What I Read Last Week

What a crazy, insane week!

At work it was not only monthly newsletter time but it was also time for the Annual Meeting and haranguing people to get their reports in, etc and then having to organize it all really isn’t my idea of a good time. Thank heavens it only happens once a year! lol

On top of that my oldest had a really rough week with her math teacher and so it was emotionally charged at home. *sigh* Even Calgon couldn’t take me away. :) Hopefully this will be a better week for her.

Oh, and she went to spend the night at a friends house and came home with her hair 5 inches shorter! Now I’ve been wanting her to get her hair cut because it’s super thick and really heavy and gets into a tangled mess but she kept telling me NO! But even so, don’t you think the friend’s mom who cut it would have had my daughter ASK me before she took scissors to hair? I mean, really? I found that incredibly presumptuous. It looks adorable and was exactly what I wanted her to do – and I know my daughter, I’m sure she didn’t even think to call me because that’s just how she is…and she’s heard me tell her to get her hair cut – but still! I know I shouldn’t have an issue with it since she obviously accomplished what I could not but it just irks me. I know, I’m strange. lol

Ok –enough about me – how are you? What were you up to this past week?

So on to why we’re all here…here’s what I read this past week:

I started off my week with The Wicked Wickerly by Patricia Rice. I didn’t like the characters in this one and frankly the story was starting to grate on my nerves after only 30 pages. I’m not sure I can even call this a DNF because I only read 60 pages but I just couldn’t get any further than that but I’m gonna. DNF

My Tracy’s TBR challenge book for the week was A Brush Of Wings edited by Anne Regan. This is a Dreamspinner Press anthology and it was a good one. There were all different types of stories having to do with angels in some way – whether it’s a real angel, a guardian angel or just someone you think is an angel. Darned good. 4 out of 5

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf was my next read. This was the story of 4 women whose live get interwoven by 1 small boys life and it’s not all fun and games, lemme tell ya. My review will post tomorrow. 3.75 out of 5

Werewolf Me by Amarinda Jones was a book that I read for the Book Binge. Well, I didn’t actually get all the way through it. 60 pages is apparently the magic number for when I stop reading a book - only this book was only 147 pages. I didn’t like the characters all that well. Everything seemed over-dramatized and when the guy said I Love You and he’d just learned the girls name I was done. You can read my DNF review here if you’d like. DNF.

The Lady Most Likely…: A Novel in Three Parts by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway. This was the story of an Earl who enlists his sister to make a list of eligible women who he can marry. He’s 28 but has decided that it’s time to have an heir. The sister decides to have a house party since it’s after the season and invites the women on her list as well as other women and eligible bachelors. The story covers the women on the list as their find their loves – but is it the earl? Just an adorable book. I really liked all three stories and thought they were connected quite well. 4 out of 5

The Tourist by Clare London was next. Clare was nice enough to send me this lovely book that comes out on Feb. 28th. The story is about a spirit, Ace, who jumps to different bodies in order to have fun and mostly, sex. But on one jump he jumps into a man, Dan, who is in a relationship with Ricky. Ricky has issues with his ex…who doesn’t really think of Ricky as an ex. Ace jumps from Dan to Ricky and for once stays and gets to know the men. I’ll be posting my review of this a little later this month. Great story. 4.25 out of 5

Next up was Dangerous Secrets by Katie Reus. This is the story of Izzy who is living in Florida and working as a bartender. She’s got the hots for Adam who works at the bar too but Adam is working there to watch over Izzy for her father who is a wealthy businessman. There’s a madman on the loose and Adam is determined to keep Izzy safe. A really great read – my review will post on The Book Binge on the 4th. 4.25 out of 5

I decided to read Trusted Bond by Mary Calmes but realized it’s been a little over a year since I read Change of Heart which is the first book in the storyline. I decided to re-read Change of Heart first and it was just as good a read this time as it was the last. Jin who is a werepather, but a very rare type, who was kicked out of his tribe for not only being a reah but also because he was gay. His best friend Crane left the tribe with him and they’ve been moving from town to town ever since. He ends up meeting Logan Church who ends up being his mate. Jin has a hard time dealing with the fact that Logan had not been gay before he met him and Jin has problems believing in their bond. Just a great story. 4 out of 5

Trusted Bond by Mary Calmes takes up with Jin and Logan 6 months later. Jin is having issues, again, with believing that Logan can love him as much as Jin loves Logan because of the fact that the mating bond chose them. He thinks that Logan wouldn’t have even noticed him if not for the mating bond. On top of those issues Jin gets kidnapped by an old flame that isn’t right in the head. Jin goes through some horrific things and is eventually purposely kept from Logan. It’s an action packed story and really good. 4.25 out of 5

After that I decided to catch up a bit with my yaoi manga reading. I’ve been a bad little yaoi swapper and not read the books that Kris gave me when she left LA….in Nov. I know, I know, I suck. I got a few read yesterday and will continue on this week so that the next person on the yaoi swap list can get a package from Santa. lol

First up was Your Love Sickness by Hayate Kuku started off telling the story of two foxes who guard a shrine. One is a white fox who is very high up in the fox class system and the other is a red fox who is the lowest of the low. But the white fox loves the red fox despite that. There were other stories in this book that were cute as well. 3 out of 5

