Review: Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl

Chloe Turner thought she was going to marry the perfect man-until her fiancé's plane crashed. And then she got the really bad news: he'd tried to fake his own death to avoid marrying her. Now America's most famous bridezilla (a tag she most definitely does not deserve), Chloe escapes to a remote island to avoid the paparazzi. And right next door is a man who just might be the cure
for Chloe's heartache....

A magnet for wild, complicated women, Max Sullivan is relieved to have finally found someone "normal." Chloe is his girl-next-door fantasy come to life, and best of all, she gets him. With her, he can be himself, a treasure-hunting millionaire who desperately wants out of his sexy but reckless job. But when Chloe's notoriety catches up with them, will their torrid romance make it to the mainland?

Chloe and her friend Jenn decide to get away from all of the paparazzi that are hounding Chloe and head to a secluded island for a week – only it’s not quite as secluded as they’d hoped. Fortunately the island also has some damned handsome men on it – namely their neighbors, brothers Elliot and Max. Chloe is quite attracted to Max and decides that she should take his flirting to the next level – she figures it’s been a month since all the shit hit the fan so she deserves a little fun in her life. Max is up for it but only because he believes that Chloe is a staid, “normal” accountant. Max craves normality in his life and decides to have that fling as well.

While Chloe decides that Max is amazing, she also figures out some incredibly troubling truths about Max – truths that no one has discovered in all of his years. You see Max has anxiety issues when it comes to safety. He feels that he’s responsible for everyone…like, the world. While Max is freaked that his charm and smile, that have always disguised his issues, haven’t worked with Chloe, he’s almost relieved that she knows so that he can be himself. But who is Max, really? Does he even know? He’s been such a pretender for so long he has a hard time adjusting with Chloe.

Then of course Chloe is revealed as the Bridezilla from hell. When Max discovers that’s she’s got a hell of a lot more going on in her life than she revealed he’s still smitten enough with her to hang around. But can he really handle life with “regular” Chloe (who's not so regular) and not just Island Chloe (as she labeled herself)

This was a great book. It was a fun, quick, easy read but it also had enough of serious moments in it to really interest me:

Chloes’s ex-fiance who accused her of being the bride from hell and that’s why he had to fake his own death, he was just a loser. You knew from almost the beginning that there had to be something else going on with him, but you just weren’t sure what it was. I felt so bad for Chloe because she obviously didn’t deserve the moniker yet had to live with it.We hardly got to know the man in the book but I still didn't like him.

Then there was Chloe’s friend Jenn who was hiding something incredibly important from her but that’s not revealed until later.

Then there was Max. Oy, Max. That man had issues…anxiety issues. As I said he felt he was responsible for everyone and basically he was so busy taking care of everyone else that he couldn’t enjoy life. At first I thought that it was amusing in that he kind of reminded me of the character Aunt Josephine in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s always cold in her house because she's worried the radiator might explode; she doesn't want the children to get near the refrigerator because she fears it could topple and crush them; and she refuses to use the telephone for fear of being electrocuted; I think there was something about exploding doorknobs too. For Max it was: he came over to sit by the fire with Chloe and Jenn but only because the fire pit wasn’t large enough and he didn’t want them to build it so high; he asked to go diving with them because they had gotten an instructor off of the bulletin board of the grocery store and how can that person know what he’s doing? It just went on and on, but as the story continued I discovered that it was quite a serious problem and one that would probably follow him forever. Could I have lived with Max? Oh, no. Never in a million years. But Chloe not only could live with him, she found his “quirks” amusing and adorable.

I think what I loved about the book, besides Dahl’s writing that I’m a fan of, was that the hero and the heroine fit together so perfectly. They each had things in their lives that would have put many others off but found that they could live with, work with and love what the other person had to offer. It was a great example of how there’s somebody out there for everyone.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 

Book received by the publisher

Saturday Song

I'm not a huge fan of Uncle Kracker's but I have to say that I really like the song Smile from his Happy Hour album. It just makes me smile whenever I hear it so here it is and hopefully it will make you smile too.

DIK Reading Challenge and M/M Challenge Review: Caught Running by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

Ten years after graduation, Jake "the jock" Campbell and Brandon "the nerd" Bartlett are teaching at their old high school and still living in separate worlds. When Brandon is thrown into a coaching job on Jake's baseball team, they find themselves learning more about each other than they'd ever expected. High school is all about image – even for the teachers. Brandon and Jake have to get past their preconceived notions to find the friendship needed to work together. And somewhere along the way, they discover that perceptions can always change for the better.

