Re-Read Challenge Review: Winterbourne by Susan Carroll

In the harsh, turbulent Middle Ages, lovely Lady Melyssan remains as she always has been--sweet, timid, and content to be alone. But in a desperate move to resist the advances of the dreaded king, she claims to be married to his worst enemy, Lord Jaufre de Macy, the legendary Dark Knight.

Seeking temporary shelter in Jaufre's abandoned castle, Winterbourne, she is unprepared for the fierce, angry warrior who returns to confront her. He is a man as rough and unforgiving as the Welsh border lands he rules--and she is as gentle and innocent as a new day. But neither Jaufre's dark heart nor Melyssan's innocent one can resist the love that is their destiny--nor protect them from the danger drawing ever closer...

When Melyssan was 9 years old she was being taunted by boys at a fair due to the fact that she had a crippled foot. Jaufre de Macy came to her rescue and was her knight in shining armor. Melyssan had loved him ever since.
8 years later and he is getting betrothed to her sister. He seems to be a harder man than he was when Melyssan was a child. But little does she know that he is quite taken with her innocence. When Melyssan’s sister spurns Jaufre and high-tails it to the convent Melyssan is very relieved. Unfortunately she is accosted by the king and in an attempt to dissuade his interest she tells him that she is married to Jaufre. The king then has her escorted to Jaufre’s castle. Posing as his wife Melyssan stays at the castle, planning to leave before Jaufre returns. Unfortunately for her she doesn’t and when he returns he tries to “punish” Melyssan by having her continue with her posing.

Eventually Melyssan and Jaufre are married but not until after some severely traumatic events occur. Jaufre is constantly off doing the kings bidding, even though he does not want to any longer. It is a time of great strife in both England and in their personal lives.

This is such a simplified version of what happens in this wonderful book - but if I went on in greater detail it would truly ruin the reading experience for you. It’s an epic story of love won, and the extreme trials and tribulations of the middle ages. Melyssan’s insecurities and Jaufre’s absolute belief that no woman can be trusted, much less loved, makes this a fantastic love story. The coming together of these two people is amazing. What they have to endure, both together and separately is heart-wrenching and horrifying.

I read this book about a year and half ago and absolutely loved it. I have to say I was a little worried to re-read for this challenge for fear that my thoughts on it had been skewed back then for some reason. I’m happy to say that I was absolutely correct in my memories. This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.
Rating: 5 out of 5

Wicked Burn Discussion with Katiebabs!

Head on over to Babbling About Book and More to read Kate's review of Wicked Burn and the discussion KB and I had about the book.

What type of blogger are you?

I saw got this from Christine at the Happily Ever After and thought it was pretty darned cool. It's a site where you can put in your blog address and it tells you what kind of blogger you are. This is me:

The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Ok - pretty accurate - although I do like to plan ahead to some extent. "Tends to avoid confrontations" very true. Now if I could just get my 11 year old to figure that out I'd be in heaven! lol

You can figure out what type you are by going to the typealyer site. What's your type?

Review & Discussion: Voice of Crow by Jeri Smith-Ready

In pain, in fear, in longing and surprise; with every death Rhia hears the cries of the departed. This 'gift' from the ancient and mysterious Crow gives Rhia an intimate connection to death. One she's fought to repress as she tries to create a normal life.

But those chosen by the spirits can never be normal. Rhia has glimpsed the future of her newborn son; a child who is stolen from her. And if she must deaden her heart to the living and wander the world of the departed to retrieve him, then so be it.

For her family and her people, Rhia would sacrifice anything. And Crow knows it.

We join Rhia and Marek in the second book just days after the 1st book ended. They’ve battled the Descendants, the people of Ilios, and are now going back to Kalindos so Rhia can be further tutored in her powers. Her second stage powers, now that she’s pregnant. When they arrive they find that the Descendants have been to Kalindos and either killed or kidnapped the inhabitants of the small village. While dealing with death the survivors are figuring out how soon they can get to Ilios and retrieve their families.

Meanwhile there are Ilions in Asermos recovering form the battle. One man in particular, Filip has been severely wounded and cannot go home for if he does he will disgrace his family with his injury, yet he doesn’t feel comfortable in Asermos. When he starts to have powers from his spirit it really confuses him. He befriends a Kalindon, Alanka, and they find attraction and mutual respect.

Kalindon’s and Asermon’s come together to travel to Ilios after Rhia’s infant is kidnapped and the Descendants end up taking Rhia’s husband Marek as well. Marek becomes a slave in Ilios and starts to lose hope that he will ever get free with his son.

It’s also been foretold that a person with the Aspect of Raven – the ultimate spirit which has never been bestowed on anyone – will be born. Who could it be?

This book was incredible. I thought the first book was amazing, but the second book is just as good in a completely different way. It is a pretty dark book and sometimes disturbing but I can’t say enough about how wonderful it is.

Amy from Romance Book Wyrm, who sent me the Aspect of Crow trilogy for Christmas, was nice enough to discuss the books with me via email.

Tracy: So I know you like fantasy books but what originally drew you to this book?

