Friday, April 30, 2010
This book falls into my New Author Reading Challenge.
I had seen a few reviews around for Ms. Kaye's latest book, Breakfast in Bed, and I thought it looked pretty good. Of course, if you know me at all, you know I couldn't just jump in and read that one, I had to start with the beginning of the series! Romeo, Romeo is the first book and Ms. Kaye's debut novel. I loved it!
Rosalie Ronaldi is a young executive who works for a turnaround company. She's got a boyfriend whom she's not serious about - it's more that she dates him to keep her mother off her back about why she doesn't have any marriage prospects. Then he proposes to her - and it's one of the most insulting (and comical) proposals I've ever read. Needless to say she drops him like a hot potato.
Nick Romeo is super sexy....and super rich. But when Rosalie meets him she thinks he's a mechanic, not the owner of several car dealerships. She ends up agreeing to date him after he tows her car, and the chase is on. Nick isn't looking for love, just a good time.
Rosalie tells him up front she wants no commitment and will never, ever get married. Nick is sort of taken aback because he's usually giving this line, not receiving it! They start dating and things are going well, they're both busy professionals and therefore only see each other occasionally, which keeps things from getting predictable and boring. Then, when Rosalie doesn't show for a date, Nick goes to check on her and ends up taking her to the ER - she's got pneumonia. Then he brings her home and takes care of her....and while he's there he gradually makes himself at home. (I liked how it was gradual so neither of them didn't really recognize what was going on!)
The thing is, he never told Rosalie who he really is, or that he's been trying to buy the auto dealership she's currently working on turning around. AND, he's got another secret from his past so he's afraid to meet her family. When her brother calls to tell her he's coming to visit, Nick knows it's now or never...but fate and circumstances have other plans.
This book was great! Ms. Kaye writes believeable characters who I'd love to hang out with in real life. I liked Rosalie and Nick and wanted them to be together. I probably need a dental check up for all the times I ground my teeth together in frustration with Nick for not coming clean with the truth. The secondary characters were well-written and showcased the fears of the h/h in an entertaining way.
Here's my one complaint: The characters were of Italian descent, and there were a couple of words and phrases in Italian that I didn't know what they meant. I blogged about this earlier - couldn't they put an index at the back of the book? I mean, I got the general idea, but I wanted to know. And I was reading this book in the waiting rooom at the hospital so I couldn't run off and look it up.
Aside from that one criticism, I thought this book was great. I can't wait to run out and get the 2nd book in this series, Too Hot to Handle, in which Rosalie's sister Annabelle is the heroine.
I give Romeo, Romeo 4 1/2 stars!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Here's what I'm finding: PaperBack Swap is good if you have newly released books to get rid of and want older releases in return. For example, my copy of Pleasures of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole was snatched up before I could even refresh the homepage; there are over 200 people waiting for this book.
Impossible by Nancy Werlien: I'm #9, they estimate a three week wait. Not so bad, right? (Although I'm a bit confused b/c on Friday it was only a two week wait.)
Patience by Lisa Valdez: I'm #224, they estimate a 25 week wait. That's six months, but okay.
The Summer of You by Kate Noble: I'm #91, they estimate a 46 week wait. Uh-oh, that's almost a year.
Wicked Burn by Beth Kerry: I'm #78, they estimate a 78 week wait. Ouch!
The Beast in Him by Shelley Laurenston: I'm #149, they estimate a 149 week wait. That's 3 years!!!
HOWEVER, you can get some older or less "in demand" books immediately:
Taimed by a Laird by Amanda Scott should be on its way to me soon.
Tumbling Through Time by Gwen Cready should also be on its way soon.
They have The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne, A Duke to Die For by Amelia Gray, and Compromised by Kate Noble ready to trade!
And, they apparently offer a few books to buy new through their store - I just bought Revealed by Kate Noble for less than $3.00 - New!!
