What I've Been Reading This Week

Hola! I'm feeling a bit tropical today. We've been having yet another DIK Hero Draft this past week and my mind is on men. Mostly my hubby....but hey, a girl can have some fun, right? lol FYI I picked up Jack Travis from Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas and Callahan O'Shea from Too Good To Be True by Kristan Higgins. Love them both! They are firmly secured in my hut and so far only Jack is allowed 1 visitor: Kati...cuz she's just too nice to deny! :)

Also, the DIK blog has Patrice Michelle, Shelley Bradley/Shayla Black, Toni Blake and Katie Allen as guest bloggers this week so don't forget to stop by and say hi!

Thank you all again for your wonderful words the other day when I was ranting about mean kids. Luckily those kids weren't there the next night (there's a different schedule every day) and no one was subjected to evil words. I can't wait to see what happens this Tuesday...if anything. I hope nothing does, but you never know.

My hubby went out this past Monday for pool equipment and came back with Rock Band (thanks to my daughter playing non stop at Holly's house). I managed to pound some heads the other night...I um, mean, I uh, played the drums for a while to get my aggressions out and that was great. I'm realizing my hand/eye coordination leaves something to be desired, but it's damned good fun!

So...what did I read this week?

I started off my week with Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas. A very good book. I very much liked Delicious so was curious to see what came next. This is the story of a couple who marry quite quickly, even though they met as children, but then get their marriage annuled 1 year later. She hies off to everywhere she can go beside England. When the story begins she's in India and her ex-husband has been sent to collect her because her father is ill. The rekindling of their relationship during their journey to England along with the war that they get stuck in just made for some great reading. Sherry Thomas just has a way with words, let me tell ya. 4.5 out of 5

Next up was Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This was the book I read for my re-read challenge. You can read my review here.

Next was and ARC of Bound By Your Touch by Meredith Duran. Wow. I read this for The Book Binge so you'll have to wait for my formal review but, wow. (book is due to release June 30)

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for this week was Too Much Temptaion by Lori Foster. Gorgeous man, overweight but still beautiful woman who start what is supposed to be just a sexual relationship after the break up of his engagement...that's he's not broken up about at all. The couple finds that there's more to their relationship besides sex. 3.75 out of 5

Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian was my next read. I've so been looking forward to this installment in the series. I just have loved Andreas Reichen in the previous books. This one fell a little short for me in the end though. I think I'm going to post a review so I'll give more of my thoughts later this week.

Last on the list was Wait til Your Vampire Gets Home by Michele Bardsley. I read this for The Book Binge and will let you know when my review is posted.

Did you read anything good this week?

Happy Reading!

Re-Read Challenge Review: Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

It's a predator-eat-predator world for the Were-Hunters. Danger haunts any given day. There is no one to trust. No one to love. Not if they want to live...

An orphan with no clan that will claim him, Wren Tigarian grew to adulthood under the close scrutiny and mistrust of those around him. A forbidden blend of two animals--snow leopard and white tiger--Wren has never listened to anyone when there was something he wanted. Now he wants Marguerite.

Marguerite D'Aubert Goudeau is the daughter of a prominent U.S. Senator who hates the socialite life she's forced to live. Like her mother before her, she has strong Cajun roots that her father doesn't understand. Still, she has no choice but to try and conform to a world where she feels like an outsider. But the world of rich and powerful humans is never to meet the world of the Were-Hunters who exist side by side with them, unseen, unknown, undetected. To break this law is to call down a wrath of the highest order.

In order to have Marguerite, Wren must fight not just the humans who will never accept his animal nature, but the Were-Hunters who want him dead for endangering their world. It's a race against time and magic without boundary that could cost Marguerite and Wren not just their lives, but their very souls...

Marguerite and some others from a study group decide to got to Sanctuary in New Orleans and drink to their friend and fellow study-er Nick Gautier who is presumed dead. When Marguerite gets there she feels eyes on her and when looking around is drawn to the busboy who is hiding behind the dreadlocks he’s sporting. When her “friends” decide to get rough with the busboy – our hero Wren – chaos ensues. So goes the first meeting of Maggie and Wren. They are inexplicably drawn to each other but can’t seem to stay away.

When the Omegrion, the ruling council for the were-hunters, votes to take Wren down for killing his parents 25 years ago, and his supposed madness, Wren goes on the run. He runs to Maggie but she can’t help him the way he needs help. Luckily he has some other were-hunters on his side. Wren and Maggie need to get proof of his innocence before anyone will believe he’s not the madman they think him.

So I read this book a couple of years ago when I was blazing through the Dark-Hunter series and I absolutely loved it then. Anyone who reads this blog knows what a sucker I am for shape-shifters and this book was no different. So…has my opinion changed in the past couple of years since I read it last? It has, but only minimally.

