Monday, May 31, 2010

Meeting Sherrilyn Kenyon (ummm, actually twice!)

So, Friday my parents took my two youngest chidren with them to Houston for a 4-day weekend and left hubs and I with only the teenager to deal with. First on my list of kid-free things to do this weekend: Attend the Sherrilyn Kenyon book signing at the Barnes and Noble across town! As depicted by Ms. Kenyon in the picture below, the event had highs and lows (don't worry, it was mostly highs!):

The signing started at 6pm, and I got there right at 6, so all the chairs (they had maybe 40 or so chairs?) were taken. The set up was in a side "wing" of the store, but it was very cramped and anyone not in a chair had to line up between the rows of bookshelves. Of course, once she started talking, I said "screw it" and got out of line so I could see/hear her. She's a great storyteller (I guess that's a given since she's a writer, LOL) but I couldn't hear much due to the SexAndTheCity wannabees next to me who would not Shut The F Up. Problem was, it was so cramped there was really no where else I could move.

Ms. Kenyon actively encouraged questions, and there were a lot of questions about future HEAs for various characters but I couldn't really hear the answers. I did ask why she chose New Orleans as the setting for her Dark Hunter books. Her answer: It's just such a great city - full of life and mystery and that certain "feel" you don't get anywhere else. She said she loves this city. (Did I mention I (heart) her?)

She also said as far as YA content, Nick's series would age as Nick ages and eventually lead up to and intersect with the Dark Hunter books. Again, she said some other stuff about this series as well as her other series but I couldn't hear her answers.

She brought along one of her writing partners, Diana Love. This lady was a bundle of energy - she was energetic and very supportive of Sherrilyn. It was very obvious they have a lot of fun together. She spent the whole time cracking jokes and throwing T-shirts. I've never seen so many t-shirts at an author event, and she was funny and got everyone involved, which made the time pass quickly (I didn't get out of there until 9pm). See the t-shirt Sherrilyn is wearing below? Yup, I won one! Ms. Love was super nice about making sure the winners got shirts that fit, which was pretty awesome.

So, here's what happened: I finally got through the line - it would've been fine if not for the incredibly annoying (and rude) ladies in front of me in line (yes, the SexAndTheCity wannabees). OMG - I thought about giving myself death by papercut but was afraid Ms. Kenyon wouldn't sign a bloody book. (Really, ladies, no one gives a shit how many pages a day you can read. It's not a contest.) Anyway, by the time I got up to Ms. Kenyon, I was so nervous. She was very sweet and signed my books and we chatted a minute but damned if I remember any of it. I got to my car and realized I had been holding a book and forgot to get it signed, AND I forgot to get a picture! So, I went back in and got back in line (there were only about 15 people left) and saw her again. She was so sweet and gave each person her full attention and got up for pictures and hugged everyone; very down-to-earth.

(My camera was acting up so I'm trying to smile while simultaneously figure out whether or not a picture was actually being taken)

Keep your eyes open around here in the next week or two - my 1 year blogiversary is coming up and it's possible that I have a signed copy of Infinity to give away!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: Sanctuary Unbound by Moira Rogers

From the author's website:
New England is ideal for vampire Adam Dubois. His cozy home in the Great North Woods reminds him of a happier time when werewolves and witches were stuff of legends, and he was a simple lumberjack.

Hiding from past failures has worked for over eighty years, but a life debt owed to the Red Rock alpha has forced him to leave his retreat--and come face to face with a woman who challenges and tempts him on every level.

Hiding secrets is a lonely business, and Cindy Shepherd is lonely with a capital L. Red Rock isn't exactly crawling with available men, but her interest in the mystery-shrouded new vampire in town seems mutual. After all, it's only sex--there's no danger he'll dig deep enough to unleash the demons of her past.

Casual flirtation turns deadly serious when Adam discovers that the vampire plaguing Red Rock is using his mistakes as a road map. When it comes to his life, he knows Cindy has his back. But in order to secure the future, they both must trust each other with more--even if it means sacrificing themselves to save everything they hold dear.

I just finished reading this book, and wow, just, wow! I've read the previous three books in this series and enjoyed them very much; Sanctuary Unbound, Book 4 in the Red Rock Pass series is my new favorite.

As the book opens, Cindy Shepherd is taking care of the pack Alpha, Gavin, who's just had his 3rd heart attack. Gavin knows he's sick, and he's waiting for Keith to come back from Bedagi Creek, where he's wrapped up events from book three and is on his way home to Red Rock - and he's bringing a vampire. Cindy is the Pack doctor. We met her in the previous books but don't know much about her except that she was Dylan's ex-girlfriend in Sanctuary's Price.

Adam Dubois is the infamous flannel-wearing lumberjack vampire I've been hearing so much about. We met him in Sanctuary's Price, where he helped Dylan and Joe overcome a sadistic vampire who almost killed that local pack. He's come to Red Rock to help his old friend Gavin protect his pack from another threat.

Events from book 3 have led to an eventual showdown with another vampire who's stealing werewolf magic to try to take over Red Rock. With the help of Sasha, their resident witch (and heroine from book 3), Adam is going to try to save Red Rock.

I loved this book! From the opening scene, things were all action: There are some shifts in the pack heiarchy, and changes are coming in future books that I think will break my heart. Our heroes/heroines from the previous books are all present and very busy - Gavin and Sam are dealing with their own issues as well as trying to keep the pack safe. Keith has recovered, and he and Abby, along with Dylan and Sasha, are busy helping prepare for the attack. Joe and Brynn are still dealing with Brynn's wolfy issues.