When the book starts we see how Jake Campbell is not necessarily reliving his high school days but thinking about how things might have been different. Could he have been a different person and maybe included others more? He didn't feel he was a bad person but maybe he could have been more open to others...say, the nerdy kids? When Brandon, who Jake went to school with and was definitely a nerdy kid back then, gets assigned as his new coach Jake is not thrilled. But then Jake sees that Brandon's not afraid to work with the kids physically – like run drills with them, etc. and he starts to see Brandon in a new light.

Brandon gets volunteered for the assistant baseball coach position and to say that the man is out of his element is putting it mildly. But, he's open to seeing how things go and maybe viewing life from a different place.

What Jake is viewing is Brandon's body. Lol When Brandon first puts his baseball pants on Jake is more than a tad surprised that Brandon's body is so great. This more or less begins the “let's stare at Brandon's body” part of his life. Poor Jake – he was fighting his infatuation with Brandon so hard but finally gives in and kisses him. Jake's pretty sure that the vibes he's been getting from Brandon say “gay” but he doesn't know how to ask him. It cracked me up that he was too shy to ask but not too shy to kiss. But we find that that is just how Jake is.

That kiss – and it was short and sweet, followed by long and languorous – starts a relationship between the two men that is the stuff that relationships are made of. Awkwardness at first, problems communicating, great sex, more incredible kisses “sigh” just so normal yet it sucked me in and I just wanted more.

There were a few of niggles with the book:
*There was a fair bit of head hopping – ok, through most of the book. It made me a bit batty but after a while I got used to it.
*The mention of Brandon doing some physical therapy type work on Jake's sports injuries but it's never actually spoken that it gets done. Did he do it? Did it help? These and other questions.
*Brandon mentioning that he was giving up his doctorate studies to spend more time with Jake. That spoke to me of a bit of dependence but the man did have 2 master degrees already so I had to forgive him. He was working his ass off and burning both ends so I couldn't call this too big of a niggle.

Despite these issues I adored this book. The niggles were so minor when faced with my love of the story I just didn't care. Lol This is a sweet love story that I will be re-reading many times in the years to come.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Tuesday Teaser - Whisper Kiss

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Today's Teaser comes from Whisper Kiss by Deborah Cooke (Book 5 in the Dragonfire series) page 268 (ARC):

Rox knew what it was like to have a broken family.  She knew how it could leave you rootless, how it could make you yearn for something you'd never had and knew you'd never find.

What I Read Last Week

Hello All!

I had a really good week last week - I hope you all did too.  I got my old/new glasses...YAY!  My kids came home from their extra portion of the vacation... DOUBLE YAY!  It was just a nice week all around.

It was a nice reading week too so I'll get to that now! :)

First up was Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs.  This is book 5 in the Mercy Thompson series and it was another great one.  This story mostly centered around the Fae and one Faery Queen trying to take control of everything, but it also had wonderful moments of Adam and Mercy and the struggles they have with their relationship.  Adam's pack and the issues with Mercy being one of the pack and with Samuel and his desire to end his life.  It was just a great read.  4.5 out of 5

Next up was a very short (23 pages) erotic m/m story by Gavin Atlas called La Playita.  This was the story of a college student on vacation in Costa Rica.  He meets up with a couple of local men who want to play out his sexual fantasies with him.  It was one on 3 and it was pretty darned hot.  The issue I had?  No condoms, no lube while having sex on the beach.  Ouch and OMG! lol 3.5 out of 5

Next up was Corralled by Lorelei James.  This is book #1 in her new Blacktop Cowboys series.  It was another great cowboy story.  I read this one for The Book Binge so keep your eyes peeled for my review. :)  4 out of 5

Twice Tempted by a Rogue by Tessa Dare was my next read.  Book 2 in the Stud Club series.  I really liked Rhys St. Maur - the poor man is so emotionally broken but such a winner in my book.  I very much liked the heroine, Meredith, too - a fighter who would do what she needed to do to take care of her family and her town.  Rhys came back to his hometown after 14 years and he doesn't get a great reception.  He decides to stay - probably for all the wrong reasons and tries to talk Meredith into marrying him.  As much as she's dreamed about that very thing her whole life she can't do it as it's not the best thing for the town.  I really love Tessa's writing - she has this great way of putting things that speaks to me.  But in this instance as much as I liked the story the characters relationship didn't click with me - I just couldn't feel their connection. 3.5 out of 5

