Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (Feb.28, 2011)

It's Monday, What are you reading is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey 
It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Thank goodness my very busy week is over! Also, baseball season is starting. I bought my annual subscription to MLB.TV so that I can keep up with my beloved Braves. The weather here in Minnesota is not saying Spring though. 

Last week I read:
These first two have been on the TBR stacks for a while.

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich was a fun story with a paranormal twist. I loved the crisp, funny dialog and the quirky characters. My review is scheduled for March 3.

Pegasus by Robin McKinley was a great introduction to a new world with humans and pegasi. It was a complex, rich fantasy with endearing characters. I can't wait for the sequel. My review will be posted on March 2.
I also read a couple on my Kindle or computer.

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell was one of the first books I got from Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab program, It was a nice young adult contemporary fiction title about Janie who has just started high school and has a real desire to be normal. My review will be posted on March 12 and the book will be published on March 22.

Vanished by Kristi Holl is the first in her Faithgirlz series and was offered for free for the Kindle a while ago. I liked the mystery and the characters. It is more middle grade than young adult though. My review is here
Then I read these much anticipated new arrivals.

This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost was another excellent episode in this urban fantasy series with a great kick-ass heroine and a very sexy vampire hero. My review will be posted on March 5.

Treachery in Death by J. D. Robb is the newest in her In Death series. Eve Dallas and Roarke are among my favorite fictional couples. I love this futuristic mystery series. This one deals with dirty cops and how very much the whole concept of a dirty cop offends Eve.

I am currently reading:
I got The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black by Eden Unger Bowditch from NetGalley primarily because I really liked the title. I'm not sure how to classify this one. It takes place in 1903 and the main characters are scientific geniuses who just happen to be twelve years old or less. I have really just begun it. I'm not sure that I care for the story being told from the kids' viewpoints. Thus far it is a little slow moving.

Next on the stack:


I don't really know what I will feel like reading this next week. I do like the idea of pulling something off the stack of older books and alternating adult and young adult books.
I've been looking at XVI by Julia Karr, The Lost Saint by Bree Despain, and Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown from my stacks.
I also have these books on the review stacks to read in March -- Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason, and Spirit Dances by C. E. Murphy.


What did you read and what are your plans for the coming week?

In My Mailbox (Feb. 27, 2011)

The weekly In My Mailbox post is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is fun to see what everyone else gets in their mailboxes, shopping bags, and library visits. Click on the link to The Story Siren's site to see the rules and join in the fun.
 
I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets. You will discover lots of great blogs and lots of books that you won't be able to live without.

Despite my book buying ban, I just had to get 4 books this week.

These are by authors that I am intensely devoted to:
I need to have each new In Death book the J. D. Robb as soon as it comes out. Treachery In Death has Eve and crew dealing with a corrupt cop. 

This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost was also an essential purchase. I am relatively new to this author but have loved everything she has written. I can't imagine this book being an exception.

These books also managed to slip in around my book buying ban:
I like Kim Harrison's series about The Hollows even though I am still one book behind. I plan to have a Harrison marathon soon to read both Black Magic Sanction (which I purchased on Jan. 26, 2010 even though it wouldn't be published until Feb. 23, 2010) and Pale Demon.

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks was offered for my Kindle for free. I like vampires and was intrigued by the title. 

What books couldn't you resist this week?


Saturday, February 26, 2011

ARC Review: Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Sing You Home
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publication:  Atria (March 1, 2011)


Description: Every life has a soundtrack. All you have to do is listen.
Music has set the tone for most of Zoe Baxter’s life. There’s the melody that reminds her of the summer she spent rubbing baby oil on her stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. A dance beat that makes her think of using a fake ID to slip into a nightclub. A dirge that marked the years she spent trying to get pregnant.


For better or for worse, music is the language of memory. It is also the language of love.
In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people—even those she loves and trusts most—don’t want that to happen.


Sing You Home is about identity, love, marriage, and parenthood. It’s about people wanting to do the right thing for the greater good, even as they work to fulfill their own personal desires and dreams. And it’s about what happens when the outside world brutally calls into question the very thing closest to our hearts: family.


