Monday, January 30, 2012

Bewitching Book Tours Book Review: The Knight & Maggie's Baby

Author: Lisa Mondello
Title: The Knight & Maggie's Baby
Publish Date: August 30, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Bewitching Book Tours and the author
Book Blurb: Jonah Wallace knows what it’s like to grow up without love. Despite having more money than the Queen of England, his childhood was cold and stale as he grew up in boarding schools. He’s dedicated his life to helping homeless and displaced children find the love and support they need by creating the Haven House Foundation, work that resulted in him being Knighted by the Queen.

Now that he’s living in America, his work is going along just fine…until his grandfather gives fate a little nudge by insisting he take a wife before he can inherit.

Coffee shop owner, Maggie Bonelli, is pregnant and the baby’s dad has gone AWOL. She knows too well the pain of growing up without a daddy. So when Jonah Wallace comes into her shop proposing marriage for a year, she takes him up on his offer, even if it’s only for a year. Live in a mansion and give her baby a name and a daddy to call his/her own. But can they keep their perfect arraignment strictly business…or will fate’s helping hand bring them love at last?

Review: Do you have a sweet tooth when it comes to romance? If you do, this is definitely the book for you. I absolutely loved this book. It was a light, fluffy, fun read that made me think of Hallmark movies. As the story progressed I wanted it to be a Hallmark movie! I could see myself chillin' on the couch watchin' it.


Because it is a perfect fairy tale.

The plot is adorable. A pregnant single mother is proposed to by a wealthy aristocrat who needs a wife for a year to keep the family home.

Now can you see why this story is perfect Hallmark Movie fodder? Seriously! Someone should be begging Lisa for the rights to this story.

There was really no serious conflict in this story. The characters just had to decide they really loved both each other and the baby that Maggie was carrying. I loved that it was the baby that really brought everyone together and that even though both Maggie and Jonah suffered from having imperfect families, it was the love of  family and family tradition that brought them together.

I recommend this book to anyone that loves sweet romance, like the Harlequin Romance imprint or the Christian Love Inspired imprint. This is a great cozy romance to pass a few hours with. It should leave you smiling too, when you've read the last page.

Rating: 5 flowers

Bewitching Book Tours Promo: Lisa Mondello - The Knight and Maggie's Baby

The Knight and Maggie’s Baby
By Lisa Mondello


Sometimes fate needs a little help…

Jonah Wallace knows what it’s like to grow up without love. Despite having more money than the Queen of England, his childhood was cold and stale as he grew up in boarding schools. He’s dedicated his life to helping homeless and displaced children find the love and support they need by creating the Haven House Foundation, work that resulted in him being Knighted by the Queen.

Now that he’s living in America, his work is going along just fine…until his grandfather gives fate a little nudge by insisting he take a wife before he can inherit.

Coffee shop owner, Maggie Bonelli, is pregnant and the baby’s dad has gone AWOL. She knows too well the pain of growing up without a daddy. So when Jonah Wallace comes into her shop proposing marriage for a year, she takes him up on his offer, even if it’s only for a year. Live in a mansion and give her baby a name and a daddy to call his/her own. But can they keep their perfect arraignment strictly business…or will fate’s helping hand bring them love at last?

THE KNIGHT AND MAGGIE'S BABY Smashwords Coupon Code: AC96X






“Don't you think you're rushing things just a tad?” She lifted her hand and pinched
her index finger and thumb together for emphasis.

“I'll admit my proposal is a bit abrupt,” he stammered.

“A bit?”

“We've only known each other--”

“Forty-five minutes tops,” she blurted out. “Are you out of your mind?”

Her tone was incredulous. And he really didn't blame Maggie if she thought he was
nuts. He felt nuts. Desperate, too. But he found himself defending his proposal.
“Quite possibly. But you see, that’s exactly my point. I'm have a bit of a time crunch here, and it seems as though--”

Maggie folded her arms across her chest. “How silly of me. Here I thought you
were sweeping me off my feet.”

He shook his head with a chuckle. “I do sound mad, don't I?”

“Recognition is the first step toward recovery.”

Something rumbled up from deep inside him. Jonah laughed at himself, this
disastrous day, and the absurd situation he'd been forced into by his grandfather. It felt good to laugh. That in itself was incredibly surprising, considering he hadn't managed to do much laughing at all since he'd learned of the impending plans for Wiltshire.

He peered at Maggie through moisture filled eyes. She wasn't laughing. But she was
incredibly beautiful. Her sapphire eyes sparkled when she teased him. There were small freckles sprinkled across her nose that looked adorable with the sun shining on her creamy skin.

When she looked at him the way she was right now, it didn't seem like such a crazy
idea to marry her. At least not for the reasons he was proposing. He hadn't given it a second thought. And yet, now he realized just how ridiculous he looked from her eyes.

“I'm not making a pass at you. Truly, I'm not.”

“You just asked me to marry you.”

“I'm asking for your help.”


His lips tilted up to one side. “Again.”

Maggie took two steps down the stairs until they were both standing at eye level.

“Forget the phone call, the nice air conditioned ride in the limo, the coffee, the pie—”

“Which by the way was truly inspiring,” he interjected. “If I didn’t already tell you that.”

“You did. You don't even know me. You’re asking a total stranger to marry you.”

He shrugged. “I know that. But I know you make me laugh.”

“So that's all it takes for a happy marriage? Bet we could make a killing with that

“I sound delusional,” he said. “Even to my own ears, which is pretty scary.”

He was delusional. He'd just asked a woman he didn't even know to marry him!
And the fact that he was truly considering it was entirely grandfather's doing.


Lisa Mondello is the best selling author of 13 published books. Her first published book, the award winning ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU, was recently reissued as an ebook and has had over 226,000 downloads worldwide. In addition to publishing her Fate with a Helping Hand series, which includes THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT and THE KNIGHT AND MAGGIE'S BABY, she is releasing her popular Texas Hearts Romance series as ebooks in early 2012. She currently writes for Harlequin Love Inspired Romance and is collaborating with a film producer/screenwriter on a screenplay.

She loves to hear from readers. You can email her at, find her on her blog talking about writing, movies and music at or chat on Twitter at @LisaMondello.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Review: 10 Ways To Kill A Cupid

Author: Leigh Parker
Title: 10 Ways To Kill A Cupid
Publish Date: July 17,2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The author
Book Blurb: Leigh has a story to tell and despite the absurdity of it, it has to be told before it's forgotten forever.

