Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vision in White - Nora Roberts

Title:  Vision in White
Author:  Nora Roberts
Publisher:  Berkley
Published:  2009
Pages:  325
Genre:  Romance/Humerous
Series:  Bride Quartet Book #1

Vision in White is the first book in the Bride Quartet featuring four childhood friends who grew up to run a business together. They run a wedding service/consultant business...from the first stages of planning to holding the actual wedding and reception on the premises. Mackensie is the photographer, Parker is the OCD planner and powerhouse of the business, Laurel the cake decorator, and Emma the florist.

This is Mackensie's story...and it is laugh out loud funny as well as a tender romance that pulls at the heartstrings. Carter is the perfect hero for Mackensie. He is a nerdy, clumsy, high school English Lit teacher...who is extremely shy around women. Mackensie is a top notch photographer who can deal with the worst bride on the planet, but can't deal with her own mother. She is insecure in her private life, vulnerable, and is a total pushover when it comes to her mother.

What makes this story truly enjoyable is the dialogue...which includes Carter's self talk about his shyness with women, his best friend's advice on dating and "getting" the girl, Mackenzie's self talk about her commitment phobia, and the interactive dialogue between all the characters. Nora Robert's pens a witty, tender, contemporary romance that is just suspense, no intrigue...just a sweet story about triumph over a terrible childhood to realize that "Some things in life are out of your control. You can make it a party or a tragedy. could refuse to take the next step. You could refuse to take what you wanted most because you're afraid some day you might lost it."

You can read my full review here.

Rating 4.5/5
Pages: 325
Completed:  2/26/10

Friday, February 26, 2010

Release - Beth Kery

Title:  Release
Author:  Beth Kery
Publisher: Penguin
Published:  2010
Pages: 328
Genre: Erotic Romance

I can't seem to put Beth Kery's books down once I start reading them...the pages just keep turning, the magic keeps flowing, and the suspense grabs you until you just have to finish reading the book.  Then when you are done, you hate the fact that you read it so fast!! Even though the book has a strong, powerful Dom/sub relationship, which I don't usually read, it was written in such a way that you understood and felt the explosive emotions, and scorching passion between the two characters. The fears and uncertainty were believable and were assuaged with such caring, patience, and heartfelt love. I am not going to go into specific detail as to what the passionate scenes entail...but if you want to know before reading the book...there is a great review on Amazon by Jane Stewart that details exactly what is in the book.

I was a recent winner of this book...over at Seductive Musings...and got an autographed copy. I was so excited when it came in the mail!!! I really loved this book. Sean is a ruggedly handsome man with a New Orleans drawl that made me weak in the knees whenever I imagined how his voice would sound. He knew exactly what he wanted in the bedroom and knew exactly how to achieve his desires. Ginny is confused about her wants and needs...having grown up with conservative beliefs...she is scared of the feelings and desires that Sean awakens. He is understanding of these concerns and tries to help her overcome them and starts to build a trust between them that is needed in this type of relationship.

There is only one scene that bothered me...when he leaves her in a vulnerable position to take care of some that includes keeping her safe. I don't know why that didn't sit well with me...I think putting myself in her place...I would be scared, mad, and even a little apprehensive about trusting him again.

Here is a bit of the blurb on the back of the book...
And so a memorable night in the company penthouse, Max and Sean showed Genny the heights of ecstacy...But as Ginny soon learns, there's a price to pay for such impulsive pleasure. What began as a night of forbidden desire quickly spirals into a whirlpool of murder, sensual submission, and secrets. And a scorching passion that threatens to consume everyone it touches.
The suspense and intrigue behind the story kept me turning the pages to see what the outcome would be...who murdered the victim; why; and would Ginny and Sean get their HEA?

You can read more about this book over at Beth Kery's website.

Rating: 4/5
Pages:  328
Completed:  2/21/10

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stand Alone Reading Challenge 2010

I am reading so many series...that I thought this would be a good challenge to branch out from reading my series and devour some stand-alone books. The Stand Alone Reading Challenge is being hosted by Wings at Storywings.

There are 3 levels of participation:

SAB-erful - 5 books
SAB-erific - 15 books
SAB-tastic - 25 books

The rules are very stand alone books...rereads are allowed...complete your level within the time frame...January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.

I am going to try to complete the SAB-erific level which is 15 books.

Here is my list with links to my reviews:
  1. Release by Beth Kery - 2/21/10
  2. Wild, Wicked, & Wanton by Jaci Burton - 3/7/10
  3. Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas - 3/8/10

What an Animal III Reading Challenge


Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews has volunteered to host the What an Animal III Reading Challenge. The challenge runs from March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011. The rules remain the same:
1. Read at least 6 books that have any of the following requirements:

a. there is an animal in the title of the book

b. there is an animal on the cover of the book

c. an animal plays a major role in the book

d. a main character is (or turns into) an animal (define that however you'd like).

