Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hard to Hold - Stephanie Tyler

Title: Hard to Hold
Author: Stephanie Tyler
Publisher: Dell
Published: 2009
Pages: 370
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Hard to Hold Trilogy - Book #1

Stephanie Tyler is a "new to me" author but not for long. As of right now I am perusing her backlist and writing the titles down on my To Be Bought list!! Her writing style is fantastic, and I was drawn into her world of Navy SEALs from page one. Between all the suspense and intrigue lies a love story so poignant and powerful...that it had me on the edge of my seat to see if they could work through all their problems. I have to say that this is not the traditional Happy Ever is not all wrapped up in a neat little package. Their are still issues that need to be resolved, healing that needs to be worked through, in is a realistic ending that has the reader hoping for the best...but knowing there will be bumps along the way.

Jake and Isabelle "meet" when he has the mission of rescuing her from rebel forces after being held captive and tortured for three days in Africa. The sparks fly from the beginning and keep flying until the ultimate igniting of a fire that burns so passionately it will have you fanning yourself from the scorching heat. However, the road to passion was not easily traveled. Both Jake and Isabelle have pasts that they have to heal from...Jake's as a child and Isabelle's captivity. Neither one wants to tear down the walls that they have built around their hearts...but "nothing could prepare them for a passion this wild...this crazy...this hot."

Jake has been assigned Isabelle's protector since her attacker has not been found. Being kept totally in the dark about the assignment, Isabelle tries to overcome her pain both physically and emotionally. But the truth finally comes out...that the attacker is still at large...that Jake is protecting her...and Isabelle feels totally betrayed by those that she loves.

I really enjoyed this book...the romance, suspense, intrigue, and even the background history on Navy SEALs training. It is fully engaging, and I couldn't put it down. It engages all the emotions that I, as an avid reader, wants pulled from me as I am reading a book. Tears, laughter, sitting on the edge of my seat, passion, and it is full of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. I can't wait to get me hands on the next in the trilogy and she if Ms. Tyler revisits some of the secondary characters in Hard to Hold that I feel, need some more attention...LOL!!!

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4.75/5
Pages: 370
Completed: 1/28/10

Naked in Death - J.D. Robb

Title: Naked in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Publisher: Berkley
Published: 1995
Pages: 314
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Futuristic
Series: In Death - Book #1

Wow...what a fantastic start to, what I believe, is going to be a great series. I know I am a little behind in starting...I think she has written 29 books with a few novellas thrown into the mix.

This series' heroine is the tough homicide detective, Eve Dallas. It is set in the future, approximately 2058. While investigating a series of murders, Eve meets up with the enigmatic Roarke. He is one of her main suspects, but she can't help but be drawn in by his sharp good looks, charming attitude, and his tough as nails reputation.

Even though this is a futuristic book, the reader doesn't get bogged down in excessive detail. The story flows, and the advanced society and technology are believable. With all the suspense and intrigued packed into this one book, it had me guessing until the end about the identify of the killer.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 408 (eBook)
Completed: 1/3/10

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reading My Name Challenge 2010

Reading My Name Challenge is one that I participated in last year but didn't get around to completing. So I am up for it again this year. It is being hosted by Callista from SMS Book Reviews and has its own dedicated blog. It runs from January 15, 2010 through June 15, 2010.

All you have to do is read two books by an author that shares your name...could be first name, last name, middle name, nickname, online name, email name, etc. It can be a form of your name like Kathleen could by Kathy or Cathy. She even goes so far as allowing a character in the book or book titles to have your name...whatever works for you.

So head on over to the Reading My Name Blog and check out the rules (I might have missed some) and sign up for this great challenge.

I looked my name up in Amazon and amazingly there are a few authors that share the name Kara...I haven't researched Cara yet...but I am thinking there are a few of those too.

Here is my tentative book list:

  1. Author - Kara Louise
  2. Author - Kara Lennox
  3. Title - Kara Gillian - Mark of the Demon
  4. Author - Cara Summers
  5. Author - Cara Lockwood

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dead in the Water - Stuart Woods

Time to CELEBRATE THE AUTHOR for the month of January. I chose Mr. Stuart Woods who was born January 9, 1938 in a small southern town in Manchester, Georgia. He published his first novel, Chiefs, in March on 1981. His first Stone Barrington novel, a series he is well-known for, was published in 1991 by HarperCollins, New York Dead. You can head on over to his website, read more of his biography, and check out his extensive booklist.

