Monthly Archives: July, 2012

Ten Girls to Watch – Charity Shumway – 4 stars

Ten Girls to Watch: A Novel

A wonderful look at growing up and what might have been but what is truly worth having.

Dawn is a recent college graduate in New York City trying to make it as a writer.  She doesn’t quite know what she wants in life but thought it would include writing and her on/off again boyfriend Robert.  Unfortunately she and Robert are off again and he appears to have moved on with Lily.  He however continues to be a part of her life and Lily seems to be ok with having her there which makes Dawn a bit confused.  She writes under a pen name for a lawn care blog and due to a party invite from Robert and an introduction from Lily stumbles in to a chance to do a project for Charm magazine.

This is where the 10 Girls to Watch comes in to play.  You see Charm has done this feature for the past 50 years and needs someone to track these women down to get their stories.  Dawn learns a lot thru this process and also ends up meeting Elliot who is a bit of an ass.  She and Elliott go out a couple of times and to her it appears that a relationship outside of being with Robert might be starting but things are not always as they seem.  I loved seeing her grow up in this novel and find her way in the real world.  I also enjoyed seeing her friendship bloom with someone you wouldn’t expect.  I think I would love to see them again about 10 years in the future to see how they both end up.  My guess is happy, still friends and in love with their perfect partners…

Anyway..  for a good quick read and some major feel good moments grab this one.  It is deeper than I expected but still has some laugh out loud moments.

Special thanks to and Atria Books for givng me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Ten Girls to Watch – Charity Shumway – 4 stars

Shadow Rising – Kendra Leigh Castle – 4 stars

Shadow Rising (Dark Dynasties, #3)

I have to say this was an interesting read.  I found the world Kendra has built to be a fascinating one that I will have to read more of.  This is the third book in the series but my first one so I can feel safe in advising that you can read this without having read the previous books.

Ariane is a Grigori, a noble vampire race that is mysterious to all outsiders.  She has lived a life trapped at the luxurious desert compound and wants out to find her friend that has vanished.  She is unusual for a Grigori due to her emotions which have made her an outcast in her society.  She escapes the compound and promptly begins her search for her friend.  One of the leads she follows up on leads to her run-in with Damien.  She finds him annoying, overbearing and sexy as hell.  As much as she doesn’t want anything to do with him she knows she will need to work with him to get to the bottom of Sammael’s disappearance.  Of course those of us reading know these two have some smoking hot chemistry and will at least scratch the itch if not make it more permanent.

Damien is one broody, overbearing man but this masks a surprisingly tender man.  He believes himself to be worthless and doesn’t think that he deserves or is capable of love.  He tries at almost every turn to deny his feelings for Ariane but knows he wants her in his bed.  He is frustrating at times and towards the end of the book you just want to slap some sense in to him.  Even with all this going against him he is one majorly sexy beast that purrs.  He has friends that he is incredibly loyal to even if he acts like he has no cares in the world.
When the two of them get together it is not only smokingly hot but unbelievably tender. They are a perfect match in that he will protect her but understands she can kick butt provided you can get her to think for a second before she acts.  She will make him feel and provide him a safe harbor where he can finally belong and let his walls come down.  

The story itself was interesting and I am looking forward to reading the first 2 in the series plus any additional books that come out.  The next book should prove to be interesting as this one leaves the world in a bit of a mess.

Go grab this and take a chance.

Thanks to and Grand Central Publishing/Forever for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. 

Shadow Rising – Kendra Leigh Castle – 4 stars

Forever and a Day – Jill Shalvis – 5 Stars

Forever and a Day (Lucky Harbor, #6)

I loved this book…  You’ll get hysterical laughter moments…  some sniffle moments and some Awwwwwwwwwwwwww moments in this book.

Grace has never felt like she quite lived up to the expectations of her adoptive parents.  She is incredbily driven and smart but compared to her parents not quite up to snuff.  She is at a crossroads in her life and landed in Lucky Harbor with no permanent job but the willingness to work hard anyway.  She is not looking for love nor is she wanting a commitment of any kind since she doesn’t know what her future holds.  

