Saturday Song

I haven't played Cavo here for a while and I needed to remedy that.  I really like this band and this song in particular. I'm not sure what exactly it is about it but I think I could listen to it over and over.  Strange how that happens with some songs, isn't it?  Anyway, here is Let It Go by Cavo.  Enjoy!

Review: Rules of the Game by Sandy James

Kathryn West has it all – she’s a confident, bestselling author living it up in New York City. Too bad she doesn’t actually exist, and is only timid Maddie Sawyer’s pseudonym. Determined to attend her high school reunion with a man right out of one of her racy romance novels, she plots to find a sexy bad boy who’s up to Kathryn’s standards.

She finds Mr. Perfect shooting pool in a biker bar. He’s a blue-collar hunk who just happens to look great in leather. But the mysterious Scott Brady has some rules of his own: he won’t agree to her deal unless she poses as his girlfriend in front of his family and friends first.

As the reunion nears, Maddie tries to maintain her carefree façade, knowing she’ll soon face some old ghosts. She’s torn between her growing attraction to Scott and the nagging feeling that he’s hiding something important. Will she still want him when she finds out his secret? What about when he discovers hers?

How often can you find the damned near perfect man while trolling bars in New York? Try next to never. But Maddie gets lucky when she heads out to try and find a bad boy in a biker bar. She wants to pay whatever man she finds to escort her to her high school reunion back in Indiana so that she doesn’t look like a complete loser. What she finds is Scott Brady. He’s one fine hunk of human flesh with great hair, a wonderful smile and a incredibly grabbable ass. He actually sits down and listens to Maddie’s proposal and seriously considers it. After they play some pool and have some beers he takes drunk Maddie back to her house on his motorcycle and actually ends up agreeing to her plan. But, he needs her to play his girlfriend for his friends who are always trying to set him up. Maddie’s not sure what she’s getting herself into but she’s pretty desperate and agrees.

Maddie and Scott – after their first date with his friends – actually end up dating. It’s not what Maddie had planned but Scott wants to get to know her and since she really likes him so she figures what the hell. They spend a ton of time together and get to know each other but there are secrets on both sides that they are keeping. Maddie about her past back in Indiana and Scott about what he does for a living. Maddie is totally ok with Scott being blue collar (she's a best selling author and has money) and even tells him so – not always in a great way – but she cares about him and lets him know.

When the reunion comes around all hell breaks loose with Maddie and things that happened in her past. I can’t go into detail because frankly it would ruin the whole story for you by giving away surprises. Scott is amazing. he never once falters in his support of Maddie and frankly I was shocked that he could be so calm about everything that was happening. He was a rock and Maddie definitely took advantage of his strength in her time of need.

But then Maddie finds out what Scott does for a living. Now, you wouldn’t think, when the info comes to light, that it would be a big deal, but Maddie has issues…again from her past. She has a hard time dealing with things and quite honestly surprised the hell outta me. She took prejudices to a level I wasn’t expecting and almost did the relationship in. I have to say that I thought she acted like such a bitch at times but what was funny was that she knew she was acting like a brat but was so overwhelmed she couldn’t not be that way. I understood to a point but was extremely happy when she came to her senses.

The story was so readable. While I have a couple of Ms. James’s stories I have to admit to not actually reading them yet and right now am kicking myself for it. She has a great way with words and her characters - main and secondary -  and makes them come to life. I very much enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.

Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be…anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week
- to fake an elopement
- to convince family and friends they’re in “love”
- to outrun armed robbers
- to survive their worst nightmares
- to travel four hundred miles without killing each other

All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.

Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble.

And maybe…just maybe…love.

Minerva is a geologist. She loves rocks of all kinds and believes that she has made an incredible discovery in Spindle Cove. She’s beside herself with delight but she needs to get out of Spindle Cove and to a meeting of The Royal Geological Society in Edinburgh by a certain date so that she can submit her findings and prove to herself as well as everyone else that she knows what she’s doing – as well as win a prize for the best find.

She works up enough nerve to ask Lord Payne to fake an elopement and go with her to Edinburgh and she will give him the prize money to live on until he gets his inheritance on his birthday. Lord Payne, Colin, knows that this is not something he’s going to do. He’s a bad guy but he can’t ruin Minerva’s reputation like that. If they don’t actually get married – which he’s in no way willing to do – she will not be able to make any kind of match. It was kind of sweet how he was thinking of her but in the end he folds and accompanies Minerva to Edinburgh.

Colin, however, some rules that he must travel by because frankly, the guy has issues. He is not willing to travel in a carriage – ever. He will ride beside the carriage on a horse. He cannot sleep alone (whether he’s having sex or not) in a bed without a companion and he expects Minerva to solve this problem. His rules seem simple but Minerva isn’t prepared for the attraction she feels for Colin when they start traveling together. Colin likes to make up fantastical stories of who he and Minerva are and where they’ve been and what they’ve done. At first Minerva is appalled at even the idea but soon falls into the game as well.

The travel to Edinburgh is fraught with danger, mishaps and an overabundance of Murphy’s Law. If it can go wrong, it does. But the couple is not willing to give up and soon Colin is determined to get Minerva to her symposium along with the plaster that she made of her discovery – which he named Francine.

During the trials and tribulations Minerva sees a different side of Colin than she ever expected. Colin starts to see Minerva for the strong, spirited woman that’s she’s always been but had been repressed by her life and her mother. They discover that what they see in each other is something that they don’t want to let go of now that they’ve got it.

I’m such a fan of Tessa Dare’s I’ve really enjoyed all of her books and this one was no different. She took a rake with issues and a spectacle wearing rock lover and made them ultimately lovable.

Minerva, the poor thing had been chastised all her life, by her mother, for just being herself. Her mother wanted her to not like books, not like rocks – be more feminine, be more proper, be more like your beautiful sister. Ug. I just wanted to shake the woman. The only time she was please with her daughter was when she thought she’d eloped with a Viscount! But Minerva had some chutzpah and once she was out on the road she realized that it was ok to be herself and so much more. I truly admired her strength and determination during the whole trip.

