Monday, April 30
Started reading Count to Ten over the weekend and honestly if I we weren't doing the "family thing" I'd have the book finished. I'm about half way through and I have no idea who is the arsonist. Absolutely loving this book.
Well, that's all I've got--LOL.
Have a great day and happy reading.
Thursday, April 26
Back blurb:That sounded way more dramatic than the actual telling of the story...contains spoilers...
Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated them, the Ansara wizards are rising again to take on their bitterest foes. As king, it's up to Dante Raintree to protect his clan, but his heart--and maybe his loyalties--may be fatally divided when Lorna Clay walks into his life. Suddenly fire, always his to control defeats him taking with it his livelihood. Unsure whether Lorna is to blame yet unable to walk away from her, Dante faces the fight of his lifetime, a fight even his strength and that of the Raintree clan may not be enough to win.
Lorna Clay is somehow cheating while she's playing blackjack at Dante Raintree's Reno casino. He's not happy. Pulls her into his office and while they're discussing the situation two things happen. 1. He realizes she has some sort of psychic abilities that's why she wins consistently (it's a number thing) and 2. The casino is on fire. Here's where the "brain-rape" comes in. He needs to control the fire and the only way he can is with the help of someone else with strong psychic ability. So he does what he thinks he has to forcibly links with Lorna and controls the fire in order to save lives. Not nice, but certainly explainable and is explained after the fact.
Now he thinks maybe she's Ansara, tears off her clothing to see if she has the "Ansara birthmark". Of course she doesn't and at this point she's really pissed off. He forces her to stay at his home (force field thingy) and she wreaks havoc with little get even tricks.
Dante is over the top and bullyish, but hey he's a king, he's used to getting his way. I'm not horrified by what happened up to this point, everything fits within the context of the story.
There's a turning point near the end of the book right before they have sex for the first time, she basically says no more mind control and they need to be equals or they don't go forward...
Reading him wasn't easy, but she could see he didn't like relinquishing control at all. Intuitively, she grasped his dilemma. On a purely intellectual basis, he understood. On a more primitive level he didn't want to lose her, and he was prepared to be as autocratic and heavy-handed as necessary..."All or nothing."...If you are a Linda Howard fangirl this book shouldn't shock you. If you're a borderline fan you're not going to like it. And if you're not a fan at all, avoid it completely.
I'll finish the series. The ending of this book is very reminiscent of Jane and Grant's part in Diamond Bay, she's told to stay put and of course she wont. Got to see where it goes.
Tuesday, April 24
I've squeezed enough time out of my schedule to read about half of the new Linda Howard Raintree: Inferno It's obvious I'm a Linda Howard fangirl--I'm not horrified by the hero nor his behavior :)
When I saw the review of the new Loretta Chase book over on Dear Author I realized I haven't even ordered it yet (I didn't read the review, but did see the grades were good ones). I did pick up the new RT and saw Meljean Brook's Demon Moon got 4 1/2 stars, which I need to now right a review for--it rocked :D I have 2 other reviews to write and have another to read and review.
Hopefully things will calm down enough that I can start to catch up the thing I want to get to--READ.
Have a good one, and happy reading.
Friday, April 20
While I was reading I realized a book doesn't have to be an A to qualify as a keeper. It just needs elements, that I want to visit over and over. Maybe it's the characters, a particular scene, or dialogue that completely works.
I love the interaction between Josie and Mayne on their wedding night, their conversation is incredible, smart, witty, romantic and some how real. I can reread this section over and over and it's always wonderful--love it.
Probably half my keepers aren't because I love the entire book but rather sections. Catherine Coulter's Fire Song has been on my keeper shelf for years. And if I reread the book in its entirety I'd probably throw it against a wall, but when I reread it's only the second half and the last 100 pages absolutely sparkle, at least for me. When Kassia finally gets fed up and Graelem realizes he's an ass, and he loves her and can't figure out why she's put up with his crap--she leaves and he goes looking for her--love it.
The opening scene of Linda Howard's Open Season, when Daisy realizes she fits the "librarian" stereotype to a "T" and decides she needs to change her life, and then her first encounter with Jack when she wont let him in the back door of the library, makes me smile just thinking about it. And then there's the priceless condom scene in the drug store--love it.
