Whatcha up to? Anything fun happening in your life? My life last week was pretty fun. We had back to school night for my oldest so we got to meet all of her teachers and walk around the campus. They all seem pretty nice so that's a bonus.
Then Friday night my youngest had another belt test. She technically hadn't qualified since she took the entire month of July off (and you need a certain amount of class time to qualify) but for some reason they made an exception for her. So instead of having 3 or 4 months to learn all she needed to know she had already learned it in 6 weeks! Yikes. That girl is determined to be a black belt. Go baby! :) This time she had to break a board with a punch instead of a kick. She passed and is now a blue belt. Here she is breaking the board:
Then on Sunday I drove out and met some of the So Cal Bloggers for lunch. Ames was visiting from Canada and it was so good to meet her! She's just adorable and so, so nice. We all had a great time eating at The Cheesecake Factory and shopping at Borders.
On to what I read this past week:
My first read for the week was book 4 in the Psycop series, Secrets by Jordan Castillo Price. This was an excellent read! The story continued Vic and Jacob's relationship which had some wonderful as well as stressful moments. Jacob and his Psycop partner, Carolyn, are working on a sex crime in a retirement home and it's taking it's toll on Jacob. Vic tries to help figure out who the culprit is. This one vies for first with book 5 as my favorite. I loved everything about this book. Such a good series. 5 out of 5
Next up was a read for The Book Binge, Seduced by a Highlander by Paula Quinn. This is book 2 in the Children of the Mist series and is Tristan's story. Tristan meets Isobel at the king's coronation but doesn't know she is part of his clan's mortal enemy. He starts not to care and is determined to have her. I really liked Tristan in this story and though the heroine was a bit hard headed it really worked for me. 4.25 out of 5
Next was The Sweetest Deal by Mary Campisi. This releases from Carina Press on the 6th of September. The hero is trying to make a real estate development deal with a financial backer. Only the backer wants something in return - he wants the hero to impregnate his daughter. Talk about getting too involved in your children's lives! lol The hero agrees because he's desperate to make the deal, but once he meets the daughter (though he doesn't know it's her at the time) he falls hard and fast. The heroine has been severely burned in a relationship and is reluctant to put her heart on the line again. This was a cute book but I have to say I didn't like the heroine very much. She wanted to be A-#1 in her dad's eyes but was positive that she couldn't get there because she was a woman instead of a man. She was a barracuda in her work place but she was also pretty whiney and immature and it grated on my nerves a bit. The hero definitely saved this book for me. 3 out of 5
Cross Your Heart by Michele Bardsley was another book that I read for The Book Binge. This is book 7 in the Broken Heart Vampire series. It was about a staid vampire woman living in Broken Heart who's having issues with what appears to be a ghost. She's saved by a were-cat who wants her all to himself. It was a great little romance and mystery all rolled into one. Bardsley's books are always fun, entertaining reads. 4 out of 5
Next up was Camp Hell by Jordan Castillo Price. This is book 5 and the last book in the series - so far. It was another excellent read. More Vic and Jacob as well as Vic looking into his time and "training" at Camp Hell. You can read my review here. 5 out of 5
For The Love of Mollie by KT Grant was my next read. This is a cute romance about a woman, Mollie, who is determined to lose weight so that the man she's had a crush on forever will finally notice her. She heads to the gym and ends up meeting the owner, Connor. Connor is all over her and wants more. They start a sexual relationship but Mollie is just positive that Connor is too good to be true. Why would a man like him be interested in a woman like her, she asks herself. As I said, very cute. Mollie was a bit of a hypocrite at times but I really liked Connor and his determination with Mollie. 3.75 out of 5
My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week was Snowbound by Larissa Ione. Olympic silver medalist, now working as a ski patroller and EMT, Sean, wants to break his sexual dry spell but for some reason the blonde bimbos aren't doing it for him. When he sees Robyn who is back in her hometown for her high school reunion he falls for her. Robyn wants nothing to do with anyone who is anywhere near celebrity status. She can't seem to stay away from Sean though. This was a very good book about learning what you want out of life and the importance of trust in a relationship. I really enjoyed it. 4 out of 5
I read A Matter of Duty by Elizabeth Jewell for The Book Binge. This was a bizarre little book about a shapeshifter and his wife. He's not a typical shapeshifter (I always think werewolves and were-cats, etc) - more like he can morph and make himself look like any human he wants. Being the head of the shapeshifters only he can impregnate women who are married to humans as humans and shapeshifters can't procreate. But his wife wants a baby too. So the other woman's human husband steps in - in a bizarre 4 way. Wow. 2 out of 5
While I was on my way to the blogger get together I actually listened to my very first audio book. It was a 2.5 hour drive each way - it really made the time go by quicker - ok, it only seemed to, but still. :) I listened to Someone to Watch Over Me by Judith McNaught. The story is about a Broadway star who is married only her husband is missing, then found dead. Did she do it or did her stalker? Or maybe it's the known criminal who keeps showing up. It was a good story - the narrator was a bit breathy and I can't say I loved all of the voices she did for the characters, but the book was good. It was romance "light" and the romance seemed a bit rushed, imho, but still good. 4 out of 5
And last on the list was The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie. I have to thank Orannia for recommending this one to me. (It was when we were talking about how petite and little the characters were and how beautiful. This book has the heroine as a plain woman but the hero thinks her beautiful and doesn't even notice her 4 sisters who are gorgeous.) 5 orphaned sisters being beaten by their grandfather escape to their great-uncle under false pretenses. The oldest, Prudence, creates a betrothal to a Duke she's never met in order for her sisters to be presented into society. The book is so good. Hilarious and touching. It got a bit sappy at the end for my liking but still wonderful. 4.5 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week: