Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Love Potion

Yep! Fame and fortune are surely only a swallow away when Dr Sylvie Fontaine discovers a chemical formula guaranteed to attract the opposite sex. Though her own love life is purely hypothetical, the shy chemist's professional future is soon as she can find a human guinea pig.

The only problem is the wrong man has swallowed Sylvie's love potion. Bad boy Lucien LeDeux is more than she can handle even before he's dosed with the Jelly Bean Fix. The wildly virile lawyer is the last person she'd choose to subject to the scientific method.

When the dust settles, Sylvie and Luc have the answers to some burning questions--Can a man die of testosterone overload? Can a straight-laced female lose every single one of her inhibitions?--and they learn that old-fashioned romance is still the best catalyst for love.

I enjoyed this book a lot! Sandra Hill has a knack for writing believable characters who have issues as well as humor. I love feeling their history and seeing how it affects their decisions! I love the humor, and the fun secondary characters. Tante Lulu and Samson & Delilah! The book was fast paced for me, and I couldn't put it down. The Love scenes were Hot! I personally prefer warm, but it was ok with me, cuz they weren't every few pages. (That's just me!) I can't wait to read the rest of these Cajuns!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Devil in a Kilt


Linnet MacDonnell was the youngest of seven sisters and not the family beauty. With her flame-bright red hair, sharp tongue and strange gift of second sight no man wanted her. But the devil would take her. Bartered as a bride to her father's long-sworn enemy, the nobly born Highlander Duncan MacKenzie of Kintail, she had no choice but to enter a marriage with a man rumored to have murdered his first wife and said to possess neither heart nor soul.

Forbidding and proud, Duncan MacKenzie wanted only one thing from his new bride -- to use her special gift to determine if young Robbie was truly his son. He never expected the MacDonnell lass to stubbornly follow her heart, chase away the darkness in his castle with light and laughter and ignite a raging fire in his blood. How dare she defy him and tempt a devil like him to feel what he feared most of all -- love!

I enjoyed this book. It was paced well. I understood some of the sadness and insecurity the heroine faced, and appreciated that even though she had some issues, she was not whiny. Duncan was a strong character who obviously didn't want to fall in love. He does some self preservation to keep Linnet away, but was not cruel. Some authors really take it to the extreme. Ms. Welfonder did not. Duncan stayed a sympathetic character, and one I was rooting for. I liked the irony that there was a Great Dane and a Marmaduke. (But Marmaduke was not a Great Dane! hee hee) I rate this a 4 maybe a 4.5 since I immediately want to get the next in the series.

I'll read more from Ms. Welfonder and hope that the books written as Allie MacKay are just as good. I have to say I'm growing addicted to men in kilts and/or plaids.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Hart Brothers: Simon and Callaghan

Simon Hart: He'd all but sworn off women forever

Bute every man has a weakness, and his was socialite Tira Beck. Simon thought she was nothing but a shameless flirt. Until he found out she was saving it all for him. That clinched it. He simply had to have her. But would he be able to give up bachelorhood for the long haul the way Tira deserves?

Callaghan Hart: Men want to be him, women want to be with him.

Callaghan's as macho as they come. He's brooding, dark and mysterious-the ultimate bad boy. But the ranch's new housekeeper, Tess Brady, may have the ability to bring Callaghan to his knees. Sure, she's soft as a kitten and dewy as springtime, but that doesn't mean she can't tempt him into breaking all his own bad-boy rules.

I'm conflicted about Diana Palmers books. Her heroes are all strong, wealthy, older men with women issues. They are typically very mean to the heroines. The heroines are always young, virginal, and domestic. They are not only virgins, but typically don't know anything. (I mean really, ninth grade health class taught me more than these women know. Criminy!) It gets more than a little frustrating sometimes to read the same formula over and over.

However, sometimes, you get in the mood for a Uber-alpha male and innocent younger woman story. I always know where to look. It always ends up good. Honestly, I get a little embarrassed that I keep reading these books, but sometimes they just fit the bill. It's like driving by a wreck. You know you shouldn't want to look, but you can't keep your eyes off of it. Well, I got my DP fix for a while.

Bitsy's Bait and BBQ

While Emma Collins wonders who in their right mind would use her hard-won divorce settlement to purchase a bed-and-breakfast down in the Ozarks, her free-spirited sister Katy fantasizes dreamily about how this move to a small town will be just the thing for her six-year old son, Josh.

And, as usual, Emma is right. But it is not until they drive to Warbler Lake, Missouri, to take over Bitsy's B & B that they realize just how right she's been. In this part of the country, B &B stands for Bait and BBQ! The firls know little enough about running a bed-and-breakfast, but a bait-and-BBQ?

With their money and futures sunk into a run-down, roadside rattletrap, the girls have no choice but to roll up their sleeves and get to work. But as they settle in and get to know the difference between fatheads, night crawler, mealworms, and shiners, no one is more surprised than they are when they actually get the place up and running.

