Friday, October 31, 2008

Charming the Prince by Teresa Medeiros

Fall Challenge #1. Title that reminds you of a fairy tale.
Rating: 5 stars

Willow is getting a new mother, her father a new bride with a large dowry. This story really did have a bit of a Cinderella feel to it. The new mother comes with a package of six horrid children who Willow is made nurse maid to. She is ridiculed and shunned, eventually losing her father's affection to the little monsters. So when Lord of Elsinore's man shows up asking for Willow's hand in marriage she eagerly accepts sight unseen.
Lord of Elsinore, Bannar the Bold, is a tried and true war hero, a favorite of King Edward. He has never feared more for his life than he does in his own home with his 12, yes that's right 12, children chomping at his heels at every turn. He has taken to locking himself in the tower for peace and sanity. He is desperate and sends his man in search of non-attractive wife and mother for his brats!
The shenanigans that the kids pull... Oh my! It's a wonder the man has not killed everyone of them or at least given them a good throttling! Willow is not what Bannor wanted at all! He uses his children to run her off, so he does not have to break the news to her himself and damage her pride beyond repair... you would think that this is in some way a noble thing to do...NOT hardly!
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the Cinderella-ish feel to it. The things the kids do made me want to scream. I actually teared up a couple of times while reading this book, my heart just went out to Willow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Brat by Lynsay Sands

Fall Challenge #6. Read a book by an author with a "S" name for September.
Read around the genre challenge-Historical
340 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Back Cover: WHO WOULD MARRY...
All the knights had heard tales of Lady Murie, King Edward III's goddaughter and much feted favorite. It was said she was stunningly beautiful, with bright blue eyes, golden hair and a sweet smile. It was also said that the king had doted on the girl and spoiled her rotten. Despite his need, when Sir Balan saw her howling and sobbing, Murie was the last person he wanted to wed.
But all that glitters is not gold, and sometimes diamonds look very, very rough. There was more to Murie than met the eye, and Balan soon learned that he'd be lucky indeed to deserve such a bride. Yet he was not the only one to discern the truth, and the other hopeful hubby was not quite as honorable. A plot was afoot. Soon would come a reckoning, a time to show who was chivalrous, who was a cad... and who had won the love of a heart unspoiled.
My Review:
This is only my second book by Lynsay Sands and I enjoyed it more than the first. I just loved Murie who is not what the rumors say she is. She is rather sweet and compassionate once you get passed her facade. She cracked me up through out the book with her silly superstitions. These silly superstitions were also endearing. She manages to use and to place with them on a number of occasions. The wedding night had me rolling it was so comical. I really don't know what to say about Balan except that he is the big strong silent type! The passion between these two was hot, they couldn't seem to keep their clothes on, but it was not overwhelming. The suspenseful part (someone trying to kill Balan) through me for a loop too. I can't say much more than that with out giving it away.
This was a light and easy read that kept me turning page after page and is the only book thus far in the Fall Challenge that only took a day to read. I will definitely be looking for more books by Lynsay Sands!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mesmerized by Candace Camp

Back Cover:


All her life, Olivia Moreland has denied her clairvoyant abilities, working instead to disprove the mediums that flock to London. But when Stephen, Lord St. Leger, requests her help in investigating an alleged psychic, she can't ignore the ominous presence she feels within the walls of his ancient estate. Nor can she ignore the intimate connection she feels to Stephen, as if she has somehow known him before...


The last time he'd lived in Blackhope Hall, Stephen had watched as his elder brother claimed both the family title and the woman he loved. Now, following his brother's death, Stephen reluctantly returns home and finds his family ensconced in scandal. Who is behind his brother's murder--a dark spirit or the psychic who claims to have channeled it? And what is it about the psychic investigator Olivia Moreland that awakens his long-dormant passion?

As they search for answers, Stephen and Olivia discover that the only way to fight a powerful evil is with a powerful love...

My Thoughts: I chose Mesmerized from the list of reviewed books during the Summer Readers of Romance challenge. I honestly could have read this book for the "Spooky" selection. Candace Camp is a new to me author, saying that I think I have found another author that I will have to pick up frequently.

