Saturday Song - Halloween

There are a few songs I love to hear around Halloween - besides all of the creaks and groans CD that we have - that's a great one to play when the kids are trick or treating, the kids get all creeped out. lol  I know, I'm so mean.

Anyway, the first song, I Put a Spell on You, is from the movie Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.  This movie is a Halloween favorite and I like this version much better than the original. :)



Then there's This Is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas - great song.



And of course Halloween wouldn't be complete in our house without listening to The Monster Mash by Boris Pickett by at least once.



Happy Halloween (a day early)

LB Gregg's Dudleytown is out today! How about a giveaway?

Do you want to read a great m/m spooky read?  Then you should absolutely read Dudleytown by LB Gregg. Dudleytown is about 3 friends who are just trying to get home from college for a small break when they run into some trouble while taking a shortcut.  This book is fun, spooky, funny and has great sex scenes.  I absolutely loved it and was honestly on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next.  I think you'll love it too!

My rating: 5 out of 5

College sophomore Alexander Strauss has one rule: no messing around with straight guys. Especially not his mouthwatering roommate, Shannon. When their ride share drives off the side of a mountain, the two young men find themselves deep in an uninhabited forest searching for their missing friend. Wandering the famously cursed grounds of Dudleytown, Alex figures something truly unholy must be at play, because only insanity could tempt him to break his cardinal rule.


So leave a comment on this post by...oh, I'd say...Sunday, Oct. 31 at 11:59pm (pacific) and you'll be in the running to win a copy of Dudleytown. Good luck!

Pigs, Cupcakes and Tight Asses

So here I am in San Francisco with Tam, Chris, Kris and Jenre and we're having a great time. It seems though that pigs, cupcakes and tight asses are appearing wherever I got. Ok, the cupcakes and pigs I don't mind so much but they do make me hungry, and truly the tight asses aren't following me, unfortunately, but they are in abundance. Yes, I know, you all want evidence of the tight asses, but I was too shy to ask a cute man in the Castro to pose for a picture. Yes, I know, me? Shy? It's true. Actually there were just too many to choose from. lol


Here are a few pictures from our travels yesterday. We all went to A Different Light bookstore and then all headed in different directions. Chris and I ended up walking from the Castro to Haight/Ashbury. Let me just say that if I never again leave Chris is charge of the end destination again it will be too soon. We walked up hill FOREVER! OMG my ass, thighs and calves were screaming at me the whole way. Yes, it was downhill on the way back...but then uphill again to get back to the house. Holy shit! lol But honestly it was a lot of fun and we had a great time. Today we're all headed to Chinatown and then this evening we'll hit Yaoi-con and make some trouble.


Here's the place we're staying in Noe Valley: (and yes, I totally stole it from Kris's blog since I'm too damned tired from yesterday to get off my ass and go take my own picture!)
Here are a few of the Castro as we walked:




And a pig, a (kindof) cupcake and a tight ass!


I'll try to get more of all of the above and try to break my "shy" streak and get some cute men of the Castro pictures...but I'm not promising anything!

DIK Reading Challenge Review: Craving Beauty by Nalini Singh

Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman. Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him.

Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they gave him an even more dangerous male air, enticing the feminine core of her to thoughts that shocked her.

What did a man's face matter anyway? She had no use for handsome men.

But for a man with a heart? For such a man...she might risk everything.

Marc Bordeaux is doing business with Hira’s father when they first see each other. Notice I didn’t say “meet” each other. In fact though they share a few smiles – which go straight to both their heads - they don’t talk at all. Hira’s father won’t let Marc even talk to Hira and Marc ends up asking for Hira’s hand in marriage, from her father, just to be near the woman.

Though Hira had shared the smiles with Marc and had hoped that those smiles could blossom into something more she’s now madder than a hornet that the man would marry her without ever speaking to her. Her whole life she’s been seen as an object and not a person and she’s had enough. On their wedding night she confronts Marc and eventually refuses to let him spend his wedding night in her bed.

The couple heads back to Louisiana, which is where Marc is from and life is not easy. Oh, financially they’re fine because Marc is a multi-millionaire, but neither is happy. Marc lusts for Hira but she won’t have anything to do with him. Eventually though both Marc and Hira start seeing sides to the other that are completely unexpected – and they’re liking what they’re seeing. Can they make the relationship work in the end?

I am a confirmed Nalini Singh fan. I love her books and I’m not sure how I missed this one on the DIK book list all these months. When it finally poked its way into my brain I knew that this would be my read for the month.

Now, category romances aren’t my favorite. There are some that I’ve read that I really enjoyed and some that I’ve not liked at all. This was definitely more on the end of “really enjoyed” but I did have a few issues with it.

First there was Hira’s assumption that Marc only saw her as chattel. Ok, she really had every right to think that since he’d married her without even talking to her but she didn’t even give the guy a chance until later in the book. She thought she knew how he felt and really didn’t give him a chance to defend himself. What would she have done, I wonder, had she ended up marrying a man from her own country that was as “free-thinking” as Marc was? IDK. Something to think about.

