Saturday, October 31, 2009

When He was Wicked

by Julia Quinn

rated 4 stars

Back Cover:

Everything was so much simpler... When he was wicked.

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one's life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London's most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton. After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca's surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer -- the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin. But that was then…

Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love... until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets…

My Thoughts:

I love a good unrequited love story. I also like that it's the reverse of the usual, being the Man is the one who is the secret admirer. I like how they feel conflicted about how they are feeling about each other. I did feel like, Michael was too long in his suffering. I mean, really!!! It wasn't until the very end that they actually talk and process their feelings.

I wasn't as invested in Francesca as I was with the others. We'd not even really met her in the previous stories, so it took me a while to connect with her. I however connected with Michael very quickly. I mean Yowza!!! Then the malaria thing...her presence makes it better. Wow!!!

This was not my favorite. There was less of the Bridgerton fun, and more angst but it was still good.


To Sir Phillip With Love

by Julia Quinn

Rated 4.5 Stars

Back Cover:

Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he'd proposed, figuring that she'd be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except… she wasn't. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her…and more.

Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn't marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking…and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except…he wasn't. Her perfect husband wouldn't be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled…and when he kissed her…the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn't help but wonder…could this imperfect man be perfect for her?

My Thoughts:

I enjoy Eloise. I liked her in Benedict and Penelope's story. I lked Phillip too. He was an honorable man, even if he was a tad removed from those in his life, especially his children. At first, I had my doubts about him. He was so removed and stand-off-ish. I felt like Eloise deserved the best England has to offer. He couldn't even seem to talk to his, yea, I had my doubts. However, knowing how he'd tried with Marina and how he wanted things to be good for his kids...I had hopes. Then upon getting to know him, I saw his character, his quiet yearning. Aww! Whatta guy! He does everything that is expected of him, even if it wasn't meant to make him happy. He was selfless in that.

Some favorite scenes: The scene where Eloise puts the fish in Amanda's bed. The scene where the brothers show up and Anthony and Eloise are in the library. ( I laughed and sniffled perfection) The scene where Phillip, Benedict, Colin, and Gregory are getting to "know" each other and they end up smashed. The scene at My cottage where they are shooting was great. As soon as Eloise comes out and wants to join the game then all the boys (except Phillip) groan. Great!!!

I've yet to meet a Bridgerton that I haven't loved.


A Highlander in her Dreams

by Allie Mackay (Sue Ellen Welfonder)

#8 Title written by an AKA

rated 4 stars

Back Cover:

Paranormal investigative journalist Kira Bedwell is on a tour of allegedly haunted Castle Wrath when she meets Aidan MacDonald, who claims he is a medieval era laird. She initially assumes the hunk is joking, but after that first encounter, she only sees him in her wet dreams; he shares those sexual nocturnal encounters when he sleeps.

Kira is investigating a paranormal incident in Scotland when the reporter becomes the story. Somehow she is sent back to Aidan's time. His clan is frightened by Kira's arrival as they assume she is a witch. Meanwhile as he tries to convince his people she is his soul mate, he also battles his evil cousin who has plans to abuse the clan for personal gain after killing Aidan. Kira knows who won that confrontation of blood so must change the near future even if it means giving up her beloved Highlander.

My Thoughts:

I thought this was better than the first in the series and kinda hope the third is even better still. I liked Kira and Aiden. I liked that of all the things from the future that Kira ended up bringing with her it was a button and a zipper that wigged him out the most. Then in order to save Kira and himself they travel to the future. He doesn't do well. As you would assume. They find a way back to the past and solve the mystery of the cousins death and save the day.

For me, Time Travel stories are stressful. Usually the method used to travel back and forth in time is unreliable. So one never knows when one is going to be transported back and forth. This one was less stressful than others, but still. Also, if I'm a modern day woman and I go back to 12-something. The dress and environment would be an adjustment, but let us not ignore the most obvious to me....the smells. They didn't exactly have Right Guard back in the day and didn't exactly bath frequently. Toothpaste, soap, feminine hygiene products, cleaning products, the whole shebang! So I would imagine that the initial smells would cross your eyes. Then to get "up close and personal" would really frizz your hair. Am I right?! Who's with me?!

So I wonder how long would it take a modern person to acclimate to the sights and smells.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mackenzie's Pleasure

by Linda Howard

#7 Book with less than 300 pgs

Rated 3.5

Back Cover:

Barrie needed a saviour. The terrorists holding her hostage surely wouldn''t tolerate her silence much longer. Instead they would silence her. Then out of the darkness he arrived. Rugged and dangerous, he led her straight into his sheltering arms.

My Thoughts:

I am willing to suspend reality to a very large degree, however....Barrie Lovejoy is kidnapped, stripped naked, and bound. She is rescued by Zane MacKenzie Navy Seal. Within hours, he rescues her, and they hide out in a falling down shack in libya. After a short time, she decided to lose her virginity to navy seal stranger. It was your first time after a trauma in a dirty hovel would be. (did you catch the sarcasm? I knew you did!)

