Friday, June 29, 2012

A Night Like This

A Night Like This by Julia Quinn

rated 5 stars

Back Cover:

Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is . . . — But she's managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge -- in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy -- no one is sure), and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he's the first man who has truly tempted her, and it's getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.

Daniel Smythe-Smith Might be in mortal danger . . .

But that's not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family's annual musicale, he vows to pursue her, even if that means spending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she's a unicorn. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending . 

My Thoughts:
OK. Let the record show that I love, Julia Quinn.  She can do no wrong, and I sincerely believe that  we may be twins separated at birth except for the age difference....  I get her sense of humor and just love her checkiness.  I have loved her Bridgertons, and her Bevelstokes.  I loved the Smythe-Smiths from afar untill the last 2 books.  Now I love them from close up. I do find that there are many cousins and the names get a little confusing, but I am willing to invest some time in a spreadsheet if need be. 
I love the secondary characters that JQ (that's what I call her, JQ because we are soooo close) puts in her stories.  Everyone is so "fleshed out" and that makes for such a rich cast.  That speaks to me.  I find that I like it better when the H/H have family/friends/pets (anyone really) who adds flavor as a 3rd party.  I like to see the main characters interract with someone other than their main love interest.  In this case, to see Daniel and Anne "hanging" with Sophie, Elizabeth, and Harriet was great.  Those girls reminded me of my 2 girls alot.  There was bickering and long detailed conversations about some random thing.  One of her 3 charges is a budding playwright so we must discuss ad naseum the next play and it's characters, and plot and subplot and motivation and history and ....(you get my drift).  Well, I have 2 budding novelists at home and it never fails that in the car we must discuss what this character will do and why. They even argue about what the character should/would say.  Needless to say, there were moments in this book that had me laughing out loud.   

I love Anne and her genuine affection for her charges and for Daniel.  I love Daniel and his willingness to be silly and his ability to be so warm.  He is someone you want to spend time with. 

JQ is an auto buy for me.  This installment in the Smythe-Smith quartet did not disappoint.  I hope to see Sara's story and Hugh.  Maybe even Sara and Hugh!!!  Hmm?! 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunrise Point

Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr

4.5 stars

Back Cover:
Former marine Tom Cavanaugh’s come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind.
Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother?
Nora may not have a formal education, but she graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks. She’s been through tough times and she’ll do whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest time at the Cavanaugh’s orchard. She’s always kept a single-minded focus on staying afloat...but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh.
Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong...

My Thoughts:
I've just read 3 Virgin River books in a row and this was my favorite of the three.  At first, I couldn't get why Tom was so uptight about Nora's past and current situation.  At the end he says something to his grandmother where he thinks she will have a hard time with his ending up with a single mom.  There was only one "love scene" in the story and I felt like, it wasn't even necessary.  It was good and all, but not necessary.  Anyway, the story goes along and we see a real progression of the relationship.  The secondary characters were fleshed out and good.  I was certain that the Coop story was going to reveal him as Denny's Dad.  However, that didn't happen.  He must have a story coming up somehow, because that's how things kinda work.  Also, if he doesn't have a story coming up soon, then we meet him for no reason. 


Monday, June 18, 2012

Reader's of Romance 2012 Summer Reading Challenge

1. Title the includes a Flower
Coming up Roses by Catherine Anderson

2. Title the includes the word 'Love'
Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

3. Title that has a wedding word
The Most Unsuitable Wife by Caroline Clemmons~~~finished 4 stars

4. Title with a Color word
Blue Skies by Robyn Carr

5. Book with a one word title
Fury- New Species book 1 by Laurann Dohner~~~finished 3 stars

6. Read one new author
Beautiful Mess by Lucy V Morgan~~~finished 4 stars

7. Title the inlcudes the word Prince or Princess
Prince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas 3 stars

8. Title with a jewel in the title

9. Title with a word that makes you think summer
Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr (ok another stretch, but I would never summit in winter....)
finished 4 stars

10. Title includes a 'W' word any word
Red"Wood" Bend by Robyn Carr?~~~finished 4 stars

11. Title that includes a number

12. Title with a time word
Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr~~~finished 4.5 stars

13. Title with Lord or Lady in the title

14. Author whose first or last names starts with 'J'
A Night Like This by Julia Quinn finished 5 stars

15. Author whose first or last names starts with 'A'
Love Me by Bella Andre finished 1 star


Redwood Bend

Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr

4 stars

Reader's of Romance Summer 2012 Reading Challenge
prompt title word with a W. (Red "Wood" Bend)

Back Cover
Katie Malone and her twin boys' trip along the beautiful mountain roads to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, the rain has set in, the boys are hungry and Katie is having trouble putting on a spare. As she stands at the side of the road pondering her next move, she hears a distinct rumble. The sight of the sexy, leather-clad bikers who pull up beside her puts her imagination into overdrive.

