Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Release for 04/27/10

LOVER MINE!!!! I know there are other books being released today, but none that I've waited this long to read. I've wanted JM's story since he showed up in the very first book. I also love Xhex, so I'm so excited to read an entire book about JM & Xhex. I also am ready for some love between Blay and Quinn, and I'm sure the WARDen doesn't disappoint(I've read no reviews that listed any spoilers, so just guessing at this point).
I'm also very excited that I received my book today from Amazon. I pre-ordered from them since they had the best price($9.99 for a hardback), and was sure I would have to wait a few days to receive my book. I had received the latest email from Amazon telling me the delivery date was set for Saturday May 1. So imagine my surprise and excitement when the mailman called out "mails here" as he was leaving the building. I really think I would have hugged him had he stuck around. Now I'll have plenty of time to finish reading Lover Mine before going to the book signing in Radcliff, KY at The Bookstore next weekend.
Hope everyone else is having as great a book day as me today!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Lady of Persuasion

A Lady of Persuasion is the third book in Tessa Dare’s first historical romance trilogy. From the back cover.~

Only one thing could convince Sir Tobias Aldridge, and incorrigible libertine, to profess undying fidelity to a woman he’s just met. Revenge. What better way to get back at an enemy than by stealing the scoundrel’s sister? Not that Toby finds it a chore, seducing a beguiling, sultry beauty freshly arrived from the West Indies. When the prize is Isabel Grayson, vengeance is doubly rewarding.

Isabel is determined to marry a wealthy, powerful lord and become a lady of influence, using her rank and fortune to fight social injustice. Sir Toby, with his paltry title and infamous reputation, is unsuitable husband material-but he makes her blood race, her heart pound, and her long-buried passions come to the surface. If she can reform the charming devil, she’ll get exactly what she craves: society’s respect. But it’s a dangerous gamble. For if Toby wins this battle of persuasion, Isabel could lose her heart.

As much as I loved the first two books in this series, A Lady of Persuasion is my favorite of the three. Isabel knows exactly what she wants out of life and has no bones about going after what she wants. Toby, initially only wants Isabel because she is Gray’s sister, but very soon into their relationship I could see his feelings turning real. This book moved really fast, and felt like I was visiting with old friends, as we got to see Lucy and Jeremy and Sophia and Gray throughout much of the book. My favorite part of the book is when Isabel actually realizes how much she loves her husband and giving into her passion for him is not only ok, but wonderful and fun.

I read this series back to back to back, which is my favorite way to read a series. Always hate having to wait months for the next book to come out. Luckily, the next series by Tessa Dare will also be released back to back to back this summer, so not much waiting between books.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Surrender of a Siren

Surrender of a Siren is the second book in Tessa Dare’s first trilogy of historical romances. From the back cover.~

Desperate to escape a loveless marriage and society’s constraints, pampered heiress Sophia Hathaway jilts her groom, packs up her paints and sketchbook, and assumes a new identity, posing as a governess to secure passage on the Aphrodite. She wants a life of her own: unsheltered, unconventional, uninhibited. But it’s one thing to sketch her most wanton fantasies, and quite another to face the dangerously handsome libertine who would steal both her virtue and her gold.

To any well-bred lady, Benedict “Gray” Grayson is trouble in snug-fitting boots. A conscienceless scoundrel who sails the seas for pleasure and profit, Gray lives for conquest-until Sophia’s perception and artistry stir his heart. Suddenly he’ll brave sharks, fire, storm, and sea just to keep her at his side. She’s beautiful, refined, and ripe for seduction. Could this counterfeit governess be a rogue’s redemption? Or will the runaway heiress’s secrets destroy their only chance at love?

I really enjoyed the first book in this series. Partially because I loved how strong Lucy is and partially because I really loved the character Sophia. In Surrender of a Siren, we get to find out so much more about Sophia. In Goddess of the Hunt, Sir Toby wanted to marry Sophia because she was so perfect and innocent. In Surrender of a Siren, we get to see the real Sophia, not the perfect heiress she had tried to be her entire life. Yes, she is still an heiress and knows how to act as one when needed. But we also get to see the woman, not just the public image of the woman. Sophia is an artist and not only passionate about art, but about life. Sophia and Gray are attracted to one another from their first meeting. When they finally give in to their attraction, it is explosive. Of course, the fact that she hasn’t been using her real name and lied about her occupation to get on his ship causes just a few problems between them.