2. The animal can be any type of animal (real or fictitious)--dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, hedgehog, aardvark...dragon, mermaid, centaur, vampire, get the idea...

3. You can still sign up after March 1st as long as you can get 6 books read by February 28, 2011 ;o).

4. Books can be fiction or nonfiction.

5. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or you can just list them as you find them.

6. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime (assuming you made a list to begin with).

7. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.

8. You don't have to have a blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.

 So, head on over to Yvonne's and sign up for this fun challenge.

Here's my book list with links to my reviews:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Carpenter's Lady - Barbara Delinsky

Title:  The Carpenter's Lady
Author:  Barbara Delinsky
Publisher:  Avon
Published:  1983
Pages:  316
Genre:  Romance

This is a sweet beautiful romance that is being reprinted (I think because I saw it at Borders last week). And as long as you remember that it was written in 1983...the time of the typewriter, no cell phones, and the heroine saying "no" but the hero thinking she really means "yes"...then I think you will enjoy this romance. Barbara Delinsky pens a remarkably beautiful story that encompasses triumph over the past, the courage to tear down walls erected around the heart, and believable characters. I really enjoyed this book and probably will be rereading it sometime in the near future.

Debra is a writer for a popular soap opera who moves from New York to a small town in New Hampshire. There she tries to repair her shattered emotions as well as restore the old farmhouse she bought. And the only person to help her on both accounts is the enigmatic Graham Reid. Graham is hiding from a bitter past himself, but reluctantly takes on the job of restoration not suspecting to find himself enamored with the owner of the house. Together they struggle to find the courage to build on the promise of new love.

I loved the tidbits here and there about house restoration interwoven into the framework of the book. These are my favorite types of books...where restoring older homes is the backdrop for a beautifully written romance. Debra is a strong heroine pitted against the gruff and tough Graham. She sees beyond the exterior to the hurting man inside. Will they get their "happily ever after"?? Not if Debra's ex-husband can help it.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3.5/5
Pages: 316
Completed: 2/19/10

Monday, February 15, 2010

Coming Undone - Lauren Dane

Title: Coming Undone
Author:  Lauren Dane
Publisher:  Penguin
Published:  2010
Pages:  291
Genre:  Erotic Contemporary Romance

Lauren Dane is a "new to me" author and all I can say is I will be reading more of her books in the future!! Coming Undone is the second book in a duet, but against all I believe in...I read this one out of order. I just couldn't wait for Laid Bare, the first book, to come in the mail.

I absolutely loved this book. Even though it is a gentle romance...meaning it is not fraught with major is a compassionate love story packed full of raw emotion, family dynamics, and scorching passion. It is a character driven book that is heartfelt, has you pulling for the main characters, warming to the secondary characters, and fanning yourself as the passion flames up the pages!!

I fell in love with Brody the minute he was introduced in the story. I mean, who doesn't want an alpha hero whose kind and compassionate as well as strong and sexy!!! I love how both of the main characters are well-adjusted, capable of taking care of their own, and not afraid of their own sensuality. Like I said before, there isn't any major conflict...except between Elise and her in-laws...and the love story between Brody and Elise grrows over time...I think the book covers about 18 months of their relationship.

Elise has overcome a life-altering past, but she is a strong woman, capable of taking care of herself, her family, and moving on with her life. Brody is your average guy, although he has had to raise his two siblings from a young age, he hasn't got a lot of hangups. He just doesn't want commitment right at the moment...he is happy being a free spirit. They meet one day, after Brody gets run over by a drunk driver...she is there to call the ambulance and take care of him until help arrives. When they first meet the sparks begin to fly until they burst into flames later on in the story. I just loved how their love for each other grew over time, they became best friends, leaning on each other without becoming overly dependent. They are characters that are going to stay with me long after I have put the book on my shelf (my keeper shelf for sure). For those that want a comfortable romance, with down to earth characters that burn up the pages...then Coming Undone is for you. This is definitely going to be a reread for me!!!

You can read the blurb on the back of the book plus a delicious excerpt on Lauren Dane's website.

I can't wait until my copy of Laid Bare arrives, it is the story of Brody's sister.

Rating: 4.5/5
Pages:  291
Completed: 2/15/10

Night's Master - Amanda Ashley

Title:  Night's Master
Author:  Amanda Ashley
Publisher:  Kensington
Published:  2008
Pages:  364
Genre:  Paranormal/Vampire/Werewolf
Series:  Night Series - Book #3

Night's Master incorporates both the supernatual worlds of Vampires and Werewolves. An evil force is determined to destroy them, and they have to ban together in order to win the war. Amanda Ashley pens a story where we revisit characters from the first two books, however she doesn't rehash every aspect of their stories...she introduces just enough information that we find out what has been happening to them as time progresses. It is a good mixture of background information and gap-filling information that blends well with the new storyline. The new characters are well-developed, and I enjoyed their story as much as I did the first two books!

