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Monday, August 28, 2006

Today's Jazz's Birthday!

Today is Jazz's B-Day!  Can you believe she's TWENTY FIVE today?  A whole quarter of a century!  Poor baby.  *snicker*  Everyone hop over to her blog and wish her a happy day.  Make sure you tease her about being 25, too, ok?
 
Jazz,

Happy Birthday, Baby-girl!
 
Hugs,
 
Holly (and the rest of us at SF)

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Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Updated: Dylan's Review at the Bottom!

She stood at danger's threshold-

then love beckoned her in.

In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Feilding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven and into Derek Craven's dangerous world.

A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from, poverty to become lord of London's most exclusive gambling house a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper "mouse" can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion. . .and the promise of love.

I love this book. Love it. I fell in love with Derek Craven when I read this.

A man who grew up not knowing love, trust or friendship. Derek meets Sara but feels unworthy of her. He sstrongstong, unfeeling,invunerablerable but really, he craves to be loved by Sara. He wants her like no other, but knows he does not deserve her.

He forces her to leave believing its for her good. While she is gone, Derek is short tempered and hostile. He runs into Sara at a mutual friends house and meet in the garden. Sara confesses her love for him.

"You can't change the truth. You can act as if you're blind and deaf, you can
walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make
it go away. I love you."-Sara to Derek
She asks him to stay with her and he walks away from her. She is then later attacked and Derek asks her to marry him. They have a happy marriage. Derek adjusting to having a wife. But then his jealous ex lover (who is jupsychoyscho slut) burns the club and takes Sara hostage leaving Derek to believe she's dead.

"I love yocouldn'tdln't say it before. I couldn't-"
"I love you," he repeated hoarsely, burrowing against her. "I would have
given my life to have one more day with you, and tell you that."-Derek finding out Sara is alive.

Derek is my favorite hero of all time. He's my lobster. When he got scared and protective when Sara teased on how she may not marry him cause he's so rich touched my heart. How he ached for her so much. I mean the man stole her glasses and kept them near his heart. Sigh....

I love Derek Craven. I know Holly doesn't understand why I love him so. And that's ok, cause I don't get the Ben Lewis attraction. But Derek is my ultimate hero and this is one of my favorite books.
Grade: A+

Dylan's Review:

Hero: Derek Craven
Heroine: Sara Fielding
Grade: A+

Before I start this review, I've got to apologize to my dear friend, Holly. Holly, I tried very hard to not like this book as much as I did, but as you can see by my grade, I failed in that endeavor. So, because I LOVE Derek Craven, I apologize to you for letting you down. I hope you don't cut me out of your will, because I still love you. ;)

Now, on with the review.

Wow.

This story took me on one helluva rollercoaster, I tried very hard not to turn into a raving lunatic over Derek Craven and though I've accomplished that (not by much though), I have got to say that I can totally see why everyone is totally loco for this guy. The story and the characters were just oh so great.

I enjoyed this book immensely.

The storyline was great, I thought Sara Fielding was a GREAT heroine, one who didn't shy away from her feelings once she accepted them, she didn't try to make Derek crazy, telling him one thing and meaning another thing, she was straight up with him about everything and I really admire that because it's so hard to really do that. She didn't try to belittle her feelings for Perry when she got back and I loved how she gave them a chance even though she knew deep down that she was really in love with Derek.

I loved most of all, how she saw behind the mask Derek wore for everyone and loved the man for all that he was and all that he became.

She didn't love him because of what he could for her, or what he could buy for her, she loved him for HIM. She loved Derek Craven, for better or for worst and I really liked the way she tried to make Derek see that he's more than worthy of her love, like in the above quote Izzy supplied us with.

This book hit all the right spots with me, I thought it was exceptional and was the perfect first book to read by Lisa Kleypas, as it made me all the more excited to read the rest of her books, the only thing that irked me a little was the fact that I found out, AFTER I read the book that Lily and Alex's book came BEFORE this book, I have that book and didn't even bother looking at it, was too anxious to start Derek's book.

Derek Craven is a fantastic hero...he hasn't replaced KMM's Dageus MacKeltar or SB's Sam Starrett but he comes very close, he's very close to the top, usurping Sin MacAllister's spot in my heart (sorry Grace). I loved this man. I loved the man he grew up to be, the man he tried desperately to hide from the world and regardless of his snaggled tooth, I loved every part of him, he was so dreamy...the perfect hero, or one of them anyway..

Thanks to all of you out there in the bloggerworld for pimping this book to me, it was a great great read for me!

I loved it!

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Books That Need to Die!


Mailyn tagged me for this one. I'm not even sure how many I'll add to this list, so bear with me. Feel free to add your own in the comments section, though.

1) A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught. Her heroine was one of the biggest POS's I've ever read about in my entire LIFE! Yes, it was that bad. I don't care what you say her reasons for being TSTL are, she sucked, plain and simple. What could have been an amazing story turned into a nightmare because of the heroine.

2) A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. What.The.Hell. This book had the potential of being one of the greatest ever written. The story was awesome, the character development dead on. I was so wrapped up in the story I was IN TEARS throughout most of the book. And then it ended. I would have to say this is the worst romance novel ending in the history of romance novels. Seriously. It's that bad.

3) All That Glitter by Linda Howard. I've been a Linda Howard fangirl for ages, but this book needs to DIE! A slow and painful death. You have no idea how happy I am that I read most of her backlist before I read this one, because I would have just ignored her afterwards. Yes, it was that bad. The hero was an unforgiving clod and the heroine a complete doormat. I still get pissed off just thinking about this book, and I read it more than three years ago. The entire thing sucked, from the plot to the actions of the characters. Stay far away from this one!

4) Phantom Waltz by Catherine Anderson. The heroine was a big fat wussy who was way TSTL and the hero was such a push over I almost gagged. What had the potential of being a great story just ended up making my stomach roll.

5) Scandal of the Black Rose by Debra Mullins. I've never read a more DONE book in my life. The heroine was one of those idiots with Penis Envy and the hero just let her be that way. Plus, the plot was recycled.

6) After the Fire by Katherine Shay. How in the world can you write a ROMANCE NOVEL and have the hero be married the ENTIRE book? Until the last 20 pages, the hero was married (and living with) a woman besides the heroine. A woman that he'd pledged to spend the rest of his life with. Perhaps their marriage wasn't going well, but it doesn't change the fact that until 3/4 of the way through the story they were STILL SHARING A BEDROOM! WTF? How bout..NO!?!

7) Prince of Swords by Anne Stuart. The hero dressed in high-heels, carried a scented lace handkerchief and purred like a cat. Need I say more?

Ok, I'm drawing a blank of the rest of the books that bug me, so I'll stop there for now. I'm not going to tag a specific person for this, but if you have some books you think should die, post about them, and let me know so I can check it out.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

...Calling Kristie(j)...

Guess what I'm reading? hehe...



Just wanted to let you know that I finally started Lisa Kleypas' Dreaming of You last night...so far, so good. I'll keep you updated on my progress and we'll see if I become a rabid Derek Craven fan girl.

Hugs,
Dylan

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hero of the Week: Sebastian of Rydon

It's been a hot minute since we've had a HotW, so I thought I'd start one up today and highlight my favorite hero that I've read lately.

Sebastian of Rydon.

Not too long ago, we all reviewed Rene Lyon's, Midnight Sun and we all made fools of ourselves over Sebastian of Rydon. We only do that for heroes we really love and since most of our heroes share some of the same qualities, like quiet, lethal and demanding, you know all the good stuff, for Sebastian's HotW post, I'm going to concentrate on what makes me melt when I read his story.

There were plenty times in MS where I was positively drooling over how scrumptious Seb was, I was even contemplating stealing him from right under Grace's nose (Rene has let Grace claim Seb, the lucky wench) and seriously, can you blame me? I mean, look at this hunk of hot man.







Isn't he positively delicious?

I think so too.

But there's so much more to love to Sebastian than just his studliness. Remember when he tried to stay away from Allie but couldn't, remember how miserable he was without Allie? Remember how Allie felt after their first kiss?

A wonderful shiver passed through her, as she wished she were still lost in his kiss. His raw masculinity woke everything feminine in her. He was all grace and beauty, with a deadly ferocity simmering under the cool façade he presented to the world.

Damn...talk about sexy vampire.

And what about this one:

Ripped with thick cords of muscle, he oozed strength and sex appeal. Everything about him appealed to her, from his shorn head to the dragon tattoo on his upper arm. He was sexy as hell and it drove her insane how he pointedly ignored her when all she wanted to do was rip his clothes off.

