fiction, read, romance, paranormal romance, vampires

Begun: October 16, 2010

Finished: October 18, 2010

Media Type: Audiobook (from CD)

Review: Sometimes, I really hate that I can get so into a book that a change in mood or plot can put a funk over my day. PC Cast andKristin Cast's novelChosen (Book #3 in the House of Night Series)definitely did that for me today. It put me in such a bad funk that I HAD to go outside and mess around in the yard and play with the dogs for a while.

Poor Zoey. That's all I can say at the end of this novel. Poor, poor Zoey. She's getting it from all around her. Heath, her imprinted human boyfriend who just can't let her break up with him; Eric, her major-ly hot and very suspicious (with good reason) fledgling boyfriend; Loren, the vampire poet laureate who is showing an affinity for Zoey; her nut job mom and her horrible step-loser (step dad) who she suspects is murdering vampires; Stevie Rae, her best friend who is technically un-dead; and to top it off, it's Zoey's birthday.

Recommended by: Michaleen (sister in law)
Recommend to: Mindy

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Twice As Hot (Tales of an Extraordinary Girl series #2)

Twice as Hot (Tales of an Extraordinary Girl, #2) Twice as Hot by Gena Showalter

I cried reading Gena Showalter's Twice as Hot and I don't often cry over books (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows aside because really who didn't cry at the end of that!).

I didn't find Twice as Hot as good as Playing with Fire where we were introduced to Belle, Tanner, Sherridan, and Rome but I did find it compelling and found myself reading at 4 a.m. instead of sleeping (yes, this is something I do ... deprive myself of sleep so that I can continue reading!).

Very good. A must read for any fan of the Lords of the Underworld series.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Going Overboard (SEALS/Code Name series #2)

Going Overboard (SEAL and Code Name, 2) Going Overboard by Christina Skye

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Carly Sullivan is a world renowned photographer and cinematographer with a huge problem. She's shooting what she is sure will be a fantastic commercial for a cruise ship company (why do all of Christina Skye's novels take place on or have a major part to play on a cruise ship).

Problem? The actor they hired is not camera-worthy. So she needs to find a fill in ... a sexy fill in.

Ford McKay was just looking for a little R&R from his SEAL days. He wasn't looking to become an actor ... or start a new job. But then Izzy calls (I love Izzy - I can't wait for his book).

McKay needs to protect Carly from an international ass who is bound and determined to take control of San Marino (where Carly's best friend and adoptive uncle rule). When she gets caught in the cross hairs, McKay will save her butt or lose his heart.

Going Overboard is a good action-romance ... more action than romance but not terrible in either category.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl (The Royal House of Karedes, #2)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

World renowned as a playboy, a womanizer, and a bed hoper, Prince Kaliq Al'Faris of Calistan has everything. He's got women. He's not the king but he can reap all the benefits of being in the royal line. He's got his beautiful home. He's got his horses and his polo. He's got everything.

Until the day that he rides into a small village across the desert from his royal home. There he gambles with a local who owns one of the finest horses in all the world.

Raised from a foal, Eleni loves her horses and the horse the prince has just won in a game of poker the most. When he comes to the stables to claim his prize, Eleni insists that the horse will turn into an ill-tempered brute if he leaves her side, thus convincing Kaliq that Eleni too must be brought to the palace.

But soon, her lithe body and gorgeous "true Calistan" eyes of pure jade green turn Kaliq's fancy and he quicky becomes obsessed with the beauty of the young girl. After bedding her the first time, he makes sure she knows that this isn't love ...

but Eleni is already gone. She can't help it. She can see beneath the prince's harsh exterior. And what's a girl in love to do.

Sharon Kendrick's The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl has a truly tacky name. But that can't be helped. It's an ok book. I don't find much fault in it. I can't. It enhances the story line of the diamonds and keeps things moving. A good beach book.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Switch

The Switch The Switch by Lynsay Sands

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Beth and Charlie are caught red handed. Or red ... dressed. Trying the sneak out the window of an inn that they and their uncle are staying at, Lord Jeremy William Radcliff comes upon them and berates them for trying to leave the inn without paying. Charlie is dressed as a boy even though she is a girl.

The pair (identical twins) explain that they are running away from their uncle (who is their guardian) because he is marrying one of them off to a brutal man who only wants to sire a son and is suspected of already killing two of his wives.