I still really liked the book. I very much love a shy hero. While Wren wasn’t exactly shy, he did keep people away from him with his surliness and his dreads. But Wren was the strong but silent type and when he found the woman that he wanted he went for it. He did try to stay away because normally Katagaria weres aren’t attracted to humans except maybe for a quite sexual romp, but he just couldn’t keep himself from seeking Maggie out. He was kind and gentle with her even though he could be violent with others – he would never hurt her. And the sex? Holy Mac baby – that man’s got it goin’ on! Grab the fire extinguisher! lol

I think for me the parts that changed from my first reading were Maggie’s parts. Even though she was portrayed as hating the life she led – she still did it and didn’t make a peep. Then when faced with losing Wren she got tough and it just seemed completely out of character. I still liked her, but not nearly as much as I did during the first reading.

Original rating: 5 out of 5

Current rating: 4.25 out of 5

Lisabea is Evooool!

She posts these things that force me to interrupt my job and post them. I mean really...does she care nothing for my work?

So here's the result of my playing around! And I'm not sure where they got the soft spoken voice info (not from any questions I answered) because anyone who's met me knows that's complete and utter shite!

Your results:
You are Uhura

Beverly Crusher
Will Riker
Deanna Troi
Geordi LaForge
Jean-Luc Picard
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Mr. Scott
Mr. Sulu
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
You are a good communicator with a
pleasant soft-spoken voice.
Also a talented singer.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz

Weekly Weigh In - Oops

Oops - I forgot to post this on Monday! Oh well...I gain some ounces so it was probably a mental block! lol

So I didn't watch myself too closely last week and with my trip to Holly's and the wonderful Mexican fool I'm surprised I didn't gain more. But, it's all good.

I didn't start exercising as I said I would. Bummer. My husband did buy Rock Band and I've been going to town on the drums which is damned hard work...but it's really only exercise for my arms. My arms need to exercise so it's all good! :)

So in the end I gained 8 ounces. Such is life. :)

Review: Under Fire by Jo Davis

Meet Zack Knight, firefighter and paramedic—the handsome genius of Station Five. He can take on any blaze, but needs a certain kind of woman.

Zack fights fires and saves lives, yet his own thirst for life has run dry—-until he comes to the rescue of the hardheaded, sharp-tongued exotic dancer named Corrine Shannon who sparks a carnal appetite that has the normally shy hero burning out of control.

But just as they are consumed by the flames of passion, they find themselves under fire from two relentless enemies with fifty million reasons to succeed. Dangerous men who will stop at nothing to get what they want, even if it means putting a permanent end to their love—and their lives. Can they withstand the heat-—or will their newfound romance be extinguished as fast as it began?

Zack is on his way to work one morning when he rear ends the SUV in front of him. Out of the SUV pops the most beautiful woman Zack has ever seen. Corrine Shannon takes one look at Zack and says:

“Don’t they stop at red lights where you’re from, Forrest Gump?”

Hilarious. Well, not for Zack. He’s late for work and gets a chewing out from his Captain when he gets to the fire station. No sooner has he been ripped a new one that they get a call. A car has gone off of a bridge. Station 5 is on the run. But when they get to the bridge Zack realizes that the car that has gone off the edge of the bridge is the SUV he had rear ended that morning and it holds Corinne. Zack comes to her rescue but puts his own life in danger.

Cori is moved by Zack sacrifices for her during the rescue and feels a strange protectiveness towards Zack. She is by his side while he is hospitalized and when he is released she takes him home. Unfortunately when they get there they find that Zack has been evicted.

You see Zack’s father had a huge gambling debt and when his dad had a stroke and was unable to pay the debt back the owner of the casino came after Zack for the money to the tune of $750,000.00! Zack has lost his house, hardly eats, works double shifts constantly and still has no way of coming up with the money to pay back. The casino owner is threatening Zack and his father.

Cori doesn’t have any clue as to why Zack is lacking in the financial department but she’s more than willing to take him home and take care of him for a while. Unfortunately Cori has problems of her own…a stalker – and it’s putting both Zack and Cori in danger.

I really liked this book – to a point. I was truly enjoying Zack and Cori’s budding relationship. Cori had been doing exotic dancing to put herself through nursing school (and not touching the millions she had in a Swiss account as she was sure it was dirty money that her dead husband left her in his will) and though it bothered Zack for other men to look at Cori he wasn’t so stubborn as to tell her to stop. I very much appreciated that part of his personality.