Amy: What drew me to Jeri's Aspect of Crow trilogy was the fact that she used the animal spirits. Of course I had to read them, since I used that same idea when I dabbled in a little of my own writing. I thought it was neat to see someone else find animal spirits interesting enough to write about. I loved the trilogy so much that I wanted to share them with a few of my friends. And you came immediately to mind because I know you loved the Black Jewels trilogy and figured you'd love this one too.

Tracy: Well you certainly got me hooked on the books that's for sure. After reading the first book (Eyes of Crow) I wanted to delve right into the second one, but I did wait a few weeks. The second book was much darker than the first and my God it was hard to read in some places.

First let me say that it was very cool to see Marek and Rhia still together and going strong at the start of the second book. I wasn't sure where Jeri would pick the story line back up and it was great that there was only a few days lapse. Of course right off the bat the darkness begins. But Jeri, she does it with such feeling and emotion that you can't help but be sucked right into the story!

Amy: I am so glad that you're hooked, and that you haven't read the first two wondering what the hell I found so fantastic about them! I'm not crazy...They are awesome books!

Yes, Voice does have darker moments than Eyes of Crow had, but that's what makes it so good. Jeri didn't sugar coat anything and she didn't lighten the mood to appease anyone. She wrote it honestly and that is what set this apart for me. Of course, it has a happy ending! But you never once felt it, which in turn keeps you turning the pages!! Some books lose their appeal because you know the happy ending is there. There were scenes with Marek later in the story that were very hard to read, but we'll get to that.

What did you think of Filip? I thought his role, being an Ilion, but later rediscovering himself and his relationship with Alanka, wasperfect. It added a nice layer to the overall story with the turmoil between the Spirit people and the Ilions (I asked (Jeri) if there was a name for the spirit people but there isn't one!)

Tracy: Filip was interesting because he truly couldn't figure out where he should be. He couldn't go back to Ilios but yet he didn't feel comfortable with people in Asermos either. All of these characters are written so well because you can just feel what they're feeling. I was as indecisive as Filip was about his role in everything! lol But I thought he made the right decision for himself in the end.

No, Jeri certainly didn't sugar coat a thing. When Rhia's child gets kidnapped I just kept thinking that it truly wasn't going to happen – even though I knew it would because of the blurb on the back of the book. But I kept expecting something or someone to save the day. That didn't happen and it's what makes this book stand out in my mind.

Now would you really call this an HEA ending? Happy things happened but it kind of kept me on edge for the next book and holy cow what's gonna happen next???

Amy: Well, maybe I wouldn't say it had a traditional HEA, but I felt it did have a happily ever after for now. There is still much to happen in the overall story ARC. Each book is like the beginning, middle and end. It's like one story separated into three books, even though The Reawakened takes place 18 years later. But yes, the issues that drove Voice were resolved by the end...Nilik and Marek were reunited with Rhia...Alanka and Filip have their beautiful romance that is solid by the end...and they rescued some of the Kalindons at the end. Some of them have main roles in the next book, btw :). So yes, overall I feel there was a definite sense of peace by the end. Certainly you could feel the story wasn't over, but a lull in the war that is still looming.

Now, I have to ask, since it is something that Jeri had as a question for a contest she had for The Reawakened. Who do you think Raven is? The Spirit people are relying on Raven to help them through the Ilion war that is in their future. But Raven has never bestowed her aspect. What do you think? I know, but I'm not telling. What I will say is Jeri does not lose her ability to tell a superb story and you'll know when you read the last book what I mean!

Tracy: Wow I had no idea that there was such a jump in time to the next book. But I guess it makes sense with the Raven and all. Who do I think the Raven is? Well I think it's Nilik, Rhia’s son, but that would just be too easy! lol! In the dream that the Asermons and Kalindons were having, the Raven did drop from a Crow so who knows - maybe it was Damen's (a friend of Rhia’s) child. I just don't know! Oh, the pressure! lol

You're right there is a beginning, middle and end to both of the first two books and they have they're own HEA's in a manner of speaking. I think since the story doesn't actually END it just felt good, but different for me (than a traditional HEA), but certainly not in a bad way. I really can't wait to read the next book - although with other obligations I'll have to for a couple of weeks.

Amy: I would love to discuss the third book with you when you get a chance to read it. There are so many things in that one too, but I think it is less emotional than Voice of Crow. There are truly some unique things going on in The Reawakened and I'm very excited for you to read it and share your thoughts again!

Tracy: Amy, thank you so much for having this discussion with me. You’ve added another “voice” to my review and I so appreciate it!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Year of the Category Review: The Rancher's Rules by Lucy Monroe

What Zoe thinks…Loving your best friend is never easy – and when he’s sexy and turned you down flat once before…it’s even harder! Loving Grant is what Zoe has always done best…but now it’s time to move on. She already feels like she’s the oldest virgin in America – so she vows to find herself a man!

What Grant thinks…Grant can’t keep his eyes or his hands off Zoe – but she’s his best friend – a no-go zone! The fact that Zoe looks at him like she wants to rip his clothes off isn’t helping the situation… So he implements some important rules for them to obey. First is the No Kissing rule – well, that’s broken before it’s had a chance to be written… Then the Strictly No Sex rule…and that’s out of the window (well, on the kitchen
table, actually!).