Much like Goddess of the Hunt, Surrender of a Siren starts a little slow. However, it picked up much fast and I loved this book. As with the first book in this series, I immediately had to start reading the final book in this trilogy once I finished this book. A Lady of Persuasion is the final book in this trilogy and I’ll get my post up by morning on it. I will say that in my opinion Dare again delivers with Surrender of a Siren.

Goddess of the Hunt

Goddess of the Hunt is the debut novel by Tessa Dare. From the back cover.~

Ever the bold adventuress, Lucy Waltham has decided to go hunting for a husband. But first she needs some target practice. So she turns to her brother’s best friend, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall, to hone her seductive wiles on him before setting her sights on another man. But her practice kisses spark a smoldering passion-one that could send all her plans up in smoke.

Jeremy has an influential title, a vast fortune, and a painful past full of long-buried secrets. He keeps a safe distance from his own emotions, but to distract Lucy from her reckless scheming he must give his passions free rein. Their sensual battle of wills is as maddening as it is delicious, but the longer he succeeds in managing the headstrong temptress, the closer Jeremy comes to losing control. When scandal breaks, can he bring himself to abandon Lucy to her ruin? Or will he risk his heart, and claim her for his own?

I had heard and read about Goddess of the Hunt for months, and even bought it right after it came out based on many reviewer blogs. I’m so glad I finally decided to pick it up out of my TBR mountain. I will say that the beginning of the book moves just a little slow, but once it picked up, I wasn’t able to put it down. I love Lucy and really think she is one of my favorite characters I’ve read in a long time. Jeremy and Lucy together made me laugh out loud, even as I kept reading to find out what would happen next. Both are such strong characters and I really enjoyed watching them fall for one another. I also loved all the supporting characters in the book, especially Sophia. Dare gives the reader a funny and sexy story, and I highly recommend Goddess of the Hunt for anyone who enjoys historical romances.
As soon as I finished Goddess of the Hunt, I immediately had to start reading Surrender of a Siren, so I could read Sophia's story. I hope to post my thoughts about Surrender of a Siren tonight.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Painting with Friends

So I promised to post my painting if it totally didn't suck. I really did have a great time learning to paint with my friends. We went to the artist's home and we had each voted to pick one of his painting to paint. Jason Erwin is the artist and he made the entire experience really fun. He pretty much told us anything we did was right and there was no wrong thing in art(so different from what my art teacher told me in school). I openly admit not to have much artistic talent and there were many others in our group who were just as worried about the painting as me. It was fun to see how each of us did our own thing with the same painting. I do think the painting looks much better from a distance than up close, still enjoyed it and I'm pretty sure we will do it again at some point. I don't have a copy of the picture with all of us together with our paintings, but I know my friends will be posting it on facebook soon, so I'll post it to my facebook page.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Update...Reading & Running

I recently discovered Tessa Dare's books and can only say that I really love them. I've already read both Goddess of the Hunt and Surrender of a Siren and am in the middle of A Lady of Persuasion. I love reading books in a series and especially enjoy when I can read one after another with no breaks. I hope to post my thoughts on at least the first two books this weekend and finish A Lady of Persuasion.

I signed up for a training group to train for my first 5K race. The actual race will be on July 3 and the training covers a 10 week period. I'm hoping to be in good enough shape to jog/run at least part of the race, but will be happy to walk and finish the race if that is all I can do in July. Of course, between the training fee, cost of a new watch, some new workout clothes, and new running shoes the entire endeavor will be much more expensive than I originally thought. However, I feel the long-term benefits will more than make up for the initial cost. I have several friends who started with 5K races and are now either training for half marathons, marathons, or even triathlons. I don't really have any plans to run more than a 5K or 10K in the near future, but would really love to run a half marathon before I turn 40 next October. I'm thinking the additional workouts each week will also help with my weight loss plans(currently on Weight Watchers and have lost 41 pounds to date). Of course, I have my elliptical machine, and I've been using it each week. I've already been told I'll need to do most of my workouts outside to prepare for the actual race, so my elliptical will only be used once or twice a week during my training.

Plans tomorrow night to get together with my friends for drinks and painting. We are going to some one's house who will teach each of us how to paint one of his paintings. I have absolutely no artistic skills, so not sure I'll have the best time with the painting, but I know I'll have a great time with my friends. If my painting doesn't look too bad, I'll try to post a picture of it this weekend. Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Monday, April 12, 2010

If Books Could Kill

If Books Could Kill is the second book in the Bibliophile Mystery series by Kate Carlisle. From the back cover.~

Book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright is happy to be attending the world-renowned Edinburgh Book Fair. But then her ex, Kyle McVee, shows up with a bomb-shell. He has an original copy of a scandalous text that could change history-and humiliate the beloved British monarchy.

