Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nalini Singh Update - Psy Changeling #12!!!

Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?!

(Though I admit to not totally understanding all the nuances that it's supposed to be revealing about the book. I'm ashamed of myself.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bound by Magick by Eliza Gayle

Four male witches. Two Sets of twins. Born with a dark curse. Unlimited power bequeathed to the four when used together. A seductive power that over time will destroy their souls. To fight the prophecy they are forced to live separately to save themselves.

After making my way through Burned I enjoyed Gayle's voice enough - and the excerpts available online were good enough - to convince me that Bound by Magick was worth a try.  I wouldn't say that it was a total wash but ultimately I think there was a lot of non-sex related plot stuff going on that didn't get wrapped up as well as I would have liked.

The whole series centers around four brothers who have to find their four empathic mates to defeat a curse and their evil uncle. It's a great setup but things are just rushed, due either to length or focus on sexy times, resulting in plot points that don't get enough screen time. Especially at the end - there's the big showdown between the Uncle, a coven for hire and some other players that is suddenly over and done with with almost no time taken to show the battle being fought. 

And even though I figured that since the couples were 'destined mates' they'd jump into bed pretty immediately, I still wanted to see a bit more development of that lust turning into love. The BDSM elements are also thrown in there a tad haphazardly, which made me feel like the brothers were nothing more than alphas who liked to have their way in bed - which isn't bad, just don't write in any submission/dominant elements to attempt to explain. Oh and one more pet peeve: the use/non-use of condoms. Maybe due to Twitter chatter lately I've been paying more attention but NO ONE uses condoms - except for during gay sex. What exactly does that say? Vaginas are the receptacles of all that's good and wonderful in the world but somehow ass f*cking needs a little coverage? Shrug. I just thought it was weird and it negatively impacted by feelings towards one of my favorite stories in the set.

All in all it's not bad, but I do think it could have been better.

Overall Feeling - C

Series - 1) Untamed Magick 2) Magick Ignited 3) Force of Magick 4) Magick Provoked

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays (1/29)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
"Dude, please, don't manage me right now. I'm telling you, I'm on my period and I want to cut someone. Just begone."

--pg 259, Tart by Lauren Dane

Monday, January 21, 2013

DC Adventures :D

It's an absolutely amazing day to be in DC! The tourists are many but the energy is awesome and while it's rare for me to get political on this blog - WOOHOO! FOUR MORE YEARS!

(And how fantastic did Michelle look in her dress/jacket combo? Especially with the new hair? LOVE her!)

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Marriage Campaign by Karen Templeton *ARC Review*


Maid of honor at her cousins' double wedding is as close as Blythe Broussard plans to get to tying the knot again. But Wes Phillips refuses to take "I won't" for an answer. The widowed Maryland congressman is passionately campaigning for a date with the once-burned D.C. designer. And Wes's eleven-year-old son just joined the race.

Getting reelected isn't as important as winning Blythe's trust and convincing the guarded beauty to take a shot at love...even if her scandalous past threatens to derail Wes's political future. His future with Blythe comes first-if they're both willing to risk their hearts for a second chance that's worth fighting for. 


I requested this particular title because of the description - it reminded me of the old Harlequin romances I used to pick up at the grocery store, the ones that had just the right about of conflict and romance.  Blythe and Wes are pulled towards each other but there isn't a guarantee in the beginning; these are two good people who have been hurt and neither are sure that this is the time for big life changes. Wes because his son has to be his first priority after his wife's death, and Blythe because she doesn't want her past indiscretions to affect Wes's political ambitions.

I'm sure someone out there might be disappointed with the lack of 'drama' in this book but I loved every bit of it. Wes, Blythe, and Jack have enough to work through - there's no need for shadowy figures or hidden complications; some of the best romances are focused solely on the development of the couple as people and this is a great example of that. Another bit I liked? The fact that Jack as a character did not feel like a throw-away, there only to forward the story. He was a fleshed out person in his own right and his growth and attempts to work through his grief were just as important to the story. Often children feel unnecessary to me, there for no reason other than to cause problems, but Templeton has done a wonderful job with his character and creates a very believable HEA in their journey to becoming a new family.

I read this as a stand alone and would highly recommend it but I think I'm also going to go back and pick up the first two just for completion's sake.

