Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cry Sanctuary by Moira Rogers

Recently, I read Crux by Moira Rogers, and really liked it. When the opportunity to read Cry Sanctuary, the first book in the Red Rock Pass series rose, I jumped on it! Before I read Cry Sanctuary, I read the free prequel, Becoming, which tells how the pack alphas, Gavin and Sam, met 40 years ago. Sam escaped from a viscious Alpha, Alan Matthews, and came to Gavin's pack for Sanctuary. (We also get a tiny peek of Keith as a child.)

Cry Sanctuary is Abby and Keith's story. Abigail Adler's life has been turned upside down in the last month. She had a normal life and friends, until the night she met Alan Matthews. She knew something was not right when her friend Dylan seemed uncomfortable with her meeting Alan. A few nights later, she's a werewolf in Alan's pack. Alan is a ruthless, abusive pack leader with no conscience. Dylan is one of his wolves, but not a dominant one, and he feels like Abby's turn to wolf is his fault. He suprises everyone by helping her escape to Gavin's pack for sanctuary. They're attacked on the way to Sanctuary by thugs from Alan's pack but are saved by two of Gavin's enforcers - Keith Winston and Joe Mitchell. After arriving at their temporary lodgings, Abby finds herself drawn to Keith but she doesn't know why. He calms her.

Alan hadn't given Abby any guidance about being a werewolf. She doesn't know any of the rules, and has only changed once but doesn't remember much of it. Gavin's pack assigns all new werewolves a Guide, to teach and help with the transition from human to werewolf. The Guide must be stronger than the initiate, and Abby is pretty Alpha; Devyn can't handle her so they know she must pick someone else. Abby wants Kevin to be her Guide, but he wants to make sure she understands what is involved and that he is the one she really wants; there are usually intense emotions and sex involved. We learn throughout the story that Keith had a mate who was killed and for that reason he is taking it extra slowly with Abby.

Right before their guide bonding ceremony, Abby gets an anonymous letter with a picture ofher sister - Alan has kidnapped her sister, Brynn, and is holding her hostage to make Abby return! Keith knows Abby is going to go and decides he has to help her. He enlists the help of his friend Joe, and they head out to rescue Brynn without telling Gavin, because to do so would incite pack wars. Will Alan let Brynn go? Is he going to kill her? Turn her into a werewolf? What's going to happen when they get back to Sanctuary and Gavin finds out what they've done?

I really liked this book. If this was a real town I'd like to live there and hang out with Gavin and Sam and the gang. I liked Abby and Keith, and I also liked Joe and Dylan. Joe and Dylan each had tender moments in the story that made me go "awww" and I wanted more of them! I think Joe's story is next and I can't wait to read it. I'm curious to see if we find out in Book 2 what happened to Alan. This book had a few different storylines going on and Moira Rogers (Bree and Donna) did a great job showing the possible outcomes of each situation as it happened and making you wonder what comes next.

There's another free short story after this book, The Little Things, about Gavin and Sam, and we get another glimpse of Keith as a child. It was very sweet. I've already got book 2, Sanctuary Lost, on my laptop and ready to read! Sanctuary's Price, the third book in the series (Dylan's story) was released this week.

I've said it before, I don't know why but if an author writes multiple series I stick with the one I like and don't read any of the others. Moira Rogers is an exception to that rule; I like both their Southern Aracana and Red Rock Pass series.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the Publisher, Samhain Publishing Ltd., for review.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

According to Jane by Marilyn Brant

This is one of those reviews that is hard to write. I loved this book. I am an Austen fangirl, and I don't mind all the take-offs, in fact I enjoy them. This was not a funny story, but I felt like I was there with Ellie, the heroine, through all her romantic trials and tribulations.

The story begins with Ellie taking us back to where it all began, in her high school English class where her classmate Sam is sitting behind her trying to get her attention and the teacher passes out Pride and Prejudice for the class to read. Ellie hears a tsk-ing noise and can't figure out where it's coming from until she realizes it's inside her head, and it's Jane Austen.