Colin, the poor guy, had some issues. He had had an accident when he was young that involved the death of his parents and he hadn’t ridden in a carriage since then. He didn’t sleep unless someone was beside him. I just felt so bad for him. I loved that with Minerva’s help he finally came to terms with the entire situation and learned to face his condition head on. I thought he became a more feeling person during the book but we hadn’t really seen all that much of him before so it was hard to say if he’d been kind and giving his whole life and had just hidden it or if he became that way during the trip. No matter what I really liked what I saw in him.

Overall it was a really great book with an unexpected ending. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Spindle Cove series and see what happens next.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino

Brad is great at meeting other people’s expectations. But his own? Not so much. Take the gay thing. Okay, so yeah. It took a morning meeting with a frat brother’s hairy, naked ass for him to admit it, but he knows the truth about himself now. Let the gay life commence.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. He hasn’t quite determined how to come out to anyone, even Sebastian, the geeky-hot TA in his history class. Sebastian is everything Brad is not. Intellectual, suave, hairy. Out. And he doesn’t seem interested in Brad, even when Brad makes a fool of himself trying to catch his notice.

Score one for foolery: Sebastian does more than notice Brad; he takes him to bed. Brad’s been with plenty of girls, but with Sebastian, the sex is something else entirely—hot, mind-blowing, affirming, and a little domineering in a way that drives him wild. But when great sex turns into something more—dare he admit the “L” word?—Brad must face the crushing realization that Sebastian doesn’t feel the same. Unless, of course, he does. After all, even grad students can be idiots about matters of the heart.

Brad has discovered he’s gay and boy is he freaked out. How did this happen? Ok, to be honest he really kind of knew it in the back of his head that guys turned him on but he chose to ignore it and date women. He’s not quite the Casanova that the guys in his frat think he is but he has dated a lot of women – he just hasn’t slept with them all.

When Brad finally comes to terms with his sexuality he decides to make a move on the sexy TA in his history class. Sebastian is up for some fun but what transpires between the two is more than fun – it’s meaningful. Sebastian may be the smaller of the two men but he is definitely the more dominant. He is able to teach Brad everything he knows about sex and then some. Brad is certain that there’s more to their relationship than just sex but when faced with the reality of that Sebastian’s not sure what they have.

Beside the relationship Brad is trying to deal with his frat and how exactly he is going to come out to them, how they will take it and what will happen in the future.

I really enjoyed this book on so many levels. While it was humorous to watch Brad coming to terms with his jock gay self it was also quite moving to see him facing the reality of who he is. He gets some shocks from his family when he’s outed during a vacation and then told that they kinda already had figured it out. What? Brad’s shocked and almost confused by the acceptance of his family. I thought it was very sweet to see his sisters and family behind him 100%

Then we have Brad and Sebastian. Seb’s like the geeky intelligent guy that really never dated jocks before but when Brad comes on to him he’s happy to play along. Seb’s not one to get involved but when he and Brad decide to be exclusive he’s very pleased. But Brad starts getting more attached to Sebastian and confesses his feelings Sebastian isn’t sure what to do or say. He’s fought involvement for so long and it takes a heart to heart with his sister to get him to see the light about his feelings for Brad. I liked seeing Sebastian have the light bulb moment and making a move to correct his mistakes immediately.

The characters were great, the humor was well done and the sex scenes were pretty hot. In my book that says “good read”.

Rating: 4 out of 5

What I Read Last Week


I kind of fell of the radar there for a while – sorry about that. Life just got in the way of my fun, as it has a way of doing, and I just didn’t have the energy to post.

I got my new fridge delivered. Yay! It was a bit of an ordeal as the delivery guys kept telling me it wouldn’t fit in the space (which was ridiculous because it’s the same width as my previous fridge). After a bit of arguing I finally had them set it up in a corner of the kitchen as they wouldn’t even attempt to put it in the space. My hubby came home – said they were cracked – and proceeded to put it in the space. Ug! lol Now I have to have them come back out and set up the water so we can have ice. But the fridge is fabulous and I love it!

Nothing much else happening around my house – except my hubby’s b-day is today. Happy Birthday, Baby! He’s a mere child at the age of 43 (yes, he’s 4 years younger than me). lol He seems to think he’s on his last leg but not even close. :)

On to what I read last week:

I read Winning the Wallflower last week so I immediately started the next book in that series and read The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James. The story follows Olivia who has been engaged to a Duke’s son since birth. Her parents raised her and her sister, Georgiana, to be Duchesses and to be proper ladies. While Georgie took to the lessons Olivia is just herself. She has a bawdy sense of humor and doesn’t like being proper at all – but she loves her parents and will do what’s right. The Duke’s son is a very simple man as he was deprived of oxygen at birth. He’s a good soul though so Olivia plans to marry him until she meets Tarquin, the Duke of Sconce. She is completely taken with him and he with her but she cannot have him since she’s engaged and Quin’s mother is looking at Georgie to be Quin’s bride. The story was quite good and I loved seeing the romance unfold. There were many inner issues that Olivia had to deal with – as well as her sister and Quin and I thought they were dealt with quite well. 4 out of 5

My TBR Challenge Read was next with the Rough Riders series book Chasin’ Eight by Lorelei James. You can read my review of this one here. 4 out of 5

Celtic Storms by Delaney Rhodes was next up. This was a medieval about a man who is the first son of a Laird but has been betrothed to a Laird’s daughter and will then become the Laird of her clan. This was a kind of romance but mostly the clan of the woman, Darina, trying to deal with a curse that was supposedly put on it years prior that caused no male babies to be born. The story started with too much information but then smoothed out toward the middle. Unfortunately when it was really getting good it ended abruptly with no conclusion to the romance or the suspense side. *sigh* 3 out of 5

Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino was my next read. This was about a guy in college and in a frat that is a jock. He realizes that he’s gay and has to deal with that but also his attraction to one of his professors TA’s. I’ll review it this week so keep your eyes peeled. lol

Last on the list was A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare. This is book 2 in the Spindle Cove series and has to do with Minerva the book worm and geologist and the dashing rake Colin Sandhurst. I’ll be reviewing this one this week as well.