Then the best rule of all: some rules are only made to be broken!

So I’ve had this in my TBR for about a year and a half. It seems when I read a category (which is not often) it’s a Nocturne…the romance with that paranormal twist. So for this challenge I decided to break out of the mold and read something else. This particular book got my attention because it’s got that friends to lovers romance that I love.

Grant and Zoe have been friends and he’s pretty much been her protector since she was 8 and she was trying to save a cow from being slaughtered. He saved her from the mountain lion that was trying to attack her at the time and saved her cow as well. You see Zoe is a lover of animals and growin
g up on a ranch where animals get killed on a regular basis is really hard for her. So Grant becomes her best friend because as much as he doesn’t necessarily agree with Zoe’s views, he understands that they are her views. Zoe needs Grant since her parents don't get her at all.

Knowing that Zoe is a lover of animals Grant asks Zoe to take care of a hamster that he has become owner of. With him taking care of his own ranch and being the multi-millionaire tycoon that he is (ha! of course he is!), there just isn’t time for one more animal. The problem is, Zoe lives in an apartment and already has 2 cats, a large dog, a parrot and a goat. However that doesn’t put Zoe off and she takes Bud the hamster home with her. It turns out that Bud is the straw that breaks the camels back according to her landlady and Zoe gets evicted.

With nowhere else to go she goes to Grant’s ranch. She spends one night at his ranch but their scorching kiss puts Grant into a tailspin and he decides she has to go at once because Grant has a definite No
Kissing Zoe rule. The problem is, Grant can’t seem to keep his hands off of Zoe.

So Grant is hot for Zoe – very hot. He can’t stop thinking about her and it’s driving him batty. He pretty much thinks that if he goes out with someone else he can stop thinking about her because he’s pretty sure it’s just a sexual attraction. Z & G got hot and heavy 4 years earlier in the barn but Zoe hadn’t been ready and walked out. Grant had pretty much felt like a big lech since then and vowed to not let it happen again, even though he wanted it to.

For Zoe’s part she had gone away to school right after the incident in the barn and had talked herself into believing that she wasn’t in love with Grant. Even though she’d tried to date and actually almost slept with a guy while in college it just wasn’t Grant. Now she’s back in her hometown and feels that she needs to just do the deed (become de-virginized) and she’ll be over Grant. Yeah, things don’t always turn out like we plan.

This was such a cute story. Grant and Zoe were such good friends but they couldn’t get this sexual attraction between them to go away. There are several times when Zoe gets upset at Grant for s
omething he hasn’t done and vice versa and a couple of other “misunderstandings” that were a little annoying but other than that I thought it was great. There was a whole other side story about issues that Zoe had with her parents that was interesting too, but that part of the story was taken care of a little too easily for my liking.

In the end…
an enjoyable read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

What I've Been Reading This Week

Crazy, crazy week folks. I'm hoping next week is calmer and more relaxing - my Valium deep breathing exercises should help with that.

I just spent some time reading Emily Windsnap and the Monster of the Deep by Liz Kessler. Pretty cute book. My daughter got it for a scrapbook project she has to do for school - she had to pick a fantasy book that hadn't been made into a movie. I liked that the teacher put those restrictions on it. Anyway, my daughter was soooo confused about how she was supposed to write a journal entry after she finished...just not good at piecing events together, my daughter. So I ended up reading the book so I could help her. Was a nice end to my reading week. :)

Anyway - on to the ADULT books I read this week (much more interesting)...

Kiss Of A Demon King by Kresley Cole. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Did I mentioned I loved it? Yeah, well, I did. Review below if you want more than that. lol

The Rancher's Rules by Lucy Monroe. A category romance I read for Kmont's category challenge. My review post will be up on Tuesday if I remember correctly.

Voice of Crow by Jeri Smith-Ready. The second book in the Aspect of Crow trilogy and it was damned good. Holy cow it's just an amazing series. I'll be posting a review and discussion later this week.

Take A Chance On Me by Susan Donovan was a great lighthearted read after my last read. Lawyer who kind of looks like a really hot thug goes to the vet/behaviorist with a Chinese Crested that he inherited at a crime scene. He and the vet hit it off but as much as Thug Lawyer doesn't want to get involved with Vet he can't seem to help himself. It was a totally cute book and I enjoyed it a lot. We even got a little insight from the Chinese Crested: Hairy. Too funny.

Moonlight Protector by Jessica Coulter Smith. This is book 1 in the Ashton Grove werewolf series. I read this one for The Book Binge so you'll have to wait on the review. Aren't I mean?

Winterbourne by Susan Carroll was my re-read for the month of January. My review will be up Saturday (I had previously said Sunday - I was wrong!) as requested but let me say that I loved it as much the second time as I did the first. Obviously it didn't have the "surprise" factor with the events that you get when reading a book for the first time but *sigh* I just love it. I know there are those that don't feel the same way but surprisingly, I still talk to them. lol

Anyway, have a great week! Oh and there are no links because I'm lazy tonight and I'm still trying to figure out what to do on DIK tomorrow. Oh yeah...I'm on DIK for the next three days (with a special guest on Tuesday) so visit me there as well!

Happy Reading!