Next up was Skyscrapers of Oz by Yoshino Somei. The story revolved around 2 men and 2 boys (seriously 1 looked incredibly young to me – like 12 but I think he was supposed to be older than that) whose lives are all interwoven. The two men run a business and get caught up in one of the boys lives after being given a job. I really liked the graphics in this one and the story was good as well. 4 out of 5

Next was 9th Sleep by Makoto Tateno. This is classified as yaoi manga but really there was no boy love involved. It was the story of 2 kings who are in a crazy cycle to either die and go into a sleep for 100 years while the other creates an heir who then inherits the previous kings memories. It’s pretty convoluted. But 1 king doesn’t want to either die or sleep so he keeps getting reborn into different women. The graphics were good but the story really left something to be desired imho. 2 out of 5

Last for the week was I Can’t Stop Loving You by Row Takakura. Kyouji is training as an exorcist but can’t actually see the ghosts. His boyfriend, Yu, sees the ghosts but can’t exorcise them. Yu has serious jealousy issues in this book – not helped by his cousin who keeps trying to get Kyouji for himself. It was cute and well drawn. 3 out of 5

My Book Binge Reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

I've posted the Sick Puppies before - probably because I love them! lol  Here's another great one by them - Maybe.  

My review of Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh

Hey folks!

My review of Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh is up at The Book Binge. Head on over and check it out.

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

Elena and Raphael have returned to New York after their explosive trip to Beijing. Elena is more than happy to be home until she gets a call that her to her step-sisters school. There she finds 2 girls murdered but what’s the motive?     Read more----->

Guest Posting at Clare London's Today

What does this picture 

and this picture 

have in common?

Not much – but it’s amazing what can spark an idea in my head. lol

Head on over to Clare London’s blog where I’m doing a guest post today.

Don’t forget to wish Clare a Happy Birthday – it’s tomorrow!

Review: Promise Canyon by Robyn Carr and Giveaway

After years spent on ranches around Los Angeles, Clay Tahoma is delighted to be Virgin River's new veterinary assistant. The secluded community's wild beauty tugs at his Navajo roots, and he's been welcomed with open arms by everyone in town—everyone except Lilly Yazhi.

Lilly has encountered her share of strong, silent, traditional men within her own aboriginal community, and she's not interested in coming back for more. In her eyes, Clay's earthy, sexy appeal is just an act used to charm wealthy women like his ex-wife. She can't deny his gift for gentling horses, but she's not about to let him control her. There's just one small problem—she can't control her attraction to Clay.

But in Virgin River, faith in new beginnings and the power of love has doors opening everywhere.…

Clay is so excited to be away from Los Angeles. Not only is he looking forward to his new job with his friend be he's anxious to be away from his ex-wife who keeps hanging on to him with a vengeance. Not long after he arrives he meets fellow Native American, Lilly. She's as skittish as an unbroken colt and he knows he has to walk softly where she's concerned, but he just can't seem to stop himself from being attracted to her. For Lilly's part she's thoroughly torn. She's so attracted to Clay but after a relationship that went horribly wrong when she was 13 she's not sure she wants to have anything to do with any man.

The pair seem to find an even ground and start to move toward a relationship that will last for a long time but circumstances and Clay's past seem to come up bite them in the ass. I have to admit that Lilly's reaction to these events made me crazy but she did come to her senses so she was forgiven...eventually. lol

Along with Clay and Lilly's romance we get to see some other characters from past Virgin River books. Tragedy strikes and Jack is put in charge of a large amount of money that belongs to the town. Only the town members aren't thrilled that he's not going to dole it out to individuals. Jack ends up being the least liked person around during the book.

If you've read a VR book you know that there are always lots of things going on in the stories so besides the above story lines there's also Colin Riordan, brother to other Riordan's from previous books, who has an accident and requires assistance from his brothers. I didn't mind this part of the book but Colin was an ass to his brothers who loved him and were only trying to help him. I wanted to slap the man silly at times. lol

There was also the start of a storyline that includes a young man who is in town searching for his father – only the father doesn't know he exists. This caught my attention and I may have to read the next book just to find out what happens there and who the heck the dad is. Lol

Overall it was a good read. Kept my attention, had a good romance, I heard about the town and it all ended well without it being too sugary sweet. There was enough tension in the book to satisfy me in that arena as well.  It was like catching up on all my VR gossip and I liked it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 VR books to give away to one lucky winner.  1 copy of book 10 in the series, Moonlight Road, and book 11, Promise Canyon.  To enter leave a comment with your email address any time up until January 31 at 11:59pm (pacific). Winner will be announced on Feb. 1.  

