What I Read Last Week

I can't believe how fast last week went. I guess when I'm off work I expect the days to go by slowly and they never do!

I told you all about my Christmas in my post last Thursday but then I had more excitement this past weekend. First on Saturday I met up with the So Cal Bloggers in Rancho Cucamonga and we had a great time eating, talking and swapping books (which apparently, according to the security guard in the parking log, is considered loitering. Yeah, whatever). Anyway, it was a fun time with Rowena, Holly, Rosie, Lori, Renee, Judith and newcomer, Lynda from A Fish With Sticks. I'm sad that we didn't get a group picture this time but oh well.

Then yesterday it was my "baby's" 15th birthday. She was in rare form yesterday and touchy as all hell - but we had a good day going to lunch, doing some shopping and then dancing our asses off to Just Dance 4. I'm a total dork when it comes to that and can only do the 1st level stuff but the kids like to point and laugh. :) Here's my child at the mall when we went out for frozen yogurt. Kris called it perfectly when I posted this pic on twitter - adorably grumpy. She wouldn't even smile at the camera because she thinks she looks horrible when she smiles - not true! Yep, that's my oldest!


Anyway, it was another good week. I'm still off work - yay! - and won't go back til Wednesday. Life is good. :)

My first book of last week was Dragon Lovers byJo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. This one sat on my shelf for a long while and I'm not sure why - I always say that, don't I? Anyway, I love dragons so this was a really great book for me. The four stories were different enough that I liked all of them. There was a pure fantasy, a medieval, a historical set in Japan and a contemporary and they all had good stories. If you like dragons this is a must. 4 out of 5

Next up was Chance of a Lifetime by Jodi Thomas and omg was it good. I love her Harmony series!! The stories included the quiet librarian and her best friend from high school and a lawyer in town who's trying to find the person who's trying to kill him along with his hot protector. I love the way Thomas weaves a story together and this one was no different. Great book. 4.5 out of 5

My next read was The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne by Jayne Fresina. The story is about a man who is looking for the man who supposedly stole his families diamonds and finds a family enemy instead. The heroine is actually the "guy" who as the diamonds but he won them in a gambling match. The pair end up together while one looks for his diamonds and the other tries to figure out how to tell him that she's the culprit. It was a fun read but it had a ton of different tropes involved that made it seem a bit on the ridiculous side. It was still good though. I'm just kind of wondering what the author will use in her next book since she used so many tropes in this one. 3.5 out of 5

The Impetuous Amazon by Sandy James is the 2nd book in the Alliance of the Amazons series and it was another good one. This is Megan's book and she is Fire. She has a bit of a problem controlling both her fire and her desire to kick demon ass in the middle of a public place. Johann is sent to try to help her but the couple has been in love for years - unbeknownst to the other - and their attraction hits nuclear levels. The problem is that Sentinels and Amazon's are forbidden to be together and that poses a huge problem. This was another great installment in the series. I really liked Johann a lot. I'll be posting my review next week of this book. 4 out of 5

A Marquess for Christmas by Vivienne Westlake was my next read. This is a Christmas historical and it was a good one. I'll post my review of it this week.

Last for the week was a couple of short stories by JL Merrow. I love her work and these were no different. The first was A Ghoul Like You that had a young man picking up guys in a bar that he thought were vampires and then killing them. Unfortunately he meets Niall and tries to kill him but he's a ghoul. The story is a bit odd but pretty darned good. Only about 19 pages so a quick read. 3.5 out of 5 
Then there was Tortoise Interruptus which had a man who sometimes turns into a tortoise being kidnapped and finding love. It was so cute and unexpected and I love Merrow's sense of humor - just a great story. 4 out of 5



My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

My daughter was searching for a particular Glee song this past week and I saw this on the playlist.  I just loved this one when they aired it. I can't remember if I posted this one once already but even if I have it's worth posting again. :)  Here's When I Get You Alone - Enjoy!


What I Read Last Week

I know I'm completely out of sync this week – for understandable reasons – but I couldn't go an entire week without doing this post!

I hope you all had a great Christmas. Mine was really nice. On Sunday we went up to my hubby's parents house and had a Christmas celebration with his parents, one of his 2 brothers and his family. We had a great dinner and then went to see a kind of light show at a local zoo and it was darned cool. Then we went to services on Christmas Eve and they were really great. Christmas morning the kids actually slept in til 9am!!! That just rocked as far as I was concerned since they're normally up at like 5:30am. Lol Later that day my parents and then my brother and niece came over and we had a nice dinner then opened gifts. It was just a really fun day and since it was the last with my parents for a while it was especially nice.

Ok, so on to what I read last week:


I started off the week with Timber Creek by Veronica Wolff. This is book 2 in the Sierra Falls series and though I liked the first one this one just wasn't as good for me. The heroine of the book rubbed me the wrong way and though I loved the hero he just couldn't make up for the heroine's shortcomings. You can read my full review here at The Book Binge. 2.5 out of 5

Next was The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley. This is another book in the Highland Pleasures series and gives us Elliot McBride and the woman he's been in love with for years, Juliana St. John. They get married in a strange turn of events and then to Elliot's remote home in the Highlands. Elliot had been held captive by a tribe in India and has severe lapses in his state of consciousness and sometimes he gets violent. Juliana soothes him but he still doubts he can lead a normal life. Again, while I really liked Elliot in this book I just didn't connect with Juliana as much. Parts of the story were so very sweet but I just had some issues with the book as a whole. You can read my full review here at The Book Binge. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was Asher's Dilemma by Colleen Kwan. The story is about a man who goes back in time by 8 months to save the woman he loves from disappearing forever. The book is good in an untraditional way. The heroine finds herself in love with both the current Asher as well as the future Asher and it does make things interesting. You can read my full review tomorrow on The Book Binge. 3 out of 5

Last for the week was The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare was wonderful! This novella is about Eliza who is thought to be a bit too wild and too impetuous to be “out” until her 3 older sisters are out and married as Eliza's father doesn't want Eliza to cause a scandal and ruin it for all of them. The poor girl keeps running into Mr Harry Wright and he's a piece of work – one that she tells herself that she wants nothing to do with. Of course after years of running into him she can't help but fall in love with the scoundrel. This was another oh so terrific story that Tessa has written. She had such a way of telling a story that has me rooting for both the hero and the heroine from minute one. This is a must read. 5 out of 5


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


Happy Reading!

