What I Read Last Week

I hope you all had a nice week. For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Ours was spent at our home with lots of family and laughter – the best way, imho. Of course it was fabulous having Thursday and Friday off as well – who can complain about 4 days off work? Not me! lol

My oldest has her first boyfriend. OMG shoot me. Yes, she’ll be 13 at the end of December but it just makes me feel old. lol And yes, we’ve moved into the modern age – the boy TEXTED her to ask her. *sigh* Granted they’ve been friends for a while and text all the time so I guess he thought it made no difference. Maybe I should have a talk with him….ok, maybe not. lol

My youngest brought home her first report card of the year and it was excellent! I’m so proud of her! I love that she loves school and does so well.

In case you didn’t see it, the Desert Island Keeper blog is recruiting for new members. The questions that need to be answered and then emailed to me are here so if you are interested, or know of anyone who might be, have them email me by Saturday, December 4.

My first read for the week was Styx’s Storm by Lora Leigh. This is book 212 in the Breed series. Oh wait, it’s only book 22! lol Anyway, I really like the series a lot but this one wasn’t the best I’ve read of them. The heroine, Storme, was the daughter of a council scientist and she felt that her brother and father cared more for the Breeds they created than they did for her – and the Breeds ended up killing them. She’s been on the run from both the good Breeds and the Council Breeds for 10 years because she carries secret research her father had completed and is finally caught by Styx who ends up being her mate. Or is he? He feels all the possessiveness that a mate would feel but the mating fever hasn’t started. She’s drawn to Styx but yet scared of the Breeds. This was good, but not really a romance, imho. It had more sex and fear in it than romance but yet the h/h fall in love. It did answer some questions that were brought up in Jonas’s book though so that was nice. 3.5 out of 5

Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women edited by Kristina Wright was my next read. Not a long book but has 18 short fairy tales in it. Some dark, some light – all very erotic. I don’t particularly care for the title as I think that men would like this too. J I read this one for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when the review posts. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was A Duke’s Temptation by Jillian Hunter. This involves a Boscastle but is considered book 1 in the Bridal Pleasures series by this author. Lily Boscastle seeks a housekeepers position after she witnesses a murder and her family doesn’t believe her. Rather than bring more scandal to the family she takes a position with a Duke’s household. She isn’t aware that this is the Duke that she had flirted with and kissed at a previous ball and that he wants her for his wife. It was a good story but the Duke was a tad too unhinged for my liking. No, he wasn’t crazy but I felt it took the eccentric artist/author persona a bit far at times. The romance was very sweet though and I really liked Lily and Gravenhurst together. 3.75 out of 5

My next read was Fun with Dick and Shane: The Life and Times of a Submissive Houseboy by Gillibran Brown. Utterly frustrating at times but quite entertaining…and supposedly real. *shrugs* who knows? You can read my review here. 4 out of 5

Bloodlines by Jessica Lee was an m/m book that I read for The Book Binge. Evin KinKaid kicked out of his shifter pack for being gay and not conforming to his dad, the Alpha’s, wishes about whom to marry. A year later and he meets Mason who he accidentally infects. He then seeks his father’s help for Mason. A very good shifter story with a nice twist at the end. 4 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Three Nights with a Scoundrel by Tessa Dare. Why did this sit on my shelf so long? I think I bought it when it first was released. It’s one of those ones I’m kicking myself over since it was so darned good! Maybe because I wasn’t too attached to Lily and Julian in the first two books in the series but really, the two made for a very good couple and their romance was beautiful. Lily’s deaf and I think it made for such intimacies between her and Julian that wouldn’t normally have been there. Just a darned good story. 4.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that have posted since last week:
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews – so darned good!

Happy Reading!

Review: His for the Holidays by LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield and Josh Lanyon

Mistletoe at Midnight By LB Gregg 

Owen McKenzie has traveled to Vermont to spend an old-fashioned Christmas with his family when he finds himself staying at the same inn as his first love. Owen is disconcerted to realize he's still attracted to Caleb Black but refuses to pursue him. Caleb left him once, and Owen's not going down that road again. 

Caleb is ready for a second chance with Owen and gets it when fate and the matchmaking McKenzies conspire to strand the two men in a rustic cabin during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. Can Caleb convince Owen to rekindle their romance so they can stop spending their holidays apart? 

This is the story of two men who loved each other as teens and frankly never fell out of love.  They'd moved on and had become the men they are now but never stopped thinking about the one that got away.  It's no secret that I love Ms. Gregg's writing style.  She has a way with words that just speaks to my inner romantic and quite truthfully, my outer romantic as well. lol  Her stories always have a wonderful humorous thread woven through them that I adore and this one was no different.
Nine Lights Over Edinburgh By Harper Fox 

Detective Inspector James McBride is riding high on the belief that he's about to bust a human-trafficking ring. But just five days before Christmas, his unorthodox methods catch up with him and his world comes crashing down. 

McBride tries to concentrate on his new day job as security for the visiting Israeli ambassador. He even starts to feel a renewed sense of self-worth when the leader of the Israeli team, the aristocratic Tobias Leitner, takes a bullet for him in the line of duty. But he can't forget the trafficking case, especially when his investigations result in the kidnapping of his own daughter! McBride has no one to turn to for help-no one, except Toby. 