After this, they escape with the help of his Navy Seal team, at which time Zane is shot. Barrie, wants desperately to see to Zane and his injuries! She is not allowed to and the mystery begins. Why was Barrie kidnapped? Was her father part of some criminal plot? After a few months, Zane is healed from his wounds and Barrie is confirmed pregnant. Her father and his friends try to keep Zane and Barrie apart. He finally comes for her, sweeps her off her feet and they run away to Las Vegas to get married. He gets his brother Chance to help, and they set a trap for the bad guys.

It was pretty good overall, but the beginning was so unrealistic for me. I just couldn't buy it.


The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

by Jennifer Ashley
rated 4.5
#10 Reader's Choice

Back Cover:
The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family--rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them -- of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz. The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama -- an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

My Thoughts:
Ian MacKenzie has what would today be known as Asperger's Syndrome. Beth Ackerley is engaged to a real doo-doo head. (And I'm sure that's a real literary term!) Upon meeting Lord Ian, she is entranced and intrigued. They start a whirlwind romance that takes them to the decadent streets of Paris and the Misty moors of Scotland. There is a murder to solve and most people think Ian is to blame, with all the MacKenzies things are not always as they appear.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ABC Meme

got tagged by Heather.
Here are the rules:
. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Share your ABC’s.
3. Tag three people at the end by linking to their blogs.
4. Let the three tagged people know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
5. Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag.

Available or single? NO! Definately Married
Best Friend? I'll say my husband, but there are several of my girlfriends who fit here too. .
Cake or Pie? My homemade chocolate cake or my apple pie.
Drink of choice? Diet Dr. Pepper
Essential item for every day use? Toothpaste and my electric toothbrush.
Favorite color? Turquoise
Google? Isn't it fun to say...Google, google, google
Hometown? Weatherford
Indulgences? Books!!! and the occasional massage. Love that hour!!!
January or February? January, my daughter's birthday.
Kids? 11 and 9 (nine as of yesterday!!)
Life is incomplete without? my husband, my kids, and my dogs
Marriage date? May 6th
Number of siblings? 2 brothers and 2 sisters-in-law!
Oranges or apples? Oranges I guess.
Phobias and fears? Mice!!! Heights!!!
Quote for the day? "Live Each Day like you were dying" Tim McGraw
Reason to smile? My kids.
Season? Autumn
Tag 3 people? Jennifer , DesertRose , and Randi
Unknown fact about me? I am addicted to Food Network.
Vegetable you hate? Brussel Sprouts
Worst habit? Biting my nails.
Your favorite food? Right Now...Crawfish Etoufee. Found a great recipe on
Zodiac sign? Virgo


Reckless Love

by Elizabeth Lowell

#3 Read and Reviewed for Summer Challenge

Rated 5 stars

Back Cover:

Janna Wayland has survived in treacherous Utah Territory by using her wits, her grit and her knife. She is as bold and free as Lucifer, the wild stallion she vows to protect from men who would stop at nothing to possess him. Men like Ty McKenzie, whose will to survive is as strong as her own.

Nursing Ty back from death's grasp, she realizes that neither Lucifer nor her heart are safe from this man's fierce determination. Now Janna must follow Ty on a perilous trek through the badlands, battling renegade warriors, the elements and her own reckless heart with a fury that can be tamed only by love itself.

My Thoughts:

As I write this review, I find that I'm nervous that I will not do justice to this book. Ok, my only criticism. I'll get that out of the way. Ms. Lowell describes in absolute detail the geography. Every butte/ravine/creek/canyon etc. I'm not that familiar with the desert so it meant very little to me, BUT if I were familiar with that landscape and loved it like she obviously does, it probably would have enhanced the story for me. Ok, #2. Everyone knows that I don't need or particularly want graphic descriptions regarding the steamier more personal aspects of the romance story. There were times (not every/all times)when I felt the language was a little more than necessary. I also know that that is a matter of opinion for me, and therefore does not disqualify this book as a 5 star for me. The raw emotion and the story were so compelling for me that it overshadowed any criticism I may have.

Janna Wayland is an orphaned woman alone in a hazardous land filled with renegades and Mustangers who are intent to capture a wild mustang that she has vowed to protect. So not only is the lanscape harsh and difficult but the inhabitants of that landscape are dangerous as well. When Janna first sees Ty he is being beaten by a group of renegade indians and will more than likely be let to run so that he can be hunted, tortured and killed. He shows true grit in the chase and true courage. Janna finds him and rescues him before the indians can finish their dastardly plan. She nursed him back to health while hiding the fact that she is a woman by dressing like a man and hiding her hair.

