Friday, June 29

Vacation Reads...

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I'm not sure what it is, but when I'm on vacation inevitably I enjoy whatever it is I'm reading. Actually I finished the Quinn and Barton after we got back, but my brain is still in vacation mode. I probably wont write full reviews for each, but here are a few thoughts...

  • Never Lie to a Lady by Liz Carlyle -- There are a handful of authors that always work for me, Liz Carlyle is one. I am a huge fan of Liz Carlyle's writing style and voice. Once again she delivers a winner, with smart and interesting lead characters and visits from some old favorites. And honestly, is Kemble not one of the best secondary characters in romances today?
  • Son of the Morning by Linda Howard -- I reread this one after my husband finished it. He's promised to come up with a review. I think he liked it--he gave his brother a detailed synopsis and made it sound very interesting, so much so it was screaming for a reread. His last comment to me "The ending was predictable." I pointed out it's a romance it's supposed to be predictable.
  • The Secret Diaries of Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn -- I didn't know what to expect when I read this one. I didn't particularly like the last two books in the Bridgerton series. I'm starting to think I was in Bridgerton burn-out, because even though I didn't like the stories themselves, I still thoroughly enjoy her voice and style. This one worked for me.
  • Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton -- This was my first Beverly Barton. I haven't decided whether or not it will be my last. Which may seem odd as I liked the book, but didn't particularly like the hero--a little too alpha for me. Which in and of itself is rather for me as I've not yet met an alpha I didn't like on some level. For those who didn't like Dante in Raintree Inferno you probably wont like Judah either. I'll leave it at that as I'm probably going to write a review/commentary on the entire series.

That's it for now, hoping the hubby will have something to post in the next day or so.

Have a good one and happy reading.

Thursday, June 28

We're Back: The Good and The Bad

The Good--we had a fabulous time on vacation. Very relaxing, the weather was perfect, the beach was beautiful. We arrived at the Aquarium early enough to avoid the crowds. And, the breeze off the Connecticut River at the Seaport was amazing.

The Beach:

Mystic Seaport:

Mystic Aquarium:

The DH's brother and SIL moved to Rhode Island in November of last year. This was our first visit. And it was wonderful, they live 5 minutes from the beach, in a beautiful and fairly rural area. Their home is incredible, like visiting a B&B. We're hoping to go back before the end of the summer at least for a weekend.

The Bad--My sister's MIL passed away on Monday. The funeral is today. She'd been chronically ill for quite a while. We also found out my dad has a blockage in his carotid artery. Tests today and if it requires a procedure it will be done by the doctor that saved his life when the aneurysm ruptured in his abdomen.

More later...

PS--The DH finished Son of the Morning more to follow :)

Friday, June 22

Getting ready *edited*

I'm supposed to be packing. Instead I find myself Googling "Paul Potts". He's all over and yet I can't help but want to post his audition for Britain's Got Talent. I cry every time I play it.

A few other things before we leave,

  1. The DH doesn't seem to be in love with Son of the Morning. I wont repeat the comments I've heard so far--none of them good.
  2. Book CoverThe DH surprised me by coming home yesterday with To Kill A Mockingbird and announced he'd never read it.
  3. The Child is bringing the stuffed animals from his bed. We're not really into them and never bought him that much. As a baby/toddler he didn't show a particular attachment for them. But it seems he likes the ones that sit on his bed... Snoopy, Teddy, Anthony Bear, Sean, Mr. Nobody, Big Froggy and Little Froggy have all found their way into the toy tub.
  4. The child wants to go whale watching while we're in Rhode Island. I talked to the SIL and there aren't any close by this weekend. But we will be going to Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium. We haven't been there since before The Child was born.
  5. I'd like to go to Newport, but have a feeling the DH and the Child wont be as interested as I would be. I'd also love to take the ferry across to Long Island and head out to Montauk, which may sound a little strange considering we live in NY and will travel hours to reach the Adirondacks or Lake George, but it would take us 5+ hours to drive to Montauk and there's no way the hubby is sitting in Long Island traffic to get there.
  6. I have no idea what books are coming with me. I'm going through a real dry patch nothing interesting me. I did get a call from the local bookstore yesterday some of the books I want are in. Maybe I'll pick them up, since the 200+/- on the TBR pile hold absolutely no interest for me.

