Re-Read Challenge Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...
After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...
Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents--until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae--and their notorious dark desires--ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...
Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

The blurb gives you a good idea of the story so I won't go too far into it. Emmaline is in Paris trying to find info on her unknown father when Lachlain finds her. He has been tortured by vampires for 150 years and he's so amazed to have finally found his mate that he manages to escape the catacombs under Paris to find her.

Lachlain finds Emmaline but he is crazed from his torture and can't quite control himself when he finds out that Emma is a vampire. He wants her because he knows she's his mate, but vampire? Damn. He's just not happy about that. Lachlain convinces Emma to drive him to Scotland - not telling her that she's his mate - and they're off on their trip. They get to know each other somewhat by the time that they get to Scotland but Emma is determined to get home.

During the whole mating dance there are vampires searching for Emma. She begins to discover exactly who she is and the type of person she wants to be when she A) gives into Lachlain and B)discovers her heritage.

I read this book a couple of years ago and I have to tell you, I wasn't all that impressed with it. I read the novella The Warlord Wants Forever right before reading this one and was confused by my dislike of this book. I loved TWWF and was quite surprised when I only found this just an ok read. I ended up giving it a 3 out of 5. Now I'm thinking that maybe I was judging it a little too harshly.

This time around I really felt more connected with the characters. I think that Cole has a way of writing her characters so that they get under your skin and you connect with them on so many levels. That and her world building really sucked me into the book this time. Her world building is truly so effortless. She also introduces many secondary characters without giving you the feeling that she's setting things up for her next book. I love that about her books.

Got off on a tangent there, sorry. :0) Anyway, I really enjoyed Lachlain. I didn't take him for such an overbearing ass this time around and tried to really put myself in his shoes. He's been gone from his clan for 150 years, he's suddenly found his mate and she's a species that he despises with all that is in him. I'd tend to be a tad cranky as well.

For Emmaline's part I had a much better sense of her personality progression during this read. In my first reading I felt that she took on too much of a personality change but when I really thought about it there were explanations for everything that happened. She had been sheltered all of her life and when that happens it's hard to figure out who you truly are unless you get out into RL and let it hit you from all angles.

So while this book is still not my favorite in the series I enjoyed it much more this time. If you haven't read the Immortals After Dark series? What the hell are you waiting for? Go forth and read!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Year of the Category Challenge Review: To Protect the Child by Anna DeStefano

A child she can't forget...

FBI agent Alexa Vega wakes in an Atlanta hospital with no memory of how she got there. Except for brief flashes of a little girl's image, she can't remember anything, including the assignment that led to her brutal attack. The only person she feels she can trust is the man who saved her Dr. Robert Livingston.

In his care she begins to recover...and to fall for him. Those feelings are returned, because Robert hasn't been able to stop thinking about Alexa. But as her memory returns, Alexa knows she has to finish what she started. She has to track down her attackers. It's the only way she can save a child she's sworn to protect.

She's determined to succeed, even if it means losing everything else including Robert's love.

Alexa Vega has been in deep undercover for a few years trying to get the goods on a criminal. But when she gets closer to her subject she realizes that not only is this guy a total criminal in the internet fraud business, but he is molesting his 14 year old daughter and apparently doing it for a while. When the bad guydecides to take his daughter with him in his travels Alexa decides that now’s the time to get the girl, Evie, out of the house. Alexa is willing to not get all of the information regarding the Big Bad if she can save the child. In the attempt to escape Alexa and Evie are found out and Alexa is beaten almost to death. Evie is taken back home and Alexa is taken to the hospital.

Alexa has brain surgery and wakes up to a warm hand in hers and a kind face. She also wakes up to snippets of a terrifying event but she can’t make heads or tails of what it means since she doesn’t even know her own name.

Robert Livingston, neurologist and Alexa’s surgeon, is strangely drawn to his patient. The man who is nothing but professional has suddenly taken a keen interest in Alexa and is staying by her side. He can’t seem to keep himself away from her and it’s causing all sorts of problems. He’s also very confused as there are police guarding Alexa’s room. The police say it’s because they want to find the muggers who beat her, but Robert’s pretty sure it’s something more.

Quite unexpectedly Alexa gets her memory back and realizes that she’s failed Evie and needs to get back to her to get her away from her father. She will do anything to save the girl, including escape from her hospital room after only 3 or 4 days after brain surgery.

