Saturday, May 30, 2009

Heart of the Winter Wolf - Dani Harper

Title: Heart of the Winter Wolf
Author: Dani Harper
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Published: 2007
Pages: 423 (eBook)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (Wolf)

I bought this book back in 2007 when it first came out. For some reason it got lost in by TBR stack, and I am just pulling it out now. I enjoyed the book because of its paranormal aspect - I just love wolves. However, there were places that I thought the pace could have gone a little faster. It took some time before the hero and heroine got together, but when they did it was magical. I love the tortured hero theme, and James didn't disappoint.

Jillian suffered a great tragedy when she was seventeen. The only way back to her sanity was with the help of a white wolf. Throughout the years she depended on him to comfort her and guide her through the difficult times of recovery. As time went by, and the healing process gained strength, the white wolf was fading away - that is until she met James with his pale blond hair and Viking good looks. Was it a coincidence?

Changeling James MacLeod lost everything in an instant - his wife, his child, his reason for living. Filled with grief and guilt, he vowed never to walk as a human again by staying in his wolf form. That is until he meets the sexy new veterinarian, Jillian. What is it about her that pulls at his human nature; why is the wolf determined to have her; and how can he forgive the past and look towards the future?

Jillian is a strong heroine - which I like in a story - she has overcome great odds to become a determined individual making a life for herself as a veterinarian. The book not only follows the romance between James and Jillian, but there are also side stories on the trials and tribulations of a country vet. I liked the secondary characters, they added to the story without distracting from the main plot. In fact, there are a couple of characters I would like to see have their own story.

New Concepts Publishing has rated this a "sensual" romance with love scenes comparative to most romance novels published today.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 423 (eBook)
Completed: 5/29/09

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Kissing Game - Suzanne Brockmann

The Kissing Game
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Publisher: Bantam
Published: 1996 (reissue 2009)
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Sunrise Key Trilogy (Book #2)

This book satisfies my "friends to lovers" theme for this month's TBR Challenge. It has been sitting on my TBR list for sometime now - however, I did post the reissue cover, not the cover that I have. It is also time to celebrate another author's birthday - this month is Suzanne Brockmann.

This was a really quick read with a sweet romantic theme. If you want a light read, simple romance, that leaves you feeling good in the end - then this is the book for you.

Simon is the love em' and leave em' type with a long list of women in his past. Frankie is his friend who has loved him from afar for a long time. But she knows not to get tangled up with him because she would only be another notch on his bedpost. However, circumstances throw them together when Frankie's wealthy client wants her to find a former visitor to the island. She is the island's private investigator, and this case could be a real plus for her business. Simon wants to be her assistant for reasons of his own. Once together, the sparks fly, but will Simon walk away as he has always done - or has he finally found the one woman that makes him think of forever?

I enjoyed this read - it was a feel good story that will make you believe in happily ever after. The book is dated since it was written back in the 90s, but that didn't matter to me. Like I said, it was a simple romance that just makes you feel good in the end.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 288
Completed: 5/20/09

Wicked Burn - Beth Kery

Title: Wicked Burn
Author: Beth Kery
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Published: 2008
Pages: 352
Erotic Romance

All I can say is this in one HAWT read. The book starts out with a bang and doesn't let up. At first I was worried that it was all going to be about their physical relationship. However, after the first really passionate scene, the storyline started revealing itself and I became engrossed in the book.

Vic is the type of hero that is my favorite. He has been hurt in the past and stays away from love, but he is also alpha in every way, talented, strong, and sexy. However, when he does love...he loves with all his heart and will do anything for his woman.

Niall is a quiet, sensitive, caring person trying to deal with the demons of her past. She has overcome the greatest of odds and still reaches out and grabs on to life. Vic reawakens her to passion and helps her to live again. However, she is afraid to reveal her past fearing his judgment as others have judged her.

The one little complaint that I have with this book...and I could be wrong about this...but Vic never does tell Niall that he loves her. We are privy to his feelings, but he never puts a voice to them.