We're leaving early tomorrow morning and should be back sometime during the week, but I do think I may be able to get on-line, so there might be some pictures and thoughts as we go.

***ETA*** The Best Friend's Mom called and invited Junior for the day, they're just back from vacation. The child has already been delivered w/bike. And I get to pack in peace :)

Have a great week and I'll catch up with everyone soon.

Wednesday, June 20

Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy by HelenKay Dimon

If you're a fan of exceptionally good, sparkling dialogue then Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy by HelenKay Dimon is a must read.

From the Publisher:

Her mouth should be a dangerous weapon. So should his—but for different reasons. Thrown together by chance—and a pair of handcuffs—they're about to make Hawaii even steamier.


Annie Parks came to Hawaii to gather information and settle a score, not spend time handcuffed to a sexy stranger's bed. Okay, so this particular stranger saved her from drowning after she was pitched overboard by some goons. And he's about six feet of hard, Hawaiian muscle and gorgeous cool that's making forgotten parts of her say, "A—lo—ha!" She needs to stay focused, but a side dish of Kane Travers is awfully tempting.

Kauai Police Chief Kane Travers is not a vacation kind of guy. So it figures that when Internal Affairs suspended him, he'd end up rescuing a sarcastic, dishonest, extremely hot redhead who is clearly hiding something. Amnesia? Yeah, right. Kane's got half a mind to give Miss Whoever She Is something she'll never forget. His cop senses tell him that the lady's in deep and needs his protection. But how can he get her to tell him anything when all he wants is to take her home and do everything?

HelenKay's Viva Las Bad Boys convinced me that not only could she write, but she writes fantastic dialogue. Knowing this I had high expectations for YMDMC. And then I saw "Amnesia" in the blurb and went "Oh! No!" anyone that knows my reading habits knows how much I hate amnesia story lines. But it's evident Kane doesn't buy Annie's story and the fun begins. The attraction and tension between them immediate.

Annie's on a mission--revenge. And she's not talking. Well, that's not really true, she's running her amazingly clever smart mouth, but not explaining how she ended up naked on his beach. But Kane's right there with her with a come back for every one of her smart mouth comments. It's a perfect balance of dialogue--clever, sarcastic with lots of sexual innuendos.

The suspense part of the plot is good, with just enough twists and turns, but I had small issues with how the story unfolds. Annie can come clean as to what she's doing sooner, but this doesn't really take away from the suspense part of the story, and it allows the banter to continue.

Without the dialogue this would have been a good romantic suspense. But the dialogue kicks this up to Very Good and quite possibly a "Keeper".
I take my turn at Romancing the Blog today.

Tuesday, June 19

Busy Week and Vacation...

Once again we're having a very busy week. So of course a couple of monkey wrenches get thrown in. Junior has a little bit of a cold, yesterday he was very tired and a little feverish, nothing horrible, but that left us home for the day. Today we had a funeral (a well loved Parish Priest--standing room only in our little church) in the morning and I got called in to work bingo this afternoon, got paid for this one, can't complain. Tomorrow the errands I didn't get done on Monday. Thursday an early morning meeting at school.

And Saturday we leave for VACATION in Rhode Island.

Saturday, June 16

The hubby is finally reading Son of the Morning. He announced that if it's a "Time Travel" he's not reading it. Not a good sign--LOL.

I told him he had to finish it the Ladies were expecting a review from a man's POV. He didn't say no. So maybe sometime in the next week or so he'll post his thoughts.

