Sunday, November 13, 2011

Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Book: Agnes and the Hitman

Author: Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Bookshelves: 2011, fiction, Georgia, mob, romance,

Begun: October 15, 2011

Finished: October 19, 2011

Media Type: Book on CD (downloaded to and listened to on iPod Touch)

Setting: Two Rivers Mansion in Keys, Georgia (about an hour outside of Savannah, Georgia)

Characters: Agnes Crandall, Rhett (the bloodhound), Taylor Beaufort, Brenda Fortunato Dupre, Joey Torcelli, Shane Smith, Lisa Livia Fortunado, Maria Fortunado, Carpenter

Plot: Agnes Crandall's life just got infinitely more complicated. On the hectic week before her bestfriend (Lisa Livia Fortunado)'s daughter's wedding to the Keys family heir (of KEYS, Georgia - where they live), a man (a boy really) shows up at Agnes's door looking to steal her lazy bloodhound, Rhett. Defending herself with a frying pan, Agnes hits the kidnapper (dognapper?) and he falls against teh wall and then ... disappears. Falling to his death, the boy fell through a boarded up door to a basement that Agnes didn't know existed.

In all the hubub of the police showing up and discovering the body and an entire entertainment room (resplendent with a pool table and a Venus Demilo (sans arms of course)), Joey (an old friend of Agnes's and owner of a local dinner) calls his nephew to come and help Agnes with her little ... security problem. Shane, the hitman, shows up and tries to help Agnes ... not die!

Protecting Agnes from those out to kill her for unknown reasons, Shane helps her plan for the big Fortunado/Keys wedding while Brenda Fortunado (the grandmother of the bride) does everything in her power to destroy the wedding and get her mansion back. (A provision in the sale of the wedding to Agnes was that they HAD to have the wedding of Maria Fortunado at Two Rivers).

Will Agnes survive her week with the mob family, the nutty Fortunados, and Shane, the hitman?

Another great Crusie novel!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thorn's Challenge (Westmoreland series #3) (Silhouette Desire #1552)

Book: Thorn's Challenge (Westmoreland series #3) (Silhouette Desire #1552 - December 2003)

Author: Brenda Jackson

Bookshelves: 2011, fiction, Georgia, motorcycle racing, romance,

Begun: October 30, 2011

Finished: October 30, 2011

Media Type: paperback (library copy)

Setting: Collegepark, Georgia and Dayton, Florida

Characters: Thorn Westmoreland, Tara Matthews, Sheriff Alisdare Julian "Dare" Westmoreland, Rochelle "Shelly" Brockman, Stone Westmoreland (aka "Rock Mason"), Chase Westmoreland, and Storm Westmoreland

Plot: Dr. Tara Matthews has just about had it with men. Between a fiancé who jilted her at the altar to run off with her maid of honor (and best friend) and the married womanizing doctor at the hospital, where she was interning, who (when his advances were rebuffed he had Tara transferred out of his hospital to another in the Atlanta area), Tara has just about given up on ever finding happiness.

In walks Thorn Westmoreland. A motorcyclist who builds the coveted and beautiful Westmoreland bikes and rides them (and wins) all over the country. He's gorgeous and talented but dangerous to Tara's well being. She is falling for the moody, temperamental hunk who does everything in his power to sidestep the beautiful doctor.

There is just something about the gorgeous Dr. Matthews that causes Thorn to want to break his self-imposed, prerace vow of celibacy for one night with Tara. Finally, they make a vow that Thorn and Tara will share a week of passion after his race in Dayton Beach, Florida.

But what happens when Tara starts to fall in love? Will she be heartbroken like she was with her ex-Fiancé? Or could there be roses behind the Thorn...

Great third book in the series. Brenda Jackson knows how to write so as to capture emotion and make you feel along with her characters! I can't wait to get my hands on more books in this large and ever-expanding series!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Little Dare (Westmoreland series #2) (Silhouette Desire #1533)

Book: A Little Dare (Westmoreland series #2) (Silhouette Desire #1533 - September 2003)

Author: Brenda Jackson

Bookshelves: 2011, fiction, Georgia, police, romance,

Begun: October 28, 2011

Finished: October 28, 2011

Media Type: paperback (library copy)

Setting: Collegepark, Georgia

Characters: Sheriff Alisdare Julian "Dare" Westmoreland, Rochelle "Shelly" Brockman, Alisdare Julian "AJ" Brockman Westmoreland, Thorn Westmoreland, Stone Westmoreland (aka "Rock Mason"), Chase Westmoreland, Storm Westmoreland, Delaney "Laney" Westmoreland Yasir (aka "Princess Yasir"), and Prince Jamal Ari Yasir

Plot: Sheriff Dare Westmoreland has just about had it with the little hooligan in his office. After throwing rocks at cars from an overpass, AJ was hauled into the police station to face the well loved and respected Sherrif that AJ feels nothing but contempt for (after growing up in LA and seeing his mother racially profiled and then harassed by a police officer someplace in Texas while driving all their belongings to their new home in Collegepark, Georgia).

Turns out, AJ is Rochelle "Shelly" Brockman's 10 year old son. Shelly was the one girl that Dare has loved all his life (since they broke up when Dare was leaving Georgia to become an FBI agent). Dare is initially upset that Shelly wasted no time after they broke up to go and get pregnant with some other man's baby.

Then he does the math when he learns the boy's birthday and demands AJ's full name: Alisdare Julian Brockman. AJ is Dare's son.

Initially furious, Dare decides that, with Shelly's assistance, they will overcome Dare's hatred of authority figures. Shelly will tell AJ that Dare is his father but she will lie to her son and tell him that she can't decide whether to tell Dare about AJ. Ultimately, she will leave the decision to AJ when/if he thinks that Dare should know about him.

Over the span of the book, Dare and AJ become closer and closer (without AJ knowing that Dare already knows that AJ is his son). AJ gets to know the entire, very large, Westmoreland clan and finially starts to have a sense of family.