Other than that - this was a fantastic read. I loved Vic's dominant personality and Niall's inner strength. Their personalities complimented each other. The story was written with great emotional depth and strong characterization.

I do have to caution my blog readers - this is a very erotic book - but also a very emotional one with a storyline that captures your heart and tears at your emotions.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 352
Completed: 4/17/09

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Inn at Eagle Point - Sherryl Woods

Title: The Inn at Eagle Point
Author: Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Mira
Published: 2009
Pages: 384
Genre: Romance
Series: Chesapeake Shores Book #1

Abby returns home with her twin daughters to help her sister restore the towns Inn. Jill has gotten herself into financial trouble, and the bank is ready to foreclose on the Inn. Calling her financial wizard sister, Abby, she hopes that things will turn around. Unfortunately, the boy whose heart Abby broke when they were teenagers holds the mortgage. This is the main conflict in the book, but there are other side stories that make The Inn at Eagle Point a good read. The O'Brien family is a dysfunctional family at best. They all have their inner demons and find it hard to become close to each other. The mother left them when Abby was seventeen leaving her to raise her brothers and sisters. The father traveled extensively for his work. Each sibling has their own issues too.

I found the character of Jill to be somewhat annoying, and I kept wanting to say "grow up." Besides that one issue, I really enjoyed the book. I loved the Grandmother's wisdom and the conflict between Abby and her ex-husband added some turmoil to the story.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 384
Completed: 5/7/09

Monday, May 11, 2009

Completed Romance Reading Challenge

Last month I completed the Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Naida at The Bookworm. I read 12 books for this challenge:

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
2. Just Try Me by Jill Shalvis
3. Daring the Moon by Sherrill Quinn
4. Tallchief by Dinah McCall (Sharon Sala)
5. Virgin River by Robyn Carr
6. The Italian's Ruthless Marriage Command by Helen Bianchin
7. Morning Light by Catherine Anderson
8. Divorced, Desperate, and Dating by Christie Craig
9. Seaview Inn by Sherryl Woods
10. Home Fires by Luanne Rice
11. Simple Wishes by Lisa Dale
12. Passing Through Paradise by Susan Wiggs

Here is a link to my original post with links to all my reviews.

I tried reading different types of romances from medieval to contemporary, from suspense to comedy. Thanks Naida for hosting this fantastic challenge - I love romances!!

Royal's Romance Reading Challenge

Since I completed my first Romance Reading Challenge...I've decided to join another one hosted by The Royal Reviews - The Royal's Romance Reading Challenge.

Completing this one will require reading 7 romances in 6 months. To complete the challenge the title or author's name will need to begin with the letters R-O-M-A-N-C-E and must be classified as a romance novel (this includes as romance sub genre including contemporary, historical or paranormal).

This challenge begins on June 1st and finishes on November 30,2009, although you can sign up anytime.

Here is my list:

R - Roberts, Nora - Sanctuary - 6/8/09; Review
O -
M - Marie Force - Sanctuary - 6/9/09; Review
A -
N -
C -
E -

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hot Flash - Kathy Carmichael

Title: Hot Flash
Author: Kathy Carmichael
Publisher: Medallion Press
Published: 2009
Pages: 371
Genre: Women's Fiction/Romantic Comedy

Man, I wish I could remember where...but, I won an autographed copy of this book from one of my blogger friends - I just can't remember who. I think I am going to have to start writing this info down so I can give credit where credit is due.

This book made me laugh until tears were coming out of my eyes. It is about a forty-year-old, pre-menopausal chef who is the mother of a teenage son. Need I say more? Hysterical. She decides she needs to find a husband who can help pay her son's college tuition. So she starts by mailing out surveys to all the happily married couples she sees in the newspaper that are celebrating their anniversaries. The comments she gets back about having a successful marriage vary, but there is an underlying theme to all the answers...their husbands were gone for long periods of time. So, she sets her sights on traveling salesmen.