Dylan Childress and his buddies are on the motorcycle trip of a lifetime. But the sight of a woman in distress stops them in their tracks. And while the guys are checking out her car, she and Dylan are checking out one another.

In one brief moment, the world tilts on its axis and any previous plans Katie and Dylan might have had for their futures are left at the side of the road.

My Thoughts:
I liked the book.  So I say that first because I have been such a great fan of the Virgin River series and Ms. Carr's books.  I find that she writes characters that you want to root for.  If her character is working through their demons or baggage then I find it easy to invest.  She gives me enough of the back story so that I sympathize and want to see them succeed.  Every once in a while she will write a character that I just don't connect with.  There have been a couple in the series of (17 or so.).  Unfortunately this was one of those books.  And curiously Katie was that character.  I get her back story and even sympathize, but I just didn't feel her inner struggle.  I feel like Ms. Carr spent better energy writing Dylan than Katie.  Don't get me wrong, I liked the character of Katie, but feel like she wasn't as "fleshed out" as Dylan.  I didn't feel her inner struggle.  On the other hand, I felt really connected with Dylan's story and his journey.  I don't have any idea what a life like that would be like, but the way she wrote him, made you really want to see him win.  I liked the twins ok, but find that she doesn't write kids all that involved in regard to this series.  I like to see the kids in a story as strong secondary characters. 

Other than that particular character development flaw, I found this book to be a good solid read.  I like Virgin River but find these last two to be weaker than others.  Hopefully she will get her VR mojo back in Sunrise Point.  Let's cross our fingers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012 Ongoing Reading List

I will be trying to keep track of my Reading for this year.  I will go back and list the books I've read so far.


1. About That Man by Sheryl Woods~~~3.5 stars
2 Lover Unleashed by JR Ward~~~4 stars.
3. Sheltering Hearts by Robin Carr~~~3 stars
4. The Scandelous Marriage of Lady Isabella~~~4 stars
5 Simply Irresistable by Jill Shalvis ~~~ 5 stars
6. PrideMates by Jennifer Ashley~~~4 stars
7. The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis~~~5 stars
8. A Girl's Guide to Vampire by Katie MacAlister~~~DNF
9. Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis~~~4.5 stars

10. WildCat by Jennifer Ashley~~~finished 4 stars
11.A Secret Love by Stephanie Laurens~~~4 stars
12. The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley~~~4 stars
13. Lucky Penny by Catherine Anderson~~~see March.
14. An Alpha's Path by Carrie Ann Ryan~~~DNF Ick

15. Lucky Penny by Catherine Anderson~~~4.5 stars
16 . Tides of Love by Tracy Sumner~~~finished 3 stars
17. The Substitute Millionaire by Susan Mallery~~~finished 4 stars
18. The Unexpected Millionaire by Susan Mallery~~~finished 4 stars
19. The Ultimate Millionaire by Susan Mallery~~~finished 4 stars
20. Highland Mist by Donna Grant~~~finished 4 (maybe)stars

21. Highland Nights by Donna Grant ~~~finished 4 stars
22. One In A Million by Susan Mallery~~~finished 4 stars
23. Highland Dawn Donna Grant~~~finished 4 stars
24. A Secret Love by Stephanie Laurens~~~finished 4 stars
25. All About Love by Stephanie Laurens~~~finished 4 stars

26. Under a Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands ~~~3.5 stars Not her best work. Wrapped up too quickly...
27. Highand Fires by Donna Grant ~~~finished 3.5 stars
28. Almost Summer by Susan Mallery~~~finished 3.5 stars
29. Highland Magic by Donna Grant~~~3 stars
30. Primal Bonds by Jennifer Ashley~~~4.5 stars (love these shifters)

31. Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr~~~finished 4 stars
32. Love Me by Bella Andre~~~finished 1star. Ugh
33. The Most Unsuitable Wife by Caroline Clemmons~~~finished 4 stars
34. Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr~~~finished 4 stars

35.  Beautifyl Mess by Lucy G. Morgan~~~finished 4-ish stars
36.  Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr~~~finished 4 stars
37. A Night Like This by Julia Quinn~~~Finished 5 stars


