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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

BEWARE: lethally seductive alpha male of immense strength and dark eroticism, do not look at him. Do not touch him. Do not be tempted. Do not be seduced.

With his long, black hair and dark, mesmerizing eyes, Adam Black is Trouble with a capital T. Immortal, arrogant, and intensely sensual, he is the consummate seducer, free to roam across time and continents in pursuit of his insatiable desires. That is, until a curse strips him of his immortality and makes him invisible, a cruel fate for so irresistible a man. With his very life at stake, Adam's only hope for survival is in the hands of the one woman who can actually see him.

Enter law student Gabrielle O'Callaghan, who is cursed with the ability to see both worlds: Mortal and Faery. From the moment she lays eyes on this stunning male, Gabby is certain of one thing: He could be her undoing. Thus begins a long, dangerous seduction. Because despite his powerful strength and unquenchable hungers, Adam refuses to take a woman by force. Instead, he will tease his way into Gabby's bed and make her want him just as he wants her.

Now, no matter how hard Gabby tries to avoid him, Adam is everywhere, invisible to allbut her--perched atop her office cubicle in too-tight jeans, whispering softly from behind the stacks of the law library, stealing her breath away with his knowing smile...all the while tempting her with the promise of unimaginable pleasure in his arms. But soon danger will intrude on this sensual dance. For as Adam's quest to regain his immortality plunges them into a world of timeless magic and the deadly politics of the Faery queen's court, the price of surrender could be their very lives. Unless they can thwart the conspiracy that threatens both mortal and Faery realms...and give them a shot at a destiny few mortals ever know: glorious, wondrous, endless love.


Is it me or does everyone start purring? I noticed it in The Dark Highlander. Dageus purrs, Adams purrs, Chloe and Gabby purr. What's up with the purring?

So Adam is now mortal. The Fae Queen has stripped him of all his powers and made him invisible. She figures since Adam loves being around the mortals, she would make him one as punishment.

Adam is not happy. Powerless and invisible to fae and humans. Oh hell no. Not for Adam Black. He's start searching for Circenn, hoping he'll be able to help Adam. But Adam stumbles upon Gabby. A person who is able to see both fae and human. Once her kind had been adored. Now they in fear of fae.

Adam asks her for help. She says no. Adam then starts hanging around. In her cubicle at work, looking sexy as hell. He gives her a BMW, gets her dinner from thee most expensive restaurants, basically just starts wear her down to say yes. It doesn't help that's he incredibly sexy.

Gabby agrees to help him out. With Gabby's help, Adam learns his nemis Darroc is out to kills Adam. Since he needs to warn the queen, he must be creative in getting her attention. So off the Scotland they head to meet the Mackeltar twins.

Now, the scene when Dageus make Adam visible. Priceless. Gwen and Chloe just drool over the guy. Drustan and Dageus regret making Adam visible. Adam just sits back and says, "Bloody hell it's good to be back" Oh wait.. he purred that.

This book was ok. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. It was just good. But I have to say, KMM loves scenes seem to be getting steamier with each book. Me likes it. Also, I noticed the reference that Adam may have had a hand in making the Mc Illioch (sp?) berserk. I didn't catch that before.

I did love the last scene, Adam's happily ever after. I thought it was fitting for him. But that's just me.

Oh and wanted to add, that I think KMM did a really good job in making Adam a hero. From hating him in Beyond the Highland Mist to appreciating him in this book. For that, she deserves kudos. Cause Adam was such an ass in the book.

Grade: C+/B-


Beyond the Highland Mist
To Tame a Highland Warrior
The Highlander's Touch
Kiss of the highlander
The Dark Highlander
The Immortal Highlander
Spell of the Highlander

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Changes! Coming soon to a blog near you!


We are currently working with the lovely and very talented Mailyn from Imaginary Origin on a new layout for our blog. If you try to visit us later this evening and can't access the site, have no fear, we'll be under construction for a wee bit and then back and better than ever.

The design Mailyn came up with for us is fresh, fun and chic and I can't wait to see what everyone thinks of it.

We'll be here today, and then back and better than ever tomorrow!

Hugs,
Holly, Dylan, Isabel, Grace and the ever elusive Jazz.

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Guess What I Got?


*squealing with delight*

I picked up Dark Side of the Moon this morning by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I'm so ready to dig into it but first I have to work and finish my read of AKISA by JD. But, I'm reading two books at a time this time around because I need my DH fix...cross your fingers that SK didn't mess anything up for me with this book.

So who's got it? Who's already started it? Are you liking it? And for you speed readers out there like Holly and Jazz, did you like it?

I'm so anxious to start it that I'm scared that I'm hyping myself up for a book that might fall flat...crossing my fingers that this doesn't happen to me.

Expect a review of this book, soon. Just had to share my news, hehe...with all of the book lovers out there!

-Dylan

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Monday, May 29, 2006

A Woman of Virtue by Liz Carlyle


A Woman of Virtue
In the lonely months since her husband's death, Cecilia Lorimer has hidden her emptiness by devoting herself to a charity mission for the unfortunate women of London's slums. But when the dashing Lord Delacourt takes control, she feels an uncharacteristic urge to flee. Just six years earlier, Delacourt had proven himself to be the immoral rake society called him, nearly ruining her reputation in the bargain.
It's whispered that the womanizing Delacourt is vain, vindictive, and merciless. But he's a man who honors his wagers -- and one result lands him in his brother-in-law's godforsaken mission, face-to-face with the woman who has long haunted his dreams. When treachery closes in, only he knows how to guard Cecilia from the consequences of her own principles. Can a profligate knave persuade a virtuous woman that he is worthy of her trust -- and her love?


I'm pretty sure I read this, or at least part of it, before today. But I didn't remember all of the story, so I'm glad I re-read it.

Though I can't say I absolutely loved it, I did enjoy it. The heroine got on my nerves a bit, when she insisted that she had to be involved with everything, and ran head first into danger, and antagonized the hero at every turn. For that matter, he irritated me as well, with his constant badgering of the heroine and refusal to accept that he was a normal man...

But otherwise, I found the story very well written and pleasant.

I'm sorry for the shortness of my post, but with 97 reviews left to do this month, I'm keeping them short and sweet. Though I would love to discuss this book, or any of the others I plan on reading, if you're so inclined.

3.5 out of 5

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

I am Dageus MacKeltar, a man with one good conscience and thirteen bad ones, driven to sate my darkest desiresÂ…From his penthouse lair high above Manhattan, Dageus looks out over a glittering city that calls to the darkness within him. A sixteenth-century Scot trapped between worlds, he is fighting a losing battle with the thirteen Druids who possess his soul, dooming him to an eternity of sexual pursuit. When Chloe Zanders, student of antiquities, is drawn into his world, she finds the insatiable alpha male an irresistible lure. Before long, she is caught up in an ancient prophecy that will sweep her back into time to medieval Scotland. Plunged into a world of timeless magic and dark seduction, she will soon face the challenge of a lifetime: fighting thirteen evil spirits for the heart of one irresistible man....

What happened is that while Drustan lay sleeping, there was a fire and he died. Dageus, who knew Gwen would be waiting for him in the future, travels back in time to save Drustan's life. In doing so, he became cursed. The Mackeltars were to never travel through time for personal gain.

So now Dageus is living in the present trying to figure out how to undo the curse. With each day that passes, it grows stronger. Chloe delivers a book to his penthouse and finds artifacts galore. She is caught snooping around and finds out that Dageus has been stealing artifacts from other museums. Dageus catches her and then ties her to the bed. He explains he is just borrowing them. Yeah right she thinks.

Later on she hears on the news all the artifacts stolen, we returned to police headquarters. She is puzzled by this sexy, handsome, highlander. She's attracted to him too. But keeps denying it. I mean, the man dropped his towel and she just kind of stood there shocked. Now, I know I would've been shocked, but after coming to my senses I would've ran up the stairs and just thrown myself shamelessly at him. But that's just me.

He asks her to visit Scotland with him. Dageus needs to see what he can find about the curse in the Mackeltar library. Meaning he'll have to face Drustan and admit he's cursed. They arrive in Scotland and Chloe is shocked to learn Drustan and Dageus are twins. That little reunion is cute.

Drustan explains the books are gone. Which means one thing, Dageus has to travel back in time. He asks Chloe to come with him. To just trust him. Not knowing where she is going, she agrees.

I love Dageus. He's my favorite Mackeltar twin. 1) He's tortured. 2) The eyes. Yeah, I'm a sucker for tortured hereos and eyes. But I have to say, I like Drustan's story better. Chloe is a sweet gal, but I don't know. I didn't love her like I loved Gwen. I can't exactly pin it though. Anyway, it is a good story though. I enjoyed seeing Nell and Silvan again. Got a good chuckle when Silvan fainted from seeing the queen. We also get a glimpse of our favorite bad boy Adam. My favorite scene is when Dageus and Chloe exchange their binding vows and the same time Silvan is finally binding himself to Nell. It was just really sweet.

