Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scent of Darkness by Christina Dodd

This book is a mystery to me. Why? Because I spent the whole time I was reading it rolling my eyes, yet I read through the whole thing and am on to book 2!!

At the beginning of the story, when the heroine, Ann, decides she's gonna let her boss of 4 years, Jasha, know how she really feels, she gets to his house, finds him not home, lets herself in (she's his assistant and has a key), unpacks her suitcase (she was not invited, he has no idea she's coming) and takes a shower!!! Don't people go to jail for that kind of behavior?

Later, after she sees him shapeshift (he's a wolf) and he chases her after running away, comes the first sex scene (which, BTW, was kind of hot). Then, after, it's almost as if he's trying to convince himself she'll be a good mate, he really doesn't sound absolutely sure.

Then more eye rolling when they're on the run from bad guys, he's got stuff stashed all around the forest - clothes, sleeping bags, towels and soap, bottles of wine (he does own a winery, but still).

And she's supposed to be some uber-efficient personal assistant, but she's got no backbone. AND, every 10 pages she's thinking something mysterious about some birthmark on her back and saying to herself "I always bring the bad ones." I started scanning the pages looking for that phrase.
Basically, Ann goes to Jasha's house with the intent to seduce him and start a relationship. She sees him shift out of werewolf form and runs. He catches her, and hot, muddy, feral sex is on! Then, they spend a bit of time running from the bad guys (see ridiculous supply list above) and then he brings her to meet his family. His mother has uttered some sort of trance-induced prediction, and Ann thinks Jasha just likes her because some of Ann's actions fulfill parts of the prediction. Ann doesn't want to "settle" and turns down his offer of marriage. The rest of the book is his "plan" to win her affections, except he doesn't go into what his plan is, and I didn't really see one in action. The only reason there's a HEA is because of what happens during the "big scene" at the end. Speaking of the end, it's abrubt. Like, action, action, revelation, the end. I think it's a HEA.

There's no continuity in the characters actions and reactions throughout the book. There's a few unanswered questions, but I assume the other books are about his brothers (and maybe a nephew?). I realize I had almost nothing good to say about this book, which is why I have no idea why I'm looking forward to book 2, Touch of Darkness, but I am. I totally want to know what happens next!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The One In Which I Get On My Knees And Beg...

Here's the deal - I (heart) Richelle Mead. I've loved her Succubus series, and now I'm totally on the Vampire Academy wagon. I'm so jealous of other bloggers who've been to her signings (so, so jealous!). Well, she put up a poll on her blog of where she should go for a signing - she'll go to the top 3 cities - AND NEW ORLEANS IS ONE OF THE CHOICES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm begging you - if the city you live in is not on the list - please go to her site (link conviently located below) and vote for New Orleans. If you don't give two shits who Richelle Mead is - please click the link and vote for New Orleans. If you value all that is wholesome like springtime and puppies and walks in the park - please click the link and vote for New Orleans!!! We never get any authors here - they all go to Houston or Atlanta. Think of it as doing your part to help in the recovery of our economy after Hurricane Katrina (Oh, yes, I just went there!!!).

All I'm saying (begging) is: CLICK IT!!! (and vote for New Orleans) And, I read on her blog she just got engaged - what city is more romantic than New Orleans, really?

Poll: Where would you like Richelle Mead to visit?
(Of course, I would never advocate voting from your home and work computers. Nope, not me.)

Bad Moon Rising by Sherilyn Kenyon

Full disclosure, I loved Fang before this book ever came out. He seemed like the fun younger brother who was always good for a laugh, but you knew if it ever came down to it, he'd have your back. This book proved me right.

This book did go back and cover a lot of history, but I think it kind of had to since it had been so long and so many books came out between his brother Vane's book and this one. Vane and Fang are wolf were-hunters, and had been betrayed by their father, their sister had died, and had barely escaped from an attack. They ended up at Sanctuary, a were-bear owned bar that offered sanctuary to all, no matter what kind of were-hunter. Fang was unconscious and no one could help. Apparently, he was stuck in a kind of "in-between" somewhere between life and death, and was trying desperately to survive and escape. The only person he was able to communicate with besides his brother, who thought he was dreaming, was Aimee -the only daughter in the were-bear clan.