38  Prince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas~~~Finished 3 stars
39.  It Happened one Bite by Lydia Dare ~~~finished 4 stars
40.  Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips~~~finished 4 stars
41. Midnight Jewels by Jayne Ann Krentz~~~finished 3 stars
42.  Tall, Dark and Wolfish by Lydia Dare~~~finished 4 stars
43.  The Taming of the Wolf by Lydia Dare~~~finished 4 stars
44.  In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare~~~finished 4 stars
45.  Never Been Bit by Lydia Dare~~~finished 4 Stars
46.  Mine Til Midnight by Lisa Kleypas~~~finished 5 stars
47.  Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas~~~finished 5 stars
48.  Tempt Me at Twiligt by Lisa Kleypas~~~finished 4.5 stars


49. The Lady is a Vamp by Lynsay Sands~~~finished 4.5 stars
50. Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas~~~finished 5 stars
51.  Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon~~~currently reading
51.  Summer Days by Susan Mallery~~~finished 4 stars
52.  Summer Nights by Susan Mallery ~~~finished 4 stars
53.  All Summer Long by Susan Mallery ~~~4.5 stars
54. Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis ~~~finished 4.5 stars

55.  At Last by Jill Shalvis~~~finished 4.5 stars
    Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon~~~DNF
56.  Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis~~~finished 4.5 stars
57. Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas~~~4.5 stars
58.  Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas~~~4.5 stars
59.  High Country Bride by Linda Lael Miller~~~4 stars
60.  Shotgun Bride by Linda Lael Miller~~~4 stars
61.  Second Hand Bride by Linda Lael Miller~~~4 stars
62.  Hard Mated by Jennifer Ashley~~~4 stars
63.  Vision in White by Nora Roberts~~~5 stars

64.  Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts~~~5 stars
65.  Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts~~~5 stars
66.  Happily Ever After by Nora Roberts~~~5 stars
67.  Mate Claimed by Jennifer Ashley ~~~4 stars
68.  Simply Irresistable by Rachel Gibson~~~4 stars??
69.  The McKades:The Return of Rafe by Nora Roberts~~~4 stars
70. The McKades: The Pride of Jared by Nora Roberts~~~4 stars

71.  The McKades: The Heart of Devin by Nora Roberts~~~4.5 stars
72.  The McKades: The Fall of Shane by Nora Roberts~~~4 stars
73. The Inn Boonsboro: The Next Always by Nora Roberts~~~4.5 stars
74. The Inn Boonsboro: The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts~~~4.5 stars
75. The Inn Boonsboro: The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts~~~4.5 stars
76.  Rescue my Heart by Jill Shalvis~~~4.5 stars
77.  The Bite before Christmas by Lynsay Sands~~~3.5 stars

78.  Captivated by Nora Roberts~~~4 stars
79.  Entranced by Nora Roberts~~~4 stars
80.  Charmed by Nora Roberts~~~4 stars
81.  Fools Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery~~~4 stars
82.  My Kind of Christmas by Robyn Carr~~~4 stars
83.  Under the Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis~~~4 stars


This Last Year

This Last school year has been a real roller coaster. It has been filled with so many ups and downs. 
Last August my Daddy got sick.  He got into some mulch that had some serious mold or something and ended up with a really bad case of pneumonia.  It all looked pretty good, but with his diabetes anything can be pretty serious.  So we start the school year, with my husbands dragon of a boss and a sick Dad.  I had a great staff in my kitchen so day to day was pretty cool.  I also had some pretty groovy kids at my school.  (little rascals!) 

Then October 1st I get a phone call at 5:00am.  Hmm. my husband's phone (he often leaves for work as early as 4:00am) only it's a woman.  "Is this Beth Sipos?" she asks.  "yes it is," I answer going from groggy to alert in a split second. " My name is (Lady X) and I am a nurse...I was driving to work this morning and found the accident." she says.  My husband was driving to work in his car, and a driver in a truck did not stop at the red light and T-boned my husband.  Oh, God!  He was trapped in his car and she stayed on the scene untill emergency personnel could arrive.  (Thank  You Lord.)  I met up with him moments after he arrived at the hospital.  A concussion, stitches and a few x-rays we leave the hospital.  His story doesn't stop there.  We find later that the hospital who told me that morning, that he did not have a concussion (BULL), also missed glass in his ear and 4 fractured vertebrae in his lower back.  It was and sometimes still is a struggle.  He very well could have died that day!  It took the firefighters more than 30 minutes to cut him out of the car. 

