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Friday, March 30, 2007

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Hero: Dean Roubillard
Heroine: Blue Bailey
Grade: B++

Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a trip to figure out what's gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can't imagine. A young woman . . . dressed in a beaver suit.

Blue Bailey is on a mission. As for the beaver suit she's wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curve balls? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out of it.

They're soon heading for his summer home, where their already complicated lives and inconvenient attraction to each other will become entangled with a charismatic but aging rock star; a beautiful, fifty-two-year-old woman trying to make peace with her rock and roll past; an eleven-year-old who desperately needs a family; and a bitter old woman who hates them all.

Natural Born Charmer . . . for anyone who's ever thought about leaving their old life in the dust.

Man but I really enjoyed this book.

Lots of spoilers in my reviews (like you didn't know that) so here's your warning, didn't read the book? Skip this and come back when you read the book...but this is your review (the non NBC readers) THIS BOOK IS REALLY GOOD, GET IT AND READ IT FOR SOME GREAT LAUGHS, A CUTE LOVE STORY AND FANTASTIC SECONDARY CHARACTERS, SEP REALLY SHINES WITH THIS BOOK...

Now, onto the spoiler ridden review for those of us who enjoyed the book...very much.
It was one of those books that I wasn't expecting to like and ended up really liking anyway. The one where you don't think it will hold a candle to the previous book and yet it stood well on it's own without the added bonuses of old characters that you love and can't get enough of.

This book did a great job dragging me in and keeping my attention until the book was done. Susan Elizabeth Phillips weaves a story that made me smile long after I put the book down. It's one of those stories that had just the right amount of sarcastic wit, sparkling characters and that small town charm. SEP did an extraordinary job of Dean's story. I was a bit bummed when I learned that though Annabelle and Heath played little parts in this book, they weren't in a huge bulk of the story, there was only passing remarks on Phoebe and Kevin (LOVE HIM!) but none of that mattered because I met some wonderful new characters that I just loved to death.

This is the same kind of story, studly football star hero and not so great looking but has potential heroine, thrown together for a wild ride. Dean and Blue are no different from the other story but SEP does a great job of giving Dean and Blue their own twist on the same storyline, I didn't mind it one bit. I really enjoyed SEP's wit and her characters.

Dean was the perfect bonehead hero that had me laughing out loud more times than I can count. I loved his sarcastic sense of humor, his Godly looks and his indifference to everyone but Blue. I loved the wall he tried to form around himself concerning his parents. I loved it even more when he manned up where Riley was concerned, because though he didn't want to, he knew that he had to because she was..family. The family he always wanted. For better or for worst, I just loved Dean through his thick headed stubborn self and I loved him even when he was a big time dick, he was just so effing great.

Blue on the other hand was just as fantastic as Dean, in her I don't know how to dress myself, hide my feminine side and sharp wit. Her sassy mouth totally worked for her. I loved her personality, her no bullshit attitude and just everything about her....well except her sense of fashion. That needed a great deal of help and I cheered when she finally got it right. And can I just say that I LOVE the dress on the cover of the book? Is that not the cutest dress? I think so....but anyway, I enjoyed Blue's character and I enjoyed the things she brought to the story, she was a fantastic heroine.

I loved the way Blue and Dean met and how taken with her drama that Dean was. I loved how Dean tells Blue that he's gay and then later shows her how much...he's not. That was a riot and Blue's parting remarks to Dean at their wedding..had me crackin' the hell up, if you want to read the remark, you'll have to read the book (since I don't have the book with me, hehe)

I fell right in love with April Roubillard and Jack Patriot, not to mention Nita Garrison and little Riley Patriot. I loved the journey to being a real family these guys had to go through in order to get it right and when they finally had what they were looking for, it was just great to see. I was glad that Dean came around and things worked out for them in the end. It was oodles of fun.

This was a great book, a great storyline and filled with great characters, a definite read!

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Night Secrets by Kat Martin

They had come from opposite worlds: Brianna, a young woman trapped in a life from which she longs to escape, and Capt. Marcus Delaine, the Earl of Hawksmoor, a man whose heart and soul cannot be touched by anyone. When Brianne stows away on his ship, their lives are filled with passion. But when tragedy strikes, Brianne and Marcus are torn from each other. Traveling to England, Brianne is determined to touch the heart of the embittered man Marcus becomes--even if it means losing him forever.

My first Kat Martin book. Pretty good.

Brianne did bother me in the beginning of the book though. See, she's a tavern wench in her father's tavern. She's sick and tired of working there. So she decides to stowaway on Marcus' ship. She wants to have an adventure and see things. She's discovered though by someone and he takes pity on her. So he keeps her presence a secret. Unfortunalty they encounter rough waters and Brianne is discovered. Marcus is not happy and makes her stay in his chambers. The kind man is punished. Brianne complains it's not fair. Oh well, Marcus says, he didn't follow orders and report her so he must be punished. Brianne is allowed to work in the kichten but decides to sneak down to visit the guy and bring him food. On her way she's almost raped. Marcus rescues her again and this time says she's can't leave the room and she must watch the guy get flogged. She insists she's ok and doesn't want him to be flogged but Marcus doesn't bend. You'd think she'd learn her lesson right? Nope.

They pull into port and Brianne is left behind becuase it's not safe. She decides to walk about the ship thinking she'll be ok. Nope. The guy who was flogged comes back and attempts to kidnap her. She is once again saved. See, annoying. After Marcus rescues her, again, he comforts her and they do the nasty.

When they head back home, Brianne tells Marcus she understands that she won't see him for a long time and promises if she's preggers, she'll write. Then it's Marcus' turn to be annoying.

While at sea there is a really bad storm and Marcus is hurt. Really hurt, like he could never walk again hurt. He's taken back home to England. Someone sails back to Brianne to tell her what happened and she sails to England. She wants to be with Marcus. Of course, Marcus being man, yells at her to leave but secretly hopes she'll stay. Brianne is then told the doctor had said it's possible that Marcus could learn to walk again.

Will he? Will he pull through?

All in all, a good story. It wasn't great but it was enough to make me want to read more.

Grade: C+/B- (cause they both got on my nerves sometimes)

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Grade: B

Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a trip to figure out what's gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can't imagine. A young woman . . . dressed in a beaver suit.

Blue Bailey is on a mission. As for the beaver suit she's wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curve balls? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out of it.

They're soon heading for his summer home, where their already complicated lives and inconvenient attraction to each other will become entangled with a charismatic but aging rock star; a beautiful, fifty-two-year-old woman trying to make peace with her rock and roll past; an eleven-year-old who desperately needs a family; and a bitter old woman who hates them all.

Natural Born Charmer . . . for anyone who's ever thought about leaving their old life in the dust.

I read this a while ago, well maybe a week or more, but just haven't gotten to review it yet. Sorry. But I'm here now. And it sure wasn't because the book was lacking. Cause I really liked the book.

Blue, yes that is really her name, is stomping down the highway on her way to kick some ass when a gorgeous man stops and offers her help. Even if he is laughing at her as he does so. And so starts another amusing, heart pulling, warm, laugh out loud novel from Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Dean is feeling out of sorts and if picking up a pissed off woman dressed as a beaver will put off him having to do a self evaluation on his feelings then that's fine with him. But as one thing leads to another Dean finds himself dealing with things he's spent his whole life purposely not dealing with. Like who his father is. What his mother did to him. The fact that he has a little sister that he's never met.

But as that very sister seeks him out looking for help his world starts to unravel. And oddly enough the only constant that he has is Blue, the crazy, speak your mind, poke your nose in others business, badly dressed woman he picked up on the highway. The woman that although she won't admit it needs him and his help just as badly. The woman that never stays anywhere long enough to grow roots, and fears any type of a real relationship.

So read on and find a cocky woman and man that just may be very wrong for each other at first glance but can't seem to stay away at the same time. A bitchy old woman that seems horrible at first buy just might be a little lonely. And a father and mother that haven't' seen each other in 30 odd years, may have done a horrible job parenting but really really want another chance. And a little girl that helps pull everything together.

I really did like this book. I know this review may not be giving it justice. You know with me being all rusty since I haven't posted a review in FOREVER! lol. But it was a great read. It had me laughing, and it had my heart aching. The one thing that I will tell you I didn't like was the way the ending was brought on. You know what I mean? The ending was fine, but the events leading up to I didn't like. I didn't' like what Dean did, how he went about what he did. And .... Oh hell just go read the book. lol. It's a great read. You won't be disappointed. Although I am glad I got it from the library, I'll buy the pb when it comes out.

