Friday, March 31

You know it's bad...

I am a self-professed Eloisa James fangirl, I have liked everything she's written, even those books AAR gave D's to, but The Taming of the Duke threw me for a loop. I wanted to love it, but I had so many problems with it, that it almost hit the wall Thursday night.

It pains me to say this...

  1. I still don't like Imogen, I thoroughly detested her after Much Ado About You. She was a self-centered, self-absorbed bitch in that one and to be honest, the "transformation" didn't work for me, too much obnoxiousness to make up for.
  2. The Rafe making believe he was Gabe thing completely didn't work for me.
  3. All the theater references made not only my eyes glaze over, eventually I found it completely mind numbingly boring. I can't believe I just said that about a EJ book.
  4. Too much sequel Lady Griselda with child, who the heck is Mayne marrying and what is going to happen to poor Josie?

Is it horrible, no, but it didn't live up to my expectations and that leaves me wondering if that's the problem...

did I expect too much?

I still think she has a wonderful writing voice, I love that she takes risks, her characters are far from perfect...bimbos, fortune hunters, drunks, philanderers, self-absorbed twits. They normally make for interesting reading. In the past I like how she handled sequel baiting. I loved waiting for Esme and Sebastien's story, and that carried on through a couple of books, but there was too much left hanging.

This is the first of her books that didn't work for me, but I'm still looking forward to the next.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Thursday, March 30

Cleaning Day

My house is in desperate need of cleaning, but I wanted to post a few thoughts before I sign off for the day...
  1. If you have your computer remember your user name and password for blogger, write it down somewhere, it took me hours yesterday to get back in after I deleted my cookies, files and history.
  2. While on hold with my server yesterday I read Cathy Yardley's The Cinderella Solution. I think it's probably the best "best friend romance" I've ever read. I had some issues with dialogue, but to be honest, I complain about most contemporaries' dialogues.
  3. I finally tracked down a copy of Eloisa James' The Taming of the Duke. That makes me a happy camper, since I am a self-proclaimed Eloisa James fangirl, not rabid, but definitely a huge fan. It was hiding on the bottom shelf at Wal*Mart, looking very lonely, I had to bring it home.

And can anyone explain why my local B&N has a problem getting books out by release dates. I know I'm nit picking, but gee whiz, why are they always a week behind, and my local Wal*Mart gets their books out on or before release dates.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


PS--once again LOST was great last night. I taped it last night and watched this morning. I'm heading over to Kristie's to check out her review.

Wednesday, March 29

I can't get into..., all I get is this...


Am I doing something wrong??
So I stole it from Kristie, who stole it from Giselle - well the questions anyways...


2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not a person, either a hill in Ireland or a plantation, depends on who you ask.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? 8:30 Monday morning.


5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Brown sugar glazed ham, but like Kristie, bologna is a close second.

6. KIDS? 2 if I can include my husband.



9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Who me? Absolutely--our poor son is genetically predisposed to sarcasm, he gets it from both sides.


11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I'd love to try it, but I think my hubby would have a heart attack, he's deathly afraid of high edges.


13. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES ? Not if I can help it--Birkenstocks every day of my life, clogs in the winter and sandals from spring through fall. In fact it's probably warm enough to start wearing sandals again.

14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? When I need to be.

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Chocolate with lots of chocolate

16. SHOE SIZE? 9 it was 8 1/2 until my pregnancy--Pregnancy killed my feet.

17. RED OR PINK? Red

18. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I'm a terrible procrastinator.

19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandfathers

20. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black and white animal print pajama pants, shoeless

21. LAST THING YOU ATE? Homemade banana bread

22. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Junior talking about "Thomas the Tank Engine"--God, give me strength, will this phase never end??


24. FAVORITE SMELL? My son's hands, lavender soap--it's how I make sure he's really washed them.


26. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Eyes and then teeth, what can I say I wore braces for 6 years.

27. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Well, since I lifted it from Kristie and Giselle, I'd say definitely.

28. FAVORITE DRINK? Cold Water, holy crap, how boring is that--LOL.

29. FAVORITE SPORT? Baseball – and it can’t start soon enough, I'm with Kristie on this one.

30. HAIR COLOR? Brown so dark most people think it's black, well, that's my natural color anyway.

31. EYE COLOR? Brown with a hint of green around the edge.


33. FAVORITE FOOD? Lobster

34. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? How about scary movies with happy endings?

35. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Last movie I watched in a theater--Curious George, the last on tape--Twelve Angry Men

36. COLOUR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Olive green tank top



39. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything with chocolate

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? I just finished Pamela Clare's Carnal Gifts and Sweet Release.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A big fat tabby cat


43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My son and husband laughing together

44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? STONES--gave up Stones tickets to go out on my first date with my hubby.


46. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? None that I can think of

47. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? December 24, Brooklyn

48.Why did you answer this survey of your self? Same reason as Kristie and Giselle - Because I had nothing else to blog about :)

So how about it? Anyone else want to play and spill their guts?

Tuesday, March 28

Someone slap me...

Cheryl Holt is one of those authors I've sworn off, I've not read one of her books that hasn't bothered or annoyed me on some level. Too Tempting To Touch lives up to all of my Cheryl Holt expectations and that's not good. I can not believe I allowed myself to be swayed by a few people saying they loved this book.

  • Strike One--It's a historical that reads like a contemporary, so much so at times I found my mind wondering and questioning behavoirs and dialogue.
  • Strike Two--The heroine dislikes the hero until he touches her then she melts into a spineless jellyfish--that is until he tells her he loves her and she doesn't believe him, I guess that's a good way to extend the storyline.
  • Strike Three--A wishy washy, philandering rake of a hero with a conscience. When confronted about their relationship he too becomes a spineless jellyfish, begging the heroine to tell him what to do.
  • Strike Four--The secondary romance was more interesting than the main one.
  • Strike Five--The villains are so completely over the top, that they are laugh out loud funny, maybe it was supposed to be, but I don't think this was a comedy.
  • Strike Six--I don't care if they were faking it, or semi-faking it, the sex scenes between two sisters had a certain yuck factor going on.

With Six Strikes the book has struck out twice.

Shame on me for being too lazy to go out to the car and get Sweet Release. I wasted 2 hours of my life reading this drivel.

5:30 this morning...

"Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy guess what? The Tooth Fairy came!!"

No, kidding

Monday, March 27

Pulling Teeth and other thoughts...

Well, it's done tooth S has officially been pulled out of Junior's mouth. He was a little trooper, they wouldn't let me go in with him. I got to sit in the waiting room, near tears for 1/2 an hour. I'm thinking he came through the whole thing better than I did.

I knew exactly what it entailed (I had 8 baby teeth pulled when I was 13--they wouldn't fall out on their own) and I was still a worried mess.

He had orange sherbet for breakfast, he was thrilled. Lunch will be a vanilla shake.

He informed me that 1. Laughing gas doesn't make you laugh, and 2. The nurse lied--that numbing stuff doesn't tickle.

Now that we're done pulling teeth, on to other thoughts which consist of Pamela Clare's Sweet Release. I'm about 1/2 through this book, she has a nice writing style, but I'm not fully involved with the book. I'm sure it's because I've been preoccupied and has nothing to do with the book itself.

Dragged everyone to Wal*Mart and B&N yesterday in the hopes of finding Eloisa James' new one, which I know isn't technically out until tomorrow, but gee whiz, I thought someone would have the damned thing on their shelves.

We spent Saturday afternoon wandering around New Paltz, it's a funky little college town. While rummaging through an antique shop, I found a very cool vintage Lucite pocket book and a great pair of retro 1950's sunglasses that I want to go back for this week. It's funny we hit New Paltz and Woodstock every few months and New Paltz is much more interesting a town to visit, it's actually what I expect to find in Woodstock and don't. Woodstock doesn't have that bohemian feel that one might expect.

Got to go, we've got some errands to run.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Saturday, March 25

Nothing to say...

I've hit blog block.

I haven't read anything in a few days--I need to update my sidebar to include the three westerns I read this week.

We're having a family weekend, doing family things before life gets hectic during the Easter holiday and break.

I'll be back Monday afternoon, after Junior's tooth gets pulled.

Have a great weekend and happy reading.


Friday, March 24

Not looking forward to today...

Junior broke one of his 2 year molars. We think it happened when he fell at school, but it didn't start bothering him until last week.

Our dentist thinks it should be removed. We have to be at the oral surgeon at 8:00 this morning. I'm hoping he can pull the tooth today.

It's not really bothering him too much, but once in a while something tweekes it and he complains. The poor little guy has a high pain threshold, which isn't good, the couple of times he's had ear infections, they were raging before we realized it.

Thursday, March 23

Stats and Counters

Does anyone else check out their statistic information?

I think I added the counter in early December and originally it was just to see how many people come to visit. But a couple of weeks ago I actually looked at the info it keeps track of, and now I find myself visiting every few days, just for curiosity.

Usually mine is filled with the usual suspects, those I visit on a daily basis, a few regular lurkers, who are always welcome, since I have a tendency to lurk on a few sites too.

Must visitors are from the US, but some are from Canada, Australia, France (Hi Sam), Uruguay (Hi Rosario), Singapore, Sweden, New Zealand... I'm always surprised when I see visitors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or UAE, but I think it's probably service people.

But, sometimes I'm found through google searches, and sometimes what their asking for is down right odd and I'm left wondering how the heck this blog popped up.