I was totally gripped from the beginning with the shock to Olivia's system when she first lays eyes on Stephen, him experiencing the same shock. Olivia was totally offended by Stephen, who seems to have lost all of his manners while living in the Western United States. Stephen ends up hiring Olivia to investigate a medium who has her clutches in his mother.

They end up spending quite a bit of time together researching the "lost souls" of Blackhope Hall, all the while the connection between the two is growing and the tension could be cut with a knife.

I have to say that I think is probably the best paranormal book that I have read in a while. I was completely caught up in the ghosts and seances, my skin was crawling. I loved the flashbacks in time to another couple and their forbidden love. I loved this book!!

I do have a few hang ups with the description on the back cover though:

1. I don't know that Olivia really had any clairvoyant abilities, at least it did not seem that she did.

2. Rodrick's, Stephen's brother, death was not really explained at all. We don't know what caused his death. There was never any mention to trying to find his murderer throughout the novel. Rodrick did speak through the medium several times, often complaining of the unrest of all the souls trapped in Blackhope Hall, but never of his death.

Rating: 5

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


We bought my daughter an Ipod last year. She had it for less than a month when it started acting up. The darn thing would only play 30 seconds of any song. It didn't matter where we got the music from, whether Itunes, a CD, or another music website, they all did the same thing. I called Apple about it and they said that I needed to take it into an Apple store to have it fixed. Of course my daughter was heading to spend the summer with her dad so I asked if he could get it done while she was up there. It was never taken in. She somehow managed to get it working properly without having to go in. Well it kept happening and she kept figuring out how to get it to work... then came the time when she could no longer get it to work. My husband and I went out and bought her the Zune. This has been a wonderful player for her. We have had no problems and it actually holds more for a little less.
My husband, being the sweetheart that he is, took the kids out and bought me one for Mothers Day. I had been talking about wanting something to download books to. With my new car having a MP3 player jack it would work great when the kids decided that they wanted to watch movies in the back (fortunately the novelty has worn off). A MP3 player for downloadable books would work for my gym workouts as well. To my frustration the Microsoft Zune is not compatible with any book formats. It keeps telling that it is not from the Zune store and therefore is not compatible. I am wishing now that I had taken it back and got another IPod. The only reason I really wanted it for was the books and now I cant even use it for that. Occasionally I can find a book on CD that I can upload to the computer and transfer over to my Zune, which is great, but it is not often. I also worry about Copy Right laws. I have heard from some people that it is technically illegal.
I just found my Zune in my desk collecting dust. I added some more music to it, maybe I will eventually start using it. Right now it is a waste of $200.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Realm of Shadows by Shannon Drake

Fall Challenge #8. For Halloween a Spooky book.

Reading Around the Genres: Vampire

396 pages

Rating: 4 stars

Realm of Shadows is the fourth in Shannon Drake's Vampire series. I unfortunately started with the second in the series and have been bouncing around. All of them have been really good. I do however recommend reading them in order if possible, there are few characters that show up consistently throughout the series!

Tara has traveled to France to visit with her cousin, Ann, and her ailing grandfather Jaques. Ann tells Tara that she believes their grandfather is losing his mind. He is obsessed with an ongoing archeological dig in their little village outside of Paris. Jaques convinces Tara to wonder down into the crypt to gain as much information as possible from the professor in charge of the dig.

She comes face to face with one of the diggers at the exact moment they hear a blood curdling scream. The digger, Brent Malone, runs back towards the newly discovered coffin while Tara runs in the opposite direction fearing for her life. Everywhere she turns she runs into Brent Malone. Her grandfather is convinced that there are evils that go bump in the night and is eagerly trying to convince Tara into believing also, he has help now... Brent Malone.

