Sunday, December 31

December TBR Challenge...

Nothing like coming in under the wire. Actually I finished this 2 weeks ago, but didn't take the time to post my challenge results, a book published before 2006...

Title: In Plain Sight

Author: Gayle Wilson

Year published: 2004

Why did you get this book? I read her new release Bogeyman and decided to search out her backlist

Do you like the cover? Nice colors, kind of vague picture, it works.

Did you enjoy the book? Yes

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? No

Are you keeping it or passing it on? Passing it on.

Anything else? I like Ms. Wilson's writing style, it works very nicely with romantic suspense. Her characters are well developed and the story moves at a decent clip. I don't like that she uses children as victims.

"Do they celebrate Harmonica?"

Our adorable son thinks our house is the "Jolliest" on the street. Which when he gets older will probably be code for "Mommy goes a little overboard." With a birthday at Christmas time you get a lot of Christmas themed gifts. I try to put out as much as I can.

We were at my parents yesterday. My brother and his wife (Hi Martha) came for a visit and Mom had everyone over for dinner. Mom does next to no Holiday decorating--a Nativity, wreaths on the doors and for the first time in years they lite up the little Pine tree in front of their house.

So Junior looks around Grandma's house and sees no real decorations and asks "Do they celebrate Harmonica?"

My husband did correct that to "Hannukah" and explain that no Grandma and Grandpa celebrate Christmas they just don't decorate their entire house--maybe I do go a little overboard--LOL.

Friday, December 29

The eBookman is officially working...

Thanks to Jane and her abundant knowledge of such things.

I've read about 1/2 of the first book I downloaded and have downloaded a second. I'm definitely going to need a memory card. I had to delete a bunch of files they provided for music, and other media files, just to get the second book to load. This thing's for books, if I want something to play music I'll get an IPod and if I want to read Newsweek, I'll pick up a magazine.

My order with B&N got messed up thanks to the pre-ordered books even though I requested them to be shipped as available and not to hold for the entire order, they held the entire order.
And both books I ordered from Amazon have been shipped. By the middle of next week my TBR pile will jump by 12 or 13 books.

I've spent the day playing games with my little guy--Monopoly Junior and V-Smile games. He seems quite happy with the presents Santa brought.

I think we're going out to dinner tonight, a nice dinner, not burgers, pizza or Chinese.

Tomorrow we're off to Mom's for dinner, my brother's due in sometime today.

We have absolutely no plans for New Years Eve, I sincerely doubt we'll make midnight.

Have a good one, I'll post some book reviews over the weekend.

Happy reading--Tara

Wednesday, December 27

Getting back to normal... and other things...

I guess getting back to normal is rather relative.

The house is still turned upside down thanks to all the Christmas presents. I've straightened out all the little messes since I initially wrote this. All the toys and games start in the living room and as he wants to play with something new he moves it up to his bedroom. His room looks like a toy store exploded.

The eBookman (EBM-900) is my new electronic toy. I'm thinking it's on the low end of the ebook readers available, but I think it will work just fine for what I want. I'm never going to actually give up books, I love the feel of a book. I've installed it and registered it and hopefully will figure out whether or not I can download a couple of the books I've already read with Adobe, I'm thinking not, but I'll keep reading the manual. Jane if it's possible let me know--LOL.

I overcooked for Christmas, way, way, way overcooked. We'll be eating this stuff for the next week, though I've decided to try to mix things up a little so we're not eating the same things every night... Tuesday--stuffed shells and chicken parmesan, Wednesday--antipasto and caesar salad, Thursday--meatball heros and Friday--sausage and peppers, and hopefully that will be the end of the leftovers, from my mouth (typing fingers) to God's ears. That's not really true, I already froze a tray of stuffed shells.

I worked Bingo Tuesday afternoon. Santa must not have brought good stuff to the old folks, they were particularly cranky. One woman yelled "What the Hell do you want from me?" after she called "BINGO" and no one heard her including the caller and this made for a legistical nightmare as 2 more people called bingo after the next number was called. My first thought was "Lady if you'd called bingo as a loud as you called out WTH..." nobody'd be complaining. And then I thought how she should be worrying about being struck by lightning cursing in a Catholic school, but then I found myself mumbling "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" a couple of times and that was probably worse than "Hell"--LOL.

