Re-Read Challenge Review: The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

I am Dageus MacKeltar, a man with one good conscience and thirteen bad ones, driven to sate my darkest desires...

From his penthouse lair high above Manhattan, Dageus looks out over a glittering city that calls to the darkness within him. A sixteenth century Scot trapped between worlds, he is fighting a losing battle with the thirteen Druids who possess his soul, dooming him to an eternity of sexual pursuit. When Chloe Zanders, student of antiquities, is drawn into his world, she finds the insatiable Alpha male an irresistible lure.

Before long, she is caught up in an ancient prophecy that will sweep her back in time to medieval Scotland. Plunged into a world of timeless magic and dark seduction, she will soon face the challenge of a lifetime: fighting thirteen evil spirits for the heart of one irresistible man...

The Keltar clan was chosen long ago to be the keeper of a Compact made by the Tuatha De Danaan (the Fae). In it they are given the ability to leap through time but they are not to do it for personal or political gain. It is said that if one does use it for personal gain then they will turn dark. After so many years of hearing this information Dageus MacKeltar has forced himself to believe that it's just not true. In an attempt to save his twin brother Drustan, Dageus goes back in time and the souls of 13 dark and evil beings now reside in his body.

Dageus is now living in the 21st Century in downtown Manhattan. He is attempting to find a way to rid himself of the dark souls by looking through ancient tomes. Whatever he can't barter for with his ancient artifacts he steals. Now he's bartered for another tome and it's Chloe Zanders' job to take it to him.

Chloe Zanders, reluctantly taking an ancient tome to some wealthy man who can't be bothered to go see it in the museum, finds much more than she bargained for when she walks into Dageus' penthouse. Her innocent delivery begins a series of events that end up with Chloe not only heading to Scotland with Dageus to try to help him translate more tomes, but also through time to the sixteenth century. During their search for the solution to Dageus problem they fall in love and find in the other the one person that was meant for them.

This is a great book. I read the Highlander series back in 2007 some time and I just loved it - epecially starting from book 3. It captured my whole attention at the time and I just read one book right after the other. After reading Kiss of the Highlander last month for my re-read challenge I just couldn't stop myself from reading the next book in line. It was interesting to read this one again as I'd forgotten a couple of things that had happened.

I have to say that I loved Dageus as much this time around, if not more. I think it was harder for me to like him with the first read because I was so enamored of Drustan, his twin, from the previous book. Since I read KofH last month I had some time in between and could really give Dageus his due. Let me just say...he's one hell of a man. Yum. He's all about the big and bad Alpha - but he's like that even without the evil souls in him and it looks damned good on him. But besides all that the man has honor. Bucket loads of it. Strength of character is just one thing that attracts me to a man and Dageus had it.

Chloe seems like the last person on earth for Dageus. She loves ancient artifacts and Scotland, but she's never really gotten out into the world and taken control of things. She's kind of a down home girl, raised in Kansas by her Scottish grandfather and she very wholesome. Except when she sees Dageus all of the many sexual positions a man and woman can attain start reeling through her head. lol I have to laugh because of course they did! This is a romance after all. :) But Chloe brought me around to her side. She turned out to be all those things but so much more. She was a determined, strong woman in her own way and nothing was gonna get between her and her man. Good for her.

It was so nice to sit back with this book and once again live the journey through the characters eyes. This is definitely a book that I will read again and again over the years.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
(when I read it the first time I wasn't rating books but I'm pretty sure I would have given it the same back in 2007.)

FYI - Last October The Book Binge did a great post called What Brother Rocks YOUR Socks? between Drustan and Dageus. I personally pick Drustan but damn, what a decision to have to make!!

Review: Almost Like Being In Love by Steve Kluger

A high school jock and nerd fall in love senior year, only to part after an amazing summer of discovery to attend their respective colleges. They keep in touch at first, but then slowly drift apart.

Flash forward twenty years.

Travis and Craig both have great lives, careers, and loves. But something is missing .... Travis is the first to figure it out. He's still in love with Craig, and come what may, he's going after the boy who captured his heart, even if it means forsaking his job, making a fool of himself, and entering the great unknown.

Travis and Craig are so very different from each other. When Craig needs help with his homework he turns to Travis who is more than thrilled to help Craig in any way he possibly can. Although I'm pretty sure Travis was trying to deny that he actually liked other boys, Craig and Travis start a relationship and fall deeply in love. It's was hard, at first, to think that it was a deep abiding love because Travis is only 17 and Craig 18 but it's told in such a way that you have no doubt that they are everything to each other, without ignoring the rest of the world.

After their senior year and one wonderful summer together, Travis goes off to college in California and Craig stays in the east. They write to each other but it just slacks off. This was, I think, the only issue that I had with the book. If they had such a wonderful relationship why would they let that happen?

Anyway, fast forward 20 years and here is Travis, a History professor, trying desperately to make heads or tails of his love life. He's a great professor, he has a book grant that's finally going through but he's missing something with all the guys he dates. He finally realizes that he's missing Craig. Craig is what he wants. He goes on the hunt to find him and what follows is hilarious.

The book is told in epostilary format and at first I put off reading it (even though I knew it was told that way when I got it from the library thanks to Kris's info) because of this. I could have kicked myself when I finally started reading and couldn't get the damned smile off of my face. Travis is all about the facts - academic and eventually baseball after becoming friends with Craig. Craig is all about the sports - but starts seeing a different side of life while being with Travis. It was a testament to how much the other person influenced their lives when we see them as adults.

I can't say with enough fervor how much I loved this book. It was just all around goodness with a cherry on top. Great characters and a wonderful romance but mixed in are the beautifully written relationships/friendships with several other people in both Travis's and Craig's lives. Such. Good. Stuff.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Year of the Category Challenge Review: The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress by Lynne Graham

When Angelo Riccardi sought revenge Gwenna Hamilton added another, delicious dimension. Innocent and pretty, she had no chance when the Italian tycoon offered her the devil's bargain: pay for her father's freedom with her body.

In her naiveté, Gwenna thought that Angelo would tire of her and her innocence very quickly. But he had more in mind than just one night…

While on a visit to his crime boss grandfather’s deathbed Angelo finds out some information about a man who took horrible advantage of his mother when he was just a child. Angelo is told that this man dated his mother then took all of her money and then ran off. Angelo finds the man in order to seek revenge. He purchases the company that Hamilton works for. While doing an audit on the books the accountants find where Hamilton has been pilfering money from the company. He is going to jail.

Gwenna Hamilton loves her father dearly. He couldn’t possibly be as bad as everyone is saying. In a desperate attempt to save her father Gwenna goes to the company to see if Angelo will take all of the properties that her father owns to make repayment toward the money he took. Angelo is happy to take the properties but he wants something else as well: Gwenna. If she agrees to become his mistress then he will keep her father out of jail. Gwenn is an innocent virgin and can’t possibly understand why Angelo would want her, but to help her father she agrees, believing that Angelo will tire of her quickly.

I’m not even sure where to start with this one. Gwenna is the illegitimate daughter – she’s treated like Cinderella by her stepmother and step sisters – but is willing to do whatever she can to make her father’s life easier. She has a tiny plant nursery on the property that has been in her mother’s family for years. When Angelo takes the properties he also takes her home and her livelihood. But that doesn’t matter because he has her fixed up and made over and her dog taken to a doggie hotel. She’s not to contact her friends and he’s to be the only person she needs. She’s made to feel like an object and feels pretty cheap and sleazy. When she does go out he has her followed. Ug. I was just so disgusted with Angelo for most of the book. He’s an Italian millionaire and gets what he wants but he was such an ass. Yes, they show him realizing that he wants to be with her more and more but at the same time he’s still digging up shit on her dad.

Yes, Gwenna’s dad is a total sticky fingered ass. It’s all about the money and who he can pilfer from to benefit himself but when Angelo starts falling for Gwenna shouldn’t he have stopped that? IMHO he should have.

Gwenna was a pretty good character. She was very stubborn and tried to fight back but Angelo would always pull the “what about your father” card and she’d cave. I know she was in a tough spot but it just didn’t endear her to me. Especially when she found out what a louse her father was and she still stayed with Angelo. Have some self-respect, honey.

I can’t say I was a huge fan of the writing in this book either. It has some scene changing issues – as in it changed to the next scene but it was just in the next paragraph so you had no idea what was going on. It threw me off a time of two, I must say. Then the sex was…not non-existent, but was told in a way that you almost missed it. Like he took her in a closet and then they were grabbing for their clothes after they were done. Wait – did I miss something? lol

Overall I just didn’t love the book. I never care for forced mistress books but I won this one from Anna’s blog and it was there on my shelf so I thought I’d read it. Unfortunately I have to say that I can’t recommend this one.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

What I Read Last Week

Hidee Ho! :)

How are you all doing? Did you have a nice weekend? I certainly hope so!

Let's see what happened this week? Nothing much actually. I was lazy with the blog but hopefully that will change this week. I've got a few reviews for you.

My hubby was gone on a business trip this past weekend so it was just the me and the kids and it felt like we didn't sit down all weekend long. We got manicures and pedicures and went to breakfast and then ran errands. We did church and then a birthday party and then went to the mall because my youngest decided that she was finally gonna get her ears pierced. Yeah, she chickened out again. Poor thing. We then walked to the corner and went to the Haunted Jailhouse that the Sheriff's dept. does every year. My kids were terrified! I ended up carrying my youngest the whole way and my oldest was crying. My oldest is normally fearless so I'm not sure why she was shakin in her boots. It was really good though. Kudos to the dept. for doing such a great job.