Cindy and Adam have a chemistry that is undeniable. As soon as Adam pulls into town and sees Cindy, he knows he's in trouble. There's instant attraction on both sides, but they both fight it; they each have difficult histories but become closer as they decide to trust each other and talk out their issues. At first they agreed to get together because they were both lonely and attracted to each other but gradually realized they had so much more than just lust in common. They talked and shared and grew into so much more than bedmates. There was a scene at the end of the fight scene that had me holding my breath - Adam's love for Cindy is almost overwhelming.

The fight scene - oh, the fight scene! Moira Rogers wrote the hell out of the fight scene - I could visualize the whole thing in my mind's eye from start to finish. Cindy is definitely not a shrinking violet, and this flannel-wearing vampire was both glorious and terrifying in action. The two of them together are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

I give Sanctuary Unbound 4 1/2 stars!

Sanctuary Unbound is avialable for purchase June 1, 2010.

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review: The Master and the Muses by Amanda McIntyre

I'd heard good things about Amanda McIntyre's work, but hadn't read any of her books, so when this came up at NetGalley, I jumped on it. Oh, I'm so glad I did!

The Master and The Muses is the story of Thomas Rodin, a 19th century painter, who is part of a band of artists who are fighting for recognition of their avant guarde works by The Royal Academy. This story is told in three parts.

Book 1: Helen
Helen is a young woman working in a hat shop, when she is approached by a handsome young man, William. William wants her to come model for his brother, Thomas Rodin. Helen rejects his offer but William is persistent and she starts to like him. She finally agrees to model for Thomas, and, feeling a bit reckless and bold, stops fighting her attraction and has sex with William. Afterwards, William tells her Thomas must never know about their feelings for each other, as she is Thomas' muse. Helen is heartbroken but agrees to pose for Thomas. William becomes more and more distant as Helen and Thomas become closer. However, the course of events that Helen wishes for her future is not what she imagined.

My thoughts: Oh, this story ripped my heart out, stomped around on it, and handed it back strung together with twine and duct tape. Ms. McIntyre's writing instantly transported me to another time and place, watching the story of someone else's life unfold. Helen's hopes and dreams, her joy and sadness, and finally, her understanding of herself. Absolutely beautiful.

Book 2: Sara
This book begins a few weeks before ending of Helen's story. Sara is an orphan, living with her uncle and his family on their family farm. She is innocent, but understands the ways of the world and has figured out that sex can be used to get what she wants. What Sara wants is not a husband and family, but an education and travel. When she meets an artist at the theatre (which she snuck away from the farm to attend), he offers her a job as his model. When her uncle's family finds her employment as a nanny/housekeeper, she knows she must get out and sees Thomas as her way to do that. She moves into the studio apartment, and eventually she and Thomas become lovers - until he leaves her in the care of a new painter, Edward, while Thomas goes to go to Rome.

My thoughts: This story wasn't heartbreaking like Helen's story, but there were definitely highs and lows. Sara knows what she wants for herself and doesn't want to settle for less. She has doubts, especially when her cousin contacts her with news from home, but she remains steadfast in her desires for her future. One thing I liked about this portion of the story was that as soon as I thought we were done with Thomas' part of the story, he comes back in, front and center, and shakes things up a bit.

Book 3: Grace
Grace is a prostitute, and she appears in brief but significant spots in both of the previous stories so I kind of figured Grace would be the third story. I didn't like her much - until I got into her story. When she meets Thomas, his offer to model seems to be a way for her to end her current profession. She eventually becomes intimately involved with Thomas, but ends their friendship after a huge fight. Fast forward one year and Thomas is married to Helen. Grace and Thomas rekindle their friendship, and they work together a bit as well. When Thomas finds Sara, Grace watches their story unfold. Through her association wilth the other members of the Brotherhood, stays in touch with Thomas intermittently, dropping in to assist during difficult times, sometimes against her better judgement.

My thoughts: As I went into Grace's story, I didn't like her very much. I wasn't thrilled that the third book would be about Grace, but Ms. McIntyre brought me around, to see the other side of the previous stories through Grace's eyes. We got to see the turning points of the other stories with a new twist; Grace's story brought the book full circle. Her POV is, I think, the best view of Thomas' psyche - his methods, his needs, his raison d'etre. By the end of the story I felt bad for Thomas, although I didn't really like him very much; however, that doesn't change the fact that his story was fascinating.

The Master and the Muses was an emotional roller coaster and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Ms. McIntyre's writing is so vivid I could see every scene I give it 4.5/5 stars!

This book is available for purchase June 1, 2010.

This book was provided to my be NetGalley free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 24, 2010

DNF: Dangerous by Diana Palmer

From the author's website:
Tall, lean and headstrong, FBI agent Kilraven lives by his own rules. And one of those rules includes keeping his hands off Jacobsville’s resident sweetheart, Winnie Sinclair, no matter the temptation. Shy and innocent, Winnie couldn’t handle a man like him—a merciless man with a haunted past. And this small town may hold not only the woman he fights to resist, but the answers to a cold case that is very personal to Kilraven....