Kathy is being drawn into the Supernatural world whether she wants to be or not...due to the fact that she finds the leader of the North American vampires irresistible. "Raphael Cordova exudes smoldering power, and his sensual touch draws Kathy into a world of limitless pleasure and unimaginable dangers." The vampire hunters are on the loose...with a new antidote to change werewolves and vampires back into humans...but they need test subjects, and the Supernatural beings are starting to disappear. They are determined to destroy them and any human that gets in their way. Which is exactly what Kathy does...gets in their way. But could Raphael's desire for Kathy be a fatal distraction for all his kind as well as the woman he has sworn to love forever?

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3.5/5
Pages: 364
Completed 2/13/10

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Satisfaction Guaranteed - Lucy Monroe

Title: Satisfaction Guaranteed
Author: Lucy Monroe
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Published: 2007
Pages: 294
Genre: Romance/Light Suspense

I enjoyed this book with its witty dialogue and sizzling romance. However, I felt that it was a little light in the suspense category. Most of the book revolved around Beth's struggles to find who she really was without worrying about what others thought about her. All her life, people told her that she was too intense in regards to her emotions. So, she hid that part of herself...and finally, after the Ethan states the same thing...she has had enough. She steps up to the plate and tells it like it is...she is an intense person...and if you don't like it...there's the door!!! There weren't that many secondary characters...however, the ones that were there added to the storyline, and the ending gave me the impression that there are going to be more books about the agency.

Ethan is an agent in her father's organization and Beth runs the office. However, it took her ex-fiance to make her realize that she doesn't date agents...ever. They do not make good family men...the kind she wants to settle down with and have a family. However, when forced together on a mission for the agency...sparks begin to fly...however, Beth thinks Ethan's interest is because of the job. Ethan can't help but be impressed by Beth's work in the field...which is a total turn on. Will they be able to keep the passion at a simmer until the mission is completed? Or will the flames ignite into an inferno?

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 294
Completed: 1/29/10

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Celebrate the Author - John Sandford

It is new month, and a new author to celebrate!!! John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1994, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. And has been writing suspense/thrillers since 1990. You can read more about him by visiting his biography on his website.

Title: Shadow Prey
Author: John Sandford
Publisher: Berkley
Published: 1990
Pages: 499 (eBook)
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Series: Prey Series - Book #2

In visiting John Sandford's website, I read through his comments on writing the book Shadow Prey. One of the things he says stood out with me...

"A good thriller should carry the reader along, like a whitewater river. The can't-put-it-down characteristic is critical."
That just says it all...and Shadow Prey didn't disappoint. From beginning to end, I was carried along through the action and suspense...and was really surprised by the ending. He sure put Lucas through the wringer in this one - LOL. The police procedures weren't over-shadowing and the history behind the terrorists' actions wasn't over-powering. It was a great mixture and made for an interesting, action-packed, thriller. I enjoyed getting to know Lucas more...the secondary characters are well-developed, and it was great revisiting them.

A radical Native American group is killing prominent people in the US. Lucas, along with a New York City detective, Lily Rothenburg, are investigating the terrorists. Through twists and turns, they discover who they are and begin racing against the clock to find them in order to keep the body count from rising.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 499 (eBooks)
Completed: 2/5/10

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ireland Reading Challenge 2010

I know I've joined like a million challenges this year...but I could not pass this one up. Not only does it have a beautiful button, but Ireland is one of my favorite places and would love to travel there someday.

The Ireland Reading Challenge is being hosted by Books and Movies and here is what she states the rules are:

~ Join anytime. The challenge runs from February 1, 2010 to November 30, 2010.
~ Any books read for this challenge can also apply to other challenges you are working on.
~ Re-reads are allowed.
~ Any book written by an Irish author, set in Ireland, or involving Irish history or Irish characters, counts for the challenge – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, audiobooks, children’s books – all of these apply.
~ Choose your commitment level:

Shamrock level: 2 books
Luck o’ the Irish level: 4 books
Kiss the Blarney Stone level: 6 books

If you complete your challenge and write at least one are eligible for the giveaway prize at the end of the challenge: a copy of Ireland: A Novel by Frank Delaney.

So go forth, sign up, and have fun traveling to Ireland!!!

My commitment level is going to be Luck o’ the Irish level: 4 books

Here is my list with links to my reviews: