Re-Read Challenge Review: Death of a Pirate King by Josh Lanyon

Gay bookseller and reluctant amateur sleuth Adrien English's writing career is suddenly taking off. His first novel, Murder Will Out, has been optioned by notorious Hollywood actor Paul Kane.But when murder makes an appearance at a dinner party, who should be called in but Adrien's former lover, handsome closeted detective Jake Riordan, now a Lieutenant with LAPD. And that may just drive Adrien's current boyfriend, sexy UCLA professor Guy Snowden, to commit a murder of his own!

Adrien English is thrilled that his novel, Murder Will Out, has been optioned in Hollywood! Frankly he doesn’t really care about whether the movie will be true to the book he just wants the cash to pay for the addition to his bookstore. He’s not all the impressed with the Hollywood set of stars to say the least. But when he’s at a luncheon at actor Paul Kane’s house and financier, Porter Jones, falls over dead he gets a pretty big jolt go through him. That jolt is when Jake Riordan, a man he had had an affair with – and what Adrien had thought of as a relationship – for a year, shows up to question the guests of the party.

When it’s discovered that Porter Jones was murdered Paul Kane contacts Adrien, who has done some amateur sleuthing in the past, to ask some questions of the guests who were at the luncheon. Paul thinks that Adrien will get more information out of them than the police will. Adrien agrees but this puts him in constant contact with Jake. Jake seems like he’s changed in different ways over the years but so has Adrien.

What starts off with Adrien asking some innocent questions turn into Adrien being suspected of murder, as well as attempted murder on someone else. It seems that someone is setting Adrien up to take the fall…but why? Then there are the things that Adrien is finding out about Jake and his past that he's not all the fond of. He's wondering if he ever realy knew the man that he thought himself in love with.

I decided to read DoaPK because The Dark Tide, book 5 in the AE series, will be coming out on Dec. 22nd. I’m pretty damned excited about it. I remember reading DoaPK on my ereader while on a plane and getting so annoyed when the captain kept telling us to turn off our electronic devices. Lol Didn’t he know I was reading about Adrien and Jake for God’s sake?

Let me tell you – I loved this book just as much this time around, if not more (is that even possible? :)). I totally adore Adrien. He’s just so down to earth with his illnesses and his family issues and trying to run his business - and I LOVE his dry sarcastic wit...right up my alley. But he still has a great romantic soul that, even though he’s a little bitter in this book, still shines through. Sitting down with this book was like sitting down with an old friend and getting to know him all over again. I love that feeling when I read a book.

Then there’s Guy - Adrien's love interest for the past two years. I have to say, I never liked Guy. Not from the first time he was mentioned. Something about him kind of rubbed me the wrong way and even though I’m sure he was/is a nice guy I never saw him with Adrien at all. Might have something to do with Jake though – I think I might be prejudiced.

And Jake - he kind of made my heart ache in this book. He just seemed so damned sad – with a shitload of regrets for the things he’d done in the past and it made me like him even more. (Kris is gonna shit bricks over that last sentence)

Needless to say between the mystery which is so good and the characters, which in Lanyon books are always wonderful, I love this book. I can’t wait for The Dark Tide!

Rating on first read: 5 out of 5

Rating on re-read: 5 out of 5

What I've Been Reading This Week

Hello there!

I hope you all had a wonderful week - whether you were celebrating Thanksgiving or not. I personally had a wonderfully quiet Thanksgiving spent at my parents house and it's always nice to have 4 days off of work to spend time with the family. :)

Yesterday two of my friends and I made an improptu drive to Costa Mesa and they both drooled over the UBS New and Recycled Romances - yes the same one that the So Cal Blogger went to. It was great fun and we spent a good hour and a half just browsing, talking and having fun. I think my friend Jen bought something like 18 or 20 books. :) I love that! lol

I haven't blog hopped in about 3 weeks and I think I'm going through withdrawals! Hopefully I'll be able to this week cuz I feel like I have no idea what's going on with any of you! I hope you're all well

Anyway, on to what I read this week

My first read of the week was Genesis by Jet Mykles. This is book 5 in the Heaven Sent series and it's was pretty good. It was a New Year's story involvoing all of the couples. I liked seeing all of the couples together and having normal every day issues like the rest of us. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was the novella Look What Santa Brought by Annmarie McKenna. This was an impulse holiday buy and it was cute. A story about a hero who's blind and has the hots for his sister's best friend and the best friend who is trying to get away from her incredibly possessive/psycho boyfriend who wants to take over her life. While it was cute it had what seemed like a very rushed sex scene (the only one in the story) and then the ending was very abrupt. I would have liked to see just a few more pages here and there. 3.5 out of 5

After that I read Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater. I had very mixed feelings about the book. On one hand I liked the relationship that Deirdre had with her best friend James - even though he played a pretty small part. But I can't say that I liked Deirdre all that much. Her easy acceptance of the whole Faerie thing was a little off-putting for me. Would a teenager really believe that quickly and not doubt? I found it odd. Then there were some unanswered questions in the story. Luke (who I actually felt sorry for) who would say "I am Luke, it's been one thousand blah, blah, blah years - do not forget" Why did he say this? Who was he saying it to? Was he saying it just to himself? What was he not to forget? That was never explained and it drove me nuts! And (I don't want to spoil the story so I'll say this as vaguely as possible) the queen at the end - why her? Was there something special about her? She said she'd been waiting - but why? I didn't get it. And the biggest question: What was the queen's deception? Am I being obtuse? IDK. I have to say that although this book was written well it just didn't get me emotionally involved. I ended the book going "huh, ok." 3 out of 5

Alas my Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week is a fail. I bought Never Dare a Duke by Gayle Callen after reading Never Trust a Scoundrel and enjoying it. Unfortunately it sat there unread until now. I was sent Never Marry a Stranger - the 3rd book in the trilogy - for review and thought I'd read this one first. Well I just couldn't do it. After about 20 pages I was ready to throw put the book down. The heroine is a commoner who's father's newpaper is failing. She decides that what the paper needs is more gossip and she wants to get the skinny on a Duke that supposedly has paid big money to keep a secret. (I won't go into great detail but her father sounded like a pretty honorable man who doesn't print gossip so why she thought he'd print this is beyond me.) She meets the Duke and her best friend (an Earl's daughter) lies about who she is, so that about did me in. She's already lied about her identity and then she's going to scrounge into his past (and lie to get what she wants) and wreak havoc on his reputation no matter who he is - cuz people need to know and he's a Duke, dammit. Oy. I did read 60 more pages and decided I just couldn't do it. The heroine's personality was so annoying to me I just couldn't go further. DNF

Never Marry A Stranger by Gayle Callen is the next book in the Sons of Scandal series and one I read for The Book Binge. My review should post this week so I'll alert you went that happens - I think tomorrow should be the day.