Winnie has had her own share of sorrow and senses Kilraven’s pain. Even though she tries to deny it, the gentle 911 operator feels a connection with the darkly handsome agent. When he makes the disturbing discovery that her family’s unsavory past might have a bearing on his case, Winnie is determined to help him crack it...and the ice around his heart.

As they combine forces in a dangerous investigation, the stakes rise ever higher. Winnie’s life is on the line, and she’ll need Kilraven more than ever. But if they are to have a future together, her ruthless Texan will need to confront his past and risk it all for their love.

I hadn't read anything by Diana Palmer before I got this book, but I'd heard good things about her books and the blurb looked good so I was looking forward to reading this. This book is part of her Long, Tall Texans series.

Winnie Siclair is the heroine, a 911 dispatcher who pines for FBI agent McKuen Kilraven. Kilraven is tall, dark, and glowering. We learn he had a family who were murdered and the case was never solved. Winnie has her own dark history - her mother left them when she was 10 and her father physically abused her as a result.

I wanted to care about these two, really I did. But I didn't. There were so many
characters I couldn't keep up with who was who, and how they were all related was a bit confusing. Kilraven was cold and then hot and then cold again with Winnie - I didn't feel like there was any rhyme or reason to his actions. The murder mystery portion of the story was also confusing. I felt like I needed a spreadsheet with lines and arrows on it to follow along. When Kilraven proposed marrying her for the weekend so they could have sex while on an assignment and divorcing her once it was over (knowing she's a virgin and that she has a huge crush on him) - that's where I put it down for good. Now, maybe Ms. Palmer worked that storyline into something great, but my distaste for Kilraven and my apathy towards Winnie prohibited me from continuing any further.

I've heard wonderful things about Ms. Palmer's writing, so I will probably try something by Ms. Palmer in the future, but I think I'll need to start with an earlier title or go with a stand-alone.

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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Show Me Yours Saturday

Show Me Yours Saturday is hosted by I heart Book Gossip. Here's how it works:

Each weekend try to post a Show Me Yours. It can include a favorite food to something about you. Show me the deets and I will show you mine. Key word is show: So show us some snazzy pictures not just words.

I've been wanting to share pictures of the Main Library here in New Orleans. It's absolutely gorgeous inside. One of the reasons I love it is I can come here and visualize the fancy homes in those saucy historical novels. Look at how beautiful it is:

The main lobby/checkout:

I think this is a meeting room:

This is the ceiling in the green room you can glimpse on the left in the room above, and the sunroom is through the doorway on the right in the room above:

The kid's area:

This is my favorite room:

Look at the wallpaper - it's beautiful! I can just imagine ladies sitting, waiting on their gentlemen callers, having tea and chatting about the latest gossip.....

So, what do you like about your local library?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Review: Tall, Dark and Wolfish by Lydia Dare

Well, Ms. Dare, you've done it again! I am totally in love with the Westfield Brothers - all three are completely sigh-worthy...

In this second book in her werewolf trilogy, we are introduced to Lord Benjamin Westfield, the youngest of the three brothers. We don't meet him in A Certain Wolfish Charm, except to hear he's missing and possibly gone off to Scotland.

He has gone off to Scotland; he wasn't able to change at the last full moon, and he's in search of a healer. He plans to stay with an old friend, Alec MacQuarrie, while he searches for this old woman. When he arrives, Alec is on his way to a ball with a young woman he's been pursuing. Alec asks Ben to escort the young lady's friend, Elspeth.

Elspeth Campbell is a young witch. Her best friends are all witches and her closest friend has forseen that a wolf will tear Elspeth away and destroy the coven. Elspeth knows this must refer to her father, who was a werewolf - she has the mark on her skin, passed down by her father. She plans to seek out her father and confront him; the only problem is she doesn't know who he is - he left her mother and never came back

When Ben tells Elspeth who he's looking for, she realizes he wants her mother, who is dead. She tells Ben she can help him but even though he feels drawn to her, he is reluctant to disclose his secrets. Then he sees her powers and thinks maybe she can help.

As Ben and Elspeth are drawn to each other, the coven sisters are trying to keep her from falling in love and leaving the coven. Of course there are many misunderstandings and twists along the way to this HEA: Ben needs to change to his wolf shape, Elspeth wants to find her father, the coven doesn't want to be separated.

Not to sound like a squeeing fangirl (which I am), but I loved this book! At first I was a little hesitant when I realized the heroine was a witch (I'm not much for witch stories) but I was so wrong to be worried! I liked Elspeth and adored Ben! Elspeth was a strong heroine without being obnoxious, and I liked that she wasn't willing to settle. Ben was your typical clueless bachelor who did't know what hit him once he fell in love, but he was soooo sweet! Their friends were fun to read and full of surprises. (I hope we see more of Alec and Elspeth's friend Caitlin in the next book).

The middle brother, Will, who I fell in love with in the first book, is back for this book. He comes across as something of a "himbo" but he really cares for his family and friends. His non-relationship with Prisca (from book 1) is hinted at again here.

This book was sexy and sweet and I couldn't get enough! I give Tall, Dark and Wolfish 5/5 stars! Book 3, The Wolf Next Door, comes out in June!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'd Read That!

In the comments section of a previous post, I mentioned to Chris that I'd love Rachel Gibson to write a gay hockey story. Then today I stumbled across this at Eyre's place:

I'd read that!! Rowr!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Amazon...