I completely dig this song. I'm not a huge Colby Caillet fan but words in this song just touches the romantic in me:

So onto what I read this week (all new-to-me authors except Meredith Duran):

First up was Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran. I really enjoyed the book. I just love her style of writing! This was Phin's story whom we met in Bound by Your Touch. I should say Phin and Mina's story. Phin has some issues which seemed to disappear in the middle of the book and then show up again. I was a little surprised by this omission but overall just good stuff. 4 out of 5

Next was Red's Wolf: Torrent Talents Book 1 by Brigit Aine. My friend Jen bought me a couple of books because I'm constantly handing her paperbacks to read! lol Anyway - this is a take on the Little Red Riding Hood story and I wasn't a huge fan, unfortunately. It was cute but incredibly short so there wasn't a whole lot of character development, etc. Red Hood meets Ethan Wolfe and since he's a shifter he knows that she's his mate. He's sold on the idea immediately but she holds back...for about a minute and a half. I would have like to have seen a few more interactions between the two before she fell. 2.5 out of 5

Next was My Lupine Lover by Stormy Glenn. This was another shifter story of mates, Vadim & Sasha, finding each other, but after the two men found each other there was some learning to be done between the two. They were given the opportunity in the story to discover who the other person was and I was so happy to see that - especially after reading the previous book. I thought Vadim was a little presumptious at first with Sasha's life but he got better after a while and there was a ton of sex in the book (which could have been a little less), but other than that it was good. 3.5 outof 5

After that I read Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. I read about this book on Kris's blog and it caught my attention. I'll be posting a review this week.

My Tracy's TBR Challenge Read for the week was The Dragon Master by Allyson James. The story about a fire dragon, Seth, who is summoned by a dragon master who was imprisoned thousands of years ago. He meets Carol who is also a dragon master but doesn't realize it. She manages to bind him to her and together, and with friends and other dragons, they try to find a way to release the dm that summoned him. It was an interesting book in that Seth was having feelings for Carol but he wasn't sure if they were because he actually cared for her but because he was bound to her. I liked the twist. Carol wasn't a bad character but I didn't get too attached to her. She was very tense- which she had reason to be at times, but still. Also she betrays Seth's trust at one point in the book and I just couldn't relate to her after that. I thought Seth deserved someone much better and it kind of pissed me off that they ended up together. 3 out of 5

So that was it for me. I hope you all have a great week!
Happy Reading!

Oh and I forgot - my review for The Year of Living Shamelessly by Susan Carr is up @ TBB. Man, I'm so bad at information! lol

Guest Reviews

I suck! Seriously. I hopped onto Blogger to let you know that my review for Indiscreet had posted over at The Book Binge and I started thinking - have I let them know about my reviews lately? Um, no...not since the middle of Sept. Yikes! What the hell is that all about? I have no idea, truly. This post should get me all caught up! lol

Starting with the oldest first - just click on the titles to go to the review:

Viking Heat by Sandra Hill
Psychologist Joy Nelson thinks things are bad when she finds herself training in the modern-day female Navy SEALs program. But then her life takes a turn for the worse. Somehow she's been thrust back in time to the cold Norselands, and is being auctioned off as a thrall, or slave--a gift for a Viking warlord, who would be a perfect candidate for Male Chauvinist Viking of the Centuries!

Brandr isn't thrilled with the slave his brothers have purchased for him. Holy Thor! The woman wants to teach him anger-management skills! And help him find his feminine side, whatever that is. She may be beautiful, but the saucy wench defies him at every turn. So Brandr makes her an offer: She can earn her his bed thrall. But when Joy dares to decline his offer, he must decide what to do with the woman enslaved to him--and the out-of-control heat between them.

Beyond the Rain by Jess Granger
In a universe torn apart by civil war, a warrior and a slave must fight for their freedom, for their lives, and for a love that may destroy them both…

After five years behind enemy lines, Captain Cyani is ready to retire to her homeworld of Azra as one of the Elite — the celibate warrior sisterhood that rules the planet. But first she must complete one final mission to rescue her fellow Union soldiers. The last thing she expects to find is a prisoner, chained and beaten — but radiating feral power and an unbroken spirit…

Soren is a Byralen, an enigmatic people who possess a unique hormone that they use to bond with their mates — and that is sold as a sexual narcotic in the shadow trade. For years, he has endured torture at the hands of his captors as they leeched his very essence. The last thing he expects is to be freed from slavery by a beautiful warrior woman with radiant blue eyes.

Bufflehead Sisters by Patricia L. Delois
As an only child, Janet longs for a sister her parents are unable to give her. In kindergarten she meets Sophie, a strange and imaginative girl with a troubled family life. As friendship grows between the two girls, Janet believes her prayers have been answered, especially when members of her family embrace Sophie as one of their own.