Josh is burning the candle at both ends with his practice, time in the ER, volunteer shifts, raising his son, raising his sister and you name it.  He doesn’t make time for himself or relationships as he can’t figure out how anyone would want to sign up for being a part of his life.  That and his son’s mom was a piece of work.  I mean who walks out and leaves her child behind.  He’s not looking for anything other than maybe a quick roll in the sack but he can’t deny that his chemistry with Grace is off the charts.

They come together due to a mistaken belief that she is a dog-walker (Tank is wonderfully insane) then spend more time around one another as things come up that have her stepping in to take care of his son.  As they spend more and more time together the heat keeps building until, after a series of near completions, they finally come together in a scorching way.  This of course leads to more playing around and then….

Ok I have to stop now otherwise I will give a bit too much away.  There are quite a few people that you see along the way and will adore.  This was just a wonderful read and I hope she comes back for more in this town.  I know I have to go pick up the rest of the series as I have only read books 5 and 6.  

Loved it so go give it a try…. 

Special thanks to and Grand Central Publishing/Forever for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.

Deceiving the Witch Next Door – Melissa Bourbon Ramirez – 3 stars

Deceiving the Witch Next Door

This was a cute steamy read.  I loved the idea behind the story and am looking forward to more from both this author and potentially this series.

Storie Bell would like to forget at times that she is a witch.  She feels alone and isolated due to this fact but has a great friend who has become her only family.  She comes back to Bloomington TX to set up a home and a bakery/coffeeshop/bookstore.  She wants nothing more than to plant roots in the one town where she felt like she could be at home.  She isn’t expecting to ever find someone to love her…  I mean why should she…  they would just think she was crazy when she told them she was a witch plus it isn’t like she can completely hide that fact.  If she keeps it too bottled up it escapes but if she uses it then she is drained.  She just wants to be normal somewhere…

Reid is a man who is at odds with himself thru most of this book.  He has beleived all his life that he wasn’t meant for a small town but meant for the city.  I mean his mom has basically drilled that in to him over and over again.  He has himself beleiving this and doing one last item for his dad until he can get the heck out of dodge.  He does however remember one thing about his first time seeing Stormie and seeing her working next door in the one place he needs to search leaves him wanting…

There are a lot of missed moments and miscommunications between them plus a lot of heat and heart.  The two of them are definitely meant to be together and even though he doesn’t admit it at first he knows she is something special and not just in the magic department.  He does like most of us would and tries to rationalize some of the things he witnesses but when push comes to shove he beleives in her and supports the woman he has begun to see he can’t live without.

This has some eye-rolling moments but in general is a fun read.  The miscommunication and bad guy in this are at times a bit cheesy but the main pair are fun to get to know and watch.  You’ll also like the ideas that are left out there for some additional books so go have fun and read this.

Deceiving the Witch Next Door – Melissa Bourbon Ramirez – 3 stars

Seven Day Loan – Tiffany Reisz – 3 stars

Seven Day Loan (The Original Sinners, #0.5)

Holy heck was this *throat clearing* hot and yet disturbing.  Not disturbing in the way you think but more ouch how would that be pleasing.

Eleanor is a trained submissive and as such does what her Master tells her even if she doesn’t initially want to.  She is being given as a loan by her Master to a Dom who needs help to come out of his self-imposed isolation.  She craves affection and love but is with a Master who is extremely secretive due to his posistion in society.  You don’t learn much from this on who he is exactly but you do learn what his posistion is.

 Daniel…  now this was an interesting man.  He is a Dom but has an incredible well of affection and a need for love that was sad to see.  Yes he does things to her that made me squirm but you see that she wants it even if to me it was umm shall we say cringe worthy..  LOL.  I loved seeing the way she does end up healing him but the ending made me sad in some respects.

I’m not going to give the end or anything away since I think people should give this author a try.  I have Siren and Angel on my TBR so I can see more of Tiffany Reisz’s voice and imagination.  I do expect there will be more times that I will cringe but what floats my boat is not the same as what some others may enjoy.