There was just a lot of wonderful about this book. Zack, Cori, the secondary characters, the plot line – all really good. Poor Zack did get the crap beat out of him for most of the book for one reason or another but always bounced back. I felt like he was a human Timex: took a licking and just kept on ticking! Lol

However for about 10 pages near the very end of the book Zack became an idiot. He had a HUMONGOUS pity party that undeniably changed my perspective of him almost entirely and really made me say a big WTF at what was happening. I didn’t feel that the reaction that he had fit his personality at all and I was more than shocked that the author chose to take it to the extreme that she did. I have to say that just those 10 pages made me rethink my feelings on the book which is so sad since I loved the first part of the book.

If I was breaking the book in 2 parts I would say that the first part of the book would be a 4.5 out of 5 for me. The very last part of the book would be a 3 out of 5.

Overall rating then ends up being: 3.75 out of 5

What Do Voodoo Dolls and Blogger Awards Have in Common?

What do Voodoo dolls and Blogger Awards have in common? Well, that would be our very own Little CJ. She's handed a blogger award over to Carolyn Jean aka CJ aka Carolyn Crane and CJ was terrified enough to hand it over to Lisabea who in her fear-of-the-pin gifted (I'm really using that term loosely) it to me. Thank you so much Lisabea (I think) it's brightened my day considerably!

We all know that Little CJ is kind of a sick and twisted little girl (and I mean that in the best possible way, of course) that hangs on a wall but I fear that in her madness she might just manage to make that damned voodoo doll that looks like me if I don't pay this amazing *coughcrazycough* award forward.

I can't believe that I only get to gift this to 2 fellow bloggers but I suppose it's a good thing in the end. I won't have to worry about my friends getting stuck in the ass by Portraits Gone Wild.

So...that being said I gift this award to:

a relatively new-to-me blog that I've been enjoying greatly

Love her tales of her home life

Mean Kids Suck!

Start rant:

My oldest daughter just started jazz dance classes 2 days a week (3 weeks ago) . Her classes are at the same time as my youngest's taekwondo classes so I sit over at the martial arts studio and read during the classes. My oldest has ADHD and gets waaaay too distracted when I'm in the studio and she can see me through the window. Besides it's really small over there and there's not much room to sit so there ya go. Anyway, the taekwondo class ends 15 minutes before the jazz so I usually go over and watch her anyway.

So tonight I went over to the dance studio and realized that it's the end of the month so I need to pay tuition for June. As I was writing out the check at the desk (no one's really manning it) one of the girls in the class in the next hour (which is an advanced class) starts talking smack about someone to another student who's hanging out behind the desk. Ok, they weren't really talking smack but they were saying how this girl was so hyper and liked to talk (and talk and talk) and she must be ADD. Also how the teacher (who is incredibly patient) comes out before the class begins and says, "pray for me!" I listened for a minute not really realizing that they were talking about my daughter but then she pointed her out to the other girl (by what she was wearing) and made the crazy/twirly sign next to her temple - and the blowtorch in my brain went a little haywire! Then she starts talking to yet another girl - again pointing my daughter out specifically - and then that kid tells another and it's like a chain reaction! By the time my daughter's class let out there were 4 girls standing around planning to say some rude things to her and she just breezed past them completely oblivious, thank heavens!

The girls' moms were standing talking to each other and when the students were talking they were standing next to me, not knowing I was her mom, and talking low so their mom's wouldn't hear them. I'm telling you I had to get out of there fast after the class was over so that I didn't say something I would regret - like, shut the fuck up you little shits and mind your own damned business! Yeah, that probably wouldn't have gone over too well!

I guess what gets me isn't what they were saying, although that wasn't too pleasant, because yes, she is hyper and she does like to talk (and talk and talk) and she does have ADHD but dammit...she's 11 years old and she's in the class because she loves it and it's good for her to expend boatloads of energy in a 1 hour period. Why does she have to put up with that crap? I just don't understand why 1 girl who doesn't care for my daughter decides to start a fucking crusade and next thing you know the poor thing is on the firing squad. Were kids this mean when we were kids? I know I'm older than some here but really, was it this bad when we were kids and I was just oblivious and I'm delusional now or what?


Year of the Category Challenge Review: Aftershock by Jill Shalvis

If it hadn't been for the earthquake, Amber Riggs would never have made love to a perfect stranger. And no doubt about it, fire inspector Dax McCall was perfect! Who else could have taught her the meaning of passion at a time like that?

Still, when Amber ran into him a year later she wasn't sure how he'd react. She hadn't meant to keep the news from Dax.... But he'd been out of town, and she'd been sort of relieved. After all, how do you tell the perfect man he has a perfect baby girl with a woman he doesn't know from Eve?