From there, we learn about Ellie's life (at the time of the story she's 34) through her memories of previous boyfriends, all interspersed with Jane's wit and insight. Some of the boyfriends are spectacularly bad, and some are just bad timing. I was captivated watching Ellie grow up and to see her relationships change as she matured, as well as watch the secondary characters change throughout the years as well. We see Sam several times and it's interesting to see the path his life takes while Ellie is off living her life.

I married my high-school sweetheart, so you would think I would not be able to connect with a 34-year-old unmarried heroine who goes back and forth between being afraid of being alone forever and content with her life as it is, but I did. It was about her relationships with men, but it was also her relationships with her family and friends as well. Her conversations with Jane were wonderfully written. Over and over I found myself smiling.

I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill

I loved Some Girls Bite and anxiously awaited Ms. Neill's follow-up, Friday Night Bites. Did I enjoy this book? Yes...BUT, I felt like I spent a lot of the book waiting for something to happen.

Friday Night Bites takes place about a month after the events in SGB. Merit is House Sentinel, and moving into Cadogan House to be closer to her job and give Mallory and Catcher space. She's still sort of dating Morgan, and still denying any attraction to Ethan. A problem comes up involving Merit's childhood friend, Nathaniel, a reporter researching a story that could be damaging to the vampires, and she must investigate. There is misdirection, deception, and lots of tension. An old enemy returns, and Merit goes through some changes. Mallory is having her own issues adjusting to her magic, and she and Merit disagree about Merit's love life. I don't understand why Merit and Mallory left things where they did.

I had hoped to see more of Morgan in this book, I really like his character, but Merit was very busy. I found Ethan frustrating, which was probably Ms. Neill's intention. One minute you thing he's "got" Merit, then he's back to the same old Ethan. Catcher is really a good frient to Merit and I love Jeff! He provided many smiles for me during this book; I hope we see more of him in the next one. There are some new characters introduced, and we meet Gabriel, the leader of the North American Pack near the end of the book. The end sort of leaves us with a cliffhanger, more of a "what's up with that?" than an "oh my God!"

As I said, I did like this book and it is a nice follow-up to SGB. I'm ready for book 3, Twice Bitten, which comes out in July.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Laid Bare by Lauren Dane

I saw this book on the shelf, decided I was looking for a contemporary, loved the tats on the cover, and grabbed it.

This book should be required by law to come with a fan, a pitcher of ice water, and an extra pair of panties for when the ones you're wearing burst into flames!

Erin Brown is in a rock band. Todd Keenan is the clean-cut cop who lives next door. She's a little kinky and adventureous in the bedroom; he's not. But they're attracted to each other and start dating. Turns out he is a bit kinky but not comfortable with that part of himself and they break up. 10 years later, he's back in town, newly divorced, and she's running a coffee shop after a traumatic fan experience left her devastated and changed forever. Her band made it big, but for personal reasons she only does studio work now, no touring. Todd walks into her coffee shop and it's instant attraction all over again, except that this time he's ready to embrace that side of himself he hadn't been able to accept before.

This book had hot, hot sex, D/s, and threesome action. Ms. Dane did a great job with Erin and Todd's relationship - I enjoyed watching it grow both inside and outside of the bedroom. When Todd's childhood friend/coworker Ben got involved it just got steamier. I don't really understand the emotional dynamics of a 3 person relationship, but in this book it worked. They were good for each other. The secondary characters were very believable - I really liked Erin's brothers and hated Ben's ex.

If you're looking for something steamy and sexy, this is the book for you! Make sure you have a fire-extinguisher handy (just in case)!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hooray and Thanks!

