Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pam's Review: Make Mine A Bad Boy by Katie Lane

Make Mine a Bad Boy
~Katie Lane

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0446582794
ISBN-13: 978-0446582797
ASIN: B00495ZE08

From Goodreads:
Hope Scroggs is finally ready to get hitched. After years of sowing her wild oats, the former head cheerleader and homecoming queen has returned to Bramble, Texas, to marry her high school flame. But her perfect wedding plans are stomped to smithereens when her adoring cowboy two-steps down the aisle with someone else. Now Hope is stuck with the one man from her past she can't shake: Colt Lomax, an irresistible bad boy whose sultry kisses are hotter than the Panhandle in August . . .

Colt lives for freedom and the open road; he never gets attached, never looks back. Still, he can't forget the night of passion he once shared with Bramble's sweetheart—a night he wouldn't mind repeating. So,
he piles on the Texas charm to tease the feisty beauty back into his bed, while she tries her darnedest to resist. But something unexpected is about to tie their fates together . . . and oh, baby, will it ever!

The story takes place in Bramble, Texas; a small town where everyone knows your name, and your business. Hope is the town’s sweetheart, just back in town after living in Hollywood trying to make it big for the past few years. Colt, the town’s troublemaker, is also recently back in town, supposedly just released from prison.

Before Hollywood and prison, Colt grew up constantly teasing and harassing Hope, playing all sorts of mean pranks on her, like hanging her bra from a flagpole. Because of that, Hope thinks Colt hates her, as does the town, but yet neither of them can stay away from each other.

What a great book! It was my first contemporary romance, and I was not disappointed. The citizens of Bramble made me laugh out loud with the way they spread gossip and that they were always there to help, even when you didn’t want them to be. I also like how I had no clue where the story was going, and how there were surprises along the way.

The only thing that took me away from the story was that the author used the word ‘ornery,’ a lot. I had never heard the word before, so something good to come out of that is that I now know it means ‘ill-tempered’. But it was a used a little much.

There is a lot more to say about the plot and the characters, I just don’t want to give anything away. I’ll need to add some more books by Katie Lane to my ‘to be read’ list, and so should you, because this was a great read.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Too Hot to Touch by Louisa Edwards

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I love Contemporary Romance, and Louisa Edwards has consistently delivered great books.  Her heroes are smart and sexy, and her heroines are too.  It's a bit strange how much I enjoy this series, considering I hate to cook. Perhaps that's why I married a great cook?  I don't know.  All I know is I cannot wait to get Too Hot to Touch into my hot little hands!!!

Too Hot to Touch
~Louisa Edwards

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publish Date: August 2, 2011
ISBN-10: 031235648X
ISBN-13: 978-0312356484
From the author's website:
Welcome to the Rising Star Chef competition, where today’s hottest chefs battle it out on national TV for a chance at fame, fortune and culinary supremacy. Every contestant hungers to win, but only one will take the prize...

When it comes to competitive cooking, Max Lunden is no stranger to winning...though he’s never been great at working with a team. A master chef—and major hunk—he’s traveled the world, picking up new cooking techniques as well as beautiful women. But when the prodigal chef returns home to his family’s Greenwich Village restaurant, he discovers one too many cooks in the kitchen—and she’s every bit as passionate as he is...

Juliet Cavanaugh used to have a crush on Max when she was just a teenager, hanging out at Lunden & Sons Tavern, hoping to catch a glimpse of the owner’s oldest, and hottest, son. Now a chef herself—competing in the biggest culinary contest in the country—Juliet will be cooking side by side with the one man she’s always admired...and desired. But despite their simmering attraction, Juliet is determined to keep her cool—no matter how hot it gets...

Read an excerpt.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Driftwood Cottage by Sherryl Woods

Driftwood Cottage
(Chesapeake Shores, book 5)
~Sherryl Woods

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: March 29, 2011
ISBN-10: 077832947X
ISBN-13: 978-0778329473

From the author's website:
Single mom Heather Donovan’s dreams of home and family are tantalizingly within reach when she settles in Chesapeake Shores. The welcoming arms of the boisterous, loving O’Brien clan embrace her and her son. But accepting their support seems to further alienate her son’s father, Connor O’Brien. His parents’ divorce and his career as a high-powered divorce attorney have left him jaded about marriage.

Then everything changes. Will the possibility of a future without Heather make Connor look at love and his career differently? Heather’s just about given up on her old dreams — of love, of family and especially of Driftwood Cottage, the home she secretly wishes were hers. It’s going to take a lot of persuasion — and some help from the O’Brien family — to make Heather believe that some dreams are worth fighting for.
Heather Donovan has just moved to Chesapeake Shores with her one-year-old son, Mick.  She recently left Mick's father, Connor O'Brien.  Heather is estranged from her own parents, but is very close to Connor's family, which is part of the reason she moved from Boston, where she lived with Connor, into Chesapeake Shores, where Connor's family lives.  She's started a new life and a quilting business, and is surrounded by this surrogate family.  The O'Brien clan is a big family, always in each other's business, but it's obvious they love each other and treat Heather like one of their own.