Lord Radcliff immediately takes the pair under his wings, traveling with them to London. Here's the problem. Because he is under the impression that Charlie is a boy, Charlie has to sleep with him (in the same bed) at the first inn they stay at.

Radcliff is perplexed. He loves women, in all shapes and forms and in all quantities. But suddenly, he is feeling more than friendship for the little slip of a boy, Charlie. So he takes him to a brothel (a disaster) and then a gambling parlor (where Charlie wins a boatload of money). But even as Radcliff tries to make a man out of the boy, he's feeling more and more "unnatural" emotions for him.

Throughout the book, Charlie and Beth switch back and forth between who is playing the boy and no matter who is which gender for the day, Radcliff seems attracted to Charlie (whether she is dressed as a boy or a girl).

This book is ok. Amusing at times but nothing to drop other books and start this one over.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Billionaire Prince, Pregnant Mistress (Royal House of Karades series #1)

Billionaire Prince, Pregnant Mistress (Harlequin Presents) Billionaire Prince, Pregnant Mistress by Sandra Marton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sandra Marton's beginning to the Royal House of Karades series is a alright one. Not perfect but alright.

Sandra Marton does a great job of setting up the history of the two feuding royal houses which live on neighboring islands in the Mediterranean and were both once ruled under one royal monarch. Then, because of a fight between the children of the dying monarch in the mid-1900s, the Royal House was split and the Royal jewels with them.

Billionaire Prince, Pregnant Mistress is the story of jewelry maker Maria Santos (who I swear was the name of a character on All My Children in the mid-90s) who comes to Aristo to design and make the centerpiece item that will be presented to the queen on her 60th birthday.

After presenting her ideas to the crown, she walks around the city and meets the most beguiling stranger she's ever met. After a world wind wine and dine, she and the man hook up. But he overhears her speaking with her assistant, Joaquim, back in NYC, and he misunderstands some of her words and intension, thinking that she knew him to be a prince of Aristo and that she was bedding him to get a leg up in the competition.

Not so. But the crown passes her over for another designer ...

Until the queen changes her mind and wants Maria back and sends Prince Alexandros to collect her. In collecting her, he demands her presence in Aristos and in his bed. Angry beyond belief, Maria goes because her career demands it.

But slowly, she's falling for the arrogant and bushy oaf. And then, she realizes that she's pregnant. How will the Royal family and Prince Alexandros react to this news?

Like I said. It's a good first book. But I hope the rest of the series is better.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Always (Leisure Historical Romance) Always by Lynsay Sands

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Rosamunde is the bastard daughter of the king of England. Training to become a nun, she has lived at the convent with the sisters for her entire life. That is, until her father shows up with a terrific specimen of the male physique (or what she assumes is a great example since she really has never met such a man or warrior before) and tells her that she is to marry.

Rosamunde is one day away from taking her vows as a nun when Aric shows up, marries her and consummates the marriage. She's bewildered by the man and what it means to be his wife.

King Henry insisted Aric marry his beautiful daughter, the product of the one woman, albeit a mistress, that he had loved. He knew that someone was out to kill him and possibly all those he loved to take the throne from him. What he didn't know was how soon it would happen.

Rosamunde and Aric go to the estate that King Henry gave the pair as a wedding tribute and begin to set things in order when the Bishop of Shrewsbury shows up with news that the king is dead.

Throughout the novel, we get a glimpse into Rosamunde and Aric's characters. Aric was cuckolded by a former woman with whom he was betroved. He fears that Rosamunde will cheat on him too ... in the exact same fashion ... in the stables with a stable boy or master. The problem is that although Rosamunde was never educated in how to care for a household, she is a wunderkind when it comes to animals, husbandry and veterinary care. So when Aric forbids her from attending the animals any longer, Rosamunde is lost.

Always is not one of Lynsay Sands's best. It's actually pretty much one of the ones I would catagorize as her worst. But as always with Lynsay Sands, because everything she writes is pretty awesome, Always is still up there in comparison with other novels.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

2000 Kisses (SEAL/Code Name series #1)

2000 Kisses (SEAL and Code Name, 1) 2000 Kisses by Christina Skye

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's the new millennium and EVERYONE'S worried about Y2K taking down the computers and the ATMs and THE WORLD! (sorry, I think this is hysterical and I did back in 2000 too when everyone thought it was going the be the end of the modern world as we knew it!)

