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Friday, December 28, 2012

Author Interview: Pamela Sherwood, author of Waltz With a Stranger



Thank you for hosting me today, Grace!

1. Welcome to Books Like Breathing. Please tell us a bit about Waltz With a Stranger.

Waltz with a Stranger 
Waltz with a Stranger is a Victorian historical romance inspired by the transatlantic marriage market in which rich American heiresses married cash-strapped English peers. Edith Wharton’s last novel, The Buccaneers, explores that phenomenon in depth. Other inspirations include an early Tennyson poem about a man who inadvertently falls in love with identical twin sisters, and the fairy-tale of Beauty and the Beast, but with a twist: it’s the heroine who has to struggle with physical imperfections. Aurelia Newbold was lamed and scarred by a riding accident three years before the story begins. Her sweetheart jilted her afterwards, and she is now convinced no man will ever want her. Amy, her twin, is the one expected to make a brilliant marriage to an English lord. But one night at a ball, while Amy is dazzling Society, Aurelia has a chance encounter with a handsome stranger that changes her life forever.


2. Is there anything special you do when you're writing? Or any particular inspiration?

Sometimes I listen to music to set the mood. The soundtrack to Topsy-Turvy, a biopic about Gilbert and Sullivan, got considerable play while I was working on Waltz with a Stranger. So did the score for A Little Night Music, in which all the songs are written in waltz time. More often than not, though, I write in comparative silence.


3.Who would you cast as Aurelia and James? And why?

If I could choose any pair of actors from any point in their careers, I’d cast Gwyneth Paltrow from around the time she was making Emma and Shakespeare in Love. Physically, she’s right for the part: blonde, blue-eyed, willowy, confident but also vulnerable--which would work very well because she’d be playing dual roles: Aurelia and her more outgoing twin, Amy.

As for James, I’d cast Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd from his Hornblower years. Not only is he tall, dark, handsome, and Celtic, he brings such a strong sense of honor and duty to his performance as Horatio Hornblower. And James is defined by his sense of honor, which is at once his strongest trait and his Achilles heel.


A Song at Twilight4. Can you give us a hint about your next book? What are you working on now?

I just finished my second book, A Song At Twilight, about a professional singer--a rising star in the music world--and the man she can’t forget, in spite of the secrets that tore them apart years before. The hero and heroine play supporting roles in Waltz with a Stranger, so the second book is a sequel, but a fairly loose one. No cliffhanger endings, I promise! And I’m also eying my idea pile to see what I want to work on next.



5. Lightning Round:


Favorite Book: Checkmate by Dorothy Dunnett
Author who inspires me the most: Nora Roberts. Prolific and disciplined.
Favorite TV Show: Downton Abbey
Word I wish would disappear from the English language: Impact, when used as a verb. As a noun, it can stay.
Favorite Word: Quicksilver (I know it’s an old term for mercury, but it sounds so much more evocative)
Favorite Movie: Singin’ in the Rain. It’s my go-to movie whenever I’m feeling low.
Place I would most like to visit: Italy, especially Venice and Florence!
If I was granted three wishes, I would wish for:

World peace (everyone probably hopes for that)

A healthy planet (especially after some of the natural disasters we’ve seen lately)

Enough money to support my writing career and allow a few luxuries, like trips to Europe, theater tickets, and hardcover books! (self-explanatory)

Review: A Seal at Heart by Anne Elizabeth

A Seal at HeartPublisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402268904
Pages: 315 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Romance Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

He Lost Just About Everything On That Mission....
Being a Navy SEAL means everything to John "Red Jack" Roaker, but a mission gone wrong has left his buddy dead, his memory spotty, and his world turned upside down. His career as a SEAL is threatened unless Dr. Laurie Smith's unconventional methods of therapy can help him.

Maybe She Can Show Him How to Get it Back...
Laurie's father was a SEAL—and she knows exactly what the personal cost can be. She can't resist trying everything to help this man, and not only because she finds him as sexy as he is honorable.
As the layers of Jack's resistance peel away, he and Laurie unearth secrets that go to the highest levels of the military— and the deepest depths of their hearts...

My Review:

I am not one of those people who need an awesome cover to like a book. But sometimes covers can leave me a bit apprehensive about starting one. This is one of those times---it just seemed a bit "blah" to me. But, let me tell you, this book is great. 