The problem is that if you have older books listed (like I do) no one is taking them so you don't get the credits to get what you want. I think you can buy credits for $3.50 each if I understand the site correctly. I think if I didn't have my local used bookstore I would probably use PBS, but I'm more of an "instant gratification" kind of girl so once I've decided which books I want to use my credits on, I probably won't use it unless it's a book my used bookstore won't take and I can find someone on PBS who wants it.
Sooooo, I'm glad I can get some of the books they don't have in my local bookstores (why don't they carry the first book in series?), but am frustrated at the wait time for some of the books I want.
How about you? Do you swap? Or do you keep every book you buy? Even if you didn't care for it?
Monday, April 26, 2010
I feel like I've come full circle...my very first review was the previous 4 books in this series *reminisces about the old days (way back 10 months ago, LOL)*
I'm just going to toss all my thoughts into the air and let them land where they may:
Poor, poor Georgina. She just can't seem to catch a break. She's been the focus of all sorts of supernatural shenanigans over the past year, and to add insult to injury she's allowed herself to get roped into helping plan her dream guy's wedding....to her good friend. So, yeah, I'd say she's entitled to feel a bit down.
She runs into some serious trouble and can't get out of it without her friends, both human and supernatural. I don't think Georgina realized what a great group of friends she had until this book. I loved the scenes showing her friends efforts to save her. The scenes from her past were an interesting view, like peeking through a window into her head.
I kind of see Georgina as the supernatural version of "the hooker with a heart of gold" (although she has sex for souls, not cash), and this book furthered that image. We saw how in her past she had a conscience and cared about the humans she interacted with. And in her present she continues to care, even though it hurts.
As far as characters go, I continue to adore Carter, although I can't really put my finger on why. And I thought it was sweet that he wore the hat Georgina had given him; I know that's silly but whatev, it's my review. And of course, his cryptic answers continue to infuriate me as much as they do Georgina. Jerome confuses me. He seemed to really care forher if you go by his efforts to assist her. But, I'm pretty sure he's behind Simone showing up in Seattle; I just can't figure out exactly why she was there - just to seduce Seth? I'm not buying it. It's got to be more than that. I also think he was behind Erik's "incident", though again, not sure why. He knew about Erik's talents before, I don't think he was suddenly scared of Erik's abilities. Speaking of Erik, I'm confused about the information he gave Georgina, in more ways than one.
And, finally, Seth. I'm really on the fence about Seth. I'm glad he seems to be getting his act together, but is it too little too late? I think he's doing the right thing though. (Does anyone else think Jerome was responsible for the photo? One of those "loopholes" demons are so fond of?)
Oh - and I really like Roman but I think he's a red-herring.
Loved this book - I give Succubus Shadows 5/5 stars!
Friday, April 23, 2010
$24.95 U.S/$27.95 CAN.
I saw the synopsis and thought the premise of Hannah's List was unusual, so when I was approached about reviewing it, I jumped right on it. I'm so glad I did - it was such a sweet read! My review is here (4/5 stars!). This was my first Debbie Macomber book and I really enjoyed it.
If you'd like to read this book courtesy of Big Honcho Media, leave a comment below. One Grand Prize winner will receive a copy of Hannah's List and a $25 Visa gift card (to check out some of Ms. Macomber's other titles!), and two additional winners will each win a copy of the book. This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.) Contest ends at midnight central time on Friday, May 7.
Double your chances at winning: Go check out The Book Vixen - she's also giving away Hannah's List and a $25 Visa gift card!
For more information about Hannah's List, go to http://www.hannahslist.com/.
HANNAH’S LIST will be available April 27, 2010 wherever books are sold, or through http://www.eharlequin.com/.
Debbie Macomber, the author of 92 Pacific Boulevard, 8 Sandpiper Way, Summer on Blossom Street and Twenty Wishes, has become a leading voice in women’s fiction worldwide. Her work has appeared on every major bestseller list, including those of the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly. She is a multiple award winner, and won the 2005 Quill Award for Best Romance. More than a hundred million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. For more information on Debbie and her books, visit her Web site, http://www.debbiemacomber.com/.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Come back tomorrow when I'll be giving away a $25 Visa gift card and a copy of Hannah's List, AND two more winners will each win a copy of Hannah's List, courtesy of Big Honcho Media!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This book falls into my M/M Reading Challenge.
This book makes me laugh. And it makes me feel better about my own idiocyncracies. Because even if these are fictional characters, someone had to think this stuff up.
Travis Puckett is something of a nerd, and he's got the hots for the hot-shot jock, Craig McKenna. They attend an all boys boarding school, and although neither of them know it, they're both interested in each other. They do finally figure it out, and spend the remainder of their senior year talking walks and lots of showers together. Then they spend an amazing summer living and working together before going off to different colleges and lives
Fast-forward 20 years and Travis is a History teacher at the University of Southern California and Craig is an attorney in New York. And while Travis has had a series of hysterically failed relationships and Craig is in a long-term relationship, neither has forgotten their first love. After going back and forth and generally working himself into a tizzy, Travis decides to try to find Craig.
This book is not written in typical story fashion. It's done in memos, journal entries, newspaper articles, test answers, and the like. It takes a few pages to get used to but it really does showcase the idiosyncracies of the characters spectacularly. And I love how Travis and Craig "get" each other; even after a lapse of 20 years, when they think about each other it's eerily funny how much they're right about. I also loved Travis' friend Gordo. He was hysterical - and a true friend (and I loved how his life changed throughout the book as well).
I really, really enjoyed this book. I'm not going to pretend I got all the sports references, or the showtune references either, but for the most part it didn't really matter; this book had me laughing out loud in so many places. But here's the thing - I didn't like the end. I got all worked up over how it was going to be possible that they were going to end up together, it seemed so hopeless (I even wondered at one point if the author would turn them into a trio!). Then, sudenly, I was at the end of the book! It seemed to me to be abrubt and a bit vague about what happened - it all got wrapped up in about 6 pages or so.
The ending is the only reason I'm giving this book 4 stars instead of 5. It was a really terrific book and I'll be thinking about these two for a long time.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Let me start by saying I want to lick this cover. A lot. Methinks this book should come with a protective veneer 'cause it's that lickable. I had to put my Kindle in a ziplock bag. Just kidding. Maybe.
Okay, enough about that delicious cover...I loved Addicted, Ms. Featherstone's first book in this series (my review here). In Sinful, the hero is Lindsay's best friend, Matthew, Lord Wallingford. I did not realize from reading Addicted how tortured Lord Wallingford is. Talk about your Tarnished Hero; he's as bad boy as they come: Condescending view of women? Check. Dysfunctional family? Check. Sexually promiscuous? Check. Skeletons in the closet? Check. He's been a terrible disappointment to his father, who's tightened the purse strings, and in order to fund his dream - an art gallery - he's painted a scandalous painting and auctioned it off. On his way out of the auction, he is attacked and left for dead. He ends up in a hospital on the other side of town, an obviously wealthy, anonymous patient.
This is where we meet Jane Rankin. She also has had a horrible childhood - she was an illegitimate child whose mother was deserted by Jane's father and left penniless, so she turned to prostitution. Although Jane was not a prostitute, she suffered the effects of having a parent working this profession. Luckily she was saved by Lady Blackwood who cleaned her up and took her in as a Lady's maid. Jane has been happy working for Lady Blackwood but recently took up nursing at her local hospital as a way to pay off debt, and once the debt was paid off she stayed on because she liked it.
When Lord Wallingford is brought in with a head and eye injury, Jane assists the young doctor caring for him. Although she's seen many male patients, she is attracted to him for reasons she doesn't understand. There is an intimate moment or two, and once he is better and able to leave, Wallingford wants to keep meeting her; he can't get her out of his mind. He is temporarily unable to see, but he knows she is lovely and he wants her in a way he doesn't understand. They meet once, but she wears a veil as she doesn't want the hospital employees to know she's meeting this man - she only knows him as Mathew, she doesn't realize he's the infamously scandalous Lord Wallingford. Their second meeting is heartbreaking; I felt so bad for Jane!