Oh and you don't see much of any of the other characters so I'll let you know now. Don't be disappointed on that front.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

I've Butchered Butch's Sex Appeal for my Friends

My friend loaned me Lover Revealed today. It'll take me me a while to read it cause I have a tons of books I want to read but to tell you the truth, I'm afraid. I'm afraid to read this book. Why you ask. I'll tell you.

When I read the first book in the BDB my impression of Butch was a burnt out cop and the image of a burnt cop (in my mind) well... is this:

Yup Dennis Franz. I can not shake that image. And to read Butch's book means imagining Dennis Franz the whole way through. I don't really want to picture that. Especially when it comes to the love scenes. The lovely Ames was kind of enough to burn this image in my head:

Yes, that is Dennis Franz. Naked. On the beach. I've tried picturing different men as Butch, such as the Horatio on CSI:Miami, Grissom from CSI: Vegas. Doesn't work, my mind once again turns to Dennis Franz.

I'm proud to say that I've ruined the image of Butch for 3 of my friends so far. If I have to suffer, so does everyone else. For the most part, I imagine nameless men and women but to my preference. Example: If the man has a mustache or beard, I imagine him without. Unless he's a highlander or a native amercian, long hair is a no no. The are only a few characters where I've had a certain actor in mind. Tom Paloetti from Suzanne Brockman's Troubleshooter series is Bruce Willis. Theo Buchannan from Julie Garwood's Mercy is Vin Disel.

I'll probably end up reading this book with the image of Dennis Franz burned in my mind. I'm a nosey gal and want to know what's going on in the series. But I'm wondering, when reading a book, do you imagine certain actors/actressess? Did I ruin your image of Butch? Who do you imagine as Butch?



Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Hero: Heath Champion
Heroine: Annabelle Granger
Category: Contemporary
Grade: B+

In This Heart of Mine, you met Kevin Tucker. Now meet Kevin's shark of an agent ... and Annabelle Granger, the girl least likely to succeed.

Annabelle is tired of being the lone failure in a family of overachievers. She's endured dead-end jobs and a broken engagement. But that's going to change now that she's taken over her late grandmother's matchmaking business. All Annabelle has to do is land the Windy City's hottest bachelor as her client, and she'll be the most sought-after matchmaker in town.

With his money-green eyes and calculated charm, Heath Champion is the best sports agent in the country. He's wealthy, driven, and gorgeous, so why does he need a matchmaker, especially a red-haired screw-up like Annabelle Granger? True, she's entertaining, and she does have a certain quirky appeal. But Heath is searching for the ultimate symbol of his success—the perfect wife. And to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right?

If Annabelle isn't careful, she just might find herself going heart-to-heart with the toughest negotiator in town -- a man who's beginning to ask himself ... exactly how perfect does perfect have to be?

I really liked this book.

It starts out with us meeting Annabelle Granger, a firecracker of a woman who is frowned upon in her family. She's the "black cat" of her family. She's got 2 successful brothers and a mother who nags the ever living daylights out of her because she's 31 and hasn't settled down into a career. Annabelle's had a few businesses that have gone under and she's trying to turn her grandmother's matchmaking business around and make something of herself. She's very passionate about life and just reading about her attacking the venture of making a success out of her grandmother's business, modernizing it and everything was just a crack up.

She was a very quirky heroine and she kept me laughing and just feeling for her. I loved her sense of humor, I loved all of her little gripes against Heath and what I most liked about her was the way she handled being handled by him.

The chemistry between Heath and Annabelle is unmistakeable to the reader, even if it was farthest from Heath's mind. I loved the way SEP wrote these two's relationship. I loved how at the very beginning they were so at ease with eachother, the scene where Heath makes her ride with him somewhere and she thinks he's gonna leave her and she's running through traffic hollaring for him to wait and she's got her Mocha frap and how he just kept taking it from her and drinking it, the SECOND time he met with her...I loved that kind of business.

I liked seeing the old characters from the previous books actually having reasons to be in the story and not just talked about. Those are some of my favorite characters and to see them back in action right along with Heath and Annabelle scored major points with me.

I loved revisiting the campground from This Heart of Mine. I loved seeing Kevin (my favorite SEP hero) and Molly again and more over, I loved seeing little Hannah again. Goodness, that little girl is just about my favorite kid character ever, she's so great!

Heath Champion, there were times when I wanted to take him by the shoulders and just hold him still for a minute, he so reminded me of Jerry Maguire in that, I move faster than my feet can take me and I'm eager to please all of my clients to the point where I am in dire need of therapy way. The transformation from first class jerk to the insecure manly sexy man at the end was great. I loved seeing him grow attached to Annabelle, it was a treat to see him all wanting to make things right Annabelle.

I even loved little Pippy...she was so cute with her phone fettish...with her Heath's phone fettish. haha.

Annabelle's family got on my hot damn nerves so I was really happy that Heath came into her life and became her Champion...even if he didn't see her family the same way she did. I loved that finally, Annabelle was one up on Candace that conniving little bitch.

The way the story was told had me reading early into the morning, I didn't get to sleep until 3:00am on the dot and I can't say that I'm mad about it. The only thing that didn't boost this book to an A is that I felt the end was sort of rushed and kinda fell flat with Heath's realization of his love for Annabelle, I wanted more from that but as a whole, this book was a really great read for me.

Thanks SEP!

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas.

*I don't think I could do this book review without spoilers so if you read this review, be prepared for lots and lots of spoilers, if you don't want to read them, please skip this review and come back to read it when you've read the book, this book was a sure winner in my book but I'm so damned excited about this review that I probably WILL spoil it for you so this is your warning.*


Hardy Cates, Gage Travis
Heroine: Liberty Jones
Grade: A


Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas - if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty Jones is a complication he doesn't need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than both of them.


When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty finds herself under the spell of a billionaire tycoon - a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family's past.


Two men. One woman. A choice that can make her or break her. A woman you'll root for every step of the way. A love story you'll never forget.

This book gets a whopping WHOA DANG and a THASS WASSUP! from me.

Lisa Kleypas knocks this one right out of the park. A total grand slam that had me sighing with all the goodness one could hope to find in a book. As a first contemporary, I think she did a fantabulous job with this book.

Liberty Jones was a heroine to admire, befriend and love because of everything she went through and everything she lived through. The determination that was piled into this young woman was an honor that I quite liked...very much. To see Liberty Jones grow up before my eyes in this book was a delightful journey that had me rootin' her on from the very beginning. Her love and drive for her younger sister, Carrington was enough to seal my love of this story from the moment little Carrington came into the story. To see the fierce bond between the sisters is something that I found quite charming. I loved reading about Liberty's struggles and her triumphs and just everything she went through to grow into the shoes she was wearing at the very beginning.

She totally rocked!

Lisa Kleypas did an extraordinary job of making me fall in love with two totally different men. I don't think I've ever fully loved two heroes in a book as much as I did Hardy and Gage. I mean, I haven't read many other books where there were two heroes but I know that in all of the books that I read with two heroes, I loved one more than the other right from the very first. That wasn't the case in this book.

In Liberty's youth, she falls in love with Hardy Cates and if you ask me, it wasn't hard to fall in love with the boy who took such good care of you. The one that helped you get over your fear of the mean growling pitbulls, the one who taught you how to perfect your basketball skills so you wouldn't get teased mercillessly at school about it, the guy who drove your pregnant mother to the hospital to have your little sister, the one who cared enough to help you with your baby sister when you were babysitting and fretting about a school test that you needed to pass but couldn't study for because the baby was being fussy, the one who cancelled a date to help you study for the test you want. The one who felt just as passionately about you as you did for him but couldn't be with you because you were too young.

The one who wanted so much more than the town of Welcome, Texas could ever give him, the one who had nothing to offer you but wanted so much to offer something.

It wasn't hard to fall for Hardy and his determination to get out of Welcome and make something of himself, to get out before he turned into the Father he never wanted to be.

When Hardy left town, I had my fingers crossed that he would find himself and come back for Liberty and Carrington. Make them a family, I wanted that so much that I was giddy to read on and see what would happen between Hardy and Liberty.

But then I met Gage Travis.

He was so different from Hardy and yet had the same steely strength that I loved so much in Hardy Cates. Seeing Liberty come out of her shell the way she did with Gage, mainly because it was so unexpected (okay not really but still, for Liberty it was) and their romance was slow to ignite, I fell hard for Gage.

It was amazing how Lisa Kleypas had the ability to make me feel Liberty's indecision when faced with both of the men she's loved all of her life. She's had many men come and go in her life but her heart had only been touched by two.

Hardy and Gage.

Her indecision was just as hard on me as it was for Liberty because like Liberty, I was torn between the two men.

Her choice at the end was great, I was totally happy with her decision because when you look back, it was the right choice for her. It was the right choice for who she was and the person she became. I loved that she loved her chosen man with all that she was and that the hardness we all went through (me, her and the men, LOL) was necessary because it made her appreciate and love the man she chose with nothing holding her back. There wasn't an elephant in the room when the decision was made, everything she went through took part in the way the book ended and I couldn't have been happier.

Though, I was a bit disappointed in one of the men, it didn't change how I felt about the story as a whole. This was a sure winner and I couldn't have been happier with a book. I loved how the characters came to life for me and I loved how much I felt where all of the characters were concerned. When one of them hurt, I hurt and when one of them was happy, I rejoiced in their happiness. I loved how all of the i's were dotted and all of the t's were crossed. There wasn't anything left hanging and I'm so glad, because it made me enjoy the book all the more.

Great great book!

A definite read!

Thanks Lisa for a great read!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Kitten Club by Dara Edmondson

When forty-year-old salon owner Kitty Murphy meets dashing entrepreneur Harrison Wentworth, III she’s instantly drawn to his powerful presence. Kitty fights the intense attraction, fearing Harrison’s motive is to woo her precious salon away from her. But losing her salon isn’t the only problem on Kitty’s horizon. She worries constantly about Josh, her drug-addicted son.
College student Brooke Barnes discovers she’s carrying Josh’s baby. Can she save him in time to be a father to their child?

Before I get into my review, can I just say: Dara Edmondson really knows how to grip a reader. This is my second novel by her, and both of them totally grabbed me right in the beginning. Fabulous.

I've been having a hard time writing this review. Not because I didn't enjoy the book, but because I did.

I think, once again, I judged a book by it's cover. The Kitten Club seems like a sort of light, fluffy book, just based on the blurb and the cover. But it's actually a very deep, emotional read.

The struggles Kitty faces are very real and very deep.

Ms. Edmondson takes us on a journey of self-discovery. Kitty is a single mom. She finds out her son has a drug problem and questions herself: Did she make the right choices while raising him? Could she have done better? If he'd had a father in his life would he have turned out different? That's something all mothers wonder as their children grow and especially single mothers. I felt totally connected to Kitty in that respect.

Watching Kitty struggle to do the right thing by her son and for herself was interesting to read about. At times it was hard, because she had to face some hard truths about the kind of person her son had become. Once Brooke, Josh's girlfriend, becomes pregnant, Kitty's struggles become even more pronounced. But having Harrison there really helped her along, I think. And watching a strong man do what needed to be done to help both Kitty and Brooke melted my heart.

There were things I disliked about the book, like Brooke deluding herself into thinking Josh didn't have a problem, even after he stole her money, jewelry and car. Not to mention her rushing off to find him one of the many times he disappeared on a binge.

I'm on the fence about the way Kitty handled Josh's issues and her attraction to Harrison. For most of the book she's convinced that Harrison is in the mob and the only reason he's with her is to get her salon away from her. I understand part of that, because Harrison's father and grandfather were kind of unsavory characters and because Josh's father was a rich guy who was just playing around with Kitty and left her as soon as she turned up pregnant.

But Harrison did everything he could to show Kitty he cared about her. I think she almost went too far in pushing him away. Not quite, but close.

The thing is, despite my issues, I really liked the characters. They were real. Kitty's actions and reactions were just what I imagine a mom's would be in that situation.

Something that really bothered me, though, was why Brooke was ever with Josh to begin with. She seemed like a nice, sweet girl who was really down-to-Earth and had her stuff together. So why, then, would she end up with someone like Josh. This is actually something Ms. Edmondson addressed but something I still don't feel was cleared up. Harrison says something to Kitty to that effect and she gets very upset with him, but eventually sees things from Harrison's point of view. The question was never really answered, though.

Oh, and I had some issues with all the typos in Compromising Positions. I'm happy to report that there weren't any in this book (well, ok, maybe one or two, but it wasn't over the top). Very nice.

Overall I enjoyed the story. It was so much more emotionally involved that I expected it to be. I think Ms. Edmondson did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life and showing us the darker side of motherhood, both from Kitty and Brooke.

4.25 out of 5

One last thing: I don't think the title, The Kitten Club, or the cover properly do this book justice. I expected a lighter read based on those two things. Just my opinion.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Dream Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Hero: Arikos
Heroine: Megeara Kafiero
Grade: B-

In the ethereal world of dreams, there are champions who fight to protect the dreamer and there are demons who prey on them...

Arik is such a predator. Condemned by the gods to live eternity without emotions, Arik can only feel when he's in the dreams of others. For thousands of years, he's drifted through the human unconscious, searching for sensation. Now he's finally found a dreamer whose vivid mind can fill his emptiness.

Dr. Megeara Kafieri watched her father ruin himself and his reputation as he searched to prove Atlantis was real. Her deathbed promise to him to salvage his reputation has now brought her to Greece where she intends to prove once and for all that the fabled island is right where her father said it was. But frustration and bad luck dog her every step. Especially the day they find a stranger floating in the sea. His is a face she's seen many times.... in her dreams.

What she doesn't know is that Arik holds more than the ancient secrets that can help her find the mythical isle of Atlantis. He has made a pact with the god Hades: In exchange for two weeks as a mortal man, he must return to Olympus with a human soul. Megeara's soul.

With a secret society out to ruin her expedition, and mysterious accidents that keep threatening her life, Megeara refuses to quit. She knows she's getting closer to Atlantis and as she does, she stumbles onto the truth of what Arik really is.

For Arik his quest is no longer simple. No human can know of a Dream-Hunter's existence. His dream of being mortal has quickly turned into his own nightmare and the only way to save himself will be to sacrifice the very thing he wanted to be human for. The only question is, will he?

This book was pretty good.

I liked Arikos, I liked getting to know the Dream Hunters, but I've got to say, I didn't like the Dream Hunters better than the Dark Hunters. For me, it's still all about the Dark Hunters but I liked reading and getting to know Arikos, Solin, D'Alerian, M'Ordant and even M'Adoc. Those cats are some interesting fellows. I'm more than a little intrigued by Solin and can only wonder if he's going to get his own book since everyone and their mother seems to be getting their own book these days. I might be persuaded to buy Solin's book should it ever become available. I also need to go back and read D'Alerian's book, he did have one, right?

Megeara, who wanted to be called, Geary (for reasons that are totally beyond me, why not Meg or Ara, but Geary? Yeah, okay...whatever rocks your socks, girl!) was actually a pretty decent heroine. Her story of trying to find Atlantis to clear her father's name and snub all of those people that laughed at her father for his pipe dream to find Atlantis and prove everyone wrong was a pretty good story.

I loved reading about all of the Gods and Goddesses. It was a little funny to read about Hades being this outrageously hunky manly God, when all I can think of is the Hades from Disney's Hercules. He was soooooo not outrageously beautiful, like the Hades of SK's world, but hey I liked that touch. It was cool. I'm hecka loving this twist on the Greek Mythology stuff, it's really good stuff.

I don't remember much about the Dream Hunters from the previous books, so I can't really say that SK messed up on some of her own rules because if she did, I didn't catch any of it in here, but....I did enjoy this book and am glad that I read it.

Would I recommend this book to others? Oh yes, this book was for sure better than Sins of the Night, so yeah....go on and read it, it was good. You'll love you some Arik, I know I did. Geary was easy to read as well, she wasn't a TSTL heroine and I'm glad for it. I loved that it was, well I can't tell you guys that without spoiling the book so if you want to know what I liked most about Geary and this story, then email me and I'll get the talkin' with you on there. I enjoyed this book, it wasn't this dramatic book that made me cry and weep and all that, it was just good stuff.

I thought I would be able to stay away from SK's DH series since I've been so annoyed with the direction she's been taking it in but I was glad that I went against what I wanted to do and read this book, it was good...really good.

Good job, SK.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Twisted Kingdom V. 2

Something very exciting is happening at Twisted Kingdom.

Welcome to Twisted Kingdom v.2! As you know, we are re-inventing this blog to make it better than it was! Lots of new features and reviews coming up! Read about the Re-birth of the blog here.

To help promote V.2, the wonderful ladies over there are hosting some wonderful contests:

To celebrate TK's rebirth, we will have two contests!

Here's how they work:

The first contest is simple and the goal is to spread the word about TK's rebirth! All you have to do is make a short announcement on your blog, myspace or website about TK's rebirth and link back to us using the buttons in the sidebar. Of course, if you can find better ways to let the world know about TK, go for it :D

The dateline for this contest will be March 25th, 11:59pm. Let us know that you have participated by leaving a comment and the url to your blog, myspace or website in this post! Simple, no?

