Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dream a Little Dream

Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

#13 Read an Author with 3 names

Pages 390

Rated 4-ish stars

Back Cover:

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

Gabe Bonner wants to be left alone, especially by the beautiful outcast who's invaded his property. She has a ton of attitude, a talent for trouble, and a child who brings back bad memories. Yet Rachel's feisty spirit might just be heaven-sent to save a tough, stubborn man.

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

My thoughts:

I like SEP's stories. This one is not one of my favorites, but I liked it. The thing is, there wasn't anything I didn't like about it, but it was all pretty good. I liked Rachel. I loved Gabe. He was such a good tortured hero. I liked Ethan too, and his Clint Eastwood, and Oprah Gods talking to him. I couldn't help but feel like I've read this before. None of it, seemed new, and fresh. Maybe I read something else that was very similar, but I knew who the antagonist was, and where the hidden treasure would be. So for that I can't give it a really high score. It'll get a soft 4 stars.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pink JInx

Pink Jinx by Sandra Hill

#1 Readers Choice

Rated 3.5 stars

pages 356

Back Cover:

Straitlaced Boston lawyer Veronica "Ronnie" Jinkowsky knows something is fishy when her estranged grandfather lures her to his New Jersey treasure-hunting business with woeful tales of old age and bankruptcy. But she never expected the salty old dog to shanghai her into a hunt for pink diamonds with her poker-playing, four-time ex-husband Jake Jensen in tow.

Betting her heart on Jake was always a losing proposition, yet just the sight of his come-hither eyes is still enough to melt her steely resolve. Now Ronnie's on a high seas adventure that throws together lost gems, a lost ship, and lost love--not to mention a Mafia widow, her two goons, and an elderly Cajun matchmaker.

Trapped with the man she could never learn to live with -- and was never happy without -- is Ronnie fated to be forever jinxed in matters of the heart?

My thoughts:

It was a decent Sandra Hill story. It had the requisite fun secondary characters and some Marx Brothers-esq situations. I got tickled a couple of times, but to me this story was not as well developed as Pearl Jinx. (which is Caleb Peachy's story) I thought Pearl Jinx was a much better story, with much better character development. I even felt like Caleb in this story was more developed than Jake (the hero). I had the hots for Caleb not, Jake and you should always have the hots for the hero. (It's gotta be a rule somewhere!) It was just ok! I'm hoping Wild Jinx will be better than this one.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blue Eyed Devil

Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

#6 book by Lisa Kleypas

Rate 4.5 stars

pages 333

Back Cover:

Meet the Blue-Eyed Devil-His name is Hardy Cates. He's a self-made millionaire who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. He's made enemies on the rough-and-tumble ride to the top of Houston's oil industry. He's got hot blood in his veins. And vengeance on his mind.

Meet the Heiress-She's Haven Travis. Despite her family's money, she refuses to ser out on the path thy've chosen for her. But when Haven marries a man her family disapproves of, her life is set on a new and dangerous course. Two years later, Haven comes home, determined to guard her heart. And Hardy Cates, a family enemy, is the last person she needs darkening her door or serring her soul on fire.

My Thoughts:

This story is gritty, and real. It has high emotional drama and with the subject matter covered in Haven's marriage needs to be told in the first person. It really lets you feel her emotions. I enjoyed the play between Haven and Todd. I like the way, Miss Kleypas doesn't do that thing where one says or does something that the other misunderstands. She gives you the tension and drama in a more realistic way. It's not as formulaic. I also liked that this story keeps moving. It could have gotten bogged down when Haven comes back home, and starts therapy, but doesn't. I was wary of Hardy. (because of the whole Sugar Daddy thing) I was as wary as a Travis would have been, so that helped me also to feel the progression of their relationship. Ikept waiting for him to do something underhanded, in much the same way Gage, Jack and Joe were. But alas, Hardy has grown. I dug him. Being from Texas, I totally got the references and understood in a very real way, the male attitude. I loved when he patted her tush in front of Nick. (and she got miffed) That is such a guy thing, especially an alpha guy, marking his territory. When I wasn't reading this book, (because my family wants to eat meals and stuff!!! ) I was wondering what would happen next. Wondering how this relationship was going to progress, and how were they going to resolve their issues. To me that is the mark of great storytelling, when I think about it, until I can read more. I give it a 4.5 for sure.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This Heart of Mine

This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Rate 4

pages 399

Title with love/heart for Valentines

Back Cover:

Molly Somerville loves her career as the creator of the Daphne the Bunny children's book series, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. She has a reputation for trouble that started even before she gave away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance. Then there's her long-term crush on the quarterback for the Chicago Stars football team her sister owns -- that awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker, a man who can't even remember Molly's name!

One night Kevin barges into Molly's not-quite-perfect life and turns it upside down. Unfortunately, the Ferrari-driving riving, poodle-hating jock isn't as shallow as she wishes he were, and she soon finds herself at a place called Wind Lake. Surrounded by paintbox cottages, including a charming old bed-and-breakfast, Molly and Kevin battle their attraction and each other as they face one of life's most important lessons. Sometimes love hurts, sometimes it makes you mad as hell, and sometimes -- if you're lucky -- it can heal in a most unexpected way.

My Thoughts:

So, I love just about everything Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes. This is no different. I fell for Kevin in "Nobody's Baby But Mine" and continue to like him here. It took me a while to get into Molly. I mean, I liked her, but I didn't connect with her the same way, I have with her other heroines. I didn't understand her need to "act out" until Kevin spelled it out near the end of the book. I also have a desire to buy some panties with bunnies on them. (You'll have to read the book!) I love how SEP gives you a secondary romance in just every story. I enjoyed Lily's progression. My favorite scene was the softball game. I loved how the "underdogs" got one up on the "superjocks". Being the last one picked for any/all sports in school, I was not so secretly rooting for the "underdogs". I enjoyed the way they won, and all the fun. I give this book a 4 stars. Maybe even a 4.5.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Read Around the Genre Challenge

So, I finished the Read Around the Genre Challenge! (I came in 2nd!) :( But that's ok, cuz I won for most number of pages read. Whoop whoop! I'd like to thank all those who made this possible. My Darling husband, for putting up with the endless number of books piled in my house. My kids, for letting me read, when I should have been on their case about chores or homework. (oh, well, those chores will get done someday.) I'd like to thank Cindy for hosting this challenge, and my eye doctor for suggesting reading glasses, so my eyes don't get as tired. Do you hear the music playing to tell me that my time is up?! Me either. (heh heh)

I won this cool award!

I should post my list huh? Naw! You can see it on my sidebar.

Come the Spring

Come the Spring by Julie Garwood

Book with Military/Civil Servant

Rate 4 stars

Pages 367

Back Cover:

Cole Clayborne had always walked a dark path and flirted with a life of crime. While his three brothers chose to settle into married life, Cole rebelliously refused to be tied down. Now, an elusive stranger draws him into a shadowy chase that will bring unexpected turns to his uncertain future -- and may determine which side of the law the restless Cole favors. A tragic, heartbreaking loss drives U.S. Marshal Daniel Ryan on a quest for vengeance -- and leads him to a beautiful young woman, the sole witness to a terrible crime. But the lawman finds that love is the greatest trial of all as he unwittingly draws her into the line of fire. The power and drama of their blossoming passion, entwined with the surprising destiny of the wayward Cole, make Come the Spring a superbly entertaining adventure inside the heart of "a family whose love and loyalty will truly inspire"

My Thoughts:

I liked the first in the series ok, "For the Roses" and the collection of 3 "One Pink/White/Red Rose" was good too. I didn't love them to be honest. I liked them alright, but didn't love them. I will say, that "Come the Spring" is my favorite of the series. I found myself liking Cole best after Adam. I liked that Cole got his own, story with Daniel Ryan. I liked that He fell for Jessica, the single mom. I liked the humor between Cole and Daniel with the 3 ladies. I would have liked more...sexual tension. It felt one-sided. I really felt like this book was written very much from the male point of view. I felt a connection with them, more than I did with the women. (which is kinda unusual for a "romance" novel.) I gave this a 4. I would have given it a 4.5 if I hadn't guessed the "bad guy" so early in the story. I knew it about the time of the fire, for sure but had inklings before. I was expecting that Daniel was going to turn out to be Cole's brother. (biological from New York) but that would have been too expected, so even though I love Daniel and Cole and in my heart want them to be brothers, I'm glad that Julie Garwood didn't go to that too expected place.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Big 100

I've never kept track of the books I've read. I just read em' and move on. I keep most of them, but donated many, and then found Paperbackswap. Yay!! So this summer, I decided to list the books I've read in 2008. I this the first half of the year from memory. Then I started listing them after every book. I joined the 50 in a year challenge on Shelfari, then the 100 in a year on Shelfari too. Then last night, I was making my list and checking it twice! Ho Ho Ho! and found a title I'd missed. What!? So, as of last night, I reached my 100 goal. So, I'm going to list them here! Whoop Whoop!

1. Taming Natasha & Luring a Lady by Nora Roberts
2. Falling for Rachel & Convincing Alex by Nora Roberts
3. Waiting for Nick by Nora Roberts
4. Considering Kate by Nora Roberts
5. Jewel of the Sun by NR
6. Tears of the Moon by NR
7. Heart of the Sea by NR
8. Sea Swept by NR
9. Rising Tides by NR
10. Inner Harbor by NR
11. Chesapeake Blue by NR
12. Love Worth Finding by Cathey Marie Hake
13. Oklahoma Weddings by Cathey Marie Hake
14. Nebraska Legacy by Diann Mills
15. Leather and Lace by Diann Mills
16. Lanterns and Lace by Diann Mills
17. Louisiana Brides by Kathleen Ybarbo
18. Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy
19. Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman
20. Distant Heart by Tracey Bateman
21. Wife for Hire by Janet Evanovich
22. Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas
23. Wedding Bell Blues by Heather Graham
24. Bossman by Diana Palmer
25. Love with a Long Tall Texas by DP
26. Long Tall Texans:Emmett and Reagan by DP
27. Long Tall Texans: Burke and Coltrain by DP
28. Winter Roses by DP
29. Man of the Hour by DP
30. Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
31. Last Chance Cafe by Linda Lael Miller
32. Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
33 Matt Caldwell:Texas Tycoon by Diana Palmer
34. Forevermore by Cathey Marie Hake
35. Shadow Dance by Julie Garwood
36. Carrera's Bride by Diana Palmer
37. Lady be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (SRC)
38. The Bride by Julie Garwood (SRC)
39. The Nosy Neighbor by Fern Michaels
40. Summer Lovin' by Carly Phillips (SRC)
41. The Key, by Lynsay Sands (SRC)
42. Heartbreaker by Diana Palmer
43. Hot Shot by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. (I liked it, but not nearly as much as her other works.)I'd give this a 2 1/2, where I'd give Lady be good a 5.
44. Lawman by Diana Palmer (SRC)
45. Silver Angel by Johanna Lindsay (SRC)
46. There and Now by Linda Lael Miller (SRC)
47. Mr Perfect by Linda Howard
48. Here and Then by Linda Lael Miller (SRC)
49. Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
50. Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich (SRC)
51. A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands (SRC)
52. A Wicked Gentleman by Jane Feather (SRC)
53. Pearl Jinx by Sandra Hill (SRC)
54. To Wed a Wicked Prince by Jane Feather (SRC)
55. Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister
56. Springwater Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
57. Ain't Myth Behaving by Katie MacAlister
58. The Girl Next Door by Trisha Alexander (SRC)
59. Bitsy's Bait and BBQ by Pamela Morsi (SRC)
60. The Hart Brothers: Simon and Callaghan by Diana Palmer
61. Devil in a Kilt by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
62. The Love Potion by Sandra Hill
63. Starlight by Debbie Macomber
64. The Brat by Lynsay Sands
65. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
66. A Bride for a Bit by Cathy Marie Hake et al.
67. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
68. Red, Hot, and Cajun by Sandra Hill
69. Tall, Dark, and Cajun by Sandra Hill
70. For the Roses by Julie Garwood (SRC)
71. Bride of the Beast by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
72. A Man of Means by Diana Palmer
73. Love Bites by Lynsay Sands (FRC) (RAG)
74. Risky Business (1/3 of Dangerous) by Nora Roberts (RAG)
75. Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter (RAG)
76. It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (FRC) (RAG)
77. Whirlwind by Cathy Marie Hake (RAG)
78. Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands (FRC)
79. A Tale of Two Vikings by Sandra Hill (RAG)
80. Highlander in Her Bed by Allie MacKay (RAG) (aka Sue Ellen Welfonder)
81. Lionhearted by Diana Palmer (FRC) (FN2R)
82. Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas (FRC) (Fn2RC)
83. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (FRC)
84. The Clayborne Brides by Julie Garwood (FRC) (Fn2RC) (RAG)
85. The Cajun Cowboy by Sandra Hill
86. Love Only Once by Johanna Lindsey (FRC)
87. Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning (RAG)
88 Castles by Julie Garwood (FRC) (RAG) (FN2R)
89. Noboby's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (FRC) (FN2R)
90. Accidentally Yours by Susan Mallery
91. Love and Mayhem by Nicole Cody (FRC)
92. Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands
93. Circle of Gold by Diana Palmer
94. Hot Ice by Nora Roberts
95. Seaside Cinderella by Anna Schmidt
96. The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister
97. Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard (WRC)
98. How to Knit a Wild Bikini by Christie Ridgway (WRC)
99. A Stone Creek Christmas by Linda Lael Miller (WRC)
100. The Wedding by Julie Garwood
101. Come the Spring by Julie Garwood (WRC)
102. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (WRC)
103. Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas (WRC)
104. Pink Jinx by Sandra Hill (WRC)
105. Dream a Little Dream by SEP (WRC)
106. The Bounty Hunter's Bride by Victoria Bylin

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Stone Creek Christmas

A Stone Creek Christmas by Linda Lael Miller

Christmas Book:

pages 211

Back Cover:

A horse in a matchmaker indeed!

Stone Creek veterinarian Olivia O'Ballivan communicates easily with animals, but men are another story. Especially rugged architect-turned-rancher Tanner Quinn. Olivia's uncanny bond with his daughter Sophie's pony, Butterpie, has him questioning her sanity, while she wonders if he's nto just a drugstore cowboy. Then twelve-year-old Sophie conspires with Olivia to get Tanner into the spirit of Christmas with all the trimmings, including a treelighting ceremony and a man named Kris Kringle in a sleigh driven by seven reindeer...and a donkey. But will a holiday miracle transform the globe-trotting Tanner into a rancher-and family man-for all seasons?

