From Holly's Bookshelf: A Guest Review

Head over to The Book Binge and you can catch my guest review for Charming the Highlander by Janet Chapman. This was a book a borrowed from Holly on my visit.

A feisty beauty tempted by a bold highlander's touch...

When a plane crash strands brilliant scientist Grace Sutter on an icy mountaintop in Maine, she finds herself alone in the wilderness with the only other surviving passenger -- Greylen MacKeage,a sexy, medieval warrior who's been tossed through time to find the woman he's destined to love. Forced together to survive the harsh, wintry landscape, neither expects the fierce passion that flares between them. But Grace is not used to letting her heart take control, and Greylen will settle for nothing less than her heart's surrender....

Re-Read Challenge Review: Simon Says by Lori Foster

Sexy ex-fighter Simon Evans has the perfect life-until he catches his girlfriend cheating. To work off his rage, he goes back into the ring full-force. But a gutsy and gorgeous P.I. is about to send him reeling with a secret about his family-and one about her heart.

Dakota Dream's step father, Barnaby, wants her to find someone, his son. He hasn't seen nor talked to his son in 30 years but he is now desperate to find him. Dakota wants nothing to do with Barnaby, or his search for his son, but she truly feels that she owes him for something that he did for her while her mother was dying. So she agrees to find his son, none other than SBC fighter turned trainer turned fighter, Simon Evans.

Dakota loves the SBC and despite that fact that she doesn't really want to deal with the whole Barnaby/Simon thing she's pretty excited to be in a gym where a bunch of the SBC fighters are training.

From the first moment that Simon Evans sees Dakota he's bowled over. He can't get his mind off of her and wants nothing more than to get her in his bed. But when Dakota finally comes clean about why she's in town Simon's pissed. He has a step father and that's the man he calls Dad. He wants nothing to do with Barnaby.

Dakota tells Barnaby that Simon said no but Barnaby is persistant - even going as far as blackmailing her with letters that her mother wrote before her death. Since Dakota and her mother weren't on good terms when she died, Dakota is hoping that the letters will calm the turmoil she's felt since that time. So Dakota goes back to the gym to try and get Simon to change his mind about seeing his biological father. Simon still says no, but Dakota is determined to get those letters.

Someone else is determined though and that's Dakota's ex-husband. He wants Dakota back but he's a big slime bucket and Dakota wants nothing to do with him. Strange things start happening and Simon ends up taking care of Dakota. Keeping her at his house, teaching her fighting techniques and in the end, loving her.

I read this book when it first came out a couple of years ago - it was an impulse buy at the bookstore. I didn't know at the time that it was book 2 in the SBC Fighter series but it really didn't matter. I think this book is a good stand alone and it's not really necessary to read book 1 in order to know what's going on although if you like this one I'm sure you'll want to go back and read it. :)

So I have to say that I enjoyed this book every bit as much this time around as I did the first time - in fact I liked it a little bit more this time around. The first time I read the book I really liked Simon and Dakota, separate and apart and that held true for this reading as well. Dakota is independent and could be stubborn, but she wasn't stupid. Even though she has been blackmailed with the letters I don't think she normally was someone who based her decisions on emotions. She really was one tough cookie. And Simon, for as deadly as he could be in and out of the ring, he really had a kind heart. He wasn't a sucker but he knew when to be firm and when to be gentle. He's just the kind of contemp hero I love to read about...but that goes for most of the men in this series.

Rating 2 years ago: 4 out of 5

Rating now: 4.25 out of 5

What I've Been Reading This Week

Hey all!

Not much happening this week. I was sick in bed for 4 days. I managed to get up during short intervals but otherwise it was bed, sweet bed. Yeah, I watched a couple of movies here and there but mostly, I just read. Trying to put a dent in that amazingly huge TBR pile dontchaknow. :)

I have to say that I took my TBR challenge to new limits this week. I think I was feeling guilty for not reading any last week so I read 4 this week! Yay me!

So what I read:

I started off with Bad Boys Online by Erin McCarthy (one of my TBR Challenge books), a book I've had in my pile for a while. I think I got this one from the very first So Cal Blogger get together which was last November. While the 3 short stories that revolved around computers were cute I found myself skimming ahead and then having to go back. I so rarely do this that it was freaking me out a little. lol This was an erotic read and when you start skimming the sex scenes, there's a problem. Not that it was hot, but there was so much of it! lol The last story in the book, User Friendly, was by far my favorite. 3 out of 5

My Re-Read Challenge book for the month of June is Simon Says by Lori Foster. I'll post my review on Tuesday.