Tess O'Mara's a modern woman with modern wants. She the head of ... well ... she's a PR guru. I don't know how else to describe her. She's the shit when it comes to her stuff though. And she's just sold out every port of the cruise ship that she was working on the campaign for. She makes everything she touches gold. And her boss is giving her a bonus ...

Then comes Jan. 1, 2000.

Tess decides to check her ATM account and withdraw some funds. But to her surprise (a very pleasant surprise) there are 1,000,000 reasons she needs to go on a shopping trip. A new hairstyle, a leather jacket, some clothes and a baby blue convertible later, Tess calls her brother in Washington to ask about the strange amount of money she's received after the bank can't track where the credit to her account came from.

Turns out something very illegal is going on and Tess has been caught up in the middle of it because of a Y2K glitch. Her brother wants her some place safe where an old friend will watch over her.

That place is Almost, Arizona (aka East-Cupcake-ville). And the friend that is going to be watching over Tess is ... well, think Mel Gibson in the late 80s/early 90s.

T.J. McCall is hot ... and tired ... and sick of trouble. That's why the ex-Secret Service agent is now the sheriff of the town out in the middle of no where, but after an old friend, Andy O'Mara, calls him asking for help with his baby sister, T.J. knows he's in for it.

The tension between these two sizzles and sparkles. My only problem with the book was that at times Tess seems to have these "spells" where she is halucinating that she is in the old West (I'm talking back when the Native Americans ran the place and the whitemen hadn't even been seen on the shore of New England, yet). Then all of a sudden ... nothing. They go away. She can't explain it ... no one can. They don't even bring it up again. That was a little bit of a problem to be but all in all, this was a good start to the Seal/Code Name series.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Her Royal Wedding Wish

Her Royal Wedding Wish (Harlequin Romance) Her Royal Wedding Wish by Cara Colter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Princess Shoshauna (I only know how to pronounce this because this is Jerry Seinfeld's wife's name) is getting married today.

Jake Ronan hates weddings. But as the best of the best in his military special ops team, Ronan is scheduled to look after the Princess during her ceremony in the fictitious country of B'Ranasha.

Problem is ... the Princess really doesn't want to get married. She wants to cut her hair, wear shorts and cook all by herself. Pampered all her life, Shoshauna just wants to be like every other twenty-one year old (which ironically, every twenty-one year old is looking to be someone's princess, right?).

When a gunman storms the wedding and fires a few shots, Ronan leaps into action (literally) and takes off with the Princess to a secluded island where she will be safe until they find out who the person or people are behind the plot.

This is a tale of awakening and discovery. Shoshauna discovers what it's like to be normal. She cuts her hair, gets a bikini and a sunburn and, the one thing she's always dreamed of, a friend.

Ronan is in hell. Shoshauna is trying her hardest to be his friend and all he can think of doing is pulling the raven haired beauty down into the sands of the tropical island getaway and kissing her senseless. But she has be kept safe at all costs ... even if that's at the cost of Ronan's heart.

Great read. Very quick and well written even for a Harlequin Romance. I am a fan of Cara Colter so the fact that I really liked this book didn't come as that big of a surprise!

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Simon's Cat

Simon's Cat Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Simon's Cat is a hilarious little comic (reminiscent of the Garfield comics that you could find everywhere in the late 80s/early 90s).

Based off the internet phenomenon, Simon's Cat, which can be found on YouTube, the book gives us a little more insight into the wacko adventures of Simon and his unnamed cat.

We learn that:
yes, Simon's cat is always hungry.
yes, Simon's cat hates Simon's sister's dog.
yes, Simon's cat LOVES birds ... for dinner.
yes, Simon's cat loves koi fish from the back pond more.
yes, Simon's cat does have a best friend and it's the fishing Garden gnome that lives by the pond.
yes, Simon's cat is a sadistic little f***er who likes to toss fruit at the family of hedgehogs and laugh when they get caught on their spines.

All in all ... a great "bathroom read" - as in take it into the bathroom and leave it there to flip through when you're ... well you know.