I’m not quite sure where to start with this one. This book was a total impulse buy at the UBS that I went to with Nikki and Lori earlier in the month. I figured – just grab it and then I wouldn’t have to spend time on the computer at eharlequin looking up books to buy. I have to say that I normally really enjoy amnesia stories so that was a bonus as well. But Alexa had her memory back so very quickly I really wouldn’t call this book an amnesia story at all. Once she was faced with a certain character – the special agent in charge of the investigation that she was working on – it all came flooding back. I also found it odd that that particular character was the one that triggered her memory, as one of her best friends that she’d known most of her life didn’t seem to trigger anything. But that’s how the story went.

So Robert’s feeling protective and drawn to his patient, telling himself that it’s because no one was there for her and no one’s calling to find out how she is, etc. And Alexa’s feeling like Robert is the only one she can trust because he’s being so nice to her. When she escapes the hospital Robert finds her and they talk about her career and what she really does, etc but that’s about it. Next thing Robert’s telling Alexa that he loves her and she’s figuring out that she loves him. I frankly had to ask myself – is this small amount of being together and talking basis for love? Personally, I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the story and the book was very heartwarming, but are we supposed to really believe that these people are going to live happily ever after when they don’t know anything about each other? Really? I think it could be the start of a dating relationship and a “let’s get to know each other better because I’m liking you a lot” relationship but HEA? I’d have to say no. Were there qualities about Alexa that Robert loved? Yes. Were there qualities about Robert that Alexa loved? Yes. But a few fabulous qualities does not an entire person make and I found it quite hard to fathom how these two could express their love for other so quickly.

So end result: Cute book. Liked the premise of the book and the writing flowed very nicely. I would definitely read more by this author in the future. However I didn’t “get” the HEA in the end.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

What I Read Last Week and Vacation Update

Hi Everyone!

Did you think I got lost on my way to the blog? I certainly did! lol

So thanks all of you for the well wishes on my trip - that was very nice of all of you. The train actually ended up being quite fun except for the whole sleeping thing. On the first night I was sitting next to my youngest and I was in the outside seat. Well, there's no side head rest so it was more than uncomfortable and I only got about 4 hours of sleep. The second night though we switched (because she could stretch out no matter what) so that I could lean against the side of the train/window. That was much better and I managed to get 6 hours of sleep the second night. The seats are nice and roomy but the 4 foot and under crowd really have it made. :0)

The most entertaining thing on the train was a looney woman who sat kitty corner to me. I shouldn't say that I think it's fun that she has mental issues but having to tell my sister about all the things that went on made for a few hours of amusement.

When we got to town the train was only 2 hours late which was nice. We got to my sisters house and showered and ate and then went out to see a Titanic exhibit that KC has going right now. It was really quite nice. We then went and got Sheridan's Frozen Custard (ice cream) which was positively sinful. As I was talking to my sister I saw this big sign over her head on the next building and started drooling. It said Books-A-Million! I was so there! It was huge and I ended up buying 6 books - mostly new releases, which was great. This is especially nice since my mom is going through about a book a day and I'm her dealer. :)

Today we slept in. I never sleep in. I'm usually awake by 7 or 8am at the latest. Well even with going to bed at midnight I slept for 10 1/2 hours! Holy Magoly Batman! lol It was fabulous. We then went shopping in this amazing shopping area called Zona Rosa which was great. Now it's time to finally sit down and try to catch up on my email, etc. I haven't had much time to read but it's all good. I don't get to go on vacation very often so it's worth the book neglect.

So I didn't read much last week with preparing to leave and all but here it is:

First up was Running Wild by Sarah McCarty. This is actually 3 novellas in one book that all interconnect. In fact when you start the next story it's like the story is just continuing but each story is about a different member of the family. It a werewolf paranormal book and it was pretty good. I liked the first story the best with the second following a close second. The third was good but felt a little rushed and the romance suffered I thought. 3.5 out of 5

Next was a book that was recommended to me by Kris. She really gives good book. This one was called Sindustry Volume 1 and it was an m/m anthology from Dreamspinner Press with 12 different stories in it about men who work as rentboys, strippers, hookers and porn stars. It was such a good book and I really liked all of the stories. 4.5 out of 5

Next up was A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole. I read this for my re-read challenge and will be posting my review of it on Friday.