I liked Laurie a lot. She was a great heroine. She wasn't the most unique or spectacular but I did like her. And I loved her relationship with Papa Gich. So sweet. Now Jack is a hero highlight. I loved him. Heroes with PTSD almost aways appeal to me. I don't know what that says about me but they do. But Jack was a great hero either way. He was strong but kind and vulnerable at the same time. 

I loved this book. It was unexpected but it was almost perfect. The chemistry between Laurie and Jack was perfect, the writing was great and the secondary characters were interesting on their own. Books about SEALS are some of my favorites but I really love ones about the aftermath of war. I guess because battle scenes were never really my thing. I wasn't able to put this one down once I started. I finished it in a couple of hours. That is always a sign of a really great book.

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks

Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1)Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345533232
Pages: 372 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Highlander
Series:  The Montgomerys and Armstrongs
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Romance Reading Challenge 2012, E-book Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.

My Review:

Maya Banks is my absolute favorite Highlander romance author. She is. Other authors come close but her books just wow me every time. Never Seduce a Scot is close to the top of my favorites. 

Eveline was such an amazing heroine. She was possibly one of my favorite heroines in my recent memory. She was strong and smart but never obnoxious. Many heroines who stomp about like spoiled three year olds could learn a thing or two from her quiet dignity. She may not come off a super-strong but she was scrappy. Graeme was equally awesome. No one writes a Highlander hero like Maya Banks. Graeme could have easily been a brute but he wasn't. He was kind and gentle and treated Eveline with the utmost respect. He was protective of Eveline even before he loved her and a true gentleman. He was perfect. 

This is probably one of my favorite Highlander romances. I'm not even kidding about that. I couldn't put it down. I only put it down long enough to make myself a cup of Salted Caramel Tea...and I was supposed to be doing other things. But none of those other things got done because this book was awesome. It had three of my favorite things 1)an arranges marriage 2)enemy clans a'fighting 3)a chieftan hero. It was perfect. The chemistry between Emeline and Graeme was so sweet, the storyline was unique and interesting and I kind of love Emeline. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series. 

I highly recommend Never Seduce a Scot to anyone looking for a great Highlander romance--it won't disappoint. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane

Trouble in Texas (Deep in the Heart of Texas, #4)Publisher: Forever
ISBN: 145551571X
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Western
Series:  Deep In the Heart of Texas-1,2,3
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Romance Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

THERE'S A FOX IN THE HENHOUSE

Inheriting the most notorious house of ill repute in Texas can spell trouble for a girl's reputation . . . especially when she's Elizabeth Murphy, Bramble's prim and proper librarian. Yet when she discovers a buck-naked cowboy handcuffed to a four-poster bed, she forgets all about the town gossips. Elizabeth has sworn off men, but the stranger's kisses melt her resolve faster than ice cream on a hot summer day.

Waking up in Miss Hattie's Henhouse isn't how Brant Cates reckoned on getting to the bottom of his great-granddaddy's murder. The plan was to solve the centuries-old crime, then get the heck out of Dodge. But after meeting Elizabeth and discovering that the buttoned-up beauty is a sexy siren in disguise, he just can't pull himself away.

Now Brant needs Elizabeth to finally put his past to rest, but is she willing to risk her future on Bramble's newest bad boy?

My Review:

I was looking forward to this one. First of all, I will read any book that features a librarian. And second, the series title is Deep in the Heat of Texas--every time I see that I hear Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and that makes me happy. 

Elizabeth was definitely an interesting heroine. She was intelligent and self-sufficient. I liked that she was the one with the sure-hand. She had her head on straight and never fumbled. I liked Brant too. He may not go on my favorite heroes ever list but I did like him. He was a bit too "businessman" for my tastes. But I liked that, in spite of his all around togetherness, Brant came across as the iffy one in places. It's usually the heroine cast as the unsure one. 

This book was a mixture of so many great things. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Brant was great. They never got boring or predictable. They played off of each other nicely. I also loved the humor. I often found myself laughing out loud while reading this book. The hens, three awesome old ladies and residents of Hattie's, were hilarious--they are people I would love to meet. I would like to be just like them when I grow up. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that our main couple added to that humor. This was such a fun and lively book. I will definitely be picking up the other books in this series when I need a good laugh or a pick-me-up. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday (December 14th)

I will be commenting on everyone who commented last week. This week has been crazy badness. 

Giveaways This Week:

Reviews Posted This Week:

Q: What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...