Then Marc’s attitude toward her intelligence stuck in my craw. When he finally started talking to her like she had a brain in her head and she told him the subjects he liked to read and study, he laughed at her – the bastard!

Ok – now that I’ve gotten my dislikes out of the way, I’ll tell you what I did like about the book.

I liked that we were shown the many facets of their romance as they were getting to know each other. The little details that the other noticed that made them stop and think – hey, maybe there’s more to this person than I originally thought.

There was also a portion to the book that had to do with an orphanage and Marc’s attachment to it that I just loved. Though he was a wealthy businessman he not only took the time to do things for the orphanage but planned on adopting all the boys in it! I’m such a sucker for orphanage stories!

Overall it was a good romance. Quite a bit of arguing and angst and miscommunication but in the end a sweet romance.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Review: Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey

One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?

Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he's more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn't gone so badly...

Beth's tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she'd see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can't say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.

Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he's not the player she thinks he is. But she's not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it's going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child.

Beth is a nomad. She moves to a city or town that she feels comfortable in, gets a job, finds an apartment and stays for a while. When relationships start to get too stifling she then moves on. After meeting and having sex with Kevin and yes, getting pregnant, she finds she can’t move any longer. She’s pretty much bound to one place and it’s not something she’s used to, or that she likes. You see Beth was the only child of a couple who had multiple miscarriages. Because of that she felt that her parents were too overwhelming and they liked to hover and that’s what caused her to move so much. She wanted freedom and being pregnant and in one place is putting a huge damper on her independence plans. Now she’s pregnant and attached to a man with a huge family that frankly, overwhelms her, and she’s doesn’t quite know how to handle it.

For Kevin’s part he is pretty much overjoyed with the pregnancy. He didn’t plan on a baby but he likes the idea and he’s doing his best to be the best father-to-be that he can. He liked Beth from the first moment he saw her at his sports bar and the more he gets to know her the more he likes her. But Beth has put her foot down. She states that they will only be friends because she doesn’t want a bad breakup to ruin the relationship between the baby’s parents. She puts Kevin off time and time again stating that there will be nothing between them but friendship…but she really wants more from Kevin – she just can’t admit it to herself.

This is really a book about a woman’s fear. Fear is the driving factor behind almost all of Beth’s concerns. She’s afraid of things going wrong with Kevin and is therefore adamant that they have no further relationship. In fact any time that Kevin tried to push the bond between them further she would just tell him that he only wanted it because of the baby. She didn’t want to be with him and then have him eventually find out that he only cared for her because she had his child. I can understand this to a point but I have to say that it got old hearing it over and over. I felt so badly for Kevin as you could tell that he was truly trying to be exactly what Beth needed but he had feelings too and she kind of walked all over them.

Kevin was the best. I just loved him. He was one of those guys that everyone loved. He had a great personality, a sense of humor…I just loved him. Did I already say that? lol He actually reminded me of an older version of John Cusack in The Sure Thing when he was talking about naming the fake baby that Daphne Zuniga was carrying, “Nick’s your buddy. Nick’s the kind of guy you can trust, the kind of guy you can drink a beer with, the kind of guy who doesn’t mind if you puke in his car.” Just a fun guy. And very devoted to sports as he was a rabid (and I don’t use that term lightly) Red Sox fan. In fact when Beth and Kevin were talking about names for the baby (which made me think of the above Cusack quote) he made me laugh hard,

“How about Carl Yastrzemski?”

“Carl Yastrzemski Kowalski? What the hell kind of name is that?”

“I can’t believe I even let you in my bar.” How did he end up with a woman who knew absolutely nothing about sports? “Yaz was only the greatest left fielder ever. A Red Sox icon.”

“I’m not naming my child after a sports person. No Tom Brady Kowalski. No Derek Jeter or whatever Kowalski.”

“Jesus, Beth.” He almost ran off the road. “Jeter’s a freakin’ Yankee. I wouldn’t even name an ugly, three-legged, one-eyed, rabid and mangy dog I hated Jeter, never mind my own son. Whatever you do, don’t ever talk sports with anybody at Jasper’s.

We also got to see the entire Kowalski family again – that great big lovable family that we met in book 1, Exclusively Yours. They were just as wonderful this time around and though they overwhelmed Beth at times they really did it out of love and caring.

Though I had some issues with Beth I really ended up liking the book. I picked it up and didn’t put it down again until I was done. This is the second book I’ve read by Shannon Stacey and I really like the way she writes. I will definitely be reading more from her in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Undeniably Yours releases from Carina Press on Nov. 1

I received this book from the publisher for review.

What I Read Last Week

What’s up? What have you all been up to? Anything fun? Tell all!

Sorry this is so late today folks, I'm just busy, busy, busy!

So this is a short work week for me as tomorrow evening I’m leaving for San Francisco to go to Yaoi-Con and to meet up with Chris, Kris, Tam & Jenre and have a jolly good time. I can’t believe I’m actually going to meet all of these fabulous ladies from all over the globe. (Chris is from Minnesota, Kris from Australia, Tam from Canada and Jenre from England) It’s amazing that we could all work our schedules to get together and it’s going to be fabulous!