I had a crazy busy day at work today (in a good way, I like to be busy) and didn't have time to check blogs (not that I check them at work, heh heh). Then on the way home I got in a minor fender-bender (not my fault) and accosted by a crazy person (seriously - he told us he wished our cars would have burst into flames so we'd be dead. Total nutjob!). So it's 6:30 pm by the time I get home (I leave my house at 6:50 am) and after I tell my husband about my day I sit down to check blogs. Guess what I found:

Richelle Mead is coming to New Orleans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many, many thanks to those of you who voted after I begged (I really did type that post on my knees...okay, maybe not really!) She doesn't know when yet, but you know I'll find a way to be there!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Miscellany

Hmmm...lots of miscellaneous stuff going on here:

I won a couple of contests lately, so my mailbox looks like this:

1. From Yankee Romance Reviews: A Tracy O'Hara gift pack, Night's Cold Kiss book/hat/shirt/bag. Very nice!
4. From Lovin' Me Some Romance: Demon Bound by Meljean Brook (I only need to find 2 more books then I can start reading this series!)
5. Michelle from Michelle's Book Blog sent me Private Places
6. At the Tote Bags N Blogs, Jasmine Hayes sent me a copy of her book, Open Invitation.

So yes, last week was like Christmas every day!!

I've commented a few times about series that I've lent my husband that he's liked and people always seem surprised that he reads them, so I decided to make a list of my faves that my hubby has read. It started when I recommended the Harry Dresden books. He also read the Hunger Games books. I have not read either series but thought they sounded pretty good. He liked them a lot, then asked me what else I had.

First I gave him the Sookie Stackhouse series. His first comment upon finishing the series was "Sookie's a ho." then "When's the next book coming out?" (Actually, my father and my son have also read this series and I thought about doing a 3-generation male point-of-view review of the series. )

Then I gave him the Shifter series by Rachel Vincent. He said he enjoyed the series and asked what else I had.

Next up was the Mercy Thomson series by Patricia Briggs. He liked these and asked again "When's the next book?". He didn't like the Alpha and Omega books as much.

I also lent him the Magic Series by Ilona Andrews, thinking he would LOVE these - not so much. He said he didn't understand the world very well and had a lot of questions about Kate's heritage. The third book cleared up some of that for him but this was not his favorite.

I should also say he did read the Twilight series last year, he thought it was okay.

I'm trying to think of what to give him next: I thought about Karen Marie Moning's Fever series but he said he doesn't want to read about faeries. There's no way I'm lending him her Highlander series! Maybe I'll give him Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld books, although I only kept for my keeper shelf the Elena and Clay stories. Or I could give him Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy books, I haven't decided if that's his thing or not.

Lastly, I want to talk about Lora Leigh's Breed series:
This is not a review, more like observations. Recently I've read the first 6 (out of 18, I think!) and I'm noticing a theme:
Take one Breed (so far all male except one female), I'll call him Oil.
Take one human (female except for the female Breed story), I'll call her Water.
Obviously Oil and Water don't mix. He's posessive and brusque. She's feisty and "won't be tamed". Their attraction is instantaneous but they fight it tooth and nail. These stories have copious amounts of body fluid. In one of the stories the Hero told the Heroine to drink plenty of fluids; as much fluid as they lose I'm thinking the women should be lugging around gallon-sized bottles of gatorade to prevent dehydration! I'm guessing these chicks go through a dozen pair of panties in a day. The men all have penises (peni? for clarification, each hero only has one) that sound like they'd make a regular person go running for the hills - PLUS the extra animal trait (barbs for cat Breeds, knots for Wolf/Coyote Breeds). And then there's the buttsecks. I think all but two stories so far have crazy buttsecks; how that's possible with these crazy huge penises is beyond me.
Of course, I'm loving the series and it's fun to watch the couples compromise and in most stories you do get to revisit some of the previous characters and see how they're doing. It's a fun series.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Banned Books

I know, I know, Banned Book Week was September 26 - October 3 and I'm a bit late to the game, but at least I got here. I was checking blogs this morning, and I saw that one of my favorite authors, Richelle Mead (I know, I should change the name of this blog to the I (heart) Richelle Mead Blog), has been banned at a school in Texas. Which got me to thinking about banned books all over again.