My Thoughts:

Hmm...I liked it. It was not the best book, you'll ever read. It's not even the best book I've read recently. It was however, a fun little Christmas read. It was quick and light, and left the door open for more stories about this family. I'd give it a 3.5 stars.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to Knit a Wild Bikini

How to Knit a Wild Bikini by Christie Ridgway

Book published in 08

pages 277

rated ???3-4 stars

Back Cover:

The beachside knitting shop Malibu & Ewe is the perfect place for L.A.'s hip young crowd to enjoy colorful yarn and intimate conversation. For personal chef Nikki Carmichael, it could be the softest place to land if her new job falls through. Working for magazine writer Jay Buchanan has come with some strange conditions--like pretending to be his girlfriend. As for Jay, he finds himself drawn to the kitchen, where he’s intrigued by his sexy cook's ability to withstand the heat between them. And now he thinks it’s time to turn up the flames.

My Thoughts:

Well, I'm not sure what to say. I liked the book. I found some of the subject matter difficult. Personal stuff with me, so ...Was it well written? I guess. I found myself skimming. That's probably not a great sign. I felt like Shanna and Jorge's story was...hmm.. underdeveloped. I would have loved to see more of them. Maybe give them their own, story or something. It felt a little odd, to me. Why are they there? It didn't seem to relate at all to Jay and Nikki's story, but was some aside! I liked the way Gabe and Cassandra were written here. They were introduced, but not wrapped up with a bow. Also, there was enough of a teaser, that makes me want to get to know him better. Why is he so tortured? How is he going to heal, and how is she going to get him to let her in? I'll probably look for Gabe and Cassandra's story, but will probably have to read the other one of the three to get the between story. I'll probably give it a 3. It was alright.

I did get a kick out of all the lesbian innuendo! That cracked me up.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Author Challenge 2009

I know! How many challenges do I think I can do? I don't know! But they are sooo much fun. This one is hosted by LiteraryEscapeism. It's pretty easy.

The idea is to read 50 (or as many as you want) new authors (to you) throughout 2009. Here are the guidelines:
The challenge will run from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.
Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels, but anthologies are also a great way to try someone new.
I want this to be an easy challenge, so you state how many new authors you want to try this year and then that’s your challenge.
For more information click on the icon above!
I'm going to try for 20 new authors for me! I already have several in my TBR pile! **rubs hands together in anticipation*
I'll be posting the list of new authors here as well as tagging the reviews as (NAC09).
1. Lynn Kurland "When I Fall in Love" rated5
2. Elizabeth Hoyt "The Raven Prince" rated 4.5 stars
3. Christie Ridgeway "How to Knit a Wild Bikini" rated 3 stars
4.Jane Graves "Tall Tales and Wedding Veils" rated 5 stars
5. Unwed and Undead by Mary Janice Davidson rated 2.5-3 stars (see review)
6. Sisters Found by Joan Johnston rated 3.5 stars
7. Sun Kissed by Catherine Anderson rated 4 stars
8. Dark Lover by JR Ward rated 4 stars
9. She's Got it Bad by Sarah Mayberry 4 stars
10. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn 4.5 stars
11. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer 4 stars
12. The Nerd Who Loved Me by Vicki Lewis Thompson 4 stars
13.Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force 4.5 stars
14.The Secret Life of Bryan by Lori Foster 3.5 stars
15. Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julia James 4 stars
16.Reckless Love by Elizabeth Lowell 5 stars
17.The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley 4.5 stars
18. For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper 4 stars
19.It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale 4 stars
20.The Frasers-Clay by Ana Leigh 4.5 stars
21.Talk of the Town by Karen Hawkins 4 stars

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Romance Reading Challenge 2009

Ooh, I think I'm in! This ought to be pretty easy, since Romance is all I read. Hehe! Click on the Icon above to link to the challenge host and rules. It ought to be pretty fun.
Read on for the rules:
1. Now, "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.
2. Choose at least 5 novels read them between Jan 1st though Dec 31st 2009. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.

I'll add to my list as I go!

1. The Gift by Julie Garwood

2. When I Fall in Love by Lynn Kurland

3. The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

4. To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie Moning

5. Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Duncan's Bride

Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard

Series romance Book
pages 252

Rate 4 stars

Back Cover:

Wife Wanted...Reese Duncan lost half his ranch and all his dreams to his ex-wife, so when it came time for a family he did the logical thing: he advertised for a bride. She had to be willing to work, to bear his children and to settle for lovemaking in place of love. It sounded perfect--until Madelyn Patterson arrived.

One look and he had to have her. Never mind that she was New York and nightlife to his own plainspoken Montana ways. She was willing to herd cattle, wax floors and bake biscuits by the dozen. She was even willing to bear his children--but at a price he couldn't pay. Madelyn wanted love--and he was a man who had no love to give.

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I enjoyed the fact that even though Reese was a strong "alpha male" the heroine, Madelyn, was no shrinking violet. She was not a b%#&h, or a shrew. She was not afraid to argue, and speak her mind. She also, was secure enough to not settle for some semblance of happiness, or love. She wanted and deserved a real marriage. I like that even though she was taking a stand, she was not unsympathetic. She understood that Reese's behavior was a response to his ex-wife, but she also knew that she deserved more. Ms. Howard writes a story of 2 people who find each other under unusual circumstances, but who over the course of time grew together. That's a story I can invest in...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Corset Diaries

The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister

Title with a "D"--
pages 336

Rate 4.5 Stars

Back Cover:

No woman in her right mind would consent to wearing a corset for a month. Especially a "skinny-challenged" woman like Tessa. But dreams of being debt-free dance in her head at the offer of appearing in a reality TV show. "A Month in the Life of a Victorian Duke" is about real people pretending to live on an English estate, circa 1879. And Tessa's leading man-a real-life Duke-is so handsome she can barely breathe, with or without the corset...

My thoughts:

This book Cracked Me Up! And I love that! You can call me fluffy, but you can't call me stuffy! I laughed until I cried/snorted/almost peed my pants. Was it slapstick? Yup! There were moments of hilarity, and it was in many ways sophomoric. But sometimes, ya just need a good snort, and this kind won't get you 5-10 in jail! (Ha!) Sure some of the plot lines were farfetched, but so are some of the plots of some of my favorite romantic comedies. If you're in the mood for a light, fun read, try Katie MacAlister. If you're in the mood for heavy, angst-ridden this might not be for you. It was exactly what I wanted and needed. Yay! Me!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bookworm award

Heather (from Heathersreadingromance) awarded me with the Bookworm Award!! Isn't it lovely. Thanks Heather! Whoop Whoop!
I can appearantly share this with others, this is how it works:
Open the book closest to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five sentences following there. The closest book to me is The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister.

It was also a kiss that scorched my stockings off, and left me speechless with amazement, but you don't need to know that. "Welcome to Worston Hall," Max said in a loud, clear tone, then tucked my hand into his elbow and announced that he was ready for breakfast. The servants scattered at that, the film crew dividing into two halves, one group hurrying after the servants, the other following as Max led us down a passage to a small, sunny room.

"Your mouth is hanging open again," he whispered as he pulled out a chair for me at one end of a table. I snapped my teeth together, then muttered "It's your fault. There ought to be some sort of warning sign taped above your lips. They're too potent for their own good."