I am going to go old school with this one. I was recently rereading Anne of Green Gables and I got to the part where (spoiler) Matthew dies...and I become completely emotionally unstable. Weeping. Hysterical. This happens every year when I reread the book. Worst part is my mother came across me while I was in the middle of my fit and asks me "Oh, did Matthew die again?" You would think I would prepare myself. And I am not generally a weepy type of person. This is the only book that gets this reaction from me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review: Double Time by Olivia Cunning

Double Time (Sinners on Tour, #3)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402271514
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Erotica/Menage
Series:  Sinners on Tour-1,1.5, 2
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Romance Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

He Craves Her Music and Passion

On the rebound from the tumult of his bisexual lifestyle, notoriously sexy rock guitarist Trey Mills falls for sizzling new female guitar sensation Reagan Elliot and is swept into the hot, heady romance he never dreamed possible.

She Can't Get Enough of His Body

Ecstatic to be on tour learning the ropes with Trey's band, The Sinners, Reagan finds she craves Trey as much as she craves being in the spotlight.

They Both Need More...

When Reagan's ex, Ethan Connor, enters the scene, Trey's secret desires come back to haunt him, and pleasure and passion are taken to a whole new level of dangerous desire.

My Review:

I love this series. I loved the previous books, Backstage Pass and Rock Hard. I have been waiting for Trey's book because I wondered how Olivia Cunning was going to go about finding Trey a lady/man/both and it was definitely interesting.

Reagan didn't start out well for me. In my younger days, it was not uncommon for me to read a fan fiction where the heroine was introduced during an audition to join a band--whichever one I was obsessed with at the time. This kind of brought back those memories. Those bad high school memories. I did like her once I got to know her and when I remembered that this is Olivia Cunning not a bad bandfic. Ethan was also great. He was sweet and as much of a perfect match for Trey as Reagan was. I like that he had as much of a connection with Reagan as he did with Trey. Trey was still our loveable, scampy Trey. I loved him from the first book and he definitely lived up to every single one of my expectations for his book. 

I am not normally very into ménage in my books. But I don't think this would have worked well without all three of them. Trey would never have been happy with just Ethan or Reagan so this worked out perfectly. They all had great chemistry together. The only issue I had with this book was that the other two band members, Jace and Eric, were already settled with wives/girlfriends in this one and in the last one, Rock Hard, they weren't (or at least that's how I remember it). I'm kind of crazy in that I don't mind spoilers but I don't want any hint of who my heroes are going to end up with when I am reading a series. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Avon Addict Giveaway Hop!


I've been a romance reader for a very long time. My first memories of romance novels are of me reading my mother's romance novels--many of them from Avon—as a kid. Many of my favorites, like Rosemary Rogers, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsay, Stephanie Laurens, Lorriane Heath, Julia Quinn etc, were all published by Avon.

I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the first batch of Avon Addicts earlier this year. I was thrilled, overjoyed, elated. I can keep going. Every Avon package that arrived at my house was greeted with a squeal of glee and excitement (from both me and my Momma). Everything about the experience was wonderful. I met so many amazing romance readers and discovered so many new to me authors (two are featured in the giveaway today!).

I am thrilled to be able, thanks to Avon and their generosity, to be able to pass on 3 of my favorite reads: How to Deceive a Duke by Lecia Cornwall, Seducing Mr. Knightly by Maya Rodale and Lord of Darkness by Lorraine Heath.


How to Deceive a DukeSeducing Mr. Knightly (The Writing Girls, #4)Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2)







a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Readathon 2012: Final Totals


I have been really excited about this readathon. It's one of my favorite readathons of the year. This year I will be reading and watching Sons of Anarchy. Good combo right? I have no idea what I am going to read this go-round but I think I will go read my e-books that are about to expire and some of the authors that I have been dying to get off of my TBR.
Hours Read: 38
Currently Reading: A SEAL at Heart by Anne Elizabeth
Finished: 
Wyoming Bride: A Bitter Creek NovelNotorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane, #2)Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3)Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4)The Laird's Choice (Lairds of the Loch, #1)
A Highlander for ChristmasNever Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1)Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1)Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1)Tarnished (The St. Croix Chronicles, #1) Gilded (The St. Croix Chronicles, #2)The Bridegroom Wore Plaid (MacGregor Trilogy, #1)The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1)The Lady Most Willing...: A Novel in Three PartsA Season for Sin (The Sinful Scoundrels, #.5)

Review: The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift

The Gilded LilyPublisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 1250001900
Pages: 480 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/England
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Krazy Kleypas Reading Challenge,
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

A spellbinding historical novel of beauty and greed and surprising redemption.

