Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review for Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann

Izzy Zanella has tried to get over his troubled ex Eden Gillman, but he still loves her and continues to rush to her rescue when needed.  And she definitely needs him now to help her gain custody of her brother Ben who's being abused by their parents because of his homosexuality.  To add to the family drama, Eden's older brother Danny has been very seriously injured overseas and comes home to reclaim the only woman he's ever loved.  He too has his own plan to gain custody of Ben and it involves his only love Jennilyn.  Throw in a young girl tying to escape from an illegal sex trade ring and the action never stops in this heart pounding yet highly emotional read.

Seal Team Sixteen is back in Breaking the Rules, the 16th installment of Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooter Series.  This series captured my attention when it first came out and my enjoyment of it hasn't waned.  This story involves wise cracking super sexy Izzy Zanella who, since first meeting Eden Gillman, has been her knight in shining armor.  He married her when she was pregnant with another man's baby but the loss of the child destroyed their relationship.  He still loves her though and wants to get back together and will agree to anything to make that happen.  Izzy is the quintessential hero willing to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.  His wise cracks hide a man worried that he'll never find happiness like his friends have found and it made me root for his finding his HEA.  His interactions with his fellow soldiers is playful and brotherly and very realistic.  I enjoy those scenes of him and his nemesis Danny Gillman for the constant one-upmanship they engage in and its added layer of realism.

Eden has grown a lot since she was first introduced.  She's trying to get her act together and make amends for the trouble she's caused.  She's a bit more hardened, not as willing to put her heart on the line.  The loss of her child was hard on her and she isolated herself from the emotions which she's still doing when she meets up with Izzy again.  She'll be with him but refuses to involve her heart.  Seeing him break through her defenses proves just how charming he can be and how hard he's willing to work to claim her.

Dan too is still struggling when it comes to love.  In a previous book he found the perfect woman in Jennilyn, even if her looks weren't what he usually went for.  He's been trying to prove himself worthy of her ever since then and in this book his near death experience tightens their bond.  Dan's had a harsh life, his abrasiveness towards others a cover for his insecurities, and with Jennilyn by his side he's become a better man.  He steps up to the plate when it comes to his family and accepts his responsibilities instead of becoming embittered by them.  He's become a more likable character and it shows what the love of a good woman can do.

Seeing past characters like Jules Cassidy and the other members of Seal Team Sixteen always brings a sense of family to each installment in this series.  They seamlessly come in and out of each storyline and always help save the day.  The secondary characters in this story were equally intriguing and really amped up the suspense.  They also shed light on the continued harassment those who are homosexual face.  When it comes to issues surrounding homosexuality no one writes better than Suzanne Brockmann.  She brings a sense of realism amidst the emotional turmoil of coming out to a family and a society not always supportive.

This was a story that kept me riveted from beginning to end.  Revisiting these characters is like seeing old friends and seeing them find happiness makes for a very satisfying read.  I'm sad to see this series come to an end, for now, and hope that Ms. Brockmann will bring us more exhilarating stories from these sexy Seals in the future.  I for one will be waiting with open arms.

My rating for this is an A.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Follow Friday.....

The weekend ahead will bring lots of reading and going to see Captain America, basically anything to stay out of the heat.  For the week ahead, there will be 2 or 3 book reviews as well as a guest author.  So be sure to keep visiting for new daily content all week.  Also, don't forget about the giveaway I have going for a digital copy of The Hand He Dealt by Tanith Davenport.  Sign up here to be entered.

This is the day of the week where we get to know each other better by answering a question devised by our lovely hostess Parajunkee.  We also gain new followers by joining each other's sites via GFC, so please let me know if you're a new follower since I automatically follow back.  And now for this week's question....

Q.  Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?


A.  A good slogan for me would be.....

Buried under books....have you seen me?

Review for Savor the Danger by Lori Foster

Jackson Savor has wanted Alani Rivers in his arms for years and one night he finally gets his wish.  Too bad he can't remember any of it.  Morning afters are always awkward, but for Alani Rivers the morning after is a nightmare.  Just when she thought she and Jackson came to an agreement for a no-strings affair, outside forces intervene to put both of their lives in jeopardy.  Once again the two of them are drawn into the dangerous world of human trafficking where someone bent on revenge is out to end their relationship before it barely starts.

This is Lori Foster's third book in the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series and each one has shown bits of improvement over the first.  For the most part the characters have gotten stronger and more likable.  The human trafficking theme which was a very strong element in the first two installments is still there but to a lesser degree this time around.  The relationship between Jackson and Alani is what's important in this release and seeing them together makes for a heart pounding, fun-filled journey full of sexy dialogue.