Can these two very different men work together to bring about a holiday miracle-and heal one another's heart in the process? 

This was definitely the most serious story in the bunch but it was oh so good. This was also my first read by Ms. Fox but it won't be my last.  Her characters came alive on the pages of the story and my heart hurt for what James was going through - admitting to the world that he's gay, facing his alcoholism and dealing with the kidnapping of his daughter.  It was serious, as I said, but not depressing.  It was the story of hope and love and to me that makes for a wonderful holiday read.

I Heard Him Exclaim By Z.A. Maxfield 

Who Likes a Skinny Santa? 

Steve Adams's heart hasn't been in the Christmas spirit ever since doctors put a stent in it and ordered him to clean up his act. No longer filling out his Santa suit or allowed to make merry, he's forgoing the holidays this year and heading to Vegas to indulge in the few vices left to him: gambling and anonymous sex. 

His road trip takes a detour when he encounters Chandler Tracey, who's just inherited guardianship of his five-year-old niece. Overwhelmed, Chandler's on his way to deliver Poppy to his parents. But fate has other plans and, after car trouble, Chandler and Poppy accept a ride home with Steve. Though the heat between the two men is obvious, they put it on simmer while they band together to make Poppy's Christmas as perfect as possible. 

Steve soon comes to believe that while Chandler is the right person to look after Poppy, someone needs to look after Chandler. Fortunately, Steve knows just the man for the job. 

Such a simple, but frustrating thing: breaking down on a road trip.  It happens to people all the time but in this case it made for the meeting of a lifetime.  I think what I loved about this one was that both men really needed something in their lives and the other provided that for them.  Chandler needed the safety and security that Steve offered and Steve needed to know that his life wasn't over because of a heart problem and some weight loss.  Ms. Maxfield brought humor as well as the joy of the season to this love story.  (Her descriptions of the drive to Vegas (which I've made many times) and the town of Baker had me laughing cracking up.)

Icecapade By Josh Lanyon 

On the eve of the new millennium, diamond thief Noel Snow seduced FBI special agent Robert Cuffe, then fled into the dawn. Now a successful novelist, Noel uses his capers as fodder for his books, and has modeled his hero's nemesis (and potential love interest) on Cuffe. Though he leaves Robert a drunken phone message every New Year's Eve, Noel hasn't seen or heard from him in a decade. 

So he's thrilled when his former lover shows up at his upstate farm one Christmas Eve. Elation quickly turns to alarm when Robert accuses Noel of being responsible for a recent rash of diamond heists. Robert is all business and as cold as ice: it seems his only interest in Noel is to put him behind bars. 

Innocent of the crimes, and still as attracted as ever to the oh-so-serious lawman, Noel plans a second seduction-providing he can stay out of jail long enough!

I think what drew me into this story was the fact that Mr. Lanyon took a jewel thief and then made him a regular guy.  Sure, he had become a best-selling author but really in his every day life he ran a farm, helped out friends and just lived his life.  And that's what Robert saw when he finally decided to make the move and seek Noel out.  Neither man was sure of the other but they had wanted each other for so long that the coming together was perfect. The story was sweet in the men's awkwardness but it was a step toward what could be and it was very heart-warming.

If you couldn't tell I loved every story in this anthology.  Usually when reading an anthology there are 1 maybe 2 stories that are ok, but not really to my liking in one fashion or another.  Not true with these novellas.  There was something about each one of them that drew me in, made me want to keep reading and in the end made me heave a big ole romantic sigh. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

This book releases from Carina Press on 12/6/10

M/M Challenge Review: Fun With Dick and Shane by Gillibran Brown

Ever wondered what it must be like to be part of a ménage à trois, a gay ménage à trois? Then wonder no more, because that’s just what my book is all about. It contains snippets, snatches and stories about everyday life with my Daddies, Dick and Shane. I love them both dearly, despite their overbearing ways, or perhaps even because of them. The book takes its starting point and content from the personal web diary I began to write in September 2006, when boredom lay heavy upon me and I was alone on account of my boyfriends being away together on holiday. If you think this houseboy’s life might interest you, then welcome, step over the threshold, but wipe your feet first, as I’ve just polished the parquet. 

Fun with Dick and Shane is exactly what it says - a diary type telling of Gillibran Brown's life with Dik and Shane.  He started with them as a housekeeper/houseboy but the relationship, somewhere along the way, turned into a threesome.  Dick is a sub to Shane and Gillibran is sub to both of them, with Shane being the end all be all last word in the house.  

When I first started the book I considered not reading further after the first few pages.  It is the time that Dick and Shane, who have been together for 10 years are taking a holiday without Gil so that they can reconnect with each other.  It's not that they don't love Gilli but they were together for a long damed time before Gil fell on the scene and it's just something that they need to do.  Gilli, to say the least, is not thrilled with this.  He feels unloved and unwanted (which is a theme in the book) - which is so not true but he's got the devil on his shoulder telling him it is.  He acts the major brat and frankly I was a bit disgusted with him.  I guess my thinking was if he was that put out by their holiday - among the many other things he was put out about - he should just leave!  Well he didn't and that was just one incident in the life of this houseboy.  I decided to read on and see if it got better and it did.  While Gilli acts the brat on so many levels during the course of the book it was still a good read.

