Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just One Kiss (Hqn)

Just One Kiss (Hqn)
by Susan Mallery
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19    

3.0 out of 5 stars Charming But..., May 28, 2013
Just One Kiss – Susan Mallery
Publication Date:May 28th, 2013

He won't hesitate to put his life on the line…but will he ever risk his heart?

Falling for Justice Garrett was a high point in Patience McGraw's otherwise awkward adolescence. Even after he disappeared, Patience never forgot the boy who captured her heart. Now he's back in Fool's Gold, California, and her passion for him is as strong as ever. But how can she trust that he won't abandon her again—and her daughter, too?

When bodyguard Justice Garrett was a young man, witness protection brought him to this idyllic town and he never forgot its warmth, or the sweet beauty of his childhood friend. He's returned to open a defense academy, and the Patience he once knew is all grown up. He can't resist her smile, or her curves. But Justice's past doesn't make him husband, or father, material.

Patience and Justice think they'll succumb to just one kiss… Then one more… Okay, just one night together. But they might learn that falling in love is beyond anyone's control.

I tried very hard to get into this book and to like the protagonists Justice and Patience. But no matter what I did, I just couldn't get beyond the fact that they just didn't seem to have that certain something that should have me believing in them. The relationship they had just seemed to be too forced. I actually like one of the tertiary characters the best -Felicia, which I am sure there will be a book about her coming up soon. Her story sounds like it will be very interesting.

Patience had a crush on Justice back when she was 14 years old. One night Justice and his Uncle up and leave without a word to anyone. Now years later, he is back in Fool's Gold and he is now one of those darkly brooding, seemingly unworthy men that most romances seem to feature lately.

Patience has a daughter by a man she made a mistake with, then married and divorced and has not dated in years. After all what man would want her AND her daughter as well as her other who is suffering from MS.

Patience has had a bit of good luck - a Great Aunt that she couldn't even remember, has left her 100,000 dollars and she is going to follow a dream. Now she is opening up a coffee shop; a shop that has been her innermost dream. Wasn't that just so darned lucky for her? She had just mentioned that she wanted to open a coffee shop - she even had a name and logo picked out - how fortuitous.

I understand that the interactions between the townspeople are very important to the theme of these books, which it is supposed to be charming. In this instance, however, I found it to be less charming than a bit cloying.

The ending is a bit predictable. However, I will say that about the last 25 percent of the book is the most interesting. I think it was because it was when Felicia joined the cast and had the biggest part

Justice and Patience story almost seems to be a secondary story line compared to how much else is going on.

This was not a horrible book, but I don't think it will be one that I re-read either.*ARC PROVIDED BY PUBLISHER*

Monday, May 27, 2013

Product Details

Any Duchess Will Do – Tessa Dare

“Publication Date: May 28, 2013
What's a duke to do, when the girl who's perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can't live without?

York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season--or any season--but his diabolical mother abducts him to "Spinster Cove" and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.
Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn't dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week's employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother's "duchess training"... and fail miserably.
But in London, Pauline isn't a miserable failure. She's a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure--a woman who ignites Griff's desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won't be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess--can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?”

This concept sounded marvelous when I chose this book, but when I started reading it I found it to be a tiny bit plodding.  I persevered and I am so happy I did, because this ended up being one of the most romantic, sexy and funny historical romances that I have read in a long time!

His mother has kidnapped the Duke of Halford.   If he wants to get his mother to stop pestering him to get married and to have a baby he has finally agreed to marry someone –anyone, and the one he chooses in Spindle Cove is farmers’ daughter and barmaid Pauline Simms. The rub is, is that his mother has to turn Pauline into Duchess material and has but a week to do so.  So, off Pauline goes to London to receive her ‘training’.  Now the issue is, will they both be able to resist each other?

There is so much more to this story than just what the synopsis says.  This may have sounded like a frivolous bit of writing at the start, but it really deals with much more.  Naturally, the Duke is hiding something.  Something dark.  He has a room that he keeps locked –all the time.  Is he killing kittens in there, Pauline wonders?  However, it is a deeper secret than that.