I give it: B

Dagues was a hero of the week, you can read that here.

Beyond the Highland Mist
To Tame a Highland Warrior
The Highlander's Touch
Kiss of the highlander
The Dark Highlander
The Immortal Highlander
Spell of the Highlander

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My Current TBR Pile


If any of you frequent my other blog, you know that I just recently moved. Last night I unpacked and organized all of my books. In the process, I separated my ARB (already read books) from my TBR (to be read) books, something I hadn't ever done before. Why? Because I didn't have the space for it before. I bought new bookshelves, however, and now have an extra one for the books I still need to read.

Only, I didn't realize, until I got them all organized and separated, how many books I have that I still need to read. I'm making it my goal to have knocked out my entire TBR pile by the end of June. Well, with the exception of two. I have two of Diana Gabaldon's books in my pile and I'm not making any promises about those. But I plan to knock out the rest this coming month.

Up until about two months ago, I was a voracious reader. I consumed between two and three books a day! Lately, though, I've not ready anything. I'm lucky if I finish a book a week. I'm very disturbed by this. I've never in my life had a TBR pile or more than a book or two. Never.

So, with my goal set up and attainable, I'm asking for help. I'm in some strange reading funk and I need help deciding which book from my TBR pile to read first. I figure (as long as I'm able) I'll post between ten and fifteen new books every Saturday and ask for recommendations from them. Please keep in mind while you're making suggestions that I'm in a TERRIBLE reading slump right now and not at all excited to read anything, so make your suggestions good! Thanks!

Oh, wondering how many books I have in my pile? *sigh* 98. Yes, ninety-eight. Isn't that sad?

Alright, here's my first ten. I picked them based on the back blurb and what I remember being recommended on other sites:

  1. Elizabeth Boyle: It Takes A Hero
  2. Linda Castillo: Depth Perception
  3. Liz Carlyle: A Woman of Virtue
  4. Shannon Drake: Knight of Fire
  5. Andrea Kane: I'll Be Watching You
  6. Cathy Maxwell: Temptation of a Proper Governess
  7. Linda Lael Miller: McKettrick's Choice
  8. Candice Proctor: The Last Knight
  9. Maggie Shayne: Thicker Than Water
  10. Anne Stuart: Lord of Danger

I would also appreciate it if you'd let me know if any of these are part of a series and where they lie in said series and whether or not they're even worth reading. I have doubts about some of the ones on my shelf, but I'm reserving judgment for now.

I want to thank all of you in advance for helping me. The sooner I get this pile knocked out, the sooner I can buy more, right? *snicker*

P.S. I'm still doing this, so any help you can offer there would be much appreciated also!

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Friday, May 26, 2006

It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips



Hero: Dan Calebow
Heroine: Phoebe Somerville
Grade: A

The windy city isn't quite ready for Phoebe Somerville—the trendy, outrageous and curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not prepared for the Stars' head coach Dan Celbow — an Alabama-born former gridiron legend and blond barbarian.

Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors — a sexist, jock tacskmaster with a one-track mind. The beautiful new boss is everything Dan despises — a meddling bimbo whos doesn't know pigskin from a pitcher's mound, So why is he drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does Dan's good ol'boy charm leave cosmpolitan Pheobe feeling awkward, tongue-tied and frightened to death?

Gosh, I frickin love this book.

Phoebe Sommerville is a blonde knock out and everyone thinks she's a Paris Hilton kind of ditz. When her dad dies, she inherits his football team temporarily, which will be made permanent if the Chicago Stars win the AFC Title. Like that's really going to happen. So Phoebe sets out to prove that she has what it takes to run things in the locker room.

Only to come in to contact with the Stars Head Coach, Dan Calebow. Now, Dan believing Phoebe's only fit to go shopping with her little dog and spend Daddy's money is not going to let Phoebe make a laughing stock of his team or the organization, so they fight and they bicker and they totally just don't get along because Phoebe is determined to win the respect of everyone, while Dan is determined to get Phoebe off the books, and away from his team.

The story unfolds one hysterical scene after the other and the witty banter between Dan and Phoebe, not to mention the chemistry between these two makes ones heart sigh with pleasure and with all the funny things that happen plus the steamy scenes, it makes for one hecka good read. Ya'll should totally read this book, because it's off the chains.

There's one thing that had me totally grossed out and it happens with Dan, or when we first meet him, I was hella not feeling it but I quickly forgave him for participating in something so frickin' weird because he didn't enjoy it, and if you want to know what that is, you'll have to read it...but the rest of the book totally makes up for that little scene in the book, so get it, read it and love it, ya heard me?

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hero of the Week: Ben Lewis.

Have you ever crushed on a guy who oozes sex appeal, even when he’s not at his best? How much do you love a guy who can look so utterly sexy right after rolling out of bed in the morning? You know, the guys that stretch up in bed, and scratches their tummy while yawning, a big loud like yawn that totally makes your toes curl? You can’t figure out why his messy hair that’s matted to his head and his scruffy face and whiskers that scratch your face when you get close turns you on, all you know that it does…and you like it.

That’s exactly how I picture Ben Lewis from Linda Howard’s Heart of Fire to be, rough around the edges and sloppy but still Oh.So.Sexy.

He’s the kind of guy that will crack jokes to ease the tension in a room, the kind of guy that will flirt his way into your heart without trying, he just is and women fall for him, at every turn. But all joking aside, you know that this man is not a man to mess with, there’s an intensity about him that draws women to him, like a moth to a flame. I mean check out his description:

…where a lone man lazed as if half asleep, an open bottle of whiskey in front of him. Even from beneath those half-lowered lids she could see intensity gleaming in his eyes. As they approached, he shoved out a chair with his foot and gave Jillian a look that had about as much in common with the looks from the men at the bar as a shark had in common with a trout. The men at the bar might have speculated, but they kept their thoughts to themselves. This man, in his mind, already had her stripped, spread-eagled, and penetrated, and didn’t care if she knew it.

He oozes sex appeal, an appeal that not anyone can get away with, he’s confident, more than that, he’s arrogant and doesn’t give a damn. He knows that if one woman won’t take him, another one will…but if you capture his attention, nothing or no one is going to get in his way because he’s got his eye on the prize, and this guy always wins.

Ben Lewis is a pleasant mixture of a fun loving guy who doesn’t give a flying flip about what you want or what you need, because he’s looking out for his number one and the mysterious guy with shady secrets and a dangerous past. He’s intense and thorough and hot damn the man is the biggest horn dog in the world and he don’t give a hootin’ heck who knows it. He’s actually proud of that fact. He makes no effort to hide who he is, what you see is what you get and you really can’t ask for more than that, because you know it will always be an adventure with Ben around.

With a guy like this you would think that you could trust him, but you can’t. The guy is a sneaky bastard but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one sexy ass sneak. He’s the kind of guy you’d have to hide the silver from because he’ll grin wide for you while he’s robbing you blind, see how sexy he is? LOL.

Some of my favorite scenes are:

Sometimes, such as when he’d massaged her sore back, he could actually be considerate.

…Considerate my foot, Jillian thought five minutes later. Diabolical was more like it. She couldn’t take her eyes off of him and he knew it.

He stripped down to the skin with an utter lack of modesty that told her he was accustomed to being naked with a woman. Why would any woman in her right mind want him to wear clothes anyway? He was tall and lean and superbly muscled, and his buttocks were so round and taut that her hands instinctively curled into fists in an effort to resist patting them. He had the shoulders of a stevesdore and the legs of an athlete, long and powerful. She had never enjoyed looking at a man more.

He stepped under the waterfall and let the water splash over him while he tiled his head back and shook his hair. Sunlight dappled on the flexing muscles of that marvelously strong body, and the water droplets spraying through the air glittered like diamonds. His genitals hung heavily between his thighs and he was so perfectly, utterly male that her chest constricted, making it difficult for her to breathe.

Then he looked straight at her, the blue of his eyes so intense that she could see it even across the forty feet that separated them. He stepped forward a little, so that the main force of the water was hitting his back, he was right on the edge of the rock shelf above the pool of water. He was totally exposed to her, without the stream of water to blur the powerful lines of his body. As he stared at her, his shaft began to stir, to grow thick and long, to rise fiercely toward his belly.

Damn him, she thought feverishly. A more graphic demonstration of desire wasn’t possible. Nothing was so seductive as knowing that you’re wanted, and he knew it. The potent reaction of his body to simply looking at her did ten times more damage to her resistance than any of his slick, playfully profane cajoling, or even those bone melting kisses.

…She dragged her gaze back up and met his, bright and expectant. Oh, yes, heknew exactly what he was doing to her. The man was so diabolical that she had another almost irresistible urge to throw rocks at him.

