Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Buy One Book and Read It

Amy at My Friend Amy's is hosting the Buy One Book and Read It challenge and you can read about it here. So, this month instead of buying one book, I bought four. They were four Harlequin Presents books and I am going to be reviewing them because I am also a participant in the Read & Review challenge.

Ruthless Tycoon, Innocent Wife by Helen Brooks (Dec 2008). I love Helen Brooks' books - they are warm sensual reads...the hero and heroine usually wait until marriage before giving into the passion they feel for each other. This one fit the bill and doesn't fail to deliver. Marianne will do anything to save her home after her parents death. Rafe knows this and comes to the rescue with the financial backing to turn it into a bed and breakfast. But it wasn't out of the goodness of his heart. There is no love lost between Rafe and Marianne's family - will they overcome his hatred? I enjoyed this book - it was a light, quick read that makes you feel good in the end. Yes, the hero and heroine have their issues, and you don't know it they can overcome them - but in the end love conquers all. Rating: 3/5

Bought: One Night, One Marriage by Natalie Anderson (Dec 2008). Cally wins a date with tycoon Blake McKay - her friend bids on him for her - but Cally doesn't want the date. Blake, determined to experience the fiery passion hidden beneath Cally's cool exterior, forces the issue and then buys another date with her. Their passion ignites after one date - but neither suspected it would end with marriage. This was a tear jerker - Cally was insecure due to her mother's domineering ways and critical analysis of Cally's looks, life, and personality. Blake is the true knight in shining armor - helping Cally to realize that she was a sensual passionate woman. There are unwanted results from their night of passion, and they deal with them with maturity and responsibility. But life has a way of pulling the rug out from underneath them - and the consequences are devastating. Rating: 3/5

His Mistress, His Terms by Trish Wylie (Dec 2008). They shared one night of passion, thinking they would never see each other again. But months later circumstances throw the two of them together as boss and employee. Alex wants her in his bed his mistress and Merrow agrees as long as there are no strings attached. However, as time progresses, Alex begins to want more. This was a quick and funny read. I liked the interaction between Alex and saucy Merrow. She didn't believe their two families could mesh together - Alex's family was high society and hers - well, her parents run a sex therapy retreat, her mother being a Tantra Master. Hilarious. Rating: 2.5/5

The Sheikh's Rebellious Mistress by Sandra Marton (Dec 2008). Sheikh Salim thinks his mistress, Grace, has left his bed with ten million dollars of his money and company secrets. He sets out to find her, bring her back, and make her pay. Grace walks out on her job and on her affair with Salim thinking that he is tiring of her. Little does she know that he is on her trail accusing her of embezzlement. This book has everything, a Sheikh, plane crash, amnesia, and a little bit of intrigue. It wasn't one of my favorite books - I am not into the amnesia thing, however I do love a sexy Sheikh! Rating: 2.5/5

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dark Dream - Christine Feehan

Title: Dark Dreamers
Authors: Christine Feehan, Marjorie M. Liu
Published: 2006
Publisher: Dorchester
Pages: 342 (182, 160)
Genres: Paranormal (Vampire, Psychic)

Dark Dream by Christine Feehan is part of the Dark Dreamers anthology. It's the 7th book in her Dark series - the dark and tortured Carpathian warriors whose only hope from turning vampire is to find their true lifemate.

I haven't read Marjorie M. Liu's A Dream of Stone & Shadow because it is part of her Dirk & Steele series and I haven't got to this one yet - I am still reading the earlier books. And being the compulsive person that I am - I have to read a series in order.

However, I wanted to get up a review of Dark Dream because it was such an excellent read. Even though I recommend that you read this series in order so that you can appreciate the recurring characters and more in-depth background of the Carpathians, Christine Feehan gives you enough information that you can read this as a standalone. If you haven't read her series yet, this novella will give you a great introduction. The characters are well-developed, and you get a chance to revisit some awesome characters from her previous books.

Falcon is one of the ancient Carpathian warriors who was commanded to go out and rid the world of vampires. However, he has lived thousands of years and in all that time he has tried to keep the darkness at bay. The darkness that, if he lets take over, will turn him into the evil thing that he hunts. He has decided to go home to the Carpathian mountains to end his existence. That is until he sees Sara - his lifemate, the only one who can save him from the darkness.

Sara has known Falcon for years - in her dreams. Yet, when she first sees him she fears that he is the vampire who has hunted her for fifteen years. After hearing his story and trusting her heart, she embarks on a journey with Falcon where their love for each other grows. But will it last? Will she be able to save Falcon from the darkness - will Falcon be able to save her from the vampire?