My next read was Seeking Kokopelli by Shelley Munro.  This was the story of musician Adam and his crewman/roadie Nate.  Nate's wife died a year before but he's now having lusty thoughts about Adam.  Nate is hesitant to start a relationship with Adam but eventually gives in.  On top of this is the fact that Adam used to be "THE" Kokopelli, bestowing blessings on his village's crops and the women for fertility.  But his father had kicked him out and ripped his powers away for being gay.  His brother now has the power but he's losing it and it's returning to Adam.  But Adam's brother can't deal with that and tries to kill him.  It was a good story but after a bit Nate's objections, etc. just started getting old. I have to say I didn't care for the whole brother out to kill hero thing either.  3 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge Read as well as my FTSP read for the week was Fire Me Up by Katie MacAlister.  This is book 2 in her Guardian series.  In the first book I found Aisling, the main character, to be a bumbler but it was still pretty cute.  This one I found her to be less of a bumbler which was good.  She is accused of murder, yet again, but allowed to try and clear herself.  On top of that she's having issues with Drake who is her Wyvern mate.  He wants her and all of her attention and unfortunately doesn't go about it a way that Aisling can handle.  I have to say that I did feel for Aisling as she felt betrayed by Drake but lust can cloud your mind. lol  I'll be reading more from this series this week.  3.5 out of 5

My next read was InDescent by KZ Snow.  This is actually the fourth book in the Jackson Spey-Adin Swift story arc but only the second one that I've read. The story is about a man who holds a grudge against Jackson.  He's gotten a powerful prism that he plans to trap Jackson in, but in truth Jackson has been chosen so that he may repair the rift between worlds (That was so readers digest version it's ridiculous). There is so much going on in this book I can't possibly tell all but it was just an excellent read.  The writing, the relationship arc, the magic descriptions - I just loved everything about this book. 5 out of 5

I of course couldn't finish reading InDescent and not immediately pick up To Be Where You Are which is the next book in KZ Snow’s series. This book was about one of Jackson’s friends whose partner is missing. Noah wants Jackson’s help but Jackson doesn’t want to get involved. In the meantime Adin is waiting for Celia to go talk to Jackson as Adin and Jackson’s relationship has grown and they just want to be together all the time rather than the once every couple of months they have now. Adin feel obligated to Celia and feels that she must “let him go” rather than just break things off. The problem is that Jackson’s friend Noah has the magic to take over someone’s will and in order to get Jackson to help him find his partner Noah takes over Celia’s will and makes her a girlfriend who’s more than a bit on the reluctant side in letting Adin go. Jackson must face down a voodoo sorcerer in order to get the partner back. Another great read! 4 out of 5

After that I decided that I really needed to catch up on my yaoi manga reading since I did eventually have to send these books off to the whoever the next person was who was waiting for them. I took a couple of hours and hit the books. I didn’t catch up completely because I got a lot at one time but I made a dent in them! Woohoo.
First up was You Will Fall in Love and You Will Drown in Love (which is the next volume in the series) by Hinako Takanaga. In You Will Fall in Love we meet Haru who is a long term sub at a school. He runs into Tsukasa who attends the school and has been in love with Haru for years. But Haru was an archer who thought he was in love with Tsukasa’s older brother. Tsukasa moves in to make him believe that he’s in love with Tsukasa, not his brother. It was a pretty darned cute story although very high school. I liked the graphics. 3.75 out of 5
You Will Drown in Love is the story of Tsukasa’s brother, Reiichiro, that takes place at the same time as the first book. Reiichiro starts as manager of one of his father’s fabric stores. He’s a horribly blunt person and has no clue how to work with customers. His asst. manager, Jinnai, is a bit disgruntled with the fact that he has to call a younger man and less experienced sales person his boss. But they become friends and eventually fall in love. Again, good graphics and though I didn’t like Reiichiro all that well I really liked Jinnai quite a bit. 3.5 out of 5
Next was Madness (volumes 1 & 2) by Kairi Shimotsuki. This story takes place in the year 3000 and tells the story of a band of killers that are being hunted. The main guy had fallen in love while in captivity with a priest and when he breaks out decides to take the priest with him. Good graphics yet a bit to indistinct for my tastes. I liked the story line though. 3.75 for volume 1 and 3.5 out of 5 for volume 2.
Next was Age Called Blue by Est Em. This was an odd story of two guys who are trying to get a band together but one of them is a thief and steals the others guitars for money. He takes off for days and then shows ups drunk. He ends up in prison for stealing a car and hitting someone. It also has a couple of other stories in it. They’re all kind of bizarre and I wasn’t too big of a fan of the graphics.3 out of 5
Next was Hate To Love You by Makoto Tateno. This told the story of two men whose families had been rivals for generations but fell in love. It was a strange tale of a definite love/hate relationship. 3 out of 5
Last was Tea For Two by Yaya Sakuragi. The story of a boy whose sister decides to put him into the Tea Ceremony Club because he’s such a klutz and she wants him to have a little refinement. Tokumaru and Hasune find that they have more in common then they originally thought. I liked the graphics on this one and it was a cute story. 3.5 out of 5 