INCLUDES A COMPACT DISC OF ORIGINAL SONGS
Music by Ellen Wilber
Lyrics by Jodi Picoult
All songs performed by Ellen Wilber


I was lamenting my tall stack of review books when one of the English teachers I work with said "I'd like to read the Picoult book." Here is Mrs. B's review of it. 


Mrs. B's Thoughts:

Popular author Picoult tackles the controversial topic of gay rights in her latest powerful tale. When music therapist Zoe Baxter’s latest pregnancy ends in a stillbirth, her husband Max decides he can’t handle any more heartbreak and leaves her. As she picks up the pieces of her life, Zoe is surprised to find herself falling for a school counselor who happens to be a woman. While Zoe is finding happiness with Vanessa, Max falls off the wagon and is helped by a pastor from his brother’s evangelical church. Vanessa and Zoe wed in Massachusetts, and Vanessa offers to carry one of the fertilized embryos Zoe and Max stored. Excited by the prospect of being a mother, Zoe goes to Max to get him to release the embryos to her and is shocked when he instead sues her for custody of them, backed by his church. Told from the perspectives of all three major characters, Picoult’s gripping novel explores all sides of the hot-button issue and offers a CD of folk songs that reflect Zoe’s feelings throughout the novel. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The always topical Picoult plans a multimedia tour to more than two dozen cities with Ellen Wilber, who will perform the songs she and Picoult wrote together. --Kristine Huntley

Sing You Home is a well written novel about a very controversial and sensitive subject in our country – same-sex relationships. Picoult gives each of her three main characters a voice. The chapters are divided into the perspectives of each character.

I recommend this book for adults who are fairly open-minded. The book will make you think of many questions about homosexuality and same-sex adoption.


Favorite Quote:
Every life has a soundtrack.
Thanks, Mrs. B! I hope to read this one too if time permits. It sounds really thought-provoking.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Beginning & Friday 56: Treachery in Death by J. D. Robb

Book Beginnings

Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages 

Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading. 

If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.
The Friday 56

Rules:
  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice
  • Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
I have been eagerly waiting for the next In Death book by J. D. Robb. I began Treachery in Death as soon as it arrived at my house. I love the relationship between Eve and Roarke all the time. I have heard good things about this particular episode. Here is the product description:
Detective Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a senseless crime-an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. This is Peabody's first case as primary detective-good thing she learned from the master.

But Peabody soon stumbles upon a trickier situation. After a hard workout, she's all alone in the locker room when the gym door clatters open; and-while hiding inside a shower stall trying not to make a sound-she overhears two fellow officers, Garnet and Oberman, arguing. It doesn't take long to realize they're both crooked-guilty not just of corruption but of murder. Now Peabody, Eve, and Eve's husband, Roarke, are trying to get the hard evidence they need to bring the dirty cops down-knowing all the while that the two are willing to kill to keep their secret.
Beginning:
The old man lay dead on a scattered pile of candy bars and bubble gum.
Page 56, sentence 5:
Like her he scanned the shadows, the deep pits of dark. "It's nice to know we won't be walking home from here."


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: The Other Side (Anthology)

The Other Side


Authors: J. D. Robb, Mary Blayney. Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, Mary Kay McComas
Publication: Jove; Original edition (November 30, 2010)

Description: Five New York Times bestselling authors cross over to a realm where suspense, desire, and love have no bounds. 

J.D. Robb: Lieutenant Eve Dallas has always sought justice for the dead, but now, a victim will seek her own vengeance-through Eve.

Mary Blayney: An earl and his countess struggle to understand one another, until they spend a day in each other's shoes-and bodies.

Patricia Gaffney: To prove her ancestral home is haunted, a woman hires a spirit investigator, but they end up debunking the mystery of love.

Ruth Ryan Langan: A couple who dies in a car accident struggler to stay in their daughter's life to save her from the wrong man.

Mary Kay McComas: A practical woman is faced with the most impractical ghosts, who can't rest in peace until they find what they have lost.

My Thoughts: I buy anthologies frequently if they contain a story of stories by authors I already read. They sometimes lead me to new authors too. I chose this one because I am a huge fan of the Eve Dallas mysteries by J. D. Robb.

J. D. Robb -- This story was a great episode in the series. Eve is quintessential Eve even when she is possessed by a ghost who wants to find her great-granddaughter. The interactions between Eve and Roarke are a wonderful example of lovers knowing and accepting each other despite their faults.