Another read for my Year of the Category Challenge was Blackmailed Into Marriage by Lucy Monroe. You can read my review here.

And my last read fo the week...yes, cutting it very close this time...was my Re-Read Challenge book - in preparation of The Dark Tide release on December 22nd I read Death of A Pirate King by Josh Lanyon. I'll post my review tomorrow!

Have a great week and Happy Reading!

Year of the Category Challenge Twofer: The Spanish Groom by Lynne Graham and Blackmailed Into Marriage by Lucy Monroe

This month, just for you, it's a Category Challenge Twofer. That's right I read not 1 but 2 category books for review. Why, you may ask, would you do something like that? Well, let me just tell you how it came to be.

Last month I read and reviewed Lynne Graham's The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress and didn't particularly care for it. In the comments of that review Tumperkin wrote these words:

I can't disagree with one word of your review. Lynne Graham is one of my guilty pleasure authors but she hasn't written a book in 4 or 5 years that has been good *sigh*. It makes me sad when I think of what she used to produce. If you can bear to spend a few cents at Amazon, I'd defy you to read Prisoner of Passion or the Spanish Groom and not thoroughly enjoy them.
Folks - she used the word DEFY! How can I ignore that for any length of time? I couldn't - I had to go out, get the book and read it. Part of me was thinking that I really was not going to like this book but I was wrong.

It all started with a ring...

Cesar Valverde was the man with everything--stunning good looks, wealth and a bachelor lifestyle. But Cesar knew it would please his ailing godfather more than anything if he got married, preferably to Dixie Robinson. Well, perhaps a temporary engagement to Dixie would be enough to please Cesar's godfather.

And ended in marriage...

But Cesar discovered Dixie was a beautiful, sensual virgin, and he couldn't help but make love to her. Cesar's bachelor days were over! Within a week, he was standing at the altar, and Dixie was his bride--though unbeknown to Cesar, she was now also the mother of his child!

Dixie Robinson works at a bank owned by Cesar Valverde. She got the jobthrough a friend of hers who happens to be Cesar's godfather, Jasper, and the man that has raised Cesar since he was 12. She's really an inept worker and can't seem to do anyhing right but make coffee and fetch things - but everyone loves her to death...except Cesar.

She had not one single trait which didn’t grate on her cool, sophisticated employer.

and this, one of my favorites:

'But then that's because you're a lazy, disorganized lump, who contrives to hide behind the front of being a brick short of the full load! Only around me you won't get away with that kind of nonsense!'

Dixie has financial issues because of her step-sister and is currently in debt. Cesar finds out because they do random credit scans at the bank and being in debt is grounds for dismissal. Cesar is more or less overjoyed that he gets to fire Dixie and get rid of her once and for all. But Cesar then finds out that Jasper's health is failing and Cesar wants to make Jasper's last days happy ones. So he concocts a plan to pretend to be engaged to Dixie (yes, the same woman that annoys the hell out of him).

While Dixie is resistant to Cesar's offer at first, she soon figures out that it's prison (for her debts) or Cesar. Cesar appears to be the lesser of the two evils. Or is he? His plan to make Dixie into someone that he feels is an appropriate fiance for one such as himself - a slim line Dixie Mark Two. lol

Dixie finally agrees - seeing no other options and goes with Cesar to his home - where she is promptly put into the servants quarters. Cesar arranges to have new clothes, new hair and make-up, diet and a fitness trainer to come and "help" Dixie. This is where Cesar starts seeing the real Dixie. She puts on the exercise clothes that were purchased for her and Cesar sees that she doesn't need to diet and exercise at all he loves her body the way she is. Not only that but despite the crappy situations she keeps her humor about her and makes him laugh.

The couple finally flies to Spain to be with Jasper but find that Jasper isn't as sick as was made out. Yes, he has heart issues but with the insertion of a pacemaker he should be fine. Jasper is elated with the engagement and makes Dixie and Cesar get married for real - before his operation - because he wants to be in attendance.

I could go on with more of the story but that would take forever. There were so many little things about this book that captured my attention. At first it was just Cesar and what an arrogant man he was and so frigging demeaning to Dixie! I mean some of the things he said to her were awful and would have had me in tears - and I'm a person that can give as good as I get. But as the story went on we watched as Cesar started seeing the other sides of Dixie that he hadn't known about and getting to like her.

This brings up my major beef with the book and that is the fact that even though the book was technically 3rd person pov we got very little from anyone else besides Dixie. We got a line or two here and there from other characters but as I said, very little. I wanted to see some stuff from Cesar. You could tell that he was coming to admire her, and possibly love her, but we were left guessing by his actions. Drove me a little bonkers.

For Dixie's part she was stuck in the rut of seeing the nice/kind/sensual things that Cesar did but not taking them seriously. She was of the mindset that to Cesar this was strictly pretend and that everything he did was for show. But whether she realized it or not Cesar was redeeming himself in small ways in what I came to realize was the only way he knew how. He wasn't someone who was good at communication but he was doing the best he could. For all of Dixie's thickheadedness she just couldn't see that he was trying to redeem himself. I saw it and I loved it. Especially when he finds out that she's pregant with his child.