You see Leigh used to be a Cupid.
A very silly, naive and regretfully bitter Cupid.
And those are traits a Cupid shouldn’t technically possess.
When Leigh’s murderer is the next assignment, revenge stands in the way of helping Natalie McIntyre find her perfect partner…
That is until the appearance of the blue spark.
Review: I never thought I'd like a book as much as I did this one. It was hilarious and sweet and just an all around enjoyable read.

See when you die..we all either become Cupids, Angels or Reapers. Hey, you get a choice at which you'd like to be too! Leigh screws up on the last two and thus ends up a Cupid. (I probably would too).

I spent most of the time reading this book laughing at how Leigh was trying to either annoy Natalie or find her soul mate. And when they say Natalie is hard to like, they aren't being kind. She's totally a huge pain in the butt, but as the story goes on, you come to like her, and you also like the friendship that is blossoming between her and her Cupid.

But she still has to find Natalie a soul mate.

That's where things get tricky!

See Natalie is more than just a girl that Leigh has to match up. She's the person....oh no...I'm not going to tell you that, it will spoil the ending which will knock you out of your seat.

Grab this book because it is the cutest, funniest thing you'll read. This is Leigh Parker's debut, and it definitely worth the time.

Rating:  5 flowers

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Review: Apple Turnover Murder

Author: Joanne Fluke
Title: Apple Turnover Murder
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: Feb 1, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Early summer brings plenty of work for baker Hannah Swensen, even before Mayor Bascomb's wife drops by The Cookie Jar to place an order for her charity event...For eleven-hundred cookies! And Hannah almost flips when her business partner, Lisa, suggests setting up an apple turnover stand. But she places her faith in Lisa and agrees to be a magician's assistant in the fundraiser's talent show. The only snag is the show's host, college professor Bradford Ramsey. Hannah and her sister, Michelle, each had unfortunate romances with Ramsey, and when the cad comes sniffing around between acts, Hannah tells him off. But when the curtain doesn't go up, she discovers Ramsey backstage - dead, with a turnover in his hand. Now Hannah must find a killer who's flakier than puff pastry - and far more dangerous.
Review: This is a light flaky cozy mystery that is almost as flaky as an apple turnover. This is book 13 in the Hannah Swensen series. Like most of these types of series, you don't need to read all the books to enjoy them. I might have read one of these awhile back, but I'm not really sure. This book worked as a stand alone for me.

It was a cute story. (That should get you right there...puppy dogs and kitties are cute...I'm not sure if that applies to cozy mysteries). I didn't feel cozy when reading it either. I did find myself wanting to start making cookies though. This book is packed with great cookie recipes! Murder however is not the focal point. In fact, the murder didn't happen until about 100 pages in! Yikes!

So yeah...things were very slow on that front, but by page 100, you've already been treated to a handful of great recipes. So you do have that.

Here are the pros and cons of the story:


1. Hannah's family and friends are really funny and quirky.
2. The story is fast moving though the action is not so fast.
3. There are lots of animals in the story...Hannah's cat Moishe and Norman's cat Cuddle's and the dog Dillon. I love stories with lots of pets.
4. The recipes are super awesome and the book is full of them. I want to make the Cottage Cheese Cookies and the Chocolate Crack!
5. I never guessed the actual whodunit!


1. There was a lot going on in the story. Too much at times. Hannah has two boyfriends and she can't decide which she wants, and this isn't like the Stephanie Plum, Morelli and Ranger dilemma. Neither of these guys seem to be worth her time. Not to mention subplots upon subplots some that left you hanging.

2. Speaking of being left hanging, WTF was up with Norman!!!

3. The victim: it would have been nice if we got to know Bradford Ramsey a bit more while he was alive than through the characters telling of their dealings with him.

I enjoyed this book, it was a fast fun read. I definitely want to check out some of the earlier books in the series, and maybe try some of the recipes!!

Rating: 4 flowers

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: Blank Slate Kate

Author: Heather Wardell
Title: Blank Slate Kate
Publisher: Createspace
Publish Date: Nov 24, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The author
Book Blurb:Waking up with a strange man is scary. Realizing you lost fifteen years of your life overnight? That's terrifying. With her memories from seventeen to thirty-two gone, Kate has no idea who she is and where she belongs. As she begins to fall for the man who found her, she wonders if she forgot those years for a reason. Should she keep trying to retrieve her original self, or start a new life?

Review: Amnesia is a scary thing. It is even scarier when you wake up in bed naked with a stranger! (It isn't so bad when that stranger is a hottie!)

First let me say, I have read several of Heather's books and I've been impressed by them all. This book was no different.  Heather's books all have strong heroines. Kate could have been a weepy, emotional wreck. If you loose 15 years of your life, I think you are entitled to a few meltdowns, but Kate really handles things well, even if she is going through a host of feelings and emotions as she relearns who she is.

This book is really about being able to start over, and there are a lot of reasons Kate has for needing a fresh start. As the story unfolds, we learn a lot about the woman Kate was...her name...her marital status and quite a bit about her personality.

Kate/Donna or Kadonna as her brother Ethan called her, really don't seem like they could ever be the same person, but they are and Kate isn't totally different from Donna. I found myself laughing with her and crying with her many times in this book.

I especially liked the dynamics between Kate and the two men in her life, Jake and Ryan.  I expected to instantly favor one of the two men over the other, but I didn't. I actually felt bad for the one that got left behind. He may have made some mistakes in his past, but I wanted him to be happy with someone. I hope somewhere down the line that character gets a story of his own. (See how well I did that without giving away any spoilers?) I will let you in on one thing, the ending is not what I expected.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, if you haven't read a book by Heather Wardell, you really are missing out. Her characters are always so realistic in their behavior and you really want to welcome them into your life as new friends.

Rating: 5 flowers

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Excerpt: Blank Slate Kate

Heather Wardell is sharing the first chapter of Blank Slate Kate here as part of her book tour.  I've loved every book I've read of Heather's. I hope you give her excerpt a try and maybe pick up the book or one of her others.

Stop back tomorrow to read my review of Blank Slate Kate!


Chapter One

My mouth tastes awful, like a thousand people have used it as an ashtray and garbage can. As I try to work up enough spit to swallow, my head begins to pound and my stomach churns. The flu's been going around my high school and I must have caught it. I want to yell for Mom but my throat's too dry, so I force my sleep-sticky eyes open so I can get out of bed.

Horror fills me, shocking the sick feelings away.