Next was In Bed With A Stranger by Mary Wine. I started reading some of Mary Wine's books when I was getting ready to go to Lora Leigh's RAW and I enjoyed her books (and her, she's a really nice lady!) so when I saw this was coming out I scooped it up. I have to say that the first approx. 100 pages I had to fight not to put the book down because I was bored. However, it got much better after that. It's a Scottish Historical about the bastard born daughter of an Earl getting sent to marry a Scottish Laird because her legitimate bratty half sister doesn't want to bear children. The evil Countess thinks that she can send Anne in place of Mary, have the Laird get her pregnant, and then after the baby is born send Mary back to the Laird and he'll be none the wiser. Pretty funny when you think of it. I very much enjoyed the not-as-dumb-as they-thought-he-was Laird, Brodick, he was pretty cool. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was another TBR challenge book, No Words Alone by Autumn Dawn. Katiebabs sent this to me a million years ago and I've just now gotten around to reading it. I wanted something different and this sci-fi novel definitely provided it. Two starships collide and both land on a planet where you pretty much can't be outside after dark. It's uninhabited except for nasty creatures. The only female in the group is treated horribly by her crew but very nicely by the alien race (who strangely enough happen to look just like humans!) and she ends up becoming a war prize for the captain of the alien starship. They end up marrying and the story goes on to show them falling in love, etc. I'm not really a sci-fi romance lover but this was pretty good. 3.5 out of 5

Next was Josh Lanyon's Collected Novellas Volume 1. I'll be posting my thoughts on this one on Thursday.

For my 3rd TBR Challenge book I read Heaven Sent 2: Purgatory by Jet Mykles. I really liked this story. Reese has been in love with Luc for forever. He kissed him one day 6 years prior but Luc pushed him away saying he wasn't gay. Now Luc and the band are back in town and since Luc has explored his sexuality and found he does like men he wants to hook up with Reese. But Reese now has a teaching job at a straight-laced school and says he's not gay any longer. Luc sets out to prove him wrong. I thought that Luc and Reese were great together. Did Luc annoy me at some points? Sure. Reese did too. But despite those time the story was a quick, fun, sexy read. Hopefully it won't be months before I read the next book in the series. 4.25 out of 5

Continuing my reading in the Drakon series I read Queen of Dragons by Shana Abe. As you can guess I'm really enjoying the series. This book was no different. This book centered around Maricara who we met in book 2 and Christoff and Rue's oldest son, Kimber. Talk about a volatile pairing. Wow. The writing in this book is just as good as the previous two books. Worth the read if you started the series. 4.5 out of 5

Charming the Highlander by Janet Chapman was a book that borrowed from Holly when I went to see her. I did a review of it which will post over at The Book Binge. I'll let you know when that goes up.

And my last TBR Challenge read, and my last book of the week, was The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn. I was looking on my shelves for a historical that I knew was going to be a great story and I picke a good one. This book, as much as it broke my heart for most of it, was wonderful. I think I'm giving it such a high score not only for the story but for the writing as well. I know Julia Quinn is a fabulous author but when I was reading this book today I was blown over by the sheer emotion I was experiencing. I was feeling for Miranda so many times in so many different ways I was literally holding my chest because it hurt. 4.5 out of 5

Happy Reading!

My guest review is posted!

For those who are guest review for Immortal Outlaw by Lisa Hendrix is now up at The Book Binge.

And can I say how much I love this cover? If I remember correctly I really liked the one from the first book in the series as well. But this one, ha-cha-cha. I love a man's back and with the blonde hair and the lion? Oh yeah baby.

For centuries he’s hidden in the woods. Now a maid has come to lead him out...

It’s been four centuries since Steinarr the Proud was cursed by a wicked sorceress—along with the rest of his Viking crew—to live for eternity as half man, half beast. By day Steinarr is like any other man—by night he is a lion. He has taken refuge in the woods of Nottingham, England, and there he encounters two young travelers, Robin and Marian.

Painfully aware of the danger he presents when the moon rises, Steinarr refuses to help guide them on their search for a special amulet. But a kiss from Marian awakens his desire. How can he protect the maid he so desperately wants to ravish? With motives of his own, Steinarr finally joins their quest, while the sorceress Cwen gathers her dark magic to destroy them. As a legend spreads of an outlaw in the woods, their band is joined by others. But it is Steinarr who has the most to gain and the most to lose—if he is ever to be free of the curse and free to love as a man…

Confessions of a Book Slut

Hi, my name is Tracy and I'm a Book Slut. It's been 3 minutes since I put my last book down.