I loved how this dissolute debauched Duke could be hiding something dark, yet not be portrayed as one of those overly brooding, always internalizing men who just lashes out at everyone and yet the reader is supposed to adore him anyway.  I really dislike that sort of character.

And Pauline could have been written as a ditzy sort with no mind of her own, who falls in love at the first second.  Well, maybe she does, but we are not forced to read chapters of her pining away over something she thinks she can’t ever have.  They are both resourceful, smart, funny people who are caught up in a wonderful charade.

The mother is a wonderful secondary character –I adored her.

Don’t toss the book aside at the end of chapter 25, remember that first and foremost this is a romance and you WILL get your happily-ever-after! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Alpha's Mate (The Wolvers)

The Alpha's Mate (The Wolvers)
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Will Be a Definite Re-Read, May 25, 2013
"City girl Elizabeth Reynolds hopes to find peace and contentment in the small Appalachian town of Rabbit Creek. Okay, so the bucolic cottage she’s rented turns out to be a dilapidated cabin without phone service, but the people she meets are wonderful. Friendly and down to earth, they welcome her with open arms. It’s just like moving to Mayberry… if Andy and Aunt Bea were wolves.

Only an outsider would call them werewolves. They’re wolvers, a community of man/beasts that have lived in these hills since their ancestors emigrated from Scotland three hundred years ago. And that gorgeous Chief of Police, Marshall Goodman, the guy she met while covered in mud and wearing granny underpants? The one who sends her heart spinning? He’s their Alpha and his pack is under attack from outside forces. Elizabeth, being a sane and reasonable woman, wants no part of any of this, but if she refuses to risk her life and her heart, the people she’s grown to care about will lose everything and she’ll lose the one man she was born to love."

There is a wonderful description to this novel here already, so I won't bore you with my own attempt to do a re-cap. This was one of the best shape shifter novels I have read in a long time.

The story line was intriguing, the characters were interesting, the descriptions of the area and people is vivid. The author did a wonderful job of painting the word pictures so that I could easily `see' just what she was talking about.
The secondary and tertiary characters were as fully fleshed and well drawn as the protagonists were. I adored the way the author changed the language style, idioms and the cadence of the mountain people's speech. It was just enough change to see that they were not "city people" but never to the point of having these people look ignorant of unintelligent. I love the concept that each type of person (mountain OR city) has their own strengths and each group respects each other because of it.

The story has a lot of humor in it and parts had me nearly rolling on the floor I was laughing so hard. Parts of this novel may scare the pants off you and the bit of mystery will have you pondering things. This book really has it all. The sex is sensuous without being overly graphic and smutty. The romance is almost sweet and I really appreciated that. I'm not always looking for down and dirty in my romance books.

This is definitely going to be on my re-read shelf!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Love at First Sight: A Cupid, Texas Novel

Love at First Sight: A Cupid, Texas Novel
by Lori Wilde
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As I Expected, May 24, 2013

May 28, 2013 Cupid, Texas
Welcome to Cupid, Texas, where every wish for love comes true…
In her sexy new series of romance novels, New York Times bestselling romance author Lori Wilde, introduces a town where the residents are more than likely to fall in love at first sight.
Passion has been notably lacking in the life of sensible Natalie McCleary. But when ex–Navy SEAL Dade Vega roars into Cupid on his motorcycle, and she stumbles on him stark naked and soaking wet, she suddenly understands what it means to be struck by love. Dade feels it too.
Will he stick around and give them both a happy ending or will this footloose loner move on and leave her heartbroken?"
Natalie McCleary is an inexperienced woman and she isn't quite sure if she believes in love at first sight, since it has never happened to her personally. Then the ultra sexy Dade Vega (interesting name no?) shows up in town to search for a friend of his who is missing. Dade is the typical `bad-boy' almost a bit trite - he is an ex-Navy SEAL, he drives a Harley, he broods very well, and comes from a horrid childhood.

Natalie owns an Inn in the town of Cupid AND even though she is inexperienced, she dispenses advice to the lovelorn.