Ty has plans and dreams. He wants Lucifer the mustang Janna has vowed to protect so that he can start a herd of horses on his Montana ranch and he wants to make his fortune so that he can find and court a "Silken Lady". A woman who is pure femininity and absolute beauty, and perfect creamy grace. As he is sharing his dream with the "boy" who rescued him, little does he know that he is breaking her heart with every word.

So you see the romantic drama. Eventually Ty finds out that the "boy" is indeed a woman and a passionate, loving, brave, capable women. Due to some rather amazing circumstances Janna and Ty catch Lucifer and as Ty begins to win his trust and loyalty, he doesn't realize that Janna is taming Ty as well. Each little step of the way, he fights and it hurts her desperately to be reminded that she's no "Silken Lady" but slowly and methodically she earns his love, and loyalty.

I was drawn in almost immediately and every time I had to put the book down, (I mean who needs to eat or sleep or take kids to school or work?) I couldn't wait until I could pick it back up again. I wanted to know, how/when they were going to come together. I wanted to know when Ty was going to truly see Janna for the perfect fit for him that she was. I needed to know what was going to happen next.

If you like westerns at all, you should read this book. If you don't like westerns typically, you should try this book.


Diamond in the Rough

by Diana Palmer

#13 One Last Try

Rated 3 stars

Back Cover:

Sassy Peale is desperate to help her family, but her meager salary doesn't stretch far. Then she meets John Callister, and she thinks her new friend is an honest-to-God cowboy—rugged and trustworthy.

But John isn't a ranch hand, he's a millionaire from one of Montana's most powerful families! And when Sassy finds out who he really is, she's certain the arrogant millionaire is just playing with her. John has to convince Sassy that he's the man she first thought he was—a diamond in the rough.

My Thoughts:

So, certain truths are universally accepted. Diana Palmer is going to write her Heroes as Older/wealthy/alpha-to the point of absolute jerk/women haters. She is also going to write her heroines as young/poor/virginal-to the point of creepy/traumatized. The typical story will have he hero wanting the much younger etc heroine but refusing to act on it. In his refusal he will be mean and hateful to heroine. She will love him anyway and want only to wed him and raise his children. He will be her first, unless she's been molested by someone before. He will work hard to make her feel young and inadequate.

However, this time she varied her plot device sort of. He wants her, but doesn't abuse her in order to try to deny himself. She is young and poor but working and hasn't loved him from afar for years. Yes, he rescues her, and yes she is the young virginal heroine. But it wasn't that bad. I mean, we all love a story like that every once in a while but not e-v-e-r-y book. It's like she got in a rut.

So I was pleasantly surprised that the hero here isn't a total jerk!!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Accidental Vampire

by Lynsay Sands

Catch up on a series title

4 stars, could be 4.5

Back Cover:

Ever since an accident turned her into a knockout vamp, Elvi Black's been catching her z's in a coffin, staying out of the sun, and giving up garlic. She knows there's more to being undead than what she saw in Dracula, but she can't very well ask her mortal friends about proper biting etiquette. But when her neighbors placed a personal ad for her in the local paper, she never imagined she'd meet Victor Argeneau, a vampire who could have his pick of any woman--dead or alive.Rich, powerful, and drop-dead gorgeous, Victor's the perfect man for a novice neck-biter like Elvi. He's willing to teach her everything he knows, but he'll have to do it fast. Someone's out to put a stake through her new vamp life, and only Victor can keep her safe--and satisfied--for all eternity.

My Thoughts:

I loved the first books in the series. Then for some reason, I got them out of order. The latter books seemed to be missing the fun, and family that I'd grown to love. Good stories, but just not as warm. The Accidental Vampire, recaptures that warmth and love and fun. I loved the whole community, as well as the new community that is formed with the arrival of 5 male immortals. I loved the side romance with DJ and Mabel. I loved the relationship that formed with Elvi and Victor and how the other men all seemed to just join in for the ride. I loved how she learned something new about her life as an immortal and she had to act on it, immediately. For instance, she finds out that she can eat, so Load of the Car and lets get to the grocery store. All the immortals are cruising through the supermarket and tasting cookies, and flirting with the checker, and finding new foods for Elvi to try. Then she finds out that she can indeed sleep in a bed, instead of the coffin she'd been up til now. So, again, Load Up! Off to the furniture store, and here is Elvi and 4 hot immortals trying out beds. Imagine if you will Victor, Elvi and Harper all lying on a bed....turning left....turning right....nope to firm. Flying leap onto another bed....turning left...turning right.....too soft. Next bed, turning left....turning right...ahhhh! Just right. Kinda like a kinky, paranormal goldilocks!!!

I just love the community. The crazy neighbors and even the intrigue. I love the Dj/Mabel romance. I love way the story unfolds. I also love how Victor unfolds. He starts out jaded and disinterested, but ends up all soft and gooey on the outside, not just the inside. From rogue hunter to teddy bear. Ahhh!