Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm in this for the love of the

Okay, as you've probably guessed from my blog title and list of books I read monthly - My name is Patti and I'm a Book Addict. I started this blog to talk about books and read about books and lust over books get my point.

I started up on Goodreads last month but I still don't really have the hang of it - like linking my reviews and stuff. I still can't figure out how to put in what I'm currently reading!!! And I keep forgetting to put in a photo too, grrrr!

Yesterday I joined Twitter - if I haven't found you yet please look me up: BookAddictPatti- I tried looking people up but apparently Twitter was overwhelmed and told me to come back later. And apparently this morning was not later enough. I still need to figure out how to link stuff in my tweets and pick up the "twingo" (tweet lingo).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shattered by Joan Johnston

I have a lot of thoughts about this book, so I'm just going to jump right in; this book had a lot going on. This book is #8 in Ms. Johnston's Bitter Creek series and I have not read any of the other books in this series. I could tell while reading that there are a lot of backstories, but I didn't have any problems following along. I would be interested in reading the other books in this series to get a more in-depth background to these characters, but it's not necessary to do so in order to enjoy the story.

Kate Pendleton is a single mom raising twins. She's in love with Texas Ranger Jack McKinley. Jack is separated from his wife, Holly. As the story opens, we soon learn that Kate's former husband, J.D. Pendleton, whom the world thinks is deceased, is not dead, but hiding from the mob boss Dante D'Amato. We also find out that Kate's eight-year-old twin boys are not J.D.'s sons, but the product of a one-night stand Kate had with Wyatt Shaw after walking in on J.D. having sex with another woman.

Wyatt Shaw is Dante D'Amato's illegitemate son. He's a highly successful businessman and hates his father because he believes his father killed his mother. He has refused to take over the "family business", which angers his father. The general public thinks that because he's successful, Wyatt must be involved in his father's business and he has been accused of murdering a woman in his bed.

As soon as Wyatt learns about the twins, he rushes to find out the truth. When he learns Kate's husband is J.D., whom Wyatt knows is still alive and in a LOT of trouble, Wyatt whisks Kate and the boys off to his private compound for protection. He's got eight years of missed time with his sons and he wants very much to know and love them.

At the same time that this is going on, Jack learns that his soon-to-be ex-wife is pregnant and will be having his baby in about four months! Holly is a pediatric oncologist and is moving back to the area and wants Jake to live with her and their son while they wait for the birth of the baby. She knows how Jake feels about Kate but is hoping for a reconciliation with Jack instead of a divorce.

You would think that with all this going on it would be hard to keep up with who's who and what's what, but it wasn't. J.D. was such a slimebag! He really, really just kept making Kate's life miserable and sooo many people were unhappy with him. I also didn't like Jack at all. He struck me as such a jerk - he was going back to live with his ex-wife whom he got pregnant while Kate was in a coma, but he got upset about Kate going to live with Wyatt who is the father of her children?!? As the story progressed, by the time I got to the last page of Chapter 36 I decided I was right and he was an ass. I liked Wyatt. He was doing his damdest to get together with Kate; granted, he was going about it all wrong at first, but I could kind of see his point of view and felt like even though he looked like a bad guy he really wasn't.

As I mentioned above, there was a lot going on in this story: political inrigue, double-crossing, mob action, secret pregnancies....but Ms. Johnston wove it all together and made it work. There were one or two scenes where I said to myself, "really?" but then when I sat back and thought about it I saw how the circumstances could lead the character to those actions. Ms. Johnston did use multiple POVs, and while some people find that annoying it didn't bother me at all. I enjoyed this book and was pleased with the way it ended.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, December 28, 2009

More End-of-Year Musings...

Hmmm...I noticed I haven't posted a book review since Dec. 21 (shame on me!) I've still been reading, although not as much, but just haven't felt like reviewing anything I've read recently. I had a bit of a disappointing run and I hope I'm over it now. I don't know if it's just my general funk-ishness (work and home stress) or if the books just weren't that great, but I just feel lik if it's the first then that's not fair to the authors. If it's the latter, well, then, sorry I didn't warn you!! It really sucks because one of them I was really anticipating and it was just okay.

AND, I should just go ahead and shout it from the rooftops: I get to join the Cool Kid's Club ---> I got a Kindle for Christmas *squee* !!! (Thanks Mom and Dad) Is it scary that I've already put 72 books on it? Many, many thanks to Fiction Vixen for her tutorial on how to convert files to the Kindle-friendly version. I had a lot of books on my PC that I was able to convert, so I'm lovin' it! Also, I can read all the smut I want and don't have to try to hide the cover - Yay for modern technology!!

Richelle Mead is coming to New Orleans on January 16!!! I can't wait! The only complication is that my son (aka Book Mule) doesn't get off of work until 3pm and the signing starts at 5pm, which means we might be there awhile. I told him this is a good signing to attend as Ms. Mead has a lot of teenage girl fans :) And let me add here, if you haven't read her Vampire Academy (YA) or Georgina Kincaid (not YA) series - what are you waiting for?!?

received a few awards in December:

Minx at Loose Knickers and Window Lickers (I love that title!) and Janna at Erotic Romance Reader both awarded me the Over the Top Award. Thanks ladies!!

Here are the rules for this award:
1.) Thank and post URL to the blog that gave the award.
2.) Pass the award along to 6 brilliantly over the top blogs (blogs you love!) Alert them so they know to receive the award.
3.) Copy and paste this quiz... Change the answers, ONE word only. (2 are acceptable!)

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your hair? Brown
3. Your mother? Lovely
4. Your father? Chiapop!!
5. Your favorite food? Greek (for now)
6. Your dream last night? Weird
7. Your favorite drink? Margarita/rocks
8. Your dream/goal? Finish Degree
9. What room are you in? Office
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Failure
2. Where do you want to be in 6 years? European Vacation
13. Where were you last night? Sick
14. Something that you aren't? Skinny
15. Muffins? Huh?
16. Wish list item? Nothing
17. Where did you grow up? Southeastern US
18. Last thing you did? Work
19. What are you wearing? dress
20. Your TV? High Def
21. Your pets? 3 kittehs
22. Friends? A few
23. Your life? Very good
24. Your mood? Happy
25. Missing someone? Nope.
26. Vehicle? Blue car
27. Something you're not wearing? Suspenders
28. Your favorite store? Bookstore
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Don't remember
32. Your best friend? still Hannah
33. One place that I go to over and over? Crazy
34. One person who emails me regularly? Hannah
35. Favorite place to eat? Too many

AND, Collette over at A Buckeye Girl Reads awarded me the Happy 101 Award:

I'm supposed to list 10 thinks that make me happy (in no particular order):

1. My Family
2. My New Kindle *squee!!*
3. Going to the Museum
4. My collection of antique Mardi Gras beads
5. Going to the bookstore
6. Climbing into a freshly made bed
7. Driving my car
8. Getting books in the mail
9. Opening all the windows in the house
10. Blogging!
Thanks Collette!