Humming, he finished his bath and even scrubbed his clothes, taking his time about it. Jillian’s hands tightened on the shotgun that lay across her lap and she forced herself to scan the path that led back up to the camp.

…”You aren’t a very good guard,” he charged, a smile lurking around his mouth. “You spent more time looking at me than at the surroundings.”

“Well you were doing everything but waving a flag at me to attract my attention, she replied. “I didn’t want to disappoint you.”

“A flag wasn’t what I was waving,” he pointed out. “Now, if you said flagpole, I’d have to agree, but—,“

…he gave the area a thorough survey before leaning down to kiss her. ”Okay, it’s your turn.”

Her mouth throbbed from even that light touch, “Do you swear you’ll stay here and keep guard?”

His blue eyes turned cool. “This is something I take seriously, sweetcakes.”

…Ben settled back and got comfortable, ready to enjoy the show, though he gave the area another intense survey before returning his attention to Jillian. His heart began pounding heavily at the prospect of seeing her naked.

…Ben watched the blur of her body in an agony of anticipation. Turn, he kept thinking, as if he could bend her to his will with his thoughts. Turn. He wanted to see her; he needed to see her. Not that he didn’t enjoy looking at her ass, what he could see of it, through the water, but he wanted more. He wanted to see her breasts, to have an image of reality to replace his fevered imagination.

His hands were sweating, and he wiped them off on his pants. His chest was heaving with the harshness of his breathing. Damn this perverse little witch, she wasn’t showing him anything. Didn’t she know how much he needed to see her?


Holy hot damn, this guy is something else, sorry that was a bit long but I just absolutely love this scene, I love how Jillian stole Ben’s thunder and I just love how everything is between these two, he bites she bites back and he grins…love it when a guy grins…Ben Lewis is one of the most sexiest guys ever written and by the length of this post, can you tell how much I love him? Hehe.

Here’s a picture of this week’s Hero of the Week:




Enjoy, until next week…

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Competition.

Isabel Says:

Found this.

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

I got a chuckle out of it. It reminds me of that one episode of friends when Joey finds Rachel's romance book. "It's porn!" He giggles.

My husband doesn't care or mind that I read romance. He teases me. Like, when I was reading Beyond the Highland Mist, he saw the comment that even at half mast, Hawk is bigger than a stallion. So hubby requested he be called Hawk from now on. *rolls eyes* When I was reading Kiss of the Highlander, Hubby then asked he be called Dageus.

But if I put my book down and I happen to snuggle with my husband, he'll tell me no. Why? "Cause you are thinking of whatever hero you read about. I can't compete." At first I thought he was joking around, but no, he was serious. He admitted to me that when we were dating, he thought he couldn't live up to the romance books I read.

Now I have never compared Grimm, Derek, Vane, Drustan or any other hero I've drooled over to my husband. I admit I will ask, "Why can't you bring me a bouquet of flowers with special meanings?" a la Red Roses Mean Love. But I'm just teasing him. Just like when he asks, "Why can't you wear a little devil's outfit and talk with a British accent like Elizabeth Hurly in Bedazzled?" I know he's teasing. I'll still roll my eyes at him, but I know he's teasing.

So, why is it ok for a man to visit a strip club or watch porn and it's no big deal when they come to us. But when we get swept away in our romance movies or books, some guys will always get offended?

Holly Says:

When I first started dating MM, I was a little bit worried about how he might react to the fact that I obsess over book heroes and read a lot of romance. He's totally fine with it. He doesn't ever say anything about how he can't compete, though he does ask occassionally if I can 'test' out some of the love scenes I read about with him. *insert eye roll here*

When it comes to the strip club, I have a Three Day Rule. I tell MM, go have a great time, but you aren't coming home and getting any for three days after, because I won't have you coming to bed with me thinking about some other mostly naked woman. But Izzy brings up a good point, am I setting a double standard with that rule? I don't think so, because I don't see romance novels as Chick Porn, but I guess I could be wrong.

So you tell us, dear readers, is there a difference between our spouse/signifigant other going to a strip club or watching porn and us reading our romance novels? Or are they two totally separate issues? Does the man in your life feel like he has to compete with what you read?

That begs another questions. How about the Romance Authors themselves. Do you think their husbands have issues with jealousy or not feeling up to par with the heroes they write about?

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon


Hero: Jamie Fraser
Heroine: Claire Randall
Grade: Story: C- Jamie: A+

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another...

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.


Okay first off, let me tell you something. This book could have been cut in half and been a great book, I mean gosh could it take me any longer to finish this book? I won't dispute the fact that it was a good book, but there was a good chunk of the book that could have been cut out and I still would have loved the heck out of Jamie Fraser.

Because I did, Jamie Fraser is the quintessential perfect hero.

I say that and mean it with all that I am. Grace hit it on the nail when she described him.

"He is the man every woman would want to love and be loved by and the man every other man would strive to be. He's fierce and courageous, hardened by the betrayals and obscenities he has suffered in his lifetime, and yet has the ability to love with his entire soul."

That's the perfect way to describe Jamie Fraser, having lived through everything he lived through, surviving the trials he went through in this book alone and still have the ability to love Claire with everything he is, takes some serious balls. Everything I read about him in this book alone has made me love the man more and more and he will most definitely be bumped in my Ultimate Hero list because there were plenty of times when I was like, "Holy Batballs Batman!" throughout this book, because I couldn't have survived HALF of what Jamie suffered and still be capable of feeling love, still be able to see the goodness in those around me, it just wouldn't be possible for me.

I liked how Claire cared enough to handle the whole Jack Randall thing with Jamie at the end of the book, even though it was probably necessary, I didn't really care to read about all of that. I mean, I know it was bad, I have an imagination and the image that went through my head about all of that, just isn't something that I'd care to read about in my romance novels and it really made me uncomfortable because as much as I think I'm open to all kinds of things (in my reading that is), just all the pages on this gay crap really made me uncomfortable. I hated reading about it and I guess I just would have been A Okay with knowing it happened and not having to read about it happening, ya know?

I got how Claire loved Jamie and I even got how she loved Frank and I was more happy with the whole concept of Claire and Jamie even though she was still married to Frank (even if technically it hadn't yet happened yet, but when she got married to Jamie, she was still wearing Frank's rings) thing, but I seriously don't think the book needed to be that long. Because it took me soo freaking long to read it and I was always reading it.

I never really liked Frank from the beginning of the book, but I just chalked that up to him not being Jamie and because I knew that Jamie was the man of the book, I couldn't bring myself to care about Frank, but I was bothered by the fact that even thought I didn't care for Frank, CLAIRE DID, she cared enough about him to marry him in her previous life, why on earth was she not thinking about him as often as a wife in love with her husband should have been thinking? She spent more time worrying about Jamie and what Jamie was doing and escaping, rather than what Frank was up to and if Frank was mourning her loss or whatever.

And then don't even let me get started on Jack Randall, Jonathan Randall, Black Jack, whatever evil name he goes by, people like Jack Randall need to wiped off the face of the Earth, they need to suffer for the torture they inflicted on people, they need to be chained up and beat to death, because they're just not good people. He gave evil a new meaning and again, I already knew how evil Jack was, I knew what he was capable of, I knew how he tortured his captives, I knew about how dirty he is, both inside and out, I knew it all, I didnt need to be constantly reminded of how evil and what evil deeds he did, I KNOW!

My only issue with this book was that it was just so long and too wordy and as much as I loved the story of Jamie and Claire, I'm not at all hyped up to continue this series because the other books are just as long, if not longer than this book. The whole witch trial? Yeah, I could have done without that scene, the only scene that was MISSING from this book is the scene where Claire gets to handle her business with that blonde haired shit, Laoghaire...I wanted Claire to serve her ass to the clan on a silver platter, but that scene never ocurred in the book, so I'll write that scene myself, gosh that stupid shit got on my nerves.

Would I recommend this book? Yeah, I say give it a shot, the story is good but be prepared for lots of detail that go on....and on....and on.....
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...and on, and on...and on...See what I mean? It's like that. But it's still very good. LMAO.

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Carly Phillips book release

If there are any Carly Phillips fans out there, the final book in the Hot Zone Trilogy: Hot Item is set to be released this June. Ooh wee, I can't wait!

The Trilogy began with Hot Stuff featuring the oldest Jordan sister, Annabelle..who is paired up with the ex-football legend, Brandon Vaughn. The second book Hot Number which I blogged about here is about Micki Jordan who meets her match in Damian Fuller. Now, the final book gives Sophie Jordan a chance to secure her HEA too, with an oh so hot star quarterback, Riley Nash. *sigh* Did I mention how excited I am for this one yet? LOL, because I really am!

Any other fans of this trilogy?