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the Demon's Hunger giveaway is:



Crystal please send your snail address to me at redneyrae at ca dot rr dot com and I'll get it right out to you!

Review: Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole

With one kiss, he knew she'd be his queen...

His obsession: the enchantress who surrenders her body, but not her heart.
After Sabine, the Queen of Illusions, lures and traps Rydstrom Woede in her lair, the ruthless warrior fights to resist her seduction. But his fierce demon nature lusts for her delicate body and won't be denied. Even as Rydstrom plots to escape, he still intends to claim Sabine as his own on his terms.

Her downfall: the battle-scarred demon who vows to keep her at all costs.
When Rydstrom breaks free, he abducts Sabine, turning the tables. Now she's the one struggling to resist his delicious torment. With each relentless encounter, Sabine hungers more for her merciless adversary. They were never supposed to want each other this much...

If they can defeat the sinister enemy that stands between them, will Sabine make the ultimate sacrifice to save her demon? Or will the proud king lay down his crown and arms to keep his sorceress?

If you’ve been following the Immortals After Dark series you’ll recognize the beginning of this story. It begins with Rydstrom driving madly down the road to meet Cadeon, his brother, so that they can go and retrieve “the” sword. The sword that Groot has made and says will kill Omort the Deathless. Unfortunately for Rydstrom, Sabine, Queen of Illusions, has other plans for our hero. This was an overlap from Dark Desires After Dusk so we’re being brought up to speed on what’s going on.

Sabine has been instructed by Omort the Deathless to capture Rydstrom and get pregnant. Omort has plans for the demon prince once he is born. On Sabine’s part she’s not sure how she feels about getting pregnant and having a child. She’s known for years that Rydstrom will be her mate and she has kept herself a virgin so that there will be no question of fatherhood. She’s also kept herself a virgin so that Omort, her evil, asshat, bastard half-brother will stay away from her. You see Omort is in love with Sabine and wants her badly. Ewww – just ewww. Sabine has her own reasons for capturing Rydstrom and they have to do with her and her sister, Lanthe.

So Sabine captures Rydstrom and starts to tease him sexually, without ever fulfilling him. Rydstrom, knowing that Sabine is his mate, tells her that no bastard prince will be accepted unlesws they are wed. So Sabine tempts Ryd so that he will be so mindless that he will say the vows that will wed them. After days of torture when he’s beside himself with lust Rydstrom makes a vow in Demonish, although not necessarilythe one she's looking for.

With the unexpected help of an ancient vampire, Lothaire, Rydstrom escapes and takes Sabine as his captive and they eventually get back to New Orleans. During the time when they are traveling they get to know one another. They get to know each others quirks, sense of humor and all the different nuances of each others personality. But Sabine must get back to Omort, though she’s not loyal to him and won't tell Rydstrom why she needs to get back and Rydstrom must get to Omort to kill him.

Ok, I’m not telling you any more! lol This was such a fabulous book. Kresley Cole has done it once again. She’s taken a stodgy, serious, unbelievably reasonable, organized, incredibly hot man and paired him with a completely unlikely mate. Sabine is utterly out there…just with life in general. But they work together so that in the end, she likes the respect that he gets from everyone and he loves her completely inappropriate sense of humor among other things.

I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of Sabine’s when the book first started. I wasn’t sure what her motives were except to take care of her sister, Lanthe, and I certainly didn’t want this bitchy woman to be Rydstrom’s mate. However as the book went on and I got to know Sabine better I saw that yes she was bitchy but underneath it all was someone who could love…in her own bitchy way. Not entirely the selfish person that I first thought her.

Cole has once again created a story that’s just so much fun. Her IAD world is exciting, it’s romantic and sexy…there’s always some sort of fighting among the immortals and you can always expect the unexpected. But in the end it’s the fun that sucks me in.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Demon's Hunger Contest

Hey all!

Have you read Demon's Hunger by Eve Silver yet? No? Well here's your chance to win the book!

I'm going to make it really easy on you all this time. All you need to do is leave a comment here and you'll be entered to win. The contest will run until Saturday, January 24 - midnight.

Not sure if you're interested in reading the book? Head on over to The Book Binge and read my review.

Good luck to everyone!

What I've Been Reading This Week

Ok - so it's really What I Read Last Week. I'm a little behind in posting this. I blame my husband. I swear to God sometimes that man drives me up a fuckin wall I love that man with all my heart. So last night I'm thinking about doing this post (I'm in the middle of Kiss of the Demon King so it was hard to pull myself away anyway) when I notice my hubby's just gotten on the computer.

It's about 7pm and I walk into the office:
Me: Are you going to be on the computer long?
Hubby: No, not long.

At 8pm
Me: I thought you said you weren't gonna be on there that long. Are you going to be much longer?
Hubby: No. (a man of few words, my husband)

At 9pm
Me: Just tell me, are you gonna be on there all night?
Hubby: Chill Trac, I'll be off soon.

I finally gave up trying. At 11:30pm he walks into the bedroom
Me: I thought you weren't gonna be on there all night.
Hubby: I wasn't *looks at clock* there's still a 1/2 hour of night left.
Me: Fucker
Hubby: I love you too, baby.