Holy crap in the pants! Can I have one, seriously, Rene can I have one?

*sigh*

Sebastian's honor and the way he was around Allie, how much he cared, knowing he was damned and caring anyway, knowing that there was no way their relationship could work, but going for it anyway, because he loved her..now that is what I call, love.

Sebastian had it in spades for Allie Parker and I for one, am green with envy that his love is for her and not me...so there you have it, ladies..your Hero of the Week, I promise or try to anyway to have one up a week, like we used to...hehe.

Enjoy and a huge THANKS to Rene Lyons for introducing us to her sexy Vampire Templar, Sebastian and her dark world...we love it and we love you!

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Words and Phrases

As I was blog hopping today I stumbled upon a blog where a man was trying his hand at erotic fiction. And while his story was very erotic, if not my taste at all (brother/sister), there was one word he kept using over and over that had me cringing. I've heard it a few other times, only in my erotic reading though. What is the word? Well here I go.....SPUNK. For any of you who have never heard of this it is another term for Cum. But when I hear Spunk I think Funk, and when I think Funk I thing of something moldy and old and nasty. GROSS! That word just yanks me right out of the moment and the book is lost to me. So after reading this, and sorry I don't even recall what blog it was, it got me thinking. Hmmmmm, I shall blog on the different words and phrases that turn me off. So here it is.....first we'll start with the sexual terms that make me shutter...

Vagina
Cunt
Pubic Area
Penis
Cock (if over used)
Pussy (if over used)
Love hole (or any variation, such as...F*ck hole, sex hole)
Love tunnel

Okay now just things in general that are really okay but when I hear it over and over and over I just wanna say "Get a new phrase!"

"He grunted"
"He cursed and dragged her towards him"
"Crushing his mouth to hers"
growling (are these men or animals?)

I read these two books recently (the Sexy Books) and although I really enjoyed them, the author did one thing to bother me. She had her hero's in both books say the same phrase to the heroine. Not to mention that this phrase is very much a common one but to use it two books in a row? They were in a series! So the phrase? "You Undo Me..." Very romantic...yes. But you get my point right?

So is it just me or do you have your words and phrases too? If so let me know. I am all kinds of interested.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Truly, Madly, Yours by Rachel Gibson

WHERE THERE'S A WILL. . .
When pretty hairdresser Delaney Shaw returned home to Truly, Idaho, for the reading of her stepfather's will, she planned on paying her respects and getting out of town. But it seems the will has some unexpected stipulations-like the one that says if Delaney wants her inheritance she needs to stay put and have nothing to do with sexy Nick Allegrezza. . .for an entire year!

THERE'S NO WAY. . .
Ten years ago, Nick had swept Delaney off her feet and onto his Harley, and that's when she really let her down her Hair! Back then, he was a love-'em-and-leave-'em man, and Delaney learned the hard way that she was just a fling. But Nick is as irresistible as ever. And when the ladies at Tuesday night Bingo see Nick and Delaney making after-hours whoopee through the window of a local beauty parlor, Delaney knows it's time to decide if Nick I truly, madly the man of her heart. -- Excerpt from Rachel Gibson's website

Ten years ago, Delaney made a hasty exit from Truly, Idaho to escape her mother and step father's controlling ways. But not before Nick Allegrezza, the infamous bad boy of the town managed to get her flat on her back on the hood of his car - a fact neither of them can forget. Now that Delaney's back in town (for a brief time, or so she thinks) Delaney realises that whatever was between them years ago, is still there. And to make it worse, her step father just had to try and control her life, even after death.

According to Henry Shaw's will, Delaney could expect to receive a big fat inheritence IF she stayed in town for an entire year, but if she left..everything would go to Nick. Unexpectedly, Henry also left a provision for Nick. IF Nick can keep his goods in his pants and out of Delaney's for an entire year, then he'll be entitled to receive highly coveted properties..otherwise said properties would go to Delaney. Delaney is clearly outraged, as we'd expect, after finding out about Henry's will. But Nick on the other hand, he's purposely obnoxious -- "Does one fuck constitute a sexual relationship?" he asks after finding out about the conditions, even with Delaney's mother present. LOL, cracked me right up.

So with the grounds laid out, Delaney decides to stick it out and stay in town. But it isn't easy. She starts to receive messages telling her to leave town, she finds herself coming up against an old rival who stole her boyfriend in highschool, her mother continues to drive her insane and on top of it all, Delaney can't seem to keep her mind or hands off Nick Allegrezza. And Nick seems to be all for the idea, even though it put his inheritence at risk each time. Ultimately, it was only a matter of time before one of them lost and broke the conditions laid out in the will.

When I first picked this book up, I read the first chapter and then immediately put it down. I couldn't seem to get over the fact that Henry Shaw, who is Nick's biological father, adopted Delaney when she was a little girl making them step brother/step sister. I know, it shouldn't have been THAT big of a deal since they're not related by blood nor did they grow up in the same household, but still. I had to put the book down for an afternoon to forget the fact. But once I got over it, or pretended to get over it..I really enjoyed the book.

As expected, I loved Nick Allegrezza. I don't know if it's because he's the bad boy of the town who is sexy and tempting as sin or because his name just happens to be Nick. He's the type of guy mama's warn their daughters about and he's one of those alpha males who pretend that they're invincible and incapable of being hurt by others - but we all know different. Under all that arrogance and I don't give a shit attitude, he cares. Especially for Delaney. And it was so cute to read Nick doing random things for her showing that he cared, but denying it when she called him out on it. So cute. Even seeing Nick interact with his niece was verra cute.

The only things that didn't sit well with me on this one besides the step brother/step sister thing, was the fact that Nick had long hair and the on again off again attitude Delaney and Nick had towards each other. Yeah, it was fun to watch them try to fight the attraction at first, but after a while I got tired of it. I wanted them to realise and acknowledge their feelings before the final chapters of the book. I also thought the ending (when one of them finally had their epiphany and realised they couldn't live without the other) felt kinda rushed.

Bottom line: It was an enjoyable read, mostly because of Nick Allegrezza. Damn, he was hot. Minus the long hair, of course. ;o) So if you're looking for a light read and don't mind small town stories with everyone knowing everyone's business, try this one out.

3.75 / 5

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Top 100, Yep, I'm on board too...

I've seen this on a lot of different blogs, and it made me wonder how many I've read, too. So, here we go:


Red = read
Blue = Actual TBR pile
Green = Already entered on the written TBR list

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
2. Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale
3. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
4. As You Desire by Connie Brockway
5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
6. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
8. Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
9. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
10. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
11. It Had to be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
12. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh
13. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
14. The Proposition by Judith Ivory
15. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
16. Ravished by Amanda Quick
17. Frederica by Georgette Heyer
18. Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly
19. MacKenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard
20. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

21. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
23. The Bride by Julie Garwood
24. Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens

25. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney
26. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
27. Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth
28. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
29. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
30. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
31. My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway
32. In the Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel
33. The Windflower by Laura London
34. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
35. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
36. Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
37. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
38. Paradise by Judith McNaught
39. The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
40. Dream Man by Linda Howard
41. Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann
42. Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney
43. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
44. Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney
45. Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney
46. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
47. Heart Throb by Suzanne Brockmann
48. For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale
49. Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood
50. Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh
51. Untie my Heart by Judith Ivory
52. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
53. The Secret by Julie Garwood
54. This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
55. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
56. One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney
57. To Love and to Cherish by Patricia Gaffney
58. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
59. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
60. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
61. Daughter of the Game by Tracy Grant
62. The Prize by Julie Garwood
63. Reforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla Kelly
64. Prince Joe by Suzanne Brockmann
65. The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh
66. Heartless by Mary Balogh
67. Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
68. Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory
69. Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas
70. The Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer
71. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
72. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegar
73. With This Ring by Carla Kelly
74. The Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood
75. The Rake by Mary Jo Putney
76. Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone
77. Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
78. Castles by Julie Garwood
79. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
80. Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts
81. By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter
82. Perfect by Judith McNaught
83. My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth
84. The Defiant Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
85. The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
86. Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
87. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
88. Kill and Tell by Linda Howard
89. After the Night by Linda Howard
90. More than a Mistress by Mary Balogh
91. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
92. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase
93. The Charm School by Susan Wiggs

94. Scoundrel by Elizabeth Elliott
95. How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
96. Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney
97. Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz
98. Dancing on the Wind by Mary Jo Putney
99. Once and Always by Judith McNaught
100. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips


So, I've read 52 and have another 8 waiting to be read. Not too bad, I suppose.

So tell me, of the 40 I haven't read or added to my TBR list, which ones are must reads?

And you know what else I want to know? How the HECK did AKISA by Jude Deveraux end up on this list. UGH! ha ha

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Just for Kicks by Susan Anderson

***I'm way behind on my reviews (I think I have somewhere near 15 to post) so I'm doing drive-byes. If you want more info, leave a comment and I'll respond. HUGS! Holly***

Las Vegas showgirl Carly Jacobsen keeps finding out the hard way that her idea of fun differs radically from that of her neighbor Wolfgang Jones. Sure, he looks incredible, and he seems to have a thing for her legs, but the man's a robot. So what's with their chemistry?
Wolf has noticed Carly's legs, because they're always tangled up in leashes attached to her ridiculous assortment of pets. She's a pain, she's wacky, she's always in the way and yet for some reason he can't keep her out of his thoughts.
When a moment of weakness leads to some serious sheet-scorching sex, the two discover at least one area where they do both have fun. But outside the bedroom the stakes are getting higher, and love might come down to a roll of the dice . .


I've been a Susan Anderson Fangirl for awhile now. Her books are pretty light and fluffy, but they're entertaining and they make me happy. Just For Kicks is no exception.

Carly Jacobsen has hit a dry spell in her love life, her newest dog won't calm down and her new neighbor, the sexy security guard from her work, Wolfgang Jones, rubs her the wrong way. Basically, things aren't going too well for our girl.

Wolf is just biding his time, gaining work experience before making a move to another state as a head security honcho and keeping a tight rein on his emotions. He doesn't want to be known as one of the Wild Jones'. But when his parents show up and tell him they're leaving his 16-year-old nephew with him while then move - yet again - to Germany, he has a hard time adjusting. Especially since his neighbors dog irritates him and he's fighting an attraction to her (the neighbor, not the dog).

Of course, they end up kissing in the hall, and then battling back the attraction, while the sneaky 16-year-old tries to hook them up.

This was a cute story. I love that with SA the focus of her stories are the couple, not the plot. There's a minor plot here with a stalker guy who's after Carly, but it takes a backseat to the story of Carly and Wolf, which is refreshing. Watching Wolf come undone and Carly settle down was nice. And I liked the nephew, too.

I'm giving this one a 4 out of 5. It's a light read, but good.

Skin Tight
Just for Kicks

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Top 100.

Because Holly is my idol and I felt I had to be like her and do this list also. :)

Red = read
Blue = Actual TBR pile
Green = Already entered on the written TBR list

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
2. Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale
3. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
4. As You Desire by Connie Brockway
5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
6. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
8. Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
9. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
10. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
11. It Had to be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
12. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh
13. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
14. The Proposition by Judith Ivory
15. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
16. Ravished by Amanda Quick
17. Frederica by Georgette Heyer
18. Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly
19. MacKenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard
20. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
21. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
23. The Bride by Julie Garwood
24. Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens
25. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney
26. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
27. Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth
28. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
29. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
30. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood

31. My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway
32. In the Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel
33. The Windflower by Laura London
34. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
35. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
36. Nobody's Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
37. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
38. Paradise by Judith McNaught
39. The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
40. Dream Man by Linda Howard
41. Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann
42. Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney
43. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
44. Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney
45. Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney
46. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
47. Heart Throb by Suzanne Brockmann
48. For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale
49. Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood
50. Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh
51. Untie my Heart by Judith Ivory
52. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
53. The Secret by Julie Garwood
54. This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
55. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
56. One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney
57. To Love and to Cherish by Patricia Gaffney
58. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
59. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
60. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
61. Daughter of the Game by Tracy Grant
62. The Prize by Julie Garwood
63. Reforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla Kelly
64. Prince Joe by Suzanne Brockmann
65. The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh
66. Heartless by Mary Balogh
67. Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
68. Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory
69. Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas
70. The Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer
71. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
72. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegar
73. With This Ring by Carla Kelly
74. The Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood
75. The Rake by Mary Jo Putney
76. Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone
77. Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
78. Castles by Julie Garwood
79. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
80. Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts
81. By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter
82. Perfect by Judith McNaught
83. My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth
84. The Defiant Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
85. The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

86. Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
87. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
88. Kill and Tell by Linda Howard
89. After the Night by Linda Howard
90. More than a Mistress by Mary Balogh
91. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
92. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase
93. The Charm School by Susan Wiggs
94. Scoundrel by Elizabeth Elliott
95. How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
96. Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney
97. Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz
98. Dancing on the Wind by Mary Jo Putney
99. Once and Always by Judith McNaught
100. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Well, I suck. lol. Only 23 books.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thrill Me To Death by Roxanne St. Claire

HE KNOWS ALL HER SECRETS...

Max Roper never lets emotion get in the way of his job -- not since the tragic shooting that killed his fiancée's father. Now the former DEA agent is a Bullet Catcher, and he's managed to block out Cori's bitter goodbye -- and their sizzling passion. Those dangerous desires come back with a vengeance when Max is assigned to protect a recently widowed heiress: who turns out to be Cori. But Max must also discover his ex's dark

secret...and they both know she can't hide anything from him.

...AND HOW TO USE THEM AGAINST HER

Her luxury lifestyle suggests that Cori has gone from being a trophy wife to a merry widow, but nothing could be further from the truth. Suspicious of her billionaire husband's sudden death, she hires a bodyguard. But her protector is the one man who can melt her every defense -- the one man she blames for her deepest sorrow, the one man whose six-feet four-inches of solid muscle ignites reckless passion in her. And as they close in on a killer who hides in plain view, their high-stakes affair could cost her everything...including her life.


Former DEA agent Max Roper finds love again in this well-balanced romantic suspense novel, the second installment of St. Claire's Bullet Catcher series. Max is a member of the Bullet Catchers, an elite team of bodyguards made up of former government agents. His latest assignment is to protect Cori Peyton, widow of recently murdered billionaire William Peyton. Five years ago, Max and Cori were a couple on the verge of engagement; when Cori's father, Max's old partner at the DEA, died in a drug bust gone bad, Cori blamed Max, and ended their affair. Dogged by both the rekindling passion between them and suspicions about the secretive Cori's motives-did she kill her husband?-the stoic bodyguard delves into Cori and William's life by whatever means necessary: "[H]e knew a million ways to get information. With Cori, a million and one." As Max and Cori discover that she's a target for the mystery killers, the two uncover an intricate web of greed and deceit that traces back to Peyton Enterprises. St. Claire's ability to evenly match sultry romance with enticing suspense make this novel a superior entry into the romantic suspense game. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.


I was too lazy to outline the story for y'all, so instead I posted the Publishers Weakly review.

Basically, Max goes to protect Cori and finds himself just as attracted to her as before..which is really, really bad. Because his purpose for protecting her is two-fold: Keep her alive, and find out if she's the one the killed her husband.

Cori knows her husband's death wasn't an accident, so she wants a bodyguard there to keep her safe while she figures out the truth, but she didn't count on her new bodyguard being Max Roper, the man she holds responsible for her father's death.

I guess this book was alright. It didn't measure up to her first book, Kill Me Twice, but it was ok. I liked Max, but they made such a stink about him being so in control of his emotions and never letting anything get to him, but we never saw that.

Cori just plain bugged. When her father was killed, she just knew it was Max's fault, so she went to whomever and made sure he lost his job with the DEA, then she left him. Now, personally, if I thought someone pulled the trigger and killed my father, I'd just plain out hate him. Or refuse to see him. Or whatever. But we never get that from Cori. We're TOLD she hates him and blames him, but we never see that in her. Plus, she was close to being TSTL, thinking she could solve these murders herself and blah, blah, blah.

The plot wasn't too hard to figure out and the villian of the piece...well, that whole part was kind of..done.

I think if I hadn't read Kill Me Twice, I might like this one a lot better. But IMO, it didn't live up to my expectations.

3.00 out of 5

Kill Me Twice

Thrill Me To Death

Even though I wasn't as impressed with this book as I was the first, I still have to give her credit for her taste in men. This is the pic from her site for Max. Yum! Kudos, Ms. St. Clair. Kudos.

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Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh, a blogging experiment

Why not, right? If Jane says to do it, who am I to argue??

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at dearauthor.com. To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.


  • $200 Amazon gift certificate

  • Signed copy of Slave to Sensation

  • New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh

  • ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game



You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.



SLAVE TO SENSATION

Nalini Singh

Berkley / September 2006


Slave to Sensation



Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.



Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.



Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities�or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.



