Wednesday, January 30, 2008


For Nalini Singh's Contest she wanted to hear about our favorite heroes from romance novels, TV or movies and why.

I'm trying to think of romance books I constantly reread.

A new author to me last year.. Robyn Carr has a wonderful series the Virgin River series. I fell in love with the character from the third book in the series (Whispering Rock) Mike Valenzuela. I loved how Mike helped the heroine, Brie, return to life after she was raped. While tough subject... Brie was a survivor and had to learn to trust again and Mike was so loving in helping her slowly regain her confidence.

Roarke from JD Robb's In Death series is wonderful. I love how he takes care of Eve. It doesn't hurt that he is brilliant with computer and has millions. His background makes him a very angsty hero.

Ken "Wildcard" Carmody from Suzanne Brockmann's Out of Control is one of my favorites. I find myself rereading his story when I want a comfort read. Kenny is not tall and does not consider himself good looking. He is resourceful and has a heart of gold.

Conlan from Alyssa Day's Atlantis Rising is a great hero. He has endured major pain and his life full of angst. He leads his Warriors with confidence. I love when he speaks formally to Riley. He doesn't know what to do with a strong female who speaks her mind.

I could go on and on but these four came to mind first.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Seduced For The Inheritance by Jennifer Lewis

Seduced for the Inheritance had an interesting premise. Our heroine, Anna, has inherited a piece of property which is part of De Leon's family estate. We learn the history of Anna's mother and the De Leon patriach, Naldo's father. Needless to say Naldo is not pleased and is determined to find a way to get the property back from Anna at any price.

I enjoyed how Naldo loved his heritage and the estate. I wasn't as taken with Anna. We learn that she has always loved Naldo since she was a teen. I never really warmed up to her as much as I have with other heroines.

Book cover3 out of 5

January tally

Harlequins - 11 (4 SD, 2 SE, 1 Medical, 2 HQN, 1 Sexy Sensation, 1 Rom.)

Non- Harlequin -2

- 13

Millionaire to the Rescue by Ally Blake

Millionaire to the Rescue gives a glimpse of what it would be like to live in a fishbowl and have it grumble before your eyes. Brooke Findlay must rebuild her life after her famous wealthy husband leaves her with two young children and no money. Coming to Brooke's rescue is Daniel Finch, her husband's best friend.

Ally does a fantastic job of fitting many emotions into the HRomance format. She takes the reader through Brooke's journey to find that she is more than just a news headline or mom. Danny is a closet romantic. He tells Brooke he hasn't found the woman he wants to be the last woman he'll kiss.

Ally brings Brooke's two children to life. Beau and Lily are an intergral part of this love story. Nice touches like Lily needing a security blanket of a boa after her dad dies.

I enjoyed the tidbits about life around Melbourne including the evening picture on the back. I'm thrilled to have found writers from the Melbourne area while we are living here.

Wonderful read although I do wish HRomances were a tad longer.

4.5 out of 5

January tally

Harlequins - 10 (3 SD, 2 SE, 1 Medical, 2 HQN, 1 Sexy Sensation, 1 Rom.)

Non- Harlequin -2

- 12

The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts

The Remains of the Dead is the first book in the new series Ghost Dusters Myestery series by Wendy Roberts. We meet Sadie and her employee Zack who have a very unusual job - to clean up crime scenes after the police are finished with the area. Sadie's ability to speak to the dead while cleaning up from their deaths adds another dimension. Sadie meets Trudy Toth who seems to believe her husband, Grant, is innocent of the murder-suicide that the police have concluded in their report.

What a wonderful debut novel. There is a mix humor in this suspense filled story. Someone doesn't want Sadie investigating Trudy's claim of her husband's innocence.

We are introduced to several characters who I hope we'll see more of in future books. Maeva also has the ability to speak to the dead but she makes her living with her abilities while Sadie unique talent is only known to a few. Zack Bowman, an ex-cop, was given a second chance when Sadie hired him. Hints of a future between Sadie and Zack are very subtle but aren't required in this mystery.

The twists to the solution of the murder kept me involved until the very end. Looking forward to more books in the series.

4.5 out of 5

January tally

Harlequins - 9 (3 SD, 2 SE, 1 Medical, 2 HQN, 1 Sexy Sensation)

Non- Harlequin -2

- 11

Informed Risk by Robyn Carr

Informed Risk is an early book by Robyn Carr (Virgin River series). We meet Christine Palmer and her two children on the eve they are rescued by Mike Cavanaugh. Both have histories which as Mike puts it need to be healed.