Can I be honest? I really don't want to go cold turkey. I love my books. I want them around me so I can smell them and touch them and, well, read them. Which brings me to how many books I really have around me. I've been in the closet when it comes to being truthful about how many books I have in my TBR. You see, I can be honest and let you know that I have 205 print books on my shelves (possibly a couple more that might have been lost in the count) waiting to be read. But the other day my friend Kris made me face up to exactly how many books are in my TBR.

You might have read in my Monday post that I recently cataloged/converted/organized all of my ebooks onto one device - a new 32 GB flash drive. It's heaven. I plug that puppy in and look up the author I want, open the folder and voila...books. No more trying to figure out which cd it's on, it's just all there for the taking, or in this case, the reading. But when I was putting books into the folders by author I noticed that there were books that I hadn't read. I, shoving my head in the sand, mentioned that I had "shitloads" and "boatloads" that were TBR. My friend Kris, fellow Book Slut and nosey biotch that she is, asked me specifically how many ebooks I did indeed have that were waiting patiently TBR. So I counted...and counted....and counted. It turns out that I have not only the 205 print books waiting TBR but 367 ebooks that I have not read. That's right 367!

Now I know that there are others around bloglandia that have TBR's way bigger than mine *coughWendycough* but I needed to get that load off of my chest and get my head out of the sand.

I am a Book Slut and I have 572 books in my TBR!

Confession Time: How many books are in your TBR? Be truthful now.

Year of the Category Challenge Review: A Weaver Wedding by Allison Leigh

A few months ago I was over at Anna's Book Blog and read that Harlequin was looking for people to participate in a panel of sorts. I joined up and Tell Harlequin sends me book cover surveys and also survey's that ask about what types of books I read, etc. They recently sent me two books that they wanted me to read and then discuss with them. This is one of the books that they sent.

Axel Clay has his eye on secretive shopkeeper Tara Browning for more reasons than just her pretty looks. But there’s one secret that is going to be a bigger surprise than even he could expect, and it’s baby-bound to change their lives forever.

When Tara is stood up by her twin brother on their birthday she decides to leave the bar they were to meet in. As she's leaving though she runs into Axel Clay and they end up spending a wonderful 48 hours in a hotel together. But Monday morning rolls around and Axel is gone before Tara wakes up with just a note to say he'll call.

It is now 4 months later and Tara hasn't heard word one from Axel. He suddenly appears in town and says he can explain, but Tara's not interested in hearing about Axel's excuses. She definitely wants to get anway from Axel before he discovers that she's pregnant with his baby.

But Axel isn't going anywhere and he's going to be closer than Tara wants. Axel sits down and tell s her that he is her new bodyguard because there's been a hit put out on her brother and her brother wants her kept safe. Axel will now be with Tara 24/7.

The story follows Tara and Axel while they're trying to adjust to being together so often but also while they're trying to deal with their feelings for each other. Also Tara's guilt for keeping her secret from Axel and his family.

This was a very warm and family oriented book. I'm not normally one who goes in for books that involve pregnancy but I very much enjoyed this story. With Axel's huge family I figured their were other books in the series. I was incredibly surprised to see that the series goes all the way back to 1998 and this is (if I counted correctly) the 8th book in the Men of the Double-C Ranch series. There are also 3 books in the Return to the Double-C Ranch series which from what I can tell is a series about the Clay women. The easy flow and writing style of this author I'll definitely be reading more of her books in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

What I've Been Reading This Week

Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Did your husbands/fathers have a wonderful Father's Day? Both my hubby and my dad had a great day. Just nice and relaxing.

So we finally figured out what was happening with my email - the hard drive on my computer is complete shite! I'm not sure how it was fucking up my email but it was. Not great for a 6 month old computer, geez. Anyway - they overnighted us a new hard drive and my hubby will be putting it in this week sometime. I spent a huge portion of the weekend transferring all of the books I had on my hard drive as well as books I had on CD's to my new 32 GB flash drive. It was a painstaking endeavor but it's wonderful to have it all in one spot instead of trying to figure out if the book I'm looking for is on CD and if so which CD is it on, or is it on my computer, yada, yada. I've got all of my ebooks now cataloged via author so I can just look up the author's name and see if I have a particular book. Heaven, I'm tellin ya, sheer heaven. I also discovered that I have shitloads of ebooks I haven't read. I mean I had an vague idea that I hadn't read many of them but really, there's just a boatload in there that I haven't gotten to. I need to add them to my TBR challenge reads instead of just the print books.