My reading this week was a tad frenetic – didn’t exactly stick to my normal routine of reading different sub-genre’s (contemp, then paranormal, then historical…in no particular order). I needed to get several books read so that the reviews could post on time so that kind of directed my reading. I’m happy to say that I got it all done – yay! And now I’ll have no worries about the blog while I’m gone. Hopefully my hubby will give up his laptop for the trip cuz I need to be connected!

Not a lot of excitement here other than getting ready for my trip so on to what I read last week:

First up was book 4 in the Farm series by Andrew Grey called Love Means…Freedom. This was a book about Stone who was kicked out of his father’s house when he came out to him. He was working his way south to warmer weather but got kicked out of his ride during a blizzard. He happens upon Eli and Geoff’s farm and is taken in. He meets Preston, who is in a wheelchair after being hit by a drunk driver and is doing the riding therapy at the farm. The two hit it off but as it usually does, life creates obstacles. This was a good installment in the series. It was almost a little too sweet for me between Preston and Stone. Preston’s father was an ass and I kept thinking that it would be revealed that he was the one that was hurting Preston’s work options but that never came to light. Who knows. :) Cute though. 3.5 out of 5

Saving Lady Ilsa by Crystal Kauffman was a book that I read for The Book Binge. A historical about a second son who’s father wants him to marry but he’s in a committed relationship with another man. He’s willing to marry but not have the marriage be in name only. On a whim he takes home a tailor’s assistant, Ilsa, who is being abused by the tailor and decides to make her his bride. But he and his partner, Frederick, might want to keep her around and have the marriage be more than just in name. A cute book but it was a little hard for me to think of two gay men suddenly wanting a woman. 3.5 out of 5

Next was Duchess of Sin by Laurel McKee. This is book 2 in the Daughters of Erin series. I didn’t read book 1 but didn’t feel that I was missing anything. The story revolved around an Irish Duke who is anti-Union in 1799 and a woman who is looking for some meaning in life. The two fall in love and it’s quite romantic. The book mostly takes place in Dublin. I read this one for The Book Binge – it releases on November 30th. 4 out of 5

Next was a book that I received from the author for review – Forsaken by Shadow by Kait Nolan. The first book about the Mirus, who are paranormal beings. This story was about Cade who woke up and had no memory at all. Ten years later the woman he loves shows up needing his help to save her father. She would have looked for him sooner but she was told he was dead. We get to meet shadow walker, dragon shifters, fey, vampires. It was quite a good book and not that long so if you’re looking for a quick paranormal read this might be for you. You can a short review here. 4 out of 5

Craving Beauty by Nalini Singh was my DIK reading challenge book for the month. I’ll post my review on Friday.

My Tracy’s TBR challenge read for the week was Allergies by TA Chase. A shifter story about two men who meet at work - Lou’s a wolf shifter but Ray seems to be allergic to him when he’s in his human form. The story covered them getting together and the issues around Lou “coming out” as a shifter and those issues. There was another part of the book that had some shifter hunters coming into the territory but that wasn’t dealt with by the end of the book which was a bit surprising, and a little annoying. I can only assume it will be in the next book? IDK. I’ll have to read it and see. 3.25 out of 5

Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey was my next read. This was another book that set with the Kowalski family. Kevin has a one night stand but he’s really likes the woman, Beth, and wants to see if more can come from it. Well it did since she got pregnant – but she wants to just stay friends - friends that are having a baby together. I’ll post my review for this on Wednesday. It releases from Carina Press on Nov. 1. 4 out of 5

Picture Postcards by JM Snyder was a very short book but one I really liked. It was about a man, Donny, who was in love with his best friend, Greg, but his friend marries a woman and moves away. They fall out of contact but suddenly Donny is getting random postcards from Greg about his feelings and how he misses Donny, etc. Only 15 pages but it packed a punch. 4 out of 5

After Midnight by Teresa Medeiros was next and this was a book I read about when Luisa Prieto was on DIK recently. It’s a historical about a woman who thinks that the man who is courting her sister might be a vampire. Whether he’s a vampire or not she finds herself falling in love with him and he with her. Good book. The end resolution was a bit rushed but overall I really liked the story, thanks Luisa! 4 out of 5

Next up was Icing on the Cake by Alison Kent. I read this one for the True Vows tour and will be posting my review on Nov. 3rd. Let me just say though that the romance was great and I very much liked Kent’s writing.

Dance with a Vampire by Fabian Black was next. Only 7 pages long. The story was told in first person but it was told as if retelling a story to the person it happened to. (example: if I was telling the story of how I met my husband to my husband). It was short but sweet. I liked it. 4 out of 5 (free on ARe)

Last on the list was the novella You Get What You Want by Janey Chapel. This was a great book. An ex con, Jay, meets Patrick, a cop, when Patrick gets a drink at the bar that Jay works at. They are incredibly attracted to each other and have a great time in the bar’s office after closing. But Patrick can’t stop thinking about Jay and has 12 hours to kill before he has to head home (to another city), so seeks out Jay’s company. The time they spent together was very touching and sexy and I really loved the emotion that was infused into the story. 5 out of 5


My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday

Happy Reading!