Excerpt

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Fairest Of Them All by Teresa Medeiros

She was rumored to be the fairest woman in all of England. But Holly de Chastel considered her beauty a curse. She had turned away scores of suitors with various ruses, both fair and foul. Now she was to be the prize in a tournament of eager knights. Holly had no intention of wedding any of them and concocted a plan to disguise her beauty. Yet she didn't reckon on Sir Austyn of Gavenmore. The darkly handsome Welshman was looking for a plain bride and Holly seemed to fit the bill. When he learned that he'd been tricked, it was too late. Sir Austyn was already in love — and under the dark curse of Gavenmore...

Holly is tired of men courting her only because she is so beautiful. She was raised and brought up to be a lady. Which she regrets because she never got to enjoy doing fun things. Like playing in the sun (Might ruin her skin) etc.

So when her father hosts a tournament to win her, she disguises herself as an ugly hag. However, Austyn, wants a an ugly hag for wife. His family was cursed by a beatutiful fairy (or so legend has it) that beauty would be the ruin of the Gavenmore me. So he hopes to break the curse.

He wins Holly and off they go. Except the night before the tournement, he spotted Holly in the garden. When he wins her, doesn't know that under disguise is the woman he spotted.

Holly starts to feel bad cause she only made herself look ugly to repel the men. So slowly she gathers courage to confront him. But Austyn catches her by the brook without her disguise. Mad at her, he throws her in a tower.

At first she's hurt and just sits in the tower. But then she gets over it and demands stuff to be brought to the tower so she's more comfortable. Then she sings. All day. Which haunts Austyn.

This book was pretty ok. Not one of my favorite books by Teresa Merdeiros, but good all the same.

Grade: B-

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sarah's Child by Linda Howard

A tragic accident took everything that mattered to Rome Matthews - his wife, Diana, and their two little boys. And it robbed Sarah Harper of her best friend. In the two years after the tragedy, Sarah wanted nothing more than to reach out to Rome. But she knew it was vital she stay away, guarding the secret she had kept from him and Diana all those years - that she was in love with her best friends husband.

But now Rome needs her. He wants to lose himself in the passion he feels for Sarah. Knowing he is trapped by a grief that won't let go,. and desperate to help him escape his pain, she willingly gives him what he so desperately craves. Though another woman will hold his heart forever, Sarah agrees to be his wife, knowing that everything has a price, including love. It is a price she is willing to pay, but one that will demand all of her courage and her heart.

Then something totally unexpected rekindles her hidden hope that a marriage of convenience will become a union of live. Now it all comes down to her husband. Will Rome keep fighting his own growing need for a woman who dares him to believe there are second chances in life...or will he give in to the power of love and miracles?


This was unlike any other Linda Howard book I've read to date. There was no plot to figure out no suspense. Just plain and simple a man struggling through the pain of losing his family and falling in love and starting over. About a woman who had loved for so long and had to hide it and then was given a chance to have it all.


Sarah had loved Rome since she first met him but when he met her best friend he chose her. Married to Diane and giving her children Sarah stood back and watched. She was still a good friend to Diane and never betrayed her feelings but she couldn't bare to be around them as a family. With Rome loving Diane so much. But in a tragic turn of fate Diane and their two sons where taken from Rome, in a drunken accident. It was all he could do to just wake up, smiling and laughing became foreign to him, and his eyes never held any life.
One phone called changed both their lives. Rome called Sarah one night to pick up some old mementos of Diana's from when they were in high school and in a moment of grief Rome broke. He collapsed and Sarah was there, soon his grief turned into something not so innocent. And he was on Sarah, holding, kissing, caressing. Stopping just in time he lashed out at her for the guilt he was feeling. But the next day he couldn't shake how she touched him, his soul. So he went to her. After the two of them saw each other casually for a while Rome stamps his claim and asks her to marry him. All very businesslike. Through misconceptions and misread signals they go though a few rough patches with hurt feelings and such. But soon they find their niche and Sarah starts to hope that one day he may love her as she loves him. Until it happens...the one thing Rome said he could never give her, would never give her. He said he never wanted any children, after losing his two sons he couldn't bare it. But Sarah gets pregnant and refuses to have an abortion. She gives him an ultimatum..."Leave me or Stay but I am keeping the baby. If you stay you don't have to be part of the baby's life, but I'm not giving it up!" Rome can't leave her, after finally finding a reason to live again he can't give it up, but he also can't accept the baby. Through the ending of the book we see how he struggles with this new part of his life, he wants nothing to do with the baby and make it clear. Leaving Sarah to do everything alone. It's her first child and is all alone in everything involving it. In the end of course we have out HEA for all involved parties, but I'll leave you to read the book to see how it comes about.

But I want to leave you with this, could you love someone enough that after they turn on you in the most important time in your life and leave you to do it all alone you can 'understand' where they are coming from and forgive without a second thought? I mean really not be mad and just say "it's okay, I understand". He missed major parts of their child's birth and beginning of her life. I just don't know if I could be that forgiving. How bout you?

Grade~ B

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Confessions of An Ex Girlfriend by Lynda Curnyn

Hero: ???
Heroine: Emma
Category: Chick Lit
Grade: C-
Buy It: here, here or at an independant bookstore near you, to search your independant bookstores, click here.

Ex-Girlfriend Emma Carter has a lot on her mind. Her boyfriend got a life — in L.A. Her hairdresser found God. And that extra ten pounds of "relationship flab" she acquired while falling in love with a commitmentphobe has just put her out of the running for new romance — or so she thinks. But before Emma can get on with her life, she's got to face a few startling truths about being single in New York City . . .

Confession #5: Marriage suddenly seems like a social disease.
Even the latest bride in my family — my mother — has put me to work in the service of her wedding day. What about us non-bride-to-be's? I wonder now. Working in the warped little world of wedding planning has only led me to one conclusion: If you don't get married in this world, you get nothing. Once, in an editorial meeting, I jokingly suggested that a woman should get a bridal shower when she turns thirty, wedding or not. Everyone looked at me as if I were some kind of nut. I am 31 years old; am I not entitled to free Calphalon yet?

Whoever thought that baring your soul could be this good?

This book started off slow and then the more confessing Emma did, the more annoyed I got. This book didn't really pick up, I think the only reason I kept reading it was to find out what happened between Emma and Derrick. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens.

I can't say that I had that heady glow around me after I finished this book, there was a lot of whining, a lot of depressed feelings and it was just meh to me. Even Emma's friends, Jane (she got on my nerves a lot in this book) and Alyssa was meh to me too.

This book didn't really do much for me, it was not bad but it wasn't all that either. Do I recommend this book? Not really...find something else to read because this I didn't really like and couldn't really get into.

I guess I didn't like this, because Emma's character was just a little sad and pathetic for my tastes. When I found out my ex boyfriend cheated on me, I didn't go into a depression the way Emma did, I man bashed, I hated my ex boyfriend, but I didn't swear off of men, I didn't do a lot of the things that Emma did and yeah we all grieve in different ways, but Emma's way of whining and confessing, was all just too stupid for me and I just didn't really care much for her methods of dealing with the break up...I don't like reading about weak heroines and throughout most of the book, Emma was weak, so yeah I just couldn't get into this book.

This is a pass for me.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

The of Veil of Night By Lydia Joyce and Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta

In darkness, he awaits her...

Byron Stratford, Duke of Raeburn, walks in shadow. Spoken of only in whispers, he lives alone in his crumbling manor, a cold, enigmatic recluse. Rarely appearing by the light of day, he moves as a wraith in the night, answering to no man. He cares little for those who dwell outside -- and does not abide the intrusion of others, lest they discover his secret shame... This is the sinister man Lady Victoria Wakefield must confront if she is to save herself from her family's ruin. Little does she suspect that she will emerge from her journey into that night as his shining sun— or that the passion that radiates between them will be their only defense against the true darkness threatening to destroy them both...


I couldn't get into it. Byron is rarely seen in the daytime. He's reclusive. Victoria comes him begging that he forgive her brothers debts. "I'll post them only if you stay with me a week." "I'm outraged, but ok!"

I skipped to the end. The reason why he stays away from light is because he's super sensative to it. He burns when he's exposed to it even for a few minutes.

Meh- Grade: D-


Happy Hour at Casa Dracula

Latina Ivy League grad Milagro de Los Santos can't find her place in the world or a man to go with it. Then one night, at a book party for her pretentious ex-boyfriend, she meets an oddly attractive man. After she is bitten while kissing him, she falls ill and is squirreled away to his family's estate to recover. Vampires don't exist in this day and age -- or do they? As Milagro falls for a fabulously inappropriate man, she finds herself caught between a family who has accepted her as one of their own and a shady organization that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.