And last for the week was Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl. This was an interesting story. Chloe and her friend Jenn head off to a secluded island in Virginia to get away from life. You see Chloe’s fiancĂ© crashed a plane and faked his own death. When he reappeared he blamed Chloe for being a Bridezilla. She’s then plagued by paparazzi and takes off for some peace and quiet. They meet brothers Max and Elliot at the resort and Chloe and Max hit it off but Max has issues and once he finds out that Chloe isn't the “normal” girl he hopes for, turmoil ensues. I’ll be reviewing this one soon but it was a different type of love story – one I liked. 4.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Happy Saturday!

Today's song, Liar, comes to you from the band called Rains and is from their album Stories.  Stories was originally released in 2005 but from what I can tell was remastered in 2009.  It's darned hard to find info about them online cuz I just get a bunch of stuff about the weather! lol  But I heard them on Octane for a while and like their stuff.  Enjoy.

Review: Heart of Vengeance by Tracy Cooper-Posey

To find her father’s killer, Helena of York must pose as a Norman in the great halls of Richard I’s England. Should she be unmasked, her life will be forfeit.

Stephen, Count of Dinan, once Richard’s friend and trusted knight, is outcast for reasons shrouded in mystery. Known as the “Black Baron”, he is friendless in a glittering world he despises. His only goal is to restore his honor and once again serve his king.

Helena’s only desire is to kill the man who destroyed her father and her future. Stephen’s suspicions draw him into Helena’s web of deceit, and the two outsiders find themselves tangled in a greater conspiracy that threatens the throne of England itself, while their embattled hearts grapple with a far greater challenge.

Helena of York is on a mission. She needs to find the one man who has information about her father's death and he will lead her to the murderer. In order to do this she's been posing as a titled Norman woman. By a strange twist of fate the Count of Dinan comes to her rescue one day. They form a bond and make a promise to each other that they feel cannot be broken.

When Prince John makes arrangements for one of his faithful yet incredibly loathsome advisors to marry Helena she finds that this is a predicament she may not be able to free herself from – especially since said advisor, Savaric, knows that she is not the lady Isobel. While Stephen is there when he is needed it doesn't help the end plight that they find themselves.

We discover that Helena is trying to find her father's killer, yes to clear his name, but for such a bigger and quite noble reason. But she is set on her course of action and no words, even from the man she loves will sway her to do otherwise. Stephen adores Helena but with revenge at the forefront of her mind, and him so set against revenge of any sort he sees them coming to an impasse.

I would love to tell you all of the ins and outs of this story but it is one that has to be read to truly be appreciated. It is a medieval romance filled with political intrigue and manipulations, scheming mothers, titled yet outlawed Earls, but most of all, love. Though this story is only about 250 pages long it's truly an epic tale that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you love a good medieval story this would be a great book for you.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This book was received from and my review was requested by the author.

Tuesday Teaser - Corralled

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Today's Teaser comes from Corralled by Lorelei James page 147 of the ARC:

Was Lainie impatient to fuck him because it was so good between them?  Or in a hurry to get off and get it over with before Hank came back?

Oh my - such questions! lol  This is the first book in James's new Blacktop Cowboy series.  Corralled releases on August 3.

What I Read Last Week


OMG I'm so relaxed! lol  After the frantic pace of the trip to Chicago it has been incredibly nice to have peace and quiet in the house.  With just hubby and I there we've relaxed and slept in (something I don't normally get to do) and just enjoyed the tranquility.  The kids don't get back until Wednesday so we're going to keep on enjoying it until then. :)  

So when I was in Chicago - the very first day we were out and about - my glasses broke!  I know, it sucks, right?  So I managed to superglue them together - it appeared that just a post had come out on the right earpiece.  I kept gluing them until I got home and could take them to the optometrist.  Bad news, they can't fix them. Waaaaah!  I love my glasses and they were only 18 months old. Oh well.  Anyway, I could get the same pair but my vision insurance only covers a new pair of frames every other year so I would have had to pay $200.00 to get a new pair.  No.  Thanks, but no.  So I ended up giving them my old set of frames so that they could put my current prescription into them - which the insurance paid for.  I'm currently still using my broken frames which sit crookedly on my face - it's quite a sight, lemme tell ya! lol.  Hopefully my old/new glasses will be here soon. 

