Thursday, August 31

Books on order...


Before I list the books I've ordered for September I'm directing all NR readers to the review of Morrigan's Cross over on Dear Author. Jane hits the mark and saves me from having to write a review. Good book--read it.

So, I finally got around to ordering September books...

  • The Book of True Desires by Betina Krahn, 1. I've always been a faithful Krahn reader, going back to her fabulous Caught in the Act. 2. I met her at a book signing and she was very gracious and incredibly nice. 3. The book is set in 1899 Florida and Mexico.
  • His Mistress By Morning by Elizabeth Boyle--I liked the synposis in RT.
  • A Reason To Live by Maureen McKade--Post-Civil War South and West, now in the past I might have passed on this book, because it's not a favorite time period, but Wendy loved it, so it's worth trying.
  • To Rescue a Rogue by Jo Beverley--come on it's Jo Beverley of course it's worth reading.
  • What a Gentleman Wants by Caroline Linden--loved her first book What a Woman Needs so this was a must read.
  • The Panther & The Pyramid by Bonnie Vanak--I'm not really sure why I ordered this one, I only liked one of the first 3 in this series, but what the heck...
  • ***The Slightest Provocation*** by Pam Rosenthal--1. I like Pam Rosenthal's writing voice. 2. The heroine "lives a bohemian life with poets and reformers" nice change for a Regency period book.
  • The Gladiator's Honor by Michelle Styles--set in 65 BC Rome.
  • Everything's Coming Up Rosie by Kasey Michaels, I'm more hit than miss with Ms. Michaels and this one sounds great.
  • Dreaming of You by Francis Ray, this sounds so great and I'm heading to the UBS to try and find the books from this series already out.
  • You Had Me at Goodbye by Jane Blackwood, the RT reviewers comment..."In this wonderful romance, which has delightfully likable characters, the secondary romance is as enjoyable to watch as the major one..." was enough to hook me, wonderful, delightfully and enjoyable sounds good to me.
  • True Blood byPatricia Waddell, an interesting sounding futuristic.
  • Lover Awakened by JR Ward--heck, why isn't this one at the top of the list? The list is in the same order as the RT Reviews. Can't wait for this book!!
  • Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh--buzz, buzz, buzz, this is going to be a good one!!

The books I considered but passed on...

  • Simply Love by Mary Balogh, I'll borrow this one from the library and buy it when it goes mm.
  • To Wicked to Wed by Cheryl Holt, I always love her story ideas, but am consistantly disappointed with the actual books.
  • Only a Duke Will Due by Sabrina Jeffries, I'm whispering this considering the converstions going on about buying new...I'm getting this one at the UBS.
  • The Southern Devil by Diane Whiteside, I'm very picky when it comes to Post-Civil War books, have huge issues about slavery, Confederate heros etc. besides Wendy gave it a C.

Hopefully it's a nice mix of books. I'm picking up the last of my August books from the bookstore today. I'll post that list later.

Have a great day and happy reading.

***Yikes I just saw the review for The Slightest Provocation over on AAR and it's down right ugly, maybe I'll pass on this one, save the $14.00, hopefully the order hasn't been placed yet. Maybe I'll try it used instead.***

I was on vacation when Jane initiated this little experiment, but think it's worth posting here. I've already ordered the book, it sounds wonderful...

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.

$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game
You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

Nalini Singh
Berkley / September 2006

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.


Tuesday, August 29

The Books

I brought 9 books with me on vacation, but only finished 6. Mini-reviews...

Jo Goodman's One Forbidden Evening is a good book. Unlike most romance readers, I'm not a huge fan of Ms. Goodman's, though I've been reading her off and on for years and years. I usually find her stories a tad too long, this one falls into the too long category, the mystery seemed somewhat superfluous. What does work impressively is 1. the dialogue--quick, snappy and smart, and 2. the secondary characters are outstanding, I particularly liked the Earl's mother, brother and best friend.

Cybelline Caldwell is a widow in need of a night out and finds one night of passion with the Earl of Ferrin, a "notorious rake", what follows is an interesting and unusual courtship. A nice solid read.

Hmmm, what to say about Joy Nash's The Grail King? I liked it, it's not perfect and one must suspend belief while reading, but it's a fun and entertaining book.

It's a Celt/Roman relationship which reminds me tremendously of the Saxon/Norman books of the 80's and 90's. These books automatically have a built in conflict. Owein (The Celt) has had a difficult life, in fact he is a Druid and has the "Sight", and has been fighting the Romans for most of his life, has been a slave and has escaped and now hides in the marshes, living a solitary life. Clara (The Roman) is searching for the Druid that can help her find a magical grail that has been stolen from her family. She is trying to save her dying father and believes if he drinks from the grail his life will be saved. There are several secondary characters that are known to each character, but upon finding one another, they don't realize how intertwined their lives are already.

I read this book in 2 sittings, which was pretty good considering it didn't seem like I had a free minute while we were away. I had issues with the dialogue, it sounded like a cross between a contemporary and a Scottish historical, but since I'm not really sure what the dialogue from AD130 should sound like I just ignored this and enjoyed the book.

The Cad by Edith Layton turned out to be a re-read. It's part of a series that I read back in the late 90's. I'm not really going to say much about the story except that it's probably better than okay, but I wasn't into the "poor me, I'm a damaged heroine" story line, she wears her facial scar like a chip on her shoulder, which is probably understandable given how she is treated by most of the secondary characters in the book. I liked this book the first time I read it, this time it didn't work a well.

OMG, how does Carla Kelly pack so much into 215 pages? One Good Turn is probably one of the BEST Regency period romances I have ever read. The characters are wonderful. I love how she brings us into Nez's (Benedict Nesbitt, seventh Duke of Knaresborough, the hero) head, we know his thoughts throughout the book. The character development is incredible, Liria, the heroine is shrouded in mystery, Sophia and Juan are children that act like children. Liria's mystery slowly unfolds and in the process, we learn details of the Penninsular War, painful details that left me crying and heartbroken for what Liria and so many other women and children went through. This book is incredible.

Joan Wolf's His Lordship's Desire pales in comparison to OGT. I'm at a loss when it comes to Joan Wolf's writing. It has become overly simplistic, to the point it's just plain boring, it's hard to believe this is the same woman who wrote her Dark Ages series.

The hero of this one has just returned from the Penninsular, he has nightmares yet these are somewhat glossed over. He thinks he's coming home to the woman he loves and plans to marry, but she's still really angry that he left her in the first place to go off and play soldier. This animosity continues until page 356, yes that's right, 356 pages of arguing and unhappy relationships, she even engages herself to someone else, this book is a mess. And to be honest the secondary relationship between Sally and the "Duke" would have been much more interesting and satisfying.

Ah, Lynn Michaels' Marriage by Design was a much needed break from historicals. This is a fun read, with likeable characters and good dialogue. It's a romance with a Chick Lit feel.

Mia Savard is a top designer at her father's bridal design business. The book opens with Mia fighting with her father to move her to a different design department, she wants out of wedding gowns. Then all hell breaks out, her one of a kind design for the governor's daughter has been stolen and shows up in a bridal magazine for a different design company. Yikes, her hot-head father fires everyone and in the process hires Joe Kerr to investigate, what the heck happened. Of course, Dad hires everyone back, even the villain. It's obvious from the beginning of the book who the villain is, so much so that I started to question myself--could it be this obvious. But, none of this matters, it's simply a fun and entertaining read, and definitely worth bringing to the beach.

Well, that's it, my beach reading. My husband brought Stephen King's Salem's Lot and reread it for the Nth time, so when he finished it I picked it up. I read SL 25 years ago and it scared the life out of me, slept with the light on for a month after reading it. I thought it deserved a reread.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Monday, August 28

The Vacation...

This may get convoluted, but stay with me... We rented my husband's cousin's beach house in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ with my in-laws, a three bedroom cottage with one bathroom, 4 adults and one child. The house was a perfect little beach cottage, though a little cramped.

Originally, my husband wanted to only take our mini-van, "We'll all fit." What planet does this man live on? He grew up with his mother, the woman used to take winter coats on vacation during the summer because "it might get cold at night" When we reached their house, they had 2 beach umbrellas, a beach tent, 4 sand chairs, a beach cart, 2 suitcases, bags of linens and towels, 2 huge boxes filled with food and a cooler filled with everything that was left in their refrigerator. "Mom, you do realize they have supermarkets in Jersey?" We had to take 2 cars.

I love my MIL, she's 73 and has been a perfect size six since she was 14. I now know why, she forgets to eat. On the day we arrived she had a piece of toast before she left home, a vodka collins at 4 in the afternoon and promptly fainted in the ritzy restaurant we chose for dinner at 7 pm. We had to call 911, nobody realized she hadn't eaten. We walked from the house which was about a block from the beach, walked up and down the boardwalk to see everything and then walked to a restaurant in town about 1 1/2 miles. Her blood sugar probably plummeted, we wont know because she refused to go the ER. I fed her cookies when we got back to the house and she was better by Sunday morning. But this made us nervous so we drove everywhere instead of walking. I've come to the realization that God has a sense of humor, my SIL went to the Shore a couple of weeks before we did and her MIL fainted on the beach from the heat, EMT's came to make sure she was okay too, my MIL couldn't believe "that idiot woman" fainted, can you tell she doesn't particularly like her daughter's MIL?

So, come Sunday morning everything is back to normal and we are at the beach by 9:30 in the morning and we start my son's week of firsts. It was his first time at the ocean and he loved the water. The water was fairly rough and the under tow was pretty strong, but he didn't care.

Saturday night actually started his first, slept for the first time in a bunk bed--very exciting for a 5 year old.

Monday he went "grown-up" fishing with his dad. Instead of fishing he played tag with a little boy who was fishing with his grandad.

Tuesday he visited his first boardwalk--loved the little amusement park, it was wrist band day. $12 for all the rides you want, it was great fun for him, but hot and crowded for mom and dad.

Wednesday he caught his first fish--actually he caught 4 small bluefish, he called them "speckled beauties"--this comes from a Jean Shepard movie, but it'll take too long to explain.

Thursday afternoon we found a little train shop in the back of a woman's clothing store, stange I know, and bought him his first grown-up train set. A Lionel Pennsylvania Flyer.

Thursday night he saw his first real fireworks. Point Pleasant Beach has fireworks every Thursday.

The beach was wonderful and I had some interesting realizations...
  1. It's always hot in the sun no matter the air temperature.
  2. The water is a magnet for me, I'd much rather be in the water than sitting on the beach.
  3. Life Guards are hot, really, really, really hot.
  4. Not every woman on the beach should wear a bikini, this coming from the puggy woman who hasn't worn a bikini since she was 7 years old.
  5. Men with dark hair and really pale skin shouldn't wear white swim trunks.
  6. Obnoxious children should be supervised, but rarely are.
  7. Don't read a tear jerker at the beach, you'll get sand in your eyes when you wipe them.
  8. Don't put up the beach umbrellas if it's real windy, this one I already knew, but apparently not all in my little group was aware of this.
  9. A 5 year old is never too tired to run in and out of the water, but is always too tired to walk back up the beach when it's time to leave.
  10. Beach shoes may not look pretty, but are soooo comfortable.
  11. Walking in the sand barefoot is better than using a pumous stone on your feet.
  12. Children are amazing they make friends everywhere.

We had a great week, and we're going back next year.

Next up--book reviews, but I need to get to the bank, post office and laundramat first.

Sunday, August 27

We're back

Not real rested and not really enough time to post anything.

If you're looking for rest don't go to the Jersey Shore or any other beach with an over active 5 year old. But, we had a great time. I'll post pictures and more tomorrow. It was filled with firsts for Junior and that made it wonderful.

I did get 6 of the 9 books I brought finished and someone could have warned me Carla Kelly's One Good Turn wasn't a good choice for a fun little beach read. Holy cow, I cried through the entire book--great book, but I think my eyes are still puffy and red, I'm sure there were a few people wondering why I was bordering on sobbing. Lynn Michaels' Marriage by Design was a fun beach read. Hopefully, tormorrow I'll have enough time to post at least mini-reviews.

Got to go, today we're heading to my parents for a birthday party for Grandpa--71 this weekend.

Have a great one and happy reading.

Hey look who's finally blogging... Jenster. Anyone familiar with RT's message board knows she's funny, sweet (occasionally sarcastic) and an avid romance reader. I'm so glad she's blogging, I've already added her to my blog roll.

Friday, August 18

Why is it I can pack...
  • 3 suitcases
  • 1 toy box
  • 1 back pack (also full of toys, including 2 teddy bears)
  • 3 storage tubs with household stuff
  • 1 satchel full of books and kids' DVDs

And my husband has yet to pack...

  • his fishing gear
  • 1 backpack for his books and DVDs

We're leaving first thing in the morning and will be gone for 9 days, I don't think the house rental has a computer, so unless I come across a cyber cafe I wont be on again for a while.

Talk amongst yourselves and post some good book recommendations, I'll need them when we get back.

Have a great week and happy reading.

The bags are packed...

Just sent my husband off to work. His last day, vacation starts when he walks in the door at 5:00. Everything is packed with the exception of our pillows (can't sleep without my own) and my books. The books are sitting on the desk next to me so I can list them:

  1. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife--Linda Berdoll, tiny print I may go blind reading this one.
  2. One Forbidden Evening--Jo Goodman, I'm about 100 pages into this one, so far great, but one complaint, Ferrin is constantly referred to as a "Rake" and he's not one.
  3. One Good Turn--Carla Kelly, it's on AAR's top 100, found it at the UBS on Wednesday. I'm pretty sure it's the one Rosario recommended, I've never read her but Megan says she has a strong "voice".
  4. The Cad--Edith Layton, love the title, think I may have read it but the blurb doesn't sound familiar.
  5. Marriage by Design--Lynn Michaels, hope it's a good one.
  6. The Grail King--Joy Nash
  7. Maybe Baby--Lani Diane Rich, the clerk at the UBS recommended this one.
  8. Lady Katherne's Wild Ride--Jeane Westin
  9. His Lordship's Desire--Joan Wolf, if it's really bad I'll throw it in the Atlantic.

Hopefully it's a nice variety.

I'll be back during the day to post some more.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Thursday, August 17

Head's back in the sand...

I should be packing, but instead I've spent the last couple of hours blog and message board hopping, and I've come away with a few thoughts...
  1. Nora Roberts is the brilliant goddess of romance.
  2. Lori Foster is much nicer and more diplomatic when she's not discussing Mrs. Giggles.
  3. Each reader has their own comfort zone and should be allowed to stay within or venture out as they desire.
  4. Every readers' comfort zone is different, don't judge someone else's reading choice because it's not yours.
  5. Racism and bigotry are ugly, plain and simple.
  6. Not wanting to read homosexual or bisexual love scenes doesn't make you homophobic, but going on about how gross and evil it is might.
  7. Don't recommend smores and Kum By Ya [sp?] in the middle of a heated "debate".

My son has emptied his Hot Wheels storage case and filled it with underwear, socks and t-shirts, I think that's a hint. I'll be back later.

Wednesday, August 16

Was it really that bad...

Back in June Dear Author reviewed Annmarie McKenna's Blackmailed. They gave it an overall review of C, a B for the sex scenes and a D for the rest of the story. After reading the review I figured, thanks but no thanks, then I saw Keishon's comment...

Oh, my goodness, I tried reading this earlier today. I found that I just couldn’t finish this one and will skip reviewing this one. Truly awful, awful, awful.

So, of course, I had to read this one for myself. "Can it really be that bad" kept running through my head. Finally, I sat down and read it last night.

Well, it's that bad and it isn't.

The premise of the story is completely out there. Evil and crazy millionaire, Andrew Wyatt, wants his daughter, Brianna, to provide him with an heir from an even richer million, billion, gazillionaire, Cole Masters. If she doesn't do this he will put her blind and partially deaf brother, Scottie, into an "institution". 1. It's the 21st century, Bri is an adult and obviously can find a way out of this situation if she thought about it. 2. Why would Cole go along with this. 3. "Scottie" makes me think of Faith's baby brother in Linda Howard's After the Night--the poor child clinging to her leg as they're being thrown off Rouillard land. Sorry, I'm having a flashback to a favorite book.

I've often said many of the erotic romances I've read, come across as Harlequin Presents with really hot sex. This plot is even over the top for HP. What saves this book from being a wallbanger is the sex, it's hot. A m/f/m relationship, and I put it this way because Bri refers to herself as the "jelly in this sandwich." Ah, if Cole is one piece of bread then who is the other piece, of course it's his bestest friend in the whole wide world Tyler Cannon.


In four days both men fall madly and completely in love/lust and since they're best friends they're both going to marry her. Well, obviously only one can legally do this so the other will only be emotionally married to her. And in fact all three will be sharing what will have to be one big marriage bed--a quote from Tyler "...I get the left side of the bed." Okaaaay, whatever floats your boat. But, in the epilogue, Bri is pregnant. Babies are wonderful, but babies grow up to be 5 year olds that will tell anyone all their family secrets and I can imagine a cute little kid standing up in front of her class explaining "I've got 2 Daddies and 1 Mommy and all three sleep in the same really big bed." I'd like to see how they explain that one at their parent/teacher conference. Okay, I'm turning off my prude mode.

Skim the story and read this one for the sex.

Tuesday, August 15

A few thoughts from the day...

Well, after sharing my son's bathroom humor, I got to clean up his newest Calvin moment. He decided to saturate his bedroom area rug with water and managed to cover 1/2 of it before I caught on. He has a new sports bottle and I think he discovered squeezing it shoots water all over. Of course, we don't have a shopvac, so I soaked up most of the water with towels and then had to dry what was left with a couple of fans. When I asked what he was thinking I got "I don't know." I hate that expression, it always makes me think of the old Bill Cosby routine.

One of our neighbors adopted a little girl from China, what a beautiful child. And, yet so sad. She's two years old, never cries, doesn't know how to play, can barely walk, not abused, just forgotten. Her new mom spent 3 weeks in China waiting for everything to go through, Dad stayed home with their older daughter. The older sister (who is the same age as my son) isn't real thrilled with the addition to the family and doesn't want to play, but Junior thought the little one was great and played with her for 1/2 an hour while I talked with her mom. This made up for the water disaster.

The Yankee game is playing in the background and they just one, and Boston lost. It's a good night. Happy Reading.
I found AAR's list of the top 100 romance novels not on AAR, but rather on Rosario's and she's read 80 of the 100 and has several of the rest on her TBR pile. I skimmed the list and realized I'd read 90 of the 100. I think I've had too much time on my hands over the years. I've highlighted the books I've not read and of course made a few comments on others...

1. Lord of Scoundrels -- Loretta Chase
2. Flowers From the Storm -- Laura Kinsale
3. Welcome to Temptation -- Jennifer Crusie
4. As You Desire -- Connie Brockway
5. Bet Me -- Jennifer Crusie (I hated this book)
6. Dreaming of You -- Lisa Kleypas
7. Outlander -- Diana Gabaldon
8. Over the Edge -- Suzanne Brockmann (yikes, no way)
9. All Through the Night -- Connie Brockway
10. Sea Swept -- Nora Roberts
11. It Had to be You -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
12. A Summer to Remember -- Mary Balogh
13. Morning Glory -- LaVyrle Spencer
14. The Proposition -- Judith Ivory
15. A Kingdom of Dreams -- Judith McNaught
16. Ravished -- Amanda Quick
17. Frederica -- Georgette Heyer (I just realized I've got this one on my TBR pile)
18. Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand -- Carla Kelly
19. MacKenzie's Mountain -- Linda Howard
20. Mr. Perfect -- Linda Howard
21. The Grand Sophy -- Georgette Heyer
22. Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austen
23. The Bride -- Julie Garwood
24. Devil's Bride -- Stephanie Laurens
25. To Have and to Hold -- Patricia Gaffney
26. Born in Fire -- Nora Roberts
27. Winter Garden -- Adele Ashworth (This one is one of my favorites, thanks Rosario for recommending this one)
28. Gone Too Far -- Suzanne Brockmann
29. The Viscount Who Loved Me -- Julia Quinn
30. Saving Grace -- Julie Garwood
31. My Dearest Enemy -- Connie Brockway
32. In the Midnight Rain -- Barbara Samuel
33. The Windflower -- Laura London (I've never been able to find this book)
34. Naked in Death -- J.D. Robb
35. Whitney, My Love -- Judith McNaught (used to be a favorite, but not anymore)
36. Nobody's Baby but Mine -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips (one of my favorite SEPs)
37. A Knight in Shining Armor -- Jude Deveraux (sobbed at the end of this one)
38. Paradise -- Judith McNaught (I'm one of the odd ducks that liked Perfect more)
39. The Shadow and the Star -- Laura Kinsale
40. Dream Man -- Linda Howard (love it)
41. Out of Control -- Suzanne Brockmann
42. Silk and Shadows -- Mary Jo Putney
43. See Jane Score -- Rachel Gibson
44. Shattered Rainbows -- Mary Jo Putney
45. Thunder and Roses -- Mary Jo Putney
46. The Duke and I -- Julia Quinn
47. Heart Throb -- Suzanne Brockmann
48. For My Lady's Heart -- Laura Kinsale
49. Honor's Splendor -- Julie Garwood (my favorite Garwood)
50. Lord Carew's Bride -- Mary Balogh
51. Untie my Heart -- Judith Ivory
52. Dream a Little Dream -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
53. The Secret -- Julie Garwood
54. This is All I Ask -- Lynn Kurland (I'm pretty sure I read this one, but I don't particularly like LK's books.)
55. Slightly Dangerous -- Mary Balogh
56. One Perfect Rose -- Mary Jo Putney
57. To Love and to Cherish -- Patricia Gaffney
58. Kiss an Angel -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
59. Heaven, Texas -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
60. Venetia -- Georgette Heyer
61. Daughter of the Game -- Tracy Grant (I've been looking for this one)
62. The Prize -- Julie Garwood
63. Reforming Lord Ragsdale -- Carla Kelly
64. Prince Joe -- Suzanne Brockmann
65. The Notorious Rake -- Mary Balogh
66. Heartless -- Mary Balogh
67. Son of the Morning -- Linda Howard (I'd move this one up the list)
68. Sleeping Beauty -- Judith Ivory
69. Where Dreams Begin -- Lisa Kleypas
70. The Devil's Cub -- Georgette Heyer
71. The Bronze Horseman -- Paullina Simons
72. The Time Traveler's Wife -- Audrey Niffenegar (this ones on my TBR pile)
73. With This Ring -- Carla Kelly
74. The Lion's Lady -- Julie Garwood
75. The Rake -- Mary Jo Putney (my favorite Putney)
76. Fallen from Grace -- Laura Leone (excellent book)
77. Always to Remember Lorraine Heath
78. Castles -- Julie Garwood
79. One Good Turn -- Carla Kelly
80. Chesapeake Blue -- Nora Roberts
81. By Arrangement -- Madeline Hunter
82. Perfect -- Judith McNaught
83. My Darling Caroline -- Adele Ashworth
84. The Defiant Hero -- Suzanne Brockmann
85. The Unsung Hero -- Suzanne Brockmann
86. Guilty Pleasures -- Laura Lee Guhrke
87. Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte (one of my favorite childhood reads)
88. Kill and Tell -- Linda Howard
89. After the Night -- Linda Howard
90. More than a Mistress -- Mary Balogh
91. Born in Ice -- Nora Roberts
92. Miss Wonderful -- Loretta Chase (Mr. Impossible is much better)
93. The Charm School -- Susan Wiggs
94. Scoundrel -- Elizabeth Elliott (wish she was still writing/published)
95. How to Marry a Marquis -- Julia Quinn
96. Angel Rogue -- Mary Jo Putney
97. Trust Me -- Jayne Ann Krentz
98. Dancing on the Wind -- Mary Jo Putney
99. Once and Always -- Judith McNaught
100. This Heart of Mine -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I feel guilty that I'm not a huge Heyer reader and I've never read Carla Kelly. I must be missing something about the Brockmann books, most of the books listed I'd say were just okay. I guess she's not my thing any more.

I got nothin'

I've got nothing exciting to say, so I'm reposting something that tickled my funny bone.

When I checked my stats the other day someone had gone back and read my blog posts from last October. I checked out the month and found this blog post and laughed until I cried, probably because I remember all these little episodes...

Most people witness the ability to make all sorts of car noises at an early age and somehow all boys seem to be able to pick up a stick and turn it into a gun, knife, sword... you get the idea. But there are other things attached to that Y chromosome I thought were learned, but I was wrong.

The other day Junior is getting ready for a shower and he announces he has to "poop." So, I turn off the shower and put him on the bowl, leave the room, because he needs privacy and when he's done he washes his hands and comes out of the bathroom. I go in to restart the shower and he heads into our room climbs up on my husband and the conversation goes something like this:

Jr.: Daddy, smell me.
Dad: Good boy, your hands smell clean.
Jr: No, Daddy smell my hiney.

Another conversation between father and son:

Jr: Excuse me, I did a backward burp (that's what Junior calls passing gas--he came up with that one one his own)
Dad: You're excused
Jr. Hey Daddy, can you smell it?

**edited** Last night he gets this very serious little voice and says:

"I pee peed in the shower, but that okay, right."

**I had posted this one in the comments.

Monday, August 14

A Fun Read

I've never been a real fan of the anthology/novella format, usually the stories are too brief and something is left wanting, character development, plot, pacing, many authors try to pack too much information into too small a format.

But, HelenKay Dimon does a real nice job with her set of novellas in Viva Las Bad Boys. Each story is a snapshot of the beginning of a relationship. The dialogue in each is fabulous--snappy, quick and flirty. Each story has a good story arc, conflict and a believable HEA. What more can we ask for?

This is a perfect beach book.

Saturday, August 12

One Campy, One DNF, One Reread

I finally finished Thea Devine's The Forever Kiss and enjoyed it. I thought it on the better side of okay. It's a little campy and a little gothic. I found the "foiled again" attitude of the real "Ducas" funny, how he referred to Dar as the "Other" was campy at it's best. I really need to pick up more of her books.

I'm sorry to say I found this one unreadable. I'll be sending it off to Sybil, which seems to be rather apropos since the heroine's name should have been Sybil and not Emma, Abigail or Abby as she seemed to suffer from multiple personality disorder, no offense to our Sybil, please. I thought Ms. Valdal's first novel had potential, but Her One And Only was a DNF for me. I never even made it to their sex scene. Never reached the point that Grey becomes an idiot. I read until the school piano money was stolen and then read the last 25 pages. I still think Ms. Valdal has potential, her writing voice is pretty good and her style isn't bad, but her character development needs work.

So after my failure to finish HOAO I decided to pick up a favorite. Devonna has been reading Eloisa James' Duchess series and for some strange reason I love reading about Helene and Rees. He's such a clueless jerk, but I still thoroughly enjoy this book.

Next up, HelenKay Dimon's Viva Las Bad Boys.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Friday, August 11

Random useless information

A couple of days ago a little girl and boy came to our door and asked for something to drink, they were thirsty from riding their bikes up and down the neighborhood. Apparently they live about 3 streets away. They didn't know me from Adam, came right in the house and had some water and asked if Junior could come out and play. When I asked if their moms' knew where they were they said they had permission to ride. They then asked if they could have a picnic in our front yard.

Am I neurotic or crazy? I can't imagine my son going up to a complete stranger like this--well, actually I can that's why we teach him he can't do this.

Same day we went to Wal*Mart and parked next to a bright yellow Ferarri.

Today I realized I completely missed the birth of a friend's granddaughter, a friend I haven't seen in a while and usually keep in touch by emails. While I was deleting emails (500+ on the main screen and over 3000 "deleted" and "sent" items--and I'm wondering why the system is running slow--LOL) on our personal account, the one where friends and family send the "forwards" that I ignore but my husband reads. Hidden in there were pictures and an email announcement I never acknowledged because I never saw it. I think I'm going to shoot my husband.

Tomorrow we're having a birthday party for my son and nephew, actually it's at my SIL's (not the SILFH) house. Last year it was here and we had a family riot with the SILFH. She hasn't been back to our house since, my husband figures she'll never set foot in our house again. Junior will be sleeping over after the party and they plan to bring him home Sunday and we'll all go out to dinner.

We're leaving for the Jersey Shore on the 19th. I'm starting to pack the blankets, sheets, towels that don't come with the house rental.

I'm currently reading two books, neither is good enough or bad enough to blog about.

Have a good one, and happy reading.

Thursday, August 10

So, I managed to squeeze a few dollars out of the budget...

Wishing a warm welcome to the newest members of my TBR pile...

The Grail King by Joy Nash, set in AD 130 how could I pass it up?

Her One and Only by Alice Valdal, thanks Wendy, hoping I agree with your review and not AAR's.

Lady Katherne's Wild Ride by Jean Westin, Restoration England, couldn't pass it up either.

Marriage by Design by Lynn Michaels, liked the synopsis in RT.

Viva Las Bad Boys by HelenKay Dimon, good buzz.

I also picked up the new RT, I skimmed it last night, there's an article about group author blogs, I'll post my new wish list later.

Wednesday, August 9


For some strange reason, I dislike this word. Familial. I trip over it in just about every romance book I read these days. It's not a bad word, it has a simple straight forward definition--common to families: relating to or involving a family, yet I don't like it. I don't like they way it sounds. Say it out loud, it's like saying aluminum or cinnamon, it doesn't flow nicely. I've decided to skip over it whenever I come across it.

With the exception of euphemisms for body parts, what words do you find distracting? Heck, list the euphemisms if you want.

Tuesday, August 8

Go to authors...

I was reading reviews over on Rosario's blog, doesn't Rosario write great reviews? And found one for Jayne Castle's (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) Ghost Hunter. I haven't read JAK in years, I got tired of the sameness of her stories. But I love how Rosario describes how to enjoy a comfort read:

Then put on your pajamas, make some hot chocolate (or iced tea, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere), and curl up with it in bed.

This is how I read Linda Howard and Nora Roberts and *Susan Elizabeth Philips*. If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you know I'm a Linda Howard Fangirl, but I've always been a closet Nora reader. NO more, I'm out and a proud Nora reader. So many people don't like or wont even try her books because she's the "Queen". Well, you know what? Those people are truly missing some great books. CW has made a great starter list of Nora recs. These should be required reading for any serious romance reader, at least I think so.

Sorry, I digressed. Comfort, curl up in bed reads. Who's your go to author?

*edited to add SEP* All three write books I read in one sitting, curled up in bed or on the couch. When I'm reading their books, I want to be left alone until I'm done, don't bug me about dinner, housework, any other mundane job that needs doing, because I'm going to ignore you.

Monday, August 7

Hey Wendy I'm reading Thea Devine's The Forever Kiss!! Hope it's a good one.

Odd thoughts from a fuzzy head

This post will be all over the place, sorry, I've got a nasty summer head cold and it's leaving me rather vague and fuzzy headed.

I have a stack of books to pick up at The Bookstore:

  • The Grail King by Joy Nash
  • His Lordship's Desire by Joan Wolf
  • Lady Katherne's Wild Ride by Jean Westin
  • The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
  • Marriage By Design by Lynn Michaels
  • Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
  • Viva Las Bad Boys by HelenKay Dimon
  • September's RT

I forgot to order:

  • High Stakes by Erin McCarthy, normally I prefer my vampire books scarier, but I like Erin McCarthy's writing voice and style enough to try out her "funny and steamy new vampire series".
  • The Gripping Beast by Charlene Teglia, some where I picked up good buzz on this book, so what the heck.

I also wanted Beth Williamson's The Reward, but it's a down load and since I don't have a hand held device yet, I'll wait on this one. It's too hot to be sitting in front of my monitor reading anything of length.

I'm in desperate need of tires for my mini-van, I never think to look at things like tires, but this weekend my husband noticed how bald my back tires were and I got "Holy Crap, you need tires--NOW." Tires, Books, Tires, Books. Unfortunately for me, tires wins this little debate. Now, if it were food, ah, books would win hands down, there's always enough food in the pantry to skimp for a week, but there's no skimping on tires. The bookstore owner is great and lets me pick up books whenever I want in dribs and drabs. I don't really want the Wolf, but I ordered it and would feel guilty not taking it, especially when she's nice enough to hold the books for me.

I am struggling through Gucci Gucci Coo by Sue Margolis. I'm starting to wonder about my sanity, I didn't finish her Apocalipstick. My mom thought her bawdy humor in that one was outstanding. "The story sucked, but the humor was great." That's a quote from mom. GGC has some funny moments, but the story in between is boring in the extreme. Since it's Chick Lit, I thought I'd use it for this month's TBR challenge, but it looks like it's going to have a HEA ending and I think that qualifies it as a romance too. I'm not a huge Chick Lit fan yet there are some that I like. Both the Margolis books I've read are set in London, I'd much rather read Alexander Potter's London based books.

We went to the County Fair this weekend, which reminded me I never blogged about Kathleen Bacus' Calamity Jane Rides Again. It's the second book in the Calamity Jane series. And I realized it's got a Stephanie Plum meets Iowa thing going on. Semi-ditzy heroine accidentally/on-purpose fighting crime. Funny and outrageous grandmother, exasperated parents and at the end of this one it even has a little love triangle going on. It's written in the first person and at times is too conversational with a hectic and sometimes frantic pace.

Yesterday was Junior's birthday, he was thrilled with his gifts. I haven't loaded the pictures yet, but I'll post a couple later.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Friday, August 4

My Son's Moving Away

While I was talking on the phone this morning with my sister my son announces he's moving to Strausburg, PA. He packed his Thomas the Tank Engine backpack with his favorite teddy bear and frog, his diary (a little Pirates of the Caribbean notebook that came in a Happy Meal) and his football bank.

Me: How are you getting there?
Him: My peddlecar.
Me: How are you going to make money?
Him: I'm bringing my football bank.
Me: That money wont last long.
Him: Then I'll go to work for the railroad, theirs is the best you know.
Me: I know, it is the best, do you think they'll hire a 5 year old?
Him: Why not?
Me: I think you might need to be a little older.
Him: Old like Dave or old like Jessie? (his cousins--Dave is 9 and Jessie is 20)
Me: Old like Jessie.
Him: Oh. Well, I'm going anyway.
Me: Okay, how long do you think it'll take to get there with the peddlecar?
Him: I don't know, how long?
Me: Probably a couple of months.
Him: So, I'll take the van instead.

On a fairly regular basis he asks if he can drive my mini-van, and gets real annoyed when I inform him that the police don't allow little kids drive cars, they can't reach the peddles and see over the steering wheel at the same time.

My sister heard this entire conversation and thought it hysterical, because the child is deadly earnest, you can hear it in his voice. I hang up and tell him sorry, there'll be no moving today. He's still mad at me. I think ordering his birthday cake may cheer him up.

Three posts in one day is my limit.

Have a good one, and happy reading.

The hubby's reading romance...

Well, not really, but he's been desperate for something decent to read so I've started funneling some of my "romance lite" books to him. He just finished Jennifer Armintrout's The Turning. It was "Okay, not great." Which was kind of what I expected because he's a die hard horror reader. There wasn't enough "tension and anxiety building and too much relationship stuff."

Now he's reading Holly Lisle's I See You. He's going to like the first half of the book, but probably hate the second--it becomes a real romance in the second half. But, what the heck, I'd like to see what he thinks.

Next up Lynn Viehl's Darkyn Series, and then I think I'll pass on Susan Squire's Companion Series and Meljean Brook's novella, Falling for Anthony.

Ask the question...

One of my husband's favorite movies is Oliver Stone's JFK, one must be a conspiracy theorist to actually love that movie and my husband loves anything remotely related to conspiracies. I'm a realist, so I rarely if ever buy into any type of a conspiracy. But, there is a line from this movie I'm reminded of on a regular basis...

Ask the question, ask the question.

Usually I find myself saying this during news interviews, but lately I've been repeating it in my head while reading. Not good for storytelling. If I'm asking myself Who, What, When, Where or How the author isn't doing a great job telling their story, obviously mysteries and thrillers don't count, because you're supposed to be asking questions. But, if you find yourself asking these things in a Contemporary, Historical or Chick Lit, there's a problem.

Can you tell that of the last 20 books I've read 14 were just okay or worse?

Thursday, August 3

Am I an Idiot?

Normally, I don't consider myself an idiot, well, with the exception of my air conditioner debacle and other occasional clueless moments.

But, when it comes to romance reading, I'm pretty confident in my likes and dislikes and my ability to read and discern what I'm reading. That's probably why when Lydia Joyce's blog post regarding her recent AAR review rankled so much. My reaction to the book was very similar to Cheryl, the reviewer. And, since then I discovered Giselle and a few others also had the same thoughts.

So, does this make us idiots, clueless to the subtleties of writing?

I don't think so.

I waited to post this until after I got over being aggravated at the implication I didn't "get it" because my initial reaction wasn't very nice.

Can they be that bad...

I found these two reviews over on AAR (click on them for the reviews):
Both got an F. The Kelly is a medieval and the Valdal is a western. Can they really be that bad?

Wednesday, August 2

Oh, boy redux...and a couple of book reviews--sort of

It's perfectly okay to laugh at the village idiot.

So, to continue Tara's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day...

The electrician never showed, when I called his office at 4:30 his wife told me he was stuck on a job until 7. Told her not to send him. My husband would already be home by then and my BIL offered to come over. They determined that the wire somehow grounded itself out. Old house, middle aged wiring, some has been updated, but not everything. Of course, this was one of the rooms they hadn't updated yet.

Well, it's being updated over the weekend. We decided to wait until it cools off a little.

Here I thought I would do something nice for my husband, he'd come home from a miserable day to a nice cool living room and dining room. Yikes I blew that, literally--and the air conditioner is shot too, oh well, it was 10 years old.

We went swimming right before bed, so we all cooled off and it was fairly comfortable to sleep.

But it's too hot to do anything besides read. A couple of reviews...

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas--this one didn't impress me. There were too many characters involved. Daisy and Matthew, all the Wallflowers and their respective spouses, Daisy's parents and a handful of other Lords and Ladies. Daisy and Matt on their own were wonderful, but I didn't particularly like Lillian in her book, add to that she's even more obnoxious when pregnant and it sunk the book for me. Every time Lillian opened her mouth my brain scream "SHUT THE HELL UP." Not a good way to enjoy a book.

Just One of Those Flings by Candace Hern--I liked this one a little more than SIS, but the pacing is slow. Beatrice and Thayne are very good together, a May/December romance. She's 6 years older, yet you never feel that there is this great age barrier. He's world traveled returned from India rich both in materials and life experiences so there's never an overwhelming feeling to the age difference. She's 35 and he's 29 and in one scene she's enjoying the view of his youthful body--excuse me, he's not that young and she's not that old. The big climax seemed rather contrived and forced. And, I didn't buy into the secondary romance. The next book sounds interesting--the cad and the bishop's widow.

Not great reviews, just my thoughts

Have a good one, stay cool and happy reading.

Tuesday, August 1

Oh, boy...

I was going to call this post Tara and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day but it didn't think it would fit in the title.

On the hottest day of the year, I decided to move our big air conditioner from upstairs to downstairs and put it in the living room. I did this by myself after my husband left for work, upside down bath mats are amazing for moving heavy stuff. Some how I not only blew the electrical curcuit for the living room, I've burned out the outlet, and Lord only knows what else. The electrician should be here between 3 and 4.

At least we can still swim.

Stay cool.