Of all the heroes that have been introduced in this series Jackson seems the most likable.  He's as heroic as the others in their business with an added layer of humor.  Both Dare and Trace were extremely serious in their books, whereas Jackson has many moments of humor.  He's snarky which adds to his sex appeal and makes his moments with Alani even more combustible.  He has secrets though that take away from his carefree attitude as Alani gets to know him and adds an interesting layer to the future of the series.

Alani has come a long way from the shell she was first in after being rescued from the human traffickers.  Her brother Trace still treats her like a child though and when it comes to sex she's very naive.  Considering everything she'd been through I'd have thought she would've been more knowledgeable in mind if not body in regards to sexuality.  I found that aspect of Alani a bit unrealistic and found her to be a liability when it came to the life threatening scenes because of her fears.

It was nice seeing all the previous characters interacting with the current couple and seeing their relationships flourishing.  Chris too is back and just as much fun as ever.  I'd still love to see him find happiness in his own story but I don't see that happening anytime soon.  Who I do see as a couple in the future is a new addition to the team named Arizona, a young girl with a childhood full of demons, and bounty hunter Spencer with his own plans for revenge.  Both of these characters are full of rage and only in each other's company do they seem to find peace.  Their introduction in to this story was a bit jarring though and took the focus away from Jackson and Alani.  The villain too came out of nowhere and I wish the danger they represented would have been stronger throughout the story.  As it was they were a bit too over-the-top to take seriously and put a damper on the seriousness of the finale.

This was an enjoyable story that mostly wrapped up the arc of the human trafficking storyline.  I loved the playfulness of the main couple and found their frequent sexual interludes to be super sexy.  This was an exciting story with memorable characters and intriguing glimpses of other characters that leave the reader excited for future installments.  If you're looking for a nice balance between steamy sex and edge of your seat suspense then grab a copy of Lori Foster's latest release.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Movie Review: Bridesmaids

To get out of the house this last weekend, but still wanting to stay cool, I decided to take in a movie with friends.  I've never been a fan of boyish, bathroom humor movies like The Hangover, but something about Bridesmaids drew me to it.

Bridesmaids focuses on the engagement and wedding of Lillian (played my SNL veteran Maya Rudolph) who chooses her longtime friend Annie (played by fellow SNL veteran Kristen Wiig) to be her Maid of Honor.  The course to the altar doesn't go smoothly as issues of jealousy and disappointments, along with lots of laughs, leads to a very satisfying movie experience.

This is the kind of movie I could easily relate to and that definitely added to my enjoyment.  Annie is having a bit of a mid-life crisis.  She lost her bakery business, is stuck in a dead end job, almost broke, with no emotional support from her pseudo boyfriend (played by the raunchily funny, Jon Hamm).  Life seems to be passing her by as her friends are all married (or getting married) and fulfilled with their careers.  It's sad feeling left out, feeling like a third wheel, and those feelings make her act irrationally from time to time.  It's all done with humor though, and lots of it.  Ultimately, no matter how angry these women got with each other, they were still supportive of one another at the end of the day.  That was a very heartwarming thing to see and was another facet that I found very relatable.

The most humorous, and biggest scene stealer, is Melissa McCarthy (currently starring in CBS' Mike & Molly).  She plays Megan, the very strong-willed and outspoken friend, who finally rouses Annie out of her funk in a hilarious pep talk.  Whenever she came on screen you knew more laughs were coming soon.  She has a bright future in comedy going by the small glimpses of her seen here.

This was a very satisfying movie, both emotionally and comically, and realistically portrayed female friendships both good and bad.  The humor never really got crass and I never noticed a joke falling flat.  Some of the humor was subtle but most of it was laugh out loud.  This movie is perfect for women my age due to the moments of nostalgia and the life events occurring that we can all relate to.  So get the girls together and be ready to laugh in this humorous movie with a heart of gold.

My rating for this is a B+

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #26

Before we get to my teaser, I just want to remind everyone of the giveaway I have running for a digital copy of The Hand He Dealt by Tanith Davenport right here.

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 & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


....from location 138 of 5475

-You're going home, and that's all there is to it.  If you try to force me, I'll scream.  If you do, I'll tap you under that pretty little chin, knock you unconscious, tell everyone you fainted, toss you in a carriage, and send you home.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fashion Monday Madness....

The heat wave continues which kept me inside this weekend reading, with a slight detour to see the movie Bridesmaids which was very enjoyable.  And now for the usual start to our week.......

The Good....

Elizabeth Hurley looks classy yet flirty in this champagne colored form fitter.  The sparkles and dusting of feathers adds a bit of excitement to the understated dress color and gives her a beautifully distinctive look.

Transformers star Rosie Huntington-Whitely again makes the top of my list in this stylish cocktail dress with the good girl/bad girl vibe.  The black leather is cutting edge naughty while the bit of lace adds that bit of good.  The lack of accessories lets the focus fall on the dress which I definitely give a thumbs-up to.

The Bad....