But what about Shelly and Dare? Dare is almost instantly in love with his old flame but how difficult will it be to convince Shelly to come back to him?

Good book. I really felt the emotion and the writing is not forced like so many romance novels are. Looking forward to the next book in this series.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie

Book: Manhunting

Author: Jennifer Crusie

Bookshelves: 2011, fiction, golf, Kentucky, romance

Begun: October 10, 2011

Finished: October 12, 2011

Media Type: Book on CD (downloaded to iPod touch) (library copy)

Setting: Kentucky, USA

Characters: Kate Svenson, Jake Templeton, Will Templeton

Review: Kate Svenson is a modern woman. She’s a powerful player in the financial world, having joined her father’s company after leaving a low paying job (which she loved and found fulfilling) bring businesses from just adequate to money making juggernauts. At her friend’s prompting, Kate decides to go to a resort in Kentucky, where she can find a new fiancée who meets all of her boring requirements.

After dumping three fiancées in three years, Kate needs love. Real love, she is hesitant but thinks it might be a good idea to at least star looking again. Because with her list of “must haves in a fiancée, Kate knows just what she wants.

Jake and Will Templeton run the resort in Kentucky. A former tax attorney, Jake knows success. Jake left that life behind to run the resort as a silent partner and as the head of grounds and maintenance on the golf course. Jake’s become the king of guy who watches the sunrise, fishes without a hook, and enjoys a good game of pool.

Trying to escape the pushy social director, Kate ends up taking an early morning boat ride out on the secluded lake with Jake. First, she sees him as a brother that she never had and, then, overtime, he becomes a very good friend and confidant.

All the while, Kate has been going on dates with successful and respected men that she meets at the resort. Each guy seems to be perfect and all of them fit the requirements on Kate’s list but none of them have the spark to keep Kate’s attention. And, fate seem to be thrown in her opinion too, causing Kate to injure all of them!!!

Slowly, her opinion of Jake changes but will she scare away Jake too or just maim him?

Jennifer Crusie’s first book is a great novel. A quick and entertaining read, Crusie’s writing is definitely not as polished as her later books but you can see all that raw Crusie talent in there!

Awards: none

Recommended by: no one

Recommend to: Crusie fans, Nora Roberts fans, romance novel fans

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Book: Chasing Fire

Author: Nora Roberts

Bookshelves: 2011, action, America, fiction, Montana, romance

Begun: October 8, 2011

Finished: October 10, 2011

Media Type: book on CD (copied onto iPod Touch) (library copy)

Setting: Missoula, Montana (USA)

Characters: Rowan Tripp, Gulliver (Gull) Curry, Lucas (Ironman) Tripp, Dolly

Review: The book opens six months after the death of Rowan’s jump partner, Jim. Jim was caught in the wind during a fire jump and was pulled into a forest fire that Jim and Rowan were flown into “jump” and fight.

Still haunted by nightmares, Rowan is uncertain that she will be able to handle the new fire season. New recruits and old vets come together in Montana to make up the “Zulies” who are elite firefighters who jump from plans into the middle of fires.

But, trouble stats when a former lover of Jim’s shows up asking for her job back as a cook on the line. Dolly, comes back to camp with a baby, who she claims is Jim’s, and a vendetta against Rowan, who she tells anyone who will listen that Rowan is a slut, was sleeping with Jim, and who she blames for Rowan’s death.

Gulliver (Gull) is a rookie jumper but is already known for his skills and prowess as a former Hot Shot in California and as the man who broke the base’s running record for speed. Gull is taken with Rowan (known as the Swede) with her ice princess beauty and jumper skills. As the daughter of Ironman (a base legend), Rowan is a tough cookie.

Gull gets through the tough exterior and into the Rowan that Rowan is hiding.

Attacks around the base begin with Rowan walking in on Dolly splashing pig’s blood on her bed, clothes, and walls. Then, Dolly disappears and her body is found in the woods, burned after a forest fire is extinguished. A second body in the woods and a sharp shooter trying to take down Gull and Rowan on base are just icing on the cake.

A killer is on the loose at the height of the dangerous summer months where fire rages in the forrest and in the bedroom. Who will get burned?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

You Suck (A Love Story series #2) by Christopher Moore

Book: You Suck (A Love Story series #2)

Author: Christopher Moore

Bookshelves: 2011, California, fiction, paranormal romance, romance, San Francisco, vampires

Begun: August 8, 2011

Finished: August 13, 2011

Media Type: book on CD (copied onto iPod Touch) (library copy)

Setting: San Francisco, California (present day)

Characters: Jody Stroud, C. Thomas Flood, The Emperor of San Francisco, Bummer (a dog), Lazarus (a dog), Abby Normal, and the Animals (a group of Tommy’s coworkers at the Safeway)

Review: Tommy and Jody are back after their first adventure with the living dead. After having her turned into a metal plated statue (along with her maker), Tommy “releases” Jody from her prison and she turns him into a vampire too. Now, to be able to function during the daytime hours, the pair has to find a minion.

Into their lives walks Abby. Abby Normal. Well, that’s not her real name but she’s decided to change it because she likes it better. Slightly nutty … ok bat-frickin’-crazy, Abby helps Jody and Tommy move from their loft to a new apartment, which isn’t too far from the first one.

Then, the Animals show up. In the weekend since they defeated Jody’s maker and then fenced all his artwork, they have spent their share of close to $1 million they earned. Of course, they spent it all on liquor, drugs and a blue hooker.

Blue, the hooker, wants more money so she can retire from the oldest profession on earth. Her eyes set on Tommy, she takes him prisoner and starts to “torture” him. As a new vampire, Tommy gets pissed at this impromptu session and kills Blue, who, the gang later finds out, becomes a vampire after the attack.

Now Blue’s going around changing and/or killing the Animals and Jody and Tommy are still dealing with Jody’s maker. What’s a vampire to do?

I don’t think You Suck was as good as Blood Sucking Fiends but it wasn’t bad. This series is more urban fantasy than paranormal romance.