Amber Riggs is a realtor looking at an old dilapidated building trying to figure out how to make it verbally attractive when it goes on the market. Dax McCall is a fire inspector that happens to see someone going into a building that is on his “watch” list for possible unsafe buildings. Dax follows the person into the building but before he finds the person the earth moves and shakes with a 6.5 earthquake. Dax manages to find Amber in the rubble of the basement and she in unharmed but the roof of the building has collapsed and the only thing keeping them from the death is a strong desk. Dax and Amber are thrown together at the last moments of their lives. They end up making love under the desk in an attempt to comfort each other. (Sounds cheesy – but the scene actually worked.) Luckily Dax’s sister had been on the phone with him moments before the quake and she had a general idea of the area he was in. Dax and Amber are saved but in the melee that follows Amber disappears.

Dax tries to find this woman that has struck a chord in him but to no avail. One year later Dax is accompanying his sister to the OB when he runs into Amber and her 3 month old baby girl. Dax is shocked to learn that he has a daughter but is more than ready to take care of her and Amber. The problem is, Amber has no desire to let Dax or any man into her life.

Amber was raised by her father who was in the military. Amber’s mother left when she was young and all Amber’s dad did after she was gone was talk about her mom’s wild ways and the fact that she was a slut – Amber’s dad was bound and determined for her to be the exact opposite. The problem with his plan was in his withholding his ways was that it made Amber had become a stiff, uncompromising, unfeeling woman until Dax came into her life.

When Amber found out she was pregnant she felt sure that she had inherited her mother’s wanton ways but she couldn’t be sorry that she had her wonderful bundle of joy. Unfortunately she runs to Mexico to give birth. She did try to contact Dax but hadn’t heard from him because he had an incompetent secretary. When she runs into Dax she is determined to keep him out of her life but Dax manages to work out a schedule with Amber that satisfies both of them. But Dax wants more of Amber and he won’t stop trying until he gets her.

This was an interesting book. I can see how Dax and Amber would come together in such a time. When they are both thinking they’re going to die and in each others arms for comfort. After that I have to say that Amber kind of annoyed me. She did try to contact Dax but really, not very vigorously. When she got back into town she should have planted herself on his doorstep and gone from there. She had a total stick up her ass and really needed to come down from the place she had been with her father and learn to love.

I really liked Dax. He looked for Amber after the earthquake and once he found her again he was totally there for her. He wanted her and he wanted his daughter and he was willing to sacrifice to get what he wanted. There was a time when he just couldn’t take the rejection from Amber any longer but it was a turning point in their relationship and it was touching.

I think it was a good read and worth the short time it took to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

What I've Been Reading This Week

Hidee Ho Neighbors! Wassup with your bad selves? Are you all having good weekends? Hope so.

It was a pretty normal week for me here in Tracy Town. My boss finally got back from her 5 week Sabbatical. I swear it didn't seem like 5 weeks went by. :)

This weekend I made an impromptu trip to visit Holly. We had a great time. I drove to her place (about 3 hours away from me) yesterday. I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of Daphne's visit with Holly so we all went out to dinner last night and had Mexican food - yum. Then my youngest and I went back to Holly's and I invaded her book room. Oh it's so beautifully stuffed with books! lol Then today we went back to Holly's and I invaded "the room" again. Needless to say we had a great time talking books and I borrowed some great stuff. My youngest had a fab time with Holly's Rock Band - she got pretty good on those drums! lol

Ok - so on to what I read this week:

Holding Out for a Hero by Ana Leigh was my first read of the week. This is a book that I read for The Book Binge. The book releases on Tuesday and the review will post that day as well.

Next up was Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy which I've already review here.

My next read was Hot Summer Fling by Toni Zuma. This was a short I read for The Book Binge. You can read my review here.

Next up was Hero by Perry Moore. This is a YA novel that I read about on Kris's blog (click the link to see her thoughts). It's a book about a teenage boy who is discovering he has super powers but he has to keep that info from his dad because his dad was once a superhero and was later spurned by the super hero League. He also has to keep the fact that he's gay from his dad. It's a book about a boy coming into his own and the relationships that are forming the person he is becoming. It's an incredible read and I recommend it. Although it doesn't seem totally dark and has humor in it, it's definitely not a happy tale. Rating: 4.5 out of 5

For Tracy's TBR Challenge Read for the week I chose Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich. I have to admit I picked this one because it was short. lol A story about a screenwriter and his neighbor who start off by hating each other but come together to try to find out what happened to a pig. Sounds cute, and it is. Rating 3 out of 5

My last read was Under Fire by Jo Davis. I'm having mixed feelings about this second book in her series. I think I'm going to review it this week but I truly can't decide whether I liked it or not - and I'm definitely having problems rating it. hmmmm....need to ponder.

So did you read anything good this week? What was it? Tell all!

Happy Reading!

Review: Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy

An experiment in romance...
New to Charlotte, stock car racing country, graduate student Imogen Wilson meets Ty McCordle, a driver who inexplicably has her pulse racing. After an encounter at the track with a woman whose main goal in life is to marry a driver, Imogen realizes she’s hit on the perfect thesis for her Sociology degree. If she follows The Rules on how to get a man, can she steer her way to into the hearts of the drivers and establish their dating—and mating—patterns?