I read about two chapters, then just put the book down. I didn't even skim through the ending.

Grade: F.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Hot Spot by Susan Johnson




Stella Scott doesn't date customers. So when a superhero-in-the-flesh strolls into her comic bookstore, snapping up rare editions and insisting on taking her to dinner, she knows she's in trouble. It isn't long before Stella finds herself revising her little rule. But while she's having a blast between the sheets, there's no way she's going to let herself do something stupid...like fall head over heels in love. Hopefully it isn't too late.



Okay this is easy to break down. In a nut shell....Stella owns a Comic Book store and writes her own comic "Marky B". She has a no dating customers rule and never breaks it till one day Danny walks in her store. He is a freaking God! Okay so he asks her out a few times she says no he pursues she says yes and the second she says yes they go up to her room and have wild monkey sex. They end up back at his house after a night out and then she sneaks out. He wakes up and realizes someone has been in his office snooping. So he puts Stella on his list of suspects. Stella on the other hand sees how much money Danny has and he seems to not work so she assumes he's a drug dealer. So on they go. Having sex, getting jealous over other men and women. Leaving each other, assuming the wrong thing about each other. Then in the last chapter they both find out the truth and decide to get married. Ummmm no! This was a totally unbelievable book! There was nothing but sex, and not even good sex scenes. Uggg. Waste of a read in my opinion.

Oh and Danny ended up being some designer of video games and made millions a month!

Grade: C-

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Monday, August 7, 2006

Summer Breeze by Catherine Anderson


Catherine Anderson goes back into Coulter family history with this tender historical love story set in 1889. The first meeting between Joseph Paxton and Rachel Hollister gets started with a bang, literally, as Rachel picks up her shotgun and fires. Rachel has barricaded herself in her family home ever since the rest of her family was murdered five years ago. Only Darby McClintoch, an old family friend, is allowed in the perimeter to bring her provisions; but when he is shot, the sheriff immediately thinks the Hollister family killer has returned. Darby prevails on Joseph to take up guard duty, but first Rachel has to be persuaded he is not an enemy. How Joseph falls in love with Rachel -- agoraphobia and all -- and ultimately gets past the barricade is a charming story, vintage Anderson. Rachel's recovery, aided by friends and the community as well as Joseph's dog Buddy, progresses steadily -- that is, until the Hollister family murderer steps forward. From Amazon by Ginger Curwen

Holly Says

What an amazing love story.

We all fear something. Whether we have a true phobia - such as my fear of the S word - or just something that makes us break out in goosebumps, we all know what it's like to be afraid of something.

Rachel Hollister's fear is that of being in an open space. Her family was brutally murdered right in front of her while they were out for a picnic. As a result, she hasn't stepped outside her home in five years.

Her faithful friend, the enderly Darby, has done everything in his power to make her a sanctuary inside her home. He barricaded all the windows and doors and converted her kitchen into as comfortable a place as possible for her.

Though Rachel knows her fears are irrational, they're there all the same, and she can't overcome them. She refuses to leave her small kitchen for any reason, and can't even open a door or window to allow sunlight in. For five long years she lived in absolute silence, with no natural light.

To keep herself occupied, she read books and crocheted. She spoke with Darby through the door of her home and that was the only company she had.

Until Darby is shot in the back and manages to ride to the neighboring Paxton ranch in search of help. Joseph Paxton finds him and promises to look after Rachel. Darby is convinced his being shot has something to do with the murder of Rachel's family and fears for her saftey.

As Joseph breaks into Rachel's home, he expects to find a crazy young woman, and instead encounters a lovely creature he's immediately taken with. He comes to realize that Rachel isn't crazy at all, only frightened.

Watching this story unfold has been a wonderful experience for me. Seeing Joseph do everything in his power to make Rachel's world one filled with sunlight and birdsong really touched me.

Since Rachel's fear is based on open spaces, Joseph hits upon the idea of installing metal doors with bars on them so she can enjoy the sunlight and still feel enclosed. Then one of the town's populace hits upon the idea of building her a stone-walled courtyard with an iron-work ceiling so it's completely enclosed, therefore allowing Rachel to be outside. They called it:

"Sunshine for Rachel."

Watching Rachel emerge from her self-imposed prison and into the sunshine for the first time in five years made my heart swell and my eyes sting with tears. Joseph's reaction to Rachel in the sunshine touched me more deeply than any other tender moment in a romance novel. I could feel their emotions as she turned her face to the sun for the first time in so many years.


She was halfway across the courtyard before it struck her that she was outside. Oh, God, outside. She staggered to a stop, frozen in her tracks. Her heart pounded violently. But nothing else happened. She could still breathe. She just felt a little dizzy and disoriented. "Joseph?"
"You're fine, sweetheart. You've got walls all around you. Look at them. Name me anything that can go through that rock."
She let her head fall back to put her face up to the sun. The gentle warmth on her skin was beyond wonderful. She held her arms wide and turned again, filling her lungs with fresh, cool morning air.


Joseph asks Rachel to marry him and the following scene is so touching. Rachel refuses him, saying she can't have a family living the way she does.


"What would I do? Push them out the wood safe to see them off to school?" She gestured with her free hand the encompass the kitchen. "A family can't live in one room."
"I'll make it work," he whispered. "I swear to you, darlin'. I can make it work. No hallways to frighten you, just a big room like this with water closets all around, only they'll be bedrooms, with you in the big room, living as you do now, never needing to go outside unless it's to sit in your courtyard or work in your flower beds."


The murder of her family was left unsolved all those years ago, and Joseph and his lawman brother David set out to find the missing pieces of the puzzle, hoping to keep Rachel safe and finally give her closure.

The story was sweet and amazing and one of the most touching I've read in a long time. It's not very often that you read a murder-mystery that's sweet and compelling as well.

I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the book. Something Joseph said to Rachel that touched my heart.


When I first met you, I thought I was opening up the world for you, but I was so wrong. You were the one who opened up all of my windows so I could see the beauty beyond the glass.


5 out of 5

Isabel Says

Wow. This story is so sweet and so good. Holly did a great review so I'm just going to say I really loved this book.

Joseph was wonderful in creating a safe world for Rachel to enjoy. Although he didn't understand her fear, he still did everything he could to make her feel comfortable. He was willing to even live with her in her safe little world. That's love.

I loved how the town got together to help Rachel also. Thank Holly for the pimp!!

Grade: A

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An Up and Coming Author...Anne Rainey

Just a little over a year ago I was posting on Lori Fosters bb. (Did I mention I LOVE Lori Foster? Well I do. My favorite book has got to be Say No To Joe?, but that's neither here nor there....lol.) Back to my story....like I said I was posting over at LF's bb, and I met quite a few great ladies. One of them being Anne Rainey.

She would post little bits and pieces of things she was writing, and she got me hooked! We started emailing here and there, and she'd share some of her work with me and I'd encourage her and say "Girl when you get published I'm gonna be the first one to buy your books!" Well guess what??? That time has come! The very same Ebook Publishing company that picked up our very own Rene Lyon's has picked up Anne! Samhain Publishing just contracted one of her stories titled "Haley's Cabin".
Samhain Publishing said it was: "a sharp, sexy, well-written story and I believe our readers will love it!"
And I can tell you from reading bits and pieces of that very story...IT IS HOT!!!! Oh did I forget to tell you Tami's stories are all very hot and very spicy? Well be prepared, you get your HEA with her but you also get ALL your fantasies, holding nothing back. She can definitely dish it out.
What's Haley's Cabin about? Well in a sentence and in Anne's own words:

Every good girl longs for a chance to be a little naughty, and when Haley Thorne's opportunity knocks, she eagerly responds.

But don't stop there! Go to her page here, and read what it's all about. You won't be let down, in fact you'll be drooling for more.
Tami loves hearing what we all think of her stuff so go to her page, read all her ideas, and sign her Guest Book! You'll love her as much as I do, I SWEAR!!! And believe me as soon as I know the date her book will be out, you'll know....cause I won't shut up about it!

OH! And before I wrap this up....let me just let you in on one more idea that Tami has that I am SOOOO excited about. She has a great idea for a series...but instead of me telling you about it read what she had to say about it!

The Domani

The idea came to me when I was talking to my mom one day as we were out shopping. She mentioned a woman she works with by the name of Venus. I thought that was such a neat name and wouldn't it be cool if... and so the rest is history. Now that the poll results are in, and everyone seems to want me to write a series about siblings with special powers, I decided to come up with a brief description of what I had in mind.