England, 1660. Ella Appleby believes she is destined for better things than slaving as a housemaid and dodging the blows of her drunken father. When her employer dies suddenly, she seizes her chance--taking his valuables and fleeing the countryside with her sister for the golden prospects of London. But London may not be the promised land she expects. Work is hard to find, until Ella takes up with a dashing and dubious gentleman with ties to the London underworld. Meanwhile, her old employer's twin brother is in hot pursuit of the sisters.

Set in a London of atmospheric coffee houses, gilded mansions, and shady pawnshops hidden from rich men's view, Deborah Swift's The Gilded Lily is a dazzling novel of historical adventure.

My Review:


I have been working on this review for a while. It was one of the victims of my epic computer failure of 2012 not once but twice. I had to read this book twice so luckily I loved it both times. So much that I will be buying the first book, The Lady's Slipper, right away.

I didn't know what to think of Ella when I first met her. She's a bit difficult. She's selfish, she's sometimes not the nicest person on the planet. But I liked her. I really did. I spent more time identifying with her than I did disliking her. I think that's a mark of a great writer...making a likeable character out of someone like Ella. Sadie was so different from Ella. She was shy, sweet and an utter victim without being weak. I felt for her and was rooting for her throughout the whole book.

This was one of the most interesting books I have picked up in a long while. I loved that I liked and identified with both Ella and Sadie. They are two completely different women but Swift drew them both so well. The storyline was also quite interesting and the writing was absolutely beautiful. I haven't read a pure historical fiction in a long time and I think this may have reawakened my love of them. The historical detail was amazing. It was authentic from the language to the descriptions and dialogue. Swift was true to the time period and the setting. I appreciated the detail and the fact that this book is quite chunky. I love a good 400+ page book.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (December 7)



Reviews Posted This Week:

Q: Activity! Who do you want to be? If you could choose any character from a book. What do you think that character looks like and what do you have in common?

I know this is probably a popular answer but I would love to be Hermione Granger. I've always loved her. She's just a plain old cool chick. But I would correct her mistake of marrying Ron. I would totally go for Snape. You know, if in the course of events, he didn't die. Which he wouldn't in my version of HP because he's too smart to be all love stupid over a dead woman or to be taken out by a snake. He totally had antivenin in his pocket and is now living the life of a retiree in Florida.

Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

Dreaming of You (Gamblers, #2)Publisher: Avon
ISBN:038077352X
Pages: 373 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
Series:  Gamblers-1
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Krazy Kleypas Reading ChallengeRomance Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

She stood at danger′s threshold--

then love beckoned her in.

In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Feilding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven--and into Derek Craven′s dangerous world.

A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from, poverty to become lord of London′s most exclusive gambling house--a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world--with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper "mouse" can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress--and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion. . .and the promise of love.

My Review:

I cannot tell you how many times I have been told that I must read this book and that Derek Craven was an epic hero.  Hundreds of times probably.  I held off - --because I'm wrong about life.  Once I started reading, I needed I was wrong about life in general.  This is one of the best romances I've ever read.

I love that we met our heroine, Sara, when she is engaged in rescuing our hero from his attackers.  She's awesome.  She kills a man in the first chapter.  When does that happen?  I love her transformation throughout the book from a brave but completely willing to be browbeaten woman to a someone that would not be dominated.  I loved her - --as much as I loved Derek.  It is very rare that a heroine lives up to a completely awesome hero.  I loved Derek in the last book.  He was one of the highlights.  I have never encountered a hero quite like him.  He was very rough around the edges, very gruff, not well-spoken and not educated but was a strong, capable self-made man.  Very.  There was something so vulnerable and sweet about him. It wasn't exactly expected but it was completely welcome.

