Thursday, January 31, 2008

Miss Fortune

Miss Fortune by Julia London

The baby of three, and surrounded by beautiful and brainy sisters, Rachel Lear has always felt a little bit like she didn’t fit. She has been working on her PhD forever, needs to lose a few pounds, and has been relying on her father for financial support for years. He has been diagnosed with colon cancer and wants her to learn to stand on her own two feet since he feels he may not be around forever. So she is forced to start working odd jobs and just being on her own. While dabbling in a little white magic with her friend Dagne she begins to find Flynn Oliver everywhere she goes. Is this the man for her? He sure seems so. Until she finds out the real reason he is involved with her.

While I enjoyed the romance and the story of her messing around with a little white magic and then finding him and believing that was why he was there – it wasn’t all that I was hoping it would be. It was pretty obvious early on what was going on with her ex/friend coming over all the time and being a general loser. I don’t know why her or anyone else would put up with it (but then again it is easy for me to say – hard if I actually had to do it). I just don’t know how someone who was supposed to be in history had no interest and paid no attention to these random artifacts in her house. So while it was a good fast read – I don’t know that I even liked it enough to get the other two books in the series.

Romance: A little
Sex: A little
Mystery: It was supposed to have some but the whole thing seemed rather obvious to me
Violence: No
Overall: C

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Shadow Music

Shadow Music by Julie Garwood

Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel is an excellent catch for anyone be they in Scotland or England. She is both beautiful, kind, and there are tales of a treasure that is hiding in her kingdom (which has been taken over by King John). When she is promised to a Laird in Scotland, they travel there only to become involved both in a land war and her fiancé is killed. She is left alone and there is only one person who will help her, stand up for her, love her, and help her solve the mystery of her kingdom.

It is so nice when Julie Garwood writes a historical romance. I loved her other ones and get excited when a new one comes out. It was fun to hear of the other families you loved in her books and even get to see a little of the Buchanan family specifically. When you sit down with these books you can’t help but want to eat the whole thing up in one sitting. The story is good, the characters are people you can like (but still not feel are wimps), and while it isn’t all about them, there is a supporting story line, it is enough about them that you don’t fill like you were let down.

Romance: Yes
Sex: Yes, some – more classical romance novel
Mystery: A little – you want to know who is arranging all the dirty deeds that are happening to her.
Violence: A little
Overall: A-

Monday, January 28, 2008

Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell

A tennis star is found dead in Rome and Kay Scarpetta and crew are sent for to help solve the murder. She has opened a private forensic pathology practice and with the help of her neice Lucy, her secretary Kay, her somewhat assistant Marino, and her boyfriend/psychologist Benton they try to both solve the crime and find their place in the world.

I have read other Kay Scarpetta novels and enjoyed many of the first few. They definitely were mysteries and had lots of fun technology as part of it. A nice part of them was also the character development both with Kay and her co-workers and family. In this novel if you hadn’t read any of the other books – you just wouldn’t get it though. You see how she interacts them but Marino for instance is such an ass you just wonder why he is even around. Even though I have read some of them (though it has been a while and not the most recent ones) I didn’t like him or want him around. Personally I thought this book was more about the people then the murder and the mystery of it all.

Romance: None
Sex: Some violence that was sexual
Mystery: Some but not as much as was expected
Violence: Some it is a murder mystery
Overall: D+ - I didn’t really want to keep reading it. I didn’t really like the people in it and I wasn’t all that invested in finding out who killed anyone. Not really all that I wanted or expected. It makes me remember why I stopped reading this series.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sealed with a Kiss

Sealed with a Kiss by Carly Phillips

Molly Griffin left her burgeoning relationship with criminal lawyer Daniel Hunter because of her past. She needed to find herself and her true father. She finds him and the family she always wished she had when she was growing up. Unfortunately, disaster strikes when he is arrested for a murder that he didn’t commit. Molly turns to the only person that she knows can help her – Daniel. Daniel is dealing with his own feelings of abandonment and ill-treatment from his years of growing up a foster kid and just doesn’t know how to handle Molly being back in his life.

I liked it. I really liked it. A sorta sequel to “Cross My Heart” with Lacey and Ty (foster kids with Daniel) you want to know what happens in the Molly/Daniel relationship. The things that happen (despite the murder charge) are understandable miscommunication and the fact that the baggage you have, you take with you everywhere you go. But it isn’t so heavy that you can’t get past that and see the real story progress – the murder investigation, their love, their trust issues etc.