Rihanna steps out in something from the way-back way-back as the 80's or just rolling out of bed that morning.  The fit is baggy, the color is drab, and no amount of cutouts will make this more appealing.  Please Rihanna, get back in that California King Bed and start the day over with a different outfit!

Demi Lovato looks to be wearing every item from her closet....her linen closet.  With an outfit that looks to be one part drape, one part tablecloth Ms. Lovato looks like her day of dress up got out of control.  Next time remember, less is more.

The Ugly....

Emma Roberts looks ready for Christmas in this dress reminiscent of a Christmas present.  From the overly bright fabric to the garnish glue gunned around the neckline that would make Martha Stewart proud, Auntie Julia would definitely not classify this as a Pretty Woman.  The fit of this dress is poor and the style looks like something I created in Home Ec class in high school.  Clearly she's on the Naughty List after receiving this lump of coal.

It's a bad day for Emmas as Emma Stone proves in this confection-colored disaster.  From the nauseatingly bright colors to the larger-than-life hip pads (or pillows...or pockets...who knows) this dress definitely doesn't receive an Easy A.

That's the fashion low down for this week.  Please sound off below letting me know what you think of what the rich and famous are wearing this week and join me again next week for more fashion talk!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Doctor Who Return Date...

I hope you'll all bear with me while I squeal with delight.  Yes, my blog is mostly about books, but my other obsession is sci-fi television.  I know I'm not the only one who likes to get her geek on, so from time to time a random sci-fi post will sneak in.  And now is just such a time.

BBC America has just announced that The Doctor will return for the second half of its current season on August 27th at 8 pm CST.  The above video has me so excited with the return of some beloved characters and some very scary villains along with the introduction of some creepy new ones!  Thank you for letting me indulge in my fan-girl moment as I start the countdown for the return of The Doctor.

Winner of Embraced by Blood by Laurie London

I first want to thank Laurie for allowing me to read her wonderful book and for the great prize she's letting me give away.  Thanks too Bewitching Book Tours for letting me be a part of the Sweetblood Tour.  And a final thanks to all those who signed up to win.  I love giving things away and appreciate those who visit my site to read what I have to say.  And now to the winner.......

For a signed pb copy of Embraced by Blood by Laurie London along with a set of Sweetblood Trading Cards.........

is Mariee!!!

Congratulations!!!  I'll be emailing you soon to confirm your win.  You'll have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.  Thanks everyone for entering and stay tuned for more great contests!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review for Changing the Game by Jaci Burton

Gavin Riley is a star in the world of baseball with a lucrative contract and gorgeous females vying for his attention.  But after an unexpected kiss from his agent Elizabeth Darnell he decides to mix a little pleasure with his business and spend his preseason finding out what Liz wears under her straight-laced business suits.  For Elizabeth their arrangement is a dream come true since she's been in love with him for years.  But the fun soon becomes something serious and when old family hurts resurface to put their newfound relationship in jeopardy will their love be strong enough to overcome the interference or will they strike out?

This is the second book in the Play by Play series featuring the Riley family and is a fun and sexy read from start to finish.  Jaci Burton has created another gorgeous athlete with a smoldering body whose words leave you weak in the knees.  Gavin could easily be arrogant considering his talent but he's totally charming.  It's easy to see why the ladies fall for him.  And once he and Elizabeth start their preseason fling his sexiness is amped up even more with some very combustible sexual encounters.

Elizabeth Darnell has been in love with Gavin for years but her dedication to her job kept her from stepping over the line of propriety.  After her interference in his brother's love life in the previous book in this series, she especially wants to keep business and pleasure separate because of the pain she caused.  Becoming involved with Gavin goes against not only her business rules but also against her personal ones as she learned by watching her mother be ruled by her demanding father.  Love is for fools and only makes you weak and in the predominantly male business she's in she can't afford to be seen as weak.  It's inevitable though that they get together after many scorching looks across a crowded room.

Liz and Gavin's sexual interludes are hot yet funny, the two of them have witty banter between and out of the sheets and it's enjoyable seeing them together.  The ups and downs in their relationship are believable and mostly arise from her childhood insecurities.  Gavin's brother Mick is also against their relationship and continually causes problems.  I got a bit annoyed by his lack of forgiveness towards Liz after all her attempts to make things right and glad the rest of the Riley clan was more supportive of the couple.

Knowing this story takes place in the world of baseball had me concerned that the sports jargon would be too much, but the baseball scenes were perfectly spaced throughout the story.  Seeing Liz, who never before had girlfriends, hang out with the other player's wives during the game and after humanized her and made her even more likable.  Seeing Gavin with the other players was like seeing an extended family of brothers with their joking demeanor.  These scenes brought out an extra layer to Gavin and Liz's personalities and made them appear even more compatible.  The secondary characters in this story are equally memorable and each one adds their unique touch to the storyline.