My last book was another one recommended by Kris called Like Coffee and Doughnuts by Elle Parker. This was an m/m book about Dino, an old fashioned kind of guy who is a P.I. His best friend is his mechanic Seth and as great as they get along they are incredibly different from each other. When Seth starts putting moves on Dino he's not quite sure what to make of it, but he's willing to explore. Add in a little intrigue from Dino's client and things get revved up. This was a good book when it came to dialogue - which is exactly what Kris had told me. It was an interesting story but when there wasn't dialogue it kind of dragged a little. At the end of it I had a nice feeling. 3.75 out of 5

Happy Reading!

And She's Off

Today at 6:45pm (pacific) I will be on a train that will be heading to Kansas City, Missouri to visit my sister. My parents, my 14yo niece and my two girls and I will spend a fun filled week at my sisters house after which I will fly home. The rest of the crew though will then take a train to visit my other sister in Huntsville, Alabama where they will stay for about a week and a half then take the train home to California.

I have to be honest with ya...I'm not looking forward to the train ride. Maybe if the trains were as they used to be in the 40's where everyone got a sleeper car it would be great. But we'll be sleeping in our seats for 2 nights (the sleeper cars add about $1000 to the price of the ticket - yikes). The kids of course think it's the best thing since sliced bread. Me? Not so much. I'm really looking forward to seeing my sister though so it will all be worth it in the end. :0)

So I was packing last night and standing in front of my bookcase trying to figure out what books to pack. So. Hard. I'm just not the type of girl who likes to plan my reading in advance - even for 1 week. I know, suck it up Tracy, right? It's just that I want to walk up to my books and peruse the shelves for a few minutes and decide what I'm in the mood for. I did put a bunch of books on my ereader but most of those were m/m. Some were contemps so I brought a few paranormals and a few historicals in print to round things out. Hopefully between all of that I won't get into a slump! lol
I won't have access to email or the internet while I'm on the train so won't be able to get online until I get to KC on Sunday - which will drive me slightly batty but I'll deal.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I'll talk to you next week!

I'm at Katiebabs' Today - Come Visit

Hey folks,

Today I'm doing a guest review over at Katiebabs' place Babbling About Books, And More. Come on over and check it out!

Did You Hear???

If you haven't seen this or didn't get the email I'm going to share...cuz that's just the kind of Book Slut I am! Now run along and shop!

What I've Been Reading This Week

Hello there! Are you completely shocked that I'm actually getting this post done on Sunday? Me too! lol I have time today, which is amazing and wonderful.

I've discovered that I live in hell. No, really. It's pretty here but the heat is killing me! :) You guessed it, it's been really hot here this past week. Summer has finally hit us. It went from about 101 (f) on Monday to a whopping 110 today. Remind me why I live here again?

We're going on vacation and we're going to go see my sister who lives in Kansas City, MO. The girls, my parents, my niece & I will leave Friday evening and I'll be gone a week so I'll be busy this week trying to get things ready. I'm trying to load as many books as I can on my ereader so that I won't have to take too many print books with me but I'm sure I'll take some. Besides seeing my sister I hope to have time to meet up with Sarai - fellow blogger, book lover and DIK Lady - who lives in KC, MO. Hopefully we can find time to at least meet since I'll be so close.

So what did I read this week?

First off I started with yet another Yaoi Manga that I was sent by Tam. In case you're wondering Kris has been holding the Great Yaoi Swap (or pass the parcel) and that's why I'm getting all the goodies. It's pretty darned cool actually. I get pressies from far off places and then ship them off to far off places. It's like I'm living vicariously through my mail. :) Anyway, this one was called But I'm Your Teacher by Yoshino Somei. I didn't care for this one as much as the first. This one was much more graphic than the first one I read but that wasn't the issue. It was just the artist had a lot of drool and fluids leaking about - mouths and *ahem* other places I wouldn't imagine I'd like to see fluid and that was just well, weird. Also, the stories just didn't cut it for me. A couple were cute while a couple others were just disturbing. Not my cuppa but not horrid. 3 out of 5

Next I read What Happens In London by Julia Quinn. *sigh* such a good book. My thoughts here.