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

A laird trapped between centuries...
Enchanted by a powerful spell, Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar slumbered for nearly five centuries hidden deep in a cave, until an unlikely savior awakened him. The enticing lass who dressed and spoke like no woman he'd ever known was from his distant future, where crumbled ruins were all that remained of his vanished world. Drustan knew he had to return to his own century if he was to save his people from a terrible fate. And he needed the bewitching woman by his side....

A woman changed forever in his arms...

Gwen Cassidy had come to Scotland to shake up her humdrum life and, just maybe, meet a man. How could she have known that a tumble down a Highland ravine would send her plunging into an underground cavern—to land atop the most devastatingly seductive man she'd ever seen? Or that once he'd kissed her, he wouldn't let her go?

Bound to Drustan by a passion stronger than time, Gwen is swept back to sixteenth-century Scotland, where a treacherous enemy plots against them ... and where a warrior with the power to change history will defy time itself for the woman he loves....


After to Tame a Highlander Warrior, this one is my favorite. This is the first book about the MacKelter men. The first two being the twins, Drustan and Dageus.

We have Gwen who traveling through Scotland looking for a cherry picker. (someone to devirginize her) She stumbles upon an enchanted Drustan MacKeltar. A spell was placed on him and he's been sleeping for five centuries. Gwen wakes him and he of course realizes he's not in his time and must get back.

He tries to explain to Gwen, but she's having none of it. Drustan pleads with her to just come with him to where his castle used to be. He'll prove his story true. He takes her to the stones so he can travel back in time. As they are making their way, they are both attracted to each other. Gwen wants him. Drustan wants her. They make love. Right after, Drustan sends her back to his time. He tries to come with her, but he can't.

Gwen is then on a mission to get the past Drustan to believe her. This time, he's having none of that. He won't even listen to her story. She tries "fluffing her breasts" to get his attention. Drustan reacts by hiding in his chamber. Gwen comes up with a plan, along with the help of Drustan's dad, Silvan, to lock Drustan in the garderrobe.

Of course, Drustan is not happy. He yells for a few hours. Finally, he shuts up and agrees to listen to Gwen. Not only does she tell him everything, she tells him how they made love. Did I mention his dad and the housekeeper are also listening in to all this. His dad tries to convince Nell to leave, but she says no and she's not missing a thing. I thought that was cute.

Drustan gets his memory back. He made Gwen remember a memory charm before he sent her back in time. He was said the druid marriage vows to her. She said them back to him when she was retelling her story not knowing what she was saying. The druid marriage vows binds the man and woman together.


If aught must be lost, ' twill be my honor for yours.
If one must be forsaken, 'twill be my soul for yours.
Should death come anon, 'twill be my life for yours.
I am Given

Gwen and Drustan are happy. They put their heads together to find out why Drustan was enchanted and who would do him harm. A small fight occurs, Gwen is taken back to her time right as Drustan is shot at. When she realizes where is she at, she's heartbroken and Drustanless.

What happens next, you'll have to read to find out.

I love the story line with Silvan and Nell. They are so cute. Love when Gwen mistakes Dageus for Drustan andpracticallyy jumps on him. Drustan's jealously is just priceless. Love the scene when Drustan is trying on his trews and Gwen asks if he stuffed the jeans with a sock. I mean, damn. He couldn't even zip up the jeans. Damn. We also get a glimpse of Dageus' loneliness.

So, I love this story. Second favorite so far.

Grade: A-

The Books:

Beyond the Highland Mist
To Tame a Highland Warrior
The Highlander's Touch
Kiss of the Highlander
The Dark Highlander
The Immortal Highlander
Spell of the Highlander

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Best Enemies by Jane Heller

Amy Sherman is doing just fine - nice apartment in Manhattan, good job as publicity director at a publisher, decent social life - until she runs into Tara Messer, the beautiful blonde prom queen who was once her best friend. It's been four years since Tara stole Stuart Lasher, Amy's fiance - four years since Amy swore she'd stop playing second fiddle to spotlight-hog Tara. But when Tara, who is now blissfully married to Stuart, asks whether she's dating anyone, Amy can't bear to admit there's no man in her life. Instead, she claims she's getting married in six months, figuring the lie will never come back to haunt her. The next day, Amy learns that her publishing house has just acquired Tara's lifestyle book. Now, she not only has to promote her nemesis to the media, she also has to dig up a temporary Mr. Right to show off in front of Tara and Stuart. In desperation, she turns to bestselling mystery writer Tony Stiles, who has no idea what he's in for. And in the course of playing a game of payback, Amy finds herself vulnerable to yet another betrayal. As hilarious as it is romantic, Best Enemies is a cautionary tale about trying to keep up appearances, even with the person who knows you best.

What started off as yet another great plot for a book by Jane Heller, turned out to be some what of a disappointment for me. The book is broken up into three main sections, the first is from Amy Sherman's POV, the second from Tara Messer's and then finally, back to Amy's POV.

In the first section, we learn a great deal about Amy's character. We see that she's a talented publicity director who just happens to work for an impossible to please credit stealing boss at Lowry and Trammell; we learn that even though she's spent the last 4 years in therapy trying to deal with the betrayal from her best friend and ex-fiance, that she still has some deep issues to deal with; and we see that even though she has come a long way from playing second fiddle to her ex-best friend Tara, she still has those same insecurities and need to prove her self worth.

I felt for Amy's character, really, I did. When I read about how her best friend and fiance betrayed her, I wanted to hurt them as much as they had hurt Amy. They not only hurt, humiliated and betrayed her 2 weeks before her wedding day, but they didn't even have the guts to tell her. She had to find out by walking in on them doing the dirty, with her best friend sceamin' her lungs out.

So when Amy accidentally bumps into Tara 4 years later, not exactly looking her best (but of course, Tara is looking faaaaaaabulous) I didn't really fault Amy for spilling a little white lie here and there about how exactly she was going and who she was dating. I mean, how many of us wouldn't do the same thing, just to stick it to the girl who's mission was to steal the spotlight every chance she got and who just happened to steal your man in the process? Right? Right. But what Amy doesn't expect, is to see Tara again, ever. Unfortunately, no such luck for her. The very next day, Amy finds out that not only will she be seeing Tara on a regular basis, she'll have to promote the heck out of Tara's new book called Simply Beautiful (gag) and have to make her little white lie come true.

From here, Amy goes on a hunt to find the perfect candidate to fill the shoes of her future husband. But the last man she ever thought would fit the profile was Tony Stiles, another author L&T promotes and publishes. Tony and Amy have been aquaintances for some time, yet always seemed to rub each other in the wrong way..that is until Amy realises exactly how big of a fan both her ex best friend and ex fiance are of his work. She then works her magic to try to charm the socks off Tony and agree to her little ploy. The mysterious Tony was an okay hero, in my opinion. He had some sweet and awwww moments, but nothing to warrant a spot on my swoon-worthy heroes shelf. I did find his urge to help Amy out in her little predicament and protect her very noteworthy. I just didn't feel drawn to his character as I often find myself in other books.

As for the second section from Tara's POV..well, all I can say is that I nearly threw the book across the room six times. After having a horrible impression of Tara in the first part, I thought it was going to take a miracle by Jane Heller to convince me that Tara was a not so bad character. I didn't get that miracle. What I did get was an insight into Tara's character that I didn't like or empathise with at all. The section starts off with Tara admitting the wrong she committed but then she goes into an explanation of WHY she is the way she is and why things happened the way they did. I imagine that was meant to put cast her character into a better light, but all she did for me was make me want to gag.

For example, part of the reason she betrayed her best friend? Stuart convinced her (not so convincingly, by the way) that Amy had asked her to be the maid of honor out of obligation, not choice. And then he went on to say that "apparently" Amy didn't think very highly of her, (insert shallow, prissy, aloof, etc) and he disagreed. Well of course he's going to tell you that you twit, he wants to get into your pants! What surprised me was that (no matter how vulnerable Tara was saying she was at the time) she fell for the dumb ploy. She betrayed her lifelong best friend because of a few words she didnt even have the decency to confirm with Amy! She didn't even WANT Stuart, she just wanted to hurt Amy, the way she was hurting. Ugh. While I sympathise a little with the situation we find Tara in, in the present, a failing marriage which she pretends is Simply Beautiful, a part of me thinks, perhaps it served her right for her past misdeeds. But then again, who am I to judge?

The final section pretty much ties things up, sorting through the issues between Amy and Tara as well as giving Amy her HEA with Tony.

I can't say I'll ever re-read this one, nor will it ever earn a place on my keeper shelf. If you're looking for something to read to pass time, I'd maybe give it a go. But otherwise, I'd recommend you pass. I don't think I'll be picking up another book by Jane Heller any time soon.

3/5

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My Sunshine by Catherine Anderson

***Please Note: I moved this weekend so I'm hecka tired. If my review doesn't make any sense, you can blame it on that. If my review is amazing, however, it's because I'm the most amazing woman EVAH. hehehe***

Five years ago, Laura Townsend's life was nearly destroyed when a head injury impaired her ability to use language and forced her to abandon a brilliant career. Her vivacious spirit intact, she has found a great new job at an animal clinic-and a handsome new boss who fills her heart with longing. Now he's moving heaven and earth to convince her they belong together, but since she can't fulfill all of his needs, shouldn't she love him enough to walk away?

I thought this was a pretty interesting read. Laura's brain damage isn't enough that it impairs her thinking, only her fine motor skills. She can't read as well as she used to and she can't pronounce large words. Catherine Anderson is pretty great (most of the time) at bringing us into the world of the disabled or challenged. I couldn't imagine being an Environmental Researcher person (dude, I totally blanked out right there...crazy! LOL) to being a kennel cleaner at a vet's office and knowing that was all the farther you could go.

Though I did think Laura's attitude was great. I would like to think I'm the type of person that if life threw me a curve, I'd accept it and move on. That's what Laura did. Instead of bemoaning the fact that her life had changed, she stood tall and did what she could do. And what she could do was amazing, considering the extent of her injuries.

Anyway, I think Isaiah was a great hero for her. He was kind and compassionate and he truly did love her. Though I do have to say that I'm getting a little sick of the SUPER SWEET heroes. They basically just bend over backwards for their heroines while getting dumped on the entire time. Ok, maybe not the entire time, but I think I like my heroes to be a little more....testosterone laden. I mean, come on. If a girl runs away from you for the THIRD time, do you still spend $8 billion to remodel your entire RANCH to fit her needs? I think not. Still, you have to admire them for realizing they're in love and going after what they want. I think I'm on the fence at the moment. I'll let you know.

Anyway, this one didn't irritate me like the last one did, so I'd recommend it. Thanks to Ames for telling me it was ok to read it. ;)

3.5 out of 5. Not a must read, but pretty good as a filler.

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Perfect by Judith McNaught


Hero: Zack Benedict
Heroine: Julie Mathison
Grade: A

A rootless foster child, Julie Mathison had blossomed under the love showered upon her by her adoptive family. Now a lovely and vivacious young woman, she was a respected teacher in her small Texas town, and she passionately lived her ideals. Julie was determined to give back all the kindness she'd received; nothing and no one would ever shatter the perfect life she had fashioned.

Zachary Benedict was an actor/director whose Academy Award-winning career had been shattered when he was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. After the tall, ruggedly handsome Zack escaped from a Texas prison, he abducted Julie and forced her to drive him to his Colorado mountain hideout. She was outraged, cautious, and unable to ignore the instincts that whispered of his innocence. He was cynical, wary, and increasingly attracted to her. Passion was about to capture them both in its fierce embrace...but the journey to trust, true commitment, and proving Zack's innocence was just beginning....


This is most definitely one of my favorite Judith McNaught's.

If you think about it, there's so many things to love about this book.

The Hero: Zack Benedict.

He came from a rich background, was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and the world at his feet and then his parents died before he was legal and left him in the care of his grandmother who immediately disowned him, taking whatever money was his in the meantime, leaving him all on his own without a dime to his name and making sure he knew just how much she loathed him.

He heads west and gets picked up as a grip on a movie in Hollywood. His pretty face and sexy body lands him a movie deal and suddenly he's thrown into the Hollywood scene with everyone wanting a piece of Zack Benedict. Little boys want to be him when they grow up and little girls want to lose their virginity to him and have his babies...yeah he's THAT hot.

You see, he makes it really big and gets to be an uber millionaire without the help of his stuffy old money Grandma. In fact, because he was booted from the family tree, it drove him to make something of himself and shove it to his family, because when his parents died, he not only lost his parents, but he lost his entire family. He had a sister and a brother who were younger than he was and were not kicked out, they were not to contact nor have any contact with Zack if they wanted to continue to live in the big money life they were used to and because they were selfish and spoiled, they did as their Grandmother instructed them.

So Zack was completely and utterly alone. Did he cry like a baby at the injustice of it all? Oh no, he moved on. He became a cold and unfeeling bastard, but hey he was still hot. He married another fellow beautiful actress who cheated on him with one of her co stars and she ends up dead on the set of a movie that Zack is directing.

Of course, Zack is blamed for the entire thing because the story of how she was unfaithful to him comes out and he goes to prison for a murder he didn't commit. He becomes even more unattached from the world and his cynical nature is taken up a notch, he becomes an even BIGGER bastard.

...and then he met Julie Mathison.

And she turns his world around, gives him hope of a better life and makes him into the man we fall in love with at the end of the book.

You have to read the book to really get a feel of just what an awesome hero Zack is, but trust me...he's one of the best.

The "Drowning" Scene.

Because he takes Julie hostage, it's only obvious that she would try to escape from him and when Zack realizes that Julie is gone and that she might have drowned in the lake, when he goes in to save her?

*sigh*

The bomb. Read it, you'll love it.

The Letter.

Never in my life have I read a letter that made me cry as much as this letter did. Zack is seriously one hella great hero and the love he writes about in this book totally melts my heart every time. I'm telling you, read the book, you'll love it.

The Setting.

Most of the book is set in the Colorado Mountains where the air is crisp and clean, the weather a bit chilled but perfect for a snow day. Perfect for hot chocolate and getting to "know" your partner. It's the perfect setting for a romance novel, because the atmosphere is just so beautiful and JM does a fantastic job of taking us on a journey all the way to beautiful Colorado, you can totally feel like you're there.

Okay, I can go on and on about how much I love this book and what I loved about it, but you guys are seriously going to have to read it for yourself. This book is just all out FABULOUS. Zack and Julie's story, the way it's told and the things they both go through to get to the end is just one of the best stories you'll read about in a very long time.

This book is swoonworthy good, for real.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Paradise by Judith McNaught


Hero: Matt Farrell
Heroine: Meredith Bancroft
Grade: A

Corporate raider Matthew Farrell had come a long way from the poor, scruffy kid of Indiana's steel mills. A long way from the country club where, feeling like an outsider, he had dared to fall in love with a beautiful blonde named Meredith Bancroft, and known a once-in-a-lifetime passion and betrayal that still haunted his memory...Now world leaders courted him, the media watched his every move, and he was ready to move in on the Bancroft empire.

A cool, poised executive in her family's legendary department store chain, Meredith had once defied her father for the sexually magnetic, intense Matt Farrell -- and their brief, ill-fated marriage was the disastrous outcome. Now, as the Bancroft firm is threatened by a hostile takeover, Meredith is forced to confront Matt. As tensions build between them, bittersweet memories rise to the surface, leaving them suspicious, restless, and uncertain. Will they be able to believe in each other -- and grasp the tender miracle that is before them?

Wow.

I haven't read a more emotional book since, the last time I read this book. This book always strikes a chord in me that has me bawling my eyes out right about the time I get to the scene where Meredith tracks Matt down at the old farm house in Indiana. When Meredith finally confesses all that happened when she thought Matt didn't want her anymore, it always squeezes my heart until I think I'm going to burst from the impact of it all. The raw emotion you read about coming from Matt Farrell in that particular scene will probably always stay with me.

This book is one of those books that has you cheering and rooting the couple on to the very end. It's one of those books that stays with you period, long after you have read the book. Matt Farrell is an exceptional hero, one of the very best, I think at grabbing you and holding your attention long after you have finished the book. He's one of those heroes that you think about, months, even years after reading his book. He's one smart cookie and hot as all hell. Flippin' gorgeous.

Meredith on the other hand is a gentle and caring young woman who fell in love with Matt, long before he got all richy rich on her. She loved him when he was a steel worker and had dreams of making it big and with all the drama that makes a romance novel, she had to fight tooth and nail to get her happy ending, even when she thought it wasn't with Matt.

Matt and Meredith's love story has the makings of a classic. It's one of those stories that you can't help but love, because of the emotion the book envokes in you. To have gone through everything they went through and still come out on top, with all of the odds working AGAINST you and to still find your way back to each other is something that everyone should read about and love, I promise that you will love this book, so you should totally go out and read it.

Judith McNaught did a wonderful job with this story and this was one of the reasons I continued to stalk Judith McNaught's work at every turn, I fell in love with Matt and Meredith and was mad as spit when all of the hardships these two endured because of the people in their lives happened.

We highlighed Matt Farrell as our Hero of the Week a few weeks back and I'm so glad we did because this weekend I fell in love with Matt Farrell all over again and I can't wait to reread the book again soon, so that I can fall in love again because I know I will.

Read it ya'll, you'll love it.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

It's Like Netflix...for books.

So, yesterday Holly and I were playing on a the J.R. Ward Bulletin Board and we ran into a great link that I just had to share with all of our readers...the site is called booksfree and the service is like Netflix but for books...so we thought you guys would want to check it out.

