Monthly Archives: October, 2012

Heart of the Dragon’s Realm – Karalynn Lee – 4 stars

This book took me by surprise.  I was drawn in to the world Karalynn created and would love to see not only more of the main pair of this one but just more of this world.

Kimri has been raised as a princess of her kingdom but reality is about to smack her in the face when her beloved brother exchanges her hand in marriage for swords to protect the kingdom.  She isn’t 100% happy with this as she has never met her betrothed.  He’s a bit mysterious and is also unknown to most of the outside world.  As she heads in to the new kingdom she not only has to confront being alone in a strange place but coming to terms with the feelings this mysterious king brings out in her.  She’s not stupid or flighty but unlike a lot of other female characters in a similar setting has a true brain in her head.  She’s caring and comes to love the people as much as she loved her homeland.  I liked watching her make decisions based on reality and not just on comfort.  She makes a major mistake but does so with the best of intentions and I could not fault her for that.

Tathan was something else.  You get to know him as Kimri does and you, like her, wants more time with him.  He’s a good leader and loves his countrymen but tends to keep himself extremely closed off from everyone.  The tradition in his country is to have a year-long betrothal period after which both parties make their final decision.  During this year-long period the two of them truly get to know one another and you sense that while this started as a purely political alliance that both parties want this marriage for love.  The twist at the end was interesting and plays a factor in why I want more…  🙂

I’m going to leave it at this because it was so much more than a romance but truly a story of growing up and finding where you belong.  Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

No Reservations – Lilly Cain – 3 Stars

 

Very quick review for a very very quick read.

 

Alicia always wanted Travis for herself but it never happened when they were both in college.  They pushed each other with their competitive natures but she never seemed to catch his eye otherwise…  Now she has a chance to get even with him by holding a chance for her private plane service to get him to his weekend with the boys…  A quick hot night happens which she runs away from the next morning even though she wanted to stay.

 

Travis was happy to enjoy some fun with Alicia but realizes when she isn’t there in the morning that he wants a chance to have more time with her.  She has always gotten his blood pumping and one taste of her just isn’t enough for him.  He tracks her down and makes his presence known.  They are a well matched pair and I wouldn’t mind getting more glimpses of them as they progress forward.

 

All in all a quick hot read and I enjoyed it very much.  I’ll keep an eye out for more in the series and from the author.  Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.

Kissed by a Vampire – Caridad Pineiro – 4 stars

Alex almost died doing his job as an undercover agent but a mystery woman saved him …  or at least that is what he sort of remembers except the woman was not completely mortal…  Oh wait that can’t be right so he keeps that part to himself otherwise he wouldn’t be able to go back undercover doing what he loves.  Duty means everything to him even at the expense of a personal life.  I loved his sense of honor and vulnerability with our heroine but underneath it all you know these two are just meant to be together.  He’s sexy…  driven..  alpha… and yet his underlying honor makes him a softie when it comes to those he loves.  He wants to protect and serve but understands that the woman he’s fallen for can’t be controlled or kept in a gilded cage so he doesn’t try.  I loved watching him open his heart to her and also give her the space she needed to be able to accept that love was possible.  My hope is we see them again and they get a forever HEA not just a mortal life HEA.

Stacia is a vampire elder who was turned by a man she thought loved her and cherished her.  Imagine her surprise at the way she was treated by the man she loved and then to add insult to it she’s immortal so who is she going to trust.  She’s locked herself off from love but as you see in this book she craves it and needs it to soothe her soul and enjoy her immortality.  She runs in to Alex and ends up being fascinated by this mortal who sees the woman underneath and not just the outer package.  She’s initially extremely hostile towards having anything other than sex with him but as the book progresses you sense the walls coming down even though pain lies ahead.  I loved watching this strong woman allow a softer side to emerge but keep her strength even when showing that weakness.

Good book and makes me want to go back for the backlist along with keep an eye on more from this world.  Thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley.com for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Death and the Girl Next Door – Darynda Jones – 3 Stars

Where do I start with this…  It has the snark and humor that I expect from Darynda but for some reason it fell a little flat for me.  Not that it isn’t worth reading but maybe I expected too much from it after the others I have read from her.  This is YA so do not go in to this expecting a major romance and sexy times.  The fun with this is the interaction of the leads plus her friends.