They are siblings. The aren't from this world, but come from a planet they call Domani. In Italian Domani means: Tomorrow....coincidence?

Here's a bit about the Domani

They came here by accident and were left behind, forgotten by their own, left to survive or die, the siblings came up with a few of their own laws to help keep the peace between themselves and humans.

Law 1: Humans must never know about the Domani people. They can never reveal their secret. Not to anyone.

Law 2: They are forbidden to have any serious relationships with humans...that little rule obviously goes awry, after all, it is romance.

Law 3: They can never use their powers against humans, only for good and only to help.

Each sibling has a power, other than that they appear to look exactly like us--somewhat taller and better looking, but you wouldn't know they were from a different planet.


To read about each sibling go here and scroll down to her June 20th post. Then drop her a line and tell her what you think. Personally I think it sounds verra interesting. I've read paranormal, but mostly some sort of vampire or whatnot....but siblings from another planet? With special powers??? Hmmmm....I think I like!

(Pssst....look forward to an interview in the near future!)

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Cover of Night by Linda Howard

In the charming rural town of Trail Stop, Idaho, accessible to the outside world by only a single road, young widow Cate Nightingale lives peacefully with her four-year-old twin boys, running a bed-and-breakfast. Though the overnight guests are few and far between - occasional hunters and lake fishermen - Cate always manages to make ends meet with the help of the local jack-of-all-trades, Calvin Harris, who can handle everything from carpentry to plumbing. But Calvin is not what he seems, and Cate's luck is about to run out.

One morning, the B&B's only guest inexplicably vanishes, leaving behind his personal effects. A few days later Cate is shocked when armed men storm the house, demanding the mystery man's belongings. Fearing for her children's lives, Cate agrees to cooperate - until Calvin saves the day, forcing the intruders to scatter into the surrounding woods.

The nightmare, however, is just beginning. Cate, Calvin, and their entire community find themselves cut off and alone with no means to call for help as the threat gathers intensity and first blood is drawn.

With their fellow residents trapped and the entire town held hostage, Cate and Calvin have no choice but to take the fight to their enemies under the cover of night. While reticent Cal becomes a fearless protector, Cate makes the most daring move of her life...into the very heart of danger.


How many of you have read Danielle Steel? I used to read her all the time when I was younger, but after awhile the repetitiveness of her writing started to wear on me and I gave up on her. I'm not talking about the constant reuse of key phrases, either, but the way she feels she has to explain the same point again and again and again.

That's exactly what Linda Howard did in this novel. Contrary to popular belief, I am not an idiot. Once you explain something to me once, I get it. I don't need you to repeat the same point over and over. Truly.

Three years ago, Cate's husband died of a Staph infection, leaving her a widow with very young twin boys. In an effort to provide financially for them and to escape all of the memories of Seattle, she moves to Trail Stop, Idaho. Bascially the very end of the map. A very small community nestled in the mountains of Idaho and miles from everything. The town is surrounded on three sides by mountains and has only one road for access.

Life is pretty peaceful for her and her twins. She's made some friends, though she's mostly kept people at arms length. The local handyman, Calvin Harris, is at her house almost every day, because it's an old victorian and seems to need constant repairs. Anywhoo, she has this guest come and stay who sneaks out the window during the day and leaves all his stuff behind. At first she's irritated that he ditched out like that, then she's worried about him, thinking he may have had an accident or something, then she goes back to being irritated when he's still gone two days later.

In the meantime, we find out that ol' boy who skipped out the window is actually a CPA who stole some VIP crap from some mobster and is attempting to extort an extreme amount of money from him. Well, as you can imagine, ol' mobster guy isn't very happy about that, so he hires this shady PI/Contract Killer dude to go after him. They eventually track him to the B&B in Trail Stop...and this is where the story goes south. Wayyyy South.

The thing about this book is...it wasn't that interesting BEFORE ol' contract killer dudes show up. But AFTER that? It was so over-the-top-unbelieveable I was almost in stitches. Seriously.

Here's the skinny. Ol' Contract Killer Dudes overhear Cate and her friend talking about how she's suspicious of them, so rather than being all stealthy and searching for the junk Ol' CPA boy left behind, they rush at her with guns and demand his stuff. She's getting ready to comply when Cal the Handyman shows up to get the mail. She sends him on his way, but on the off chance that something isn't right he circles back around and...saves the day.

Now, the thing is, up until this point, Cal can't string two words together in Cate's presence. He's painfully shy around her and even goes so far as to turn BEAT ASS RED when he's near her. I think LH was trying to make us see that he had different sides by throwing a few other scenes with him in it, but it didn't work. Not for me anyway.

But back to my bitching review. So Cal figures out that Cate's in trouble, circles around, knocks one of the Contract Killer Dudes on the head and takes the other one by surprise and disarms him. In the name of keeping things calm, he hands over Ol' CPA Boy's suitcase and sends them on their way. Yeah, dumn but whatever.

Conveniently, Cate's mom is visiting from Seattle, and wants the twins for a few weeks, so the next morning Cate sends them on their way, because she's paranoid and wants them safe. Which, ok, that makes sense. But it was just too neat and tidy that her mom was there when this went down.

But moving along....

The twins hit the road and the Contract Killer Dudes check out the suitcase. Well, well, what do you know. Seems there isn't any shaving stuff or person toiletries in the bag, so they figure she's holding out on them. So what do they do? Well, they decide to take the entire town hostage, of course.

*stares*

Yes, I said take the entire town hostage. Because Cate may or may not have a shaving kit that may or may not include the thing that Mobster Dude's CPA stole from him.

Yeah. Stooopid!

From there on it was just dumb. The POV's jumped around entirely too much, but we didn't get hardly anything from the hero. We come to understand that he's been in love with Cate since she moved there, and that he was formerly a Marine, so he's well able to handle the situation, but that's it. The character development sucked, IMO.

The twins were sort of cute, but since they only lasted like the first 20 pages or so I can't really say they grabbed me. The storyline was WAY over the top. I mean, how freakin ridiculous is it that 2 guys would take an entire town hostage - on their own - without even knowing for sure if she had what they wanted. We didn't get to see enough from the hero's POV. The storyline sucked. She jumped around WAY too much. During one chapter there was seven different POV's.

Overall, I wasn't impressed. At all. I'm really hoping the next thing she decides to write is WAY better than this. Way, WAY better.

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The Shop On Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber


There's a little yarn shop on Blossom Street in Seattle. It's owned by Lydia Hoffman, and it represents her dream of a new life free from cancer. A life that offers a chance at love . . .
Lydia teaches knitting to beginners, and the first class is "How to Make a Baby Blanket." Three women join. Jacqueline Donovan wants to knit something for her grandchild as a gesture of reconciliation with her daughter-in-law. Carol Girard feels that the baby blanket is a message of hope as she makes a final attempt to conceive. And Alix Townsend is knitting her blanket for a court-ordered community service project.
These four very different women, brought together by an age-old craft, make unexpected discoveries — about themselves and each other. Discoveries that lead to friendship and more . . .

I first saw the sequel to this book, A Good Yarn, at the store. I did my research and discovered there was a book before it. You know how I hate reading out of order. What caught my eye about these books? They were about knitting. I'm a crochet person myself, but I still liked the idea of a yarn shop.

We have 4 totally different women. From different social classes and backgrounds brought together by beginners knit class.

I really did enjoy these stories. Every chapter is about one of the 4 women.

Lydia, the owner is the shop, is finally living her life after two bouts with cancer. Although, when it comes to a handsome UPS man, she guards her heart. She's afraid the cancer could come back and she's afraid he'll leave the first chance it gets tough.

Jacqueline is one of those country club, high society women. When she finds out her southern "hick" daughter in law is pregnant she's none too please. Now her son won't see he's made a mistake marrying her. But as she goes along with her knitting, she discovers her daughter in law isn't all that bad after all. There is also a cute story about Jacqueline getting to know her husband all over again.

Alix has had it rough with her childhood. When Jordon shows interest in Alix, she pushes him away. THinking her wrong side of track history won't be good enough for youth minister Jordon.

Carol desperatly wants a baby. We watch her undergo in vitro and hope along with her as she prays to have a baby with her husband.

It's a really good book. Through knitting, the women all form an unlikey friendship. They touch each other's lives in one way, shape or form. For you knitters out there, there is a pattern for the baby blanket Lydia teaches the ladies.