Go give this a chance but please understand it is BDSM so there are sections that may not make you happy or that you will not agree with but this is showing two consenting adults so…  to each their own. 

Seven Day Loan – Tiffany Reisz – 3 stars

Embrace the Dark – Caris Roane – 3 stars

Embrace the Dark (The Blood Rose Series, #1)

This was a very quick read and has me interested in the series.

Abigail is a human opening a bakery in the Merhaine Realm.  She enjoys her time in this realm and is powerfully drawn to the mastyr vampire, Gerrod.  She finds herself powerfully drawn to him due to both his physical attributes and the fact that he is an extremely giving/noble man.  She is drawn more and more into Merhaine and does what she can to help protect the citizens once she sees a threat.

Gerrod is a wonderful leader but has convinced himself that even though he is incredibly drawn to Abigail he shouldn’t pursue a relationship with her since she is human.  He wants her but is convinced that it wouldn’t be good for her to stay nor would his people accept her as his mate.  He pushes her away but thankfully she is stubborn and gets him in a way that no-one ever saw coming.

I’ll not give away some of the main premise in the story but go check this one out if you are looking for a quick read and good start to a new series. 

Embrace the Dark – Caris Roane – 3 stars

Avenging Angel – Anne Marie Becker – 3 stars

I struggle to write down why this only gets 3 stars and the only thing I can come up with is it was a bit jarring at times.

Vanessa is working at an art gallery in Chelsea when her intern is brutally murdered.  As the story unfolds you get to see her come to terms with the murder but also discover what she really wants in her life.  She has been seeing Kenneth for 2 years but realizes early in this story that it wasn’t meant to be even though she knows her family will not approve.  She meets Noah and the sparks fly between them from moment one.

Noah is a Chicago detective in town to help his “adopted” family uncover who murdered a young member of the family.  He has a past that is heartbreaking and beleives himself unworthy of love.  Things like that happen to people who deserve it and not those who never truly had it other than the love his “adopted” family gave him.  He has always felt like an outsider so when he finally realizes his feelings it is almost too late.

I think my issue was we moved from moment to moment and it didn’t seem like you could keep track of the true timeline or perspective we were being told about.  It felt a bit disjointed and kept throwing me out of the scene just when I would start to get completely comfortable with it.  This being said I did enjoy the story and would love to see more of the main pair plus the secondary characters.  I also didn’t see the killer until it was revealed in the book which is pretty cool but then maybe that is why it was a bit disjointed…  hmmmm…  thinking about it…. Anyway take a chance but be a bit prepared for some moments of “Hey isn’t this only supposed to be 2 weeks and ummmm”

Special thanks to and Carina Press for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest review. 

Avenging Angel – Anne Marie Becker – 3 stars

Can’t Hurry Love – Molly O’Keefe – 4 stars

I have to say I was surprised I liked this as much as I did.

In Can’t Buy Me Love I did not like either character that much and was not looking forward to this one.  Call me surprised when after a bit of dear god he’s an asshole I found myself wanting Eli to have his HEA and even started to better understand and enjoy Victoria.

Victoria was a hard woman to like.  She was whiny, snobby, clingy …  I can’t even think about what else I want to call her but she was not likable.  I understood that her husband was disgusting, her knight in shining armor was a con-man, and her father was a cold vindictive jerk,  What got tiresome was that she just had no backbone or idea how to be strong.  She hid behind anything and everything but worse yet recognized it and did it anyway.  At the start of this you understand what exactly is holding her back but you also start to see her attempting to become a woman and not a child after years of subjugating herself.  She stands up and decides to make something of the crap she has been given while along the way discovers that love can be more than she ever imagined it could be.