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

TBR Challenge Review: Chasin' Eight by Lorelei James

This month’s TBR Challenge was to read a book from a series that you’re behind on. Oh dear….well – uh, eenie meenie miney mo which of the many do I choose from? Yikes. I really didn’t realize that I was so behind but apparently I’ve been reading so many new releases that I’ve let some others fall to the side of the road. Shame on me! lol Anyway, as you can see I went with book 11 in the Rough Riders series by Lorelei James…

Bull rider Chase McKay has finally landed in a pile too big to charm his way out of. Caught with his pants down, he finds himself bucked right off the PBR tour until he can get his act together.

Hollywood actress Ava Cooper became the tabloids’ favorite target when her longtime boyfriend was outed as gay. She needs a place to lay low and a chance to prove to herself that she can satisfy a red-blooded man between the sheets. The sexy, rugged cowboy she finds holed up in her Wyoming hideaway seems like the answer to her every fantasy.

But Chase has sworn off women. Forever. Or at least a month. Whichever comes first.

When they take to the road to get Chase more hands-on bull riding experience, they have every intention of keeping their hands off each other. But the two headstrong stars quickly end up riding a hot and heady rodeo circuit all their own—until the press gets wind of their affair. When the dust clears and the lights of the paparazzi fade, are they ready to give up chasing the dream for a chance of finding forever?

Ava is an actress who has some serious unwanted publicity. It turns out that the man that she’s been dating – the one that made her so happy? Yeah, he came out. Yep, CAME OUT. and didn’t bother to tell her before he told the general public. Nice guy – not! She’s being followed by paparazzi constantly and she’s ready for a break. She calls her friend Ginger Paulson who now lives in Wyoming with her husband Kane MacKay. Ava arranges with Ginger to stay in Kane’s old trailer for a while.

Chase MacKay is a bull rider but because of a scorned woman and crap politics he’s been taken off the tour for a couple of months. He’s not sure what to do with himself so he call’s his cousin Kane to see if he can stay in Kane’s old trailer for a while. Do you see where this is going?

Yep, Chase shows up and Ava is already there. They manage to work things out with the living arrangements and actually find that they get along quite well. Ava is hot for Chase but because of the damned scorned woman that screwed up his life he decided that he was going to be off women for a solid month. He’s determined to stick to it no matter how much Ava tempts him. They will remain friends only and surprising they really end up being the best of friends who can tell almost anything to the other. Ava and Chase head off together to a bull riding circuit with Chase riding under an assumed name. You see Chase was once a champion bull rider but in the past year his rides have turned to crap. He wants to get back to basics to find out the exact reason he lost his mojo. Ava sees it all as an adventure and takes films and photographs of their time together.

Both Chase and Ava realize some interesting things about themselves while on the road. They’re both self-centered and haven’t given half the time they should have to their families. They aren’t honest with themselves (or anyone else previously) about what they want from life in general and greatest of all – that they love each other desperately.

I really liked this book a lot. Was this the best book that I’ve read in this series? No, but I think it will hold a special place from now on. The thing that really drew me in was the fact that Ava and Chase talked to each other. Since Chase had put the brakes on women that left the two open to talk and they ended up talking freely and honestly with each other. They were adorable together and I loved it.

Now Chase is a pretty short guy at a whopping 5’7” (which makes the cover particularly funny as Ava is 3 inches taller than Chase) and he has issues about that. He’s tough, built and has a BIG personality so Ava doesn’t normally see it. But Chase has never been with a woman who was taller than him. While this was mentioned several times in the story I was glad that it wasn’t’ a main focus. I thought it was pretty cool though that Lorelei James made one of her heroes short cuz ya know, in real life, not all men are 6’6” – just sayin.

The conflict at the end of the story was a little much for my tastes. Not that there was a boatload of angst but after knowing them as I did by that point it seemed completely out of character for Chase to jump to conclusions without waiting to hear what Ava was thinking. Luckily they worked it out.

Other than that I had one other issue. I know it’s a small thing and maybe others wouldn’t even mind it but the word “smooch” was used a lot in this story. The first time it was cute. When it’s used during a passionate love scene? No. It’s too cutesy and doesn’t invoke the hot and sexy picture that I have in my head of this couple (once they actually got down to having sex, that is).

Overall it was a great story. I loved seeing both Chase and Ava grown substantially in the story and really get to know each other.

Rating: 4 out of 5

It's an Anniversary!

So 53 years ago (yesterday) my parents got married.  I know, 53 years!  That's crazy - and in this day and age - highly unusual!

My mom posted on her blog a little about their life and how they met.  You should go over and read it as your eyes will bug out of your head when you find out how long they waited to get married after they met - and be sure to wish them a happy anniversary.  Link to Judith's blog.  You can also read more about how they met and those turn of events here.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

George and Judith at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration

What I Read Last Week

Happy, happy day!

How are you? I’m very busy at work with Easter and Holy Week coming up (since I work at a church…and all of you who are wondering about church/my potty mouth? What can I say – I’m a one of a kind church lady. lol) and that has us all working out tails off. I’d like to say it keeps me out of trouble but…it doesn’t!

You’ll all be happy to know that we bought a refrigerator!!! Yippee-ky-yay motherfucker! OMG I’m just the happiest woman alive. I can’t wait for it to get here on Wednesday. You’re all wondering what happened with the hubby/Tracy fridge debate, aren’t you? Who won? Neither. We ended up going with neither fridge we looked at prior and bought a Kenmore from Sears that would knock your socks off. It was $1500.00 less than the original price and though that still made it a couple hundred more than what I was looking to spend, we got a nicer and bigger fridge. I’m just happy that the search is over!

Another exciting thing happened this past Friday. I got home from work and both my parents were there and gave me an early birthday present (when I say early I mean 6 weeks early) of a brand new laptop! Holy shit. My other laptop was a hand-me-down from my hubby and it was very slow with very little memory and disk space which was about 9 years old. The new one is a Dell Inspiron and is small, light, has lots of memory and a 500GB hard drive. I love it to pieces and couldn’t thank my parents enough. I have never had a new laptop - I felt so spoiled!