Jaci Burton has created another winner with Changing the Game.  The boys of summer turn up the heat in this super sexy story full of fun verbal sparring that grabs your attention from the first page and keeps you entertained until the very end.  Gavin is a truly wonderful hero who proclaims his love in a grand gesture that will bring tears to your eyes and make you wish you were the recipient.  The glimpses we have of the protagonists in the next installment of this series have me excited for the future and the fireworks sure to come.  This series just keeps getting better and better and I await each new release in breathless anticipation.  If you haven't read a Jaci Burton book before, what are you waiting for?  Now's the time to pick up the Play by Play series of books and enjoy these sporty bad boys.

My rating for this is an A.

*Book will be released August 2nd.

*I received this ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Giveaway Ending Tonight.....

This is a quick reminder that the giveaway for a SIGNED PB copy of Embraced by Blood by Laurie London along with a set of Sweetblood Trading Cards ends tonight!  There's not many entries, so the odds of winning are super good.  Please go here to sign up for your chance to win this wonderfully written book and good luck to everyone!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Follow Friday

Before I get to this week's question, I want to remind everyone of two giveaways I have going on.  Win a SIGNED PB copy of Embraced by Blood by Laurie London here.  The chance to win a digital copy of The Hand He Dealt by Tanith Davenport here.  There's not many entries on either giveaway so your odds of winning are pretty good, so please feel free to enter.

This is the day of the week where we get to know each other better by answering a question devised by our lovely hostess Parajunkee.  We also gain new followers by joining each other's sites via GFC, so please let me know if you're a new follower since I automatically follow back.  And now for this week's question....

Q. Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

A:  I'd love to hang out with JR Ward (her BDB has turned me into an obsessed Brother fangirl), Julia Quinn (I admire her witty dialogue between her book's couples), and Sherrilyn Kenyon (another paranormal world I'm obsessed with via her Dark-Hunters).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Tour (and Giveaway) for The Hand He Dealt by Tanith Davenport

Before we get to today's guest post and giveaway I want to thank Tanith Davenport for giving me the chance to read her steamy story and Bewitching Book Tours for making all this possible.  Now let's get to the good stuff.


A flawed hero

When I first began trying to get my debut novel published, I discovered there were certain guidelines to be followed when writing a hero. This bothered me a little, because my hero didn’t quite fit the mould.

Ash, you see, is a college football player and typical jock. He's muscular and attractive, certainly. However, he's also inarticulate, arrogant and - at the beginning of the story - has a reputation for being a little too quick on the trigger.

Can you have a hero as flawed as Ash?

Well, yes.

I've read romance novels before with arrogant heroes, although "arrogant" isn't always the word used. How many times have we read a story where the hero deliberately gets under the heroine's skin? And how many times has it turned out that the heroine's opinion of him as a self-centred jerk turns out to change once she gets to know him?

Inarticulate? It certainly made his dialogue a challenge to write, since I had to pack meaning into shorter sentences and long silences or have Ash express his feelings physically - a forceful hug, a punch to a wall, a breathless pause while his hands were shaking. But showing his emotions in this way was true to Ash's character, and therefore more realistic to read.

And I was never into poetical men anyway.

But what about the unfortunate reputation? Let’s face it, there is very little that is sexy about premature ejaculation, no matter how you spin it.

Until you consider the vulnerability angle.

I can think of few things more embarrassing to an overly-masculine college jock who considers himself a sex god than a reputation for being quick on the draw. It’s a crack in his arrogant veneer, and a great way for the heroine to see his vulnerable side, making her want to step in and restore his confidence.

And it also gives plenty of opportunities to show them testing his limits of control…


Tanith Davenport began writing at the age of sixteen as a way of utilizing her ability to drift into daydreams at any hour of the day or night. Her interests range between rock music and modern cinema to medieval literature and classical singing. She loves to travel and dreams of one day taking a driving tour of the United States, preferably in a classic 1950s pink Cadillac Eldorado.
“The Hand He Dealt” is Tanith’s debut novel and was released by Total-e-Bound Publishing on 13 June 2011.

The Hand He Dealt
by Tanith Davenport
ISBN: 978-0-85715-570-2
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Total-e-Bound

Book Description:

Astra Scott likes to live life to the full. A sorority girl and Gaming Management student, she spends her days studying and practicing guitar, and her nights partying or working at the Fountain Casino, where she has an internship as part of her final semester. The only blot on her landscape is Ash Drake, her best friend Sasha’s boyfriend. Arrogant, physical and blond, Ash has never forgiven Astra for her rejection months earlier and enjoys annoying her at every turn.