Oh and I've been horrible with my and Finish the Series Project reads this month so I'll do better next week, I swear. lol

So on to what I read this past week - and they were all pretty darned good books:

First on the list was a wonderful book by a new to me author.  Cooking With Ergot by Luisa Prieto was a very good book about a witch and the man he thinks is a witch hunter.  The two find an unexpected bond with each other while searching for the real witch hunter.  Humorous, fun, sexy with a bit of intrigue - just a good book.  4 out of 5

My next read was one for The Book Binge.  Dark Embers by Tessa Adams was the first in a new dragon shifter series called Dragon's Heat.  This was the story of the king of the Dragonstar clan, Dylan, and his last ditch effort to save his clan from a deadly disease by enlisting human scientist Phoebe.  Danger and lots of sex ensued. :)  Good book.  4 out of 5

Next up was another book for The Book Binge - Never As It Seems by Shiloh Walker.  This was about Chloe and Leo who had been together previously but had parted 3 years ago because Leo thought that Chloe was lying to him about being a psychic.  He called her all sorts of horrible things and now he has to guard her because someone's after her - he decides he wants her back.  Yeah, easier said than done buddy.  A good novella - as I've come to expect from Ms. Walker. 3.75 out of 5

After that I delved into Love In The Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas.  This is book 5 in the Hathaway series and I was a little leery to start it as it had a trope I'm not fond of: someone pretending to be someone they're not.  However I started the book and really loved the first half of it.  The second half was much more sedate but still good, I just didn't love it as much as the first.  The story was of Beatrix who was writing letters to a soldier and signing her friends' name. The soldier, Christopher, thought he had fallen in love with Prudence but it was really Beatrix. I really liked Christopher and Beatrix together and was glad that they managed to work it all out. 4.25 out of 5

OMG I almost forgot to add this and that would have been horrible!  An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride was a great sci-fi m/m read.  A slave who is whored out by his owner and has no memory of who he really is or any of his past finds out that he is actually the king of his people.  The man who finds him, Griffin, was his past lover and Helios, the king, is determined that they will stay together. A very good fantasy read that I very much enjoyed. 4 out of 5
This was a Tracy's TBR Challenge read

Another read for The Book Binge was Special Delivery by V.J. Devereaux.  This was the story of Federal Prosecutor, L.C. Mackay aka Lacey.  Lacey is on a huge case involving a Mexican drug cartel.  She really needs to relax and well, have sex.  She decides to enlist Rick, who she finds on the internet, to help her. Sounds a bit tawdry but it was well done and quite good. 4 out of 5

Caught Running by Madeleine Urban and Abilgail Roux was a book I read for both my DIK reading Challenge and my m/m reading challenge.  I'll post my review the last week of July and yes, you have to wait until then to hear my thoughts.  I'm such a tease! lol

Power Unleashed by Savannah Stuart is the 3rd book in the Miami Scorcher series and another good read.  Paz is a werewolf who's also part Fae.  According to werewolf laws she has to be put to death cuz they hate the Fae.  So who does she discover is her mate?  The Council's enforcer.  Oops.  I read this one for The Book Binge as well.  You can read my review of this novella as well as a guest post by Savannah Stuart over there today. 4 out of 5

And last on the list was Heart of Vengeance by Tracy Cooper-Posey.  This is a medieval story of a woman who is considered an outlaw who is determined to find and kill the man who killed her father.  But her plans change somewhat when she meets Stephen who is an outcast from King Richard's court.  I'll be posting my review of this book this week so you'll have to come check it out.

My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

So last week you got to see some of the bands that I grew up with.  Well there were many more besides those but it's safe to say that there was a huge rock influence in my life.  But there was also a huge....disco influence.  I know, disco, right?  You're cringing and sneaking away from the computer - I can just feel it!  But alas growing up in the 70's it was hard to get away from it and frankly I didn't try very hard.  lol  So here are just a few songs that I still love from that era. (and let me tell ya, it's hard to just pick a few! lol)

Earth, Wind and Fire has always been one of my favorite bands.  They just have something great going on with the brass section and I've always loved their music.  There are so many of their songs I loved but the girls and I groove to this one on a regular basis.