They next meet at Lindsay and Annais' wedding; Wallingford is Best Man and Jane is Maid of Honor. They detest each other (Wallingford does not realize who she is) and verbally spar back and forth, until a shadow crosses Jane's face and he realizes who she is. He's shocked, refuses to admit it, and has to have her, all at the same time. And she'll have nothing to do with him.
Wallingford and Jane's story is a very dark story. It's a story about pride, secrets, trust, redemption and love. Wallingford's secrets are indeed deep and dark. In this day and age maybe not so much, but for the time in which the story is set they're definitely scandalous. As Wallingford's secrets are revealed, the reader begins to understand why his life turned out the way it did. Jane has issues of her own due to childhood circumstances that make it difficult for her to give Wallingford what he wants and needs. Their path is a difficult one full of obstacles both internal and external.
Ms. Featherstone is a master (mistress?) of anticipation. For a good portion of the book, it felt like an "almost-kiss" - you know, where your heart is beating in anticipation and you're all tingly but you're not quite there yet? The tender scenes between these two were intimate and sensual and sometimes painful to read.
The story took a turn I wasn't expecting, which led to events that were heartbreaking. I'm not going to mince words here - this book did not end the way I wanted it to end. I do, however, understand why Ms. Featherstone ended it the way she did; it was the natural course of the storyline. To end it any other way would not have been true to the characters or the times they were living in. That's not to say it was a bad ending, just a dark one; not every book is cotton candy and unicorns. As an interesting side note, the end of the book mentions that Ms. Featherstone will publish an epilogue to this book on her site in May 2010.
This was a difficult book to put down, and I continued to think about it long after I finished it. I give this book 4/5 stars.Sinful is available for purchase May 1, 2010.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Excuse my bad camera skillz, they were so entertaining I kept forgetting to take pictures! They each told funny stories about being an author and answered some of the most common questions they get. I really enjoyed seeing them interact with each other - as I watched and listened, I thought to myself "This is a perfect example of how women should treat each other - they're incredibly supportive and genuinely like each other."
Maggie talked about how she used to hate the question, "what made you decide to write this book?", until she met an author she admired, Melina Marchetta, who wrote Saving Francesca. She was thrilled to be speaking with Ms. Marchetta, and asked, "What made you decide to write this book?" and had an "ah-ha" momet. (I had to chuckle, because as she was speaking, it popped into my head that I thought this was the book that Danielle at Alpha Reader had gushed about this book several months ago; then Maggie mentioned Melina was Australian, at which point I thought "Bingo!")
Now, I haven't read Shiver yet, but apparently one of the characters writes notes to himself on his hand? Look closely at the picture below:
It was hard to get a good picture where you could see there was something there, but apparently that is a story idea that will (hopefully) be going into Forever, the third book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. The whole time she talked, she moved her hands around, behind her, one hand over the other, and I couldn't help wondering how many ideas she'd accidentally wiped off, until she mentioned it's on there in Sharpie ink.
AND, while I was there I got to meet one of my fellow New Orleans- area bloggers: Parajunkee!
I have to tell you, Rachel has some crazy good marketing skills - she had absolutely adorable bookmarks and business cards that she gave to the authors. Why didn't I think of that?!? She told me that this was her first signing; I've gone to a few so apparently I'm on the slow end of the learning curve. Rachel put up a few good pics and some more info in her post here.
(Me and Parajunkee with our loot!)
Friday, April 16, 2010
I read several other reviews before I read this book, and they all said something like "Wow, I loved this book. It's such a unique twist!" and I thought, Hmmm...what could be so unique? Well, I hate to sound like a broken record, but it really is different. It's an incredible read with an unusual premise. And I don't quite know how to review it without giving it all away, but I'm going to do my bestest.
Justine Jones is at a good place in her life, if you don't count the fact that she's dying. Or at least, she thinks she is. You see, she's a hypochondriac. She imagines she can feel the symptoms, becomes convinced she's dying, seeks medical care until she's reassured she's not dying, and then she imagines she's having the symptoms again. She knows it's a cycle, and yet she can't break it. While having dinner at Mongolian Delights, she meets the mysterious Packard, who sees what she is and offers a way to escape the cycle...by ''zinging" her fears into criminals, rendering them unable to function normally due to the debilitating worries of hypochondria.