That’s testing the limits of passion.
Although sexy and reckless Ty is the ideal test subject, she knows she can’t pursue him for the sake of science. Yet he’s the one who’s chasing after her, and Imogen realizes that she actually wants to be caught. A southern gentleman like Ty won’t fail to disappoint, will satisfy all her curiosity—and make all the risks worthwhile.

Yes, Imogen, or as Ty fondly likes to call her in private Emma Jean or Engine, finds Ty extremely sexy and has been attracted to him from day one. Ty, according to Imogen, hasn’t noticed her at all. But Ty really has seen Imogen and he likes what he sees. A chance encounter during a rain storm on the porch of a friends house turns into something so much more.

Imogen finally decides on what her thesis should be but she’s finding that she’s not really into it – she’s more into Ty…and thank heavens he’s into her. Things get hot and heavy and Ty and Imogen end up in bed. They have some pretty hot sex, but Ty likes Imogen for way more than her body. Surprisingly it’s the same for Imogen. She expected to only like Ty’s body, but he has so much more to offer.

I liked this book, but I have to say I did have some issues with it. I very much enjoyed Imogen and Ty together, but there just wasn’t enough story. They were constantly in bed together…which wasn’t a horrible thing, but I thought the book needed more umph. Couple meets, has sex, professes love and yet, I’m left wanting more, more of their relationship. When the conflict in the book came near the end of the book it wasn’t unexpected but it was very harsh and very realistic – especially considering where their relationship had been. But when it was resolved I thought that even though the book was supposed to be a HEA it felt only like a HFN. They worked things out temporarily but the heated words that were spoken, to me, could not be forgotten so easily. They had a ton of stuff to work out in their relationship.

I really did enjoy the characters in this book however and I thought that even though they were flawed, it felt true to who they were. I think I enjoy that about most characters in Erin McCarthy’s books. She always write very true to life characters and I love that.

I hope the next book, hope, hope, hope, will be about Suzanne and Ryder – secondary character in both Flat Out Sexy and Hard and Fast. I very much want them back together (they’re currently divorced) even though we haven’t heard background on why they divorced in the first place. I can’t put my finger on my desire to see them hooked back up but I just do.

Overall a pretty good book.

Rating 3.5 out of 5

Tuesday's Guest Review

Hey folks - just a heads up that my guest review for The Book Binge, Three Alarm Tenant by Charlotte McClain, is now posted. Enjoy!

Katherine lost one hero in the line of duty -- can she risk loving another?

Katherine Pelham's fiancé was a police officer, shot and killed during a robbery. Left with a house she can't afford, she must rent out the first floor to solve her money woes. Before she can finish putting up the For Rent sign, along comes a man who seems interested in more than just the apartment.

Fireman Jack Connelly is in a bind: he's rescued a dog, and his lease doesn't allow pets. The new apartment would be great. The new landlady, even better...

Weekly Weigh In

So here it is folks my first weigh in after I re-started my healthy eating plan (I refuse to call it a diet! lol).

I'm pretty much attributing the majority of the loss to water weight but hell...who am I to complain? lol I didn't feel I did too well this week in general and even ate my rice crust pizza on Friday night. I didn't exercise at all this past week unless you count running around with the kids and 1,000 loads of laundry exercise! My goal for this week is to break out my Yourself! Fitness (this is just the wiki link - the actual site is down right now) cd and get to work on that :)

Happy Monday!

What I've Been Reading This Week

It was a quiet week as far as events went. My hubby had to go back to Vegas for a convention/show/whatever for his work so he left Thursday and didn't get back until last night. Gave me time to read more though. heh. Always a good thing imho.

The girls are doing well in their jazz and taekwondo classes. (no it's not a combined class! lol) Now that I've got them settled in I can just plant it at the taekwondo studio and read for an hour with no interruption. That's sheer heaven right there, let me tell ya.

Kris and I did announce that the Book Sluts 'R' Us Blogger Award winner was Wendy, our very own Super Librarian. Congrats to her once again.

I read a lot of good books this week!

First up was The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley. Although I have one of her other books on my shelf I'd not read this author before. I truly loved this book. I know it won't hold that appeal for everyone but it was just a fabulous read for me. You can read my review here.

Next up was Burning Alive by Shannon K. Butcher. This was an impulse buy for me and my first read by this author. I believe I saw the cover on Kmont's blog a while back so when I saw the book on the shelf it caught my attention. It was a pretty good book. There was some stock paranormal elements in it but it did have a nice story to tell. I have to say that this being a series it did leave me a lot of questions unanswered at the end of the book. I'm sure that was the authors intention but I personally would have enjoyed the book more had I received more answers. 3.75 out of 5

The next book up was Three Alarm Tenant by Charlotte McClain. This was a book that I read for The Book Binge and I'll let you know when the review posts.