Sophie’s troubles continue to follow her through high school, and Janet stands by her “sister” until, in adulthood, she learns of a devastating secret Sophie has kept from her. Janet’s world is turned upside down—and she discovers there may be a limit to what sisters should share.

Neck and Neck by Elizabeth Bevarly
There’s only one sure way for fledgling party planner Natalie Beckett to make her Kentucky Derby Eve soiree a success: get reclusive video game creator/billionaire Russell Mullholland to attend. But how can she even get out of the gate with Russell’s gorgeous bodyguard, Finn Guthrie, blocking the way? Never let it be said that Natalie doesn’t like a challenge, for soon she finds sparring with Finn far more exciting than landing Russell on her VIP guest list.

Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel
Edward, Marquess of Foye, would have been happy to continue his life as an unmarried gentleman rake. His brother's death changed everything. As the last of his line, Edward must now marry. Heart already broken by a capricious young girl, he vows to find an older woman-seasoned, mature. . .and no threat to his feelings. Falling in love can be dangerous. . . Sabine Godard was educated by an Oxford don beyond what was proper. Her studies became her salvation after her past left her unwilling to accept the touch of any man. Though she never intended to fall in love, when she and Edward meet, passion defies logic. Together they explore temptation and sensuality, healing old wounds. . .until events require them to risk everything for their love.

What I've Been Reading This Week

Greetings all!

It's been a quiet week here in Tracyland. Besides getting incredibly frustrated with loading documents onto my ereader it was pretty quiet. lol I get a tad loud when I get frustrated...oh, and curse like a sailor. :) I normally don't have issues with ebookwise and actually it wasn't anything to do with the reader but the program that loads the books to the readers. It was definitely took a lot of patience! lol

So how are you all? Did you have a good week? What are you reading? Hope it's good! I read a good assortment of books this week:

First up was Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel. I read this one for The Book Binge so I'll let you know when my review posts.

Next were 2 novellas that I've been wanting to read for a while. The first one was Snagged by Jet Mykles. I really like her books - I might, some day, be tempted in to reading her Dark Elves stories. Have any of you read them? How are they? Let me know, please. Anyway, Snagged was pretty darned good. I liked both Seth and Kyle in the book, though at first I had no clue what was going on. Jet Mykles just kind of dragged me in and kept me there. 4 out of 5

The next novella was Islands by Samantha Kane. This was a great story about a naval seabee in 1943 who goes to an island in the Pacific to try to talk the owner into letting the Navy build a hospital and an airstrip. The owner is incredibly sexy Rene and he is one hot frenchmen, let me tell you. For the 3 days that Gabe is on the island with "negotiations" he and Renee have one scorching love affair. This is just a great story. It's wonderfully sensual and I really felt the connection between the two men. Dear heavens - when they first kiss? Ha-cha-cha! 4 out of 5

Following that was my initiation into the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. That was a good book and I'm looking forward to reading the next one. 4 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge Read for this week was A Date With The Other Side by Erin McCarthy. This was the story of Boston McNamara who is from Chicago and is all about the city life who has been sent to Cuttersville, OH to check out the local plastics plant. But he has no clue what he's done to deserve such, as he believes, a demotion. While he's there he meets Shelby who runs the local Ghost Tour - which happens to run through the house he's renting twice a day. The romance between Shelby and Boston is adorable and of course the ghosts get much more lively when they're together. Cute book. 3.5 out of 5

I usually read 1 book each week for review at The Book Binge. Well last week that didn't happen so I read 2 this week to try and catch up/make up. I read The Year of Living Shamelessly by Susanna Carr. As per usual I'll let you know when my review posts.

Deep Kiss of Winter was next although I have to say that I only read Kresley Cole's story, Untouchable. I have yet to get to Gena Showalter's - but will, eventually. This was another wonderful installment in the IAD series. I think it was more heart wrenching for me than her others. Murdoch Wroth finds his Bride in Valkyrie, Daniela, only she's part ice fey and can't be touched by anyone but her own kind without severe pain to each party. Oh, and did I mention her kind is trying to assassinate her? So here are Murdoch and Daniela who, eventually, want to be together but still can't touch. Not being able to comfort or hold. Arg - I would have gone crazy! But Cole writes her stories so well I just soaked up every word. This story was taking place at the same time as some others and Cole shows us how they all intersect...clever. 4.25 out of 5

I won, over at the Kiss and Tell Girls blog, a copy of Samantha Kane's new book, Play it Again, Sam. This is the first book in a series called the Cougar Challenge. Monica meets 6 other ladies at RomantiCon and they start their own blog - Tempt the Cougar. One Friday night Monica challenges her friends to stop just staring at the pictures of the young men and get out there and find one for yourself - just for fun. Monica does exactly that and finds Sam who's the bartender at the bar she goes to. Between Sam and his friend Josh they make Monica's fantasy come true. I really liked this book. Samantha Kane just knows how to write some damn hot love scenes, I'm tellin ya. Turn the air conditioner on before you read this one. lol But as great as those scenes are she just writes the main relationships so well. You really feel like the two are connecting on an intimate level - both physically and emotionally. Good stuff. 4.25 out of 5

Last but certainly not least was the book I read for my Year of the Category Challenge, The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress by Lynne Graham. I know you're all dying to hear my thoughts on this one but you'll just have to wait until the last week of the month when I post my review.