In the end Tumperkin was correct. She said I would thoroughly enjoy this book and she nailed it on the head.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Then Orannia, on the same Lynne Graham review last month, left this in the comments:

Tracy, if I sent you a contemporary HP (I think it's an HP) I love would you be interested in reading it? and later: I love this book to pieces!
When I couldn't decide whether to read Tump's suggestion or the book, Blackmailed into Marriage by Lucy Monroe, that Orannia sent me I decided to read both and that's how this twofer thing came to be. I know - long ass post. Just deal with it.

Lia had turned her back on her rich aristocratic family. But now she needs their help to save her daughter. Their response - to sell her off to the highest bidder. Damian Marquez prizes Lia’s blue blood – he was stripped of his own title at birth. Lia is the perfect brood-mare, who can provide him with an heir – and a spare!

But, as the wedding night looms, Lia knows the truth will out – because Damian doesn’t know she can’t be his in the marriage bed…

When Lia was 15 her father died. Her grandfather, a wealthy Spanish businessman, cajoled Lia's mother into moving from the States to Spain where Lia's life was taken over and controlled. When she was 18 she eloped with Toby, a boy that she had known in the US and stayed in touch with.

When the story begins Lia is now 24, her husband is dead and she has a small daughter, who I think is about 5, who needs heart surgery that Lia cannot afford. She has brought her daughter back to Spain to try and get the money from her grandfather. When he finally will sit down and talk with her he tells her that he will only give her the money that she requires if she will marry his business associate, Damien Marquez.

Lia has not only met Damien but has already had some pretty heated kisses with him. She doesn't want to marry him but she promises to because she will do anything to get her daughter what she needs. She also knows that once Damien finds out her secret - the fact that she can't have sex - he will dissolve the marriage. She'll get the money for keeping her promise, her daughter will get the operation and Lia won't have to be married anymore. Yeah, things don't always work out as planned, especially when they involve Damien Marquez.

Damien is determined to make the marriage work. He is so physically attracted to Lia he can't stand it, but he also gets attached to her daughter and finds what he's been looking for his whole life - a sense of family. You see Damien is the illegitimate son of a very wealthy man. He is the oldest but since he was illigitimate he didn't inherit a thing from his father's estate and neither side of his family acknowledges him at all. So when Damien is told by Lia, on their wedding night that she can't have sex he doesn't accept it lightly. He forces her to tell him exactly what the issue is so that they can deal with it together.

Lia has what is called Vaginismus. It's the contracting of the vaginal walls to the point that it's completely closed off and makes intercourse impossible. Lia and her previous husband were very young when they got married and they weren't equipped to deal with the issue. Lia had gone to the doctor but was told that it was all psychological and if she just had a glass of wine and relaxed before sex it would all work out. Since that never seemed to do the trick her husband was not understanding and made her feel like less of a person because of it. She allowed the issue to be forced and conceived her daughter, which she loved with all her heart, but wasn't willing for that to happen again. Damien made Lia realize that even if they could never have children because of the lack of penetration there were many, many other ways of being intimate with each other. He proceeds to show her those ways, along with the patience of a thousand saints. He also discovers that there could be a way to fix the problem.

At first I thought that Damien was going to be an uncaring man who was only interested in sex and he didn't care if Lia thought she couldn't have it or not. But he turned out to be a kind, thoughtful, understanding man who showed his love in many different ways, even if he didn't realize that's what he was doing. He hadn't grown up with love so doubted its existence. When Lia finally accepted that she loved him she was hesitant at first to tell him, but she finally did and said it over and over . Damien didn't think she was sincere - he felt it was more gratitude for his financial support and the consideration he has shown to her daughter that was behind her feelings. But soon Lia made him believe and it was wonderful to see. He was definitely a man who deserved love.

As much as I liked Lia in this book I thought that Damien made the story. If it wasn't for him I'm not sure I would have liked the book quite as much as I did...I read it all in one sitting and quite quickly as I couldn't manage to put it down (good thing the kids were already in bed).

Rating: 4 out of 5

Thank you to Tumperkin and Orannia for their wonderful book suggestions. I only have 1 more month in the challenge so now have to figure out how to end it with a bang.

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope all of you out there that are celebrating Thanksgiving have a wonderful day.

What I Read Last Week

Holy schmigoly my life is crazy! lol But it's all good and I can't complain about a thing! How are you all?

My oldest sister, who lives in Alabama, was in San Diego (about a 3 hour drive from here) for work these past few days but was inundated with work. The girls and I were going to go down to see her on Saturday but alas she had to work. Lucky for us she didn't work yesterday and drove up. She picked her daughter up in Pasadena and they came up for lunch. Then they went to my house and we all got to spend the evening together along with my mom and dad. It was a lot of fun and just wonderful to spend time with her and my parents since she flew home today and won't be able to be here for Thanksgiving.

I haven't had time to think much less post so this is really behind. Of course I've not had time to read this week but hopefully that will change since I have a 4 day weekend - woohoo.

My first read was my Tracy's TBR Challenge Read. I was in the mood for a contemporary so I chose Suzanne Brockmann's Hot Pursuit. You can read my review here.

Next up was I Spy Something Wicked by Josh Lanyon. This was a short story follow up to his wonderful book I Spy Something Bloody. The story take place 4 months after the first and follows Mark trying to make a decision about doing one last job for his previous employer. It's well worth the read - especially if you've read ISSB. I just love Josh's work! 4.25 out of 5

Next was the short story Holiday Affair by Yvette Hines. It was the story about a woman who is getting secret gifts from a co-worker and though the person who is giving them hasn't asked her out she's determined to start something with him. Knowing he will be at his cabin by himself during the holidays she plans to have her friends drop her off and abandon her at the cabin, with no clothes, for the week. When she gets there though she discovers that another man, one she has secretly lusted after, is there instead. What follows is the story of the two of them spending the week together. There was lots of sex involved but I just never could get into the characters. I definitely liked the hero of the story better but I didn't know him that well. 2.5 out of 5

My next book was The Spanish Groom by Lynne Graham. Tumperkin had a huge hand in my reading this book. I will be reviewing it for my Year of the Category Challenge so I will post the review later in this week (or Monday depending on how my time goes).

