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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: Thoroughly Kissed by Kristine Grayson

Thoroughly KissedPublisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402248547
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Fairy Tale
Series: Fates-1,3,4,5,6,7,8; Charming-1,3
Challenges- TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's
Summary 
Sleeping Beauty has sworn off kissing...
 Emma awakens to an entirely different world than the one she lived in a thousand years ago, and although she's the real Sleeping Beauty, her life is no fairy tale. After parting ways with her supposed Prince Charming, she's determined to be a normal girl—she hides her magic and swears off kissing strange men.
But her gorgeous boss Michael knows there 's something unusual about Emma, and he thinks she's as infuriating as she is beautiful. Now Emma needs to teach Michael a lesson, which means mastering her magic. She knows she's flirting with danger, but after one look at Michael's perfect lips, all she can think is, "What's another thousand years ... ?"
Welcome to the fractious fairy tale world of Kristine Grayson, where the bumpy road to happily ever after is paved with surprises ...


My Review:


This series is one big huge joy to read. At least for me. Every single book is an adventure. Something completely new and unexpected. Even if this series grows to 83 books, I don't think I will get bored. It's that good.

I am not a big Sleeping Beauty fan, to be honest. She ranks after Cinderella and Cinderella is pretty far down on my list. But I absolutely love this take on that fairy tale. Our heroine, Emma, is a history professor who also happens to be an awakened Sleeping Beauty. She's trying to figure out the 21st century world and avoid kissing. She also encounters more trouble when she comes into her magic with only Michael to assist her in controlling it. Michael is the head of the history department. He thinks Emma's book is complete crap. Great start, right? They had this bickering type of relationship that I absolutely loved.

I kind of fell in love with this one from the first page. It was a light read with some great humor, romance and characters. I was a bit surprised because Utterly Charming was a bit of a difficult read for me but this one rebounded this series for me.  This one had some good bits of humor that had me laughing out loud. Emma's cat, Darnell, was a source of many of them. In my humble opinion, you will not find a better series of fairy tale adaptations out there. Grayson tackles each fairy tale in such a unique and humorous way. I can't wait to read Charming Blue about my favorite fairy tale man of all, Bluebeard.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine by Jayne Fresina


 The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN:1402265972
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency  
Challenges- TK
Buy this Book: AmazonIndieboundPowell's
Summary 
A SCANDALOUS LADY
Sophie Valentine knew placing an ad for a husband in the Farmers Gazette would bring her trouble-and she was right. When the darkly handsome, arrogantly charming Lazarus Kane shows up on her doorstep, the nosy residents of Sydney Dovedale are thrown into a gossiping tizzy. After all, it's common knowledge that Sophie is a young lady In Need of Firmer Direction. But even Sophie isn't so scandalous as to marry a complete stranger. .. is she?

SEEKS HANDSOME STRANGER
Lazarus Kane has been searching for Sophie half of his life. She may not remember him, but he could never forget her. But the past is a dangerous thing, and it's best if his remains secret if he wants to tempt Sophie with ...

A MOST IMPROPER PROPOSAL


My Review:


I have a tendency to put off books that I know I am going to like. Usually, I am right and I love the book even though it took me forever to read it. But there are other rarer times where the book just doesn't live up to my lofty expectations. I did that with this book and this one kind of middled with me.

I don't know why but lately most of the heroines I have been coming across have annoyed me to no end. Sophie was so frustrating. She had all the wit and strength of a great heroine but, for the most part, she was led around by her idiotic family. She had no spark and I have come to expect at least a little with my heroines. Sophie just went along with her family and never really stood up for herself. I did love Lazarus. He was the perfect combination of sweet and rough around the edges. Sophie did treat him quite badly through most of the book which I found to be borderline exasperating. I kind of wanted him to tell her to take a hike but, of course this being a romance novel, he never did.

I did like this book. Quite a bit. Jayne Fresina's writing style was really engaging and love how the humor, romance and drama worked within the plot. I really liked Lazarus and I thought that the story was interesting. I do think I would have loved it if Sophie had been a bit more likable. There are just times when I have a complete disconnect with the heroine and this was one of them. That being said, the chemistry between Lazarus and Sophie was perfect. Really whenever they were together, I found myself liking the book ten times more. Aunt Finn was also a treasure of a character. I would read a book just about her.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon: Updates and such



I have no idea what the plan is for this week so I am just going to go with it and read whatever the heck I want to. I do know that I am going to finish of some review books and then I am going to move on to more Lisa Kleypas books. She's just so good at writing a romance novel. I will keep updates going through my Goodreads page and Twitter although that may become hockey infested more often than not. 

















on page 122

Up Next


Finished: Lady Amelia's Mess and a Half by Samantha Grace, Lord of the Black Isle by Elaine Coffman, To Love A Scoundrel by Kristina Cook, Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas, Prince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas, Somewhere I'll Find You by Lisa Kleypas, Because You're Mine by Lisa Kleypas


Challenge Number 1: Something Wicked This Way Comes from Kindle Fever

“A wildfire is quickly coming your way! What thing/s do you grab when you only have a few minutes to make it out?”

I actually had to sit and think about this. I assume that my books are toast. There are so many of them and my idea of black garbage bags of paperbacks is unwieldy given the impending disaster so I am going to save:

  1. My Devils stuff (including all of my lucky things)
  2. My Nook
  3. My laptop 
Challenge Number 2: Slake Your Thirst from The Caffeinated Book Review

I chose my favorite drink of all: the Amaretto Sour.


Recipe:
Serves 1

1 1/2 oz Amaretto liqueur
1-2 splashes of sweet and sour mix

Pour the amaretto liqueur into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Add a splash or two of sweet and sour mix, and shake well. Strain or pour into an old-fashioned glass, garnish with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange, and serve.

Read more: Amaretto Sour recipe http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink820.html#ixzz1yMoNQopJ

My most anticipated summer read is:

Dream Lake (Friday Harbor, #3)

Challenge Number 3: Mix ‘n Match @ The Non Reluctant Reader

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: A Warrior's Promise by Donna Fletcher

A Warrior's Promise (The Warrior King, #3)

Publisher: Avon
 ISBN: 0062034669
 Pages: 384 pages
 Genre: Romance/Historical/
Highlander
 Series: The Warrior King-1,2
Challenges- TK
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary from Publisher:



It has been prophesied that four men, raised as brothers, will bring Scotland back to glory. The third one will first endure a lesson in humility—and passion.

Charlotte is as brave as any Highland warrior, but she can't rescue her father alone. Her sweet face could convince any man to come to her aid, but fate has a funny way of complicating things. For when she is lucky enough to land at the feet of the mighty Bryce MacAlpin, Charlotte is in disguise . . . as Charles.

Bryce can afford no distractions on his vital quest to restore Scotland's true king to the throne. It is madness to instead give his help to this desperate urchin— especially after Charlotte's secret comes to light! Now, caught between a growing passion and his dedication to the king, will Bryce turn away from love in order to fulfill his quest? Or will he discover that promising your heart is the bravest mission of all?




My Review:


This book was the cause of great frustration for me. I was in the middle of reading this book on my Nook and my copy expired. I have to admit to a rash of frustrated tears. But thankfully, I was lucky enough to be sent a copy in my Avon Addicts package. I may or may not have done a small dance of joy.

Charlotte has to be one of my favorite heroines ever. In the beginning, I couldn't decide whether to label her "awesome" or a Mary Sue (if you need a definition). I went with truly awesome because this woman was as much of a warrior as Bryce. I also liked her--which never happens when I find a Mary Sue. Bryce was a great hero and watching him attempt to control Charlotte was a great joy. He did take a bit of a backseat to the amazing that was Charlotte but I liked him nonetheless.

I loved so much about this book. Both Charlotte and Bryce were likable and had great chemistry. I also loved that both of them could have been the "warrior" in the title. Charlotte was not your typical simpering, distressed heroine and Bryce was not the typical he-man protector type. They both broke the mold in their own way. The only aspect of the book that really rankled was the whole girl dressed as boy thing. It always flummoxes me and it always leaves me rolling my eyes in disbelief but Donna Fletcher made it believable.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: Cowboy Crazy by Joanne Kennedy

                                           
Cowboy Crazy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN:1402265492
Pages:384 pages
Genre:Romance/Contemporary/
Western
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book:Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's
Summary from Publisher:
Sparks fly when sexy cowboys collide with determined heroines in a West filled with quirky characters and sizzling romance. Acclaimed for delivering "a fresh take on the traditional contemporary Western," Joanne Kennedy's books might just be your next great discovery!
 From stable to boardroom... 

 Sarah Landon's Ivy League scholarship transforms her from a wide–eyed country girl into a poised professional. Until she's assigned to do damage control with the boss's rebellious brother Lane, who's the burr in everybody's saddle. He's determined to save his community from oil drilling, and she's not going back to the ranch she left forever. Spurs will shine in this saucy romp about ranchers and roots, redemption and second chances.

My Review:

Joanne Kennedy is one of my "go to" Western romance authors. Whenever I am looking for a good cowboy romance, I search out a book by Joanne Kennedy as I always have at least one hanging around. This one was on my TBR and I have to admit to rushing a little to get to it.

Sarah was one of those heroines that you love from the very beginning. It's very easy to identify with her and her story was so heartwrenching. I also felt for her when the people of Two Shot shunned her. It was so painful to watch. Lane was another story. I initially had such a difficult time with him. I have trouble with well-to-do people bragging about coming from a small town and getting their hands dirty--when they  lived in the mansion on the hill and had a silver spoon in their mouth since birth. But I quickly forgave him for that because he was really a sweet hero and he was kind to horses.

Cowboy Crazy is my favorite Joanne Kennedy book--so far. All of her books are well-written with great characters and a lovely small town feel but there was something special about this one. The chemistry between Sarah and Lane was so intense yet so believable. Also both characters were likable on their own which I find to be a bit of a rarity in contemporary romance. It's always either the hero or the heroine that manages to get on my bad side but that didn't happen even though Lane took a while for me to like. I also loved how it was Sarah who was from the wrong side of the tracks. Yes, I know this has been done before but I have been reading many where the heroine is the rich one. It's nice to get a break from that.








Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: Just Say Yes by Phillipa Ashley

Just Say YesPublisher: Sourcebooks Landmark 
ISBN: 1402241437
Pages:368 pages
Genre:  Romance/Contemporary/Humor 
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb


Summary from publisher:

There's one question a girl should always say yes to...

But Lucy Gibson said no. On national TV. Now she's hated by nearly everyone.

Fleeing the spotlight's glare, Lucy holes up in a cottage in the country, where she just might find the right reasons to say yes after all...

From beloved novelist Philipa Ashley, Just Say Yes is a sharp and exuberant tale of the rocky road to love that'll leave you saying "Yes!"

My Review: 

I love Phillipa Ashley’s books. She is such a great storyteller and she ties with Jill Mansell as my favorite chick lit author. Just Say Yes, while not my favorite of her books, comes pretty damn close.

Lucy was a character that I almost immediately identified with. She was dealt a very bad hand. Through no fault of her own, she was made out to be a “bad guy” in the tabloids and was hounded for it. Not nice. But she dealt with it well with strength and just a little bit of hysteria. It took me a bit to warm up to Josh though. I can place the sole blame for that on his terrible, terrible girlfriend, Sara. Seriously, the woman was evil. I’m kind of surprised she didn’t wear a puppy fur coat throughout the book. The company you keep reflects on you and it reflected badly on Josh. Once she was out of the picture, Josh grew in my estimation.

I loved this book. I finished it in one night. and this book kept me completely entertained the whole time. Lucy and Josh were also really great together. Their progression as a couple was very slow and not your typical romance style fireworks. It was very true to life. The humor was spot on. It wasn’t outlandish or slapstick. It was smart and witty. I was also happy that it was free of Bridget Jones-style pratfalls. They don’t make me laugh. They make me cringe. Seriously, I can’t watch Bridget Jones without wanting to die slowly. I always appreciate it when I don’t have to see the heroine in the books I read embarrass herself constantly in a (supposedly) adorable way.


Rating:

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Armchair BEA: Ask the Experts

I am on the fence about this one. I have been blogging for 4 years. I am still learning new things about blogging every day. The problem I have with this question is I hate that people feel the need to tell each other how to blog. It’s your blog. Make it yours. Do what you want with it. I don’t understand why bloggers feel the need to tell each other what to do. Never have. Every time I see one of those “How To” posts with rules and regulations, I get a little steamed. But really, the only three rules we all should follow are

  1. Don’t plagiarize. (We all know this rule is subjective. Meaning if you are big enough, you can get away with it)
  2. Be nice and respectful. Don’t do anything that your mother would scold you for doing.
  3. Be honest. Be fair. But don’t compromise your opinions.

But seriously, if anyone needs any advice, I’m here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Armchair BEA: Favorite Books of 2012

…so far.

I am going to post some of my favorite books I have read and reviewed this year. Some are old and some are new. This list is going to be massive.

 

 

Reviewed:

  1. Scrumptious by Amanda Usen
  2. Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas
  3. Sins of the Highlander by Connie Mason
  4. Compulsively Mr. Darcy by Nina Benneton
  5. The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy
  6. Chasing Clovers by Kat Flannery
  7. A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
  8. The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose
  9. Confessions From An Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville
  10. Pulled by A.L. Jackson
  11. A Lady’s Revenge by Tracey Devlyn
  12. Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal by Grace Burrowes

Not Reviewed Yet:

  1. The Lover by Nicole Jordan
  2. The Offer by Catherine Coulter
  3. Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros
  4. Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas
  5. Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
  6. Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
  7. Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
  8. The Cowboy Takes a Bride by Lori Wilde
  9. Where Passion Leads by Lisa Kleypas
  10. Dark Lover by JR Ward
  11. Lover Eternal by JR Ward
  12. Lover Awakened by JR Ward
  13. Forever my Love by Lisa Kleypas
  14. Only in Your Arms by Lisa Kleypas
  15. Only With Your Love by Lisa Kleypas
  16. Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis
  17. A Warrior’s Promise by Donna Fletcher

As you can see, I am a bit obsessed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA 2012-Introductions

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

My name is Grace obviously. I’m 26 (27 in a week). I a cacophony of many random things—librarian, baker, reader, hockey fan, sister, stalker of postal service workers who deliver my mail very late. I have been blogging since 2008. A very long time. I got into blogging to keep a record of what I was reading. Fairly simple. The community and all that good stuff was a bonus.

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

Right now, I am in between books but my favorite books have to be all of the Lisa Kleypas books I have read so far. I am working my way through her backlist and they just keep getting better and better.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

I am not licensed to drive. Yep. I am one of the sad people who cannot legally operate a vehicle. I failed my test twice. Twice administered by the same person and twice failed.

What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?

My favorite feature of my blog is my reviews. I just love writing them. I have been slowing down lately but I am getting back at it now.

Where do you see your blog in five years?

I have no idea. I am not one for thinking so far into the future. One day at a time.

Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

Any of the reviews from April or May would be lovely. I loved those books and worked really hard on the reviews.

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

Anne Shirley. No question. There is no predicting what that crazy girl would so.

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

Prince Edward Island. I’ve heard it’s beautiful and it’s on my list of literary places to travel.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

I love how the community supports each other. How smart we all are. How much we love books and sharing the love of reading. It’s not something I have ever experienced. My mother used to be the only person I shared books and bookish opinions with. High school was a dry wasteland of people who hated reading. College was better but the blogging community was a revelation.

I would love to see the cliquey aspect change in the future. I don’t like the “popular crowd” feel that happens in this community sometimes. I graduated high school in 2003. I don’t want to revisit. I would also like to see the rules apply to everyone not just the little people but the big name bloggers as well. No one in this community is better than anyone else. Maybe that’s a bit idealized and it’s not a perfect world but it makes sense, doesn’t it?

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

When I started this blog, I was reading all literary fiction, Jane Austen sequels and historical fiction. I was bored. My mother leant me a romance novel and I was hooked. It completely changed my reading habits. So I now primarily focus on reading romance novels with a smattering of YA.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: A Gentleman Says “I Do” by Amelia Grey

A Gentleman Says "I Do" Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca  
ISBN: 1402239769
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
Series: The Rogues’ Dynasty-1,2, 3,4 
Challenges-TK
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb


Summary from publisher:

Her Writing Talent is Causing All Kinds of Trouble...

The daughter of a famous writer, Catalina Crisp has helped her father publish a parody that makes Iverson Brentwood's whole family the talk of the town, and not in a good way.

Because He's the Reality Behind the Story...

Furious and threatening, Iverson storms into Catalina's house, demanding satisfaction, but the infamous rake has finally met his match. With her cool demeanor and intense intelligence, Catalina heats his blood like no other woman in his notorious history...

My Review: 

I have learned a brand new lesson. Never draft a review on loose-leaf paper. You will lose it. And then you will spend days trying to find it. And you likely won’t cause it’s a needle in a paper haystack. So, you’re likely going to have to dig through your memory to remember what you thought about a book you read a couple of weeks ago.

Catalina was one of those heroines that I couldn’t quite get a read on for most of the book. I don’t know if it was simply because I couldn’t make a connection with her but she was a bit troublesome for me. I liked her but it took me a while. Iverson was not as troublesome for me but he flummoxed me. How does he expect Catalina will react when he waltzes into her house and threatens her father? He obviously just didn’t think things through. It just wasn’t logical. But I did like him. He did his best to help Catalina even though her father was a big problem for him.

I love Amelia Grey’s books. I have read many of them and I love most of them. This one while not among my favorites is definitely a great one. I liked both of the main characters but I generally am very wary of gossip—it’s my own personal weirdness—so I had to shake that before I started to get into the book. It didn’t take me long and when I got into it, I really started to love the humor and the romance of this book. I did think the chemistry between Catalina and Iverson was amazing. That in itself was amazing considering the rather auspicious start to their relationship.

Oh and by the way, Books Like Breathing is quoted on the back cover! Thank you, Sourcebooks.


Rating:

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

 

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