Aimee's parents are trying to find her a bear mate and she's not happy about it, but she knows she must pick a bear mate to carry on her mother's line. It's important for political reasons as well. The problem is that she finds herself attracted to Fury. And they are so different in so many ways she knows it will never work; that it's not even possible. Also, she's got powers beyone a normal were-bear but she knows she must keep them secret or risk death.

Fang is attracted to Aimee in a powerful way, and he doesn't understand why. While he is in the in-between he makes a barter for Aimee's safety, but doesn't want her to know. Now that he's back, he must work for Thorn, kind of like the demon police. He botches his first job and ends up with demon powers; powers that threaten to take over his soul. As if that wasn't enough, he's got all kinds of family issues going on.

Aimee's got secrets, Fang's got secrets, they're trying to find a way to be togther, and someone is setting up Fang for multiple murders.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked visiting the other characters again and Fang and Aimee's efforts to be together despite all the obstacles was touching. They way they each tried to protect the other was sweet. Thumbs up for the drama, suspense, action and romance.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I'm strolling down the aisle at my local grocery store this evening, picking up milk and toilet paper, and what do I see as I head toward the checkout? Yes - Covet!!! I thought it was going to be hardback, so I almost missed it. Of course I snatched it up and did a happy dance in the aisle. Hooray!!!

I am soooo tempted to stop what I'm reading now and start Covet but I'm going to be strong and resist.....maybe.

Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione

Wow. I read the Demonica Series this week. Who knew demons were so altruistic and yummy? The series is about three brothers, Eichelon, Shade, and Wraith, Seminus (Incubus) demons who run a hospital for demons.

Recap: Book 1, Pleasure Unbound, is about Eichelon and his mate Tayla (hate that name, BTW). Book 2, Desire Unchained, centers around Shade and his mate Runa. Both good books with hot, hot scenes.

Book 3, Passion Unleashed, is Wraith and Serena's story. Wraith has been poisoned by an assassin, and the poison has no antidote; Wraith does not have long to live. They learn about a "charmed one", Serena, who is charmed to live forever, and can only give up her charm through sex. No biggie, good thing Wraith's an Incubus, right? He ends up develping feelings for Serena, and can't go through with her seduction. Instead he wants to protect her from the demons who are trying to get the charm and kill her. The problem is that while he is spending time with Serena, the underworld is falling into chaos and the hospital is literally falling apart. Then Eichelon makes a discovery that has Wraith rethinking his decision not to seduce Serena.

This book was great! I love Wraith and Serena's story. Their feelings for each other were so strong, I was almost in tears near the end - I didn't see how there could possibly be a HEA. I also liked Gem and Kynan's side story, and the introduction of a new character will make for an interesting storyline later.

I had wondered what all the hubub was surrounding this series - now I know. Can't wait for Ecstasy Unveiled!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When Strangers Marry by Lisa Kleypas

Lysette Kersaint is bethrothed to Etienne Sagesse. He is an awful, crude man whom she does not want to marry. Her stepfather has bethrothed her to Etienne for a substantial sum of money. When she tells her stepfather she does not want to marry Etienne, he beats her severely.

She runs away, but is caught stealing a pirogue in the river by twins, Justin and Philippe Vallerand. They bring her home to their father, Max, a very powerful man in the New Orleans territory. He also happens to be the enemy of Etienne Sagesse, who had an affair with Max's wife. Max's wife was murdered, and her murderer was never found. It has been whispered (loudly) that Max himself murdered her in a jealous rage. Max quickly sees Lysette's arriving on his doorstep as the perfect way to get revenge. He plans to keep her long enough to "ruin" her so that Sagesse will not want to marry her, necessating a duel, at which point he will kill Sagesse.