After that I started Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs and just couldn't put it down. It was such a great book and one that I just loved. It was sad, heart wrenching and horrifying but just so damned good. 5 out of 5

I couldn't very well finish Iron Kissed and not immediately move on to Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs - thank heavens I had ordered it from the library! Although I loved this book as much as Iron Kissed I had a few issues with it. I think it was more the timing of when things took place - so close on the heels of the previous book. I would have liked it to at least have been a coulple of months down the road - but understand, with some issues with Adam, that it had to be done quickly. 5 out of 5

Last for the week was When Seducing a Duke by Kathryn Smith. This is the first in a new victorian series that she's doing and it was my first read by this author. I read this one for The Book Binge and my review has been posted. You can go here if you'd like to read it.

Happy Reading!

Guest Reviews Posted

I'm behind again on my Guest Reviews - will I ever be back on schedule? *sigh* Maybe some day.

Anyway - here are the latest guest reviews from The Book Binge (click on the titles to go to the review):

Atlantis Unleased by Alyssa Day

Poseidon’s warriors swore an oath eleven thousand years ago to protect humanity from those who stalked the night. Now those powerful forces are uniting. So are two souls who are all that stand between justice and the eternal darkness…

A warrior prince…Lord Justice made the ultimate sacrifice for his brother and paid for it with an unimaginable torture. Now he’s back, rescued from death, his sanity shaken, and his mission inescapable—the search for the lost Star of Artemis. But the beautiful human female whom he has sworn to protect is shadowed by an evil that could destroy them both…

A woman of science…
The archaeological artifacts of Atlantis speak to Dr. Keely McDermott, sharing visions of life long ago. The ancient revelations have cast her into a world between past and present, between reality and illusion—and, when she meets the fierce Atlantean warrior assigned to guard her, between terror and temptation. Now as their two worlds collide, so too will danger and desire…

Atlantis Unmasked by Alyssa Day

A warrior scarred…Alexios survived two years of unspeakable torture at the hands of a vampire goddess. Now he’s been ordered to team up with a beautiful warrior and take on the most dangerous mission of his life: to retrieve the Vampire’s Bane. Without it, Atlantis can’t ascend to the surface and take its rightful place in the world. But when evil threatens, will Alexios be led by duty—or his heart?

A descendant of Diana…Grace is part of the rebellion against the vampires and shape-shifters trying to take over her world. She is deadly with h
er bow, because when she takes aim, she never misses her target. But suddenly she’s focused on a damaged Atlantean warrior who sees her as a weapon, not as a woman. When thousands of lives are on the line, will passion overrule, or will her aim still be true?

The Lone Texan by Jodi Thomas

Three days after arriving in Galveston, newly widowed Sage McMurray finds herself taken hostage in a robbery. She fears she may never see Whispering Mountain again when the outlaws decide to auction their pretty captive off to the highest bidder, until a tall stranger offers twice the highest bid.


Review: Hot Pursuit by Suzanne Brockmann

I just finished reading Hot Pursuit and I thought it was pretty good. I didn’t love it but I think a lot of that had to do with the romance that was going on in the book – which is just freaky for me because I need my romance in my stories.

The story centers around Maria Bonavita, among others, who is running for Assemblywoman in NY. Her campaign manager is none other that Savannah Hopf who is the wife of SEAL Ken “Wilcard” Carmody. When Maria doesn’t seem to be taking her personal safety seriously Savannah asks Alyssa to go to NY and advise her on the importance of safety. Alyssa, her hubby Sam and several volunteer Team 16 SEAL’s head for NY to have a chat with Maria.

When they get to NY they meet up with Maria and her Chief of Staff, Jenn. They discover something gruesome in the office which begins a series of events that are completely unexpected. In the meantime Sam is dealing with Alyssa possibly being in trouble, the Team 16 guys fawning over beautiful Maria, and Dan Gillman trying to get it on with Jenn.

I very much enjoyed the suspense portion of the book (although I did guess whodunit almost immediately it was still nice to see how it unfolded). With Alyssa and Jules working together once again it was nice to see them working off of each other as they did before Sam came into the picture. For Sam’s part I enjoyed seeing him in the role of dad as well as being an underling to Alyssa – which he did very well and with much respect. I really saw a great part of their relationship in this story and I liked it. Then of course there was a small part of Jules and Robin in the book as well as some information about Izzy’s relationship with Eden (Gillman’s sister) from the previous book.

But the part of the book I didn’t care for was Gillman and Jenn. I really liked Jenn a lot. She was one smart cookie and truly too smart to fall for Gillman’s lines. I understand that she was portrayed as not beautiful and one who faded into the shadows when around her friends Savannah and Maria, but I still thought she was too smart for that. Jenn was also portrayed as being a big girl and because of this was not all that confident in herself and her ability to meet men. Gillman had all the right lines and when he was found out I was friggin cheering! Even when he supposedly was coming around, I just couldn’t believe it. Luckily Jenn did believe it either. Their relationship did not end in this book and according to an authors note at the end of the book their relationship will continue in the next book. Since this story didn’t have a HEA – except for more happiness for Jules, Robin, Alyssa and Sam – I’ll have to hold off total judgment of Gillman until the next story.

If you’ve been reading the Troubleshooters series and were unsure as to whether you should read this one or not…I say yes. If you don’t want to buy it in HC then get it from the library but I think it’s a good story and one worth reading. (Also – this is the continuation of a short story that was in the back of Flashpoint that had Alyssa and Sam investigating a double murder that went unsolved.)

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Book Sluts 'r' Us Blogger Award Winner!

The looking fabulous Tracy and Kris are pleased, proud and pretty friggin’ honored to announce that the winner of the ‘prove to us and the rest of the reading world how much of an unrepentant Book Slut you are’ award is...