So enough about my life…let’s get on to the books!

I started off the week with As You Are by Ethan Day. This was the story of Julian and his roommate Danny. Julian’s had the hots for Danny for as long as he’s known him. Danny has steered clear of Julian because he doesn’t want to screw up their friendship. Julian’s like: screw with it, please! lol Just when Julian meets a great guy Danny makes a move and he and Julian fall into bed. But things don’t always work out the way you plan them and that is SO true for Julian. This was a wonderful and hilarious story. I loved Julian to death and his sense of humor was killer. He was snarky and sarcastic and a man after my own heart. lol The issue that I had with this story was that even though it was in the first person I really got to see the other side of the secondary characters – Julian’s mom & Julian’s best friend Gwen…but not so with Danny. I ended the story not really knowing who he was and though I could see the physical attraction that Julian had for the man I was a bit in the dark as to what the appeal was. Don’t get me wrong, I still wanted them together I just wanted to know Danny as well as I knew the two female characters. 4 out of 5

Next up was Midnight Remedy by Eve Gaddy. This story followed Piper Stevenson who gave an herbal remedy for dry skin to a friend. The friend ended up making it as a tea for her husband (what????) and ended up curing his impotence. Ok, weird. So, Dr. Eric Chambers heads over to talk to Piper to try and find out what was in the recipe for the dry skin so that he can pass it on to his friend who is doing research on impotence. But Piper isn’t willing to give up the secret – not that she doesn’t want to find a cure but she wants absolutely NO publicity for her and her son due to her past. The story was decent and the love story was very sweet. I did have some issues with it but you’ll have to read my review to find out what they were. lol I’ll let you know when it posts on The Book Binge. 3.75 out of 5

Be My Vampire Tonight by Renee Field was a free Kindle read that I downloaded. This is the first in a series and though we meet the characters from the next 2 books in this book we are really left in the dark as to what’s going on with them. I guess that’s supposed to intrigue you enough to read the next two. Anyway, the story was about a woman who recently inherited a boatload of money and heads to a charity auction with her friends. She ends up bidding on a masked man and later finds out not only is HE a vampire but wow, so is she (well a half-breed). The problem is is that masked man became a vampire by selling his soul to Satan so getting it back may be tricky. It was a good story but didn’t make me want to run out and read more by this author. 3 out of 5

Never Been Bit by Lydia Dare is 3rd in the Regency Vampire trilogy. This story followed characters that we’d met in previous books – Alec who was turned into a vampire and Sorcha the youngest witch of her coven. Sorcha is visiting England from Scotland and is looking to find a Lycan man to fall in love with. Her fellow coven witches did it and she thinks they are hotter than hell so she sets off to snare one. But Alec McQuarrie who is a family friend ruins her plans by kissing her and making her think of nothing but him. Unfortunately what Sorcha eventually thinks of as Alec loving her isn’t that at all. I have to say that Lydia Dare always provides me with an entertaining read. They blend the paranormal with the historical so well and there aren’t many of those that I like besides this authors. I will definitely be reading the next books by them that also have continuing characters (even though it’s a new series). 4 out of 5

One of my Tracy’s TBR Challenge Read for the week (the others were Never Been Bit and As You Are) was Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews was really good, I just wanted it to be longer! It’s a novella about a woman from a planet that has been at war for hundreds of years. She manages to get off planet as a refugee by shielding her mental powers. She begins work as a secretary for a man who’s mind is almost as powerful as hers. She imagines the guy in a million different compromising positions but holds herself back for fear of discovery of what she really is. I loved the story but as I said wanted it to be longer. Though I liked the romance we didn’t get to see much beyond when they finally got together and I wanted to see it all. I know, I’m greedy that way. lol  4 out of 5

Much Ado About Rogues by Kasey Michaels was a highly intriguing mystery/suspense/romance. This is the 3rd book in the Blackthorn Brothers series and it was good. Jack and his former lover Tess set out to find Tess’s father who has gone missing. You can read more in my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Trust in the Lawe by Stacey Joy Netzel was my next read . I read a short story by this author and really liked it so decided to get this book. The premise of the story is that Kendra and her brother Noah are on the run and hiding from her older half-brother (from her dad) who wants to kill them so that he can get all of his father’s money – like 15 million dollars – before Kendra turns 25 and gets control of it all. Kendra heads to Colorado to meet another half-brother (from her mom) who doesn’t even know that she and Noah exist. The ranch manager is skeptical for many reasons about Kendra and if she’s on the up and up. Colton and Kendra are attracted to each other but it takes them a while to act on it. So there’s the romance and then the wondering when the brother, Robert, will show up to kill her and her brother. The story was good and honestly I couldn’t stop turning page after page so the author obviously had a way with words that attracted me but Kendra and Colton really pissed me off. lol I understood the mistrust at first but they couldn’t stop slinging insults at each other and then they’d fall in bed. Ok, it was more complicated than that but it was frustrating to not see any of the good parts of the relationship and only be shown the bad. So there was good and bad. I certainly won’t give up on the author as I think she’s got something I like about her writing. 3 out of 5

Last up for the week was Winning the Wallflower by Eloisa James. This is a novella in the Fairy Tales series #2.5. The story follows Lucy who is tall and plain but engaged so, right on. But then her great aunt leaves her a great deal of money and now she’s an heiress. Her mother wants her to break off her engagement because the man is “beneath” Lucy now. Lucy really doesn’t want to but when she sits and talks to her fiancé, Cyrus, she realizes that she was just the best of bunch of titled women that he had to choose from – he never really SAW her. Well, when it’s brought to Cyrus’s attention he realizes what he’s missed and makes an effort to win Lucy back. This was a very cute story. It was short so I expected the I love you’s to come quickly but they came even quicker than expected. Despite that I thought it was lovely. 3.75 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

This a favorite of mine from Creed called Overcome.  Great song!  And I like the lead singer's last name...yeah, no relation darnit. lol  Enjoy!

