Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A-Z Wednesday




This is a fun meme hosted by Reading at the Beach




Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!




To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.




Post:


1~ a photo of the book


2~ title and synopsis


3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)


4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.




If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.




Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.(We all love comments, don't we?)




Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.




THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: "U"





Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon is my Wednesday pick. I read this book a few days ago and completely forgot how awesome I thought the Dark-Hunter world really is.


Summary compliments of shelfari.com

It's a predator eat predator world for the Were-Hunters. Danger haunts any given day. There is no one to trust. No one to love. Not if they want to live… An orphan with no clan that will claim him, Wren Tigarian grew to adulthood under the close scrutiny and mistrust of those around him. A forbidden blend of two animals—snow leopard and white tiger—Wren has never listened to anyone when there was something he wanted. Now he wants Marguerite. Marguerite D'Aubert Goudeau is the daughter of a prominent U.S. Senator who hates the socialite life she's forced to live. Like her mother before her, she has strong Cajun roots that her father doesn't understand. Still, she has no choice but to try and conform to a world where she feels like an outsider. But the world of rich and powerful humans is never to meet the world of the Were-Hunters who exist side by side with them, unseen, unknown, undetected. To break this law is to call down a wrath of the highest order. In order to have Marguerite, Wren must fight not just the humans who will never accept his animal nature, but the Were-Hunters who want him dead for endangering their world. It's a race against time and magic without boundary that could cost Marguerite and Wren not just their lives, but their very souls…




So after reading this book I found I loved it 4.5 stars for sure. I really liked Wren and decided that my cover for this book really kinda sucked because it looked nothing like what I pictured Wren to look like. He had blonde dred locks for one. The amazon cover is more to my thinking of what he may have looked like....still no dreds though.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Harlequin/Silhouette Challenge 2009 Completed

Well, I officially finished. I was reading Santa and Son which is an older obsolete line by Harlequin (Harlequin Love and Laughter) but just haven't been able to make myself go back to it after starting it almost a month ago. Not sure why. It isn't a bad book. It is fairly short (under 200 pages). But I am just not into it. Anyway, my official list for the completed challenge is....

1) Read 1 book with a holiday theme. Holly and Mistletoe--Susan Mallery (Silhouette Special Edition #1071) 3 Stars 2) Read 1 book by an author you never read before. The Christmas Husband--Mary Anne Wilson (Harlequin American Romance #609) 3 Stars
3) Read 1 book with one of these words in the title - wedding, marriage, husband or wife. The Dream Wedding--MJ Rodgers (Harlequin Intrigue #445) 4 Stars4) Read 1 book set in a place you've never been before. set in France....Lost Calling--Evelyn Vaughn (Silhouette Bombshell #97) 2Stars5) Read 1 book with a body of water in the title (i.e. water, lake, river, island, etc.) Shadows on the Lake--Leona Karr (Harlequin Intrigue #840) 2 Stars

I haven't been very diligent in typing up my reviews so I only have one done but hope to get to the rest soon. All the reviews/post that have to do with the Harlequin/Silhouette Challenge of 2009 are all labled Harlequin/Silhouette Challenge 2009. If you click on that lable it will bring you to the page that has everything.

A big thank you to Yvonne for hosting this challenge and I am looking forward to the 2010 Challenge.

A-Z Wednesday



Ok, I know it isn't actually Wednesday but sometimes I can't get online everyday and have to post when I can (hence the mass posting on some days and then days go by with absolutely nothing) So this is what I found on Socrates' blog...by the way...her blog is super and worth a peek.




This is a fun meme hosted by Reading at the Beach
Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!
To join, here's all you have to do: Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
Post:
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link(amazon, barnes and noble etc.)
4~ Come back here and leave your link in the comments.
If you've already reviewed this book you can add it also.
Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.
(We all love comments, don't we?)
Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.
THIS WEEKS LETTER IS: "T "


So, looking at my TBR Mountain this is my chosen book for the week.


The Touch of Fire by Linda Howard
Description provided by shelfari......
Annie Parker came to Silver Mesa, Arizona, because it was the only place she'd found where folks thought a woman doctor was better than no doctor at all. Her lonely life became harder still on the winter night Rafe McCay broke into her office with a bullet in his side and a bounty hunter at his back. With a gun aimed at her heart, he led her deep into the Arizona mountains, and into a world of danger and passion, for Annie discovered in Rafe not only a wounded man, but a soul betrayed...and Rafe, healed by her skill and the magic in her hands, awakened in Annie a woman's tender longing and hungry desire. Pursued by dangerous secrets of the past, they are swept into a thrilling odyssey of the heart -- a bold, exhilarating journey that rekindles Rafe's lost hope and transforms Annie's healing gift into a deep, enduring love.
I hope to start this within the next couple days. I have really enjoyed most of the books I read by Howard so I am looking forward to this one.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monthly Mixer Mele Challenge

I started this challenge at the beginning of Novemeber. I know, I know....I have joined so many challenges but this one sounded fun. It is hosted by Jen at Jen's Book Talk at the object is to read a book that starts with every letter that makes up all of the months. The title links back to her original post. This is what she said on her blog.....

All you have to do is read a book that begins with a letter of each month or read a book that begins with the authors name (first or last name, doesn’t matter). There are 74 letters so you will have to have 74 different books to complete the challenge. Books can however be used to complete other challenges.You don’t have to do the months in any kind of order, just fill in books as you go along until you have each letter a book by it.

Challenge begins November 1, 2009 and ends November 2, 2010 so you have a whole year to complete! Lets break out them books and get busy!

If you decide to join me in the 2009/2010 Monthly Mixer Mele, create a post on your blog telling others about this event. In your post, be sure to include the link to this post on your blog. That way others can find their way here and join in the fun!

When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your books will be listed in the URL spot.

No need to link your reviews to here just come back and let us know how your coming along in this same post. :) The most important thing is to have fun!