Mary Blayney: This was a cute story about how men and women don't really understand each other. It took place in England at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. A countess and count learn to communicate better after switching bodies for a couple of day.

Patricia Gaffney: Angie needs an investigator to prove that her grandparents house is haunted. Otherwise her evil cousin will sell it because the bank foreclosed on it. Angie is an inventor like her grandparents were. Henry needs a job. He was a newspaperman but lost his job because of a scandal. They meet, fall in love, live happily ever after (in the house.)

Ruth Ryan Langan: This was a touching romance. Christina loses her parents in a car accident and is left to care for her younger brother. She should be able to depend on her fiancĂ©, shouldn't she? Or is the handsome carpenter the true hero?

Mary Kay McComas: The busy exec comes home to sell off the old family home and finds that the ghosts of her mother and aunts still inhabit the place and will until they can find what they lost. MJ meets the man next door and his adorable young son who sees the ghosts. Looking for what the ghosts lost makes her reassess her life too.

All of the stories were good. They were just long enough. I liked the wide variety of time periods and reasons for ghostly presence.

Favorite Quote:



"You'd have done the same damn thing." Peeved, she shifted away again. "And you're a civilian. I'm a cop. Protect and serve, goddamn it."

"Which rarely includes blood pacts with dead travelers."


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2011 Read Your Own Books Challenge

I thought I was finished with signing up for challenges for this year. I couldn't resist signing up for just one more. Jamie from Jamie's Bookshelf is hosting the 2011 Read Your Own Books Challenge. Here are the rules:

  1. Please create a post for the challenge...In the comments below please include the link to your challenge post (NOT your blog homepage.)
  2. As long as the book(s) you are reading are books that you CURRENTLY own they count towards this years challenge.
  3. The object is to read as many of your own books, regardless of format, as possible by the end of the year.
  4. Challenge goes from February 17, 2011 - December 31, 2011.

This one should be easy for me. I have 960 books on my shelf and on my Kindle that qualify for this challenge. I am also currently in a book buying ban until I can get some of my massive TBR stack read.


Wish me luck. You can see my progress on all my 2011 challenges here.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: The Other Side (anthology)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



My teaser this week comes from an anthology. The Other Side contains stories by J. D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas. I bought it for the J. D. Robb story but am enjoying the others too.
The music didn't wake up Astra, the world's laziest terrier, and it only woke Henry gradually. gently, like a whisper in his ear. Piano music. Light as air, a quick, melodic tune. Gypsy music.
And thus is the skeptical ghost-hunter awakened when spending the night in a haunted house. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (Feb.21, 2011)

It's Monday, What are you reading is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey 

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I had a great reading week this week. Good thing, too, because next week doesn't look good. 
  • We have Parent-Teacher Conferences Monday night. They only last until 7 PM but I come home brain dead which is weird because I don't actually have any conferences. 
  • Tuesday I get to go to the eye doctor to finally get a new prescription for glasses, then I need to buy glasses, and then take my chauffeur to dinner. Since she is a good, book-reading friend, I know we will be doing lots of talking about books though. 
  • Wednesday night is unscheduled and I want to keep it that way! 
  • Thursday night is the second night of conferences, the last day of the book fair, and we are holding a read-in with games, food and reading until 10:30 PM.
  • Friday, mercifully, is a day off. I should get to read some then. Can't wait until Friday!
Last week I read:

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal was a magical fantasy with a fairy tale feel about a young woman who was raised to be a princess and finds out at age 16 that she was a false princess whose only purpose was to keep the real princess safe. I loved it. See my review here.

Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst was a contemporary fantasy about a young girl who visits Princeton and finds out that it is a portal to a magical world. I really liked this one too. My review is here.
Without Reservations by J. L. Langley was a free book for my Kindle. I chose it because it fit into three of my challenges. If I had looked more closely at the cover, I should have noticed that it was M/M erotica. Nonetheless, it was a pretty good story. I don't intend to review it on either of my blogs though.