Lysette's stepfather and Sagesse find out where she is staying and demand her return. She begs Max not to send her back. He claims she is sick and unable to leave his home. She gives Max a letter to mail to her cousin, asking for help, but Max does not send the letter. While she is waiting for a response from her cousin, she starts to fall in love with Max. Max is attracted to Lysette but is so bitter from the betrayal of his first wife that he fights his attraction.

Lysette gets sick and he nurses her back to health. Her family comes again to get her and she refuses to go and she is ruined now due to her continued association with Max. He duels Etienne over Lysette and wins but forfeits killing him. Then he comes home and tells Lysette he wants to marry her. They are wed shortly after, but memories of his first wife continue to haunt the household.

Meanwhile, there are all kinds of political maneuverings going on between the Governor and Successionists, and Max is courted by both sides. He disappears for hours at night, and Lysette doesn't know if it's to see his mistress, or conducting illegal business.
When Etienne is murdered, Max has no alibi and people think he did it. Lysette must prove Max didn't murder Etienne, and when they find out who the real murder is it's a down-to-the wire effort to save Max!

This story had two of my favorite things: a New Orleans setting (although we didn't see much of it) and a marriage of convenience. It had murder, politics, romance and a sweet storyline between Max and his children. I enjoyed watching Lysette grow confident in herself and the relationship that bloomed between her and Max was good.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

First let me say, I love Ms. Mead's Succubus series. Total keepers, waiting on Book 5 coming out next year (cliffhanger much?). As a general rule, if I find a series I like, and that author has written other series, I don't read them. I don't know why, I guess I'm afraid I'm not going to like them as much? BUT, in this case, I've heard so many good things about Vampire Academy I decided to break my unwritten rule and read the first book. As soon as I was done I rushed out to the store to get the next three books (and added Dimitri to my list of fictional boyfriends)! I will say, as a parent, I should probably be disapproving of the romantic storyline in these books, but I can't help myself - they're sooo good!!!

In Ms. Mead's world, vampires are either Moroi - the good guys, born from two Moroi parents, or Strogoi - the bad guys, turned either by draining and killing a human or by other Strogoi. The Moroi do drink blood, but just a bit at a time. They are also considered Royalty in the vampire world, and the dhampirs are their bodyguards.

In Vampire Academy, we meet Rose, a dhampir (half vampire, half human), and Lissa (Moroi vampire) her best friend. Rose is going to be Lissa's bodyguard when they graduate; they share a special bond: Rose can feel Lissa's emotions and occasionally "jump" into her head and see and experience what's going on with Lissa. Rose broke Lissa out of school when Lissa was worried someone was after her. They've been on the run for 2 years, but have been found and brought back to school. Rose thinks things are going to be better, and they both jump back into the school routine and try to catch up what they missed while they were gone. Rose must take extra guardian classes with Dimitri, the guardian who found and returned them to school (and my newest fictional boyfriend!). Problem is, she thinks he's hot. There's a bunch of angsty teenage drama, which I actually enjoyed, and someone is targeting Lissa by leaving dead animals in her room or her bag. Rose tries to figure out what's going on, and eventually she figures it out but it's too late, Lissa is gone and she must use their connection to find her and save her.

In Frostbite, Rose and Lissa are still at school. There's been some upheaval out in the "real" world, and Strogoi have figured out how to break wards and attack Moroi. For safety reasons, they've decided that the students and their families will spend Christmas break together in a swanky ski lodge. Rose is trying to sort through her feelings about her mother, Dimitri- who has a love interest, and her friend Mason - who wants to be more than friends. When Rose gets confidential information about a group of Strogoi holed up in a nearby city, she tells her friends and her friends decide to go kick butt. Rose knows she shouldn't have said anything and decides to bring them back. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine what happened next; things will never be the same.

Shadow Kiss, the third book in the series, continues on the aftermath of Frostbite. Lissa's kidnapper from the first book is going to trial, which is stressful enough, but Rose is seeing also seeing the ghost of a student. Rose is maturing in this book, and her relationships with her friends are changing. Her relationship with Dimitri is changing too. She's learning how to be a better Guardian and finding out what some of the sacrifices are that she's going to have to make. The end ripped my heart out, and left me desperate to start Blood Promise.