Awards: none

Recommended by: Milli

Recommend to: Fans of Christopher Moore, paranormal romance fans, urban fantasy fans

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hot Stuff (Hot Zone series #1) by Carly Phillips

Book: Hot Stuff (Hot Zone series #1)

Author: Carly Phillips

Bookshelves: 2011, fiction, football, New York, romance, sports

Begun: August 9, 2011

Finished: August 11, 2011

Media Type: paperback (library copy)

Setting: New York City and upstate New York

Characters: Brandon Vaughn, Annabelle Jordan, Yank Morgan, Lola, Sophia Jordan, Micky Jordan

Review: When Annabelle, Sophia and Michelle Jordan were just little girls (12, 10, and 8 years old respectively), their parents were killed in an accident. Their care was given over to their bachelor uncle, Yank Morgan, who kept them together as a family and raised them as a bachelor would.

Years later, all three girls have gone to college and come back to Uncle Yank determined to help him with his business, a sports agency known as The Hot Zone. Annabelle Jordan, the oldest of the Jordan girls, is especially good at her job, as a publicist at the Hot Zone. When one of Yank’s former clients returns for help, everyone is a little skeptical.

Brandon Vaughn had it all: Fame, fortune, and the love of a good woman. Until a sports injury sidelined his football career and he learned that while in the hospital, his wife had screwed him over. She had begun talks with Spencer Atkins to lure Vaughn away from the Hot Zone and the only father figure who had ever helped him out, Yank.

Long divorced from his wife, Vaughn is back at the Hot Zone because he needs Yank’s help. He is building a lodge type resort for winter “campers” and, during the summer, it will be used for building up the confidences of children with learning disabilities. But problems have been cropping up, orders are being canceled or delayed, electric wires cut the day before the inspectors are due in, and everything is falling apart. Vaughn really needs Yank’s help.

Yank’s solution? Annabelle. The PR genius will work her magic at Vaughn’s lodge. But what Annabelle never thought she’d do again … she does. Slowly, Annabelle relaxes around the ex-sports star and lets her guards down. Vaughn no longer sees her as just a vapid blonde bombshell who dates her uncle’s players. No far from it. As Annabelle opens up to Vaughn, he learns of her loses and past while she learns just how much the lodge means to him, and how much it will help him with his own troubled past.

But when the sabotage at the lodge begins to turn quasi-deadly, will any of them be safe?

Great little read. Fun time trying to figure out who the saboteur is (not someone you would guess at first glance). I did read this series out of order and all I have left to read is the last book, Hot Property.

Awards: none

Recommended by: none

Recommend to: contemporary romance fans

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bloodsucking Fiend (A Love Story series #1) by Christopher Moore

Book: Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story series #1)

Author: Christopher Moore

Bookshelves: 2011, comedy, fiction, San Francisco, romance, vampires

Begun: August 8, 2011

Finished: August 10, 2011

Media Type: book on CD (copied onto iPod Touch) (library copy)

Setting: San Francisco, California, USA

Characters: Jody Stroud, C. Thomas Flood, The Emperor of San Francisco, Bummer (a dog), Lazarus (a dog) and the Animals (a group of Tommy’s coworkers at the Safeway)

Review: I picked up Bloodsucking Fiends after finishing Lamb (The Gospel According to Biff: Christ’s Childhood Pal), which was hilarious, incidentally. I do have a soft spot for vampires and paranormal romance in general. Throw in comedy … and I’m totally sold on it!!!

Poor Jody Stroud. Walking home for work, late one night in San Francisco, she is jumped by some random person who then decided to kill her. Low and behold, Jody wakes up the next day UNDER a dumpster with a blackened and burnt arm. Going back to her boyfriend’s apartment, she gets into a huge fight with him. She’s been missing for an entire day and the bf is pissed at her for that! After cracking his head with a plant pot, Jody starts to lick at the blood … and that’s when it hits her.

Jody’s a vampire.

Time for some help. After checking into a motel for the night … errr … day … Jody goes out to find a “minion” to help her during the day and rent her an apartment (since she broke up with her boyfriend and decided to move out). That’s when she runs into C. Thomas Flood, otherwise known as Tommy, an aspiring writer from Incontinence, Indiana who just came to San Francisco to get some life experience and brood a bit.

Tommy’s car gave out in the middle of the street just as he was pulling into San Francisco and now he’s living with 5 Chinese guys in a boarding house. Flowers show up every morning and Tommy has no idea who they are from but someone has taken a fancy to him.

After getting a job as the head stocker at the Safeway, Tommy meets his stocking crew known as the Animals. Half insane and mostly pharmaceutical-ed up or drunk, the Animals take an instant liking to Tommy (one of them even going so far as to help Tommy figure out who is leaving the flowers at the boarding house – the five Chinese men were smuggled over to the US in a Chinese steamer and found out that if you marry an American, you can stay in America legally. And then, they learned that in San Francisco, men got together with men. So their next logical thought was that Tommy should be their bride … all FIVE OF THEM!!!).

Needless to say, when Tommy first meets the gorgeous red-headed Jody, he falls in lust with her and decides right away that he will help her out. I mean who doesn’t love an older woman (that part kind of weirded me out a little. Jody is 26 and Tommy is 19 … yeah five years isn’t that big of a deal … but Tommy’s still technically a teenager – whatever).

It’s a great book that mixes humor, mythology, crime, and romance into one. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, You Suck.

Awards: none

Recommended by: Milli

Recommend to: anyone who likes vampires, comedy, romance, crime or San Francisco

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson series #1)

Author: Darynda Jones

Bookshelves: 2011, angels, demons, fiction, New Mexico, romance, paranormal romance, the Devil, the Grim Reaper,

Begun: August 6, 2011

Finished: August 8, 2011

Media Type: audiobook (book on CD – downloaded to iPod Touch)

Setting: present day New Mexico, USA

Characters: Charlotte (Charley) Davidson, her uncle, Reyes Alexander Farrow, Garrett Swoopes, Cookie

Review: Charlotte (Charley) Davidson is a little … different. Sure she’s like every other girl. She likes her car. She loves her job as a “consultant” to the Albuquerque, New Mexico Police force. She has a host of friends and neighbors. And she has a disturbing ability to see the death. Not so much “Sixth Sense”-I-See-Dead-People … as … I am a Grim Reaper and I help ferry people over to the other side.