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin has been on my Kindle from NetGalley for a while. I got it from a friend. It is a cute middle grade story about a hard-boiled detective who happens to be a former rescue dog and the dame who comes to him for help who just happens to be a chicken. It is fun and I do intend to order a copy for my elementary media center. I don't plan to do a review though.
A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull is the first in his middle grade Beyonders series. I got the book from Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab program for review. The book will be published on March 15 and my review will be posted on Feb. 24. Unfortunately, I didn't care for this one. While there was plenty of action, I never got to know or care about the characters.

The Other Side anthology gathers together mystery writers to each do a story that includes ghosts. I bought it for the Eve Dallas story by J.D. Robb but liked all the other stories too. I grabbed it to read now because I am anticipating the new In Death story arriving this week. My review will be posted on Feb. 24.

I received Angel in My Pocket by Ilene Cooper after receiving an email request to review it. I enjoyed this middle grade realistic fiction story about friendship and overcoming adversity. My review will be posted on Feb. 26. The book will be published on March 15.

I am currently reading (or will be when I finish reading through my Google reader and writing blog posts):

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich. I enjoy her Stephanie Plum books and am eager to see what she does when she moves over to the paranormal side of the street.

Next week I plan to read:
Something from this stack of recent Young Adult arrivals.
Or something from this one which includes the unread YAs I kept after my recent book purge.

Of course, I am also expecting to receive 4 books in the mail this week. Three of them are "read immediately" books and will jump right to the head of the line. 

What are your plans for the coming week?

In My Mailbox (Feb. 20, 2011)

The weekly In My Mailbox post is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It is fun to see what everyone else gets in their mailboxes, shopping bags, and library visits. Click on the link to The Story Siren's site to see the rules and join in the fun.
 
I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets. You will discover lots of great blogs and lots of books that you won't be able to live without.

I am trying very hard to not buy books. My TBR mountain is overwhelming. I need to read what I have already bought. But I just couldn't resist this deal after reading about it on a few blogs recently. Those readers convinced me that this was too good a deal to pass up
I got the complete Jessica Darling series for my Kindle for only $9.99. I'm glad I got this one when I did. It is listed for $38.47 for the Kindle today.
The Jessica Darling series chronicles one young woman’s coming-of-age in the first decade of the 21st century. Over five books and ten years, Jessica Darling fumbles her way into adulthood. She evolves from a sixteen-year-old cynic, snarking in her diary about catty cliques, unrequited crushes, and other high school indignities, into a jet-setting twenty-six-year-old urbanite searching for more meaning in her life. Through all her misadventures in high school, college, and beyond, Jessica gets long-distance support from her best friend, Hope. But it's her on-again/off-again love of her life, Marcus Flutie, who can always be counted on to complicate her life in ways that are infuriating, intoxicating, and ultimately irresistible.
I also downloaded two free books for my Kindle this week.
I chose Bond with Me by Anne Marsh which was free and is now $5.59. 
As fallen angels, Brends and his brethren can grant humans any fantasy they choose. But in exchange they demand a bond, and only a woman who dares all accepts the invitation, “Bond with me.”
I also chose Without Reservations by J. L. Langley because I wanted to read a free ebook about shifters for a couple of challenges I'm doing. I didn't look closely at the cover or I would have realized that this was M/M erotica. The story was actually pretty good though. 

That is what I got this week. What did you get?




Saturday, February 19, 2011

ARC Review: Demon Song by Cat Adams

Demon Song
Author: Cat Adams
Publication: Tor Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2011)


Description: In a world where magic is real and the supernatural is almost normal, bodyguard Celia Graves has survived a vampire attack which made her a half-vampire and awakened her latent Siren abilities. She’s battled a Siren Queen to the death and twice faced down a demon that wants to kill her--slowly. She’s also had her heart broken--twice--by her old flame, magician Bruno DeLuca.

Perhaps the worst thing was the discovery that Celia’s life has been warped by a curse laid on her during childhood--the cause of everything from the death of her little sister to the murder of her best friend the same night that Celia became an Abomination.

An ancient rift between the demonic dimension and our own--sealed during the destruction of Atlantis--begins to open, threatening to loose all the demons of hell on humanity (including the one personally bent on destroying Celia). Celia’s hellish recent experiences have given her the unique combination of abilities needed to close the rift. But to overcome the curse, which nearly guarantees her failure, she’ll need to join forces with people she no longer trusts...and put people she has come to care about directly in harm’s way.