The book I chose to read in celebration of his birthday is the third in the Stone Barrington series...Dead in the Water.

Title: Dead in the Water
Author: Stuart Woods
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 1997
Pages: 325
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Series: Stone Barrington - Book #3

Stone Barrington, ex-cop turned attorney, finds himself on vacation in St. Marks by himself after being stood up by his live-in girlfriend. Sitting on his boat planning his next move, he watches a young woman, alone, sail a huge yacht into the harbor. After docking, he notices that there is some commotion going on over there that is involving the island police. He finds out what all the fuss is about from the owner of a local bar. A woman has arrived at the island alone...but she started out on the other side of the Atlantic with a husband...who is no longer on-board. Sir Winston, the minister of justice, wants to put her on trial for murder.

I just love the Stone Barrington novels...he is such a womanizer, but you can't help falling for him. This was definitely a page turner...I couldn't wait to see what happens...and what did happen was something I never expected. What a thrill ride. I can't wait to read the next in the series...Swimming to Catalina.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4.75/5
Pages: 325
Completed: 1/23/10

Monday, January 25, 2010

The House on Tradd Street - Karen White

Title: The House on Tradd Street
Author: Karen White
Publisher: New American Library
Published: 2008
Pages: 329
Genre: Fiction/Paranormal/Romance (slight)
Series: Tradd Street - Book #1

Karen White pens a great story filled with ghosts, home restoration, witty dialogue, and two main characters that are vibrant and endearing. I love the dialogue that passes between Melanie and Jack. The secondary characters add a rich compliment to the book, and I can't wait to read more about them in the second book, The Girl on Legare Street.

Melanie can see ghosts though she won't admit that aloud to anybody. But when she inherits and old house from someone she only had one meeting with...she is going to have to accept it. Beneath the crumbling walls of her inheritance, lies a malevolent ghost that wants to keep the secrets of the house from being discovered.

Jack is a writer obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He believes that there are several stories involving the house...a woman's disappearance, diamonds, and possibly murder. So he decides to charm his way into Melanie's life and home. Now they need to unravel the mysteries before the evil force destroys them.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 329
Completed: 1/19/10

Friday, January 22, 2010

Man's Best Friend Reading Challenge 2010

Man's Best Friend Reading Challenge 2010

The Man's Best Friend Reading Challenge is being hosted by DelGal at DelGal's Book Reviews. From January to December 2010, you can read any type of book as long as it is about dogs!! Can be fiction, nonfiction, memoir, adult, YA, and children. Doesn't matter what just has to be about dogs.

Since I have several "dog" books on my TBR shelf, I am definitely in this challenge.

Here are the books I am going to try and get to:
  1. Marley & Me by John Grogan
  2. Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote
  3. The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

Buck a Book Challenge 2010

I couldn't resist joining this challenge. A Buck a Book Reading Challenge is being hosted by DelGal over at DelGal's Book Reviews.

The idea behind the challenge is to reward yourself by paying yourself a buck each time you read a book during 2010. Here is what she says, "Now, once Dec 31 comes, you must spend this saved money on something fun just for yourself (no paying bills, no buying gifts for someone else!), to begin the next year... Maybe more books for the new year? A nice dinner out to celebrate reading? The possibilities are endless!"

Once the challenge is completed on December 31st, let your fellow challenge participants know what you spent your money on!!!

What a fun challenge...seeing as how I am shooting for 100 books this year...should be a great gift to myself!!

Will keep monthly stats as to how many books I've read:

January... 10 Books...$10...Total = $10
February... 6 Books...$6...Total = $16
March...  10 Books...$10...Total = $26

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Playboy Sheikh's...Sharon Kendrick

Title: The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl
Author: Sharon Kendrick
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Published: Aug 2009
Pages: 177
Genre: Category Romance
Series: The Royal House of Karedes

I read this book due to the fact that I had a "Title" requirement for my Harlequin/Silhouette Challenge, and I needed a Category Romance for my TBR #2 Challenge. Go here to see other TBR Challenge participants.

If it hadn't been for those two Challenges...I probably wouldn't have finished reading it. Just wasn't my idea of a "Sheikh" romance. Typical arrogant sheikh and virgin heroine. However, Kaliq was a little over the top in his arrogance...and I quote "I excite the attention of women wherever I go - they are naturally drawn to my power and virility." His term of endearment he uses in regards to Eleni is...Lizard. I have a real problem being compared to a lizard. Now, Eleni I kind of liked. She stood up to his arrogance and didn't have a problem speaking her mind even though she was his stable-girl. The secondary characters I liked were the horses. Yes, ladies, the horses. I liked the aspect that Eleni was such a great rider. I have a fondness for horses and horsemanship.

