Monday, March 30, 2009

The Love Bites Reading Challenge

I can't pass up a paranormal romance even if I tried - LOL. So I definitely can't pass up this challenge.

All you need to do is read three paranormals with a romantic theme between 1st April and 30th June 2009.

This challenge is being hosted by Royal Reviews and you can read more about it here. You are encouraged to post your reviews at The Love Bites Reading Challenge Blog.

Here is my list:

  1. Dark Seduction by Brenda Joyce
  2. A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole 6/17/09; Review

Herding Cats II: Attack of the Hairballs

Herding Cats II: Attack of the Hairballs

Here is a new challenge that I didn't get to participate in last year. It is being hosted by Renay at Let's Get Literate! and runs from April 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. The rules are real easy:

1. Make a list of five books you love!!
  • Books have to have been read in 2007, 2008, or 2009.
  • Please don't list a series, just the first book.
  • Feel free to list why you are putting the book on your list
2. Post your list.
  • Share your list here.
  • Or, post it in the comments here.
3. Browse the new book list...stay a few. (This year it is not required that you read books - you can just post your favorites - for those that do want to read - just review the master book list and pick as many books from other people's recommendations that you want to read).

4. If you review your books, you can share your reviews here.

Here are my five favorite books:
  1. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - my review can be found here.
  2. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  3. The Summer I Dared by Barbara Delinsky - my review can be found here.
  4. Dracula by Bram Stoker - my review can be found here.
  5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - my review can be found here.

I am going to choose to read 3 books from the Master Book List:
  1. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Home Fires - Luanne Rice

Title: Home Fires
Author: Luanne Rice
Publisher: Bantam
Published: 1995
Pages: 304
Genre: Romance

This is an older book of Luanne Rice's, but it still doesn't fail to pull at the heart strings. She writes about what matters most in a family - love, acceptance, forgiveness, and tenderness.

I love the character Thomas Devlin. He is so compassionate, tender, understanding, and yet full of an inner strength that makes him an excellent hero. The way he treats Anne and helps her through the pain of losing her four-year-old daughter brings tears to your eyes.

Anne has to overcome the greatest of tragedies - that of losing your own child. After suffering that loss, she comes to find out that her husband is having an affair. She retreats to her childhood island home. Thomas has his on scars - both physical and emotional. He is a firefighter, but was unable to save his wife from a fire that left him with numerous scars all over his body and face. The path for Thomas and Anne isn't an easy one, and it is filled with ups and downs - but in the end...well, you conquerors all.

Not only is the main story a good one, but the secondary plots get you pulled into the story too. Maggie, Anne's niece, is trying to navigate the many obstacles of being a teen. Running around with the wrong crowd has her questioning what she really wants out of life. It is captivating to watch her grow through her mistakes and accomplishments.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 304
Completed: 3/27/09

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Vampire Shrink - Lynda Hilburn

Title: The Vampire Shrink
Author: Lynda Hilburn
Publisher: Medallion Press
Published: 2007
Genre: Paranormal/Vampire
Series: Kismet Knight - Book #1

The Vampire Shrink is told in first person by Dr. Kismet Knight, and throughout the story we get to hear her internal dialogue. She is a psychologist who has a client, a young girl, wanting to become a vampire. Not believing in vampires, Kismet thinks the girl is crying out for help and wants to get to the root of her problem. However, after the she introduces Kismet to the Master Vampire of the city, Devereux - Kismet begins to believe in the impossible - or is she delusional too?

Devereux, a drop dead, gorgeous, 800-year-old vampire falls hard for Kismet. And after she is visited by two angry bloodsucking vampires - he vows to protect her with his life. Not only are two vampires after her, but she is involved in a murder investigation when one of her clients ends up almost drained of blood. That is when we meet the sexy FBI profiler, Alan Stevens - who warns Kismet that vampires are real.

This story is full of humor, witty dialogue, tension, suspense, great secondary characters, and has a fast pace that keeps you intrigued from the first page to the last. I love Kismet - she is a believable character and her wit and sarcasm had just the right touch. She has a growing interest in both Devereux and Alan and it was fun to see how she worked through that. This book had such a different take on the vampire genre. It was an excellent road to explore and a fantastic world to create!!

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 392
Completed: 3/22/09

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Non-Fiction Five Challenge

I really want to participate in the Non-Fiction Five Challenge. I don't read a lot of non-fiction and thought this would be a good way to branch out and read a genre I don't normally read. It is being hosted by Trish at Trish's Reading Nook. I really like following her blog and am glad she is taking up the reins from Joy and going to be the host of this challenge.