Review: The Lady Most Willing...A Novel in Three Parts by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James & Connie Brockway

During their annual Christmas pilgrimage to Scotland to visit their aged uncle in his decrepit castle, the Comte de Rocheforte and his cousin, Earl of Oakley, are presented with unique gifts: their uncle has raided an English lord's Christmas party and kidnapped four lovely would-be brides for his heirs to choose from ...as well as one very angry duke, Lord Bretton. As snow isolates the castle, and as hours grow into days, the most honourable intentions give away to temptations as surprising as they are irresistible.

Taran Ferguson has no heirs and is determined to get his two nephews wed. Yes, one is part English and one is part French but they’re still blood so he’s going to do his damndest to make sure that their blood continues on. To that end, one winter night, he gets mightily drunk and he and his men invade a neighbors ball and kidnap 4 women. One is a sister of the one he really wanted and the other was just a mistake by his men. Oh, and when the carriage arrives there’s a Duke inside. Now the women and the Duke are all stuck at Taran’s crumbling castle while they wait out a snow storm and rescue.

The first part of the book shows us Catriona Burns. She is a squire’s daughter and figures she’ll marry a squire herself. She is the one that Taran’s men took accidentally so Taran’s not real worried about her comfort. She’s a local girl and has no wealth or title for his nephews. That doesn’t stop the Duke of Bretton from noticing her and liking what he sees. He is not only taken with her looks but also her sense of humor and her forthrightness. Though he knows that he should marry a title himself one day, as he’s not looking for marriage, he can’t seem to keep away from Catriona.

This was just so adorable. I loved the duke and his inability to stay away from Catriona. Catriona herself was just a wonderful character. Her blunt talk was refreshing and the romance between the two was quick, as it is in all the stories, but well done.

The second part of the book has us following Fiona who is the older sister of Marilla. Marilla is a piece of work. She has a huge dowry and will come into even more money when her father passes. She’s arrogant, full of herself and her “charms” and practically throws herself at each man in turn. Fiona tries to keep Marilla a bit tamed but it just doesn’t work. Fiona kind of fades into the woodwork but Taran’s nephew Byron, the Earl of Oakley sees something more than just her spectacles. The problem is that he was brought up with his father spouting propriety and he follows his father’s views. So when he falls for Fiona what happens when he finds out that she’s famous in almost all of Scotland for her horrible reputation?

I can’t imagine how Fiona must have felt growing up with a sister like Marilla and fading from view when it came to her father and most everyone else. The story of Fiona’s supposed ruination tragic in the fact that no one believed her – not her father or her sister. With Byron so stuck on propriety I loved seeing him realize that it means nothing when it comes to love. Their romance was sweet and quite sexy in the end.

The last portion of the book was the love story of Lady Cecily, an earl’s daughter, and Taran’s other nephew, Robin, a French comte. From the moment they saw each other they were smitten. Cecily wants nothing more than to be in Robin’s arms but Robin’s having an issue with his self worth and is fighting his love for Cecily on every level. Cecily tries everything she knows but he still won’t admit his feelings and Cecily learned that you sit and wait for the man to make the move. Cecily finally realizes that if the future she wants is one with Robin then she’s going to have to take matters into her own hands.

Cecily and Robin were two shy people who just couldn’t state their feelings. Cecily wanted to but Robin was just not playing along. Robin was a comte but it was more of a courtesy title and he had no money or home to offer Cecily. Though he knew he loved her he kind of went a little far. That being said Cecily made up for Robin’s shortcomings in this story and it was well worth the read.

This was such a lovely read. Once I started it I couldn’t put it down and was sad when I finished the last page of the book. The way the stories are woven together with the characters and love stories was quite well done and though I knew that each story was written by a different author they flowed pretty seamlessly together.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Julia Quinn 
Eloisa James
Connie Brockway

Merry Christmas!

From my home to yours I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas!


Saturday Song

Here's a great big band version of Sleigh Ride by Steve Wingfield - love it!  Enjoy!

Mini Review: Lord Stillwell's Excellent Engagements by Victoria Alexander

ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN…

Some say I do not take my engagements seriously. Nonsense. What man with no interest in marriage would find himself proposing not once, but three times? And each time, I’ve felt certain that this, at last, is the absolutely, positively, perfect woman.

Miss Felicia Whitingdon, for instance, has youth, beauty, style, grace—and a handsome fortune. Lady Lucille Eustice is a widow of impeccable social standing, and a balm to my soul. Then there is Miss Caroline Hibbit, sweet and charming in every way. Any one of these intoxicating treasures could make a man happy. Any one of them could be an ideal wife. But which—if any of them—will it be? 

Lord Stillwell is excited to be engaged. His parents thank that he might be too young at 25 but he's certain that Felicia is the one....only she's not. 

A few years later Win is excited once again because he's chosen a fiance this time who is utterly sensible and beautiful as well. Unfortunately, he once again finds that Lucille isn't the one for him either. 

Caroline is the one. Yes, he's now 30 years old and has a good head on his shoulders. He's found a great girl and he's anxious for the wedding. *sigh* Yeah, that one isn't going to happen either. 

All of these women were great and at the time of the engagements Win is certain that this one is the one...kind of. In this novella we read about a nice, honorable man who wants to get married and is consistently thwarted. I liked how we got to see Win grow through the years and what he looked for in a wife change as well. I felt for him each time the engagements didn't work out but we could see, as readers, that it just wasn't meant to be. 

I can't wait to read the novel that has Win finally finding his HEA (comes out in February). I think it will be a great read – just as this was a novella not to be missed. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 

Guest Review: Guess What Washed Up On My Shores . . . “The Laird's Choice” by Amanda Scott

Please welcome my mama to Tracy's Place.  Some of you know her as Judith, some as Dr. J, some as a guest reviewer on Book Binge and some not at all.  I just know her as Ma.  However you know her, or don't, just know she writes great reviews and will be hopefully be writing a few more for my blog in the future.  

Duty Bound . . . Lady Andrena MacFarlan has been different since the day she was born. Possessing the power to sense others' most intimate desires, she knows her duty is to marry the man who will take the MacFarlan name as his own and help her father regain the chiefdom of their clan. But her unique gifts don't prepare her for the day when a mighty warrior suddenly enters her life. The attraction between them is undeniable -- and insatiable.