Here is the blurb on the back of the book...

Polo-playing sheikh Prince Kaliq loves his women as much as his horses. They're wild, willing, and he's their master!

Stable girl Eleni is a local Calistan. Raised by her brutal father on the horse-racing circuit, she feels unlovable. When her precious horses are given to Sheikh Kaliq, she refuses to be parted from them.

The playboy sheikh is determined to bed Eleni - and when Kaliq realizes she's a virgin, the challenge only beocmes more interesting...

Rating: 2/5
Pages: 177
Completed: 1/18/10

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Twelve by Twelve Challenge 2010

This looks like a fun challenge being hosted by numerous bloggers out there in blogland. I first heard about this on J.Kaye's BookBlog, and this is what she posts:

There will be twelve book bloggers, each hosting their own Just Read More Novel’s Month throughout 2010.
Participants can join in one, two, or all twelve of these separate reading challenges. Each month starts a brand new reading challenge. And the goal? To simply read more novels. Each of us will follow the guidelines set for January’s NaJuReMoNoMo.
To read the guidelines, find out who all is hosting this challenge (a different blogger for each month), and all the other tidbits you need to know in order to participate...head on over to J. Kaye's Book Blog.

I know I'm in for all twelve months.

Here is my book list with links to my reviews:

January - Being hosted by NaJuReMoNoMo
  1. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb - 1/3/10
  2. The Warrior by Sharon Sala - 1/6/10
  3. Before Sunrise by Diana Palmer - 1/8/10
  4. If He's Wicked by by Hannah Howell - 1/16/10
  5. The House on Tradd Street by Karen White - 1/19/10
  6. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts - 1/21/10
  7. Dead in the Water by Stuart Woods - 1/23/10
  8. Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler - 1/28/10
  9. Satisfaction Guaranteed by Lucy Monroe - 1/29/10
February - Being Hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog
  1. Shadow Prey by John Sandford - 2/5/10
  2. Night's Master by Amanda Ashley - 2/13/10
  3. Coming Undone by Lauren Dane - 2/15/10
  4. The Carpenter's Lady by Barbara Delinsky - 2/19/10
  5. Release by Beth Kery - 2/21/10
  6. Vision in White by Nora Roberts - 2/26/10
March - Being Hosted by Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings
  1. Zack: Armed and Dangerous by Cheyenne Mccray - 3/1/10
  2. Hard to Handle by Lori Foster - 3/1/10
  3. Wild, Wicked & Wanton by Jaci Burton 3/7/10
  4. Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas 3/8/10
  5. Bound, Branded & Brazen by Jaci Burton 3/13/10
  6. Sarah's Child by Linda Howard 3/15/10
  7. Fragile by Shiloh Walker 3/21/10
  8. Bride, Bought and Paid For by Helen Bianchin 3/22/10
  9. Laid Bare by Lauren Dane 3/25/10
  10. Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis 3/27/10
April - Being Hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
  1. Broken by Shiloh Walker 4/8/10
  2. "D" is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton 4/10/10
  3. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts 4/10/10
  4. A Whisper of Eternity by Amanda Ashley 4/13/10
  5. Amazing Gracie by Sherryl Woods 4/15/10
  6. Suddenly One Summer by Barbara Freethy 4/19/10
  7. 311 Pelican Court by Debbie Macomber 4/26/10
  8. Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks 4/26/10
May - Being Hosted by Page Turners
  1. True Blue by Luanne Rice 5/3/10
  2. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts 5/10/10
  3. Something About You by Julie James 5/7/10

        Paranormal Reading Challenge 2010

        With my love of paranormal books...I had to join another Paranormal Reading Challenge. This is being hosted by Wings at Storywings.

        Here are the rules:

        1.The Paranormal Reading Challenge is for anyone who loves reading ANYTHING paranormal!!!
        - Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Ghosts, Angels the scope is pretty big!!!
        - The books can be any sub genre under Paranormal - romance, YA, mystery, etc.

        2. The book has to be a book. No free short stories, or writing sites.

        3. If you are a blogger please post a link back to this challenge on your page to let others join in the fun. -Non-bloggers - it's ok, you can join to and you can keep track of your progress by yourself, and post a comment on the wrap-up page, or you can send comments to this page to keep track of your progress.