This is a book that only Lisa Kleypas could write and write it well.  It was perfect.  I loved everything from the very rough and not so well spoken hero to the all their heroine living in a gambling hall. Derek and Sara had such amazing chemistry and they're just so perfect together. It could have been so bad in the hands of someone not Lisa Kleypas but it wasn't because this IS Lisa Kleypas after all and we know it's going to be good.  I can even think of anything I didn't like.  If that makes me a bad book reviewer, I really don't care.  Seriously.  Best romance ever. I almost wish that this series had been longer.  Both books were amazing.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review: Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

Then Came You (Gamblers, #1)Publisher:  Avon
ISBN: 038077013X
Pages: 371 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency
Series:  Gamblers
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Krazy Kleypas Reading Challenge, Romance Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Reckless and wild, beautiful Lily Lawson delights in shocking proper London society - and will break any rule to flaunt her independence. And now she is determined to rescue her helpless sister from an upcoming, undesired marriage to Lord Alex Raiford, the arrogant Earl of Wolverton. Through fair means and foul, the headstrong hellion succeeds outrageously - but her handsome adversary is not to be outdone. A master gamesman, Lord Alex counter's Lily's scorn with kindness, and parries her blistering barbs with gentle words and a soft, sensous touch. For he has resolved to make the spirited miss pay dearly for her interference - with her body, her soul...and her stubborn, unyielding heart.

My Review:

Can Lisa Kleypas do no wrong? I don't think she can write a completely terrible book. I didn't like this one as much Only With Your Love but it was definitely good. 

Lily was a bit difficult for me. She had good reasons for all that she did but she could have had more sense about it. I did think she was one of the most vivacious and brave heroines I have ever encountered. I loved Alex. I loved the cold and broody heroes and Alex definitely fits that description. I did not like some of how he treated Lily but for the most part, I liked him. I loved this book. 

As always, Lisa Kleypas' writing is nearly flawless. I did have some trouble with Lily but I always do when the heroine has "why the hell did you do that?" moments. But I did grow to love her. I also liked the secret child plot and how it was executed even though, most of the time, the secret baby plot makes me want to pull my hair out. Definitely highly recommended. Especially because this book introduces Derek Craven...and that is not to be missed.

Review: One Fine Fireman by Jennifer Bernard

One Fine Fireman (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel, #0.5)Publisher: Avon Impulse
ISBN: 006225796X
Pages: 208 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Series:  The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel-1,2,3
Challenges: 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012Romance Reading Challenge 2012, E-book Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

Kirk, aka Thor, one of San Gabriel’s infamous Bachelor Firemen, certainly lives up to his nickname. He’s tall, handsome, and has a chiseled body worthy of any Viking god. But he’d give it all up for one glance from her.

Sweet, shy Maribel has no idea he’s been pining for her. There’s nothing he’d like better than to sweep her off her feet and show her just how exquisite their love could be. But Kirk has a secret and he won’t let anyone get close, least of all the sexiest woman he’s ever met.

Can a feisty little dog and an even feistier little boy help these star-crossed lovers to find the true love they both so richly deserve?

My Review:

Jumping into a series in the middle makes me nervous and I am doing that with this one. But how can I say no to a fireman hero? It's borderline impossible. 

Maribel was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I liked her but she had certain aspects of her character that just didn't work for me. For instance, what type of mother hears her child say that he/she doesn't like the man she is determined to marry and disregards it? Her son wasn't being petty. He was genuinely concerned because her fiancée made it clear that he didn't give a crap about him.  She acted like her marriage would only effect her. You have to wonder, would she take it seriously if her kid was being abused? Kirk almost made up for the borderline fail that was Maribel. I loved that he was the one with the crush first. He was gentle and soft-spoken. Not at all what I was expecting but definitely welcome.

I did like this book even with my issues with Maribel and her stupid determination to marry Duncan despite his neglect of her and her son, her son's dislike of her fiancée and the better option staring her in the face. I just wanted to shake her. I did love Kirk. He was almost the perfect hero. I did like the fireman thing. Kirk may be my first ever fireman hero but I like it. In spite of my dislike of the heroine, I was truly impressed with Jennifer Bernard's writing style and storytelling abilities. I will definitely be checking out the rest of this series. I really did enjoy this one. 





Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: Wolfishly Yours by Lydia Dare

Wolfishly Yours (Westfield Wolves, #6)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 140226349X
Pages: 384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Paranormal
Series: Westfield Wolves-1,2,3,4,5
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012, Romance Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

It Takes A Beast...

Grayson Hadley is in his own special hell-being treated like a wayward pup by the tutor employed to turn him into a true gentleman. So when he meets a hot-blooded American beauty with the mark of a Lycan, he's only too glad to slip his leash.