Of course it wouldn't have been the 70's without Marvin Gaye.  Here's Got To Give It Up

And lastly Heatwave with Boogie Nights. (the sound isn't as good on this one so you'll have to turn it up)

My Kind of Town, Chicago Is

I’m back! Actually I’ve been back since about 10pm Tuesday night but have been recovering slowly since then. There was so much traffic on the freeways that it took my hubby and I over an hour to get home from the airport so I got to bed quite late and had to be up for work the next day. It was a fantastic trip but I’m exhausted! lol

We started our trip on the Amtrak which was a 4 day trek that passed through 9 states. There was magnificent scenery and fun times were had by all. Sleeping on the train is never my favorite part of the trip and as I said in comments – never underestimate the glory of a shower. :0)

We left Wednesday the 7th at 10:15am and got into Chicago at about 4:00pm on Saturday the 10th. We bought our 3 day CTA passes (that got us on buses, subways and the L) and made our way to our hotel. My sister took a train from Kansas City and met us in Chicago that night. We ordered pizza and relaxed.

Sunday we headed off to St. James Cathedral and went to church. We moseyed after that and made our way to The Fourth Street Presbyterian Church. My mom attended both St. James and Fourth St. when she went to Moody Bible Institute over 50 years ago. After that we went to see the Water Tower. Built in 1869 it was the only public building to survive the horrific Great Chicago Fire in 1871. I actually forgot my camera on Sunday (duh) so the few pictures I got were taken with my cell phone. We then shopped and took the L red line all the way to the end and then took a bus on the Lake Shore Drive (Outer Drive) that was just beautiful. The kids were really troopers considering how far we walked. The weather the entire time we were in Chicago was really great. Yes it was warm and somewhat humid but there always seemed to be a nice breeze coming off of Lake Michigan.

On Monday we started our day at Ann Sather’s Restaurant on Belmont. If you are ever in the Chicago area and want a fabulous breakfast go there! Seriously good food. They are famous for their cinnamon rolls – which are to die for wonderful. And one order is 2 cinnamon rolls. No this is not diet food! lol Our waiter was so nice and ended up bringing an order of cinnamon rolls for our whole table on the house (yes, that totals 14 rolls), just so we could try them. My oldest stated that she was going to move to an apartment across the street from the restaurant so she could eat the cinnamon rolls every day. Too funny. I had a special called Ann’s Darling. It was hot oatmeal with rice porridge and granola topped with dried apricots, raisins, cranberries and pecans. It came in a bowl as big as my head and was so darned good I had to take half of it with me to eat later. I wonder if they ship food? We waddled out of the restaurant and headed to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park is just lovely and the zoo, which is free to enter, was so clean and well kept. We made our way to the Farm-in-the-Zoo after that which is sponsored by John Deere and the kids loved seeing the goats, pigs and cattle. By that time we were quite warm and headed across the park, and the Outer Drive to Lake Michigan where we took off our shoes and waded in the nice cool water. Let me tell you my kids did not want to leave it felt so good. That night we went over to Grant Park which was quite near our hotel to see Buckingham Fountain. I took a million pictures of that fountain and not one of them came out! Apparently when you put my camera on “night scene” which is the only way that it would show up on my camera it makes everything blurry. What good is that? Anyway, take my word for it, it was beautiful as well.

On Tuesday morning we breakfasted and then headed to the Willis Tower, previously known as the Sears Tower. The building is the second tallest in the world and we headed to the 103rd floor to what is called their Skydeck. It has tons of info on historical and current Chicago and incredible views of the city. My kids also walked out onto the Skyledge which gave me serious heart palpitations. I did step forward enough take a picture through the floor but that was it – there was no way I was walking out into that thing!

My kids, niece, sister and parents headed off to the station soon after that to catch their train to Kansas City where they will stay with my sister and then head back home on the 18th. (They’ll make it back to LA on the 20th.) I was then on my own for a few hours since their train left at 3:15pm and my flight home didn’t leave until 7:40pm. I ate some lunch and then went to the public library that was across the street. Damn confusing 10 floor library, but incredibly gorgeous. I read for a couple of hours and then made my way to O’Hare airport.

That’s my vaca in a nutshell. We walked our asses off – which was good since we ate our way through Chicago! My kids are gone until the 20th so the hubby and I are enjoying the quiet in the house. It’s hotter than hell right now (110 F yesterday) so I’m trying to stay indoors as much as possible. That just means more reading for me, right?