He chuckled a sexy chuckle that made my toes curl, them moved off to sit at the other end of the table.

Now I have to tag 5 of my fellow bloggers! hmm, whom shall I pick?

1. Aunt Rowena Sez:

2. Nightengale's Reading Blog

3. Grain de Beaute

4. Emerald Fire

5. Bella Foxx

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hot Ice

Rich, gorgeous Whitney MacAllister likes fast cars, vintage movies, and dangerous men. But even this jaded, high-living Manhattan socialite is taken by surprise when a stranger in black leather hijacks her Mercedes--just before the bullets start flying. International jewel thief Douglas Lord is used to living life on the run--part of the lure of his chosen profession is the thrill of the chase. But he has one iron-clad rule: he always works alone. Until now.Wounded and in desperate need of cash for what could be the glittering crown of his dazzling career, Doug reluctantly accepts the wealthy, well-connected Whitney as his new partner in crime. With the papers screaming headlines about the missing New York heiress, and a gang of cunning criminals in hot pursuit, Doug and Whitney take off for the sultry wilds of Madagascar in search of a fabulous treasure dating back to the French Revolution.For Whitney, what began as a high-speed adventure becomes a race between life and death as she tries to outmaneuver a pack of merciless killers who coolly eliminate anyone in their way. For Doug, who has been betrayed one time too many, it’s a chance to capture the elusive pot of gold and perhaps one final shot at redemption. For both of them, it’s an exotic quest for meaning--and a surrender to an irresistible passion worth any risk--as a deadly high-stakes game is played out to its terrifying conclusion, one that may have no winners or losers. Or survivors. With Hot Ice Nora Roberts reveals once again why she is the reigning master of sensually charged intrigue and high-voltage suspense.

I like this book. I've only tried to read one other of Nora Roberts suspense/romances and had bad luck. I couldn't even finish it. I was nervous about this one, but found that I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed her humor and the fast pace. I'd give it a 3.5-4 stars!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book Snobs!

Have you ever gone to the bookstore and while browsing the romance section, found yourself being watched by Snooty Book Person X? You know the one, you're scanning the covers with all those glorious pectoral muscles and he/she/them walk by with some large hard cover about some political agenda or some a dry biography about someone really old and crusty! They see what aisle you're in and roll their eyes!

Or worse yet, You meet someone there you know. Someone from church or work, or the PTA! (dun dun dun!) "Oh look! Fancy meeting you here!" "What are you reading? Oh!(eyes widen, look away! ) Isn't that kinda...smutty/trashy/shallow? " Or you meet the Preacher's wife, and she's got some "Raising Kids God's Way" kinda book, or something, and you find your self hiding your paperback with the six-pack cover behind your sweater, or under the magazine!

I get that! I tend to carry a book with me in my purse everywhere I go, and sometimes I forget to take it out when I go to church. (I'll not be doing any reading for fun in there, as that's not what I'm there for...but there my book comes tumbling out of my purse right in front of "Sister (fill in the blank)" I can then feel her sniff, and I can almost hear her lips pursing and her eyebrows rising the her hairline! (You'd think, I just opened up a dime bag, and offered the kindergarten class a joint!) (Which, for the record, I have never done! Just so you know!)

We all have those people. Your's might be a mother-in-law, or Coworker, or even Husband/boyfriend/significant other. So for all of us out there, who read romance. Who insist upon our Happily Ever After, with a little eye candy on the cover. Who don't mind a little nookie described in our books, cuz well, we just do. I offer you the following quiz. Think Cosmo quizes. It is offered to you by Dear Author! For my purposes, I've substituted answer #4, with Mind Your Own Business and you'll see why. It's just my preference and if you don't like it....Mind Your Own Business. (Ha!) Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Circle of Gold

Circle of Gold! by Diana Palmer!

Back Cover:
Sparks flew the moment Kasie Mayfield arrived at Gil Callister's sprawling Montana ranch to temporarily care for his two adorable daughters. Yet never in her wildest dreams did the innocent young woman imagine that her formidable new boss would sweep her off her feet with his potent charm. Before long, she was in love so deeply that it made her heart ache. But how did HE feel? The enigmatic rancher was so difficult to read. Still, she couldn't imagine spending her days--or nights--with anyone else but Gil. Could Kasie convince the hard-edged widower that a circle of gold... belonged on her finger?

My Thoughts:
I liked this book. It was typical Diana Palmer, but toned down a bit. He was less cruel than her normal heroes. She was less, um... fragile than most heroines. She came back at him with her words, Yay! She did have her DP issues, but they were more realistic. I had more sympathy for her than I usually do her other heroines. It was pretty good!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tall, Dark and Hungry

Tall, Dark and Hungry by Lynsay Sands

Spooky title

rate 4

Back Cover:
It bit: New York hotels cost an arm and a leg, and Terri had flown from England to help plan her cousin's wedding. The new in-laws offered lodging. But they were a weird bunch. There was the sometimes-chipper-sometimes-brooding Lucern, and the wacky stage-actor, Vincent. (She couldn't imagine Broadway casting a hungrier singing-and-dancing Dracula.). And then there was Bastien. Just looking into his eyes, Terri had to admit she was falling for him - someone even taller, darker and hungrier than the other two. She was feeling a mite peckish herself. And if she stayed with him, those bloodsucking hotel owners wouldn't get her!

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this book! I liked it because there was very little about the "changing" and more about the relationship. I love that cool efficient Bastien, became forgetful and distracted. I love that he got kinda silly! I like that Terri was fun and open! I just enjoyed th begeezes out of this book!
4 stars

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Love and Mayhem

Love and Mayhem by Nicole Cody

Reviewed in Summer Reading Challenge

Rated 3

Back Cover:

Try getting married when your betrothe can wield an iron pot with deadly accuracy, her mad uncle thinks he's William Wallace, and her two maiden aunts can't finish a sentence-or a thought-on their own...

Such are Sir Iain Armstrong's travails when he sets out to wed Lady Marion, a convent-raised spitfire. All Iain wants is to fulfill their fathers' wishes, appease two royal courts, and do what is best for the future of Scotland by putting an end to the troubles in his part of the Borders. All Lady Marion has to do is agree to marry him, which is the last thing on her mind when Iain arrives at the convent. She won't be taken without a fight. And even when she realizes that Iain is a man of courage, intelligence, and seductively powerful shoulders, will her eccentric family succeed where her temper tantrums, willful ways, and pride have so far failed--and drive him away forever?

I liked this book ok. I didn't love it, but I didn't hat it either. It was not a story where I had a hard time putting it down. It was kinda slow going for me! I liked the aunts well, and the way the author wrote the chaos, was good. She also wrote these two women, who spoke over each other, and finished each others sentences and talked in complete circles, well enough that you could follow what was going on. If you like Arsenic and Old Lace, you'll like this rendition.

Ms Cody is not an auto buy yet, but I may give her another try! It was ok!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Serial Readers Challenge 2009

Serial Readers Challenge 2009

As many of you know, I love to read books in a series. (not so much the Harlequins or Silhouettes, but that’s just me.) I love trilogies, series, or even just related books by an author. I enjoy the continuity, and getting glimpses of the "Happily Ever Afters" from the previous title. So, in this spirit, I offer you the Serial Readers Challenge 2009. It’s really simple! And for the purpose of this challenge a series is defined as at least 3 related books. I typically read romance but for this challenge any genre is welcome. So this can be done in conjunction with any other challenge. and are good resources for finding series!