Well, everyone except Connor that is.  He loves Heather; he just won't marry her.  His parents apparently went through a bitter divorce, and he is now a high-profile divorce attorney.  And although his parents reconciled and are now happily married, Connor just doesn't believe in marriage. And while Heather knew that going into the relationship, her feelings have changed and she feels like she deserves more than just "shacking up".

Connor wants to charm his way back into Heather's life and she won't let him if he's not going to marry her. When gets a glimpse of life without Heather, Connor makes a promise to God that he intends to keep; but Heather wants more than just words.

My Thoughts:
Driftwood Cottage was a sweet, comfortable read.  Sweet because the characters were likeable and I loved the "grand gesture" near the end.  Comfortable because Ms. Woods' writing is so descriptive that I felt like I was there, and Chesapeake Shores sounds like someplace I'd like to visit on vacation.

Connor and Heather are the hero/heroine, but so much of the story involves Connor's family: The O'Brien family is one of those big families that like everyone stumbling all over each other; Connor and Heather were good at ignoring all the matchmaking by his parents and siblings, but I wanted to holler at them to back off already. This is the fifth book in the series, and while we get some background information on the family members, there are some holes - like why is Connor so angry at his mother?  It's obvious he blames her for divorcing his father but we don't know why he's had a hard time forgiving her, especially if his parents are remarried.

It's apparent from the start that Connor and Heather love each other very much, but they are in a position that really has no compromise - either you get married or you don't.  Heather has decided she needs the security and commitment that comes with marriage, and Connor doesn't understand why he can't be committed to her and little Mick without signing a piece of paper.  In his mind, marriage just leads to divorce, so if you don't get married you don't get divorced. While I understood where he was coming from, Connor's cynicism got old quick.  If you took every time he gave his reasons for not getting married out of the book, you'd easily lose a quarter of the story.  Because of that though, Heather's reasons for not agreeing to a HEA right away made perfect sense - Connor had a lifetime of marriage phobia to overcome; I loved that she made him work for it and his grand gesture had me awww-ing. I enjoyed Driftwood Cottage and wouldn't mind reading the previous books to get the stories of his other family members.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 27, 2011

ALA 2011: The Highs, The Lows, and The Embarrassing Moments

It's official:  I'm no longer a conference virgin!!!  Since I started blogging two years ago (yes - 2 years this month!!), I've seen all these great posts about book conferences and always wanted to go to one.  The books, the comraderie, the ambiance, the whole package... it always looked like so much fun!

Well it is....and it isn't.  Here's my own personal highs, lows, and an incident that will leave me forever cringing whenever anyone mentions fairies:

The Highs:
1.  Being surrounded by all things bookish and people who love books and reading.
2.  Hanging out with other bloggers like Rachel, Laura, Autumn, Christine, Sasha, Nerissa, Jess, and a few other bloggers I'm sure I'm leaving out...
3.  Meeting the authors who write the books I love.
4.  The books!  Here's a pretty good round up of what I went home with:

As you can tell from the pics, YA is hot!  So are Dystopian novels.  There are several books I'm super-duper excited about:
Forever and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Stay With Me by Paul Griffin

Okay, I'm excited about all of them but those are at the top of the list :)

So, what could be the lows, you ask?  Really, there were only a few:
1.  The Lines - ohmygodthelines!!!  If you wanted to meet an author or snag a popular ARC, you had to be prepared to wait for it.  And wait.  And wait some more.
2.  The giveaway information was inconsistent.  For example, a friend wanted The Predicteds by Christine Seifert.  Saturday they told us they were giving them away on Sunday.  We came back on Sunday and they said "Sorry, that giveaway was yesterday".  Wait, what?  But really, for the most part, the publishing people were really nice and wanted to talk about what I wanted to talk about - books!
3.  Disappearing publishers:  I was so excited to see Dreamspinner Press there on Saturday.  I enjoy their publications and they had plenty of books on display.  I asked if they were selling, as they had some print titles I wanted to purchase (most booths wouldn't sell their stock until Monday) and they said they were giving them away on Monday, however, they did not come back Sunday or Monday at all.  I would have paid -I bought other books I wanted- they had some great titles!!!
4.  The not-really-their-fault-but-still-disappointing-incident:  The Lost Copies of Crossed by Ally Condie. This book was the catalyst for my coming back on Sunday (I was supposed to attend on Saturday only)I waited in line for an hour, I was #65 - pretty good, right?  Well, the stock disappeared, no one knows where it went.  I heard it was around 300 copies that went missing.  Penguin was very nice about it though and took everyone's address and promised to mail a copy.  I've already started stalking my mailman.