Review: Much Ado About Rogues by Kasey Michaels

Who is the darkly handsome Don John “Black Jack” Blackthorn? With his air of mystery and menace, the whispers about him hint of highwayman or government agent or even dark prince. But no one knows what it is Black Jack does… or how dangerous he can truly be. Now Jack’s mentor has disappeared, and Jack must track him down before it’s too late. His unlikely help: the man’s daughter—the very woman Jack had once wooed and betrayed.

Lady Tess Fonteneau knows more about the fine art of clandestine activities—and about the mysterious Mr. Blackthorn—than he realizes. As their journey leads them on the adventure of a lifetime, their reunion is fraught with passion, high-stakes danger and the one twist of fate Jack never saw coming…

When Jack Blackthorn turned 18 his mother called her to her cottage that is situated on his father’s land and told him that he was a bastard. Well, he’d already that out as he looked absolutely nothing like his two brothers – who are also bastards. But Jack knew that even though his brothers, Puck and Beau, were bastards as well he took it to another level. At least his brothers had been born by their father and mother though they weren’t married. Jack was dark to their light and knew from a young age that he was not his father’s son. His mother, the consummate actress, told Jack that he would do much better to leave his home so that his father wouldn’t have to see him every day and know that Jack wasn’t his son.

Jack did go on his way and for years struggled to make ends meet becoming a pickpocket and at one time a highwayman until he met his savior, Sinjon Fonteneau. Sinjon became Jack’s teacher in all things that involved intrigue. Sure Sinjon had his own son and daughter but truly he saw Jack as becoming his predecessor. His predecessor in what you may ask. Well, in thievery. Sinjon loved things. He loved to steal ancient artifacts, hide them a way from his family and then just look at them. He loved things above all else and cared only for his own wants above those of his children, wife or anyone else.

During the time that Jack was with Sinjon he became enamored with Sinjon’s daughter, Tess, and they fell in love, or so they thought. When Tess’s brother is killed her father makes her believe it’s Jack’s fault and sends him away. That was four years ago and now Jack is back. Sinjon has disappeared and since Jack works for the Crown he was sent to bring the thief in. Jack is the perfect man to find him and bring him to justice as everything Jack learned about intrigue he learned from Sinjon. Tess as well was a student of her father’s and together they set out to find her father.

Most of the story is Jack and Tess trying to think like Sinjon who really has a twisted mind. The pair do get to know each other during that time and I loved that. I have to say that as much as I admire Kasey Michaels for the coming up with such a in depth way of thinking the story almost got bogged down as there were so many twists and turns to get through. It’s definitely not a simple book – it really puts your mind to work just trying to keep up.

The part I loved most was Jack and Tess and their reunion. It wasn’t always easy and they bugged the hell out of each other but there was love too. Tess actually said that she might have been in love with Jack before but she really didn’t have a clue who he was so was it really love? The author has Jack and Tess talking (can you imagine!?) and getting to know one another so in the end there were no secrets between them. I adored the communication in this book!

Another part of the story that is separate yet wholly involved during most of the book is that of Jack’s parentage and exactly what that meant to everyone involved: him, Tess, Sinjon, Jack’s brothers, the Marquess who raised Jack, Jack’s real father – just everyone. We finally get the nitty gritty on Jack and his brothers and that true story of their lives. It was pretty surprising in the end and I loved it.

In the end I really liked the series. The brothers were wonderful as were their wives. The stories were interesting and well written. Although I liked the first two books more than the last it would definitely be a series that I recommend.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Review: Blame it on Bath by Caroline Linden

Gerard de Lacey is determined to find the man who tried to blackmail his late father, both to stop the blackmail and to discover—and dispose of—any evidence the villain has about his father’s clandestine first marriage. If that proof is made public, it could prove Gerard and his brothers illegitimate, and strip them of their inheritance. And just in case, Gerard intends to find himself a wealthy bride. One way or another, he’s not going to be left destitute. But he’s not expecting a rich widow to find him and ask him to marry her.

Katherine Howe’s first marriage was one of dreary duty, arranged by her wealthy father to a penniless lord. Now that she’s being pressured to marry her late husband’s heir, she’s desperately in search of a better option. Gerard de Lacey, with his sinful good looks, charming manner, and looming scandal fits her needs perfectly. The fact that she’s nursed a secret affection for him for years only makes it better—and worse. Because Gerard will marry her, for her fortune—but will he love her for herself, as she loves him?

Gerard de Lacey is a 3rd son. He has his military career but really what are his long term prospects? Well, he doesn’t plan on leaving the military any time soon but he really needs to help secure his families future. You see his oldest brother may be knocked out of his seat as the Duke of Durham and then Gerard and his brothers would be very hard up for money. Gerard decides that he needs to marry a wealthy heiress and quickly before the family is ruined and he can’t find a woman.

Surprisingly this happens rather quickly as his first night on the outskirts of London brings a knock on his door. A lady asks for a meeting and he reluctantly accepts. The woman is Katherine Howe, widow, and she has a proposition for Gerard. She would like to marry him in order to avoid having to marry her former husbands nephew who she finds controlling and just…well, yucky. lol She knows that Gerard needs funds and is willing to marry him. Gerard thinks about it and finally accepts but on one condition, that the marriage isn’t one of convenience and that they will most definitely consummate the marriage.

Katherine and Gerard marry immediately, much to the nephews dismay, and immediately high off to Bath. Gerard intends to find the author of the letters that have been sent to blackmail the de Lacey family. While in Bath Katherine finds herself coming out of her shell and Gerard ends up finding a woman who thrills him both in and out of the bedroom.

This is book 2 in the Truth About the Duke series and it was really good. I hadn’t read Linden before I started this series but I’m fast becoming a really big fan. I just love the way she puts a story together and her characters feel so real.