I loved this book! Justine and her fellow disillusionists were all imperfect people trying to make the world a better place. Using their various neruoses to fight crime was a brilliant and unexpected take on traditional vigilante crime-fighting. I enjoyed the camaraderie between Justine and her new friends, Justine and the criminals (surprisingly), and the many layered relationship between Justine and Packard. Packard's situation was...interesting. The bigger story behind it kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what Justine would do.
Several times I wanted to shake the book and yell "No, Justine, No!!!" ,"Be careful!!" and "OMG!!!" The end of the book, while not a cliffhanger per se, definitely left me wanting more. I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy, Double Cross, which comes out September 28.
I give Mind Games 5 out of 5 stars; this one's going onto the keeper shelf!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I first asked this question on twitter but it's hard to explain in 140 characters or less. In trying to avoid spoilers for any of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, let's say that one of the brothers's Shellan dies. And that Ms. Ward has hinted there may be a new mate at some point in the future. How does the name tattoo thing work?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
This series fell into my Vampire Reading Challenge.
I'd seen a bit here and there about this series, but hadn't really decided if I wanted to give it a read until I saw Danielle's review. Then I knew I had to read this series. I'm so glad I did!
Here's the thing. Unbeknownst to Claire, the town is controlled by vampires. They are in charge of everything and (almost) everyone. Residents make regular "donations" to the local bloodbank and have vampire "patrons" so they can go about unmolested by other vamps. The residents of the Glass House fight the vampire control and do not have patrons. When Claire finds out what's really going on she's incredulous but soon has reason to believe.
I'm thinking this review probably doesn't make much sense, but there's so much going on at this point in the series that it's hard to put it all together. I can't believe I came into the series this late in the game but I'm glad I got to read the first seven books back-to-back. I'm anxiously waiting for Kiss of Death.
Be warned, however, Ms. Caine may well be the Queen of the Cliffhanger Ending. I'm just sayin'.
Here's my ratings so far:
1. Glass Houses: 4/5 stars
Monday, April 12, 2010
It's coming out July 27 and let me tell you: I. Can. Not. Wait. (Even though it doesn't have any hockey players, LOL!) I would say I'm too old to squee like a little girl, but I'm not - just be happy you can't actually see it!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Oh Mercy, Mercy, Mercy....
I've already seen several reviews about this book, so I'm going to skip the chit-chat and jump right in to why I loved this book:
Mercy and Adam: I loved how we got a bigger peek into their relationship; how Mercy was struggling with the new bond and Adam's continued understanding of her psychological reaction to certain events in previous books. His refusal to accept her apology had me smiling - he "gets" her. I absolutely LOVED the scene where Mercy finds the garland and rocks and rope. That scene completely melted my heart into a big ol' puddle of "awwwww!!!".
Samuel: I've always liked his character and enjoyed seeing a different side of him in Silver Borne. I thought it was a great showcase of how deep his feelings for pack and family (especially towards Mercy) are. Also a great view into the wolf/man relationship.
Bran: While Bran did not get a lot of page-time, that garland scene got me. I've always loved Bran's character, and this book is a perfect example of why I think he's so awesome.
The Pack: Although we didn't see a lot of the characters I've gotten familiar with , some of my favorites were here: Warren and Ben are probably my two favorite pack members and I enjoyed them immensely. I love that Ms. Briggs writes a gay werewolf whose definining characteristic is not that he's gay. He's a great friend to Mercy and a kick-ass werewolf. And Ben has done a lot of growing since the beginning of the series, I think. I really like him and hope we continue to see more of him in future books. It was also interesting to see the pack dynamic with reference to female status within the pack. I'm thinking there may be some changes a'comin.
The storyline: Ms. Briggs did a wonderful job hooking me in from the beginning. From the pack messing with Mercy to Samuel's accident to the mystery of the book, I devoured it all and read the whole book in a day.