Ms. Mead's latest, Blood Promise, picks up a little bit after where Shadow Kiss left off. Rose is in Russia, looking for Dimitri. She finds his family, and those scenes were some of the sweetest parts of the book. She meets up with a some interesting people there and realizes she must leave to continue her search for Dimitri. What happens when she eventually finds him was gut wrenching. In one sense, I was hoping she'd found happiness, and in another I knew it couldn't be. While she was away she was still "peeking" in on Lissa, and communicating with Adrian in her dreams, so the readers know what's going on back in the USA - and let me tell you, it's a lot. She has to confront her worst fear, and the journey to get there is full of twists and turns. This last installment leaves me with a bit of hope for Rose's future happiness. I can't help it but I still like Dimitri, and I'm starting to like Adrian as a love-interest. I can't wait to see how Ms. Mead plays this out!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fictional Boyfriend Haiku

Yesterday I gave my 16 year-old son to a Haiku challenge; I don't know who won. But, it got me to wondering if I could do a Haiku about any of my fictional boyfriends (list on my sidebar at right). Here goes:

Jamie Fraser:
Virgin at marriage,
Loves his Sassenach dearly.
Sexy Highlander.
Mr. Darcy:
Rich, pompus, distant.
Loves Lizzy despite himself.
Makes good in the end.
Eric Northman:
Hot, golden Viking,
Wants to take Sookie from Bill.
Shower with me please.
Sexy English Vamp,
Tricked Cat out of her panties.
Chapter thirty-two!
Tatted-up hottie
Saved Mac from being pri-ya
Where the hell's he from?

ABC Meme

I have been tagged by VampFanGirl at Lovin' Me Some Romance.
Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Share your ABC’s.
3. Tag three people at the end by linking to their blogs.
4. Let the three tagged people know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
5. Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag.

Available or single? This question makes no sense...It's like asking if the car I drive has a manual or a standard transmission. No to the available/single question, yes to the manual/standard question (I love driving my car, which is good, 'cause I'm in it ALL. THE. TIME.).

Best Friend? Other than my husband would be my SIL, Hannah. I hate that she lives in Houston now, it's making plans to see New Moon together difficult!

Cake or Pie? Key Lime Pie all the way! (Although, I do have a soft spot for cupcakes.)

Drink of choice? Diet Coke or Margaritas on the rocks.

Essential item for every day use? Nina by Nina Ricci perfume and lotion.

Favorite color? Pink or Dark Blue.

Google? I (heart) Google!

Hometown? Born in NY but was a Navy Brat so I grew up all over (mostly the South).

Indulgences? Reading, catching alone time.

January or February? February - Mardi Gras (usually)!

Kids? Ian, Bridget, Molly.

Life is incomplete without? Close friends, good food and wine, candle light, quiet (mosquito free) nights in the backyard listening to the waterfall.

Marriage date? August 1st.

Number of siblings? 3 younger brothers.

Oranges or apples? Here's the thing - both of my bathrooms are covered in appley goodness: pictures, knick-knacks, bottle caps, perfume bottles, you name it; but I don't eat apples.

Phobias and fears? I'm afraid a bug will crawl into my mouth while I'm asleep.

Quote for the day? Pick your battles. (What?! I've got 3 kids!)

Reason to smile? My husband and kids, having a roof over my head and a nice bed to sleep in.

Season? New Orleans doesn't have seasons, it's either hot or humid, usually both.

Tag 3 people? Pops at Life on the (L)edge, Parajunkee, and Lea at closetwriter.

Unknown fact about me? I have a very dry sense of humor and also enjoy "low brow" movies like Role Models and Dodgeball.

Vegetable you hate? Cauliflower - Once when I was a kid, I told my friend's mom I was allergic to it so I wouldn't have to eat it at dinner.

Worst habit? I love to "pop" my gum. I know it's annoying as all get-out, but I love the sound and the feel of the bubbles popping in my mouth. I do try not to do it when there are other people around.

X-rays you’ve had? Lots.

Your favorite food? Spring rolls with peanut sauce.