Desire Unleashed . . . Hunted by brutal enemies, the wounded Magnus Galbraith washes up on MacFarlan land where he is rescued by a laird's lovely daughter. Andrena is like no one Magnus has ever known. She has the uncanny ability to both calm and enflame him in ways he never dreamed possible. But she has other unknown-and dangerous-powers. Now, as Magnus seeks to avenge a brother and protect a king, the young beauty could prove his greatest ally-or his ultimate undoing.

Historical novels aren't for everyone.  There are lots of different kinds of history-based novels that are far less intense than those written by Amanda Scott but I, for one, happen to like the heavy nature of her writing.  She is an author that does lots and lots of research and leaves no doubt in the minds of readers that she knows this time period backward and forward.  That being said, this particular novel is set in a time when  Scotland was being torn asunder by political and clan rivalries, when the reign of Scotland's king was on the brink of coming to an end, when the characters in this story were caught in a clan and family battle for power and position within the Clan Farlan (as it was then called).    The Lady Andrena's father, the rightful Laird, was hopeful that with the marriage of his oldest daughter he could secure the kinship and loyalty of a strong son-in-law, hopefully a warrior, and one who would not feel threatened by taking the Clan Farlan's family name as his own. 

Thus the stage is set for the romance of Andrena and Magnus, two very strong people who had learned to survive under very difficult circumstances.  Magnus had been taken as a prisoner of war during a clan conflict that had caused his brother's death—a death for which his father blamed him and had essentially disowned him.   For two years he survived as a galley slave until  he found opportunity to escape during a timely storm.  He was literally “washed” into Andrena's life and when she brought him home—wet, bedraggled, and seeking sanctuary from those who would again imprison him, the clan laird saw his future son-in-law standing before him.  Curiously, Andrena predicted that such would be her father's response to Magnus' appearance in their keep.  And so their relationship begins. 

This is a very involved historical novel and I have to say that if the reader is one who likes a little history mixed in with their romance, this is probably not the novel for you.  This story reeks of history and there were times I felt that the historical content overwhelmed the romance.  Yet thinking back on that reading experience, it was the history that made their relationship possible and which constantly shaped the experiences in which their relationship grew and matured.  Certainly the marriage was consummated.  Arranged marriages and especially those of political necessity never depended on love or romance.  Yet Magnus was a man of his time in many respects and yet he was one who was attracted to Andrena, recognized that there were facets of her personality that were, to say the least, mysterious.   Her willingness to fit in with her father's plans, to see the rightness of what needed to happen and to accept Magnus' presence in her life as husband testify to the way she was raised and to the fact that her father had treated her as a person of worth, not just a female handy for breeding. 

It is a credit to this author that she found a way to feature the relationship between these two very different people in the midst of a historical context that was so convoluted and mired with war and conflict.  The characters in the story are both real and fictional, but all are merged together in a literary tapestry that is seamless so that the reader, especially one not really knowledgeable of this era, cannot distinguish one from the other.  It is a novel that testifies to the fact that even arranged marriages were successful, whether deeply loving or just grandly respectful  didn't matter.  In Andrena and Magnus' case, what began as political reality and burgeoning respect, gradually grew into a passionate love affair that gave both these people an opportunity to be loved and cherished beyond their expectations.

I want to comment also, that I don't think the publisher's blurb is quite as accurate as I would like.  This romance didn't begin, to my way of thinking, with that electric spark or thunderous awareness of deep potential passion.  I think it started with a quiet attraction, a set of possibilities that gave Magnus a new start and Andrena the possible home and hearth she craved, but it was a marriage/romance that grew quietly and steadily into a grand passion for them both.  Now don't get me wrong.  They certainly found ways to light up the sheets almost from the beginning.  But perhaps this story is more about how their arranged union grew from political necessity and physical consummation into a bond that made their marriage a true and loving one.

Ms Scott is a prolific writer and she just keeps on gracing her readers with some beautifully written stories.  I, for one, am deeply grateful.  We all know there are lots of romance fiction writers and there are lots of levels of expertise and ability “out there.”  It is a grand thing to encounter novels that not only tell and really good story but which educate the mind and memory as well as entertain the soul.  This is one of those books.  

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5

Amanda Scott 
 

If you'd like to read more of Judith's reviews you can check out her blog Dr. J's Book Place

TBR Challenge Review: Highland Moonlight by Teresa J. Reasor

The TBR Challenge theme for this month was Holiday Reads. Well, this wasn't a Christmas read but there was a scene during Christmastide...does that count? lol 

Seduced and shamed by Alexander Campbell, the warrior to whom she is betrothed, Lady Mary Mac Lachlan flees to the Campbell stronghold of Castle Lorne and demands sanctuary from Alexander's father.

Though Alexander seduced Mary for her own protection and his men's, his actions have greater repercussions than expected. His betrayal destroys Mary's trust and his belief in himself as a man of honor. Determined to heal the breach, and claim Mary—who now carries his heir—as his wife, he follows her to Lorne and finds himself brought before a council of arbitration on charges of rape.

When Collin Mac Lachlan, Mary's father tries to coerce her into testifying against Alexander, Mary refuses. But when violence threatens to break out between their clans, Mary is forced to wed him to fulfill their betrothal agreement and save him from the executioner.


Amid the hostilities between their clans and the wounds inflicted on her heart, can Mary find the love and happiness she's always craved or will she discover she's been chasing a dream as illusive as Highland Moonlight? 


Alexander Campbell and Mary McLachlan have been engaged for 3 years but have finally met. They hit it off and plan on marrying, but when Alexander hears that Mary's father is planning on sending in a rival clan Laird to seduce and ruin Mary so that he can marry her instead, Alexander makes his move first. 

When our book opens Mary is living in a cave so that she doesn't have to deal with either her bastard father or the man who seduced and shamed her all in the same night. She is pregnant with Alexander's baby but that won't stop her from seeking sanctuary from Alexander's father. But Mary's father isn't going to give his daughter – aka his pawn up so easily. He thinks he can get rid of Alexander and then have Mary to do with as he pleases. He doesn't plan on Mary hating him so much that she chooses Alexander over her father. 

Alexander and Mary end up getting married but the road ahead of them isn't smooth. Mary's from a rival clan and the women of Alexander's clan look at her with suspicion as well as the fact that she was pregnant before getting married. Of course Mary's father doesn't give up on getting her back and I won't even start with Alexander's old lover. Lots of obstacles but love conquers all. 