What I Read Last Week

A fun week this past one was. My sister and brother in law were visiting from Kansas City, MO and we had a party at my house that included birthdays and anniversaries from October to January. It was great seeing them again. I've missed them horribly since they moved a few years ago but they love where they are and are happy so that's all the matters. :)

On Saturday I and some of the other So Cal Bloggers - Renee, Wendy, Lori, Rosie - drove to Holly's new house and did a little book organizing. It was so much fun to talk about all of the books she had while alphabetizing and organizing shelves, etc. She's got A LOT of books! My books are separated into 2 shelves read and not read - that's as far as my organization goes. lol Of course she has more book cases than I do. She also has this lovely little reading nook in her sun room that is to die for. A large reading chair with lamp set right in front of her book cases - I think I could live there. :)

Reading was good this week. This is what I read:

First up was Falke's Peak by Madison Layle & Anna Leigh Keaton. This was a paranormal about people who accept demon's into their bodies so that they can have the powers they bring to them so that they can fight demons. It was an interesting book. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5

Next was Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis.  This was a great contemporary read!  The story of a man who has never felt like he belonged anywhere and has no roots comes to visit friends.  They talk him into staying for a month and in that time he starts to fall for Lilah who runs a local kennel/humane society.  I read this one for The Book Binge and will let you know when my review posts. 4.5 out of 5

I couldn't decide what to read next so I opened my ereader, hit a couple of buttons on my index and chose a book.  Great way to decide, huh? lol  I ended up with If I Had You by Lynn Kurland.  This is book 2 in the De Piaget series and it pretty good - I did have some issues with it though.  The story was about Robin De Piaget who is truly in love with Anne who was fostered at Artane, Robin's parents home. He is in France when he finds out that Anne's father is trying to marry her off and heads home to try and stop it.  He won't admit to anyone, much less himself that he is in love with her and really treats her pretty badly at times before he announces his love.  Once the I Love You's were spoken it was like he was a different man.  While I didn't care for Robin all that much I really liked Anne in this book as well as the other characters - mostly Robin's family.  Of course Kurland's writing was just as good as always.  3.75 out of 5 

Pirate Lady Holiday by Kate Richards was a cute short I read for The Book Binge.  About a woman who is spending the Christmas holiday babysitting a yacht and the rock star who decides to use it as a hotel.  The couple are really finding a bond but Jack didn't give Clara his real identity and she's determined to not date rockers.  I'll let you know when my review posts on TBB. 3 out of 5

On my way to Holly's house (since it's a 2.5 hour drive) I listened to the audio book Temptation by Jude Devereaux.  I wasn't sure if I would like the story but I did for the most part.  I didn't like the heroine at first but she was starting to grow on me toward the end of the book.  Then I hated the end.  She ended up turning into someone I really didn't care for.  The narrator of the audio book - not bad but voiced all of the Scottish accents (and there were many characters with Scottish accents as it was partially set in Scotland).  This wasn't so bad either as she did the accents well but she kept pronouncing Edinburgh in an Americanized version (with a hard g at the end) instead of the Scottish pronunciation (more like Edinbura) and every time she did it I yelled at my radio! lol  Needless to say it was a most entertaining drive. :) 3 out of 5

Last on the list was Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison.  Holly received this book for review and couldn't stop talking about it.  I managed to drive away with it (yes, she was aware I stole it!) and read it yesterday.  It's a really great shifter novel with a wonderful yet incredibly down to earth romance in it.  The story is about Pia who is half human, half wyr only she can't shift.  She gets blackmailed into stealing something from the hoard of a Wyr-Dragon and is then on the run for her life.  But when he finds her he finds he wants to keep her rather than kill her.  Just a great book! Unfortunately for you all it doesn't release until May but you'll definitely want to read it when it comes out. 4.5 out of 5

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Sorry about SS last week folks but I was under the weather and posting a Saturday Song was the last thing on my mind! lol

Anyway, this is yet another song that I've been inadvertently listening to on a regular basis.  My 13 year old and all her 13 year old angst (yes, there is such a thing)has been playing Grenade by Bruno Mars endlessly (and I'm not kidding!).  It's a good song  - though sad - so I thought I'd post it here and let you hear it as well.  Aren't you so happy I'm sharing the love? lol

Review: Kiss of Darkness by Loribelle Hunt

Winter, a hybrid, has spent her life at war. A group of humans who are part demon, the hybrids, along with the lupines and nightwalkers, have dedicated their lives to defeating demons and protecting humanity. Yet, despite their united cause, the three groups share an uneasy alliance.

When hybrid military compounds come under attack from demon insurgents, Winter has no choice but to turn to the lupines and nightwalkers for assistance. It's a partnership based on necessity and she has no intention of letting down her guard with either group.

Marcus, the nightwalker Lord, has other plans. The immediate attraction between him and Winter promises a passion he can't ignore. To claim her as his own, he'll not only have to fight the demons who seem hell-bent on destroying her, but her own misconceptions about him and the nightwalker race. It's a battle he refuses to lose.

It’s an odd thought – humans who meld themselves with demon souls in order to obtain supernatural powers to fight demons. Definitely odd, but in this story, it works. Winter is one such human and has been part demon for the past 60 years. The problem with any hybrid is that after about 50 or so years the demon starts to take over their minds. Some go rogue and have to be killed but most find a bond with another hybrid, a lupine or even a human. The bond seems to calm the demon and let’s the hybrid live a long, happy life with their mate.

Winter has been a hybrid for a long time and the demon is getting closer and closer to the surface. When she makes a foolish mistake one night and tries to take on too many demons by herself she is rescued by a Nighwalker, Marcus. Nightwalkers are a type of psychic vampire who feeds off emotions. Hybrids and Nightwalkers aren’t fast friends but Marcus knows immediately that Winter is his, no matter what she is, and wants to claim her as his mate. Winter is resistant to the idea but even if she was willing there’s too much going on in her life.

Demons are attacking the Hybrid locations and the amount of Hybrid deaths are increasing at a fast rate. Winter, her close friends Gia and Dupree, the Lupines and now the Nightwalkers must all work together to find the person in charge of the demon attacks.