I'm not in my bed. I'm in a strange bed facing a sleeping guy. A guy I don't know. An old guy.
I can't breathe. Did I lose my virginity to him last night? I was going to wait until I got married. What happened? How did I end up here?

I scrabble backward and half-fall out of the bed, but before I can run away dizziness sweeps me and I throw up on the worn rug between my feet.
The guy blinks and sits up. "Kate? You okay?"
I stare at him. Kate? It doesn't feel right. I'm...
I don't know. I'm not getting Kate back as my name. I'm not getting anything else back either. My mind is blank.

I don't know who I am.

I'm in a strange man's bedroom, with no idea who I am.

The shock twists my stomach beyond what I can stand, and as I bend over to puke again I realize, as if everything else weren't bad enough, that I'm naked. I don't worry about anything but barfing for the next few unpleasant seconds, but when I'm done I wrap my arms around my body to hide myself and take a quick peek at the guy.

He's out of bed now, fortunately wearing boxer shorts. I do not want my first sight of a guy's thing to be like this. Still, he's mostly naked, so I look away again as he says, "You're not okay. Geez, you must have drunk even more than I thought. I'll get you a glass of water."

He doesn't seem mad that I threw up on his floor, and I'd love some water, but I can't get past what he said. I was drinking? "I'm seventeen," I snap at him. "I don't drink."

His mouth falls open. "You're..."

We had sex. His horror tells me so. I can't believe I did it. I did it and I don't even remember it. "Yeah. You had sex with a minor. And if I was drinking, you made me do it. You're a rapist. And a..." I can't think of a word for 'making people drink' so I say, "You're a bad man."

"Kate, I didn't--"

"I'm not Kate!" My shriek hurts my own ears and reawakens my headache, and it makes him stumble back a few steps. "I don't know who I am but I'm not Kate. Stop calling me that!"

"You're... you don't..." He trails off and rubs a hand over his stubbled chin.

I had sex, drunk sex, sex I don't remember, with an actual man, one old enough to need a daily shave. My stomach flips over again and I give a nasty burp but don't throw up. One good thing today, at least.
He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. Then his eyes flicker down my body.

"Hey!" I grab a pillow and hold it to cover myself.

He blushes. "I... sorry. Look, I'm just totally confused." Another long deep breath, then he says, "Okay. Your name is not Kate. You're seventeen, and you don't drink. Have I got it right?"
I'm confused too. I'm a good girl. My mother always says I'm perfect. How did I end up here? "Yeah. That's right."

He rubs his chin again. "Look. I think we need to talk, okay? But we should both get dressed."

He's pretty cute, if you like older men, so it would be easier to talk to him if I couldn't see his naked chest and legs and the bulge of his-- "Yeah," I say, quickly pulling my eyes back to his face. "Yeah, we should."
He takes a step toward me and I flinch. "Oh, sorry. I was just going to grab some clothes from the dresser."

He points.

I step aside, turning to keep the pillow between my body and his eyes, and watch him dig through a few messy drawers.

"Okay," he says once he's gathered his clothes and moved a safe distance from me. "You get dressed and come meet me in the living room. Just outside the door. I'll make some coffee. Do you like coffee?"
I shake my head. "My mother says it'll stunt my growth so I've never had it."

He blinks, once, like he's startled, then says, "I'll make hot chocolate. Does that work?"

Despite how weird everything is I have to smile a little at his clear concern for me. "Yeah. That'd be great."

"I'll see you in the living room. Take your time."

He leaves, closing the door behind him.

I drop the pillow then drop onto the bed. I don't want to go to the living room and talk to the man who took advantage of me last night.

He must have had sex with me. Why else would I be naked? I don't hurt down there, though, and my friend Chloe was in pain for days after her first time, so maybe he didn't.
I hate that I don't know.

I glance around, looking for another way out, and see a glass balcony door behind broken blinds. Unfortunately, a closer look shows that we're way high up, so jumping off the balcony isn't a good plan.
I stand to the side of the door so nobody can see my nakedness and peer out and down. I don't recognize the busy city street below. Where am I?

Giving up on escaping, I begin to look for my clothes. I can't find anything that belongs to me, although there's a beige bra, with matching panties hanging out of a pair of jeans, and a gray sweater and gray socks scattered around the room. It's the only stuff I can find amid the mess that doesn't seem like his, so I gather everything into a pile then reach for the bra.

A movement across the room startles me until I realize a mirror on the wall opposite the bed is reflecting my own movement.

A mirror. Maybe I can see what's wrong with my head. It still really hurts, right at the top. He didn't hit me, did he?

I move closer, but stop well before I can check my head.

Who the hell is that?

The girl in the reflection looks like my older exhausted sister. If I had a sister. Her hair's shorter than I've ever had mine, and dark brown where mine is blonde. Her eyes are the same blue as mine but there are wrinkles around them, not big ones but definite creases, and wrinkles around her mouth too. Laugh lines, I think they call them. Well, I'm not laughing.

I raise my hands to my face, confused and terrified, and she does the same.

My eyes slide down the reflection's body, taking in her shape. It's like I've melted somehow. Everything's a little lower and wider than it should be. I didn't even bother with a bra sometimes and this body definitely needs one, and probably a heavy-duty one to boot. The reflection isn't fat, not really, but it's got a squishy stomach and bulgy hips...

And a tattoo.

It's cute, actually, five happy-looking little yellow cartoon ducks marching along in a neat row around the top of her right thigh.

I look down. The same tattoo is on my right thigh.

I can't get my head around it, but this is my body. It has to be. Every movement I make is duplicated by the girl, the woman, in the mirror, and this tattoo is definitely on my leg. Unless someone's playing a really elaborate and well-planned trick on me this is my body.

But how did I age this much overnight?

I swallow and again notice the awful taste in my mouth, now even worse because I threw up. Clearly I had a rough night, so maybe I'm just really tired. Everything's sagging because I'm exhausted. That could happen, right?

Probably not. And even if it could, there's still the tattoo.

The man put it on me as a joke?

I scratch at a duck but nothing comes off. It looks real.

Trying so hard to understand what's going on makes my head hurt even more, so I stop trying. I'll get dressed, go out there, and make that man tell me what's going on.

The living room is the kind of mess that always makes my mother yell "Clean up your room!" except for one corner, where metal tools are precisely arranged along a pegboard on the wall and a huge something stands nearly to the ceiling under a black cloth.

"What's that?"