Romance: Definitely
Sex: Definitely
Mystery: A little – if Molly’s dad didn’t kill the guy then who did?
Violence: Just that someone died other then that no
Overall: B+

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Affair Before Christmas

An Affair Before Christmas by Eloisa James

Lady Perdita Selby has issues with her marriage to the Duke of Fletcher, as he has them to. He has begun to distance himself because he doesn’t believe she wants him or enjoys the marriage act. So she leaves him, and tries to find herself and what she truly wants out of life.

The supporting cast of characters in this book are also featured quite prevalently. And some of them are very interesting – I don’t know if they will get additional books and this is just a taste but you want to know what happens to them (almost more then kinda lame Perdy and her husband who just can’t seem to communicate but have loved each other for the four years they have been married). But, enough has happened in this book that you almost don’t know if it would be right if they got their own books. Personally I like reading stories where they meet and fall in love and while you find out a little of this past – it just wasn’t what I was looking for in a romance novel to have them together and have a screwed up upbringing come between them – maybe it is just too realistic to me.

Romance: Some – really though he wants her back and follows her around and realizes she is smart. Don’t consider it all that romantic.
Sex – some at the end
Mystery – None
Violence – None
Overall: D+ - just not all that great.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Marriage Game

The Marriage Game by Fern Michaels

Samantha Rainford receives her divorce papers just 3 weeks after she returns from her honeymoon. She and her former-supermodel friend Slick decide they are ready to do something new and exciting with their lives and try to join the FBI. There Sam finds out that her 3-week husband has done this before – at least three other times. She meets those women and an instant bond is formed. After flunking out of the FBI she and Slick are approached by some secret American vigilante group who is willing to train them. They pursue that while meeting men that they can’t help but love.

While the book itself flowed quickly and kept me interested I had one major issue with it (and a few minor ones). The story of her husband and his ex-wives is almost a separate story that doesn’t really fit in with the other part of the story which is her training at this secret agent camp and falling in love. It is tried to be brought together at the end, and everything is resolved but in general it just doesn’t fit that well. My minor issue seems like a silly one – but I really just don’t see a “hero” with the name Pappy. I see an old man or grandfather, especially when Pappy in no way is a shortening or nickname of Kollar Havapopulas. So for the first half of the time I met him I had to ignore his name or I just couldn’t picture him.

Romance: A little
Sex: Not really they have it but you don’t really read about it
Mystery: No
Violence: No
Overall: B-, while a good read after thinking about the whole thing it just didn’t fit together as well as I wish it had. Not to mention why is Fern Michaels always writing about vigilantes.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Bloodfever (Book 2 in the Fever Series) by Karen Marie Moning

MacKayla Lane has come to Ireland to find who killed her sister Alina. Now she knows what has killer her and more about her own past (and her sisters) then she ever did. She realizes the world she lives in has creatures in it that she couldn’t even imagine in the small-town in Georgia she grew up in. She is a sidhe seer and she needs to find the Sinsar Dubh a book with many evil spells. She is surrounded by people who seem to need her but she doesn’t know if she can trust. No one will tell her the full truth. She must find out all she can about this new world she has found, herself, and the people that surround her before all those that are out to kill her get to her first.

I liked the first book in the series Darkfever, and I have to say after reading this book – I can’t wait for the next. I want to know who is good, who is bad. I want to know where this is leading me. I want to know more about Barrons – is he someone that Mac should trust her heart to. In fact I was so caught up in everything fairy that I didn’t even notice that we were met by the family from Moning’s Highlander series until I had read the FAQs on her website. If you like the supernatural and you want a suspense this is it. But you better be prepared for only more questions to be raised then to be answered.

Romance: Very little. You know that Barron’s likes Mac and Mac likes Barrons but she really can’t trust him. But he does like to save her life. So that is kinda romantic.
Sex: When you have a fairy that makes you want to take off all your clothes and get with him just by being in the same room with him there is some. But if you are looking for the traditional Moning sex scenes we haven’t gotten there in this series yet.
Mystery: Tons – but you won’t find your answers yet.
Violence: Definitely some – but not of the gratuitous type..
Overall: A-

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Time to Die

A Time to Die by Beverly Barton

Bodygaurd Deke Bronson has a history with Lexie Murrough – though she doesn’t know about it. Lexie was involved in a shooting ten years before and it may have been then special-ops Deke’s bullet that left her temporarily paralyzed. Now she needs him to protect her as someone is back from her past to reek revenge for something she didn’t do.