Speaking of my own self-imposed TBR challenge...I didn't read a TBR challenge book this week. I know, I suck. But I DID read 2 the week before when I plowed through the last 2 Wallflower books so I'm counting that. Hey, it's my challenge, I can do that. Stop arguing with me, yes I can! :)

So on to what I read this week - some really great stuff in here:

My first read was an absolutely brilliant book that I just devoured. Actually it took me several days to read it because I was just busy but it was one of those books that you think about even when you're not reading it. It was The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe (there's an accent mark over the e in her name but I can't do that on blogger!) and it was fabulous. The writing just sucked me in and I was a goner. As much as I love the story/romance itself I think that 75% of the enjoyment of this book was Abe's writing. Loved it. And it's a historical paranormal/fantasy book which combines some of my favorite elements. This was a DIK book on Christine's list and I just hadn't gotten around to reading it. Ciara recently reviewed it last week and it reminded me that I had it on my list.
The story revolves around Rue and Christoff who are both Drakon - dragon shapeshifters. Drakon do not leave the compound that they live on as they cannot be trusted out in the world and the Drakon do not want their secret out. Rue fakes her own death to leave the compound, Darkfrith, and many years later Christoff, the Alpha, comes after her. Romance ensues. Good stuff. 5 out of 5

Next up was my first "official" Yaoi novel called Caged Slave by Yuiko Takamura. Kris is holding The Great Yaoi Swap so I took advantage and this was sent to me. While I understand all the facets of Yaoi this just didn't do it for me. While I liked the story there were so many things in it that made me laugh - and I'm pretty sure that's not what the author was going for. The noises the beta (I know there are Yaoi terms but I'm going with beta & alpha) made during sex, the way the alpha was constantly cutting off the beta's talking totally reminded me of The Unfeasibly Tall Greek Billionaire's Blackmailed Martyr-Complex Secretary Mistress Bride - which of course made me laugh. And the beta, had he been a woman, would have been characterized by me as TSTL. As I said though, I liked the story so it gets a 3 out of 5.

Next up was an m/m short called Marry Me or Die by DJ Manly. It was an impulse buy and sometimes I wonder why I do that. Not all of them turn out the way I want them to. lol Anyway, this was a historical (not sure where the gun on the cover comes in) where the laws have changed and single people are not allowed. You must be married because if you're not, you threaten the sanctity of marriage due to the fact that you can seduce those who are married into illicit behavior. If you don't get married you are sent to work camps or sentenced to death. The new ruler's son, Crash, decides that he wants Silus, who wants absolutely nothing to do with marriage. Crash forces Silus into marrying him but can their relationship continue when the laws change back and being single is now legal? The book had a cute premise but the dialogue seemed stilted and I couldn't get the emotion that I think the book was going for between the two men. Nice sex scenes though. :) 3 out of 5

My next read was One Reckless Summer by Toni Blake. Very good book. I really liked the way Toni writes and I love her books. This was a come back to your hometown and hook up with the bad boy from across the tracks (in this case, lake) that you always had your eye on story. Mick Brody is definitely from the wrong side of the lake but that doesn't stop Jenna from continuing to see him. I loved Mick. Bad Boy was his middle name but he was trying to make a good life for himself and that got me right there. I'm kind of a sucker for the underdog. Stacy from Stacy's Place on Earth did a review for Romance Novel TV that you can read here. 4 out of 5

Next was one of the most amazing books. Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight is simply an incredible read. The story of Mike who is bisexual but has been in a committed gay relationship for the past 12 years when his partner dies in a car crash. It's been a year and he is struggling to make it through the days himself and still trying to take care of his 8 year old daughter who has survivor's guilt since she was in the car with her father. Mike meets Rebecca at the studio where they both work. Rebecca is dealing with her life after being attacked and almost killed by a stalker. The relationship between Rebecca and Mike is touching and moving, stormy and rocky, and just beautiful. I definitely couldn't keep my eyes dry while reading this one. You can read a review by Dear Author here. 5 out of 5

I loved The Smoke Thief so much I decided to dive into The Dream Thief by Shana Abe which is book 2 in the Drakon series. This book takes Rue and Christoff's daughter, Amalia or Lia, and secondary character Zane from book 1, and mixes them together. While I didn't feel as emotionally connected to this couple as much as I did Rue and Christoff the writing was still amazing. In case you're wondering, yes, I have book 3 that will be read this week. :) You can read Christine's review of The Dream Thief here. 4.5 out of 5