1. Read books in series/trilogies/related by author. (Julie Garwood’s Lion’s Lady, Castles, The Gift are related.) For a series to count you must read each book in that series during this calendar year. (Rereads and audio books welcome!) If you previously started a series and do not wish to re-read, then only the titles read after 01/01/09 will count towards your total books read. You will not however get "credit" for total series read. Only series started and finished in 09 will count toward the prize for # of series read. For example I started Lynsay Sands Argeneau series this fall. For me to get credit for all 9 books I will need to re-read the first 3 sometime in 09. The series does not have to be read in order, or in succession to "count"! (so if I read #4-9 this spring and next fall re-read #1-3 then I get full credit. Otherwise ...I only get credit for the 5 books read, but not for reading the entire series.) I think I just made that about as clear as mud.
2. The Challenge will begin January 1st and last until December 31st 2009.
3. Post your list on your blog and link it back to this post. Please comment to this post when your link is up. Your list is not something, you need to decide in advance. Please add as you go!
4. Please rate and review each title on your blog. When you do so, please label it SRC or Serial Readers Challenge so we can all read your reviews and maybe be inspired to try a new series for ourselves.
5. There will be prizes! Woo Hoo! Some of the prizes may be simple online trophies, and some will be book give-aways. (Titles to be determined) Prizes will be given for most books read, most # series read, most pages read, and some maybe at random! (my favorite kind!! Yay!)
6. To wrap up the challenge next winter, comment to this post linking your wrap-up post by December 31! Prizes will be awarded January 2010!

Sign up early and spread the word!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Readers of Romance Winter Challenge LIst 08

It's that time again, Woo Hoo! The list for the Winter Challenge is released and I'm getting excited. I have my current draft here. The challenge for those of you who may not know, goes from Dec 1 to Feb 29. I'm committing to all 15 titles. I'll be rating and reviewing them here and on the Readers of Romance Book blog. For more information click on the "Winter Challenge" here.

1. Reader's Choice - Pink Jinx by Sandra Hill~~~Done~~3.5 stars

2. Book read and reviewed in the Fall Challenge- The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt~~~Done~~~4.5 stars

3. Read a book that has a "D" word in it for December-The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister~~Done~~4.5 rating

4. Read a book that has an arranged marriage/marriage of convenience-The Gift by Julie Garwood~~~DONE~~~4.5 STARS

5. For Valentines Day, read a book that has love, kiss, or heart-This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips~~~Done~~4 stars

6. Read a book by Lisa Kleypas: Blue Eyed Devil (ok, Hardy here's your shot!)~~~Done ~~~4.5 stars

7. A book that makes you think of Christmas-A) Christmas Wishes by Debbie Macomber or B) Lone Star Christmas by Pamela Griffen et al. C) A Stone Creek Christmas by Linda Lael Miller~~~DONE~~~ rate 3.5

8. A title that has 4 words in it.- Only For a Knight by Sue Ellen Welfonder~~~DONE~~2.5 STARS or Some Like It Wicked by Teresa Medeiros (probably SLIW)

9. Read a story that has a military/civil servant in it-Come the Spring by Julie Garwood~~~DONE~~~4 STARS

10. Read a book that has a Viking/Pirate in it-Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood~~~DONE~~~4 STARS

11. Pick a book that was first published in 2008-How to Knit a Wild Bikini by Christie Ridgeway~~~DONE~~~3.5 STARS

12. Read a series book: Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard~~~DONE~~~4 stars

13. Read a book that has an author with 3 names-Dream a Little Dream by SEP~~~DONE~~~4-ish stars

14. For the New Year-pick a book that has been in your TBR pile for a long time-Dakota Born by Debbie Macomber~~~DONE~~~3.5 STARS

15. Read a book that has a "W" word for Winter-When I Fall in Love by Lynn Kurland~~~DONE~~~5 STARS


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Accidentally Yours

Accidentally Yours by Susan Mallery

#13 New (to me) author

Rated 5 stars

Back Cover

Single mom seeks billionaire's pocketbook to fund dying son's research cure. Will seduce if necessary. Blackmail is not out of the question. Miracles welcome.

Cynical billionaire seeks working mom with a heart of gold for PR campaign to improve his standing in the community. Must to willing to attend social events. Anyone looking for love, need not apply.

It seemed like the perfect match...until the unthinkable happened.

My Opinion

I really loved this story. I loved that Kerri was willing to go to these extremes to help her son. I loved that even in times of struggle, she was able to give her son as normal a life as possible. I also felt like her guilt at being attracted to Nathan was there. I think I would have felt the same thing. If I'd prayed that prayer, and felt like I was supposed to sacrifice my happiness for my child, then when I was a'lustin over luscious Nathan, and something bad happens to my child...You better believe I'd feel to blame. Is it rational....Nope! Is it what I'd feel...Yep! I think that's SO realistic. I LOVED Tim and Lance! I loved the romance also between Abram and Linda.

Nathan was a true tortured hero. It's impossible to imagine how he felt in letting his son "go". The guilt he felt at working so much, and losing his own child. His only coping mechanism was to drown in work, and distance himself from human connection. It's safer that way! I understand why he would feel that. I love the transition for Nathan, in his own personal growth, and in his relationship with Frankie. In my mind's eye Frankie gets well, and hooks up with Grant! Yeeeaa!

Susan Mallery reminds me of Nora Roberts in all the ways that I love! Her ability to touch my heart and make me giggle. I love a heroine who is driven, but is able to maintain a healthy heart. I love a hero and heroine who can be sarcastic with one another. I adore a story with humor, and wit. This was that kind of story for me! LOVE IT!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nobody's Baby But Mine

Fall Reading Challenge #5 Title with "N" Word

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Rate 4.5 stars

Back Cover
The Plan

Genius physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won't be easy. Jane's super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she's determined to spare her own child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone very…well…stupid.
The Target
Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane learns too late that this good ol' boy is a lot smarter than he lets on -- and he's not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy, baby-mad schemer.
The Explosion
A brilliant, lonely woman who dreams only of motherhood…A take-no-prisoners tough guy who'll settle for nothing less than surrender…Can passion and physical attraction propel two strong-willed yet vulnerable people to a totally unexpected love?

My Thoughts

I really liked this book! I enjoy Susan Elizabeth Phillips a lot! She writes the funnest, flawed people. Her characters have flaws, and insecurities as well as humor and integrity. I enjoyed the banter between Jane and Cal regarding the various ways they were going to murder each other. I got a kick out of the Lucky Charms and totally cringed when she finally decided to let him see her naked. Annie was fun, but I think I like Tanta Lulu (from Sandra Hill's Cajun Series) better. I liked the side story about Jim and Lynn as well. I will enjoy reading more, and I think some of these characters show up in later books. I dig Kevin Tucker! Hubba Hubba!!

I give it a 4.5 stars cuz I couldn't decide between a 4 and 5!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Castles by Julie Garwood

#1 Fairytale Title

Rated 4 stars

Pages 354

Back Cover

Orphaned and besieged, Princess Alesandra knew that only hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Cainewood, the bold raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were kindled.

Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone... yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel...