 

My Thoughts: This was a strong third entry in the Celia Graves series. Celia is a wonderful character. She is strong and resilient. I liked her determination to remain herself no matter what new challenge was thrown at her. She's a vampire but she doesn't drink blood. She survives on nutrition shakes (don't give her banana!) and pureed foods that friends prepare for her. She is a siren and a member of the royal family but she is careful not to take advantage of the attraction men feel to her. She is also a loyal friend to Dawna and Emma who were damaged as a result of being too near Celia in her last adventure and are now dealing with the trauma.


I liked her relationship with her ex-fiance Bruno and her new love interest John Creede. Both men are powerful mages and very involved in stopping the demon outbreak. This isn't a good time for a new relationship and the relationships with both men reflect that reality.


Some interesting characters include her friend Vicki who is a ghost and who was a clairvoyant in life. She was also incredibly wealthy and left her friends large amounts of money. However, that is still tied up in court because Vicki's mother who is a famous actress is contesting the will. One plot thread has to do with finding out why Vicki left one-quarter of her estate to a stranger. 


I think that the only problem I had with the book is that it had so many characters. I think every character Celia met in the first two volumes of this series made an appearance and had some sort of problem in this episode. It sometimes made it difficult to remember what was going on. On the other hand, that some thing made the story quite realistic. Most of us don't have our problems one at a time but, thankfully, most of us don't have the number or severity of problems that Celia faces.


I enjoyed this entry into the series and look forward to further adventures. I recommend this one to lovers of urban fantasy. Celia Graves is a great character to get to know. 


Favorite Quote:
Jones was shaking his head silently, disbelief plain on his face. It made me shrug and comment, "Hey, you're a mage, he's a vampire, and I'm a vampire-siren-human. Why not ask a ghost to help free a werewolf?"
This one follows:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blog Hopping on a Friday


I haven't been very good at taking part in the Friday hops. Friday is a really busy day for me. But today's question did make me want to participate.

If you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read Science Fiction before...any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?
I grew up on science fiction. I loved Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. I couldn't miss a book by Gordon Dickson. Now, though my reading range has expanded, I still enjoy a lot of character driven science fiction.


My current favorite authors are Lois McMaster Bujold (especially when she writes about Miles Vorkosigan) and Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (who write the Liaden books). 


My favorite book by Bujold is Shards of Honor (now most easily found in the omnibus version called Cordelia's Honor) and my favorite book by Lee and Miller is Mouse and Dragon. But I really don't think you can go wrong reading any of their books.


I'm feeling the need for a re-read. How about you?



Book Beginning: Demon Song by Cat Adams

Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages 


Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading. 


If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.


My beginning this week comes from the ARC of Demon Song by Cat Adams. This is the third book in the series. I really enjoyed the first two and was glad that I got an ARC of this one. Celia is an interesting and sympathetic character. 


Here is the product description: In a world where magic is real and the supernatural is almost normal, bodyguard Celia Graves has survived a vampire attack which made her a half-vampire and awakened her latent Siren abilities. She’s battled a Siren Queen to the death and twice faced down a demon that wants to kill her--slowly. She’s also had her heart broken--twice--by her old flame, magician Bruno DeLuca.

Perhaps the worst thing was the discovery that Celia’s life has been warped by a curse laid on her during childhood--the cause of everything from the death of her little sister to the murder of her best friend the same night that Celia became an Abomination.

An ancient rift between the demonic dimension and our own--sealed during the destruction of Atlantis--begins to open, threatening to loose all the demons of hell on humanity (including the one personally bent on destroying Celia). Celia’s hellish recent experiences have given her the unique combination of abilities needed to close the rift. But to overcome the curse, which nearly guarantees her failure, she’ll need to join forces with people she no longer trusts...and put people she has come to care about directly in harm’s way. 