My next read was another book that I was sent from Tell Harlequin called The Family He Wanted by Karen Sandler. This book was not really my cuppa. It's a friends to lovers story but it also involves the heroine being pregnant by another man. The hero of the book, while being a wonderful man, has so many friggin family issues from his past it just got kind of old. 3 out of 5

Last on the list was Immortal Outlaw by Lisa Hendrix - book 2 in the Immortal Brotherhood series. I read this one for The Book Binge so as always I will let you know when the review posts.
btw - I just love this cover. I love a man's back and with that blond hair flying and the animal in the backgroud? Niiiiiice.

Happy Reading!

You too can be on the DIK and other misc. stuff


Listen up ladies...The DIK blog is opening itself up for new members! That's right, you too can join in the fun and frolicking that is the DIK blog. You can go here to find out what you need to do to be stranded on that island with some of the nicest ladies in bloglandia, the books, the men and the drinks. Believe me - it's damn fun.

Also - if you're an author who would like to join us for a 3 day stint of guest blogging please email me at redneyrae AT ca DOT rr DOT com and we can get that set up!


Yesterday I handed out a blog award that was given to me by Nath and Randi. Thank you ladies. But then later that day I discovered that Lori had given me one as well. Thank you so much Lori!

I have several awards to give out that were given to me, well, a while ago (ok, right after the earth cooled) and I have yet to pay them forward. I will work on that in the next several weeks. :)


Weekly Weigh In

I didn't weigh myself last week (the 8th) as Aunt Flow was visiting and personally I think no woman should weigh herself at that time of the month. Seriously - just wrong if they do. Who needs the depression? lol

But I did weigh myself this past Monday and I went down 2 ounces! lol Hey! Every ounce counts. I kind of feel like the tortoise from the tortoise and the hare. I'll get there eventually it will just take me a while. It probably would have been more but that pizza was calling to me on Sunday night. I know, no willpower.


My guest review for Cowboys Dream Too by Morgan Q. O'Reilly is up at The Book Binge. You can go here to read it.

Even a cowboy can dream of a Celtic goddess...But is it just a dream?

From the first time he dreamed of his perfect woman, Gray Dunbar was no longer satisfied by his pre-ordained future on the family dude ranch. She's leading him on, away from Colorado and around the world, until he can't stay away from home any longer.

Reed O'Brien needs a vacation. Her boss's company is falling apart. When a proposed trip to a dude ranch retreat comes along, she jumps at the chance. A stop in Vegas gets the ball rolling -- especially when she meets the one man her boss would love to put out of business.

Is this destined to be war...or love?

Blogger Award Giveaway!

I recently received the One Lovely Blog Award from Nath. Wasn't that so nice? Thank you so much Nath for thinking of me and my little slice of Bloglandia when you were handing out awards. Oh and Randi just gave me the same award as well! This is very cool. Thanks Randi!
So this is what I'm supposed to do:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 (holy crap, 15?) other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Well I don't have 15 that are "newly" discovered but there are some adorable blogs out there so I'll do my darndest:

Mandi at Smexy Books

Cindy at Cindy Reads Romance

Blanche at There's No Such Thing As Too Many Books

Amy C at Romance Book Wyrm

Anna at Anna's Book Blog

Elizabeth at Moonlight to Twilight Blog

Jill at Romance Rookie

Jen at Well Read

Rosie from Nobody Asked Me

Kristie J at Ramblings on Romance

VampFanGirl from Lovin' Me Some Romance

KMont from Lurve a la Mode

Stacy from Stacy's Place on Earth

Renee from Renee's Book Addiction

Kris from Kris 'n' Good Books

Congrats to you all - each one of you has a great blog that I enjoy!

Some Thoughts on Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready

For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash sure to raise the dead. They’ve got cool tunes, hot costumes, killer cocktails—what could go wrong? Well, for starters, a religious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occult preempts the station’s midnight broadcast. Then, when Ciara tracks down the illegal transmission, the broadcast tower is guarded by what appears to be…a canine vampire? And behind it all is a group of self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck (and are willing to stake their lives on it).