To Bring This Lady To Heel

Accustomed to running wild in the swamps of Louisiana, Miss Liviana Mayeux is shipped off to her grandfather's in London to learn a thing or two about polite society. At first she scoffs at the English Lycans' apparent tameness. Little does Livi realize how very close she is to unleashing the passion that lies just beneath the surface...

My Review:

I apologize for having been review silent for the last week. I had computer troubles. I thought it was solved when I bought a new one but that one broke so I bought another new one. Let's hope my new one survives. 

I have loved all of Lydia Dare's books. I didn't think there was a chance that I could be even a bit disappointed by one of Lydia Dare's books but this one left me a bit wanting.

Livi was not as vivid of a heroine as I am used to from Lydia Dare. She seemed kind of bland and one-dimensional. I wanted to like her but I never really made a connection to her. I liked Gray. Not exactly as much as I would have if I had liked his heroine better. My problems with her kind of bled onto him. But I did enjoy his scampiness. 

It took me so long to get into this book. It was very slow to start and even when I did get into it, it still didn't work for me. I found myself losing my concentration and zoning out. It's very rare for me to zone out while reading. It just seemed as if there was something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. I did like Lily and Gray's chemistry but it wasn't enough to get me into this one. I will probably try this one again when I reread this series again and I will continue to fangirl Lydia Dare like a crazy person.

Review: Just a Cowboy and His Baby by Carolyn Brown

Just a Cowboy and His Baby (Spikes & Spurs, #6)Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402270186
Pages: 352 pages
Genre: Romance/Contemporary/Western
Series:  Spikes & Spurs-1,2,3,4,5
Challenges- 100 Books In A Year 2012, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012,  Romance Reading Challenge 2012
Buy this Book: Amazon, Indiebound, Powell's

Summary:

She's Got Her Eyes on the Prize...

Gemma O'Donnell wasn't the first woman to win the ProRodeo buckle for bronc riding, but she was darn well going to be the second. What she didn't count on was her main competition sweeping her off her feet.

He'll Do Whatever It Takes To Win...

Trace Coleman isn't really after a title—he needs the cash prize to buy his dream ranch. But one sexy, determined cowgirl keeps getting in his way. In his effort to take her out of the running, he risks losing both the title—and his heart.

They're Both in For a Little Surprise...

Everybody's world is turned upside down when a pint-sized bundle of joy gets dropped right into Trace's lap...and suddenly all the stakes are higher.

My Review:

I have loved the vast majority of Carolyn Brown's books. They have a certain charm about them and almost never fail to give me the feeling of small-town smushiness. This one was great for the most part but there were a couple of aspects that just rubbed me the wrong way.

I liked Gemma a lot. I always appreciate women who can compete with the boys at their level and not rely on pretty or allowances to get by. She was just as good as the hero and didn't fail to let him know that. But I was sad to see her kind of ruined by a passing statement she made later in the book--I'll get to it. But it took me from "love" to lukewarm "like" with Gemma and, as a result, the book. I liked Trace as well. He was a nice guy and a gentleman. He also never toned down his competitiveness against Gemma. He didn't give her an easy time because she was pretty or because he was attracted to her. He competed against her the way he would compete against anyone. 

This one is, perhaps, not my favorite but it was a good read. Gemma and Trace had good chemistry. Not exactly epic but good enough to be entertaining and believable. I do wish that the baby plotline had been introduced earlier. It seemed like it was a major plotpoint but it was just thrown in there at the end. It did end up a bit disjointed. I also thought that Ava turned out to be a bit demonized and, as I explain in the next paragraph, I found it to be offensive and quite irresponsible. Especially, how she is treated by our hero and heroine. 

My biggest problem with this book was the treatment of Ava, Trace's daughter's mother. Gemma, quite wrongly and irresponsibly classifies her as "heartless." Ava took every precaution to prevent pregnancy. She took birth control and when it failed, did not have an abortion, had the baby and made an effort to find a good home for her child. And she's heartless? What other option did she have? This woman had every right to have an abortion but she didn't. Honestly, she may not want to raise Holly herself but she gave Holly to a couple who would raise her in a loving home--not heartless at all. Not every woman melts at the sight of a newborn. Not every woman wants to be a mother. And that's perfectly fine. Not heartless. She should be commended for making the right choice for a child she couldn't give the life it deserved.  As one of these "heartless" women, I cannot tell you how offensive I found this. It impacted my enjoyment to the point where I had to alter my rating and I never do that. 

 

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