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If you are interested in seeing more of Simon's Cat, these are a few of my favorites:
1. This is the first one I ever saw and I laughed so hard my boss thought I was having a seizure:

2. This one ... well ... let's just say I think I saw one of my cats do this to my dad about 10 years ago!:

Stay The Night (Darkyn series #7)

Stay the Night (Darkyn, #7) Stay the Night by Lynn Viehl

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
It seems that Lynn Viehl is trying to take the route of J.R. Ward and turn what was a good paranormal romance series into a mediocre urban fantasy.

Mediocre. That's what Stay the Night had written all over it. This was to be Robin and Chris's novel but just like Lover Enshrined(which was everybody's book but Phury's) this is everybody's book but theirs.

We figure out pretty early that Rob (or Robin) is Robin of Locksley (aka Robin Hood). And he's got a grudge against his cousin, Guy (who is Sherwood - of Sherwood Forrest fame). But we don't find out until MUCH later why.

Then there's Chris Renshaw who is a FBI agent. We don't get all the details but they are setting up a sting to capture a criminal known as the Magician. (This Magician as you can guess is Robin). But upon scoping out a bar to meet the Magician, Chris runs into Robin. Robin tries to work his Kyn flower power on her and it doesn't work. But he still propositions her to spend the night with him in his swanky downtown Atlanta highrise condo.

Of course Chris goes even though we aren't given a lot to work with on her emotional provocation for this. They kiss for a while and then she wakes up the next day. We are completely cut out of the equation. In Lynn Viehl's previous books, we were always given insight into the characters (why Valentin did this, what Jayr was thinking at this point in time, and what the impetus for Michael's actions on this matter were). But we were given NOTHING to go on for this story.

At one point, Chris even mentions his "vine tattoo" around his neck that someone had kind of messed up. Now it took me a while to figure out that he didn't really have a messed up tattoo. He is Kyn. He's allergic to copper and someone clearly tried to garrote him with barbed wire made from copper.

There is a plot even though it's murky. Our suspicions on Jayr's parentage are confirmed. And there is more of Michael and Alexandra's relationship shown and expanded upon than anyone's.

Seriously, the best part of this whole novel was the "scene" between Michael's second, Phillipe, and the second of a Chinese Kyn. Though it's not my cup of tea, the male on male action was the best written of the whole novel.

And to hear that this novel will be the last in the Darkyn series makes me think that Lynn Viehl was just trying to get the book finished and off to her publishers. I was very disappointed in this one.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nutcracker Prince

Nutcracker Prince (Kids & Kisses) (Harlequin Romance #3340) Nutcracker Prince by Rebecca Winters

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Oh Rebecca Winters. *sigh* you lost me as a fan a couple of books before. Her novels are so formulaic that I tend to pick them up, read the back and go "oh, this is just like (insert the name of any of her books here). I doubt that I will find myself returning to read anything new of hers in the future unless my library is seriously lacking in new reading material!

Meg was just a seventeen year old girl the first time she went to Russia and was hauled into KGB custody because she gave a Russian national a pair of her sunglasses not knowing that it was considered a crime. That's where she met Konstantine, a KGB agent who took personal interest in the girl.

It wasn't until she returned to Russia six years later as a twenty-three year old that she saw him again. Meg lost her heart to the dark haired stranger. But it wasn't until she returned stateside that she realized she was carrying his child.

Now a single mother, Meg is flummoxed when Kon pops back into her and her daughter's life stating that he is going to marry Meg and start a good old fashioned American family with dogs and a white picket fence.

Meg hardly believes that Kon, the man who rose so fast in the rankings of the KGB, would have defected from his beloved motherland of Russia and turned traitor against the government. Even when her Senator calls Meg personally to insure her of Kon's genuine "American-ness," she still fells that he's only here to take their daughter and flee back to Russia.

Rebecca Winters doesn't do a very good job of instilling any emotion into her writing. The characters are very flat and come off as condescending at points. When Kon finally gets Meg to marry him for their daughter's sake, he still remains emotionally distant even when Meg takes the time to try to get him to open up to her. And then he runs away ... three weeks pass and he just appears back at the house (Meg has been beside herself all this time with longing and love for the man that she could hardly stand until he took off) with his long lost mother who doesn't speak a word of English but instantly loves her granddaughter.

Really, Rebecca Winters, you need to take some time to build the emotion, build the characters, hell ... build the plot. Until then ... I'm giving up on you.