The guy, standing by the window, turns to face me and sees where I'm pointing. "A sculpture. I'm an artist."
As he's wearing a t-shirt with a faded Toronto Hogs hockey team logo and ripped jeans, I assume he's not a good artist, but I say, "Cool," anyhow because I don't want to make him angry at me. I need to know what's going on.

I take a breath to start asking questions, but he says, "Your hot chocolate's here. And I made toast too. In case you're hungry."

Since I emptied my stomach in dramatic fashion, I am hungry. Then I remember. "I didn't clean your rug. I'm sorry, I'll--"

He shakes his head. "Sit down. The carpet's old and cruddy anyhow. I'll throw it out later. Drink your hot chocolate. Then we'll talk."

I sink onto the grungy couch and he takes an armchair across from me. I hold my warm mug and realize that I don't want to talk. Things are too weird for this to be a simple misunderstanding or some kind of prank, and I'm afraid to find out what's going on. Something must be: I'm wearing clothes that I don't recognize but which fit me perfectly, my hair's shorter and darker than yesterday even though I've always loved being blonde and having long hair, and I have a tattoo of ducks when my favorite animal is... um...


He blinks. "Pardon?"

I shake my head, feeling silly. "Nothing. Sorry. Just remembered something."

He sets down his mug. "What was it?"

I shrug. "I couldn't remember my favorite animal for a second then it came to me. No big deal."
He nods slowly, as if this is deep and meaningful. "What else do you remember? About last night, and me... and you."

I take a long sip of my hot chocolate and it wakes up my stomach. "Can I have some toast?"
"Of course." He pushes the plate across the coffee table.

I take a slice and try to eat it with some sort of control but the moment the bread crunches in my mouth I'm so hungry I could eat the plate too. I put away the toast in no time, then another piece, but when I reach for a third he says, "That's probably enough for now. Since you were sick."

I'm about to protest when my stomach protests instead and I realize he's probably right. "Okay. But I'll want more later."

"Fine." He gives me a smile, friendly but somehow wary too. "So, what do you remember?"
I lick my lips. "Waking up with you."

He shifts in his chair, and I'm sure we're both thinking the same thing. Me exploding naked from his bed then puking on his floor. "Okay. And before that?"

I stare at the toast, thinking. I remember Mrs. Sosa announcing a math test and everyone groaning. "I was at school yesterday. I was there, then somehow I'm here. It's blank in the middle, like how I felt when I had my tonsils out two years ago. But I knew what happened to the time then. I don't know how I got here."
Panic's rising in me and he must see it because he says soothingly, "It's okay. Don't worry, we'll figure it out. Do you know where you live?"

I take a deep breath and try to calm down. I don't know my address at first, but then it comes to me. "3278 West Maple Avenue, apartment 213. We've lived there all my life."

He clears his throat. "That's the low-rise condo building at West Maple and King Street, right?"


He looks like he's filtering a million things to say and coming up with nothing good.

"God, I wish Hannah were here," he mutters under his breath.

"Who's Hannah?" Renewed horror hits me. "You're not married, are you? I didn't... sleep with..."

"We didn't have sex," he says, leaning toward me. "I swear to you, we didn't. I wouldn't do that. You were in a fight outside the bar where I work, drunk and freaking out, and in the end I brought you here."
He seems sincere about the sex thing, and I should be relieved but now I have more worries. I was fighting outside a bar? My mother's going to kill me. "I don't drink, I told you."

"Yeah, you did." He sighs. "Look, we'll get back to that. I have to tell you something."

I wait, nervousness flooding me.

"That condo building burned down three years ago."

I stare at him. "Of course it didn't. I live there. With my parents and my little brother Ethan. Why would you say that? Are you trying to scare me?" More than you already have?

He looks as scared as I feel. "Do you know what day it is?"

Finally, something I can answer without any trouble. "My friend Chloe's birthday was yesterday," I say. "So today is March twentieth. Wednesday."

I'm relieved to remember but he looks even more scared. "What year?"

"1996. Duh."
His hand covers his mouth but I can see the horror in his eyes.

When he doesn't speak, I do. "What's the problem?"

He clears his throat. "It's... um. No, it's not. That's not the date."

"Of course it is," I say, but the back of my mind doubts my own words. Something's very wrong here, and

I've known that since I woke up in his bed.

He clears his throat again. "It's March fourth today. Friday."

I've gone back in time? No, that can't be. I look down at my hands, which are perfectly manicured instead of my usual bitten-nail look and seem to belong to someone much older than seventeen, and a horrible possibility hits me. It can't be, but... "What year?" I manage to whisper.

He leans back in his chair. "2011."
You can download "Blank Slate Kate" for $0.99 from:
Blank Slate Kate" is also available in paperback at:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Goddess Fish Book Tours Guest Post: J.B. Lynn w/Tour Giveaway!

Welcome author, J.B. Lynn to A Chick Who Reads. J.B. is the author of Confessions Of A Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman!

Balancing Suspense and Romance

For me, getting the balance right when it comes to blending suspense and romance is about getting a character’s internal journey to keep pace with their external adventure.

At its heart, a suspense novel is driven by the threat of danger.

Maybe the heroine is being stalked by a vicious killer. That’s what happens to Emily Wright, the heroine of my romantic suspense novel THE FIRST VICTIM. That story is about whether the Baby Doll Strangler will be caught AND if Emily, and her childhood sweetheart Bailey, will find the love they deserve with one another.

In CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN, the heroine, poor Maggie Lee, agrees to kill someone (a very bad someone) so that she can earn enough money to pay for the best possible medical care for her hospitalized niece. Of course, by agreeing to do this job for her friendly local mobster, she puts herself squarely in the mob’s crosshairs if she fails to pull off the murder. And things just get worse (much, much worse) for her from there.

Simultaneously, Maggie is faced with taking a chance on the possibility of love.

Just as Maggie struggles with the moral and practical questions of whether she can kill her intended target, she is also faced with the possibility of finding love (or at least lust) with both a hitman and a cop.

Both stories within the story are mysteries. Will the evil be defeated? Will love conquer all?

I’m curious. As a reader, do you read romantic suspense for the love story, the thriller aspect, or because you adore the balance of the two?

Author Info: Most little girls dream of puppies, ponies and Prince Charming, but I grew up to write about murder, mayhem, and the killer next door.

I love stories. I love reading them and I love writing them.

Ever since I picked up my first crayon, I've been spinning tales in one form or another. I've published articles in magazines and on websites, short stories in print and online, and even optioned a screenplay.

Although fascinated by the dark and twisted, I'm also a sucker for tales of love conquering all. These dual interests show up in my stories as creepy, dangerous villains, and the heroines and heroes who must defeat them.