I read a review of this one a while back and was intrigued enough to buy it. The story, in general, is about trust and fear. Mary definitely has feelings for Alexander but she's afraid of trusting him again. She thought that he truly had feelings for her when he seduced her originally, only to be walked in on and have him tell everyone that he did it on purpose. Alexander really does care for Mary and knows that he messed up but he didn't want to lose her. He doesn't actually tell Mary what her father had planned because he wants to take responsibility but he gets a little frustrated with the woman. 

I thoroughly understood Mary's trust issues. I think I would have been fearful as well. I did feel that she took it a little to the limit but that's just me, I think. Now Mary was a sensible girl but when she was confronted with Alexander's previous lover she really lost her senses. She did some pretty stupid stuff – especially near the end and I just wanted to throttle her. It all worked out though. 

Alexander, for all his blustering, really was a great guy. He loved his clan and his home and yes, Mary. He acted the ass but had good intentions. Yeah, I know, the road to hell and all that – but it worked in this book. I was quite happy when the couple finally found their footing and eventually their HEA.
 
The story, imho, was a little slow going but pretty realistic in its harshness. The author didn't beat around the bush or make things seem like they were easier than they actually were. This was medieval times and life was not easy. We got a good taste of that in this book and I liked almost every minute of it. 

If you like reading good, solid medieval romances then this one would be a good one not to miss. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 

Review: Deck the Halls With Love: A Lost Lords of Pembrook Novella by Lorraine Heath

In her dazzling first Season, Lady Meredith Hargreaves gave her heart to Alistair Wakefield, the Marquess of Chetwyn, only to have it shattered when he proposed to another. And now that he's free to pursue her? It matters little, because she's on her way to the altar, heartbreak be damned.

Chetwyn once set aside his dreams in favor of duty and honor. But as Christmas approaches, he is determined to put his own desires first and lure Lady Meredith back into his arms, where she's always belonged.

First he steals a dance; then he steals a kiss. But when they find themselves alone in an abandoned castle during a snowstorm, reignited passion consumes them both. And Chetwyn will have one last chance to steal back Meredith's heart, once and for all
.

After his brother’s death Chetwyn was in despair. Even after his mourning period had ended he was only living a half life. Going to balls seemed ridiculous but he went anyway, knowing he couldn’t hole up in his home forever. The first night he is out he meets the woman of his dreams, Lady Meredith Hargreaves. He begins courting her with a fervor and Meredith is as taken with Chetwyn as he is with her.

Then Chetwyn gets a letter from his dead brother that asks him to make sure that his fiancé is happy. Chetwyn takes that to mean that he needs to marry Anne and breaks it off with Meredith.

Now Meredith is betrothed to someone else, Anne has married someone other than Chetwyn, and Chetwyn is miserable. He wants Meredith back but he’s not sure he can convince her of his feelings before she gets married.

Chetwyn is an honorable guy. I have to say that how he went about things wasn’t the smartest but he was doing what he thought was right. Securing Anne’s happiness for his deceased brother didn’t necessarily mean marrying her but Chetwyn didn’t know how else to go about it. He did truly love Meredith and was devastated at the thought of losing her.

Meredith thinks that her marriage to Lord Litton will be fine. Maybe not the passionate love that she always dreamed about but since her father and brothers caught her in the garden sharing a kiss with him she didn’t have a choice. *sigh* I truly hate the fact that women back then had to marry over a kiss. I mean if the couple was found in a incredibly compromising position – with maybe body parts being exposed – then I could understand. But a kiss? And not even a very good one from what Meredith said. My heart hurt for her and her situation.

I loved seeing Chetwyn’s feelings come to life with Meredith. He went after her but even when he could have taken advantage of getting her all to himself he still thought about her feelings. This was a great novella and one I would recommend whether you’ve read the Lost Lords of Pembrook novels or not.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Lorraine Heath

What I Read Last Week

Well it’s Monday again and only 8 more days til Christmas. Wow. I can’t believe it’s that close. No, I’m nowhere near ready, as is usual. I never know how I get it all done but I always do. So do you shop in advance or are you like me and get it all done at the last minute?

This is the last week of school for my kids before a 3 week Christmas break. I have no idea why they get such a long damned break but it will be interesting this year. I’m off the week between Christmas and New Year, which I’ve never done before so that will be nice. But the rest of the time I have no idea what I’ll do with them! lol They need entertaining, ya know? Otherwise they get into trouble. :)

I don’t think my mom has announced this yet but it’s a big freaking deal in my life as well…my mom is retiring at the end of the year (which I’ve known for a while now) but what I just found out a couple of months ago is that my parents are moving to Tennessee next month!!!! I’m so excited for them but so very sad for me. That sounds selfish, I know, but besides college I’ve never lived more than an hour from my parents…ever. Now they’re gonna be about 2,000 miles and 31 hours away! Arrrrrg. I don’t know what I’ll do without seeing them all the time! I guess I’ll have to plan a long vacation and go visit. *sigh*

Anyway, on to what I read last week: 


I started off the week with Maya Banks’ In Bed With a Highlander. The story is about Mairin who is kidnapped from a convent where she’s been hiding. Those who want her dowry and know who she really is. She escapes from the evil guy and makes it to the home of a boy she has been protecting. She ends up marrying the boys father, Ewan, but it’s a rocky road for them. This was such a great story. I really loved Ewan and his brothers and while I had originally given the story a 4 star rating I had to up that to 4.5 out of 5. The more I thought about it the more I loved it. :0) I’m now impatiently waiting for my turn at the library for the ebook so I can read book 2!


Next up was my Tracy’s TBR challenge read for the week and it was Finding Chrissten by NJ Walters. This is a story about a half human, half shapeshifter who has been in captivity with a psycho for the past 18 months. Her brothers and a group of their friends have been unable to find her until now. They rescue her but she needs time to heal. She was mated against her will while in captivity and the man who is her mate isn’t gonna let her get away. Then there’s one of her brothers’ friends, Hank, who has been drawn to Chrissten since the moment he caught her scent. They both have a strange attraction to one another and feel at peace when they are with each other. But can they keep away from the evil mate? This was a good story. I really liked Hank and his ability to tread lightly when it came to Chrissten. I did think that for all she’d been through the story went too fast but maybe that was me. These are shapeshifters and obviously think differently than I do. I did like the writing in this one a great deal so will look for more books by this author. 3.5 out of 5


Next was Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane. The story is about a 37 year old librarian who the town thinks is an old maid, but she isn’t. Just cuz she doesn’t want to get married and doesn’t dress in a flashy way doesn’t maker her an old maid. She DOES own a house that use to be the most famous house of ill repute in Texas but she wants to unload that and find somewhere else for the hens who still live there to live. She didn’t plan on the hens shooting and then handcuffing Brant Cates to the bed – or for him and his brother, Beau, to buy the house. You can read my review here at Book Binge. 3.25 out of 5


Next up was Deck the Halls With Love by Lorraine Heath. This is a novella having to do with the Lost Lords of Pembrook. The story is about Chetwyn and his love for a woman that he never wanted to let go of but felt he had to. It’s a very good story and one I really enjoyed. My review will post tomorrow.