The book really covers a multitude of issue in Gillibran's life - including the death of a neighbor, health issues, parental issues, the relationship between, Gilli, Shane and Dick and of course  a truckload of discipline for Gilli's smart mouth.   There were times when I just wanted to kick Gillibran in the shin...multiple times, or gag him because his mouth kept getting him in to trouble, but overall I really liked reading the journal entries.  I found it pretty darned entertaining and laughed out loud a couple of times and couldn't stop. (I bookmarked a couple of these funny incidences on my ereader as I was reading yesterday but this morning they're not there. No, it couldn't possibly be operator error so be quiet.)

I can't begin to understand the dynamic between a Dom and his sub, or in this case subs, but despite the discipline (spankings...and not sexual ones) that Gilli received I really liked Shane and Dick.  Yes, Shane was gruff and a big bear, not touchy feely at all, but you could tell he cared for Gilli deeply in his own protective way.  Dick was a doll.  I just loved that man.  He loved Gilli and Shane and wasn't afraid to show it in a multitude of ways.  He had a great sense of humor and that coupled with his care and concern *sigh*  I just loved reading about him.  If he wasn't gay and I wasn't married...lol  

Anyway, I ended up being quite entertained.  Once I got past the initial dose of Gillibran and his whining I learned to take the rest of him with a grain of salt.  Under the childish attitude he had a good heart and cared for his men.  I have to say that I'm definitely thinking of reading the next installment.  Maybe hoping that the 24 year old Gilli has grown up some? lol IDK

Rating: 4 out of 5 

Saturday Song

In honor of Thanksgiving here is Adam Sandler doing his Thanksgiving Song that he originally sang on SNL in...2005 (I think).  I like this version of the song better but the video is ridiculous. lol  So if I were you I'd just listen and not watch. :)  Have a great Saturday!

DIK Challenge Review: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

When I realized it was time to start thinking about what book I would read for this months DIK Challenge I was extremely excited to see The Serpent Prince on Katie Reus’s list as I had just gotten it from the library and was planning on reading it anyway! I love it when things work out that way.

When the devil meets an angel...

Country bred Lucy Craddock-Hayes is content with her quiet life. Until the day she trips over an unconscious man—a naked unconscious—and loses her innocence forever.

he can take her to heaven...

Viscount Simon Iddesleigh was nearly beaten to death by his enemies. Now he’s hell-bent on vengeance. But as Lucy nurses him back to health, her honesty startles his jaded sensibilities—even as it ignites a desire that threatens to consume them both.

or to hell.

Charmed by Simon’s sly wit, urbane manners, and even his red-heeled shoes, Lucy falls hard and fast for him. Yet as his honor keeps him from ravishing her, his revenge sends his attackers to her door. As Simon wages war on his foes, Lucy wages her own war for his soul using the only weapon she has—her love…

Lucy finds Simon Iddesleigh beaten and stabbed in a ditch far from his home in London. Against her father’s wishes she nurses Simon back to health at their home in Kent. While recuperating from his injuries Simon finds himself falling in love with Lucy but knows he can’t be with her because his life, and his soul, are too dark for one so bright and shining as Lucy.

Lucy is stunned when Simon comes to Kent to ask her to marry him but she can’t possibly deny him. She cares deeply for Simon as well and is thrilled that this wonderful man loves her. Simon whisks Lucy off to London and places her with his sister-in-law and niece to live until the wedding. But as the weeks move on, both before and after the marriage, Lucy discovers a part of Simon that he tried to keep secret – the revenge that he is seeking for the murder of his brother and the reputation ruining of his sister-in-law. She knows what he is doing is wrong but the reasons make so much sense to her she really is in a quandary. She knows he should stop but can’t get him to listen to reason. How can she stop him before he gets himself killed?

I have to say I had very mixed feelings about this book. While it’s written very well and in the same great style as I’ve gotten used to with Hoyt’s books, I found myself having a roller coaster of emotions over the characters and their personalities.

Lucy – When she first found Simon in the ditch and while she was nursing him she seemed like a very strong woman and I was really looking forward to getting to know her better.  But during what I feel was the second part of the book – the part she goes to London – she almost felt like a secondary character and I didn't get to know her as I wished. Sure, she was in the book and played a role but I really didn’t see her strength after that. Her fortitude with Simon, definitely, but she almost fell by the wayside…was almost in Simon’s shadow in the book.

Simon – Oh boy, where do I start? I really liked Simon...to a point. I loved that he wasn’t a big buff guy but was still a man none-the-less. He was certain of his strength, vitality and well, manliness, even though he had a kind of metrosexual vibe goin on. He definitely liked to look good and did the silver coat, red-heeled shoes, and powdered wig with absolutely no hesitation. I loved that about him. But it was all just a costume to hide the man inside. Who was that man? Simon didn’t even know. His mother had painted him as the “bad” son to his brother’s “good” and he decided to take that ball and run with it. But that’s not really who he was. When he decided to avenge his bother’s murderers he hated doing what he did but it didn’t stop him. That really had me stopping and thinking as I read because it’s a rare person who can kill someone and not be tainted for life by it. Lucy helped him through in the end, which was great but I’d love to see a Lucy and Simon in 5 years and see how it’s effected their lives.