I liked this story fairly well. It felt like 3rd in a series to me. For some reason, I seemed to be missing something like Nathan/Sara's story and Caine/Jade's story. I don't think it took away from Colin/Alesandra's story, but I felt like I was missing something with the knowing looks etc. That being said, I like the way Julie Garwood forms banter between her Hero/Heroine. I like the witty jokes, and the quirky personalities she gives her characters. (like Alesandra's lists)

I didn't like this as well as The Wedding and The Bride, but I did like it a lot.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Beyond the Highland Mist

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning

Fall Reading Challenge/Book in a series 2

rate 4stars

Back Cover:

He would sell his warrior soul to possess her. . . . An alluring laird...He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart--until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland.

Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm's length--but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.A prisoner in time...She had a perfect "no" on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne's reservations were no match for Hawk's determination to keep her by his side. . . .

My Thought:

Well, I think the premise was very good. Honestly I think a modern woman in 1600 Scotland would have had a much more difficult time fitting in. It could have made for some real fun! However that is not the route taken by Ms, Moning. To each his/her own. I had a hard time getting emotionally invested in Hawk. It wasn't until about 1/2 way thru that she explained why he was such a "horn dog" and how he really was more sympathetic than it would seem.

I liked Adrienne, but give me a break. If I was swooped back a coupla centuries and was faced with the best sex of my life, with the most beautiful man in the universe....I'd go to town. Maybe I wouldn't trust him with my love, but I'd by on him like white on rice!! (hypothetically speaking, being single and available and all that. ahem! fans self!

I liked it alright! This title did not make KMM an auto buy for me, but I liked it well enough to try her again!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Catching Up With Old Friends!!

So, I've gotten onto Facebook. Dave and I originally started up because someone wanted to connect with him regarding video from the International Singles Conference. So, he did the thing, and I ,of course, had to cuz I couldn't let him have all the fun. So I did the thing. Even posted a picture. Come to find out, it is the only picture of me in the entire camera. (and we still have pictures in there from 2 years ago.) So, it's not a great picture, but hey when you're 100 lb overweight no picture is a great picture.

Then guess what happens?! Guess! Yep, you guessed it, people from high school found me. Yep, those same people who look the same from high school. Yep! I see their pictures and want to swallow a tape worm. (except I was watching an episode of House and they said that having a tapeworm is really painful. tapeworm for me!)

Then, I was "catching up" with an old friend, and I'll use the term loosely cuz, I might have to put him in the "doghouse". He had the nerve to tell me, that he's about to be ........a .....Grandpa! I am soooo mad. You see, he was not older than me in school. So, if he is old enough to be a Gramps, Pops, Pah Pah, then you know what that makes me?! Yep! Old enough to be a Grandmother! Then, do you know what he has the nerve to tell me?! He tells me! That when he was deployed (1 of the 3 times so far!) they sent him to Greece! YUP! Greece! Greese of the incredible landscapes. Greece of the good food. Greece of the friendly people (who fed him!). Greece of the you know, white building, and beautiful waterfronts. Greece of the Parthanon and Acropolis. Yep! That Greece. The Greece that I always wanted to go to! Could the Military have sent him to the Greece of the endless sheep? The Greece of hot sticky weather? The Greece, of ...of....Food poisoning or something? Nooooooo!

Yep! Definately doghouse material! And...and...He didn't even have the good grace to get fat or bald or anything! ***rolls eyes heaven ward*** I know there is a lesson here, but for the life of fish, I can't figure out what!

I think, I'll go photoshop my head on Angelina Jolie's body! That'll show them!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Love Only Once

"Love Only Once" by Johanna Lindsey

Fall Reading Challenge
Mallory Series #1

From the Back Cover

The exquisite niece of Lord Edward and Lady Charlotte Malory, Regina Ashton is outraged over her abduction by the arrogant, devilishly handsome Nicholas Eden -- and is determined to make the rogue pay ... with his heart.

A golden-haired seducer, Nicholas has been hardened by a painful secret in his past. And now that he has besmirched Reggie's good name, the hot-tempered lady has vowed to wed him. Her fiery beauty stirs Nicholas as no woman ever has -- and the rake arouses Reggie's passion to an unendurable level. Such uncontrolled desires can lead only to dangerous misunderstandings ... and, perhaps, to a love that can live only once in a lifetime.

Well, I don't think this teaser is too accurate! I just finished this book, and I don't recall any dangerous misunderstandings, or that she was outraged at being abducted. I clearly recall her being amused by it, cuz she knew it was a mistake.

Aaaanyway, I think I liked this book! It was good. I don't think it was great! Now I will say that the moments before her wedding, I had to put the book down to go somewhere, and I wondered almost all the way to where I was going, about what was going to happen next to Regina and Nicholas. So, I was invested. I'm pretty easy, so I'll have to give this a 3.5 or 4. It was good enough for me to invest, but I'm not dying to read the next in the series. I think I was pleasantly surprised, cuz for some reason, I was expecting this to be pretty bad. It's almost better to have low expectations, so that you have a good chance of surpassing them. I'm going to say 3.5.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Sad Sad News!

It's been a rough 3 weeks. As you may have read previously a young man at church was killed in an auto accident, leaving a young wife and 2 very young daughters.

Last night I got another phone call. My last boss, (at my church where I was the receptionist) his wife had gone to Mexico with 2 girlfriends for a getaway. She and her best friend were killed in a parasailing accident. the authorities had closed the harbor due to choppy water, and bad weather conditions. When the rope broke on the parachute, the boat captain, dropped the 3rd member of the party off at the dock and fled the scene of the crime.

This is the woman who gave me a baby shower when I was pregnant with my first baby! This is the woman, who when I couldn't find the baby quilt my grandmother had made for me when I was a teenager, she called her mother in Va. and had her quilt me a baby quilt. She knew how much that sort of legacy meant to me. I used to stay with her children when she and her husband had to travel for work. She talked me "off the ledge" when I had to leave my baby those first days back from maternity leave.

She will be missed! God, THIS SUUUUUUUUCCCKKKSSS!!!!

The Cajun Cowboy

the Cajun Cowboy by Sandra Hill

pgs 349

rated 4

Back Cover

Charmaine LeDeux, who owns not one but two beauty salons on the Louisiana bayou, has a loan shark on her tail. As if that's not bad enough, Raoul Lanier, who she thought she divorced years ago, tells her that they're still married! Plus, they've inherited his father's rundown cattle ranch together. Raoul promises to give her an honest-to-god real divorce this time if she'll sell him her half of the ranch. But she decides that the ranch is the perfect place for her after all; i.e., the perfect hideout for a woman who needs to lie low for a while.

The last thing Raoul wants is for Charmaine to live with him, but Charmaine has always been stubborn. Soon she's taken over the house, adding feminine touches everywhere and having his three ranch hands eating out of her hand. When her belly-dancing great-aunt and the rest of the LeDeux clan come over for Thanksgiving dinner, Raoul knows he's lost the fight. He might as well give in to the temptation she still rouses in him. Now if he can only keep her safe from the Dixie mafia looking for her and convince her that he's worth a second chance at love.

I enjoyed this book a lot! As always there was a lot of humor and a lot of "heat". Since finishing this book, I received some tragic news! So my review is short. I liked the book.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Clayborne Brides

The Clayborne Brides by Julie Garwood

pgs 456

rated 4 stars.