I have to say that this was not one of Shannon Drake's best books, especially not for this series. There were a few editting issues that distracted me a little, no big deal in the grand scheme of things. I think that SD tried to incorporate too many characters and side plots, all having a great deal to do with the story line, but it made the story lag in areas. I hated the Epilogue... I understand that you want to know what is happening with the characters and tie everybody in, but it just seemed kind of dumb. What it lacked in romance it definitely made up in suspense and spookiness. On a more positive note, it was a page turner and I was always engrossed in the story. I would recommend reading Realm of Shadows, it is just not as highly recommended as When Darkness Falls and Deep Midnight.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mystic Rider by Patricia Rice

Rating: 5 Stars!!
384 pages
Paranormal Romance

Back cover:
Chantal Deveau has applied her musical gift to writing impassioned anthems for the French Revolution. But now that the mob has imprisoned her family, she seeks to buy their freedom with her one valuable possession: a jeweled cup. When a tall, dark stranger enters her home and demands she give him her prize, her outrage is nothing compared to her powerful sensual response to his presence...and her startling conviction that their lives ware irrevocably entwined.
Ian recognizes Chantal as the intended mate revealed to him in a vision long ago. But even he is astounded by the lightning-swift attraction he feels fro a woman not of his world. Now he must choose between duty and desire- and open his heart to possibilities that even he could never have forseen.
My Thoughts:
This is the second book in the Mystic Isle series. I hate that I had to wait a year in between reading the first one, Mystic Guardian, and this one. PR did an exceptional job again!
For some reason while reading Mystic Guardian I did not picture Ian as such a hunk... he seemed more, I don't know nerdy. I was pleasantly surprised when my first thoughts about this man were proved totally wrong.
Ian is Aleynn's sky rider, he is able to read minds and tell the future. He has seen his amacara while searching the sky for the missing chalice. He believes the Gods are telling him that he must leave the island to retrieve the chalice and bring home his intended mate.
He arrives in France during the revolution. He fears for his mate, Chantal. There is an instant pull between these two. The sparks fly almost immediately. In order to protect his amacara Ian must save her family. His life has just become a lot more complicated than he had inticipated. Aelynns are not allowed to speak of there homeland nor are they allowed to interfere with the "Others". Ian must find a way to convince his amacara to leave her home and her family, find the chalice which seems to have a life of it's own, and capture Murdoch ( who was previously thought to have had his powers stripped and was banned from Aelynn).
Mystic Rider was chop full of passion and action. There was plenty of fighting without taking away from the story. Chantal was another strong heroine equally paired with a strong hero. I really enjoyed this book and can't wait until next summer for the release of Mystic Warrior.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

AAR Top 100

After sitting down and reviewing the titles listed in the AAR Top 100 list, I have found:

that I have read 10
I have on my TBR shelf (at home) 2
I have ordered from PBS 2

I have a long ways to go to complete the full 100.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

AAR Top 100

I am going to try and read as many of these as possible... I think that this is another challenge, at least it will be a personal challenge. Pink= read, blue= own/TBR, Purple= on order from PBS! I have a long ways to go, but hopefully I will be able to complete the list within a year.