Another Linda Howard keeper--Sarah's Child, is Rome an ass? You bet. Do I love him anyway? You bet. I can't read the scene where he's on his knees with the baby without crying. I've read this book countless times over the years and that one still gets me--love it.
Even if the rest of Meljean's Demon Angel tanked (it doesn't :D) this scene alone would make it a keeper:
Guardian's milled about--men and women, some with wings, some in human garb, some nude--and he searched the faces for the one who had come for him, saved him.I've posted that section before, but it's one of my absolutely favorites scenes this year, actually the first 100 pages of Demon Angel completely rock.
And did not see her.
"Where is she?" He blushed as Michael raised his brows. Would the Doyen think his intentions toward the woman impure? But still he asked, "My angel."
Michael did not reply.
Hugh swallowed and looked at the ground. Pure, clean--no dirt or rot. "'Twas Lilith?"
How could it be? Except that there must be good in her, must be something within her that resists the demon. "Can she be saved?" Did he not owe it to her to try?
Michael studied him with obsidian eyes. "I can not save her."
Hugh nodded. If a place like Caelum could exist, then it surely possible to save a demon. "Then I will."
So, am I the only idiot who keeps an imperfect book because two, three or ten chapters are perfect??
Wednesday, April 18
Viscount Bonham (Harry) is a code breaker for the Crown. Something has been left in the ramshackle old town house that he needs and he befriends the ladies of the house in order to find it. Thus is the set up for the growing relationship between Nell and Harry.
I liked that this is an adult story, not a debutant in sight. All of the characters are interesting and well developed. The story is very character driven. Yet the pace of the story is painfully slow, a little too meandering. I'm not sure her writing style and voice support the slow pace. It reminds me why I like Eloisa James so much, even when her plot is weak the characters are strong and fun enough to carry the story.
Overall I liked it, but would have really preferred to see it cut from 474 pages to 374+/-. (B-)
Anne Stuart!! For some readers that's all you have to say. I'm one of them. I read her books for the heros and if the heroine works too all the better. Ice Blue's heroine worked for me, not as stupidly annoying as Genevieve from Cold as Ice and not as naive as Black Ice's Chloe. Though Summer does have some inconsistencies, mostly having to do with her background (I know I'm being vague, but avoiding spoilers). I like Summer, but this is Takashi O'Brien's story, at least it was for me :)
From the Publisher:The somebody tried to kill her for it part of the story features her La La Land mother's spiritual guru, a phony that believes his destiny is to change the world. The Committee sends Taka to the rescue, should he kill her or save her--what do you think? It's action and adventure and fun. Why else do you read Anne Stuart?
Museum curator Summer Hawthorne considered the exquisite ice-blue ceramic bowl given to her by her beloved Japanese nanny a treasure of sentimental value—until somebody tried to kill her for it.
The priceless relic is about to ignite a global power struggle that must be stopped at all costs. It's a desperate situation, and international operative Takashi O'Brien has received his directive: everybody is expendable. Everybody. Especially the woman who is getting dangerously under his skin as the lethal game crosses the Pacific to the remote and beautiful mountains of Japan, where the truth can be as seductive as it is deadly . . .
Hmmm, what to say about Kathleen O'Reilly's Beyond Daring? A book that starts with two not so likable characters. Sheldon is the Paris Hilton of the consumer product set, Daddy sells everything from toothpaste to cleaning supplies. She's a useless princess--why, it's never really explained why she behaves so abysmally. Is she acting out to avoid an up coming marriage/merger? No because she's doing this willing or so she says. Her parents are likable, her sister rather sweet, but she's icky. Jeff is a PR dream, can sell "ice to Eskimos" and sleeps with anything remotely interested in his pretty boy looks and demeanor. Jeff's sister is still using her brothers to further her carreer and honestly I think she may be even less likable than these two.
And yet, the darned thing still worked for me. Ultimately I liked where the story took me so it gets a thumbs up or a B- anyway.
After the child was dressed for school yesterday morning we discovered school was closed due to flooding in our area, not that we had a problem, but apparently there were roads in the area that were washed out and the local school district couldn't deliver children to school.