N--Night Lost by Lynn Viehl (3 Stars)
O--Once and Always by Judith McNaught (4 Stars) V--Virgin River by Robyn Carr (4.5 Stars)


E--Evanovich, Janet--Fearless Fourteen (3 Stars) M--(The)Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley (4.5 Stars)
B--Blood Sins by Kay Hooper (3 Stars)
E--Evanovich, Janet Lean Mean Thirteen (4 stars) R--Robyn Carr's A Virgin River Christmas (4 Stars)










D--(The)Dream Wedding by MJ Rodgers--A Harlequin Intrigue (4 Stars)
E--Elizabeth Boyle's Love Letters From A Duke  (4.5 Stars) C--Causing Havoc by Lori Foster (4.5 Stars) E--Evanovich, Janet--Sizzling Sixteen (3.5 Stars)




M--Murder Game by Christine Feehan (3.5 Stars)
B--(The) Bewitched Viking by Sandra Hill (2 Stars) E--Evanovich, Janet--Finger Lickin' Fifteen (4 Stars)


R--Robyn Carr's Temptation Ridge (4 Stars)




J--Julia Quinn's What Happens in London (4.5 Stars)
A--All I Want for Christmas Is a Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks (3 Stars)
N--Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (4.5 Stars) U--Unleash the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon (4.5 Stars) A--Armstrong, Kelley--The Summoning (4 Stars) R--Robyn Carr's Whispering Rock (5Stars) Y










F--Forget Me Not by Elizabeth Lowell (3 Stars)
E--Evanovich, Janet--Smitten (3 Stars)
B--Barbara Bretton's Just Like Heaven  (4 Stars) R--Robyn Carr's Angel's Peak  (5 Stars) U--Under Her Skin by Susan Mallery (4 Stars) A--Angela Knight's Master of Swords (3 stars) R--Robyn Carr's Shelter Mountain (5 Stars) Y












M--Marie Anne Wilson's The Christmas Hubsand Silhouette Special Edition (3 Stars) A--(The) Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox (3 Stars) R--Robb, JD--Imitation in Death  (4 Stars) C--(The) Christmas Husband by Marie Anne Wilson a Silhouette Special Edition (3 Stars)






H--Holly and Mistletoe by Susan Mallery a Silhouette Special Edition (4 Stars)


A--Angela Knight--Master of the Night (2 Stars) P--Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr (4.5 stars) R--Robyn Carr's Forbidden Falls (4 Stars) I--It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (4 Stars)






L--Lie By Moonlight by Amanda Quick (3 Stars)


M--Miller, Linda Lael--Deadly Deceptions (4 Stars)
A--Amanda Quick--Second Sight (4 Stars) Y




J--Jude Deveraux's Holly (4 Stars)
U
N--Nora Roberts's Remember When (3.5 Stars)
E--Everyday Average Jones by Suzanne Brockmann (4.5 Stars)


J--Jayne Ann Krentz's White Lies (4 Stars)
U
L--Leona Karr's Shadows on the Lake (2 Stars) Y




A--Ana Leigh's The Lawman said "I Do" (1 Star) U


G--Gentlemen Prefer Succubi by Jill Myles (4.5 Stars) U


S--Shadows on the Lake by Leona Karr a Harlequin Intrigue (2 Stars)
T--The Touch of Fire by Linda Howard (2.5 Stars)




S--Susan Elizabeth Phillips's Dream a Little Dream (5 Stars) E--Elisabeth Naughton's Marked (2 Stars)


P--Patterson, James--Witch and Wizard  (3 Stars) T--Taming the Highland Bride by Lynsay Sands (3 Stars) E




M--MacGregor, Kinley's The Warrior (2.5 Stars) B--Beth Fantasky's Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (3.5 Stars) E




R--(The) Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands (4 Stars)


O--(The) Only Way Out by Susan Mallery (2 Stars)C--Christine Feehan's Street Game (3 Stars) T--Teresa Medeiros's The Bride and The Beast (4.5 Stars)


O--One Night of Scandal by Teresa Medeiros (5 Stars)
B--Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick (4 Stars) E


R--Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz (4 Stars)

Finish That Series Challenge 2010


After finding that I have started more series then actually finishing this past year I have found another challenge that should motivate me into finishing what I started. The title above links back to the original blog if you are interested in joining. All my reviews for this challenge or any challenge for that matter will have labels attatched. All reviews for this challenge in particular will have a label of Finish-that-series. Just click on that label and it will route you to all reviews. Easy Peazy.


Anyway, this is what they had to say over at Royal Reviews about this challenge....


This is an opportunity for you to finish all of those series that have been sitting on your book shelf looking at you. I don't know about you but I have quite a few. With this challenge you count series completed, not books read. I have a series with 20 books in it, although I'm not sure I'll include this one, it doesn't matter how many books are in the series or if you've read most of them and only have one or two left to read. The object of this challenge is to finish the series.


Challenge Guidelines:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are four levels:--

Curious – Finish 2 series.--

Fascinated – Finish 3 series.--

Addicted – Finish 5 series.--

Obsessed – Finish 10 series.

3. Any genre counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.

6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to the post about the Finish Your Series Reading Challenge. Include the URL so that other participants can find join in and read your reviews and post.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Dream Wedding by MJ Rodgers




The Dream Wedding by MJ Rodgers


A Harlequin Intrigue #445 Fortune Cookie mini-series.

Decription compliments of Shelfari.com:
Handsome psychiatrist Michael Sands specializes in patients' dreams, but he falls into a dream of his own when he finds beautiful Briana Berry sleeping under the Dream Institute's office Christmas tree late one night. Answers to the many questions that arise from this discovery--how she got there, why she's dressed in an expensive wedding gown, and what her real identity is--pose a giant mystery, one Michael has to solve.
As he struggles to maintain a patient-client relationship with Briana, he's painfully aware that he has fallen in love with the fascinating mystery woman. As Briana searches for the memory that eludes her, she falls more deeply in love with Michael. Why can't Briana remember what she's really like? Why does she remember a childhood far different from the one her mother describes? Why does she feel threatened by the man who insists he is her new husband? 
My Thoughts....
Although when it comes to plotlines in some of the older Intrigues (this one was written 12 or more years ago) have been done to death (amnesiac woman has to depend on a hunka hunka man to try to remember who she is) I thought it was pretty good. It almost lost me at the beginning though when said woman was kissed awake by said man after he found her deep in sleep under his Christmas tree at his office (which happens to be The Institute of Dreams). She had the nerve to kiss him back....um hello....if I fall asleep and wake up with amnesia and a man I probably have never met has me in a tongue wrestling match I would totally come up swinging not kissing.

But anyway....I digress. As I mentioned, this book is pretty good. Connecting with the characters was pretty easy. The author did a great job of giving all her characters depth which is not always easy in category romances because the length of the books tend to not allow for the development. So 3 dimensional characters....check.

Believable storyline....well, maybe half a check. When Briana discovered she didn't know how she got to the institute she said something along the lines of missing 3 hours of her life. Later in the book this was proven to not be the case. It was even worse. So when that little zinger was discovered I had that ominous music playing in my head....dumdumDUUUUUUUUMMMMMM. Even later in the book the new development was proven to not be the case. It was again worse and once again the ominous music played in my head but more of comedic flair (picture the movie Clue with Tim Curry and you'll get what I mean.)