I don't just read banned books during Banned Book Week, I read them all year. Feel free to take one (or more) for yourself!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's going to be a Happy Halloween!

Charlaine Harris is coming to New Orleans for a book signing!!!! (She's also coming for the Tru Blood and Gold Ball the night before but I don't see myself going to that.) I was thinking about going to VooDoo with my husband but no, I'm going to see Charlaine! Yayyyyyyyy!!!!!

*Diligently working on lining up a babysitter........*

Looking for Contemporary Recommendations

Usually, I read Paranormal or Historical Romance (Love me some vamps, weres, and highlanders!), but recently I read Julie James' Practice Makes Perfect and loved it.

I'm looking for Contemporary Romance suggestions, I just want to dip my toe in and see if I like it. The only limitation is that for whatever reason I can't bring myself to read any Cowboy stories.

Does anyone have any author or title suggestions?

Highland Obsession by Dawn Halliday

I had previously read some really good reviews on this book, so when I saw it at Borders AND I had a coupon, I grabbed it! I have to tell you, while it was sort of what I expected, it was also NOT what I expected. The storyline was good, Sorcha, a highland lass, marries Alan, the Laird who has returned home from being away for many years. The conflict in this story was that Sorcha had been having "relations" with Alan's best friend, the Earl of Camden (Cam) before Alan returned, and that Alan thought she was still a virgin. The other problem is that Cam couldn't seem to give Sorcha up. The book opens with Sorcha and Alan on their wedding night, and Cam swoops in and kidnaps her! She manages to escape and return to Alan, but by then he's figured it out and doesn't know if he still wants her.

I was not prepared for the level of eroticism in this book. It was a pleasant surprise; Ms. Halliday went places I've not seen many authors go in my (limited) romance reading experience. I guess this book would be considered erotica? I'm still a bit unclear about where the boundaries lie in the different categories.

The only thing I didn't get was Alan's actions on the night before he went off to battle. He was very jealous of Sorcha and Cam's previous relationship and his actions didn't make any sense to me, nor did his reasons for going off to battle without saying goodbye - I thought he'd exorcised his demons and was accepting of the relationship.

I don't know why, but I liked Cam the best, and am hoping for a HEA for him in the next book. I'd like to get more of a backstory on why the healer hates men, and possibly a story for Sorcha's sister, Moira too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Red and Scarlett by Jordan Summers

Red is set in the year 2160, 150 years after the last world war. This war apparently decimated almost everything, leaving the earth pretty barren and desolate. It also left the Others, genetically-enhanced humans who were created as "super soldiers" (from what I can tell, vampires and shapeshifters). After the war the government was not able to dispose of them all and they live in secret. This future society is very Big-Brotherish, with videocoms and traffic control cameras and people having to be registered to live in "pureblood" society.

Our heroine, Gina, has been having weird dreams where she wakes up with blood on her clothes but doesn't remember going out. Gina is an international police-type who comes upon a murder scene that her department writes off as an animal attack but she knows it's not. She takes a few days off to travel to a border town to investigate. She ends up asking the Sheriff, Morgan, for help questioning the citizens of the town and an attraction builds, which they both fight. Another woman's body is found, and Gina doesn't know it but a 3rd body has been found. Morgan knows something about Gina she doesn't know about herself, and he is having a hard time controlling his increasing lust for her. As they investigate the murders, they realize there's more going on than meets the eye.

Scarlett starts out with Morgan and Gina together, working on her powers, and it's not going well. He tells her to be patient but she's frustrated because she can't control them. Then, Morgan sees an add on television for a clone woman and child - his wife and child who died many years ago. He's got to leave Gina in town to go find this clone lab and destroy the samples - he doesn't want his wife cloned to be used as a whore. While Morgan is gone, weird things are going on in town. Gina is being framed for murders and the townspeople are accusing her of cheating on Morgan. The only people who are standing by her side are a few members of her new tactical team and a vampire. Meanwhile, Morgan is not having any luck obtaining the clone samples and is realizing there are some weird things going on at the company.