One last week completely creeped me out--I'm starting to think sometimes it's just to much info.

Today's thoughts, have a good one and happy reading.


PS-- LOST was great last night!! Kristie has already blogged about it.

Wednesday, March 22

Westerns, Westerns and More Westerns...

Okay, it's only three westerns, what can I say, I wanted to get your attention. After hitting a wall a few days ago, I decided I needed a change and pulled 3 westerns from my TBR pile. Two Cheryl St. Johns and one Victoria Bylin.

I finished Cheryl St. John's The Tenderfoot Bride last night and it was wonderful. Started His Secondhand Wife and it's wonderful too, I can't believe I waited so long to read these books. Both have pregnant, lost soul heroines and I think Kate from HSW is probably the sweetest character I've ever come across.

West of Heaven by Victoria Bylin has a similar theme. I'm rather surprised that all three of the westerns on my TBR pile all had this same theme.

Got to go, I'd like to finish His Secondhand Wife some time today.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Tuesday, March 21

Nothing to read...

Can't decide, can't decide, can't decide...of the 200 books on my TBR pile nothing is interesting me. What I really want is the new Eloisa James, but it's not out yet. I hit Wal*Mart and B&N yesterday and it's not to be found. Technically it's not out until the 28th, but WM is usually good for not waiting for release dates.

So, instead of finding Eloisa James' The Taming of the Duke I found Stephanie Laurens' The Truth About Love A Cynster Novel, I haven't read a SL in 2 or 3 years. Why I bought this one I'm not sure. I started it last night and got about 35 pages in and realized I don't want to read this or any other Cynster book. Gerrard is "...Vane's protege. In becoming the man he now was, the influence of the Cynsters had been critical... Gerrard is an artist, who wants to paint some Lord's garden, only the Lord wants a portrait of his daughter too. He spends a good portion of these 35 pages, whining and complaining about not wanting to do this. Doesn't he know Cynsters don't whine, suck it up, and stop belly-aching. Of course all the belly-aching stops when he lays eyes on the beautiful creature...whatever.

I still think it's ridiculous that a grown man is called Vane, Scandal, Devil..., not only do I hate these names, I hate the name Cynster, it makes me think of Fenster and that makes me think of Bugs Bunny...

"How many times do I have to tell you not to play with the dirty money?"

spank, spank, spank, guns, knives, bombs, brass knuckles, grenades fall out of diaper.

Do kids today even know who Bugs Bunny is?

Over the weekend I finished Mary Reed McCall's Beyond Temptation, it was a good book, maybe a little melodramatic, but I'm not complaining, it was rather nice to read a medieval.

I also started and put down Katie MacAlister's Blow Me Down, and actually this time it wasn't the writing or an idiotic heroine, it was the storyline, I should have known it wasn't going to be for me. I'm so computer challenged, I have absolutely no interest in RPGs, RPHs, MMORPGs or VRs. The only games I play on the computer are Hearts and Freecell, so I'm having a hard time relating to all this virtual reality. But, I'm not giving up, I'm going to try and finish it.

Now, I'm going to suck it up and stop my belly-aching.

Have a good one, and happy reading.

Happy Anniversary to me... I just realized I've been blogging for 1 year. Thanks everyone for making this so much fun. Tara

Sunday, March 19

Shock Value

My mom called the other day all excited about a book she had read. Now, this in and of itself is rather surprising, because mom rarely remembers a book after she's finished it, but this one stuck with her.

Mom: Have you ever read Sue Margolis?
Me: No, but the name sound familiar.
Mom: I just finished Apocalipstick
Me: I've heard of that, it's a British Chick Lit, isn't it?
Mom: I knew it had a name, Chick Lit, I like that. I just love that British humor. Can you try finding me some more at that bookstore you go to?
Me: Sure.
Mom: I'll save you this one you're going to love it, the story sucked, but it's too funny.

Excuse me, the story sucked, but it's too funny? We were over at mom's on St. Patrick's Day for dinner, she handed over the book and wanted to know when I was going to the UBS. Soon, I promise.

So, I start reading it yesterday.

Hit the scene in the sex shop when the heroine buys a sex toy to shut up her best friend and then announces, said sex toy did it's job in 2 minutes. And, I'm thinking --OMG, mommy read this.

I keep reading, come to the "toe f***ing" scene in the restaurant, And, I'm thinking --OMG, my mom read this.

And then I hit the scene where the best friend's husband is screwing a blow up doll, and I'm thinking --Holy Crap, my mother read this.

I'm thinking this is the same woman who skips sex scenes in romances because "once you've read one, you've read them all", and, then it hit me, for most of my life my parents had a bawdy, for shock value, sense of humor.