Ms. Wilde has all of the technical aspects of this genre down pat and with this book, it is almost like she was following a recipe where if she just changed the recipe a tiny bit, perhaps the finale dish would be horrible. Unfortunately, with this book the author may have benefited a bit from a little experimentation.

For nearly ½ of the book the protagonists conduct most of their conversations with themselves -inside their heads. Both protagonist had horrible things happen to them as they were growing up which defines them as adults. They will not take themselves out of their comfort zones. And each one hides behind their "handicaps" and pretty much uses these as an excuse not to experience life to its fullest.

The mystery aspect of this novel takes backseat to all the brooding each main character does until the very end, when the mystery is solved a little too fantastically. I understand that this is primarily a romance novel, but even romance lovers want their story lines to be somewhat believable!

This was a really fast read, but it might be a little too easy to put this book down, if something else strikes your fancy.
This is not a terrible novel-the sexual heat is there, there are some interesting situations between some of the characters, the sex is hot but not dirty, the author really uses language and words to paint wonderful pictures of the protagonist's feelings.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson)

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson)
by Darynda Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Fantastic Book in This Series,

July 9, 2013 Charley Davidson (Book 5)
"Never underestimate the power of a woman
on a double espresso with a mocha latte chaser high.
Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper.  She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire.  However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case.  Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason.  When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma, is the serial killer’s next target Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’ help.  Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay."

Holy Moley! What another fantastic book in this series. If you were thinking that you could jump right in without reading the other books in this series, even though Ms. Jones does a fantastic job adding back-story to each book, it would really be better for you to start right with the first book. You will be hooked on this series from book one and this book will make much more sense to you. This book is a fine mix of Mystery, Speculative fiction, Comedy and action with just the tiniest slightest soupcon of Chick Lit thrown in just to keep things shakin'.

This story is told with the usual humor and irreverence that Charley is known for. However, Charley seems to have grown a bit now, she is funny but seems just a tad more mature than in past books. Do not fret though, there are still plenty of scenes that will have the people around you looking at you as if you were nuts as you laugh hysterically through parts of this.

There is so much going on that it would be very difficult for me to re-cap without giving away too many spoilers, I will say that we end on a bit of a shocker, a sort of cliff-hanger, but not (if you know what I mean!)

Things are heating up at Calamity's the cop hangout. All of a sudden, the place is over-run with women! It will not be difficult for you to figure out why, but it is a lot of fun watching Charley stumble around the answer.

At this time, Charley also has more than twenty different women of all ages hanging around her apartment - not quite ready to pass over. There is an arsonist on the move and Charley suspects Reyes (naturally!) Then Charley realizes who it really is and things sort of heat up from there. There may be a serial killer on the loose. Could Gemma, Charley's sister be next?
There are tons of spectacularly erotic scenes, a lot of real love, danger, pain, Captain Eckert suspecting Charley of something, and Rocket predicting something not so nice for Reyes.

This book was the usual fun, funny, sexy, quick read that you will not want to put down until you are done. If you took the best of MaryJanice Davidson's early Betsy the Vampire Queen and melded it with Janet Evanoviches, Stephnie Plum---you still would not get half the laughs, half the mystery or half the fun.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Merlin Prophecy Book Two: Death of an Empire

The Merlin Prophecy Book Two: Death of an Empire
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $10.38
List Price: $16.00
Price: Paperback $14.11 Eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.
You Save: $1.89 (12%)

4.0 out of 5 stars If You Like History and War, May 20, 2013

  January 1, 2013 DEATH OF AN EMPIRE— THE LEGEND OF MERLIN CONTINUES Merlin is the product of a brutal rape. Determined to uncover his father’s identity, he sets sail from Celtic Britain with his band of loyal companions. Their journey through war-ravaged France, Rome, and Ravenna to Constantinople will push their strength to the limit and shape Merlin’s reputation as a great healer.
The Roman Empire is under attack. Bound by an oath to relieve suffering the talented apothecary saves thousands of warriors from total destruction. A bloodier conflict between opposing powers arises, and Merlin must use all his resolve if he wishes to survive the death of an empire. M. K. Hume has won the praise of readers and critics alike with her original take on the beloved and enduring Merlin legend. Her background in Arthurian literature lends historical accuracy to a trilogy wrought with passion, heart, and adventure
If you are looking for something that really delves into ancient history (mostly Roman history), the horrors of war, pestilence, death, treachery and little else -this will be the book for you.