Okay I could handle this, or so I thought, I'd just bring the child on my errands and if bingo was still on I'd just have to bring him. After a few phone calls I still wasn't too sure, so I called the BF's mom and she was positive if school was closed so was bingo.
She (the BF's mom) calls me in a panic from the car, she's on her way to run errands and the parking lot is full and bingo is definitely on. She'd meet me at the school and take Junior for the afternoon. Thank God I'd gone to the bank early. Since I thought I had all the time in the world (the day), I blog hopped instead of writing commentaries on the three books I finished over the weekend. I didn't get dishes washed, the beds made, and the peas I'd soaked over night never made the transition to pea soup (ended up throwing out the peas--by the time I got home they smelled like they were fermenting--LOL). Nothing got cooked for dinner and we ended up with canned soup and cold meatloaf sandwiches.
So it turns out Tuesday bingo is only closed if Christmas and New Years Day fall on a Tuesday and maybe if there's heavy snow/blizzard. It seems the only other thing that will close it--a nuclear holocaust, and even that might be debatable. Who knew?
Tuesday, April 17
Big, Bad Alpha Heroes annoy me because in Real Life I’ve never seen one settle down to being a good husband and father. More often than not, they knock up the woman and leave her to raise the kids in a trailer park by herself while he chases a perkier set of boobs.This isn't a description of an alpha hero, it's the description of an immature moron. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Is this a stereotype I've somehow missed over the years? Being a controlling blowhard doesn't make a man an alpha--being strong, independent, take-charge, protective that will make one.
Obviously readers have preferences whether it's alpha or beta or a combination. I may lean toward alphas, but I like the character type to fit the storyline. I wouldn't be able to belive the HEA if I thought "Big, Bad Alpha Heroes annoy me because in Real Life I’ve never seen one settle down to being a good husband and father." Not that all hero's must pass the good father test, not all men and women want children, but I have to believe that the HEA works.
Monday, April 16
Schools all over the county are closed. Ours didn't even have a delay. The next door neighbor has water in her basement (not much), but ours is dry, thank goodness. The volunteer fire department's alarms have been going off every couple of hours and it's a little surprising when the Emergency Broadcast System goes off while you're in the car.
But all this rain left me with plenty of reading time over the weekend. I finally finished the new Jane Feather, Anne Stuart and Kathleen O'Reilly. All were B-/B. Hopefully I'll post some sort of commentary tomorrow.
Need to pick up my very smart child (see previous post :D)
Have a great day and happy reading.
Thursday, April 12
Right now I'm reading Anne Stuart's Ice Blue, not really far enough into it to say yea or nea, but leaning toward yea. I'm also reading the new Jane Feather--like the story, but boy it's slow. It's the 12 of April and I've finished 2 books--not a good month.
And, I'm refusing to read any of Linda Howard's new Silhoutte Nocturne reviews, because the few grades I've come across have been ugly--Yikes.
Have a good one and happy reading.
Tuesday, April 10
- Rules are meant to be broken when the story calls for it, it's the rule breakers that keep the genre fresh and changing.
- Deal breakers should be taken within the context of the story. Sometimes they work.
- Authors should write the story they want to tell, if it breaks rules or includes deal breakers, so be it, it's the chance they take when they write and if it works all the better for the readers.
- Do the censorship people think we're all mindless and incapable of thinking for ourselves?
It's about the storytelling, the writing, where the story is taking the reader. If the author can make it work, all the better, if not then the author took a chance that didn't work. Everyone has preferences, likes and dislikes. If I pick up a book that isn't working for me, I can put it down, nobody is holding a gun to my head to finish it.
On some level it's the readers that drive the genre, if we're not buying books that have a particular theme ultimately there will be less of them, it's one of the things that make the genre rather cyclical (medivals out, paranormals in, and Regencies holding on). On a whole there are themes that wont hold up over time, forced seduction and cheaters are two that work occasionally for some readers. Does that mean we're going to see a steady diet of these types of stories? Doubtful because the market wont support it. So I see it as okay to have these books make an occasional appearance because if the story works the reader gets something different.
And different can sometimes be good.