My brother's nickname growing up was Nature Boy, he was conceived outside and they had no problem telling people this. Personally, I never found it all that shocking, hey, it was the 60's, man. I always found it much more disturbing that he was conceived the night they saw Rosemary's Baby.

For years that bawdy sense of humor was directed at 2 people. My sister and my husband. Not that my husband didn't appreciate that type of humor, to be honest, he could probably put them to shame, he was just shocked to see someone's parents behaving this way. He's never seen his parents kiss, he's 47. He picked me up one night and asked "Where are you're parents?" My response, "in the shower." ""Together?" Well, he was shocked, not that they were in the shower, but that I knew it.

As a teenager, my poor sister had absolutely no sense of humor, and my parents tormented her. Every dinner ended with some racy comment that sent her scurrying back to her room. This continued long after she was married and my sister, would roll her eyes and purse her lips, but she never said anything.

About 10 years ago, the folks were teasing her at a family dinner when she turned the tables on them. My mom said something that has been lost to time, but my sister put down her fork and went into an imitation of my mother in what can only be described as "the throes of passion" (think Meg Ryan) that must have been pretty accurate as my mother spent the next 5 minutes hyperventilating over the kitchen sink. It seems the walls in our house were much thinner than they thought and my poor sister had the bedroom next to them.

No more bawdy, risque comments were ever uttered at a family dinner.

I guess, mom hasn't lost that shock value sense of humor. I'll try to find her some more this week.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Saturday, March 18

Three Little Secrets by Liz Carlyle

Liz Carlyle's Three Little Secrets is a good book. If someone else had written it, it may be considered very good or great, but given her wealth of wonderful books, this one ends up only being good.

Merrick and Maddie eloped very young, she is just 17, he 22. Her father rips them apart leaving her to believe, Merrick has abandoned her for the bribe her father has offered him, their marriage annulled. She finds herself pregnant and marries a cousin. Merrick believes Maddie has second thoughts after the fact and willingly goes with her father. He is beaten and near death and when he can finally search her out, he is told she's married someone else and gone abroard. Only the marriage was never truly annulled. Fast forward 12 1/2 years. Maddie's a "widow" with a child and Merrick is a rich businessman builder/architect.

So, that makes this book a Big Misunderstanding, Secret Baby, Long Seperation story. Somehow Ms. Carlyle pulls all these romance novel cliches together into a pretty good story.

The characters are well developed. Maddie is still rather naive, but Merrick has turned into "Christmas Past Ebinezer Scrooge." Holy Cow, he maybe honest, but he's ruthless.

The review on AAR is a good one, I lifted this from the end of it:

So, ultimately, even though Three Little Secrets isn’t one of the author’s best, it is, nevertheless, a solid novel that merits a strong recommendation. If it’s no more than a good wrap-up to a slightly above average series, that fact alone makes it a clear stand out in today’s all too crowded marketplace of Wallpaper historicals. Sandy at AAR.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Friday, March 17

Happy St. Patricks Day aka an Irish Tale

It's probably pretty safe to assume with a name like "Tara" somewhere in my heritage you'd find an Irishman, actually it turns out to be both my grandmothers were Irish. Now, if you ask my mom she'd tell you she read Gone With The Wind 6 times while she was pregnant with me, that's when she decided on the name. My grandmother swore she loved the name and nagged my mom into it.

My maternal grandmother spent more than 60 years living here in the states and never lost her brogue. She was still alive when I married and until she passed away in 1987 I had to translate what she was saying for my husband. Personally, I never heard an accent, but apparently it was at times pretty thick.

The funny thing is my grandmother wasn't born in Ireland. She was born in Nebraska. Her father came from Ardara, County Donegal to Nebraska to homestead in 1907 or 8 and sent for my great-grandmother and uncles the following year. My grandmother was born there. But, my great-grandmother was tremendously home sick for Ardara and back they went before 1915. I never quite understood why they came here in the first place, they had a successful sheep farm, wove their own Donegal tweed and had their own market. Apparently great-grandpa was an adventurous soul.

My grandmother was an amazing woman, liberated and worked by choice not because of necessity, most of my mother's life. She never had "corned beef and cabbage" in her life, and was highly insulted when asked if she was "shanty or lace curtain Irish?" She gave her wedding dress away to a woman marrying a GI heading overseas during World War II.

So, I wonder how many people can claim their family emigrated from Nebraska to Ireland? My strange tale gets a little stranger. My mother's father was French Canadian, born in New Hampshire and raised on a ranch in Edminton, Alberta, Canada, never lived a day of his life in French speaking Canada and my great-grandfather never considered himself "Canadian", he was "French".

Both my grandparents came back to America around 1929 and they met while working in a hospital in NYC. Grandma was an elevator operator and Grandpa was an orderly.