Next comes the disasterous dates, antics of her teenage son, problems with her job, and attention from the one man who is the exact opposite of the type of man she is searching for...he is an elementary school teacher.

Kathy Carmichael does a wonderful job of creating situations that will make you laugh out loud, dialogue that is witty and fun, characters that are truly exceptional and engaging, and the story flows smoothly from beginning to end.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3.75/5
Pages: 371
Completed: 4/30/09

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Secret Hour - Luanne Rice

Title: The Secret Hour
Author: Luanne Rice
Publisher: Bantam
Published: 2003
Pages: 395
Genre: Suspense/Romance

This was a different kind of book then what I am used to reading by Luanne Rice. It was filled with suspense and mystery as well as a good romance. She wrote with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep me interested and wondering how it would end. I love it when an author can keep me guessing. Another selling point was that the children were children...they misbehaved, talked back, and acted their age. A pet peeve of mine is when the children in a romance novel are so "perfect" and understand adult situations at such a young age - just doesn't ring true with me.

John O'Rourke is an attorney trying to hold his family together after the death of his wife. Not only is he having to deal with his children, but the whole town is against him since he is defending a serial killer and trying to get him off of death row.

Kate Harris is looking for her younger sister after she left home because of a devastating confrontation. With only a postcard to go on, Kate comes to the seaside, and discovers that John is the one man who may be able to help her...but will he go against everything he believes in to give Kate the information she seeks?

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3.5/5
Pages: 395
Completed: 4/25/09

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summer Vacation Reading Challenge

As we progress through the year, the seasonal challenges start popping up. I am signing up for the Summer Vacation Reading Challenge. Molly at My Cozy Book Nook is our generous host. There are two levels to this challenge:

  • Beach Bum: you will read 3 books during this time frame (a leisurely book-a-month); cross-over book selections from other challenges may count; and you do not have to list books in advance -- after all, summer vacation is a time for spontaneity.
  • Globe Trotter: you will commit to reading 6 pre-selected books during this time frame, but you may substitute up to 3 books due to changes in travel plans. Cross-overs for 5 out of the 6 books are allowed, but ideally one book will be read for this challenge alone.
I am going to commit to the Globe Trotter challenge and designate 6 pre-selected books. This challenge runs from Memorial Day - May 22 through Labor Day - September 7. The books can encompass any genre as long as it takes you to some place where you would like to travel.

Here is my list:
  1. Montana Creeds: Dylan by Linda Lael Miller (Montana)
  2. An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor (Ireland)
  3. A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole (Scotland) 6/17/09; Review
  4. Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear (Colorado)
  5. Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr (California)
  6. The Kissing Game by Suzanne Brockmann (Florida)

Comfort Reads

Whew....I am so glad that my reading slump is over. To help me through it, I decided to read a couple of fast and easy reads - 2 Harlequin romances. That did the trick. After reading those, I got back into my reading groove and read two more books this month that I will review later.

The first quick read I chose was Once a Cowboy by Linda Warren. This was a little different storyline than what I have read before. Private investigator Alex Donovan turns rodeo star Brodie Hayes' life upside down with news surrounding his birth. Soon he begins questioning his identity.

I really enjoyed this story - Brodie was the typical hunky cowboy who needs to reevaluate who he is and where he is going with the rest of his life. Standing by his side is the caring Alex Donovan - who will do anything to help her clients. The secondary characters in this story are a scream - I absolutely loved her grandmother and the antics she pulled.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 2.75/5
Pages: 256
Completed: 4/21/09

The other book I chose was Dancing in the Moonlight by Raeanne Thayne. This story involved a heroine that has returned from the war with a life altering injury. While at home, she is confronted by what she considers a childhood enemy.

It encompasses not only recovering from physical injuries, but about reconciling with the past, forgiving, and reevaluating your beliefs. I love these types of books - introspection, overcoming odds, and enemies to lovers. It was a great comfort read.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 2.75/5
Pages: 256
Completed: 4/22/09