Monday, April 9
I'd like to change the background color and perhaps add a second sidebar for pictures of said cute kid, but I'll keep this for now.
Let me know how it looks, I've made it wider to accommodate 17" screens.
Saturday, April 7
No dog at our house, but the cat may eat the "grass" and curling ribbon.
Lent's over, I'm having chocolate for breakfast. :D
**edited** 5:15 this morning the child woke me out of a dead sleep "Mommy! Mommy! Guess what? The Easter Bunny came, the Easter Bunny came." It's going to be a long day--LOL.
Friday, April 6
Somehow putting that bookcase in the upstairs hall lead to cleaning the entire house.
The plan was to use it for extra bathroom storage, as we have a teeny, tiny bathroom (100 year old house), so this lead to cleaning out and reorganizing the storage that was in the bathroom. Which lead to scrubbing the bathroom. Actually first I decided to vacuum the upstairs hallway so it was nice and clean under the bookcase. I had to move what was upstairs in the hall downstairs. It's hard to describe, kind of a long and narrow planter thingy that I was using for towel storage and decorative value. It ended up in the dining room with a dried floral arrangement in it,which looks great, but I made a huge mess putting the dried stuff together. This lead to dusting and vacuuming the dining room, and if the dining room is dusted and vacuumed, then the living room needs to be done. If the living room is done, then the front foyer needs doing. And if I do something with the foyer then I should really re-organize the toys and and stuff on the front porch. And of course if all this gets done, then the kitchen might as well get cleaned, though I didn't re-organize the cupboards.
Who knew one bookcase would lead to a clean house? :D
And then I realized it's two days until Easter and I needed to make chocolate and bake cookies to bring to my in-laws and I had 48 plastic eggs to fill for the kids Easter Egg Hunt.
PS I managed to make 3 lbs of chocolate without eating any. I've been very good and am now counting down the hours until Lent is over and I can have chocolate for breakfast Easter morning.
All right, I'm done whining. :)
Can anyone explain how to actually create a banner rather than just posting pictures like I'm already doing?
Can anyone recommend a safe font download site?
I wonder if there's "Blog/Blog Templates for Dummies"? :D
Wednesday, April 4
This morning I read Rosario's review of The King's Mistress. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge medieval fan, add to that an unusual story line, an atypical heroine and an interesting hero and I'm going to search for the book ASAP. And then I reached the end of the review to find this...
I'll definitely be reading more by this author. Any recs? My interest was caught by The Duchess' Next Husband, but then I saw that the hero keeps a mistress while he's already married to the heroine, and that's a bit of a deal-breaker for me, so maybe I should start with something else. Suggestions are very welcome!Then I read Ms. Brisban's comment...
About THE DUCHESS'S NEXT HUSBAND -- I would suggest (trying not to spoil it for you) that you could safely read it even with your concern about a mistress while married. It's loosely based on the old Rock Hudson-Doris Day movie -- Send Me No Flowers -- and you know Doris would never stand for a mistress!OMG, I love that movie. I knew I'd be hitting the UBS to search out this one in particular. I have a confession of sorts to make. While other's find cheating husbands a deal breaker, I'm absolutely fascinated by historicals featuring couples that are married but not in love.
So instead of spending the afternoon nagging the school's office staff into helping me pick out graphics for the new website, I went to the UBS. Found several of Terri Brisban's backlist including The King's Mistress and The Duchess's Next Husband. And couldn't wait to get home and start reading. And I would have been reading promptly at 3:15 if I hadn't promised to spend the afternoon coloring eggs with 2 five year olds. The kids had a great time, we had pizza for dinner, got home around 6:30, put the child to bed by 7:30 and I started reading by 8:00, by 10:30 I was done (thank God the hubby tapped LOST) and I'm here to tell you....
The Duke of Windmere receives word that he’s going to die, and tries to get his affairs in order—which includes finding his wife a new husband!Adrian is the current Duke of Windmere, but when he and Miranda married he was actually the "spare" and she wasn't quite good enough for the then Duke (Adrian's brother), but her dowry certainly made her good enough for the back-up. The unexpected death of his brother turns their lives upside down, a contented marriage turns into a society one and 5 years later, they're basically living separate lives. Add to this Adrian has chronic asthma and it's getting worse. After meeting with his doctor's and eavesdropping on a conversation he's left believing he'll be dead before the year is out. He needs to get all his ducks in a row, and that's what drives the story.
