Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why Parents Drink

Another wonderful and much needed email from my husband! How is that this man knows exactly what to send at exactly the right moment? If you are experiencing or ever had problems with your teenagers then you really want to read this. It will hopefully lighten your spirit and take a step back and appreciate the problems that you have and know that you will get through this bump in the road! A friend of mine recently gave me some great advice (or maybe it is wisdom)... When your children are little you want all this great stuff for them, by the time they reach the dreaded teenage years you just want them to grow up to be good people. That too couldn't have come at a better time!

 (my daughter and her best friend---who I claim as well)

the email~~Why Parents Drink!
A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up.  Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed  to "Dad."

With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you.  I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.  I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice.  But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am.

But it's not only the passion... Dad she's pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy.  She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter.

We share a dream of having many more children.  Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone.  We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby, for cocaine and ecstasy.

In the meantime, we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better.  She deserves it.  Don't worry Dad.  I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself.  Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.

Love, Your Son John

PS.  Dad, none of the above is true.  I'm over at Tommy's house.
     I Just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a report card.  It's in my center desk drawer.
     I love you.  Call me when it's safe to come home.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler~~DIK Challenge

Maximum danger.
Maximum desire.
And holding on for dear life…

The Special Ops hero feared nothing
-until he met a woman too hot to hold…

Lt. Jake Hansen has survived some of the riskiest missions known to man. But now the wounded Navy SEAL faces his toughest job yet: Smuggling Dr. Isabelle Markham out of Africa without triggering an international incident. Not easy to do when the gorgeous hostage happens to be a senator’s daughter —and about as easy to resist as an oasis in the desert…
If it weren’t for Jake, Isabelle would still be halfway across the world, where rebel forces left her for dead. The Special Ops warrior may have saved her life, but she doesn’t need him to protect her now. Tell that to the ruggedly handsome hunk in full battle fatigues who’s just been assigned Isabelle’s personal bodyguard. Close quarters aside, Isabelle won’t let Jake anywhere near her heart — until danger throws them together again…and nothing in the jungles of wildest Africa could prepare them for a passion this wild. This crazy. This hot….

My Thoughts:
I have to admit, I purchased this book for no other reason than Lea (closetwriter.blogspot.com) wrote an excellent review a while back.  I had never heard of Stephanie Tyler or her SEALs series, and I have yet to read the back of the cover. So when I decided to throw my hat in the ring for the DIK challenge and saw Hard to Hold on the list of optional books, I took the bait! I rarely read contemporary romance... there are a select few CR authors that are on auto buy. I pick up a CR when I need a change of pace or I am in a reading slump and HR is just not cutting it for me.

Hard to Hold opens in the Jungles of Africa. On their way to the rendezvous point (forgive me here, I can't remember the ranks) Jake Hansen, our SEAL, and his best friend Nick get a call that an American woman was kidnapped and believed to be located in there general vicinity. These guys hump it over to the location where the woman was seen left for dead. Upon their arrival they find Dr. Isabel Markham, a Senator's daughter, badly beaten and abused. They make quick work of stabilizing Isabelle, when she tells them that she can't be moved. With their communications down and rebel fire closing in, Nick runs for help. Jake does everything possible to ensure Isabel of her safety with him and that they will get out of Africa alive.

Dr. Isabelle Markham is a plastic surgeon who has decided to work with Doctors without Borders instead of practicing in the safety of an American hospital and marrying her fiance. In all of her previous stints with the organization things have been perfectly fine, until her mother is elected into Senate. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree... both of these women are head strong, feisty, and stubborn...real go-getters. Despite being betrayed by her bodyguard Izzy is getting on with her life, in almost the capacity that she wants. It is only going to take a few more months before she can go back to Africa and do what she loves most.

Jake Hansen is a tortured hero. After a childhood of abuse he enlists in the Navy at 15 years old with the help of forged documentation and becomes a highly trained SEAL. He is stubborn, loyal, and is able to take charge in any situation no matter how chaotic.

Two months after her ordeal in Africa, Isabelle has signed on, with the help of her "Uncle" Cal (an Admiral), as a civilian consultant for the Navy. She is assigned to the same base as Jake and the Admiral. Cal asks a favor of Jake, who is on restricted duty due to a gun shot wound. "Keep her safe" Without Isabelle's knowledge and with a lot of bucking Jake becomes her "personal body guard". There is definitely a connection between Jake and Isabelle. Jake believes that it is a hero syndrome, you know the one I mean, the one where the girl is attracted to her rescuer because he rescued her. Isabel isn't sure what the connection is that she feels but insists that it is not the hero syndrome.

Hard to Hold was exciting to read, never losing steam. The battle of wills that ensues between Izzy and Jake, while not funny, was extremely fun to watch unfold. The pushing and shoving to release the bottled up emotions and deal with the past so they could face their futures, fighting the strong sexual desires, and the overall caring between Izzy and Jake made for a very intense romance and not so normal romance. Jake understood Isabelle's limits and pushed her past them emotionally while respecting her need to stand on her own two feet and take back control of her life. I loved that Jake not only respected those boundaries, but that he understood that Isabelle was in no way ready for a sexual relationship.

Hard to Hold definitely earned the hype that I have heard, and a 5 star rating!!! I am looking forward to the other to novels in this trilogy, Too Hot to Hold and Hold on Tight.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Outlaws: Rafe by Connie Mason

He is going to hang.

Rafe Gentry has committed plenty of sins, but not the robbery and murder that has landed him in jail. Now, with a lynch mob out for his blood, he is staring death in the face...until a blond beauty with the voice of an angel steps in to redeem him.