By now the middle of October my Daddy is home from the hospital.  We all soldier through and make it to Thanksgiving.  My Dad is home with the family, my husband is healing nicely.  I am surrounded my family.  My daughter who is in 8th grade, has been cast in the school play and her theater teacher tells her she should apply at the Arts Magnet school...So we start going to the Magnet fair.  These schools are not in our district but accept students from outside of district after they fill their slots with kids from within district.  So. ok, I'll bite and we will look into it.  Never let it be said that I'm not supportive.  We are at the fair learning what are chances are that she will be the next Meryl Streep.  We get lost in the biggest high school of all the Greater Dallas Area,  (wishing I had a flair gun!)  When we turn a corner trying to find the exit and see a small group starting to pack up.  It is the TaG Magnet.  (Talented and Gifted)  Now, I'm not bragging, but my kids are bright.  My oldest takes her grades and education very seriously.  (I'm sure Meryl Streep did too.)  She is very impressed with the staff and principal and the students who came as well.  We almost had to drag her away from them kicking and screaming.  So we decide to apply.  Ok Magnet schools here we come.

Then, the day after Black Friday, my Dad has a relapse.  It's back to the emergency room and the CCU in the next town. 

December comes and there is hope that Papa will be home for Christmas...he doesn't make it home.  As it turns out pneumonia was the least of his worries.  He has advanced emphyzema, and Pulmonary Fibrosis.  He cannot come home, because they cannot provide him enough oxygen at home.  So we decorate his hospital room for Christmas and New Year.  We have the final weeks of Savannah's application process where we have to pay to have her tested and she has to write a timed essay, and do a project and a resume and ....Her final paperwork is due January 31st.  I take the day off work, to drive her file down to the school 1 hour away.  I'm there, and have her all squared away and getting back in my car to drive the hour home when I get the call.  You need to come to the hospital today.  Dad's condition has been getting progressively worse.  He is weak and there is nothing that anyone can do for him anymore except keep him comfortable.  He has been talking over the past couple of weeks about having the doctors remove all aid from him and let him go.  He wants me to come there so he can tell me and my brothers of his decision.  The very next day, February 1st my Father, surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren goes on to Glory!  I had the very great honor and privilege to be at his side holding his hand.  We laughed that day, we cried, we sang praise to the Lord, but mostly we prayed for his journey to be peaceful. 

A few short weeks later we find out the my daughter has qualified for the TaG Magnet but is put on the wait-list since we are Out Of District.  We were gearing up for a much needed vacation over Spring Break to Disney World when my Mother-in-Law has a heart attack.  We almost had to postpone our trip for the 3rd time (we were supposed to go in the Fall but couldn't due to wreck, then over Christmas, but didn't due to Father's  illness).  My Mother-in-law rallied  and insisted that we go visit Mickey!  We did and it was wonderful! 

By Mid May, about two months later, we get notification that Savannah has made it into TaG.   Days later we find out that TaG was ranked #2 High School in the Nation by Newsweek and 2 days later ranked #1 by US News and World Report.  Either way you look at it, it's a Great school.  It was the topping on the cake.  Just what we needed, some great news to end our year.  In many ways, this was a rough year, however I feel we are stronger for having persevered through our trials and found triumph.  We have grown closer as a family and hope and pray for a Happy year from here on out. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Love Me

Love Me by Bella Andre
1 Star
Reader's of Romance Summer 2012 Reading Challenge

Back Cover:
If there's one thing that Janica Ellis is absolutely certain of, it's that she and Luke Carson are totally wrong for each other. She's a wild, artistic and outspoken fashion designer. He's a type A, workaholic trauma surgeon (who just happens to be sizzling hot and her brother-in-law!). But Janica is about to be proven wrong when opposites the sexiest possible way.

After a life-changing night in the ER, Luke is desperate for escape - and relief from his personal demons. For five years he has fought his attraction to his sister-in-law, but when he's pushed too far, he can't fight it another second. He needs her. Desperately. He's spent his whole life doing the right thing. For one night, he's going to follow desire instead. Straight into Janica's arms.

Janica can't believe Luke is finally at her front door...and that he's kissing her like he's been waiting his whole life to touch her. But even as their sensual connection deepens with every touch of skin on skin - and the man she always thought was such a good boy turns out to be sinfully, toe-curlingly bad between the sheets - Janica soon realizes she wants more than Luke's body. She wants his heart too. But what will Luke do when one night of extreme passion turns into an all or nothing proposition?

