Friday, February 26, 2010

Street Game by Christine Feehan

Synopsis courtesy of
For Mack McKinley and his team of GhostWalker killing machines, urban warfare is an art. But despite a hard-won knowledge of the San Francisco streets, Mack knows from experience that too many things can still go wrong. Danger was just another part of the game—and now he’s come face-to-face with a woman who can play just as tough.

She’s Jaimie, a woman with a sapphire stare so potent it can destroy a man. Years ago she and Mack had a history—volatile, erotic, and electric. Then she vanished. Now she’s walked back into Mack’s life, as a spy with more secrets than are good for her. Against all odds, she’s hooking up with Mack one more time to take on an enemy that could destroy them both, or bring them back together in one hot, no-holds-barred adrenaline rush.

My thoughts....

So, I have been a fan of Feehan since I picked up Dark Prince, the first book in her Carpathian series. I read one after another until I found myself eagerly waiting an entire year for the next delicious book to come out. Thankfully she has given her loyal fans several other series to snack on during the Carpathian lulls. One of which is her GhostWalker books. It took me a while to actually pick up the first in the series Shadow Game though. It was almost as if by picking up a book other then her Carpathians I was somehow cheating on them. Luckily the waiting for the next Carpathian book produced such a withdrawal I had to bite the bullet. I sighed and picked up Lily and Ryland's story and was hooked.

Once again Feehan introduced me to a fascinating world where not only are the men super Alpha but the women are equally capable. Both genders in her GhostWalker books can do extraordinary things. From mental telepathy to telekinesis they have it all. These are the characters that I was fascinated with my whole life. I wanted to be them....I wanted to wear Wonder Woman Underoos under my clothes to school. I wanted to be special.

So now you know my pathetic background let us jump to Feehan's latest installment of her GhostWalker series. Book #8 Street Game.

I really wanted to love this book. To not love it would be so wrong. Unfortunately, I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. I was just OK with it. It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours of my life. I don't regret reading it but I wasn't blown away by it either.
I found myself a little lost when starting the book because this book was about a totally different team of GhostWalkers that I knew nothing about. I really liked the old GhostWalkers....these were new ones. I wasn't comfortable with the new ones. OK, so I don't take to change very well. I recognize this flaw in my personality. While reading this book I just didn't feel the need to work on that particular part of me in order to like the book better.
I just didn't like Jaimie and Mack that much. Oh there was probably nothing wrong with them. But they weren't Gator and Flame. Although I did keep picturing Gary Sinese's character "Mack" from CSI:NY as this particular Mack. So I have a weird obsession with him. I think he's hot.
Anyway, even though I didn't like the main characters that much, I did find that the rest of this new GhostWalker team was super interesting. Javier really caught my attention. I can't wait for his book. Kane was another one. Oh, and don't forget about Joe.
I found the book easy to put down while I went about my business, often starting other books along the way. The steamy scenes were easy to skim (just an FYI I never skimmed Gator's steamy scenes....I'm pretty sure I read every word of every sentence. When I was done I went back and read them a second time even.) Most of the book smacked of crazy conspiracy stuff that normally would have resulting in major eye rolls and sarcastic remarks but knowing the background of Whitney and many of the baddies I was able to just go with it. I am afraid that if a new to The GhostWalkers reader would pick this particular book up they might never try another.
So, what did I like about this book??? After getting over the initial shock of not knowing any of these characters I was able to enjoy many members of this new team. I liked that even though none of my favorite past heroes were in this particular book there is hope intermingling. Jaimie did mention that she is in contact with one of the other ladies via computer. I want a giant family reunion (or would that be just union since most have never met) between all the GhostWalkers.
My advice is to read this book if you are a tried and true fan of the GhostWalker books. If you are new to The GhostWalkers you might want to start with an earlier one.
This is the spot where I tell you where to pick up your copy. A great book would get you a "Run right out to your local book store and dish out whatever they are asking. It's worth it". But since this is just an OK book I would advise you to get this book where ever you want. I keep all mine so prefer them brand spanking new (usually at Walmart prices) but I am a big advocate of the public library and that option will serve you well too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Synopsis compliments of shelfari....
Across the vast ocean sailed Victoria Seaton, a free-spirited American beauty left suddenly orphaned and alone. Eager to claim her long-lost heritage, she was amazed at the formal elegance of Wakefield, the sumptuous English estate of her distant cousin...the notorious Lord Jason Fielding. Sought after at plays, operas, and balls by London's most fashionable ladies, Jason remained a mystery to Victoria. Bewildered by his arrogant demeanor, yet drawn to his panther-like grace, she came to sense the searingly painful memories that smoldered in the depths of his jade-green eyes. Unable to resist her spitfire charm, Jason gathered her at last into his powerful arms, ravishing her lips with his kisses, arousing in her a sweet, insistent hunger. Wed in desire, they were enfolded in a fierce, consuming joy, free at last from the past's cruel grasp. Then, in a moment of blinding anguish, Victoria discovered the shocking treachery that lay at the heart of their love...a love she had dreamed would triumph... Once And Always.