The second contest is a tad more challenging, but probably much more interesting. That is, you have to write a guest review! It can be any book, as long as there is some fantasy or paranormal element. It could be a book you have just recently read or your favorite fantasy/paranormal book and it doesn't matter whether it has been already reviewed at TK or not! So, how to participate? Easy, you write your review following TK's simple guideline (really just a few requests to make all of our reviews uniform) and submit it at thetwistedk@gmail.com by April 15th, 11:59pm. Your review will most likely be post the following Tuesday or Thursday. The more guest reviews you write, the better your chances to win!

For each contest, we will have a draw to determine the winner :) But, what is the grand prize? The winners will be able to choose their own prize: a fantasy/paranormal book written by one of our featured Author of the Month! Since we have not chosen the Author of the Month for the next following months yet, the winners will be given one year to choose!

Easy, simple and you get a free book!

Head on over and help Twisted Kingdom Celebrate!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Overheard by Maya Banks.

Hero: Luke Forsythe
Heroine: Gracie Evans
Grade: C

Gracie Evans wants a Valentines she won't forget. Luke Forsythe plans to give her exactly what she wants.

Gracie Evans is a woman tired of the men in her life not satisfying her in bed. She's had a string of boyfriends, but none of them have come close to satisfying the vivid fantasies she has. Two weeks before Valentine's Day, she breaks up with her latest boyfriend after a night of lackluster sex.

When her good friend, Luke Forsythe, overhears her talking to their friend Shelly about what she really wants, he's stunned. And very turned on. Gracie thinks there isn't a man alive who can satisfy her in bed. Luke aims to prove her wrong.

Dude, this book is extremely hot and extremely vulgar. I may be new to this erotica business but this was some wicked hot steamy stuff.

Luke and Gracie are in the same circle of friends. They've been friends for like ever and Gracie has just broken up with her latest boyfriend, who just can't satisfy her in between the sheets, so one weekend, their circle of friends are at their friend Michelle's house for a barbeque and Gracie and Michelle are talking in the kitchen and Gracie is enlightening Michelle on what happened between her and her latest break up.

She tells Michelle, in detail what went wrong and what she wants, what she's tired of, then she goes on and tells Michelle a few of her fantasies. Luke, who was sent into the house with a pot of food for the women to do what they wanted with, overhears Gracie talking about all of this and instead of making himself known, he totally eavesdrops on their conversation and realizes that...hey, Gracie is a freaky girl, I'm a freaky guy, I can totally get down with Gracie. He hears Gracie tell Michelle that she thinks there isn't a man alive who can handle her in the bedroom, or keep up with her.

And his eyes are opened to a relationship thats been in front of him all this time. So he does what any hot blooded sexy stud would do.

He proceeds to pursue Gracie and prove to her that there are men out there who can hang with her but none of them will hold a candle to...him.

And prove her wrong, he did. Every fantasy she talked about, he brought to life and one of her fantasies was a threesome with two men.

Who does he ask to be the other man in their threesome? ANOTHER friend in their circle of friends. And he totally agrees. Now if that doesn't change the way of things in your circle of friends, I don't know what will...but these three friends, get down and dirty and while some of it was really hot, a lot of it made me hurt for Gracie. I mean, at one time, she had one in the front of her filling her with ooey gooey heaps of pleasure and then the other was in the back, and well...can you just imagine how much ramming that'd be? I'm sorry if I'm being crude or whatever but goodness, I visibly blanched at the thought because....OUCH!

Overall, this story was just one big horny love fest between two friends. There really wasn't much of a story, just a whole lot of sex and while my horndog ass can appreciate it, it really didn't do much for me.

I enjoyed Haley's Cabin a lot more than this one, but this wasn't exactly horrible...just not enough, I guess. I wanted more storyline and more character development, but it was okay.

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Lisa Kleypas is Visiting Sybil Today

Y'all should go check it out. I'm a total Lisa Kleypas fangirl and I can't tell you how excited I am to see her guest blogging at one of my favorite haunts.

I'm still conducting my survey, so any input would be much appreciated. Please don't forget to email any response you might have no later than this Friday, the 16th.

And check back later today for a new review of The Kitten Club by Dara Edmondson. I was very impressed with the book and can't wait to share my thoughts with you.

I hope you're all having a great day!

Holly (and the rest at SF)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sisters by Danielle Steel

Four sisters, a Manhattan brownstone, and a tumultuous year of loss and courage are at the heart of Danielle Steel’s new novel about a remarkable family, a stunning tragedy -- and what happens when four very different young women come together under one very lively roof.
Candy (it’s the only name she needs ) is blazing her way through Paris, New York, and Tokyo as fashion’s latest international supermodel. . . .

Her sister Tammy has a job producing the most successful hit show on TV, and a home she loves in L.A.’s Hollywood Hills. . . . In New York, oldest sister Sabrina is an ambitious young lawyer, while Annie is an American artist in Florence, living for her art. . . . On one Fourth of July weekend, as they do every year, the four sisters come home to Connecticut for their family’s annual gathering. But before the holiday is over, tragedy strikes and their world is utterly changed.

Suddenly, four sisters who have been fervently pursuing success and their own lives -- on opposite sides of the world -- reunite to share one New York brownstone, to support each other and their father, and to pick up the pieces while one sister struggles to heal her shattered body and soul. Thus begins an unscripted chapter of their lives, as a bustling house is soon filled with eccentric dogs, laughter, tears, friends, men . . . and the kind of honesty and unconditional love only sisters can provide. But as the four women settle in, they are forced to confront the direction of their respective lives. As the year passes and another July Fourth approaches, a season of grief and change gives way to new beginnings -- as a family comes together to share its blessings and a future filled with surprises and, ultimately, hope.

With unerring insight and compassion, Danielle Steel tells a compelling story of four sisters who love and laugh, struggle and triumph . . . and are irrevocably woven into the fabric of each other’s lives. Brilliantly blending humor and heartbreak, she delivers a powerful message about the fragility -- and the wonder -- of life.

Grade: B for over-all story, F for the shit the dad did.

I haven't read a Danielle Steel book in years! Actually the last DS book I read was not really me reading, it was an audio book and it was The Dating Game. It's funny cause DS has a way of making me hate and love a book at the same time. But I won't get into TDG with this post, this is for SISTERS!

Every 4th of July all for Adams girls come home for their parents big party. Along with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since they are all spread so wide they really cherish this time together and never miss it. But this year disaster strikes it the most horrible way imaginable.

As the worst possible fate hits one of the sisters they all pull together (I'm gonna spoil a little here so beware, but you'd find it out in like the fifth chapter anyway). In a freak car accident the mother of all four girls is killed and the artist sister, Annie, loses her eye sight and is just lucky to have survived at all.

To help Annie, and themselves, cope with this staggering change of life they decide to move in with each other for one year. And face more in this year than they ever imagined.

Candy the supermodel struggles with losing her mother by digressing back to a eating disorder she's had since her first major modeling break. And in the world she lives in it is no wonder she can't find the right man, hell at her age she should be with boys anyway at only 21. And this time her sisters aren't standing back to watch another family member throw their life away.

Annie wasn't sure life was even worth living when she woke up to find out her mother was dead and she was blind. She lived and breathed her art all her life, trained to be an artist. What does she do now? Sure that her life will be nothing but her depending on her family and growing into a spinster she was shocked to find that life can go on. Just in a different way. We follow Annie as she learns the basics all over again, how to cook without burning herself, shower herself, and fall in love all over again.

Tammy loves her job, she's created and produced a show of her dreams and even if she can't find anything but crazies to date she's happy with her life. But after the 4th of July things change. She still loves her job, but really feels she belongs with her sisters in NY not in LA. But what could such a drastic decision do to her career that she's faught so hard for? Could she possibly find a happy life in NY? And possibly love?

Sabrina is a major divorce lawyer in NY City and loves her job. But it's really shaded her view of marriage. The way she looks at is, why mess with what works? She and her boyfriend have been together for 3 years and she's in no rush to change anything. She loves having her space and he his, and when they want being together. But at 34 and Chris 36 he wants more. He wants it all, marriage, kids, and he wants it with the woman he loves, Sabrina. But when the tragedy hits Sabrina takes the biggest load on as the oldest daughter. When Chris says he wants more how will she react? Are her fears of a failed marriage going to keep her from the man she loves?

One of the hardest things for the girls to deal with after their mothers death and Annie's blindness was their father. He was married to the woman he loved for 35 years and they never realized how much she did till he started to fall apart. Hating to leave him but knowing he'd have to learn to live again the girls go to NY leaving him in Connecticut. But when a younger woman, younger than Sabrina, starts to sniff around they tell their dad to watch out. Women will be pounding down his door, he is after all rich and still a handsome catch. He blows them off and his naive worries them. As well it should. When 5 months after their mothers death he drops a bomb on them they are shocked, and don't know if their family can handle it.