CHRIS whose book tally for the month was an awe inspiring

Kris & Tracy: We’re not worthy. We're not worthy

Kris: It’s official, hun.You are a BOOK SLUT!!!!

Tracy: *sniffles* It just gets to me every time.

Kris: *muttersapmutter*

Kris and Tracy: Congratulations Chris - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

What I've Been Reading This Week

Hi there!

Well I'm back in the saddle again! Last week was just awful. I mean, horrible-just-let-me-die awful but I survived and so did my hubby. We thought the kids were safe (I was hoping to delude myself into believing they wouldn't catch it) but last night my oldest started complaining about a severe belly ache and then the fever started up and then the vomiting started. Oy. At least she slept through the night which was good for her.

My youngest was on a roll this past week. She asked for toast the other day with "that poisonberry jam" on it. I, of course, started laughing and couldn't stop and then told her it was boysenberry jam. Too cute.
Then the other night I had an appointment and put a shirt on that has these designs all over it - one being straight across my ass. She asked what the markings meant and I told her that it was tribal for wide load. She laughed and laughed and then said, "what's tribal?" then paused, "and what's a wide load?" Omg I thought my sides would split I was laughing so hard. When I explained it to her she laughed even more - the stinker. lol

So last Sunday I was so sick I didn't read at all. I just laid on the couch and stared at whatever the kids happened to be watching. I did see the movie Lost in Austen which was kind of cute but I can't say I remember too much about it! lol The rest of the week I just read so there are quite a few books:

I started off with The Lone Texan by Jodi Thomas. This is my first Texan read by Thomas. I read this one for The Book Binge and will let you know when my review posts.

Next up was a total impulse buy/read: wtf by Peter Lerangis. I was shopping for Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh at Barnes and Noble and even 2 days after it was released I had to go searching cuz it wasn't on the shelves. Arg! I hate that. I found it on a cart in the middle of BFE B&N which was just weird. Anyway, for some reason it was next to wtf and I just kind of flipped through wtf for a minute and decided to buy it - it was a Simon Pulse so I knew it was a YA book. It turned out to be good, but not great. It was 6 alternating pov's and corresponding timelines and how they all interact and effect each other. Basically the story of a drug deal that wasn't really a drug deal gone wrong. The details that initiated it, the characters involved, what happened before, during and after. The book definitely kept my attention and it was pretty short (well, 250 pages but a small tradepb and large font) but the ending just didn't do it for me. Everything just came out smelling too much like roses and in real life I just couldn't see it happening. Maybe if it had been set in an alternate universe but not when it's a contemporary novel. 3 out of 5

Next up was my Tracy's TBR Challenge read which was An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James. I could swear that I'd read a book by her before but after looking at her website I don't think I have, but I liked it. For a historical though it was set up much like I'm used to UF books being with all of the different stories going on at the same time. Because of that I thought that the main romance suffered for it. It was still good but not as great as I thought it could be. The main story is between the Duke of Fletcher and Poppy, the Duchess of Fletcher. They meet and fall immediately in love. Four years later they are completely frustrated with each other. Poppy just lays in bed and doesn't respond to Fletch no matter what he does to her and Poppy leaves because she's frustrated with him as well but for different reasons. I discovered during my perusing of James' books that this is book 2 in the Desperate Duchesses series. I haven't read book 1 but unless you all feel I need to I think I'll just move on to book 3. Anyone think I must read book 1 first? 3.75 out of 5

After that I moved on to On The Edge by Ilona Andrews. This was another new to me author. I did attempt to get into her Kate Daniels series but it just wasn't for me. But this book? This one I really liked. It's just a great mixture of fantasy, paranormal, romance and a bit of horror. It was such a mish mosh but it really worked for me. It pretty much takes place in the Edge which is a world between the world of the Broken (our world) and the Weird (a magical place). The Edge has magic too, but not like the Weird. The main characters are Rose from the Edge and Declan from the Weird. Good story. Since this is book 1 in a new series I'll be interested to see where the story goes next. 4.25 out of 5

After seeing that I was debating about reading Jet Mykles' Dark Elves series, Tam was nice enough to send me the 2 print books which included the first 4 stories. I have to say that after starting the first story in book 1, Taken, I wasn't sure if I was going to be reading further. You see these Dark Elves were created by the goddess Rhae to be her consorts (read: fuck toys) and when she left the earthly plane she discovered that she'd made an error - there were no women. How were the elves to continue procreating? So she gave the elves a spell that would help turn human women into elves. So the elves kidnap women, set the spell and then they all go about taking 9 day turns with them until they (hopefully) find their truemate - that one woman that can have their babies (which are all male, btw). If the women don't find their truemate they are then put into the brothel because the can never leave the underground city. The whole premise put me off a bit. And the heroine in book 1 was just prickly. She was a warrior so I could see that she wouldn't stand for being kidnapped but I just couldn't like her...and she fell in love in what felt like a millisecond, which I don't care for. Since I'd started book 1 I decided to finish it and go on to book 2. This is the book that made me want to read more. As usual Jet Mykles has a way of getting me into the stories and I found myself reading not just one book but both. The second story, Mastered, was better than the first, imho and I liked the characters more. Book 2 which included stories 3 - Salvation & 4 - Dissent were even better. These had more of a political intrigue to them along with the romance and sex and that held my interest. I now find myself wondering what the hell happens next. lol I guess I'll have to go find out. Taken 3 out of 5 Mastered 3.25 out of 5 Salvation 3.5 out of 5 Dissent 3.5 out of 5

Last on the list for the week was The Christmas Ball an anthology with stories by Jennifer Ashley, Emily Bryan and Alissa Johnson. All the stories are different but all end at the Hartwell's Christmas ball. It's interesting to think of everything that was going on at the ball at the same time at the end. They were all sweet little romances and I enjoyed the book overall - with Traditions by Alissa Johnson being my favorite I thinkl. I imagine it would be difficult to write a short historical like that but I really felt that they all did a great job. Overall rating 3.75 out of 5

I hope you all have a great week!
Happy reading

The M/M Meme

Kris over at Kris 'n' Good Books, in a fit of apparent boredom and procrastination, decided to produce one of those meme thingies all based around m/m books. Jenre at Well Read has tagged me so that I too can procrastinate. Thanks Jenre - every little bit helps. :)


1. Answer all the questions below in either the comments here or post it on your own site. If you post it on your own site you have to come back and give the link here so I/Kris can mosey on over and see if you answered correctly have a sticky beak.