For more information and for how the service works, here's the link:

Books Free

Totally cool. Holly and I are signing up for this, if you want our feedback on it before you guys check it out, just let us know...by emailing us.

Have a good one guys and enjoy!

Hugs,
Dylan

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Highlander's Touch by Karen Marie Moning

A Warrior Of Immortal Powers

He was a mighty Scottish warrior who lived in a world bound by ancient laws and timeless magic. But no immortal powers could prepare the laird of Castle Brodie for the lovely accursed lass who stood before him. A terrible trick of fate had sent her 700 years back in time and into his private chamber to tempt him with her beauty—and seduce him with a desire he could never fulfill. For this woman he burned to possess was also
the woman he had foresworn to destroy.

A Woman Caught In The Mists Of Time

When Lisa felt the earth move under her feet, the fiercely independent 21st-century woman never dreamed she was falling...into another century. But the powerful, naked warrior who stood glaring down at her was only too real...and too dangerously arousing. Irresistibly handsome he might be, but Lisa had no intention of remaining in this savage land torn by treachery and war. How could she know that her seductive captor had other plans for her...plans that would save her from a tragic fate? Or that this man who had long ago forsaken love would defy time itself to claim her for his own....

This is my least favorite of KMM's book. Lisa just didn't do anything for me. She kind of got on my nerves. I know, her mom was dying and she wasdesperatee to go home, but hmmm. What kind of got me was how she was upset when she found out what they were going to about the onetraitorr. I mean, hello, yeah it was gonne be pretty gross but remember what century you are in.

We see Adam Black but he's not the annoying shit we saw in Beyond the Highland Mist. Yes he still meddles, but not like he did before. In fact we learn something about the dark fairy. Which, you have to read for yourself to find out.

Circenn, he was all right. He was an uptight laird with all these rules. When was broken, he got all bent out of shape. Of course after meeting Lisa, he slowly learns to relax. Although he did have pretty good reason for being rigid as he was.

Again, this was all right. I loved how when Circenn was watching Braveheart, he pointed out William Wallace and Robert the Bruce didn't look how they wereportrayedd.

Grade: C

Beyond the Highland Mist
To Tame a Highland Warrior
The Highlander's Touch
Kiss of the HIghlander
The Dark Highlander
The Immortal Highlander

Spell of the Highlander

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The Bride by Julie Garwood.

Hero: Alec Kincaid
Heroine:: Jamie Jamison
Grade: B+

By edict of the king, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison...a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her...forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this highland barbarian.

He was everything her heart warned against—an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And thought Kincaid's scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him...until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses...

The JG battle has always been between Alec Kincaid and Connor MacAllister, which is the sexiest Highlander? Here at Sanctuary's Finest, for some reason, Connor wins out ahead of Alec, it's like we all have the same taste in men, because the score for this battle was once again, 4-1, with our Aussie sister, championing Alec Kincaid. Me thinks that Grace likes to go against the group just to be ornery.

We still love her.

So I picked this book up last night after I had read about 200 pages of my Outlander book and was flipping through it, laughing at some scenes and sighing over others.

And I've got to tell you, if I dont' reread The Wedding soon, Alec may win my favors....not really, but I forgot all the reasons why I love Connor so much as I was reading Alec's book.

You see, The Bride is about Alec Kincaid and Jamie Jamison, the poor girl and her name. Alec is forced to choose an English bride to bring unity and peace to England and Scotland and Jamie's father has pissed off the English King so it's from his daughters that Alec and his friend Daniel Ferguson will choose their wives.

Jamie is the youngest daughter and instead of being taken care of because she's the youngest, she is the one that takes care of all of sisters as well as her Father. She practically runs the entire household by her lonesome.

Where's the fairness in that? And because she takes care of the household, Baron Jamison thinks to keep her out of the Scots line of vision and not tell them about her so that he can hold on to his precious Jamie, not because he loves her or anything, oh hell no, the stupid bastard wants to keep Jamie home to take care of his lazy arse.

..and that really grates on my hot damn nerves.

So had it not been for the horse master, Alec and Daniel wouldn't have known about Jamie and her father would have robbed her of ever having her own happiness. What kind of father does a thing like that to his daughter?

Not a very good one.

And the things we find out about Jamie's family throughout the book really irritate the snot out of me, like when Jamie is chosen by Alec and her older sister Mary is chosen by Daniel, they set out to travel to their new homes, in Scotland....way north, in the Highlands. Somewhere along their travels, they run into a band of thieves who try to rob them, you would think that Mary because she's the oldest would try to protect her younger sister, but that wasn't the case at all, she flew behind Jamie and demanded that Jamie protect her.

What the bleeding flip?

Now I know that I probably wouldn't be the bravest person should I come into contact with people that want to rob me, but I know for a fact that I would protect the younger ones, cause there was this one time my nephew and I almost got ran over by a speeding car at Knotts Berry Farm and I totally pushed Seth out of the way so that he wouldn't get hit, nearly colliding with the car myself, so I can honestly tell you, my fellow readers that I am NO Mary Jamison...LOL.

But anyway, I digress...sorry. Aside from the issues I had with Jamie's family, this book was a really good book, it had laughter and it had a happy ending which is just the recipe in my book for a good book. There was a spot of drama in the book, which helps the storyline along with a bit of mystery giving the book a really good review in my opinion.

I had no idea who was behind all of the fires and the mishaps that happened to Jamie, I mean I figured it was someone who was in love with Alec, but I had no idea it was who it was...that one threw me for a loop, but in my defense I was wrapped up in Alec and Jamie's relationship, so that part of the mystery didn't really catch my attention.

I loved Alec and Jamie as a couple, they were truly the perfect match in this book and I think anyone who wants to read a good Highland historical should pick this one up because it's good stuff, so kudos to Julie Garwood on this gem, I loved it.

Now go and read it so you can love it too.

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Do Authors Sell Out?

***Please Note: It is not my intention to open up an author bashing session with this post. This is something I've thought about several times over the last few years and am genuinely curious about. I am not looking for snarky reader comments that disparage authors. I am not looking for malicious remarks about the authors themselves. This post is strictly my opinion and something I'd like feedback about from readers (and writers as well, if they happen to notice this post and feel so inclined). Thank you.***

Daniela at Where's My Hero has an interesting topic up today. The jist of it? Basically, fans have been begging Julia Quinn to write Violet Bridgerton's story. If you've read the series, you know that shortly after her last child was born, her husband died from a freak bee sting accident. JQ has said many times that she wouldn't ever write Violet's story, and personally, I wouldn't want her to. As I commented on Daniela's site, I read romance for the Love Story and the Happily Ever After. I wouldn't want to read a romance novel knowing that the hero is going to die in the end..Especially at such a young age.

But this got me thinking. Do authors sell out? After writing for so long, do they lose site of their original goal and start writing just to please their readers, rather than themselves?

Let me give you a few examples:

Julie Garwood. She started writing historicals in 1985 and quickly became a household name. Women the world over found solace and escapism in her novels. Then, a few years ago, she decided to try her hand at contemps. In my not so humble opinion, she never should have. Though her writing has never been what classics are made of, she had a unique style all her own that really worked. Though her contemps - at least in the beginning - had the potential to be great reads, they seem to have fell flat. At least with her loyal historical fans. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times, "I'm giving up on Julie Garwood. If she goes back to writing historicals I'll buy her again, but until then, I'm done with her."

According to JG herself, she's under contract to write five contemps, and as soon as she's gotten them out of the way, she's going to write more historicals. But I wonder if this is true. She's opened herself up to a whole new market. Men and women alike can read her contemps, because rather than being geared towards women and women alone, there's an element of suspense included in them for men. I have a good friend who's read Murder List, one of JG's contemps, and really enjoyed it. The same friend read one of her historicals, however, and laughed himself silly, saying it was, "Chick Porn."

So, has she sold out? Did she sell her historical readers out to gain a new audience?

How about Jude Deveraux? In an interview she did several years ago, she made this comment in response to a question about a rumor the interviewer had heard that she was considering writing a contemporary romance between the American Montgomerys and the English branch:


You saw my attempt at contemorarty fiction in Casa Grande and you still ask me for more?!
It seems that when God so kindly gave me the ability to write, He didn't extend it very far. All I want to do is write the very best historical romances that I possibly can-and historicals seem to be all I'm capable of. I don't want to write family sagas or occult books, and I have no intention of again trying to ruin the contempory market.


Anyone familiar with JD knows she obviously, at some point, changed her mind. She now has how many Montgomery/Taggert novels published? Isn't that a family saga? What about her paranormal Forever series? Or the standalone paranormal Wild Orchids? Hasn't she also, aside from the Montgomery/Taggert brood, published several standalone contemps?