Overall Feeling - B+

Series - 1) The Doctor's Do-Over 2) A Gift for all Seasons 3) The Marriage Campaign (1/22)

**Title requested from NetGalley**

*Read as part of the 2013 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Window Shopping: Out of Print Clothing

Why are the things I want - which are especially hard to justify because I won't wear them often - so freaking expensive?! And yet beautiful and perfect too. Sigh. I usually share these shorts of things on my FB Page but I just had to talk about them here too. I love them!

 A Wrinkle in Time shirt, $28, Out of Print clothing

Charlotte's Web shirt, $28, Out of Print clothing

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mini Me: Santa Reads Romance by Dara Joy

A romance writer decides to take some time to seclude herself in a cabin, so she can finish up her latest masterpiece. But when a publisher dressed as Santa Claus ends up arriving during a snowstorm, she experiences something that she has only experienced through the characters in her novels.

As a quickie introduction to the kinds of novels that Joy writes I would say Santa Reads Romance is ok but I don't think it's my favorite. It's a heartwarming Christmas novel and some suspension of belief is required - which I don't usually have trouble with but maybe I did this time because my tree is no longer around to fill my heart with Christmas joy?

Hmm.... could be, but I digress. After driving through Maine trying to track down his erstwhile author, publisher C. Hunter Douglass hits Santa Claus with his car and somehow gets conned into delivering his presents instead. And of course gets snowed in with author May because, well, why not? She's a little extra (though I did think it was hilarious that having romance books on hand was more important to her than food) and doesn't take any crap; when Hunter shows up unexpectedly she definitely isn't interested in playing damsel in distress. 

All in all it's an ok little story that I'm glad I picked up for free - I like the books I have at home more, lol. 

*Read as part of the 2013 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays (1/15)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
"Trey laughed. She felt like his ally and Zane's too, the piece that fit their puzzle more snuggly together."

--pg 295, The Billionaire Bad Boys Club by Emma Holly

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dark Wolf Rising by Rhyannon Byrd

Eric Drake, a powerful Dark Wolf, has never trusted himself around human females-preferring to mate only within his pack. That is, until he encounters Chelsea Smart snooping around Silvercrest pack land in search of her missing sister. Secretly, Chelsea thinks Eric is the sexiest man she's ever seen, though she is wary of his potent Alpha energy. Then it's discovered that Chelsea's sister is being held by a pack of vicious Lycans, and Eric heroically leaps into action. Now, Chelsea will risk everything-her body and soul-to surrender to the passion that will mark her as Eric's woman for all eternity...if they survive.

I'm torn about this book. I love Rhynannon Byrd and I think the intricate worlds that she creates around her Lycan characters are very well done but the way these two characters came together - and what they had to prove to be 'worthy' of each other, wasn't exactly my favorite.

Initially Chelsea is a very broken and mostly incomplete woman. She's been so scarred from her emotionally abusive childhood that the idea of connecting to a man in a relationship is almost impossible. When Eric comes into her life there's a lot of hesitancy about whether he can work his way into her heart, whether he even wants to, and the back and forth of that is very well done. Both of them have reasons for why they're so protective and Byrd takes the time (I've decided not to nitpick about the aphrodisiac induced sexy times) to write in a nice emotional story. I would even say it's incredibly balanced, when it's done alongside the story of the missing sister and the whole Donovan/stripclub mystery. 

Why I'm irked? I hate when the whole relationship is put on the heroine's ability to overcome her past when the hero is never called out for his BS. Yes I agree Chelsea could trust Eric a bit more than she does, but with her background and lack of Lycan induce scent recognition, she doesn't have a whole heck of a lot to go with. But then when she does overcome that hurdle, even dealing with all the angst and anger directed her way by Eric's friends, nobody calls him on the fact that maybe he has some stuff communication wise he could work on too. I'm pretty sure a woman doesn't enjoy being told 'oh hey there, we can totally be together forever now because you fought for me and my wolf recognizes your scent!' out of the blue. What the what? No one takes issue with the fact that perhaps this conversation could have gone differently and in such a way as to respect Chelsea's emotional boundaries. I'm just saying, I like the characters individually enough to say that Chelsea deserved more than all the crap heaped on her because she doesn't jump when Eric's wolf finally decides things are cool. 

I still wanna read the next one though!

Overall Feeling - B-

Series - 1) Last Wolf Standing 2) Last Wolf Hunting 3) Last Wolf Watching 4) Dark Wolf Rising

**Title requested from NetGalley**

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…His soul.


This might be a review I should save until my feelings are sorted out, but, guys, I have no idea when that will be. I love Harry Dresden - I love this series and the characters and the incredibly intricate world that Butcher has created but with this installment I say without shame that my heart hurt for pretty much everyone involved. 