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A Mother's Way

A Mother's Way Romance Anthology A Mother's Way Romance Anthology by Lisa Cach

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I only read Lynsay Sands's addition to this anthology. It was decent for an anthology. A quick read. Less than an hour total for Lynsay Sands's story.

Hers is set in medieval England where a Lord is told by the King that he must marry in the next two weeks and have produced offspring by the following summer's end. So, his mother decides to help him by having the daughter of friend sort through all the eligible women at court.

The problem starts when he finds himself falling for the daughter that his mother has said is off limits.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Love Is Blind

Love Is Blind (Leisure Historical Romance) Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Love Is Blind is not one of Lynsay Sands's best. Some of her "historical romances," which all seem to be set in England in the medieval days or in time of Regency London, seem to me to be written early in her career when she has yet to find her voice or humor. It's this humor that draws most readers back to her.

Lady Clarissa has maimed, set on fire, burned with scalding water and stomped upon the feet of most of the ton. But it's not her fault, her step-mother Lydia won't let her have her glasses. She says that no one will want to marry an ugly girl who wears glasses. But Clarissa can't imagine anyone wanting to marry a girl who seems out to kill them with her ineptitude!

At the first ball he's attended in ten years, Adrian Monfort notices Lady Clarissa and, with her aunt wandered off to find a bit to eat, he takes her dancing across the floor telling her to close her eyes and allow him to lead. Clarissa seems a natural at dancing with Adrian's help.

Amusing little asides happen. There is a dead plot against Clarissa and then everything ties up at the end. Not something I'd pull off the shelf again but not a horrible read nonetheless.

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The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next Series #1)

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1) The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Eyre Affair was my first jaunt into the world of Jasper Fforde and I'm glad I took the time to read it.

In a world where literature comes to life and dodos are the norm, Thursday Next is a Literary Detective who becomes embroiled in some nasty doings with a Big Brother like corporation. She's smart, well read and likes her men handsome and intelligent. She's definitely a heroine I can get behind.

Set in an alternate 1985 than we remember, The Eyre Affair takes place in the idyllic English countryside town of Swindon. Thursday accepts a job that her future self told her to take (confusing right? not in the context of the book it's not). She's thrust back into her hometown and into a cast of characters who include her mad-inventor uncle, an aunt who gets trapped in a Wordsworth poem, her out-of-time-and-everywhere-in-time dad, and an ex-fiance who is pressing her for a final "no" or "maybe yes."

What's a girl to do? Get caught up in the doings of Jack Shitte and Acheron Hades, the greatest criminal mind in all the world ... that's what!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Reluctant Reformer

The Reluctant Reformer The Reluctant Reformer by Lynsay Sands

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Maggie is just doing her job. She's a journalist. Well ... she has been ever since her brother died and left her the pen name of G.W. Clark.

Maggie's latest article is a piece on the working girls of one of London's houses of ill repute. Maggie is interviewing one girl when a client of that girl comes in. It's Maggie's beau and the local pastor. In an attempt to get Maggie out of the room (and the wardrobe she's hidden in), the girl changes dresses with Maggie and gives her a mask. Maggie sets off on the outside ledge of the building and hops into the next window she comes across.

There she is accosted by a stranger, bound up in his cape and stolen away from the brothel.

James has rescued Maggie at last. After having her followed for days, he has discovered that she is Lady X (a well-to-do Lady about the ton who has fallen on hard times). Now he must save her from herself. He had, after all, promised her ding brother (his companion in war) to watch over the chit.

But what will happen when they get back to his home in the country? And what will Maggie think of him when she realizes who he thinks she is? Will Lord James ever find out if she is in fact Lady X?

And who's trying to kill Maggie!?!

Not one of Lynsay Sands's best books (it seems I do not appreciate her Regency London novels as much as other people) but it's a good read. I would have finished it fast (it took me a week) but I had bronchitis and a sinus infection and I wasn't into reading ... I was into sleeping.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Many Bloody Returns (Sookie Stackhouse series # 7.1)

Many Bloody Returns (Includes: The Dresden Files, #9.1, Sookie Stackhouse, #7.1) Many Bloody Returns by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Just read Charlaine Harris's addition to this anthology.

Sookie is invited to Fangtasia where Eric is hosting a birthday for Prince Dracula who is rumored to appear at one party every year.

Hilarity and the trouble that always follows Sookie around ensues.