I have only two niggles: 1: I missed Stefan. Honestly, I don't know what he could have added to this particular story, but I did miss him. And 2: I'm not sure how I feel about Samuel's friend. If you've already read the story you know to whom I am referring. I'm hoping Ms. Briggs can bring me around on that character in future books.
I wholeheartedly give Silver Borne 5 out of 5 stars!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
*does the happy dance* Yay!!!
"I NEED MY BOOKMARK! I NEED MY BOOKMAAAAAAARK!"
Yes, she reads (okay, looks at pictures, really) on the pot and had dropped her bookmark. It was really very cute.
I always assume no one is paying attention to what I read. Well, apparently hubs has been paying attention to what I've been reading, because when I walked into the bedroom after helping the Littlest Book Addict find her bookmark, I found this:
Yup, that's what it is. Not sure it will ever do anything besides grace my bookshelf, but you never know..... *winks*
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Original Sin is a bit of a twist on the classic Good vs. Evil theme. Moira O'Donnell is a witch. She was conceived with a specific fate in mind for her. Her mother, Fiona is a witch straight out of a fairy tale- evil to the core. Once Moira was old enough to realize her mother's true purpose, she ran away and vowed to destroy the evil she'd done.
As the book opens, Moira is dreaming about her posession by demons that caused her to kill her boyfriend/lover. As always, after the nightmare comes a horrible vision. She calls her Priest/mentor for advice, and is able to generalize where the things in this vision are taking place. Fast forward 10 weeks, and Moira has been at the location of the vision, piecing together what happened and trying to figure out what's coming next. She knows her mother is involved, and is hoping for a chance to kill Fiona so she can stop running.
Fiona has been busy in the last few years. She's become leader of a powerful coven, and in an attempt to gain immortality has perfected a spell/ritual that will bring forth the 7 demons for her to control. At the moment of truth, however, something goes terribly wrong.
This book had a lot going on. There was a lot of previous background between Moira and the other characters to the point where a couple of times I felt like I had accidentally picked up the second book in the series instead of the first. I think Moira's backstory growing up with Fiona and her subsequent escape; meeting Peter and their relationship; and Peter and Anthony's upbringing would have made an interesting story.
There were also a LOT of other character points-of-view: Her priest/mentor Fr. Philip, her dead boyfriend's best friend and demonologist Anthony, another member of the Church order Raphael Cooper, Rico - another member of the Church/Moira's mentor that is often referenced but I don't think we ever got his point of view, her mother Fiona, and her half sister/witch Serena. There were others but I think those were the POVs most important to the story. I don't usually mind multiple POVs, but there were so many that I did find it a bit frustrating.
This book seems to be billed as a Paranormal Romance, but I don't think it is. There was a short sex scene that had nothing to do with Moira; BUT, I can see where future books in the series may fall into that PNR category. This story was a bit darker than I usually read, with a bit less romance than I prefer, but the premise of the Seven Deadly Sins escaping and roaming the earth is interesting. There was a twist with one character I didn't see coming, and I enjoyed the animosity between Moira and Anthony, even though they were on the same team. I liked her young friend Jared and hope we'll see him in the next book.
I give Original Sin 3 out of 5 stars.
This book was provide to me by Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I was blown away by Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampire books and am anxiously awaiting the next installment, Kiss of Death, coming out May 4. (I'm going to do a series review, I swear...I just don't know where the time goes to finish it!!)
Faith & Fidelity was a surprise for me -I loved it!
I really enjoyed Can't Stand the Heat and am waiting for the sequel, On the Steamy Side, to arrive in my mailbox any day now.
I was really looking forward to reading Fragile and Broken by Shiloh Walker but they fell a bit flat for me; I was a little disappointed.
I really enjoyed Jill Shalvis' baseball books, so while browsing my local bookstore I picked up Get A Clue. Little did I know that title was aimed at the heroine. I couldn't finish it.
So, that was my March! How was yours?
Friday, April 2, 2010
This book falls into my M/M Reading Challenge.