First there’s Katherine – this poor woman has been controlled practically since birth. Her father was a wonderful man and he and Katherine got along great…until her mother stepped in. When Katherine was old enough her mother took over and would no longer allow her to do the fun things she loved doing with her father. It was all about being a proper lady. Only…Katherine’s plain. That’s not a bad thing but her mother is a great beauty and the mother doesn’t let Katherine forget her looks for one moment. She dresses Katherine in dull colors and when she arranges a marriage for her daughter to a much older man she tells Katherine that it’s the best she can ever hope for. Wow. With a mother like that, who needs enemies? Katherine was strong though and survived not only her mother’s control but then her husbands (as well as his abuse) and then her husband’s nephew. Man, I just wanted her to tell everyone to go to hell! But then there’s Gerard. He was nice to her once and she’s been half in love with him ever since. When she sees her opportunity to get the man that she is infatuated with and get out from under the control she goes for it. Yay, Katherine!

Gerard is a really nice guy and I loved his character. He loves his family and would do anything to save them from ruin. He’s fun loving but he really seemed to see the good in people. He encouraged her to break out of the mold that she’d lived in most of her life and because outgoing and wear bright colors and she loved it. His supporting her was so heartwarming. He was, of course, a perfectly oblivious man when it came to Katherine’s feelings. He didn’t see Katherine, or as he called her Kate, as a plain woman. He looked at her and he saw a kind, wonderful person and when she smiled it did him in. I loved that he could see the beauty behind the plainness.

The overall series problem of finding out who’s behind the blackmail and scandal continued. Some information is found but the de Lacey family doesn’t know if it will be enough to help in the end. I love that we get some information but matters aren’t concluded completely. I have to admit I would have liked a bit more inside info by the end of the book but alas I have to wait until book 3. This is a series I would definitely recommend reading.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Review: On Thin Ice by Jessica Lee

Silas Murdock, lion Pride leader of Ariel Estates, is on the trip of a lifetime, big game hunting with his entourage in Alaska. Everything had been perfect right up until a freak storm barreled into the area ruining their plans followed by an assassin’s bullet plummeting them into the frozen tundra.

Enter wolf shifter and former pack physician, Theodor Lucas. Returning from a trip to a nearby village, he witnesses the crash and finds the wreckage along with an unconscious and barely alive Silas. Theo’s ethical sense won’t allow him to walk away, leaving the male to suffer and freeze to death when there’s a chance he could be saved. Despite the personal risk and his vow to never be responsible for another soul, Theo takes the lone survivor back to his cabin to care for his injuries.

Silas Murdock is on a small plane with other members from his pack when all hell breaks loose. The small plane goes down and Silas is the only survivor. Theo Lucas sees the plane go down and though he doesn’t want to get involved he heads to the crash sight. He gets Silas home and nurses him back to health. Theo knows that there’s something going on with Silas and that he’s more than a human when he witnesses Silas’s injuries healing at an alarming rate. Well, not too alarming since Theo is a wolf shifter and he heals quickly as well. But Silas doesn’t have the scent of a  wolf so what could he be? Theo can’t wait to find out. Unfortunately he’ll really have to wait because when Silas wakes up he has no idea who he is or where he’s from.

Silas stays with Theo as he tries to recovers his memories and while he’s there the two men can’t deny their attraction to each other. Not only do they begin sexual relationship but something deeper and more meaningful to both of them. Unfortunately there are people out there that want Silas dead and will stop at nothing to complete their mission.

Anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while knows that I’m a sucker for the amnesia trope. Having that in this book and a good part of it being a cabin romance really made this a really good story for me.

I loved that the two men had the time at Silas’s cabin together before reality reared it’s ugly head. I think that with Silas having lost his memory it made him a fresher character as he had no bad habits to fall back on. We didn’t get to see anything of Silas prior to the accident (or very little) and really couldn’t get a taste for who he was but it did mention that he was bisexual and relationships weren’t for him. With Theo he could be whoever he wanted with no preconceived notions of how the relationship should go.

Reality did intrude though with assassins coming to do Silas in. Silas does get his memory back and though he knows that he doesn’t want to leave Theo he must go back to his Pride to find out who’s behind the murder plot. This part was interesting as we got to see Silas back on his home field but we still didn’t get to find out exactly who the real Silas was. I have to admit to being a bit frustrated as I wanted more! lol I know it’s a novella but I’m greedy that way. :)

The HEA in this one is very different than I expected but I really liked it. It was far more realistic than anything I expected and I was extremely happy the author decided to go that way.

Overall a really good book that I very much enjoyed reading.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

What I Read Last Week

Good Morning!

Did you all have a nice weekend? I know for me the time change made yesterday the shortest day ever! I have no idea where the time went!

So…the refrigerator? Not purchased yet. Can you believe it? I finally decided which fridge to get and my hubby is now not sure that’s the one he wants. Wait, you said choose between these two and you’d be happy either way. What happened to that? lol He now wants the opposite fridge from the one I picked. Why? Because the one he wants has a bottom freezer bar that lifts when you pull it. I shit you not that's why he wants the fridge. I said, “Um, hon, you know on the other one where the bar doesn’t lift? That one doesn’t lift and the freezer still opens!  It's amazing! And we save $800.00!” (Granted it’s a larger fridge so you pay for that too be STILL!) So, we’re at an impasse and hopefully we’ll figure it out this week. *sigh*

I’ve been thinking about getting pictures of the girls for a while and finally went and did it. I realized that the only pictures I’d gotten of them for years (other than the ones I take which are crap) are their school pictures. I needed some with them together and boy am I glad I did. These turned out better than expected and I’m so happy. I have a ton of other poses but these are definitely my favorites. I have to say, they clean up well, don't they?

So what did I read this week?

I started the week with Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves. This one I read for The Book Binge so will let you know when my review posts. The book is about a multi-millionaire and his female bodyguard. She’s rough and tumble and not girly at all. He goes for the sexy blondes with huge…attributes. They end up having anger sex and she ends up pregnant. The story is about both of them coming to terms with being parents and eventually realizing that they love the other. I had a few issues with this one but overall all a pretty good story. 3.5 out of 5

Next was Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler. Also read for The Book Binge. The story followed a pack of Dire wolves – the last of their kind - and the head of their pack who meets a human and realizes she his mate. She ends up being half dire wolf as she is actually the daughter of one of the pack. The pack also fights for humanity against evil witches. This one I had a ton of issues with. I liked the premise and what the story was trying to achieve but the story itself didn’t work for me. 2 out of 5

On Thin Ice by Jessica Lee was my next read. I’ll be reviewing this one this week so keep your eyes peeled. :)

Blame it on Bath by Caroline Linden is another I’ll be reviewing this week so watch for that one as well.