Friday, June 15

The Graduate

The Adorable 5 Year Old graduated Kindergarten yesterday. Big happenings at our little school. They sang some songs, told the story of Noah and the Ark, sang some more songs, and each received their diploma.

Junior was Noah, now if I'd gotten one decent picture of him as Noah, I'd have posted that. But unfortunately my digital camera isn't good enough to take pictures with a black background. I have to say he was really cute. I was amazed at how great a job the kids did--can't imagine how much work the Kindergarten teachers and the Music teacher had to put into creating the show. Every child knew their lines and got up in front of parents, teachers and the entire student body, picked up their props, walked up to the mike and spoke loud and clear--great job.

Monsignor told the history of Junior's behavior at Mass over the years. The quiet and/or crying baby at 7:30am Mass, the loud toddler, the twitchy little boy and now the well behaved "Noah"--I got all teary eyed.

We had the Grandparents and God Mother (my sister) back to the house for cake and coffee. Watched the Yankees, and went out for an early Chinese food dinner.

And, then we had our Last T-Ball Game of the year. Thank God :) followed by a trophy ceremony (the coach paid for these out of his pocket--nice man). Each kid got bubble gum and ice pops.

Does life get any better for a 5 year old?

Wednesday, June 13

No idea

I've got an RTB post due next week, and have no idea what to write. The only topic I can think of may cause a riot, and to be honest I'm not completely ready to be ostracized.

Any ideas?

One More Try

Book Cover

After coming across numerous posts from readers I trust, I decided to give Lora Leigh one more try. I ordered Forbidden Pleasure. If it's a wallbanger I'm sure you'll hear the bang.

Tuesday, June 12

Waiting for a call...

This week the Kindergarten students at my son's Catholic school have dress down days. T'shirts and shorts.

Dropped mine off and noticed his Cars T'shirt has in large letters across the top "Snot Rod".

Hoping no one else notices.

Monday, June 11

Anxiety... a busy weekend and an even busier week...

Saturday morning I woke up particularly early 5:15, noticed the child's bedroom door was open and at first thought the hubby had left it open. But realized Junior wasn't in his room, and he wasn't in our room or the bathroom. I fly down the stairs he's not in the living room, dining room or kitchen. Anxiety and panic were setting in--I found him out on the back porch, quite comfortable on the wicker sofa.

Last week I spent an entire day resurrecting our back porch, it's enclosed with 3 walls of windows. For the last years it's been the collection spot for all things that didn't have a "home" somewhere in the house. Mostly outdoor decorations for various holidays and school stuff, I can't believe how much paperwork 1 kindergartner can generate :) I also rearranged the furniture giving us a TV area and an eating area, which is great for entertaining as it adds much needed space to our little house.

Apparently Junior thinks this is one cool room, and he wants to move in permanently.

Saturday was T-Ball and Sunday was Mass, shopping and a barbeque.

Monday's school obligations. Tuesday's Bingo. Thursday's Kindergarten Graduation, his last T-Ball game (thank God) and an end of season pizza party. Saturday is the Little League Barbeque and we're going out to dinner with my dad. And of course, Sunday is Father's Day--Brunch at the BILs.

Honestly, I don't know how working mom's do it all.

ETA: Hooray for me, I managed to make it through my entire blogroll and even posted comments. Now I really have to go--errands, you know.

Saturday, June 9

Romantic Advances Calling All Authors Contest

Romantic Advances is

Calling All Authors

for an interesting advertising contest.

I'm not sure how many authors actually visit Romance Reading Mom (Hi Meljean and Megan) but if there are any lurking, pop on over and take a look.

Friday, June 8

Catch up

So I'm still busy copy and pasting over on Romantic Advances and still neglecting my poor blog. But the site is really coming together nicely. Make sure you check out the "Wish List" feature--love that. Still lurking at all my favorite blogs. I should be more of a social blogger next week.

I've finished two of Deidre Martin's Hockey books, neither were keepers, to be honest, I'm really not that impressed by them. Which is probably rather rude considering I'm not planning on doing reviews for them--oh, well.

I should be writing a review of Desperate Duchesses, but instead I'm watching Eddie and the Cruiserson VH1 Classics.

Am I showing my age by admitting I love that movie and the music?

Have a great weekend, we've got a busy one planned, t-ball, barbecues, fun family stuff.

Wednesday, June 6

Demon Moon by Meljean Brook *originally posted May 14, 2007*

I've been putting off reviewing this one, not because I didn't like it, but rather because...

  • I'm afraid I wont be able to do it justice--it's that good.
  • I was waiting until closer to the release date (June 5th)
  • It's almost impossible to write without spoilers
The back blurb:

No one would call vampire Colin Ames-Beaumont kind, but they would call him unnaturally beautiful. For two centuries his tainted blood has kept him isolated from other vampires, sustained only by his beauty and vanity—bitter comforts, since a curse has erased his mirror reflection, replacing it with a terrifying glimpse of Chaos.

Savi Murray's insatiable curiosity had gotten her into trouble before, but she'd always escaped unscathed. Then came Colin. In the midst of Heaven, he gave her a taste of ecstasy—and of Chaos. Deadly creatures from that realm herald the return of an imprisoned nosferatu horde, and Colin and Savi’s bond is their only protection—and their only passion…
Meljean has created a book with two characters that could have been unlikeable, but she creates smart, sympathetic and loving characters instead. After finishing Demon Angel I knew I'd be interested in Colin's story even though he was vain and self-absorbed, but I was less enthralled with Savi, her "insatiable curiosity" isn't the most endearing quality. But I should have realized that if Meljean could make Lilith sympathetic then Savi would be an angel.

One of the things Meljean does well is create levels of fear and horror that I normally find lacking in paranormal romance. The opening scene hits this mark and in the process completely hooks me for the rest of the book. It's hit again with the scenes involving Chaos and in the process we feel Colin anxiety and fear being thrown into that environment.

And while she's created this at times frightening world, the romance never suffers. There is a sexual tension that is palpable. She moves us through their attraction--desire and ultimately love.

Their backstories are told beautifully. We realize how much Colin misses his sister and Anthony. With glimpses into Savi's past we come to understand why her relationship with her grandmother is so important. And why she's willing to pass on love to find someone that would please her grandmother. There's a resigned sadness in Colin when he's willing to stand back and just be friends.

I found myself on the verge of tears as they try to figure out a way to be together.

I've already read it twice, reread the ending several times.

This one's good, it's better than good, it's a keeper.

Tuesday, June 5



Because Mejean's too clever for words and Colin ROCKS!!

Dear People Magazine,

Every November, you come out with your “Sexiest Man Alive” issue; every spring, you print your list of the “World’s Most Beautiful People.”

But in 2007 — and for the last two hundred years — the sexiest man and the most beautiful person has been … a vampire.

George? Pffft. Brad? Come on! Jude? …no.

Why isn’t it that Colin Ames-Beaumont hasn’t graced your cover? Is it simply because his picture cannot be taken? (He’s so beautiful a blank cover with just his name on it would make your readers drool.) Because he usually only comes out at night? (How is that different than Johnny Depp?) Because you think he hasn’t bared his assets for a Hollywood camera?

Are you afraid of his tainted blood? You shouldn’t be: one look will not send you to the Chaos realm, surrounded by flying dragons and the screams of the damned. Only Colin sees that realm when he looks into a mirror — it will not trouble you. Is it the woman he’s falling in love with? Geeks need love, too, People Magazine — a fact you have long overlooked (but that is another campaign to be won.)

Is it the fear that if you met him in a dark alley, the words “Oh my God you’re so beautiful!” would hardly be past your lips before he had you up against the wall for some hot sexing that you wouldn’t remember the next day?