Dear Amazon:

I am writing this letter to suggest a new product - a kindle neck holder. Please see pictures below, using a harmonica neck holder as a guide. Of course, there would need to be a few tweaks here and there, such as making the ends longer so it hangs a bit lower and further away from the face, and possibly add a cushion to the back of the neck area.

This product would be revolutionary! Kindle users would be able to do other tasks whilst still enjoying a good read - pushing a grocery cart, riding an exercise bike, holding the bar on the bus or subway, folding laundry, changing diapers - the possibilities are endless!

Thank you for your consideration, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warmest Regards,
Book Addict

Beauty is only (kindle)skin deep:

As I mentioned in a previous post, hubs outdid himself for my b-day. Not only did I get an awesome kindle cover, but I ordered a custom kindle skin. I had seen a couple of sites, but after Mandi's testimonial, I decided to go with MyTego because I wanted the skin to go around each individual letter on the keypad. It took a little while to get here but I'm very pleased with the results:

(stealing another page out of Mandi's book,I had the Littlest Book Addict model the front)

(Big Sister was a little more chill about modeling the back)

I used Frederick Childe Hassam's Woman Reading, which some of you may remember was my header when I started this blog. The left half is the front of the kindle, the right half is the back:

I'm really pleased with the results, it's gorgeous! Thanks, Mr. Book Addict, for a wonderful birthday gift - I love it!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: A Touch of Scandal by Jennifer Haymore

A Touch of Scandal started off with a bang: Kate Fisk is leaving her employer's house to go watch a naked man bathe!!! Whoa!

Kate is the daughter of a servant, and her current employer is actually her brother William and his new wife, Rebecca. William has married "up" and doesn't want Rebecca to know his true station. He can't afford a bunch of servants so Kate works for them. It is while walking from her brother's home to her own that she comes across a beautiful man bathing in a small lake. Since that first view, she's taken to looking for him on her way home, hoping to get another peek. He sees her watching, and surprises her. He tells her only that his name is Garrett, and they almost instantly feel a connection. They agree to meet again the next day, where their passion for each other is expressed in a physical way.

Garrett, Duke of Calton, has been searching for William. William and Garrett are sworn enemies, but Garrett doesn't know Kate is William's sister. William holds Garrett responsible for the death of his twin and has made it his mission to make Garrett's life miserable in every way imaginable; this includes eloping with Garrett's sister and taking him prisoner in order to torture him.

Things come to a head and Kate ends up living in Garrett's home, surprised he's a duke, loving him although she knows she cannot. When Garrett's former mistress shows up, days away from having his baby, Kate knows what she must do.

This book had so many twists and turns, I was turning the pages to find out what was next! The storyline was not what I thought it would be - I love when that happens! From Kate's "mystery man" to William's and Garrett's enmnity, from Kate's awful mother to Garrett's snobby aunt, and between Garrett's ex-wife and his ex-mistress, the storyline had me wondering what else Kate was going to have to deal with before she got her well-deserved HEA. I even liked her sickly younger brother, Reggie (which, anyone who knows me knows how I feel about kids in romance books ---> bleh).

What I didn't care for was the "instant attraction" between Kate and Garrett. In a paranormal romance - oh, yeah, I love the instant attraction! Not in a historical romance. It was almost immediate that they couldn't live without each other. I think that with everything going on in the book Ms. Haymore would not have had a problem making the attraction a bit more gradual.

I give A Touch of Scandal 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Ms. Haymore's next story in this series, A Season of Seduction, is about Garrett's sister Rebecca - can she find love after William crushed her heart so badly? Although she seemed a bit timid, I liked Rebecca and would love to see her get a HEA

This book was provided to me by Hatchette Book Group in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 17, 2010

We've Got Time For A Quickie: Kamikaze by Moira Rogers

I have a confession to make: I love shapeshifter stories wherein their shifter nature causes them to have uncontrollable mating urges. Not sure if that makes me a freak or not, but if so I'll let that flag fly. Kamikaze was one of the books offered during All Romance's Earth Day e-book giveaway promotion. I'd been wanting to check out this series so I was delighted when it came up for free!

Zoe Bennett is a werewolf who's looking for a temporary mate to ease the discomfort of her mating cycle. She's a relatively new werewolf and doesn't really know how to handle it herself, so she goes to Last Call, a supernatural bar where your drink order tells everyone what you're looking for.

Zoe orders a Kamikaze, and as soon as she belts it down, she's surrounded by interested men. She's only interested in one man though - Conor O'Malley, the IT guy who's there to update the bar's security system.

This book was short and super sexy. Kamikaze definitely delivered smokin' sex, hot werewolf mating instincts, and a sneakily romantic storyline. Zoe was just the right amount of naive about her wolf but her mating cycle was kicking her ass and making her do things she normally wouldn't do with a stranger. Connor was a sexy nerd and a more experienced werewolf who was more than happy to guide her through it.

One of the things I love about Moira Rogers' writing is the romantic tension. This book is a bit different because it just jumps right into the good stuff, and I loved it! If you look up " fun sexy werewolf short story" in the dictionary, this book is what you would find. I gave Kamikaze 4 stars!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Author Fan Letter

I was tagged by Lea from Closetwriter to participate in the Author Letter Fan Letter Blog Crawl. Don't forget to check out her letter if you haven't already.