And it begins:
You can't turn off intuition after you have spent years developing the sense, honing it to a razor's edge.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: Game for Anything by Bella Andre

Game for Anything
Author: Bella Andre
Publication: Pocket; Original edition (July 22, 2008)


Description: He's the Super Bowl hero men idolize and women lust after...the bad-boy quarterback with a dangerous edge. But behind his devil-may-care grin, Ty Calhoun hides a desire that only one woman can ever fulfill -- and a memory he can't shake: high school graduation night...and mind-blowing sex with the untouchable girl of his dreams. He would trade every trophy to feel the heat of her sensual, uninhibited lust once more. And he may get that chance...because she's just been hired by the San Francisco Outlaws' new owner to make over Ty's less-than-angelic reputation.


The country's top image consultant, Julie Spencer is a total pro at cleaning up the messes of the rich and famous. Even working with the man who took her virginity and broke her heart ten years ago can't rattle her. Until he touches her again. One caress -- and one very hot kiss -- is all it takes to spark the same knee-quaking electricity, and soon they're mixing business and extreme pleasure. But knowing the danger this bad boy poses to her heart, Julie is determined to keep her distance.


But Ty has a game plan of his own. The more he misbehaves, the more Julie will have to keep tabs on him -- and the more he can give his dream girl some very real thrills, by showing her just how fun it is to be bad. This time around, he's game for anything...especially winning her heart.


My Thoughts: This was a wonderfully touching, feel-good romance. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks with the less than ideal family situation (in this case a father who is an alcoholic who pushes his son to succeed in football) meets the girl from the right side of the tracks with a less than ideal family situation (in this case a mother who is an alcoholic and a father who has serial affairs with young women).


They get together for one wonderful night at high school graduation but misunderstandings separate them the next morning. They never forget the other but circumstances and wildly different lifestyles keep them apart. He is a star quarterback who won the Super Bowl but has an unfortunate public image. She is the head of her own image consulting business having built it up without resorting to her trust fund. She is very reluctant to have anything to do with him but has just moved into a new building and needs the money.


Ty is very eager to get close to Julie again. The chemistry between them is as hot as ever. He knows he wants her to be part of his life though, initially, he thinks an affair will be enough. Julie is reluctant to get involved with him both because it would be bad for business and because she wants to protect her heart.


Gradually, as they spend time together, they learn more about each other and learn that their perceptions of each other were wrong. 


This was a great escape read. It was easy to be swept up by the romance. I recommend it to lovers of romance. I also look forward to adding the next two companion books to my TBR stack. Game for Seduction and Game for Love will soon be taking a place on that stack. I expect them to be equally satisfying.


Just a thought - what do you think of the current trend in romance covers? Do you like seeing great bodies but not heads? I'm not sure what I think. I do know that the cover did encourage me to get the book. And I like being able to picture my own hot guy. In fact, I don't recall that Ty was ever physically described beyond being gorgeous in the book. But in my race to get to the romance I might have just missed it.


Favorite Quote:
"Honestly," he said as he rubbed his thumb against her palm, "I don't need a bunch of contraptions and semi-naked strangers to make sex exciting."


She looked up at him, her blue eyes almost translucent in the sunset's reflection.


He was going to put himself out on the line. He'd just have to pray that she wouldn't take him down. "All I need is you."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: Primal by Lora Leigh [et al.]

Primal
Authors: Lora Leigh, Michelle Rowen, Jory Strong, Ava Gray
Publication: Berkley Trade (February 1, 2011)


Description: #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh returns to her sensual world of the Breeds in an all-new novella that explores just how savage, and how far, a man is willing to go in the name of desire. Plus three other stories of irresistible passions from three masters of hot paranormal romance.


My Thoughts: I chose to only read the story by Lora Leigh at this time. 


Primal Kiss was another story of a Breed finding his mate. This time the mate in question was the niece of the evil Phillip Brandenmore and the Breed a lion who was sent to protect her, gain her trust, and possibly kidnap her.  They fall in love but he tries to protect her from the mating heat because he doesn't want to coerce her in any way. As her usual, the sex scenes are super hot and heavy. 


I recommend this anthology for those who love the Breeds series. Both the Michelle Rowen and Ava Gray stories follow shortly after previous stories that I haven't read. The Jory Strong story looked promising containing both vampires (definitely not the shiny sexy kind) and angels but I chose to move on to a different book.


Favorite Quote:
Every good girl loved a bad boy. It was a fact of life, a quirk of nature. Opposites attract, and the badder the boy, the more attractive he was to that good girl who couldn't help but be drawn to him.