Yeah, so that kinda makes life awkward at times. Charley has a dead man (she calls Mr. Wong) living in the corner in her living room and a naughty elderly (dead) neighbor who just walks into her bathroom all the time to look at her naked.

As a consultant to first her father and then her uncle, Charley helps out a lot of cases when the recently deceased come to see her and explain what happened (or even who killed them!). But there are some strange occurrences in Charley’s past that she is having trouble coming to terms with (and if Charley’s calling them strange, then you know that something has to be downright odd).

A man has been entering Charley’s dreams and having mind blowing sexual encounters with her. Who is the strange man? She doesn’t know his face but there is something about him that is familiar to her … until one day, he calls her “Dutch.” No one has called her “Dutch” since a brief meeting with a teenage boy back when she was around 14 (and she estimated him to be 18 at the time).

Slowly things are starting to click for Charley and the case she is working on (3 dead lawyers all working on the same case of a wrongfully accused man who supposedly killed a runway boy) is moving fast and Charley is smack dab in the middle of it.

Great read. I’m glad I found this new series. I can’t wait to get my hands on Jones’ second book, Second Grave on the Left.

By the way ... Reyes is super model hot ... and this is Pickyme's depiction of him ... with all his flaws ... he can come and eat crackers in my bed ANY night. (check out Pickyme's blog - click on her name above - she's a fantastic cover artist with SERIOUS talent!!)

Awards: Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award (2009)

Recommended by: Jade ( friend)

Recommend to: all lovers of paranormal romance

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Abduct a Highland Lord (MacLean series #1)

Book: How To Abduct a Highland Lord (MacLean Curse series #1)

Author: Karen Hawkins

Bookshelves: 1800s, 2011, England, fiction, historical romance, London, Scotland, romance,

Begun: July 27, 2011

Finished: July 28, 2011

Media Type: paperback (library copy)

Setting: 1800s Scotland highlands and 1800s London, England

Characters: Fiona MacLean, “Black” Jack Kincaid

Review: The Curse, handed down from generation to generation of MacLeans, has struck again, killing the youngest of the MacLean brothers. To stop the curse from killing anymore of her brothers (and it is assumed, her also), Fiona will marry “Black” Jack Kincaid, brother of the man who killed her younger brother. Even though Jack is estranged from his family, Fiona knows that the Kincaids won’t go after her brothers (or the MacLeans won’t go after the Kincaids either) now that they are family.

But how to get Jack to marry her? They had a love affair years ago and Fiona has never loved anyone since Jack. Finding him face down in a puddle in the road, Fiona takes advantage of her luck and drags Jack to the altar, lying to a priest telling him that she was pregnant with Jack’s baby.

Now married, Jack drags Fiona to London to his house in town. He refuses to give up his drinking, gambling and carousing ways. His one concession is giving up the extra women in his life, like the married noblewoman who doesn’t want to give him up.

When accidents start to happen all around Fiona and the MacLean brothers come to London will Jack survive the MacLean curse? And what will happen to his heart?

Awards: none

Recommended by: I don’t remember

Recommend to: Anyone who likes Lynsay Sands’, Kresley Cole’s, and Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley McGreggor’s historical romances

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld series #7)

Book: The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld #7)

Author: Gena Showalter

Bookshelves: 2011, Budapest (Hungary), demons, fantasy, fiction, romance, paranormal romance, the Underworld,

Begun: August 1, 2011

Finished: August 2, 2011

Media Type: paperback (personal copy - later donated to the Grafton Public Library)

Setting: present day Budapest (Hungary) and the Underworld (aka Hell)

Characters: Amun, Haidee, Paris, Strider, William, The Lords of the Underworld,

Review: Amun was dragged from Hell, literally, kicking and screaming.

Keeper of the demon of secrets, Amun must remain mute or he will divulge all the secrets of those around him. As Secrets, Amun picked up some extra demons when he went into the Underworld and now he’s carrying those around with him too. Locked by himself in a cell and then his bedroom, Amun is literally waiting to die. The angels have decided that they will kill him if he doesn’t start to get better soon.

Bring in the Hunter Haidee, Strider is stricken to see his best friend in so much torment. Leaving Haidee in a locked bedroom adjacent to Amun’s Strider goes to check in with the rest of his Lord friends, of which Torin seems to be the only one around.

When she awakes from her drugged stupor (the only way to get the blood thirsty and vicious hunter back to the Lord’s mansion), Haidee hears Amun mentally calling for help. She fights her way through the wall, literally (she finds a closed off doorway between their two bedrooms).

Thinking that Amun is a former lover of hers, Haidee cozies up to him. Like salve on a burn Amun’s demons retreat and he is able to heal slightly while Haidee holds him in her sleep.

Sparks rage between the two and secret abound (no pun intended!). Haidee isn’t all human. She’s been reborn many many times but always forgets the “good” things about her former lives.

Will Amun help her or kill her once he finds out that she was the one who killed Baden?

Awards: none

Recommended by: Kim

Recommend to: Sherrilyn Kenyon fans, paranormal romance fans.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hot Item (Hot Zone series #3) by Carly Phillips

Book: Hot Item (Hot Zone series #3)

Author: Carly Phillips

Bookshelves: 2011, contemporary, Florida, fiction, football, Mississippi, New York, romance,

Begun: August 1, 2011

Finished: August 5, 2011

Media Type: paperback (personal copy - later donated to the Grafton Public Library)

Setting: present day New York City, Florida, and Mississippi

Characters: Sophia “Sophie” Jordan, Riley Nash, Yank Morgan, Spencer Atkins, Harlon Nash, Anne Nash, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Nash, Annabelle Jordan, Michelle “Micki” Jordan

Review: Sophie Jordan, middle sister of the Jordan three. She’s always been the tight laced, upright, go-to sister. You wouldn’t want anyone else at your back in a fire fight. She’s got the brains, the talent and the heart to run the PR divisions of the newly merged Hot Zone and Athletes Inc.

