Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Keeper Shelf Is Overflowing

Lately every book I've been picking up has been a good one. So good that I can't seem to part with them.

I'm running out of room!

I subscribe to 3 series from harlequin and I buy almost another series worth monthly because I'm a book addict, oh and I'm a member of Book Of The Month Club 2, so I get one hard cover book a month too.


I don't think that there's more than one book from the last 2 months that I don't consider a keeper.

That presents a huge problem because I'm running out of room! I really need to pass some of the books off to goodwill or my hair salon, where they have a book exchange shelf, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

Its like when I'm cleaning and I find books. I can't get rid of them until I've read them. It's a compulsion of mine. I feel like I'd be letting the book down or something, by giving it away without reading it first.

I think I need to read faster, or at least go through the books I'm reading and read ones I'm going to give away regardless.

Any suggestions on how to weed out the keeper shelf?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book Review: From Playboy To Papa

Leanne Bank's introduces us to the first Medici brother in From Playboy To Papa! and we quickly discover that Rafe is a hero not to be tangled with when it comes to getting what he wants and after he sees a photo he wants his son. However when he finds him, the woman taking care of him isn't the woman he thought he'd find, Tabitha Livingstone, his ex. Instead, he meets her twin, Nicole, who is everything her wild sister was not. Nicole isn't ready to hand her sister's son over to just any man, even if that man is Joel's father.

The two come together to help Joel transition into a new life easier, but what both of them didn't expect was for love to find its way to both of them. Sure there were sparks but the seeds of love were definitely being sown.

Rafe Medici is truly one of the most perfect heroes. Even though he doesn't quickly admit to having feelings for Nicole, he shows all the signs of being a good father and husband. Its harder to believe Nicole's lack of trust for him, though she has some demons to banish.

Nicole Livingstone is more than a heroine, she's already a great mother. Her feelings for Joel will draw sympathy to her. How could they not. She's raised this boy just about from birth and here's Rafe come to take him away.

The sex was downplayed in this book which was a good thing, because relationships and family were more key to this being the wonderful story that it is. Leanne gave just enough back story to keep you interested and then towards the end she throws a teaser in, so that you definitely want to read the next two books.

My keeper shelf is buckling under the weight of all these great books I've been reading lately.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Review: Caught In The Act

Caught In The Act is a fine piece of reading by Samantha Hunter. Its got a little bit of everything, romance, suspense, hot steamy, make you want to take a cold shower sex, and wacky relatives. These things always make for great story, and Samantha Hunter does not disappoint.

Gina is a food critic who will do just about anything to get her little sister Tracey out of trouble, including breaking into a lawyer's office to steal pictures of her sister in several compromising positions. But when she finds them, that's when things get shaken up, especially when she ends up getting hot and heavy with the lawyer, Mason.

When its discovered that Tracey's boyfriend is more than it seems, The FBI comes in and it seems like everyone is in danger, in more ways then one.

Gina is really interesting character. I love how she loses her inhibitions when she's in costume at Mason's house, when they first meet and later when they are in the safe house, and he buys her clothes. When's she's dressed sexy, she can be sexy. That's probably the case for many women. But what really makes Gina so endearing is her devotion to her sister. I don't think many people would stoop to theivery to save a siblings ass, when it was pretty much a given that they were in the wrong.

Mason is a great hero too, though I think he was probably more lenient than any "real" man would be when he discovered that the woman he was about to make love to was using him to get evidence. Aside from that, he was very admirable, he protected Gina, even when she was doing something totally stupid, like endangering their lives to talk to her sister.

The characters were all well rounded, even the secondary one's like Tracey and her husband Rio, who's relationship was almost a mini-story within this story. This really helped to make the reader feel like they knew the characters and not just as an observer to their lives.

The suspense was really a surprise to me, as Blaze books usually focus more on hot steamy sex, but there was a good balance in this book, at times it really put me on the edge of my chair.

Another notch in my keeper shelf!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The First Romance I Ever Read

I had to be in 6th grade when I found Jennie Tremaine's Tilly in a box in my house. I was already reading the Silhouette First Love books for teenagers so I figured why not try this one. It was the beginning of a love affair with Jennie Tremaine's books (she's also Marion Chesney) and Regency romances in general.