Lastly, my December reads (I know there are still three more days until December is over but we're going to Houston on Wednesday so I don't think I'm going to be doing a lot of reading over the next few days. Here they are:

1. Glory in Death - JD Robb
2. Sweet Persuasion - Maya Banks
3. Getting Lucky - Susan Andersen
4. Just for Kicks - Susan Andersen
5. Colters' Woman - Maya Banks
6. Sweet Seduction - Maya Banks
7. True Confessions - Rachel Gibson
8. Highland Knight - Hannah Howell
9. Not Another Bad Date - Rachel Gibson
10. Soulless - Gail Carriger
11. Saving Grace - Julie Garwood
12. Shattered - Joan Johnston
13. To Desire A Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
14. The Highlander - Heather Grothaus
15. Lead Me On - Victoria Dahl
16. Hot and Bothered - Susan Andersen
17. Sweet Restraint - Beth Kerry
18. It Happened One Night - Lisa Dale (currently reading)
19. Crossroads - Moira Rogers (currently reading)

Hmmm...I think that's everything! Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Colters' Woman Winner!!

First, let me say, that every time I've typed in the title of this book, I've typed in "Colter's Woman" then had to go back and change it to "Colters' Woman". Apparently that apostrophe likes to mess with my head....

Anyhoo, there were less than 10 entries in my Silly Little Giveaway, so we wrote down the names on paper and I let my middle child pick the winner ('cause 8-year-olds luuvvvv that kind of thing). And here to announce the winners are the Colter Brothers:


Congratulations! Please send me your mailing address (my e-mail is in my profile) and I'll get it out to you - I have to be honest though, I'm not going anywhere near the post office before Christmas, so expect it sometime in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last Day to Enter My Contest and Bloggish Thoughts of the New Year

Today is the last day to enter my Silly Little Giveaway! Enter here to win a copy of Colters' Woman!

I just realized my blog is 6 months old! Very cool. I have always loved to read and I really enjoy the comraderie and friendships in the book blog world. I think I've mentioned before that I have three kids, each about 8 years apart. With the birth of each child, I stopped reading for a few years, until they didn't need constant supervision and I could sit back with a book, confident that I could get in at least a few pages before Mommy was needed to grab something out of reach or assist with a task. My youngest child is three now, and when she was two I picked up reading again - I read the Twilight saga. Then a co-worker recommended Sherrilyn Kenyon, and then I found the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Oh my! I trolled the internet for more, more, more! Then, while I was googling sexy vampire books, I found Ms. Moonlight , Mandi, VampFanGirl, and Cecile. I had no idea there were blogs dedicated to books out there! I had been keeping a personal blog for awhile, and thought to myself, why not? My co-worker who recommended the Dark Hunters had moved to another job, and I didn't know anyone else who was into these kinds of books, so I jumped in with both feet and am so glad I did!

Now that 2010 is peeking around the corner, I'm thinking of ways to improve. I see features on other blogs that I like and thought about incorporating some of them here:

I'm wondering if I need a button? Are they better than a regular link?
I'd like to try a rating system (probably stars, I guess: 1-5 like Goodreads system?)

I'd like to link to reviews by other bloggers to the book I'm reviewing.

I've seen where some people put the ISBN # and where you can purchase it, price, etc., do people really find that helpful? I usually just write down the author and title and go to my local bookstore.

We're doing Christmas at our house, so I'll be around a bit, but headed out to Houston for New Year's Eve. I'm looking forward to the three Challenges I've signed up for and if my sidebar is any indication 2010 is going to be a great year for reading!!

Monday, December 21, 2009


I stumbled across this today, and want one (or more!); They're available here or here.

Beloved Highlander by Sara Benentt

Gregor Grant was the son of the laird of Glen Dhui. Then, there was a rebellion against the English, and England won. He and his father were thrown from their land and the English took over.

Years later, General Mackintosh now owns Glen Dhui. His daughter, Meg, is his only heir. He has promised her in marriage to the Duke of Abercauldy, but recently found out the Duke was responsible for the death of his previous wife and is scared for Meg's future. He sends Meg out into the country to find Gregor and bring him back to Glen Dhui. Meg does not know it but her father plans to ask Gregor to marry Meg - that way she'll be safe from the Duke.

When she finds Gregor, he is drunk and injured from a duel over a woman. He eventually agrees to go back to Glen Dhui for a fee, and she patches him up. Of course, on the way back to Glen Dhui she finds she is attracted to him and he is attracted to her, but stubbornly they each decide not to act on it.

Once they arrive at Glen Dhui, her father fills Gregor in on his plans and all the problems that would be solved by the marriage. The people who rely on Glen Dhui for protection will all rally under Gregor, whom they all remember and respect, and Meg will be safe from the Duke. When Meg learns of the plan, she fights it but eventually agrees it would be the best solution. The wedding is rushed when some of the Duke's men come over to the castle to check on Meg. Passion abounds in the marriage bed, but neither is sure if the other cares for them or if the marriage is just one of convenience and sex.

To make matters more confusing, the woman Gregor had dueled over in the beginning of the book shows up on their doorstep! Gregor grabs her to tell her to leave, but Meg sees and thinks he's embracing her. Hurt, she turns away. While this is going on, the Duke has learned of the marriage and is enraged. He sends a party back to Glen Dhui and kidnaps - the wrong woman!!
This story was pretty good. It's better than my review makes it out to be. There was a secondary story going on with some of the side characters that was interesting. I liked watching Gregor's development from a gruff, grumpy loner to an upstanding and honest character.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I was talking to my SIL the other day, and we were talking about the Friends To Lovers storyline. I said I really like that plot...and I also like Love Triangles, Marriage of Convenience, Enemies to which point she stopped me and said, "Maybe you should just list what you don't like!" I laughed and said "anything with a baby, 'cause that's too much like real life."

That got me to thinking about what I do look for in a story....I certainly enjoy the scenarios listed above, and Oh My Goodness I do love me a sexy Highlander. Alpha males? check. (Tats a plus) Kick-ass heroines? check.....weeeelllll, usually. I get frustrated when they're so kick-ass they forget they're human (if indeed they are human) and can't accept any help from others. I love, love, love vampire and shapeshifter romance. Fairies sometimes. I haven't read too many stories with witches, except for Kim Harrison's Hollows series, which I really like. Ghosts just don't do it for me. And, you know I can't resist a story set in New Orleans. It gets me every time!

I like historicals, and I've recently discovered contemporaries, which I like very much too. Futuristic? Not so much, which is why I keep shying away from trying Ann Aguire's Grimspace novels, even though I hear they are awesome. I should give them a try, as I did like Lauren Dane's Undercover...

I also shy away from Cowboy romance and anything that takes place on a ship, which is why, although I loved Goddess of the Hunt, I haven't been able to read the second book because it takes place on a ship! The third book sounds wonderful but I've got to read book 2 first and I haven't been able to make myself do it yet!

Okay, I'll also admit I'm lovin' the erotica (as long as the participants aren't related *cough* Coulters' Woman *cough*) - m/m? check. Menage? check. I've learned that I am a smutty, smutty girl! This would be another instance of my having the brain of a teenage boy  Smut = I loves it!!

I'm on the fence about YA. I like it, but it's not usually my first pick. There are a few YA series I love (hello Twilight and Vampire Academy) but for the most part I've resisted, which is probably a huge loss on my part. I've got a couple of YA in my TBR that have been sitting there yelling "pick me! pick me!" for awhile that I really should read.

Undercover by Lauren Dane

I picked up this book because I liked Laid Bare, and while browsing Amazon saw this book was on sale. Whoo-eee! I didn't realize it was a futuristic story, as I don't usually enjoy that sort of book, but this one was great. Sooo sexy.