Until, the unthinkable happens. Someone spills the secrets of one of the new co-owners. Spencer Atkins, a long time bachelor and close friend of Yank Morgan’s is out-ed. Afraid that, in an ultra masculine world of sports agencies, his clients will leave him for a straight sports agent, Spencer goes into hiding … just as the first draft of the football season begins.

It’s up to Sophie to find her uncle’s best friend and co-owner before it is too late and the damage behind the out-ing can’t be undone. Sophie’s only lead is two outrageous and nutty sisters who live in Florida. Just as she’s making plans to leave New York City, the very yummy Riley Nash saunters into her office demanding to speak to Spencer. To insure her silence, Riley hires Sophie as his publicist and then spills that Harlan Nash (a Mississippi senator) is not his biological father … Spencer Atkins is.

Sophie doesn’t know if she can handle Riley. He lusts for the little blonde in her power suits and bun-ed hair but he is a man on a mission: to protect his family. He’s got a 13 year old daughter to think about and a father with his sights on the election in November. In a Bible-belt state like Mississippi, it might mean disaster for Harlan Nash’s career if it was discovered that his son isn’t really his and that son’s biological father was gay.

For once, it was nice to read a novel where the male lead isn’t the one in total denial of his feeling. It’s Sophie. Riley knows what he wants after the weekend spent in Florida but Sophie is still afraid of losing everything that matters to her … her heart. Carly Phillips did another good job with this novel (the 3rd in the Hot Zone series). But honestly, at the very beginning, I had trouble getting into it. It just wasn’t a “seat of the pants” novel. It didn’t grab me. I had to push through it in the beginning but I’m glad I stayed with it!

Although, I DO plan on reading the next book (Hot Property) in this series which apparently is about Sophie's metrosexual friend (and Damian Fuller's teammate), John Roper. OH and I have to go back and read Annabelle's novel too!

Awards: none

Recommended by: no one (found the book on the shelf at the library when looking for new stuff to read!)

Recommend to: chick lit fans, sports fans, romance fans

Hot Number (Hot Zone series #2) by Carly Phillips

Book: Hot Number (Hot Zone series #2)

Author: Carly Phillips

Bookshelves: 2011, baseball, contemporary, fiction, Miami, New York, romance,

Begun: July 30, 2011

Finished: August 2, 2011

Media Type: paperback (library copy)

Setting: present day New York and Miami

Characters: Michelle “Micki” Jordan, Damian Fuller, Yank Morgan, Lola, Annabelle Jordan, Sophia Jordan

Review: Micki Jordan has always felt more at home in the locker room of a major league sports team with her uncle, Yank Morgan, than with her sisters in front of the makeup mirror. All grown up, the youngest of the three Jordan orphans (whose Uncle Yank raised them when their parents were killed in an accident), Micki wants to shed her tomboy ways … for the right guy.

Since a drunken New Years Eve kiss with the uber-hot New York Renegades outfielder, Damian Fuller (he was drunk … not Micki), she’s hopped her remembered her. But … alas … he ignores her at every chance and oogles the busty blonde TV sports show anchors while his trusty publicist, Micki, is forgotten at his side.

Except, that’s not how it really is. Damien can’t help but remember his kiss with the innocent and perfect Micki but he “knows” he’s not the right guy for her. He’s still too wrapped up in his own career (or the possible lack thereof). But after saving her from a younger upstart team mate who spikes her “ice tea” (ordering two Long Island Ice Teas in place of the regular ice teas Micki had ordered at the bar) and pulling her out of a strip joint, where she had just decided to do an impromptu drunken strip tease, Damian’s rethinking his options.

Micki and Damian have to decide whether it’s worth all the misery of the crap life throws at them to be together.

Good read. Much better than Carly Phillips usually pops out with. Maybe it’s the baseball lover in me but I totally bought the entire plot (especially the baseball stuff). Even though this is the second in the series (yeah I skipped over the first because I didn’t realize it until I was ½ way into this book and by then it was too late for me to stop and get the 1st book to read), there is no loss (as in, you can pick up the book and just read … no biggie). Look for my coming review on Hot Item (Sophie’s book - #3), and Annabelle’s book (can’t remember what it’s called sorry ;) )

Awards: none

Recommended by: no one (found the book on the shelf at the library when looking for new stuff to read!)

Recommend to: chick lit fans, sports fans, romance fans

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet #4)

Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet, #4)Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Happy Ever After is Nora Roberts's fourth book in the Bride Quartet. It ties the remaining pieces of the quartet together (which also included Vision in White, Bed of Roses, and Savor the Moment).

Parker Brown, of the Connecticut Browns, has always known her place in life. She's the brains. She's the planner. She's the do-er. Many people would call her a robot. She knows she's just efficient.

Then in walks Malcolm Kavanaugh. Green eyes and black hair, Mal is laid back and enjoys to go with the flow, when he's not jumping off buildings in a single bound. The former stunt man owns his own auto shop now and is beginning to set down roots.

When the two personalities collide sparks fly (and a little bit of fur). But what happens when Parker let's her walls down and Mal into her heart? Can the practical learn to be emotional?

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Three Fates

Book: The Three Fates

Author: Nora Roberts

Bookshelves: 2011, fiction, Ireland, Nora Roberts, NYC, Prague, romance, USA

Begun: March 16, 2011

Finished: March 22, 2011

Media Type: audiobook (downloaded from library online catalog and listened to on iPod Touch)

Setting: Ireland, New York City (USA), Prague (Budapest)

Characters: Malachi Sullican, Dr. Tia Marsh, Gideon Sullivan, Cleopatra “Cleo” Toliver, Rebecca “Becca” Sullivan, Jack Burdett, Anita Gay

Review: The Three Fates is another one of Nora Roberts triumphs. The plot revolves around three siblings (Irish siblings of course, as Ms. Roberts loves her some Ireland!) who are all descendants of a thief. Not just any thief. This thief stole a small silver statue off the Lusitania just as it was sinking (during WWI in 1918) off the coast of Ireland. The thief/grandfather was saved by Irish fisherman (as many of the survivors of the Lusitania were) and nursed back to health by a local family. Eventually, he fell in love with the daughter of the family, married her, and stayed in Ireland.