Now Ciara must protect the station while struggling with her own murky relationship issues, her best friend’s unlikely romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. To make it to New Year’s in one piece, she’ll need to learn a few new tricks.…

I loved the premise of this book. Ciara and the vamps are looking for the group/person that is backing the Family Action Network. Who was behind FAN and why were they blocking the radio transmissions whenever a female vocalist played or the only female DJ talked. There was so much going on in the book I can't possibly narrow it down but it kept my attention that was for sure.

Then there was Shane who was as wonderful, protective, loving toward Ciara and OCD as ever. I just love how his character is developed. Yes he has his issues but I think he's a incredible person.

Ciara, as a vamp protector and investigator was great. In those roles I loved her. But in her personal life, not so much. I know that she is still growing and trying to figure out who she is but at times I had a hard time relating to her. By the end of the book though she did seem to get more of a grasp on what she wanted in her life. I'm hoping for the next book she's a tad more stable. :)

And then there was Dexter: vamp dog extraordinaire. I loved that dog. He was abandoned and saved by Ciara and I want him for my own. He was a fabulous addition to the cast of characters and I'll definitely want to see him stick around.

As usual I loved Ms. Smith-Ready's writing - she truly knows how to suck you in and not let go. Although we got a small glimpse into Regina's life during this life I do hope that we'll see more into the lives of the other vamps in future books.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Guest Review: Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick

Hey folks - my guest review for Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick is up at The Book Binge. You can go here to read it.

She wasn't his dish-until someone turned up the heat.

Celebrity chef and infamous ladies man Bryce Ryder can't believe the thoughts he's having about his old friend Jenna McCabe. She's always been the shy girl-next-door, but when some bad publicity threatens everything he's built, Jenna gets down to business-and shows a side of herself that is take-charge and totally irresistible.

Soon things are heating up in and out of the kitchen-and all of Jenna's secret fantasies about Bryce start coming true. But will she be the one to tame his heart, or is the sexy chef just indulging another one of his

What I've Been Reading This Week

Another late post but this one wasn't my, really, it wasn't! We were having computer problems at home and things were wonky. Our back-up recovery drive wasn't working and it was pretty much not letting us do anything else. So. Frustrating.

Anyway, I read a lot this week and read some pretty darned good books:

First up: How could I end last week's reading with It Happened One Autumn and not immediately pick up The Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas? I couldn't! I grabbed that puppy up and devoured it in a day. Sebastian and Evie were a wonderful couple and I loved reading about their story. 4.25 out of 5.
Oh, btw, if you'd like to see a wedding between Ana and Sebastian check out DIK for the next few days. Will the wedding actually happen? We'll have to wait and see! Here's the first post.

I of course then marched right into Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas. I really loved this whole series. The men, the women...sigh...just good romance. Daisy and Matthew were wonderful together and frankly, while I found Lillian a little annoying about the whole deal I just ignored her and moved on, as her sister did. 4.25 out of 5

Next for me was ChildsPrey2: Winter Song by Barbara Sheridan and Anne Cain. I read book 3 in this series a couple of months ago and this is book 2 in the ChildsPrey series. This is a novella about Jun and Koji, fellow band members and good friends. Koji has been in love with Jun forever but with Jun's depression about his failed marriage things aren't going the way Koji would like. He decides to book a little getaway for them to get Jun away from his house and to hopefully get Koji into Jun's bed. This was a very sweet m/m story and I very much enjoyed it. 4 out of 5

My next read was Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick. This was a book that I read for The Book Binge so I'll let you know when the review posts.

Finding Farro by Amber Kell was next. This was the next alphabetical short installment in her Moon Pack series. Definitely better than some of the other books. It was supposed to be the story about Farro and I assumed him finding his mate. The story was more about the Alpha of the pack, Silver, and his mate Anthony. While there was a story line did involve Farro it was a tad disappointing to not have more of him in it but still pretty darned good. 3.75 out of 5

Another Amber Kell short was Bonding with Graven. A vampire, Graven, is looking for his mate and Steerl is taking his sister to a gathering to see if she is his mate. Turns out that Steerl is the mate. This was a very short story that was just ok. It was a very abbreviated story (16 pages) so it was hard to make a decision about the story or the relationship one way or the other. 3 out of 5

Raw Footage by Katie Allen was story that I started a while back and finally finished this week. It was a story about 2 neighbors coming together to try to save one of their brothers. Cute, hot, sexy. 3.5 out of 5

Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith-Ready was my next read. I jotted down some thoughts about the book and will post them in a couple of days.