I write with a parrot peering over my shoulder and a dog curled up at my feet. When not writing, I spend the bulk of my time reading, cooking, training for half marathons (I walk more than I run, so don't go being all impressed) and playing Scrabble with my husband. (He tends to win more often than I do...I think he cheats!)

An admitted coffeeholic, I don't really care if the cup is half empty or half full...I just want to know whether it's regular or decaf!


Book Blurb:  Maggie Lee is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her best friend is now a talking lizard--a picky eater obsessed with Wheel of Fortune.

Maggie, who can barely take care of herself, is desperate to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, so she accepts a mobster’s big cash offer to kill his son-in-law.

Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let’s not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she’s up to.

Giveaway: J.B. Lynn is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter during the book tour. The rest of the tour dates can be found here.  The more comments you make on tour posts the more chances you have to win!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Review: Enchantment

Author: Charlotte Abel
Title: Enchantment
Publisher: Createspace
Publish Date: August 17, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The Indie Book Collective & the author
Book Blurb: Channie is a lovable teenage mage that lives a simple but magical life with her clannish community deep in the Ozark Mountains. She’s blessed with the ability to enchant those around her, charming not only her family and friends, but any boy with a pulse that doesn’t know how to shield himself against her magic. When her father’s gambling addiction earns the wrath of a powerful mage, the family is forced to flee for their lives. They escape to the suburbs of Colorado hoping to hide amongst Magically Disabled people (like you and me). Channie’s parents are overwhelmed by the modern world and panic when they catch her flirting with a group of “dirty-minded, non-magical city-boys.” They strip away her power of enchantment and replace it with a chastity curse that automatically zaps any boy foolish, or courageous, enough to pursue her. Josh Abrim -- a BMX racer with a killer smile, Olympic dreams and dangerous secrets of his own -- is exactly that kind of boy. When he and Channie realize their interest in each other is more than just friendship, she turns to dark and forbidden magic, determined to break the curse keeping them apart. Her inexperience makes matters infinitely worse and unleashes a malevolent force with the power to destroy everything they love … including each other.

Review: I have mixed feelings about this book. Not that there is anything wrong with the writing or the story. It just didn't totally click with me. Too make things easier I'm going to tell you what I liked and didn't like about the story


1. I loved face that this book was about magic and not in the Harry Potter wizard way...(Not that I have anything against Harry...I love Harry). It was a different twist when it comes to the YA fiction which is flooded with vampires and werewolves at every turn.

2. Power Names: I want a power name!

3. The strange things that have to be done so that Channie and Josh can get close, without Chastity's power causing him pain.

4. Three words: Itches For Bitches. Now there is a useful spell! (You have to read it to understand.)

5. The characters determination. Channie and Josh really wanted to be together. I liked how loyal they were even when they screwed up, and how they really did their best to break the curse.

6. Channie's telling people they can kiss her "Lily white..." Tee hee!

7. The story had a sort of fairy tale appeal. The characters had to overcome so many obstacles to reach their goal.


1. Way to sexual for my taste in a YA novel. Yeah I know sex happens, but crikey even with a chastity spell these two were really all about sex.

2. I never understood why these two hooked up in the first place.

3. Channie's mom and dad were uber evil. Ok, maybe not evil, but certainly not good parents. You just wanted to take all the kids away from them.

4. How did these kids get away with not going to school or skipping classes without getting in trouble?

5. Channie was a little bit to obnoxious at times.

6. Channie's 16 and Josh is 17 soon to be 18 and erm...they are getting married. OMGWTFBBQ! I know..its fiction.. :)

So I did have my gripes with the story, but I did enjoy it. I felt that the second half moved a little faster. It took me forever to read the first hundred pages but the last 130 zoomed right by. It is part of a series, so I'll be checking out the next book, because I want to know what happens.

Rating: 3 flowers

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Get Loaded Tour!

How do you feel about fun, prizes and free ebooks?

If you like them, then you definitely want to take part in the Blog Tour De Force that's taking place today, through January 27!

This blog tour is set up like a treasure hunt.  Each day there will be clues available on to win more prizes.  Feel free to get busy and find yourself some clues and win some prizes :)

Jan 23-Chelsea Fine - ANEW -
Jan 24- AK Taylor - Neiko's Five Land Adventure -
Jan 25- Jackie Chanel - A Hustler's Promise -
Jan 26- Sherry Roberts - Book of Mercy -
Jan 27 - Liz Schulte - Secrets (Guardian Trilogy: Book 1) -

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Chick Ponders Bookish Things

How is your January reading shaping up? I'm starting my ninth book and as I look back on this month I see a lot of superb books. That's really great. The fact that there was only one book that I considered sub-par in my finished pile makes me smile.

I hope the rest of the year turns out as good, book wise. I know from the pile of books, old and new, sitting around on my shelves, that this is definitely going to be a good year, as long as I have time to read everything that I want to read.

How is the year looking for you, on the book front?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review: Confessions Of A Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman

Author: JB Lynn
Title: Confessions Of A Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman
Publisher: Avon
Publish Date: Feb 7, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The Goddess Fish Promotions and the publisher
Book Blurb: Maggie Lee is not your average hitwoman. For one thing, she’s never killed anyone. For another, after hitting her head in the car accident that killed her sister, her new best friend is a talking lizard—a picky eater, obsessed with Wheel of Fortune, that only Maggie can hear.

Maggie, who can barely take care of herself, is desperate to help her injured and orphaned niece get the best medical care possible, so she reluctantly accepts a mobster’s lucrative job offer: major cash to kill his monstrous son-in-law.

Paired with Patrick Mulligan, a charming murder mentor (who happens to moonlight as a police detective), Maggie stumbles down her new career path, contending with self-doubt, three meddling aunts, a semi-psychic friend predicting her doom, and a day job she hates. Oh, and let’s not forget about Paul Kowalski, the sexy beat cop who could throw her ass in jail if he finds out what she’s up to.

Training has never been so complicated! And, this time, Maggie has to get the job done. Because if she doesn’t … she’s the mob’s next target.
Review: Move over Stephanie Plum, there is another Jersey Girl on the book scene! Maggie Lee is one of the funniest characters you'll encounter in a long time. The story is full of color characters that you can't help but love. Oh and some really interesting animals!