After that I moved on to the latest installment in the Betsy the Vampire series by Mary Janice Davidson called Undead and Unwelcome. These books are not very long at all and unfortunately I found myself skimming a lot at the beginning of the book because I was bored. This story took off right where the other left off. Betsy is taking Antonia (the werewolf) back to her pack to be buried and things are uncomfortable to say the least. The Vamps and the Weres aren't really getting on all that great. Then Betsy's sister Laura starts losing her mind and if you've been reading the books you'll know that that is not something that we want happening! The story definitely got better as it went on which was great. I just wish the books were longer! lol 3.5 out of 5

After that I started on a book that Lori re-read for her Re-read Challenge and I ended up borrowing becuase it sounded good. She was right, it was. It was called Sweetheart, Indiana by Suzanne Simmons and follows the story of Gillian Charles who is an heiress but it was instructed in her grandfather's will that she must live for 6 months in Sweetheart in order to inherit her money after he dies. She's not thrilled, but she does it. She ends up finding love, friendship and a whole lot more when she gets there. Good read! 4 out of 5

Next I read a novella called Surrender Dorothy by R.G. Alexander. A story about Dorothy - a witch who is trying to stay away from her new neighbor who is a wizard. She's never actually met a wizard but she's heard nothing but bad things about them. When she gets transported to Oz things really start moving. Sounds corny but it's actually a very cute little story. 4 out of 5

Mistress of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle was next on the list. This is the first book in the School of Gallantry series. There are supposed to be 5 books and I'm going to assume they cover the stories of the first 5 members of the School. This story revolved around Maybelle who is the granddaughter of a coutesan who is the owner of the school. Maybelle is fiercely independent but her grandmother talks her into staying in London with her for a while. Maybelle is determined to rid herself of her virginity and decides on a particular man. He ends up being a duke. The duke's mother wants to marry him off but there is much scandal revolving around him and he wants a titled unsullied woman to be his bride. Things change for him and Maybelle immensely during the book. I enjoyed the book a lot but found that some parts of it were too unbelievable - even while suspending it (if that makes sense). Ms. Marvelle certainly knows how to write great sex scenes - they were smokin. I will definitley read the next book as I want to know more about the first participants in the school. 3.75 out of 5

And last on my list for the week was Highland Obsession by Dawn Halliday which releases on August 4th and was a book I read for The Book Binge. I'll let you known when the review posts - as usual. :)

Happy Reading!

She Shops...She Scores!

I went back to the UBS in Canoga Park that Lori and Nikki and I hit last weekend (they were having a 1/2 price sale - 1/2 their usual price which is usually 1/2 off. I had a long list. I only found 2 of the books on my list - boo hoo. Did that stop me from buying? NO! And all this + 2 books for my daughter? $20.00! Here's my haul:

I didn't realize until I got home that they were all historical romances except the McCarty. Oh well...guess I had a hankering for them and didn't even realize it! lol

Bound By Your Touch Review at TBB

My guest review for Bound By Your Touch by Meredith Duran is now up at The Book Binge.

Silver-tongued Viscount Sanburne is London's favorite scapegrace. Alas, Lydia Boyce has no interest in being charmed. When his latest escapade exposes a plot to ruin her family, she vows to handle it herself, as she always has done. Certainly she requires no help from a too-handsome dilettante whose main achievement is being scandalous. But Sanburne's golden charisma masks a sharper mind and darker history than she realizes. He shocks Lydia by breaking past her prim facade to the woman beneath...and the hidden fire no man has ever recognized. But as she follows him into a world of intrigue, she will learn that the greatest danger lies within -- in the shadowy, secret motives of his heart.

Four years ago Lydia Boyce had her heart broken. Since then she’s been throwing herself into her father’s business of selling artifacts from Egypt to help fund his work in that country. Giving a speech that would possibly end in enormous funding for her father, Lydia is interrupted by Viscount Sanburne as he attempts to show his father a fabulous artifact that he has acquired. Unfortunately for Sanburne, Lydia then spouts all the evidences that the piece is, in fact, a forgery.

Read more---->

What Happens in London by Julia Quinn: A Review, Yet, Not

When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancée, she doesn't believe it for a second, but still, how can she help spying on him, just to be sure? So she stakes out a spot near her bedroom window, cleverly concealed by curtains, watches, and waits... and discovers a most intriguing man, who is definitely up to something.