I have to say, truthfully, I was not thrilled with these books. In the first book I found Gina to be an inconsistent character - tough as nails but she cries in Morgan's arms when she has a nightmare? I found myself having to read sentences twice and scratching my head, and the foreshadowing felt forced. I enjoyed Scarlet more, the characters were rounded out a bit better, and the story flowed well. I will say that I'm not a big fan of future stories, so that could be part of my problem. I wish I would have checked them out at the library instead of buying them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

I think this is probably only the 2nd Contemporary I've read that didn't involve some sort of paranormal-ness to it. I must say I really liked it!

Payton Kendal and J.D. Jameson are 8th year lawyers at the same firm, both are up for Partner in a month. Payton and J.D. have had a mutual distaste for each other almost from day one of working with the firm. Then, they're assigned to partner together to pull in a huge new client. They decide they can try to get over their animosity and work together because they found out that this year the firm is trying to curb claims of ageism and will only pick one new partner instead of two. J.D. thinks they will pick Payton because she's a woman, and Payton thinks they'll pick J.D. because of the "good ol' boy" cronyism. Ms. James did a good job of showing the two of them learning about each other in bits and pieces. I also enjoyed their interaction with the secondary characters.

This book had me laughing so hard tears were coming out of my eyes. The relationship between these two was fascinating to read - and when they found out why they had hated each other all those years - wow! I enjoyed the whole book - there were no slow, boring spots - and rooted so hard for these two. And the end, while a bit far-fetched, was great!

Monday, October 12, 2009

In the Highlander's Bed by Cathy Maxwell

I first came across Cathy Maxwell's work in Four Dukes and a Devil, and I liked her story, so when I stumbled across In the Highlander's Bed, I said to myself, "why not?" I'm definitely going to check out more of her stuff!

In the Highlander's Bed starts out with Gordon Lachlan, traveling to Madame Lavaliere's Academy for Young Women with the intent of kidnapping Miss Constance Cameron. His plan is to trade her back to her brother-in-law for the Sword of MacKenna, a sword believed to give the holder power to lead his army to victory. Gordon is a rebel, fighting the English advancement into Scotland, avenging his father's death.

Little does Gordon know, Constance is planning to run away that very night. She is unhappy in England and wants to go back home to America. She plans to sneak away and ride to a ship that's sailing for America, but Gordon catches her and takes her back to his rebel camp.

It's a long, hard ride, and Constance rides with Gordon. She is upset that she finds herself attracted to the Scotsman, and tries that much harder to escape. She knows if she is ransomed back to her brother-in-law her sister will continue trying to marry her off to a nobleman - all she wants is to go home to America.

When the reach the camp, Constance sees it is in disrepair. No one is working together and it's a disaster. After trying to escape, she talks to Gordon and comes to understand his motives and decides she wants to join his cause. She rallies the women and improves the camp, and falls in love with Gordon in the process. He falls in love with her too, and the elephant in the room is what they're going to do when it comes time to trade her for the sword. When the time for the trade came, I was holding my breath!

This was a very enjoyable book. It is actually the third or fourth book in a series, Constance's sisters had the previous books I believe. I liked Constance and Gordon and wanted them to be happy. As each obstacle presented itself, I read on, hoping they would overcome it. I liked the ending and will definitely check out the rest of the series.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crux by Moira Rogers

I honestly cannot remember how I came across Moira Rogers' website, but I'm so glad I did. I really liked this book!

Mackenzie is on the run from a crazy ex-boyfriend. The problem is, no matter where she goes, he keeps finding her and trying to bring her back. He's really crazy - he keeps telling her she's a cougar and is going to be the mother of his cubs; what a weirdo!