And the winner is...

The winner of Lydia's Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter is:

Scottsgal

Congratulations!

Email me your snail mail address and I'll get that right out to you.  My contact info is on the tab at the top of the blog. 

Saturday Song

I originally heard this song and saw the video over at Sarah's blog, Rain on the Roof and got a bit hooked on Lily Allen. I pulled out the It's Not Me It's You CD this week and have been listening and enjoying. Here's Fuck You for your listening enjoyment.


Review: Forsaken by Shadow by Kait Nolan

Cade Shepherd is on top of the world as this year's Ultimate Fighting Champion. He doesn't even remember his life as Gage Dempsey, a Shadow Walker with the ability to magically transport himself from shadow to shadow. In fact, he can't remember anything before waking up in a cheap motel room ten years ago with mysterious burns on his hands--not even the woman he almost died for.

Embry Hollister has picked up the pieces of her life, learned to control her ability to generate flame, and now works an enforcer for the Council of Races. But when her father is captured by the human military and the Council refuses to mount a rescue mission, Embry has no choice but to go rogue. All she has to do is find the man with the new name and new life who was completely wronged by her people, give him back the memories they stole, convince him to join her on what's probably a suicide mission, and hope that after ten years of living as a regular guy he still remembers what her father taught him.

And after that, she just has to leave him. Again.

Imagine waking up in a hotel room with no memories. That’s exactly what happened to Cade Shepherd. He had no idea who he was or even where he was. He eventually heads to a hospital where they find out he’s really a missing person. Jump 10 years and Cade is a UFC Champion who still remembers nothing from his life before. He always had this feeling though that there was a woman that he loved. He had no idea who she was but he just remembered a woman.

Embry is that woman. When he sees her at one of his fights he is drawn to her but has no idea why. Embry is there to give him his memories back in order to save her father’s life. But bringing Cade/Gage back into the life of the Mirus (paranormal beings) puts him in danger of losing his life.

This was my first read by Kait Nolan and it won’t be my last. The 91 action packed pages of this book kept me interested from start to finish.

The romance was sweet and touching while still having the tension that I always like in my romance books. The world that was built was done seamlessly throughout the story - there was no info dump that got it all out of the way and it was something I greatly appreciated.

Ms. Nolan has caught my attention and I definitely want to read more in this series when it’s published.

Rating: 4 out of 5

DIKing Around Today

Hey there!

I'm over at DIK today talking about teachers and asking for suggestions on YA books.  Go say hi!

Review: Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord by Sarah MacLean

Since being named one of London’s "Lords to Land" by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he’s ever met!

The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.

But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless...like falling madly, passionately in love.

When Nicholas St. John gets named as one of THE Lords to Land in a woman's magazine he is not happy. The last thing he wants are simpering maidens who giggle behind their fans coming after him. And they seem to be getting mighty forward! When he is approached by an acquaintance who requests his assistance in finding his missing sister, he's all for it. Anything to get him out of London. His tracking (which he learned in the Crimean war) finds him Yorkshire and he ends up finding her in a most unexpected way.

Lady Isabel is the daughter of an Earl but really, how happy are you to be that daughter when your father has been dubbed the Wastrearl? Not very. Her father not only left her and her dying mother alone and in financial straits, but also her brother, the heir to the Earldom. Now her father is dead and though she's been taking care of herself for many years things have reached an extreme. You see, Isabel not only takes care of herself and her brother, but a house filled with women who are secretly staying there. They are runaways from abusive husbands or fathers, etc. and though they all work to keep the house in good working order they still rely, ultimately, on Isabel.

At a chance meeting in town, Isabel asks Nicholas to appraise some marble statues that are her only, yet extremely prized, possessions. She needs them priced and sold as soon as possible so that she can find new lodgings for her girls as well as have enough money for her brother to attend school. What she didn't need was to have Nicholas taking up all of her thoughts and attention but that's exactly what happens.

I have to say that I very much admired and liked Isabel in this book. She was strong and resourceful – even though she really was quite terrified on a regular basis that she wouldn't be able to handle it all. Her parents were not ever kind, nor supportive people and she'd been holding her life as well as the many others in her house together for years. She was just a gutsy woman – especially for the time period.

Nicholas, as well as his friend Rock and Isabel's cousin Lara were great characters as well. I have to say, and I'll get bombed for this I just know it, but I truly didn't care for the women who lived at the house that Isabel had saved (except for Georgiana, I really liked her). I admired their support of Isabel I just found them pushy and a bit controlling. IDK, they didn't sit well with me.

Though I liked most of the characters in the book the story itself just came across as unremarkable to me. While parts of the romance were very sweet it was pretty slow in places and I found myself putting it down quite a few times. I just didn't feel that the book had that je ne sais quoi that a truly wonderful romance novel has for me.