It is hard to pigeonhole this book into a genre. It is a little bit chicklit but it isn't a real mystery or thriller either. What it is, is a whole lot of fun and a little bit of a roller coaster ride, with Maggie learning to be a hired gun from the sexy cop/assassin, the three witches (aunts), her BFF Alice, crazy co-workers, a hot cop that is more than a little interested in her...and a talking lizard who likes to be called God.

Oh yeah, this is fun times!

Here's why you should read it:

1. Maggie is just so average that you don't expect her to be a killer. She works in a call center for an insurance company. (One of the worst jobs you can have) Oh and she has a slimy boss!

2. Her father is in prison for bank robbery and murder of a teller, her mom is in the loony bin. And most of her siblings are dead..and her niece is in a coma...hence her need for money and how she got messed up with the mob!

3. OMG! God is the most awesome book animal! He's snarky and not quite what you'd expect. Oh and Doomsday the Doberman = awesome, even if she has lousy communication skills!

4. Maggie's love for her niece is so sweet. I mean, how many people would turn hitwoman to keep you alive!

5. The three witches...erm aunts, Susan, Loretta and Leslie...all with their own special breed of crazy.

If you love series such as Evanovich's Plum and Bond's Body Movers, you'll love Confessions of A Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman.

Rating: 5 flowers

Stop back on January 25th for a special guest post from JB Lynn

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Chick Ponders Bookish Things

Has this ever happened to you?

I go for the mail and their is a package waiting. I'm super excited because I always love getting books, music etc in the mail. It takes me to my happy place.

I usually know where my books are coming from.

But not this time!

I found a beautiful ARC of T. Greenwood's Grace in the envelope with a dust cover and a binder. However I have no idea what tour this is from.

For my main personal email, I have a folder for all book reviews. There is nothing there about this book. I searched my blog email and nothing showed up again.

I searched my personal Gmail and AGAIN nothing.

I have this beautiful book and I don't know when I'm supposed to review it.

I feel so stupid right now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review: 150 Pounds

Author: Kate Rockland
Title: 150 Pounds
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publish Date: Jan 17, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The publisher & Net Galley
Book Blurb: A smartly-written novel of two women starting at opposite ends of the scale--and finding compromise and friendship in their journey towards 150 pounds In the fast paced life of blogging, two women stand out: Alexis Allbright, of Skinny Chick, and Shoshana Weiner, who writes Fat and Fabulous. Both have over five million loyal readers. Both are hungry for success. But the similarities stop there.
With over 100 pounds on the scale separating them, weight isn't their only difference. Alexis is a loner who is so bitchy the only person who can stand her company is her gay best friend Billy. She gives neurotic New Yorkers a run for their money with her strict daily workout routine, and weighing of food. Shoshana is Alexis’s opposite. Living in Jersey with rowdy roommates, she is someone who “collects friends,” as her mother puts it; and treasures a life of expanding circles...and waistlines.

When both appear as panelists on a popular talk show, their lives intersect in ways neither could have imagined. In turns comedic, heartwarming--and familiar to any woman who's ever stepped on a scale--Alexis and Shoshana realize they have far more in common than either could have possibly imagined, and more importantly, something to offer.

Review: This is an absolutely fantastic book that every woman should read. I mean it! Every woman should pick up this book. It is woman's fiction at its finest and funniest. But most of all it is a book that most women can relate too.

Raise your hand if you've had some kind of weight or body image issue?

I bet there are a lot of hands in the air. Mine's up.

This book shows the world from one super skinny woman and one not so skinny woman.

Here's why the book is so great.

1. You get to see two women on a journey to acceptance of their bodies. Neither of them makes a conscious decision to change their weight. Life happens.

2. Alexis, the character you will love to hate, softens as she loosens up. By the end of the book, you can almost like her. (Hey let's face is hard to like a chick that started out weighing 100 lbs and wants to ban girl scout cookies in favor of power bars. Seriously, I was cussing that beyotch out at that part of the book)

3. Shosana is super awesome. I love how she embraces life. Her motto is healthy at any weight, and that is a message everyone should embrace.

4. The blog posts from each of the two women really made the book feel real. I still have to say, I would have been a reader of Fat And Fabulous before I'd read Skinny Chick. (Hungry Girl annoys me too...Tee Hee)

5. I really adored getting to know each character and their friends and families...and the relationships that formed. OMG Noah! is all I can say. I almost want to say, Alexis didn't deserve him..but that would be mean!

This was a fabulous read and I really felt like these two women were my friends by the end. I only had one little gripe. A peahen does not have the beautiful feathers that the male peacock has. She is usually brown or white. So P-hen was not a female.

I'll put that aside though, because this truly was a great read. Go pick it up!!!

Rating 5 flowers

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Review: Sarah's Choice

Author: Wanda E. Brunstter
Title: Sarah's Choice
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Publish Date: Dec 1, 2010
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Slip into romance in this eagerly anticipated book 3 of bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Brides of Lehigh Canal series. Widowed Sarah Turner has her hands full, raising three young children, tending the lock on the canal, baking bread, and washing clothes for boatmen. Although she’s not looking for love, she’s vowed not to lose her heart to a boatman. Yet she didn’t count on meeting Captain Elias Brooks. Will she follow her heart where it leads or accept the proposal of a handsome land-loving blacksmith?
Review: When I want to read a feel good book Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the authors I usually reach for. This is the second historical novel of her's that I've read. I usually go for her Amish fiction. This series is more heavily Christian fiction and may come across as a bit preachy to some. At times it felt that way to me, but the story was so sweet that it didn't bother me.

The setting of the book is in Northeastern Pennsylvania the Lehigh Valley. The setting is one of the things that drew me to the book. I love reading books that take place in my home state. Pennsylvania is just not the most glamorous spot, so I always look forward to seeing how author's present the state, either in a historical setting or present day.

Sarah is a widow, who's husband was killed on the canal. She's working at the lock in his place to keep her three children fed and clothed. Her hatred of the canal is easy to understand. There are times when her reactions to things are a bit much, but deep down it is easy to see why she behaves the way she does.

The two men vying for her heart are as different as night and day and it is easy early on to see which is going to win her heart in the end. Elias is all that is good and Christian. He's a little too much for me at times, but he is a kind, gentle, caring soul, oh and he has a disfiguring birthmark. Patrick is everything he isn't.

Yeah, so you can guess which guy she ends up with.

I loved her son Sammy, who really is the child that gets the most time in the story. He runs off with Elias to pull the mulls on the canal, something that his mother forbid him to do.

The other thing that I loved was the dog, Bristle Face, who didn't like Patrick very much. Again, you can see what guy she's going to end up with.