But when Astra’s boyfriend Harry reveals a shocking secret, Astra responds in the only way she can think of: by finding a way to take on a more attractive, masculine role in the relationship. Her experimentation with sex toys finds a surprising outlet in Sasha, but when Ash discovers their secret and wants to get involved, Astra finds herself torn between dislike and desire… and as their undercover relationship grows, Astra finds herself falling in love, a path she feels can only end in heartbreak.
For Ash may be the only man whose own fantasies are a match for hers, but can she knowingly steal his affections from her best friend?


Two hours later, and Astra stood in front of her bedroom mirror, holding in one hand the toy she had bought from Amy’s Delights.

Rubber underwear was laced through her fingers, a small plastic remote control dangling below on the end of a long cord. And attached to the front—


It was a strap-on.

It was a strap-on dildo.

And it was purple.

A purple length of shiny plastic. A perfect simulacrum of a veined, circumcised penis, five inches long and of a thickness Astra considered average, just the right width to wrap a hand around.

She stared at her reflection for a long time, contemplating the dildo, before slowly drawing it back towards her body, holding it against her stomach.


One foot through the straps, two feet…rubber caught against denim-clad legs, but after a moment’s struggle the strap-on dildo was in place, and Astra’s image stood in front of her, the purple dick jutting out in front like the hilt of a sword.

Slowly she rotated her hips, watching the dildo glide from side to side, before stopping abruptly with a giggle.

Shit. It looks like a fucking light sabre.

Watching herself in the mirror, she closed one hand around its length, giving it a tentative stroke.

Nothing. Unsurprisingly.

She tried it again, this time holding the remote control and flicking the switch. A sudden buzzing, accompanied by a muted vibration through her jeans, made her jolt sharply.

Flipping the switch again, she rocked her hips slowly, her eyes glazing. In her mind formed a picture of Harry’s smooth back and bare buttocks, thighs parting to receive her, Harry’s voice gasping, begging for more, more, please, more…


The switch snapped off.

Astra eyed herself coolly, squaring her shoulders, her legs automatically widening into a masculine stance.


Would you like to win a digital copy of The Hand He Dealt?

One copy is being given away tour wide and is open for all, International welcome.

To enter just leave a comment at one or all of the stops along the tour.

A winner will be chosen from all the tour stops after the tour ends on Aug. 5th. The winner will then be announced on the Bewitching Book Tours site.

Review for The Hand He Dealt by Tanith Davenport

Astra Scott's life seems to be going perfectly.  A great internship with the promise of career advancement, great friends, and a seemingly solid relationship with her boyfriend.  But everything changes when she sees her boyfriend Harry coming out of a club that she assumes is a strip club.  When she discovers differently, her life suddenly changes as does her view of sexuality.  From there on the reader is treated to one super steamy read where happiness is possible for those willing to accept the truth about themselves.

Astra starts off the story secure in her beliefs about sexuality until the night she sees her boyfriend Harry coming out of a bar that she believes is a strip bar, but is actually a gay bar.  He assures her he's just experimenting and not doing anything serious.  At this phase in the story Astra is very naive about sexuality in my opinion.  She believes what Harry tells her and keeps dating him.  Even presented with the truth about his sexuality she remains his girlfriend in all ways.  I was very disappointed in her for not accepting the truth right away and I became very irritated with her for staying in a relationship that had no future.  By the way she talked I think she felt so desperate to be in a relationship like everyone around her that this made her stay with Harry.  Harry too was irritating by begging Astra at every turn to stay his girlfriend.  He truly believed that as long as he had a girlfriend no one could say he was gay.  I had no respect for him until the very end of the story and by then I was happy to see him go.

Astra further complicates her life by having a sexual relationship with her best friend Sasha who already has a boyfriend of her own who is constantly giving Astra difficulties.  This relationship seemed to come out of the blue and even though Astra says she'd be angry if Harry cheated on her she has no problem being with Sasha.  The sex doesn't stop with Sasha though.  Soon Astra is sharing herself with both Sasha and Ash and for someone who seemed naive at first when it came to sex now seems to have no restraint.

Ash is an interesting character with a personality that for most of the story is very unlikable.  He treats Astra like garbage for the first part of the story so his latter declarations of love don't feel very believable.  He too supposedly carries a secret that invaded many of his sexual encounters but I didn't find the secret to be that big of a deal.  What I did find invasive was his chronic need to be reassured in the bedroom.  It made him sound needy and was a bit distracting during the sexual interludes.

Of the sexual interludes there were many.  There were m/f, f/f, m/f/f, and m/m.  They were varied and plentiful and were a main part of the story.  The scenes were sexy and, no matter the coupling, were nicely written.  Ms. Davenport definitely knows how to write fiery sex scenes but I do think that a few could have been excised to tighten the story up a bit.  Another aspect of the story that was unnecessary were the attacks against Astra from an unknown person.  The actual criminal came way out of nowhere and seemed to me to live up to some very negative stereotypes.  This plotline felt needless and was purely a way to make Harry look like an even worse boyfriend and make Ash a more likable character.