So while it was a good book it wasn't great for me. I think I'm in the minority here in my feelings but some books have a better fit for some than others. I still absolutely plan on reading Juliana's story as she's got such an attitude and I just love the parts of Nine Rules and Ten Ways that she was in.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5


This book releases in pb on 10/26.

What I Read Last Week

Happy Monday!

Although it's quite gloomy here right now we're all still happy, right?  Right?  Ok, I know, I'm not believing it either! lol

So let's see, what happened this week?  Not a lot.  My oldest daughter's 1st quarter ended.  From the time of her progress report she actually brought 2 of her grades up, thank the good Lord, but one dropped.  How the hell do you get a D in Industrial Crafts?  lol  She never had any homework, since it was a stained glass class, so she had no work that she couldn't turn in. haha!  Oh well.  At least she didn't get an F! (yes, I'm thankful for small favors)

I also "helped" (aka doing most of the work) my oldest clean her room out.  Her closet has shelving on the left side of it and her idea of cleaning her room is making sure the floor is clear which in turn means stuffing all the shit on the shelves in her closet. She really is a horrible pack rat and I'm hoping that she breaks that habit before she gets too much older...our house just isn't big enough! lol  Anyway, we filled an entire waste barrel full of crap/trash that she didn't need anymore and made a huge donation to the recycle bin as well. We gathered about 8 plastic grocery bags of books that she had outgrown and/or had read a million times and didn't want to read anymore.  Those will go to an organization in town called Project Share the Grace that takes the books to the various food pantries around town and they give the books to the underprivileged children who don't have many books.  All in all it was pretty productive.  I, however, feel like I've run a marathon from all the bending, up and downs on the step stool and so on.  I've decided cleaning is for the young. lol
 

First up was Mad About The Duke by Elizabeth Boyle.  My first read by this author and I really liked the book.  It was sweet and fun and romantic and I very much enjoyed the book...did I already say that?  Well I did!  A widow is looking for a new husband and "hires" a solicitor to help - only the solicitor is really a Duke.  They fall in love practically at first sight but she needs to marry a Duke in order to save her sister from their step-father so she can't let herself act on her feelings and he's in severe denial about love.  Just a good book. 4.25 out of 5

Next was a book for The Book Binge called Taming the Wolf by Lydia Dare.  I read the first 3 books in this series about the Westfield Brothers.  This story veers off to other characters now and the hero in this book was a feral werewolf in the previous book.  I didn't like Dash all that much in the last book but in his own story I liked him much better and the book was quite good. 4 out of 5

My next read was another book for The Book Binge called The Small Print by Barbara Elsborg.  A paranormal romance about a vampire, a were-vamp and their mate who they're not sure is dead or alive since they, and other paranormal being are the only ones that can see her.  Fun book.  You can read my review here if you're interested. 4.5 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week was I'm In No Mood For Love by Rachel Gibson.  The story had Clare finding her fiance getting ridden like a bronco by the Sears repairman in her closet when she comes home unexpectedly.  She decides to drink her sorrows away and ends up the next morning in a hotel room with her childhood "frienenemy", Sebastian.  They have a strange relationship but end up in a sex only relationship. Only Clare finds herself falling in love with Sebastian and that's not something he wants any part of.  The book was pretty simple and predictable but I have to say that I really liked it.  It was cute and funny and just a light entertaining read. 4 out of 5

My next read was Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord by Sarah MacLean.  I'll be reviewing this one on Wednesday so check back. :)  I know, I'm such a tease. lol

Last on the list was Sin Undone by Larissa Ione.  This is the fifth and final book in the Demonica series.  Sin is a Seminus demon - the only female Seminus demon that exists as far as anyone knows.  She's sister to the Sem brothers that run Underground General (UG).  Sin is also an assassin and due to events in the previous book she is now the Master assassin.  She has also started an epidemic that is killing off Warg's (werewolves).  She hangs with Con, a half-vamp, half-were to try and find a way to cure the Warg's but he's got ulterior motives.  That doesn't stop the two from falling for each other though.  This was a really good story.  I liked Sin a lot despite the fact that she was the most unlikely heroine for a book.  I loved seeing all of the Sem brothers again and hearing about their mates and offspring as well.  A good wrap up to the series. 4.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

One of the bands that I've recently started listening to is Craving Lucy.  This is their newest release, Changes.



Book Giveaway: Lydia's Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Today I have 1 copy of Wanda E. Brunstetter's newest release, Lydia's Charm, to give away.  Just leave a comment on this post by 11:59pm (pacific) on October 22nd to enter.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, October 23rd.

Widowed and jobless, Lydia King moves her son and herself to Charm, Ohio, to be close to her mother and help with her grandfather. Menno Troyer, a furniture store owner, is also recently widowed and the father of four energetic boys. Levi Stutzman, another newcomer to the area, is the only one in his family not handicapped by dwarfism and has dedicated his life to caring for them. As fall colors the countryside, will anonymous gifts left for Lydia bring her hope for a new life and romance, or will another tragedy flood her with infinite despair?