She ends up running to New Orleans and working in a bar there, where unbeknownst to her the owner and several patrons are shapeshifters. The bar owner, Nicole (Nick), asks a friend, Jackson, to follow Mackenzie home from work to see if she's okay. Nick suspects Mackenzie is a shapeshifter but can't confirm it, and is worried she's hiding from someone/something. Mackenzie detects Jackson tailing her, and when he sees the hellhole she's living in he brings her back to stay at the empty apartment over the bar. The next morning, as Mackenzie is getting ready to skip town again, Jackson tries to stop her but they are attacked by a werewolf and a magician. Jackson is able to fight them off (he's not what he appears to be) and brings Mackenzie back to his place where they talk about magic and shapeshifters and whether or not Mackenzie might be a shapeshifter. She's 23 and has never shifted, which is very strange if she is a shapeshifter.

Someone ransacks Jackson's house, and once they figure out who is really after Mackenzie they take off to see Jackson's magic mentor; they need more information to keep her safe. Mackenzie ends up captive and the bad guy is pretty formidable (and crazy).

As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed this book. Jackson and Mackenzie's quest to find the truth and escape the ex was action packed right up to the end. The romantic relationship was believable and I enjoyed their interactions together. The secondary characters were good, although towards the end there were a lot of names to keep up with.

I'm ready to read book 2 - Crossroads, although I don't see a release date yet. Crux is available by e-book at Samhain and will be coming out in print in January 2010. I think I may give her Red Rock Pass books a try as well.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Three Sisters Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Since I've started reading romance, I've avoided reading Nora Roberts. After reading these books, I don't know why I waited so long!

In the 1690's, there were three sisters, witches, who left Salem to find a new life away from the Witch Trials. They created an island off the East Coast, where each sister faced a personal demon, and each sister failed. Their descendents were forced to relive their failures for 10 generations, at which point the final descendents would either overcome them together or the island would be destroyed.

The first book in the Trilogy, Dance Upon the Air, features Nell Channing. Nell's real name is Helen, and she is running from an abusive husband. She faked her death in California and eventually made her way to Three Sisters Island in New England. Once she's on the Island, it "feels right" and she's decided to try to make a new home for herself here. She gets a job in a bookstore/cafe and rents a cottage almost immediately, almost as if it was meant to be, as if the Island called her there. Her new boss/landlord, Mia, is known around the island as being a witch, and Mia senses something special about Nell . Nell meets a few of the islanders, including the Sheriff, Zack Todd. Zack takes an immediate interest in Nell and thinks she's not giving out the whole story. Eventually Zack and Mia figure out Nell has a painful past that she's not ready to share. Zack begins pursuing Nell in a romantic way, understanding that he will have to take it slowly. As Nell settles into Island life she warms to Zack as well. But, her past is coming to catch up with her - will she be strong enough to fight it? Will she accept help from her new friends and take a chance with Zack?

The second book, Heaven and Earth, centers around Zach's sister, Ripley Todd. Ripley is the town Deputy; she works with her brother the Sheriff. Ripley has magic but refuses to use it after an incident 10 years ago that has left her angry and in denial. When MacAllister Booke shows up, investigating the events surrounding the end of the first book, Ripley is immediately on the defense. Mac is a paranormal investigator, and is attracted to Ripley. Ripley wants nothing to do with his "hoo-doo research", but when they get together sparks fly. She wants to be with him but is unsure, and covers her confusion by lashing out. When a reporter shows up on the island, things are not right. When her family is threatened, Ripley knows what she must do - defend them. But there's more than one way to save someone. Will Ripley do the right thing or doom herself to repeat her ancestor's mistakes? I must say that at first Ripley got on my nerves, but as the story went on I found myself rooting for Ripley and Mac.