Lorelei lost her parents years ago and has been stuck living with her grandparents when odd things start to happen.  I mean odder than normal for her..  she can see visions of people when she touches them so that isn’t exactly normal.  She however sees someone that no-one else saw and then runs in to the same gorgeous boy at school where he is a new student.  Combine this with the bad boy in school starting to stalk her and weird doesn’t even cut it.  She’s conflicted and doesn’t know what is going on but whatever it is the two boys are at the center of it.

Jared…  our mystery sexy boy…   turns out he is more than expected and I enjoyed learning about him.  I’m intrigued enough where I want to read more of this series to see how it all plays out and if he turns out to truly be on the good side and not one of the bad guys.  I think the disappointment comes from the whole insta-love thing that goes on more than his character.

Cameron is a bad boy in theory but when you get to know him he’s just misunderstood and saddled with more than any one mortal (?) should be saddled with but then so is Lorelei.  He’s got a bit of depth to him I’d like to see more of and I think I know who is partner is going to be…  🙂

Throw in a couple of great friends and a secret that has been kept from all of them for a good time but just something was missing that I can’t put my finger on unfortunately…  😦

Thanks to NetGalley.com and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Stolen – Shiloh Walker – 5 Stars – Giveaway!!!!

As I try to write this in such a way as to not give away spoilers…  This was an awesome read that kept me wondering who was behind it all thru the entire read.  I loved the main pair and their love story was heart wrenchingly beautiful.

Shay has been in hiding for most of her life either from her abusive stepfather or life in general.  She keeps her dragons at bay by writing under a pen name and cutting off 99% of human contact.  She fell in love with Elliot but due to her own issues lost him because of her inability to let him in.  She’s vulnerable but once you get to know why she keeps herself so closed off you just hurt for her.

Elliot…  dear gawd is he one sexy sexy man.  He loves her with all his being but couldn’t take not having all of her.  He wants her so badly but knew it wasn’t healthy to stay if she wasn’t going to let him in and trust him.  I felt for him as some of what happens starts to unfold and cheered for the two of them to not only figure it all out but to finally get their HEA.  I mean come on why wouldn’t you want them to find happiness??  If you can manage to read this and not cheer for them I just don’t know what to think.

Thanks to Edelwiess and Ballantine Books for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.

As I told Shiloh on Twitter:

I know… I’m gonna have probs writing the review… It’s gonna have to be super short… As in just go buy it dammit… LOL

So go Pre-Order it already!!!  LOL

Kindle

Nook

Since I loved this book so much I am going to give away a Kindle or Nook copy of it on 10/30/2012.  Just leave a comment below before 2 am CT on 10/30/2012 and tell me what would you do if someone was pretending to be you?

Wyoming Fierce – Diana Palmer – 3.5 stars

I wanted to give this more stars but the reconciliation at the end just didn’t cut it for me.  This was a good read with some true depth in it but the ending just rushed through items that I thought needed more work.

Bodie is just trying to keep things together.  She’s in school working hard for her degree and also working hard when out of school keeping her and her grandfather’s heads above water.  She’s just barely making ends meet but does what she needs to in order to keep her grandfather cared for.  When he takes a turn for the worse and her bastard stepfather raises the rent it just is too much for her to handle.  She makes some decisions and does what she can but it forces her to ask for help from someone she never thought she would.  His reaction guts her and forces her to make another choice that changes everything.  I liked her spunk and her willingness to be there for everyone including the hero but she’s a bit naive when it comes to the world and while that isn’t a bad thing I think it puts her in a place where things are made more difficult than they need to be.  Overall I liked her but damn I wish she had made him work more at the end because he was a bastard to her multiple times and hurting or not he had no real excuse.