So that was it for me. I hope you all have a great week and dream of the book fairy! lol

Happy Reading!

Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

I've been meaning to read the Mercy Thompson series for a while now (yeah Trac, the road to hell and all that...blah, blah, blah) and Renee finally got me to buy book 1 in the series a few weeks ago. After talking more about the book this past weekend with her I finally caved and decided to read it.

I'm not normally an UF lover (and usually not a lover of love triangles either). I read UF occasionally and more often than not like them - I just don't lean toward them on a regular basis. After reading the Alpha and Omega series by Briggs and loving it I decided to break down and just do it already. lol

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too. Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

I have to say that when I read this blurb for Moon Called I wasn't impressed. So Mercy knows a werewolf when she sees one and she's working on a vamps VW bus - oh and she may get into trouble. So what? is what I said. Big deal. Nothing about this blurb made me want to read the book. But then I started talking to friends and they said there was so much more going on than that. I'm glad I listened.

Mercy Thompson is what is called a skinwalker. To her knowledge she's the only one around. A skinwalker is more a magical shapeshifter - and she turns into a coyote when she shifts. She was raised by werewolves but is not park of any pack. She a VW mechanic and runs a garage in eastern Washington state.

She seems to have a lot of friends:

Adam - who is her neighbor and happens to be the alpha of the local werewolf pack. He's one hot body and she can't say that she minds looking at him at all. They share some great banter, but he also annoys the shit out of her.
Jesse - Adam's 15 year old daughter, lives with her mother but comes to visit her dad from time to time.
Warren - gay werewolf, third in Adam's pack, good friend.
Zee - gremlin, all around good guy, previous owner of the garage Mercy owns.
Tony - undercover cop

In this particular story we get a good background look at Mercy's life. We hear about how she was raised, where she was raised, and how things have gone in her life since moving to Washington. The background is extensive but I didn't feel at any time that it was too much. It wasn't told to us all at the same time, it was only mentioned when the need arose which I very much appreciate in a book.

Mercy's at work one day when Mac, a stray and very young werewolf, comes to her for work. Usually Mercy does things by the book and doesn't even consider anything illegal but she's willing to take the chance on Mac for some reason and pay him under the table. One night she goes to her garage to collect something she's forgotten and comes across Mac with a human and another werewolf who are trying to take him away. Mercy's not strong, but she's fast. She saves Mac and calls Adam to come and help her out with the clean-up. This starts a huge series of events that includes Adam almost dying and his daughter, Jesse, being kidnapped.

Mercy takes Adam to Aspen Creek, Montana because she knows that the Marrok (the head of all werewolves in North America) and his pack can help her. While there she sees Samuel Cornick again. At one time Mercy was supposed to elope with Samuel but ended up leaving the town and hadn't spoken to Samuel since that time. Now they're face to face and having to deal with the emotions that were put aside so long ago.

With the help of the vamps, the werewolves and the fae Mercy slowly figures out who is behind the abductions and tries to make things right.

I have to say that I really liked this book. Mercy is just a character that I can appreciate. Yes, she's more or less a shapechanger but she's not uber strong, she knows her limitations and she's not afraid to be afraid. She can wreak some havoc in her own way but I didn't find her a kick-ass heroine. She's the type who is smart enough to know that she can't do it all on her own and I loved it.

Adam and Samuel are both wonderful as well. Adam's love of his family and his pack as well as the ability to accept help from others made him a keeper in my book. He's good looking, which is always a good thing, and we're pretty sure by the end of the book that he's got a thing for Mercy. Then there's Samuel who is oh, so hot as well. He's a doctor and is a healer, but is also not one who will sit back and watch while someone else does the dirty work. He's willing to get his hands dirty - and sometimes that means killing. I got the fact that he considers Mercy his even though it's been years since they've seen each other - which makes things interesting between Mercy, Samuel and Adam.

I will definitely be moving on to the next book in this series soon as Patricia Briggs has once again sucked me in (I stopped by my local bookstore and picked up book 2 on my way home yesterday!). I love it when an author does that!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Book Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the Demon Forged Book Giveaway!! I know you both will love the book as much as I did!