Last night I posted I hadn't read anything in a week. This isn't exactly true. Eloisa James' Pleasure for Pleasure has been sitting on my nightstand for the last week and I think I've read it through 2 more times, because 1. I've been too tired at night to try and pick out something from my TBR pile and 2. I've decided I really like this one--Josie and Mayne completely work for me.

I've got some errands to run and some dishes to do, so I guess things are back to normal.

Have a great day and happy reading.

Tuesday, December 26

Books, books and even more books...

Well I haven't read anything in about a week, but I went a little crazy today ordering from B&N. . .
  1. Blame it on Paris -- Laura Florand, there was a great review of this one over on Dear Author.
  2. Midnight Secrets -- Jennifer St. Giles
  3. Darkest Dreams -- Jennifer St. Giles, this got a nice review by RT since it was the second in a series I had to order the first, see above.
  4. For the Love of a Pirate -- Edith Layton, I don't know why I ordered this one, maybe it was the pirate thing.
  5. Autumn in Scotland -- Karen Ranney, I'm tired of "Scotland" books, but Karen Ranney is a favorite.
  6. High Stakes: A Tale of Vegas Vampires -- Erin McCarthy
  7. Bit the Jackpot -- Erin McCarthy, liked the review at Dear Author and needed the first in the series too, see above.
  8. Master of Shilden -- Lucinda Carrington
  9. All Night Long -- Melissa MacNeal, this ones an Aphrodisia, I'm curious.
  10. Demon Angel -- Meljean Brook, the extra for my BIL.
  11. Made in Sin -- Celia May Hart


  1. Natural Born Charmer -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  2. Winter Lodge -- Susan Wiggs
  3. The Lawman's Bride -- Cheryl St. John
  4. Blood Ties: Possession -- Jennifer Armintrout

All of this came to over $150 and I paid for everything with gift cards, and I still have over $100 in additional cards. What's even more amazing I also ordered 2 books from Amazon with a gift certificate from there. And, the family says I'm hard to buy for--LOL. What's so hard about that??

Monday, December 25

Merry Christmas

A quick Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my on-line friends.

Opening gifts started at 5:30 this morning and breakfast was finished by 7:30.

mega hit with the 5 year old--LOL.

We went to 8:00 Mass last night, it was considered "Midnight Mass" which may be a little odd, but it was great to be home by 9:30. It was a lovely service with beautiful music.

My family is coming later. We're having an Italian Christmas, well partly. Starting with antipasto, and moving on to ceasar salad, stuffed shells, baked ziti, chicken parm, meatballs and sausage. Decided against doing a full dinner with it, didn't figure anyone would have room for turkey or ham with all the trimmings.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Peace and Love, Tara

Sunday, December 24

Christmas Eve

It's not quite 4:00 and I'm up. We're going out for breakfast this morning and then heading to the in-laws for Christmas Eve with them, and tomorrow my family is coming for Christmas Day.

Everything is done, thank God.

The presents are wrapped. Tomorrow's dinner is prepped. The house is clean. Even the table is set.

There must be something I'm forgetting--LOL.

I'll be back to post something tomorrow. Have a wonderful day.

PS The picture is a year old, but it's one of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 20

Yikes, what a few days...

I didn't mean to go missing for a few days, but it's been busy and not necessarily in a good way.

My mom and MIL share a birthday (Dec. 17th) and we spent Saturday with my in-laws at my husband's sister's home. We've a new baby in the family, born the 12th and we were all real excited that they were going to be coming for part of the day. And the day was going wonderfully until an accident in the kitchen. Junior was playing in kitchen with 2 of his younger cousins while my SIL was making pasta for Penne a la Vodka and when she went to drain the pasta one of the cousins pushed Junior into his aunt and the boiling water splashed over the side of the pot on his arm and leg.

We spent 3 hours in the emergency room and he has a "1st degree bordering on 2nd degree" burn on his forearm, but that's it. It has to be kept clean and covered until it's healed. My poor SIL was in such a state, she also has a burn on her wrist, she literally threw the pot into the sink while I grabbed him and ran upstairs and threw him in the shower clothes and all. His jeans protected his leg but he was wearing a t'shirt that left his arm exposed.

He's fine and completely enjoying the attention this is getting him.