And, the Embarrassing Moments:
1. First, my most embarrassing moment, aka How I Met Julie Kagawa. I had been waiting in line for Crossed *sobs*, and Rachel and Laura were at the Harlequin booth.  I walked up to where they were standing, and someone asked one of the two ladies behind the booth for a particular ARC.  I asked the other woman for an ARC I was interested in.  As she turned to ask someone to get it for me, Rachel turned to me and said "That's Julie Kagawa."  Me: "What?"   Rachel: "The woman you just asked to get a book, that's Julie Kagawa."  Me: *white as a sheet* Thinking, oh shit, what do I do? ...of course I apologized profusely.  I couldn't even look at her.  I kept turning to Rachel to ask her questions.  Finally, Julie graciously asked me if I would like a signed copy of her book and who to personalize it to...  Me: "To the idiot who didn't know who I was and asked me to fetch her a book?"

Here's the thing - Rachel, Laura and I were standing in line *sigh* to see Nalini Singh *squee!* a few hours later, and I made mention of how embarrassed I was that I asked Julie Kagawa to find me a book.  Guess who was standing right behind me?  Yup, you guessed it - Julie Kagawa.  Where's the hole in the floor when you need it?  Seriously, though, she was very gracious and laughed with me, not at me...really.  I think.

2. I'm sure I've mentioned before how shy I am.  Other bloggers say are social butterflies online...not me.  Don't believe me?  Well, we went to a small gathering of bloggers at a local wine bar.  Probably 20-25 bloggers.  Basically I knew about 3 people (5 if you count my husband and Rachel's husband).  I got a little anxious about socializing with all these strangers.  So I went to the restroom and texted my BFF from the stall.  Then I tweeted about my social phobia.  Yes, from the bathroom.  Go me.  But, eventually, I was pulled out of my shell and did manage to socialize with the book ladies while our menfolk drank beer and talked about being married to book bloggers.  Or sports.  Or something.

So, all in all, ALA 2011 was FAWESOME!!!  Would I do it again?  Absolutely! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pam Reviews: Lady of Seduction by Laurel McKee

Lady of Seduction
~Laurel McKee

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0446544779
ISBN-13: 978-0446544771

From Goodreads:
It's a mad, ill-advised journey that leads the usually sensible Lady Caroline Blacknall to the legendary isle of Muirin Inish, off the windswept coast of Ireland. Even so, she doesn't expect to find herself shipwrecked and then rescued by a man she believed she would never see again. A man who, long ago, held her life in his hands . . . and with it, her heart.

Reformed rake Sir Grant Dunmore knew he could never forget the beautiful woman he once endangered nor will he ever forgive himself. But history seems doomed to repeat itself, for as long as Caroline stays on the island, she is trapped in a secret plot that could forever free Ireland-or turn deadly for all. And yet, now that she is in his arms again, how can he dream of ever letting her go?

This book is the third in a series, but it’s not necessary to read the other two first. The story takes place in Ireland in the early 1800s. Caroline is a widow, who is in love with libraries, books, and the history of Ireland. In fact, she is recording Ireland’s history and there is one rare book in particular that she needs. Caroline knows that Grant Dunmore, who lives on the island of Muirin Inish, has a copy of this book.

Grant and Caroline have a little bit of an unusual history together, but they haven’t seen each other for a while. Caroline decides to go to the island for the book, and just maybe to see if Grant is the same person that he was when she knew him last.

This book takes you on an adventure from the first page with Caroline traveling by sea to Muirin Inish. She gets shipwrecked and then rescued by none other than Grant Dumore. Caroline and Grant have good chemistry together. They seemed to find themselves in one situation after another, and it was interesting to see how it would affect them and how they would pull through.

I really like how Caroline is portrayed as a strong, determined woman. Something she says to Grant is, “We will speak of this again, and again and again, until you see things my way.” (p. 23) She knows what she wants, what she likes, and she doesn’t question or doubt herself. Her character is refreshing that way.

There were a lot of times when I wanted to stop reading (to sleep or run an errand) but the chapter would end in a cliffhanger and I had to keep reading to find out what happened! However, there were also times when I found myself rereading the same paragraph because it just wasn’t captivating me at that point. Overall though, it was definitely a good read.