Now, Malachi, Gideon, and Rebecca Sullivan are determined to bring home the Three Fates (the name for the three sister statues - one was which was "stolen" by their grandfather). But they don't want the riches or to sell them, they are doing it for family honor.

Malachi is the first to set off in search of the Three Fates when he goes looking for Dr. Tia Marsh, an expert in Greek mythology. He believes that Dr. Marsh will be able to help him recover the fate that Malachi lost to a ruthless and unscrupulous antiques dealer named Anita Gay.

Following in his big brother's footsteps, Gideon heads off to Prague to run down another lead for the second fate where he comes across exotic dancer Cloe Toliver. Toliver's family was reputed to have the second fate and Gideon wants some information from the brash brunette who seems to have the street credit to back up her fire and ice attitude.

Sick of waiting at home in their coast town in Ireland, Rebecca (Becca) wants to travel the world like her brothers have been. Her chance comes when one of the ruthless Anita Gay's acquaintances comes to look for her. It turns out that Jack Burdett loves to collect antiques (even though he owns one of the most high tech security companies in the world) and that he hates being used by people (which is what Anita Gay was doing - milking him for any information he might have on Tia Marsh or the Three Fates). Well, wouldn't you know it? Burdett actually knows more than he thought he did about the Fates.

So from three unlikely sources comes the information to solve the puzzle on the Three Fates. Sprinkle love, humor, intrigue, action and the machinations of a true villain (read: Anita Gay), Roberts writes another great novel!

Recommended by: my friends, Erin and Tiffany V.

Recommend to: Nora Roberts Fans

Friday, April 8, 2011


Book: Beastly

Author: Alex Flinn

Bookshelves: 2011, fantasy, fiction, for teens, New York City, New York City, paranormal romance, romance, USA

Begun: March 15, 2011

Finished: March 17, 2011

Media Type: paperback (larger sized)

Setting: present day New York City, present day upstate New York

Characters: Linda "Lindy" Owens, Kyle Kingsbury (aka Adrian), Will Fratalli, The Witch (aka Kendra Hilfert), Magda, Rob Kingsbury

Review: I picked up Beastly because the movie was being released and I decided that I should read the book (at the time I really, really wanted to see the movie too – since reading the book, I think I will wait for the DVD to come out and then go get it for free at the library). The story is … well the plot, at least, in its most basic form, is a good thing. Think: an updated Beauty and Beast.

And what little girl didn’t love the story behind the Disney classic.

In this reworking of the fairytale, we open the book to an online chatroom transcript where the moderator’s name is Mr. Anderson (all I could think was Hugo Weaving playing Agent Smith from The Matrix asking Keanu Reeves (Neo/Mr. Anderson) saying “You hear that Mr. Anderson?... That is the sound of inevitability... It is the sound of your death... Goodbye, Mr. Anderson...”). Maybe others missed it but “Mr. Anderson,” is a not so cleaverly veiled reference to Hans Christian Anderson who authored many (if not most) of the fairytales that are still so popular today! In the chatroom we meet the little mermaid, a bear, and the frog (the prince who was turned into a frog) … and a beast who proceeds to tell us his story.

Kyle Kingsbury was the most popular person at his private prep school. But inside, he’s kind of messed up. His mother left his father and him without, really, any good reason when he was pretty young. His father, Rob Kingsbury is a self-loving and beauty obsessed anchorman. He doesn’t have that much time for Kyle other than to make sure he’s not getting into that much trouble.

Kyle, who is a shoe in for Prom King, plays a trick on the goth chick in his English class, Kendra Hilfert, by asking her to the dance even though Kyle is actually taking the “cool girl,” who becomes ticked at Kyle for getting her a “simple, common” white rose for her corsage instead of the exotic orchid she wanted. When they get to the dance, Kyle hands the offending rose to a “scholarship” girl who is manning the ticket desk. This simple act of making the girl’s day with the flower is the only thing that saves him from what is about to happen.

When Kendra realizes that Kyle has an ugly heart as she suspects and has been playing her for a fool, she reveals that she is actually a beautiful witch. She transforms Kyle into a beastly visage to match his heart. But, because he was kind to the “scholarship girl,” the Witch gives Kyle a chance to redeem himself. He is given two years to get someone to fall in love him.

He figures that this will never happen. He thinks he’s gross because he’s covered with fur, disfigured, and has claws. He’s basically an amalgamation of a bear, dog, man and gorilla. When the doctors can’t cure him of his physical deformities, his father gets him a five story apartment away from his apartment in Manhattan. Kyle realizes that his father can’t stand to look at him and has shunted him out of his life. Magda, the family’s maid, goes with him and his father pays for a blind tutor to become his companion and teacher.

Slowly over the course of the first year, Kyle comes out of his self imposed prison, changes his name from Kyle (which means “handsome”) to Adrian (which means “the dark one”), and builds a greenhouse where he begins to grow roses of all sizes, colors and types. One night, he catches a robber who broke into the greenhouse intent on stealing things in the house for drug money. The robber bargains his daughter for payment (of not being turned over to the authorities). His daughter is Linda (“Lindy) Owens who it is revealed is the “scholarship girl” from the dance.

Could she be the girl to break the curse? How could anyone see though the horrific exterior to see what’s within Adrian’s heart? And is that heart worth seeing?