Despite the crazy plotline and a couple other "issues" that are more about personal taste then anything I give it 4 Stars. This author is one I will definitely seek out among my hundreds of Harlequin Intrigues to read sooner rather then later. After all Rodgers did a masterful job of answering the question that I didn't know I had. "What happens when an amnesiac has amnesia about the time she had amnesia but remembers everything else?"

The Harlequin/Silhouette Reading Challenge 2010


Yvonne is hosting this challenge again for the upcoming year. I am going to do this again this year (even though I am still a couple books away from completing the 2009 challenge). The title will link you back to her original blog.



Rules:

1) Challenge is from Jan 1 to Dec 31

2) All of the books must be from the Harlequin family of imprints

3) Read one book for each requirement


Requirements:

1) Read 1 book with a weather condition in the title (i.e. storm, rain, snow)

2) Read 1 book with a person's name in the title (i.e. Mary, John)

3) Read 1 book with a title in the title (i.e. King, Prince, Princess, Sheik)

4) Read 1 book with a color in the title (i.e. red, blue, white)

5) Read 1 book by an author whose last name begins with the letter "R"

6) Read 1 book with an element in the title (earth, wind, fire, air, spirit)


Friday, December 4, 2009

The Worst Movies Ever???



Didn't actually watch these movies all the way through....just couldn't stomach it. There is something to be said, however, of late night insomnia and 300 cable channels. I just don't know what it is. So, below are two of the worse movies I have not watched (well, all the way through anyway.)

Private Valentine aka Major Movie Star....(can't honestly rate it because I only watched a fraction of the 98 minute movie). Yeah, so, I am not a Jessica Simpson hater. I think she has a lovely voice. I think she should stick to singing though. I only saw a bit piece of the movie where she is trying to rally her team to complete some sort of drill/competition. The speech was less then motivational. Unfortunately I think it was a combo of acting and writing that doomed it. If I were part of her team I would have surrendered right there.

7 Seconds (no rating for this one either but I did watch more of it then I did Pvt. Valentine). Starring Wesley Snipes. I am not a big Snipes fan either. I have enjoyed many of his movies though. Unfortunately this one was not one of them. It was horrid. Snipes is an ex special OPs man who for some reason now leads a life of crime. During his latest heist a priceless painting comes up missing and the owners want it back. The movie is filled with poorly executed fight sequences that made them look as if we were watching them practicing instead of the actual movie, unbelievable car chase scenes ( I really hate when two cars collide at what appears to be very low speed only to have one car explode in a ball of flame and the other become a projectile of end over end twisted metal) and the pretty blonde becomes a love interest shortly after taking a bullet that doesn't seem to affect her ability to playfully wrestle with him at the end of the show. Yes this movie was full of cliches and yet I didn't watch but 30 minutes of it. Ugh.

So folks, save yourself some time and money and avoid these movies.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips


Description courtesy of Shelfari.com


Wedding Day--Pretty, flighty Daisy Devreaux can either go to jail or marry the mystery man her father has chosen for her. Arranged marriages don't happen in the modern world, so how did the irrepressible Daisy find herself in this fix? Alex Markov, as humorless as he is deadly handsome, has no intention of playing the loving bridegroom to a spoiled little featherhead with champagne tastes. He drags Daisy from her uptown life to a broken down traveling circus and sets out to tame her to his ways. But this man without a soul has met his match in a woman who's nothing but heart. Before long, passion will send them flying sky high without a safety net...risking it all in search of a love that will last forever.


My thoughts....


Oh my Goodness! I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book. After reading 2 of SEP's books and finding them so-so I was beginning to wonder what all her hype was about. After reading this book I know now.


Phillips has an uncanny ability to take a lady who should, by all accounts, be someone the reader can't like and turn her into someone who the reader is standing up whooping for in record time.

Daisy is just this heroine. I didn't want to like her at first. Rich, spoiled, not too bright and annoying was how she started out in this book. I quickly found out that there was a lot more to Daisy then that. I found myself smiling at her antics and fuming when someone treated her with an unkindness.


Alex was the strong alpha male that I really felt was a mystery through most of the book. It wasn't until over half way through the book that I really got to know him and realize that he also wasn't what he seemed either.


Together Daisy and Alex make for an excellent romantic duo. They were completely opposites of each other but yet complimented each other very well. I am now looking forward to more books by Phillips and hoping that the next book I read will have characters like these that stay with me months after finishing their book.


My rating is a total 5 Stars. I would recommend any fan of contemporary romance to go out and get this book and read it. You might want to hang on to the book because you will probably want to re-read it over and over.

Born In Ice by Nora Roberts


Description courtesy of Paperbackswap.com....When the harsh storms of winter descended upon western Ireland, the locals stayed indoors - and visitors stayed away. Brianna Concannon's bed-and-breakfast became a cold and empty place. But that was fine with Brianna. She enjoyed the peace and quiet, even when the icy winds howled at her window. But this year she's expecting an unusual guest - myster writer Grayson Thane of America. A restless wanderer with a painful past, he plans to spend the cold winter alone. But sometimes fate has a plan of its own. Sometimes a fire can be born in ice...

The story of modern-day Ireland's Concannon sisters continues with the tale of Brianna--whose cool beauty hides a heart of fiery passion.


My Thoughts....After reading the first in this trilogy I knew that I was in for a treat with the next two books. I am happy to say Roberts delivered an excellent continuation of the Concannon sisters' stories. Sometimes the second book of a trilogy tends to be fluff and filler but I did not get that at all with Bri's story.

I thought that Brianna might be a little mousy and timid to hold her own in a full length book but her character developed nicely into a woman to recon with. Her interaction with her sister Maggie and her mother was wonderful. I was really able to connect with her even though I have nothing in common with her.

Grayson was a very interesting character also. I really enjoyed the process he took while writing his book. From the walks through the Irish countryside to him locking himself in his room for a week at a time to write....all were fascinating to me.


I thought that this book was better then the first probably because we got to see a little more about what made Bri and Maggies mother tick. I even found myself not hating her as much toward the end of the book. I wouldn't have thought that was possible since after reading the first book I found her to be a horrible person and glad she was fictitious and no one really had to deal with her.

I really liked how Roberts helped me "see" what Ireland was like in the first book and in Born In Ice she now showed me what an Irish Winter was like. It sounded bone cold and wet and not at all charming but she somehow still made me want to visit.

I would recommend that anyone who has not read this book/trilogy do so, sooner rather then later.

You Don't Know Jack by Erin McCarthy


Synopsis: Jamie Peters no longer believes in true love. True idiots, true scumbags, true moochers - these she believes in wholeheartedly, and she's got the checkered dating history to prove it. So, she's more than a little skeptical when her cross-dressing psychic tells her she's about to meet her soul mate - during an accident. Yeah, sounds about right. And then it happens. A knight in shining armour steps between her and a mugger on a subway platform. Just a regular, honest, upright Jack. The kind they don't make anymore...