Let's move on to Sunday. We went to my sister's for a big family birthday party. My BIL's is the 14th, Mom's the 17th and mine's the 24th, so we do one big December birthday party. And we were having a lovely day until the phone rang while we were eating and it's the alarm company for my aunt's house. They've got movement in the house, they didn't get an answer when they called (my sister's her backup). So my husband goes with her back to her house and finds one of the kitchen windows has been broken and yanked all the way open. The alarm scared them off and they didn't get into the house.

Monday was spent trying to get the last of the Christmas errands done and taking Junior to his pediatrician, she gave us a prescription for Silverdene, which apparently is very good for burns. When we went to the hospital Saturday there was a family next to us with a little girl who banged her head and they were running tests to make sure she was okay (she was), her fireman dad recommended this and said it's a good thing to keep in the house.

And Tuesday was the kindergarten Christmas party at school, which was actually a lot of fun. One of the dad's dressed up as Santa and was wonderful. We asked Junior last night if it was the real Santa, or one of his helpers. And he announced it was the real thing. I did find out a couple of things about my boy... 1. They (teachers, principal, staff) are amazed by how well spoken he is for five, and always ask if we're aware of this, well yeah we talk to him everyday--LOL. We've actually been hearing this since he was three. 2. Apparently he's a huge hit with the girls. There are six girls in his class and they all love him, but the older girls just think he's adorable, that cute face and dimples gets them every time. There's a little girl in his class named Evelyn, platinum blond hair, very sweet and cute and he says he's going to marry her. My husband asked if he's told her this and Junior's answer was "No, that would ruin the friendship." Where does he come up with this stuff?

I finished my book for Angie's TBR challenge, so hopefully I'll have time to post it in the next couple of days.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Sunday, December 17

I swiped this from Jen, who swiped it from Stacy:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate, egg nog gets a big yuck from me.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? WRAPPED everything gets wrapped even the stocking stuffers.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Both, white lights go on the inside close to the bark, so the tree kind of glows from the inside and a mix of colored and specialty lights (angels, bubble lights etc) go around the outside.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I've never hung mistletoe, but my mom had this funky plastic stuff she used to hang she called mistletoe.

5. When do you put your decorations up? The weekend/week after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Mom's Canadian Meat Pies and this is going to sound weird, my mom's mashed turnip, it's a bizarre dish with butter, onions, and brown sugar, but it's so good.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: My dad sitting on the sofa almost comatose from all the overtime he had to put in to pay for Christmas and staying up half the night putting together all the big toys.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What truth? Is there a truth I don't know about? Santa's real, right?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We spend Christmas Eve with my in-laws so yes we open presents on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at home, and Christmas afternoon with my family.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? ME, ME, ME and I will not relinquish control!! Besides, Junior's too young and my husband has absolutely no interest.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? LOVE IT as long as it's not on Christmas day while I'm waiting for 15 people to come for dinner.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, but haven't done it in years, our school's Parent's Guild is sponsoring a skate at our local rink Friday, I haven't decided if we're going or not.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? "Beautiful Crissy" with the amazing growing hair.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Remembering it's not about the commercialization of Santa Claus, it's time for family and that we are celebrating Jesus' birth and God's love.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? COOKIES, lots and lots of cookies--fingerprint, magic cookie bars, sugar, vanilla horns, my sisters chocolate dipped chocolate chip... Yum.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Open presents before dawn on Christmas morning.

17. What tops your tree? A Star, it was the topper my parents used my whole childhood. Mom gave it to me when she stopped putting up a tree. It's seen better days, but I wont give it up. It used to light up and cast amazing colors and designs on the ceiling, but my dad rewired it and it almost caught fire the first year we used it (it couldn't have been that he wired a 40 year old light fixture to an extension cord could it--LOL)

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Giving

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Do You Hear What I Hear. Back when public school still allowed Christian based Christmas carols my sister's elementary school chorus sang this, I still remember being overwhelmed by the beauty of it 30 years later.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Okay, look great on the tree but not my favorite candy.

Saturday, December 16

Books and other things...

Well it's almost 4 am and I'm up for the day. Junior crawled into bed with us at 2:15, the child is a bed hog. I'm on-line and the hubby moved to Junior's bed and Junior is sound asleep in the middle of our queen sized bed. Doesn't seem quite right--LOL.