Sir Harry Valentine works for the boring branch of the War Office, translating documents vital to national security. He's not a spy, but he's had all the training, and when a gorgeous blonde begins to watch him from her window, he is instantly suspicious. But just when he decides that she's nothing more than a nosy debutante, he discovers that she be engaged to a foreign prince, who might be plotting against England. And when Harry is roped into spying on Olivia, he discovers that he might be falling for her himself...

There have been so very many reviews of What Happens in London that I can't possibly write another:

You see? A lot of reviews - and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

So I'm just gonna tell you some of my thoughts.

I loved it. Ok, I'm done.

Just Kidding. Not about loving it though. I really did and there are so very many reasons why!

Olivia and Harry's relationship was like a breath of fresh air. I think Ms. Quinn realy outdid herself in the simplicity of the relationship. The pair talked, and danced, and laughed and yes, kissed. It was just the sheer enjoyment of the other persons company that is sometimes so lacking in romance novels that got me with this one. Not that it doesn't ever happen but a lot of the time it's assumed - not so with this book.

Harry - oh, Harry. What a wonderful hero Harry is. He really had a messed up childhood and home life but yet he rose above it without becoming jaded. The first part of the book goes into detail about his father being a drunk and his mother really not caring about anything. While I felt that this was important information I thought that it was a little more lengthy than I would have liked. Again - important info though. It showed why Harry got out of his house as fast as possible after finishing school and therefore going into the service and ultimately why he was working for the War Office and spying on Olivia. It was also important info to have when it came to Harry's brother Edward and why Harry had no patience for him because he felt Edward was becoming exactly like his father. Also why Edward was troubled (I can't think of the appropriate word) by Harry because he felt Harry had left him to deal with their father alone instead of being there for him when he needed him. But despite all the trials and tribulations of Harry's youth he became an incredible man who was really very romantic. I mean the guy got "randy" reading French Poetry! lol How often do you read that about a hero!

Then we have Olivia. I have to be honest, when I read The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheevers I did not see Olivia as being a strong enough heroine to carry her own book. I'll say it right now - I was wrong. Olivia was strong heroine in the fact that she can really hold her own. She speaks her mind most of the time, but knows when to shut it. Ok, well, most of the time she knows when to shut it. She enjoys reading the paper and political discussions. And she's not going to settle for just any man. Despite being the daughter of an Earl and this being her 3rd season out and have many, many marriage proposals she's not going to settle for just anyone. All of those men see her as beautiful and an Earl's daughter - but they don't see her for who she really is. Harry does and when he explains why he loves her it put a big fat smile on my face.

There was a portion near the end of the book where we got into this crazy, unexpected suspense plot that frankly kind of threw me out of the book for a bit. I realize that most historicals have some part of the story line where the hero is saving the heroine or vice versa but I just didn't feel this book needed that. It was just so good on its own.

I have to tell ya - Julia Quinn is fast becoming one of my all time favorite historical romance authors.

So final thoughts...a lovely, heartwarming, charming, romantic book that I think historical romance readers will enjoy.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Guest Review posted

My guest review for Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella (another installment of From Holly's Bookshelf) is up a The Book Binge. Here's a little tidbit...

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her...

Emma Corrigan is currently working as a marketing assistant for the Panther Corporation. She really wants to do something great so that they will promote her to marketing executive. Unfortunately for Emma she just can’t catch a break. She's sent to Scotland (she lives in England where most of the story takes place) to talk to some executives and accidentally ends up spraying Panther Cola all over him. Dejected and definitely not having a good day Emma boards her plane to England where the flight attendant, feeling sorry for her, upgrades Emma to business class. The plane starts experiencing severe turbulence and Emma is just positive that she’s going to die. She grabs hold of the man next to her and starts telling him all of her secrets – and I mean all of them! Luckily they don’t die and all the passengers go on their merry way.

Read more here...

What I've Been Reading This Week

So I read this week but when I sat down to read I read a lot at one time since I had no time. But what I did make time for was lunch with my blogging buddies Lori and Nikki. We met at Borders in Northridge, had lunch and then went to a local UBS that was pretty huge - at least the biggest one I've ever been to. It was so much fun talking about kids and books and books and kids. lol We had a great time.

So on to what I read this week.