I think it was the fact that Tilly was a tomboy that appealed to me at the time. I wasn't one, but she was the kind of girl that most people passed over. Of course when she made a good marriage it was one of convenience or so her Marquess thought.

It was a sort of Cinderella story and that appealed to a very young girl, just discovering romance. It definitely paved the way for many more similar books done the line. I have read almost all Marion Chesney's novels and I still have a love for novels set in the Regency period.

I still have a copy of this book. I may have to reread it to see if it still has the magic it did many years ago.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Books To Buy

This is part of my list of books I need to acquire soon and their blurbs:

It is 1940, and radio broadcaster Frankie Bard, reporting from war-ravaged Europe, knows what many back home refuse to believe: it’s just a matter of time before America enters the fray. Meanwhile in Cape Cod, newlywed Emma Fitch is bereft since her physician husband, Will, left to help ease the suffering in England. She doesn’t know about the letter he gave postmistress Iris James…or that Frankie, too, has a missive she carries with her until the day fate lands her on Emma’s doorstep.How these three extraordinary women deal with the loss of innocence in a world gone crazy is the reason Sarah Blake’s The Postmistress, filled with stunning parallels to our lives today, is a novel that stays with you long after you turn the last page.

Angels and assassins meet in a tale of unceasing suspense as The Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice takes us on a thrilling tale of murder, time-travel and a man’s search for his soul.As Angel Time opens, we meet Danny O’Dare, a man who kills for money, with no hesitation or remorse. It’s a dark, nightmarish world, until a mysterious stranger—a seraph—offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. But at what price? O’Dare soon finds out when he’s taken back through the ages to 13th-century England, a dark realm torn apart by rumors of child disappearances and ritual murder. Tossed into the fray, Danny begins his quest for salvation, setting off a chain of events that could have unforeseen repercussions in the present….

On the brink of revolution, with a tide of hate turned against the decadent royal court, France is in turmoil - as is the life of one young woman forced to leave her beloved Paris. After a fire destroys her home and family, Claudette Laurent is struggling to survive in London. But one precious gift remains: her talent for creating exquisite dolls that Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France herself, cherishes. When the Queen requests a meeting, Claudette seizes the opportunity to promote her business, and to return home...Amid the violence and unrest, Claudette befriends the Queen, who bears no resemblance to the figurehead rapidly becoming the scapegoat of the Revolution. But when Claudette herself is lured into a web of deadly political intrigue, it becomes clear that friendship with France's most despised woman has grim consequences. Now, overshadowed by the spectre of Madame Guillotine, the Queen's dollmaker will face the ultimate test.

Pretty, flirtatious, and ambitious. Nan Bassett hopes that an appointment at the court of King Henry VIII will bring her a grand marriage. But soon after she becomes a maid of honor to Queen Jane, the queen dies in childbirth. As the court plunges into mourning, Nan sets her sights on the greatest match in the land...for the king has noticed "her." After all, it wouldn't be the first time King Henry has chosen to wed a maid of honor. And in newly Protestant England, where plots to restore the old religion abound, Nan may be the only one who can reassure a suspicious king of her family's loyalty. But the favor of a king can be dangerous and chancy, not just for Nan, but for her family as well...and passionate Nan is guarding a secret, one that could put her future -- and her life -- in grave jeopardy should anyone discover the truth.

Based on the life of the real Anne Bassett and her family, and drawing extensively from letters and diaries of the time, "Between Two Queens" is an enthralling picture of the dangers and delights of England's most passionate era.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Review: Hard To Resist

There's a saying, "You can never go home," buy Mary Tate Engels blasts that theory into smithereens in Hard To Resist Suzanna Schaeffer returns to the town of Grace to run the new country club. She left years ages ago with boyfriend Jake, but when he didn't want to settle she had to find stability for their nine year old son Ross. Back at home she meets her old crush, Chase Clements, a river rat with a bad reputation in town.

Both are rebels, but all have grown up since their high school years.

Engels creates two very lovable characters that have some inner turmoil to deal with. Suzanna is trying to succeed at a new job with a chauvinistic boss as well trying to raise her son alone. Chase is building a business while raising his sister's son Ken.

They carry out a secret affair because Suzanna is afraid to lose her job because her boss, Mr. Rutherford, has a vendetta against Chase.