Trying to get Kyle’s story out of her mind, Brooklyn takes a nighttime tour of the city. Unfortunately, the first landmark contains a real dead body: Kyle’s. The police are convinced Brooklyn is the culprit, but with an entire convention of suspects, Brooklyn conducts her own investigation. Before she can crack the case, she’ll have to find out whether the motive for murder is a two-hundred-year-old secret…or something much more personal.

If Books Could Kill is another fun mystery by Kate Carlisle. I love reading about Brooklyn and her friends. Brooklyn once again finds a dead body, which is becoming a pattern for her, as well as being the main suspect. Trouble seems to follow Brooklyn wherever she goes. Luckily for her so does her mom, dad, and best friend Robin, who are always good for a laugh. Derek Stone is there once again to help Brooklyn get out of trouble. Derek and Brooklyn are also trying to figure out what exactly is going on between them. They are incredibly attracted to one another, and seem to have a hard time keeping their hands off each other. As Brooklyn becomes the new target for the killer, Derek must keep his eyes on her to try and keep her safe.

I really enjoy reading the Bibliophile series. I once again was able to figure out the who-done-it before the end of the book, but enjoyed the book so much it didn’t bother me. If Books Could Kill is so well written and I love getting to spend more time with Brooklyn and her friends and family. I also can’t wait to see what will happen between Brooklyn and Derek as the series progresses. The Lies That Bind is the next book in this series, and is scheduled for release in February 2011.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mind Games

Mind Games is the debut novel by Carolyn Crane and the first book in her Disillusionist Trilogy. From the back cover.~


Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness-only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

I loved Mind Games. I’ve been following Carolyn’s blog for a couple of years, so I’ve been waiting for her first book to be published for some time. I knew I loved her voice on her blog, and it is totally there in her book too. Justine Jones knows she will die at any moment. She never imagines her hypochondria could actually be used as a weapon, until she is introduced to Packard. Packard teaches her how to channel her fear into another person, who also suffers from hypochondria to make their own fears increase. Justine doesn’t feel right about using her fears to hurt someone else at first, but she feels better with each session she delivers.

Mind Games is a sexy urban fantasy story. Justine is torn between her attraction to both Packard and the dashing police chief, Otto Sanchez. She also must come to grips with working outside the law to take down criminals who have slipped through the cracks. I have to say this is my first Urban Fantasy story, but it won’t be my last. Double Cross, the second book in the Disillusionist trilogy is scheduled for release on September 28, 2010 and I’ve already added it to my TBB list.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Faerie Fate 4/9/10 Release!!!

Faerie Fate is the debut novel by Silver James to be released on April 9, 2010. I ordered my paperback copy from Wild Rose Press 2 weeks ago and received my copy last week. All digital copies will be available for download starting tomorrow. I posted my thoughts when I won the ARC from Silver's blog back in November, but wanted to make sure everyone marked their calendars for the actual release date of 4/9/10. From the back cover.~

If you could go back, do it over again, would you take a chance to find true love? What if you had no choice?

On her fiftieth birthday, the faerie send Rebecca Miller a thousand years into the past to find her happily ever after with Ciaran MacDermot, Chief of Clann MacDermot, the last Fenian warrior in his line. In the twenty-first century, Becca is old enough to be Ciaran’s mother. In the tenth, she’s young enough to be his bride.

The fae forgot to mention one slight stipulation. The lovers must be bound before the Festival of Light, or Becca will forever disappear into Tir Nan Óg , the faerie Land of the Ever Young. Will they discover the binding words before time runs out and they’re torn apart forever? Or will their eternal love defeat their Faerie Fate?

When Becca goes to bed on her fiftieth birthday, she wakes up in a different century and twenty-five years younger. Ciaran and Becca share a link to each other where they can feel each other’s pain and location, so Ciaran knows where to find Becca. Ciaran must seek help from Niall and his wife Siobhan to help heal Becca, who they find close to death. Neither Becca or Ciaran realize why they are connected or they must be bound before the Festival of Light.