A Weaver Wedding by Allison Leigh was next. I was sent the book for a Tell Harlequin discussion and have decided that it will be my Year of the Category Challenge Read for the month. I love how that works out. lol So I'll post my review for it on the 23rd.

Let's see my next read was Cowboys Dream Too by Morgan Q. O'Reilly. This was another read for The Book Binge I started it a while ago but finally got around to finishing it this weekend. I'll let you know when the review posts.

And last but by no means least was Chrissy Munder's Drive Me Home. I had read some reviews of Chrissy's books over at Well Read and after reading an interview that Jen did with the author I purchased this book. I have to say I really, really liked it. It was soooo not a story that I would normally read but it was great. Eric is the main character and the book is told from his point of veiw most of the time. Eric is completely screwed up from the deaths of his father and brother and an ensuing court case involving his sister-in-law and niece. He's roamed around and managed to land in Las Vegas where he becomes a limo driver. He finds himself attracted to 2 men, so very different from each other, and the book is more or less about him trying to figure out who he cares more about. There were definite things about the book that I didn't care for but I loved Chrissy's writing and descriptions of Las Vegas as well as descriptions of Eric and what he was going through. I would definitely recommend this one. 4.25 out of 5

Happy Reading!

How Do You Write Reviews?

I’ve kind of been in a review slump lately. I’ve been more into the reading than into the reviewing…which some people might think is normal for me when you consider the amount of books I read as opposed to the amount of books I review but there it is. But the desire to write reviews has been escaping me lately and I’ve just not been too into it – I’m not sure why and I’m trying not to analyze it too much because knowing myself as I do it could change at any moment. But this start me thinking about how people go about reviewing.

I just finished a book that I need to review and I feel like I need to ruminate on it for a few days before I sit down to write it. Not that it was a deep meaningful read but sometimes I need to let things sink in a bit before I go for the gusto. There are reviews that I write for another blog that I know I have to write, but the ones I do for my blog are usually the books that I have a strong opinion about one direction or the other. There are times when I feel that I have to think for a while on book before I write the review and when thought of for a while I decide not to write it…does this happen to anyone else? Then at other times I finish a book and sit down right away and pound that puppy out. It’s that feeling that I’ll lose all my good thoughts if I don’t do it right now.

This got me to thinking about how others write their reviews. Do they write them right away? Do they have to think on them for a few days? And if they do wait does their opinion change the longer they think? (This has happened to me a time or two – both in the positive and the negative.) Or do they sit down and write a little of the review at a time?

The other thing I was thinking on when I was wondering how others go about writing their reviews was the technique reviewers use for remembering everything. I tend to sit down to write and my thoughts and feelings come tumbling out…and then if I remember a part that I want to highlight I have to flip back through the book and find it. A lot of the time I end up reading huge parts of the book over again (especially if I liked the book) while finding that one part. (I have to admit I’m very organized at home and at work but when it comes to my reviewing, not so much.) But I’ve received copies of books from friends that they have read that have little post it notes marking spots that they want to quote or highlight and it made me wonder.

This is definitely a fly by the seat of my pants, off the top of my head kind of post but I am very interested in how you all go about writing your reviews.

Review: Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian

A woman driven by blood. A man thirsting for vengeance. A place where darkness and desire meet...

As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself. Then, from out the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges. He is Andreas Reichen, her onetime lover but now a stranger consumed by vengeance. Caught in the crossfire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury--or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure.

Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren… even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission. Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger--and deep desire, unbidden desires. For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he’s ever loved. A dangerous seduction begins--one that blurs the line between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in its path...

Andreas Reichen is not quite himself. His fury over the death of his family has him literally lighting him up. His anger is manifesting itself in flames that are gradually taking over his body and his soul. He is out for revenge against the man who is behind the deaths of his family and he won’t stop until that man is dead.

Claire Roth, the wife of the man Andreas wants dead, used to be Andreas’ lover. It has been 30 years since Andreas has seen Claire and there is more than a boat load of animosity between the two. But as they spend more time together they find that the two of them can’t seem to be apart. I was very much looking forward to reading Andreas’ story. I had read about him in the past Breed books and wanted his story badly. I have to say that I was a little disappointed in the end result.

I still really liked Andreas and I liked Claire (to a point) but for me the story had too much of the “we want to be together, but we can’t be together” and I understand people sacrificing for each other and their love but there is a point where for me it just gets slightly old. Unfortunately this was the case with story for me.