By the end of the book the story finally felt right to me.  People that were good together finally ended up together and others finally accepted the truths about themselves.  It's a true HEA with a very intense sexual journey taken to get there.  If you like your stories long on sex and a bit short on a satisfying plot then you'll definitely want to put this on your reading list.

My rating for this is a C+

*This book was given to me by the author for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #25

Before we get to my teaser, I just want to remind everyone of the giveaway I have running for a SIGNED PB copy of Embraced by Blood by Laurie London that you can sign up for here.

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 & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

CHANGING THE GAME by Jaci Burton ARC from page 2

-Liz had never once touched Gavin's love life.  In fact, Liz threw women at him like a pimp.  Beautiful women.  Actresses, models, the kind of women that made Gavin look good.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fashion Monday Madness....

Whew, is it just me or are the weeks flying by at supersonic speed?  Way too hot to accomplish anything but reading this weekend, but the blog will be busy this week with yet another guest author and of course some book reviews.  So let's start the week off with our usual fashion chat showing you.....

The Good....

Nicole Kidman looks ravishing in red in this casual yet stylish cocktail dress.  The minimal use of accessories enhances the comfortable tone of the outfit as does the perfectly coiffed hair that adds a bit of flirty fun.  But as usual, it's Keith Urban in the background that makes this ensemble tops.

Queen Latifah looks cool and spy-like in this mens-inspired suit that enhances her figure beautifully.  Queen exudes attitude in this feminine yet powerful ensemble and shows why she's able to keep up with the boys in the rap community.

The Bad....

Kyra Sedgewick's wrinkled curtain look is a disappointment.  From the poor fit to the creases and puckers it does nothing to flatter her figure and would be depressing even at a funeral.

Courtney Love is again going for a pseudo-dominatrix look in a dress that, even though it's not June, leaves her busting out all over.  The gloves make me think she's getting ready to perform surgery and I don't even want to know what might be in that luggage-sized purse. 

The Ugly....

Tennis star Serena Williams looks just as bad coming towards us as she does walking away in this ensemble that looks as though it's been put in the dryer one too many times.  This outfit is wwwwaaaayyyy too tight and no amount of tugging will keep those shorts down.  It all adds up to one big foul!

We're all used to seeing Richard Simmons in his sparkly tank top and tiny shorts, but here he's channeling Lady Gaga in this pompom-inspired outfit.  He's wearing this in honor of his birthday and I wonder if each ball represents each year he's been alive?  If that's the case then all that sweating to the oldies he does has really payed off.

That's it for this week!  What do you think of this week's choices?  Would you want these ensembles for your very own?  Sound off below.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Winner for Better Than 8 Fantasy by Erin Jamison

I again want to thank Erin and Bewitching Book Tours for making this all possible.  Thanks too those of you who took the time to sign up.  And now without further ado.  The winner of a digital copy of Better Than 8 Fantasy by Erin Jamison using is......


Congratulations!!!!!  I'll be emailing you in a little bit to confirm your win.  You'll have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Review for Living Landscapes HD DVD

For my family, taking vacations are just not something we can afford.  Luckily I've found an affordable and relaxing alternative that I can experience without leaving home.

These are high quality dvds featuring many beautiful landscapes.  From the beauty of Hawaii to the tranquility of a sun-drenched beach, from an awe-inspiring sunset to the majestic power of a waterfall, this collection captures it all beautifully.  The images are crisp and the music, created by award-winning composers, flows soothingly in time to the visuals.

These dvds have been used in doctor's offices and on all American Airlines flights to encourage peace and relaxation.  They can also be seen on the video walls at Costco where they're used to show the impressive quality of HD on HDTVs.  And on that level they definitely succeed!  I was mesmerized by the images on screen and found myself putting the dvd on infinite loop for those times I needed calming background noise.

So far I've only watched one of these gorgeous dvds, but I'm hoping to get others in the collection soon.  I've found them to be impressive in quality and highly recommend them to those needing a vacation without the ability to actually leave home.  For more more information and where to purchase visit

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review for Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Things have been quiet for Sookie Stackhouse.  She's bonded to vampire Eric Northman, still waitressing at Merlotte's, living peacefully with her fae relatives, and getting ready for her best friend's baby shower.  That is until the night someone firebombs Merlotte's and Sookie's life is one again in danger.  An old enemy returns, Eric's new boss is making things difficult for their relationship, and secrets about her fae history come to light to cause even bigger problems.  The answers don't come quickly and much blood is shed along the way in this highly emotional, exciting read from Charlaine Harris.