My thoughts....
Most of the way through the book I was so absorbed in it that I though for sure it was a 5 star book. The last 50 pages or so, unfortunately, dropped the book to 4. Still a good book, bordering on very good. While written 20+ years ago it does have a slight dated feel but definitely not too bad. Things that were "accepted" in the 80's in romance books are not the norm now. For example, a rape scene. Many modern romances do have rapes in the books but back in the day the rape was usually a whole Luke and Laura from General Hospital thing instead of today's rape scenes being about the heroine being raped and the hero coming to her emotional or physical rescue. I really had to take the book for what it was back in the 80's and try not to compare it to my today standards.

This alone was not why I rated the book a 4 instead of a 5. I really liked Victoria. She was strong, intelligent and witty. I loved Jason (tortured hero anyone?) and completely understood his actions. I could see Tory's influence in Jason and could see him opening up to Tory and experiencing fun and laughter that his life had been missing. Then something would happen and set him back to square one. After seening this pattern happen through a good chunk of the book I was pretty surprised that towards the end, it was if a switch was flipped and he had some kind of life altering epiphany which I felt I had missed. Oh there was an epiphany, but his about face came before it. Of course he declares his love for Tory but then says to her that he has loved her since she arrived at his doorstep. Yet no declariation of him admitting he was a shit and the reason why (maybe scared?). His background, which had been explained previously, was to just expain away his being an ass with no inner reflection on his part. Totally 80's.

Together I though they were fantastic friends. Unfortunately I found their interactions as friends part of the book was better then once they were married. Once they were married the friendship ended. This was part of McNaughts plot plan but I would have loved to see more romance once the I Do's were stated. These things might smack of a very low rating but honestly most of the book was just fabulous. I would encourage others to try this book unless of course rape scenes makes them too squeemish.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another "article" filled with romance bashing....

So on Heather's blog which you can find here she commented about an article written for the Berkley Beacon from Emerson college. I think the author (and I use that term loosely) was trying to be funny. You want funny...make sure you go to SmartBitches and read their comments here.

So the gist of the blog is that this woman, I am actually assuming the author is a woman based on the name on the byline but in all actuality that would be a little narrow minded of me, so maybe Kimya Kavehkar is actually a dude. Oh anyway, the gist of the "article" is that this person took 4 books and judged them by their cover and did a mini-review of the books. Or at least that is what it appears to be at first glance. There is no introduction as to why Kimya chose these particular books, there is little to the reviews other then a paragraph that appears to be the back blurb synopsis rewritten in snarky text, and the entire article seems to be more about romance author/reader bashing then anything.

By reading the comments it is very apparent that I am not the only romance reader that was insulted by the blog. Many of the comments are wonderful and although I did have to put my two cents in I couldn't have stated my thoughts as elloquently as many of the ladies did.

If you are interested in the actual article you can find it here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Susan Elizabeth Phillips has been a favorite among romance readers for years and I have found myself looking into the pool trying to decide if I should jump or just dip my toe in when it comes to her writing. After reading this book I have decided to put on my goggles, plug my nose and jump.

This book was fabulous.

Description compliments of shelfari....

A Desperate Young Mother Rachel Stone's bad luck has taken a turn for the worse. With an empty wallet, a car's that's spilling smoke, and a five-year-old son to support, she's come home to a town that hates her. But this determined young widow with a scandalous past has learned how to be a fighter. And she'll do anything to keep her child safe -- even take on. . .

A man With No Heart Gabe Bonner wants to be left alone, especially by the beautiful outcast who's invaded his property. She has a ton of attitude, a talent for trouble, and a child who brings back bad memories. Yet Rachel's feisty spirit might just be heaven-sent to save a tough, stubborn man.

Dare To Dream--Welcome to Salvation, North Carolina -- where a man who's forgotten what tenderness means meets a woman with nothing to lose. here two endearing lovers will set off on a funny, touching journey of the heart. . .to a place where dreams just might come true.