But trouble is brewing. Katy's ex-husband is having second thoughts about the custody arrangements for Josh, and he fully intends to get him back. With the prospect of losing the little boy, the sisters face another challenge, only this time it's Katy who proves that she, too, can solve a problem.

I liked this book fairly well. It was a slow start for me, and took me 2/3 in, to get invested in the story and characters. However, once I was finally invested, I was Hooked! (Pun intended! I crack me up!) I loved all the secondary characters. There is a strong religious tone to this story, which I liked. It was not, a standard romance! The characters where real, they had fun and were warm and had flaws too. Noone was perfect, and their imperfections weren't cute, they were real. Kinda makes you want to spend some time fishing at the lake.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bloggy Awards

Hey, everyone! Cindy over at, Cindy Reads Romance, gave me an award for my blog! Woo Hoo!

Here are the rules:

Put the logo on your blog. Add a link to the person who awarded you. Nominate at least seven other blogs. Add links to those blogs on your blog. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Here are my Seven in No particular order.

  1. Readers of Romance is the first blog I'd ever seen. It got me interested in doing one myself. Yay!

  2. Emerald Fires Romance Spot is cool. Way cool! We do challenges from Shelfari together.

  3. Heathers Fave Books is good. She does great reviews! She does challenges with me too!

  4. Talk about my favorite Authors, is a great site for reviews and author interviews. Phoebe must be a speed reader. I stand in awe!

  5. Aunt Rowena has a great site. It's simple and elegant and she writes really deep insightful reviews. I love that, she's also a Shelfari buddy.

  6. Heathers Reading Romance is a pretty blog. It is also colorful, which I like! She also keeps me up on new book challenges, which I love!

  7. Randi Romance Reader is great. I visit there often. It's definately a girlie girl site. Girls Rule!

Techno Challenged

I've been trying to change my layout for , oh, weeks. I was trying to do something really cool. Needless to say, "really cool" was easier said than done. So, being techno-challenged I asked Cindy for help. She rocks, btw. (In case you were wondering, it's Cindy from Cindy Reads Romance) I tried unsuccessfully to download new templates and layouts. It never did work. I did update to give myself more room. Now I can fit the countdown clock that I've been wanting. Yay!! So what I lack in real technological creativity, I make up for by being colorful. We'll see how this site morphs as I learn more about this stuff. You'd think being married to an AV guy and computer nerd, that some of that savvy would rub off. I got skipped on that gene. I could get him to help me, but for some reason I really want to do all this myself. I'll get advice and even step by step if I have to, but when dh drives, I never learn what I'm doing and how do to it in the future.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Girl Next Door

The man was impossible! Infuriating! Maddeningly blind! Sure, freewheeling bachelor Simon Christopher was Jenny Randall's best friend, but when would he stop ogling busty blondes and start seeing her as more than just plain Jenny, the wholesome girl next door?

Clearly, drastic measures were required. So Jenny transformed herself. From predictable to...provocative. From straitlaced to...sensual. From sweetly domestic to downright dangerous! And Simon began to sweat. Began to Darn it! He wanted his Jenny back! But would he ever admit he wanted all of her?

This was a quick read, being 250 pages. It was a nice Friends to Lovers story. It was good. I'd give it a 3.5 to 4. For a short story, the character development was pretty good. I got a sense of the history and the tension was good. The ending seemed rushed. But is was overall a good story.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carrot Cake

My husband's birthday was last weekend. Woo Hoo! His favorite cake is Carrot Cake. I've made a lot of cakes. I have never made a carrot cake. All that shedding etc. I was more than a little intimidated. He was resigned to eating whatever kind of cake I made.
I was at the store getting stuff and found in the baking aisle a $0.99 box of carrot cake mix. Woo Hoo!! So I get some can cream cheese icing and get to it. I added some crushed pinapple (with juice) and some raisins to the mix and baked it up. It was sooooo good. Almost everyone at his party was asking for the recipe. Wha?? Some one even said it was better than his mother's carrot cake. What a complement! I love dressing up a 99 cent box mix and turning it into something really cool!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ain't Myth Behaving

Dane Hearne -- also known as the Irish fertility god Cernunnos -- must choose a bride quickly. His long-time goddess has run off with a salsa dancer, and Dane must be married by Beltane, just a week away, or become a mortal -- and die. When he meets American travel writer Megan St. Clair, he knows he's found his soul mate. But while Dane is a sexy Irish hunk with his fair share of blarney, can he convince Megan to marry him in just one week?

Alrik Sigurdsson is cursed to sail his Viking ship along the same stretch of Scandinavian coastline forever. So when lovely American Brynna Lund skids her car off the road into the ocean, he and his men are happy for the diversion of rescuing her. Then Alrik discovers that Brynna is the only woman who can break the curse. Is it any wonder that he's determined to keep her...forever?