Trick of Time by JL Merrow is a book that doesn’t come out til late next month but I couldn’t wait to read it. I love Merrow’s work and of course love time travel so there ya go. This story is about a man who heads back to the late 1800’s and meets a rent boy who he falls in love with. I really liked the story a lot – the setting, the characters, just about everything. Good stuff. I’ll post my review next month. 4 out of 5

Aftershock by Jill Sorenson was a great story about people who are trapped in an underpass after a 8.5 magnitude earthquake. They’re not only stuck in the pass and wonder how they will survive if not rescued by also there was a prison transport and not all the passengers died. You can read my review here. Good book! 4 out of 5

Mommy Midwife by Cassie Miles is the story of midwife Olivia living in the mountains outside of Denver. She gets pregnant and while the father of the baby, Troy, wants to marry her she knows that’s not smart as they’re not in love. When someone starts stalking her Troy takes over her protection but who they think is the stalker may not be the right one. This was a cute story. Olivia bugged me a bit at times but I really liked Troy a lot. 3 out of 5

Ready to Run by Kinsey W. Holley was the story of a girl who from a small town who has really never thought about moving to a big city. She meets Nash but Nash isn’t really who she thinks he is. He’s a werewolf and he’s there to investigate her family. He protects her when her uncle sells her to Euro-werewolves and takes her to Houston. The story was good and the romance nice – I just wanted more of an HEA than I got. 3.5 out of 5

Highland Moonlight by Teresa J. Reasor was my TBR Challenge read for December. Not a holiday themed story but they do have a Christmastide party in the story – does that count? I’ll post my review on Wednesday.

Last for the week was Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements by Victoria Alexander. This novella tells us of Lord Stillwell’s 3 engagements and how they didn’t work out for him. I’ll post a mini review of this soon. 4.5 out of 5

 


My Book Binge reviews that posted last week: 

Courting Carolina by Janet Chapman 
Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Well it's Christmastime once again so it's all about the Christmas music.  I love Faith Hill, have for many years and this has been one of my favorite Christmas songs since I first heard Faith sing it. Here's Where Are You Christmas.


Winners Announced!

The winner of the download of O Come All Ye Kinky is:

Michelle


The winner of Breath on Embers by Anne Calhoun is:

flchen1


Congrats to you both!

Review: Aftershock by Jill Sorenson

THERE'S A FINE LINE 

As an emergency paramedic, Lauren Boyer is dedicated and highly capable. Until an earthquake strikes, trapping her beneath the freeway with a group of strangers-including Iraq war veteran Garrett Wright...

BETWEEN PERIL AND PASSION

Handsome and take-charge Garrett aids Lauren in her rescue efforts, even as the steely look in his eyes seems to hide dark secrets. When a gang of escaped convicts goes on the attack, Garrett's bravery makes him more than a courageous bystander to Lauren. If they can save the others before time runs out, maybe, just maybe, they can explore the fire igniting between them-if the truth about who he really is doesn't pull them apart forever....
 


When an 8.5 earthquake leaves Lauren trapped in an underpass she's not sure what will happen. She meets Garrett who helps Lauren with aiding people medically and he seems to know how to handle the situation while thinking clearly. They end up being 2 of 11 people left living out of many, and two of those quickly succumb to death. With only 9 people left they gather supplies from cars and hope they'll have enough to last until they are rescued. 

Besides surviving they also have to fight for their lives when two convicts from a prison transport make it their goal to make the remaining survivors miserable. On top of that Penny's only a few days from giving birth, Sam is unconscious with a head trauma, and that doesn't include what happens when one of the convicts, Jeb, starts shooting people. 

During all of this Garret and Lauren are trying to fight their attraction to one another as well as deeper feelings that they have towards each other. Garrett says that he's not free to be with Lauren and she's finally letting herself feel after closing her emotions off for so long. It's an intense situation that brings them together in a way that would have never happened without the disaster. But what will happen when they are rescued...if they are rescued. 

This is a book that's not for the faint of heart. If you're looking for light and fluffy then look elsewhere. This is a gritty, descriptive, intense story about a natural disaster. I think the thing I liked about it so well is that Sorenson didn't try to make light of any of it. She didn't try to save anyone's sensibilities by making it seem that it wasn't that bad. It was graphic and that was perfect for the book. Having been through the Northridge earthquake in 1994 and experienced the destruction of a 6.7 magnitude I can't even imagine what an 8.5 magnitude earthquake would be like – but I thought Sorenson did a great job of bringing it to life, so to speak. 

The issues with food, water, taking care of the sick and dead, fighting off convicts who had nothing but evil and hatred on their minds were all realistic. The interpersonal relationships that we read about between the survivors were tense but showed a different side of humanity and acceptance. 

Garrett and Lauren were great characters. I had some issues with Garrett and his attitude of “I don't deserve...” (add your own word and he probably said it), but it was mostly how he didn't deserve Lauren's admiration because of his past mistakes. I could understand this to a point but he took it to the nth degree. Both he and Lauren grew in the story and that was very nice to read. 

In the end I really liked the story. The romance took a backseat to everything else but in that situation it was expected. I would have thought less of the characters had it been otherwise. Sorenson has given us a pretty true-to-life novel and I would definitely recommend it. 

Rating 4 out of 5 

Jill Sorenson

Review: Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Collection

Mistletoe Magic by Sophie Barnes

Lady Eleonor is talked into ending her mourning period for her mother by her mother's best friend. She's also asked to join a group that consists of, in essence, matchmakers. A group that both her mother and grandmother had been a part of. Eleonor decides that this is definitely something she can do and is assigned a shy girl named Lady Amy to bring out of her shell.

Across the village Connor is bashing himself in the head because he gambled and lost and his debt is to find a gangly Earl's son a wife. He chooses Lady Amy as his goal but is somewhat thwarted by Eleonor. They have no idea that they are at cross purposes – as Eleonor doesn't feel that the Earl's son is right for Amy – but that doesn't stop Connor from making a move on Eleonor.