Zodiac sign? Taurus ('cause I'm full of bull).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Shift excerpt from Rachel Vincent!!!

Rachel Vincent has released a snippet from the nex book in her Werecats series, Shift - Click here. She also released the blurb from the cover yesterday - see here. Shift will be released March 1, 2010.
I love this series and am very excited for this peek!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone

I saw this book over at Lovin' Me Some Romance, and I was intrigued. I wasn't really sure, I couldn't see how a book about an opium addict would be that good, but Oh My God - I am so glad I picked up this book!! Definitely a keeper!

This book is set in 1850, and Lindsay Markham is in love with his childhood friend, Anais Darnby. He's loved her for years and has not told her. Since he went off to college he's turned to opium to dull the feelings because he doesn't know how she feels about him. Now they're adults, and he doesn't know it but she feels the same way about him.

He takes a chance one evening and they have a passion filled encounter in the stable, and he promises his undying love and asks her to meet him at a costume ball the next week. Anais agrees, but is betrayed by a friend and finds Lindsay, high as a kite, in a compromising situation with her friend. She doesn't care that he thought the friend was Anais. Anais runs off and says she never wants to see him again.

The story picks up several months later, Lindsay is back from the exotic East, having spent the first few months looking for Anais, who ran off to France, and the last few months in an opium-induced haze. He's back in England, and wants to see Anais. As he returns, there is a fire and her house burns to the ground, necessitating her family briefly staying at Lindsay's family estate. Lindsay finds out Anais has been ill and has turned to another childhood friend, Garrett, for comfort. Lindsay is jealous, and tries to win Anais back, but she tells him it can never be. There are some very steamy scenes, both real and imagined, and Anais has a secret she's keeping from Lindsay, just as he's keeping the degree to which he's dependent on the opium from her.

There is no way I can do a review that would do justice to this book. Everytime I thought I had the plot figured out, surprise - it's not what I thought; this happened several times. I liked both Lindsay and Anais, and wanted them to be together; however, some secrets may be too damaging for forgiveness. I liked how they kept breaking apart and coming back to each other, mirroring his addiction and denial of same. And Ms. Featherstone's description of his addiction was so sensual, she really turned the story into a love triangle instead of just a story about a couple.

Excellent read. I can't wait for her next book, Sinful, out in May 2010.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Son of the Morning by Linda Howard

I don't remember how I stumbled across this book, but the back blurb hinted at time travel, so I went for it. It was.....okay.
I cannot lie, I skimmed a lot of this book. It had an intersting premise, Grace, a married researcher, gets involved in her work with some ancient papers and her husband and brother end up getting killed - by her boss! She goes on the run, and this is where I started skimming. She's on the run, and brought her laptop with her (she had it with her at the time of the murders), so she's continuing to research the papers while running from city to city and changing identities like underwear. It just seemed like a lot of time was focused on her fleeing from her boss, who had trained killers out looking for her.

I know the author had to get across what the papers were, and why her boss was trying to kill everyone who knew about the papers, but it was 2/3 of the way through the book before Grace finally travelled back in time. During the time between her husband's death and her travel through time, she became obsessed with and fell in love with the man in the papers, Black Niall, The Guardian. It seems she was dreaming of him and he was dreaming of her, and it seemed real to both. When she finally got into the 14th century, she was immediately kidnapped by Niall's rival, but she managed to escape and find Niall. Their romance was sort of rushed, and suddenly they were traveling into the 20th century! Then Niall was gone again! How could he leave her?! The end was a satisfying conclusion.

It was an enjoyable story, but I felt like the author could have shortened the first half and spent more time on their getting to know each other in the past. The ending just seemed to be too quick. I did like the characters, and wanted them to have a happy ending. So, I liked it, but it's not going on my keeper shelf.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Show Me Yours Saturday

I heart Book Gossip has started a new meme: Show Me Yours Saturday.
Here's how it works:

Each weekend try to post a Show Me Yours. It can include a favorite food to something about you. Show me the deets and I will show you mine. Key word is show: So show us some snazzy pictures not just words.