Sera Ayers was in love with Ash Walker 10 years ago. He was totally Dominant and she loved submitting to him. He was the love of her life and he ended up having to marry for political reasons. Sera refused to be his sanctioned mistress. She was bitter and depressed and channeled her energy into advancing her military career.

Fast forward 1o years, and Sera is called in to her commanders office for a new assignment. She'll be working with Ash and Brandt Pela as an undercover group to travel to another planet to gather information about who is selling weapons and information to federation enemies. She is supposed to pose as Ash's concubine, but she refuses and agrees to pose as Brandt's concubine. Once they're there, though, someone notices she has Ash's mark on her (she never had it removed) and ends up having to pose as concubine to both men. I liked that the men interacted with each other as well as Sera.

Ash explains to her what's happened to him in the last 10 years, including divorce from his wife and that he never got over Sera. Sera never got over Ash either, but she's wary of seeing him again. Because of their mission, she's already involved with Brandt, and when Ash gets involved everyone is happy.

The covert mission is interesting, and the relationship between the three is complex. I enjoyed the ending once the mission was over. This was a fun read with a lot of sexin'!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Highland Knight by Hannah Howell

(For some reason it was hard to find a cover for this book)

This was my first book by Hannah Howell. I haven't seen any reviews of her books that I'm aware of, but I've seen a lot of her books at the bookstore so I picked up a few. I hope they're not all like this one.

It's not that I didn't like the story - the premise was good: Avery, a highland lady, and her cousin, Gillyanne, are kidnapped and given to Cameron, a rival clan leader, as payment for a debt. When he realizes Avery is the sister of the man who dishonored Cameron's own sister, he thinks fate has kissed him. He plans to dishonor Avery, and hold her as ransom to force Avery's brother to marry Cameron's sister, Katherine.

This was another story where you had to suspend disbelief a bit - Avery of course falls in love with Cameron, who is still planning to deflower her and return her to her family after her brother marries Katherine. I had a hard time buying that she would fall in love with a man like that. I liked two of the secondary characters, Gillyanne and Leargan, Cameron's second-in-command. Gillyanne was a bit creepy as she was only 13 but had the demeanor of a much older woman, so in my head she was a peer of Avery's and not a child. Leargan was a good foil for Cameron and I enjoyed him quite a bit. All I will say about Cameron's sister Katherine is that she was a real piece of work!

My main issue with this book was the way Ms. Howell wrote the dialogue - she used a lot of phonetic spelling and it was confusing to me; I couldn't just read clean through but had to think about what the words actually were. Phrases like "Ye cannae and ye ken it. " and "She has kenned my plans from the beginning." Cameron said tersely as he mounted. "I have ne'er lied to her." I found it a bit frustrating; I don't want to have to stop and sound it out. Also, they said "mon" for man and that bugged me because a)I kept waiting for a Jamacian to jump out of the background, and b) it was too close to mons - which, well, I'm not going there.

I will say this - this book had one of the best final paragraphs ever. It was so sweet and in my mind atypical for an ending in that it was not the hero and heroine kissing and fading into happily ever after, although you know there will be one.

I have two more of Ms. Howell's books and am going to give them a try - it's possible this particular book was just not the book for me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Silly Little Giveaway

Well, I recently posted a mixed review of Colters' woman, and I thought the mix of comments was interesting (my review is here). I've decided to give away my gently used copy of Colters' Woman.
I have only two requirements:
1 - you must follow my blog, and
2 - I'd like you to review it. You can either do a guest post here or review it on your own blog, but I'd like to read your thoughts.
Just leave a comment telling me you'd like to read and review Colters' Woman between now and midnight on Tuesday, December 22. Contest is open to everyone.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm In No Mood For Love by Rachel Gibson

I picked this book up in the bookstore about a week ago, and I must have liked the looks of it because I bought it up again two days later! Yes, that's right - I bought it twice.

Clare Wingate is a young, wealthy woman who just walked in on her fiance doing the washing machine repair MAN. She doesn't get any time to think about it because she has to stand in her best friend's wedding that evening. After the wedding, she has a bit too much to drink and wakes up in a hotel room, naked, and can't remember much after the wedding. Then her childhood friend/nemesis Sebastian Vaughn walks comes out of her shower! He tells her she was wild in bed; she's mortified and makes a quick exit.
Sebastian Vaughn is a world famous journalist who's come home to try to connect with his estranged father. His mother recently died and he realizes his father is all the family he's got left. His father is Clare's mother's gardner. He doesn't know why he lied about sleeping with Clare at the hotel but thinks it was fun to tease her.
Clare and Sebastian are thrown together a few times and the attraction is strong. She tries to fight it as she is still hurting from the betrayal of her ex-fiance and Sebastian is not looking for a commitment. The end up dating but when Clare realizes her feelings may be more than casual, she gets scared and Sebastian gets angry.
I won't give anything away but the ending was good.

This was a nice story. There were no villians, no natural disasters or horrible accidents, just the interaction between the H/H moving the story along. I liked it. Ms. Gibson is a new-to-me author and I'll be looking for more of her work.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Colters' Woman by Maya Banks

I'd read what I remembered to be great reviews about this book, so when I saw it on the shelf I grabbed it! Oh. My. God. I don't even know where to begin...Let me just say up front this review is going to be all over the place. The placemnt of the apostrophe in the title should have been my first clue.

Let me start by saying I like Maya Banks' work. I really liked Be With Me and her Sweet series is awesome! Colters' Woman? Not so much. From page one, you have to drop your disbelief at the front door and pick it up on your way out. I spent almost the whole book thinking "that would never happen" or "WTF?"
The book starts with Adam Coulter, the oldest of three brothers, going out in the snow to get the mail and he sees a woman passed out in the ditch. He rushes over and picks her up to get her inside and immediately gets a hard-on. (My first thought is what kind of guy gets a hard-on for an unconscious woman? But I digress....) He gets her in the house, strips off her clothes, and puts her in the tub to warm up. Then, after she wakes up, and he's got her out of the tub and she's asleep, he sneaks in and gets into bed with her and gets her off with his hands. She thinks to herself WTF and then just as quickly she's okay with it.
Holly is on the run from her husband. She left him on their wedding day after she saw him murder someone. He's looking for her and she's running scared.

Here's the thing with the brothers: Adam is the oldest, kind of Alpha (I guess), Ethan is the middle brother, he's sweet, and Ryan is the youngest, he's an Iraq war vet with some low-grade PTSD. They've been looking for a woman to share. Yes, share. As in BROTHERS HAVING SEX WITH THE SAME WOMAN AT THE SAME TIME. Apparently their fathers had one wife and their grandfathers had one wife. I think I would have been okay with the brothers having sex with her one at a time (which they did) but they also had sex with her at the same time. They didn't care who went where - one would get off inside her and the next one would literally stick it in...mouth, vag, ass; she was like a living blow up doll. And did I mention they're BROTHERS!? I think I also forgot to mention that Holly is a virgin, and her first sexual encounter is with the three brothers.