I found the first book in this trilogy to be very intriguing and I enjoyed it very much. This second book in the trilogy just made my stomach curdle. The author has such a way with words that she can do as Merlin said of Homer, when he read the Odyssey - you SEE everything, in vivid color. Merlin was speaking of something else, but that statement he made summed up my feelings of this book perfectly. The author spared no expense with words. Each phrase was like a brushstroke on canvas -showing us the gore in true vivid color.

Reading about the Kings, Emperors, Generals and various other important men plot various countries downfall was mesmerizing.

Having the author describe how Merlin figures out what we now know to be lead poisoning was fascinating. His facing the futility of trying to get the authorities to do something was poignant.

Yes, this book was fascinating - if you like history and war.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lucky Bastard (Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas Adventures)

Lucky Bastard (Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas Adventures)
by Deborah Coonts
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.76
Kindle Price: $11.04 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

3.0 out of 5 stars So Much Activity, May 14, 2013

Book Description

May 14, 2013
Lucky O’Toole, the newly promoted vice president of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Las Vegas's primo Strip property, has never met a problem she couldn't handle. But when a young woman is found dead, sprawled across the hood of a new, bright red Ferrari California in the Babylon's on-site dealership, a Jimmy Choo stiletto stuck in her carotid, Lucky's skills are maxed out.
Of course, her life is already on overload. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant, hormonal, and bored—a triple threat. A song that Teddie, Lucky's former lover, wrote for her is getting national airplay as he hits the talk shows, pleading for her forgiveness. Lucky is less than amused by the high-powered "infotainment" spotlight on her personal life. She's having enough trouble fending off Chef Jean-Charles Bouclet, the Babylon's tasty new dish.
All of this and The Smack-Down Poker tournament, the second-largest poker tournament in the world, is holding its final round at the Babylon. Hookers, theives, players, cheaters, media, and hangers-on descend, looking to win or to score. When one of the players turns up dead, Lucky starts to make connections between the two murders, putting her in the crosshairs of the killer.
Then, just when she's losing control... life deals another major complication to her personal life... and it's not going to be pretty.
Lucky struggles to keep her life in balance, and a murderer from killing again

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

I've only read one other of the Lucky series and thought that continuing on with it would be fun, but I found that to keep up with all the action in this particular story was more like work than pleasure. With the first book I read I had no problems distinguishing who was who and what was going on, but this time I just couldn't figure out all of the back-story. Don't get me wrong the author does a fine job doing her best to keep you up-to-date with what has happened in the past, it is just that this time there is too much happening to too many people to make it easy for the reader to keep up.

Multiple murders, a new relationship, a lack of sleep, a mother driving her crazy and various other things happening to Lucky just sometimes bogs the story down. The descriptions of the hotel, the gambling and the poker tournament give the reader a lot to digest. Then there is the ex-relationship that Lucky is trying to forget and the fact that a 'friend' of hers appears to have murdered his wife. A wife that nobody even knew he had. Several more murders happen and this is even before we are done with the first half of the book! Oh and did I mention that Lucky's Mother wants to open a phone sex hot-line with a woman who is well over ninety?

Too much going on in too short a span of time make this a difficult book to not only read, but to suspend my disbelief for.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Product Details

Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (SOOKIE STACKHOUSE) by Harris, Charlaine (May 7, 2013)

Formats   Price  

Kindle Edition Auto-delivered wirelessly   $12.99        
Hardcover . $27.95 $15.29


There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart....

Sookie Stackhouse  finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

  • File Size: 669 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 193700788X
  • Publisher: Ace (May 7, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009NY43NY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled

Can I claim to love this last book?  I wouldn’t go that far.  But I did like many aspects of it and was glad I read it and thought a number of things were wrapped up rather nicely.