Earlier in the week I picked up 4 Gayle Wilson romantic suspsenses at the UBS. I'm currently reading In Plain Sight, it's very good, but I've one qualm, like Bogeyman, a child needs protection from someone trying to kill them. It's very disconcerting to see a child as a victim and yet she does a wonderful job showing a how strongly a mother will protect her child.

I'm trying to reach 200 books read this year. I've got 4 to go, including the one I'm currently reading. Two weeks, I think I can get it done. But then if next week's as busy as this one was I'm not sure. Wednesday was spent wrapping and Thursday and Friday I worked Santa Shopping at school--4+ hours each day of helping little kids spend money. You wouldn't believe what I could do with $20. Today and tomorrow are tied up with family birthday parties, but I do get to read in the car.

I'm thinking about adding "Current Google Searches" to my sidebar, I'm still finding them rather entertaining, though I did delete one I found a little too creepy...

2 reviews of pleasure for pleasure by eloisa james
2 the gladiator's honor excerpt
1 awaken pleasure nalini singh online books
1 nice romance nicknames
1 elizabeth hoyt
1 romance reading mom
1 dageus
1 my friends hot mom mrs. janes
1 mrs carrington porn
1 raven claw stephenie
1 online reads barbara cartlands romantic novels
1 zoe archer
1 julie garwood saving grace

Tomorrow I'm posting the Christmas Meme I swiped from Jenster, I just have to actually finish it.

Have a great weekend and happy reading.

Thursday, December 14

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

I picked up Elizabeth Hoyt's the Raven Prince after Jane's review over on Dear Author. I wasn't completely sold on the premise, but figured Jane gave it a B so it would be worth trying. Then somehow it went missing in my house. Following Kristie's advice I didn't search for it and hoped it would show up. Then I read Rosario's review and I started to get a little antsy, and finally Kristie's review sent to me looking for another copy, which I didn't find. But Kristie's theory comes through and while searching under the sofa for some missing Matchbox cars The Raven Prince was found...

Jane's review at Dear Author

Rosario's review

Kristie's review

Blurbs and/or good synopses can be found on all three sites, it's rather redundant to do another--*code for go check out their reviews I am being too lazy write my own.*

And, boy am I glad it showed up. I really liked this one.

I still think the female secretary/brothel visiting premise itself is rather weak and yet Ms. Hoyt's style, voice and story structure makes it work and work beautifully.

Anna Wren and Edward de Raaf are both interesting and well developed characters. A wren would be a good description of Anna at the beginning of the story, but she comes into her own as the story progresses. Edward's bad temper and cranky behavior is actual quite fun. His relationships with his employees are interesting and the exchanges with his valet, Davis, are laugh out loud funny. All the secondary characters are unique and well developed too--Mother Wren, Anna's sweet MIL, the prostitute sisters the nice Pearl and the tough Coral, Hopple, the overworked steward with the deplorable fashion sense. Felicity Clearwater's, the manipulative Squire's wife, bedroom scenes are quite funny too. And, Felicity's description of the "just a little off" Lillipin gives a perfect physical and mental picture of our villain.

The two love scenes in the brothel are completely silent making them both incredibly sensual and erotic.

The entire book is well plotted and flows beautifully together. It's hard to believe Ms. Hoyt's a rookie at this. This one falls between very good and great.

Wednesday, December 13

Kristie Guess What I Found...

Your "Everything lost will eventually show up" theory held up again. The missing book, Elizabeth Hoyt's The Raven Prince was found yesterday wedged under the sofa. I'm a happy camper and a review hopefully will follow sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 12

The Search Engine Thing **edited**

I always find the searches used to find me rather interesting. Over the last few days I've been watching them, some make sense but others seem a little odd...

6 romance reading mom
5 bogeyman gayle wilson
4 my best friends hot mom mrs carrington
2 pleasure for pleasure eloisa
2 read kresley cole books free online
2 no rest for the wicked kresley online text
2 firesong plath
2 rumanian love spell
2 jacquelyn frank
2 eloisa james sebastien esme
1 keishon brooklyn, ny
1 mary spencer the dark wager
1 boots without socks
1 carla kelly
1 houston, we have a problem erin mccarthy recap
1 die hard penninsular war
1 may/december harlequin romances
1 saudi arabia lobster breast daughter erotic story
1 tara marie meljean demon angel
1 the undomestic goddess by sophia kinsella plot summary
1 sebastien and esme katie macalister
1 romantica giselle wedding dresses
1 stephanie gee, ubs, singapore
1 two lives in waltz time
1 katie macalister sebastien
1 italian endearments
1 scottish sausage
I finally figured out "my best friends hot mom mrs carrington" is porn--what can I say I'm a little slow--LOL.