A round of applause for:

Jill D


Ladies please send your snail mail address to me at redneyrae AT ca DOT rr DOT com and I'll get those shipped out to you!

(The list in case you're interested)
  1. Jill D
  2. Kris
  3. Orannia
  4. tetewa
  5. Leontine
  6. Martha Lawson
  7. Lori T
  8. Chris
  9. Sarai
  10. Cecile
  11. Christine
  12. Maija P
  13. I Heart Book Gossip
  14. LB Gregg
  15. Mystica

What I Read Last Week and Other Stuff

Hey guys!

I just got back from spending a wonderful 2 days in beautiful Costa Mesa, CA with the So. Cal Bloggers. Can I just say, cuz I know I just don't say it enough, I just love them! All intelligent, friendly, funny women that I just dig. We always have a great time and I just love when we can make time to get together. This particular get together was a little different since we had Nath joining us from Canada!! She was down for a wedding and we couldn't pass up an oppotunity to party, now can we? lol Nope. Yesterday we met at Borders then had lunch (and then Renee and I went off and talked for 3 hours!) and then today Wendy, Nath, Renee and I went to New and Recycled Romance used book store. Omg that was incredible. The whole bookstore - Romance. It was heaven, sheer heaven. Here are a couple of pictures. I know Nath took more but these are the ones I have:

The guy who thinks that if he doesn't look at the camera it won't catch him on film is Holly's MM. :)

From left to right: Renee, Lori, Nath, Wendy, Holly, Daphne, Rosie and me

Other than that not much happened this past week. So....this is what I read:

Still trying to get caught up with the Warriors of Poseidon series by Alyssa Day. I read book 3 which was Atlantis Awakening. This is Vengeance's book and he's right in the middle of the rebellion to stop the vampire take over. He meets Erin who is a witch and is supposed to help with it all. This gives us more insight into what's happening with the entire rebellion...catches us up on what's happening with characters from previous books and sets things up for the next book (without it feeling like it's a set up). 3.5 out of 5

Next I read Meljean Brook's story in the Must Love Hellhounds anthology. If I had actually paid attention I would have realized that this story came after Demon Forged but, yeah, didn't realize that. I was a tad lost thinking, "I don't remember all of this" but it's cuz I hadn't read Demon Forged yet - duh! lol Oh well - it was still great. 4.25 out of 5

I read Demon Forged by Meljean Brook after that and what can I say? It was a amazing and I savored every stinking word of it. lol I loved Alejandro and Irena and all the other wonderful characters that Meljean has put into her books. Just wonderful. 5 out of 5

My first book by Jordan Castillo Price, Hemovore, was one that was
reviewed by Jenre and I got interested in. This is the story of a world where there is the Human Hemovore Virus. If you are V-Positive you are a vampire and need to drink blood. If you are V-Negative you are still human but living in a world where the smallest fluid transfer could make you a vamp. Mark (V-neg) works for an artist, Jonathan (V-pos) as his assistant. Mark's life is all about taking care of Jonathan's blood supply, selling his paintings to galleries, etc. Things are fine until one day Jonathan and Mark are attacked - they can't go home, they can't get any money from their accounts and they're on the run. I loved Mark's sense of humor in this book. If the humor shown in this book is a norm for Ms. Price then I will definitely be reading more from her. The story started off a little slowly but then just took off. While I had some unanswered questions at the end of the story I really liked it a lot. 4.25 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for this week was Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins. The story of Chastity who is the youngest of 5 children and the only girl. Her father is fire chief and all of her brothers are either fire fighters or a bomb diffuser. She's a big tall girl and she's always been thought of as just one of the guys. She's been in love with a man, Trevor since she was 10. They had a brief affair when she was 18 but it didn't continue. She's trying to do what she thinks is right when it comes to men but it's hard when she's comparing everyone to Trevor. This story covered Chastity, her brothers, her parents and her work. I just really liked the humor in the story but I also was quite effected by the emotional aspect of the book.The longing for Trevor that Chastity had just tore me apart at times. 4 out of 5

So that was it for me for the week. I hope you all had great reading weeks as well.
Don't forget I'm still running the Demon Forged Book Giveaway until 11:59 tonight (Monday, Oct. 12)

Demon Forged Book Giveaway

I finished Demon Forged by Meljean Brook last night and it was just so utterly fabulous! The romance, the friendship, the fighting - everything is just wonderful. The plot is just amazing and Meljean has done an incredible job taking us from book to book in this series and making the story grow. Yes, each book has it's own thing going for it but as a whole the series just rocks.

I'd love to give you a review but I have a problem with writing reviews when I like books this much cuz I just tend to say: I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. That doesn't really tell you much about the book does it? lol Well, lucky for you I knew where to go to get great reviews for this book so I'll share a few with you:

The Book Smugglers

Dear Author - with Jill Myles guest reviewing

Babbling About Books, and More

Rosario's Reading Journal

OMG and how could I have forgotten to add VampFanGirl's blog Lovin Me Some Romance and its 8 fabulous days of the entire Guardian series? I'm such a dork! Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8 (Day 8 is the Demon Forged review) . This was wonderful, you need to check it out.