Everyone has an opinion on how they think the series should end, specifically who Sookie ends up with.  So no matter what happens you’re going to have people who are upset.  As the author points out at the beginning, there is no way she can make everyone happy.  But she stuck with what she envisioned for Sookie when the first book became a series.  And, quite frankly, this isn’t a romance series, but a series that included some romance.  The explanations for how and why follow what we’ve experienced with different characters in prior books.

While reading this book I couldn’t help but make comparisons to how much Sookie has changed from that first book.  She had a couple of close friends, her grandmother and brother, but I think for the most part she felt alone as most people just couldn’t understand her.  With this last book she’s amazed at how many friends come to bat for her when she’s in trouble and being accused of murder.  We see many of the people who have played an important role somewhere in the series.  She’s also shown maturity in what she wants and what she’ll accept from others.

The story moves along at a somewhat slow pace, but interestingly, it’s not just told from Sookie’s first person POV.  Other important things are happening elsewhere that are told in the third person.  The mystery involves finding out who is behind setting up Sookie for murder.  You think you know, but someone surprising is egging others on.  We get mystery, action, emotions, lust and wrap-ups for a number of characters.

And the ending?  I liked it.  Again, I’m going back to the comparison to Sookie at the beginning of the series to how she is now.  And an HEA for Sookie?  That will be up to the individual reader.


This review was written by Cathy Thillmany

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Time Thief: A Time Thief Novel

Time Thief: A Time Thief Novel
by Katie MacAlister
Edition: Mass Market Paperback $7.19
 Kindle Edition $7.99
Penguin Publishing

This price was set by the publisher

5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - Truly Sweet AND Hot!, May 9, 2013

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
 "Outcast due to their ability to manipulate time, shunned by the mortal and immortal worlds alike, a Traveller’s life is anything but easy.

Peter Faa is a member of the Watch tracking down a murderer, and unfortunately, all clues seem to point toward his own estranged family of Travellers. Any of his cousins could be guilty, but which one? They’re all experts in the art of stealing time...

After surviving a lightning strike, Kiya Mortenson is determined to get just one thing in her life right. And if that means taking a job as nanny to five pugs on a campsite in the Oregon wilderness, then so be it. It doesn’t hurt that the job comes with some spectacular male eye candy, including her new boss’s gorgeous grandson. If only she didn’t keep having this strange sense of deja vu...

When Peter discovers his own family is stealing time from Kiya, all bets are off. While she may drive him crazy at times, it’s clear that it’s not just lightning that’s creating some serious sparks between them. And he’s not going to let secrets, lies, or a devious murderer keep Kiya from where she belongs: at his side."
This is the start of a new series by Ms. MacAlister and it is as far as you can get from her usual books. There are Time Travelers and animi but only hints of Vampires and Revenants! This book is written in a way that reminds me greatly of one of my all time favorites of Katie's - "Noble Intentions" - this book has the same sort of irreverent humor to it, and the same medium difficulty to decipher mystery.

The story could have gotten a little confusing what with paradoxes and whatnot possible at all times....but Katie handles the details very well and we are never once given more detail than we can handle.
Kiya Mortenson is a lightning strike survivor -twice! That makes her special only she doesn't yet have a clue as to how special she is. Until she meets up with the Faa family. Her first meeting is with an absolutely gorgeous, possible male-model type, hunk of man who helps her out when her ancient car dies. Her second meeting is a little more complicated and a lot more hilarious. From here things just seem to snowball.

Murder accusations abound, Kiya is hit over the head a time or two and oh yes -Kiya also experiences a LOT of déjà vu and some other very interesting phenomena.

Hot sex, laughs, interesting mystery and a romantic story will keep engrossed in this lovely quick and light read. There is a lot of world building, but not so much that it takes away from the story or the romance.
An interesting note is that Katie helps us out in her new world by giving us a history, terminology, a glossary and various other helpful things at the back of this book.