But as the duke's efforts go awry and he starts to fall in love with the duchess again, dare he hope they will find true happiness together -- before it's too late?
Miranda is an interesting character, after 5 years of being under the Dowager's thumb she's more than ready to ditch the old lady and try to make something of her marriage. She's dumbfounded by Adrian's behavior changes, but wants a happy marriage and a loving husband. Adrian is somehow endearing with how he wants to make sure Miranda will find some sort of happiness without him. First he feels the desperate need for an heir, when he realizes that may not happen, he needs to set her up financially, without an heir she may be left penniless and when he realizes he's in love with her he doesn't want her to be alone and starts introducing her to potential husbands. Doing all of this without ever telling her he's "dieing".
At times humorous, at times sad, even knowing he wasn't "dieing" I still cried when he finally tells her.
My only complaint, the "big misunderstanding" near the end, caused by his evil mother, the conclusion of which is very reminiscent of the one in Judith McNaught's Whitney, My Love.
Character driven, with well developed characters and a nice writing style and voice. I can't wait to read the rest of her backlist.
*edited* to correct "dying" to "dieing", the poor man thought he was near death not changing colors--LOL
Tuesday, April 3
|You Should Be a Romance Novelist|
You see the world as it should be, and this goes double for all matters of the heart.
You can find the romance in any situation, and you would make a talented romance story writer...
And while you may be a traditional romantic, you're just as likely to be drawn to quirky or dark love stories.
As long as it deals with infatuation, heartbreak, and soulmates - you could write it.
But evenings are mine and I'm going to make a good dent in that TBR pile. Right now I'm reading the new Jane Feather.
Have a good one and happy reading.
Sunday, April 1
Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy by HelenKay Dimon has incredibly dialogue and banter. I'm a huge fan of really good realisitic dialogue, and HelenKay more than hits that mark for me. Put it on your June wish list.
Nefertiti a novel by Michelle Moran is a must read for any lover of historical fiction, an amazing, interesting and entertaining view of Ancient Egypt. A July hardcover release, and even though I've an ARC I still plan to get this one in hardcover.
Book number three is Nalini Singh's Visions of Heat.
From the PublisherI liked this book, but not as much as most of the other reviewers/commentators out on blogland. I prefered Slave to Sensation. I really enjoyed interaction between Faith and Vaughn, but found all the different "Net" stuff becoming mind numbing in detail--I'm not a techie and these parts didn't hold my attention. Faith is an interesting character, she's been completely cut off from her own society and other people in general for all of her life, so all the changes in her and her surroundings were life threatening for her and yet she's strong enough to take the chance to leave everything she's known. I found the interaction between her and her father very telling. Are the Psy really Silent or does the Council only think they are?
Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous - aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.
Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take the form of either man or jaguar, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating, and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced - and keep her from Vaughn.
Rarely do I visualize characters when I read, but I have to admit the name Vaughn triggered visions of Vince Vaughn in my head (don't ask--LOL) but then visions of VV lead to visions of Jennifer Aniston, so they were prowling around in my head throughout the book.
The next book in the series, Caressed by Ice, is already on my wish list. Does anyone know the release date?
Yesterday both of us took him to practice, I'm rather relieved my husband isn't going to be one of those crazy sports Dads. We got home early enough to go to Saturday afternoon Mass. My husband's knees were bothering him, so he decided to stay home.
Palm Sunday Mass turned into Mommy torture. The child that's an angel at Mass when in school, who behaves when his father's there turned into demon child. Wouldn't sit still, used the palms as a sword, kept poking the people in front of use, sat on the kneeler and the floor, and then started talking and playing with the kid behind us. It didn't matter how many times I threatened he wouldn't remotely listen. By the time Mass was over all I wanted to do was grab him by the hair and drag him home. Very Christian of me isn't it?--LOL. TV privileges are gone, and if he misbehaves this badly ever again I've promised to bring him to Mass everyday until he decides he can listen and sit remotely still.