From the Back Cover

First introduced in Julie Garwood's magnificent New York Times bestseller For the Roses, the Clayborne brothers of Blue Belle, Montana, have been embraced by millions more through this trio of #1 bestselling novels. Now collected in one volume for the first time, these stories tell of three spirited brothers -- once a mismatched gang of street urchins -- who learn that love flourishes in the most unexpected places....

One Pink Rose Headstrong Travis takes a journey that opens his eyes to the splendor of his beloved West -- and his heart to Bostonian Emily Finnegan.

One White Rose Steady, quiet Douglas will do anything to protect a creature in need -- and that includes the strong-willed Isabel Grant.

One Red Rose Thoughtful Adam learns a powerful secret from the irrepressible Genevieve Delacroix -- that true freedom only comes when you trust your heart.

I really enjoyed these stories. The Clayborne Brides is three books in one. Each one was well written, and stayed true to the characters. I did feel like Travis' and Adam's stories moved the falling in love pretty fast. What are the odds that they fell in love at (almost) first sight. I felt like the heroines were very fun, and their personalities unfolded well. Granted each story was short and sweet, so everything had to happen pretty quickly, but with Douglas' story, Ms. Garwood built in some time for Douglas and Isabel to get to know and trust each other. I like that.

If I had one criticism, it would be that Adam's story was not nearly as descriptive as the others. This one could really have been super. I don't know, if because the characters were African-American, she or the publisher chose to downplay that, but you really forgot that. She really could have described the mocha skin and beautiful features of each. Something...Anything....but Nothing! It wasn't until the Heroine tells another character that her ancestors were from Africa, do we get any real kind of description of her. (in my minds eye, she looked like Iman! cuz I loved Adam, and Iman is soooooo beautiful!)

rated 4 stars.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Heaven, Texas

Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

pgs 371

rated 5

#9 Title with a place

Back Cover

Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to track down the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton and drag him back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. But taming an egotistical cowboy in a '57 T-Bird might be more than this prim Ohio wallflower can handle.

Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being movie star -- and no plans to cooperate with the bossy little virgins whom he can't get off his mind or out of his life. Instead, the hellraising playboy decides to make her over from plain Janet Texas wildcat.

But nothing's more dangerous than a wildcat with an angel's heart in a town too small for a bad boy to hide. And all hell breaks loose when two unforgettable people discover love, laughter, passion -- and a match that can be made only in Heaven.

I loved this book. Of course, Susan Elizabeth Phillips books are an auto-read for me! No one writes flawed characters who aren't pathetic like Ms. Phillips. I love that Gracie, has her weaknesses and insecurities, but also has integrity, and a stength of character. I love that while she is shy and sheltered, she's also curious and willing to take risks. I love the scene on the trip in the hotel room, where Bobby Tom catches her eyeing the "Adult" channel schedules. She's too embarrassed to admit to being curious, but he just turns the channel on and watches her blush 18 shades of red. Gracie, is above all someone I'd like to be friends with.

Bobby Tom, is going thru a really rough time, and makes some major mistakes. In someone else, I might have found them a "deal breaker" but know BT and that inside he has a heart of pure marshmallow fluff, I'm willing to cut him some slack. I find his need to give, lets him be taken advantage of, and his guilt for having it easy, and being successful leads him to become an "easy mark". But how can you not love a guy who's sensitive underneath it all. I also love him, cuz he's flirty even with the chubby girls. He makes a point to make, even the not perfect feel special. Besides, he has 2 names and one is not Bubba! I love a 2 name guy. It's the 3 name guys you have to run from. (like John Wilkes Boothe, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wayne Gacey!) *shudders*

I'm so looking forward to more Chicago Stars!! I highly recommend this book to anyone!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sugar Daddy

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas


rated 5 stars (Can you believe it!? I finally gave a 5!)


Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas -- if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty is a complication he doesn't need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than both of them.

HE'S THE ONE MAN SHE CAN'T HAVE When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty is under the spell of a billionaire tycoon -- a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family's past.

Will they find their hearts' desires --or will HEARTBREAK tear them apart?

Two men. One woman. A choice that can make her or break her. A woman you'll root for every step of the way. A love story you'll never forget.

I don't typically read books written in the first person. And I think, I prefer the third person, cuz you get a broader view! However, I really liked this story! Having lived in a trailer in Texas as a youth, and not being what would be considered the desired specimen of a Texas female, I could relate to Liberty. I actually cried in the scene when she loses her virginity. The raw emotion she was feeling, (not passion!) was so earnest. I feel her story is told with honesty and a believability that would probably have been missing had it been written in the 3rd person. Liberty's voice was so strong, that I'm not sure any other method would have done it justice.

I really liked the conflicted Hardy of Welcome. I knew many boys just like him. We couldn't wait to get away from our small town, depressed upbringing. I just wish he hadn't used her the way he did.

I do feel like the end was a little ...rushed? The turn of events, regarding Hardy, Gage and Liberty! The pace of the rest of the book, was so (not slow) but paced! then the end needed wrapping up, (almost like her deadline was around the bend, or something). However, I will say, that it was the right time, to start wrapping it up. To have dragged out the Gage/Liberty relationship more, would have stalled the plot. IMO!

Gage, **sighs**! I love a good brooder. And he's a good brooder!! But, he didn't drag it out tooo much! There is only so much brooding a person can take without wanting to shake him til his teeth rattle. Gage, was that perfect balance, of brooding/humor/normalness! I think he was blond in the book, but my mind's eye has him as a dark haired guy! **sighs again**

Now, will I read Blue Eyed Devil? I think it's Hardy's story with Haven. I probably will, but not right now, cuz I'm mad at Hardy! (that's pretty sick and twisted of me, I know!! Like, I'm punishing a fictional character!!) I hear she has a third coming out soon in this series too! I'll probably read them both! Hardy better behave!!

I may even substitute this for something in one of my challenges! We'll have to see!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Is It Just Me?

So lately I've been reviewing a little more harshly than usual. I'm typically a solid 4 giver. Books tend to be good. Maybe not perfect, but fun and enjoyable. However, lately I'm kinda tough. Maybe, I'm getting picky! Maybe, I'm spoiled. I mean Nora Roberts and Julie Garwood, Lynsay Sands, Susan Elizabeth Phillips are soo good.

I will say, that everyone knows, I prefer a pg to pg-13 books. AAR's warm ratings are best for me. I don't mind a Hot every once in a while. Or a book whose scenes are Hot but not every 3 pages. Really? How do they have time to do anything else, and who'd be able to walk with all that "business" going on below the equator. But, I'm getting really tired, of always being aware of the Hero's "Mini Me". For men who are supposed to be sooooo experienced, they seem to tighten, swell, grow, salute, whatever at every breeze! I mean, the heroine, glances in their direction and Mini Me, stands at attention! Also, I don't care to hear about each and every "Salute". Maybe it was the last couple of books I read, but I'd rather know what the hero is feeling in his heart or head than in his pants. Geez Louise!!

Also, I've been kissed in my day. But so help me, I've never been kissed so that I didn't realize that my clothes were being removed. At least not without the help of a Jimmy! I always knew exactly what was going on. (Maybe I didn't care, but I knew. Believe You Me!) So, I know many of you who read romance, aspire to write romance too. (or maybe you already are!) Please, focus as much attention on a realistic progression of feelings, and not just the Sex! Great sex, is--well--Great! But, it is not what a Great relationship can flourish on! I mean, haven't we all had past relationships where the passion was super, but other more important stuff was Crap!! Did, I marry him? No! Even if you did, it doesn't last, without a conversion of some sort.