This is a suspense novel that leaves you wondering until the very end. While I had my suspicions about who may have “done it” the book doesn’t let on as to who it will be. In fact it throws you several curve balls along the way trying to convince you it may be other people. Thrown in for good measure is a romance between body guard Deke and threatened Lexie. Both seem to fit together without distracting from the other. And you can’t help but admire Deke both for saving Lexie in the beginning and for keeping away from her (as good as he can) this time.

Romance: Some – but it isn’t just about that
Sex: Some
Mystery: Definitely
Violence: Yes – not in depth
Overall: B, this isn’t a feel good book in terms of you won’t read the whole thing and feel light and happy. But it is a good book.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rhett Butler’s People

Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig

This is Gone with the Wind from Rhett Butler’s point of view. His history, his family, everything you ever wanted to know about him and the South during that dramatic time.

If you read Gone With the Wind and wanted more – this is a great read for you. Unfortunately it doesn’t follow with the other sequel to Gone with the wind by Alexandra Ripley – Scarlett. It is really only meant to match up with Gone with the Wind. For some people that would be just fine. This book actually isn’t just a prequel but a prequel and a sequel (but most of it takes place before Gone With the Wind).

Romance: Not really
Sex: Not Really
Mystery: Not Really
Violence: A little – it was war
Overall: C+

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Five Things I Can't Live Without

Five Things I Can't Live Without by Holly Shumas

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hot Target

Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters Book 8)

Navy Seal Cosmo is on vacation because his mother is hurt. And what does a Navy Seal do on vacation – he works as a body guard. Meanwhile movie write J. Mercedes Chadwick is receiving death threats because of her new movie and its homosexual themes. They struggle to find out what is happening before too many people are hurt in the progress. Meanwhile FBI worker Jules Cassidy can’t help but be attracted by Mercedes so-called straight brother.

Overall this book is intriguing in that it isn’t a classic – I know what is going on at all points in it. The author wrote a book dealing with homosexuality like this because of her son. So it is a nice thought that she wanted to deal with this theme. There are lots of characters that you can enjoy and you can’t help but like the main characters. I would definitely think about reading the other Troubleshooter books.

Romance: Some
Sex: Definitely
Mystery: A lot – you won’t know who it is ;)
Violence: Definitely a little
Overall: B-

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Winter Rose

The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Doctor India Selwyn Jones has grown up rich and idealistic, yet now that she has graduated as one of the few women doctors in the 1900 she wants to do something with her life. She turns her back on her wealthy family and strikes out to help the poor. Her fiancé Freddie Lytton is out to become one of the top politicians in the House of Commons and is even more out to get gangster Sid Malone. Malone and India come into contact while she tries to serve the poor and she can’t help but fall for him.

I have to admit normally I am not all that intrigued by the 1900’s but this book definitely kept me interested. I actually couldn’t put it down. At one point I wanted to cry as India and Sid went around to the various poor and she found out what it really was like to live in the poor areas and try so hard to feed your children. This isn’t really what I would consider a classic romance. It is definitely more of an epic tale – covering many years and has more things in it then just the story of India and Malone. One thing I didn’t like was the last part of the book. Not wanting to ruin it for people – I thought that the setting of Africa was a little strange – it was like everything ended and then started up a long time later and yet everything continued.

Romance: Some – in terms of what you would think a classic romance novel was like in the olden days this would be it
Sex: Some, more of love then sex
Mystery: Not really, what happens as far as murder and violence the reader knows who did it even if the rest of the world didn’t.
Violence: Some but it isn’t gruesome
Overall: B+

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

The first in a trilogy, you meet three young boys – Caleb, Fox, and Gage who unleash an evil into the world. They do this on July 7 of their 10th birthday, as they were all born in 1977. They are forced to meet up with this force every seven years since and deal with it as it reeks havoc on their town. Enter three remarkable women who just happen across the town. They realize that something is wrong and want to help, they believe they are a part of this craziness.

If you like Nora Roberts books – you will like this one. Whenever I read her trilogies I can’t wait for the next one to come out and this is no different. Quinn and Caleb are both great fun and I want to find out not only how the others “find true love” (even though they have all met and you know who ends up with who) as much as how they fit in with the overarching story of destroying evil and their ancestors who helped this all start.

Romance: Some – mostly though they just really like each other and a friendship develops and even more
Sex: Some
Mystery: Definitely and more to come
Violence: Some though not extremely gory stuff at this point
Overall: B+

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Big Girls, Don’t Cry

Big Girls, Don’t Cry by Cathie Linz
Plus size model Leena Riley returns to her hometown broke, and not the big time model she professed to being. The only job available to her is in the veterinarians office working for Cole Flannigan, someone from her past who gave her a hard time about her weight. This time though he seems to love every curve and can’t stay away from her. Despite her how issues with her appearance she works through it all and finds true love in the last place she figured she would.