So - I'm behind and it's all his fault! lol Anyway - I now have coffee in me so I'm ready to post!

First up was Long Hard Ride by Lorelei James. I really liked this book. At first I thought that it was going to really annoy me. When Colby is telling Channing “da rules” and says “you will get me off any time I want” I was like – whoa buddy. And I hate the word tits. Lol I don’t know why – it bugs me. When someone is saying it in a degrading way it doesn’t seem to bother me cuz normally those people are scum of the earth and have no brain. But when the hero is saying it to the heroine – it just annoys me. But it end it didn’t have any effect on how much I enjoyed the story so I easily let those things drop. It really was done well. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. (warning: this story does have an HEA but there is menage action as well as a littl m/m)

Next up was The Night Before the Wedding by Debra Mullins. This was a historical but with a paranormal twist. There's a curse on 2 Scottish families from centuries back. The clans chief of the MacBraedon's must always marry the "marked" woman from the Farlan family. The one female from Farlan family that has a dagger birthmark. If the MacBraedon does not marry The Bride then both families lands will suffer greatly and the Farlan woman will go mad. This was a great story. I loved that the hero was going to do anything he could to get his bride, but he was doing it for a noble cause so his caveman type attitude was easily overlooked. And for all that the heroine thought she was going mad and was resisiting the MacBraedon she was also kind and giving. They sound sappy - but they weren't at all. Good book.

Next up was With Love by J.L. Langley. This was a novella - the start of the With or Without series and a great m/m werewolf story. I didn't love Laine - he was a little too giggly for me. (I wouldn't have liked it in a female either). But I really liked Dev, his mate, and I thought the story was a great set up for the rest of the series - which I'm very much looking forward to reading.

Next up Breaking the Silence by Katie Allen. A story about a solitary man who sees a woman walking her dog every day and finally decides to talk to her. He's painfully shy and isn't quite sure what to do. I thought he was almost too freakily shy, but I really began to enjoy his character after a while. I really enjoyed Jenny's character as well. She was just fun-loving and just the kind of person you'd want as your friend.

Biting Nixie by Mary Hughes was next. See review below.

Demon's Hunger by Eve Silver was my next read. I'll be doing a review The Book Binge so keep your eyes peeled. Let me just say that I liked it better than the last one.

The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield was my next book. This was a very interesting m/m story about a police detective and a psychic coming together. It had a slower pace than I normally like in my books but it was still very good. I liked it.

Last but not least a novella that has 4 short stories in it. What Legends Are Made Of by Heather Beck. Again, read this for The Book Binge so keep your eyes peeled for the review.

Happy Reading!

Review: Biting Nixie by Mary Hughes

Nitro? Meet glycerin…

A Biting Love Novel

Punk musician Nixie Schmeling is a hundred pounds of Attitude who spells authority a-n-c-h-o-r and thinks buying insurance is just one more step toward death. So she really feels played when she’s “volunteered” to run the town’s first annual fundraising festival. Especially when she finds out it’s to pay for a heavy-hitting, suit-wearing lawyer—who’s six-feet-plus of black-haired, blue-eyed sex on a stick.

Attorney Julian Emerson learned centuries ago that the only way to contain his dangerous nature is to stay buttoned up. He’s come from Boston to defend the town from a shady group of suits…and an even shadier gang of vampires. But his biggest problem is Nixie, who shreds his self-control.

Nixie doesn’t get why the faphead shyster doesn’t understand her. Julian wishes Nixie would speak a known language…like Sanskrit. Even if they manage to foil the bloodthirsty gang, what future is there for a tiny punk rocker and a blue-blooded skyscraper?

And that’s before Nixie finds out Julian’s a vampire…

Product warning:
Contains more eye-popping sex, ear-popping language and gut-popping laughs than can possibly be good for you. And vampires. Not sippy-neck wimps, but burning beacons of raw sexuality—this means passionate blood-heating, violent bloodletting, and fangy bloodsucking. Oh, and cheese balls. Those things are just scary.

I found this book at My Bookstore And More while buying books by JL Langley. It was an impulse buy and I have to say that the description of the book, as well as the product warning was what got me to purchase (good ole Samhain product warnings just sucking you in!)

Nixie is a 25 year old pixie. At least that’s what she looks like. She’s 5 foot nothin and weighs about 100 pounds. She’s in a punk band called Guns and Polkas. She lives in Meiers Corners, Illinois and has been put in charge of the First Annual Meiers Corners International Fun Fair, Sheepshead Tournament, and Polka Festival. She truly doesn’t want the responsibility…she hates responsibility…but she’s doing it because it will make her mother proud - blech. Unfortunately she soon finds out that the festival is to pay at $500.00 an hour fee for some big city lawyer to help the town from annexation into Chicago. She does not care for big city lawyers at all.

While at City Hall getting Festival information she meets Suitguy. Suitguy is hot. He’s incredibly tall, dark hair and bronzed. Suitguy ends up being Julian Emerson…big city lawyer. Only this guy is hot – how can he be with the “establishment”?

Julian instructs Nixie to not be out at night by herself because gangs are moving into Meiers Corners. Julian walks her home, but not before he battles 3 men. Unfortunately when Nixie goes back to look for evidence of the fight, there is none. Nixie starts thinking to herself that things aren’t right here.