My Rating:


This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm spotlighting a YA novel that looks like it will knock my socks off, Glow, by Amy Kathleen Ryan. I've really been diggin' a lot of the YA that's out now, and Glow looks like it's going to be good. I've been hit or miss with YA dystopia - I loved Matched by Ally Condie but was just meh over Across the Universe by Beth Revis.  Based on the blurb, though, I think I'm going to love Glow:

~Amy Kathleen Ryan

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: September 27, 2011
ISBN-10: 0312590563
ISBN-13: 978-0312590567

From the author's website:
What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

What are you waiting on?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review and Giveaway - Forgotten by Cat Patrick

~Cat Patrick

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: June 7, 2011
ISBN-10: 0316094617
ISBN-13: 978-0316094610

From the publisher's website:
What if every day when you woke up, you had no recollection of the days before?

Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can “remember” are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you’d easily forget, but try as she might, London can’t find him in her memories of things to come.

When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it’s time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting – before it destroys her future.

Forgotten has a very unique and interesting premise:  a teenage girl who "remembers" events in the future but can't recall past events from even a day before.  Every night she leaves herself notes in a journal - what she'll wear the next day, who she talked to, if she has a test coming up.  For someone with such a difficult "condition", she seems like a pretty well-balanced kid.  She's got a best friend  and seems social enough in school.  London has a great sense of humor and is a genuinely likeable heroine.

When she meets Luke, a cute new boy in school, it's instant attraction.  I liked the way she'd write about him in her journal so she knew about him and expected to see him, but every day was like seeing him for the first time.  I really liked Luke's character, he was considerate and seemed to be a sweet kid, not some obnoxious kid looking for sex or an ego stroke.  He's keeping a secret that is kind of surprising, and I loved him all the more for it, even if London didn't.

London's friendship with her BFF Jamie takes a bit of a rough turn when Jamie gets involved in an adult situation, and I didn't like the way the author let London maneuver things so that someone else handled the problem for her.  I felt that for a young adult book there could have been a better course of action that London should have taken.

As if the normal teenage drama with friends and boyfriends isn't enough, London is having weird repeating dreams about a funeral and trying to hunt down clues about it's significance.  I had a couple of nagging questions while reading the book, and once London was able to figure out the dream,  many of the questions I'd had while reading were answered when the mystery was solved.

Forgotten is a sweet, sometimes sad but always hopeful journey through a short period in one girl's unusual life.  As I read along, I found myself wondering what I would write every night if it was me who would lose my memory - What were the important happenings of the day I'd feel were important to remember and what would be okay to let go forever?  The ending is happy but a bit open ended; I think there could easily be enough of London's story left for a sequel.  I'd certainly like to know what the future has in store for her.

My Rating:

Thanks to Little, Brown and Company Teens, 
I have two copies of Forgotten to give away!  To enter, leave a comment and a way to reach you. Following is not required but is always appreciated.  Giveaway ends July 1.  
US addresses only.

Watch one of London's video diaries:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have a few winners to announce:

The winners of my May Release giveaway are:

#34 Carol L - Ripe for Pleasure by Isobel Carr

#7 Stacie DM - Awaken the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney

#33 Jess - Face of Danger by Roxanne St. Claire

The winners of Heart of a Highland Wolf by Terry Spear are:

#15 - Paranormal Haven

#26 - Meredith
All winners have been sent an e-mail.

Don't forget - I still have another great giveaway going on:  Win my ARC copy of Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley!!  Click here to enter.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Guest Post and Giveaway: Phillipa Ashley, Author of Wish You Were Here

Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Phillipa Ashley, author of Wish You Were Here, to Book Addict!  My question for Ms. Ashlely:  One topic I've been wondering about is if there's a difference between US and UK readers/fans and whether UK writers have to keep their US readers in mind when they write (slang words, political or cultural figures, etc).

That’s an extremely interesting question!

I think it’s a balance between making the meaning clear to US readers vs. keeping the author’s voice. When I wrote the four books that are being published by Sourcebooks, they were written for an international audience in that they deal with universal themes of love, relationships and family. Those issues resonate with people pretty much all over the world.

I have tried to make sure any reference in them would be under stood worldwide but it’s not always possible and that’s where a wonderful copy editor comes in!

Some publishers are very strict on keeping references generic, with no trade names or figures who aren’t globally famous like Elvis and the Queen. Personally, I think that you can go too far in removing cultural references and run the risk of a book being bland.

My books probably have slightly stronger British flavo(u)r and that’s also (I hope) partly why Sourcebooks wanted to bring them to the US audience. For instance when I read a romance set in the US, Australia or Canada, I love a bit of slang and the mention of celebs and political figures. I don’t mind looking up a word or reference I don’t understand.

I read these books, imagining myself in these wonderful wide open spaces surrounded by rugged cowboys or the skyscrapers of New York or a small town in the desert. The right words help transport me to these places so I hope readers enjoy imagining themselves in London, or an English countryside or a European city when they read mine.