Its a story that can only be set in the south. Small-minded townspeople, river rats and feuds.

One of the best things about the book is one of the secondary characters, Ellie, Suzanna's mom. At the beginning she starts off very needy, and by the end she's taking on the elite men's club The Rogue's.

After reading a lot of the Blaze imprint, the Temptation line doesn't seem as spicy as it seemed 15 years ago. This story in particular was more family oriented then hot and spicy, but it worked, with two kids running around, its hard to have believable sex scenes.

Definitely a book to read, if not put on the keeper shelf.

Book Review: Her Sexy Valentine

Her Sexy Valentine is one of the sequels to Oct's Seduction By The Book. This time around we are getting Carol Snow's story and what a wild, wacky, sexy tale it is.

Carol goes through a sort of Groundhog Day meets A Christmas Carol thing going on which is a unique twist, but it also detracts from the original story of women seducing their chosen man the way a character in an erotic novel would.

I think this is what makes this book slightly less enjoyable then the first. The erotic novels chosen by the other Red Totebag members gave something extra to the characters. With Carol and Luke there was nothing except a banter over her reading dirty books.

I think the Christmas Carol part of the plot worked the best, because Carol wasn't very likable, even when you learn the reasons for her being standoffish. Luke is a playboy, but nothing he did seemed be anything that would cause anyone to act the way Carol did towards him throughout most of the book.

Her Sexy Valentine definitely didn't live up to the standard's of Seduction By The Book, but if you haven't read that one, its still a good read by Stephanie Bond, its just not quite as good as it could've been.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I Have A Brain Book

I've gone all month reading Harlequins. I haven't read anything that wasn't romantic in nature.

My brain is turning to mush.

Thank god my friend, Jennifer loaned me her copy of the new Nick Hornby book. Its saving my brain cells, even as I have a shelf full of Harlequins to read. I could probably read til I died and there would still be more books in my to be read pile. That's just how I am.

I need to start setting aside brain books for awhile, because if I don't plan on reading them, the romances take over, because for me they are just fun. They pass the time and make me happy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Review: Mistress: Hired For The Billionaire's Pleasure

The title of this book is a bit deceiving. You would really think that this story was about a power hungry man out to keep a woman for his own bidding. The back blurb isn't accurate either, as the child is not left on Orlando's doorstep, but is brought to him by his former lover.

Its a same that the two things don't really provide a better account of what the story is about, because it may turn some readers away from a really good book.

In fact this story is much like a modern day fairy tale. It's little bit Beauty And The Beast with a wicked mother and evil suitor thrown in for good measure.

Rachel is a pianist running away from a marriage she doesn't want as well as from an abusive fiancee/conductor and Orlando is losing his sight and is trying to hide from the world. When the two come together they find a strange sort of happiness together, especially when Orlando's ex shows up with a baby in tow, claiming that its his.

Arabella exits, trying to get away from her responsibilities as well as suffering from post natal depressing and that's where Rachel comes in.

The story really comes together well, because Grey gives you characters you can truly feel for, whether its anger, sympathy or love and you'll feel these even for the secondary players in this novel, including Orlando's brother Felix who is dead.

The imagery in the book is so superb, the reader can easily visualize Orlando's home at the time of the ball, when Rachel has taken over for Lucinda the decorator that's come down with the flu.

This is a book that would easily transition to film, particularly a Hallmark Channel Movie.

A fun, emotional read that's definitely going to find its way to many keeper shelves.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Caved

I spent the $25.00 and bought a membership @ Barnes and Noble. I have one at Books-A-Million even though there's only two stores and both are 50 miles away from where I live. I do love their internet store though, so that's how I rationalize that.

The main reason I spent the $25.00 for the Barnes and Noble card is not so much for the book discount. I love that though, but the real reason is the 10% discount at the Barnes and Noble Cafe! Yeah that would be Starbucks! I love coffee almost as much as I love books. The two seem to go together hand in hand!

Of course, I bought about 4 books when I was there too. I mean, it isn't totally all about the coffee!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Review: A Taste Of Temptation

Carrie Alexander scores a hit with her A Taste Of Temptation, the third and final book in 2006's Lust Potion #9 series. This is gossip columnist Zoe Aberdeen and police lab tech Donovan Shane's story. When the story starts out the two seem to be the most unlikely pair, but as the potion takes hold, things change.