My dad's mother was born in Brooklyn and lived there her entire life, her family came here before the Civil War. My dad's father was Italian, my dad's great-grandfather also came here before the Civil War, he was asked to leave Italy, but that's another tale. Little Grandma (she was 4' 10") was 2nd or 3rd generation Irish-American , Big Grandpa (6' 2") was 2nd generation Italian-American. Grandma was disinherited for not only not marrying an Irishman, but also for marrying someone non-white!??!

So, there you have my families Irish tales.

Is everyone wearing their "green" today?

Have a good one and happy reading.

Thursday, March 16

A pleasant surprise...

I've decided sometimes it's better to go into a book with absolutely no preconceptions. When I picked up Jaid Black's One Dark Night, I had heard no buzz, considering it's a 2004 release, that's not really surprising. I've never read any of her books, but knowing she's the publisher behind Ellora's Cave, I assumed it would be "hot"--it was.

I was pleasantly surprised by this romantic suspense, it was a quick read, read it while waiting for Junior to get out of school yesterday. I'm sure some of the other mothers think I'm rather strange. When I don't have errands to run, I sit out in the school parking lot and read for the 2 1/2 hours he's in school.

Getting back to the book--it was a good little RS, nice balance of suspense and relationship. By reading the blurb, I knew it would be a domination/submission book--not necessarily my thing, but I was curious. She did a good job explaining why a career woman, in a stressful job would be interested in being completely dominated by a man. Though not for me, it was entertaining. I have to admit, when the hero calls himself "Daddy" I cringed, but maybe this is typical of this type of relationship.

I wouldn't want a steady diet of this type of book, and it's not a keeper, but it was a pretty good book.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Tuesday, March 14

UBS stop...

Busy morning. Took Junior to the park to ride his bike, then went food shopping. Food shopping on Tuesday is rather interesting. Our local supermarket offers a senior discount on Tuesday. So the store is absolutely crawling, literally and figuratively with old folks, which is fine, but there is no running in for a few things. They, the market, had turkey breast on sale for .99 a lb., we're having that for dinner tonight.

I've completely digressed, on the way home we stopped at the UBS. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but wanted something fresh for the TBR pile--like there's not enough there with the 200+/- in my nightstand.

I found:

  • One Dark Night by Jaid Black--I've never read her and thought I'd give this one a try.
  • Beyond Temptation by Mary Reed McCall--Amanda recommended this one this week.
  • Blow Me Down by Katie MacAlister, now those of you who know me, know I positively can't stand KM's writing style and voice, but Ag recommends this one and I thought I'd give her one more try. I don't know what I'm thinking, but if I say I've bought a Lori Foster, somebody slap me.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Monday, March 13

Fabulous Fours...blah, blah, blah--aka my boring life

Tagged by Kristie...

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Lifeguard at our community pool
2. Bookkeeper for Born-again Christian Ministery
3. Self-employed gift shop owner
4. Mom

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. Twelve Angry Men
2. Rear Window
3. The Odd Couple
4. The Mummy

Four places you have lived:
1. Brooklyn
2. Blooming Grove
3. Montgomery

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Lost
2. Survivor
3. HGTV or the Food Network as background noise during the day.

I watch very little television, I'd rather be reading.

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Cape Cod
2. Lake George
3. Lancaster/Gettysburg
4. Williamsburg & Virginia Beach

You will notice all of these places are less than a days drive from home, my husband HATES to fly.

Four websites you visit daily:
1. All the blogs listed on my sidebar
2. on-line Newspapers
3. email accounts

Four of your favorite foods:
1. Seafood (shrimp, lobster...
2. Chocolate
3. Chocolate
4. Chocolate

Four places you would rather be right now:
1. Ireland
2. Italy
3. a tropical island
4. Australia

Four friends you are tagging that you think will respond:
1. Amanda
2. Sam
3. Sybil
4. Jay

The Never Ending Series...

I love when someone else does the thinking and saves me from having to come up with my own ideas...Bev's thoughts were so well written I didn't need to redo them (lifted from McVane):

Logically, there are basically three ways to connect books:

1) story arcs - these can but not always involve the same characters, HAVE to be sequential and are mainstays of science fiction & fantasy

2) episodic series - these almost always use the same primary character or character, don't have to be sequential and are the mainstay of mystery and suspense

3) universe spin-offs - these involve creating or using an existing "world" wherein multiple stories can happen that aren't necessarily sequential but can be in certain circumstances

Didn't she just nail this?? I do think that you can have hybrids, mixes of story arcs and episodic series, story arcs and universe spin-offs.

Story arcs, I think these are series that are hard to sustain, because the arc ends up being weak--Bev mentions this in her comments on McVane. The ultimate goal of the series gets watered down by the ultimate goal of each book, which is a HEA ending. Feehan, Kenyon and Brockmann come to mind when I think of these.