Then there was Lucy and Simon together - so sweet when he was at her house in the country. Even though his witty banter was a cover up you could tell that he could be such a dear person and he truly loved Lucy. But the love walked a fine line in my book from healthy to obsessive. I think that shows the intricacies of Hoyt’s writing that she can take you to that point in their relationship and still pull you back so that it’s all ok in the end.

Some may look at my thoughts here and think that I didn’t like the book but I did- I thought it was very good. Would I re-read it? Probably not, but you never know. There may be one day I’ll be thinking about Simon and Lucy and think – maybe I read them wrong…and feel the need to look them up and see if my thoughts change. For now I’ll let Simon and Lucy go live their lives in peace.

Rating: 4 out of 5

What I Read Last Week

Hello there!

So yes, it's been a weird week and it's only Tuesday.  Yesterday was just a bizarre day all the way around.  Mondays are usually busy but yesterday was insane.  I usually try to get this post done on Mondays during my lunch break but it was so busy I didn't even take lunch and ate at my desk.  I guess it was because of the short week since I'm off on Thursday and Friday because of Thanksgiving - at least that's what I'm going with.

Then I got home last night, exhausted, and the kids were all "Mom, I need you!" "Mom, can you do this?" Mom, can you help me with my math?" (that one made me laugh since I suck at math!) Anyway, they were so demanding...like I was their mother or something.  Like it was my job. *sigh* I obviously haven't trained them well enough. ;0)

Anyway, so I'm late on this post but at least I'm getting it done, right? Right.

My first read for the week was Emily and The Dark Angel by Jo Beverley.  I read this one for The Book Binge.  It's a re-release from 1991 that centers around a woman who's firmly on the shelf and the rake next door.  He's in the country for hunting season and she's taken over her family's estate management after her father is paralyzed and her brother goes missing in the war.  It's kind of a mad cap story but fun none-the-less. You can read my review here if you're interested. 3.5 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR challenge read for the week was Slow Hands by Leslie Kelly.  I've had this one for a long darned time and thought it was time to actually read it.  A society lady, yet savvy business woman goes to an auction to bid on a male prostitute only to keep him out of the clutches of her step-mother.  But the programs were messed up and though she thinks the man she got is a gigolo he's actually a Chicago firefighter.  It's a cute story that centers around Jake and Maddy getting to know each other and Jake trying to break the ice around Maddy's heart that was formed after she found her former fiance in bed with another woman. 3.5 out of 5

After that I read Hungry For You by Lynsay Sands.  This is book 14 in the Argeneau series.  A cute story about an immortal finding his life mate. (releases 11/30/10) You can read my review here if you'd like. 3.75 out of 5

Kiss Across Time by Teal Ceagh was my next read.  This is an erotic read about a woman who goes to a death metal concert and ends up kissing the lead singer.  When they kiss they go back in time. The woman then goes back stage and ends up kissing the singers partner and they go back in time as well.  The story revolves around the men, who are vampires, trying to talk and seduce the woman into staying with them as their bonded mate.  The vamps, Brody and Veris, are hot, hot hot.  This is basically a short story introducing how the characters got together and getting you ready for book 2 in the series which is longer and much more in depth. 3.25 out of 5

The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt is the book I read for my DIK reading challenge and my review will post on Thursday.

My next read was Tangled Up in You by Rachel Gibson.  This was the story of Maddie who writes true crime mysteries.  She's decided that she needs to write the story of how her mother was murdered 29 years before and see if she can make sense of it all.  She goes back to Truly, Idaho, where the murder occurred and ends up getting involved with Mick who's father was killed at the same time as Maddie's mom...by Mick's mother.  The story was very cute as I loved Mick and Maddie together but it was also very sad due to the subject matter and Mick's reaction to Maddie when he finds out who she is. 3.75 out of 5

Next was Kiss Across Swords by Teal Ceagh that I read for The Book Binge.  This is book 2 in the Time-Crossed Love series.  This book takes place 4 years after the trio, Brody, Veris and Taylor have gotten together and Taylor asks Veris to change her into a vampire.  He refuses and leaves Brody and Taylor where they soon jump back in time to the first crusade which is where Brody and Veris first met.  That's when the men were supposed to get together only things aren't how they should be.  Taylor and Brody must make events between Brody and Veris happen or their trio in the future may not be together. A very good book that I really enjoyed.  I'll let you know when my review posts.  (the book releases Nov. 24) 4 out of 5

Next was Turnskin by Nicole Kimberling.  This is a shifter book about a young man who is from the country who longs to go to the city and be a playwright.  He meets and falls in love with Cloud Coldmoon who is also a shifter but also the son of a crime boss.  Tom has to leave his trailer and the country and makes it to the city where he meets 3 of his cousins who run Turnskin theatre.  He ends up writing plays for them but meeting up with Cloud again as well. The two men have to figure out how to save Turnskin as well as how they will get Cloud out from under his mother's thumb and live happily ever after. The story is very good and I loved the different take on the shifters.  These are shifters who can make themselves look like anyone but mostly their regular forms have hair and sometimes muzzles.  The book could be solemn and sad but also humorous and fun.  Just a really good read.  4 out of 5