Zoe needs Shane's help to get information on the potion that was turned into the police, for an article that she hopes will make her career and get her taken seriously. At first Shane isn't very helpful, but then he drinks the potion. What happens after that can only be described as magical, after all, Zoe is a certifiable hottie and Shane is, well, he's a nerd.

Its amazing how explosive sex can change a girl's opinion of a guy and vice versa.

Oh and when it looks like the lust potion is a part of something more sinister the two lovebirds go hunting for answers.

This book was fantatastic, hot steamy sex and a taste of suspense thrown in for good measure. I loved Donovan's geekiness and his initial grumpiness when faced with Zoe. I also loved that Carrie didn't write him as muscular geek that just wore glasses. The fact that he was tall and lean scored points with me.

Zoe was adorable as an underachiever. Though it was hard to figure out how she didn't use her smarts to get a little bit further ahead in her career before this.

All in all, this was a great read. I will now be hunting down the other 2 books from this mini-series.

Review: Under The Influence

Nancy Warren has created a fun, fast paced read, that really is the story of two couples. The main story focuses on Natalie Fanshaw an efficiency expert and Johnny Santini a local bartender trying to win a cocktail contest. The two meet at the restaurant he works at on Valentine's Day and things get hotter from there.

But that's not all this story is about, there's also Rita and Ben who have a relationship that one of them wants hidden.

Nancy weaves these two couples stories perfectly together. Oh and each chapter starts out with a cocktail recipe that will make you wish you had every liquor in your cabinet.

Why the recipes? Well within each chapter you find Johnny creating drinks for his muse Natalie to sample and to perfect his drink for the contest.

It was fun reading about these four people and their quest for not only good sex, but for trust and love.

This was a near perfect book, and I say near, only because there were a few times when I wanted to slap Natalie because of her reservations or her snobbery, when it came to financial matters. Other than that, this is a great book and one for the keeper shelf, which is now beginning to sink under the influence of all these good books.

When Did This Happen To Me

I'm sitting around reading Nancy Warren's Under The Influence. Its a Harlequin Blaze and I started to think, when did I start loving these kinds of books. In the past few months I haven't touched much that wouldn't be described as smut or trashy, not that I have any problem with either kind of books, but I used to grab something different every now and then. Right now I'm all over Silhouette Desires, Harlequin Blaze and Harlequin Presents, and I have to tell you, I've never ever been a fan of the Presents line.

What has happened to me?

Has my brain turned to much and my hormones kicked in?

I'm not sure, but I've read and re-read some pretty great books from those lines lately. I'm even venturing into the Spice line, which is really smutty aka erotic right now. I have the new Jina Bacarr novel on my nightstand. It's not a book I want to carry around with me ya know, but I really am enjoying it when I get the time to read a few chapters.

I haven't read when I like to call a "brain" book in over a month. You know, the kind of book that you read and actually have some thoughts about other than "OMG is it getting hot in here."

I plan to rectify that soon. I can't have my brain going to mush now. The big decision will be what book to read, to get those brain cells working again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review: Wedding At King's Convenience

Maureen Child's Wedding At King's Convenience has to be one of the best Silhouette Desires that I've read in a long time.

Maureen wrote all of the characters well, not only just Maura Donohue and Jefferson King, but all their siblings and the townspeople of Craic, Ireland.

This was a book that was hard to stop reading, and that's saying quite a bit as it was the first full length eBook that I've read. So it really kept me staring at the computer screen. I wanted to know what happened next, but most of all, I didn't want the story to end.

In 180 pages I became attached to Maura and Jefferson. I loved the fight scenes because Maura really knew how to give it when she was angry. I also loved Jefferson for the stupid secret that kept them apart. Another thing I liked was that through both characters stubbornness, I found that I didn't want to do either of them bodily harm for it, like some characters. Jefferson was never nasty, maybe a little cunning, but never nasty.

All in all, it was a great read and one I highly recommend to my romance reading friends.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Author To Rave About

Have you ever read a book and been about halfway through and already you know that this is an author that you'll read no matter what.

Well I'm reading Maureen Child's Wedding At King's Convenience and she's won me over with this one book. I got it as a free download and its really one of the first ebooks I've read.