I think that's why I like the Inspirational romances too. There's no sex, and often no kissing, just a progression of a relationship with each other (including God!)

Or, maybe I'm in a bad mood! Or maybe, I need more fiber in my diet! Who knows!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lionhearted by Diana Palmer

# 14 title with an animal

rated 3

pgs 187

His Winter Bride . . .? As the holiday season approached, the residents of Jacobsville were whispering about Janie Brewster's hopeless crush on Leo Hart. Up till now, all her efforts to lasso the dynamic cattleman had crumbled quicker than those mouthwatering biscuits that Hart men coveted. However, this time the starry-eyed debutante had come up with the perfect self-improvement campaign to dazzle Leo -- she'd become a courageous cowgirl! Still, her sudden transformation seemed to rouse Leo's formidable temper more than ever. But wait... was it hot-blooded hunger -- not dark disdain -- that gleamed in his eyes when they melted into those smoldering kisses beneath the mistletoe? Could the last Hart bachelor be on the verge of taking Janie as his bride?

Pet Peeve Alert

this teaser doesn't tell you anything about this story. It leads you down a wrong direction.

The holiday season has nothing to do with nothing. The residents of Jacobsville weren't whispering about anything except Leo getting drunk and jealous of Janie, not the other way around. Leo, isn't mad about Janie becoming a courageous cowgirl, but that he was told by her best friend Marilee (and with friends like who need enemies!) that Janie was spreading rumors etc. They didn't kiss beneath any mistletoe, and were married by christmas. Ugh! I hate it when the teaser lies!

**soapbox put away! For Now***

Why do I read Diana Palmer? It's like looking at a car wreck on the highway. I don't want to look, and yet somehow, I can't help myself. Her books are always the same. Hero-Older more experienced wealthy rancher (or merc! ) who vows never to marry for some dumb-butt reason! (pardon my francais!) Also, only likes women who have no (I mean NO) ambition professionally. Heroine- Young (sometimes barely 20) poor, virginal, hopelessly in love with hero, woman, who has "old fashioned" values meaning that all she aspires to is to cook and clean and raise children. (which is great sometimes to have a maternal character, but seriously everywoman in town, has no professional aspirations? Seriously?) There will come some point in the story where Hero will verbally abuse the the heroine, for being plain/poor/innocent/....Ack! It's always for her own good, mind you! Or, or, or, or, He will tell some 3rd party how awful said heroine is , while she walks into the room to overhear him. Akward!

***soapbox returns***

These women are soooooo innocent that he kisses them, and they are stunned! What?! Who Knew! He "makes a strong pass" and she's scarred for life! She has to(leave town, quit her job, quit school, Hide out ) to avoid the memory of his kisses and groping! He molds his body to her, so that his "physical response" is obvious and she's never seen or felt or heard of anything. "Does it hurt?" She asks. As if the school system in Texas does not teach a health class in High School that covers basic reproduction. (I know they do, cuz I'm a product of that school system. and they taught health class even in the 80's)

While I'm on the topic, did you know that most men, "MUST" rest immediately after "relations"? Yup! Seems most men, need a sandwich and a nap, just to survive! However, these Jacobsville men, are that small percentage who are capable of multiple-O's. And several of them are soooooo well endowed that "most" women can't take all of them. SERIOUSLY! Also, an epidemic in Jacobsville, is that several women need to have a minor medical procedure to ready them for their Wedding Night! yep!

I originally gave this a 3.5 cuz I knew exactly what I was going to get, when I picked it up. But now that I've vented, I can't really give it a 3.5. It's got to me more of a 3 maybe even 2.5. I'll say 3 cuz, If I didn't want this sort of book, I shouldn't have picked it.

Ms. Palmer is a decent writer, but Criminy, get a new formula. These women need a pair, (if ya know what I mean!) I come from a town very much like this one in her stories, and I gotta say, the women I knew, and saw everyday wouldn't put up with the crap these guys dish out. they'd have tarred and feathered their butts, and told them "what for". Then sat down with a girlfriend and "God Blessed" their pitiful souls to death. Cuz, you know when a southern woman is talking about someone and says "God Bless 'em" it is not cuz they sneezed. (for instance. "Uncle Cletus, God Bless 'em, is a sorry fiddle player" it softens the blow! )

If you like, weak women and super alpha males. you'll like Diana Palmers Long Tall Texan series.
***soapbox is now smoking and deserves a rest! ***

Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars

I love Dancing with the Stars! Looooove it! I love this season! I love the dancing, the costumes, the music, the back stories, I love it all!

However, It seems to me that the judges are being really hard on people really early! Cripes! Give 'em a break. They weren't this tough last year! (or is it just me!) For some reason, I love Rocco DiSpirito! He's cute, and gawky! (and he can cook!!) (my new celebrity crush!) I think he must be a nice guy too, cuz Karina Smirnoff, is usually pretty iritated by a dance partner who can't dance. She seems to be all grins and happiness! Maybe, that's cuz she's finally over Mario, (ptooey ptooey!) or because she sees a nice guy doing his best.

I also loved when Derik Hough kept telling Brooke to keep her "boobies" off him. (during the quickstep) She laughed and said, that's was the first time she'd heard that! Ha ha ha ! Btw, I think I decided to not like her a lot. I mean really, it's wrong to have 4 children, (one very new!) and look that good. **nods head** yep, and she's likely to lose weight...and get a harder body! **sighs with disgust**

Let me say, Cloris Leachman may be a comic genius! She is definately a legend in show business. However, I'm over her in this show. I can't tell if she's trying to be silly, or she's got a little dementia kicking in? I don't know, maybe she needs some ritalin, but it's getting old. I'm feeling kinda sorry for good ole Corky Ballas, cuz he can't seem to reign her in. I definately appreciate the kind of shape she must be in to do what she's doing. I can certainly appreciate her wanting to boost her career, and all that, but it really is time she gets voted off. (In my humble opinion) (and since this is my blog, it's my opinion that counts! Heeeeey!)

Toni Braxton, is doing really well. I'm a little nervous about her heart condition and the strain is might cause. She's killing me! Everytime she gets really out of breath, I start breathing for the both of us. (sympathy breathing?) and start to feel lightheaded. On a side note, I think Alex Mazo and Edyta Sl*^&%$#%A (I couldn't possibly spell that name!) are either married or a couple. Finally, someone who karaoke's worse than me!

Kim Kardashian! Why is she a Star? Poor Mark is dancing his little shoes off trying to make her look good! Where's Sabrina when you need her! (are they still together?)

Love Lance Bass! His dance partner, Lacey Schwimmer (sp?) was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance! Wha!? Love that! I also loved that they danced to "I Kissed a Girl" and at the end he kissed Lacey and then put on Cherry Chapstick. Ha ha ha ! I figure Len, will be in trouble with GLAAD cuz he said something like, "I know your gay," then something to Lacey and didn't like the song and dance. So I'm expecting rainbow flags in the audience next week.

I'm loving Misty May-Trainor, Warren Sapp, Cody Lindley. I'm not so into Susan Lucci. I want to be, but just am not. Maurice Green isn't doing it for me, and to me it looks like Cheryl (who I normally love) is either not into Maurice or is kinda checked out this season.

Stay tuned for more details