I read somewhere that JR Ward is planning 10 books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I'm never going to make it. I've enjoyed the first 2 books, but I'm not sure she's going to be able to keep my attention over such a long story arc, I decided this one is a story arc, since the main story line that will continue through each is the protection of vampires and putting an end to the Lessening Society and the lessers, all those letter characters--Mr. X, Mr. O... I'm hoping my attention span is good enough to keep up.

Episodic series will eventually wear thin for me. I've given up on:

1. Jamie and Claire
2. Eve and Rourke
3. Stephanie and Joe/Ranger/Joe/Ranger...
4. Poor Elizabeth and Hawkeye languished so long on my TBR pile I gave them to my sister now they're languishing on her TBR pile

I've come to realize the only one of these that work long term for me is the universe spin-offs. These can go on forever, just keep introducing new cousins, friends, long lost brothers and sisters, but if done right, they are individual and can stand alone, but after a while even these wear thin--Bridgertons and Cynsters.

CW commented: It's also annoying to read a book with sequel-bait at the expense of current-book development. :D This is normally the kiss of death for me. Can anyone say Brockmann?? And, yet Eloisa James sequel-baits (love that word) and it works for me, I think because she doesn't do it at the expense of the main storyline.

I hate when a series starts with a bang and then the second stinks, what do I do then? I'm left scratching my head wondering whether or not to continue with the series or just give up.

Say what you want about Nora Roberts, her full size books either stand alone or are part of a trilogy, with a beginning, a middle and an end, you know exactly where you're going.

My deep thought for this week, well, actually it was Bev's but you know what I mean. *grin*

Have a good one and happy reading.


Saturday, March 11

B&N Trip

Barnes & Noble Find Of The Day

The next time I say I'm done with an author and then pick up one of their books, someone please reach through the computer and smack me in the head.

Honestly, I could just smack myself, reading Hot Target turned out to be pure torment--too long, too many characters, too many sub-plots, maybe I was too sick to appreciate it. Yesterday someone blogged about too many series and I realized this was one series I let go of a while ago and should have left alone.

Spoiler...Not that it really matters, I'm pretty sure everyone who was going to read this one has already done so. The best part of this book was the sub-plot featuring Jules and darn it, he deserved his own HEA, and didn't get it. Maybe she's planning a book just for Jules.

I hate unresolved sub-plots, and Suzanne Brockmann is now famous for them. She strung us along way to long with Sam/Alyssa and Max/Gina. It keeps some people coming back for more, for me it's become a big turn off.

Suzanne Brockmann is an excellent author, I loved her SIM series, but these books just don't work for me anymore, I wish they did.

Thursday, March 9

I have my son's stomach virus, kids are so much more resilient, he was a much better patient than I, what can I say I'm Wendy whiner. I don't really feel up to writing full reviews, so I'm only going to comment on the books I've read this month, but hadn't reviewed.

I finished Loretta Chase's Lord Perfect last night. It was a fun, light read. It falls somewhere between Miss Wonderful, which was pretty good, and Mr. Impossible, which was great. I'm assuming Darius will be the next book, but I'm half hoping to see a book for the parents, Lord and Lady Hargate.

My son saw LP on my nightstand wanted to know:

  1. What's wrong with that guy? He looks funny.
  2. Why was Cosmo Kramer on the cover of Mommy's book?

I'm going to start banning Seinfeld from our TV.

Lover Eternal was very good. There were a few things that bugged me..."My Brother" and all those letter characters leave my head spinning, but nothing was so irritating that I let it infringe on my enjoying the book. I hate to admit, most of the rap music references go completely over my head, though I did get the "Dream Weaver" reference--LOL.

I picked up Civil Affairs the last time I was in the UBS. I have no idea why it called to me from the Erotic Romance shelf. I'm relieved I bought it used and it only cost me a couple of dollars. The characters were young, 20 somethings, and to be completely honest their behavior was more like my 19 year old niece's and her boyfriend's. And, for an EC, the sex wasn't all that impressive. Winter Garden was a much more erotic book.

I'm one of those people who read everything in a book, the dedication, acknowledgments, the coming attractions, the ads, the bios, you get what I mean. I started reading Suzanne Brockman's Hot Target this morning and her dedication to her son made me cry. I'd actually given up on Brockman and this series, but this one came so highly recommended I thought I'd give it a try.

Have a good one and happy reading,


Wednesday, March 8

Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth

Once again I'm blogging about something I hadn't planned on. I still haven't written anything about Lover Eternal, which was very good. And, I also planned to writing about the AAR results, which I probably have no real right to comment on, since I never voted.

A different topic sidetracked me. One of the best books I've read in a long time.