The eleventh installment of Charlaine Harris' supernatural series is more introspective than the previous books.   As Sookie finds out more about her fae side she discovers some uncomfortable truths that have her questioning her whole life and what she wants for herself in the future.  It's an older and somewhat wiser Sookie that we see in this story, one who wants a more normal life but knows it's not really possible.  All these emotional moments doesn't mean the story is completely devoid of action.  Sookie's attacked numerous times by someone seeking revenge and Eric leads a group to eliminate Victor, the new boss in town who's made things difficult for Fangtasia and many others in his circle.  This final act gets very bloody and causes Sookie even more uncertainty leaving her relationship to Eric in question as well as her entire future and how she pictures herself.

Many favorite characters make an appearance in this story like Pam, Sam, Bill, Claude, Dermot, and even Bubba.  Along with a few new names, some of whom don't last long, the story moves along at a good pace perfectly balancing the emotional aspects as well as the action sequences.  You can sense the end coming, and with Ms. Harris confirming only two books left, I feel sad to see it go.  Many things are left up in the air at the end of this story and I'm intrigued to see the ramifications of some very serious actions.  Sookie may be able to clean up her house with all its relics of the past easily, but unfortunately straightening up her life isn't so simple.

My rating for this is a B+

Giveaway Ending Tonight....

The giveaway for a digital copy of Better Than 8 Fantasy by Erin Jamison ends tonight so sign up here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Follow Friday.....

Before we get to our question of the week, I want to remind everyone of the two giveaways I have going on right now.  The first ends Saturday night and is for a digital copy of Better Than 8 Fantasy by Erin Jamison.  This one is very low on entries so the odds of winning are really good.  Sign up here.  My other giveaway is for a signed paperback copy of Embraced by Blood by Laurie London with entry here.

This is the day of the week where we get to know each other better by answering a question devised by our lovely hostess Parajunkee.  We also gain new followers by joining each other's sites via GFC, so please let me know if you're a new follower since I automatically follow back.  And now for this week's question....


Q.  What do I do when I am not reading?

A.  There's something other than reading?...Really?  LOL!  I'd then say that I enjoy watching movies and tv shows.  I'm also a product tester for numerous food and other sorts of companies, which is fun since I learn about products way in advance.  

Book Tour (and GIVEAWAY) for Embraced by Blood by Laurie London

Before we get to our giveaway, I want to thank Laurie London for the wonderful book she's written and for allowing me to review her book.  Thanks too Roxanne Rhoads and Bewitching Book Tours for letting me be a part of the excitement.  And now, I bring to you Laurie London and her wonderful book that I'm giving away....

Author Bio:

A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London  writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Greater Seattle Area RWA, RWAOnline, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, FF&P (RWA chapter devoted to all things paranormal), and two book clubs.

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.

Back cover copy of EMBRACED BY BLOOD:

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkblood rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.
Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.

Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet-a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires-makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed...then left her in despair. Danger aside-Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again-until an irresistible hunger draws them back together...and into an assassin’s snare.


To win a SIGNED paperback copy of Embraced by Blood by Laurie London & a set of Sweetblood Trading Cards.....

  • Contest is for US ONLY
  • Must be a GFC follower
  • Just leave a comment, along with your email, to be entered
  • Contest closes on July 23rd at 11:59 PM
  • Winner will be chosen by and be notified by email.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond or new winner will be chosen.

Review for Embraced by Blood by Laurie London

Alfonso Serrano has done many bad things in his life, but has been trying to put all that behind him and make amends for past deeds.  One action he took, under the guise of protecting someone he loved, was to break-up with Lily DeGraff.  With a blood assassin on his tail, he wanted Lily as far away as possible.  He's lived his life in isolation until the day he re-enters Lily's life when the assassin gets too close.  Lily was heartbroken when Alfonso left her.  She tried to find happiness elsewhere, but the only good thing that came of it was her daughter.  The kidnapping of her new trainee brings her and Alfonso back together and the passion that never went away.  Will both of them put past hurts and misunderstandings behind them to form a new life or will outside forces end their lives before they can even begin?

In this second installment in the Sweetblood series, Alfonso is back and still trying to make amends for his time as a double agent and the hurt that caused those around him.  He's isolated and trying to stay one step ahead of the assassin sent after him for his betrayal of the Darkbloods who are now using modern technology to find their prey and increase their numbers.  It was disheartening seeing even his own brother still harbor anger towards him over his duplicity and other Guardian's uncertainty around him.  After the tortures he went through you'd think that would be enough for redemption.  He's lonely though and scared that the assassin chasing him will go after his former love Lily.  He misses her desperately and the peace she brought him but getting too close will endanger her.  He's left no choice but to go to her when her trainee is taken instead of her for her scent-tracking abilities.  He's desperate to take care of her but very much respects her abilities and strength in defending herself.  He treats her as an equal which makes him very likable and what I look for in my heroes.  He's a strong character even with the limp left to him after a previous fight.  He hates his own weakness, but never complains.  Over and over, and in subtle ways, he shows what it is to be a hero.  