The book/author searches are obvious.

"Boots without socks" was something I wrote about Junior quite a while ago.

"tara marie meljean demon angel" was Jane for an article over on Dear Author.

"saudi arabia lobster breast daughter erotic story"--what the heck are they looking for?

And "firesong plath" and "rumanian love spell" are rather curious?

edited to add todays searches...
3 romance reading mom
1 erotic reviews tsr
1 j k w x y what is
1 and then he kissed her, by laura lee guhrke
1 characters in superstition by karen robards
1 western writer blog russell davis
1 mrs carrington hot mom
1 favorite reindeer snacks
1 how long is mom pregnant in hydras
1 Lisa marie rice website
1 lover eternal ebook
1 seduce lawn boy stories
1 guilty pleasures ebook download guhrke

So what do you think??

Sunday, December 10

Holiday Odds and Ends, this may get long--LOL

Things are getting more and more hectic the closer we get to Christmas. I know this isn't anything unique to us, but I figured since I haven't read anything in a few days, I've got to share something.

Friday Catholic schools were closed for a Holy Day. I took Junior and his best friend to see Santa. We met my SIL with her 2 kids at the Mall. The kids had a great time, which was good because my last nerve was worked during the car ride down. The plan was to see Santa and then have lunch. Well Santa's got a cushy schedule on Friday, doesn't start until noon. Well, Junior had to have a pretzel wrapped hot dog and lemonade, he started asking for this at 10:30, I put him off until 11:15. So if Junior was getting lemonade all the kids wanted it too. Then we headed to the food court for lunch. The last time we were there "Burger King" was a big hit. How is it possible that Burger King can't make it in a Mall Food Court? Finally we get to see Santa, and over priced pictures were taken. Afterwards my talented SIL won each of the kids stuff from those claw machines, she's really good, I on the other hand wouldn't have even attempted.

Now, you're probably wondering why I would take the Best Friend to see Santa? His folks were having a big Christmas Party on Saturday and since they were nice enough to take Junior the day before we entertained last week I thought it would be nice to reciprocate. Once we were back to our house things went great. The Best Friend stayed for dinner.

Saturday morning was basketball practice. When we got back we put our tree in the tree stand. I wanted to do this Friday night, but the smart husband pointed out that since the tree has been outside in a bucket of water it was probably safe to assume the water froze. We dragged it into the house to defrost, it still had a little bit of ice around the bark after sitting in the house all night. Once again we've picked out a tree that will be too big for the living room, but that's half the fun, right?

Saturday, big party day at the Best Friend's house, his mom asked if I could bring Junior early to keep the Best Friend occupied. I offered to have him to our house instead, but she thought it would be fine, it was.

So, here I had a couple of hours, the tree needed to settle after being tied up and I decided to run out and do some shopping while I had some free time. The husband decided to stay home and watch Band of Brothers on DVD, have I mentioned he's a smart man. Kohl's was having a two day sale and Junior needed pants for school (he's ruined all but 1 pair of uniform pants and that one isn't in great shape) and on outfit for the school Christmas show--it'll work for Christmas Day too. Found exactly what I needed 65% off, can you say thrifty?? My mom gave me my B'day present early, a gift card and I found 6 blouses/shirts on clearance for under $50. Hey I was on a roll, I still had time. I then went into AC Moore even though they didn't have any carts left, I still figured I could run in and out--what was I thinking? Once in there I figured I didn't need much and I had a 30% off everything coupon. Picked up wrapping paper, votive cups, candy molds, Thomas the Tank Engine stuff--Christmas gifts for Junior, they had very cool burnout velvet scarves for $6 each, I picked up 3 for gifts and now am kicking myself that I didn't get one for myself. And two cookbooks for $5 each, both for gifts.

I get back to the car and I think I'm doing great, by the time I get home we'll have 1/2 an hour to spare before having to head to the Christmas party. Yikes, I forgot my husband fixed the clock in my car and I'm running 1/2 an hour late, I thought it was odd that the sun was going down at 3:15 in the afternoon--LOL. The Hubby was about to send out a search party.

