Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rewriting Monday - Jodi Thomas

Title:  Rewriting Monday
Author:  Jodi Thomas
Publisher:  Berkley
Published:  2009
Pages:  343
Genre:  Romance with a touch of Suspense

In this book, Jodi Thomas does something a little bit different. She writes in both first person and third person. Not only do we get to delve into the thoughts of the narrator...but also the other characters as well. It might not seem like this would work...but it does, in a great way.

Pepper is the main heroine of the story and through her narrative, we are introduced to the town of Bailee and its inhabitants. She has come to the small town of Bailee to pull her life together after a making a mistake that ended her career as a reporter in Chicago. With less than $300 in her pocket, she arrives at the home of her Aunt only to discover her Aunt is in a nursing home, and the dwelling is a rundown mobile home. Left with no choice, she applies for a job at the local newspaper.

Mike is the editor and owner of the Bailee Bugle...not because he wants to be...but because he inherited the job after his father and brother died within months of each other. Living life full of regrets, Mike is the ultimate beta hero. Strong, yet shy, he keeps his inner turmoil hidden from the townsfolk. He has always been in the shadows...growing up with the town hero as his brother.

This is a great story with intriguing characters...ones that will keep you wanting more of their lives depicted in the story. Along with the romance of Pepper and Mike, there are secondary stories that keep you entertained...the threats involving the paper; a mysterious man seen around town; and the disturbing things that keep happening to Pepper.

You can read my full review here.


Rating: 3.75/5
Pages: 343
Completed: 3/8/10

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wild, Wicked, & Wanton - Jaci Burton

Title:  Wild, Wicked, & Wanton
Author:  Jaci Burton
Publisher:  Berkley
Published:  2007
Pages:  326
Genre: Erotic Romance

This is one title that actually describes what the book is...wild, wicked & wanton. It is a book that pushes the boundaries and will take you on the most sensual ride of your life. So, if you like your romances a little tamer...then I suggest you don't pick up this book. But, if you like your romances edgy, intense, flaming hot, mixed with great characters and intriguing stories, then Wild, Wicked, & Wanton is definitely for you!!! Jaci Burton creates characters that are vibrant, three dimensional, and realistic. She explores the deep fantasies that some women have and gives them life. This is a fantastic read.

The book is an anthology comprising of three interwoven stories. They are about best friends Abby, Blair, and Callie who delight in sharing their wildest secrets and dares. "But their latest bet is the boldest one of all. Each must sleep with whomever the other two have chosen for her." Little did each of them know that their HEA was right around the corner.

Abby's ex-husband had a reputation while they were married for bedding any woman who let her guard down. So, Abby has sworn off men..."but never counted on a pair of sexy veterinarians who are fulfilling a desire of their own." I liked Abby's strength of character that allowed her to go after what she wanted, evaluate the situation for what it really was, and to reach out and grab her chance for love. Mike and Seth were great heroes in this story. Polar opposites...Mark out for a good time, Seth being the more romantic of the two...they complimented each other and gave Abby the time of her life. But what happens after the weekend is over?? That you'll have to read for yourself...LOL.

Blair is afraid to commit. She has broken off three engagements, all because of one man she has never had the courage to let into her heart. The one man she really loves. But now the decision to avoid him at all costs is out of her hands. Blair is afraid of her own desires, afraid to let the one man she knows who will fulfill all of them into her life. Rand knows all about what Blair truly desires, and he is willing to wait until Blair admits the truth. With the help of her two friends, it is time for Blair to face Rand. Even though Rand is a true dominant alpha male, he understands Blair's fears and is compassionate enough to help her work through them. He is determined to have the woman he wants.

Callie is a true romantic...but she carries a broken heart after the death of her husband. She owns a coffee shop where one of her regular customers happens to be one of the most sexiest, gorgeous man Callie has ever seen. After her friends hear that he has given Callie his phone number, they know who they are going to pick for her wild weekend. Now, her long dormant fantasies may be getting a workout. I loved Callie's ability to reinvent herself after her husband's death. She didn't wallow in self-pity, she pulled herself together, opened a successful coffee shop, and now has the chance to grab at everything she's ever dreamed of with Jack. He is a successful lawyer with fantasies of his own...and they just happen to match Callie's. They both explore their desires together. But someone wants to put a stop to their relationship...does he succeed?? You know the'll have to read it to find out!!

If you want to read an excerpt from Wild, Wicked, & Wanton, head on over to Jaci Burton's webiste.

You can read my other review here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 326
Completed: 3/7/10

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hard to Handle - Lori Foster

Title:  Hard to Handle
Author:  Lori Foster
Publisher:  Berkley
Published:  2008
Pages:  648 (eBook)
Genre:  Suspense/Romance
Series:  Fighter Series Book #3

Harley is an ultimate fighter trying to obtain the all illusive SBC title belt. He has been in this situation before...but circumstances beyond his control and injuries has kept him from fighting for it. But nothing is going to get in his way this time, not even women...unless their name is Anastasia. As much as he would like to forget her...circumstances keep throwing them together.