She’s absolutely right, not only is Meiers Corners going to be annexed into Chicago, but the “gang” is a gang of Vampires – and Julian’s one of them – as well as her best friends’ husband. How could they have kept the info that Vampire exist to themselves? Dealing with Julian, the festival and her mother are almost more than Nixie can take.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I expected it to be more laugh out loud funny than it was. Don’t get me wrong, it was very amusing, just not as funny as I expected.

Things I liked:

Nixie was very sure about who she was. I really liked that about her. She dressed the way she wanted to and to heck with everyone else. All the citizens of Meiers Corners seemed to like her and didn’t seem to have a problem with it. I liked that even though she hated being in charge of the festival she did it and did it well. When she finally learned what the money was really for – not to pay Julian’s salary – she worked even harder to make things work. She could be kind and understanding when she needed to be and it made her more likable.

Julian. Oh, Julian. Tall, dark and handsome. He was wonderful. He was a vamp that never expected to meet someone like Nixie and not be able to get her out of his head. He was drawn to her and didn’t fight it – which I loved. He was always there to help her in her time of need (in so many different ways) and he truly understood her. It took him a while to translate what she was saying – but he tried and that was so endearing.

I absolutely loved that Julian and Nixie were such complete opposites yet found a common ground. They were actually more alike than they had originally thought and it was pretty cool to see them come together.

I loved that the secondary characters played a large role in the story. There are times when I just love reading about the h/h and to hell with the secondary’s, but then there are stories where they need to be involved. This was one of them and it was done very well.

Things I didn’t like:

Nixie. I know that sounds weird, because I liked that she enjoyed who she was and had that confidence in herself…but I didn’t necessarily love her all that much. She was kind of self-centered and it got a tad old after a while.

Inconsistencies or unexplained occurrences in the book:
1. The way Nixie spoke was inconsistent. Sometimes she would have lines that included daggy, feening, fapping. Maybe I’m old – but I had to look these up in the urban dictionary. Then for most of the book she spoke perfectly normal. I mean I’m kind of glad it didn’t go on and on but it was strange to have it and then not, and back and forth.
2. Nixie got drunk a couple of times in the book. Right after she got drunk she was weaving and slurring her speech, but after reading a couple of paragraphs down there was no sign of drunkenness whatsoever. That was a little strange.
3. At one point, when Nixie introduces herself to Julian she introduces herself as Nixie Schmeling (it’s a very German based book). Julian looks at her strangely and says “Dietlinde N. Schmeling”? as if he already had heard of her, but it was never explain why he said that or how he knew her first name.

The other thing that bugged me was the fact that Nixie never tells Julian that she loves him. Julian tells her 3 or 4 times and she doesn’t once tell him. She started to tell him at one point but is interrupted, but never goes back and does it. I’m sure Julian knows how she feels, and I realize that it’s not important to some people to hear the words, but it’s very important for me to see/read it in a book.

Overall I really liked the book. The descriptions of everything going on at the festival, the problems with the festival, the different townspeople and of course the romance all made this book what it was…a fun, exciting, romantic read. Oh and there’s some darn hot vampire sex in here too – which is always a bonus. The book, after all, is called Biting Nixie.

Rating 3.75 out of 5

Guest Review Is Up!

Head on over to The Book Binge to see my guest review on Pieces of My Sister's Life by Elizabeth Joy Arnold.

Don't forget to let me know what you think!

All We Are Is Dust In the Wind

Reading that title you think that I'm possibly going to be delving in to some pretty deep shit here at the blog. Think again. The dust is actually there where my brain used to be. Dry. as. a. bone. S'rsly. I have no creativity at all this week. Sat down to write a couple of reviews and nothing was forthcoming. hmmmm - curious (actually I know exactly what's causing it - stress). So what do I do when I'm hard up for a blog post? That's right - I give you men. All sorts of pretty men. So enjoy and pray that the dust gets fertilized sometime soon. (get your minds out of the gutters ladies! Really!)

What I've Been Reading This Week

Well it's been a pretty slow week around the old homestead. Work was a little hectic because our annual meeting was today and I had to get things ready for that - never fun.

The big news in our house was my little one losing her first tooth! lol Excitement all around. That girl can't stop showing the world the gap in her face (picture a post or 3 back). omg - the checker at the grocery store, the librarian, the man at the gas station...and on and on. So stinkin funny.

So here's what I read this week:

Started off with Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian. The 5th book in her Midnight Breed series, and she certainly did not disappoint. It was a great book and I can hardly wait for the next installment!

Next up was a short by Tressie Lockwood called Tempting the Wolf. This was a strange little story about a girl who is very sheltered being, well, stalked is a good word for it. It was just kind of bizarre the way things came about and I wasn't a fan of her having to lose her virginity in front of a crowd. No thanks.

Next was a book I read for review on The Book Binge called Pieces of My Sister's Life by Elizabeth Joy Arnold. I loved the writing but I have to say the emotions were crazy out of control. My review will be up soon - I'll let you all know when.