My Thoughts:
I just didn't like this book.  I felt the back cover was kinda deceiving.  First off, He's not her Brother-in-law he is her Brother-in-law's brother.  Second, At no time in this book does Ms. Andre really explain the Demon's Luke and Janica are fighting.  There is even mention of some sordid/traumatic past for Janica and Luke is supposed to be some sort of tortured hero and he doesn't come across that way. 
Then, then... the sex scenes were soooo gratuitious.  I mean give me a break.  When the Hero shows up at the Heroine's door she has gone to a club and invited 2 stangers home for her first menage.  Now, really!  IMO, if that wasn't bad enough these guys are complete strangers and you invite them to your house for some kinkiness. Nope!  So she makes the wonder boys leave before the big event.  As soon as the door closes behind them, Hero is kissing her, and just bossing her around.  Now, I get some people are ok or rather into dominance/submission stuff, but this didn't feel like that.  If felt like, I'm a jerk and you are just going to do whatever I say.  AND SHE DOES!!!   Geez.  Give me a break. 

I kiss you once, then "Get on your knees", then "Get Naked", than "Down", then "Roll Over", I am suprised she didn't have to "Play Dead" and "Shake Hands".  NOT SEXY!.  Then he just up and walks out the door.  She goes right after him and finds him at a secluded cabin where she confesses her love and he just kept up the same icky treatment.  Oh, sure, he "feels" guilty, but keeps on treating her cruddy.  At one point he tells her, if she is to stay at the cabin, she must be naked. So what does she do?  Yep!  Strips!  Gah! 

What a waste.  I love a tortured hero and don't mind a needy heroine every once in a while, but ugh both these characters were sooo unsympathetic.  In My Opinion.  (Since this is my blog, it is my opinion.)

I think this book would probably be considered erotica so the gratuitious sex scenes have an explanation.  The bad character development doesn not. Don't waste your time, and even though it was free, I still wish I could get a refund. Rolls Eyes!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hidden Summit

Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr

4 stars

Reader's of Romance Summer 2012 Book Challenge


Sick of running into her cheery ex-husband and his new wife, Leslie Petruso accepts a job at the Virgin River branch of Haggerty Construction and takes the high road right out of town. Now she's got Paul Haggerty's business running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, things are so busy Paul jumps at the chance to hire an extra set of hands.
Just like Leslie, Conner Danson has been burned by love. But if Leslie was disappointed by her relationship going bad, Conner was decimated. He's got no time for women…although he spends an awful lot of time pretending not to notice Leslie. And she's pretty busy "ignoring" the chemistry between them.

According to Conner and Leslie, they have only one thing in common -- they're done with love. But everyone in Virgin River can see that things are heating up at Haggerty Construction. And as far as Paul Haggerty can tell, the best thing he can do is hang on to his hard hat and watch the sparks fly!

My Thoughts:
I thought this was not the best of the series.  I liked the character progression of Connor and Leslie, but found certain small petty things kind of annoying.  For example, Ms. Carr has some crazy nicknames for her characters.  I mean, really does everyone have to have a nickname?  Ness? Vanni?  Les?!  C'mon give the readers a break,  Anyway, that's a pretty decent pet peeve, but ultimately not a huge deal, just an eye roll everytime.  Good news for Virgin River fans, we get to catch up with many of our old friends there.  More importantly we get to catch up with Dan and Cheryl, who I still think should have gotten their own book.....(sent Ms. Carr some emails, but she refuses to listen to reason.)  Anyway, that was so nice to be able to catch up with them.  Connor is in hiding until he can testify in a murder trial so he is not exactly in witness protection, but ...  So his real name is Danson Connor, so while he is in hiding he goes by Connor Danson.  (I am not kidding!)  If my DA was hiding me for my safety and I was no longer Carpoolqueen but Queen Carpool....well I'd be very afraid. 
Otherwise, I like the characters and liked them together.  We got to meet Nora and her kiddos and Katie and her kiddos.  I figure we will see them both in the near future.  Which is fine with me. 

If you like Virgin River, you'll like this book.  If you haven't read any other Virgin River books yet, start at the beginning.  Trust me on this, you'll thank me later.
Happy Reading!


Friday, June 8, 2012

I Found Me!

I spent the better part of the week trying to find my blog again.  I signed in, went to my dashboard and nothing.  Ok, so I was freaking out a bit.  And the blogger people were no help. I'm not terribly technical and find that I really want to talk to a person when I need help.  I don't want to navigate through pages and pages of FAQ's and Help forums.  It never seems to be my very special problem anyway.  But finally found what I needed and am back.  Whoo Hoo!  Now to beging posting and reading.  Also want to see if I can figure out a way to blog from my android.  Surely I can...right?!