Defying the Odds by Kele Moon was next. I read a few reviews of this book a while back so decided to try it out. The story is about Melody who has divorced her abusive husband and is now trying to make a life for herself in a new town. She’s a waitress and buys Clay a piece of pie on Thanksgiving. That pie leads to the two falling in love but the story of how it happens is really great. Now some folks had an issue with the fact that she came from an abusive relationship but had no problem with the fact that Clay was a UFC and he was a big muscular man. I personally didn’t have a problem with this at all. Her husband had not been a muscular man and had come off as charming when he was really a snake. Clay was huge and not too talkative (at first) but he had a heart of gold. It just showed us that it really doesn’t matter what’s on the outside – it the good or evil that’s inside. I did have a problem with the hick speak.  It tended to get old especially with the multitude of "ain't's" that were being thrown around. Good book. 4 out of 5

Last for the week was my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week: Concubine by Jill Knowles. This is the story of Korai, a country at war with Zandria, a neighboring country. One of the princes of Korai, Kael, doesn’t understand the reasons his father the king let the original dispute get to the point of war – especially since Korai ended up with a lot of casualties. Kael’s father meets with the king of Zandria and gives certain things to Zandria as a type of penance and shocks Kael to death when he gives HIM to the Warlord of Zandria…who is a man! gasp! Oh, and half demon. Kael is rightly pissed but soon realizes that he’s not all that opposed to sex with Taren, the warlord. The story is about Kael and Taren’s relationship but also Kael coming to terms with who he is now that he’s a concubine and the love/hate that he feels for his father for putting him in that position and knowing he can never return to his country. There’s also a subplot of suspense of someone trying to kill Kael. I enjoyed this book so much. This was BDSM lite set in a fantasy world and almost everything about it just worked for me. The emotion, the eroticism…man! It was really good and one I would definitely recommend. 4.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

A while back...ok, a long damned time ago, my brother made me a CD with a mix of rock songs on it strangely names: Rock Mix.  I know, he's brilliant, isn't he?  Anyway, this song, Do You Call My Name by Ra was on there.  I'd never heard of them before and really liked the song.  I happened to come across the CD this week and have been listening to it regularly - there's just damned good stuff on it.  Anyway, enjoy!

Review: Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton

The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she's stuck running the family's sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson.

Jenna Riley is the youngest daughter of the Riley clan and current in charge of the family’s sports bar. Her brothers Gavin and Mick are professional ball players and she’s kinda done with sports. She’s lived it and breathed it almost all of her life and she’s ready for something different. That includes men. She says she doesn’t want anyone who is in the sporting industry but when Ty Anderson, professional hockey player, shows up on the scene her libido sits up and takes notice.

Ty’s “type” of woman can be described as: nothing like Jenna. Yet, he finds himself completely attracted to her and ready to act on that. But Jenna will have nothing to do with him. He doesn’t give up though and pretty soon he gets her to come around. Well, that and Jenna decides that there’s no reason she can’t have some great sex with a hot guy while she’s looking for that non-sports related man.

Jenna and Ty become closer and Ty starts to pull some information out of Jenna that she’s shared with no one. She plays the guitar, she has the voice of an angel and she writes her own music. So why isn’t she doing something with this fantastic talent? According to Jenna that’s just not in the cards – what IS in the cards is her taking care of her family business until she croaks. Ty wants her to understand that there’s a way to live her dreams and still be loved and cherished by her family – which she’s definitely afraid of. But Jenna is a stubborn cuss and though she allows herself to dream a bit about how she could make it work she adamantly refuses to take any steps to make it happen. With the couple falling in love how can Ty push her when he knows that’s not what she wants? Jenna doesn’t like to be pushed and decides that maybe Ty’s not the guy for her after all.

Book three of the Play by Play series is a good one. I’m really enjoying this series thoroughly. I think it’s the fact that they are sports related books but the sports themselves aren’t shoved down my throat. You know what I mean? Not a ton of technical stuff – just the fun of it.

Jenna in this book is one stubborn woman, lemme tell ya. But Ty is just as stubborn and when these two go head to head the sparks fly. Burton gave them the kind of chemistry that is off the charts hot and sexy. I loved seeing Ty’s persistence when it came to getting what he wanted. Why do the characters always think that it’s just for sex? lol When you work that hard to get a woman – or a man – you’re gonna keep them around for more than some bed play. These two were fantastic both in and out of bed.

Now saying that I did get a bit tired of Jenna denying herself a life. I understood her hesitancy, I did, she just wouldn’t let herself be swayed away from her one track mind. I guess since there’s not a ton of angst in the book that was where it came from but I did want to give her a swift kick in the ass a time or two. lol

Burton has written a fun, sexy, satisfying love story that had me turning pages. I honestly can’t wait for the next book to arrive. Is it September yet? No? Darn. If you haven’t started this series yet I suggest you do. It’s not to be missed.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus

Fear has a scent. So does desire…

Ana Cordona has been a strong leader for the lupine shifters who survived after all the males and most of the females in her pack were mysteriously poisoned. As tough as she is, with no Alpha male, the pack is vulnerable to the devious shifter Taggart, who wants to claim both their ranch and Ana as his own. When Connor Armstrong comes back into her life, promising protection, it’s almost enough to make Ana forget how he walked out on her before—and reluctantly accept his offer to mate.

The minute Connor sees Ana again, it reawakens a raw hunger. He must have her for his bondmate—his wolf cries out for it. But his human side knows he must proceed with caution because of their complicated past. If he is to truly have her body and soul, he must go beyond his burning desire and win back her heart. Whatever it takes, he is determined not to leave her side again.