Hope you all are well.

Here are some of the photos I took while on the trip – enjoy! (In case you're wondering my oldest was photo shy for most of this trip so she's not in many pictures!)

What I Read Last Week

Well better late than never, right?  lol  I'm having a great time here in Chicago but I'm friggin exhausted.  My father, who is 75 years old, is keeping us on  our toes.  How he does it, I don't have a clue. I'll give you a thorough explanation when I get back.  Anyway, I didn't read much last week since I was getting ready for the trip for the girls and I and then didn't have all that much time on the train either.  So many distractions and interruptions. :)  So here's the list:

First up was Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley.  I had mixed feelings about this book.  I liked it but there were some parts that I didn't.  I read this for The Book Binge so I'll let you know when my review posts. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was The Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter.  This was yet another story in the Lords of the Underworld series and it was Aeron's story.  Aeron helps a fallen angel, Olivia.  Olivia has been watching him and has fallen in love with him, but Aeron's not so hot on the idea of an angel, especially since the demon he considers his daughter practically can't be in the same room with her.  A good story - I already have the next book and can't wait to read it.  4 out of 5

Next was Nine-Tenths of the Law by LA Witt.  The story of 2 men who meet in a strange situation - when they find out that they have a mutual boyfriend.  They get together but one of the men has serious trust issues.  I mean I don't blame him to a point but he went a little nutty with it.  I liked the book though and it was pretty darned hot.  Great sex scenes. 3.75 out of 5

And last on the list was Raising Kane by Lorelei James, the latest in the Rough Riders series. This was Kane's story, if you couldn't tell by the name of the book.  He gets involved with lawyer Ginger Paulson and sparks fly.  I really liked the story and I loved that Lorelei was able to let everyone see another side of Kane.  Good story.  4 out of 5 

My Book Binge review that posted this past week:
Tropical Exposure by Wynter Daniels

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Orannia left a comment on the Saturday Song post a couple of weeks ago and some of it was how she discovered the bank Journey by watching Glee.  I commented back that I wouldn't have made it through my teens without Journey!  It got me to thinking about the songs that I listened to while I was growing up and there are so many!  I have an older brother and 2 older sisters and they introduced me to music that I might not have discovered otherwise.  So today I'm sharing a few of my favorite bands and songs with you.

First is Boston.  I just love them.  They were most popular in the 70's and early 80's but their songs, for me, never get old.  Here is Rock and Roll Band for your listening pleasure.

Next is Styx.  I love all of their songs but Renegade is one of my favs.

And last on the list for today is ELO (Electric Light Ochestra).  I just adored their music and still listen to their greatest hit CD's on a regular basis.  Here's Telephone Line one of their ballads and so good.  Enjoy.

My Idiosyncrasies with Books

Do you have any?  I do.  

  • I'm not one that insists on having all of my books in alphabetical order but once read a series must remain together.  

  • I must have separate shelves for my TBR books and those books that I've already read.  If I have more than 1 book in a particular series in my TBR do they need to stay together? No.  I know, weird.

  • I crack spines *ducks and runs* but insist on not having the page turned down to hold a page.  That's what a bookmark is for people!

Those are just a few off the top of my head.  What are some of your little quirks?

And She's Off...

Today the girls and I are off on a vacation with my dad, niece and eventually we'll meet up with my mom.  We're headed off on another train trip and this year we're on our way to Chicago.  My parents, especially my dad, love trains so a large portion of their vacations are spent on the train as that's the joy for them.  While I like riding the train I could fly and be just as happy! lol  

So first we'll start off from LA Union Station and head to Portland, Oregon.  Then we'll change trains and head on over to Minneapolis, Minnesota where we'll pick up my mom (who's been at a conference there) and then make our way to Chicago, Illinois where we'll meet my sister.  We'll spend 3 days in Chicago and then I will fly home.  My kids, my niece, my sister and my mom will all take a train to Kansas City, Missori where my sister lives and spend 4 or 5 days with her and then take the train home.  

Here's our route:

I will try to stay in communication via my hubby's laptop but I'm not sure when I'll have a wi-fi connection.  I've got a couple of posts ready for you all but I won't be able to comment right away.  

Have a great week and don't get into any trouble.  Oh wait, I forgot who I'm talking to...get into as much trouble as you want! lol

Tuesday Teaser - Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Today's Teaser comes from Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley. (This is book 2 in her Highland Pleasures series. Book 1 was The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.) Page 83:

He turned from her, made for the other door, and just as he opened it, dropped the towel.