This week I decided to give you a bit of Mardi Gras. I love Mardi Gras - I love to look at the floats and listen to the bands. And of course I love the throws! Everyone knows about the typical image of Mardi Gras - drunken frat boys and girls showing boobs. Is that part of it? Sure. But it's not the whole story. Here is a tiny snapshot of my Mardi Gras Loot.

We have bags and bags of those cheap plastic beads they throw from the floats. Everyone around here does. They probably should have used them to shore up the levee instead of sandbags. These are not those beads.

These are cheap plastic beads with ceramic medallions attached or incorporated into the beads. They're a bit more difficult to catch or talk a float rider out of. Each krewe has it's own beads each year, and then each float will sometimes do it's own special beads.

If beads are not your thing, they also throw all kinds of other stuff: food, dolls, balls, frisbees, comic books. Usually they throw these to little kids or hot chicks. Sometimes they take pity on old ladies.

My favorite throw is the glass beads. In the past, pre-1960's or so, they threw glass beads. Then, until about 5 or so years ago, they only threw plastic. On the left are some of the old beads (I actually took these with me when I evacuated for Katrina), and below are some of the newer ones:

So, that's a tiny glimpse into my Mardi Gras Treasures. If you've ever thought about coming for Mardi Gras but think it's all drunken revelry, think again and come on down - it's the Greatest Free Show on Earth!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Friday 56 - Doublemint Edition

HAPPY FRIDAY! The Friday 56 is brought to you by Tanya and Friends:

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

I actually have two books sitting next to me today, one I'm in the middle of reading and one I haven't started yet:

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead:

Avery was beautiful. Stunning. Lissa was beautiful too, between that gorgeous hair and the jade green eyes that ran in her family. I thought she was a hundred times prettier than Avery, but beside theolder girl, Lissa felt kind of plain.

Okay, the 5th sentence is: Stunning. But really, that's kind of a rip-off! A one-word Friday 56? I don't think so! I've gotta tell you, I'm near the end and this book is great!

And your bonus 56 comes from Julia London's Highland Scandal:

She was flushed, but it had less to do with the gown than the image of him that would not leave her now, no matter how hard she tried to erase it.

Hmmm...sounds interesting!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Immortal Hunter by Lynsay Sands

This is the 11th book in Lynsay Sands' Argeneau Vampire series. I read the first 10 and can't remember why I didn't read the last one, but it's been so long I'd forgotten how much I like these guys!

Let me start by explaining the vampire's history. They are descendents of Atlanteans, who did some kind of experimentation and ended up with an immune system that can heal almost all wounds and sicknesses, but it uses up their blood so they have to drink human blood to replenish their supply. They can go out in sunlight but their bodies use so much blood trying to repair the sun damage that in general they just don't go outside. Also, they can read and control minds, except in the case of their "life mate". In that case, it doesn't matter if their mate is human or vampire, they can't read them at all.

Decker Argeneau Pimsms is a vampire enforcer, sort of like vampire police. He's out with his partner, hunting down a rogue vampire who used to be an enforcer, when they come across two sisters, Dani and Stephanie McGill, being held captive by a whole group of rogue vampires. In the ensuing confusion, Decker manages to grab Dani, but one of the rogues escapes with her sister. They spend they spend the rest of the night trying to track down Stephanie and the rogue vampire with no success.
During this time Decker tries to control Dani's mind and realizes he can't. He's not too thrilled about that because he didn't make a good first impression and she doesn't seem to like him very much.
They hole up at a local safe house, and Dani learns a bit about the vampires, and starts falling for Decker. While out running errands, Dani is kidnapped by the same rogue that has her sister. He is a different kind of vampire, a fangless vampire, and 1 out of 3 fangless vampires goes crazy. This one is absolutely nuts. He has plans for Dani and her sister -he wants to impregnate them and create more vampires.
I'm not going to give a bunch of spoilers, but his plans are far-reaching and Dani (and her sister) goes through some difficult situations.
This book had lots of action and sexy time, and it was nice to see some of the characters from the previous books. If you've not read the series, I recommend you give it a try!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cover Alert - Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead

This is one of my favorite series - Ms. Mead is a phenominal author. I actually did my first review for this blog on her Succubus series. Succubus Shadows will be released in March 2010 and is the 5th book in the series.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper

I loved the first book in this series, Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs. I've been waiting since I finished that book for Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men to come out. It was worth the wait - I loved it! I am totally a Molly Harper fangirl!