So, sure it is predictable, but it is very enjoyable, light read and it made me smile. Wanda Brunstetter's books never disappoint me.

Rating: 4 flowers

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review: Plain Truth

Author: Jodi Picoult
Title: Plain Truth
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publish Date: May 1, 2000
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: From the bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper comes the riveting story of a murder that shatters the picturesque calm of Amish country -- and tests the heart and soul of the lawyer defending the woman at the center of the storm.
The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big-city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide -- and for the first time in her high-profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep inside the world of those who live "plain," Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. And as she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within -- to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past reenters her life.
Review: I had a very hard time with this book. I've read a lot of Amish fiction, romance, mystery and otherwise. By 190 pages I was really ready to give up on this book, but I hate abandoning books, so I soldiered on. I will say that I had a little peak at the end because I wasn't sure if I was going to give up.

Here are the things I liked about the story:

1. Picoult did her homework on the Amish pretty well and she really managed to bring to light their way of life and a little about the religion. She did this without making this come across as Christian fiction, when it is in fact a mystery.

2. The romance between Ellie and Coop. This is actually what kept me reading. From the beginning it was terribly hard to like any of the characters in this book, but as these two kind of got together, it made the book a little easier to read.

That said, there wasn't much else I liked about the book. Here's the stuff that bothered me.

1. The courtroom drama. I hated the prosecutor, George. He was a total asshat. Most of the time I wanted to smack him in the face.

2. The characters were so weak at the beginning and terribly unlikable. Ellie was just too unsympathetic and too jaded. Katie was unlikable too. I don't even think I grew to like her much even at the end of the story.

3. The actual mystery itself was hard to take; an Amish girl killing her baby.

4. The sub-plots: How Katie got pregnant, the ghost-hunter boyfriend from Penn State and the ghost of her dead sister Hannah. Please stop already! None of this makes much sense.

5. The ending. We learn the killer but we can safely assume justice is not forthcoming.

I have never read any of Jodi's books before, but this one really put me off. It was also terribly depressing. Not what I want to go for in a read. I doubt I'll be picking up any other books by Jodi Picoult. I'm giving it three flowers because it wasn't awful, but it just didn't do it for me.

Rating 3 flowers

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bewitching Book Tours Promo: Kira Saito

Today I have a book excerpt and guest post from Kira Saito, for her book, Bound. You can read my review here.

The Arelia LaRue Series

First I just want to say thank you to everyone who bought a copy of Bound, I truly appreciate it, even if you ended up hating the book.

Second, I want to let readers who actually liked Bound where the series is going and why I chose to write it the way I have.
I didn't choose the concept of voodoo because I thought, hey it's never been done before, I chose it because I am fascinated by it and really find it so rich and complex, I think it deserves to be explored a bit more especially in books. However, I didn't want it to become a boring history lesson or anything so I decided to make the series a bit humorous, threw in the Dumptys and gave the spirits their own personalities. But, I did spend a lot of time researching the spirits, yes, in voodoo Erzulie, Bade and Brise all do exist, in the book they stay true to their real functions with a bit more personality.

I made the book light but still wanted to touch on real themes that are historically important to New Orleans like slavery , racial/class differences/amazing food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I wrote Bound, I wanted the book to be about Arelia, the Arelia show. I wanted it to be about her struggle to accept her destiny and all the confusion that it brings.

I didn't want her to just walk into Darkwood and say "Cool I'm a voodoo queen! Yay Lucus is so hot, I'm in love with him." Instead, I tried to put myself in her shoes and tried to see what I would have done at 16. Basically, I would have been emotional, irrational and very confused. If someone told me I was destined to be a great voodoo queen today, I would still be irrational, confused and emotional.

The relationship Sabrina and Arelia have is realistic in my opinion because it's the one I have with my best friend. she's not rich or anything, but we fight and argue and bicker, but in the end we still love one another. I don't think I would be best friends with her if it were a fairy tale type relationship.

So in the first book we find out that Lucus is well, you know....cursed.

In Punished the focus will be more on Arelia's powers and the spirits, a lot more about Lucus, Ivan and Louis Beau and their complex history as well as more focus on Arelia/Lucus.

Finally I don't want readers to think I am insulting their intelligence because I chose to make the series a bit light rather than dark and dreary

Punished Arelia LaRue Book #2 TEASER

Chapter 1

I just want you here…

“But, I thought.” Lucus was frozen as he stared at me. Uncertainty softened his strong features as he brushed away the lock of dark hair that had fallen over his right eye. Why didn’t he just get a haircut? “I assumed you were leaving.”
“I can leave if you want me to.” I gave him a small smile as I took a step back. I didn’t want to let on that I was nervous or anything. I wanted answers and maybe some fried Oreos.
“No, please, come in,” he said quickly as he moved aside making space for me to enter the room. “I’m going to do as you requested and put on a shirt.” He gave me a knowing wink. So, he had caught on that the sight of him shirtless was more than just a little distracting.
“Thanks.” I attempted to gracefully stride into the spacious room and poured myself some overpriced cognac. A warm breeze wafted through the balcony window and the scent of fragrant jasmine filled my nostrils.
“I’m so proud of you,” whispered Erzulie as she hovered outside the balcony. Apparently, in the span of twenty minutes, she had already changed her outfit and was now dressed in a flowing, red dress and matching headscarf. Strands of thick, gold necklaces hung from her neck and her arms were adorned with delicate, wooden bracelets.
“Not now Erzulie.” I was mortified that she chose to make another grand entrance at exactly this moment. The moment I was pretending to be totally calm and in control rather than a raving, mud-flinging lunatic that spoke to voodoo spirits.
Of course, she ignored me and continued, “Jasmine is the flower of love, you know.”
“Thanks for the random info,” I hissed praying that Lucus wouldn’t hear. I wasn’t completely ready to let him listen in on my conversations with the spirits just yet. Even though he wasn’t exactly normal, I wasn’t prepared to expose all of my own craziness to him. Lucky for me, he was too busy hunting for a t-shirt within the massive, antique closet that sat at the other end of the room.
“You should always give love a chance my dear, even if it comes in unexpected forms.” She was giving me one of her motherly speeches again.
“I’m not sure what I’m supposed to make of that ominous advice Erzulie,” I whispered as I inched towards the balcony and unsuccessfully tried to shut the heavy, lace curtains on her.
She laughed delicately before continuing, “you do know what I mean, my child.”
“No, I don’t. I don’t exactly see any epic romance developing here. I’m just sticking around because you asked me to.”
“Sure you are my dear.” Her hazel eyes shone as she gave me a small wink and disappeared.
“I thought you despised that.” Lucus eyed the glass in my hand as he put on a blue t-shirt and walked towards me.
“I do,” I replied. I didn’t want to tell him that I needed something to calm down my nerves. I couldn’t get his speech out of my head. How was I supposed to act around him now?
Lucus placed his smooth hand over mine, and took the crystal glass from me. He raised his other hand up to my cheek and grazed it softly with his fingertips. Consuming chills ran through my body, all the way from my split-ends to my non-pedicured toenails. His scent mixed with the aroma of sugary jasmine and cognac was undeniably intoxicating. His gentle breath was deliciously sweet as it made contact with my sweaty skin.
“There’s no reason to be anxious, I’m perfectly harmless,” he whispered softly. “The last thing I want to do is make you uncomfortable or hurt you in any way.”
“Sure.” I grabbed the glass from him, moved my cheek away from his hand and tossed back the cognac. “Gross! How can you actually like drinking this stuff?”
A hint of a smile crossed his full lips. “You get used to a lot of things if you’re around long enough. You’d be surprised at the things you’re capable of as time passes.”
“Well, I don’t think I’m going to get used to the fact that you’re basically a very old man.”
“Is that the way you see me, as a very old man?” Lucus causally asked as he walked over to the heavy, wooden table and poured himself some absurdly expensive cognac. He studied me intently with his intense, dark eyes as he waited for me to answer.
“I mean you don’t look like Mr. Dumpty or anything, but you’re just wearing a disguise to cover up who you really are,” I reasoned clutching the crystal glass just a bit too tightly while tugging on my hair.
He let out a dry laugh and took a sip of cognac. “Aren’t we all?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I raised an eyebrow.
He shook his head and took a step closer. His sharp gaze saw right through me. “If you see me as a very old man, why didn’t you leave? What reason do you have to be here wasting your time?”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ARC Book Review: How To Dance With A Duke