Oh yeah, back to the plotline - The brothers talk Holly into being "theirs" and she agrees to it (pretty quickly) and they want to help her get a divorce from her husband. She tells the husband if he doesn't leave her alone she'll tell the authorities about the man she saw him kill. Holly thinks it's okay and she can be with the Coulters, but her ex-husband hires someone to kill her. That part of the storyline was pretty good.

I did like seeing Holly go from a scared little girl to a more confident woman as the story progressed. And Ryan's changes as she helps with his war memories is sweet but brief. I think I would have liked this book more if it was about three friends and not brothers. The ending was sweet but too quick.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm in the mood for...vampires? werewolves? lawyers? highland clan chieftains?

I'm looking at my ever-growing TBR and wondering what's wrong with me. I read quickly, and so I usually go through several books a week. I find that I have to "switch it up" or I get bored. For example, lately I've been in a Contemporary mood, but after reading a review for Joey Hills' Vampire series, I bought a copy and started reading. I couldn't get into it - I'm not in the mood for a supernatural book right now. So I read a Susan Andersen contemporary and devoured it! The thing is, I never know how long one "genre craving" is going to last so I just have to go with it.
I'm thinking about arranging my TBR piles into: Contemporary, Historical, Highlanders, Vampires, Shapeshifters, and Other. Is that too anal?

Sometimes I can't decide WHAT I'm in the mood for....I liked Lisa Kleypas' Sugar Daddy, and want to read Blue Eyed Devil but I'm still mad at Hardy. I've got the 2nd Sue Ellen Welfonder book, Bride of the Beast, but it's about a disfigured hero and I had a hard time with Elizabeth Hoyt's To Beguile a Beast, so I'm having a hard time reaching for SE Welfonder's book on my shelf (I wonder if I should skip it and go to the next? But that would mess up my "read them in order" OCD).

I also find that books I buy and then put off reading are usually the ones I end up loving! Soulless by Gail Carriger, Contemporaries in general (I fought that genre for months!), the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone, the In Death series (I didn't want to read Nora Roberts and so far have really liked the first two books), there are soooo many that once I start reading, I wonder why the heck I put it off!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Soulless by Gail Carriger

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book. It's gotten great reviews but I was a bit hesitant as I had decided I wasn't a fan of Steampunk. Not that I'd ever read any, but just like I know I don't like bungee jumping despite it's popularity, I was pretty sure I didn't like Steampunk.

Boy was I wrong! I did enjoy this book. In this world Ms. Carringer created (during the 1800s), supernaturals are considered to be so because they have an excess of soul. It's difficult for humans to try to cross over to become vampires or werewolves because you must have a lot of soul to survive the transfer. Alexia Tarabotti is a 25-year-old spinster who is considered, by other paranormals, to be soulless. What this means is she negates other supernatural's powers. For example, if a vampire attacks her, when she touches it it loses it's vampiric abilitis and for all intents and purposes is human while in physical contact.

As the book opens, Alexia is at a dance, in the library trying to get something to eat (her appetite is a running joke throughout the book), when she is attacked by a vampire and ends up killing it. We meet Lord Maccon, an alpha werewolf, who is in charge of the supernatural police force. He and Alexia drive each other nuts....which turns to romance. Watching these two attempt to court each other was pretty funny. Between his alpha tendencies and her victorian sensibilities (to a point, she is what would be considered a bluestocking) they bumbled along nicely, the whole time trying to solve the mystery of disappearing rogue vampires and werewolves.

I liked the secondary characters, especially Ms. Histlepenny and Professor Lyall (Lord Maccon's Beta wolf); they were quite entertaining in their own rights.

One of the funnies things that caught my attention (I have a teenage boy's sense of humor) was Alexia thinking about how wolves mark their territory and wondering if Lord Maccon marked his territory around his castle!

I give this book two thumbs up!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Twilight Giveaway!

Shannon over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe is giving away a SIGNED copy of Twilight!! So, if you're looking for that perfect gift (could even be for yourself), click here! It is the mass-market paperback with the movie promo cover shown above and ends December 10.

The Year of Living Shamelessly by Susanna Carr

Katie Kramer is in love with her brother's best friend, Ryder Scott. Not only is he her brother's best friend, he's practically part of the family. Katie is frustrated he doesn't see her as anything else than a little sister, so she makes a New Year's resolution to have a wild affair with Ryder. She changes her look to something sexier, goes on more dates than she would have normally, and flirts with Ryder.
At a Christmas party almost a year later, she hasn't had her wild affair with Ryder and she learns he is leaving the country on New Year's Day to take a job in Saudi Arabia. She can't believe he's leaving and she decides she's going to get together with Ryan before he leaves.
She learns that Ryan is into D/s and convinces a friend to go to a local D/s club. Ryan learns she's gone and goes chasing after her. He tries to convince her that she doesn't really want to be with him but she's not having any of it. They do get together, but he feels guilty (she's his best friend's little sister!) and tries to keep his distance. She pursues him and things are going well until he learns about her New Year's resolution and feels used. It's a race against time to see if Katie can convince Ryan her feelings are real before he's gone forever.

I enjoyed this book. Katie was cute and seems like she'd be a fun friend. Ryan seemed like a genuinely nice guy. Katie's brother was kind of a jerk and I wanted to smack him a few times. There were some funny scenes between Katie and Ryan, especially the one where he explained to her the extent of his D/s involvement. This was a fun read, it would be especially good as the holidays come around.

Friday, December 4, 2009

2010 Series to Start list

I've been reading Romance (historical, contemporary, paranormal, UF) for about a year now and I have discovered so many incredible authors and books. BUT, there are several series floating around out there that I haven't picked up yet.
Up until recently, J.D. Robb's In Death series was one of them. I'm glad I took that challenge, I've read the first two books and enjoyed them.

Here are some other series I'd like to read:

Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series
Stephanie Lauren's Cynster books

Josh Lanyon's Jake Riordan series

Rachel Caine - Morganville Vampires and Weather Warden series

Meljean Brooks Demon series

Richelle Mead's Thorn Queen books

Allison Noel's Evermore series

Hmmm...I noticed all but one are paranormal...
What are some of your favorite series? What would you recommend?

Be With Me by Maya Banks

This was my first Maya Banks book. I liked it. I had heard good things about Ms. Banks, but I was leery going into it - the blurb said it was a story about one woman and three best friends....that seemed like a lot of people to me, but Ms. Banks made it work!

Reggie Fallon is a cop. She's also the Mayor's daughter. When she comes across a murder scene the killer is still there and he tries to kill Reggie. He almost succeeds, but back up arrives and he gets away.

When Reggie wakes up in the hospital, her three best friends from childhood are there - Hutch Bishop, Cam Douglas, and Sawyer Pritchard. They'd remained best friends until about a year ago, when one night of passion between the four of them had her running away from them. She couldn't handle the truth of what they had done and had managed to avoid them for the past year.

When they heard she'd been hurt, they brought her back to recuperate in the home they had built for her. They explained what they wanted, a relationship between the four of them, and she fought it. How could that possibly work? What would people say? Hutch, Cam, and Sawyer convinced her to think about it. They all loved her and didn't want to give her up. They knew she loved them too, and they would never make her pick.

Her first day in their home there was a break-in. Then her car exploded right after she'd gotten out of it. And the men's childhood home (they were foster children who lived together with an adoptive mother) was attacked. Were these attacks aimed at her? Or someone close to her?