        4. Cross-overs from other challenges are accepted. As are re-reads. Books that were started in 2009 don't count.

        5. Challenge starts from 1st January 2010 and ends on 31st December 2010

        6. Levels:

        1. Human - 5 books
        2. Witch - 10 books
        3. Oracle - 20 books
        4. Were - 30 books
        5. Vampire - 40 books
        6. Angel - 50 books
        Of the 6 levels...I am going to go for the Oracle level...(maybe push for the Were level).

        Here is the list of books with links to my reviews:
        1. The House on Tradd Street by Karen White - 1/19/10

        Read Your Name Challenge 2010

        Victoria from Phantom Inkheart is hosting the Read Your Name Challenge again this year. It runs from 1/1/10 to 12/31/10 and the rules are pretty easy:

        Using your first name, or blogger name, or your pets name, or even your favorite literary character's name; whichever you like, choose books with first title letters that spell out your name. (Audio books and eBooks are also okay.) Such as my name: Victoria. the first book's title would start with the letter V, then the next book title begins with I, etc. Make sense? (I hope so!) :p
        Then link back to the dedicated blog with your reviews or your book list.

        Here is the list of books that I have chosen with links my reviews:
        • K
        • A
        • R
        • A

        Here is the list of books that I have chosen (authors' names that begin with letters in my name).

          Sunday, January 17, 2010

          666 Paranormal Reading Challenge 2010

          The 666 Paranormal Reading Challenge has changed somewhat this year. Instead of reading 6 books in 6 different categories (which I really enjoyed)...there are levels of reading that has to do with the number 6. There are 4 different levels to choose from:

          6 Books – Shadow
          12 Books – Wraith
          18 Books – Ghoul
          24 Books – Creature of the Night

          Here are the Rules:

          - You do not have to have a list of books prior to signing up.
          - The books must be paranormal or horror, this includes things such as urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
          - It can include ebooks and audiobooks.
          - It can be a book that you have read before and are rereading because you love it.
          - All books have to be started after December 31, 2009.

          So, if you love paranormal books like I do...head on over to Morbid Romantic (who is hosting this challenge) and sign up for the fun!!!

          I choose to do the Creature of the Night level and read 24 books!!

          Here is my book list with links to my reviews:

          1. Night's Master by Amanda Ashley - 2/13/10

          Saturday, January 16, 2010

          Themed Reading Challenge 2010

          Wendy over at Caribousmom is hosting the Themed Reading Challenge. The challenge runs from 2/14/10 through 8/14/10. The rules have changed a little bit from last year:

          1. Readers may join at ANY TIME between now and August 14th.
          2. Books should be chosen from the reader’s TBR pile (this may be an actual physical pile or a virtual pile).
          3. The goal is to read AT LEAST 5 books linked by theme.
          4. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed.
          5. Readers may change their list of books OR their theme(s) at any time.

          Readers may choose from three different levels of participation:

          1. Read at least 5 books which share the same theme.
          2. Read at least 5 books which share TWO themes.
          3. Read at least 5 books which share MORE THAN TWO themes.
          I'm going to go with 5 books that share two themes. My two themes are female authors who write vampire books. (I know, the same as last year...not very original, but I enjoy the paranormal genre!!!).

          Here is my book list:
          1. Charlaine Harris - All Together Dead
          2. Amanda Ashley - Everlasting Kiss
          3. Lynda Hilburn - Dark Harvest
          4. J.R. Ward - Dark Lover
          5. Amanda Ashley - Night's Master

          If He's Wicked - Hannah Howell

          Title: If He's Wicked
          Author: Hannah Howell
          Publisher: Zebra
          Published: 2009
          Pages: 357
          Genre: Historical/Paranormal
          Series: Wherlocke Book #1

          Hannah Howell has penned another great read as far as this reader is concerned. The suspense surrounding the hero develops to a final showdown that has you turning the pages to see how it ends. The relationship between Julian and Chloe grows each moment they are together until the passion can no longer be contained.

          It all begins with a vision...Chloe has glimpses into the future that reveals to her the terrible plot against Lord Julian. Her psychic ability allows her to save Julian's newborn son from death, and warn Julian that sinister forces are indeed at hand.

          You can read my full review here.

          Rating: 3.75/5
          Pages: 357
          Completed: 1/16/10