Author: Manda Collins
Title: How To Dance With A Duke
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publish Date: Jan 31, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants…


Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.


Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined….

Review: Put down whatever you are doing and buy this book! I mean it! Buy it NOW! Manda Collins' debut novel is absolutely stunning and flawless.

All the characters are well rounded and so likable and the storyline moves along at the perfect pace. It is nearly impossible to find anything to complain about, except it was easy to figure out who the culprit was in the mystery. That I had figured out halfway through, though I didn't understand the full scope of the evil. But the mystery, though it makes up the story, isn't half as wonderful as the love story of Cecily and Lucas.

Cecily is a wallflower who thought she was condemned to a life of spinsterhood, until she started her quest to clear her father's name in the death of William Dalton, and find his journals. Lucas is William's brother and a Duke. The two have an instant attraction, and from the start you want these two together.

When Lucas compromises Cecily and they have to get married, I thought the story would go downhill, but no. Their marriage only made it better. And I so adored Lucas. He was loving and protective and vulnerable and he was in no way the alpha male that dominates so many romance novels. That's not to say he isn't a strong man, he just isn't arrogant or obnoxious in the way he goes about protecting Cecily.

The best part of the story and the saddest was after they found the body of his brother and he sobs that he wished he would have let his brother ride his pony. I was near to tears as I read that.

Lucas is the kind of hero I want for myself!

Cecily was a bluestocking but while she was smart, she was also loving and not totally absorbed in intellectual pursuits. That made it easy to like her, as well as the other two Ugly Ducklings, Juliet and Maddy.

This is the first book in a series and I can't wait to read the next one "How To Romance A Rake." Manda Collins is going on my must read list from this day on!

Rating: 5 flowers

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Never Shrinking Wishlist

I found one of my old Barnes and Noble wishlists on the floor in my bedroom. This is a wishlist that I made while shopping at B & N one day, while sipping some form of luscious Starbucks coffee. I make one nearly every time I go into the store, because there's never enough money for all the books I want and that damn Goodreads bar code scanner in the app doesn't work on my not so smart phone.

Not to any perspective smart phone not buy the Motorola is a piece of doody!

Here are some of the books from that list...I was pleasantly surprised to see I had bought a few of them...and yay..when they were on clearance too!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bewitching Book Tours Book Review: Bound

Author: Kira Saito
Title: Bound
Publish Date: Oct 28, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Bewitching Book Tours & The Author
Book Blurb:
Sixteen year old Arelia LaRue lives in New Orleans where the music is loud, voodoo queens inhabit every street corner, and the ghosts are alive and well. Despite her surroundings, all she wants is to help her Grand-mere Bea pay the rent and save up for college.

When her best friend Sabrina convinces her to take a well-paying summer job at the infamous Darkwood plantation, owned by the wealthy LaPlante family, Arelia agrees.

However, at Darkwood strange things start to happen, and gorgeous Lucus LaPlante insists that he needs her help. Soon, the powers that Arelia has been denying all her life, come out to play and she discovers mysteries about herself that she could have never imagined.

Review: I had some mixed feelings about Bound pretty early on in the book. Arelia is a bit too much on the pity me side, and Sabrina is a Super Bitch. It is really hard to fathom how these two girls that are polar opposites have remained friends for so long.

But oddly I got over that, because I absolutely loved the setting of New Orleans and the voodoo and ghosts. It really intrigued me and I had to read on. The story is pretty face paced and it is an easy YA read.

I love that deals with the spirit world and not vampires or zombies.  Plus I loved Arelia's Aunt Mae and her grandma. I definitely would have liked more a of a backstory on them, since they were so connected with Darkwood.

Then there's Lucus. He's the hero with a secret...a secret I can't tell you or it will spoil the story for you.  I loved how well he behaved like a southern gentlemen..well he was one. What I couldn't stand was how he played along with liking Sabrina. I don't know how anyone could like Sabrina, she was the most unlikable and unsympathetic character I've ever encountered.

Arelia is a voodoo queen and it is her powers that are needed at Darkwood. Of course, until she gets to Darkwood she doesn't know about the queen stuff. That's part of all the stuff she has to sort through in her head.

I had a love/hate relationship with her as the story went on too. She was a bit too moody, yet as I read, she didn't act any different that any teenager I ever knew. Maybe its the truth hurting that bugged me. This is how teenage girls act. Yikes!

Lisa left us with a huge cliffhanger at the guess I'll be waiting patiently for book 2 in the series! I have to know what happens!

Rating: 3 stars

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