When I heard about Kassa and Kris' idea of writing fan letters, I thought "This is a great idea!" and wholeheartedly jumped in with both feet. Then I saw the final list and thought - OMG, what have I gotten myself into? Many of the other participants are mainly M/M readers, and while I do enjoy a bit of M/M lovin' smokin' up my kindle, I can count the number of M/M books I've read on my fingers with enough left over to tie someone up (did I say that out loud? *g*), although I do plan on glomming some of these "new to me" authors I'm discovering on the blog crawl. Needless to say I obsessed over who I wanted to write my letter to, and I kept coming back to the same author, but I didn't want to do a mainstream author, I wanted to be edgy and cool. Well, I'm not edgy and cool, I'm just someone who loves to read romance. author choice? Stephenie Meyers.

Wait - don't click away!!! I know Ms. Meyers is either adored or despised in the literary world; there don't seem to be many readers who are ambivalent about her Twilight Saga. So, whether you love her or hate her - just....keep reading:

Dear Ms. Meyers:

I am writing to thank you for giving me my sanity back. Okay, overly dramatic much? Maybe *this much*. But really - it's true. After the birth of my third child, I kind of lost myself. I was so busy trying to be a wife, a mother, work full time, and run a household that I was completely burned out.

Then I started hearing buzz about a new book release called "Breaking Dawn". I thought to myself "Vampires? I like vampires" - I live in New Orleans for chrissakes, I'm pretty sure it's in the city charter! So, I picked up the first book in the series ('cause that's how I roll) and gave it a shot. I was instantly transported to Forks, WA and loved every minute of it. As soon as I finished Twilight, I was at the bookstore buying New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn so I wouldn't have to wait as I finished each book. It was so easy to imagine myself as Bella, in a new place and feeling like the odd (wo)man out, and then the flush of new love when she found Edward. Her friendship with Jacob, and the affections she had for each hero (because Edward and Jacob are both heroes in this saga) were so achingly addictive to me - I couldn't get enough.

Once I read through the Twilight Saga, I needed more; if I hadn't read Twilight, I would never have discovered other favorite authors like JR Ward, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Richelle Mead, Charlaine Harris, and Kelley Armstrong to name only a few. And through my enjoyment of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, I branched out into historical, contemporary, and even a bit of Gay Romance reading as well. It was through my quest to find more, more, more that I started book blogging and "discovered" this wonderful community of readers all over the world united by their love of reading.

I learned through my Twilight obsession that no one is going to put me in jail if the beds aren't made every day and the country's economic status does not depend on how many times a day I sweep the kitchen floor or dust the living room. And sometimes, just sometimes, it's okay to have a fruit and cheese tray for dinner insted of a big meal that requires a lot of prep/cook time and cleanup. I've been able to finally relax and understand that "me time" is not selfish but a necessity for a happy and complete life.

Thank you, Ms. Meyers, for this wonderful gift.

Keep Sparkling,

Patti (Book Addict)

Don't forget to visit Val at Obsidian Bookshelf tomorrow to read her letter!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Review: Dark Deceptions by Dee Davis

I recently decided I needed to get out of my comfort zone, and Dark Deceptions seemed like the perfect book to do that with. I'm not usually a fan of military-type storylines, but Dark Deceptions may have changed my mind.

Annie Gallagher and Nash Brennon were a team - undercover, covert operations. But they werw more than a team, they were lovers. Until an assignment where everything went wrong.

Eight years later, Nash is with an elite military team, learning his lession long ago to only rely on himself. He tries not to think about the past, and why Annie deserted him when he was injured in that fateful assignment.

Annie's no longer involved with the government - she left when she got pregnant. She's now living a different lifestyle as a mountain climbing guide with her young son, Adam. Then, Adam is kidnapped and her past has come back to haunt her. If she wants him back, she's got to assassinate a U.N. ambassador.

Nash's unit gets word that there's a possibility that Annie is working to assassinate the ambassador, and they're sent out to stop her. Once they find out her son has been kidnapped, they agree to help, but don't know if she's working against them to kill the ambassador anyway.

I really enjoyed this book! The political intrigue was interesting and kept me guessing, but wasn't so complicated that I got bored or couldn't follow. I like that every time I thought the main conflict was over, it really wasn't. Something new would pop up and all signs would point to Annie again. Who was framing her?!? The romance was simmering, and when mixed with the CIA intrigue became full of twists and turns - Will they? Won't they? How are they going to work this out? The back and forth between Annie and Nash was hot - they were at each other's throats one moment and down each other's throats the next - even after eight years the attraction was still there full force! And, I'm suspicious of one of the team members - there's a mystery that's not solved yet...

Nash's team was full of great characters. I didn't realize when I started the book that this is actually the first in a series. As I was reading, I was hoping we'd see some of them in their own books, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that Nash's buddy Drake's story is next - Dangerous Desires, out in July. I will definitely be watching for that one, I have the feeling it's going to be hot!

This book had only two drawbacks for me: As a general rule I don't like kids in books and while Adam didn't drive me crazy I didn't really warm up to him either. And, I thought the romantic storyline wrapped up a bit quickly. Don't get me wrong, I was happy with the outcome, it just seemed to come on quickly.

I give Dark Deceptions 4/5 stars!

This book was provided to me by Hatchette Book Group in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Amazing: Linger Trailer by Maggie Stiefvater

I'm not a fan of book trailers. I don't know why, I guess I'd rather read the blurb and imagine the characters the way I want to. HOWEVER, if all book trailers could be this cool I might change my mind:

Fabulous - and she did it herself (with a bit of help, LOL!)