This was such a straightforward love story that it was refreshing in its simpleness. Eleonor and Connor meet and pretty entranced with each other. They court and then fall in love. Yes, there's a little bit of a misunderstanding – but it's really so minor as to not really be an issue. Overall it was a very sweet romance.

 

His Perfect Gift by Karen Erickson

Lady Eleanor Fitzsimmons is a very poor Earl’s daughter and the Duke of Ashton is completely besotted. He tries to tell himself that he just lusts after her but he can’t take his eyes off of her. They have a history that causes Eleanor to completely ignore the Duke however. Three years earlier during Eleanor’s first season Henry had courted her and they had each known that they would marry. But Eleanor’s father forced her to refuse Henry’s offer because he was “only” the second son of a Duke. We three years later and 2 deaths and boom – Henry’s the Duke.

Eleanor believes that Henry is only out for revenge but when he invites her and her family to his country house for Christmas she finds a must lustier duke than she had planned on. Since she never stopped loving Henry – as much as she told herself she had – she easily fell for his charms.

This was another sweet story. Erickson had me into the story immediately with Henry gazing at Eleanor as she walks into a ballroom. She’s wearing a ribbon around her neck as she has no jewels and he’s completely enamored with that ribbon. I liked Henry from the word go. He and Eleanor were perfect for each other and I loved how they each were holding a torch for the other after the years they were separated. Good stuff.

 

War of the Magi by Rena Gregory

Phin Baldwin is relatively new in town and he’s a bit skeptical about some of the Christmas traditions that the townsfolk of Preston, South Dakota hold dear. One of those traditions is to have a drawing for a carving of the 2 wise men. Whoever “wins” gets to keep the wise men and they put 3 of their dearest wishes into it and hope they come true for Christmas. When Phin wins the wise men he refuses to believe and puts it in the window of his newspaper without wishes added.

Ginny Overton has a crush on Phin, until she discovers his non-belief in the statue. She’s disgusted with him and tells him that she is. Phin isn’t moved at all until he discovers that Ginny’s been sneaking in and taking the statue to a different person every day. When Ginny decides that she’s going to try to make everyone’s wishes come true she grudgingly asks for Phin’s help. Spending all that time together shows each another side of the other – and they like what they see.

This was a great Christmas story! I loved both Phin and Ginny’s characters and their butting of heads. The gift giving was quite brilliant and very imaginative considering it was South Dakota in 1908! While the romance seemed to take a back seat it was always there in the background and the togetherness of the h/h was what drew me in. Definitely a story I’ll reread again and again.



Her Christmas Knight by Sandra Jones

Lady Nia de Brionne’s father is determined to get his two daughters married off. He has invited knights a plenty to stay at his home and compete in a tournament to win their hand. Nia is truly not interested in any of it but she tries to put on a good face for her father. She’s quite surprised when Sir Caerwyn shows up with his brother to compete. Nia and Caerwyn had been sweet on each other several years earlier and Caerwyn had given Nia his heart but he caught her in what he thought was a compromising position and hurried off to the Crusades.

Nia is still in love with Caerwyn but he doesn’t seem to want anything to do with her. Caerwyn still loves Nia but is afraid of giving his heart away again for fear it will be stomped on.

A story of sweethearts reunited. This medieval romance brought two very stubborn people together. I loved seeing Caerwyn with his alpha maleness being brought up short by Nia’s forthright manner. This misunderstanding years earlier is put to bed and the two finally admit that they never fell out of love. A lovely story.

 

Tempting Mr. Weatherstone by Vivienne Lorret

Penelope Rutledge and Ethan Weatherstone have been friends for forever. They know so much about the other and revel in the knowledge that very little changes in their lives. Except….Penelope maybe isn’t so happy with the sameness. She’s finally realized that she needs more in her life…an adventure - and the adventure she wants is named Ethan. Ethan isn’t completely obtuse but he’s definitely afraid of upsetting the apple cart. What if he spills his heart and it gets stomped on and then he loses his best friend? He just can’t take that chance.

When Penelope decides that she’s heading off on an adventure without Ethan he goes after her and they have a torrid moment in his carriage. Instead of making Ethan see how much Penelope loves him, however, he sees it as “a most unfortunate incident.” It’s not until Ethan finds out she’s moving away that he finally sees the light and decides to take a chance on love.

Let me start by saying that I love friends to lovers stories. They always get my heart beating when the couple finally sees each other in a different light. This story was the same way and I was loving it…until Ethan became a coward. I understood his fear of rejection and the possibility of losing his friendship with Penelope but I just wanted him to grow a pair!!! His desire to leave everything as it was just reeked to me of an old musty bachelor and he wasn’t old or musty at all. I ended up being happy with the end result but there was definitely a good portion of the book where I found myself frustrated for Penelope’s sake.



This ended up being a great historical anthology. I loved that we got not only regency romance but some western historical and medieval romance as well as it shook things up a bit. I would definitely recommend this for those who like historical anthologies.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Sinful Seduction Blog Tour Giveaway Winner

The winner of the print copies of Ripe for Seduction by Isobel Carr and Two Sinful Secrets by Laurel McKee is:

SidneyKay

Congratulations!!


Review: O Come All Ye Kinky edited by Sarah Frantz

Christmas is a time of love and joy, and the New Year is a time of renewal. But they are also times of stress and strife, family drama, pressure and heartache—a potent mix of high expectations and conflicted emotions. Add in power exchange relationships, kinky gift swaps, and unconventional love in a sometimes unforgiving world, and you have a formula for a sizzling anthology of stories that tug at your heart. 

Tree Topper by Jane Davitt 

Stan and Martin have been seeing each other for 6 months and love each other but it’s just not working for Martin. He wants to dominate Stan and Stan is a born submissive but every time he tries something new with Stan it seems that Stan shies away. In the meantime Stan is getting more and more mouthy and disrespectful to Martin and of course Martin feels that everything is his fault as he just doesn’t have any Dom experience.

When it comes down to finally breaking down and communicating about what’s up Martin and Stand discover that it’s a little bit of problem on both sides of the fence. They work out a plan that will work for both of them and they’re both thrilled. Especially when Christmas presents bring lots of fun toys to play with.

This is a cute story of two men working their way through their D/s issues. I loved how they finally just sat down and worked it out and left nothing to chance. The play after Christmas was fun and I loved seeing Martin use his imagination with a little wrapping paper and tape.