I loved Harley in this book...he is a determined lean mean fighting machine. He is thoroughly focused on his goal of winning the belt, yet he doesn't let it consume him when it comes to protecting his friends. He cares enough about his family by letting his only living relative, Uncle Satch, manage his career even though they don't see eye to eye on how it should be done. He is definitely an alpha male yet he has his vulnerable moments too.

Anastasia is a life coach...helping people reach their goals in life. And even though Harley doesn't want anything to do with her "coaching," he still would like to get to know her on a more personal level. She doesn't act like the typical female...she isn't falling all over herself to get Harley's attention. In fact, she doesn't want a relationship with him at all. They dance around each other as the sparks between them fly...and when they finally do get is an all-consuming fire! I loved her strength in this story. She is a self-sufficient woman with a great career. She doesn't fall for Harley's good looks...she falls for the man he is on the inside.

The only complaint I have of this book is that the title fight didn't last long enough. I would have liked a little more "edge of the seat" fighting. But, all in all it was a great, fun, exciting read. There is an underlying mystery in the story...someone is trying to harm Anastasia...or is it Harley that is in harms way?? You won't get the answer from me! LOL.

You can read my other review here. To read a couple of excerpts from the book, go to Lori Foster's website.

Rating: 3.75/5
Pages: 648 (eBook)
Completed: 3/1/10

Friday, March 12, 2010

Zack: Armed and Dangerous - Cheyenne McCray

Title:  Zack: Armed and Dangerous
Author:  Cheyenne McCray
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Published:  2008
Pages:  269
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Series:  Armed and Dangerous Book #1

Zack: Armed and Dangerous is a scorching hot romance with a suspenseful subplot that includes cattle rustlers and a sexy ICE agent. It is a second chance romance with a twist. I really enjoyed this kept me engaged until the end of the book. The heroine had a strength of character that I liked...she was tough when she needed to be...yet there was a vulnerability to her too. Zack was the ultimate alpha hero. Cowboy turned ICE agent, he is a tall drink of water wearing a black stetson.

Zack broke Sky's heart ten years ago...but now he is back ready to reclaim her and put an end to the cattle rustlers stealing her cattle. In Sky's mind...she wants nothing to do with Zack. Yet, her heart and her body betray her. "She hasn't been able to find a man who sets her on fire the way he did. Then he comes striding back into her life - bigger, badder, and sexier than before..." Get out the fan and have a cool drink on hand when reading this book...their passion burns so hot...the pages scorch your fingers...LOL.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 269
Completed: 3/1/10

2009 List of Challenges

2009 List of Challenges

2009 was a bad year for me in regards to reading and challenges. I had 2 major reading slumps (talking months here) and only completed one challenge for the year. Instead of listing all the challenges that I signed up for like a did in the 2008 List of Challenges post, I am just going to list the one challenge that I completed.

I only read 62 books for the year...I believe this is how many I read. When I started coming out of my slump in September, I didn't track all the books I started reading...but later in the year I tried to go back and compile my list...I think I got them all.

Here is the one challenge I completed:
  1. Romance Reading Challenge - Completed 12/31/10
I know that 2010 has got to be a better year!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

2008 List of Challenges

2008 List of Challenges

These are the challenges I joined in 2008:
  1. 100+ Book Challenge - Did not complete (only 80 books)
  2. 1st in a Series - Completed 12/7/2008
  3. 2nds Challenge - Completed 12/31/2008
  4. 2NEW2U - Completed 4/30/2008
  5. 888 Challenge - Did not complete (only read 59 out of 64)
  6. A~Z Challenge - Did not complete (only read 35 out of 52)
  7. Amateur Sleuth - Did not complete (only read 3 out of 6)
  8. Animal Challenge - Did not complete (only read 2 out of 6)
  9. Anything Agatha - Completed 12/31/2008
  10. Banned Books Challenge - Completed 6/30/2008
  11. Book Binge - Completed 5/31/2008
  12. Bloghopping - Completed 9/25/2008
  13. Book Blowout - Completed 7/31/2008
  14. Book to Movie - Did not complete (only read 0 out of 3)
  15. Celebrate the Author - Did not complete (only read 6 out of 12)
  16. Chunkster Challenge - Did not complete (only read 3 out of 4)
  17. Decades Challenge - Did not complete (only read 4 out of 8)
  18. Dragons Challenge - Completed 6/30/2008
  19. Fall into Reading - Completed 12/20/2008
  20. Ghostly Challenge - Completed 10/31/2008
  21. Grapevine Challenge - Completed 11/30/2008
  22. Harlequin Challenge - Completed 12/31/2008
  23. Man Booker Challenge - Did not complete (only read 1 out of 6)
  24. Naming Convention - Completed 12/31/2008
  25. Notable Books - Did not complete (only read 1 out of 12)
  26. Novella Challenge - Completed 9/30/2008
  27. On the Porch Swing - Did not complete (only read 4 out of 5)
  28. Pub Challenge - Completed 12/31/2008
  29. Read for Your Dreams - Did not complete (only read 5 out of 10)
  30. Romance Reading Challenge - Completed 12/31/2008
  31. Series Challenge Season 2 - Did not complete (only read 0 out of ?)
  32. Southern Reading Challenge - Did not complete (only read 1 out of 3)
  33. Spring Reading Challenge - Completed 5/31/2008
  34. Spring Reading Thing - Completed 6/19/2008
  35. Summer Challenge - Completed 8/31/2008
  36. TBR Challenge - Did not complete (only read 5 out of 12)
  37. Title Master Reading Challenge - Did not complete (only read 1 out of 4)
  38. What's in a Name - Did not complete (only read 4 out of 6)
  39. Whitcoulls Challenge - Did not complete (only read 1 out of 12)
  40. Wind-up Book Chronicle - Did not complete (only read 2 out of 3)
Completed 20 out of 40 challenges!! Read 80 books for the year.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Label Cleanup