2. You have to tag two other people once your done and pester them relentlessly until they do the meme too.

3. Instead of a meme image thing you have to post a cookie, preferably a twofer. It is an m/m meme after all. ;)

The hardest thing of this whole thing was choosing which cookie to let you all gnaw on! Too many choices! So here's a twofer and a singlet all for you.

(Both stolen borrowed from Lisabea's blog.)


1. How long have you been reading GLBTQ fiction?
I read my first m/m book in June 2008.

2. What was the first book you read in this genre?
Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon

3. Are you 'out' as a reader?
Kinda? Some of my friends know, and my well as all of my virtual friends. My hubby, after meeting Lisabea, knows that I read it but for some reason thinks I only read her books. I have no idea where he got that idea, it's not like I hide what I'm reading.

4. Ebooks, print or both?
I have a couple of print books but mostly ebooks.

5. Do you buy direct from publishers or from secondary sellers?
Both, but mostly from sellers.

6. Prove you're a Book Slut. How many books would you say you buy a week?
Books in general? I average about 25 a month. I go in spurts with the m/m and buy a bunch at a time...maybe it averages out to 2 a week? I don't have a clue.

7. Are you a cover, blurb or excerpt buyer?
Blurb mostly. If the blurb gets me then I'll read an excerpt, but not always.

8. Yeah, you read reviews, but do you actually take notice of them?
Most of the time, yes. Although if it's a book that I'm looking forward to reading I usually don't read the review because I want no spoilers.

9. Who's your fave publisher?
I don't think I have a favorite.

10. What about authors? Your top two only!!
2? Are you insane? I can't narrow it down to 2! Ok, I'll try:
Josh Lanyon & JL Langley

11. Is there a sub-genre you particularly dis/like?
I'm not a huge fan of fantasy in general so that would go for m/m as well.

12. Short or long?? *rolls eyes* And, no, I'm not talking about cocks.
I probably read more shorts or novellas than longer books but I like both. I like thick ones as well. Heh. Print books you pervs!

13. Anything turn you off about m/m or is all just glorious smut to you?
I think I'm with Jenre - not a fan of shifted sex. I can read it but it really has to be done well - and that's saying something since I love shapeshifter stories.

14. Finish this sentence. You know it's m/m twu wuv when...
the fat lady sings. No? Ok, then how about ...they admit they're gay.

15. What trope or theme are you heartily sick of in m/m romance?
Can't say I'm totally sick of it but there have been a ton of GFY stories out there lately.

16. If you could choose any 3 characters for a m/m/m who would they be?
Rhys (Langley's With or Without series)/David Cooke (LB Gregg's Happy Ending)/Ridley (KZ Snow's Seeking Something Wicked)

17. What new GLBTQ release are you most hanging out for right now?
The Dark Tide (AE book 5) by Josh Lanyon

18. What GLBTQ book has completely blown you away this year?
Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. That is closely followed up by The White Knight by Josh Lanyon - Loved them both like chocolate.

19. What do you think we'll see more of in m/m romance in 2010?
Women? lol Just kidding. I'd have to agree with Jenre and say Steampunk

20. Don't you agree that author Josh Lanyon should kill off arsehole character Jake Riordan?
Absolutely not! You leave Jake alone!

OK, so I now have to tag two people - just don't either of you blame me. Remember this whole thing is Kris' idea.

I tag:


What I read last week

Hey folks. I've got the flu. My hubby has the flu. Not sure if it's swine or not since we're too sick to go to the doctor. How sick? I didn't even feel like reading. I know, crazy. My parents have been here taking care of us and the kids which is wonderful. Sorry I'm late with this but I just now have felt well enough to get up and type for a few seconds. Good thing I did my little blurbs as I went this week. Sorry there won't be pictures or links. I'll might try to put them in later this week when I'm feeling better.

Started off with Atlantis Unmasked by Alyssa Day. This is book 6 in the Warriors of Poseidon series. I read this one for The Book Binge so will let you know when the review posts.

Next up was Wolf Flight by Vivian Arend - book 2 in the Granite Lake Wolves series. I read the first book, Wolf Signs, a while back but apparently forgot to put it on any of my lists cuz I couldn't find it anywhere. How weird is that? Anyway, book two (a novella) was just as good as book 1. This story covered Tad who is a half wolf/half human who hasn't been "triggered" yet. He basically needs to have sex with a female wolf. But there's this thing that happens that makes some of the "FirstMates" think that they're actually mates and then they're in love with their partner for the rest of their lives, possibly missing out on their true mates. Missy has volunteered to trigger Tad but he's afraid of the possible consequences. Besides that issues there are many others and it just makes for a good read. 4 out of 5

Damn Gorgeous by Jaye Valentine was my next read. This is an m/m novella that really threw me for a loop - but in a pretty good way. Journalist Spencer ends up in a small town to do a story on the Borden house - as in Lizzie Borden. He doesn't care for his lodgings so finds a bed and breakfast that suits him. Behind the counter is Virgil Slade who Spencer is immediately attrated to and is hot beyond belief. He's also interested in Spencer - bonus! But Virgil is hiding a serious secret that he's not sure Spencer can live with. This was a total surprise. One of those books that I read the blurb originally but kind of forgot what it was about by the time I read the book. The paranormal part of this story was completely unexpected but it was done in such a way that I totally dug it. 3.75 out of 5