My Tracy's TBR Challenge Read for this week was Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. I love Jennifer Crusie's books but hadn't read one of the books she wrote with Bob Mayer. I don't know why I waited so long to read this book! I really loved it. It was a fun, funny, lol suspense book. I just loved Agnes and of course the hitman, Shane, was wonderful. Not something I would usually say...hitman was wonderful...but in this instance the shoe definitely fits. Great book. 5 out of 5 from me. There just wasn't anything I didn't like about the book.

The newest release by friend and fellow DIK Lady, Katie Reus, is Dangerous Deception. I bought and read this the day it came out (Friday). This was a story about Sage and Trent. After Sage's sister was murdered Sage decided to travel and do all of the things that her and her sister had talked about but never done. Now she's settled in a quiet town and wants to go on with her life. Trent, a man that she spent 1 glorious week with shows up unexpectedly and just when Sage starts to get threatened by an unknown villain. Trent got a little he-man-I'm-in-charge-now for my liking at times but overall I enjoyed the story. 4 out of 5

Next book was Aftershock by Jill Shalvis. This was an impulse read but I think it will be my Year of the Category read for the month. That being said I'll post my review on this on the 26th.

The Unlacing of Miss Leigh by Diane Gaston is a Harlequin Undone. It was a short historical story about Miss Leigh who takes a position as a companion to a scarred gentleman. She knows the man from her past but he doesn't know who she is. It's a cute little story. 3 out of 5

Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre was my next read. I very much enjoyed this book. I don't normally read a book when I know that there will be no HEA at the end but it had been raved about so much that I just needed to dive in. I'm so glad I did. It had a great story, great characters and never a dull moment. Corine, the story teller, was the main character and while I liked her for most of the book she did start to annoy me just a tad at the end. It definitely won't stop me from reading the next book however. 4 out of 5

Last read for the week was another Harlequin Undone by the name of The Viking's Forbidden Love Slave by Michelle Willingham. Yep, I actually read a book with that name. Sometime I shock even myself! lol It was a short story about how Tharand steals Aisling from her village as a gift for his King so that he can get his 15 year old sister back from said King. The problem is that Tharand is having feelings for his fiery captive and eventually she for him. As all work out in the end it was a cute story but for such a short story it left me kind of hanging. Aisling's village was being raided and pillaged...but why her village? Tharand walked through his village and the villagers avoided him and the kids ran...why was he so shunned? Just because he was a fierce warrior? Aisling's brothers were stolen as well but we don't hear where they are. I'm thinking this is part of a series but I'm not sure. 3 out of 5 stars.

That's it for me this week. I'm exhausted just typing this! lol Any opinions about the books? I'd like to hear them.

Happy Reading!

Book Sluts 'R' Us Blogger Awards

Virtual Whisper in Crowd: Sssh! It’s starting!

Virtual Crowd: *whistles and screams*

Hughverine: Hello Ladies.

Virtual Crowd: *squees and much fainting*

Hughverine: Thank you. *trademark smile* It’s my pleasure to be here today to open the first Book Sluts ‘R’ Us Blogger Awards! *Hughverine woot* I know it’s an important occasional for you all and as much as you’d like to look at me all day *smexy smirk at the ‘hell yes’ from Thea* it’s time to introduce those awesome, renowned and gorgeous ladies of Books Sluts ‘r’ Us...

Hughverine:... Tracy and Kris!

Virtual Crowd: *wild applause and standing ovation*

Kris: Thanks Hugh mate, you rock. We’ll talk more later about that book mark deal. Tracy... Tracy! *mutters* ForGod’ssakewipethedrooloffyourchinwe’relive. *big fake smile for the Invisibles*

Tracy: *shaking off stupor* It’s great to see so many of you came out for the announcement of our Blogger Awards.

Kris: We received 33 nominations from fellow Blogland bibliophiles and the competition was stiff.

Tracy: *still giggling at the ‘stiff’ comment* Yes, it was Kris. However, there can only be one winner...

Kris: ... so we decided to also give honourable mentions to the sheer wantonness of two of the bloggers. Would you care to award the condemnations commendations, Tracy?

Tracy: Indeed I would. The two recipients of the ‘You’re on your way to being such a good little Book Slut’ certificates go to:

Kris: *shouting through the applause* Find out more about these terrific ladies via their blogs - Lily @ I Love Books and Fatin @ RR&H Novel Thoughts and Book Talk. Congratulations, Little Grasshoppers.

Tracy: Now, we get to the main even in today’s proceedings, the announcement of the winner of the Inaugural Book Sluts ‘R’ Us Blogger Award.

