Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review: YOU BELONG TO ME by Karen Rose

Romantic Suspense
544 Pages

Available June 7, 2011

Someone is sending Medical Examiner Dr. Lucy Trask a very gruesome personal message, in the form of mutilated bodies placed in her path. Time is of the essence to catch a psychopath, who is somehow connected to Lucy's past.

Homicide detective J.D. Fitzpatrick has seen a lot of brutal crimes in his past as a soldier in Afghanistan and as an undercover narcotics officer, but what is set up for the intriguing doctor to discover is beyond anything he has ever witnessed. He can't help but feel that Lucy is keeping something from him, even as this case pulls them closer together.

Why has Lucy been targeted by the murder? Can they stop the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Karen Rose has entwined another fascinatingly twisted tale of suspense with super sexy romance. The non-stop action kept me sucked into this book, as I tried to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. This was one of those books that once I picked it up, I found it difficult to put down, though at over 500 pages, I didn't have that much time blocked clear for just reading - work and kids seemed to keep getting in the way, how dare they! .

I don't know how Lucy and J.D. had time to discover their feelings for each other in the 3 short days this book spans, yet I found that their relationship was believable. I know that emotions would be running high and the chemistry between Lucy and J.D. was sizzling, I guess that is why I found that I could picture them together as things cooled down. Their alley scene was very very HOT. I like it when the characters are so drawn to each other that they lose control.

I did think that there was an awful lot crammed into those few days, and would have liked to have seen it played out to be a longer time to have made it more credible. Even as I could feel the killers urgency, I felt that there was A LOT jammed into that short period of time, the killer had to do some serious juggling to be in all those places. I had a strong feeling who the killer was, so when it was revealed, I wasn't surprised.

Some of the things Lucy was secretive about I found a bit silly. I could understand why she wanted to keep her day job and night life separate, but the were other things about her past that I felt she should have been a little more forthcoming with, especially considering the circumstances.

I kind of felt that the storyline with Clay and Alyssa was rather pointless. Sure they added a couple of bodies, but Stevie and J.D. had already figured out the killer by the time their stories intersected. I could see Clay as being a possible future interest in Stevie, but he will really need a boost in personality, because as it stands I wasn't feeling any heat between them.

My favorite side characters were Stevie and Thorne. Thorne's sex appeal is absolutely scorching, I don't think it will happen, but I could see him with Stevie. Stevie has lived through hell, but had a reason to pull out, I want to see her with a strong character. Gwyn was a great character also, I just can't pin down what she is going to need, though I can see her getting her own book.

Karen Rose is an auto-buy for me, and I am anxiously awaiting her next book.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The Secret Desires of a GovernessThe Secret Desires of a Governess
Historical Romance (Victorian, 1848)
St. Martins Press
352 Pages

Deciding it was time to strike out on her own, Abby Hallaway applies for a governess position as far away from home as possible. Not having any desire to marry, she figures that this should give her time to reach the age to accept her inheritance without being persuaded to marry.

Elliot Taylor Wright, the Earl of Brendall wasn't expecting the plucky young governess, but once he met his new employee, it's hard for him to think of anything else. He can't overcome the secrets of his past, nor can he chance anyone ever finding out.


I really had a hard time getting into Elliot and Abby's story, it just seemed to move so slowly. Neither of the characters stood out in the sense that I ever really felt like I got to know them. I wanted to like them more, but Abby came off as a bit of a twit, taking off on her own to be a governess with no experience with kids or as a teacher herself was a bit too idealistic, especially since there really was no reason for her to run away from her family.   Elliot and his son Jacob had a big secret, but it was drug out so long that I became irritated.  I wish it had been revealed earlier, but with Abby having no experience I'm not sure what kind of reassurance she could have offered them.

THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS is one of those books with a very Gothic feel to it, especially Elliot's relationship with the village and his history with his deceased wife, but it really didn't deliver in the hauntingly mysterious department. I wish the village had played a more prominent part, but it came off more as a glancing plot device that was barely touched upon. At least the mystery was resolved, and while there were some very sinister events, I just wasn't feeling it. I think that because the story moved so slowly for me, it lost the whole Gothic effect, and just kind of bored me.

Rating: 3 / 5

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Check it out...Shiloh Walker's got a new book!

She’s been keeping secrets…
Drew Quentin has been crazy about sexy Dakota Coulter from the moment he met her, but after two years of dating, he still doesn’t have her phone number. Sooner or later, a man has to move on.
That was the plan. But the night he broke things off, things went from bad to worse…and he figured out some of her secrets…bloodthirsty secrets.
Dakota Coulter is having a lousy night. The man she loves just broke up with her. And she can’t even take an hour to sulk, because duty calls—and as a Hunter, she must answer.
Being a vampire is hell on the love life, that’s for sure. But it will get better, right? Just do the job, get out of town and oh…avoid the ex-lover who is suddenly out to track her down. Too bad a happy reunion is soooo not on his mind.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: SEX AND THE SINGLE VAMPIRE by Katie MacAlister

Dark Ones #2
Paranormal (Vampire) /Humor
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins
369 Pages

Allie Telford is visiting London trying to Summon her first ghost, when she finds the man of her dreams, quite literally. The next thing she knows, Mr. Tall Dark and Extremely Hansom is claiming she's his Beloved and her first summoned ghost doesn't want to be Released, instead wanting to become Allie's motherly figure, with all kinds of “helpful” advice.

Christian Dante is not the just a Dark One (aka vampire) romance author, he actually is one. When he first meets Allie he feels a connection, now he is determined to convince Allegra that she is his Beloved, hoping that she will Join with him. 
Allie is a bit put-off by Christian's Alpha personality, preferring to answer to no one but herself. Can Christian persuade her to believe that he wants to Join with her, not rule over her? What kind of danger can a Summoner, a Dark One and 5 stubborn ghosts get into or more importantly get out of?


Katie MacAlister is one of my go-to authors when I'm looking for a good humorous read. She has a unique skill of blending humor with action-packed drama. Her book SEX AND THE SINGLE VAMPIRE was no exception. 
I loved reading Allie and Christian's banter as they struggled to see eye-to-eye on life and their budding relationship. They both had some obstacles to overcome before they could find their happiness. There were a few times that Allie's stubbornness got annoying, but I could understand why she was so adamant about her independence. 
Ms. MacAlister also did a great job creating bad guys that really posed a challenge. I liked how Christian and Allie had to learn trust to help defeat the evil that engulfed them. I also loved Allie's ghosts, they added a lot of humor to the story. Especially Esme, with all of her sage advice, as she tried to guide Allie in her love life.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Are Words by Chris Medina

This song is absolutely beautiful, Chris was featured on American Idol earlier this year.  The story of his love and devotion for his fiancee, who suffered a brain injury in a car accident in 2009, was exploited by the show, yet he never made even the top 24.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, look where the "American Idols" are now?  Sure Carrie and Kelly have done well, but some of the underdogs haven't exactly fell off the planet either (hello Daughtery) ! 

This year I was disappointed with the eliminations of Casey and James...I loved their creativity and always looked forward to what they were going to bring to the show each week.  I hope they have a great feature. I'm not sure if I will even continue to watch now, it's gotten so boring and predictable.  I miss the days of Simon and when they actually criticized the contestants instead of patting them all on the head telling them how good they all are.

Review of NEARLY A LADY by Alissa Johnson

Historical Romance
Penguin, USA
336 pages

Available June 7, 2011

Trying to repair the damage his step-mother's embezzlement of the family estate had caused, Lord Gideon Haverston sets out to right the wrongs caused by her greed. Expecting to receive great welcome to the good news of the reimbursement of funds, he is perplexed by the cold distrustful reception he receives from Winifred.

Winifred Blythe is leery to believe what Gideon has to offer, after years of neglect. She finds it difficult to accept that her circumstances have truly reversed. 
For those who like traditional Regencies, NEARLY A LADY would be a good choice for you. The passion between Gideon and Winifred is very low-key, as they took their time to get to know one another, not rushing into anything. Gideon suffered from extreme guilt, which I could feel compassion for, it also made me understand his reluctance more. Winifred's issues with trust were apparent from the start of the book, and really, who could blame the poor girl.

There were parts of this story that drug for me, where nothing really seemed to be going on. Sure it's nice to see characters in their everyday life, but some of that seemed to be added to beef up the story. Something else that bothered me about the book, was the fact that while Winifred was 26 years old, she was continually treated more like an 18 year old, I found that very annoying,but at least she didn't act like a teenager. Also, I felt that the one love scene between Gideon and Winifred just didn't flow well with the story, I figured that they waited as long as they did, why add it now-even though I could see that it was being added as a device to bring them together. 

Rating 3.5/5

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Great Possibilities with a Minor Glitch (for me)

Being a BzzAgent, I recently had the opportunity to try Trend Micro's Online Guardian for Families for free.  

I found that it is a great tool for families that are active online. I liked that I could tailor the program for the different ages of my children for their different needs. I have a 9 year old and a 15 year old, so there is a huge variation of topics that I allow. I also liked the ease of getting the reports for what my kids are visiting.While I wasn't all that impressed by the access to their (my kids) social networking sites or email, because it is a rule in our household that any email, facebook or other account is not allowed UNLESS I have their user name and password,  I could see where it would be a great tool in other households. 

My only problem with the program is that I use Mozilla's Firefox as my internet browser I had a few issues with Trend Micro allowing the monitored sites to be opened. I'm not a computer idiot, but neither am I a computer genius. I was very frustrated with that aspect of the program, that I finally just reverted the monitored sites to Internet Explorer. There is probably an easy fix for this...but I just don't have the time to screw around with it. 

Scrappin' Saturday

I know I have 2 pictures of the yellow card.  I was having a hard time making the shimmery elements show.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: SECRETS by Brenda Joyce

2011 Cover
Bragg #7 / Delanza #1
Historical / Western (1899)
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins
406 Pages

Jumping from a train to save herself from a terrible fate, Regina Bragg Shelton suffers a head injury, causing her to lose her memory. When Slade Delanza finds the gorgeous, unconscious woman, he assumes she is his recently deceased brother's fiancee, Elizabeth Sinclair who was also supposed to be on the train. 
While they get to know each other, they find themselves irresistibly drawn to each other, Regina is falling in love, but Slade cannot overcome his guilt for falling for his brothers betrothed. They agree to marry to save Slade's family ranch. Can they forge a future with so much standing between them?

Brenda Joyce has a knack of spinning an enthralling tale that completely hooks me from the beginning, not releasing me until I turn the last page. SECRETS kept me up late at night, as I couldn't bring myself to put it down, finishing it it one long sitting. I laughed, I cried, I got angry and I completely fell in love with Slade and Regina. 
Slade was hot hot hot, and very Alpha. His one major flaw was that he was stubborn beyond belief, but Regina did what she needed to bring him around. There were a few times I wanted to tape Regina's mouth shut, but I admired her own brand of stubbornness to bring Slade around. The chemistry between them was positively combustible, not only in bed, but their personalities were polar opposites, yet I could see them as the balance for each other.

Original Cover
I loved revisiting with the Bragg and Shelton family. Slade's brother Edward was also a great side character. I loved his sense of humor, though he had a few flaws that needed to be dealt with, and some guilt he needed to overcome. Now I'm going to have to dig his book (AFTER INNOCENCE) out, just so I can drool over him some more.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: THE BLUE VIKING by Sandra Hill

2011 cover
Viking I,  #5
Historical (Viking)
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins

Five years ago, Rurik left Maire without any thought or consideration, heck the jerk outright laughed at her when she asked him to take her with. But Maire had the last laugh, when she cursed him with a bold blue bolt streaking down his face. 
Rurik has searched for the elusive witch since then, finally stumbling upon her. Having her right were he wanted, he was determined to make Maire remove the bolt, no matter how long it took him to convince her. As a matter of fact, he figured he could enjoy the benefits of having her in his seductive hands again.

One thing I can always count on when reading any of Sandra Hill's books is a good laugh. Ms. Hill's hero's are characteristically arrogant, Alpha males and Rurik was no exception. While Maire was portrayed as a strong independent woman in the beginning of the story, her wants were quickly diminished under Rurik's will, which weakened her as a character. I could find the humor of her being the worst witch ever, with her spells continuously going awry, but her mistakes were so over-the-top, which after a while made her appear silly. It upset me that she was demeaned so. I was also a little put off by everyone's sexual freedom in this book, I'm not an expert on historical morals and I'm no prude, but it seemed odd to me, and it took me out of the story. 
While this wasn't my favorite Sandra Hill tale, it still was a decent read, and I will continue to read and reread her books. She is my go to author when I'm looking for a funny historical...and I love her Vikings. I wish there were more Viking tales being published.
Original cover

Rating: 3.5/ 5