Being that I loved the book so very much I've decided to share the lurrrrve and give away not 1 but 2 copies of Demon Forged so that you all can read it and love it as much as I did.

So....leave a comment on this post between now and Monday, October 12 at 11:59pm. I will announce the 2 winners on Tuesday, October 13. Good luck to you all! (Intl. entrants ok)

My Little Cuties

Alright here are the latest pictures of my babies. Too bad they don't stay babies for long. :)

Oldest 11.5 years old - 6th grade

Youngest 7 years old - 2nd grade

What I Read Last Week

Greetings and Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. It was nice and sunny here but also a little cooler which was really nice since it’s been damned hot lately. It feels like Fall – finally! :)

It was a fun weekend with the girls – we went Halloween costume shopping and got that out of the way. They changed there mind about 1,000 times before they finally decided. Whatever happened to a sheet with the eye holes? lol Just kidding. :) We also went to the library, the rummage sale that our church was having, to Borders, to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (cute, but they liked the book better), and to the park among other things. It was a busy weekend, but good.

This week I had a totally incredible Mommy moment with my youngest daughter. The kids had wanted breakfast for dinner – which they love (I think it’s cuz no vegetables are involved) – and so I made them waffles and eggs and bacon. A while later my youngest came in to the office and sat on my lap to give me a hug. This is what was said:

Me: You smell like syrup.
Her: You smell like a Momma.
Me: *laughing* Really? What does a Momma smell like?
Her: *thinking for a moment* Kind, beautiful and nice.

Omg I about broke down in tears! Isn’t that the sweetest thing? She’s just a little lovebug!

So on to what I read. I read a lot this past week. I look at my list sometimes and try to figure out when I had the time to read all of it and just can’t do it! lol This is one of those weeks.

First up was my Re-read Challenge book Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning. I love this book and I think I’ll read the next book in the series for my next re-read, IDK – definitely thinking about it. You can see my thoughts here.

Next up was The Protector by N.L. Gassert. This is an m/m story about a straight-laced security expert and a guy in his 20’s who needs protecting. It was a good story with a few issues but I liked it.
4 out of 5

Next I read Covet by J.R. Ward. I have to say I had very mixed feelings about the book after I was done. This is a story about Jim and how he’s chosen by both the Angels and the Demons to save the world. If he fails then everything that exists, including earth, heaven and hell (although they don’t actua lly call them that) will disappear. That’s kind of a big load to carry, don’t you think? Jim has to help some people make the right choice between good and evil and there is a romance involved in a small way. The story takes place in Caldwell which I wasn’t thrilled with. I think Caldwell’s got enough shit going on with the Vamps and the Lessers but who am I to say? I kind of got the feeling that the next book would take place somewhere else but I’m not sure. While there are some really great parts to the book there are some other meh moments as well and after putting the book down I had to really think about it. 3.75 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas. It fell just slightly short of the 3 month rule, but hell, it’s my challenge, I’ll cheat if I want, right? lol Anyway…good book! I really loved seeing Cam Rohan again and him falling for Amelia was great. I wasn’t thrilled with the paranormal element even though it wasn’t a massive part of the story. I think when I read a Kleypas or Quinn historical I don’t want anything paranormal going on just a good, straight historical. I’m looking forward to reading the next book though and bought the latest in this series yesterday while at Borders.
4.25 out of 5

I read Midnight Treat by Becca Simone after that. This was a novella about a man meets a woman at a Halloween party and she tells him to meet her in her apartment – go up the fire escape and act like he’s breaking in. The woman wants him to role play and she says she loves to be scared while having sex. Well Josh breaks in to the wrong apartment and when he discovers the mistake (after the fact) he’s mortified and expects to be arrested. When that doesn’t happen he contacts the woman he had sex with to make sure that she’s ok – but he doesn’t reveal who he is. She’s more than ok with Zorro’s break in – she wants more! While Josh and Cassie start a sexual relationship and Josh is being gentle and kind she longs for the raunchier sex Zorro gave her when he broke into her apartment. I think I have a thing for Halloween stories in general. I’m always attracted to them for some reason and really enjoy reading them – even with they’re a little “out there”. This was cute and a fun sexual romp.
4 out of 5

I read a very short free read from Wild Rose Press a while back called Mischief in the Garage. I never quite got around to reading the story it was attached to but I finally did. Mischief in the Dark by Liza James is another Halloween story about 2 people who go to a haunted house and somehow get stuck in the dark warehouse behind locked doors. What can we do while we wait? Have sex, of course! lol It was a very cute short story (24 pages I think) and I like how the author interjected humor with the sex.
4 out of 5