My first book was a Tracy's TBR Challenge read. It was Tied Up, Tied Down by Lorelei James which is book 4 in the Rough Riders series. This was a good book about Kade and Skylar. Kade has come back to his home after being gone for a year and discovers that he's a father. Sky had tried to contact him but since he was out of communication range he never found out about the baby. Wanting to be a full-time dad he moves in with Sky. Not only do they work on being parents together but they work on their relationship as well. 4 out of 5

Tied Up, Tied Down has a TON of MacKay family members in it and since it had been a while since I'd read book 3 in the RR series I was kind of confused. I felt the need to keep reading the series so I didn't lose the info! This led me to read Rough, Raw and Ready by Lorelei Jameswhich is book 5 in the series. This one is about Trevor and his wife Chassie running a ranch. Chassie is a cousin to the MacKay family and Trevor, if you remember from book 1 was on the rodeo circuit with Colby. If you read book 1 you also know that Trevor was involved and pretty much in love with his Brazillian roping partner, Edgard. But Edgard went back to Brazil and Trevor was devastated. Now Trevor is married to Chassie and very much in love with her but when Edgard shows up emotions get tangled up. I thought this was a great book dealing with a past love - not only a past love but a m/m relationship. The way Ms. James dealt with both Trevor's, Edgard's and Chassie's feelings and reactions was pretty darned great. A very emotional read. 4.5 out of 5

I told you I didn't want to lose the family connection with the RR series so I kept reading and moved on to book 6 Branded as Trouble by Lorelei James. This book dealt with Colt and India. India is Sky's sister (from book 4) and she's run a tattoo studio in Sundance. India is Colt's AA sponsor but they've become best friends over the 3 year period that they've known each other. Well, with Colt it goes a bit deeper - he's completely in love with India and wants more from their relationship. This was another great story. Ms. James doesn't skimp on her plot lines, let me tell you. Dealing with their addictions as well as their emotions during the book made for a great story. 4.25 out of 5

The last story in this series (so far) is book 6.5 Strong, Silent Type by Lorelei James. This is a novella about a MacKay cousin, Quinn and his wife. They've been together since they were 16 years old but Libby has kicked Quinn out of the house and when the story begins it's been 3 months. Libby's ready to file for divorce, even though she loves Quinn. She just doesn't feel they can live together any longer. For Quinn's part he's miserable and wants nothing more than to be with Libby. He's not sure what's going on but he's not going to let her go. Let me tell you, anyone who has has communication issues with a spouse, S.O. or a boyfriend can relate to this book. It just showed me how people in long-term relationships can become complacent and feel that they know the other person inside and out, when maybe they don't. Quinn and Libby deal with different aspects of their relationship and I thought it was very well done. 4.5 out of 5

You'd think after all of those Lorelei James books I'd stop reading her, right? Nope. I moved on to 2 of her novella's that deal with MacKay cousins - the West's. This is actually a different series called the Wild West Boys. Mistress Christmas & Miss Firecracker are the 2 novellas and the 2 stories follow brothers Nick and Blake West. While they grew up on a farm in Wyoming neither story takes place in that state. I very much enjoyed the 2 stories and would recommend them to anyone who read the RR series or those who just like a cute, light read.
Mistress Christmas - 4 out of 5 & Miss Firecracker - 4.25 out of 5

After all of those cowboys I needed something a little different so I dug into Josh Lanyon's Somebody Killed His Editor. I really, really liked this book. It was a great mystery story about Christopher Holmes, an author or mystery stories that revolve around a character by the name of Miss Butterwith. Well, his editor has told him that the story lines aren't really what they're looking for any longer so he they're not contracting with him any longer. Christopher heads off to a writers conference with his agent to meet with his editor. While he's there, stuck on the island because of a storm, dead bodies start appearing - one being his editor. Christopher is who everyone thinks murdered him so he's out to prove that he didn't do it. In the meantime he's run into another author who he had a weekend fling with 10 years earlier. This a great book. It's got a mystery, a relationship & fabulous humor. 4.5 out of 5

Next up was Love Leaves No One Behind by Claudia Pemberton. This is another Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week. I purchased this book because Ms. Pemberton was scheduled to be at Lora Leigh's RAW last September. I bought the book but never got around to reading it. I have to tell ya, I had a damned hard time getting through it. It's not that the story wasn't good but it was very slow, sluggish and incredibly descriptive. I don't mind in depth descriptions if it's gonig to provide some much needed info for the rest of the story. Unfortunately this wasn't the case for this book. It did have some really cute parts to it but overall I just didn't care for it.
2.5 out of 5