The final book, Face the Fire, is Mia's story. Mia has lived on the island her whole life. As a teenager, she and Sam Logan. 11 years ago, Sam left the island and broke her heart; she never got over it. Now he's back, and Mia must decide if she can open her heart and forgive him or continue to make the mistakes her ancestor made. I've gotta be honest, this was my least favorite of the three books. I liked Mia in the first two books, but found her irritating in this one. When the evil that is trying to fulfill the curse attacks her friends and family Mia gets upset when they don't tell her, but she doesn't tell them when it attacks her! They all know she is the last to face the challenge, and that she will need the strength of the three, but still she fights any offers of help. This book I felt kind of dragged towards the finish. The finish was good but came so fast you almost missed it.

All told, the trilogy was good. I liked the paranormal aspect as well as the small-town vibe and watching the Helen and Riley fall in love. The secondary characters were good supports to the main characters, and the evil that carried through the three books was persistent.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Since she was a child, Fall has always meant Lucy's brother Henry and his friends, Felix, Toby, and Jeremy. Now Lucy is 19, Henry and Felix are married, and Toby is almost engaged. But Lucy wants Toby to marry her, not Ms. Hathaway. She plans to seduce him, but is not experienced, and she needs to practice....on Jeremy. She thinks he is so aloof and stoic that if she can get a reaction from him than surely it will work on Toby.
Poor Jeremy is aghast when he learns of Lucy's plans and tells Henry and Toby that Lucy is upset about Toby's relationship with Ms. Hathaway, but not that she plans to seduce him. They decide Jeremy should "distract" Lucy from Toby by lightly pursuing her. Poor Jeremy can't believe his ears!

Jeremy and Lucy end up spending a lot of time together, and they end up attracted to each other. Things take a turn when a letter is discovered in Lucy's handwriting that could damage her reputation. Jeremy does the honorable thing and agrees to marry Lucy. Then the misunderstandings begin. We learn about Jeremy's past and watch as he and Lucy make a real mess of things. Watching them learn about each other and themselves is tender and sweet.

I really liked this book. My emotions went on a roller coaster ride from start to finish. Lucy was a very entertaining heroine and Jeremy was perfect as a brooding hero. The end left me satisfied and hinted at the plotline for the second book, Surrender of a Siren.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cover Alert - Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

AAAAHHHHHH! You know what a Vampire Academy Fangirl I am! What a wonderful thing to wake up to on Monday Morning! This cover is great - But is which guy is that? I'm not going to put my guess here (no spoilers!) but there are two people I think it could be. Awesome cover!!!
Spirit Bound is out May 18, 2010 and is the 5th book in the series.

Big Bad Wolf by Christine Warren

This book was an impulse buy. I saw the cover and read the blurb and threw it in the basket. I haven't read anything else by Christine Warren (that I'm aware of). This was kind of a short book, but there was a lot going on:

Missy is a quiet, unassuming Kindergarden teacher. She's at an engagement party for her best friend (who's a vampire), when she literally runs into Graham, werewolf alpha. Missy is trying to avoid her friends, who are trying to set her up on a date, and Graham is entranced by Missy. Missy can't figure out why, as she's interacted with him a few times before and he never noticed her then. Now, however, Graham wants her.

She agrees to go to his house, as she's had a crush on him for some time and it's a good way to esscape her friends. Once there, hot sex ensues. Graham decides she's his mate, and attempts to convince Missy of the same. Missy's not having any of it - sure,the sex is great, but mates? She doesn't think so. She agrees to give him the weekend so they can get to know each other.

Meanwhile, Graham is having problems with one of the members of his pack who's trying to take over. He's a weaker member, so he's being sneaky. He's approached the elders and said since Graham doesn't have a mate he shouldn't be alpha; he doesn't know Graham's found Missy. But, Missy hasn't agreed to be his mate and a challenge is issued in a round-about way.

I liked this book. Graham and Missy were good together. Missy wasn't some overconfident tough chick, as a matter of fact, part of Graham's problem was Missy's lack of self-confidence. Even though it's not in my summary, there was quite a bit of suspense and action to this story; and the passion was high.