As with Robyn's books we not only have the wonderful main characters but we meet Mike's large family and Chris' estranged aunt with a mutt named Cheeks. Robyn creates characters that we care about and want to find their HEA.

Definitely have parts that tell the time point to the book being written in the later 80's - use of fireman and not fire fighter and smoking to help calm the nerves of Aunt Flo. These minor things did not detract from the book. I wanted to jump in and become a part of the book, Thanksgiving at the Cavanaughs is wonder.

I will definitely continue my quest to read more of Robyn's backlist while I wait for more books in the Virgin River series.

4 out of 5

January tally

Harlequins - 9 (3 SD, 2 SE, 1 Medical, 2 HQN, 1 Sexy Sensation)

Non- Harlequin -1

- 10

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bedded by Arrangement by Natalie Anderson

Bedded by Arrangement (aka His Mistress by Arrangement for the US release) by Natalie Anderson is a fantastic read. Natalie packs a lot into the format of Mills & Boon Sexy Sensation (AU book release category). Emma Delaney, a workaholic with secret passion, makes a deal with Jake Rendel who was her neighbor growing up. Jake proposes to change Emma's image with her co-workers by pretending to have an affair. What happens when the pretense becomes all to real for both Jake and Emma? There were a few twists that made this a fun book to read.

Both Emma and Jake are well defined characters and I really wanted them to find their HEA. Definitely will look for more books by Natalie in the future.

4 out of 5

January tally

Harlequins - 8 (3 SD, 1 SE, 1 Medical, 2 HQN, 1 Sexy Sensation)

Non- Harlequin -1

- 9

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins

Catch of the Day is another wonderful contemporary by Kristan Higgins. The setting is rural Maine and we follow Maggie Beaumont, diner owner, and still single after 30. Maggie's bad luck was to fall for the new priest in town who then tries his hand at matchmaking. In the background is Malone the Loner who is the strong silent type.

Higgins writes wonderful contemporary that will pull at your heartstrings but with a healthy dose of humor.

4.5 out of 5

January tally

Harlequins - 7 (3 SD, 1 SE, 1 Medical, 2 HQN)

Non- Harlequin -1

- 8

Fools Rush In by Kristan Higgins

Fools Rush In is a debut novel by Kristan Higgins. This is a delightful contemporay that takes place on Cape Cod. We follow the antics of Dr. Millie Barnes who has had a crush on Joe Carpenter since high school. Millie first needs to "remake" herself for her perfect man. Standing in the wings is her ex-brother-in-law, Sam Nickerson, who has been left by her sister.

Higgins brings life on Cape Cod to life. Millie is a delightful heroine who learns that sometimes perfection is sitting under your nose where you least expect to find it.

I will be looking forward to reading more books by Kristan.

4.5 out of 5

January tally

Harlequins - 6 (3 SD, 1 SE, 1 Medical, 1 HQN)

Non- Harlequin -1

- 7

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Winter Blues 2008 Reading Challenge

I tend to read many blogs and found this reading challenge on one of my blogs.

Since I'm reading and blogging about my books I decided I could kill two birds with one stone. :)

Books I'd like to read before the end of March:

The Stolen Princess by Anne Gracie (need to read for my book club)

Deadly Gamble by Linda Lael Miller (second book going to be out soon)

Fools Rush In by Kristan Higgins (won this book in a contest)

Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs (She's been on my TBR)

The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston (read about on a blog)

Sucker Bet by Erin McCarthy (love the Vegas vamps)

Rating system for books

I borrowed this from one the groups reading for the Harlequin Challenge.

Excellency Rating
Excellent: I’d have to kill you if you take this book away (5 stars)
Great: I’d buy this book as a gift for a friend (4.5 stars)
Very Good: I’d tell some to buy their own copy of this book (4 stars)
Good: I’ll part with this when my keeper shelf starts to sag (3 stars)
Okay: I’ll part with this book to make room for new arrivals (2 stars)
Poor: I’m embarrassed to tell anyone that I actually finished this book (1 star)
Regrettable: I couldn’t even finish this one. (0 stars)

Sucker Bet by Erin McCarthy

This is the last book in Erin McCarthy's Vegas Vampire series. What a wonderful way to end the series with Gwenna Carrick's story. Definitely not your ordinary vampire series but a very fun light hearted series with Erin's wonderful humorous voice.

Erin does a great job in tying up the series which I'm very sad to see end. Many of the familiar faces from the earlier Vegas Vampires play an important part in the book as well as The Impalers (a Vampire band).