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

2. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

5. Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale

6. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh

7. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

8. Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise

9. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Cruise

10. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

11. Lover Awakened by JR Ward

12. Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase

13. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

14. It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

15. Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase

16. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

17. The Bride by Julie Garwood

18. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

9. Naked in Death by JD Robb

20. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh

21. Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

22. Dream Man by Linda Howard

23. The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

24. Paradise by Judith McNaught

25. As You Desire by Connie Brockway

26. MacKenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard

27. Dark Lover by JR Ward

28. The Secret by Julie Garwood

29. Son of the Morning by Linda Howard

30. Lover Eternal by JR Ward

31. Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens

32. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

33. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

34. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney

35. Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

36. Match Me if You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

37. The Shadow of the Star by Laura Kinsale

38. Cry no More by Linda Howard

39. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

40. Over the Edge by Susanne Brockmann

41. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts

42. Ravished by Amanda Quick

43. Then Came You by Lisa Kleypas

44. To Die For by Linda Howard

45. Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught

46. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

47. The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

48. Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas

49. The Proposition by Judith Ivory

50. Honor’s Splendor by Julie Garwood

51. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood

52. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

53. When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

54. Persuasion by Jane Austen

55. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway

56. It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas

57. Born In Fire by Nora Roberts

58. Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney

59. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

60. Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann

61. After the Night by Linda Howard

62. Lady Sophia’s Lover by Lisa Kleypas

63. The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh

64. Once and Always by Judith McNaught

65. More Than a Mistress by Mary Balogh

66. Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory

67. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson

68. The Rake by Mary Jo Putney

69. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

70. Perfect by Judith McNaught

71. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught

72. The Duke by Gaelen Foley

73. One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney

74. Shattered Rainbow by Mary Jo Putney

75. The Windflower by Laura London

76. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

77. Frederica by Georgette Heyer

78. Passion by Lisa Valdez

79. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

80. The Lady’s Tutor by Robin Schone

81. Morning Glory by Lavryl Spencer

82. Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas

83. Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth

84. My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway

85. Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas

86. Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer

87. Gone too Far by Suzanne Brockman

88. Anyone But You by Jennifer Cruise

89. For My Lady’s Heart by Laura Kinsale

90. Rising Tides by Nora Roberts

91. Lover Revealed by JR Ward

92. Open Season by Linda Howard

93. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts

94. Ransom by Julie Garwood

95. Venetia by Georgette Heyer

96. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase

97. Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

98. The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh

99. The Prize by Julie Garwood

100. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh


I was just browsing another readers blog and came across a post where she has renamed her two daughters (to protect the innocent) some really countrified names! It got me thinking about my own children's names. I was born and raised here in the South and would never dream of naming my children anything along the lines of BillyBob or Mary Mae. I am a firm believer in thinking to the future and what your child will have to endure in school from the other children. My name being Heather experienced lots of funny little names that were not so funny to me then. I actually hated my name and would rather have been called by middle name "Brooke". My last name didn't help. When I got married I was happy to finally be rid of my maiden name that I took something that could be deemed much worse... my husband actually thinks it is and I am sure my son will too.
Anyway this online buddy said that her kids were drilling her about what she would have named them if... after a while she got tired of answering the questions and threw out these off the wall answers and a few of them stuck. My kids have not drilled me about what I would have named them, but my daughter (13) just started discussing names of her future children... which I hope are a long ways away. She actually told me that when she has a daughter she wants to name her "Poppie". I have begged her not to do this to her future daughter and to please think about what she will be putting this little girl through. Of course she turned it around on me!
Now when I named my daughter I went through a lot of pain to try and find something that she would not get picked on for. Who would have thought that the kids would have fault with my naming! My daughter's name is McKayla, but I spell it Michaela. What fault can you find with this name... what can the kids think of to pick on her about you might ask. Well I would never have thought of it, but kids can be pretty darn clever! The boys are constantly calling her Michael and saying that she is a boy. She hates her name now and is always asking me if she can please go by her middle name.
As for my son, I absolutely refuse to take any credit for naming him. Cody was not my choice and Mark would have only been a choice for me if I also named him after my Dad. My husband hated most of my choices for one reason or another so when I went into a false labor a week before he was born and we still had not picked out a name I threw my hands in the air. I gave my husband and my daughther each a piece of paper. I told them to write 5 names down. Both of them had Cody on thier list, mine did not. That is how he ended up with Cody. My husband's dad's name is Mark (also appeared on my daughter's list). So the night that Cody was born I did not have a middle name picked out, my husband told the nurse to use Mark. At least he won't be picked on for his first name... He will have enough problems with his last name!

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

This was the first time that I have read an Elizabeth Hoyt book. It was a great little story and it will be going to the keeper shelf. I can't wait to purchase the other two in the Series.
Anna Wren smooth talks her way into a secretary position for Lord Swartingham (Edward). She has the position for a week before Edward realizes that he has a female working for him. Anna probably has more backbone than the previous secrataries. His temper does not scare her and she actually stands up to him. The banter between these two is great. A fun story that I could not put down!
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