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4.5/5
Pages: 182
Completed: 1/26/09

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Try Me... by Jill Shalvis

Title: Just Try Me...
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Published: 2006
Pages: 240
Genre: Series Romance

I am a participant in the 2009 TBR Challenge. This month we were challenged to read a series romance from our TBR stack. I love the Harlequin Blaze line and have a huge pile of them waiting to be read. So I dug in deep and came up with Just Try Me... by Jill Shalvis. It features an adrenaline junkie heroine and a techno-geek hero. The theme is one of my favorites - an injured main character that has to recover physically and learn to live and love again. I really enjoyed this book. I fell in love with Jared as soon as he appeared on the pages. His quiet strength and dashingly good looks made him an excellent counterpart to Lily. He was determined to not let life pass him by and to experience everything to the fullest - even love. Lily was just as determined to keep her heart safe and keep risks to a minimum.

Lily is fiercely independent and loves to take chances. She's done it all - hiked, rafted, skied, even firefighting. But an accident nearly ended it all causing her to have to start all over again. Her latest job is to guide a group of people on a hike through the Sierras. Jared is the owner of a large corporation, techno-geek in every way except his devastatingly good looks. He too was looking for a new start at life and the first item on his list was a hike through the mountains.

Both Lily and Jared are looking for healing...but as Jared opens his heart to new experiences, Lily guards hers with a fierce determination.

Rating: 3.5/5
Pages: 240
Completed: 1/21/09

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Celebrate the Author - Diana Gabaldon

It's time to Celebrate the Author for the month of January!! Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, is my pick of the month! Her birthday is January 11th according to Author Birthday Directory.

To celebrate her birthday, I read Outlander this month and let me tell you - this is a fantastic book. I can't begin to describe all the emotions I experienced reading this book. She describes her characters in such vivid detail that you actually think that they existed.

Please go here to read my full review plus a synopsis of this truly exceptional book.

Title: Outlander
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: 1991
Pages: 640 Hardcover (1557 eBook)
Completed 1/19/09

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kresley Cole

The Immortals After Dark Series is an excellent series by Kresley Cole...I have read almost all of the books (need to get caught up with the last two. Her new one "Kiss of a Demon King" releases 1/20/09!! I just love her work - go check out her website and see what other gems she has!!

Here is a list of the books:

  1. Playing East to Get (Anthology)
  2. A Hunger Like No Other
  3. No Rest for the Wicked
  4. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
  5. Dark Deeds at Night's Edge
  6. Dark Desires After Dusk
  7. Kiss of a Demon King (releases 1/20/09)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Perpetual Prey Challenge

I usually don't join perpetual challenges...but I have started reading the Prey series and absolutely love Lucas Davenport. What better way to keep me motivated than joining the Perpetual Prey Challenge hosted over at Book Dragon's Lair.

John Sandford's newest Prey book "Wicked Prey" is being release in May of 2009.

Here is a list of the Prey books in order:

Rules of Prey (read 7/8/08)
Shadow Prey (read 2/5/10)
Eyes of Prey
Silent Prey
Winter Prey
Night Prey
Mind Prey
Sudden Prey
Secret Prey
Certain Prey
Easy Prey
Chosen Prey
Mortal Prey
Naked Prey
Hidden Prey
Broken Prey
Invisible Prey
Phantom Prey
Wicked Prey (May '09)
Storm Prey (May '10)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

666 Reading Challenge

I love reading paranormal books. I just got introduced to that genre about two years ago and am having a great time reading as many paranormals as I can get my hands on. However, I am a little apprehensive about joining this challenge - I have so many others that I've joined that I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with this one. If I'm really careful and coordinate it well with my 999 challenge, I think I'll be okay.

The 666 Challenge is all about the paranormal. Books must be horror, thriller, or supernatural. Choose 6 paranormal categories (and she has some suggestions listed on her post); read 6 books in each category; and they have to be by at least 6 different authors. So that's 36 books - however, she does allow cross-overs (like Twilight could be used for both the vampire and werewolf category). She has a sample post to show you how to set it up if you need help. The challenge runs from 1/1/09 to 12/31/09.

Here are the categories I have chosen:

1. Dark Dream - Christine Feehan 1/26/09; Review
2. Dead Sexy - Amanda Ashley 2/12/09; Review
3. The Vampire Shrink - Lynda Hilburn 3/22/09; Review

1. Daring the Moon by Sherrill Quinn 2/2/09; Review
2. Heart of the Winter Wolf by Dani Harper 5/29/09; Review
3. A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole 6/17/09; Review

Humans with Special Powers
1. Psychic - Sizzle and Burn by Jayne Ann Krentz 2/3/09; Review
2. Psychic - Morning Light by Catherine Anderson 3/3/09; Review

Paranormal Events
1. Time Travel - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 01/19/09; Review

Sherrilyn Kenyon

1. Night's Touch by Amanda Ashley 3/17/09; Review

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reading My Name Challenge 2009

I thought this challenge looked interesting. I have never read an author that has my first name. So it will blend well with my "New to Me" Author Challenge. The Reading My Name Challenge involves reading 2 or more books by authors that share your name or book titles that have your name in them. The authors could share your first name, last name, nickname, online name, email name, or even a form of your name.

For more details about this challenge see Callista's blog that she created for this challenge. She also has links to sites that will help you search for names of authors if you don't know any. I used Fantastic Fiction and found several with both the name Kara (which is the way I spell it) and Cara.