Bound to Him by Ava March was next. This is actually a continuation of a story that was started in the book Bound by Deception. This was a historical story about 2 second sons who were in a relationship. The coming together was done in the first book and when this one opened they had been together for 6 months. But 1 man wanted more. Yes, they had to keep their relationship on the down low since sodomy was against the law but one of the men just hadn't come to terms with his desire for men. It put a wrench in the relationship and one man wanted more. It was good story but I felt that besides the "omg what am I doing?" moment that was had there wasn't a ton of character development. I would definitely recommend that BbD be read first. 3.5 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week was Heat of the Knight by Jackie Ivie. The story of a widow who is starving and trying to survive with her step daughters and husband's family after Battle of Culloden. She is approached by The Black Monteith, who is considered the biggest traitor and Sassenach lover in the highlands, and he wants to marry her. But is he really as evil as everyone thinks? This one started off with a bang for me and I gobbled up the first 1/3 of the book in no time. Then things started to slow down. I think it was a case of Langston Monteith doing a round about double talk to try and quell any questions that Lisle had about things that were not as they seemed. It was cute at first and then kind of got old. Then there was Langston talking about how he loved Lisle's light and joy in life. Ok, she was happy some of the time but mostly just kind of a brat. It definitely wasn't a bad story, just not one I loved. 3.5 out of 5

Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh was my last read. I really liked it and will do a review sometime this week when I'm not at death's door.

Hope you're all well. Happy Reading.

Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

Mercedes' vampire friend Stefan calls her and asks her for a favor. She's not really sure what to expect but ends up accompanying him to a hotel in her coyote form. What they come up against is a vampire who's a sorcerer. This makes the new guy in town one bad mo fo, let me tell ya.

So some bad shit goes down and Stefan, one of his vamp friends and a couple of werewolves go after the sorcerer vamp. One of the werewolves, Mercy's friend Warren, comes back fom the hunt but he's near death. The others are missing. Adam and Samuel decide to go after vamp man themselves and disappear. It's pretty much left up to Mercy to find them and take down the bad guy.

I have to say that when I was reading the book I was totally into it from page 1. Talk about getting sucked into a book and staying there. But when it came down to only Mercy to catch the bad guy I have to say I was more than a little skeptical. Here are vamps and werewolves who are meaner than junk yard dogs and yet we're leaving the saving up to a little coyote woman who's scared shitless? There was really no way I was buying that...until I kept reading. Patricia Briggs just has a way of writing that had me totally believing that this was A-Ok and that Mercy could do it no problem. Mercy, for all of her fright in some areas of life, is one bad ass chick. She handles herself in such a way that it seems perfectly normal for all of this to be happening to her. Of course she had to go after the big bad when he'd taken her friends - she's not the type of person to sit around and take that. She does what she needs to do, but she knows her limitations and it's one of the things that I love about her character.

Then there's the whole aspect of the book that has to do with her love interest. Is it it Adam? I know who I want it to be and am told that I just need to read 1 more book to find out if I'm right. Whatever you do, do not tell me! lol I want to find out on my own.

So loved the book - am loving the series - hate that I waited so long to read it. Isn't that how it always is when you find a series you dig? If only I could kick my own ass for it. Ah well...on to the next book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Ye Old Anniversary

Happy Friday!

Today is my 16th wedding anniversary! Very cool. I can't believe it's been so damned long. haha

Did I ever tell you that I picked my hubby up in a bar? lol I most certainly did! I was out with 3 friends and I happened to point out my hubby and mention that he was hot (or cute or whatever the hell we were saying 18 years ago that meant hot). One of my friends said, "oh, I went to high school with him - he's totally nice." So having a little liquid aggression in me I asked him to dance and when the evening was over we exchanged numbers. He never called. Bastard! I threw his number away and went about my life. (Later I found out the number I'd given him had gone into his night stand with all the other many numbers he had from other girls. I dubbed it "the sea of numbers drawer" Ug. He, of course, thought of himself as the nicer person as he had actually kept my number instead of throwing it away. Yeah, like he would have remembered which cocktail napkin it was on!)

A couple of months later I ran into him again at another club (I think it was May by this time). Then a couple weeks later I ran into him yet again. We finally exchanged numbers (again) and I took the initiative and called him (wasn't gonna wait around for him to do it - I'd learned my lesson). We had a great telephone relationship that lasted a few weeks and then somehow, some way we just stopped calling each other. No clue why. I think he was off doing his Havasu/Memorial Day weekend thing that he used to do and then summer hit with camping and tubing and all that and we just fell out of touch.

At the beginning of October I had one of my good friends, Sherri, come to visit me from Kansas. I took her to this great club on Friday night (yes, we did a lot of clubs back then. Hello? It was freaking 1991!) and we had a great time. On Saturday she decided that we'd had such a good time that she wanted to go back to the same place. Really? Well, ok. It's a damn good thing we did. That night as I was coming off the dance floor my hubby stepped in front of me to get my attention and I hugged him like he was some long lost friend. We were never apart after that. Got married 2 years and 1 month later. We've had a small problem or two over the years and some huge problems but we're good as gold and plan to stay that way for a very long time. Now if I could just get him to rinse off his damned dishes when he puts them in the sink.

Book Sluts 'r' Us Media Statement

It’s on again, virtual folks!

The ground breaking... the awesome... the whenever-we’re-in-the-mood-to-give-it-to-someone-nual...


This time we’re challenging you to tell us how much of a Book Slut you really are.

That’s right. We dare you to admit how many books you bought last month, whether it be an ebook, new-in-print or secondhand/used. Pressies, books for reviews or ARCs don’t count so don’t even try it.

The person judged to be the most unrepentant Book Slut will not only receive the Book Sluts ‘r’ Us Blogger Award, but an ebook of their choice up to $8. (What can we say. We are enablers.)

This time we’re only accepting nominations if you have the cahones to comment directly on this post because anyone not proud of their sluttery is unworthy of the Book Slut award. Amen.