Can. Not. Wait!

Linger, Book Two in the Wolves of Mercy Falls Series by Maggie Stiefvater.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Review: Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson

I was browsing my local bookstore when I came across this book - 3 days before its release date! I'm not going to answer any questions about whether or not I danced in the aisles at my local B&N, and I have bribed my children who may or may not have witnessed it.

I think my love of Rachel Gibson's hockey romance stories has been well-documented here. I don't know why exactly; I've never seen a hockey game and wouldn't recognize a famous hockey player if one bumped into me while wearing a name tag. Anyhoo, on to the review:

Chelsea Ross is an out of work actress, a "scream queen" of sorts. She's done bit parts in horror flicks and commercials. She spends most of her time working as an assistant to D-list actors while waiting for her big break. Her twin sister, who works for the Chinooks as in PR, has convinced her come home to Seattle to be a personal assistant to Mark Bressler, former hockey star.

Mark was the captain of the Chinooks until a car accident almost took his life. He's recuperating, slowly, but he knows he'll never play hockey again and is depressed and angry. His team won the Stanley cup but he doesn't feel he deserves to be a part of it since he was injured before the playoffs. He's gone through home nurses like toilet paper, so the Chinooks have offered a $10,000 bonus to anyone who can stay with him.

Chelsea wants that money. She's got big plans for it: Chelsea is a tiny wisp of a thing with a natural pair of Double D's. And she hates them. She hates the way they hurt her back. She hates the way men talk to her boobs and not her face. And she thinks they're keeping her from getting "real" roles in the movies, which is what she really wants.

Chelsea was a fun heroine. She was a good assistant and I enjoyed her comparisons between working for Mark versus working for Hollywood stars. She very subtly inserted herself into Mark's life and it was fun to watch. I felt like she kind of bitched about her boobs too much, but I understood where she was coming from as part of the storyline. It was just that at one point, I kind of felt like "Okay. I got it - she's got giant boobs and she hates them."

Mark is so bitter, he's angry at the world and a step away from becoming addicted to pills. He doesn't want Chelsea around, but she manages to work her way into his life, and more and more he starts to like her, despite his intent not to. I really enjoyed watching him go from a surly grump to a likeable guy. His pain was real (physial and emotional) and Chelsea was adorable while she was trying to put up with him. Once he had Chelsea in his sights, lawd have mercy! He was set on simmering and ready to boil over. And once they got going, whew, somebody pass me a glass of ice water! Of course, he doesn't know about the bonus, and when he did find out, my heart broke for him.

I really enjoyed this book. I would have liked a bit more hockey action but we did get to check in with some of the other players on the team to see how they were doing. Ms. Gibson writes a great story with likeable characters; I love her hockey world!

I gave Nothing But Trouble 4/5 stars!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Birthday Musings and a Winner!

I posted this birthday ramble on my family blog today, but thought I'd share it here:

Well, today I'm officially 40. The big four-oh (as in Oh My God I'm Old!!!) I was sitting with the family last night talking about all the things we take for granted that were not invented when I was born (if it's got an * next to it, that was my teenage son's input):

Things that were invented after I was born:

~cable TV: I remember getting HBO and being amazed that we had 20 channels!!!
~personal computers: If we were really good, Dad would let us play King's Quest before bed! (when hubs and I were dating I'd complain he spent too much time on his Commodore 64)
~fax machines
~cell phones: Once when I had a near-death experience, my neighbor insisted I take his cell phone - it was a backpack with a phone attached by a cord!
~CD players
~video games: I remember when Pac Man came to my neighborhood, I couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about!
~microwaves: When my teen was a little kid he asked how we cooked before microwaves :)
~the space shuttle: I was living in Florida at the time and we got to leave class to watch it go up - 5th grade.
~rap music
~VCRs: Anyone remember when you'd go to the video store and they'd ask "VCR or Beta
~happy meals

I don't feel 40 - I feel 27. This is bullshit! I was laying in bed with hubs last night and out conversation went something like this:

Me: "you know, this is the last night you get to have sex with someone in their 30s"
Hubs: "no it's not."
Me: *pushes him off the bed*

I told hubs he has to call me Mrs. Robinson until he turns 40 in October :)


And, as I promised - to celebrate my refusal to grow older, I'm giving away a YA book today:

A brand new copy of Shiver, signed by the author -Maggie Stiefvater!

And the winner is:

Crystal GB

Congratulations! I've sent an e-mail, if I don't hear back from you by Saturday I will draw a new winner.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Name, Same Game!

When I originally started this blog, I had no idea how huge the book blogging community is, and really it was a spur-of-the-moment decision - I just wanted to chat about books! It didn't occur to me that people would actually have to type that long-ass web address in if they wanted to find me! I'd been trying to figure out how to change my blog address without losing what I've done so far, and in a timely stroke of luck, Parajunkee did a wonderful post on how to do it!

Well, I took the plunge and with the tutorial stylings of Parajunkee Design, I've relocated - you can now find me at: Of course, if you're lazy like me, you can always leave things the way they are and it will automatically roll to the new site.

Thanks Parajunkee!

Review: Sanctuary's Price by Moira Rogers

Sanctuary's Price is the third book in Moira Rogers' Red Rock Pass Series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series and this book did not disappoint

Dylan Gennaro is a werewolf who's been alone for most of the last 10 years. He knows from previous experience that getting involved with anyone only leads to them getting hurt, literally. After a desperate escape from Alan Matthews, his former ruthless pack Alpha, Dylan just wants to fix up a house and live peacefully in Red Rock.