I thought these were fun, frivolous stories. There is no real character development, and tension. These whimsical stories are perfect as a light poolside read. They were short and fun, and that's what they were intended to be. I didn't like these as much as Men in Kilts, but that's ok.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Springwater Christmas

When Jack McLaughlin drifted into Srpringwater, he carried little more with him than his bitter memories of the Civil War---and the shattering secret of a promise betrayed in the heat of battle. Wounded soul-deep, and fearing the wrath of his own parents, Jack has hidden his identity and come to Springwater to see his mother and father from afar, even if he can't bear to face them. Taking odd jobs and keeping a low profile, Jack finds a safe haven at the town's new rooming house.
Olivia Darling had never done anything impulsive---until she left the east and opened a boarding house in Springwater. But still an outsider at heart, and struggling to make a success of her business, Olivia finds herself turning to the other newcomer in town, the rough-hewn and embittered man she's taken in. As the Christmas season brings them together, Olivia finds in Jack's arms a passionate sweetness she never knew existed. And with the stunning revelation of Jack's true identity, all of Springwater witnesses a heartwarming reunion that will change their lives forever.

I liked this story quite a bit. I find Linda Lael Miller very hit & miss. I really don't love her older works much at all. This one, though was sweet and tender. I really felt the depth of emotion felt by Olivia and Jack. I enjoyed little Jamie, too. Who doesn't love a chicken stealing urchin? I guess there is another book in the series, I will have to check that out. I would give it a 3.5 to 4. It was definately a quick and heartsy read.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Men in Kilts

So far, Kathie Williams has made a good showing as the only American at a mystery wrriters' conference in Manchester, England---what with that falling asleep in public thing behind her.

The sight of Iain MacLaren wakes her up. Clad in a deliciously wooly sweater, the burly Scotsman seems to be holding up a wall at the cocktail party. So Kathie makes her move...and winds up stark naked with him in bed, where his thick Scottish brogue, thick manly chest, and thick...other her to do things she's never done before. Like fall in love.

And if things aren't moving fast enough---and on the wrong side of the road, no less---Kathie is about to visit Iain's sheep farm in the Scottish Highlands and meet his sons. She's feeling a wee bit nervous. Because she can't tell where this mad affair is going---except north...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As you all probably know by now, I'm into the "warm" or PG-PG13 type of stories. Where Katie MacAlister describes her "love scenes" in a playful way, where you get the picture, she isn't graphic/explicit. Her story and style were injected with so much humor and fun, that even the "romance" was playful. Her heroine was smart and fun and flawed and human. She was riddled with the insecurities that most women deal with, and the vocabulary that most of us use when utterly flustered. (either too much vocabulary/babbling or not enough/ Her hero was realistic. He wasn't the best looking man in the book, but he was her prince. I loved her rag-tag family, even Aunt Amber. I love that they all kept asking about the kilt. (just like I would have.)

I'll definately read more by this author. I'd give it a 4.5 since I seldom give 5's. This is really (really) close for me.

July Book Blowout

Yea, I'm a little late to officially start, but hey that's just the way I roll! So, I've been keeping track of the books I read in July. I'm going to set a goal of 9 since I've already read 4 this month. I'll be adding a listing of those a little later. I'm taking a little break from the Summer Reading Challenge list, since I only have 3 left and reading some of the others in my tbr pile. I have already culled the Fall Reading List from my tbr pile, so I should be safe. Woo Hoo!
I'm not including the first book I finished in July, cuz I started it in June.
1. A Wicked Gentleman by Jane Feather
2. Pearl Jinx by Sandra Hill
3. To Wed a Wicked Prince by Jane Feather
4. Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister
5. A Springwater Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
6. Ain't Myth Behaving by Katie MacAlister
7. The Girls Next Door by Trisha Alexander
8. Bitsy's Bait and BBQ by Pamela Morsi
9. The Hart Brothers: Simon and Callaghan by Diana Palmer
10. Devil In a Kilt by Sue Ellen Welfonder
11. Love Potion by Sandra Hill