What I really found impressive about her are the characters. Maura is strong female and not the kind that has hidden wussy traits that come in after a few chapters. Maura wasn't going to let herself be walked on by any man. That's refreshing.

The other thing I found refreshing was the hero who didn't act like a total ass.

But I won't go on anymore about the book. I'll review it when I'm done. What I will tell you is that Maureen Child is an awesome writer and one that you should definitely check out. She's definitely going on my must read everything list.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review: Elsewhere

There are so few books that I can literally not put down but this tale of the afterlife and reincarnation was definitely one that I couldn't let go of.

Liz wakes up one morning in a strange bet on the S.S. Nile which delivers her to Elsewhere. Elsewhere is the place Gabrielle Zevin has created for souls to go when they leave this earth.

On the S.S. Nile she encounters several people that will shaper her afterlife, among them is former rocker Curtis Jest. When she arrives in Elsewhere she's greeted by the grandmother she never knew, who looks to be the same age as her mom Olivia, but who died at 50 of breast cancer.

Why does she look so young?

In Elsewhere you age backwards, until you are 7 days old and then you are released back to earth to start a new life.

Elsewhere deals with Liz's struggles to deal with her own death and loss as well as acceptance of life on Elsewhere.

Zevin writes for young adults but anyone who reads this is bound to find Lizzie's story uplifting.

The book's message is such a simple your life and your death to the fullest.

I recommend this book to everyone!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Book Review: Neil R. Selden The Great Lakeside High Experiment

This book is so old I can't even find a cover photo of it! Its a young adult novel I should have read about 20 years ago, but didn't. Or at least I think I didn't because nothing about the book was familiar to me.

Here's the jist of it and why I was totally unimpressed and yet compelled to finish it.

The popular crowd consisting of Jen, Larry, Dolph and Wayne come up with an idea to make senior year more exciting. The idea: take a plain girl and make her glamorous and through their friendship popular. The whole My Fair Lady/Pygmalion thing.

Not a bad thing, except Maude, the guinea pig in the experiment ends up being nice and falling for Jen's guy, Larry.

Here's where I have issues with the story. Its told from both Maude and Jen's point of view. Jen is not a nasty popular bitch out to hurt Maude, but the writer feels the need to cause Jen some pain in the end, as some sort of payback for her being "The Popular" one to start with. To tell what caused that would give away the plot and the book may be worth reading for some tweens and lovers of young adult fiction.

I felt that the ending came about too quickly and the friends that were Jen's originally lacked substance then and her boyfriend who was falling for Maude was just as bad, even with some of the plot twists Selden wrote to make him likable. For me they didn't make any more or less likable, they just made him strange.

As for the girls, I felt sorry for both Maude and Jen. They each had family problems to deal with and they both felt constricted by their life. The ending was supposedly happy with all fences mended, but it left me feeling like there was so much more to be resolved, especially with Jen.

I'd give this book to a 12-14 year old, but I think older teens would feel like I do, that it left a lot to be desired.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Pros and Cons Of Used Book Stores

I love a good bargain as much as anyone but sometimes used book stores can be very frustrating. Here's my list of why I love and hate these wonderful establishments.


1. Depending on where you are shopping you can get books for as little as 50 cents to half off the cover price. Great deals!

2. Its always fun to peruse the shelves not knowing what you are going to find. Its like an Easter egg hunt!

3. Getting that great deal on a book you didn't expect to find.

4. Being able to sit on the floor of a dusty old shop and just surround yourself with the books. You can get away with this in some bigger shops but its not nearly as fun, especially when the books start falling off the shelves onto you, as they do in my favorite used book shop, Paradox Books in Wheeling, WV.

5. The books you find can be very old or just released.


1. The books are in varying conditions. I hate when I find a book that's a keeper but the spine is bent so badly that it won't last a second reading.

2. You may not find what you are looking for. In fact, sometimes you may find nothing at all.

3. They don't put cute little coffee shops in Used Book stores.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Review: Notorious

Vicki's Notorious is a fitting start to the Blaze line. This books are hot sexy reads and believe me, after reading Notorious, you'll need to cool off. Woah! Is all I can say. The plot is basically the story of two old friends that harbored desires for each other but didn't act on them, getting it together 10 years later in Vegas quite by accident.