I'll tell you now. I really loved this book. I balled my eyes out for about 3 chapters when the accident happened. And it was also full of laughs with the sister living together. It was real life and it touched your heart.

At times it did read a little narrative. Like I was being told the story instead of seeing it unfold. Does that make sense? Well that was only a few times, for the most part it was really great.

The only fault I have with this book was the father. He was so sooooo soooooooo unbelievably stupid in the end. I think it should have been written as he almost making a huge mistake but the girls talking him out of it. But the way it ended? With the dad? I HATED IT! It pissed me off to no end. I know my rant on him is not really making sense but I don't want to spoil to much.

Oh what the hell, I'm gonna spoil it so if you don't want to know stop reading now. You've been warned.

He marries a girl 26 years younger than him! FIVE MONTHS AFTER HIS WIFE DIED! He said age doesn't matter when your in love. And when the girls told him it was disrespectful to their mother so soon and with a practical child he didn't listen. When they pointed out that if Leslie really loved him and cared about him she wouldn't rush it, he didn't listen. He had the freaking nerve to say his wife would want this for him, to not be alone. I am not lying when I tell you I got sick to my stomach reading that part. And when the book ended he was still married to her! None of the girls would go to see them at their house, when they wanted to see their dad they had him (alone) come to their place or meet him somewhere else. Which I'm at least happy about that. At least they didn't give in to the bitch bimbo and welcome her to the family. Especially since she was someone they all thought of as a slut when they were in high school together. Someone that their own mother said was fast and wouldn't allow them to hang out with. Yeah sure your wife would approve of her as her replacement FREAKING MORON!!!!! Okay end of rant.

Honestly, besides the dad part I really enjoyed this book.

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann

Hero: Max Beghat
Gina: Gina Vitagliano
Category: Contemporary
Grade: B+

As commander of the nation's most elite FBI counterterrorism unit, agent Max Bhagat leads by hard-driving example: pushing himself to the limit and beyond, taking no excuses, and putting absolutely nothing ahead of his work. That includes his deep feelings for Gina Vitagliano, the woman who won his admiration and his heart with her courage under fire. But when the shocking news reaches him that Gina has been killed in a terrorist bombing, nothing can keep Max from making a full investigation - and retribution - his top priority.

At the scene of the attack, however, Max gets an even bigger shock. Gina is still very much alive - but facing a fate even worse than death. Along with Molly Anderson, a fellow overseas relief worker, Gina has fallen into the hands of a killer who is bent on using both women to bait a deadly trap. His quarry? Grady Morant, a.k.a "Jones," a notorious ex-Special Forces operative turned smuggler who made some very deadly enemies in the jungles of Southeast Asia . . . and has been running ever since. But with Molly's life on the line, Jones is willing to forfeit his own to save the woman he loves.

Together with Max's top agent Jules Cassidy as their only backup, the unlikely allies plunge into a global hot zone of violence and corruption to make a deal with the devil. Not even Jones knows which ghosts from his past want him dead. But there's one thing he's sure of - there's very little his bloodthirsty enemies aren't willing to do.

Okay, it took me over four months to finish this book and boy was I glad that I did. So Max and Gina we know from Over the Edge are back and they're getting their own book. Max is still being a butt head about not wanting to keep Gina in his life because even though he loves her with every breath in his body, he's afraid of loving her and well it doesn't make things any better with her being like 20 years younger than he is.

But love her, he does.

In the first half of the book, it drove me up the wall how many times Max tried to drive Gina away. There were times when I wanted to do bodily damage to him at how dumb he was being, but that was when I thought his issues were the age thing between him and Gina.

Well, and then there was the thing with Grady Morant, Dave Jones to those of you guys who have read Out of Control, Molly and Jones were a big part of this book since Molly is Gina's new best friend, they served in a camp out in Kenya together and became very close. Gina laid her life on the line for both Molly and Jones and I just loved their little family.

Max Beghat, the fucker. My friend LindaLou, loves when Sam Starrett says that about Max in I believe it's Out of Control. And I totally agreed with Sam's sentiment toward the FBI Hot Shot in this book. He got on my damn nerves in the beginning of the book, while he was in rehab?? Yeah, I wanted to stab him in the neck. When he didn't share some pertinent information with Gina, forcing her to run away from him??? Yeah, I wanted to gouge his eyes out with a butter knife. But when he finally comes clean about how he really feels for Gina and everything he went through while she was away from him, all of my madness at him faded into the wind because just like *snaps fingers* I was done being mad at him for all of his transgressions in this book. Max proved to be a great hero, one that by the end of the book, I was more than a little bit in lust with. He will never replace Sam Starrett in my heart (especially after the short story in the back of the book) but he's one of the best heroes this series has.

Gina Vitagliano. What a great heroine, I love her sassy mouth, I love how in the most dire of circumstances, she was still able to keep her wit and her smarts about her. For someone who kept getting into hostile terrorist situations, Gina was seriously one of the strongest heroines, EVER. She's also my favorite heroine too...in this series, I haven't been a big fan of any of the heroines because none of them have Gina's personality or her vibrance for life and her determination to land her man. Gina was everything the other women weren't and she seriously was the best heroine, for me at least. She was as Ignacio said in Nacho Libre, good, realllllyyyyyy good. HA!

The story started out a bit slow for me but as soon as it started picking up, it picked up and just kept right on runnin'...I loved it. The storyline was great, the characters were the best and though it would have been nice to see some Sam and Alyssa up in there or even any of the other Troubleshooters, it was still a great read for me.

I loved the secondary storylines with Molly and Jones and then Jules as well. How can you NOT love Jules? I don't know how SB does it but when she writes about Jules and all of his sexy mens, it doesn't bother me. The man love concept doesn't really bother me. I'm so busy cheering Jules on that I guess his sexual orientation doesn't register for me the way it does in other books by other authors. But I just love Jules personality, I love what he brings to these stories and I love him as a man and want him to get his very own book. I want him to find happiness the way all of his friends are finding happiness. He totally deserves it.

Molly and Jones, oh holy wow...I loved how their story ended, it was just the right amount of everything that's right in this world. I loved how SB was able to write their story AND give them their happy ending. I loved Dave Jones shady ass from the moment I met him in Out of Control and I loved him all the more in this book. I loved his fierce devotion and adoration of Molly, I loved how he worried over her and how he was so hot damn sorry for bringing her into his dangerous life even though he didn't want to harm her, I loved how he was so damn sorry that he took a gamble and lost. I just loved him! Their story was a great addition to this already great book.

What I loved most about SB's writing in this book is something that Nikki said in a comment left for me on my personal blog, Coffee House Banter.

She said, "No other author has this way of planning books so far in advance that really works. There is a reason and a purpose for everything. No other series seems that way to me. She really controls circumstances and characters in her books not the other way around. She never gets herself in a corner that she has to come up with a quick explanation (that doesn't make sense)."

I loved how I was able to read something in this book and think, "OMGOSH I remember that" from 4 books ago. It was amazing how well thought out this book was. Things that happened in Out of Control were poppin' up again in this book and everything that didn't fit then, now fit perfectly and totally meshed. I loved that aspect of the book and applaud Suzanne Brockmann on a job well done.

Entertained? Yep, I sure was. Annoyed and Peeved? Yep, you got it, at Max, I sure was. Filled with joy and gooey goods? Oh yes, she totally delivered on this.

Now seriously? You can't ask for a better book, then. The only reason I gave it a B and not an A is because it took me so long to get through this book, but after careful thought, it wasn't the story that made me take so long, it was my frustration at Max...so brava, Suz...great effing job! =)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Haley's Cabin by Anne Rainey

Hero: Jeremy Pickett
Heroine: Haley Thorne
Pages: 102
Catagory: Erotica, Contemp
Grade: B
Buy: Here

Every good girl longs for a chance to be a little naughty.

Raw from an ugly divorce and wrung out from her demanding job, Haley Thorne needs a break. When Haley’s doctor urges her to take a vacation, she heads to her secret cabin in the woods.

The very first night, Haley dreams of an erotic threesome that leaves her panting and aroused. When sexy police detective Jeremy Pickett shows up at her door, she’s shocked: He looks like the man in her midnight fantasy! Levelheaded Haley unleashes her inner seductress and has a little fun—handcuffs and all!

First of all I need to get a damn e-book reader, the kind you can take with you places! I've had this book for over a week now and just got to finish it cause I had to be home to read it. Uggg!