To break the curse, make Lindy love him, and return to his “normal” life, Kyle/Adrian only got months left …


  • ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
  • VOYA Editor’s Choice
  • IRA/CBC Young Adults’ Choice
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • Texas Lone Star Reading List
  • Detroit Public Library Author Day Award
  • Utah Beehive Award Master List
  • Missouri Gateway Award Master List
  • Volunteer State Book Award Master List
  • Nevada Young Readers Award Master List
  • South Dakota Young Adult Book Award Master List
  • New Hampshire Isinglass Award Master List
  • Woozles (Canada) Teen Battle of the Books list

Recommended by: myself after seeing a commercial for the movie which was released in Feb. 2011

Recommend to: Twilight saga fans, fans of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Kate U. (my friend)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tiger's Curse (Tiger Saga #1)

Book: The Tiger’s Curse

Author: Colleen Houck

Bookshelves: 2011, curse, fantasy, fiction, India, romance, Oregon, paranormal romance, tiger, USA, were-creature

Begun: March 11, 2011

Finished: March 14, 2011

Media Type: hardcover

Setting: 17th century India, present day Oregon (USA), and present day India

Characters: Kelsey Hayes, Prince Dhiren (Ren), Mr. Kadam, Indian goddess Durga,

Review: When I started reading Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck, I was pretty sure it was going to be ... well ... boring. I had seen the book in the hands of a couple of my students and in the front section of the Barnes and Noble I frequent, but I wasn't sold on the book.

I had, also, heard that this was originally published online as a free book (or was it as a Podcast? I honestly don't remember).

Anyways, I started reading it and thought: Oh damn, it's set in Oregon. This is going to be another Twilight-esque knock off. Well, come to find out, Houck was inspired by Twilight to the point that she began writing this series of books. And unfortunately, the main female and male characters will remind you WHOLE HEARTEDLY of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. (And I, personally, think the world has had enough of these characters and their incarnations!!!)

I was pleasantly surprised when I got into the story. The writing is mediocre (at best) but Colleen Houck does a pretty good job of weaving a lot of information (there is soooooooo much info dumping) into the plot. The problem for me was that the writing off set the whole "good plot" she had going on.

The story goes like this: Kelsey lost her parents a while back to an accident. She's in foster care. To pay for junior college in the fall, she goes to a temp agency (she's not yet 18 ... how many temp agencies take 17 year olds?) to get a job for the summer. They send her out to a circus that is going through town who needs help (her foster parents don't even bat an eye at the fact that the circus expects her to sleep there for the two weeks she'll be working with them). Slowly, she develops a bond with the white tiger in the circus. A man, Mr. Kadam, comes and buys the tiger and wants to take him back to a nature preserve in India. He wants Kelsey to help him. Kelsey agrees to fly half way around the world ... and, apparently, that too is ok with her foster parents because they let her go.

Surprise of surprises, Kelsey finds out that her white tiger buddy is really a 17th century Indian prince, Dhiren, who had a curse placed upon him (and his brother). Mayhem ... long long drawn out mayhem ... and dialog written with a tin ear (shame on you Houck ... ensues. Houck tried to teach us about the Indian goddess Durga but the writing and the repeated usage of the main characters names in the dialog (i.e. “Mr. Kadam, do you think … (next line) “No Kelsey, …” (next line) “But, Mr. Kadam …”) take away from the plot.

There is a cliff hanger at the end which prompts readers to get the second book.

Will I read it? Probably with the caveat that I understand this is not a novel of epic/mythic proportions, that this is just a book to pass some time with ... not to call "literature."

Awards: Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2010)

Recommended by:

Recommend to: Twilight series fans

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quick Review: Two Little Miracles

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two Little Miracles by Caroline Anderson is a typical Harlequin Romance. The husband is overbearing and all he wants to do is work (granted in Caroline Anderson's book Max does work with his wife, Julia (she's his PA) but still all he does is work). We are kind of thrown into the story when Julia is insisting that Max stop being the work-a-holic he apparently is and start being a husband. She wants to relax more and not worry about which port of call they will be jetting away to so that this or that business deal won't fall through.

Then the books skips ahead ... a most a year. Julia has moved out to the country while Max stayed in London (England). ANNNNDDDD ... she's had twins ... Max's babies. Max hires a PI to find Julia (he's convinced she is dead and is griefstricken over it) and the PI hands him a picture of Ava and Libby with Julia (the girls look JUST like him at that age so he knows they are his).

He attempts to reconcile with Julia but she knows he'll just be back to his old ways ... blah-ditty-blah-da-blah. It's the same story over and over again ... misunderstandings here ... she says the wrong thing and regrets it ... they make up ... they have sex ... he does something wrong. She kicks him out.

Ultimately there is a happy ending but I think I am getting sick of reading this story line over and over again!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quick Review: Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very ... very good read!

I am currently looking for other books by this author. He's funny and engaging. The book is a quasi-romance but much much more it's a comedy/come of age (well ... a growing up into a man even though the main character is 30ish).

Edward's girlfriend, Jane, leaves Cuddly Teddy a note saying that it's not her but him and that she's gone to Tibet for three months to find herself. (She's also taken half of the stuff in their shared flat).

Now Edwards has got three months to find himself ... and make that self over into something that will win back Jane. He'll diet, run, tan, and wax himself into a new Edward.

Hilarious read. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good laugh!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Quick Review: Trapping A Dutchess

Trapping a DuchessTrapping a Duchess by Michele Bekemeyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute and witty romp around Regency era London where the Ton dragons are all a twitter when the lovely Sophie and her ex-finance (who she left standing at the altar 7 years ago) begin to make the circuit of parties.

Simon, Sophie's brother, has given her an ultimatum: Marry by the end of the season or he would see her put out to the country with no more town fun. Sophie will have none of that. But she also won't be forced into a marriage where she will be dominated like her mother was (by her father).

Will Sophie run again? Possibly!

Nice read. Nothing too deep or too superficial!