Kris: This blog-mistress needs little introduction to many of you and seriously... how could we not give such a prestigious award to a person who bragged about crushing the competition with the sheer size of her tbr?? *wiping tear from eye* Such a beautiful, trampy statement.

Tracy: *rolls eyes* You’re such a sentimentalist, Kris. So, without further ado, the envelope please.


Kris: And the winner of the Book Sluts ‘R’ Us Blogger Award is...

Tracy & Kris: WENDY, the Super Librarian!

Virtual Crowd: *thunderous clapping and shouts of hoorah*

Tracy: Not only has Wendy received our first Award, but she is also the recipient of an ebook of her choice up to $8!

Kris: *to Wendy* You go, girl! *turning back to the Virtual Crowd* That brings us to the end of today’s ceremony. Never fear though ;), there is sure to be another Books Sluts ‘R’ Us Blogger Award in the not too distant future!

Tracy: In the meantime, don’t forget our motto...

Tracy, Kris & Virtual Crowd:

Tracy & Kris: Until next time!

Review: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family--rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them--of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.

The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama--an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

Ian Mackenzie meets Beth Ackerley at the opera. He is immediately taken with her and wants her for himself. Beth is taken with Ian as well. Beth is engaged to an acquaintance of Ian’s but with a little knowledge immediately breaks off her engagement. That’s when she decides she will never marry again. The problem is Ian. She can’t seem to get him off of her mind!

Beth has known Ian for just a short time when she is visited by a Scotland Yard detective who is quite adamant that she stay far, far away from the entire Mackenzie clan, but especially Ian. Unfortunately this only piques Beth’s interests further.

You see Ian was in an asylum for most of his life but once his father died his oldest brother sprang him. Ian does have some issues. He can’t seem to look people in the eye. He has what he calls his “muddles” and can’t seem to remember what happens when he has them. He gets fixated on objects or thoughts and can’t seem to break free. (there are many other symptoms he exhibits as well) In our time this would be considered Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, but in 1881 they just thought he was crazy.

I just have to say right off the bat that I loved this book. I thought that the author did a truly wonderful job of accurately portraying Ian’s “madness”. But besides that she made him a warm loving person that I truly loved reading about. He was thoughtful, honest, loyal and loving – even though to him he was just living the only way he truly knew how. He was a wonderful hero.

With Beth I thought that she was a fabulous match for Ian. She was outspoken and protective of him to everyone, including his family when she thought the occasion warranted it. She was an inquisitive person and it got her into some trouble at times but it flowed so nicely in the book I never felt that it was overdone.

I think that this is one of the best historicals I’ve read all year and highly recommend it. I'm very much looking forward to the next 3 books in this series about Ian's 3 brothers Hart, Cameron & Mac.

Rating: 5 out of 5

A Couple of Things

So this past week I was getting ready to go to Las Vegas and on Thursday was trying to figure out what to pack, etc. I knew it was going to be hot so I fished around in my closet and pulled out some capri pants that I hadn't worn since last summer. I put them on and had an omgwtfbbq moment! They were, um...tight. Yes, I got them buttoned and zipped but would I wear them out of my bedroom? No friggin way! lol I knew that I hadn't been eating that well over the last 6 months or so but I had no idea that my ass had grown so much! :)

I didn't overeat in Vegas but I was slightly more conscientious about what I was eating. Yesterday I decided that I was going back on my eating plan. I'm doing the same program that I did a few years ago (3 years ago I had lost 20 pounds and have now gained a total of 12.5 back! oy!) which is www.myfooddiary.com. It's basically an online food diary where I keep track of what I've eaten and how much I've exercised and it helps keep me in line. It tells me how many calories to eat each day to achieve my goal and it works. Too bad I've let things slide! Anyway...I figured if I put this out there I'll have a sounding board and be able to let you celebrate with me when I do good and let you chastise me when I do badly! lol

The second thing is...my guest review for Mastering the Marquess by Vanessa Kelly is being posted this afternoon at The Book Binge. Go check it out. Here's the link.

London, 1815

Country spinster Meredith Burnley will do anything to save her half-sister Annabel, including risking her own life and sacrificing her only chance for happiness. When Annabel’s guardian threatens to lock her up in a lunatic asylum, Meredith vows to find a husband to protect the girl, and the arrogant and powerful Marquess of Silverton seems like the perfect man to keep Annabel safe.

The ton’s most popular rake, Silverton hides a growing disgust with his inability to feel any emotion for the beautiful girls thrown his way. But he needs to marry, and Annabel will serve his purposes. Silverton is stunned, however, by his fierce attraction to the unfashionable Meredith, whose quiet ways conceal a passionate and sensual nature. He’s determined to claim her, in spite of his promise to woo her sister.