What better place to have sex that basically puts all fantasies to shame then Vegas?

Keely was the hometown bad girl, posing for a centerfold, when she was barely old enough to do it. Noah was the guy that turned her down. When he runs into her outside a strip club he assumes she's not made her way in the world through good means. He thinks he's going to reform her. Ha Ha Ha!

They both get some reforming and they have some hot and heavy petting and sex throughout the weekend in Vegas.

Keely was not quite the bad girl Noah believed her to be, but he didn't discover that until much later. I don't want to give too much away, but the two of these characters definitely meant to be.

I don't think I've read a Blaze novel that was this hot before. This book requires a cold shower after reading it.

Vicki Lewis Thompson was one of my favorite writers for the Temptation line and she was really able to create a hot steamy read with the boundaries that disappeared with Blaze. If you haven't tried a book from this imprint, and you like your books steamy, sexy and as my mom would say, smutty, grab a Blaze and break out your fan, cos things will get hot!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Addicted To Book Clubs

Last year I got started with subscriptions to several Harlequin imprints. I'm a sucker for the Historical, Nocturne and the Mira Romance line. If I had more money I would subscribe to a lot more too, because I always end up buying several of the books from Blaze, Superromance, Desire and Love Inspired lines.

Yeah, I'm a sucker for romance.

I devour them like I would chocolate.

But I like all kinds of books. That's why I used to be a member of Book Of The Month Club 2. I left awhile back for financial reasons and I'm hoping to join again soon. I loved getting hard back copies of books for about $10.55. Plus I didn't have to wait until they came out in paperback to read them.

Over the years I've belonged to just about every book club out there, Doubleday, Science Fiction, The Literary Guild, Crossings and the original Book Of The Month Club. The only ones that were really worth the money were the Harlequin subscriptions and Book Of The Month Club 2. All the others just sucked the money out of my wallet.

I found a pretty interesting link that has all sorts of resources for reading groups and book clubs, click here. If you're looking for a place to talk about books, you'll be able to find a link to one there. Of course you could always talk to me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ebook Review: Notorious Eliza

Barbara Monajem's Notorious Eliza is fast, spicy read. Its a perfect read on a snowy February day.

Its the story of the infamous widow Eliza Dauntry, who makes her living painting courtesans. She takes a job redoing a risque mural for Patrick Felham's uncle. Eliza is doing the paintings so that she could provide for her son James.

Patrick returns to his Uncle's estate to find Eliza, who just happens to be the widow of his boyhood friend and a woman his harbored a secret desire for.

Its no surprise that when they meet sparks fly, but Eliza has reservations, about money, how people will think and reputations. They manage to get together though and have a happily ever after.

I loved that Eliza was strong willed and such a good mother, just as Patrick was determined to be a good father. The best part was how comfortable she was with her sexuality.

So if you are looking for a quick spicy read, this is a great place to start, and while you're at it check out more of the short stories from Harlequin Historical Undone. They'll definitely heat things up.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Most Evil Coupon Ever

About 3 times a week I get emails from Books-A-Million, my favorite book store chain. There's one problem. The two stores that are in my area are both about 50 miles away. One is located in Morgantown, WV and the other in Triadelphia, WV near Wheeling.


So when I get coupons like this one when there's over a foot of snow on the ground, I get cranky.

See I have a theory about Books-A-Million and their super awesome coupons. They send them out when there's absolutely no way that I can go, either because of the weather (2 ft of snow on the ground and counting) or because no one else wants to go, and I don't drive that far on my own.

Oh and how about that coffee coupon there, as an added taunt to make me aggravated.

One last thing, I have a $25 Gift Card and this would get me a bonus book for my card. It sucks that it can't be used online.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What Is Chick-Lit?.

Since so many reader bash Chick-lit, just as they do the romance genre, and to them, I raise my middle finger in salute.

There is nothing wrong with Chick-lit. Chick-lit is women's fiction. Chick is slang for young woman and lit is an abbreviated version of literature.

So what's wrong with women's literature now that its been defined?

Are we scared of books with romance? Are we scared of novels that have some humor?

Obviously so, but there's nothing wrong with Chick-lit and Chick-lit doesn't necessarily mean a book is a romance. I like both.