This is a fast, enjoyable, feel good read.
Grade: B

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Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie

Hero: Jake Templeton
Heroine: Kate Svenson
Category: Contempoary Romance
Page Count: 250 pages
Grade: B+
Buy It: Here, Here or once again, at an independant bookstore near you by clicking, Here.

Objective: Find Man. Must Be Rich, Handsome, and Successful.
Kate Svenson is attractive, successful, a brilliant businesswoman — and miserable. After three failed engagements, she realizes it's time for a PLAN...an organized, detailed agenda with a clear goal: finding Mr. Right.

The Cabins resort is ripe with eligible bachelors, all rich, distinguished, and ambitious — just her type. And they're dropping like flies around her...at least, that's how Jake Templeton views the situation. After he's stuck pulling her latest reject out of the swimming pool, Jake's convinced this femme fatale is trouble. Especially for him.

But can a man who's sworn off ambition for good and a woman hanging from the top of the corporate ladder find common ground in the unpredictable territory called the heart, where the word proposal takes on a very different meaning...?


Another winner for Jennifer Crusie.

I enjoyed this book so much that I browsed right over the fact that Jake Templeton had a mustache. Because usually, I don't take well to heroes who have a mustache but because I enjoyed the hell out of Jake Templeton's character, his mustache was not a problem for me. Gosh, this book was funny. Kate Svenson was a great heroine too, she proved to be my favorite heroine of all of the JC heroines that I've read lately, she holds the top spot right now, she's even better than Min Dobbs in my opinion, which is saying something since I hecka liked Minn Dobbs.

Kate Svenson set out for Toby's Corner because her best friend, Jessie pretty much forced her to go. Kate is tired of being alone, she wants to find a husband who's successful and handsome and he's got to want to have kids and start a family but he's also got to want a partner and not a slave for a wife. So, off Kate goes to The Cabins in Kentucky with a plan to meet and fall in love with the many men that will be swarming the Cabins Resort. She's going to go and have herself a good time, meet gorgeous men, go on plenty of dates and she's going to find herself a fiance' dammit.

The Hotel's Events Coordinator is Valerie and she's likened to a barracuda. She's forever trying to lure all of the hotel guests to partake in the many festivities that she has planned for the day and the only way to escape being gunned down by Valerie the Barracuda, Kate rushes off with Jake Templeton, the lazy grounds keeper who is in charge of making sure the lawns get mowed. Jake Templeton is actually a partner in the entire Resort and everyday that Kate runs away to the lake with Jake is a day that they get closer and closer....as friends.

Jake lets Kate come along on his boat, everyday because she doesn't talk much and she lets him be, she's good company and when she does talk, he actually listens. They talk about anything and everything and Jake is content with his new friendship. But as each of her dates go down for the count, Jake gets happier and happier because it gives him more and more to razz her about.

As their story progresses you see the light finally alert them that they're actually perfect for each other, they're both what the other has been waiting for and what I liked about Kate is that when she came to the conclusion that she was indeed in love with Jake, she didn't shy away from him, she didn't pretend she wasn't feeling what she was feeling, she was upfront with Jake about it and she let him do what he would with her news....she had balls for standing up to Jake and laying her heart on the line, for him to either take or leave. I loved the fact that she called him out for the things he held against women because of the women of his past, I loved the way that she threw the truth at him and beat those facts into his brain until he realized that she's the best thing that will ever happen to him and if he won't appreciate her and give her what she wanted then she was gone, it'll hurt like all get out but she knew that it would doubly if she stayed, so she did what she thought was best for herself and I really admired that in her.

Jake on the other hand was such a funny cat that he made the story run by. My favorite scene in this book was the scene toward the end when they're fighting and then she's manipulating him in the boat.

"I was wrong," He lay back against the cushions, exhausted and happy. "You're not goign to kill me with sex. You're going to drown me."

"Jake, the boat is going down."

"So did you." He smiled at her in the moonlight. "Have I mentioned that was great?"

She grabbed the front of his shirt and shook him. "Jake!"

He sat up slowly. "What do you want me to do? Sing 'Nearer, My God, to Thee?"

"You, fool," she said and started to laugh. "Where's my underwear? it cost a fortune."

There was a good two inches of water in the boat now and it was sinking fasater. Jake fished around and handed her underpants and bra to her.

...He reached for his pants. "It was a good boat. I'm going to miss it."

....You killed my boat.

LMAO, this scene had me laughing my butt off. Especially since in Church yesterday, we sang that very same song! LOL. My friends sang that song and when Jake said that I couldn't stop laughing.

The book was a great book and it was good fun to read and I enjoyed the heck out of it and I know you will too. I didn't hate much of anything in this book, not even Jake's mustache, I loved the guy!

Read it, you'll like it!

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Sunday, August 6, 2006

What The Lady Wants by Jennifer Crusie

Hero: Mitchell PEATWICK Kincaid
Heroine: Mae Belle Sullivan
Category: Contemporary Romance
Page Count 250
Grade: B+
Buy It: Here, Here or support your local independant bookstores by searching for What The Lady Wants, Here.

Nothin' like a dame . . .

Mitch Peabody was learning pretty fast that the life of a private detective was not all it was cracked up to be. Cheating husbands, suspicious wives, unsuspecting mistresss — case after case left him cynical and disillusioned. This was nothing like the world of tough-talking detectives and smart-mouthed, stunning dames he'd envisioned . . . until she walked through the door.

Right down to her stilettos, Mae Sullivan was a knockout with a lethal body — and a lethal family to go with it. There was something not quite on the up-and-up about her, but she came with a case he couldn't afford to refuse . . . and left him with a case of lust like he hadn't had since high school. It didn't take long for him to fall for her, hook, line and sinker. But was Mae only interested in catching the double-crossing crooks who murdered her uncle . . . or did the lady want to catch him?


I enjoyed the hell out of this book.

But first off, one thing that got on my hot damn nerves was that Mitch's name was NOT at ANY time Mitch Peabody, but Mitch Peatwick. On the blurb in the back of the book it says Mitch Peabody so I was expecting to read about that guy and ended up reading about and falling head over heels in love with Mitch Peatwick Kincaid.

This book had me laughing from the time it started to the time it ended. Mae Sullivan is one fantastic heroine and Mitch was actually my favorite thing about the book.

You see, Mae needs a stupid PI to investigate her Uncle's death. She makes up some bogus story about him being killed (he died of a heart attack) and then wants to seduce a PI into investigating it to cause all kinds of hoopla so that they'll find Armand (the dead uncle's) diary...into the story comes Mitchell Peatwick, Private Investigator.

Mitch needs a little over $2000 to put him over the top to win the bet that he drunkenly took one year ago. He has fantasies of his last case not only putting him over the top but also being one whopper of a case by a beautiful woman with fantasy breasts.

Mitch of course takes the case, doesn't think Mae is the beauty he was looking for from his fantasies although she does have the fantasy breasts, they become a team and in true Jennifer Crusie magic, their story wraps you in and tickles your funny bone, the same time that she's making your heart sigh by how sweet it is.

As the story progresses, you can't help but fall for the characters, for me, it was all about Mitch. Mitch and his "pipeline" and his "gotta go see what's out west" bit had me cracking up and then the change in Mitch from the beginning of the book to the end of the book is just one hoot after the other, he transforms into this man that gets you all excited at the same time, he's saying something outrageous to make you laugh out loud.

Mae, she wasn't this dumb broad who didn't have a brain inside that head of hers, she was a smart mouthed, snobby chit but you didn't hate her for it. Oh no, she's got things she needs to do and people she needs to take care of, she doesn't have time to be stupid. Or do stupid things, she does what she wants and I totally dug that about her.

My favorite scene, well one of them happens when Mitch and Mae are getting shot at and Mitch tells Mae that she needs to hide and not move, he emphasizes many times that he doesn't want her to do something stupid like those heroines in the movies, he wants her to stay put and the funny thing is, she does. And when she almost gets shot more than twice and she's still staying put, Mitch finally loses his control, yells at her and then goes to save her sorry hide.

The whole time they're yelling at each other and Mitch is scolding her for not moving, he asks her, "Why didn't you move out of the way?" She yelling at him, "Because you told me to stay put, OMGosh Mitch I could've died"

And with him saying, "Serves you right"

It just had me laughing and laughing, Mitch's relationship with Carlo, Mae's cousin, is something else that cracked me the heck up, his relationship with Newton, his best friend is a hoot too. Oh and a surprise which came for me, is that Nick Jamieson and Tess Newhard, well in this book she's Tess Jamieson, from Strange Bedpersons made an appearance in this book. Nick is actually Mitch's lawyer and Tess is a good friend of his, we meet them again when they both come to Armand's memorial service, it was a hoot to see them again and I actually liked them both way better as secondary characters than I did in their own story as the main characters. What a riot.