Cane was a hard one to soften towards.  I mean I liked him and loved when he finally realized what an ass he had been.  Did he need to work for the HEA more??  OH HELL YES!! but oh well that wasn’t what we got.  He’s a mess due to having his arm blown off in the war and having others pity him for it or women treating him like less than a man for it but…  he needs help.  He’s stubborn and won’t stick with a therapist even though that is truly what he needed.  The way he works off this frustration is by getting trashed at the local bars and the only person who can reason with him at those times is Bodie.  She soothes his soul and allows him to use her as a sounding board when he is drunk.  She of course has always loved the man but he’s convinced that he doesn’t want or need a committed relationship but just needs to get laid and move on.  Due to a lot of things being thrown around he decides to marry Bodie and then the real asshole comes to light.  He’s attracted to her sure…  but he panics…  and in doing so I lost a lot of my tolerance for him.  I’m still a bit pissed about the rushed ending because even though Bodie came to terms with it and had forgiven him before he made his minor gesture…  I’m not so forgiving.

Anyway…  this was a good read and the characters were in some respects believable.  I would read more of this series and am going to have to go back and read the first one. Thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.

Naughty & Nice Holiday Hop – Enter Now!!

To celebrate the upcoming release of the Naughty & Nice anthology Random House is sponsoring a wonderful blog hop.  Use the link off to the side to enter the contest and good luck!!

About the book:
’Tis the season for romance with three original holiday-themed novellas! Unwrap this festive eBook bundle and discover why these authors are quickly becoming the biggest names in the genre. Ruthie Knox tells a heartwarming contemporary story of first loves given the gift of a second chance; Molly O’Keefe releases the ghosts of Christmas past with a prequel to her novel Crazy Thing Called Love; and Stefanie Sloane weaves an irresistible Regency tale of fiery passion that burns deep on a cold winter’s night.

ROOM AT THE INN by Ruthie Knox
Carson Vance couldn’t wait to get out of Potter Falls, but now that he’s back to spend Christmas with his ailing father, he must face all the people he left behind . . . like Julie Long, whose heart he broke once upon a time. Now the proprietor of the local inn, Julie is a successful, seductive, independent woman—everything that Carson’s looking for. But despite several steamy encounters under the mistletoe, Julie refuses to believe in happily ever after. Now Carson must prove to Julie that he’s back for good—and that he wants her in his life for all the holidays to come.

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU by Molly O’Keefe
Maddy Baumgarten and Billy Wilkins are spontaneous, in love, and prepared to elope the day after Christmas—that is, if Maddy’s family doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans. After all, Maddy’s barely out of high school and Billy’s a notorious bad boy. Maddy doesn’t care about Billy’s rough past—all she cares about is living in the here and now. But after Maddy’s mother stops speaking to her in protest, and a Christmas Eve heart-to-heart with her father leaves her with butterflies, Maddy starts to get cold feet. She loves Billy, but is she taking this big step too soon?

ONE PERFECT CHRISTMAS by Stephanie Sloane
After being jilted by her fiancé, Jane Merriweather turns to her dear childhood friend, the Honorable Lucas Cavanaugh, for support—and unlocks the smoldering desire simmering in the man’s troubled heart. Frightened by his newfound feelings, Lucas flees to Scotland. But when the Christmas season brings them together again, one glance is all that’s needed to reignite his yearning. If Lucas can convince Jane that his intentions are as pure as the falling snow, they’ll turn a dreary December into a joyous Yuletide affair.

 

Pre-order here for $1.99!!

 

 

When Snow Falls – Brenda Novak – 3.5 stars

I have really enjoyed this series but in this case the heroine almost ruined it for me.  I have to say I understood where she was coming from…  I really did..  but he was working so hard to be there for her and she kept hiding him.  It just made me really sad for him but they are still great couple.