Sourcebooks do edit my books for US spellings and they work with me on any references that aren’t immediately clear. You’d be surprised how many emails fly back and forth late in the evening between me and the copy ed – she’s fantastic at suggesting changes that everyone in the US should understand, yet that don’t jar as ‘non British’.

For instance in Wish You Were Here, I’d described a character as a ‘young Peter Schmeichel’ a soccer star that the hero admired – but no one in the US would have heard of. So we exchanged emails and Google images and decided actor Paul Bettany (married to Jennifer Connelly) would make a good substitute.

In Dating Mr December, the action is set in the Lake District. The mountain rescue team there always call the mountains, ‘the fells’ so that wasn’t changed. Emma, the heroine, however was wearing hold ups in the English version – that got changed to thigh highs for the US. That made me smile because thigh highs here are more likely to conjure up an image of kinky boots! But then Mr December would probably love to see her in those...

At the end of the day romance has universal language and I think that a few quirks of language are part of the reason we love reading – to escape into another world.

What do readers think?

Wish You Were Here
~Phillipa Ashley

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1402241445
ISBN-13: 978-1402241444
ASIN: B002V092T2 (May 1, 2009)

From Goodreads:
Can a whirlwind romance ever go the distance?

When Jack proposes to Beth at the end of a holiday romance, she doesn't think twice--she knows he's The One. But then Jack walks out soon after their return, with no explanation, no nothing.

Eight years on and Beth finds a fantastic new job--working for Jack. She could definitely do without having to face him everyday, but then she can't do without the job...

As the two of them are forced to spend time together, Beth unravels the mystery of Jack's disappearance. Is there too much baggage for them to try again--or could they finally be in the right place at the right time?

Phillipa Ashley can be found on facebook, twitter, and her blog.

Thank you Ms. Ashley for answering my question - I certainly wouldn't have gotten the Peter Schmeichel reference, and I would have thought "hold ups" were some kind of suspenders, lol.  How about it readers, do you often come across phrases or people that are unfamiliar to you when reading foreign authors?

I'm giving away my ARC of Wish You Were Here to one lucky commenter - just leave an answer to Ms. Ashley's question in the comments and a way to contact you.  Following is not required but is always appreciated. US addresses only (sorry!), ends July 1.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Reviewer Pam: Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn

Please join me in welcoming Pam, who has graciously offered her reviewing skillz to Book Addict.  When she's not reading, Pam plays the piano, kayacks, and is a chocoholic.  She stays up late to read, averaging around 3am, which is how she came up with the name @moonlightreader for twitter - go say hi!

Laird of the Mist
~Paula Quinn

Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Forever
Publish Date: December 1, 2007
ISBN-10: 0446619124
ISBN-13: 978-0446619127

From Goodreads:
High-born though she is, Kate Campbell isn't afraid to draw her sword. When raiders strike, she rushes into the fray...and is lucky when a mysterious Highlander shields her from a deadly blow. Swept onto his stallion, she soon discovers that her rescuer is her clan's most hated enemy; Callum MacGregor, the man they call The Devil. Yet she cannot ignore his achingly tender touch or the way his fiery gaze leaves her breathless.

Callum MacGregor has taken many Campbell lives, but he's never saved one ;until now. Mesmerized by this spirited lass, he wants her by his side, even if it means holding her for ransom. As his fingers graze her sumptuous curves and tangle in her unruly tresses, Callum realizes Kate Campbell is his most dangerous foe of all. For he can't make love to her without betraying his kinsmen and his honor...and surrendering his heart forever.
Pam's review:

When I was scrolling through my nook and this book popped up on an advertisement for a steal of 99 cents, I was like, why not? It’s my first read by Paula Quinn and the first book of a series. I’m always looking for a new series to escape in.

The book pulls you right in Kate Campbell’s world where she is practicing her ax-fighting skills right before her home is caught in a raid. Callum MacGregor (aka: The Devil), her clan’s enemy, happens to intervene just in time to save Kate’s life. She ends up being taken as a hostage although she is definitely not treated like one. Kate grew up with horror stories of Callum and how he killed members of her clan. She soon realizes that there is more to the stories she grew up with and perhaps not all of them hold truth.

When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a great romance with decent character development and a good plot. The character development while good, is also a bit one sided favoring Callum. The reader got to know what made Callum who he is, but I felt as though Kate’s character development got put on the back burner. The secondary characters in the book were likeable and made me smile; like Callum’s sister, Maggie, who was adamant about not eating meat, and very caring for her animals. However, without giving anything away, by the middle to two thirds of the book I just wanted it to be over already. I knew where the story was going and what was going to happen but the story just turned into the run of the mill at that point.