The guys were very protective of Reggie, and she in turn was protective of them. Watching their relationships with Reggie grow, individually and as a group, was interesting (and steamy!). I will say the killer was not who I thought it was, and the final showdown was good. And when Reggie and the guys had to decide if this relationship was what they all really wanted, their decision-making process was, erm...unique.

This book was hard to put down and I am definitely going to read more books by this author!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Austenland by Shannon Hale

I started reading this book with a bit of hesitation - I had seen a few good reviews, but I had also seen a few bad reviews. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved it! From the dedication (which was fawesome, btw) to the end of the story I was hooked.

Austenland is the story of Jane Hayes, a 30-something unmarried professional with no current boyfriend, is bequeathed a trip to Austenland by her aunt. This is a 3-week immersion vacation into Jane Austen's time. Jane is borderline-obsessed with P&P/Mr. Darcy - she keeps her DVD hidden in a plant because she's embarassed about her obsession! She decides to go and get over her obsession so when she comes home she can get started on a regular Darcy-free life.

I loved that she addressed the same questions I had - What's the point if they're all actors? How far are you supposed to go? Why am I doing this again? It was well-written; each chapter gave a slight overview of a previous boyfriend, from age 4 to the present, which gave you an idea of how Jane's love life got to be where it is.

There was a love triangle, a very good love triangle, and I couldn't decide who I was rooting for, up until almost the very, very end. And what an end it was! A big smile, a sigh, and "awwwww" from me was a great way to close the cover. This one's going on my keeper shelf!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

That's the title of my SIL's post over at TauntSociety today.

She answered my m/m challenge, and since she's not on the book blog circuit - I wanted to point you in her direction - she managed to find some delicious m/m pics for our viewing pleasure...


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Naked In Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts)

I had recently decided to give this series a try, then Amy J at The happily ever after... started an In Death Reading Challenge. I decided this was the perfect time to join my first challenge! (Little did I realize there are approximately 35 books in this series!)
This book was not at all what I expected. I thought it would be a contemporary romance about a cop with lots of sexytime. Not at all.
Naked In Death is set in the future with things like flying cars and voice control computers. The rain forest is gone and things like real coffee are indulgences for the rich. Eve Dallas is a tough-as-nails NYPD Lieutenant who investigates homicides. She's called in to investigate the murder of a prostitute (they're legal in the future) who also happens to be the granddaughter of a US Senator. As Eve is investigating all the leads, one of the suspects is a wealthy businessman, Roarke (that's it - one name only). He's immediately intrigued by her and pursues her romantically throughout the case. As more prostitutes are murdered, Eve is getting pressured by the Senator and her superior officers to solve the case. Throughout the storyline, we learn more about Eve's past, which is pretty tragic. Some of the secondary characters made me laugh, such as the male prostitute that kept referring to Eve as "Lieutenant Sugar" and her little old neighbor who's husband died while having pie. The ending was complicated and satisfying. *sigh* I think Roarke may soon be added to my list of Fictional Boyfriends.
I'm glad I decided to take this challenge and have already started on book 2, Glory In Death.

Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks

Danielle from Alpha Reader did a review on this series a few months back. I noticed we had several series we liked in common, so I picked up the first three books in the series. I am so glad I did!

Tempting Danger is the first book in Ms. Wilks' World of the Lupi series, and it was great! I'm not going to get into all the world-building, but it is contemporary and the existance of werewolves is common knowledge. There are also hints of other supernatural beings, but I was unclear if they were common knowledge or "don't ask, don't tell".

The heroine, Lily Yu, is a homocide detective in San Diego, and she's assigned a murder investigation that they think is a werewolf kill. Lily is a Sensitive, meaning she can feel magic when she touches it. Her initial suspect is Rule Turner, a werewolf prince, who has a reputation as a playboy. When she goes to interview him, she gets a funny feeling but ignores it.

As soon as they meet, Rule thinks there's a possibility that Lily is his Chosen. He's not thrilled about it, because she's a cop and cop/werewolf relations are not friendly. As the investigation moves forward, Lily knows Rule is not the killer and she is attracted to him although she tries to fight it. After Rule is framed for another attack, when Lily tries to defend him she is put on suspension, leading her to believe the killer has an in with the police. She contacts the Feds, who have an interst in the case, and they get Rule out of jail. He goes back to her apartment and tells her she is his Chosen, that's why she's been feeling like she does. She doesn't believe it at first but comes to accept it's a possibility but wants to think about it more. They have sex and strengthen the bond - they can't be physically more than a few feet from each other.

Meanwhile they're still investigating the deaths, and Rule's best friend is missing. They're working with the Feds and Rule brings the Lupi into it too. Lily's grandmother is a bigger player in the game than we are led to believe at first.

My review can not do this book justice. It had a kick-ass heroine, a sexy werewolf hero, crooked cops, family betrayals, evil magic, the list goes on and on. The world was believable and I rushed through it in an evening, not wanting to put it down. I loved the ending and can't wait to get more of Lily and Rule!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Awards and my November reads.

I was awarded the Kick-Ass Blog award from Danielle at ALPHA Reader! Thanks Danielle, I think you're pretty Kick-Ass too! The rules are as follows:

- Accept this award, add the badge above and post about it on your blog with the name (link) of the person who granted it to you.

- Name 5 Blogs you think are Kick-Ass and write why. Don't forget to let them know that you have Awarded them.

Rachel (my fellow New Orleans book blogger) over at Parajunkee's View thinks my blog is Over the Top! Thank you Rachel!! (Hey, if I win your contest can we meet instead of mailing?)

This award comes with rules and a questionairre:

1. Thank and post URL to the blog that gave the award.
2. Pass the award along to 6 brilliantly over the top blogs. Alert them so they know to receive the award.
3 Copy and paste this quiz... Change the answers, ONE word only. (2 are acceptable!)

1. Where is your cell phone? purse

2. Your hair? Brown

3. Your mother? Smile

4. Your father? Deacon

5. Your favorite food? Spring rolls

6. Your dream last night? kidnapped

7. Your favorite drink? non-alcoholic: diet coke / alcoholic: margarita

8. Your dream/goal? visit Ireland

9. What room are you in? *sshhh* work!

10. Your hobby? reading

11. Your fear? bugs

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Traveling

13. Where were you last night? reading

14. Something that you aren't? turtle

15. Muffins? cupcakes? Totally cupcakes!

16. Wish list item? books?

17. Where did you grow up? Southeast

18. Last thing you did? work

19. What are you wearing? skirt, twinset

20. Your TV? flatscreen?

21. Your pets? 2 kittehs

22. Friends? moved

23. Your life? happy

24. Your mood? antsy

25. Missing someone? brother, SIL (*waves* Hi H1 and SIL!!!)

26. Vehicle? Saturn Vue

27. Something you're not wearing? socks

28. Your favorite store? Barnes & Noble

29. Your favorite color? Pink

30. When was the last time you laughed? today

31. Last time you cried? Can't remember

32. Your best friend? Hannah

I don't know who hasn't received these awards yet, so if you haven't, I'm passing them to YOU!