Forbidden Magic by Jo Beverley was my next read.  I read a excerpt of this book, that will soon be re-released, in the back of the other Beverley book that I read this past week and I decided I'd like to read it. A family of 5 run by Meg, a 21 year old woman is in desperate straits.  They have no money and no means to get any but the landlord has offered to take Meg's sister for his mistress in exchange for free rent. The girl is only 15 though!  Meg won't allow that so she uses a magical statue to ask for a solution to the problem.  That solution comes in the form of an Earl who is desperate to fulfill a promise made to his hated grandmother and get married by his 25th birthday.  Meg marries the earl but things start to go very wrong - which Meg believes is due to the magical statue.  This was a cute book.  I found it kind of frenetic with some strange things going on...psychic parrots...that were a bit odd at times but overall I liked it. 3.5 out of 5

My last read for the week was His for the Holidays by LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield and Josh Lanyon.  A wonderful collection of stories that will release on Dec. 6.  I'll post my review this week.

My Book Binge reviews that have posted since last Monday:

Happy Reading!

Weird Week

This is turning out to be a really weird week (yes, I know it just started) and I haven't had time to post. I won't be able to post tonight either as my children are being....well, children. :)

I'll try to post my reads from last week tomorrow. Cross fingers.  

Hope you're all well!

Saturday Song

This week I dragged out one of my Sting cd's.  I was a huge Police fan so it wasn't too difficult for me to transition to Sting when they broke up.  The cd this week was Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984-1994.  I love every song on the album and can listen for days. But I only picked one song: Fragile.  Enjoy.

Review: Hungry For You by Lynsay Sands

This vampire has been alone for far too long . . .

As one of the most ancient in the Argeneau clan, Cale Valens has given up on finding a life mate. His friends and family, however, have not. In fact, they believe they've finally found his perfect match. Getting them together, however, requires one little white lie . . .

Alexandra Willan is in a panic. Her restaurant is due to open in two weeks, but her chef just walked out. Then a highly recommended replacement arrives, an impossibly handsome culinary genius who sends electric tingles racing through her body . . .

Except he can't cook. In fact, Cale hasn't eaten real food in two thousand years. Yet he's determined to prove to Alex his prowess in the kitchen . . . and elsewhere. Because never has he hungered so for any mortal woman. And not just for a taste of her, but for the whole delicious feast!

Cale Valens shows up at the immortals enforcement house in Canada. He’s there at the request of Marguerite Argeneau who is just certain that Alexandra Willan is his life mate - and she's rarely wrong about these things. He’s been around since 280 b.c. and not found his life mate yet so he’s willing to try anything. When he makes it to the enforcers house he meets Alex’s sister, Sam, who is another immortal’s life mate. Sam immediately calls Alex to have Cale meet her but Alex is having some serious problems of her own and isn’t interested in men at the moment.

Alex runs a well known and much liked French restaurant. It's doing so well that she’s opening a second across town but has been having so many issues with the construction of it that she’s not been focusing too much on the first restaurant. When her chef from restaurant 1 decides to quit because he’s been lured away by her competition with the promise of an exorbitant salary she’s stuck. She really needs to take care of the second location but has no one to cook for the night and no one she calls can fill the space. When she gets a phone call from her sister Sam she’s more than a little frustrated and not interested in meeting one more of Sam’s friends who’s going to look at her intently and then walk off – it’s beginning to make her self-conscious. But Sam assures Alex that this is perfect because Cale is a chef and he’s going to save the night for her.

When Cale meets Alex he knows immediately that he’s met his life mate but there are a couple of problems. Number one is that he has to act as a chef for her restaurant when he doesn’t even know how to cook and hasn’t even eaten in hundreds of years.  Number two is that Alex isn’t interested in any type of relationship right now with the restaurant doing so well and the new one about to open. She was also hurt very badly by someone years ago and feels, deep down inside, that she’s just not good enough for anyone.

Cale manages to get through the night of cooking with help from other immortals and a lot of mind controlling of the customers, and even manages to insinuate himself into Alex’s life as her manager and gets the new restaurant in shape for opening. But Alex is still an uber independent woman and he has a hell of a time trying to convince her that she should keep him around for more than work details.

This was a very sweet book. Cale was just a great guy – smart, funny, fun and I really liked reading about him. Alex took me a little longer to warm up to since she was SO independent but in the end I liked her too.

There was a small mystery involved in the book as well as the romance. All the trouble Alex was having and then she’s almost mugged outside of her restaurant. There’s also an accident where her car is run off the road but Cale was driving at the time. The conclusion to this mystery was really the only thing that I was up in the air about. On one hand the bad guy was apprehended so quickly that it almost seemed too fast for my liking. On the other I guess it did give us a chance to hear the villain out and see into his thoughts a bit which was a closure for Alex’s life that she desperately needed.

Lynsay Sands always has a great way of working humor into her stories that you don’t often see in a vampire/paranormal book. There’s one scene after Alex finds out that Cale is an immortal and of course she thinks he’s the evil vamp so she wants to take precautions against mind control. The problem is she has no weapons so utilizes what she has in the kitchen that might work against a vamp – tin foil and a wooden spoon. Omg – absolutely hilarious!

Just a fun book. After 14 Argeneau books you’d think I’d get tired of reading them but Sands manages to put something in there every time that makes it just a good read.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 

(This book releases on November 30th)
I received this book for review by the publisher.