Monday, July 14, 2008

To Wed A Wicked Prince

Livia Lacey came to the house she inherited in London's Cavendish Square with her two friends, Lady Cornelia Dagenham and Lady Aurelia Farnham, to experience the excitement of city life. With Cornelia now happily married, Livia and Aurelia are on their own. But dashing Prince Alex Prokov, a newcomer to London, seems enchanted by Liv the moment they meet. Disarmed by the prince's determined pursuit of her, his exuberant joy of living, and the desires he awakens in her, Liv agrees to marry him.
But while night is a time for passionate embraces, Liv discovers that her irresistible husband can be as autocratic as he is extravagantly generous. While Alex balks at Liv's independent ways, he refuses to explain his own comings and goings. When Liv learns one of Alex's secrets she only loves him more. But when she learns the other secret, will she feel wickedly betrayed?
This is the sequal to "A Wicked Gentleman". I read this for the Summer reading challenge, and found it to be ok. I give it a 3. It's not my favorite. I will probably read the 3rd in the series since, I'm morally opposed to not completing a series once I start it. I also, found myself more connected to Aurelia of all the three women. I find certain aspects of both these stories annoying. The name choices Ms. Feather choses for her secondary characters are all too similar. Since they are sideline characters it is difficult to keep all of them straight. That's pretty important since the plot is heavy on the intrigue of the war, and spies.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fall Readers of Romance Book Challenge

Woo Hoo! The list has been posted on Shelfari for the Fall Reading challenge. I'm determined to not, be the last one to find all my books. I'll be posting my titles soon. I'm really excited, I have several series in my TBR pile that I'm going to try to use for this challenge. I'm not usually one to read "paranormal" and "historical". This fall will be heavy in paranormal since I've heard such great things about Lynsay Sands "Argeneau" series. I read the first one and really liked it, but can't find #'s 2,3, and 4. I have #'s 5-8, and I have to read them in order. It's an illness really, but that's just me.

Camp Kitchens

So, from my last post, you know I went to church camp, again. I was a little mmm, concerned about the heat. I have to say, it was just fine. I was kitchen help this week. I spent most of my time in the kitchen. Funny thing, camp kitchens. It was obviously a lot of hard work. 1 1/2 hours of prep for each meal, and usually 1 1/2 hours of clean up from each meal. 9 hours on my feet, and my dogs were barking. But,...I had the most fun. My friend Amy, was there with me and we spent some great time reminiscing about our times in school and camp, and I got to know "Maverick" the full time kitchen Master, (poor guy, I finally started figuring out where everything went by the last evening, but he was soooo patient). Mr. Ed was there and even though I couldn't get him to chop the onions for me, he did do most of the really heavy lifting. Then there was Brittane who came a little late, since someone forgot to call her and let her know we needed her. She's young and fun, and great with helping the kids who took turns helping us clean after each meal. And finally Chris, who lacks only one quality for having the chick-magnet trifecta. He's young and handsome, a musician with that slightly quiet mysterious side. He lacks something that gives him the "bad boy" image like a tattoo or piercing or long hair. But, his ability to do Math first thing in the morning, left me flabbergasted. I'm so glad I went, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the kitchen with music cranking and laughter abounding. I'll definately do it again.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea

It's July, in Texas. We, (the kids and I) went to church camp the first week of summer vacation. It was fun, and the weather was warm, but not HOT, yet. So, last week I was talking with my kids about how fun it was. We had been hanging out with a friend of mine and her daughter. My daughter was wishing that her friend could have gone to camp with us. Isn't there another week this summer for the elementary aged kids? Yes, I say, there is. (that may have been my first mistake)
"Wouldn't it be fun it "friend" could come with us?" "Yea, that would be fun!" (Uh oh!)
"Can we go, can we, can we, Pleeeeeeeeease!" (Yikes!) So, I call my friend thinking it's a couple of days away, If it's meant to be... Yes, she says, and Wooeee!

So, it hits me today that it's Hotter than Fish Grease here now. We'll be going to camp, in the heat! (Zoinks!!) Now, I ask you, who thought this was a good idea. Why couldn't summer camp be in Minnesota, or someplace where it's not 100 degrees outside. (Canada anyone?!)

So, Hi Ho, it's off to camp we go. If, I don't melt, I'll have fun kid camp stories to tell. I'm looking forward to everything, except the heat.

Swim Class Reading

So we are taking swim classes. And by we, I mean the kids, cuz nuh-uh, I'm not getting this booty into a suit in front of the same people everyday. It's a lovely place with umbrellas and lounge chairs. All the moms and dads there waiting for the 45 minutes of no responsibility to be over. Enjoying, the "time off". Me, I'm reading. I have some lovely, romances I'm reading, however, while Brenna and Connor are traveling from the border of England to the Highlands and falling for each other, I keep hearing this sort of white noise in my head. It sounds somewhat like,"Mom, Mom, watch me Mom!" "Mooooom!" It's about then, that I realize, I'm MOOOOOOM. Oh, wha? Yes, buddy good job holding your breath! (or jumping into the pool, or kicking your feet, or fill in the blank.....) Back to Brenna, where was she?

I find, that I can't remember whether, they had finished their fight yet, or where still arguing. Hmm. It seems like 45 minutes of quite reading time under an umbrella, on a lounge chair sounds really great in theory. It's the reality that doesn't exactly work. So, until the kids no longer neeeeeed to show me everything they do, I'll probably have to hold onto reading until a later time. Sure, did sound great! *sigh*