It was a long time before Isabella could peel herself from the doorway and return to sit rigidly in her chair before the fire.

What I Read Last Week

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a good week last week.  I seriously did not. lol  It was really the week from hell.  I'm getting ready to go on vacation and there's always so much work to do in preparation that sometimes it just doesn't feel like it's worth the effort.  Of course I won't say that once I'm actually on vacation. :)  More about that in another post.

On to what I read last week.  Fair warning...most of what I read was for review on The Book Binge as I was catching up with reviews before vacation.  Most were novella's or shorts:

First up was Experimenting With Ed by Katie Allen.  Novella - Read for The Book Binge.  This was a damn good story about a women scientist, her boss who's after her and Ed.  Ed is a quiet, unassuming, soft spoken man who has no clue who he really is.  He's been altered, along with 4 other men, by the government to be the perfect soldier - but they all escaped.  Reading about Ed and Claire and their race to get away from Claire's boss was great and funny too.  I just love Allen's writing.  4.5 out  of 5
Next I read Snow Play by Barbara Elsborg. Read for The Book Binge.  This was a cute little quickie about a woman who goes on vacation and has a rotten time.  When things seem to be going as bad as they can she meets Zach and has a great time.  My first read by Elsborg but I liked her writing style and humor - I'll have to look into reading more of her books. 4 out of 5

After that it was Take It Off, Warrior by Eliza Knight. Read for The Book Binge.  A cute novella about a women interviewing strippers for her friends' bachelorette party and ends up meeting the time travelling warrior of her dreams.

Next was Ghost Flute by Kimberly Dean.  Novella - Read for The Book Binge.  Another good novella that takes place on an Indian reservation.  It involves a legend about a ghost playing a flute that lures women in a sexual way.  While house sitting Serena is being pulled by the music of the flute while Chayton, the man who's attracted to her tries to stop it all. 3.75 out of 5

Winner Takes All by Jenny Urban and Elizabeth Silver was my next read.  This was a very hot book about 2 friends who make a bet and one literally has his ass on the line. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Good Cop, Bad Girl by Paige Tyler was next on the agenda.  Quickie - Read for The Book Binge.   I gotta say - right off - that this is my second book by Tyler and they are some good, cute reads.  However, of both of those books the covers have been horrid.  What is with that?  The poor woman! There are some EC Exotika books that have some decent covers...hers aren't any of them.  Anyway, a cute story about a woman who is having a birthday party at her home and her and her friends are a little too loud.  A copy comes to the door to give her a citation for being too loud and she thinks he's a stripper posing as a cop.  Oops.  She's thrilled of course when he comes back later to give her her birthday spanking. 3.75 out of 5  You can read my review here.

My next read was Tropical Exposure by Wynter Daniels. Quickie - Read for The Book Binge.   The story of a famous woman who just wants to go on vacation and have some peace and quiet.  What she gets is two weeks of smexin with her bodyguards.  But one is actually a tabloid reporter.  What will happen?  Cute story. 3.5 out of 5

I started reading Demon Blood by Meljean Brook earlier in the week and after 2 chapters decided that I wanted to re-read Demon Forged again.  Let me tell you it was just as good the second time around...maybe better than the first.  I just love the series and this book has so much going on that it's mind boggling - but it never was too much.  Love it! 5 out of 5 (again)

I read Demon Blood by Meljean Brook right after that and it was great.  I read a review by Ana at The Book Smugglers that says it perfectly:"If Demon Forged was essentially a Big Picture book without losing sight of the romance then Demon Blood is a Romance book without losing sight of the Big Picture".  Rosalia and Deacon's story. Just a darned good read.  Also read for The Book Binge. 4.5 out of 5

And last on the list was Two-Week Trial by Missy Jane. Novella - Read for The Book Binge. A cute novella about a wealthy man who finds the woman he's wanted for years and goes about winning her over.  The woman is leery since she doesn't think much of herself but eventually gives in to a two week trial.  3 out of 5

I just read over my summaries and realized that this was obviously the "cute" week. lol  Yes, a lot of the books were cute.  

My reviews that posted at The Book Binge this week:
Kidnapping Kara by Alyssa Brooks
Good Cop, Bad Girl by Paige Tyler
Lion's Heat by Lora Leigh

Also, my entire list of reads from June is up here.

Happy Reading!