In NGDHF, we meet Jane Jameson (yes, there are a few funny porn references), a librarian who is turned into a vampire. Funny, snarky, interesting plot and love the secondary characters. Talk about a dysfunctional family!
Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men did not leave me disappointed. It starts with Jane seeing the awful dress she's going to have to wear as maid of honor at her best friend Zeb's wedding. Zeb has been her best friend since gradeschool, and he is marrying a werewolf, Jolene, that he met at a Friends of Vampires support group. Zeb's mother is unhappy he's not marrying Jane, and Jolene's family is not happy she's not marrying a werewolf. All sorts of problems arise and Jane keeps ending up involved, along with her sire/boyfriend Gabriel, and another vampire friend, Dick Cheney (somehow the name makes him seem even more evil). Zeb has been acting strangely and Jane's not sure if it's just pre-wedding jitters.

Meanwhile, Gabriel has been going out of town a lot and not answering Jane's calls while he's gone. She's suspicious, but doesn't want to be a clingy girlfriend, so she's keeping her suspicions to herself but is unhappy about it.

If that wasn't enough, her family has been trying to ignore the fact she's a vampire (her mom keeps bringing over pot pies) and her grandmother's new beau might be a vampire - he certainly has a suspicous past.

I love these books! I love Jane, but I also love the secondary characters. Sometimes you read a book and skim over the secondary characters, but Ms. Harper has made each one interesting. The way they interact with Jane and with each other is great. I tore through this book in less than a day.

I definitely recommend this series. The third book, Nice Girls Don't Live Forever comes out in January 2010.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is by Marcia at The Printed Page - leave a link and see what other readers received.

I had a great Mailbox this weekend! Came home Friday to find Would-be Witch and Barely Bewitched by Kimberly Frost along with Real Vampires have Curves by Gerry Bartlett, all courtesy of Ms. Frost's Parapalooza contest:

Earlier in the week I received via Yankee Romance Reviews: Like No Other Lover and The Perils of Pleasure by Julie Ann Long:

Plus, not in my mailbox but purchased at the store, the first two of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy books, and Haunting Beauty by Erin Quinn.

My only dilemma is deciding what to read first!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is hosted by Storytime with Tanya:

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

I'm currently reading Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione, the third book in her Demonica series:
So much for not getting cocky. But hey, were-leopards couldn't change their spots, right?

I just started this book, so I have no idea what this sentence is about!!

The Border Lord's Bride by Bertrice Small

Okay, time for honesty here: I'm not sure how to review this book. It was good, but a lot happened and there were several times it gave me pause. This book is the 2nd in a series, so I wish I had read the first book first, but I don't think it made a difference to this story.
Ellen MacArthur is a 17-year-old highland lass, her parents are dead and she lives with her grandfather, the laird of Lochearn. She has been promised to a distant cousin, Donald MacNab, from birth. At their marriage he will inherit Lochearn. Her grandfather's cousin, Gavin MacArthur, thinks the lands should go to another MacArthur, not a MacNab, and says Ellen must marry his son, Balgair. Ellen and her grandfather both refuse and send Gavin away.

They know he is angry and will attempt to steal Ellen and force her to marry Balgair, so she is sent away to Scotland's King James' court until it is time for her to marry Donald.

About a year later, Ellen has made a place for herself at court. She is well liked by James and his sister, and she receives word that it is time to marry her cousin. King James sends a visiting laird, Duncan Armstrong to accompany her home. He sees her to her home, where Balgair has killed both her grandfather and her betrothed. He intends to marry her straightaway, but Duncan talks him into waiting a month, and being unable to do anything else, Duncan rides out to inform the king of this treachery. Balgair tries to rape Ellen, and she runs, catching up with Duncan days later, and they return to court.