View all my reviews

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dark Viking (Viking II series #10)

Book: Dark Viking (Viking II series #10)

Author: Sandra Hill

Bookshelves: 2011, fantasy, fiction, historical romance, romance, Sandra Hill, time traveler, Vikings, Vikings II series

Begun: February 16, 2011

Finished: February 21, 2011

Media Type: book (paperback)

Setting: present day Coronado, California (USA) and 10th century Norstead (Norway)

Characters: Rita Sawyer, Steven of Norstead, Lady Thora, Sigge, and Oslac

Review: Rita Sawyer, experience and sought after stunt woman in Hollywood, is approached by two of the Navy SEALs’ finest and is encouraged to join the ranks of a newly formed class of WEALS (Women on Earth, Air, Land and Sea – the female equivalent of the SEALs. She readily accepts when she learns of the sign on bonus that will allow her to pay off her mother’s daunting medical bills (that piled up before her death).

Rita is on a training mission in California one day when her boat (and her world) is turned upside down with a knock on her head. She awakens to 10th century Norstead and Steven and his friend Oslac calling her a mermaid. They bring her back to the keep and cage her (basically because they think she is a sea beastie and then accuse her of being a spy of one of the pirates in the area).

Steven leaves Norstead for some time and Rita breaks free of her cage. She meets up with Sigge who her aunts have sent to help Rita. Her aunts … the witches … who brought Rita back to Norstead to bring Steven out of his funk.

The usual happens. Rita brightens up Stevens’s day. Steven falls for her. They have sex. She gets pregnant and tries to go back to her time because she thinks Steven will leave her for his betrothed.

While I generally love Sandra Hill, I just didn’t find this book as exciting as others she’s written. Maybe it’s time to stop writing the Viking I and Viking II series for a while and come back to them later? Not a bad read. Just not her best.

Awards: none

Recommended by: personal find

Recommend to: Nora Roberts’ fans, romance fans, time travel fans, historical romance fans, history fans

Quick Review: Magical Clothes

Magical ClothesMagical Clothes by Nobilis Reed

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

If this had been written as a short story (very short story), I might have been an "alright" read.

But as it stands, I couldn't, in good conscience, recommend this as a book to-be-read to anyone.

Writing in the third person (from the female lead, Verity)'s perspective, Nobilis Reed doesn't do a very good job of capturing a female mindset. The entire novel read to me like a man try very hard to write what he believes a women must be thinking (while being "horny" (a word frequently used), turned on, or engaging in a sexual act).

Take out the sex scenes and the very bare bones of the plot isn't half bad. We meet a young woman, Verity (who we can assume is about 20ish), who was the girl that pointed out that the emperor was naked in the story The Emperor's New Clothes. She meets up with a man who we find out is out to bring down the government. And does so with Verity's help.

It's a little more convoluted but not by much. There is an entire part about a ball Verity must attend and her friend, Pearl, seducing her. Other than the discovery that Verity's secret cat burglar friend is really a nobleman, there is absolutely no point in this whole section.

I listened to this as a free podcast (thanks iTunes). I don't really plan to read anymore by this author.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl #4)

Book: The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl #4)

Author: Eoin Colfer

Bookshelves: 2011, Berlin (Germany), dwarves, fairies, fantasy, fiction, Ireland, leprechaun, reread

Begun: February 17, 2011

Finished: February 19, 2011

Media Type: audiobook (downloaded from library online catalog and listened to on iPod Touch)

Setting: present day Ireland (outside of Dublin), Berlin (Germany) and Haven (underground land where the People live)

Characters: Artemis Fowl, II, Domovoi Butler, Holly Short, Commander Julius Root, Foaly, Mulch Diggums, Opal Koboi, Mervall Brill, Descant Brill

Review: (Spoilers for book # 2 (The Opal Deception) & # 3 (The Eternity Code) ahead): After more than a year in a self induced coma, Opal Koboi, the mastermind behind the events in The Opal Deception, has hatched a new plan. Awakening with the help of the Brill Brothers (Mervall and Descant, pixie twins who are something of a celebrity themselves (pixie twins being something of an extreme rarity)), Opal will destroy those officers and humans who helped to capture her the last time.

This list includes: Foaly, Holly Short, Julius Root, Artemis and Butler.

So when Foaly realizes that a goblin, who was apprehended during the B’wa Kell Goblin Rebellion round up, has snuck his way out of prison, Holly and Julius go into a tunnel (one of the magma flair tunnels) to get him. Only to come up against a mesmered creature.

A mesmered creature who is being controlled by Opal Koboi. As part of her devious plan, all the LEP’s sound recordings can’t work around the goblin and the computer screen that is attached to his chest. To top it off, she’s got technology working for her that will not allow the video recording to see her face on the computer screen, just a fuzzy blur where the picture should be.

And then all hell breaks loose. Somehow, the screen that was around the goblin detaches from him and attaches to Julius. This is when they are informed that it is a bomb. Opal tricks Holly into shooting at the screen (by telling her there is a sweet spot on the device that will save Julius). So now, it looks like Holly has shot her commanding officer. And when the bomb does blow up, Julius Root, Holly’s mentor and father figure, is killed. His last words were “live well.”

Holly takes off in her LEP suit and wings heading for Berlin where Artemis and Butler are in their Berlin hotel room after stealing a painting called the Fairy Thief.

Artemis has been obsessed with the artist who painted this pictures works for almost a year or so. He isn’t sure why he likes the idea of fantastical creatures (not remember his own friends who are members of the eight families of the People since Foaly had to mind wipe him and Butler after the John Spiro incident). Holly has to get to him before the BioBomb Opal hide inside the tube where the painting rest goes off.

It takes a lot (and some help from Mulch Diggums) but Holly convinces Butler and Artemis to help her clear her name and capture the rouge pixie whose plan for total world domination includes exposing Haven City to the humans who she plans to join up with (as a “human child” since having her ears rounded and a pituitary gland implanted.)

Can the friends save Haven and the world … again?

Awards: none

Recommended by: don’t remember

Recommend to: Harry Potter fans, Bartimaeus Trilogy fans, anyone who likes fantasy or faires etc, 9 year olds and up (read by themselves) and 9 and under (read to them)