Sasha Wallace is a witch. Her mentor was killed by Matthews because Matthews wanted Sasha for himself. Before she was rescued however, Matthews inflicted scars both physical and mental, and those take a long time to heal. Sasha knows things could have been much worse and feels she owes a debt to the Red Rock Pack for rescuing her.

When a werewolf comes back into town showing evidence of a vampire attack, the Red Rock Alpha decides to send Dylan and Sasha to Maine to call in a debt from a friend - a vampire friend. While Dylan and Sasha meet with the vampire, their pack-mates, Joe and Brynn, are tasked with checking out the local werewolf pack, as there have been hints of trouble. Little do they know what kind of trouble is waiting for them. I liked the fact that we get to see how Brynn is progressing since the end of Sanctuary Lost. Her situation was fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time.

Dylan and Sasha' story was sweet and sexy. They both had issues to work through as a result of being under Alan Matthew's "rule" and I like that Moira Rogers didn't sugarcoat their issues and go straight to a HEA. Their insecurities were realistic and the potential conflicts resulting from their issues made for believable characters. Dylan is not Alpha but his werewolf instincts were very, very sexy. When Dylan tells Sasha, "I'm not like the alphas. I don't want your submission. I just want your pleasure.", I almost melted. The sexual tension between these two left burn marks on my kindle!

In this story we also meet a certain flannel-wearing lumberjack vampire who's apparently got an interesting history; I believe we'll see more of him in the next book, Sanctuary Unbound. I give Sanctuary's Price 4/5 stars!

This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hannah's List Winners!

Congratulations to the winners:

Grand Prize (copy of Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber and $25 Visa Gift Card to enjoy more Debbie Macomber titles):
I heart Book Gossip
Runners Up (copy of Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber):
BettyMc(Reflections With Coffee)

I sent e-mails to the winners. If I do not hear back from them in 72 hours I will choose a new winner. Thanks to everyone who entered and especially to Chelsy at Big Honcho Media for sponsoring this giveaway!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Does a Road Atlas count towards any of my reading challenges?

Cecile and Hell Kat went back and forth a bit and decided they wanted to meet. But Cecile lives in Louisiana and Hell Kat lives in Texas. What to do? Meet in the middle! They're meeting at the Books-A-Million in Lake Charles, LA on June 12 for some bookish conversation and fun.

Will I be there - hell yes! And so will my Sister-in-Law, Hannah (who relocated to Texas after Hurricane Katrina). It will be about a 3 hour drive for each of us and I confess to being a tiny (read: HUGE) bit excited.

Anyone else interested? Contact Cecile or Hell Kat for more deets - see you there!

Last Day to Enter for Hannah's List and $25 Visa Gift Card!

Don't forget today's the last day to enter this terrific giveaway!

$24.95 U.S/$27.95 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-2780-6

#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber reveals a love letter like no other:

Occasionally, we get an opportunity to change our lives—whether it’s another chance at love, changing the path we’ve chosen or going back and making amends for the past. Hannah’s List is the story of a widower who is given an unexpected letter from his wife on the first anniversary of her death. In a remarkable act of love, Hannah includes a list of three women for him to consider marrying. With a unique twist and intriguing element, readers will be in for a wonderful story of a love that transcends time, hope that is exceptionally unselfish, and the possibility of a future otherwise unfathomable. An unexpected letter. An impossible request. The gift of a second chance.

If you'd like to read this book courtesy of Big Honcho Media, leave a comment on my giveaway post here. One Grand Prize winner will receive a copy of Hannah's List and a $25 Visa gift card (to check out some of Ms. Macomber's other titles!), and two additional winners will each win a copy of the book. This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.) Contest ends at midnight central time on Friday, May 7.

Double your chances at winning: Go check out The Book Vixen - she's also giving away Hannah's List and a $25 Visa gift card!

For more information about Hannah's List, go to
HANNAH’S LIST will be available April 27, 2010 wherever books are sold, or through

Debbie Macomber, the author of 92 Pacific Boulevard, 8 Sandpiper Way, Summer on Blossom Street and Twenty Wishes, has become a leading voice in women’s fiction worldwide. Her work has appeared on every major bestseller list, including those of the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly. She is a multiple award winner, and won the 2005 Quill Award for Best Romance. More than a hundred million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. For more information on Debbie and her books, visit her Web site,

FCC disclaimer: This book was provided to me for review by Big Honcho Media.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Early Birthday Surprise!

Hubs was a total sweetie this year (he's a sweetie every year but this year he outdid himself) and let me order my own birthday gifts. I got an Oberon "Roof of Heaven" kindle cover and a custom kindle skin. I'm still waiting on the skin, but the Oberon came today. Behold:

(front view closed)

(open cover)

??Do you hear angels singing??

I am borderline obsessed with celestial bodies (and blue is my favorite color), so this cover is really perfect for me. I didn't realize at the time, but when I opened it tonight I realized it matches my tattoo!

(That's the inside of my ankle so it was hard to take the pic myself -
it's a bit turned but you get the idea!)