Cheyenne has never had an easy life.  Her “mom” is now dying from cancer and while she mourns for the loss she can’t be completely sad.  Her mom is a piece of work and no-one really feels sad that she is dying other than Chey’s sister.  I really felt for Cheyenne as she has always had a dream of a blonde woman and a life that didn’t include being hungry and mistreated but has always been told she’s making it up.  She’s also been in love with Joe for years but never had him notice her.  Unfortunately her friend Eve has never been aware of this crush so asks Joe out to dinner.  Cheyenne is devastated but is supportive of her best friend and decides to let the crush go.  Of course…  Eve and Joe don’t really hit it off and all of a sudden Joe realizes he wants Cheyenne.  Joe starts to pursue her but Cheyenne turns him down until Eve tells her it is ok.  The kicker is…  while this but i can’t is going on she meets Dylan who is one of the town bad boys and ends up giving him her virginity.  Yeah I know…  surprise surprise but she’s got this amazing chemistry with a man who represents everything she wants to clean her hands of.  I was happy to watch her come to terms with things in her life but keeping Dylan hidden just pissed me off.  I understood it but he’s just such a good guy that it wasn’t fair to him at all.

Dylan..  talk about a bad boy with a heart of gold.  He’s been down a rough road all his life but really isn’t as bad as people think he is.  Yeah sure he did stupid stuff when he was younger but that was acting out as a teen and as an adult he’s been a great man.  He has always had a bit of a crush on Cheyenne and is willing to take what she can give him even though it is killing him inside.  He pushes her away but like a drug addict craves her and doesn’t completely shut the door on them.  He’s willing to stand up for what he wants but she has to choose because he will not be someone’s secret while they see someone they think is more outwardly appropriate to her friends.  I fell in love with the sensitive side he hides from everyone because who wouldn’t want a man who takes care of his family, business and stands up for you even when you don’t know what you want from him.  He’s just so over the top sexy and man oh man could he make anyone melt.

I’m happy to hear more about the others from Whiskey Creek and cannot wait for more stories.  I’m happy that NetGalley.com and Harlequin were nice enough to let me read this in exchange for my honest review.

Kindle

Ever Have a Week….

I’ve had one of those weeks where things just sucked…  but you know what…  Comfort food and reading tend to help so this weekend I am doing a lot of eating and reading.  You’ll see reviews coming up in the next day or two of reads I have done over the past week but in honor of my Aunt Edna I’m going to share an incredibly easy cake…

Aunt Edna’s Pineapple Dump Cake

In a 9X13 ungreased pan mix the following with a fork:

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup nuts (pecan or walnut but optional)

1 tsp vanilla

2 beaten eggs

1 can of crushed pineapple in juice (regular sized can but I forgot to check the oz_ similar to canned veggie sized)

After mixing level out and bake for approximately 35 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

Then the oh sooooo good stuff…

While the cake is still warm frost with the following mixture:

4 oz cream cheese

2 tbsp margarine

1 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Now sit back wait for it to finish cooling and dig in…

Can I just say how much I love this cake?  My aunt makes this and deviled eggs every year for the fourth of July.  I look forward to seeing her but man oh man do I love her cake and eggs…  LOL

Anyway…  If you have any comfort foods you adore please feel free to share the recipes as I love love love to cook.

Thanks!!

Blind Destiny – Shiloh Walker – 4 stars

 

This one is going to be quick just because I know I’m a huge fan girl of the Grimm’s Circle series.

I have been waiting for Luc to get a HEA since we first met him.  Did I expect his HEA to come in the form of Sina…  Ummmm  no but then Sina has always been a bit of a scary bitch.  Luc has suffered centuries of loss and longing for love but has such a great heart that you truly want him to find someone for his own that can love him yet push him in return.  In this story we have two people who have suffered great losses and yearn for someone to complete them.

 

Luc is sexy…  blind…  kind… but damn does the man have a naughty side that I adored.  I loved how he finally realized he could have what he wanted with Sina and went for it with all his heart and soul.  I was saddened by the step he almost took but that is what she needed to finally get her head on straight and make the move she had been dying to do for centuries.

 

Sina..  finding out about her past was heartbreaking and disturbing.  She’s not a nice woman but you can understand what drove her over the edge originally and the fact that fear of being a consolation or substitute for the real thing kept her from letting Luc in.  She pushes his buttons like no one else but then again he keeps her so close to the edge all the time that turn about is fair play…  🙂

 

Again I said this would be quick but go grab it and read…  the shower scene alone is such a tease and hot hot hot.

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