Eli was harder to get to the bottom of at first.  He’s an asshole (I’m trying to put it nicely really I am…) you can sense and see he is horrified by his behavior but cannot seem to stop himself in this quest to get even with and pull one over on the Baker’s.  He is so full of hate and loathing that I didn’t see how he was going to be a hero or someone I could see anyone falling in love with.  I loved his turn-around and that it wasn’t overnight.  He hits bottom ..  HARD … but under all this hatred and bitterness there is a wonderfully sweet man that just needed to hit bottom to make things right.  He is a dirty, naughty man but there is a teddy bear underneath that wants to be loved so badly he’s hidden his heart to protect it.  I loved him and what he becomes as a result of his relationship with Tori.

If you read the first one and didn’t think that it was worth reading the second one please reconsider.  If you haven’t read the first one go ahead and try it but please read this one.  It was worth it.

Special thanks to and Random House for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

When We Touch – Brenda Novak – 3 stars

When We Touch (Whiskey Creek #1.5)

This was a nice quick read and sets me up to grab the next story set in Whiskey Creek.

Olivia was a nice character to meet and you feel horrible for the posistion she allows herself to be put in.  I liked her and understood why she went along with what she did even though I wish she had developed a backbone earlier than she did.  She is way too tolerant of her brat sister and the way her family treats her but she ends up with a great guy at the end who more than deserves to be her everything.

Brandon is just a wonderful leading man even if he doesn’t give himself enough credit.  He has wanted her for a long time but never felt like he was worthy of her or capable of being more than just a fling.  He knows that she is not the type of woman to have a fling with and knew even back in high school she was something special.  He has wanted her from afar (not too afar as he is the stepbrother of her ex-bf) but kept his distance until circumstances put them together again.  He was just oh so sexy and boy oh boy did the sparks fly from the first moment they spend time together in this novella.

Kyle is her ex.  They were together for a while until she decided to move away to get more experiences in life and open a wedding planning business away from Whiskey Creek.  As a part of that move she asked him for a break not realizing that her b of a sister would be waiting in the wings to make her move.  Noelle takes advantage of this break and purposefully becomes pregnant to tie Kyle to her.  Kyle being one to own up to his mistakes wants to make things right and decides to marry Noelle even though he isn’t truly in love with her (actually seems to realize he cannot stand the woman) but just doesn’t want to be a dad in name only.  He does seem to understand what he did was horrible but has made his bed and is going to lie in it no matter what.  He actually redeemed himself in my eyes and I didn’t hate him for what he did.  He and the main pair all have moments of closure and acceptance which made me very happy.

All I can say now is go out and give this novella a try.  It is short and sweet with some smexy moments …  

Special thanks to and Harlequin Mira for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Lakeside Family – Lisa Jordan – 4 stars

I have to preface this by saying I am normally not a Christian Romance reader.  That Being stated this was a wonderful story about two people reconnecting after an absence with a child’s life hanging in the balance.

Josie is a single mom working hard to make ends meet while supporting a daughter, Hannah, who is sick with leukemia.  She starts this story by making a trip to a nearby town to speak with Hannah’s father in hopes that he will be a bone marrow match.  She believes that he doesn’t care about them as he never has tried to contact her since he left about 10 years ago.  In her eyes this means he really doesn’t care but she is desperate for a cure or hope for her daughter.

Nick is a college professor who is understandably shocked to find out he has a daughter.  You see his mom kept the news from him and was killed 8 years ago in a car wreck that he feels responsible for.  This wreck not only killed his mom but left his younger brother unable to live on his own.  He is a good man and wants only to step up and do the right thing by the woman he realizes still holds his heart.

For those who like heat this is not the book for you but if you like a nice story about forgiveness and trust then this is the book for you.  While there is a bit of preaching it was not too heavy handed and the story flowed nicely as you got to see that at times things do work out in the end.  Love that is meant to be can and will win.  Time can heal a lot but when things are meant to be they tend to find a way to work.

I would recommend this to anyone that needs a heartwarming read and isn’t bothered by some Christian overtones.  Nice job to the author and I would be willing to read more by her.

Thanks to and Harlequin – Love Inspired – for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review. 

Lakeside Family – Lisa Jordan – 4 stars

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