Jonathon Davidson doesn't believe in destiny - or lying to beautiful women as a rule. But now that Jamie thinks he's just an ordinary guy, how can he possibly tell her that he's really, her roommate's brother, a millionaire to boot, and the jerk who's investigating her application to his grandfather's charitable trust because she may be involved in something illegal? Yeah, rhetorical question. He can't. Not until he knows what's going on. Besides, it would require being able to resist Jamie's luscious curves long enough to say, "Hi, my name is Big Liar. Let's get naked." Sometimes, destiny sucks...


Somewhere between truth and flat-out-let's-talk-about-this-waaay-later fiction, between fate and delicious accidental insanity, lies a whole lot of mind-blowing sex, delirious passion, unfortunate sundresses, fighting, deception, big mistakes and small hopes, and two people are about to discover that everything happens for a reason...


My Thoughts: Although I found this book to be somewhat cute it was middle of the road for me. I couldn't find anything that really stood out to me as spectacular nor did I find anything horrible that rubbed me the wrong way.


I found the two main characters to be unremarkable but did like some of the secondary characters. I loved Jack's gramps and really liked Jamie's cross dressing psychic friend. I really liked that they made more then one appearance in the book and I think that is what brought my opinion of this book from a standard 3 Cup of Coffee rating up to 3.5.


I have read several of McCarthy's books and found this one to be weaker then the others and would recommend borrowing this one from the public library or getting it used. I would also recommend that if you are new to Erin McCarthy books you should not start with this one but one of her other ones.
 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Original TBR Challenge


MizB is also hosting this Challenge. Before the first of the year you need to come up with a list of 12 books that you will read from your TBR pile to read during 2010. You can come up with a list of 12 alternates if you want to give yourself a little choice during the year. You have to read from the list (or alternate list). By the end of the year you will have read 12 books off your TBR Mountain. I linked the title to MizB's original challenge.
This is what MizB had to say.....
For this challenge you should…
** Pick 12 books – one for each month of the year - that you’ve been wanting to read (that have been on your “To Be Read” list) for 6 months or longer, but haven’t gotten around to.
** OPTIONAL: Create a list of 12 “Alternates” (books you could substitute for your challenge books, given that a particular one doesn’t grab you at the time)
** Then, starting January 1, read one of these books from your list each month, ending December 31. )
(for more information, please read the challenge
FAQs)
By the end of the year you should’ve knocked 12 books off of your TBR list! (of course, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have added *at LEAST* 12 more to the ever-growing pile by then! LOL).
The good news is, though, that you’ll be making some progress! ;o)
Additional rules/guidelines for this challenge:
* the challenge is to read 12 TBR books in 12 months — you can read those all in one month if you want, or one a month, or however you wanna do it.
* you should have a list posted somewhere for others to see
* you CANNOT change your list after January 1st, of the current year!!!
* you can create an Alternates list of MAXIMUM 12 books, if you want, in order to have options to choose from (you can read these in place of books on your original list).
* audiobooks and e-books ARE allowed
* re-reads are NOT allowed, as they aren’t TRUE “TBRs”
* you CAN overlap with other challenges
* OPTIONAL: you can join the Yahoo! Group created for participants of the TBR Challenge, if you want to have a place to keep your list, or just to share with others about how you’re doing!
Now for my lists.....
List 1
1-Imitation in Death by JD Robb (4 Stars)
2-The Hollows by Nora Roberts
3-Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard (4.5 Stars)
4-Blood Bound by Patricia Biggs
5-Aphrodite's Secret by Julie Kenner
6-The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine (4 Stars)
7-Unleash The Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon (4.5 stars)
8-Darkling by Yasmine Galenorn
9-A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
10-She's No Faerie Princess by Christine Warren
11-Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux
12-Dangerous Tides by Christine Feehan
Alternate List
1-The Nerd Who Loved Me by Vicki Lewis Thompson
2-Your Coffin Or Mine? by Kimber Raye
3-Causing Havoc by Lori Foster (4.5 stars)
4-Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan
5-Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (5 Stars)
6-Master of the Night by Angela Knight (2 stars)
7-Tangled up In You by Rachel Gibson
8-Irresistable by Susan Mallery
9-Evermore by Lynn Viehl
10-Twin of Ice by Jude Deveraux
11-Wild Jinx by Sandra Hill
12-With This Ring by Amanda Quick

Read N' Review challenge for 2010


MizB is also hosting the Read'n'Review challenge for 2010. Her challenge site is linked to the title and I really think this challenge goes hand in hand with her RYOB challenge (see previous post) so I will do both.
The title will link back to her original blog. These are her rules...
* review each book you read between January 1st and December 31st of the current year.
* PLEASE keep your reviews clean & respectful ~ these books we read are the hard work of an author, and we don’t need to be mean. Even if you didn’t like the book, please try to find something you can say that would be encouraging to the author.
* reviews can be as short, or long, as you wish* you MAY overlap with other challenges* eBooks and Audiobooks ARE allowed* if there will be spoilers in your review, please note this in the subject line of your post so that those who don’t want to read them can skip that review. Thank you.

RYOB reading challenge for 2010


MizB is hosting the RYOB Challenge for 2010. The title to this blog will actually take you to her original blog post but for now here is what she had to say....
For 2010, I am planning to continue with the RYOB (Read Your Own Books) challenge! The rules are simple:
Pick a number of books you’d like to read in one year
Choose those books from your OWN collection
Read them between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010
And, that’s it!
Some other guidelines for this challenge:
Re-Reads are NOT allowed (the challenge is to get more of your own books read that have been sitting there waiting!)
Audiobooks & e-books ARE allowed
You do NOT need a blog to participate — you can leave comments on this post with your progress
Stay tuned! On January 1st
So, I am now trying to decide how many books to read from my own collection. Reading from my own stash isn't too hard because I have many to chose from. I don't get many from the library so pretty much everything I read I own. So.....I am going to say that I am going to read 60 books that I own during 2010.
I will be doing this challenge and several other ones that will over lap.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quote of the week

Anyone notice that I have a little widget to the right with famous (or not quite famous) quotes? Found a real gem that I thought should get a permanent spot among my blogs.

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."George Carlin

Yes, some days you just feel like spreading joy.....some days you feel like spreading warmth literally.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Book give-away


So, over at The Book Binge they are giving away an awesome package of books, bookmarks, etc that everyone should know about. This is what it says on their site....


Today is day one of our Back-to-School Extravaganza.


To kick things off we're giving away our first Book Bag. This bag contains four books:






Along with an assortment of bookmarks, magnets and other promotional items. You also get a super nifty retro looking tote.