Rating: 3 out of 5 


Twas The Night by Ava March

Percival and Michael have been having sex for a few months and they’ve both been having a great time. They have to be discreet as sodomy is against the law but they manage quite well. Michael, however much he likes Percy, and he does, has no idea what Percy likes when it comes to sex. Yes, Michael can tell that he likes to be dominated but he wants specifics. On this Christmas day he gives himself a present from Percy and that’s to have Percy tell him exactly what he wants. For Percy this is damned difficult. He’s only acknowledged his desire for men for a year and his guilt and shame at wanting to submit eats at him. He manages to let Michael break through his walls and the end result is fantastic.

I’m not normally a fan of m/m historicals but as this takes place mostly in a house I couldn’t help but like it. Michael is a kind, caring lover and I loved that about him. Yes, he is in command when he and Percy are together but he’s not cruel in any way. Watching Percy come out of his shell a bit and knowing that he will continue to grow in the relationship just made me smile. This was a great story I liked a lot.

Rating: 4 out of 5 



Fireworks by Katie Porter

In this story we meet Emma and Rachel who have been in a D/s long-distance relationship for 2 years. But it’s all over after New Years Eve as Rachel is moving to Tokyo for a year. Emma is crushed but wants this night to say goodbye.

Rachel is emotionally cut off. She’s been disappointed in people her whole life and though she’s the one who has always left when someone is disappointed in her she feels that everyone leaves her. She would love to have Emma go with her to Tokyo but she KNOWS that Emma will just end up hating her and abandon her in the end. Or will she? Rache’s fear of rejection might have her making all the wrong decisions in the end.

The f/f story brought a couple of feelings to the surface while I was reading. My heart ached for Emma because I knew she loved Rachel and wanted to be with her and a bit for Rachel as well as I could tell that she had had a hard time in life emotionally. That being said the sex was not my cup of tea. Rachel definitely dominated Emma and Emma loved it, got off on it, flew to unknown places in her own psyche because of it. I personally just didn’t care for the hair pulling, face slapping and Rachel’s attitude in general as it just read as more cruel than sexual. The name calling wasn’t something I enjoyed either. I wouldn’t like it in m/m or m/f either so I think that’s pretty standard with me. Those are my own preferences though so someone who likes that might enjoy this story more than I did. I’m happy to say that the big emotional scene was left to the end so I ended the story on a high note.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Candy Caning by LA Witt 

Nate and Stephen are doing their Christmas shopping but neither is really have a great time at it. Nate and Stephen, especially Stephen, like Christmas less and less each year. This because every year they spend Christmas Eve with Nate's family and Nate's mom's is highly critical of both of them, especially Stephen. He can do no right, say no right and he's certainly not good enough for Nate. Of course if Stephen wasn't there then she's be digging into Nate. Basically she's just a critical woman.

Neither one of them is looking forward to that banner day but when they come across a very large, very thick candy cane while doing their Christmas shopping all thoughts of his mother flee his head because he has thoughts of candy caning floating in his head. Though Stephen mentioned it might be something to think about nothing is set in stone, or peppermint.

This was a great little short story. There really wasn't a lot to it except that you could sense the depth of emotion from both Stephen and Nate and I love that about Witt's writing. The sex scene – with yes, the cane, is very hot and kinky and oh so good.

Rating: 4 out of 5 


Submissive Angel by Joey W. Hill

Six months earlier Robert found Ange beat up in the alley behind Robert’s vintage toy shop. He gave Ange a room and a job…and his heart. Robert knew from minute one that Ange was the submissive for him but he never made his move. Now it’s Christmas and Robert can’t hold back any longer. He heads to the toy shop, as Ange has a room in back, and finds Ange dancing. Ange of course has been waiting months for Robert and is very excited to have his master finally do what he’s been waiting for.

While this was a very sweet story it just didn’t work for me all that well. Something about Ange rubbed me the wrong way. He was almost too sweet and while it was a nice story I just couldn’t get into it as much as the previous stories.

3 out of 5 


Open Return by Elyan Smith 

Zach is back from a 15 year absence. He had contacted his foster parents and “friends” just a couple of times after he took off without a goodbye or a backward glance all those years ago. When he heads into his small home town in Illinois his foster parents are having a Christmas party and his old lovers, Laura and Scott, are there as well. Zach has to deal with his feelings as he returns to his somewhat close minded town and people who will always see him as Hannah and not Zach. He also is anxious to get back to Laura and Scott, who are now married with kids, and what they had to offer in the bedroom.

While this was a decent story I was kind of lost to the point of it all. Besides reconnecting with old lovers and showing us a sex scene that was very bdsm extra lite, I was that connected with the characters. Laura and Scott weren’t delved into at all and Zach…well, Zach confused me. He just seemed so up in the air about what he wanted in life. He had a great job in Australia but would give it all up to be with Laura and Scott, who didn’t seem all that completely into him? IDK, I just didn’t understand his thinking. I think the story was too short to fully realize all the emotion that Zach was feeling and I wish the story would have been longer.

Rating: 3 out of 5


Ring Out the Old and In the New by Alexa Snow 

It’s Christmas by Evan isn’t feeling the holiday spirit, as much as his partner tries to get him to. Evan, some months earlier was mugged on the tube and his face scarred. After being stared at his whole life for his beauty now he fears he will be stared at because of his monstrous face. Russell is also trying to help Evan as he hasn’t left the house – he just doesn’t feel safe.

This was a cute story. It was Russell gently taking care of his sub, Evan, and making him feel safe that was the basis of the story. Russell uses his domination to help Evan feel safe and know that he is loved, no matter what he looks like. Nothing too kinky involved but yet very sweet.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 


His Very Last Chance by Kim Dare

Drew is freaking out. His Dom, Kingsley, overheard him saying something that was taken the wrong way and now he’s afraid that Kingsley is going to end their relationship. What Kingsley really wants is to let Drew know that he couldn’t be more wrong about him and that he loves Drew.

Another cute story with some bondage and wax play. Kingsley was trying to show Drew how he felt about him. I didn’t really feel all that much emotion in the story, except Drew’s fear that he’ll be pushed aside, but I really enjoyed the scene in the end.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Review: Losing It by Cora Carmack

Virginity.

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.