Well anyway, this book was a good one, it had me laughing all night and I was more than a little pissed that the book was coming to an end but I totally recommend it to anyone looking for a light, funny story to read. It's a good one.

A real treat.

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Saturday, August 5, 2006

Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie


Hero: Zack Warren
Heroine: Lucy Savage
Category: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 248 pages
Grade: B+
But It: Here or Here or you can support independant bookstores and buy the book from a bookstore near you by clicking, Here.

Her cheating husband, Bradley, lobbed the final insult when he stood her up in divorce court. A dye job gone wrong has left her hair green. And someone is trying to kill her. To top it off, sexy cop Zack Warren is certain the very same man Lucy is trying to wash right out of her hair is the same Bradley he wants to arrest for embezzlement.

When someone shoots at her and then her car blows up, Zack decides she needs twenty-four-hour police protection. Next thing Lucy knows, Zack has moved in to her big Victorian house, making them both sleepless . . . and not just from things that go bump in the night!


I read two pages of this book last week before I started Strange Bedpersons and I didn't think I could get into it so I started what I thought would be the better book. As you can tell, I was sadly mistaken in that because I only marginally liked Strange Bedpersons and now that I finished Getting Rid of Bradley, I can say with an absolutely surety that I really liked this book. I liked the characters, especially Zack and Lucy, I swear their little romance blossomed right out of nowhere and at such an unbelieveably short amount of time that there was hardly any time for me to come up for air, but even though their romance took off at such a fast pace, it didn't take away from the story and it didn't leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

You see, Lucy Savage was stood up for her divorce hearing. She caught her husband cheating on her with some blonde chick and she immediately set out to divorce his stupid ass, but when it came time for their court hearing, he didn't show up. He signed all the necessary paperwork and told her he'd be there but he never showed up and Lucy was feeling all kinds of salty about it. He tells her to meet him at some sleazy diner and she goes there with her sister, who is this kick ass woman who browbeats everyone who tries to harm those closest to her. She's the biggest bitch in the world and gosh I loved her for it. She went to some drastic measures to ensure her sister's safety, but you couldn't really hate her for it, since it was more than apparent that she really did in fact love her sister.

At the same time that Lucy is at the diner, the cops who are hot on the track of an embezzler who embezzled money out of California and brought it to their hood, in Riverbend. The embezzler's name is Bradley and so is Lucy's husband so Zack puts two and two together and he closes in on Lucy and when they're shot at, he takes Lucy in and protects her from those trying to harm her.

Lucy and Zack's relationship started out with a bang! A bang from a gun who shot at them and their lives really aren't the same after that. They form this bond with each other and just seeing them fall in love so fast with each other, is charming and I got so wrapped up in their romance that when it was all coming to an end, I was a little miffed with myself for reading this book so fast.

What I liked about the book was the hero, Zack Warren. This guy is an aging cop (really he's only 36, but to him, that's old, okay whatever) who sweas he's losing his edge and his instincts. He swears he's getting old and he wants nothing to come with growing up, he doesn't want to get married, he doesn't want responsibilities and he most definitely doesn't want to care enough about anyone that he might lose, so he wants to steer clear of maturing into an adult.

When it comes to Lucy though, all bets are off. Not because he's fallen head over heels in love with her at first sight or antying like that but because the woman is a menace, she beat him up (or didn't beat him up depending on who you're asking) with her purse, her hair is the color of bad carpeting and she needs a keeper. He finds himself stepping into the role and not really caring one way or another what happens after that.

The closer they got, the cuter they became. They fought like there was no tomorrow and they laughed and joked with each other and she didnt let him get away with anything, I really liked that. Nobody understood her love for dogs, dogs that needed her care like Zack did and I just found that to be totally adorable.

Something else that I thought was entirely too cute was when Zack is pissed to high heaven at Lucy because she didn't stay put. The following quote was such a simple little thing, but I thought it was too cute:

""I thought you were dead," Zack grabbed her arm. "I thought somebody had grabbed you. I thought I was goign to have to raise your damn dogs..."

He thought he was going to have raise her dogs and after the trouble she went through with her husband, I thought that was too cute for Zack to say. It totally made me go softer on him than I already was.

Something that gave me pause throughout the book though was the Zack's enthusiasm for a commitment with Lucy after the first time they made love, I wasn't expecting that from someone like Zack and even though I breezed over that, it didn't give me pause for a bit because I wasn't expecting it and it was a bit unbelievable but it just gave me pause, I didn't let it bother me though.

I highly enjoyed this book, it was just the book to read after reading a meh book by Jennifer Crusie, it has given me the hope that I need to get over a book like SB and I'm glad for it. This book was a hit with me and I'm sure it will be with you, it's short, it's light and it's funny, a real treat, I recommend it on hot summer nights, it's the perfect thing to get you through.

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Friday, August 4, 2006

Table For Five by Susan Wiggs

Lily Robinson is not only the godmother of the Hollway children; she's also their teacher. So when Lily calls in the divorced parents, Crystal (her best friend) and Derek, for a conference, and the two of them are killed on the way home, Lily's grief is exponentially worse because of her guilt. Sean Maguire, Derek's half-brother, is an ex-pro golfer ready for a comeback. Crystal never got around to formalizing her request that Lily take the children in case anything happened to her, and Sean is named as their guardian in the will. But Lily refuses to walk away from her godchildren, so Lily and Sean force themselves to cooperate with each other, an exercise that begins to lead to a grudging respect.

Wiggs explores many aspects of grief, from guilt to anger to regret, imbuing her book with the classic would've/could've/should've emotions, and presenting realistic and sympathetic characters. Never maudlin, Wiggs writes with an even hand, thus adding another excellent title to her already-outstanding body of work. Shelley MosleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

This wasn't a typical fairy tale like romance novel. The hero and heroine didn't meet, instantly fall in love, get married and have half a dozen babies. No. A horrific tragedy occurred in the form of a car accident, leaving 3 children alone and orphaned, resulting in two people altering their lives to help the children survive their loss.

When Lily Robinson finds out her best friend Crystal Hollway had died in a car accident with her ex-husband, she's torn apart. They had been best friends for the longest time and she couldn't even begin to imagine life without her. But after her initial shock, she pushes her grieving aside to care for Crystal's children, just as she had promised. Lily turns her life upside down in order to make room for the children and vows to make sure they all get through their loss, together. The only problem is, Crystal hadn't had the opportunity to officially make Lily the children's legal guardian, should they pass away...leaving the court to rule in favour of Sean Maguire.

Lily knows she can't contest the will and especially not without causing further havoc in the children's life. So reluctantly, she hands the reigns over to Sean - who is in no shape to raise 3 children on his own and they both know it. But Sean is determined as hell to make it work, somehow - even if he knew next to absolutely nothing about caring for kids.

With Cameron, Charlie and Ashley in Sean's care, Lily is off the parenting hook, but she has trouble letting go. And so she finds herself frequently dropping in at the Hollway residence, to check up on both the kids and Sean's parenting. But we all know, those regular visits were more than that. Lily had always loved her godchildren, but somewhere along the line, Lily fell in love with Sean too.

I really enjoyed reading this one. It was great to see the tough yet rewarding journey these five people took in order to deal with their loss. They made sacrifices to make it work, they made mistakes, they took chances and somehow they made it work. Together, Lily and Sean picked up the pieces in all their lives and rebuilt a family.

As for the children, the one that got to me most was Cameron. He was a young kid with the weight of the world on his shoulders, a lot of resentment built up, fear and insecurity, and uncertainty of the future. I loved how Susan Wiggs portrayed his troubled character in addition to giving us a glimpse into his unconditional love for his sisters. By the end of the book, there was no doubt of the self journey Cameron had gone through, with the help of Sean and Lily, and his new friend Becky.

Other cute things that warmed my heart was the shared devotion both Sean and Lily had towards the children. I loved the way they discussed the kids and their well being, as though they were in fact their very own. It was even cuter to see a man's man like Sean, attempting to fix Ashley's hair, just like Crystal.

The only thing that would have made this an even better read, would be a greater exploration of Sean and Lily's feelings. I understand that a big focus was on making it work for the kids etc, but it would have been nice to see more of the chemistry between Sean and Lily.

Bottom line: A great read, with a touch of realism that brings a tightness to the throat as the characters try to pick up the pieces and find their bit of happiness.

4 / 5

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