Groovy, right?


So, what do you have to do to win this awesome Book Bag? Well...you have to spread the love.In order to be entered you need to post about our Back-to-School Book Bag Extravaganza on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace or other social media site. Then come back here and leave a link in the comments section. The more places you spread the love the more chances you have of winning.


This is a daily giveaway, which means it ends today. The winner will be announced at midnight tonight, PST. Because we'll need a little time to pick a winner, the contest will end at 10 p.m. pst.


Remember, we'll be giving aBook Bag away every weekday (Monday-Friday) for the rest of the month!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Scarletti Curse by Christine Feehan


Synopsis with thanks from Shelfari...


Strange, twisted carvings and hideous gargoyles adorned the palazzo of the great Scarletti family. But a still more fearful secret lurked within its storm-tossed turrets. For every bride who entered its forbidding walls was doomed to leave in a casket. . . . Mystical and unfettered, Nicoletta had no terror of ancient curses and no fear of being chosen as Don Scarletti's bride - until she looked into his dark, mesmerizing eyes.


My Thoughts...


Having been a fan of Christine Feehan for many years I have had this book sitting on my shelf for ages always passing it over for one of her Carpathian books or her Ghostwalker books. I still don't know why I was apprehensive of picking this one up. It does have that Feehan feel to it. There is a bit of paranormal woven into the story which I liked quite a bit.

The gothic theme was also intriguing. A dark forboding castle, a young innocent carefree maiden, a brooding attractive man that lives with a curse on him and his family are just a few things that I found quite entertaining.

I didn't care for the fact that the "curse" was not actually a curse. It was more of certain situations that kept occurring over the period of a couple decades. It was more of gossip about those Scarletti's being cursed then an actual curse. With the addition of paranormal aspects I kind of expected an actual curse. Trivial? Probably.

Also the book seemed to drag a bit. Whenever Giovanni or someone else would start talking about their political problems with Spain or where ever I ended up getting a little bored and skipped several paragraphs.

Overall, I think this is an OK book from this author. I don't think it is her best, nor is it her worst. I give this book an even 3 Stars but would recommend that a fan of Feehan should give this one a go but if you are new to Feehan I would maybe skip this one and go for one of her Ghostwalker books instead.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tempting by Susan Mallery


Synopsis compliments of Shelfari....

After three romantic flame-outs in a year and a restaurant career going nowhere, Dani Buchanan needs a fresh start. She goes looking for her biological father, but never expects to find a senator running for president. As his long-lost 'love child,' Dani could seriously derail the election— something his handsome campaign manager Alex Canfield isn't going to let happen. Dani isn't about to let Alex run her life, no matter how tempting she finds him—and Alex isn't going to allow Dani to melt his cynicism, no matter how close he has to get. The last thing either of them wants is love, especially with scandals brewing and family trouble on the way. But Dani and Alex are forced to trust each other, and when trust turns to passion, the potential for disaster is only a tabloid scandal away.


My thoughts....


I am finding myself becoming more and more of a fan of Susan Mallery after every book I read by her. This is the second Buchanan book that I have read and one of my favorites. Although I couldn't identify with Dani's struggles to find her true place with a different family while maintaining her connection with the family she was raised in, Mallery does an excellent job of helping the reader empathize with the situation. I found this to be true with the other books I read by her also.


The Buchanan family has a wonderful dynamic and it makes one wish to be a part of it. Even though this is Dani's story we get a special treat to get back in touch with the other Buchanan's from previous books. This included Gloria, Dani's wicked witch of a grandmother. Susan Mallery once again proves that she can take a character that a reader can dislike and somehow redeem them and make them likable.


The romance of the book is good but I think what I like best was Dani's "new" family. The Canfields have created a family that I admire greatly. All the children are adopted and all have either been labled unadoptable or not "normal". We get to meet Bailey, Alex's 15 year old sister with down syndrome, Ian who has a brilliant mind but who's body struggles with CP and Sasha, the youngest of the bunch who happens to have HIV. This is just a few of them and I absolutely loved reading about them. After working for over a decade with people with special needs they definitely found a spot in my heart.


Katherine Canfield, Alex's mother, is another character that you just identify with. You feel her struggles to accept Dani into their home and lives with the knowledge that the husband she loves more then the moon had a biological daughter with someone else. Even though there was no cheating involved that resulted in Dani's conception, you can just feel that she is torn between taking Dani under her wing and being jealous of the fact that another woman gave her husband something she never could.


Over all I would give this book a 4.5 Stars.

Book Lovers Unite

So I was taking a gander at my followers, which I am pickled tink to say that I now have 4 people who think I might have something that just might be entertaining enough to read. One of them mentioned in their profile that her husband just doesn't understand her love of books. I have found this to be true in my life also. I don't have a husband but in general no one really comprehends the absolute thrill I get from reading books. I bet I am not the only one who feels this either.

My friends give me that "look" a lot. You know the one....that one that says you are one step away from visiting the local nut ward. If you grew another appendage these people wouldn't give you this look. As if my love for the written word was something inconceivable. A third eye could get you sympathy I suppose....but surrounding yourself with books is beyond weird.

Not one of them fully comprehends the contentment and pure joy I get from just walking into a bookstore and taking a whiff of that "book" smell. Come on...you know what I am talking about. Nothing smells quite like it. Even the Starbucks at the local Barnes and Nobel can't mask this wonderful scent.

Picture this....me moving. Me moving with 50 boxes of books. Me moving with help from non-bookies to move 50 boxes of books. At one point one of them said..."Christina....you really need to get a hobby."

Really?!?!?!?! A hobby? Um....wouldn't reading qualify as a hobby? It certainly isn't a chore. Nor is it a job that I get paid to do. Some people think gardening is a hobby. Personally I think this is a terrible hobby. It's tiresome, dirty and hard work. I know a lot of people love it, but I would rather have my bikini hairs pulled out one at a time on a daily basis then garden. But never would I say it wasn't a hobby.

Ok, so there is my story. I know others of you have similar stories too. So share. Or not. Whatever floats your boat. Just remember when in a boat make sure to store your books in water tight containers. Water damaged books are the worst.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Killer Cowboy Charm by Vicki Lewis Thompson


Ugh. That about sums it up. I have read several of Vicki Lewis Thompson's book prior to picking this one up and enjoyed them quite a bit. I thought that this one would be good too. After all, I like what I have read by her. I love a cowboy story. What could go wrong? Let me tell you....
So Meg is a co-host of a morning talk show reminiscent of Regis and Kelly (Kelly by the way is VLT's inspiration for Meg per her intro for the book) and while engaging in the usual banter with Mel while on air mentioned that she needed to find herself a hot cowboy. Her producer thought that was a fab idea and so off Meg goes on a 2 week tour of 7 states holding tryouts for the hottest cowboy.