Review: Wicked Night with a Lover by Sophie Jordan

What should a proper lady do when she believes her days are numbered? 

Step One: Take a Lover . . .

After being told she will not survive beyond the year's end, prim and lovely Marguerite Laurent intends to live what remains of her life to the very fullest. Though she may never know love, she will know passion—and she agrees to a whirlwind romance with a former admirer. But hours before embarking upon her grand adventure, Marguerite is abducted—by an unscrupulous rogue who boldly announces his intentions to bed and wed her before the week is out!

Step Two: Live With No Regrets . . .

Ash Courtland pulled himself up from the gutter to become a successful man of business, and now he wants revenge on his one-time partner for betraying him. Still, his enemy's bewitching daughter is most certainly not about to surrender her innocence to the infuriating—if shockingly attractive—cad who took her captive. Yet with no more than a touch, Ash makes her tremble with desire . . . and resisting the heat of his passion could cost Marguerite her last, best chance for ecstasy.

Marguerite is someone who’s more used to dealing with the sick and dying, since that’s her job, than she is with the living. When her current charge actually recovers rather than dying as everyone thought she would, the woman insists that Marguerite stay with her until she see’s “her”. “Her” ends up being a seer who tells the patient that she will die by the end of the week. Disgusted with the whole thing Marguerite runs after the seer when she tries to leave and grabs her arm. The seer then tells Marguerite that she too will die within the year. 

Marguerite is sure that this is just hocus pocus but yet she can’t seem to let it go since her previous charge actually did die! She seeks out the seer when she gets to London to try to glean more information from her. She gets what she wants but on her way out the door she witnesses a large man pummeling a smaller gentleman. Just positive that the larger man is a brute she interrupts the fight, the smaller man escapes and she ends up having words with the attacker, Ash Courtland.

During this time in Marguerite’s life she gets a letter from her father, whom she’s never met. He wants her to visit and to get to know her 2 sisters (they’d never met the father either). When she visits the first time she meets her two sisters and discovers that the father, Jack, is trying to marry the 3 girls off to bluebloods because while Jack has money he wants his entree into the ton. While leaving her father’s house Marguerite is kidnapped and discovers that the man is taking her to Gretna Green to marry her so that he can get a portion of Jack’s inheritance/property.

The kidnapper turns out to be none other than, you guessed it, Ash Courtland, who is Jack’s partner in gaming hells, a mine and a factory. He’s pissed at Jack because though he’s been like a son to Jack, Jack feels that Ash isn’t good enough for one of his daughters and refuses to let him marry one. Ash takes matters into his own hands and kidnaps one without knowing her or what she looks like even. Ash and Marguerite are quite surprised to see each other when their identities are revealed but it doesn’t stop Marguerite from trying to escape. She’s got a limited time on earth and knows from the seer that she will marry before she dies. She resists Ash at all turns because she wants to change the course of her life therefore changing the outcome and that means not marrying.  If she doesn't marry maybe she won't die.

I have to say that though this book was a tad predictable in it’s story it was entertaining enough that I didn’t get bored at all. Marguerite was insistent on not marrying Ash and I did find it somewhat annoying at times but Ash was so persistent that I had to like him. He really had such horrid motives for what he was doing and though he never wavered from his goal he really was quite forthright in his pleas to Marguerite that it would be a good life and a good marriage. Ms. Jordan wrote the story well because I thought their relationship, really only built on the passion they felt for each other, was a good strong one. Yes, there were the typical doubts that all hero’s and heroine’s have but I very much enjoyed each event as it was happening.

I’ve not read a Sophie Jordan book before but this won’t be my last. I think there are a couple of books that are related to this one that include Marguerite’s friends but this was quite good as a standalone and didn’t feel like I was missing any info by not reading the previous books in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This book releases on Tuesday, November 30 and was received by the publisher for review.

What I Read Last Week

Well another great week was had.  Kris and I spent Monday and Tuesday playing and that was a ton of fun.  Then I was off on Thursday because of Veteran's Day here in America so I got to spend some time with the kids.  They really didn't want to go anywhere but we had a fun time hanging around the house, playing games and watching movies together.  Now it's back to work - how the heck am I gonna make it through 5 full days of work? Yikes! lol

It was a good reading week. I read some really great books which is always nice!

First up was The Best Laid Plans by Sarah Mayberry.  This was a book that I received from Tell Harlequin for a survey.  The story was about a woman, Alex, who'd always wanted a home, family and definitely children.  She was with a guy for 7 years who adamantly refused even the thought of children - they finally parted ways.  She runs into him one day only about 18 months after their break up and he's pushing a stroller with his 4 month old son in it because, oops, my girlfriend forgot a pill and oh well here's the baby.  After seeing her ex she's distraught.  Then her ob/gyn tells her that she's getting along in years - she's 38 - and that her chances of conceiving are getting slimmer every year.  After many different options are covered in her head she decides to use a sperm bank.  A fellow partner in her law firm who is also a friend, but not a close one, finds out about her decision and decides to offer his sperm since he always wanted a child.  He adamantly opposes any type of relationship though because he's been hurt.  I liked the book but it was a bit predictable for my liking.  Ethan's past was, imho, kept under wraps too long and the reveal was almost anti-climactic.  I also thought he changed his mind about Alex too quickly in the end.  So a good read but not great.  3.5 out of 5