So, I'm asking you, loyal readers, did they sell out? If JQ decides to write Violet Bridgerton's story, will she have sold out to the demands of her fans? If Julie Garwood doesn't go back to historicals after her contemp contract is up, does that mean she sold out? How about Jude Deveraux? Did she sell out, after clearly stating she had no intention of ever writing anything other than historicals? Or is it simply freedom of creativity?

I can tell you that personally, there are a lot of stories I'd like to write. I'd love to write a suspense or horror novel. No romance involved. I'd also love to write a historical romance and I have written several contempory romances. I'd love to write a paranormal. However, I don't ever want my work published. I write for myself and myself alone, not for other people to read. Of course, that may change in the future, so would I be selling out then?

What's the word from all of you readers out there?

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hero of the Week: Cian MacKeltar

To describe Cian MacKeltar in one word would be a very hard task indeed, because there are too many delightful words one could use to describe, such a man as himself.

Delightful is not one of them, that's for sure.

Sexy.

Meh that goes to show...but Cian is oh so much more than just merely, sexy.

Sensual.

Again, not good enough to describe the sexiness that is Cian MacKeltar.

Luscious.

Yeah, getting closer because he is indeed a verra, verra luscious man, but meh, that's not unique enough to describe Cian.

Didn't I tell you, it'd be hard to describe this sexy beast in one word? We'd be here for days, weeks, months...

He's oh so much more male then any one female can handle, me thinks. Because you see, it's like this...we first hear about Cian MacKeltar in I believe it's Drustan's book and then we hear about him again in Dageus' book and then finally, we meet up with the mysterious MacKeltar ancestor in his very own story, Spell of the Highlander. The whole mystery surrounding Cian is, he's the Ancestor of Drustan and Dageus MacKeltar, who turned bad and was cursed into a mirror, never to be heard of or seen again.

So fast forward hundreds of years later, he comes into the hands of a professor and then into the curious hands of one, Jessi St. James.

Throughout his entire book, you can just feel how powerful he is and how consuming his rage is to the guy that trapped him in the mirror. You can feel how bad he wants his revenge, but one of the stipulations of his curse is that he can come out of the mirror, once he is summoned out, but it's only a temporary reprieve from the mirror and he never knows how long he has outside of the mirror. One minute he can be taking a shower and the next he'll be zapped back into the mirror with the soap, or to my utter delight, the conditioner in his hand, with his still slippery and hard all over and wet and well, you get what I mean...LOL.

The total devotion he had for Jessi was truly breathtaking. He was this hard, unbending man who fell like a rock for his mate and when he said the sacred Druid vows to Jessi, it really ripped me apart because he didn't want her to say the words back to him because he knew he was going to die and he didn't want her to suffer the way he knew she would if she repeated the vows.

So not only was he one big, Billy Bad Ass, he was also very dominating and just powerful. You would think love was something he would never care for, but the way he loved Jessi, the way he took care of her whenever he could, was so charming.

I fell in love with this man when Dageus stole his car, trapping him inside the mirror and left Jessi behind, all by her lonesome. I loved how he was stubborn and wouldn't give an inch or say a word until Dageus returned with Jessi, and he saw for himself that she was alive and well. I loved his fierce protectiveness of Jessi and I just absolutely loved when he took the shower and did what he did with the conditioner, remember that??? Huh, huh? Do you remember all of that badness? LOL...LOVE IT and LOVE HIM!

If you haven't read his book, you should definitely remedy that because this man is all kinds of the best hero and everyone should know how awesome he is...here's some swoonworthy quotes from his book that made us melt and should make you melt as well...


"Look, I've been thinking, what's your plan, anyway?"
"To bed you."
"No, I mean, your plan that might actually work."
"Ah, that plan. That would be to cross this room right now and kiss you until you start rearing off your clothing and begging me to f---"


Hehe, ever the confident and arrogant man...

"I will rue for all eternity every moment of suffering I've caused you. The entire time I'm burning in Hell, I'll regret each tear I made you weep. But if Hell were the price for twenty days with you, I'd condemn myself again and again."

Oh gosh, LOVE this man...

He searched her gaze a long silent moment. "You truly donna ken it, do you? Excepting with you, Jessica. You, lass, are the exception to everything," he said softly.
"You mean, you're not just stuck with me? You like me?" She wanted to kick herself the moment she blurted the stupid question. Puh-thetic, Jessi, she winced inwardly. That was worse than the "I carried a watermelon " line from Dirty Dancing.
Suddenly he smiled, and the sadness was vanquished by whisky heat. "Aye, Jessica, I like you. And I'm not just stuck with you. You fit me here, woman." He thumped his chest with his fist.
Wow. He wasn't a man of many words, but when he used them, he certainly used the right ones. You fit me here. You are the exception to everything.
Crimeny.


*sigh* Yeah, this man would do well to serve as this week's Hero of the Week and this is why:



Yeah, thats what I'm talking about....ORGASMIC! There's the word...

Until next week...

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Crazy Kisses by Tara Janzen

Professional soldier Kid Chronopolous moves in stealth and shadow to take out the world's deadliest threats. Now, after barely surviving a hair-raising mission in South America, the Special Defense Forces agent comes home to Panama City for some sorely needed R & R...and finds a bikini bottom that can belong to only one woman.

Nikki McKinney has never forgiven Kid for vanishing from her life after the mind-blowing passion they shared. Now he's suddenly back on the planet, where she's rising to the top of the local art scene. But her safe, sheltered world is about to be rocked to its core. Because there's a bounty on Kid's head-and his enemies don't care if they take him dead or alive. With dangerous people gunning for him, Kid's got Nikki running for cover...and right into his arms. Keeping her safe is his latest mission. Keeping their hands off each other is out of the question....


This is the story I've been waiting for since I started this series. We first hear about Nikki McKinney, Regan's sister from the first book, Crazy Hot, when she meets Peter "Kid" Chronopolous in the first book. Nikki is a wild and crazy artist, a real girly-girl with massive amounts of talent and major drive. She photographs and paints naked men..and she does an amazing job at it.

Throughout the series, we say Nikki and Kid interact with each other when he wasn't out on missions, and I loved reading about them. Even when I got irritated with the other books (which wasn't that often, acutally), I didn't want to put them down for fear I'd miss more about Kid and Nikki.

J.T. Chronopolous, Kid's older brother, was killed in South America in the second book, and Kid has been in a crusade of vengence ever since. He comes back from a mission, hurt and bleeding, to find Nikki in his South American home, even though he's heard she got engaged.

Nikki knew she needed to end things with Kid once and for all, but instead of the firm goodbye speech she'd planned, they end up in bed together. The next morning, Kid's worst enemy shows up and Nikki watches kid shoot some bad guys. After that, they head back to the states so Nikki can have her first big show and deal with more bad guys.

Though they know they love each other right from the beginning, it hasn't even been enough to keep Kid home with Nikki, or even in touch with her. Watching the two of them decide to fight for each other and that love IS enough was fabulous.

Tara Janzen really set the stage for the next few books in the series, too. The characters are fabulous and I love the fast cars and guns. Yeah, I'm not sure what that says about me either.

4 out of 5

The series order so far:

Crazy Hot
Crazy Cool
Crazy Wild
Crazy Kisses

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Into the Night by Suzanne Brockmann



Hero: Mike Muldoon
Heroine: Joan DaCosta
Grade: C

A terrorist plot to assassinate the president on U.S. soil transforms what could have been another humorous, larger-than-life Navy SEAL romance from Brockmann (Out of Control, etc.) into a sobering story that will strike a patriotic chord with readers. Brash, 30-something White House PR assistant Joan DaCosta and shy, super-polite 25-year-old Navy SEAL Mike Muldoon are an unlikely couple, but the two quickly connect when Joan is sent to scope out the naval base in Coronado, Calif., for a presidential visit. Though their attraction is immediate, Joan can't bring herself to get over their age difference and the fact that they live on opposite sides of the nation. Intertwined with their off-and-on romance are the recollections of Joan's grandparents (one a WWII veteran and the other a WWII widow); details of a terrorist plot to sneak machine guns onto the base; and a side story involving SEAL wife Mary Lou Starret's friendship with a man of Arab descent. As always, Brockmann's snappy dialogue infuses each encounter with wit and vigor, but what really stands out is her sympathetic portrayal of Mary Lou, arguably one of her least likable recurring characters. Although it will take readers a while to warm up to Mary Lou, as well as to Joan and Mike, who are less dynamic than the protagonists from Brockmann's earlier books, this is a worthy addition to the author's SEAL saga.

I read this book a while ago and the first time I read this book, I loved it...but was really intrigued by Sam Starrett, I wanted to know what made him the way he was, so sad and I really wanted to know what happened in his life that led him to marry someone he didn't love and made him just so unhappy with himself and his life. You see, I read this book first before having read the others in the series, when I found out I had read out of order, I immediately remedied that by reading everything before, falling all the more in love with this series...