AND, because I know you were on the edge of your seat wondering, here are my November reads:

1. Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
2. Too Good to be True - Kristan Higgins
3. Stranger - Megan Hart*
4. Deal With This - Lucy Monroe
5. Bending the Rules - Susan Andersen*
6. Start Me Up - Victoria Dahl*
7. Talk Me Down - Victoria Dahl
8. Girls Night - Stef Ann Holm
9. Be With Me - Maya Banks*
10. Fair Game - Jasmine Haynes
11. Bound to Shadows - Keri Arthur
12. Just One of the Guys - Kristan Higgins
13. Fools Rush In - Kristan Higgins
14. Just the Sexiest Man Alive - Julie James*
15. Mortal Danger - Eileen Wilkes*
16. Tempting Danger - Eileen Wilkes
17. Year of Living Shamelessly - Susanna Carr
18. I'm In No Mood for Love - Rachel Gibson*
19. Wolf Unbound - Lauren Dane
20. For Her Pleasure - Maya Banks
21. Wicked Ties - Shayla Black
22. How to Tame A Modern Rogue - Diana Holquist
23. Tangled Up In You - Rachel Gibson
24. Undercover - Lauren Dane
25. Night's Cold Kiss - Tracey O'Hara
26. Naked In Death - JD Robb

*New to me authors now on my favorites list!

Fools Rush In by Kristan Higgins

After reading Too Good To Be True and Just One of the Guys, I was sooo ready to settle in for a good time with this book. Mmmm...Not so much.

This is the story of Millie Barnes, a new doctor who moves back to her hometown to live and work. Her plan is to snag the guy of her dreams - Joe Carpenter. She's crushed on him since 9th grade. In a stalker way. I will admit I was warned, the first words in the book are: "I'm a stalker. The good kind." (Is there a good kind of stalker? Really?)

While the writing was good and I liked the characters, I couldn't get past Millie's stalking. She knew when he went to the post office, she knew where he'd be working, she went to his house at 5am to be sure of what time he left for work so she could jog by when he'd be leaving. She got a dog so their dogs could play together. If this was a guy doing this to a girl it would not be okay. And her friends enabled her!

Eventually she did catch Joe's eye, and surprise, surprise, he wasn't what she thought he'd be. Gorgeous? Yes. But Joe the Person was nothing like Joe the Fantasy. I actually felt bad for Joe.

Millie's older sister, Trish, was just evil. I did like her brother-in-law (Trish's ex husband) Sam, and Trish and Sam's son, Danny. Eventually, as Millie realizes Joe's not what she thought, she realizes Sam is everything she thought Joe was. But she knows she can't fall for her sister's ex-husband, can she? Oh yeah - it's possible - and I will say the way Trish found out was totally unexpected!

I think I would have liked this story without the stalker bit. I liked Millie's friends, even if they did enable her weird obsession with Joe, and they were there for her when she really needed them. Just because I didn't care for this particular book won't stop me from reading more of Ms. Higgins' books - her writing is just that good.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We're a household that reads...

Even naked Barbies!
(It appears everyone has their own book!)

Missing True Blood

Because I miss True Blood (and that yummy Eric goodness):
(Found these here)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wicked Ties by Shayla Black

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, I hadn't read anything by Ms. Black before. Morgan O'Malley is the host of a cable sex show, and she's looking for ideas for the second season. She's also got a stalker who has apparently followed her from her home in LA to her half-brother Brandon's home in Houston. No one knows they're related, so he's posing as her fiancee.

She meets with Jack Cole in Lafayette, Louisiana to interview him about being a guest on her show. He's a Dominant, and she's interested in showcasing that lifestyle. When they meet for the interview, someone starts shooting at her, and Jack helps her escape. When she explains she has a stalker, he tells her he's going to protect her - he's former special ops and does bodyguard work on the side.

Morgan reluctantly agrees, and he takes her to his cabin in the middle of the swamp. What she doesn't know if that Jack arranged the meeting because he wanted to seduce her and send video of them having sex to Brandon, his former best friend who betrayed him. Megan and Jack end up having D/s sex and she likes it. Jack sends the video to Brandon.

Later in the story we meet Jack's grandfather, a little old Cajun man who knows Morgan is the one for Jack because Jack's been dreaming about her and it's a family legend that the men dream of their true love. We also meet Jack's partner, Deke. Deke seems to be a typical special-ops type guy too, and he is also into BDSM. I think you know where this is going so I'm not going to say anything more about that (it was very hot).

While Morgan is wrestling with her secret desire to be dominated, the stalker is still out there and Jack and Deke are trying to find out who it is.
It was a good story, but I had a few problems with it. My main issue is that Jack went on and on about how D/s was about trusting the other person, yet after their first sexual encounter he sent a video of them having sex to Brandon! For the rest of the book I just could not get past that. Also, when Jack asked his grandfather to bring Morgan clothes, he brought her skanky lingerie. His grandfather - really?!

I liked Morgan's half-brother Brandon, and I liked Deke and would like to read stories about them. Deke's story is Decadent, which I need to go out and buy; I don't think Ms. Black has done Brandon's story - yet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

This was the second book I've read by Ms. Higgins and I loved it! Chastity O'Neill (Chas) is a journalist who returns to her hometown to work at the local paper. She's got four older brothers and her dad who all work at the Fire Department. Then there's Trevor - her family "adopted" him after the death of his sister and his parent's subsequent failure to be there for him. Trevor is her brother's best friend and idolizes her father. Chas loves Trevor but can't do anything about it.

While doing a story on local heroes, she meets a doctor, Ryan. The way they meet - oh, man, I was wincing and laughing at the same time! They end up dating, and things move pretty fast. Meanwhile, Trevor's old flame, Hayden (Chas calls her Perfect Hayden) is coming back into the picture. Chas knows she needs to move on and get over Trevor and thinks even if Ryan isn't the man of her dreams at least he's there and he wants her.

While I loved Chas' story, there was a lot going on to love with the secondary characters too- her brother Mark and his wife (Chas' best friend) are separated and there's a lot going on there, her parents are divorced and her mother starts dating but her father is still in denial, someone is targeting Chas in weird ways (sabotoging the online paper, moving things on her desk).

I was rooting for Chas to have a HEA, and Ms. Higgins did not disappoint. Her internal monologues had me snickering all through the book, as well as her aversion to blood (she ends up taking an EMT class to try to get over it with mixed results). This one's a keeper for when I need a pick-me-up read!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twilight Nerdiness

My brother called this afternoon and talked me into going to the midnight showing of New Moon, so in honor of New Moon's release, here's a tiny dose of my Twilight Nerdiness:

I may have mentioned before that both of my bathrooms are decorated in apples. Which is kind of weird because I don't particularly like to eat apples. Anyhoo, here's a picture of the kids bathroom (this is the view over the toilet), I really do have apples everywhere!

This is the wall next to my sink in the other bathroom (MY bathroom). I have a bit of twilight nerdiness - can you spot it?

Yes, it's a framed twilight cover. Actually, it's the cover off a Godiva chocolate bar from B&N that my sister in law had given me as a thank you last year.

So anyway, that's a tiny peek into my nerdiness - enjoy!

Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl

I actually read the 2nd book in this series, Start Me Up, first. I liked it enough that I bought this one to see the back story on some of the characters.

Molly Jennings has returned home to the small town of Tumble Creek, Colorado. During her years in the city, she's just left a manipulative ex boyfriend, Cameron, so when she inherited her aunt's house in Tumble Creek, she decides it's a good time to leave the big city and go back home. Her brother Quinn, lives nearby in Aspen, and his best friend, Ben Lawson, is the town Sheriff. Molly had a childhood crush on Ben that never went away.