And The Winner Is...


The winner of the Love Bites by Adrienne Barbeau giveaway is...


Anaiz


Congratulations!

Review: Shaken by Dee Tenorio

Thirteen stories up. Two broken hearts. One last chance…

Surgeon Grant Sullivan’s once-perfect life lies in ruins. His daughter is gone—lost in a tragic accident he dare not allow himself to remember—and his beautiful wife now stares at him from across a legal table, insisting she wants nothing from him.

Julia Sullivan lost everything, especially her illusions about her marriage, after the accident. Her grief only seemed to drive Grant further into his emotional shell—except for the nights he turned to her in silent, furious passion. Unable to live like a ghost in her old life, she’s packed up what’s left of her broken heart and is ready to move on. Alone.

Determined to break their stalemate, Grant follows Julia onto the elevator just in time for an earthquake. Trapped for hours in a building pressure cooker of unspoken pain, he’ll do anything to remind her what she’s leaving behind, as deliciously as he can. But giving her what she needs to save their marriage is the one thing that could destroy his soul.

Grant does not want a divorce. He loves his wife and the last thing he wants is to live without her in his life. But Julia can’t live with Grant any longer. She loves him but is ripped apart by Grant and his apparent unemotional state of being.  You see Grant, Julia and their toddler daughter, Autumn, were all in a car crash together but Autumn didn’t make it. Grant blames himself for her death and refuses to grieve. Julia interprets this refusal as an absence of love for both Autumn and Julie.

When Julia and Grant are stuck in the elevator Julie sees her chance to make Grant talk. He can’t escape and she is determined to finally get inside his head.

This was a very emotional book to read. Reading first about the accident and then the horrible ruin that the child’s death left Grant and Julia’s marriage was just heart-breaking. I thought the author did a great job of showing the reader everything that the couple was going through and it made me really get involved in the story.

While being a very short read, only about 33 pages, Shaken packs an emotional punch. If you’re looking for a fun, light contemporary then this is definitely not the book for you. But if you like a story that will hit a few emotional buttons then this would be a great book to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5


Shaken releases on October 19 from Samhain Publishing

What I Read Last Week

Hello there!

Another week has started!  How was your weekend?  Mine was spent running errands, looking for Halloween costumes for, and with, my girls (which would drive many people, including me, to drink heavily) and hanging with the kids. 

I can't say I'm in a reading slump, exactly.  I haven't stopped reading but I started 3, yes 3, books and kept putting them all down!  What is up with that?   See the thing is, none of them are bad.  They're all quite good, in fact, but they weren't keeping my attention.  I finally just picked 1 up this morning and said - I will finish this book and of course, it's wonderful.   *sigh* oh well.  Hopefully the other 2 will end up being just as wonderful.

Um, what else?  Huh.  I guess that's it.  On to what I read last week...

First up was Stud by Brigit Zahara.  I read this one for The Book Binge.  It was the story of a beautiful and highly paid prostitute, Sasha, who is swept away by gorgeous Kyan for a night of passion.  Only Kyan is not exactly what he seems and he wants more than one night from Sasha - he wants eternity.  Not bad.  Pretty good sex scenes but also graphic maiming scene as well (not between Sasha and Kyan) so not for the faint of heart. 3.5 out of 5


Next up was Love Bites by Adrienne Barbeau.  This was book 2 in the Vampyres of Hollywood series and it was a great vampyres against werewolves - as well as other kinds of wolves - story.  You can read my review here as well as enter to win a HC copy if you leave a comment by 11:59pm on Wednesday, Oct. 13. 4.25 out of 5  (and is it me or does the chick on the cover of the book look like Milla Jovovich?)

My Tracy's TBR challenge read for the week was Love is Blind by Lynsay Sands and I freaking loved it!  This has got to be one of my favorite of her historicals so far.  They all have the typical Sands humor and this was no different.  Lady Clarissa is blind as a bat without her spectacles but her evil stepmother won't let her wear them because she thinks that no man will want to marry Clarissa after they see her in them.  So the stepmother actually breaks the glasses - the bitch!  But nobody wants Clarissa cuz she's a clutz and just a menace to society without her glasses.  But Adrian Montfort, the Earl of Mowbray, looks beyond the blindness and does some absolutely lovely things for Clarissa - such as reading to her since she has no glasses, and giving her on a picnic during a ball because her stepmother won't let her eat or drink anything in public for fear she'll spill.  It was just a touching and very sweet love story.  5 out of 5

Next was Unrequited by Abigail Roux.  A cute story that lacked a bit of depth.  One man who's in love with another but is determined to forget about him during a month long vacation with his best friend.  Only the best friend has for him too.  You can read my review here if you're interested.  3.5 out of 5

Next I read an Ellora's Cave books for The Book Binge - Horsing Around by Wynter Daniels was cute.  It was a pretty short story and told of a woman who had come to settle her deceased father's estate.  Only there's a business partner there that she didn't know about. They start a hot affair but then what's to happen to them when she has to sell the business?  Like I said, cute, but short and I felt like I wanted more.  3.25 out of 5

Next was Shaken by Dee Tenorio.  This was a book that I will review on Wednesday about a man and his wife who are dealing with a divorce and grief over the loss of their daughter.