Back in 2000-2002 I went through a tremendous reading drought. I had no interest in reading at all. My whole point in life was to get pregnant and once this happened I was completely enthralled by my pregnancy, nesting, impending motherhood. Once he arrived I happily took on the roll of mother, not really caring about what I was missing from the romance reading world.

I'm only now realizing just how many wonderful books I missed during this time. Adele Ashworth's Winter Garden is one of those books.

While cruising the UBS at a dizzying pace on Saturday, I found a buried treasure. After the roller coaster ride of Lover Eternal this book was calm and peaceful, a perfect foil to LE.

This was one of the most sensual books I have ever read. There is a calmness to writing and storytelling that completely belies the sexual tension and chemistry of this book. It's an incredibly erotic story, even though it wouldn't be considered romantica or erotica.

Since it's a historical it qualifies for this months TBR Challenge...

Title: Winter Garden

Adele Ashworth

Year published: 2000

Why did you get this book? I saw Rosario comment about it somewhere and I'm also a fan of Adele Ashworth

Do you like the cover? It's okay

Did you enjoy the book? Immensely

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? Not at all, she is an autobuy for me

Are you keeping it or passing it on? This book is finding a permanent home on my keeper shelf.

Anything else? Adele Ashworth writes wonderful adult books. The hero is 39, the heroine 29. Both are spys for the British Government. He is crippled from an accident during the Opium Wars and she is the daughter of a French actress and a British sea captain. Their physical and emotional attraction to one another is palpable on every page. I am completely in awe of Ms. Ashworth's writing, this book was just amazing.

Tuesday, March 7

Life interrupts...

Sometimes, life interrupts a good book. I've been reading Lover Eternal for 2 days now. Which shocks me since it normally would only take one to finish, but for some reason fate keeps throwing up little obstacles.

Yesterday morning was filled with errands and much needed housework--dishes, laundry, making beds. By the time I sat down to read in the afternoon, my husband came home early from a job site and decided to work from home for a couple of hours. Junior needed a shower, dinner needed cooking.

Junior's finally in bed, I've got 2-3 hours of prime reading time--my MIL calls and I'm on the phone for 2 1/2 hours. Go to sleep, wake up early to read, read for about 1/2 an hour and Junior's up and wants breakfast, the nerve of the child being hungry.

It's 8:45 in the morning, the hubby is gone to work, Junior's playing in his room and I'm not getting out of this chair until the book is finished.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Monday, March 6

Reviews again...

I thought I had put this topic to bed last week, but I saw a great quote over on HelenKay's blog and it got me thinking about reviews again...

The article calls Levin “the granddaddy of literary hacks”

So, is this a personal attack or just someone's opinion??

It's official...

Junior's registered for kindergarten at our Parish's parochial school.

He can't wait to start going to "Cat-lick" school.

Mish mash mush...

I actually had a few minutes to myself Saturday and I hit the UBS, picked up a few books in record time. It's amazing how fast things can get done without a child in tow.

So, here's what I found:
  • The New RT
  • 3 Rachel Gibson's--It Must Be Love,Lola Carlyle Reveals All and True Confessions.
  • Lavyrle Spencer's Years--an old favorite and mine is falling apart from a few too many rereads.
  • Adele Ashworth's Winter Garden
  • Madeline Hunter's The Romantic which I loaned to my sister and she hasn't returned.
  • Ashley Ladd's Civil Affairs--which was a waste of time and money. Maybe I'll post something about it when I'm little less annoyed.

Sunday we took a ride to B&N figuring some of the March releases would be on the shelf--of course they weren't, so I made my husband go to Wal*Mart on a Sunday morning. The lines had to be 20 people deep, but I didn't care I found:

  • Lover Eternal--finally
  • Lord Perfect
  • A Gentleman by Any Other Name--Kasey Michaels

I was a very happy camper, please note I didn't even bother with authors for LE and LP as they're a given, right?

I made myself finish Civil Affairs before starting Lover Eternal, why I don't know, it was pure torture.

I'm giving up on Romantic Times on-line--not really. I've tried registering and never received an activation code and when I tried to register again, I'm told the user name and email address are already taken by a different user--that's right me, but I still can't get in--no activation code. The whole damn thing's given me a headache.

Today, I register Junior for Kindergarten, I can't belive it, where has this time gone??

Have a good one and happy reading.


Sunday, March 5

Awaiting The Moon by Donna Lea Simpson

I'm going to save myself lots of time by linking to 2 good reviews:

1. Paperback Reader

2. AAR

This book has a lot going for it. It's set in 1795 Germany. It's a gothic, incredibly gothic in style. The author does a tremendous job bringing you into a dark and fearful place. The book is filled with odd and eccentric characters that add to the gothic feel.