I loved Faerie Fate! I loved the main characters Becca and Ciaran, and the supporting characters of Niall, Siobhan and Riordan just as much. I especially love Riordan and can't wait to read more about him in his book Faerie Fool. Silver gives the reader very strong characters and a strong story filled with the fae, a sexy & spicy romance, a touch of mystery and a bit of time travel. The second book in this amazing series, Faerie Fire is scheduled for release on September 17, 2010 and Silver is currently finishing writing Faerie Fool.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Real update to come soon

So, I've gotten behind on updating my blog...again. Shocker I know, but I've been way too busy reading to update. However, I hope to fix that tomorrow night. I would tonight, but having dinner with lots of family members and I know I'll pretty much crash when I get home from visiting with everyone. Will post about Mind Games by Carolyn Crane hopefully tomorrow night. My short post today is that I absolutely loved Mind Games and everyone should go out and buy it right now. The other book I've finished this week is If Books Could Kill by Kate Carlisle, which is her latest Brooklyn Wainwright book. Love this series and promise to post more soon.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Apple Turnover Murder

Apple Turnover Murder is the latest Hannah Swensen Mystery by Joanne Fluke. From the inside cover flap.~

It’s June in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and for Hannah Swensen, that means bridal showers galore, plus a massive fundraising event in need of confections-not to mention a killer who never learned that charity begins at home…

Early summer brings plenty of work for Hannah, even before Mayor Bascomb’s wife drops by The Cookie Jar to place an order…for eleven-hundred cookies! Stephanie Bascomb is organizing an elaborate three-day event to support local charities, and though it’s a worthy cause, Hannah almost flips when her business partner, Lisa, suggests setting up an apple turnover stand. Hannah’s never made a turnover-but, pushover that she is, she places her faith in Lisa’s mother-in-law’s recipe and agrees to be a magician’s assistant in the fundraiser’s talent show…

Dozens of pastries and one hideous purple dress later, Hannah has to admit that stepping out of her comfort zone has been fun as well as profitable. The only snag is the show’s host, community college professor Bradford Ramsey. Hannah and her younger sister Michelle each had unfortunate romantic relationships with Ramsey, and when the cad comes sniffing around between acts, Hannah tells him off. But when the curtain doesn’t go up, she discovers Ramsey backstage-dead as a doornail with a turnover in his hand…

Now, to protect her reputation and Michelle’s, Hannah must get to the bottom of the professor’s bitter end. There are plenty of scorned suspects, including an ex-wife who feels cheated in more ways than one, and a prominent local who may have been using Ramsey to avenger her own randy spouse. But who was unstable enough to snuff out Professor Love? A killer who’s flakier than puff pastry-and far more dangerous…

I always enjoy the Hannah Swensen mysteries. Every trip to Lake Eden feels a bit like a visit to a great vacation spot, only with a mystery thrown in for good measure. I love visiting with Hannah and all her friends and family. I’ve always enjoyed the love triangle between Hannah, Norman, and Mike, and we get a bit of a new twist in this book. I generally figure out who the “who-done-it” before the end of the book, and this book was no exception. I can recommend this series to anyone who enjoys light mysteries with humor. We are also given amazing cookie recipes in every book, and my two favorites in this book are the Vanilla Crack and the Chocolate Crack.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Pleasure Unbound

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione is the first book in her Demonica series of novels. From the back cover.~

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life…

Tayla Mancuso is a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until she lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul…

I bought Pleasure Unbound right after if first came out and I’ve had it in my TBR pile every since. Janelle Denison at the plotmonkey’s blog talked it up the other day, so I decided to move it up in my pile, and I’m so glad I did. Not only did I absolutely love Pleasure Unbound, I bought the next 3 books in the series this past week. I love that Tayla is such a kick-ass woman. When she ends up in a demon hospital, she has another fight on her hands…one of attraction for her demon doctor Eidolon. Eidolon doesn’t have any self control when it comes to Tayla, partially from attraction and partially because he is getting ready to go through his demon transformation. Eidolon is searching for the perfect mate before he goes through his transformation, and Tayla, being a demon-slayer could never be described as his perfect mate. However, Eidolon knows something very important about Tayla. She is part demon and if her slayer friends find out about it, they will put her on their hit list.

The heat between Eidolon and Tayla is off the charts. They have some of the most passionate love scenes I’ve ever read. Watching they fall for one another was so much fun, especially as Tayla continues to call Eidolon “Hellboy” and it made me laugh every time. I so love this series and look forward to reading the next 3, which are currently in my TBR pile. I have to say thanks again to Janelle Denison for recommending this series to me.