This was certainly a different type of paranormal read for me but I really liked it. Winter was an incredibly strong character but she wasn’t afraid to show weakness when she needed to. Marcus was incredibly possessive but that was what all the men in his species are like. He had to learn that if Winter was the woman he wanted he was going to have to learn to adjust to the fact that she was a warrior and not try to keep her at home like the good little wife. I love reading book where the men kind of get hit upside the head emotionally and realize that maybe they’re going to have to compromise with “their woman”. Makes me happy. Lol

Other relationships were going on in this story as well with Marcus’s brother, Luke and Winter’s friend and her second in command, Gia, were struggling with their own relationship – which I think will be resolved in the next book…I hope. :)
There was also Dupree and his struggle with his love for a human that he had helped raise, Kara. That was an interesting story as technically he’s 80 years old and she’s only 24 – but physically he looks 20. Hmmmm….that’ll be a great story when fully told.

Anyway, a good story. Lots of fighting, sex and humor – always a good combo, imho.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This book will release from Carina Press on 1/24/10

Review: Falke's Peak by Madison Layle & Anna Leigh Keaton

She couldn't believe her eyes.

Stressed out ad-exec Dakota wandered into Catamount Outfitters in search of a guide for a wilderness excursion. She didn't expect to be greeted by not one, but five of the most ruggedly delicious-looking men she'd ever seen. Not to mention a live cougar guarding the shop.

The Falke brothers have more than just good looks in their genes.

Eldest brother Axel agrees to guide Dakota on her mountain trek. In cougar form, Axel's twin, Gunnar, was there as a protection from predators—but he had his eye on the sexy client instead.

Into the wild...

While the rule with clients was "paws-off," both Axel and Gunnar couldn't resist Dakota's seductive Native American beauty and determination. As cold days led to hot nights in the cabin, Axel and Gunnar wondered if they'd finally found a woman strong enough to tame them...

Dakota planned a girls trip that ended up being her, another girl...and the other girls' fiance. Not exactly the fun she was looking for and she feels like a third wheel – I don't blame her a bit. She decides to take a vacation away from her vacation and ends up booking it with Catamount Outfitters. Little does Dakota know that the whole Falke family who runs the Outfitters is a family of shape-shifting cougars

She's stunned when she walks in and sees not one great looking man, but 3 and the hits just keep on coming. More good looking men come out of the woodwork and they're all brothers! She manages to put her tongue back in her mouth, stop drooling, and books a hike up the mountain with a 4 days stay over at a remote cabin. When her guide picks her up in the morning she no less stunned to see Axel and his beauty. She's scared out of her wits by the giant cougar in the back seat though.

Axel, Dakota and the cougar, Falke, manage to get to the cabin and settle in, but Dakota can't seem to control her attraction to Axel and makes a move on him. Falke, who is really Axel's brother Gunnar in his shape-shifted cougar form, doesn't approve of his brother kissing the client and reams him out but good when he gets a chance. However when Gunnar takes Axel's place he realizes that Dakota is a force to be reckoned with and maybe he shouldn't have been so hard on Axel.

The men, through much thought and some pretty hot sex, find that Dakota is their mate – but Dakota has a life already and she's not ready to give it up after just a vacation fling.

This was a fun book. You all know me and I'm such a such for shape-shifter stories – and this was a good one. Not too long so it's a fun, quick read that had adventure, romance and great looking men. There was a playfulness in not only the story but the writing that I truly enjoyed. I'm hoping that there will be more stories set with the Falke family – I'll definitely be reading them if there are.

Rating: 4 out of 5

TBR Challenge Review: That Last Night in Texas by Ann Evans

January TBR Theme: Category

It was supposed to be the most wonderful night of their young lives. Cassie McGuire was barely eighteen and ready to elope with the man of her dreams, when tragedy struck. With the new future now facing her, there was no way Cassie was going to saddle the adventurous Ethan Rafferty with a woman who might never ride again, much less walk. So she sent him away.

Cassie gets the shock of her life when Ethan returns to Texas. The sexy wrangler is as handsome as ever—but he'll be fit to be tied once he discovers her secret. Will he forgive her—or will he fight her for the son he didn't know he had?

Cassie and Ethan are ready to elope…well not quite. Ethan’s finishing up a few things in the barn and Cassie wanders around to say hello to the horses. She familiar with the horses as this is her father’s barn and Ethan works for her father. Unfortunately the one horse Cassie’s not too familiar with spooks and Cassie is rushed to the hospital. Cassie might lose her leg and her self-pitied, martyrdom’d state she tells Ethan that they shouldn’t get married, he should leave and for the most part that she doesn’t think that he’s good enough for her. Now, does she really feel like this or is it a combination of her overprotective father, the drugs and the self-pity she feels at possibly losing her leg? She deludes herself into thinking that it’s because she doesn’t want to bring Ethan down and make him suffer with a “cripple” but it’s really all about her.

Now 13 years have passed and Ethan is back in Texas and is starting a branch of his business right next door to where Cassie lives. Cassie’s none too thrilled to have him there – especially when he sees her 12 year old son and realizes that the boy is his son as well. Now that Ethan knows that he has a son he wants to get to know Donny but Cassie and her ex-husband, who Donny thinks of as his father end up stalling the big reveal to Donny. On top of that Ethan knows that he’s still in love with Cassie and he wants to make her see that they can still have a future together.

I had a few problems with this book – Cassie being the main problem. I just didn’t like her. I thought she was a micro-managing, overprotective, control freak and she made me a bit crazy. I understand to a point that she was trying to protect her son and the life that they’d come to know, but unfortunately times they were a-changin and she needed to figure out how to deal with it. Instead of being forthcoming with her son about Ethan, or anything really, she kept him completely out of the loop and told him nothing. Because Donny wasn’t a stupid pre-teen he knew something was going on – besides his parents divorce which he certainly wasn’t happy about – and was acting out at home and school because of it. I think if Cassie had sat down with him and actually talked to him instead of trying to just boss him around things would have been so different.

Cassie with Ethan…talk about a bumpy ride. Wow. Cassie told Ethan that she didn’t tell him about Donny because she didn’t think he wanted kids because of some obscure mention of children 13 years before. However, she neglected, conveniently, to remember what he said the night they were supposed to elope:

“Yes, I want to marry you. I want to make love to you. I want to make babies with you and watch them grow up to make babies of their own.”

I think it’s pretty clear that the man wants kids, don’t you?

*sigh* I loved Ethan and frankly I wasn’t sure what the attraction to Cassie was and I thought he could do so much better. He was, as far as I’m concerned, a friggin saint. That man put up with more crap than any one man should ever have to deal with. He was really left to dangle while Cassie tried to get her act together and he was so patient. Definitely a hero that I could read more about.

After all the Cassie dissing I have to say that I really did like the way the story was written and the pacing of the book. I would definitely read more from Ms. Evans in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5

What I Read Last Week


It's late in the day - I apologize.  I had the day off today and I have to tell ya, when I'm not at work it's hard to get myself on the computer!  It's so nice to not have to look at it for a while. lol

Good week...well, most of it.  I was sick for a few days and was pretty much out of it.  I'm much better now, thank you very much.  Actually got out of the house today which was nice - especially since it was such a beautiful day.  I think it was 88 today and actually HOT. lol

So because I was home for a few days I got some good reading done.  It's amazing how I can concentrate with no noise in the house. lol

I started off with The Countess by Lynsay Sands.  I really like her historicals and this one was no different.  It was a bit of a whodunit as well as a romance and I liked it.  You can read my review here if you're interested. 4 out of 5

Next up was Taken to the Limit by Nico Rosso.  This was the story of a doctor who has 2 "aliens" pop into her ER one day and her life changes forever.  She inadvertently becomes part of the Limit War that has been raging in the universe unbeknownst to Korina.  But Morrow, one of the alien men realizes that Korina is his soul mate and together they fight the enemy.  I really liked the story but the writing seemed a bit odd to me.  The sentences were a tad too choppy for me and I felt more that I was being told the story than shown - at least in the first part of the book.  I definitely got more into the story as it went and will definitely read more from this author. 3.5 out of 5

Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh was my next read.  I got an ARC to read and review for The Book Binge and boy was it a good book!  I loved it from start to finish!  I truly love Nalini Singh's writing and this book was no different.  I will definitely know when my review posts.  5 out of 5

Marry Me by Jo Goodman was a book that I had seen around the blogosphere and had heard good things about.  All those people were right imho.  The book is part romance, part story about the town.  Rhyne (pronounced Ryan) has been raised as a boy and the town is shocked when they find out she's really a girl.  Rhyne and the new town doctor, Cole, fall in love but there are so many other things going on in the book I can't even begin to tell you.  I was convinced to read the book after reading a review but I honestly can't remember whose it was!  My memory is getting worse by the day.  Anyway, lots of great reviews for this book out there. 4.25 out of 5

Next was Promise Canyon by Robyn Carr.  This is book 11 in the Virgin River series - I actually have read books 1-9 but never read book 10.  I received this one for review and it was a good one.  The story of Clay Tahoma who has moved to the are to help his vet friend out.  He meets Lilly and they hit it off but due to a incident in Lilly's life when she was 13 - she has stayed away from men since then.  She's not sure that Clay is safe but she's drawn to him anyway.  I'll post my review of this soon. 4 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge read for the week was The Larton Chronicles by James Anson.  This was the story of an ex-policeman turned author, Robert, who is looking for peace and quiet away from the city.  He moves to Larton and there his life is anything but dull.  He meets and becomes involved with Michael and between the two of them they have an exciting life.  I really liked the story which is told in such a way that I found myself completely into it.  I laughed out loud a few times and Michael and Robert just cracked me up.  I did find myself getting frustrated with Robert (I think it's Michael that most people become frustrated with) because of his grumpiness and general pessimism, but overall just a good book. 4 out of 5

Last on the list for the week was Wedding of the Season Laura Lee Guhrke and I loved it!  I've not read this author before and she really sucked me in from page 1. The story of Beatrix and Will who were supposed to wed but before they do Will goes off to Egypt to look for King Tut's tomb.  He is gone 6 years and when he returns Trix is engaged to someone else.  He says he's not there to stop the wedding but he still loves her and it hurts him to see her with someone he feels is not good for her - and who doesn't know her.  Will sets out to woo Trix once again and does a smashing job of it as far as I'm concerned.  Just a great book.  I will definitely read the next book in this series when it comes out and I think I have more from this author on my TBR shelves - I'll need to check that out. lol  4.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
None because I was all caught up - yay!

Happy Reading!

Review: Once Upon A Scandal by Delilah Marvelle

Lady Victoria Jane Emerson left behind her girlish notions of romance when Jonathan deserted her without a backward glance. Now the time has come when she must finally choose a husband, and she has vowed to marry someone who will never break her heart.

Jonathan Pierce Thatcher, Viscount Remington, has returned home, free of all his family's debts. Only to discover that by some miracle he has been chosen to vie for the hand of his beloved Victoria. To convince his only love to once again believe in the magic of love and the promise of desire will be his greatest challenge yet. And one he cannot fail!

Jonathan Thatcher is determined to secure Lady Victoria’s promise of marriage before he leaves for Venice. He’s been in love with her for forever and though she hasn’t had her coming out yet he fears he won’t be back in time to vie for her hand in marriage once she starts her first season. He does extract a kiss from her before he leaves, even though she won’t agree to a secret engagement and also a promise that should he write to her she would reciprocate.

The pair write multiple letters to each other over the next year sharing their hearts and their love for each other. But Jonathan gets himself into a financial bind and agrees to a contract as a type of servant to a wealthy family in Venice that will last 5 years. A contract that will eradicate all of his debts. He writes to Victoria that he cannot communicate with her any longer and that she must forget him and find herself a husband. Victoria refuses to believe that Jonathan would honestly want her to marry another and keeps writing to Jonathan, for two years, with no response. She finally gives up with her heart broken into pieces.

Five years after leaving for Venice, Jonathan returns to vie for Victoria’s hand in marriage…along with 2 others. When Victoria sees that Jonathan is one of the men she is enraged. How dare her family put him with the others knowing that she does not love him any more and wants nothing to do with the man. Unfortunately the way the “competition” is made there’s no getting around marrying Jonathan in the end. Jonathan is determined, once again, to make Victoria love him. Jonathan’s not sure that Victoria will love him once she finds out exactly what the terms of his contract in Venice included.

I can describe this book in one word: Passionate. Both Victoria and Jonathan were incredibly passionate people and that passion showed in just about everything they did. The letters they wrote to each other, their anger towards life and the trials and tribulations they each had to endure as well as the love they showed to each other was just filled with passion and I loved it.

Now in this book, as the author fully intended, Jonathan was the more romantic of the two characters. While at times I found him to be a bit overwhelming it was so nice to see the man be the character that is pouring his love out and wearing his heart on his sleeve.

Overall I really liked this book a lot and can’t wait to read the next in the series, The Perfect Scandal.

And let me just add that I LOVE the cover of this book.  Love it.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

This book releases from HQN Books on 1/18/11

Review: The Countess by Lynsay Sands

The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily-ever-after . . .

Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters' debuts as well. So she decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing's happened . . .

Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who had robbed him of his name and title . . . only to discover that he had died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited "wife"— certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new "husband" . . . and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts!

Christiana is miserable in her marriage. Her husband of one year, Dicky, belittles her at every turn, punishes her for no reason whatsoever and criticizes her intelligence on a daily basis. He’s had her holed up in their London townhouse and little did she know, turns away her many visitors. When Christiana finds him dead in his study she’s not quite sure how to feel - but it's not sadness. Her sisters who are visiting immediately stop her from telling anyone about the death so that they can have their debuts and one can find a husband immediately so that she can pay their father’s gambling debts. They manage to get Dicky’s dead body up to his room and attend a ball that night.

Imagine the women's astonishment when Dicky walks into the ball! Only they eventually come to find out that this isn’t Dicky – this is Richard, Dicky’s twin and Dicky wasn’t Dicky at all, but George, Richard’s twin. Wow! George had had his twin, Richard, killed a year ago only Richard didn’t die. George then proceeded to take over Richard’s life but obviously someone wanted him dead as they believe that he was poisoned.

After looking at all of his options Richard believes that his best bet would be to just step into the life that George had made – otherwise he would have to prove that he was who he said that he was and there was no way to really prove that. It would be a huge legal battle and a massive scandal for Christiana and her sisters which he wanted to avoid since they were victims in George’s scheme as much as Richard himself was. But that also means that Christiana would be his wife. Richard’s okay with that as she seems like a nice person and he certainly has no problem lusting after her - or bedding her. But for Christiana she’s afraid. Sure, Richard seems like a nice person but Dicky-George did too until after the vows were spoken then he became a complete ass. Does she really want to put herself into another situation where her husband is someone who might be portraying himself as someone he’s not?

The book started off in a mad cap way with Christiana and her sisters carrying George’s body all over and then Richard and his friend Daniel carrying George’s body all over and all of them trying to hide the fact and not get caught. It was cute but a bit on the ridiculous side for my liking. When the story got into the part with Richard and Christiana and their relationship I thought the book improved amazingly.

Richard and Christiana were so cute together. They started their relationship in a sexual way when Christiana was more than a bit tipsy but it really strengthened the bond that they shared together. Christiana was afraid of Richard at first – except when they were in bed – and she was afraid to be herself with him. George had really hacked her self-confidence to pieces and she feared being punished for any little mistake. It was a pleasure to see her come out of her shell and start to be the person she actually was – with Richard appreciating who she was at every turn.