As good as the book is it does have huge drawbacks.
  1. The heroine reminds me of the girls that always ends up dead in slasher films, too curious for her own good, but that's the driving force of this book. She's nosey and the odd and eccentric characters try to keep her perpetually in the dark.
  2. At times the dialogue is a little purple prosey: be fair, he did not have to ask me a second time to meet him in the attic, where a deserted divan became our haven. My life was so miserable, and in his arms I found happiness, however brief it was. I was ready and willing, and ... and I capitulated utterly, giving my maidenhood as a sacrific at the alter of my love. page 191 for those who doubt.
  3. SPOILER: this book is a werewolf story. The hero turns into one very close to the end of the book, the situation is explained and yet I would have prefered to see it end in a more gothic style instead of a paranormal, just finding the evil doer and moving on to the HEA.

So there you have it, good, but not great.

Have a good one, and happy reading.


Can anyone explain...

How a child who chews yogurt and ice cream, swallows rice whole?

Yes, the rice came back up last night--whole. He seems fine now, but it's back to dry Cheerios and Gatorade.

Friday, March 3

Try, Try Again...

Okay, I've got a little more time and a functioning brain, so I'm going to attempt turn my thoughts about Madeline Hunter's Lady of Sin into a coherent and understandable review...

I think I'm finally getting into Madeline Hunter's "new" series, it's only 7 books in. I loved her medieval books, so untypical with interesting characters, not necessarily Lords and Ladies, but merchants and plain "knights". She used her knowledge of history and turned it into additional characters and that's what is missing from her Regency/Victorian books. I've finally realized these books are fine without all the detail. We have no idea exactly when this book is set, it's not a Regency and it's not a Victorian and you know what it doesn't really matter. What matters is the relationship between the characters and how it grows and changes throughout the book.

This is a grown up, adult book. Not a book about a fresh faced deb and a rakehell in need of reform. It's about adults with adult thoughts and problems who actually think beyond what the day's entertainment will be and yet it never falls into the TSTL category that so many social crusader books fall prey to.

If you've read any of this series, the characters will already be familiar to you. Charlotte is a widow crusading for women's rights and Nathaniel is what we would call a defense attorney. These characters have a back history of not liking one another, but before the book opens they've already had intimate moments at a "masked" event, see Lord of Sin. Charlotte knows with whom she's had this liason and she is hoping he doesn't make the connections.

There are two sub-plots that bring them into one anothers circles. Charlotte is working toward having the divorce laws changed to protect and give women more rights within marriage and Nathaniel is untangling a mystery surrounding a young man found in the protection of a thief Nathaniel has been asked to prosecute instead of defend. They end up working together, and in the process they start one hot affair and fall in love.

What I loved about this book is they're adults, they treat each other like adults and their family and friends treat them like adults. When Charlotte's brothers realize that Charl and Nathaniel are lovers there is no big brother scenes and in fact each of those scenes are rather humorous.

I searched out reviews after reading this book, oddly, I actually agree with RT and disagreed with the AAR review. What didn't work for AAR is exactly why it worked for me:

...On the positive side, this means there are no TSTL moments, awkward prose, or Big Mis. On the less than positive side, it also means that there was simply nothing here to really engage me.

Two adults acting like adults, engaged in an adult relationship--how clever.

Gosh, that was work, when I actually write a real review, I'm reminded why I don't write them for everything I read.

Have a good one and happy reading,


Thursday, March 2

Lady of Sin...

Well, I finished Angies's TBR Challenge before it really started. This months challenge is to read a historical, since most of what I read falls under the category of historical this one wasn't much of a challenge, but here goes:

Title: Lady of Sin

Madeline Hunter

Year published: 2006

Why did you get this book? Actually I'm not really sure why I got it, I love MH's medievals, but haven't been that thrilled with this series.

Do you like the cover? It's not bad, but maybe a little too much pink on the bed, but overall not bad.

Did you enjoy the book? Surprisingly, yes

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? No not new to me and yes, I'll read more.

Are you keeping it or passing it on? I'm going to keep it for now.

Anything else? This book really worked for me, which I find somewhat surprising considering I haven't loved this series, though I did like The Romantic and may do a reread. I have absolutely no memory of Lord of Sin and will probably have to search out a copy to see if it jogs any memories. I know it's all rather vague but I need to make sure Junior is sipping his coke, so I'm running back and forth from the home office to his room. I probably should have waited to post this until he was feeling better, but I needed a little break.

If I get ambitious I'll post something more coherent tomorrow.

Have a good one and happy reading.


Rough Night

Junior is sick--in the grand scheme of life it's not earth shattering, but it was a tough night. He was throwing up all night, at this point the only thing he has keeped down is very small sips of watered down Gatorade.

I did get to see most of LOST before he bellowed for me at about 9:55.

He's sleeping now, I think I'll try to get some cleaning done and maybe find a little reading time.

Have a good one.