Here are the rules:

1. Read 5 non-fiction books during the months of May - September, 2009 (please link your reviews on Mister Linky each month; Mister Linky can be found each month on Trish's blog)

2. Read at least one non-fiction book that is different from your other choices (i.e.: 4 memoirs and 1 self-help)

3. If interested, please sign up here with the link to your NFF Challenge post (all choices do not need to be posted and may change at any time)

Here are my choices:

1. Marley and Me by John Grogan
2. Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
3. Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards

Will have to find maybe a self-help book since the first three choices I made are memoirs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Book Thief Challenge

Here is another challenge that I thought looked interesting and hasn't been done before. The Younger Reader is hosting the Book Thief Challenge which runs from March 19, 2009 to December 31, 2009.

This challenge is all about the thief - read anything (fiction or non-fiction) that relate to thief/thieves/theft. "The book can have the word “Thief” in the title, can be about thieves, can involve a scene where something is stolen, etc. Use your imagination if necessary."

What kind of thief are you???

1-3 books ~ Pickpocket

3-6 books ~ Candy Shoplifter

6-9 books ~Bank Robber

9-12+ books ~ Grand Thief

I haven't picked my books yet - don't know if I have any that fits this category - so that means SHOPPING!!! I will probably do the Pickpocket challenge - where you read 1-3 books.

Here is my list:


Spring Reading Thing 2009

I signed up for this challenge last year and really enjoyed it. Callapidder Days is hosting it again this year and it goes from March 20, 2009 to June 20th, 2009. Make a list of the books you want to read (this is a must - just can't say I'll make my list later) - then sign up with Mister Linky. Easy.

What's not so easy is coming up with my list, but here it is:

  1. Testimony by Anita Shreve
  2. Highlander Untamed by Monica McCarty
  3. Star Bright by Catherine Anderson
  4. Simple Wishes by Lisa Dale - 4/1/09; Review
  5. The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs
  6. Hot Flash by Kathy Carmichael - 4/30/09; Review
  7. Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr
  8. An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
  9. Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear
  10. Comanche Moon by Catherine Anderson
I am really a mood reader, so I don't want to commit myself to too many books - in case I don't feel like reading them. So, I think 10 is a well-rounded number. I know I will read more within those dates - but they will be "spur of the moment" picks.

Hopefully you will join us during the Spring Reading Thing Challenge and see what others are reading!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Night's Touch - Amanda Ashley

Title: Night's Touch
Author: Amanda Ashley
Publisher: Zebra
Published: 2007
Pages: 346
Genre: Paranormal/Vampire/Witches
Series: Sequel to Night's Kiss

This is what I would consider a light read with some suspenseful action in it. I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but that is the only way I can describe it. The suspenseful parts weren't the nail biting, sit on the edge of your seat type that some vampire novels have. There was some tension in the story since Cara didn't know her parents or the guy she was dating were vampires. However, that's about it.

Once again, as with the last book I read in this series Night's Kiss, I did not like the ending. It ended with no resolution to some of the subplots, and it was rather abrupt. I felt like saying, "That's it?...Well, what about...?"

However, I did like Vincent - he was a relatively new vampire, and was unsure how to tell Cara about being a vampire without scaring her off. She didn't react well when she heard her parents were vampires - so he wasn't about to tell her that he was one. I enjoyed the fact that Roshan and Brenna (Cara's parents) from Night's Kiss were part of this book. The evil that stalked them was connected with the evil in Night's Kiss but with a different twist.

A year ago, Vincent had a chance encounter that left him "with unimaginable powers, a hellish thirst, and an aching loneliness he's sure will never end..." That is until he meets Cara - her "beauty and bewitching innocence call to his mind, his heart...his blood." Sensing the Dark Gift in her parents, he knows "that the only thing more dangerous than the enemy waiting to seek its vengeance is the secret carried by those Cara trusts the most..."

All in all it was a good read up until the ending. You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 346
Completed 3/17/09

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Celebrate the Author - Hannah Howell

Wow, I can't believe another month has gone by, and it is time to Celebrate another author. This month is Hannah Howell's birthday, and I celebrated it by reading Highland Captive. This is a reissue of her 1990 novel, Elfking's Lady.

This is also for my TBR challenge where we had to read a historical novel for the month of March.

Aimil is kidnapped by Parlan MacGuin - known as Black Parlan. He holds her for ransom which starts a feud between the MacGuin clan and Aimil's betrothed. Not wanting to marry Rory, for he has a ruthless reputation, she willing gives up her virtue to Parlan. Known for being a fierce warrior, underneath he is an honorable man. Though Aimil sets out to hate him, she cannot deny her desire for the man who holds her captive.