It’s disappointing because it started out so great and unique, but then it felt too familiar like it was something I had already read. Because of that, I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ALA New Orleans Blogger Meet -n- Greet

Several bloggers that are attending ALA 2011 are getting together after the conference on Saturday. We'd love to meet you and have some fun N'awlins style!  Everyone is welcome!

When: Saturday, June 25th
Where: Acme Oyster House
When: 5:30 pm

Add your name on the "linky list" to see who else is coming and so we can try to get a head count.

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Wish You Were Here by Phillipa Ashley

Wish You Were Here
~Phillipa Ashley

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1402241445
ISBN-13: 978-1402241444
ASIN: B002V092T2 (May 1, 2009)

From Goodreads:
Can a whirlwind romance ever go the distance?

When Jack proposes to Beth at the end of a holiday romance, she doesn't think twice--she knows he's The One. But then Jack walks out soon after their return, with no explanation, no nothing.

Eight years on and Beth finds a fantastic new job--working for Jack. She could definitely do without having to face him everyday, but then she can't do without the job...

As the two of them are forced to spend time together, Beth unravels the mystery of Jack's disappearance. Is there too much baggage for them to try again--or could they finally be in the right place at the right time?

Beth Allen works in the travel industry; she does backpacking trips in various parts of the world. She'd been working her father's small local company until he had a serious accident six months ago; while he's been recovering the business has slowly wound down. Now her younger sister has been accepted to an expensive college, and Beth is looking for temporary work in London to help with her sister's college expenses.

Jack Thornfield is the newest CEO at Big Outdoors travel company. When his personal assistant shows him Beth's application for Product Manager, he knows she'd be perfect for the job, but is hesitant to interview her. Jack feels guilty about how things ended between them eight years ago, and she doesn't know he's been hired on at Big Outdoors.

Beth hasn't stopped thinking about her whirlwind romanced with Jack Thornfield - it took her years to get over the pain he caused her. When she gets to the interview (she thought she was interviewing with someone else), she's floored and runs out. After thinking about all the reasons she needs the job, she goes back and agrees to accept the job - with the caveat that they don't discuss their past. Ever.

Beth realizes she's still attracted to Jack, and thinks he feels the same about her, but she's got an almost-fiance at home, and needs to concentrate on helping her family's finances. Besides, Jack broke her heart eight years ago, she shouldn't forgive him for that, should she?

My thoughts:
Wish You Were Here was a sweet read; I'm a huge fan of the reunited lovers storyline. I liked both Beth and Jack, they were sympathetic characters and I found I was interested in their story right from the beginning: Beth shines in her role as Product Manager and enjoys living in London, making friends with her co-workers and experiencing big-city life; Jack is the slightly cranky boss who hides his feelings for her.

I was frustrated that we got Jack's backstory in tiny snippets. We knew he'd loved and left Beth, but we didn't know why until near the very end. The gradual way it was revealed left me thinking bad thoughts about him. After I got more information about his situation I changed my mind, but it took a while to get me there. Once I knew the full truth I was won over.

I know we're not supposed to like Beth and Jack's love interests, and I especially didn't care for Beth's almost-fiancee, Marcus. He seemed very one-dimensional and stuffy. I got the impression he was around the same age as Beth and Jack, yet his views on women's behavior was decidedly stodgy and out dated. Jack's girlfriend, Camilla, was stereotypically high-maintenance and not suited for life with someone who spends most of their time outdoors.

Beth's interactions with her father and her father's friend, Honor, were easy and sweet. You definitely got a sense of love and affection for Beth, and the fact that they weren't too impressed with Marcus gave them points in my book, lol.

I enjoyed the way Ms. Ashley ended the book - I love happy endings and Wish You Were Here pleased me on several levels.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Storm Born Issues 1 and 2 by Richelle Mead

Dark Swan - Storm Born Volumes 1&2
~Richelle Mead

From Goodreads:
Richelle Mead's Dark Swan (Storm Born) Graphic Novel will be out on the bookshelves in September of this year. For those interested in getting the comic issues, the first issue will be out on May 18th.

Eugenie Markham never asked for any of this. Until now, she’s been content with her job as a freelance shaman, battling and banishing Otherworldly creatures.  When a prophecy suddenly makes her the Otherworld’s most popular bachelorette, Eugenie finds herself fighting off unwanted supernatural suitors, as well as the evils that begin emerging from her past…

When I accepted the invitation to review the Storm Born graphic novel, I hadn't read the book yet.  It's been sitting on my TBR shelf for ages, and other things kept coming up.  I decided I didn't want to review the graphic novel without reading the book first.  I ended up loving the book (4 stars) and as soon as I finished I went to my computer and pulled up the first comic issue.