Anyway, I finished it and really really loved it. Anne did a great job of bringing her characters alive. One of the things I loved most about this story is that although we knew Haley was in an abusive marriage and Jeremy was a Detective that part of the characters wasn't the core of the story. It was a part of Jeremy and Haley but not THEM.

I also am a hard sell for falling in love at first sight, just like Dylan. But I think with the way we were lead into the meeting of Haley and Jeremy made it more believable to me. Hell if I'd had a dream like Haley did and then saw the real thing in front of me I'd fall head over heals real quick.

And with Jeremy I believed it because he knew it was not the norm. He didn't think 'Oh I'm in love, this is so the way it always happens', um no, lol. He knew and that is why he held back some. At one point he even said that she stole his heart in under 24 hours that's got to be a record or something. But at least he didn't deny it, which totally annoys the crap out of me with heroes.

And lets touch on the beginning of the story real quick. You want to see how to grab readers from the very first few pages? READ THIS BOOK! OMG when I did Anne's interview and asked her about her f/f/m sex scene she said she wanted a straight woman to read this and still think it was something sexy and say WOW! And hot damn did I! No freaking lie, it was hot. I wish it were longer. lol.

Something I loved in this book...NO BIG MISUNDERSTANDINGS! Hallelujah, haha. Of course with Haley having been in an abusive marriage and then not dating anyone between him and Jeremy she did misunderstand a little bit when Jeremy would say something or do something but it was never blown up to a big thing. He would read her and correct her right away. The way it would happen in REAL LIFE. lol.

The sex? HOT! I love that they used a video camera and handcuffs! Makes me want to go get some, oh wait I already have the cuffs, naughty me. haha. But really the steam between Haley and Jeremy was enough to have me begging for more. I said it before and I'll say it again Anne Rainey has a definite talent for bringing on the heat, and we weren't let down.

Just like everyone else I am going to say it.....I WANT MORE BRAD AND LISA!!!! Which brings me to one of my favorite parts, the ending. Now I am a big one on good endings. You write a great book but suck and bringing it together and I am going to get all bitchy on your ass.

But Anne did a great job here. She gave us a glimpse of Brads feelings for Lisa then BAM turned it over to a little fun and flirty teasing with Haley and Jeremy to tie up the end.

Just the way it should be, cause while I was reading the part of Jeremy and Brad talking over at Lisa's house and really getting into it I was thinking 'this is great cause now I am all about a Brad and Lisa story but damn I hate when a book doesn't end with something about the hero and heroine' then it did. And I absolutely love the last sentence, but I'll leave that for you to read.

I know your thinking isn't there anything bad. And honestly I'll tell you, while I was reading there were somethings that I did want to address when I did my review. But now that I'm thinking back I really can't place what it was that I wanted to say. Guess that just means that the good outweighted the bad by a lot. lol.

I definitely wish it was longer. But I've never been one for books that are only around 100 or so pages. But for the length of the book I definitely got all I wanted out of it. Great job Anne, and I can't wait for more!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Holly Says: Lover Revealed by JR Ward

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

Normally when more than one of us here at SF reviews the same book, we just add our thoughts to whatever has already been posted. But Jazzy-girl was a bit long winded, so I just decided to add my thoughts here.

I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but I'm not going to make any promises. Don't forget to check out Jazz's review before you go. We tend to have differing opinions, especially when it comes to the BDB.

Ok, so you already know the basic plot, but let's see if I can recap...

Butch is pretty much feeling sorry for himself all the way around. He has no purpose in life other than to sit around and drink good scotch. Shoot, even the clothes on his back were ones bought by other people. Oh, and he's half stalking a vampire female who doesn't want him, and is way out of his league in any case. Then, his day gets worse.

He's picked up by some Lessers and spends the next 12 hours somewhere far away from happy land. Then the Omega gets involved and dude, what he does to Butch is just..freaky.

Then there's Marissa. She's an aristocrat who hates her life, is controlled by her brother, and knows no one wants her. But then she gets a call that changes all that. She's needed at Butch's bedside. Naturally she rushes right over to take care of him and that's when things get interesting.

The Good: JRW is one of the few authors I've read who can constantly jump around and pull it off. Every other chapter is a new situation, with different characters, but unlike some others, she pulls this off grandly. As a matter of fact, I think her stories would suffer quite a bit if she didn't jump around as much as she does.

John. He was great. I love the bits and pieces we saw of him and I can't wait to read more about him. And I just love being right about him. Just in case y'all haven't figured out where John came from yet, highlight the following text: He's Darius reincarnated...

The Man Love between Butch and V. Now, I was initially going to put this under The Ugly section below, but the truth is, it's kind of hot. I mean, come on, what girl doesn't fantasize about 2 big, strong alpha males going at it like dirty rabbits? Except, I really, really wish all those rabid fans out there would just go ahead and admit that...THEY'RE GAY! Dude.

The Bad:
The slang and the designer name dropping. I swear, by the time I finished the book, I wanted to scratch my eyes out. Was it really necessary to tell us what designer each person was wearing? Cripes. Way over the top!

Although the slang got on my nerves, I have to tell you, it didn't bother me as much in this book as it has in her previous ones. I'm not sure if it's because I stopped expecting better, or if it was because she didn't use it as much, but I only rolled my eyes a couple of times. Oh, well, except for that EVERYONE used the slang in this book. Our perfect aristocratic heroine? Yep. The nasty Lesser dudes? Yep. Come on now, at least in the last book JRW gave us a break once in awhile.

I'm not really a Phury fangirl, but why was homeboy so absent in this book? I realize his part wouldn't be as strong as it was in Zarek's book, but he was only mentioned like...maybe once? That just seemed kind of strange to me.

The Ugly:
Butch. Hello, big fat whiny crybaby. Could you feel any sorrier for yourself? Look, I realize he'd been handed some shit in his life, but in my opinion, a real man bucks up and doesn't whine and cry about it. Suck.It.Up. Plus, his stalker-like obsession with Marissa got a little old, and so did his constant, "I'm not good enough" bull. Not that I don't see where he was coming from, but seriously, he should have outgrown that shit in the first half of the book, at least.

Marissa. Yes, I know she was naive and sheltered her whole life. And I will admit we saw some major growth from her throughout the book, but there was just one misunderstanding too many for my tastes. Even someone as sheltered as Marissa shouldn't have acted as stupid as she did. And the ending? OH.HELL.NO. That stunt she pulled? She in no way made up for what she did to Butch. Especially since she didn't even realize she was wrong on her own, she had to have the other girls tell her so. And she should have begged and pleaded and crawled and...well, you get the idea. So wasn't impressed.

The nice, neat tidy thing that happens to clear everything up for Marissa and Butch's HEA. Come on, could you maybe be a little more creative? Oh, look, it's Sherrilyn Kenyon all over again. I know something had to happen so they could be together 4-ever, but this plot line was just a bit contrived.

I could probably go on and on, but I'll stop there for now. My grade?

Butch/Marissa: 1.5
The rest of the story: 3.0

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

Hero: Butch O'Neil
Heroine: Marissa
Category: Paranormal
Grade: Two grades here...The book grade~ B, The ending grade~ C

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

*****SPOILERS ALERT***** It would be really hard for me to review this book and not have spoilers in it so I'm not even going to try to hold back. BEWARE.

First off how freaking excited was I to be the first one to reserve this book at my library? Then how much MORE excited was I when they got it early and I picked it up on thursday! Yeay me! Okay but now to the review....

By the time I read this book it's been what? Six months since Lover Awakened? So I wasn't really fresh on the whole Butch/Marissa thing. I was a little blurry. But that wasn't really a problem, yeah I wanted to remember why they were apart but it didn't hinder the story.

Right off we see Butch suffering from feeling the odd man out. He has a bond with V, and loves Marissa yet he's not a Brother and thinks Marissa has rejected him. None of the clothes he wears are his down to his boxers and the money he spends just as where he lives isn't his either.

When he comes across a civilian about to be attracted by lessers he steps in to help. Needless to say he's in bad shape when V finds him. He was worked over by the for-lesser and the Omega did a job on him.

When he wakes up he finds himself in Havers (Marissa's brother) clinic under quarantine.....with Marissa by his side. With his memory filled with black holes he can't remember what exactly happened to him but he knows Marissa should not be with him, risking her life.

Marissa didn't think twice about racing to Butch when she heard he was hurt. Nor did she even take a second to think of her safety as she burst into his room without the proper coverings on. When she is found with Butch her brother tells her that she may be contaminated and has to stay there till it is found to be safe for them both to leave.

During the time Marissa and Butch are locked together in this room there are a lot of misunderstandings cleared up and a lot more made.

That I can tell you this book was full of.

It's weird cause normally I'll want to throw a book against a wall for all the misunderstandings these two had. But all I had were my eye rolls and a little annoyances, but I still could not put the book down for two seconds.