Review: A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare, or How I Love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

I hate peanut butter. Hate it with a passion. Even the smell grosses me out. BUT, I love Reese's Cups. I can't explain it - something about the peanut butter mixed with that chocolatey goodness is sooooo yummy; it's a perfect match, the flavors complement each other well. This book was like a Reese's Cup....only instead of chocolate and peanut butter it's a great mix of historical and paranormal romance. I'd been a bit burnt out on historical romances lately, and craving good paranormal romances. Blodeuedd's review put this book on my radar, so when I took my daughters book shopping and saw it on the shelf I grabbed it. This historical paranormal romance was just what I was looking for.

Lily Rutledge is "on the shelf" at the age of 23. She lives with her 12-year-old nephew, Oliver. Oliver's parents died in a carriage accident and Lily stepped in to take care of him. His actual guardian, however, is Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmore; Lily and Oliver never see the Duke, although he does support them financially. When Lily writes to ask for assistance when Oliver's behavior starts getting out of hand, the Duke's reply is to send more cash. Lily is furious at this response, and decides to pay Lord Blackmore a visit to explain what's going on and ask him to step in as a "male influence" for Oliver.

What Lily doesn't know is that Oliver is actually a werewolf, and it's not just puberty he's dealing with, but the start of "the change". In this story, werewolves are all male, and they get very moody around the full moon. When Lily travels to see the Duke, he is annoyed at the intrusion as he normally goes away during this moon phase - the last thing he needs is a beautiful woman running around his household. Once Lily explains the problem, however, he agrees to help Oliver.

The escapades they go through trying to avoid each other when they are undeniably pulled towards each other are endearing. Simon has a history as quite the ladies man, but when he falls for Lily he turns tongue tied and bumbles around saying the wrong thing, to quite a funny effect. When Simon and Lily finally succumb to their desires I wanted to stand up and cheer! The only thing is, Simon keeps his secret from Lily. Lily knows something is up, and she's persistent without being annoying. The scenes between Simon and Oliver as they established who was the "top dog" were entertaining as well.

Simon's neighbor Prisca is a saucy but sweet young thing, I have the feeling we'll be seeing her again. His brother Will is also endearing and gets his hackles up whenever Prisca is around, but their brother Benjamin also seems to have some sort of friendship with Prisca. Simon's mother seems like a kind,older woman with a backbone of steel. Her first meeting with Lily was quite a scene!

I loved this book! There was nothing about it I didn't like. If there were any historical innacuracies, I was too enamored of the story to notice or care. Lydia Dare writes a great story. The scenes flowed so naturally, there was never a spot where I thought, "oh, here's a good place to stop"; I always wanted to know what was next!

This one's going on my keeper shelf - I give A Certain Wolfish Charm 5/5 stars!

Addendum: The second book in this series: Tall, Dark, and Wolfish, releases today!

Monday, May 3, 2010

April Wrap Up

April was a slow month for me (my reviews are linked):

1. Original Sin by Allison Brennan 3 stars
2. Lover Eternal by JR Ward (reread) 4 stars
3. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs 5 stars
4. Cheating Chance by James Buchanan (M/M) 4.5 stars
5. Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead 5 stars
6. On the Steamy Side by Louisa Edwards 4 stars
7. Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber 4 stars - Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of the book and a $25 Visa gift card here!
8. Mind Games by Carolyn Crane 5 stars
9. Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl 4 stars
10. Romeo, Romeo by Robyn Kaye (NAC) 4 1/2 stars
11. Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger (M/M) 4 stars
12. Here Kitty, Kitty by Shelley Laurenston 4 stars
13. Too Hot To Handle by Robyn Kaye 4 stars
14. Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson (CRC) 4 stars (review coming soon!)
15. A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare (NAC) 5 stars (review coming soon!)

I don't know why I had such a slow month, maybe because I had several great reads and I wanted to savor them? I don't know, but I'm happy with my choices and looking forward to May!

My Reading Challenges stand as follows:
New Author Challenge: 16/15
Vampire Reading Challenge: 4/6
Male/Male Reading Challenge: 2/5
Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge: 9/10
Erotica Reading Challenge:6/10
JD Robb In Death Reading Challenge: 0 (I read the first two and just can't seem to make myself pick them up again. I'm really struggling with this one!)

I'm pleased with my challenges so far (except JD Robb, in that case I feel like a failure, LOL) even though I haven't done reviews for all the books that fall into each challenge, and I do have two self-imposed rules for my challenges: Each book can only fall under one challenge and if it's a series only one book in the series can be in the challenge.
So, that was April - how was yours?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cougarville? How about a Giveaway?

My birthday is coming up soon - May 11 - and.... I'm turning 40 *cries*. I keep thinking I counted wrong - I can't possibly be turning 40! Then I remember I've been married for almost 18 years. Damn!

So, since I'm trying to deny the fact that I'm getting older, I've decided to celebrate my birthday by giving away a Young Adult book. When Maggie Stiefvater was in New Orleans last month, I had her sign an extra copy of Shiver:

I confess I haven't read my copy yet, so I can't give an opinion on it, but the reviews I've seen are fantastic.

So, if you'd like to win a copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, leave me a comment telling me it's going to be okay and turning 40 is not the end of the world, OR, because I still feel like a punk-ass kid, leave a Chuck Norris or "yo' mamma" joke.

Stuff you need to know:
1. Contest ends at midnight (central time) on May 10.
2. Contest is international.
3. You must be a follower of this blog.
4. Winner has 5 days to respond before I draw a new winner.