Readers knew by the end of Ghost Story that things were not as they appeared, that Mab had kept Harry alive to fulfill the bargain he'd made with her but there's no way I could have predicted the way things turned out. For 2/3 of the book I happily went along with Harry, getting reacquainted with all my favorite characters and reading about him facing the consequences of his choice to attempt suicide-by-assassin. Emotions are ugly, complicated things and possibly the most poignant when when he comes face to face with his brother. Questions of choice, what makes a person a monster, both are hugely important to this installment and Butcher doesn't take the easy way out when contemplating the dark and light places inside each of us.

The heartbreaking part? The end. I can't really get into it without being too spoiler-y (I even had to give a warning during a Twitter convo with a friend) but I just can't believe how this ended. Peoples lives are forever changed and new enemies are revealed with even more grandiose powers and reach than usual. I will say that as much as I tried not to, I couldn't end this book without feeling a little disappointed in Murphy and her decisions. She is well aware that sometimes sh*t happens and I felt like she took the easier road rather than the one that could be more fulfilling.

I don't know what the heck's going to happen in the next book but I may make my friends read it first.

Overall Feeling - B+

Series - 11) Turn Coat 12) Changes 13) Ghost Story 14) Cold Days

Sunday, January 6, 2013

December in Review

A little late with this one, huh? I got so excited about 2013 guys! It was right there on the horizon and I got so excited looking ahead that I didn't prep like I needed to end 2012, lol. 

Whatever, this'll be a bit of quicky anyway because I really didn't read much in December. I've been in a bit of a funk lately I admit (and I just finished Cold Days - that didn't help) but I've got some good books lined up to read and review so hopefully that will give me back my rhythm.

I hope you all had a wonderful entry in 2013, however you celebrated it, and that there are some great books in your future!

Impulse by Moira Rogers (A-)
Burned by Eliza Gayle (B)
Considering Kate by Nora Roberts
Fury's Kiss by Karen Chance (Mini Me)
The Next Always by Nora Roberts
The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts (C+)
The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts (B)
Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston
Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston
The Mane Attraction by Shelly Laurenston
Samurai Game by Christine Feehan
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

My favorite this month? Gotta be Impulse! It was a great addition to Rogers' series and a fun book to read overall.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Giveaway winner!

Time for a quick shout-out to the winner of my Facebook giveaway.....drumroll please....

Ms. Jessica Smith!

Thank you so much to everyone for entering :). Jessica I'll be contacting you soon to get your book & bookmark on its way to you.

Happy Saturday!


Friday, January 4, 2013


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

I was casting everything I had done, everything I believe, everything I had chosen- everything I was - against the will of an ancient being of darkness, terror, and malice, a fundamental power of the world. 

-- pg 317, Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Dana is currently unavailable as she is getting her mind BLOWN by Jim Butcher right now. She has no regrets. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts

Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out—with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a tool belt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except apparently Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…

As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be—except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss.

While the Inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome—and embarrassing—appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…

And of course we come to Ryder and Hope. From the beginning I knew this would more than likely be my favorite of the series and while it is very (very) reminiscent of Happy Ever After, it still works for me. Ryder is the kind-of bad boy and Hope the seemingly perfect woman so when the two come together you get a classic Roberts war of attitudes. They spar and work around each other, circling in until a couple kisses finally have them ready to start something new :).

I'd have to say that again this story is held together by the romance - which I guess is as it should be, but when you have the whole Lizzy ghost thing as the tie during the whole series I expect it to be more important to the HEA in the final book. I'm not one to balk at ghostly storylines but I don't think that even in this final installment it ever became necessary to the whole. I'm probably never going to lose my love for feisty heroines or the men who make them happy but ....I'm still glad I bought The Bride Quartet and not this.

Overall Feeling - B

Series - 1) The Next Always 2) The Last Boyfriend 3) The Perfect Hope 

2013 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge!

2013 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen 

2 / 10 books. 20% done!

There's only one level for this challenge but since I really do love the contemporary sub-genre, here's hoping it goes well! 

1) Santa Reads Romance by Dara Joy
2) The Marriage Campaign by Karen Templeton 


2013 Men in Uniform Reading Challenge!

2013 Men in Uniform Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen

1 / 10 books. 10% done!

I've decided to tackle this one at the Lieutenant level and try to read 10 books starring men in uniform this year :). Wish me luck!

 1) Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston (reread)