Molly does have a secret, though. She's hidden her occupation from her friends and family for years. When she starts dating Ben, he worries about what her job could be, even though she promises him it's not illegal. Ben's family had some scandal when he was a child and he is very concerned about appearances as a result, plus, as Sheriff he's worried she might be doing something illegal but can't imagine what it could be.

On several occasions, Molly finds her doors unlocked, and at one point finds someone staring at her through her window in the middle of the night. She's afraid to tell Ben about Cameron, a big-city cop who is a master manipulator. He's befriended her last few boyfriends and convinced them that she was not over him. Her family loves him and wants to know why she doesn't marry him. Molly is afraid that as soon as Ben meets Cameron he'll get chummy with Cameron and drop Molly like her last few boyfriends, and Molly really likes Ben and doesn't want to give him up.

Ms. Dahl winds a great story here. Molly's occupation is hysterical; I loved it! When Ben (and the rest of the town) find out what it is, it does make life difficult for Ben for awhile, but Molly is willing to fight for him. I love the bet they wagered over who the stalker could be - it was not who I expected...exactly. I definitely recommend this book for a fun contemporary read.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix

I found this book on Dirty Sexy Books. Rebecca has some great Top 10 lists (seriously, if you haven't checked out her site - it's smart and witty, go now! Well, after you finish this post, I guess.) and a lot of my favorites are on her lists, so I decided to give this one a go. (I'll just ignore that Red and Scarlet are on one of her lists!)

Anyhoo, I bought A Rush of Wings at B&N, and had the 2nd book, In the Blood, in my hands but put it back because I was nervous I wouldn't like it. *hits head - stupid, stupid, stupid!* Ok, better now...

A Rush of Wings is set in New Orleans (you know how much I love books set here!). F.B.I. Special Agent Heather Wallace has tracked a serial killer to New Orleans. During the course of her investigation she meets Dante Prejean, a bar owner and singer. He's a suspect but Heather doesn't believe he's the killer, she thinks he's the target. Dante is famous for being a vampire, but Heather doesn't believe in vampires. Dante gets migraines - he can't be a vampire!

Dante is a very tortured hero, literally. He can't remember his past,but he knows it's not good. He's got a close group of friends who protect him; some of whom have secrets - big secrets. He's got a rap sheet a mile long and has weird hallucinations. Heather is pretty cut and dry - she's there to catch a killer and protect the innocent, no matter what. But she is drawn to Dante and she's not sure why. She goes from suspecting him to trying to protect him.

This book has it all - crooked cops, brooding vampires, fallen angels, psychopathic scientists, and some vampire sexytime. The story was complex - Ms. Phoenix takes us down some twisty turns to get to the end. In a few spots I found myself wishing it would pick up a bit, but overall a good read.
I wanted to start book 2, but alas, I didn't have it yet. (edit - I just got it in Monday - yay!!!!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews - Quickie Review

I follow Ilona Andrews' blog religiously (see sidebar at right). I'm a huge fangirl of her Kate Daniels series and am anxiously awaiting book 4. I wasn't sure what to expect from this new series, but it was getting such great reviews I decided to give it a go. I liked it!

Rose Drayton is kind of like a magical hilbilly. She lives in the Edge with her two younger brothers and grandmother. The Edge is where a magical magical reality (The Weird) overlaps with our normal reality (the Broken). There is some magic in the Edge, but not much. Magic users and "bluebloods" (royalty) live in the Weird, and regular, non-magic people live in the Broken. All magic ceases to work in the Broken. People who live in the Edge can travel to the Weird or the Broken with just a small amount of pain involved, but people from the Broken can't travel into the Edge and people from the Weird can travel into the Broken but it is very painful.

Rose has a special power that makes her very attractive to other magical people and is very protective of herself and her brothers. When a stranger from the Weird shows up on her doorstep (Declan), she tells him she will not marry him. He offers to perform three challenges of her selection to win her. While this is going on, Rose is having some other issues: There's a stranger in the Broken who's taken an interst in her as well (William), and some pretty creepy monsterdogthings are starting to kill her fellow Edge dwellers.

This book had a lot going on - I'm impressed at how Ms. Andrews managed to tie it all up. I liked Rose and Declan. I also liked her brothers; usually kids in stories annoy me but these two were different. And Grandpa - I don't know what to say about him! Yuck?

While the Kate series is still my favorite, I did enjoy this book very much and am watching her progress on Book 2 (William's story). Now, in addition to tapping my fingers impatiently waiting for the next Kate Daniels installment, I'll be tapping the fingers of my other hand waiting for the next Edge story!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl

I've been in the mood for contemporaries, and I remembered seeing a few reviews about this book, so when I saw it on the shelf I grabbed it. I'm glad I did, I enjoyed it.

Lori Love is a mechanic/body shop owner in small town Tumble Creak, near Aspen. She had gone off to college and dreamed of traveling the world, but her dad was injured and she had to come home and take care of him - for 10 years. During that time she ended up taking over the auto shop, and when he died she stayed. It's been a year, and she's tired of being alone but doesn't want the stress of a boyfriend. Her best friend Molly (in Talk Me Down, which I haven't read yet) writes erotic books, and over drinks Lori tells Molly she needs an uncomplicated fling.

Molly's brother Quinn is a rich architect who is back in town building his dream home. He asks Lori to come over and fix his backhoe. The next day, he stopped by her house to talk about it, and Lori jumped to the conclusion that Molly had told Quinn she was looking for a fling - so she told him she would not have a fling with him. Quinn had no idea what she was talking about, so then Lori is embarassed and Quinn starts thinking it's a great idea, as he gets forgetful when he's busy and a "friends with benefits" kind of thing would work for him too.

At first Lori says no, they've known each other too long, but he convinces her to give it a try, so they start datin' and sexin' and it seems to be working, except when they run into an ex-girlfriend. And Quinn wants to get serious, but Lori doesn't. In addition to her regular job obligations, Ben, the town sheriff and Molly's boyfriend, has re-opened her father's file and is investigating his death as a murder instead of an accident. Then someone starts breaking into Lori's shop and vandalizing it. Lori thinks it must be someone trying to get her to sell the piece of land her father bought right before he was injured, she's been getting a lot of offers recently. Conveniently, dating Quinn puts her in the right place to try to get some clues about why anyone would be interested in her land.

I liked this book. I felt bad for Quinn - he was a nice guy and Lori seemed to not give him a chance through most of the book. They argued a lot, but I think that was supposed to up the sexual tension a bit. I enjoyed the part the Paranormal/Erotic Romance books played in this story - Lori liked to read them and Quinn stole a few for "homework"; I will say that he's a good student!

I would recommend this book if you're looking for a fun, light read.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stranger by Megan Hart

A couple of people recommended Megan Hart, and Mandi suggested I start with Stranger. This book was an emotional roller coaster; I liked it.

The story opens with Grace, a funeral director, walking into a hotel bar to pick up a "stranger". She'd arranged through a service for someone to meet her and have sex, but she'd not met them before. Sam walks up and they banter back and forth and go upstairs to "conduct business". The next day when she checks her voice mail she realizes Sam was not the professional and she really did have sex with a stranger. Even so, she can't get him out of her mind.