I loved the characters in this book - from Aimil's strong personality to Parlan's quick wit, and the intriguing ways he comes up with to bend Aimil to his will. The secondary characters add depth to the story, and there are a couple of underlying subplots that worked well.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4.5/5
Pages: 359
Completed: 3/15/09

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Seaview Inn - Sherryl Woods

Title: Seaview Inn
Author: Sherryl Woods
Published: 2008
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 383
Genre: Romance

This is the first book that I have read of Sherryl Woods and I really enjoyed it. Seaview Inn is a story about family relationships, forgiveness, moving forward after tragedy, and romance.

Hannah is a breast cancer survivor. She's tough but when things don't go as planned - her grandmother won't sell the inn and move into a retirement home, her daughter comes home from college pregnant, and her old flame suddenly shows up - she has to find a way to deal with it all and keep her sanity.

Luke has some issues as well - while he was serving in Iraq, his wife leaves him for his best friend and business partner, he is injured in the war, and his kids are mad at him for leaving. He comes to Seaview Key, where he grew up, because it seemed like the right place to take inventory of his life and find out how to get his life back.

"Sometimes, though, the unexpected is just what it takes to start over...and to heal the heart."

One of my favorite characters in this book is the grandmother - feisty, tell it like it is, and determined to show Hannah that home is where you least expect it.

Sherryl Woods' characters are believable, flawed, and well-rounded. Even though the book moves at a moderate pace, it has enough subplots that keeps the reader interested. All in all a really good read.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 383
Completed: 3/9/09

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Divorced, Desperate and Dating - Christie Craig

Title: Divorced, Desperate, and Dating
Author: Christie Craig
Publisher: Love Spell
Published: 2008
Pages: 353
Genre: Romance Mystery
Trilogy: Book #2

What a fun read!! Christie Craig penned a wonderful romance filled with humor and mystery. I fell in love with the hero, Jason. He is afraid of needing anyone due to being raised in foster homes after his mother abandoned him. He is fiercely protective of Sue after she started receiving death threats, but didn't know what to do with his overwhelming feelings about her. He wanted them to have a HEA, but didn't quite know how to go about getting there.

Sue is a murder mystery writer who has a terrible habit of picking the wrong man. Nothing seems to go right for her - and the quirky secondary characters that she is involved with make the story very funny. The dialog is witty, the passion is explosive, and the romance is slow to build, but ends with a definite bang. The mystery behind the story of who wanted Sue dead had me guessing until the end. I kept going down the same paths Jason did as to who was behind the threats.

It kind of has that "Pretty Woman" ending - and since I loved that movie - I loved this book. I am definitely going back and reading the first in the trilogy and will be getting my hands on the third book when it comes out sometime this year.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3.5/5
Pages: 353
Completed: 3/6/09

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Morning Light - Catherine Anderson

Title: Morning Light
Author: Catherine Anderson
Publisher: Signet
Published: 2008
Pages: 412
Genre: Romance/Psychic
Series: Coulter/Kendrick #8

Even though Morning Light is part of a series, I didn't feel as though I missed out on anything by not reading the other books first. I can't believe I just said that - I never read a series out of order - but I just couldn't help myself on this one. The cover is so beautiful, and I really liked the back of the book blurb - I just had to read it.

Some say that there was too much religion in this book, but I didn't feel that way. Clint and Loni are both dedicated to their beliefs and discussions do come up about how psychics are viewed in the Catholic religion - but I didn't feel that it was being forced down my throat. Yes, there was prayer, discussions about believing in God and trusting Him for guidance, and descriptions of them practicing their faith. However, it was a bit refreshing to read about people devoted to their faith falling in love and having a "happily ever after." I know some people who don't like this subject in their books they read - so I would recommend staying away from this one. However, if it doesn't bother you - then this was a great story. It's filled with suspense, humor, gently sensual, and delivers a great HEA.

I love a bit of paranormal in my books and Catherine Anderson doesn't disappoint. Loni is born with second sight and has vowed to ignore her gifts after several heartbreaking events and too much notoriety in the papers. However, when she sees a little boy lost in the wilderness, she just has to contact his father and warn him of the dangers. Clint is a hard working rancher who, after being contacted by Loni, believes she is a lunatic, nutcase, and slightly off her rocker. She has to be because he doesn't have a son. However, events soon unfold that have Clint believing in the supernatural and together they set off to save the boy.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3.75/5
Pages: 412
Completed: 3/3/09