But Taggart and his rival pack are not their only enemies. A human element in town is targeting shifters. Their plan not only threatens Ana and Connor’s future, but the lives of the entire pack…

Ana, her sisters and cousins are trying to run their pack of lupine shifters but recent events are making them think that they might need to bring in a male alpha…but who to get. That decision is made a moot point when Connor Armstrong comes into town. He offers to become alpha if Ana will be his mate. Ana’s not sure about Connor. He was a loner when he visited their pack years before and Ana had fallen in love with him. He up and left one day without even a goodbye and now Ana’s not sure she can trust him to not do that again.

Connor left Ana’s pack for a darned good reason but one he doesn’t exactly want to share with her. He’s worried about her and the Cordona pack, however, because all of the males and pregnant females have all died. He wants to protect Ana from any harm but he also wants to show her the love he felt way back when that has never died.

There are several obstacles in the way of the Cordona-Armstrong pack and Connor and Ana aren’t sure they’ll be alive long enough to explore their relationship further.

This is the first book in the moon shifter series and I think the series gonna be a good one. This book not only gives us Ana and Connor’s romance but also Connor’s brother who seems to be falling in love with a human.

The romance between Connor and Ana started years before when Ana was young and Connor was a lone wolf with not many prospects. He wanted nothing more than to be with her but forces were against them being together. Now that he is free to be with Ana he wants nothing more than for her to mate with him – and become his bondmate. Ana is hesitant to further her relationship with Connor but knows that she needs the protection of a male alpha. The next nearest pack is run by a no good loser who wants to take over Ana’s pack and mate with Ana. Eww. He’s just nasty and mean and she wants nothing to do with him. She really never stopped loving Connor but she’s afraid he’ll run off again. I don’t blame her for being cautious!

Then there’s Connor’s brother, Liam, who realizes that a human in town is his mate. Yikes! He wants to date her and get to know her but she has a background with shifters that aren’t good and on top of that she’s the sheriff’s sister. I’m hoping this relationship is explored further in the next book.

Overall I really liked the book. It was fast paced and I easily got into the book and stayed in until the last. There were multiple story lines but they all led back to the Cordona pack and though not everything was tied up before the end of the book it was conclusive enough that I didn’t feel like I was left hanging. Just a good paranormal read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Cool Reading/Book Stuff (and a discount code)

Let’s admit it, we love book/reading paraphernalia, right? I know I do and there’s a place now that helps us get our fix as well as help libraries around the world. That place is Gone Reading, Intl. GR gives 100% of its after tax profits to libraries and reading-centered non-profits. Very cool. (You can read more about them here.)

They have some great products such as t-shirts for both men and women, book club gifts and even games having to do with books.

Here are a few of my favorites:

I'd like that to be me reading by the beach!

For those of us who keep track of our books...or just want a cool journal. (And it's purple -woohoo!)

Definitely paradise.

Right now you can shop at Gone Reading and get a discount on products through me!

Yep, through March 22nd you can shop at GR and during checkout type in TRACYS25 as your discount code. You’ll get a 25% discount on all their products (except bookends). Again, very cool.

After you head on over come back and  tell me what you got...I'm nosy that way. :)

Review: Tempted by Her Innocent Kiss by Maya Banks

No Man’s Bargaining Chip

Devon Carter was her first; now newly wed Ashley wants their passion to last. But her dreams of true love are crushed by the discovery that their marriage is another of Daddy’s business deals. Her strategy: act the part of perfect wife and make Devon love her.

But Devon misses the bubbly, no-holds barred woman his wife used to be. Who is this Ashley with the steely demeanor of a society wife? And will he find a way to rekindle the fire in her eyes…especially now that she’s pregnant?

Devon is courting Ashley but only because he has to. He wants the funding for his new resort and has made a deal with Ashley’s father. Devon marries Ashley, he gets the funding he so desperately seeks – oh, but Devon’s not allowed to tell Ashley anything. Devon figures that she’s really a beautiful woman and he really doesn’t mind all that much that he has to marry – they’re compatible and have great sex – what more could you ask for in a marriage. Well, duh!

Ashley is so in love with Devon. She’s just head over heels for the man and when he proposes she’s pretty sure her life is a total fairytale and now complete. She marries Devon and is happier then she’d ever thought she’d be…until she finds out the truth. That the man she loves is not in love with her at all and it was all a set up for a business deal. Ashley is devastated but even in her sorrow is willing to hold out hope that Devon will love her if she becomes the person he wants her to be. Apparently she is too emotional, blurts out things when they come to mind, is just too impulsive. Ashley tries her best to become the person that Devon wants but in the process makes herself miserable. When Ashley becomes pregnant she knows that some things need to change.

Where to start with this review? When the book started I was a bit disgusted with Devon. He was so nonchalant about playing with Ashley’s feelings. Yes, he did want to tell her up front what was happening but it didn’t make up for the he was manipulating the situation. Now I honestly believed that he enjoyed her company – even though he thought she was too impulsive but it just really didn’t make up for everything that was going on behind the scenes.

Ashley I thought was oblivious. She wasn’t unintelligent, just kind of in her own fairytale world that made Devon her very own Prince Charming. To be fair to Ashley Devon really gave her no indication that everything was false so maybe I would have acted the same in a similar situation. When she found out about the ruse my heart broke for her. To see her dreams crashing down upon her was horrible but the fact that I felt so strongly about her feelings really told me that the author had done a good job writing it all as I was completely invested.

Skip to weeks later and Ashley has turned into a force to be reckoned with. She didn’t become some kick-ass heroine – she just went back to being the vibrant woman she had been before – without worrying what others would think. She gave Devon a piece of her mind and boy was it good! lol I very much admired her strength in the situation.

As with all Harlequin romances we know that there was an HEA and Devon groveled. Did he grovel enough for me? Meh. lol I guess so. lol Can there ever be enough groveling? His friend Rafe said it perfectly when he was giving Dev advice about how to get Ashley back:

…”And then get on your knees and grovel. Trust me. The first time on your knees sucks, but if she takes you back, you’ll spend the rest of your life on them anyway so better get used to it.”

Loved that! :)

The story was sweet and interesting and sexy and I very much recommend this one. I've not read the first two but I just might look those up.  I'm thinking the next book is about Devon's friend Cam and if so then I'm all in.  That's one book I'd love to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5