Meredith knows she must never betray Annabel, or succumb to the charms of the sophisticated Marquess of Silverton. Her willpower, though, is no match for his skillful and relentless seduction, or the temptation of forbidden love. But her surrender to passion soon puts Meredith and Annabel in danger, and only Silverton can rescue them. The arrogant Marquess must be willing to risk everything--especially his heart--or lose Meredith, and his last chance for love.

What I've Been Reading This Week

So I'm a day late on my post - sorry about that but we didn't get home last night until 9pm and then had to get the kids settled, yada yada. By the time I was ready to sit down at the computer all I had the brainpower to do was check my email.

Happy (Belated) Mother's Day to all of you mom's out there! I hope you had a wonderful day!

Vegas was a blast. We had a great time. We went to see Hughverine Wolverine on Saturday. The movie wasn't fab but the eye candy was simply scrumptious! My husband told me not to look when Hugh was running around nakey. Yeah, right hon. Then yesterday we went and say Star Trek. Good movie. I really liked it! It was just a fun, exciting, action packed, funny movie and I think you'd like it even if you aren't a Star Trek fan. Overall just a fun, fun weekend...and my husband got a couple of straight flushes while playing poker so he more than paid for the weekend - right on. :)

So my youngest is now enrolled in Taekwondo and my oldest is taking a jazz class. My life will never be the same! lol Between taking them to classes and rushing around on those nights I might go a little nutty. But they're happy little campers so it's all worth it. With the classes and the weekend I didn't read that much at all:

My first read was a book for The Book Binge: Mastering the Marquess by Vanessa Kelly. I'll let you know when the review posts.

My next read was Lover Avenged by JR Ward and I liked it. I'll give it 4 out of 5 stars. Yep, I would. I honestly didn't know what to expect after the last few books in the series but I think Ward got a little bit more romance in this one and it was deeply appreciated! As we've seen lately with Ward there are many story lines going at once but I have to say that none of them made me want to skim. Bonus!
Rehv's story was good. He had met a nurse at Havers' clinic some time ago and had been attracted to her and when they finally more or less start seeing each other he starts to really take a look at his life as the amoral vamp/sympath he is. He wants to tell Ehlena to hit the trail because he knows he's not good enough for her but he just can't keep himself away. Ehlena was a very strong woman and although she seemed at times all "goodness and light" she was a tough cookie. The fact that she could take Rehvenge for the man he is really made me like her a lot.
Then there was Wrath's story of blindness. He'd been losing his sight for years but it finally called it quits for good and the story was more or less him dealing with his blindness. But it went further than that...he had to deal with what it meant for him as a man, but also what it meant for him as a king and I very much enjoyed his parts of the book. We also got to see a bit of interaction with Wrath and Payne and that was, hopefully, more of an introduction for her into future books.
John Matthew and Xhex's parts of the story were, for me, heart breaking. Yes, JM was feeling sorry for himself but it just was killing me while I read. I hope to heaven the next book is theirs - I think it will be.
There were some smaller parts with regard to Tohrment and Lassiter and Tohr getting his head on straight, finally. All I can say is it's about damn time.
Lash's parts of the story were less interesting, but still kept my attention. He's just one sick fuck and I hope he dies a slow painful death. ha.

My Tracy's TBR Challenge book and my last read for the week (I know, don't fall over cuz I only read 2 novels and a novella!) was a novella by Lorie O'Clare called Elements Unbound. This is book 1 in the Malta Werewolves series. I have to be honest - I only chose to read this one because it was the shortest book on my ereader and there was another book I wanted to start right away - but I didn't want to crap out on my challenge! I know, good reason, huh? lol
Anyway, while this was the first book in the series I'm not sure I'll read the rest. This was the story of Bruno and his becoming Alpha of the Malta pack and claiming his queen, Renee. It was an erotic tale so there was plenty of sex but there wasn't enough story for me to truly enjoy it- which was disappointing since I normally like Lorie's stories. 3 out of 5 stars

The Latest from BS Headquarters

Media Statement from:The nominations have been collated and the deliberations by our highly respected and lauded judging panel (in case you missed it last time that would be Tracy and Kris) have begun for the...

BOOK SLUTS ‘R’ US BLOGGER AWARD! *still wooting*

The inaugural winner of this long awaited - and already prestigious - award will be announced on Friday 15 May (Tracy’s time)/Saturday 16 May (Kris’ time).

*Tracy: Why is it taking us so long again?

Kris: That would be because of the 33 fr@cking nominations – Count ‘em. Thirty. Three. And that doesn’t include the double-ups. – we got!

Tracy: Crap. Who’s idea was this anyway?!

Kris & Tracy: Katiebabs! ::mutterdamnhermutter::*