She is going to wed.

There is only one way to rescue the dark and dangerous outlaw from the hanging tree is to meet in Pueblo. But Sister Angela Abbot never anticipates that she will have to make good on her claim and actually marry the rogue. Railroaded into a hasty wedding, reeling from the raw, seductive power of Rafes kiss, she wonders whether she has made the biggest mistake of her life, or the most exciting leap of faith.

My Thoughts:

I am currently reading one of my all time favorite authors, Connie Mason. It has been while since I have read a book by her, excluding the reread of Tears Like Rain that I did a few months ago. I am about a hundred pages from the end and I am wondering why I fell in love with this author. Why did her books draw me so much. I know that the rules of a good romance have seemed to have changed, but this book is not all that old, being published in 2000.

The actual story is decent. You have a man on the run for a crime he didn't commit. A woman on her own trying to discover the truth behind her father's unexpected death and attempting to claim her inheritance while ditching her conniving stepfather and chosen fiance at the alter. I don't think that the heroine, Angela (Angel), is "too stupid to live" but she does definitely seem to keep getting herself in some predicaments that you would think she was smart enough to avoid and Rafe has the worse luck possible. He is already running from the law when he is mistakenly taken for a murderer and later charged with another.

I am all about falling in love quickly, but can a couple really fall in love within days of meeting each other and having a marriage forced on them due to their own actions? Am I reading too much into the romance and shadowing the story with today's views? And there seems to be something in the dialogue that keeps throwing me off.  I am loving the story as long as the characters aren't speaking. I am going to hold my final judgment until I finish, but I am seriously thinking of going into my closet and getting rid of all of the older books that I have been hoarding. Right now I am thinking the rating for this book will be between a 3 and 4, but as I said before I am reserving final judgment until I have completed it.


I finished reading Rafe shortly after writing the above post. I was still thinking about the book and wracking my brain trying to figure out what was throwing me off with this particular book when I picked my daughter up from her track meet last night. (The girls came in third in the 4x400, not bad for a bunch of freshman running against Juniors and Seniors) It hit me while driving... Rafe is not an Alpha male!!! He had, in my opinion, some wishy washy tendencies and came across kind of weak at points. I know I love my Alpha males, but I didn't know that I loved them to the point where not having one could potentially ruin a book for me. I love a strong heroine but I would like to see the man take it upon himself to do something to get himself out of trouble once in a while. Don't get me wrong Rafe didn't depend on Angel to get him out of his predicaments that is just the way it happened and unfortunately Rafe ended up coming across as weak.So now that I have finished reading and really thought it all through I am ready to give a Rating: 3.75 stars. I liked this book, but didn't love it. Into the bag it goes headed to the library for donation!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I just finished...

I just finished Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler... And OMGosh!! But y'all are going to have to wait until the end of the month to read My Thoughts!! I actually enjoyed going back and writing my "My Thoughts" on it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What I have been up to and Some of the books I have read this month!

Gee... it has been  a while since I have come to blog land. I have absolutely no excuses. I have only read three books this month and I have no desire to write a "My Thoughts" on them. They were not awful books by any means. I rather enjoyed all of them. I miss blog hopping and chatting with a few of you wonderful ladies. I have said it several times over the past few months that I am going to make a conscious effort to be around more, but for some reason that is just not happening. And as I said a second ago, there are no excuses...well maybe that I have just been too lazy to do it!! I don't believe that my sporadic posting will get any better, not with Track meets, baseball, and tumbling.  I gave my daughter an ultimatum, either she tries out for cheerleading or no more tumbling. So in April she will be trying out for Cheerleading. She did put a condition on the cheering and I guess I am a push over because I allowed it. She's stipulating that she will cheer for basketball not football, but I am still pushing for both and maybe even competition.

These are the books that I have read so far this month:

I have heard many wonderful things about Tortured but after winning a copy from Ms. McIntyre I didn't get around to reading it. I finally made a point to make it a challenge book. I really enjoyed the dark romance. Am I wrong, or did I read somewhere that there is going to be a follow up to this one? I am definitely looking forward to reading Torin's story, if he gets one!!  Rating: 5 stars

I am not liking this cover. The cover on my version is much prettier! I am not overly fond of books where the heroine is raped. I give it to the author that she had her drugged before it occurred and it wasn't brutal (if you can say rape is not brutal), but it still took away from my overall enjoyment of the book. One other issue I had with it was that the heroine was too willing to stand idly by while her husband, who she was falling in love with, did what ever he wanted. She never demanded explanations and was never a burden to him. Get a back bone woman!! I did give An Arranged Marriage a 4 star rating, because other than those two issues I enjoyed the book and I do have to remember that the book is older and rape seems to have been the thing to write about.

I just finished Simon Says by Lori Foster. I know that this is only the second book in the SBC Fighter series, and only my second Lori Foster book, but I am really enjoying them. I have just ordered Hard to Handle from PBS and Simon Says is definitely going to my keeper shelf... that is if I don't pass it off to my mother to read.
I know Barber is not a fighter, but I wonder if Ms. Foster is going to give him a book of his own? I have some high hopes for him. All through the book I was thinking that Dean and Simon would some how convince Barber to become a competitive fighter and was saddened to see that it didn't happen.

So that is what I have been reading! Up next will be my first Stephanie Tyler book, Hard to Hold. I am double dipping with this book, using it both for the Readers of Romance Spring Challenge and DIK challenge. And because it is a DIK challenge book, it will definitely get a "My Thoughts" post all of its own, however it will not be posted until the end of the month.
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