Let's see then I read a Nocturne Bite by Karen Whiddon called Mate of the Wolf. This was a were-wolf/vamp story. It was well done but I just don't usually go for the fall in love in a day scenarios - but that's just me.

Last up was Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken. I saw info about this book and the 2nd in the series on Amy's blog and was interested in reading them. Pretty darned good. Fantasy romance with dragon shapeshifters. The thing I found interesting about this novel was that the first story only went til about page 220. Then another story started (one about the hero's parents from the first story when they were young) and lasted about 120 pages. It was cool to see a little insight into events that were mentioned in the first story playing out in the second. Well done.
(oh and how cool is this? I went on Amy's site to get her link and she had a review for Dragon Actually that she posted today! woohoo. Here it is!)

Happy Reading!


My review for Wicked Burn by Beth Kery is now at The Book Binge. Go forth and enjoy!

Also...I was trying to put together a review for Eyes of Crow by Jeri-Smith Ready and it just wasn't flowing like I wanted it to. It was getting all tangled up in my brain and what came out of my fingers was just gobbledy-gook. Gobbledy-gook and reviews really don't go hand in hand. So, with that in mind I thought I'd share some links of reviews done by others who had no mental problems and wrote great reviews. (these are random reviews I found while surfing)

Brie from Musings of a Bibliophile

Ann Aguirre's Review Review

And of course Amy C. of Romance Book Wyrm's Review. Amy was the doll who sent me this trilogy for Christmas and I'm so thankful she did!

Review: Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl

Molly Jennings might look like the girl next door, but she has one naughty little secret: her job. Molly is a very successful writer of erotic fiction. Until her inspiration runs dry—thanks to a creepy ex—and she decides it’s time to move back home to tiny Tumble Creek, Colorado.

Tumble Creek doesn’t have much going for it, but one look at luscious chief of police Ben Lawson, who starred in her girlhood dreams, and Molly is back in business. But while her fantasies are pouring out on paper, the town gossip is buzzing at her door and, worse yet, a stalker seems to be watching her every move. Thankfully, her very own lawman has taken to coming over, often. The only problem now is that Molly may have to let the cat out of the bag about her chosen profession, and straight-laced Ben will definitely not approve…

Molly, an erotic romance writer, moves back to Tumble Creek to get inspiration after her manipulative ex-boyfriend starts stalking her in Denver. She immediately starts writing after seeing Ben Lawson, her brothers best friend and now police chief.

Ben does not date women in Tumble Creek. It’s too complicated and after his dad caused a huge scandal during his high school years he stays as far away from the town gossip as possible. Of course he didn’t plan on Molly moving back to town. And it seems the town gossip loves Ben and Molly and the excitement they cause.

Molly and Ben pretty much get together right away and it’s something they’ve both wanted for a long damned time. But Molly just wants a fling and some inspiration. The problem is that they both get in deeper than they want. Then Molly starts having some home invasion problems and threats and things heat up between them emotionally.

The real issue is that Molly hides what she does for a living. Not just from Ben but from everyone. Not even her family knows what she does and she’s just fine with that. Ben, however, is going a tad nutty trying to figure out what it is that could be so bad that she’s hiding it. He doesn’t deal with secrecy well at all.

This was just such a fun and entertaining read. It was funny, sexy, romantic and just an all around great book. I won’t tell you what happens with Molly’s “stalker” or how things turn out with Ben and Molly – that would just ruin things for you! Lol But if you’re looking for a good contemporary, look no further.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Toothless Wonder

My baby lost her first tooth tonight! She has a sweet face no matter how many teeth she has!

I wonder if this will make her lisp worse? lol Now she'll be whistling through her tooth and lisping, like Sylvester on Looney Tunes! When she wakes up should I have her say Sufferin Succotash? (omg I'm goin straight to hell for that one!)

Books Ahoy!

Well I don't have to take multiple pictures to show you of my bookshelves. I've given away about 10 bags of books in the last 6 months and still they spill over! Thank heavens for ebooks or else...

So these are my shelves. Everyone of them is double stacked. The left top shelf I've read, as well as the 3 middle shelves and the far right one. (The stuff on the bottom right is computer games that my hubby refuses to find another location for. There are cupboards below the shelves - use them! lol Stubborn.) The other 3 shelves on the left plus the books sitting on the desk are all tbr. I'm going to take a note from Nikki and buy the cd/dvd shelves and put them on the wall to the left of these shelves. My hubby is thrilled at the prospect! lol

So that's all - nothing too exciting, enless you consider the content! :)

Just cuz I'm a dork

Yes, it's true. I am a dork. Although my oldest told me not to call myself a dork since a dork is a whale's penis. wtf? Oh dear lord I'm gonna kill my 24 year old niece who told her that! lolol!

So the other day I was in Toys R Us with my kids. We were taking back some gifts that hubby and I had gotten for them that sucked. haha. Anyway, I was so bored while they were looking for gifts that I drifted into the Barbie section and started seeing fellow bloggers within the faces of the Barbies. Dudes, I told you, I was bored! So not everyone is accounted for cuz that would just be crazy (as if this isn't already) but here are some that I took. (Pictures taken with new phone :))

This first one is Sayuri. I have absolutely no fooking clue what she looks like but I know she lives in Scotland so the whole costume caught my eye and started the whole slide down into the depths of insanity.