Gwenna Carrick is trying to break free of dominating men - her brother, Ethan who is the president of Vampire Nation and her ex husband, Donatelli who is now the vice president. Enter Nate Thomas a police detective trying to solve a series of murders which always seem to involve Gwenna.

While much lighter in nature than a lot of paranormals Sucker Bet has a mystery to solve along romance in air.

4.5 out of 5

January tally

Harlequins - 5 (3 SD, 1 SE, 1 Medical)

Non- Harlequin - 1

- 6

Twins for a Christmas Bride by Josie Metcalfe

This is a sweet medical romance that has a tad more of a bite than previous books in this category romance. While there is a happy ending, there were times I wondered how Metcalfe would manage it.

Dr. Sara Walker has been in the shadow of her twin sister, Zara, for most of her life. Zara adds marrying Dr. Dan Lomax and then encouraging Sara to carry a baby for Dan and her.

An accident with Sara and her babies(she is carrying twins) and a subsequent accident with Zara adds a twist not normally part of this type of book. While there is a happily ever after for our two major characters, I was wondering how the story could be tied up in the short format length of the Medical series.

Metcalfe does her best to redeem Zara by the end of the book but I would not want a twin like her.

I'd give this a 3 of 5. I enjoyed the book and probably will bring it back to the States.

January tally

- 5 (3 SD, 1 SE, 1 Medical)

- 5

The Exeuctive's Surprise Baby by Catherine Mann

I was happy to see that Catherine Mann was part of this fun continuity series. I love her writing and her books are autobuys.

The final book in the Garrison continuity series follows the story of Brooke Garrison and sworn family nemesis, Jordan Jefferies. Cathy does a great job in closing the threads that have been running through the 6 book series.

Brooke's surprise announcement that she is pregnant is only further complicated by the baby's father, Jordan Jefferies. Determined to be part of their baby's future, Jordan courts Brooke trying to find a way to break down her defenses. Family dynamics and distrust make Brooke not willing to trust Jordan.

Cathy adds her own signature with wonderful angst with that happily ever after as the reward. As with a lot of category romance my one complaint is I want longer.

4.5 out of 5.

January tally

- 4 (3 SD, 1 SE)

- 4

Secrets of the Tycoon's Bride by Emilie Rose

This is the fifth book in the Garrison continuity series and focuses on the middle child of Garrison family. Adam Garrison is looking for recognition and wants a respectable wife to prove himself worthy in the eyes of his older brothers and the business establishment. Lauryn Lowes is the perfect solution. A marriage to a respectable woman will give Adam the stablity he needs.

Adam's proposal will give Lauryn access to the answers to her background but agreeing to arrangement is not what she sees for her future.

Emilie fits her story neatly in the series. Both Adam and Lauryn find that letting down their defenses will allow them to find their happily ever after. There are glimmers of the last story in the series - Brooke's story.

4 out of 5.

January tally

Harlequins - 3

Total - 3

The McKettrick Way by Linda Lael Miller

The McKettrick family and the O'Ballivan family meet in this continuation of the McKettrick series now focusing on the McKettrick women.

Meet Meg McKettrick who has several secrets including she can see and talk with her great -great grandfather Angus who is the patriach of the family.

This is a second chance love story which is wonderful because you know that the characters have a history. While one learns of Meg and Brad history as the book goes on, you can feel there is a connection filled with angst.

As with any good book, I needed tissues and had some smiles. From the ending, it looks like Miller plans another McKetrrick book and I can't wait for more information.

Using the rating system.. I'd give this a 4.5 out of 5. Definitely a keeper with my other McKettrick books in the series.

January tally

Harlequins - 2

Total - 2

Vows and A Vengeful Groom by Bronwyn Jameson

This is my first book of the year and my first book review and blog post. I heard about this new continuity series at the signing of Sizzle, Seduce & Simmer in Melbourne late last year.

I've enjoyed earlier books by Jameson and was happy to see that she got to do the first book in this continuity series that spans two countries, Australia and New Zealand, and deals with a family feud, lost brother and a stolen necklace. She does a great job of introducing many of the main characters and history without it being an info dump. I loved that you got glimmers of who the next players may be.

Sound intriguing? I was hooked with Kimberly's (our heroine) description of Ric Perrini - "Her lover for ten torrid weeks, her husband for ten tumultuous days. Her ex for ten tranquil years."

I enjoyed this book immensely and can't wait for the next book in the Diamonds Down Under continuity series. I'd recommend this to others who enjoy the SD format. 4 out of 5.

Harlequins - 1

Total - 1

This is my permanent Book blog right now it is paralleling my blog on eHarlequin.