The king sends Ellen to Duncan's keep to await a decision as to what he's going to do with her, as she now has no protector. King James genuinely likes Ellen and does not want to see her come to harm. He knows Duncan will keep her safe and Balgair will not look for her at the border. A few months later, King James calls Ellen back and tells her he has made a decision. He settled the dispute of her lands and has decided she will marry Duncan. Duncan is, as they mention several times, well into his 30's. and in need of a wife. They agree, as they find each other pleasant enough and both know they could do worse. They do not know each other well, for even though she stayed at his home, they did not see each other very much - he was busy doing laird things and she spent most of her time with his sister.

This story had so many twists and turns, I never knew what was coming next! There were border raids, political intrigue, an imposter for the English throne, kidnapping; every time I thought things were wrapping up and they'd live happily ever after, something else came up. Bad for the main characters, but good for me as I enjoyed the story. I liked watching Ellen and Duncan's relationship grow and change. And when Duncan committed a faux pas against his wife near the end, I'm glad she didn't pretend she wasn't hurt.

This book caused me to do a bit of research ("a bit" being the key words here). Two things I noticed:

1. They used the F-bomb alot. I didn't think it was in use at the time of this story (early 15th century) and I still don't, but I guess it's possible. I'm not offended by the word; it just didn't "feel" right.

2. The villian threatened Ellen with a wooden ummm..."manly appendage". He even went into detail about how it was made to "his specifications". Okay, I guess that could have happened (see #6) too. I think, what am I saying - I'm SURE this is the first historical romance I've seen one mentioned.

BUT, other than those two small blips, I did like this book. The story flowed well and I enjoyed it. I didn't particularly fall for any of the characters, but it was interesting reading about their adventures.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Highlander Unchained by Monica McCarty

Another home run by Ms. McCarty! I have not read her 2nd novel in this series, but book 3, Highlander Unchained, is great!

Highlander Unchained is about Flora, a young lady with a tragic family history. Her mother was married four times to men she did not love, and she was miserable. She always told Flora to only marry for love. Flora had inherited wealth from her mother, and she also had good connections, as her half-brother Rory (the hero in the first book in this series) was head of the clan MacLeod and her other half-brother Hector, was head of the clan of MacLean , and her uncle is the Earl of Argyll.

When her mother dies, Flora knows her brothers and uncle are going to marry her off. She does not want to be a polital pawn, and decides to elope with a friend. On the way to their secret elopement they are ambushed by highlanders who take Flora hostage while her "fiancee" runs away and leaves her.

Laughlin Maclean, is the Maclean of Coll. He has a brother and two sisters that he cares for. He is at war with Flora's half-brother Hector,who has stolen Laughlinl's castle and abuses his people. He sent his brother to the King to try to get his castle back and the king imprisoned his brother. Flora's uncle, the Earl, tells Laughlin if he can convince Flora to marry him he will give Laughlin a writ freeing his brother from prison. He then tells Laughlin that Flora is in the process of trying to elope. Laughlin and his men are the ones who end up ambushing and kidnapping her.

At first Flora is furious, but as she stays at the keep she grows fond of Laughlin's sisters and takes them under her wing, teaching them to read and write and dance. She is also attracted to Laughlin, but cannot forget she is his prisoner. Laughlin develops feelings for Flora and wants to prove his affection for her by allowing her to leave. She is so moved by this gesture she decides to stay.

Her half-brother Hector sends men to rescue her from Laughlin, but she refuses to go. Laughlin continues to show her kindness and affection and they decide to wed. BUT, he has not told her about the bargain with her uncle. He loves her and is afraid if Flora finds out she'll leave him. She finds out the morning of her wedding and fireworks fly!

This book was great - again, sexy Highlanders, battles, intrigue, romance, it has everything! Every time I'd tell myself, "I'll just finish this part then put it down", something else would happen and I eventually had to make myself put it down because it was so hard to tear myself away. There was so much going on I really can't put it all down here, it would be almost as long as the book!

My only question is this - Where can I sign up for swimming lessons with Lachlan?! ;)