The contest runs February 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009.

I haven't narrowed it down yet - but I will list my books below when I decide.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another TBR Challenge 2009

Here is another TBR Challenge (in case you didn't like the idea of making an unchangeable list with the other one or in case you are a challenge addict like me - LOL). Keishon at avidbookreader is hosting this challenge.

Here are the rules:

  1. Books have to be 2007 or older (it is okay to have a 2008 if that is all you have...but no 2009). The older the better.
  2. Challenge runs January through December 2009.
  3. The day to post your review will be the 3rd Wednesday of every month.
  4. She has assigned a particular challenge for each month - but if you don't have a book that meets that criteria - just grab one from your TBR stack.

I have copied the themes from her post:

January It’s all about the category, baby. Harlequin, Sil. Intimate Moments, Harl. Blaze, Harl. Presents. A lot of readers have been enjoying some great category titles of late. Hey, they’re quick reads, too! Did you buy any of them last year and didn’t read them? Now is your chance. Don’t have any? Grab a book out of your stacks and get to reading, you’re not excused.

February Find a DIK review book at AAR that you bought and read it. We’ve all bought some of these books and now is the time to see if they truly are DIK. Let’s demystify some of these claims or validate them. Any genre. Don’t have one (really?), just grab a book and read it.

March This month is dedicated to the historical novel (and dying breed). Do you have a good historical novel just lying around that you really, really, really want to read? If you don’t care to read a historical, follow the procedure as stated above, just grab a book out of your stacks and read it.

April Urban fantasy, fantasy or SFR…ohhhh, Patricia Briggs, Ann Aguirre, Charlaine Harris to name a few. Did you buy any of their stuff and didn’t read it yet? Now is your chance and if you’re already caught up, just pick a book out of your stacks and read it with the rest of us.

May Ok, challenges get more specific. For the month of May, pick a book that has a friends to lovers theme or some variation to it. All of us have these somewhere in our stacks and if not, you know what you need to do (see above).

June Tortured heroes are my favorite! They are usually found in historicals but see if you can find a tortured guy in your stacks or a tortured heroine (they’re even rarer!). Read and review it and if you have no luck with finding such a hero in your huge, humongous stacks, just grab a book and read it.

July Wrongfully accused or just released from jail theme books are another favorite of mine. I always seek these out and I may have to do some rereading for this month as there are some real good ones out there that I’ve read but I think I should have some in my stacks. If you don’t have such a book in your huge mountain of books, you know what you need to do (see above).

August Ok, I’m going to start assigning authors - Julie Garwood, Liz Carlyle, Judith McNaught, Nora Roberts, Johanna Lindsey, Connie Brockway, Laura Kinsale, Mary Balogh, Carla Kelly, Joan Wolf - own any of these author’s books and haven’t read them yet? Now is your chance. Already caught up - you know what you need to do.

September Linda Howard, Elizabeth Hoyt, Joanna Bourne, Sherry Thomas, Meljean Brook, Lois Bujold, Shanna Abe, Penelope Williamson, Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Rachel Gibson, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Sandra Brown, Loretta Chase or whoever else you have in your stacks and you just haven’t taken the time to read them yet.

October Horror. Yep. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or whoever else you have in your TBR stacks and if you don’t want to read anything scary, you know what you need to do.

November Turkey day. Find a book that has a Thanksgiving theme (good luck with that!) or if you can’t find a book that does have a turkey theme, just grab a book out of your stacks and read it.

December Easy. Christmas themes and if you’re like me and can’t stand Christmas themed stories, just grab a book out of your stacks and read it. Congratulations, you’ve completed this year’s challenge.

I am going to try as many themes as I can. Here are my list of books:

  1. Series Just Try Me - Jill Shalvis 1/21/09; Review
  2. DIK Tallchief - Dinah McCall 2/8/09; Review
  3. Historical Highland Captive - Hannah Howell 3/15/09; Review

  4. Friends The Kissing Game - Suzanne Brockmann 5/20/09; Review
  5. Tortured A Hunger Like No Other - Kresley Cole 6/17/09; Review

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chunkster Challenge 2009

I have been waiting for this challenge to start and Dana at So Many Books; So Little Time is hosting it again this year. It is the Chunkster Challenge. Since I have also joined the Outlander Challenge - I thought that by joining this one I could kill two challenges with one book (LOL). No, really, I loved doing this challenge last year and thought it would be fun to try it again this year.

Dana has changed the rules a bit. For one thing, the books need to be ADULT books over 450 pages (this means the Twilight series doesn't count). Audio books don't count. One great thing she does mention is that you can start anytime after you sign up - and the challenge ends on November 15th.

There are 4 options you can choose from...please see her blog for details...

I am choosing option "Do These Books Make My Butt Look Big" where you are to read 3-5 chunksters over the next 10 months. Since I am reading the Outlander series this year - I will try for 5 chunksters by November 15th.

Here is my list:

  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 01/19/09; Review 640 pages (Hardcover)