Next was another read for The Book Binge (trying to catch up!) called Waiting for Wednesday by Mari Carr.  Lane goes into the pub that Tristan's family owns every Wednesday.  She looks forward to these weekly visits because her marriage is crap and Tristan has become her best friend.  When she tries to leave her husband and he beats her, Tristan is there for her.  But Lane disappears to try and get her life together and doesn't come back for a year.  When she returns, divorces, Tristan can't hide his love for her any longer and he's determined that Lane will  accept him into her life. 4 out of 5  You can read my review here.

Last on the list for the week was another for TBB - Nebulous by Shiloh Walker.  A fantasy/historical read that deals with demons and reincarnation.  A good story but I was left hanging with one of the characters and now I want to read her story! lol  4 out of 5



My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday:
Moonlight Protector by Jessica Coulter Smith (this one was from almost 2 years ago! lol)

Happy Reading!

And the winner is...

The winner of Hard to Hold by Julie Leto is:

JenM

Congratulations!

Saturday Song

One of my favorite bands lately has been Seether.  I like their music which is the most important  of course,  but I like their sense of humor as well.  This is Fake It from their 2007 album Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces.

M/M Challenge Review: Unrequited by Abigail Roux

Vic Bronsen has a problem. He's stuck in a rut, uninspired by his job, and in love with a man who has no clue. Thinking a change of scenery and company will do his aching heart some good, he goes off on a road trip with his best friend, only to find that the answers to his problems may have been right there in front of him all along.

Vic has been in a “relationship” with Owen for 5 years. He’s in love with Owen but he’s never tried to take their relationship to a deeper level. Owen acts very casual and Vic allows this – loving him from afar…at least emotionally.

Shane is Vic’s best friend. They have a great time together so when Shane talks Vic into taking a month off to just drink and hang, Vic’s all for it. They head off down the coast of North Carolina, hit some tourist spots and then head to Shane’s cottage on the beach where they drink and sunbathe and just relax. Vic is determined that he will forget about his feelings for Owen for good and strangely enough he thinks of Owen less and less.

When Shane initiates a kiss with Vic, Vic is shocked. For being best friends they had never talked about Shane’s sexual orientation. Was he gay? Vic didn’t have a clue. What he did know is that when he and Shane locked lips it was amazing; explosive and wonderful. Their physical relationship moves on to the next level and Vic enjoys the closeness he feels with Shane. The things that he thought were missing in his relationship with Owen he was getting from Shane. But when Owen shows up at the cottage what will happen with Shane and Vic?

I liked this book on the whole. It was a light, entertaining read but it just seemed like it was just the crust and we didn’t get to see the whole pie, if you know what I mean. The book was told in the 3rd person but we never got to see into Shane or Owen’s thoughts. That was a little frustrating for me as well as the fact that none of the men seemed to want to talk to each other until the end of the book. I know they’re men, but come on! lol They gotta talk some time, right? Right? Or am I delusional? heh. Maybe. Anyway, it would have been nice to see some inside thoughts from the two men that Vic was having relationships with or even some conversation.

I thought the ending was sweet – I won’t give away what happens – but again, issues/emotions were skimmed over. I guess I just wanted a little more substance or, again, a little more emotion showed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Review and Book Giveaway: Love Bites by Adrienne Barbeau

It's only two weeks since Peter and Ovsanna faced off with the Cinema Slayer, and already life is getting complicated.

First there’s the werewolf attack. Then a mutilated body at the Sportsmen’s Lodge turns up. Not to mention the fact that several of Ovsanna’s clan members, including Orson Welles and Mary Pickford, are vying for attention. All of this makes it hard for Peter and Ovsanna to get together. And it doesn’t help that Ovsanna’s personal assistant and sometimes lover, Maral, will do anything to get Peter out of the picture.

Peter and Ovsanna have to fight for their relationship and their lives. Ovsanna enlists her clan, the Vampyres of Hollywood, to help battle a menagerie of supernatural beasts straight out of Alien vs. Predator. This isn’t a box-office ratings war, it’s a fight to the death.

Peter has asked Ovsanna out on a date. Well, not really a date, but having Christmas dinner with his family counts as something pretty personal. But before Ovsanna can even be picked up for the night she's attacked in her front yard by a horrible werebeast. The beast takes off when it hears sirens and Ovsanna is A-ok. Keeping this information to herself she heads off and has a wonderful time with Peter. It seems like the beginning of...something, though neither of them are sure what exactly. Peter isn't thrilled though when he eventually finds out about the attack and wants to protect her.