Next was Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole.  This is book 10 in the Immortals after Dark series and it was a good one.  Malkolm is a demon who was turned into a vampire - and he hates vampires.  He now lives isolated in a realm where he waits daily for his chance to kill his mortal enemy. Carrow is a witch who is kidnapped by The Order (a group that wants to destroy all immortals) and blackmailed into stepping into Malkolm's realm and bringing him back.  Carrow and Malkolm find themselves attracted to each other even though they don't speak the same language and Malkolm is hooked.  But when Carrow takes Malkolm back to her realm Malkolm decides that he needs to kill Carrow.  Things aren't always what they seem though so both Malkolm and Carrow have some lessons to learn.  I really liked this book.  I thought that Malkolm was too primitive for me at first and of course the whole wanting to kill Carrow thing was a bit much for me but he grew on me as a hero as the book went on.  I liked Carrow at times and others not so much.  I think she grew up a lot in this book and that was a good thing.  The trust between Malkolm and Carrow, in my opinion, was healed at the end of the book much too quickly but as I said I really liked it overall. 4.25 out of 5

Next was Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Clare London.  This story follows Garry who is in an airport in Scotland waiting for his friend Will (so they can go on Holiday with their friends) who was supposed to get in only an hour after Garry.  Well there's a delay and he ends up waiting 10 hours!  Garry has a thing for Will but Will is taking a job and moving from London to America.  So Garry waits for Will during The Delay and in the time he waits he gets a lot of thinking done about himself and Will as well as getting quite a bit of great insight from 2 children who more or less adopt him during his time at the airport.  I loved this book.  It was funny and had that dry sense of humor that I love to read.  The interactions with the children as well as Garry's inner thoughts had me flipping pages as fast as I could - and when I was done, I started from the beginning and read it again.  Just a great novella.  This is definitely a romance but there is no sex involved - just to let you know. lol  5 out of 5

My next read was another damn fine book called Talker by Amy Lane.  Two boys who are in college - one, Brian, an orphan, feeling on the outer edges of everything and the other, Tate aka Talker, just considered a freak due to his facial tatoos, piercings and mohawk - befriend each other and eventually become roommates.  Brian is a wonderful friend to Talker as well as discovering he's gay falling in love with him.  It's a heart-wrenching story at times but so emotionally charged that I found myself pulling for both of them to find exactly what they needed in life.  Such a great book! 5 out of 5

Wicked Nights with a Lover by Sophie Jordan was next.  I'll be posting my review of this on Wednesday.

Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews was my next read and it was so damned good.  Just a wonderful romance and adventure mixed.  This is a novel of The Edge and was William's story.  He's contacted to find and destroy a spy from the Weird. He meets Cerise Mar who is trying to keep her family in one piece and their reputations in the Edge as fierce as ever when her parents are kidnapped by the very person that William is seeking.  Working together is the only way to defeat them. I read this one for The Book Binge so I'll let you know when my review posts. 5 out of 5

After that I read a short by JM Snyder.  First up was Fuck the Foreplay which was a cute story about a boy at college that's very excited that his boyfriend is coming to visit.  Needless to say they were in a rush when they saw each other...hence the name of the story. :) 3 out of 5 (free read from ARe)

Then I read Joy Ride by JM Snyder, another very short book, which was about a 20 something on his street bike who verbally torments a 35 year old Harley rider at a local hangout.  While the taunting sounds like it's bike related it's more sexual and the two men finally decide to check out each others rides.  Cute. 3 out of 5 (free read from ARe)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
*crickets chirping* lol

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

I've been a 3 Doors Down fan since...well, forever - since they came out with their first album.  I love their music and listened to it quite a bit this week when I was driving to and fro to visit Kris.  Let's just say I've never met a song of theirs I didn't like.  

In America this past Thursday we celebrated our vets with Veterans Day and I thought this video was appropriate for that day - as well as the fact that I like the song When I'm Gone! lol 
(They also do a great video for the song Citizen Soldier for The National Guard)

Kris and Her Cloak of Invisibility

Kris and I had such a great time exploring LA - and getting lost in LA!  While she was there she got a cloak of invisibility - it was very cool.  Here she is with Scooby and the gang's Mystery Machine while the cloak was activated:

Can't see her can you?  Pretty cool, right?  I know.  It was freakin awesome!

I had to make her turn it off though because it was hard knowing where she was at all times!  Here's what it looked like the rest of the time:

She is the coolest chick on the block, lemme tell ya.

The rest of the time she had it off, I'm sure because she feared for my sanity!

She certainly didn't want to be invisible when she met Vin Diesel and the rest of the Fast and Furious crew.

Yeah, yeah, Vin was a pretty great guy but he just couldn't compare to this guy.

Needless to say we had a great time all over

The Winner Is...

The winner of Alison Kent's Icing on the Cake is:


Congrats Lea - I'll email you!

What I Read Last Week

It's a great Monday!  Why is it a great Monday?  Because I had a wonderful weekend and I only have to work 2 days this week!  Not that I don't love my job but I love when I'm off too! lol  Today and tomorrow I'll spend some time with Kris while she's still in LA.  Hopefully we won't get into too much trouble!