    I want to let you know that the next few posts are just maintenance posts. I am participating in the 2010 Blog Improvement Challenge and one of the tasks this week is to cleanup our labels. A couple of the suggestions were to use as few labels as possible and those labels that only have a couple of items under them...should be deleted and moved to another more general label.

    So, in order to cleanup my labels...I am creating posts that list and link to all my 2007, 2008, and 2009 challenges instead of having them all listed separately under Labels. However, for the current year, 2010, I am going to have the challenges listed separately until the end of the year...that way they will be easier to find. Make sense?? Does that sound like it will be easier to navigate the blog??

    Also, on individual book reviews...I am going to take the challenge tags off and just have an author label ("M" Authors, "N" Authors, etc.) Do I really need all those challenge tags?? My challenge posts contain all the books I have read for that particular challenge with links to their reviews. I think this is all I need.

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    Spring Reading Thing 2010

    I am joining the Spring Reading Thing challenge again this year. I have participated in this a couple of times and really enjoy the "freedom" you have with this challenge. It is being hosted by Katrina over at Callapidder Days.She hasn't posted the sign-up post yet...I will link back to it when it gets published.

    Not many rules...set your own goals with your own book list. The challenge runs from 3/20/10 to 6/20/10 to coincide with Spring!! She has set up a post that explains the whole challenge and even has answers to common questions.

    I am shooting for 10 books this Spring. Here is my list of books with links to my thoughts on them:
    1. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
    2. 311 Pelican Court by Debbie Macomber - 4/26/10
    3. "D" is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton - 4/10/10
    4. True Blue by Luanne Rice - 5/3/10
    5. Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff
    6. Marley & Me by Josh Grogan
    7. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts - 4/10/10
    8. The Girl on Legare Street by Karen White - 5/17/10
    9. Highland Honor by Hannah Howell
    10. Bride, Bought and Paid For by Helen Bianchin - 3/22/10

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Broken - Releases Today!!

    Shiloh Walker's book Broken is being released today!!! Here is the blurb from the back of the book and a small excerpt. This one sounds like it is going to be a winner!!!

    Read More

    Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He’s tempted by her beauty—but he knows from experience that anyone desperate enough to live in his building is damaged goods. Besides, he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else.


    Sara Davis is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She’s not an abused wife, and she’s not a criminal. But she does have a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can’t risk telling him the secrets she’s hiding. There’s just too much at stake.

    Driven to desire…

    But Quinn must get closer to Sara when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and he discovers that there is something more complex and dangerous to her than he thought. Now, both Quinn and Sara will have to expose their true feelings—as well as their fragile hearts—if they hope their love will survive…


    He opened the door—

    And stopped dead in his tracks as somebody all but fell into his arms. Somebody…a woman. And not Theresa.

    He caught her just above her elbows, automatically steadying her.

    “I’m sorry,” she said, her voice soft and low.

    Then she lifted her face and Quinn found himself gazing into the biggest, brownest eyes he’d ever seen in his life. Feeling a little dazed, he studied her face while she stammered out another apology.
    Quinn barely heard it.

    He was too busy staring at her mouth. A very pretty mouth, a cupid’s bow mouth slicked with deep, vibrant red. Under his hands, he could feel silken smooth skin and unable to resist, he stroked a thumb along her inner arm.

    Her skin was soft, soft and warm. He was also pretty sure she had the creamiest, most flawless skin imaginable. Her shoulder-length hair was a shade caught between blonde and brown, nondescript, but for some reason, he found himself thinking about tangling his fingers in that hair and holding her head still while he kissed that red-slicked mouth.

    Well, hello…