Thank goodness we weren't that late, we met some very nice people and Junior was an angel, thank you God. "He's so cute, well behaved and polite." What a good boy. Hey, it's two weeks before Christmas and Santa's watching.

Today it's breakfast with Santa at the Firehouse and decorating the tree. When we were on vacation during the summer we bought Junior a Lionel train set, technically this is Junior's but the train loving husband can't wait to put it under the tree.

Hope everyone else is enjoying the Christmas season as much as we are.


Thursday, December 7

Bogeyman by Gayle Wilson

I found an author I'm adding to my autobuy list after one book. Maybe I lucked out, but I don't think so. Bogeyman by Gayle Wilson is definitely a must read for romantic suspense lovers.

From the cover:
"This supsenseful, up-all-night story hits with a terrifying paranormal twist. Look out or the Bogeyman will get you!"--Karen Harper

From the back blurb:
A year after the death of her husband, Blythe Wyndham moves with her four-year-old daughter, Maddie, back to the small town where she grew up. But soon after they move in to their new home, strange things begin to happen. Maddie has disturbingly intense nightmares--so intense that Blythe fears one night she may not be able to awaken her daughter. A psychologist explains that Maddie's dreams are simply the result of her father's death, but Blythe knows something else is wrong. Because she's also heard the ghostly tapping at her daughter's window...

Convinced the house is haunted, Blythe researches the town's history and discovers that a little girl had been brutally murdered in the area twenty-five years ago. Could there be some connection between this dead child and Maddie? With the help of Sheriff Cade Jackson, Blythe tries to separate past horrors from present dangers and struggles to distinguish the real from the imagined. But someone is clearly determined to keep a secret--and will kill again to do so.

This book barely qualifies as a romance, attraction, a kiss and possible HEA, technically makes it a romance. But to be completely honest, I needed no romance to make this a really good book. It proves my theory that at least for me the "suspense" is much more important than the romance when it comes to "Romantic Suspense."

The characters come to vivid life... Blythe is strong and determined to protect her daughter. Cade does his job even when he's doubting what's going on around him. Maddie is a realistic 4 year old. The secondary characters are also fully developed and interesting. The ghost story seems realistic and the ghost's past blends beautifully with the current action--arson and a new murder in a small town.

I woke up in the middle of the night and picked this up to finish. At 4:00 this morning I hit a scene that literally gave me goosebumps, that never happens. Rarely do I come across a scene the gives me chills, but this one did. Kudos to Ms. Wilson, I'll be searching out her backlist at the UBS very soon.

Tuesday, December 5

I guess this contains spoilers--LOL.

After taking Junior to school I sat down and finished Eloisa James' Pleasure for Pleasure, and I have to admit I liked it much more than The Taming of the Duke.

The Blurb:
Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should--she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss...and is caught!

She doesn't want to marry the young hellion--but who's to help? Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip; and his friend the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancee.

Can a marriage forced by stuffy convention and unwilling desire become the match of the season?
This has to be one of the worst back blurbs I've ever read.

  1. Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should--she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She wants to challenge fate, but the corset has to be dragged off of her kicking and screaming, she's convinced she looks better with it than she would without. Unfortunately it's the main reason she's being called the "Scottish Sausage."
  2. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss...and is caught! Said arrogant rakehell isn't the person who coins the infamous "Scottish Sausage" nickname, but is the one who goes out of his way to perpetuate it throughout society. This scene takes place 2/3 of the way through the book, why the heck is it in the blurb and it gives way to much credence to the villian of the story.
  3. She doesn't want to marry the young hellion--but who's to help? Of course, she doesn't want him, he's a pig and she deals with him rather well.
  4. Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip... Her chaperone is supposed to be dealing with the one who came up with the witty "Scottish Sausage" comment and ends up falling for the cad herself. And her guardian and her sister are on their wedding trip--probably the only statement in the blurb that works.
  5. ...the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancee. I guess this could be technically true, but not really--by the time this happens, his eyes have been opened and he's been jilted.

Josie's season is ruined, no man is interested in her after the wonderful "Scottish Sausage" nickname starts being bandied about. She wishes there were something scandalous she could do to catch a husband as she doesn't want to deal with another season like the one she's currently living through.

Mayne has again fallen in love with a paragon of society, the lovely Sylvie. And she is lovely and witty and quite nice. As the story goes on you realize Mayne isn't really in love, he's in love with the idea of being in love, he wants to put behind him his rakehell reputation and picks someone who is perfect.

Now Sylvie is an interesting character, it's obvious she's not in love, like most woman she believes she needs a husband and Mayne will make a nice one. She much prefers society to the country and the company of other woman, talking about men, fashion etc. and has no real interest in what would make her future husband happy, and yet you can't help but like Sylvie.

Darlington has come up with the awful nickname, but early on in the book he admits to his pals he regrets it. He has all sorts of baggage that comes out as the story goes on. He realizes he needs to break away from the crowd he's running with and decides to move on. One of his buddies is Thurman, ah--the ultimate villian of the story and he really is slimy and pathetic. He's the one who perpetuates the nasty nickname making sure everyone knows he's witty by association.

Griselda's been chosen to put Darlington back in line and make sure he realizes the errors of his ways. But, of course she falls for him in the process and vice versa.

There is a subtle attraction that runs through the book between Josie and Mayne. But neither falls in love until well into the book, after they're already married. Josie's attracted to him, they share a kiss, he's attracted to her, but feels he's 1. too old and 2. he's already engaged. But by the time the stable scene happens, he's become disenchanted with his perfect fiancee and she's a bit cold, certainly not interested in kissing or bedding any man, even her own fiance. She dumps him right there in the stable.

Mayne thinks Josie's been ruined and comes to the rescue with his uncle the Bishop of Rochester in tow and marries her before anyone can catch their breath. Only she hasn't been ruined and she thinks she's trapped him into a loveless marriage. But the sex is good and they start to really enjoy themselves. They have much more in common than they probably realized and by the end of the book, wham they're in "true" love.

It all worked for me. I love Eloisa James' writing voice and style, it flows so nicely and is so readable. I might have liked a confrontation scene between Josie and Darlington, but I figured since they're in-laws there's plenty of time for him to do his mea culpas.

The Weird Kid

Yesterday morning I had to perform a painful "Mom" task. I had to talk to the teacher about my son's bad behavoir and that's never fun. I found out over the weekend my son was calling a little boy in his class "weird" not only to other kids but to the poor kid himself. I knew the "weird" comment didn't originate with him as it's not an expression he uses. After much discussion I was told it came from "Bryan", the class troublemaker.

So after lecturing the child about being nice to everyone, even people we don't particularly like, I had to talk to the teacher about dealing with this same problem in the classroom, because like most teasing it doesn't happen in front of the teacher or parents. And, I swear she used the same lecture we gave him over the weekend... "You don't have to like everyone you meet but you need to be nice and respectful. Calling people names is mean and will not be tolerated..."

We also told our son he had to apologize to the other boy, which he did. But the little boy didn't believe he actually meant it and said so. Hard lessons to learn.

Bedtime kisses and punishments--the joys of parenting.

Monday, December 4

Life's major reality checks...

Have you ever noticed that when you're about to whine about life's little annoyances something real hits home and you're smacked in the head with a major reality check.

I was all set to whine about my weekend, it wasn't horrible, but not great either.

After the Romance Readers Club I belonged to disbanded some of us have kept in touch with emails and occasional lunches or dinners. One of my bookclub friend's daughters was involved in a head on collision on her way to work, she drives a fuel efficient Honda (long commute) and was hit head on by a man driving an SUV, he fell asleep on his way home from work. The article in our paper said she was in "grave" condition.

Last night another bookclub friend called, but didn't leave a message, this threw me into a mini panic. I knew she wouldn't leave a message if something bad had happened and I vacillated about calling her back, not wanting to know. But I did call her back, she had just wanted to know if I knew about the accident and didn't want to leave a message in case I didn't know.

I emailed my friend last night to let her know we were all praying for her daughter and if she needed anything to let me know. She emailed me back this morning. The situation is worse than horrible. The driver's compartment collapsed around her, I can't even list all of her injuries, (a quote from her mom's email... She isn't in good enough shape to operate on but they did a 6 hour procedure to stabilize the fractures. She has hardware every where.) She's being airlifted to a larger trauma center today or tomorrow.

Instead of whining about my broken oven I'm asking my on-line friends to remember Britt in you're thoughts and prayers.