On Saturday I dragged Kris to a Southern California Blogger/Author get together and we had fun!  We met at the Americana at Brand shopping center and moseyed our way through the 3 story Barnes and Noble there.  Then we all went over to The Cheesecake Factory (where Kris refused to try some of my pumpkin cheesecake!  She totally missed out) and we talked and talked. Then we all gathered in the parking garage as we do and had a book swap/talk fest that lasted quite a while for some of us.  It was a great time!  Of course I forgot my camera and no one else whipped theirs out to get a group picture.  My mom, Judith, did get a picture of Kris eating the lime green hostess snoball that Renee had brought for her.  I'm not sure she liked the pure sugar rush! lol  When I get that picture - I'll post it.  Let's see, who was there?  Kris, Renee, Judith, KC, K-Kahn, Wendy, Rachel Jameson, Sabrina Darby, Zoe Archer, me, Vivienne Westlake, Nikki & KB Alan. Can't wait to do it all again soon!

Oh - here's a picture of the group that I totally jacked from Kris's blog (and yes, they waited until I left to do the group photo thing *sniff* lol).  From left to right - Chris, Jen, Tam & Kris

Yesterday Kris was a brave, brave woman and took my girls to Disneyland!  Poor Kris looked done in when I picked up the kids from her hotel last night.  My kids slept all the way home and then crashed.  It wasn't easy to get them up for school this morning but it was so worth it.  Until they fell asleep in the car they were talking non-stop. 

Wow those Autopia cars look different from the last time I was there! lol

On Tuesday, November 2nd it was an election day here in America.  I volunteered (although yes, I do get paid a tad bit) to be a pollworker because a friend of mine was short handed for her location.  So Tuesday it was get there at 6am to set up to get the polls open at 7am.  Then the polls stayed open until 8pm and then we cleaned up.  The woman in charge of our location was on the ball and got us all out of there by 9pm which was wonderful.  It was a long, long day sitting in the same spot but it was quite busy so it kept me on my toes. It was interesting to see how the public responded to the election and how they treated the pollworkers.  For the most part people were extremely nice and patient but I have to say there were a few that needed serious attitude adjustments! lol  For me, since I love to people watch, it was a people watchers heaven.  I'd definitely think about doing it again.

Of course I was so tired from Tuesday that my reading got cut way down this week.  I usually do most of my reading at night after the kiddles have gone to bed but I found myself falling asleep not long after they did each night.  I think it was a combo of election day and recovering from SF - that's my story and I'm sticking to it. lol

So what did I read this past week?

First was a book that seemed like it took me forever to read, but it really didn't.  I started The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook before I left for SF and even read it on the plane.  But once I got to SF I realized that I couldn't put my full attention into the book - which is what it required.  So I put it away and didn't pick it back up until I got on the plane to fly home.  I finished it this week and damn it was good!  Meljean Brook's mind amazes me.    The steampunk world that she built was so great and I kept wanting to read more!  The book centers around a world where England is recovering from the invasion of the Horde.  Mina is an inspector in the police department and she investigates a murder that somehow involves the man they called the Iron Duke.  The Iron Duke was the one who freed the citizens from the Horde's hold.  The Duke wants Mina but she's more than resistant for a while - he also gets involved in the murder investigation as the body was found on his doorstep after it had been dropped from the sky.  The story is definitely a romance but there's such detail about the world and of course the murder investigation that your mind is constantly engaged.  An excellent read.  5 out of 5

Next up was Play of Passion by Nalini Singh.  I kind of choked on my Book Binge reading and reviews last week - aka not reading any - so I tried to catch up this week.  This was another wonderful book in the Psy/Changeling series and one not to be missed.  You can read my review here. 5 out of 5

Next up was The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt.  This is book 2 in the Princes trilogy.  It was the story of an Earl's daughter and the man who is her land steward.  He's accused of killing the local sheep in Yorkshire but Georgina doesn't believe it's him.  They eventually begin a sexual relationship but he has a problem with her having money and him not having any.  But eventually love conquers all. lol  A good book but I think book 1 is still my favorite of the two so far.  I've put a request in for book 3. :)  4 out of 5

My next read was for The Book Binge as well - Happily Ever After by Nora Roberts.  This is book 4 of her Bride Quartet series and is Parker and Malcolm's story.  While I thought it would be a much more romantic story it did end the series nicely.  The relationship between Parker and Malcolm was hot and heavy - fast and furious.  But the book was quite sweet and I enjoyed it.  4 out of 5

Last on the list for the week was, how odd, another book for The Book Binge (I told you I was trying to catch up!).  This one was called Sparring Partners by Leigh Morgan.  It was the story of a billionaire who is directed by his uncle to marry within 72 hours - and not to a model or an actress who are his normal dating partners - but to a real woman.  He finds Reed Mohr and her nutty mixed up family and finds a part of himself that he didn't know existed.  But can he mix his business with his new family and still be a nice person?  While I didn't care for the hero in this one for most of the book, I really liked the other characters.  There were some great moments in the book - yes, even with the hero - and it ended up being pretty darned good. 3.75 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday:
Quarterback Blitz by Frances Stockton
The Taming of the Wolf by Lydia Dare
Play of Passion by Nalini Singh

Happy Reading!