My thoughts....

I judge a great romance by how well I connect to the characters and if the story can play my emotions like a violin. This book does both.

Rachel is a character that you are able to laugh with, feel outrage for, and just plain old like. You can put yourself into her place and feel her desperation and pride, her love of her son and her need to stand with her head held high and her back straight.

Gabe is a little bit of a mystery at first. He appears angry and mean. Constantly snapping at Rachel and her young son. But he has a painful past that has made him the shell of a man that Rachel meets upon her arrival back in Salvation. It is this past which helps us readers understand who he was and who he has become.

These types of characters are what makes Phillips's books so wonderful. They are complex and interesting and guaranteed to keep the reader wanting to find out more.

Aside from the fantastic characters the storyline was also terrific. I don't want to get into too many details because I don't want to spoil anything for other readers but just know that if you have read Phillips's other books (Kiss an Angel in particular) and liked them, you will love this book.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just a test

I am in the process of testing if I am a complete and total computer idiot or if I might be able to pull off a little computer savvy and make this look like I am an educated smart woman.

So, now we know it worked and now you know that I am not a complete tard but only partially one.

Ok so now that I know how to add links that actually say something like "click here" let me add little bits and pieces of my current favorite tv show....Community.

Stand on your Desks!


Somewhere Out There

La Biblioteca

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper

I really loved this book. Not quite enough to bestow a 5 star rating on it but enough to run right out and get the second in the series. Jane is a super smart librarian who starts her day off(and the book) with getting fired from the library by the uni-brow sporting dictator she calls her boss. While wallowing in self pity at a local bar, spending her severance package (a gift certificate for potato skins at said bar) she meets a hottie named Gabriel. After way too many Mudslides and vicious circle ranting she leaves the bar to head home only to become the victim of a random hunting accident. Where, to save her life, Gabriel turns her into a vampire. And so she begins her undead life...on a day that turned out to be the worst day of her...well...alive life.

Jane is by far one of my favorite characters that I have read about in a while. Her humor is a blend of wit and sarcasm peppered with healthy doses of classic literature quotes. Each chapter opens up with a quote from The Guide for the Newly Undead. Which I found extremely informative even though I am not undead. A fact that I am pretty thankful for because Molly Harper's undead community sounds a little like high school. Not some place I would willingly go but it is fun to read about as long as it is happening to someone else.

Harper's secondary characters are also very interesting. Aunt Jettie is a ghost that "haunts" Jane's house, the house that Aunt Jettie willed to Jane despite the rest of the family. Dick is the ex-best friend of Gabriel who likes to torment him by hanging out with Jane making lewed and inappropriate comments to her. Zeb is Jane's best friend who tries to deal with Jane's turning by attending a 12 step program for family and friends of the undead.

I would very much recommend this to anyone who likes humorous paranormal books like MaryJanice Davidson, Kimberly Raye, or Lyndsay Sands.

Romance Reading Challenge 2010

Not to be confused with my RoR Challenge that takes place every 3 months. This is yet another reading challenge that I am joining. Basically it has to do with what I already read. It is just about reading and reviewing romance books. I love it....I love Challenges....I need a 12 step program.

Anyway, Nadia over at The Bookworm has had this little challenge going for 3 years now. Fantastic right? So now here is what she has to say....Oh and my title will link you back to her original post if you are so inclined.....Oh, and I just love this picture that she had (it was among many) I totally love The Princess Bride. Actually the pictures are supposed to be used as buttons to link back to her blog but I am still pretty new on the whole blogging thing that I just can't figure out how to do that title will link back for your linking pleasure.

I'm happy to say that my Romance Reading Challenge is going into it's third year! Wow! Thank you all who have joined and read and posted thier reviews. That's amazing to me, that I started a challenge and other bloggers joined up and participated, it's really great. I hope you will sign up again this year. So, without further ado, here's the rules:

1. "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love. Here's a few suggestions:
*Twilight By Stephenie Meyer
*Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
*Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
*The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss
*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or any other novel by Miss Austen
*Frederica by Georgette Heyer
*The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
*Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti
*Beneath A Marble Sky by John Shors
*The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
*P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
*The Princess Bride by William Goldman

need more suggestions? search through Romance Section online for ideas.

2. Choose at least 5 novels read them between Jan 1st though Dec 31st 2010. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.
3. Read them at your own pace in 2010 then come here and post the link to your review(s).