I think Ward's saving grace is that she chops up her story's so well. She never says on one person or one scene for a long time. So yeah, I don't like reading about the lessers that much (it bores me) but I want to get to B&M that I fly through the short paragraph or two of lessers so fast.

Anyway. We find out that Butch has Vampire in him, surprise surprise. And he is some super powerful tool to be used by the brotherhood. But here are some of my issues. When he goes through his transition he gets bigger, like the other brothers. Now I already thought of Butch as kind of big, now he's so big that Ward wrote his boxers were all tight on him. Now I normally picture boxers kinda loose so for him to get this big I kept getting a picture of the Incredible Hulk with ripped clothes and all in my mind. I know! But I couldn't help it, and it was messing with the story for me. lol.

Then every time he would fight lessers with the brotherhood he didn't seem to fight as good and when he did his thing he was so tired, he seemed kinda weak. I think all around he seemed kinda weak. I don't particularly think someone that would take their life as strong I think that is weak, and he tried that. Early on in the book. But actually I shouldn't go there cause that situation was unique with what happened to him and how he was feeling at the time. So whatever.

The book of course was full of horrible slag but as usual it didn't bother me to the point of not wanting to read it. It was just silly as usual.

The whole V and Butch gay vibes? Definitely here! lol. I mean there were times when V was all kinds of up in Marissa and Butch's private affairs and he was more focused on Butch than Marissa. And I just have to quote this one part for you all, listen to this and tell me there isn't that I-wish-we-could-but-know-it's-not-to-be vibe:

Without thinking, Butch tilted his chin up, aware that he was offering himself, aware that he...oh, fuck. He stopped his thought , completely weirded out by the vibe that had sprung up from God only knew where.
In slow motion Vishous's dark head dropped down and there was a silken brush as his goatee moved against Butch's throat. With delicious precision, V's fangs pressed against the vein punched through skin. Their chests merged.
Butch closed his eyes and absorbed the feel of it all, the warmth of their bodies so close, the way V's hair felt soft on his jaw, the slide of a powerful male arm as it slipped around his waist. On their own accord, Butch's hands left the pegs and came to rest on V's hips, squeezing that hard flesh, bringing them together from head to foot. A tremor went thought one of them. Or maybe...shit, it was more like they both shuddered.
And then is was done. Over with. Never to happen again.
Neither of them looked at the other as V broke away ... and the parting was complete and irrevocable. A path that would not be walked. Ever.

There was also a part when V was saying to himself that he thought of Butch as his. It was almost like he knew he was in love with Butch and knew it was weird cause he never felt that for a male before and knew also that it wouldn't come of anything cause Butch loved Marissa to much so he was just going to deal with it and try to move on. I mean hell I'm all for best guy friends but these two? Definitely more.

But anyway, I really don't care about that much, just wanted to point out IT WAS THERE STILL! LOL.

We read about Butch's past and his dead sister, also his sister that is alive and his parents. Now in the end we do find out why Butch's father hated him, and how exactly he got Vampire in him. BUT there is no closure to the family issues. Does he really just not care at all? Does his sister really just not care??? Guess you have to read it to see what I mean.

And in ending my choppy all over the place review I'll say that I really didn't like the ending of the book. It came way to fast, like it was all rushed in the end, and it wasn't even of Marissa and Butch! Are you serious! Comon', that just really irked me. But whatever, it was still a good book that I didn't put down for a second and would tell everyone to go get.

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Saturday, March 3, 2007

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Welcome to colorful Trenton, New Jersey, and the wild and wonderful world of Stephanie Plum. In One for the Money, rookie "apprehension agent" Plum may be a bit wet behind the ears, but nobody's gonna take it easy on her; especially her first skip, an ex-cop and murder suspect named Morelli.

Holly Says

Stephanie Plum is a little down on her luck. The Trenton, New Jersey girl has lost her job as a lingerie buyer for a sleezy department store, her car has been repossessed, her overbearing Italian mother is trying to set her up with a balding, fat butcher and she's had to sell off all her furniture and appliances just to make ends meet.

As a last resort, she goes to her cousin Vinnie and blackmails him into giving her a job...as a bounty hunter. Steph doesn't know much about being a bounty hunter, but she's determined to get the $10,000 finders fee on the biggest skip-trace on the books. One vice cop, Joseph Morelli.

The thing is, Joe and Steph have a little history together, and Steph isn't sure if bringing him is just business as usual, or a personal vendetta. The first time she met Morelli she was 7 and he dragged her into his parents garage to play Choo-Choo, and didn't even let her hold the flashlight. Then, when she was 17, he nailed her behind the Eclair case at the donut shop she was working at, then wrote all the dirty details in the men's room at Mario's sub shop. Four years later, Steph saw him walking down the street and ran him over with her dad's Buick. So, yeah, bringing him down might be personal.

To make matters worse, Steph gets on the bad side of a psychotic deranged boxer name Benito Ramirez. But Steph is made of tough stuff and she isn't going to let a 250 lb psycho keep her from getting her man...

This is the first book in a (so far) 12 book series about bond agent Stephanie Plum. It's the perfect set up for the series and one of the funnies books I've ever read.

I love everything about it, from Steph's Mazda Miata getting repo'd by a sleezy guy she went to high school with, to her mother's constant harping. In the first three chapters alone, I was laughing so hard I was crying. Let's see:

Grandma Mazer, Steph's 80-year-old grandmother decides to start wearing biker shorts and accidentally shoots the ass out of the chicken their having for dinner with Steph's gun.

Steph goes to get a job with her cousin Vinnie and has to blackmail him into giving her the job by reminding him, "I know about Madam Zaretski and her whips and chains. I know about the boys. And I know about the duck."

Steph "commandeers" Morelli's car (read: steals) and when Morelli comes for it, he catches her the shower. She's stolen the distributor cap and he wants it back. When she refuses to give it up he handcuffs her to the curtain rod - naked - and leaves her there. Hey, he's not a complete asshole, he left her the phone.

Steph's antics are enough to have anyone in stitches. Pick up the first book (and the rest in the series) and give yourself over to the crazy world of Stephanie Plum. You won't be sorry.

5 out of 5 (It's not without it's flaws, but the laugh factor alone is enough to make me score this at the top of the chart)

Isabel Says

Ok, Holly gave you the plot. So I'll skip all that. This book was great. I loved Grandma Mazur. From shooting the chicken they were going to have for dinner with Stephanie's gun to her biker shorts, she was just hilarious!

Loved when she ran Joe Morelli over with her car. Well didn't run him over, just kind of clipped him. It was pay back for taking her virginity from behind the eclair case at the bakery she worked.

When Joe handcuffed her to shower rod naked and Ranger had to help Stephanie out.

When she blackmailed her cousin. Hilarious!

Benito Ramirez was just creepy! Ugh, i did not like that man. Just reading his scenes sent shivers up my spine. He's a raping, mutilating, boxer and he's set his sights on Stephanie. He's called her house, visited her at her apartment and left her a present. I was so hoping he'd get his. And in a way he did, but not like I had hoped. More like dying a slow painful death.

I'm looking forward to the next book.

Grade: A-

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Friday, March 2, 2007

Haley's Cabin by Anne Rainey.

Hero: Jeremy Pickett
Heroine: Haley Thorne
Category: Erotic Contemporary
Page Count: 107 pages.
Grade: B+

Every good girl longs for a chance to be a little naughty.

Raw from an ugly divorce and wrung out from her demanding job, Haley Thorne needs a break. When Haley’s doctor urges her to take a vacation, she heads to her secret cabin in the woods.

The very first night, Haley dreams of an erotic threesome that leaves her panting and aroused. When sexy police detective Jeremy Pickett shows up at her door, she’s shocked: He looks like the man in her midnight fantasy! Levelheaded Haley unleashes her inner seductress and has a little fun—handcuffs and all!

A very quick and fantastic read.

I was very wary about reading this book and at the same time a bit excited because I've read Anne's blog for a while and thought her blogs are great, I've got this thing with eBooks, I either really love them or really hate them.

Anne Rainey, I really loved your story.

It was hot and sexy and thoroughly filled to the brim with juicy bits. I loved every juicy morsel of it too. It was the bomb diggity! This is actually my first erotica book and while this book would totally get me in the dog house with my parents if they ever knew that I was reading these kinds of books, I didn't care one bit!

Call me slutty and be done with it because this book was a sure winner.

The opening of the story was just fanfrickin'tastic! I've never seen myself as the naughty temptress, always seeing myself shying away from stories with this much hot and steamy sex, but dude that shit was HOT! You go girl!