Holly from The Book Binge sent me the latest 2 books in the Warriors of Poseidon series by Alyssa Day. I started reading one for my BB read this week and pretty much didn’t have a clue what was going on. I decided to read the series and see what was happening. Luckily my local library had books 1 and 3 in stock and I had the novellas that make up books 2 and 4 already on my shelf. So I read Atlantis Rising and it wasn’t bad. It’s kind of like a shape-shifter story in that the Warriors of Poseidon are finding their mates – only they don’t mate they soul-meld. I’m thinking that the stories will focus on the Prince (book 1), his brother and the Seven which are the warriors that protect the prince, but I’m guessing. This story followed Conlan who had just been returned to Atlantis after being held prisoner and tortured by THE evil vamp goddess, Anubisa. He meets Riley and is immediately drawn to her and wants to protect her and of course then she’s in danger, etc. I thought that Riley held her own with not being bossed around which was good since there was a shitload of testosterone going around. lol I personally thought that even though the Atlanteans discovered that Conlan wasn’t mentally damaged from his 7 years of torture he adjusted pretty damned well to being free and all of a sudden falling in love but that’s me.
3.5 out of 5

Next was the next book in the Warriors of Poseidon series by Alyssa Day,
Wild Hearts in Atlantis which is in the Wild Thing novella (which I already had because of the Meljean Brook story in it. :0)). This was another warrior, Bastien, who goes to Florida to try and check out some rogue shape-shifters and falls in love with Kat, who is part human and part shape-shifter. In these books vamps and shape-shifters were revealed to humans about 10 years earlier and some evil ones have pretty much started to take over. The Atlanteans haven’t been revealed but are trying to help stop the take over. 3.5 out of 5

My last read for the week was Neck and Neck by Elizabeth Bevarly. I read this one for The Book Binge and will let you know when my review posts.

Oh and I posted the list of what I read for September (if you want to see it all in one post) here, or you can click on "booklist" at the top of the page and it will take you there.

Happy Reading!

Lisabea aka L.B. Gregg Needs Your Vote!

Over at Lisabea's blog she said that she's been nominated for an award! Woo - freakin-hoo! I love her Men of Smithfield series so I think it's totally fab that she got nominated for a Rainbow Award!

LB has been nominated for Happy Ending in the comedy category! So very cool. But she needs your vote too. Head on over to Elisa Rolle's and vote for our very own LB! You will need a Live Journal account, but you should have one anyway!

Fall Festivus Fun!

If you haven't checked out Lisabea's blog this week you need to do so TODAY! She's having a fun, fun Halloween costume parade and some of those costumes are frickin hilarious! I love that bloggers have such creative imaginations and their sense of humor is off the charts.

One of the main reasons that Lisabea is having a Fall Festivus this week is to celebrate the October 2nd (yes, that's today) release of her book Cover Me by L.B. Gregg!

Lax. That was the initial conclusion enigmatic security specialist Max Douglas had drawn of Michael “Finn” Finnegan—Dalton Prep’s beloved English teacher. When Max arrives at Smithfield’s exclusive boarding school to protect a high profile student against a mysterious stalker, he’s hell bent on enforcing his style of leadership on students and teachers alike. Warring tempers turn to passionate lovemaking between the former marine and the easy going drama coach. But danger is closer than either man expects and all too quickly violence rocks the homey campus—putting both men at risk.

Yep, it got released
today from Aspen Mountain Press and it's sitting there waiting to be bought! Now don't be on over and buy your copy - I'll wait here while you do *music from Jeopardy! plays in the background*.

Did you get it? Good - now go read it!

You can check out Rosie's review of Cover Me here or Mandi's review here. I've read Cover Me and loved it. I personally would rate it a
4.25 out of 5. That LB Gregg knows how to write the Alpha men.

Happy Friday!

Pictures at last!

See...I told you I'd post pictures! So what if it's been a decade since I said that?

This is a picture that my oldest took at the Kansas City Zoo back in July. It's all for Kris. Why do they look dead? I have no idea - maybe that's what Kangas do.

This is Sarai and I when we had dinner in KC while I was visiting. Isn't she cute? Yep, and she's sweet as pie too. Did I mention funny? Just an all around nice person.

Whoops! However did he get in here? So sorry. Wait...just let me drool for a minute or two and we'll resume the gallery. Ahhhh, thanks, I needed that.

A picture of my girls trying to look like they're all that and a bag of chips while visiting the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas last month.

And saving the best for last...the So Cal Blogger Get Together picture from this past Saturday. Lori, me, Wendy, Rowena, Renee and Rosie. Nikki was there too but had to leave before we broke out the cameras. This was fun, fun, fun and we'll all get together again in a couple of weeks when Nath comes to visit. So. Very.Cool.