My next read one I've been looking forward to for a long while: Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I love Nalini's books! I just love the way she writes - she could write a laundry or grocery list and I would gobble it up. This book was no different - the story between leapord changeling Mercy and wolf changeling was Riley was hot as hell. But don't get me wrong, it wasn't all about sex but their relationship and how it developed. The sexual and emotional tension kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the book. Good stuff! 5 out of 5

I read my very first yaoi manga! Ok, it was my first manga - whether it was yaoi or not. I liked it a lot - cute stories, purty menz, what's not to like? It took a little getting used to reading it back to front and right to left but I got used to it and pretty much enjoyed it all. This book was Lover's Pledge by Kae Maruya. It's got several different stories in it, all yaoi and I thought it was great. I have nothing to compare it to, but still! :) 4 out of 5

When I got back from my lunch with Lori and Nikki I sat down to read a last minute grab at the UBS which was To Protect the Child by Anna DeStefano (book 2 in the Atlanta Heroes series). This is a category and I'll be reviewing it later in the month for my Year of the Category challenge.

Last but not least was a book I'll be reviewing for The Book Binge which was Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella. I'll let you know when the review posts.

Guest Review: Playing with Fyre

My guest review for Playing with Fyre by Mina Carter is now up at The Book Binge You can go here to read it.

When you play with Fyre, you just might get burned.

Raelyn Borne has a fiery passion to save her home. Unfortunately, lawyer Logan Fyre, is as ruthless an opponent as they come. With him, she can’t bribe or threaten her way out of this one.

When backed into a corner, Raelyn has a tendency to get sassy. And now she’s desperate enough to enter into a dangerous game with Logan.

Does she have the strength to play with Fyre–without getting burned?

Raelyn Borne in lives in a gatehouse. She bought the property that was once part of a larger estate and one she had always dreamed of living in. She’s set up her aromatherapy massage business in the front part of the house and she lives in the back. Unfortunately business is not great and she spent more setting up the business than she’s now bringing in.

Enter Logan Fyre, a property developer that has purchased the mansion that’s associated with the gatehouse and he wants Rae to close up shop and leave. He’s willing to offer her great compensation but she doesn’t want to leave. Logan decides that letters aren’t getting the point across so he goes to see Raelyn in person. Rae mistakes Logan for her next client and talks to him about the massage. Right off the bat Logan assumes that she’s giving “special” massages and pretty much calls Rae a prostitute. Rae is incensed, as she should be, but yet when he makes a move on her and kisses her she’s all in. That was a little confusing but it did show their sexual chemistry was good. Read More...

Arrrg! Too Busy!

Work has been unbelievably busy. You'd think that with my boss gone that things would be calm. Ok, the phone doesn't ring as much which is a wonderful thing but arg! I haven't been able to blog hop in like a week and a half and I feel so out of touch. I will hopefully be able to get by to say hi to my peeps soon...we'll see.

Blowing kisses to you all - hope you're well.

Guest Review: Touched by Light by Catherine Spangler

My guest review for Touched by Light by Catherine Spangler is up at The Book Binge:

Dr. Julia Reynolds lives a solitary existence. But Adam Masters is determined to draw her into a dark and dangerous otherworld—and make her give in to the stunning sexual attraction between them.

12 years ago, Julia was beaten and raped. She’s dealt with recovery as best she can but she definitely has some issues with self-esteem, which is completely understandable. She's not ready for a relationship and definitely not one who's not really human.

Adam is not only a Sentinel, a reincarnated being from Atlantis, but a Sanctioned, a reincarnated being who’s in charge of the Sentinels. Sentinels use sex with conductors to figure out where demon-like beings are so that they can kill them and send them to Saturn.