The book has its share of murder, mayhem, blackmail and frantic carriage rides as well as many sexy scenes and a bunch of that great Sands humor that I’ve come to know and love. The Countess is a bit on the silly side at times but overall it’s a fun historical read. I’m looking forward to reading The Heiress when it comes out as it has to do with Christiana’s sister Suzette and Richard’s friend Daniel who both played a prominent role in this story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Countess releases on 1/25/11

What I Read Last Week

Hello there and Happy Monday!

It was a quiet week that ended with a bit more excitement. On Sunday I went to Century City, CA and met up with authors Zoe Archer, Nico Rosso, Delilah Marvelle, Lisa Hendrix, Sabrina Darby and fellow blogger Renee for lunch and a incredibly fun chat at the Borders there in the mall. I feel so lucky to be able to meet up and talk to these wonderful people. Delilah and Lisa were in town from Oregon promoting their books and they have fun little gifties to give us – including penis candies – what every girl wants.:) Here we are at the Borders coffee shop
Zoe, Nico, Renee, Delilah, Sabrina, Lisa, Moi

Other than that not much happened this week so I’ll get right on to what I read this past week:

First up was Master of Smoke by Angela Knight. This is book 11 in the Mageverse series and another great book. This was the story of a bitten werewolf who’s afraid of her own shadow and the Fae/Spirt/Shifter that falls in love with her. You can read my review here on The Book Binge. 4.25 out of 5

Past Pleasures by Charlotte Stein was my next read. A novella about a woman who gets sent through time to the future and discovers that women are extinct. I really liked this one – you can read my mini review here. 4.25 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Brighter Than the Sun by Julia Quinn. The hero and heroine meet by chance one day when the heroine, Eleanor, is out walking and the hero, Charles, falls out of a tree that he’s climbed while dead drunk. Nice. lol Charles asks Eleanor to marry him because he has to get married or lose his money. But someone is out to get Charles and someone else is set on making Eleanor look bad. It’s a book of strange events and the hits just keep on comin. A fun book but I did get tired of the bad things happening after a while – I just wanted them to live a normal life. lol 3.5 out of 5

Brier’s Bargain by Carol Lynne was next. I’d not read any other books in this series or the series this was spun off of so maybe that influenced my thoughts on this book. I really liked Brier a lot and was pulling for him and his boyfriend Jackie the whole time, I just thought the book was a little slow paced for my liking. 3 out of 5

The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott was my next read. The story about a rookie cop in a small town who finds a 17 (almost 18) year old sleeping in the churchyard on Christmas Eve. Ben and takes Zach home to his family and his mother takes care of him. Zach is understandably leery of the kindness and has panic attacks around so many people but he seems fine when he’s around Ben. The men seem to have a connection and the story takes it from there. I liked the story and Ben and Zach were cute together. The story takes place over 2 years so Zach is older when Ben and Zach eventually get together – fyi. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was book 2 in the Scandal series by Delilah Marvelle – Once Upon a Scandal. I really liked this book. It had Jonathan and Victoria falling in love via letters – which I just loved. But Jonathan, who is in Venice, enters a contract with a Venetian family that makes him, basically, a lady’s maid…as well as a type of sexual slave to the lady of the house. When Jonathan returns after 5 years he’s determined to still woo and marry Victoria who’s having none of it. I really liked that Jonathan was the more romantic of the two and the story just worked for me. My review will post soon. (releases on 1/18/11)

Next up was Kiss of Darkness by Loribelle Hunt which will be a new release from Carina Press on the 24th of this month. The story is about humans who merge themselves with demons in order to fight demons. There are also lupines and nightwalkers involved. A good story – my review will post soon.

Last on the list was my TBR Challenge book for the month of January. The theme was category romance and I chose off my shelves That Last Night in Texas by Ann Evans. This is the story of a ranch hand and the ranch owners daughter who fall in love but life and a horse accident get in their way. They reconnect after 13 years - Oh, and there’s a secret baby. lol Check out my review on the 19th.

My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

I'm so busy taking down decorations I almost forgot to post my song for the day! :)  I haven't been listening to too much music this week but this has been in my head constantly as my kids keep watching this episode of Glee over and over...and over and over...and over and over. lol.  Anyway, this is Gwenyth Paltrow singing Forget You.

My Blackberry's Not Working - Funny!

A hilarious video my boss just shared with me!

Mini Review: Past Pleasures by Charlotte Stein

This was one of the free books that All Romance eBooks was giving out this year during their 12 days of Christmas. I thought it looked interesting and last night when I had a bit of free time (cuz the kids were gone – woohoo *ahem*) I put it on the old EZreader and read away. 

When Kate agrees to a mad experiment with something as insane as time travel, she expects exactly what Professor Waites had suggested: dystopian nightmares and possible barbarians.

So when she finds herself in a future where women no longer exist and the men have no idea what they’ve been missing, she can’t seem to catch her breath.

Especially when the men in question—the darkly handsome Tem, and his starkly beautiful companion Aley, are so curious and so ready to learn everything she has to teach—including all the past pleasures they never knew existed

The story is about Kate who is basically a guinea pig for a man who has created a time machine. He decides to send her to the year 3033 (from 2010) not knowing what to expect but it will be her job to report back on what’s going on in the future. He’s expecting humans to be small misshapen trolls – not sure where he got that thought but it’s a bit scary for her.