Jeremy Pickett was one fine ass hero that I just loved him to gooey bits! The sexy cop thing you had going with Jeremy had me sighing and wishing he was real and right here with me. LOL. I'd gobble him right up like he was my very own Thanksgiving dinner! haha. What I loved most about Jeremy, or Jay as Haley called him was how manly he was...he seemed so real, he said and reacted the same way a real man would react, he wasn't perfect and always saying the right thing and the sweet thing....so I effing loved it!

My favorite quote in the book came from this sexy man, when he told Haley when referencing their ages..."My experience in your gain."


Haley was a great heroine too, I loved how she was able to match Jeremy in the bedroom with everything he wanted to do to her. You have to be good to actually pull off the having sex with a guy you've only known for a few hours thing off and you totally did, Anne...I found the story easy to follow, your storyline was quick paced and well put together. Between all of the sex, and there was quite a bit of it (thank you very much =)!) the story still moved and progressed greatly throughout this book. It didn't dull out or anything, you kept a great pace and I'm a total fan of yours!!

You know you're good when you can write about anal sex and I wouldn't even blink. I don't think I'd be down with that or even reading about it but I read about it in your book and wasn't even fazed by it...I was all like, HEYYYYYYYY! LOL. I even counted how many times I read my most despised word EVER used in your book (it was 3 times) and still I really enjoyed your book. GOOD JOB!

So....does Brad have a book coming out? Oh goodness I hope he does! I'm all curious about the sexy doctor and Lisa...can't wait for that one, please say you're writing it!

Another thing that I have to commend you on, Anne is your spelling...I didn't catch ONE SINGLE spelling error or typo in this book, so if they're in there, they're so cleverly hidden that I didn't catch them or else I was so wrapped up in the book that I didn't even notice them. So that's another plus for you sweetie.

I think this was a great first release and I eagerly await the rest of your books sweetie...I'm a big fat fan of yours!!! =)

I totally recommend this book for all of you naughty wenches who are looking for something quick, fun and thoroughly naughty...don't expect anything extremely deep with this book, because this book is all fun and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Great job Anne!

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Deliver Me by Farrah Rochon

After being dumped by her boyfriend and passed over for yet another promotion, Monica Gardner moves to New Orleans, determined to make a name for herself as the new attending ER physician at Methodist Memorial Hospital. As for men--she's through with them. But when given the chance to chair the hospital's annual charity banquet, Monica must elicit the help of gorgeous Ob-gyn Elijah Holmes.

Eli will do anything to thwart his matchmaking Mama's plan to reunite him with his high school girlfriend. So, when the sexy new ER doc asks for his help in planning this year's charity banquet, Eli devises the perfect scheme: He'll help put on the best banquet the hospital has ever seen, if Monica poses as his new girlfriend. But when Eli finds himself falling in love, he realizes convincing Monica of his true feelings may be his greatest delivery yet.

This is Farrah Rochon's first published novel. I read it last week, but I held off on reviewing it because I wasn't sure exactly how I felt about it. I think, based on the first few chapters of the book and the cover, I was expecting something a bit deeper, a bit heavier and a bit darker. The truth is, it's just a light and fluffy read. Which is fine, but since I was expecting something totally different, I was very disappointed when I finished the book. After thinking it over for a few days, and doing a quick re-read, I now realize it was my own expectations that ruined the book for me.

I'm a huge fan of the primetime drama Grey's Anatomy, and I think I expected something along those lines when I started this book. Although there were some medical aspects that seemed similar, overall the story was much less dramatic and much more fun.

Monica Gardner leaves St. Louis to start over in New Orleans, partially to get away from her demanding family, and partially to forget about her ex., a man whom she'd been with for a number of years and who cruelly left her. She's determined to make a name for herself at Methodist Memorial, and she's even more determined to avoid men.

Dr. Eli Holmes is known as "Super Doc" around the hospital, because he seems to perform heroic deeds on a daily basis. He's not in the market for a permanent relationship, and he's about ready to kill his mother for trying to set him up with yet another woman - This one a former high school flame who seems to have lost a few braincells in the intervening years.

When Monica is offered the position of director for a charity event at the hospital, she readily agrees. Her only problem? One Eli Holmes. It seems the sexy OB-GYN isn't interested in helping her with the charity event. Mostly because he doesn't think they'll be able to save the free clinic attached to the hospital and he feels he needs to devote his time to finding new care for his patients. But all that changes when his mama turns on the heat about his ex-sweetheart and he sees the perfect out in Monica Gardner. So he makes a proposal. If she'll pretend to be his girlfriend and get his mother off his back, he'll agree to throw the best charity event the hospital has ever seen.

Monica reluctantly agrees, but they're both more than surprised when they find themselves falling in love.

The Good: The relationship Eli had with his family, most especially his brothers, was wonderful. From what I understand, this is to be the first book in a trilogy with stories for his 2 brothers and I can't wait. His young niece was also adorable.

Monica's friendship with her sister-in-law was great, too. They had a tight bond with each other that reminded me of the relationship I have with my closest friends.

There was a secondary romance that I found rather intriguing. A pregnant patient of Eli's and her husband were on the rocks, and watching them come back together was great. At times, I was more interested in what was going on with them than with the main characters.

The Bad: I'm pretty anal about certain things, and one of them is TSTL heroines. Although Monica didn't quite cross the line into Stupidville, she came very close. Several times while reading I was very tempted to throw my book across the room. I managed to restrain myself, but it was a near thing.

I also found the writing to be a bit immature. For a first novel, I'd say it was alright, but not even to knock my socks off. There were a lot of typos and grammatical errors, which may not bother some people, but I'm anal enough that it took me right out of the story every time.

The Ugly: There were too many questions left unanswered. I don't mind being left with a bit of a cliffhanger when I know there will be connecting books to follow, but only a handful of the loose ends in this story were tied up. Such as Monica's relationship with her parents, among other things.

The last few chapters felt extremely rushed, which was terribly unfortunate. What could have shaped up to be a sweet, wonderful romance instead left me feeling rather confused and unsatisfied. If I had to make an educated guess, I'd say that Ms. Rochon needed to wrap the story up and sacrificed her HEA to do it.

For example: There was a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING with Eli's ex. She came to the house and basically screamed at Monica to stay away from "Her" man. Eli then worries over it and Monica runs away, but there was never any resolution with the ex. We didn't see her or hear about her again after that. I would assume that if she was that desperate to keep Eli, she'd have played a larger part in the last half of the book. Instead...nada.

I could give many other examples, but I'm sure you get the point.

Overall I'd say the story was a bit contrived but still enjoyable. Nothing you should lose sleep over not having read, but if you see it on the shelf of your local bookstore it wouldn't hurt you to pick it up, especially if you're in the mood for a quick, light read. You can buy it here or here.

3.25 out of 5

Just another reminder: Despite the dark, serious cover and the title of the book, this is a very lighthearted read. Don't be deceived as I was.

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The Vampire Who Loved me by Teresa Medeiros

Julian Kane is back in town.

Once, as a girl of seventeen, beautiful, headstrong Portia Cabot saved the cursed life of the dashing vampire Julian Kane-who marked her forever, then left to go in search of his soul. He returns five years later to find the enchanting young girl he left behind grown into a bewitching woman with a woman's heart . . . and a woman's desires.

Portia quickly discovers that Julian's seductive and forbidden kiss can still make her crave the night . . . and his touch. But the Julian who has returned to London is not the vampire she remembers. His fruitless pursuit of his stolen mortality has reduced him to drunken debauchery. And a recent spate of murders makes Portia fear that the man she has always adored may truly be a monster.

Julian knows he must drive Portia away-but his passion and hunger for her grow more irresistible every time they touch. For years he has fought the temptation to embrace his dark gifts, never realizing that Portia's love may give him the most dangerous gift of all . . . a reason to live.

First of all, I hate that cover. It looks like a cover for a contemp book not a historical. The guy also is not cute.

The story was ok. Julian wants to get his soul back. The only way is to track the vampire who sired him. Unfortunately, the vampire killed himself at the end of After Midnight. So now Julian has to find the vampire who sired that guy. And he does.

Valentine is a sexy, beautiful vampire who is obsessed with Julian. She wants him and is jealous of Portia. Apparently Julian says her name while he sleeps and sometimes while he's doing the deed with Valentine. So when Valentine stumbles upon Portia, she is all ready to kill Portia.

Portia was lovestruck with Julian when she was 17. When Julian was close to dying, she let him feed off her. Now at 22, she's still in love with him. Everyone tells her to stay away from Julian, but that only makes her more determined to find him.

Again, was not too impressed with the story. I knew Julian would get his soul back it was just a matter of when and how.

Grade: D

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