But here's and example:

Sophie Kinsella and her Shopaholic series are definitely chick lit, but so is Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. You can also add any novel by Jennifer Weiner. Some have romantic elements others don't.

Harlequin has several imprints that cater to chick lit. Mira has some wonderful writers and then there's Red Dress Ink, which is a more British line of books.

Personally I don't care who prints the books, as long as they are good.

I like women's fiction. I like books that make me laugh. I like books about relationships. I don't even care if its a man that writes the book, as long as its enjoyable.

So chick lit, love it or hate it, its still here and there's no reason to avoid it. Its not going to kill you. Read and enjoy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Want This Book

I got an email from Books A Million the other day and this book stood out. Of course it did, I don't have any extra book money this month because I have way too many bills to pay and the weather has caused me to lose some work time. Curse you winter!

You can read the book blurb here.

I've always been intrigued by books that are set during the second world war. I'm not sure why that is, except that maybe growing up with two parents that were alive at the time (My father served in the Coast Guard during the war) I've heard enough about it to really enjoy these stories.

Hopefully next month I'll be able to buy this book, but for now its on my wish list.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Review: Sarah Morgan - The Vasquez Baby

I'm never again going to say I love an author from the Presents line again, its the kiss of death for me. I loved The Sheikh's Virgin Princess, but I can find nothing redeeming to say about The Vasquez Baby.

Let me explain why. Faith, the heroine was the wussy-est female I've ever read about, while trying to hide it in the disguise of a strong minded career woman. Every other sentence seemed to be of her crying or pouting or fearing that her love wasn't trusting her enough or loving her or whatever.

Then there's Raul, the Argentine billionaire, with a chip on his shoulder about the size of the Empire State Building. He's totally unlikable. All he seems to care about is sex. From the start you know that he doesn't want to be married or have children, but you don't know why until the last few pages. Perhaps knowing sooner what caused his phobia might have endeared him to me a bit more, but as it was, he was an ass.

The other big problem I had with the story was how it started at the two characters meeting and then it jumped ahead about 10 months or so. It went from meeting to Faith and Raul reuniting after an accident. Faith had run away shortly after their marriage. Further proof she's a wishy washy woman in my book.

This book was sadly a waste of my time. I will give Sarah's novels for Presents one more chance but if I get another stinker like this, I'm banishing her to the land of lousy authors.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Christian Fiction

I never really delved much into faith based stories, until I read Anne Rice's novels about the young life of Christ.

Now don't get me wrong, I still love a good smut novel as you can see by the books I've been reviewing, but as a result of reading these books, I opened myself up to more books that had religion as a focal point, and even romantic fiction with a little bit. The Steeple Hill line that Harlequin publishes puts out some wonderful novels that don't focus on the sexual aspect of love.

But what I've really discovered that I love now are books about the Amish. I've always been fascinated by the culture of these people since I was a little girl, visited Lancaster, PA. Its hard to believe that these people live like they do while the rest of the world rushes on ahead of them, and yet they seem happy. Beverly Lewis writes about the Amish very well as do several others like Wanda E. Brunstetter.

It hasn't helped matters that I received a catalog from and now I get to spend hours deciding what I want to order. Oh and it even has a clearance section! I'll never have money now!

What I've found so refreshing about some of these books is that though the religion and faith is there, its not shoved down your throat. I guess that's the main reason why I've really taken to some of these books.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Author Spotlight: Hope Tarr

One of my favorite authors for the Harlequin Blaze line is Hope Tarr.

Her Blaze novels are always unique. She's taken the line into the historical genre as well as the paranormal.

One of my favorite Blaze novels is Hope's The Haunting which is about a modern day woman and a civil war ghost. This was the book that really really got me into Hope's writing.

I love that she twists so many elements into her stories, especially the ones she writes for the Blaze line. Its never just a typical contemporary romance. There's always something else, like the ghost in The Haunting or the Christmas miracle in Its A Wonderfully Sexy Life.