There was one element in this story a lot of readers might take exception to. I chose to look at it as a fictional story - if it happened in real life I wouldn't be so nonchalant about this incident. It was definitely in keeping with Graham's Alpha character, and affected parts of the rest of the story.

All in all, it was a fun, quick read and I'll probably look up some of Ms. Warren's other works and check them out.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Guest post by Hannah from Taunt who reviews Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

You know how you can pick your friends but not your family? I'm lucky enough to have someone who is both - my sister-in-law, Hannah! She is the Cool Aunt to my kids, the fun SIL that everyone wants to hang out with, AND she is super-good to my brother. Hannah is a bit (a lot) edgier and grittier than me (think Avril Levine vs. the Stapler Guy on Office Space), smart as a whip, and her sense of humor is off the wall. She's also my BFF -Yes, our husbands think we're having an affair!
Hannah recently did a blurb on her blog about some books she read by Ellen Hopkins, and I invited her to guest post here:

you could turn off
the questions, turn
off the voices,
turn off all sound.

to close out
the ugliness, close
out the filthiness,
close out all light.

to cast away
yesterday, cast
away memory,
cast away all jeopardy.

you could somehow stop
the uncertain, somehow
stop the loathing,
somehow stop the pain.

on your impulse,
swallow the bottle,
cut a little deeper,
put the gun to your chest.


Vanessa and her blade. Controlling the only thing in her life she can. Her flesh. The warmth of her blood released from its thin casing brings her the only relief, the only comfort she has ever known. I completely understood Vanessa's need to control something. Even if it's her demise.

Todd and his pills. When your childhood is filled with an abusive mother, nonexistent father, viscous juvenile facilities, and the added burden of homosexual phobias, the bottom of a bottle surely looks most appealing. Take one and feel lovely. Take two and feel the bliss of divinity. Take fifteen and ride that wave of joy onto the other side. Surely it can't be worse than this. Can it?

Connor and his gun. Well, to be honest, his father's gun. But his mother pulled the trigger. No matter the ivy league lifestyle, torment and constant failure were plastered to the walls of his home. A film of disease laying atop Ralph Lauren paint. They say this generation is a coddled one, well not in Connor's house. In his house, failure is not an option. I know that breath he exhaled when he pulled the trigger was the cleanest and purest of his entire life.

As the three shuffle through their experiences in a psychiatric institution I fell in love with each of Vanessa, Connor and Todd for all the wrong reasons. Secrets, failures and family, abuse and desire, love and lust, longing for a hug, a smile, a bond. With something. Other than a dope or a blade or a bullet.

I laughed. I cried. I recommend it.

My September Read List

I thought September was a slow reading month, but as I look at my list, I guess it wasn't so bad!

1. Desire Unchained - Larissa Ione
2. Passion Unleashed - Larissa Ione
3. Addicted - Charlotte Featherstone *
4. In the Highlander's Bed - Cathy Maxwell
5. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead * (read twice)
6. Devil of the Highlands - Lynsay Sands
7. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead * (read twice)
8. Frostbite - Richelle Mead * (read twice)
9. Dark Needs at Night's Edge - Kresley Cole
10. Blood Promise - Richelle Mead * (read twice)
11. Highland Scandal - Julia London
12. Scent of Darkness - Christina Dodd
13. Hunting Ground - Patricia Briggs
14. Red - Jordan Summers
15. Scarlett - Jordan Summers
16. Highland Obsession - Dawn Halliday
17. Dragon Actually - G.A. Aiken
18. Crux - Moira Rogers
19 - Goddess of the Hunt - Tessa Dare
20. Heart of the Wolf - Terry Spear

Started but haven't finished yet:
Jacob - Jacqueline Frank
Covet - J.R. Ward
Destiny of the Wolf - Terry Spear

Books with an * made it to my keeper shelves.