Here we have Holly. Isn't she cute? (Stupid plastic covers effin up my pictures!)

This is Kati. For some reason the hair and the costume just called to me of her. I think because she likes the period dramas.

Next up we have Lisabea and G. You'll notice the darker haired prince in the background. He was my original G but then thought better of of it and replaced him with blond surfer dude. Surfer dude just seemed like he didn't have so much of a stick up his ass for our fun loving Lbea even though she's on the red carpet. (Hell, she can have both if she's so inclined! lol)

And last but not least we have our very own Rosie and Katiebabs. Love the lids dahlings. Love their dresses and wraps as well. age. And did they really have pearls back then? Or are they teeny tiny dinosaur eggs? Who's ever to know? My next question is, of course, what the hell are these hotties doing with Fred and Barney??? You ladies need to branch out and get you some Alpha tail. lol

I hope to heaven that I never have to spend that much time in Toys R Us ever again. But if I do, I'll be shooting more of my blogging friends!

On another fun (and less psychotic) note: This past Friday I had a lovely lunch with Lori and Nikki ...a lovely 3 hour lunch! It's amazing how time flies when you're talking about books. It was so much fun - hopefully we won't wait too long to do it again. Here we are in all our glory:

What I've Been Reading This Week

Hide-ho peeps! How's tricks? Did you all have a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve? I certainly hope so.

This was another short week at work for me and I loved it! Besides that the kids were gone for a couple of days and all I did was read - hey...the house was clean already!

So last night the girls and I made snickerdoodles and after they went to bed I started thinking about Lisabea and Samantha Kane's post about what they wanted for Christmas. And one of those things was this tantric chair. I told Sam I'd do snickerdoodle cut outs for her tantric chair. So last night I made the attempt. Uh, yeah...that didn't really work out for me. So I just made her the whole damn chair! Here it is for you Sam in all it's glory! lol
So on to what I read this week. I read a ton of books!

The first book I attempted to read ended up being a DNF for me. I read a few pages at the store and was intrigued. Unfortunately that intrigue didn't last long for me. The book was The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom & Their Lover by Victoria Janssen. This is a Harlequin Spice - which I've always had luck with. I just got about 1/3 of the way through the book and realized I didn't really care what was happening to the characters - except for the stable boy and he wasn't really enough to get me to keep reading.

The next book was Retreat From Love by Samantha Kane. Book 5 in the Brothers in Arms series did not disappoint. I was completely captivated by the characters and the story line. I absolutely loved getting to know Freddy and Brett better after seeing bits and pieces of them in the other books. And let me tell you - Anne is one lucky woman! Great book.

After that I read A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr. Catching myself up in the series was a must after reading Whispering Rock last week. I really enjoyed this book. I've heard that some folks were disappointed in it somewhat because it didn't cover as much ground with the town folk of VR but I really liked it.

Next I read 3 of the second epilogues from the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn: The Viscount Who Loved me - which was fantastic. Love the mallet of death. Then Romancing Mr. Bridgerton and When He Was Wicked. All pretty darn good.

On New Year's Eve I decided to get a few of the shorts and novellas that I have in ebook read:
Unraveled by Jaci Burton (novella) - really good
Kamikaze - A Last Call Story by Moira Rogers (short) - pretty good - not fab.
Last Call: Hurricane by Moira Rogers (short) - pretty good
Pulling Away by Shawn Lane (short) (sorry, couldn't find a website for the author). m/m pretty good - but too short - I wanted to get more in depth with the story.

I read about Snowed in by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban on Jenb's blog. This was an incredibly hot m/m/m story. As she said - would it happen in real life? Probably not. Does she care? Fuck no. Well, me neither. It was really good!

So my friend Amy over at Romance Book Wyrm was having a discussion about m/m vs. f/f and she decided to go searching for some f/f. Well she found Kirsten Saell and a few of her books. On her recommendation I read Crossing Swords and it was really good. I have to say that there wasn't a ton of f/f action but it was there. Really good read.

The same Amy sent me the Aspect of Crow Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready for Christmas. Thank you again, Amy! I have to say that even though I enjoy fantasy when I'm reading it I'm just not drawn to it like I am other romance books. Well let me just say how happy I am that she sent them! Eyes of Crow, the first book in the trilogy, is fantastic! I absolutely loved the story of Rhia, her world and her life. I can't wait to delve into the next phase!

Wild Horses by Selah March was next up. An m/m novella about a college student who is with his 3 "preppie" friends vacationing at a horse ranch in Montana. Blake meets Kris who is the new ranch hand and sparks fly. I enjoyed the book but felt that there was something missing in the emotional aspect of their relationship.

Next up was Wicked Burn by Beth Kery. A really great sensual yet emotional read - watch for my review sometime soon.

And last, but certainly not least was Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl. This was a great read. It was a total impulse buy for me and it was totally worth my time.

Damn! I'm pooped now and I haven't even added the covers yet! lol If you want more info from me just let me know...I think my brain is fried right now.

Anyway it's back to work tomorrow after 4 days off! I hope you all have a great week.
Happy Reading!