Read the rest of my review here------>

What I Was Reading Last Week

I'm behind. Yes, again. I know, it sucks, but what can you do? Actually I tried to spend as little time as possible on the computer this weekend. Since I work at a computer practically all day every day I tend to have issues with my right arm - especially when I'm on the mouse for extended periods. The last time it kicked into high gear I had problems even moving my right arm and had a long stint in Physical Therapy. Let's just say as nice as they are, I don't want to go back! lol So I've been trying to stay off the computer during weekends and last night I just couldn't get myself to type this out. I'm sure you were wondering how you could possibly start your week without the info but I hope you managed somehow. :)

Not much excitement this past week at the homestead. My youngest getting her yellow belt was cool. She loved it when I read all of your comments to her. Her birthday is on Wednesday and she's been looking forward to getting her ears pierced which I said she could do when she was 7, just like my oldest. Well, I took her yesterday to get them done and she totally changed her mind. She wanted it so badly I was completely shocked. It wasn't even when she saw the needle! I have no idea what happened but she just said, you know, maybe when I'm 8 or 9. Well ok then. :) My oldest kept trying to talk her into it and finally my oldest told her that the only way she was doing it was if my oldest paid her $500.00!!! lmao. That got my oldest to pipe down pretty darned fast!

Oh and I posted my reads for June on my sidebar if you're interested.

Ok - so on to what I read last week:

First up was Sea Fever by Virginia Kantra. This was a book that Katiebabs sent me a while back and I finally picked it up. After discussin the book with her she asked that I do a review for her blog so I'll do that and when it posts I'll let you all know. :)

Next up was Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas. I really, really liked this book. It had such a great sense of family and the romance in it was so subtle it made it that much better. I also loved the heroine in this one so much. Allie was just a girl I would love to call friend. I would definitely recommend this one. 4.5 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for this month was Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare. A while back I read the first book in this trilogy and really liked it. This was good, but not as good imo. I liked Jamie and Brighid (pronounced Breed) together but they were both so stubborn at times I wanted to conk them over the head with a blunt object. lol I think what didn't do it for me in this book was the fact that there was a lot of the h or h getting sick, or stabbed, or kidnapped and it was all a little too much. 3.75 out of 5

My next read was Touched by Light by Catherine Spangler. This is the 3rd book in the series and I can say I'm probably done reading them. I read this for The Book Binge so I'll be sure and let you know when the review posts.
This cover? The hero of the book is a suit wearing, tie donning, brand name dresser who has short hair that is always meticulously combed. The guy on the cover has a mullet. I know that the covers don't always match up but come on! A mullet??? lmao! (nice abs though)

The Treasure Keeper (book 4 in the Drakon series) by Shana Abe was my next choice. I had to finish the series! While I enjoyed this book very much and of course still love Abe's writing I just couldn't believe in the heroine's love at the end of the book. This book was about Rhys and his longtime love Zoe. I think Zoe had had feelings for Rhys when she was younger and as she got older cared about him but when it came to the end of the book I just didn't believe it. Now Rhys, I loved. He was an arrogant ass but he did it in such a way that I couldn't help but be drawn to him. I really am looking forward to the next book and I don't even think it's been decided when that will be since this one just came out in April. Oh well, patience is a virtue, or so they tell me. I'm really on the shelf about a rating on this one. It's a 4.25 to 4.5 out of 5

Next was a novella called Playing With Fyre by Mina Carter. I read it for The Book Binge and will let you know when the review posts.

Dragon's Kiss by Ally Blue was an m/m short story that I read next. This was my first read of Ally's and I thought it was pretty good. It was very short and had a touching story but because of the length there wasn't much time to get to know the characters. Bear and Lynx are out on patrol when they come across Dragon who is nekkid and jacking off. Bear is drawn to this man and as they make their way back to their pack Bear and Dragon talk and find that they have similar thought of life and how things should be run in the pack when it pertains to earth as it was approx. 15 generations prior. I think it must be part of a series (which I'll check out today) and if so I'd be interested in reading more of the series because I liked Ally's writing. 3 out of 5

My last read for the week was Tied Up, Tied Down by Lorelei James. This is book 4 in the Rough Riders series and definitely one of my favorites of the series so far. This one was with Kade and Skylar. Kade had been dating Skylar but she thought that he was actually his twin, Kane. Unfortunately when she found out about the duplicity in book 3 she broke things off. Kade was heartbroken and moved away for a year with basically no means of communication. The poor guy had his heart broken. When book 4 opens we find that Skylar is pregnant from the one encounter she had with Kade. She does try to contact him but when she finds he's gone for a year really doesn't try any harder to get a message to him. When Kade returns he finds out about the baby and is 100% in for taking care of little Eliza. Kade wants not only to be a great dad to the baby but he wants Skylar back. I really loved Kade. He was just truly a kind, good-hearted person. Skylar had issues from past problems with men and humankind in general but she came around. It was a good read. 4 out of 5

Happy Reading!