No; none of those things are true impediments to being called “the sexiest” or “the most beautiful”. I think the problem is that you’ve been stuck on one pesky little word in the “Sexiest Man” title: Alive.

But there are those of us — readers and authors, geeks and norms — who know that Undead can be just as sexy as Living. And we’ve got hundreds of paranormal romances to prove it.

So I’m beginning my campaign to get a vampire on the cover of your magazine. To no longer be forced to stare longingly at men who can’t read my mind. Men who can’t use a sword. Men who can’t wear satin-lined capes and look good doing it. I’m calling for all readers, living and undead, to fight for vampire equality.
And I’m nominating Colin Ames-Beaumont to the be first representative of the “Sexiest Man Alive (and Undead)” for 2007. What separates him from other vampire romance heroes, you wonder? He’s strong, as they are. He sucks blood, as they do. He’s got out-of-control sexual appeal, as they do. But there is one thing, People Magazine, that makes Colin stand out from the rest of the vampire heroes.
Colin … is blond.

But do not take my word for it; judge for yourself. And because he is cursed, unable to see his reflection or to have any pictures taken, the only proof I can offer is in Demon Moon. The book cover cannot do him justice — you must look inside. Want a peek? The first four chapters are in a PDF here. Or you can buy it at Amazon (it is available June 5 in stores everywhere).

Meljean Brook

Living and Undead Readers for Vampire Equality

Join the L.U.R.V.E. Train - Because vampires are beautiful people, too.

(Want to join the L.U.R.V.E. Train? Nominate your own vampire, win books and Amazon gift certificates? Climb aboard here.)

Weekend Stuff

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We have a winner. The number I was thinking of was 43 (my age) and that makes Megan the winner. Megan when you get a chance email my your new address, use the sidebar link--I'll get it faster.

I found enough time to finish Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James and start Abandon by Carla Neggers, have finished about half the book. I also read the first novella (which was incredibly hot) in Wild, Wicked and Wanton by Jaci Burton.

I absolutely loved Desperate Duchesses and will work on a review sometime this week. In fact I may reread it before I write it. Can't wait for the next one.

We took Junior to see Shrek The 3rd which was a very nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The child loved it, we'll have to get it on DVD when it comes out.

Friday, June 1

My poor neglected blog... and a little contest

I decided to take a break from posting books on Romantic Advances and give my poor neglected blog some much needed attention. I spent about an hour this morning blog hopping to all my favorite blogs. I ended up only lurking, for some strange reason blogger was revolting and didn't let me click into comments.

A call from my local bookstore on Thursday sent me scurrying over there yesterday afternoon. Some of my June book order was in:

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Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James--I've read about 1/2 of this already. It's probably safe to say I'm an Eloisa James fangirl. I am thoroughly enjoying this book. Set in the Georgian period there's this fun naughty feel to it. I'm enjoying the h/h, but I can already tell there's a book that's being built to. Two of the secondary characters are married but have been living separate lives. I have a feeling that their relationship will be the series arc and am already looking forward to that one. Now, was that vague enough--LOL.

Abandon by Carla Neggers--I've only recently discovered Carla Neggers, having only read a couple books. I liked her writing voice and style enough to add her to my autobuy list. I'm very picky when it comes RS, so far she works for me.

Lady Beware by Jo Beverley--this one was a no brainer. I've been a Jo Beverley fan for years and how could I possibly pass up a "Rogues" book :D

Wild, Wicked and Wanton by Jaci Burton--I think this was actually a May release, but I hemmed and hawed last month, read a few good reviews and decided to give it a try. If I'm picky about Romantic Suspense, I'm even more so about Erotic Romance, only getting one or two a month. Wild, Wicked and Wanton is this months pick.

A quick little contest:

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I discovered I have 2 copies of Nalini Singh's Visions of Heat. Since I'm too tired to come up with something clever I'm going to think of a number between 1 and 100. Make sure you list a number in your comment. Closest wins.

Pretty easy, right?