But there are other happenings going on in Hollywood. First there is Ovsanna's assistant/lover/house mate who brings a drug dealer back from her family visit in Louisiana in order to keep him away from her brother. Next is Maral's attempts at hoodoo and spells. Then there are the Vampyres of Hollywood – among others, Orson Wells, Mary Pickford and Pola Negri, who want to take over as Ovsanna's business partner. Then there's the boxenwolves – humans who use magic to change into wolves - who are attacking Ovsanna and Peter. Ovsanna and Peter now need to find out exactly what's after Ovsanna and why. Unfortunately they each take their lives into their hands when they figure it out.

This was a great second book in the Vampyres of Hollywood series. I thought the book had just the right mixture of Hollywood and paranormal, along with romance and grit to give it a truly engaging story. And there was the humor that we saw in book 1 as well and had me laughing out loud in several parts of the book.

We got to see a bit more into the lives of the main characters, Ovsanna and Peter, but the story with the wolves really took precedence. Love Bites certainly wasn't as gory as the first book, Vampyres of Hollywood, but beware, it did have it's blood-soaked moments. 

Overall a very good book that kept my attention from beginning to end.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Love Bites came out in HC on 8/31/10


I have one copy of Love Bites to give away to one lucky winner (Intl. OK). Just leave a comment on this post by 11:59pm (pacific) on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 and I’ll announce the winner on Thursday, October 14. 

What I Read Last Week

Good Afternoon!

Another Monday and here we are.  I hope you all had good weekends.  Ours was pretty quiet.  We did have a family picture taken which is always interesting.  When I get the results I'll share.  I also got my kids' pictures from school but forgot to bring them with me to share. I'll try to remember...soon

Let's see...what else.  Nothing! lol  Just running late today.  My boss is going on vacation tomorrow and it was a crazy, crazy day!

The giveaway for Hard to Hold by Julie Leto is still running so if  you're interested leave on a comment on this post to enter.

So my first book of the week was Atlantis Betrayed by Alyssa Day and I read it for The Book Binge. This is book 6 in the Warriors of Poseidon series. It was Christophe’s book and it was pretty darned good. I really didn’t care for Christophe in the previous books. Actually, it’s not that I didn’t care for him, he just wasn’t really on my radar at all. He was kind of belligerent but when you hear his background in this book you understand why. 4 out of 5

Next up was A Hellion In Her Bed by Sabrina Jeffries - book 2 in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series and another really good book. This was Jarret’s story and covered him taking over his grandmother’s brewery for a year. He is approached by a woman who is acting for her brothers’ brewery and trying to get Jarret to agree to help them sell a pale ale to the East India Company. I loved seeing come to terms with his past, finding love as well as finding out what he really wants out of life. Good stuff. 4 out of 5

My next read was also for The Book Binge. Quarterback Blitz by Frances Stockton was about a woman who’s 40 who falls in love with a 30 year old 2nd string professional quarterback. She has issues with the age difference but what really is the angst in the book is outside forces trying to pull the couple apart. A pretty good book. A lot of steamy sex and it’s quite creative too. lol 3.75 out of 5

Next was Somewhere Along The Way by Jodi Thomas. This is the next book in the Harmony series and it was just as good as the first book! The story continues 2 years after book 1 and it has all the same characters as book 1 but also brings in Gabe Leary who finds romance with Liz – a Harmony resident who is starting her own business after graduating and becoming a lawyer. I love this series! It’s got such a family feel about it and I always love reading about the different characters, their lives, trials and tribulations. 5 out of 5 (this book was read for The Book Binge as well and doesn’t release until 11/2 but I’ve had it since the end of August and couldn’t wait any longer! lol)

Next was Last Dragon Standing by GA Aiken. Book 4 in the Dragonkin series and I loved it! The way Aiken tells the romance – which admittedly was a tad weaker in this book than previous books – but intertwines all of the characters from past books into it is something that I love. This dragon family is so at odds with each other but you can tell they love each other and will do anything for the other. The overall story arc continues and I can’t wait to read the next book and see what happens! 5 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR challenge read for the week was a novella since I forgot about it completely (oops) and then had to read something short! The book was The Favour by Crissy Smith. The story was about a mated pair of wolf shifters, Mac and Trevor, who have been together for a while but are now looking for their 3rd. They know that it is Annabell who works for them but getting her to A) understand that they both want her and B) that they’re shifters isn’t that easy. Though it’s a fast mating since it was a shorter book it was a good story with both a bit of m/m sex as well as ménage in there. 3.5 out of 5

And last for the week was the most G rated book I’ve read in a long time. It was The Duke Who Came To Visit by Carol Quinto – a Zebra Regency romance. The Duke of Balfour – an absolute rake, on his way to Norwich, overturns his carriage. He goes to the first house he comes to and is mistaken by the owner, Regina Westfield, to be a tutor for her nephew who is spending the summer with her. The Duke squashes a kidnapping attempt on the nephew and is shot. He ends up remaining at Regina’s home and the two fall in love. It was a very sweet story – with only a little kissing in the last few pages of the book. 3.5 out of 5



My Book Binge reviews that post this past week:
*crickets chirping*

Happy Reading!