Her first stop is Arizona where Clint Walker is the foreman. Clint just wants to run the ranch. He has no interest in TV what-so-ever. He does find himself interested in a tempting TV personality though. Which works out fine because Meg thinks Clint is the hottest cowboy ever.

My thoughts......
Meg is an aggressive woman who knows what she wants and plans to get it. She wants Clint. Clint is all too happy to accommodate. I have no problem with assertive women but to me she was beyond that and it made her look a little ugly.

The bulk of the book (if you can call a book with just a little over 200 pages bulk) takes place in the 2 days Meg is on the Ranch with Clint. During which time they engage in hot monkey sex repeatedly but little else. There was no romance and very little talking. When Meg tries to convince Clint to try out for the hottest cowboy contest even though he has told her he wasn't interested his feelings get hurt because he doesn't think she knows him at all. Really? You think?
Ugh...I have spent more time with my dentist over the years then this couple had together and yet....they are in love. Meg's departure from the ranch made both of them sad pandas and after a 2 week separation they reunite and as the violins sang they declared their love for one another. Ok...just kidding about the violins but still...you get the idea.

I can't recommend this book to anyone even one who likes short romances because although this is short there was little to no romance in the book. A lot of sex but very little romance.


My rating...1 star.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Everything and the Moon by Julia Quinn



Description compliments of Shelfari....


STARCROSSED It was indisputably love at first sight. But Victoria Lyndon was merely the teen aged daughter of a vicar. . .while Robert Kemble was the dashing young earl of Macclesfield. Surely what their meddlesome fathers insisted must have been true-that he was a reckless seducer determined to destroy her innocence. . . and she was a shameless fortune hunter. So it most certainly was for the best when their plans to elope went hopelessly awry.




MOONSTRUCK Even after a seven-year separation, Victoria-now a governess-still leaves Robert breathless. But how could he ever again trust the raven-haired deceiver who had shattered his soul? And Victoria could never give her heart a second time to the cad who so callously trampled on it the first. But a passion fated will not be denied, and vows of love yearn to be kept. . . even when one promises the moon.




So, in my mind I separated this book into three parts. The first part was before the big misunderstanding when the characters were young and in love. The second part was when they found each other and Robert tried to get Victoria to be with him again. And the third part...lovers once more.




I really enjoyed the first part. Their young love was sweet and seemed special. I say young because Victoria was only 17 but I suppose that in 1809 that was a little above the average age for a girl to marry. Robert was 24 and although 7 years older then Victoria still young by a man's standard to marry. Their interaction was, as I mentioned, sweet until both of their fathers manipulated them into believing the worse of the other resulting in two broken hearts.




7 years later we find Victoria a governess for a wealthy family with a horrid child and a worse excuse for a mother. Enter Robert once again. This part of the story I just didn't care much for. Both characters are extremely bitter and borderline hates the other. When Robert discovers that both of them were innocent victims of manipulation that shattered their hearts he decides to follow through with his original plans to make Victoria his wife. Unfortunately Victoria wants nothing to do with his plan even after finding out the truth of their long ago broken wedding plans. It is her attitude that I really had issue with. Over 100 pages of her stubbornly refusing to follow her heart and be with Robert. She has decided that she enjoys her freedom and does not want a man, or anyone for that matter, to tell her what to do. So we find Robert a fool in love and Victoria repeatedly refusing to take the leap.




The last part of the book was quite redeeming, however. I found the last part of the book to be charming and witty. The banter between the characters was funny and finally I got a look at the Quinn that I know and love. Her character interaction is what makes her such a great author to read and I wish this book spent more time showcasing that.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lost Calling by Evelyn Vaughn


Having only read a couple Silhouette Bombshell books and very much liking them I found that this book did share the same good qualities that those did. Almost 300 pages this book felt whole and complete with good character development. Catrina (Cat for short) is a strong independent woman who's love of history has made her passionate in her quest to preserve it. Finding artifacts seem to be her calling and during an extremely rare and unusual event finds herself in a hole in the middle of a Paris street surrounded by decapitated bodies that appear to be over 200 years old. Her first thought was to preserve the sight as a historical landmark but as she touches a small key that looked as if one of the deceased women had swallowed it, she finds herself in the middle of a psychic vision of a group of women who died during the French Revolution.

This is the first book in the Madonna Key mini-series out of seven.

The book has a Da Vinci Code feel to it with a twist of the paranormal. The action will keep you on the edge of your seat and if you enjoy history, peeks into the French Revolution and it's bloody history should keep your interest.

What I personally liked about this book was that the action was enough to keep my attention, Cat was a strong kick butt woman but still only human and didn't necessarily have mass skills, like, a black belt in karate. She did beat off an attacker with her stiletto heels though. Her love interest, Rhys, was also a nice addition to the book. Once a man of God, he left his calling and the priesthood behind long before Cat. Their conflict between each other was compelling. Both characters were very real in their emotions. Both struggled with his faith. Even though he was no longer a priest, many of his decisions were still based on his religious beliefs. Not a bad way to live your life except that Cat couldn't help but feel she was somehow still involved with a priest and not just a man.

I also loved the first line of this book...."That first earthquake was not my fault."

What I didn't like about this book was that I am not a big fan of books that are centered around religion. Past or present. As fascinating as I thought the history of it all was I found myself skipping some paragraphs just to get through it faster and then finding myself a little lost.

Also even though I thought the development of the characters was excellent I just didn't care much for them. I thought Cat was a bit of a bitch and Rhys was, well, attracted to her. Another thing was that there were many references throughout the book about Cat being a thief. It confused me a bit but then I found out after I read this book that there was another mini-series among the Bombshell books called The Grail Keepers which I am pretty sure Cat made an appearance in and her theft was probably in one of them.

Many of the things I found that I didn't like about this book are completely based on personal taste and should not dictate whether you should read this book or not. Even though I didn't rate this book that high I really would recommend this book to those who liked books like The Da Vinci Code.

I gave this book 2 Stars.

If You Dare by Kresley Cole


The first in the MacCarrick brothers trilogy this book centers around Courtland MacCarrick and a sassy somewhat royal Andorrian named Annalia. When Annalia was out riding one day she finds a Scot who appears beaten to death by the river. With much struggle her and her horse drag him back to her home where she nurses him back to health despite that he is a Scot and probably a mercenary hired by the man who is trying to take over everthing including her home and land.

Both characters argue and bait each other throughout the first half of the book. Annalia has relied on stories and tainted opinions to cloud her judgement of Scots and Court in particular. Some may find her predjudice ways to be intollerable but I didn't have a problem reading about her at all.