Bliss’s friend is determined for Bliss to lose her virginity and takes her out to a bar to meet a guy. Bliss isn’t thrilled and no one is heating her blood until she meets a Brit named Garrick who not only heats it but sends it to the boiling point. They end up going back to his apartment but as he’s locked out they head to hers – which is just one building over. Things get hot and heavy but when as it comes closer and closer to closing the deal Bliss starts freaking out. She ends up making up some crazy story about getting her cat from the all night vet, tells Garrick to let himself out and then runs out of the house…in a bra and skirt. Wow.

Bliss isn’t sure she’s over the whole incident when she walks into one of her theatre classes at school and finds Garrick…as her teacher. She’s completely freaked and he is as well. Obviously Garrick wants to know what happened that night but Bliss isn’t forthcoming. The sexual tension is high and they both want the other but they decide because of their positions as teacher and student that it just can’t go anywhere. That good decision goes to hell when Bliss becomes sick and wakes to find that Garrick has been taking care of her.

This was a darned cute story. It was light and fluffy, funny and sweet without too much depth. It was a quick read and one I’d recommend if you just have an afternoon free and want something light.

This is my first foray into the New Adult genre and it was definitely a nice introduction. The book started off with a bang but then leveled out to be a good story.

Bliss thinks there’s something wrong with her that she hasn’t lost her virginity but it just hadn’t felt right until she met Garrick. They were definitely hot together and I understood the tension between them as I’m sure it was hard trying to act like nothing happened when they were in class together.

The way they eventually come together was nice but I did wish that after they decided to make a go of it and hide it til the end of the semester that we would have gotten more dialogue. Part of what I love about romance is the getting to know you stage and it seems that this skipped over it for the most part. We were told they spent time together but except for a few small scenes we didn’t really see that.

This was a pretty cute story. It was light and fluffy, funny and sweet without too much depth. It was a quick read and one I’d recommend if you just have an afternoon free and want something light.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Cora Carmack

What I Read Last Week

Happy Monday!

Hope you’re all well. It was a quiet week this past week. My hubby did manage to get the Christmas lights on the house yesterday and we got the Christmas tree put up. We’re leaving it ornament free at the moment to see how Echo the cat takes to it. This is her first Christmas with us so who knows how she’ll be. She seemed fine yesterday but let’s see what happens today when there’s no one home and she gets bored. :0)

I have a lot of giveaways going on at the moment so be sure and check those out to see if you’re interested in any of them.

Sinful Seduction Blog Tour giveaway: Print copies of Two Sinful Secrets by Laurel McKee & Ripe for Seduction by Isobel Carr – ends 12/12/12 at 7:00pm

O Come All Ye Kinky Blog Tour giveaway: Riptide Publishing is giving away a $100 gift card to The Stockroom and I’m giving away 1 copy of O Come All Ye Kinky – ends 12/16/12.

Anne Calhoun’s giving away 1 copy of her new release Breath on Embers to one lucky commenter.

Historical Romance Giveaway: Print copies of To Dangerous to Desire by Cara Elliot & The Laird’s Choice to Amanda Scott – ends 12/15/12 at 7:00pm.

So....did anyone watch Christmas for Holly on ABC last night?  I guess it was a movie version of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas.  If you did watch it, what did you think?  I DVR'd it but haven't watched it yet.  


On to what I read this week - overall a really good reading week:


I started off the week with a book that Holly suggested to me and that book was The Gamble by Kristen Ashley. The book involves an American woman who lives in England who has rented a house in Colorado so that she can take a time out from her life an from her fiancĂ©. When she arrives at the house the owner is there and tells her there must have been a mix up and she has to go to a hotel. She tells him off and then promptly drives into a ditch. The man ends up taking care of her and they fall in love. Now a BOATLOAD of other stuff happens in this book other than them falling in love but that is the major part of the story. This guy is uber alpha male but the woman doesn’t put up with all his crap all the time. The book has major editing issues and whole parts that could have been left out, imho, and yet, I couldn’t put the damned thing down. Seriously. I just wanted to keep reading as I was so involved in it all and actually had a hard time not immediately picking up the next book in the series when I was done with this one. I will soon, that’s for sure. 4 out of 5


Next up was Losing It by Cora Carmack. This story is about a college senior that “almost” hooks up with one of her teachers – before she knows he’s her teacher. I’ll post my review of this one this week.


Next up was The Lady Most Willing: A Novel in Three Parts by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway. The story revolves around a nutty Scottish laird who is determined to get his nephews married so he kidnaps women and brings them to his keep and they have to stay there because of a snow storm and their rescuers can’t get through. The novel was really good and I loved it. 4 out of 5


Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly was a freebie on Amazon so I downloaded it. The story is about Megan and Connor who meet in Vegas one night and have a great time together. When Megan wakes up in the morning, however, she can hardly remember anything about the night, or Connor, and oops, they got married. Megan wants an immediate divorce but Connor talks her into giving the marriage a 3 month trial as he honestly believes that they would be good together. The problem is that Connor’s thoughts on marriage are really quite different from Megan’s and they end up being at odds with each other. I’m happy I downloaded it as it was a good book. Megan had her issues but so did Connor and I thought the author worked them out well. 4 out of 5


O Come All Ye Kinky edited by Sarah Frantz is anthology of m/m, f/f & m/mf stories that are a little bit kinky – some much more than others. I will post my review this week.


Honored Vow by Mary Calmes was my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week. Ya know, I bought this book right when it came out and I would SWEAR I read it then but when I found it on my Kindle and started reading I realized I hadn’t read it. Duh. lol Anyway, Jin is dealing with the power of his Nekhene cat and Logan has to go through a challenge (of sorts) in order to become the semel-aten. It was a really good story but pretty bloody – just be warned. I still love Logan and Jin together and in this one we also got to see Domin and Yuri finding their mates. 4.25 out of 5


Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Collection is a historical romance anthology that has 5 different stories that varied from London to South Dakota to medieval times. I liked them all and will post my review this week.

Shades of Gray by Maya Banks is PJ’s story. After reading a little more than half of this story I’m sad to say that I just couldn’t finish it. PJ and her teammate Cole get together and then right after that PJ gets raped while on a mission. PJ quits KGI and goes rogue as she goes after the men who raped her. I really tried to give this one the old college try but no matter how loving Cole is to PJ I just can’t see her healing emotionally for years…not 6 months down the road. Maybe I’m skeptical but I’ve known too many rape victims to think it’s otherwise. I won’t even get into her turning assassin. DNF

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week: 

Romancing the Holiday by Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon & Christi Barth

Happy Reading!!