She ends up in a room with a gorgeous man, Aley, who is shocked when he finds out she’s a woman – women have been instinct for more than 600 years! As Kate keeps getting sent back again and again she meets Aley’s roommate, Tem, and starts to having feelings for these two incredible and terribly innocent men.

I’ve got to say that I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a sci-fi/time travel erotic read (which I’m not usually a fan of) but it had just the right blend of the unusual, the innocent, the humorous and the erotic to really appeal to me. On Goodreads I saw that this book is listed as Desire Through Time #1 so I’m hoping that there will be more about Kate, Tem and Aley in the future. I’d love to see what ramifications Kate’s time travel has on the future.

Rating 4.25 out of 5

And The Winner Is...

The winner of Working the Lode by Karen Mercury is:



Check your inbox soon and you'll have a lovely book in there.

What I Read Last Week

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a very nice new year.  My hubby took the girls to see the new Narnia movie and I stayed home and read. Nice! lol  I stayed up until 12 and then was asleep by 12:05. I know, I'm a party animal. 

For 2011 I've decided to only take on 1 challenge besides my own TBR challenge and that is Wendy's TBR challenge.  Can you tell I'm trying to get through that sucker?  It's needs to diminish!  The rule about posting the review on a specific date is always what fucks me up so I'll see how it goes.

If you haven't already gone over to DIK to enter the Grand Finale giveaway you need to do it!  Great books being given away to 2 lucky winners.  You have until the 8th at midnight to enter

The Karen Mercury book giveaway for Working the Lode is open until 1/4/11 at 11:59pm (pacific).

Life is pretty boring around here so I'll get on with telling you what I read:

I started off with The Trap by Indigo Wren.  This is a story about workaholic David who finally decides to take a vacation to an island resort.  The brochure was just too compelling and he decided to take a break for a month.  He gets there only to find out that it's not a resort - it's all a hoax perpetrated by his ex-best friend, Ethan, to get him alone and make him face some hard truths about himself - mainly his sexuality and lack of acceptance of what it really is.  I really liked the book a lot.  There were some times that I thought David overreacted and I wanted to smack him upside the head but overall a really good book. 4.5 out of 5

Next was The Christmas Fantasy by KT Grant.  This was a cute story about a woman who is on a mission to lose her virginity and wants it taken by her brother's best friend who she's been in love with forever.  He's all for the idea but life gets in the way and the woman starts to believe the crap in her head rather than reality.  It was a light, fun read - nothing too deep and we didn't get too into the characters but if that's what you're looking for in a Christmas read than it's perfect. :)  3.5 out of 5

Love Letters from Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball was next.  I read this for The Book Binge and you can read my review here.  It was romance in the book but mostly the book tells about 3 women in their 50's who run a farm and attempt to put on a society wedding.  Ok, but really not my thing. 3 out of 5

The Darkling Thrush by Josh Lanyon was my next read and a very interesting one.  It's fantasy with a bit of romance about a man who is a book hunter and is looking for what might be a fictitious book.  Only there are very dark forces at work in the story.  The man ends up with his boss but the boss moved a bit too fast for my liking and declared himself pretty abruptly.  That being said the writing was as wonderful as always and the story incredibly engaging. 4 out of 5

Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips was the book I read for my DIK Challenge read for the month. It was a great way to end the challenge as the book was so good.  You can read my review here. 4.5 out of 5

Skin Heat by Ava Gray was next on the list. Another book read for the Book Binge.  This is book 3 in the Skin series and I really liked it. Zeke was held in the facility in the last book and was set free.  He's now home  and is not exactly comfortable in his own skin.  He takes a job at the local vet clinic and falls in love with the vet, Neva.  It's a great story and has a psycho killer in it as well - good stuff.  I'll let you know when my review posts. 4 out of 5

Instant Temptation by Jill Shalvis was my next read.  This was the story of Harley and TJ who've circled each other for year but haven't exactly been friends.  TJ decides that it's time to stop the animosity - especially since he has no idea what caused it - and make his move.  I really liked this book. The story was pretty simple but I loved the honesty of the characters.  No subterfuge, no lies, just plain out telling the truth about everything. Wish I could read more of that! lol  4 out of 5

My Tracy's TBR Challenge for the week was The Reluctant Reformer by Lynsay Sands.  The first part of the book annoyed me - he thought she was a famous prostitute and she thought he'd found out about her writing. The misunderstanding was amusing a bit but not enough to stop the annoying bit.  Now, the second part of the book was almost like a different book.  This was the man taking care of the woman but he can't keep his hands off her and compromising her constantly.  And there was someone who tries to kill her multiple times. The second part of the book was good - the first, not to my liking.  3.5 out of 5

Last for the week was Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman by Lorraine Heath.  This was the story of a woman who claims to be the mother of a baby and takes the babe to the father's family - only in the hope that they'll care for it.  When she finds out the father, Stephen, is alive she's thrilled as she fancies herself in love with him.  But he has no idea who she is due to amnesia and him losing 2 years of his memory.  It was a pretty darned good book.  I'm not one for all the camouflage in a relationship but this one worked for me. 4.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday:
No Place to Run by Maya Banks

Love Letters from Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball
Must Love Kilts by Allie Mackay
How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling
My Fair Succubi by Jill Myles

Happy Reading!