A very brief book synopsis:  Eugenie is a shaman - she battles fairies (gentry) and spirits and either sends them back to the Otherworld or into the land of death.  She gets a call from a man whose sister has been taken into the Otherworld, and Eugenie agrees to try and go get her.  In her journey she meets many fairies, a fairy king, and other spirits/beings.  She learns things about herself and her family she never would have dreamed of, and in addition to trying to save the girl she ends up on a journey of self-discovery and growth.

Now, on to the comics:
It's obvious the writers and illustrators read the book and paid attention; Eugenie's tattoos and jewelry (which are important in the book) are there, the characters fit the descriptions, and the story follows the book closely.  I like the artwork, and they do a good job of showing the reader what's going on. 

As a fan, I was taken by the first page and enjoyed the whole thing:  the first issue has most of the set-up to the eventual storyline and Eugenie has just met a potential love-interest.  That being said, I don't know if there was enough going on that I would have been interested in continuing the series if I hadn't read the book already.  By the second issue, however, things started to get more interesting and I think even people who haven't read the book will want the story to keep going; I know I did!

I would say to Dark Swan fans - if you like graphic novels, you'll love this, and to comic fans who haven't read the Eugenie books, keep with it - you'll be happy you did.
I cannot wait to for the next two issues: Issue 3 will be released in July, and Issue 4 in August:

I will definitely be buying the hardcover when it comes out on September 20.


Here's a great link to an MTV interview with Richelle Mead - see how she feels about people saying the main character looks like her, lol.

My Rating:

These comics were provided to me by the pubisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: Beg for Mercy by Jami Alden

Beg for Mercy
~Jami Alden

Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Forever
Publish Date: May 31, 2011
ISBN-10: 0446572802
ISBN-13: 978-0446572804
ASIN: B00495ZE5S

From Goodreads:
Megan Flynn thought she was falling in love. Cole Williams wasn't just handsome and passionate, he was one of the good guys. Or so she thought, until he arrested her brother-the only family she has left-for a murder she knows he couldn't have possibly committed. Now, with her heart broken and her brother's life hanging in the balance, Megan will risk everything to prove his innocence. Even if that means throwing herself into the path of a sadistic killer with a hauntingly familiar MO.

Seattle Detective Cole Williams had given up on making Megan see reason where her brother is concerned. But when she insinuates herself into the most shockingly brutal case Cole has ever worked, he can't stand idly by. Plunged into a secret world where the city's elite indulge their darkest desires, Cole will do whatever it takes to bring down a madman who has made Megan his most coveted prey.
Megan Flynn's brother Sean has been convicted of a horrible murder.  She knows he's innocent, but can't prove it.  He's been sentenced to death and is done appealing his sentence.  Megan can't accept that her brother is going to die for a crime he didn't commit, and is determined to save him.

Cole Williams is a cop - the cop who arrested Megan's brother for murder.  He and Megan had been dating at the time, and after the arrest their relationship ended after it was made public.  He's been called out to investigate a brutal rape and murder.  He's surprised when he gets to the crime scene and Megan is there - she's the teenage witness' legal advocate.

After Megan notices  a similarity in the current murder and the murder her brother was convicted of, she asks Cole for his help.  He doesn't want to help, but once Megan starts uncovering clues, he's not only helping her find the truth, he's helping her stay alive.

My thoughts:
Megan is a likable heroine, even with her single-minded determination to free her brother. Cole is a by-the-book cop; noble and courageous, if lonely.  Even though he believes Sean is guilty, he agrees to help Megan, if only to help her accept the truth. I liked Cole and his ability to admit to himself that this might be his second chance at happiness, however briefly.  We don't really get an in-depth look at either the hero or heroines pasts though, only that Megan and Sean's parents died when they were young.

The killer was cold and calculating, and entirely insane.  At first I wondered how Megan was connected, but as we are given glimpses of his history, we see his path to insanity and why he does what he does.  I pegged who the killer was early on, but there were a few spots in the story where I second-guessed myself.

I like Jami Alden's writing style, she has an ability to pull the reader into the scene without being overly descriptive.  For example, during scenes in a trailer park, I could picture it in my head, the dirt, the desperation, the hopelessness of the residents.  

The climax was fast-paced and full of suspense. Beg for Mercy was a quick and entertaining read.

My Rating:

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Author Fan Letter Blog Tour - Molly Harper

Dear Ms. Harper,

I still remember the first time I saw Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs. I was in B&N, and the title caught my eye; nice cover, good blurb, so I picked it up. Little did I know that what was inside would begin a one-sided love affair with your books.

Nice Girls has the funniest vampire transformation story I’ve ever read: the heroine gets fired from her job as a librarian, heads to Shenanigans with the gift card that was part of her termination package, has a few drinks, her car breaks down on the way home so she starts walking, gets mistaken for a deer and is shot by a drunk hunter. Left for dead, she is turned by Gabriel, the vampire she met in Shenanigans.