There was also the issue of Claire’s blood bond with her husband. Because of the blood bond she was aware of where her hubby was and could more or less track him. This being said the opposite could be true. One of the major bonuses of the blood bond, according to her hubby and his evil overlord, is that they can lure The Order to one spot and do them in. My question….why wait for them to come to you? You know that your wife is doing the horizontal mambo with someone else and that the person is most likely, if not most definitely, with The Order…yet you wait for them to come to you? Blow up their friggin headquarters for crying out loud! Don’t wait for them! You’re evil…work with it. Ok, not that I wanted that to happen at all, but it just seemed so obvious to me. They're evil…evil people think of that kind of shit! Lol

Ok…now you probably are thinking that I didn’t care for the book at all. Not true. I liked huge parts of the book and it really did have some great parts. I thoroughly enjoyed a little view into the other members of The Orders lives and as always Ms. Adrian’s writing style is addictive. Now if I could just deal with those other issues…

Rating 3.75 out of 5

What I've Been Reading This Week

Greeting earthlings. I feel like I'm an alien today. The kids and I have been going and going and going since Friday and I'm pooped. It's sad when you have to go to work to get some rest. lol And that's just a different kind of tiring! :) Being exhausted is one of the reasons this post wasn't up on Sunday as is my usual. I just couldn't do it. :)

So what did I read this week?

First was Touch A Dark Wolf by Jennifer St. Giles. I had read a couple of reviews for her latest book in this series and was interested in reading more. It wasn't what I expected - I was expecting more of a werewolf type book rather than spirit wolf/vampire novel but it was still a good read. I will be reading more in this series. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas. My first read by Ms. Thomas and I liked it a lot! There were a couple of editing issues in it that were frustrating but since the story ended up being so great I could ignore them in the end. Just a sweet read. You can read the review by The Book Smugglers here. 4 out of 5

Next up was Feral by Joely Skye. Kris did a post about mates and were-beings and it got me wanting to read more shapeshifters. When I went to All Romance ebooks this cover just caught my eye. I totally dig this cover. The story is about Ethan, an almost feral shapeshifting cougar, and Bram, a wolf shapeshifter who helps him escape after he's captured. The two men find each other again and start a relationship. It was not very fast paced but steady and emotional. 3.5 out of 5

Hellbourne: Heart and Soul by Amber Kell is the last short story in the trilogy about Luc. I just love Luc. He's just a great guy and one of those you'd love to have as your best friend. Ok, he's Satan's son, but still. 3 out of 5

Over My Dead Body by Michele Bardsley was my next read. I read this one for review on The Book Binge - I'll let you know when the review posts. I should probably write the review and that would give it a chance to be posted, what do you think? lol

Following along with the shapeshifter theme for the week I read Bite by Sean Michael. Another m/m story that follows Anton and his newly hired chef, Greg. While Anton, a werewolf, and Greg are forming their new relationship Greg realizes that someone is after him. Greg is eventually taken by a rival pack and it's up to Anton to save him. This was a story that I couldn't seem to stop reading. It's not a story that's high on the relationship building (not a whole lot of the "getting to know about each other" stage) but a lot of sex. I mean a lot of sex and it's hot, damn hot. This author knows how to write some amazing m/m sex scenes. 3.75 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week was It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas. This has been on my shelf for at least 3 months and I finally picked it up. *sigh* I just love Kleypas' historicals. She writes great romance. I didn't love Lillian but I didn't dislike her either in the first book but I'm so glad I didn't skip this one as so many people said I could/should. I appreciated her personality and the fact that she stood up for herself and her relationship with Westcliff. Also I think I would have missed seeing Westcliff being brought to his knees - that was wonderful. And some of those kisses that they shared? Man, oh man were they great. 4 out of 5

FYI - I'm having some serious issues with my personal email so if you've emailed me I've probably gotten back to you. However most people aren't receiving my emails so if you're expecting a response but don't get one please try me again - sometimes it works. It's incredibly frustrating though and hopefully the problem will be worked out soon.

Happy Reading!

Guest Review Up at The Book Binge

My guest review for Wait til Your Vampire Gets Home by Michele Bardsley is up on The Book Binge. You can go here to read it.

To prove her journalistic chops, Libby Monroe ends up in Broken Heart, Oklahoma, chasing down bizarre rumors of strange goings-on and finding vampires, lycanthropes, and zombies. She never expects to fall in lust with one of them, but vampire/single dad Ralph Genessa is too irresistible. Only the town is being torn in two by a war between the undead and Libby may be the only thing that can hold Broken Heart together.