When Anna comes to realize that her thoughts and behavior towards Court are incorrect and ignorant she finds that he isn't quite the brute she thought. After a while she think she may want to keep him even.

Court has known the life a mercenary for most of his life. He appears uncaring and uncivilized. He often thought that he would never take a wife and couldn't because of a curse that has been hanging over the family for generations.

I honestly can't do this book justice. I thought it was a simply wonderful romance. I often pausing while reading it just to reflect on something that Court said to Anna. The book made me smile and occasionally laugh. It also reminded me how much I really want my very own Highlander.

I have read a few of Kresley Cole's paranormal books and I even gave them 5 stars, still they were not keepers for me. This one, however, is staying in my keeper bookshelf forever where I can reread Court and Anna's story and feel my romantic soul sigh with pleasure. My rating is 5 Stars.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Lovin' by Carly Phillips


I really wanted to like this book. This is the second Carly Phillips book I have read and both of them are right in the middle as far as likability goes. I neither liked it nor disliked it. The two main characters are just ok to me. Zoe is ex-secret service and is currently opening up her own buisiness with her friend and brother in law. Ryan is a lawyer born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

When Ryan finally finds what happened to his long lost sister who ran away over 16 years ago he is saddened to find she has died but amazed to find she left a daughter behind. A daughter that he will take back to his family and "save" from the foster system. What he doesn't realize is that Sam, his niece, is almost fully adopted by the Costas family. Zoe's own parents are her foster parents and are getting ready to sign and make her officially part of their family.

The Costas family is a trip. They are down to earth with enough kookiness to make reading about them interesting. Perhaps it is their Greek heritage. Reading it I was reminded about the family dynamics in the Movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Not a complete paralell but enough to help me draw a little bit of a connection.

What I liked about this book was the way Phillips was able to create a family out of words and make them real to me. Very vividly colored you might say. This was the same feeling I got when reading The Playboy. I found that the family was interesting and I wanted to read about them. There is another book that came before this one (Under the Boardwalk) which is about Zoe's twin sister which I might read to get another dose of the Costas family.

What I didn't like was that just like my feeling in The Playboy the romance of the two main characters took a backseat to my interest in the family as a whole. I found that I really didn't care if they two got together romantically or not but I guess if they were going to that was ok too. Either way, I was fine with it.

Another thing was that I didn't really like Zoe. I thought she should have been a little more alpha female with her background as an ex secret service member. Perhaps not a scary female body builder wrestler alpha but maybe a little more decisive about her and Ryan's relationship.
Overall I would rate this book 3 stars. I was thinking 2.5 but liked Mama Costas so much she got an extra half just for being interesting to me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu


The first book in the Dirk & Steele series by Marjorie M. Liu is a wonderful book. Delilah Reese is a special woman with special psychic abilities who is on vacation in Beijing. During a shopping expedition to the local Dirt Market she is sold a riddle box by a persistant old woman. Once back to her hotel room she works to open the box. To her surprise out pops Hari.

To some this might seem like a cheesy attempt at a twisted genie in a bottle story but it truly isn't. Hari has been cursed to the box for over 2000 years having to do the bidding of whomever owns the box. His life is nothing but that of a slave to do whatever tasks he is commanded to do. He has been a killer for kings and a concubine for women over the millennia never doing what he would like but only things that his masters want.

Dela and Hari find that breaking his curse isn't the only thing going on. Dela's life is also in jeopardy. On the day that Hari is released from the box Dela is attacked twice. By two different parties even. Hari means to use all his years as a trained warrior to keep her safe.

I found this book very enjoyable enough to forgo sleep in order to read every word. The book takes place in only a matter of days but somehow Liu manages to weave her tale of romance into an extremely believable story. Well, if you believe in shapeshifters and wizards that is.

I normally take issue with books that have a relationship bloom so quickly. The thought of "love at first sight" makes me roll my eyes and want to throw the book against a wall. Dela and Hari do fall in love and happen to do it within a very short time period and somehow Ms. Liu made me a believer of their love.

I give this book a 4.5 Star rating.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My Serial Challenge Listing

So I decided that I really needed to actually start listing some of the books I have or am reading for this challenge so I can link them to CarPoolQueen's blog and get credit for them. So here is my current list as of January 1, 2009. If the title is listed it means that I have read them this year. If I didn't read them this year I will just list a generic title like "books 1-4 read previously".

The Buchanans--Susan Mallery
Delicious #1
Tempting #4

The Bakery Sisters--Susan Mallery (fully completed in 09)
Sweet Talk #1
Sweet Spot #2
Sweet Trouble #3

The Marcelli Sisters of Pleasure Road--Susan Mallery

The Marcelli Princess #5

The Mackenzies--Linda Howard
Game of Chance #5

Love At Stake--Kerrilyn Sparks
books 3 and 4 read previously

All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire#6
Secret Life of a Vampire #7

Forbidden Nights With a Vampire #8


The Argeneau Family--Lynsay Sands
books 1-10 read previously
The Immortal Hunter #11

The Chandler Brothers--Carly Phillips
The Playboy #2

Sign of the Seven trilogy--Nora Roberts
Blood Brothers #1

The Bridgerton Family--Julia Quinn (completed)
books 1-5 read previously
When He Was Wicked #6
It's In His Kiss #7
On the Way to the Wedding #8

Prince trilogy--Elizabeth Hoyt
The Leopard Prince #2

Night Huntress--Jeaniene Frost
Halfway to the Grave #1
One Foot in the Grave #2

Chicago Stars--Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Natural Born Charmer #7

Sex, Lies and Online Dating series--Rachel Gibson
Sex, Lies and Online Dating#1
Not Another Bad Date #4

The Murray Family--Hannah Howell
Highland Knight #5

Highland Bride #6

Mercy Thompson--Patricia Briggs
Moon Called #1

Malory Family--Johanna Lindsey (completed)
books 1-8 read previously
No Choice But Seduction #9

Buchanan/Renard--Julie Garwood
books 1-5 read previously
Shadow Dance #6

Psy/changelings--Naline Singh
Slave to Sensation #1

Mageverse--Angela Knight (completed)

book 3 read previously
Master of the Night #1
Master of the Moon #2

Master of Swords #4

Dirk & Steele--Marjorie M. Liu
books 2 and 4 read previously
Tiger Eye #1

Westmoreland--Judith McNaught
A Kingdom of Dreams #1

Bow Street Runners--Lisa Kleypas
Someone to Watch Over Me #1

The Others--Christine Warren
Wolf at the Door #1

Darkyn--Lynn Viehl
books 1 and 2 read previously
Dark Need #3
Night Lost #4

McKettrick--Linda Lael Miller
book 1 read previously
McKettrick's Pride #7

The MacCarrick Brothers--Kresley Cole
If You Dare #1

Nerd Series--Vicki Lewis Thompson
Nerd in Shining Armor #1

De Piaget series--Lynn Kurland
Dreams of Stardust #3


The Concannon Sisters -- Nora Roberts(fully completed in 09)
Born in Fire #1
Born in Ice #2
Born in Shame #3