Jane is the kind of snarky, funny yet caring friend I want to have. Hell, let’s be honest here, she’s got the kind of personality I wish I had. Gabriel is, in turns, sexy and clueless. And who ever thought I’d fall in love with a vampire named Dick Cheney? As secondary characters go, he’s one of my favorites. Jane’s best friend Zeb, her grandmother’s ghost, and her dysfunctional family, including a mother that insists on bringing her casseroles, all keep me in stitches.

The Nice Girls series is one of my favorites and holds a prime spot on my keeper shelf.

You had me at Nice Girls, but then you went and wrote a contemporary - And One Last Thing...

I loved it!! Such a funny divorce scenario: Heroine catches her husband cheating, writes all about it in the company newsletter, and e-mails it to everyone - friends, clients, and family. Bravo! And One Last Thing… has everything I like in a contemporary romance – a funny, sometimes crude heroine, a cantankerous hero who looks like Wolverine (yum!), and a gay BFF (okay, he's her brother, but I think that's pretty awesome that her brother is her BFF).

I’m really hoping this won’t be your last contemporary. As I say in my review – this book is exactly the reason I love reading contemporaries – it’s pure entertainment from start to finish.  This one sits on my keeper shelf right next to the Nice Girls books.

But, you weren’t finished with your domination of my literary soul:

You went and started a series about Werewolves. Naked Werewolves. *wiggles eyebrows* And they’re funny. Sexy too, but laugh out loud funny. I chuckled and snorted  my way through both books until my husband told me he couldn’t hear the TV over my laughter.  I summed up How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf in my review:  You've got the funny, the sexin', a love triangle, a dog in a sweater, and a borderline obsession with meat products. How can I go wrong with a book like that? I think this is where I admit that you have your own section on my keeper shelf.

So, here’s the thing:
I read because I want to be entertained. I don’t want to know the specifics involved in sailing around the world in an 1800’s schooner, or how to track a serial killer using GPS, a paperclip and dryer lint. I’ve got three kids and a stressful day job - I want to immerse myself in the characters and live vicariously through the pages of the books I read. Your stories do that for me: every time I open one of your books, I’m immediately transported into an alternate life where the characters face challenges and overcome obstacles, and I’m fully vested in the outcome without actually having to do it myself. (I think as a wife and mother you can understand where I’m coming from here.)

Thank you, Ms. Harper, for sharing your stories. If you look up the term "auto-buy author" in the dictionary - I've pasted your photo there.

With vampire wishes and werewolf dreams,
All the best,

In case you missed it, yesterday's Author Fan Letter was from The Book Reading Gals, and tomorrow's letter will be at Katidom.  A complete list of participants can be found here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sourcebooks discounts and Freebies!

Here are some great JUNE eBook Deals from Sourcebooks:

New York Times Bestselling Author, Grace Burrowes has the next book in her delightful regency romance series in stores this month: The Soldier. During this exciting time: The Soldier will be $2.99 for 2 weeks (06/07/2011 – 06/20/2011) and The Heir at $0.99 for 5 weeks (05/02/2011 – 06/06/2011)—so get them both while you can!

In honor of Terry Spear’s latest, Heart of the Highland Wolf, hitting stores Seduced by the Wolf will be FREE during the first week of publication of Heart of the Highland Wolf. Terry’s werewolves act like real wolves—including mating for life!

Have you ever met a hero that can purrrrrr? Find one in The Cat Star Chronicles, the out of this world sexy series by Cheryl Brooks! Book 7, Virgin, is in stores now! To celebrate, you can download Outcast for FREE during the first week of publication of Virgin! 06/07/2011 – 06/13/2011 only.

It’s Hannah Montana meets Project Runway! Get the first book in this great middle grade series, The Allegra Biscotti Collection, for FREE this week only, and meet Allegra Biscotti, a fabulous and famous fashion designer—only no one knows because she’s actually Emma Rose, and still in junior high! If you love this book, don’t get your threads in knot—book 2, Who What Wear! Is now available.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could find out HIS side of the story? Matt Dunn, a women’s fiction author who just so happens to be a guy, tells all in The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook, which is free this week, in honor of Ex-Girlfriends United hitting stores! Did I mention he’s British?!

Christmas in June? Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley is free for one week! Love her awesome wit, hilarious scenarios and super sweet love stories? Her brand new US release, Wish You Were Here is now available!

Did you know Georgette Heyer wrote two Gothic Regency Romances? The Quiet Gentleman is dark, moody, and not what anyone expects! Still craving the frothy, effervescent tone of Heyer? Get one of her most beloved, Cotillion, for free this week!