A great read and a must read for any and all Sookie Stackhouse fan.

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Three Little Miracles

Tiga Mukjizat Kecil (Three Little Miracles) Tiga Mukjizat Kecil by Rebecca Winters

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A good read. I finished it during a snow day so it took me maybe 2 ... 2 and 1/2 hours tops to read it. Yes, it's in English, and no I haven't learned a new language just to read trashy romance novels.

This is pure romance. No sex. It's good but got annoyingly sappy at parts.

Tracey wakes up in a rehabilitation hospital with no recollection of why she is there. Turns out, she's been in an accident and has sustained head injuries. All this comes back to her when she hears her "husband"'s voice. But ... wait .. husband?

Oh yeah. Julien. The love of her life since she was 8. Why is he still her husband. She very vividly remembers filing divorce papers ... if it weren't for the babies she wouldn't ... wait ... babies?

Try triplets.

Like I said it gets sappy and slow. I would only recommend this book if you like romances, you need something to read on a slow day or if you are going to the beach for a while.

other than that ... don't bother.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Blindness Blindness by José Saramago

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One of my favorite types of literature and movies are zombie or its-the-end-of-the-world-so-what-do-we-do-now? plots. Blindness is just that: a great tale of what happens when the world goes to hell in a pretty little hand basket.

Blindness starts in an unnamed town was assume is in Europe at an intersection where the light is turning from red to green. The cars move but for one. Behind the wheel of this car, a man has suddenly gone blind. Eventually, a passerby offers to help him home. This "good samaritian" is discovered to have stolen the keys to the First Blind Man's car and, subsequently, his car. The First Blind Man's wife comes home and after explaining his problem, they go to an eye doctor.

Slowly, everyone the man has come in contact with goes blind. Everyone lost people come in contact with go blind ... and so on ... and so on.

Oddly, this is not a normal blindness. The blindness is not black. It is white almost as if someone hasn't turned off the light but filled the world with the brightest white light possible.

In the early days of the epidemic, the governement of the country decides to take the Doctor, the First Blind Man and others and seclude them in an old unused asylum. After behaving like human beings for a minimal amount of time, the novel and it's characters take a very Lord of the Flies's turn.

This novel was hard for me to keep reading in the middle. Even with all it's action, I found myself thinking that there were other books waiting for me to read so why couldn't this one get over all ready. I was wrong though. When I got to the end, I found myself weeping and pondering some deeper meanings of the book. It's a great book. I would suggest anyone who has read The Road or Lord of the Flies should give Blindness a chance.

Now off to see if my library has the DVD of the movie!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

GoodReads Group: Paranormal February 2010 Reading Challenge

So I'm becoming addicted to this "reading challenges" I think. I found a new one for February 2010 through the reading group Paranormal.

1. A Favorite Author: Stay The Night (Lynn Viehl)
2. A "New" Author: Blindness (Jose Saramago)
3. An Author you are willing to give a Second Chance to:
4. A GoodReads Author: Tall, Dark, and Fangsome (Michelle Rowen)
5. An Author born the same year as you (1980): The Turning (Blood Ties #1) by Jennifer Armintrout
6. An Author whose first name initial is the same as your first name initial (B):
7. An Author whose last initial is the same as your last name initial (O):
8. A male Author: The Eyre Affair (Jasper Fforde)
9. A female Author:
10. With more than one author:

well I'll have to find some more now won't I?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Covet (Fallen Angel #1) by J.R. Ward

Covet (Fallen Angels, #1) Covet by J.R. Ward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I thought that when J.R. Ward announced that her novels were going to be less paranormal romance and more urban fantasy that she was going to lose me as a reader. I mean really, the woman wrote Lover Awakened for Pete's sake. She clearly can write paranormal fiction with the best of them. (Then again, I compare most writers to her and Sherrilyn Kenyon because J.R. Ward was my first forray into paranormal fiction (thank you, Kim) and Sherrilyn Kenyon because I believe she's the best paranormal romance writer out there, right now.)

So, I started reading Covet with a bit of hesitance. I didn't think I was going to like it. And truth be told, it did take me a little while to get into it. It is different than her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but in a good way. And I love how some of the characters pop up in Covet. We see Phury headed into an AA meeting as Marie Terese is leaving Bible study. Trez owns the Iron Maiden where Marie Terese works as a prostitute. And Detective de la Cruz even makes an appearance!