Fess up by Saturday, November 7th by 11:59pm (for those down under that's Sunday, Nov. 8th 3:59pm)

C’mon. We’ll show you ours, if you show us yours. ;)

What I've Been Reading This Week

Happy Sunday!

I hope you all had a good week this past week. What did you all do for Halloween, if anything? Did you have fun? My girls dressed up and went to trick or treat. This year my hubby got to walk with them and I stayed home and read while waiting for kiddies to come to the door. We live on a hill so we don't normally get that many kids but this year was the slowest year since we've lived here (6.5 years). I think we have about 15 kids. Yikes! lol We don't normally buy a lot of candy but I couldn't even get rid of what little we had! lol

Here are the kids in their costumes. It was a really pleasant night so they didn't have to worry about jackets this year which was nice. I had a lovely indian squaw and a 70's chick. :) The picture of my youngest is blurry but it was the best view of her costume, so, sorry.

So there's a couple of cool things going one this month - actually I'm sure that there's more than a couple but these are the 2 at the top of my list:

1) The very cool offer from Blind Eye Books when you buy Josh Lanyon's new spec fiction book Strange Fortune between Nov. 5 and 20. You can read the offer here on DIK.
2) All Romance ebooks is celebrating it's birthday all during the month of November. For every day that you buy a book you'll go in a drawing. If you are chosen then they will purchase all of the books for you that are on your ARe wishlist (up to $100.00). Sounds like a great deal to me and I have a lot of books on my wishlist.

Well I finished the October reading month with a bang. It was a fun week. I read quite a few yaoi manga's that I got from Kris's yaoi swap and a couple that I bought for myself and added to the sway. So it may seem like I read a lot this week but those manga's go super fast and I can gobble em up in no time.

First for the week was Atlantis Unleashed by Alyssa Day. This is book 5 in the Warriors of Poseidon series and the book that made me start the whole friggin series. lol So...when my review posts for The Book Binge I'll let you know.

Next was Totally Captivated volume 1 by Hajin Yoo. I read Sarah's interview with Rowan McBride and he mentioned that this was his favorite yaoi manga (actually manhwa which is the Korean counterpart). I looked it up, it sounded interesting, so I bought it. It's the story of a guy who is kind of harassed/blackmailed into working for a crime boss who is of course gorgeous and totally young. There's definitely some sexual tension going on between the two but we didn't get past more than a couple of kisses in this volume. It was good, but not great - some confusing parts where I wasn't sure who was talking to whom and why. I hate when the characters get shrunk down in some of the frames in manga. The really good looking guys all of a sudden look like their 10 and it's kinda creepy, I must say. Anyway, I think there are 9 volumes to the story so far - dammit! So yes, I'll probably have to get those too, eventually, cuz I need to see what happens! 3 out of 5

After that was anoth yaoi manga called Maid in Heaven by Hisami Shimada. This one is about a boy who takes his grandmother's place as a maid when his grandmother falls ill and the "master" and the maid fall for each other. Kinda funny that they kept trying to have sex and kept getting interrupted. Again, the shrinking of the characters - especially during sex? Just. Not. Right. The overall story was cute though. 3 out of 5

Next I read U Don't Know Me by Rakun (yaoi manga). This one I bought at the same time as Totally Captivated and I really liked this one a lot. Fab graphics, pretty, pretty men and a decent story line. There were a couple of times at the end when I was wondering whey they even included certain aspects of the story but can only assume that future volumes will complete the tale. The sad thing is? Currently there are no further volumes so I just have to wait. 4 out of 5

The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning was my book for my monthly Re-read Challenge. You can read my review here.

More manga with Barefoot Waltz by Romuco Miike. There were a couple of cute stories in this one that I liked. I can't tell you about all of the stories because it would take forever. The graphics were ok - not great. 3 out of 5

I think I got a little yaoi'd out of this one. lol Last manga of the week was I Want To Be Naughty by Mei Sakuraga. This was pretty cute as well. Stories of a trouble maker and a student council president finding each other. 3 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week was Suzanne Brockmann's Kiss and Tell. This is book 1 in the Sunrise Key trilogy. It was cute. A very quick and easy read. A woman who was raised on the island of Sunrise Key goes back for a vacation and falls for her brother's best friend. They had always been fighting previously so it was kind of a revelation to her that she found him attractive. There were some issues I had with the heroine's personality that made this just an ok read for me but I may read the next books in the series. 3 out of 5

Next up was Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. The second book in the Mercy Thompson series and I loved it. It was so damned good and I can't wait to read more. At first I was afraid that I wasn't going to like it. You know...I think I'll have write a review cuz I can't fit it all in a little blurb. lol So look for that. :)

Home for the Holiday by Wendy Stone was a book I bought this past week. I was looking for Halloween and Holiday stories and bought it on a whim. It was a contemporary story about best friends falling in love when they head to the heroine's parents' house for Christmas. I almost felt like this was 2 different stories about the same characters put together in one 120 page book. The first story should have ended after about page 50. Overall it was kind of convoluted - sisters taking boyfriends away, cheating, horrid future mother-in-laws, date rape drugs and pregnancy - and that doesn't name everything. lol 2.5 out of 5

Last up was One Summer by Karen Robards. KristieJ posted on DIK on Thursday and she was talking about bad boys. She mentioned Johnny Harris from One Summer and the blurb caught my eye. My local library had the book in stock so I picked it up. Johnny is definitely a bad, bad boy. But he's also extremely intelligent and I loved that about him. He was accused of murder and sent to prison for 11 years and he's gotten out with the help of straight-laced Rachel Grant, his ex-English teacher and a woman he's had the hots for since high school. This was a good riomantic suspense read. I didn't figure out whodunit til the middle of the book and then really couldn't figure out why the culprit was doing it til the end. Rachel got on my nerves a bit because she loved Johnny no matter what but seemed like she was always trying to change him. I did like her though most of the time because she was a strong character and truly believed in Johnny's innocence. Gotta love that. 4 out of 5

So have a great week. I've posted the entire month's reading here if you want to see it in all of its glory.
Happy Reading!