The first time reading this book, I fell head over heels in love with Mike Muldoon. He was the perfect guy, too perfect some of the time, but that wasn't such a bad thing. He was the hottest guy, a pretty boy if you can say in the SEAL Team 16 and you know I love me some hot guys!

This book wasn't as good as the other books was for me, I guess because I couldn't stand Joan DaCosta. She got on my hot damn nerves with all her Junioring to Muldoon. I hated that she kept using their age difference against him and all of the pushing him away thing got really old, really fast...I just wanted to smack her upside her big ass head and say, "Get over it already you dumb shit!"

But I didn't, because like Meredith said in Grey's Anatomy on Monday, you can't help who you fall in love with...but damn Mike of all the good women in the world, you had to fall in love with Joan frickin' DaCosta?

You see, Joan works for the President for the United States and she's sent to Coronado to check out the location, make sure it's safe enough for a visit from the President because there have been a flurry of Terrorist Threats and what not, so Joan is partnered up with Mike and they're immediately drawn to each other, he's younger than she is, by 9 years and she has a hard time getting over that fact, I mean he's totally digging her and she is him, but because he's younger than her by 9 years, she tries to foil his plans for her at every turn, from trying to set him up with other women to insulting his manhood by calling him Junior all the time, it just got really old and made me want to do bodily harm to her person.

She almost ruined the book for me, but luckily Muldoon saved it. The action factor is high, for there is lots of action in this book, it was a good fast paced book, but becuase I had issues with the heroine and I hated to see Sam, so sad and whiny, I gave this book a C...but the series is still one of my very favorites...

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Monday, May 15, 2006

More Author News and a Congrats!


The ever informed Mailyn recently posted a few new blogs y'all might be interested in. It seems the lovely Lisa Kleypas has finally updated her site. She has quite a bit of news to share. She'll be leaving Avon after 17 years and taking on St. Martin's Press as her new publisher. This should be a wonderful move for her. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

Scandal in Spring, the fourth book in her Wallflower series, will be the last book published with Avon. According to her site, she has plans to publish at least three more in that series, including Cam's book (from Devil In Winter). You can read the excerpt here.


In other news, again from Mailyn, by way of Sarah, JR Ward finally has her Message Board up and it sounds like a hoot. The members of the Brotherhood seem to be regular posters, and from all accounts their topics are hilarious! Be sure to check it out.

I also wanted to take a second to congratulate Kate D. from Damned Scribbling Women on her new job and soon-to-be aunt status!!! Congrats on both, sweetie!

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Name Dropping by Jane Heller

Two women with the same name living in the same Manhattan apartment building? It could happen -- and does -- in Jane Heller's seventh novel, a breezy summer read as clever as it is comic!

Preschool teacher Nancy Stern is in a personal and professional rut. But what really puts a dent in her self-esteem is the realization that another woman named Nancy Stern has just moved into her building ... a Nancy Stern who lives in the penthouse ... a Nancy Stern who interviews celebrities for glossy magazines ... a Nancy Stern who's chummy with Harrison Ford. Nancy's loss of her own specialness deepens as she keeps getting the other, more glamorous Nancy's mail, phone calls and party invitations by mistake. It's all too much to bear -- until a man calls one night, intending to ask the other Nancy out on a blind date. In a moment of madness, Nursery School Nancy accepts, and what follows is a raucous tale of mix-ups, murder and mistaken identity. Leave it to the wickedly witty Jane Heller to come up with a story of a woman whose humdrum life turns out to be anything but.

I thought the concept of mistaken identity in this book would have been a great plot to pursue, one that would have provided readers with many laugh out loud moments, amused smiles and just a plain good ol' time. Apparently not. Granted, the book did have its moments, but nothing to the standard I thought it could have had.

I wasn't captured by the heroine, Nancy, nor her side kick friend Janice, who encouraged Nancy to take the leap of faith and go on the blind date with Bill Harris, full knowing that the invitation was meant for the other Nancy.

The hero, Bill Harris was handsome, charming and much like the man many women would like to find their HEA with. Although, at the beginning I found his character a little too strong for my liking, perhaps a little too keen. Which, I think is rather strange of me, since I live for heroes to woo their heroines. In this instance, when Bill was dating Nancy, (as the Other Nancy) in the beginning, I wasn't swept away by his keen attraction for her. I thought it was cute that he was slightly insecure in his pursuit of her and very honest, but I felt no *spark* for the hero.

But, I do have to say that towards the middle, the book did pick up for me. I enjoyed seeing the plot unravel, the mystery of the murder, Bill's protective nature towards Nancy, the pursuit of the bad guys and finally finding out why something about Bill Harris didn't quite add up. And I have to say, that I'm probably superficial because once I found out that my hunch about Bill was correct, my interest in him did increase a notch.

Overall, I thought this one was okay. Not bad, but not over the moon great. Some places I thought the book fell flat but other areas were able to pick it up a little, but not enough to warrant a spot on my keeper shelf.

2.75/5

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Romance Vs. Real Life

In many a romance book, for some reason or another, the heroine will leave the hero. Either the hero will tell her to leave for whatever reason, or the heroine will flee. In either case, the hero will usually brood. He'll become temperamental, drink a lot, with draw from the world. Those closest to him will find the heroine and tell her "you must come back! He loves you! He misses you!" Like Derek Craven from Dreaming of You. Derek even went to the extreme of visiting a house wench only because she looked like Sara.

Sometimes the hero will go to drastic measures to try and win the heroine back. For instance, Nick from Heartbreaker flew in an airplane (he's deathly afraid of flying) to tell Laurant he loved and missed her.

In Lover Eternal, Butch hides in the bushes to glimpse at Marissa. I admit, I thought it was cute and sweet. Had that happened in real life to me or my friends, it would be stalkerish.

But reading about it in a romance.....
I don't know about you, but when read stuff like I this I sigh, "How sweet" or "How romantic" or "Man, he must love her."


Right now, a friend is going through a break up. He is trying desperately to win her back. Which would be sweet, but it's too the point where I'm thinking, "Be a man. You did what you could, she's not coming back anytime soon, let her go." There is a bunch of stuff he's trying to do to win her back, but we won't go there. Let's just say, it's sad.


My questions: What is the difference between a hero doing whatever he can to win heroine back and the every day average Joe? When is hero deemed pathetic for his desperation to win the heroine back? If this was real life, would it be pathetic?

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To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie Moning

Only her love could gentle his savage soul--

He was born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, but Gavrael McIllioch abandoned his name and his Highland castle, determined to escape the dark fate of his ancestors. Hiding his identity from the relentless rival clan that hunted him, he called himself Grimm to protect the people he cared for, vowing never to acknowledge his love for ravishing Jillian St. Clair. Yet even from afar he watched over her, and when her father sent an urgent summons, "Come for Jillian," he raced to her side--into a competition to win her hand in marriage.

Why had he run from her so many years before? And why return now to see her offered as a prize in her father's manipulative game? Furious, Jillian vowed never to wed. But Grimm was the man she loved, the one who urged her to marry another. He tried to pretend indifference as she tempted him, but he could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar. She was the only woman who could tame the beast that raged within him--even as deadly enemies plotted to destroy them both....


This is the second book in Karen Marie Moning's series. It's the sequel to Beyond the Highland Mist. However, it makes no mention of Adam Black or the McKelter twins. So if you wanted, you could skip this and come back to it later. This is the only book that is not time travel in KMM's series.

So when Grimm is 14 years old, his clan is attacked. He stumbles upon his father taking out a knife from his mother's chest. Grimm can't believe what he sees and asks why. His father says they are born this way. Grimm runs away and summons to become a Berserker. A warrior so powerful, he's impossible to kill. The sign of a berseker: Ice blue eyes. Did I mention I'm a sucker for beautiful eyes?

So he runs away from home and he stumbles upon Caithness (sp?). It is there he meets Jillian. Jillian knows that Grimm is the man she wants to marry. Because Grimm believes madness and murder runs in his family, he tries to push Jillian away. After an attack on Jillian's family, Grimm leaves and that's how he meets Hawk.

Years later, Jillian father's grows weary of her sending away suitors. He summons 3 men to court Jillian. Grimm being one of them. Her father is one smart cookie, I have to say. He's done his research on Bersekers.

Jillian and Grimm resume their love/hate relationship. Grimm at first pushes Jillian to pursue one of the other two men, but she wants Grimm. Grimm is just afraid what the berserker in him will do to Jillian.

The rest, you have to read for yourself. I will say that Grimm learns the truth on what happened to his family the day of the attack.

This is one if my favorite KMM books. I love this story. I adore Grimm. He's my favorite KMM hero. I also loved Jillian parents. They were just too cute.

Grade A-

The Series Order is

Beyond the Highland Mist
To Tame a Highland Warrior
The Highlander's Touch
Kiss of the Highlander
The Dark Highlander
The Immortal Highlander

Spell of the Highlander.

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