There are three main characters in this book: Jim Heron, Vincent diPietro, and Marie Terese Boudreau.

Jim Heron is a construction worker and, the best we can tell, an ex-special ops agent for a service which is never mentioned by name. He has a really kick ass tattoo of the grim reaper on his back and we are lead to believe he has been a killer by occupation. After getting electrocuted on the job site (Vin's new house overlooking the Hudson River), Jim is sent to "Heaven" or something like it, where he is told that he is going to assist a final confrontation because "good" and "evil"/"Heaven" and "Hell"/"The Devil" and "God." He's got to help seven people at the cross roads.

Marie Terese Boudeau is on the run from her abusive and kidnapping ex-Husband, Mark. She works as a prostitute at Trez's club, The Iron Mask, and she's there one nice when Vin, Vin's gf (Devina) and Jim come into the club. Jim and Vin help fight off two thugs giving Marie Terese a hard time and Vin is instantly taken by her.

Vin is less than perfect. Once a criminal, now a driven business man, he's on the verge of proposing to Devina (his PERFECT girlfriend) but then Jim comes into his life ... and Marie Terese. The gorgeous petite brunette who makes him want to hold her close and protect her as if she was something to be cherished.

But, to Jim's consternation, evil's already got a head start on Vin. And her nails into him as far as they will go.

Can Jim win this one for the good team? Or will evil prevail in the first battle?

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Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

Agnes Grey (Penguin Classics) Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë is the story of a governess named ... hold your breath! ... Agnes Grey. The novel comes off as the cautionary tale of how to be a governess to indulgent and neglectful families in England.

It's a simple tale of a clergyman's younger daughter who has to look for employment after her father loses all the family's money on speculation. Agnes is first employed by the family of a friend of her aunt whose boys and girls are board line heathens. When Agnes attempts to scold them and teach them their lessons their parents always find fault and stand in her way. Eventually, Agnes is dismissed because the children have not learned enough under her tutelage.

Time elapses and Agnes has a new family and new challenges, a debutante with a superiority complex and a younger sister who acts just like the grooms in the stable. Poor Agnes. Will she ever find happiness?

I think so. *wink*

Not as good as a similar governess finds herself/love story by her sister, Villette by Charlotte Brontë. The flame or spark of life in Villette is not as evident in Agnes Grey.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's In A Name? Challenge

So I've decided to join one of those literary challenges. It's called "What's In A Name?" It seems easy ... let's see

So here's how it works: Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories:
  1. A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  2. A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House
  3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan
  4. A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose
  5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia
  6. A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher
The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Other Things to Know:
  • Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
  • Books may overlap other challenges.
  • Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
  • Creativity for matching the categories is allowed.
  • You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
  • You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.
Let's see if I have any of these categories checked off yet?
I've read 33 books so far in 2010 as of today ...
  • and none have had a food in the title ...
  • no body of water (one mountain reference though!) ... ooooh ...
  • we've got something for #3: a book with a titled person in the title (i.e. queen, president, governor) and I've got Italian Groom, Princess Bride
Italian Groom, Princess Bride
The Princess Bride

oh well ... it's a start!

Inkdeath (Inkheart Trilogy #3)

Inkdeath (Inkheart, #3) Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Inkdeath picks up from where Inkspell leaves off.

Meggie, Mo, Resa, and Farid are still stuck in the word created by the book Inkheart. Fenoglio isn't writing anymore but Orpheus is, and mostly, for his own profit.

Mo/The Bluejay is still playing the Robinhood-esque character and saving the day for the downtrodden peasants of Umbra who are starving to death under the Adderhead's brother-in-law, The Milksop's, rule. And then the Piper shows up and tricks the children into the castle.

What's a hero to do? Ink a deal with Death itself. And is Death ticked at Mo. In Inkspell, Mo bound the Adderhead a book while he was in the Castle of Night which would give him immortal life. BUT he soaked every tenth page in water and now the book is rotting ... and so is the Adderhead. Death still doesn't appreciate Mo taking life and death into his own hands.

How can a hero like Mo, who is the Bluejay but isn't, who is a bookbinder but isn't, save the InkWorld, Resa, Meggie and his friend Dustfinger from the wicked Adderhead, The Piper, Orpheus, and Death?

With the help of his friends ... that's how.

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