Her historicals are awesome too. She's done 2 for the Blaze line for the mini-series Blaze historicals and she has a Victorian The Men of Roxbury House Trilogy. All of which are worth reading.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Favorite Authors: Romance

I have an increasingly large number of authors whose books I buy without question some you may have heard of, others perhaps not. Let me share some of my favorites with you and maybe you'll find someone new to try out

1. Stephanie Bond: I'm so glad a friend of mind gave me one of her Blaze novels for Harlequin. When it comes to steamy fiction Stephanie really knows how to write them. One of my favorite Blaze books was one that she's written called Seduction By The Book. Its 4 stories within a story about some women taking part in a book club that only features erotic fiction. One word; Wow! Its produced a novella and a full-length sequel. But that's not all Stephanie writes, she's also got the Body Movers series which is something along the lines of a slightly posher Stephanie Plum.

2. Janet Evanovich: I can't begin to tell you how much I love this woman's writing. If you haven't heard of her Stephanie Plum series or the Nascar series, get yourself to Amazon or your nearest bookstore. What I like about Janet's books is the humor and the general fucked up-ness that her heroines are full of, and yet they land on their feet, no matter how many cars of Stephanie's get blown up! If you want a laugh with just a touch of romance, and I do mean only a touch, grab a Plum novel and prepare to chuckle.

3. Debbie Macomber: Debbie Macomber writes relationship fiction. She started out doing Harlequin Romances in the 80s and her books always featured the most down to earth characters. Recently her Mrs. Miracle novel was made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel and it was the highest viewed cable movie that week. Woo Hoo. If you want to read books that center around family and real life, you can't go wrong with Debbie.

4. Jina Bacarr: Jina is a writer of erotic fiction for the Spice line, plus she's a pretty nice lady who is willing to discuss her writing with her readers. Granted if you are bothered by sex scenes than her books will probably be a bit too much for you, but if you are brave, give her books a try, because she really does her research for her stories.

Some of my other favorites to try, Nicola Marsh, Heather MacAllister, Jo Leigh, Amanda Quick

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Book Review: The Sheikh's Virgin Princess

Sarah Morgan's modern day fairytale is one of the best stories I've read in this Harlequin line in years.

Imagine if you will, a princess of a faraway land called Rovina and then a Sultan of an even further away country, Zangrar. These two people are betrothed to each other through and agreement between their fathers. One is desperate for the union the other isn't.

Both hero and heroine are both stubborn and determined to get what they want. As the story moves along, one finds their feelings changing, even though they are keeping things from each other during their travels/courtship.

What I liked about this book: The heroine though a virgin (OMG there are still 24 year old virgins?) wasn't wishy washy as many female characters are in this predicament. She was strong and tried to fight her own demons to protect herself from the danger she was in.

The hero was really the perfect prince charming.

Another plus is that the sex scenes didn't come before they were needed and they were tastefully done. No throbbing spearheads of longing, thank God!

This book actually gave me faith that there are really some good authors writing for this line. I find it heard to trust books with titles that always contain one of the following words, Virgin, Mistress, Bride, Millionaire/Billionaire, & Tycoon. Also insert the nationality of your choice in with the Millionaire Tycoons, usually Greek or Italian.

This was a really fun and enjoyable read. The perfect book to while away a boring afternoon. I'll look for more of Sarah Morgan's Presents novels soon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Vampires In Fiction

I love a good vampire story, just like many women seem to do these days, but I really wish Stephanie Meyer would go to blazes and take her sparkly friends with her.

I don't mind a little distortion of the vampire legend, but this is really getting to be ridiculous. What really bugs me the most about all of the new vampire stories is that so many of the vampires are just too darn "NICE."

I like a little evil in my paranormal characters. I mean, Dracula, was a blood sucking bastard, why do all the vamps that are popular now have to be about going against their nature, falling in love, and yada yada yada?

I think that's why deep down, Anne Rice's vampires will always appeal more to me than the others.

That's not to say that I don't like my vampires to have some romance or sex going on, but I hate when they are all emo in their wanting to be human or not wanting to do the whole bloodlust thing.

What's the point of being a vampire if you aren't going to go around draining people!!

It was like this wonderful Sci-fi show I used to watch, Forever Knight. I loved the vampire, but he was so emo, back when emo didn't exist, about not acting on his urges.

I don't want vampires like that. I want them to rejoice in their undeadness. I want them to bring across their lovers and not try to become human. To me that's just boring.

Oh and above all else, my vampires should never ever ever SPARKLE!

How do you like your vampires in your fiction?
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