Leena is fun and while being hung up about her weight it isn’t all the book is about. Cole and the surrounding cast are believable small town characters. You want to stand up for her and you understand why he is instantly attracted to her and you can’t help but want them to be together.

Romance: Cole and Leena are likeable people in a great town
Sex: Definitely
Mystery: None
Violence: None
Overall: B

Monday, January 7, 2008

Love: Undercover

Love: Undercover by Hailey North

Small town librarian Jenifer Wright has stayed put in her small town because of an unexpected pregnancy at 19. Now her twins are gone to college and she is ready to meet someone new to rock her world. She doesn’t need anyone permanent, as she learned early she didn’t need a man in her life. In comes undercover agent Eric Hamilton who finds this small town intriguing and Jenifer even more so. He can’t tell her who he really is because he just isn’t sure if she is involved in the case that he has been sent her to investigate.

While I liked the story, I liked their relationship, I just had a little bit of a hard time with Eric as an undercover cop. I didn’t believe that he would work that hard to get in Jenifer’s bed if he was. And he always really liked her – so why not either wait to have a relationship with her or explain to her who he was since he shouldn’t/couldn’t love her if she really was a dirty rotten crook.

Romance: Some – the woman was in charge her all the way. She doesn’t just say she doesn’t need a man. She instigated most things
Sex: Definitely some
Mystery: A little but you knew who was involved pretty quickly
Violence: Not really
Overall Grade: C

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Lord of Scandal

Lord of Scandal by Nicola Cornick

Heiress Catherine Fenton can’t help but be attracted to bad-boy Lord Hawksmoor. As they are brought into a world of intrigue by her step-mother, her fiancé, and her father – he wants to know more about her. She finally learns to be more then just any other milksop young maiden when he stops being a gentleman.

While parts of this were intriguing, other parts were just a little slow. The plot with her family totally drops away to be only about her only to rear its ugly head at the end. You almost feel like things were to easy and then it throws you a little curve ball. And the rest of the characters are all unlikable. Everyone has issues that makes you unhappy to be around them, even the ones that seemed like they could end up having a redeeming quality. In fact Ben’s friend Paris is totally useless and gives nothing to the story.

Romance: A little – mostly he only wants her cause he wants her money. At least for a while
Sex: Some
Mystery: A little
Violence: There is some death
Overall: D+

Friday, January 4, 2008

Secrets of a Proper Lady

Secrets of a Proper Lady by Victoria Alexander

Lady Cordelia Bannister and American Daniel Sinclair have been told by their respective parents that they must marry. Their families each have something to gain in this marriage and it really is needed in order for their lives to progress in the manner they are accustomed. Cordelia decides she isn’t going to just randomly marry any man – she wants to know more about Daniel and so she approaches his secretary Warren in the park, pretending to be her cousin and companion. Little does she know she hasn’t met with Warren but instead with Daniel himself. So back and forth things go, with each not telling the other the truth about themselves, and yet finding that they have feelings for the other.

This typical romance is definitely one for every historical romance lover. The characters are likeable and strong (despite Cordelia being a little self-centered). The story is definitely one of those if only they had just talked things would have worked out so much quicker. But in the end you know they belong together and they have grown as people so you can’t help but walk away with a warm glow.

Romance: Definitely – they even have a period of letter exchange that starts out snippy and ends sweet
Sex: What is a romance without some seduction, but it definitely isn’t on the heavy side
Mystery: None
Violence: None
Overall Grade: B+

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Not Quite A Lady

Not Quite A Lady by Loretta Chase

Lady Charlotte has a secret that she has kept the last ten years, and that secret has kept her from getting married. In her naïve youth, she fell for a cad, who seduced her and left her pregnant. While the secret has been well kept she knows that if she ever marries her secret will be out. Over the years she has been able to keep all men away, until she meets Darius Carsington. Darius can’t help but find out about the real Lady Charlotte and be attracted to her. And their instant attraction for one another keeps leading them into situations they can’t get out of.

This book starts out with a bang. You meet Charlotte and Darius. Darius is the youngest brother who has a history of just not feeling like he ever meets his families expectations and you just want him to finally do well. They are fun and likeable and you want to see them get together. While some part in the middle things slow down at the end everything wraps up just like you would like to see it.

Romance: Definitely
Sex: Some old fashioned romance novel
Mystery: Not a lot though you do have to figure out where Charlotte’s son is.
Violence: None
Overall Grade: B