She goes on with her day to day life, and a few days/weeks later a Jewish family wants to bury their father, so someone must sit with him all night. Grace lives on the third floor of the funeral home, and while she's watching a scary movie, forgets that someone is downstairs with the deceased. She hears noise, and goes down to investigate. To her utter surprise, it's Sam, sitting with his dead father. Thus begins an interesting relationship. Grace is attracted to Sam but she doesn't want a relationship - that's why she hires men to fulfill her needs. Sam is attracted to Grace and is persistent in trying to date her. His actions are almost like that of a boxer - getting in close to get her attention, then backing off so she loses some of her reluctance and thinks about dating him.

While this is going on, she does end up rescheduling with the professional, Jack. Jack is new at this job and Grace ends up giving him tips when they meet for appointments. Her times with Jack throughout the book are interesting - she likes to roleplay and it's different every time. I think she really does like Jack. It was interesting to watch Jack grow into himself and gain confidence with himself and his work. I really liked Jack's character. Her relationship with Sam as opposed to her "relationship" with Jack was eye-opening; you really got a good look into Grace's mindset - how she used these "rentboys" not only to de-stress but to hold up her protective emotional wall.

Ms. Hart really rounds out all her secondary characters well. As the mother of small children, I identified Grace's sister quite a bit; Grace's relationship with her father was difficult - he was retired but wanted to be involved with the business. One of the most surreal spots in the book was what happened after her father took her computer to check the funeral home's books and got more than he expected. Even Grace's employees' characters grew and changed as the story moved along.

It was intersting to read the different people who came into the funeral home. Their reactions to death were varied and Grace handled them all like a pro. There was one scene that had me almost in tears it was so moving. I wanted to hug Grace and tell her it would be okay. Even with that I really liked this book. The ending was sweet but not saccharine and you had to put your trustin Ms. Hart's writing that she would bring you to a satisfying ending, which she did. I absolutely recommend this book.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Danielle from Alpha Reader kindly suggested this book when I asked for Contemporary recommendations. I had mixed feelings about this book in the beginning -I didn't realize it would span so many years, but I liked it. Thanks Danielle!

I don't know how to review this book without spoilers, so let me just say: Spoilers Ahead! I'll try to only do a few small ones.

Sugar Daddy starts out with 14-year-old Liberty Jones and her mother moving into a trailer park in Welcome, Texas. (Her father died when Liberty was very young) There she meets Hardy Cates when she is almost attacked by pit bulls. He's an older boy but she is immediately attracted to him. Over the next few months, she doesn't see him much. She goes to school, hangs out with friends, and as she gets a bit older she gets contacts, plucks her eyebrows, and cuts her hair. The boys start to notice her, but she only wants Hardy to notice her. He tells her he's too bad for her.

While this is going on, her mother is working to support them and ends up pregnant. Baby Carrington becomes the center of Liberty's life. Judging from the events in the book, it sounds like her mom might have had post-partum depression, and Liberty took over. Her grades were falling and she was exhausted from getting up at night to care for the baby. On one particularly bad night, Hardy comes to help. That night, her mother tells her she doesn't want her seeing Hardy anymore and Hardy agrees.

Soon after that her mother dies in a car crash and Liberty is left alone to care for Carrington. She's never had a job and only has a high school diploma. She gets custody of her sister, and enrolls in beauty school. There she lands a job in a fancy Houston salon. She moves to Houston to be closer to work and so Carrington can go to a good school. At the salon, an exceedingly rich client, Churchill Travis, comes in for a haircut and they end up talking. He starts to ask for her whenever he comes in, and they begin to meet away from work. It's a totally platonic relationship, although other people think they're sleeping together. Her relationship with Churchill becomes a father/daughter type of relationship and they talk about everything. He ends up asking her to be his personal assistant, and Liberty and Carrington move into his mansion.

During this time, Liberty has done a bit of dating but no one can make her feel like she did when Hardy was around. She figures she's doomed be miserble and alone.

Churchill has three sons and a daughter. The oldest son, Gage, went into the family business and is in the mansion a lot. He thinks Liberty is sleeping with his father and resents her for it. He's rude and Liberty doesn't like him. Gradually their relationship takes a turn and they start dating. Then she runs into Hardy, who is now rich and successful. Liberty is conflicted because she has feelings for Gage and their romance is new, but can't forget how she felt about Hardy. While she's sorting out her feelings, she also learns some disturbing news about Carrington's father.

I enjoyed this story, but I was frustrated the build up to her adult life took so long. I will concede that it was important to the story and we needed it to understand Liberty's choices as an adult. I felt bad for Liberty - she had some tough breaks, and when her mother died I wanted to cry for her. I liked her secondary characters, especially Churchill, and Gage too, once she got to know him. I was mad at Hardy at the end of the book, and except for that I liked the ending.

All in all, it was a good read. I will definitely read the other books in this series. Thanks Danielle!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgins

Awhile back I asked for contemporary recommendations. I got some great recommendations - this book was one of them, sort of. Christine recommended "anything by Kristan Higgins" and when I went to the bookstore this was the only title of hers they had. All I can say is...Wow!

This book was bittersweet but full of laugh out loud moments. I think the best way to tell you about this book is to give you a run-down of the main characters:

Grace Emerson - Cute, young history teacher, likes to perform at Civil War reinactments, teaches Dancing to the Oldies at the local old folks' home, spends time reading to the elderly who don't get visitors. Loves Project Runway. Is dating Wyatt Dunn, a pediatric surgeon she made up so her family wouldn't feel sorry for her because her sister is engaged to her ex-fiance.

Wyatt Dunn - Imaginary pediatric surgeon who rescues cats in his spare time; currently dating Grace Emerson.

Callahan O'Shea- Ex-con, moved into the house next door to Grace. When he couldn't find the keys to his house the night he went in, he went over to her house to ask to use the phone and she mistook him for a burgeler, slamming him in the head with a hockey stick. Seems to be a pretty decent guy, prison record notwithstanding. Grace and Callahan exchange some pretty fun dialogue about his past.

Julian - Grace's best friend; he's gay. Together they commiserate about the difficulties of finding a good man. Occasionally helps her fend off her overbearing family and watches Project Runway with Grace.

Natalie Emerson - Grace's younger sister. Grace and Natalie have always been close, more so since Natalie almost died while she was in college. Fell in love at first sight with Andrew, Grace's then-fiance but tried to ignore her feelings for Andrew. Has lots of guilt about it.

Andrew Carson - Grace's ex-fiance, currently engaged to Natalie.

Margaret Emerson (forget her married name)- Grace's older sister. Dry, biting wit. Is a lawyer, married to Stuart who teaches at the same school as Grace. Margaret is looking for some excitement in her marriage but doesn't think Stuart is up to it.

Meme- Grace's grandmother. Seriously mean old biddy. Delivers some pretty good lines. She has a scene with Callahan that had me laughing so hard people turned around to see what I was laughing at!

Angus McFangus - the cutest dog in a story ever! He was adorable!

I really liked this book. I felt like I was there with the characters and was disappointed when I got to the last page and there was no more book to read. There were several laugh-out-loud moments in this book, I will definitely be searching out more of Ms. Higgins' books. Thanks Christine!