SBC Fighters --Lori Foster
My Man Michael #4

Akoran series--Josie Litton
Fountain of Dreams #1

Drakon series--Shana Abe
The Smoke Thief #1

Travis series--Lisa Kleypas
Sugar Daddy #1

Wallflower series--Lisa Kleypas
Scandal in Spring #4

Taggert Family--Jude Deveraux
Holly #6

The Vanza series--Amanda Quick
Lie By Moonlight #4

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Harlequin/Silhouette Romance Reading Challenge 2009


So I found another reading challenge and thought I would participate. It is a Harlequin/Silhoutte reading challenge. Although I would have liked to have this challenge be a little longer it does have 5 prompts to read 5 different Harlequin/Silhouette books for the year. Since I am not starting this until probably August I guess 5 isn't so bad. The following is what appears on Yvonne's blog here on blogspot.


I loved doing the Harlequin/Silhouette Romance Reading Challenge last year and now it's time to get ready for 2009. This challenge will begin on January 1, 2009 and run through December 31, 2009. The rules are a bit different this year, but not by much. Here are the rules...All of the books have to be from either the Harlequin or Silhouette imprint. It doesn't matter which one. The challenge is...

1) Read 1 book with a holiday theme. Holly and Mistletoe--Susan Mallery

2) Read 1 book by an author you never read before. The Christmas Husband--Mary Anne Wilson
3) Read 1 book with one of these words in the title - wedding, marriage, husband or wife The Dream Wedding--MJ Rodgers

4) Read 1 book set in a place you've never been before. Lost Calling--Evelyn Vaughn (france)

5) Read 1 book with a body of water in the title (i.e. water, lake, river, island, etc.) Shadows on the Lake--Leona Karr


That's a total of 5 books for the year.

A few additional things...

1) You can change books in the middle of the year, nothing is written in stone!

2) Books used in this challenge may be used in other challenges.

3) Books can be in any format - paper, audio, ebook.

4) Please sign up by commenting to this post.

5) Please come back and post your reviews as you read the books for the challenge.

6) Please link us to your blog using one of these buttons...There will be a prize at the end of the challenge. I don't know what it will be yet, but everyone who completes the challenge will be entered into the contest!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) by Patricia Briggs


I loved this book. Mercy Thompson is an excellent heroine. Her strengths are not defined by her mystical powers as a walker but as an adaptable person with special abilities. Raised by werewolves she understands the inner workings of being part of a pack without the bother of actually having to conform and be pack. It is the readers priviledge to get an inside look at Mercy's knowledge of "others" and things that go bump in the night.


Mercy is an auto mechanic who finds herself deep into a mystery which involves newbie werewolves invading the local alpha's territory, kidnapping, and a handful of vampires (everyone knows vampires cannot be trusted.) So what is a young headstrong woman to do? Get involved. Of course.


What I found completely fasinating about this book was that Briggs created a world that ties together basic "knowledge" of werewolves and vampires and her vision of the otherworld seemlessly. As a reader we get history 101 on werewolves without feeling like we just sat through a boring 8 hour lecture.


The other characters in the book are just as wonderful as Mercy. I can't wait to read more about them in future books.

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips


This book is part of the Chicago Stars series made popular by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and to date the only one I have read of this series. The book is about an extremely good looking football player who finds a down on her luck woman wearing a beaver costume on the side of the road and offers her a lift. From there a relationship blooms but don't call it a relationship because neither character are the settle down with a house, white picket fence, dog and 2.5 children type.


I really wanted to love this book. I just could't. I didn't fall in love with either Dean or Blue Bailey (the beaver costume wearing woman). I liked them but couldn't love them. I did like that both Dean and Blue had massive baggage concerning family and Phillips did a great job weaving the ins and outs and whys of it all.


The characters (including the secondary characters) were completely flawed and I liked them all. Together they made themselves into a disfunctional family that was fun to read about but the family interaction was not necessarily what I was supposed to enjoy the most about this book. I suppose I was to be more interested in the romance of Blue and Dean but it really took a back burner to in your face characters like Nita (a beyond cranky woman who bullied herself into Blue's life).


So what started out as a funny opening sequence of events didn't quite pan out to be a humorous emotion producing rollercoaster that one would expect from a great book. Overall, this was an OK book. Nothing specatular but not bad either. I would recommend that you borrow this one from the library or get it from a used book store.


My Rating 3 Stars.

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1) by Jeaniene Frost


I loved this book. I have no idea why it took me so long to pick it up. Thankfully I have the next one in the series sitting waiting for me to dive into it.


What I enjoyed so much about this book was the two main characters Cat and Bones. Cat is a 22 year old half vampire/half human. She is one of a kind. No one has ever heard of someone who is technically half dead. When at age 16 she finds out how she came about she takes matters in her own hands and decided to take out as many blood suckers as she can.


Bones is a two hundred something master vampire who finds himself at the wrong end of Cat's stake. As kick butt as Cat is...she is still fairly new at killing vampires and is no match for a Master one like Bones. When Bones figures out what she is he decides to use her to his advantage...which is also killing vampires. Cat has no idea why a vampire would kill other vampires. In Cat's book all vampires are evil. What takes her by surprise is that not all vampires are bad.


This is a basic summary of the plot but don't think that is all there is to this book. It is also a very good love story. Cat must come to terms with who and what she is in addition to understanding her complex feelings towards Bones who she should hate but finds herself unable to. How can she have feelings for someone she has sworn to kill first and ask questions later?

One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 2) by Jeaniene Frost


After reading the first book in the series and loving it I couldn't wait to pick up the second to continue my adventures with Cat. This book is a continuation of Cat's life where the first book stopped almost 4 years later. She is still using all of what Bones taught her to kill vampires but now she gets paid for it. She still has daddy issues and longs for the time she can meet him and stake him.


Honestly through the book I was thinking this was rather good book but not necessarily a 5 Cup of Coffee kind of book until the end. The end was what put the book into that category for me. I won't give anything away but just know that if you enjoy PNR/UF you absolutely have to pick these books up. Be warned that although many might tell you that you can read series books out of order you will want to read these in the order that Frost published them. There are a few things that might become spoilers should you read them backwards.