Lily has always been referred to by her looks and her important lineage but wants to let her scent-tracking be what she's known for.  She's a strong woman who can easily take care of herself and interacts realistically with her co-workers.  She's extremely likable and seeing her struggles make her very relatable.  Just when she's made a name for herself her abilities unexpectedly  weaken which is a blow to her self-esteem.  It's the same thing Alfonso's experiencing with his knee injury and forms a connection between them.  Seeing them lean on each other and draw strength from one another is very romantic and attests to the power of their relationship.  

There are quite a few villains in the story and each of them are very unique and add an interesting dimension to the story.  Some get what they deserve and one's story is still not resolved after turning the last page.  I'm sure we'll see more from this character and he'll be causing even bigger problems.  Along with the distinctive villains comes an intriguing set of heroic secondary characters who have me excited for future installments of the series.  The one that stands out for me is Jackson, the surfer-boy sex machine with an abundance of humor that seems to be losing control by needing more blood and energy to stay sane.  I'm worried for him at the same time as drooling over him.  His story can't come soon enough!

Having not read the previous book in this series I worried that I'd feel lost.  That wasn't the case at all because of a seamless introduction to the world of the Guardians and their villains and the history of these particular characters.  The world Ms. London created is an exciting one with lots of action and a group of entertaining characters whose stories I look forward to reading.  Fans of the vampire genre as well as those looking for heart pounding action and heart-wrenching romance will want to jump on board this exciting roller coaster of a series.

My rating for this is a B+

*This book was given to me by the author and gotten from NetGalley for my honest review. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Review for Trace of Fever by Lori Foster

Trace Rivers is a man on a mission.  Ever since his sister was rescued from a human trafficker he's determined to bring down the man responsible.  He's undercover acting as head of security for Murray Coburn trying to gain information on the human trafficking ring Coburn runs when Priscilla Patterson enters the picture.  Claiming to be Coburn's daughter, she too has a hidden agenda, and it involves killing her new-found father for the tortures he put her mother through years before.  Trace's job just got a lot harder and between trying to fulfill his mission and protecting Priscilla, he doesn't have time for the complications of love.  But as things become more dangerous for Priscilla will she be able to put aside her revenge or will it be too late for Trace to admit his true feelings?

This is the second book in Ms. Foster's Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series and continues to address the issue of human trafficking.  The hero this time around is Trace Rivers who had a large role in the first book in this series and showed us just how capable he was in a crisis.  He's taken the lead this time around and oozes strength and sex appeal.  He's the strong silent type except when Priss is with him.  In her presence there's non-stop verbal foreplay and he becomes the master of seduction through words and glances.

In the previous book I found the heroine to be the weakest link, but I'm happy to report that the heroine in this story is much more likable and an equal to the hero.  Her childhood was one of seclusion because of the torture her mother went through and the subsequent fear that left her feeling.  Upon her mother's death Priss vowed revenge and finally gets to experience things other women do.  And one of those things she wants to experience is Trace's body.  She's a strong woman who's not shy about what she wants and her and Trace are combustible together.  She's quite capable of fighting by his side and fits in perfectly with the rest of the group.  She's not always in need of saving and in fact does a bit of the saving on her own.

We see many characters from the previous book like Dare, Molly, and Chris and they add a nice bit of humor and familial stability to the chaos of the team's agenda.  There's an extra bit of humor in the story from a new operative to the team, Jackson, who will be the hero of the next installment and who has a connection to Trace's sister.

The villains in this story are truly nasty.  Murray Coburn treats women like objects and the story doesn't shy away from showing that.  Both his thoughts and actions make him despicable and you root for his demise.  His lover, Helene Schumer, is equally as nasty.  Being in charge of the drugging of those kidnapped she uses her concoctions against Trace in a scene where readers will want to see her demise in a number of extremely painful ways.

All around I found this to be a stronger story than the previous installment.  The main characters were more likable and on more equal footing.  There were welcome bits of humor amongst the direness of the storyline and the action scenes kept me on the edge of my seat.  The glimpses we had of Jackson have me very excited for the next installment in this series and hopefully a true sense of closure for Trace's sister concerning her kidnapping.  I recommend this story to those looking for a hero to die for with an equally strong heroine being put through the wringer leading to a very satisfying conclusion.  And definitely sign me up for the next installment!

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #24

Before we get to my teaser, I just want to remind everyone of the giveaway I have running for a digital copy of Better Than 8 Fantasy by Erin Jamison.  Please sign up here.

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 & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

DEAD RECKONING by Charlaine Harris

....from page 48

-Okay, I've been stupid in the past.  Not consistently stupid,  but occasionally stupid.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Winner of Skyrockets In Flight Blog Hop Delight...

I had an awesome time hosting this giveaway and want to thank everyone who entered!  This was my first time being part of a Blog Hop Giveaway and it definitely won't be the last.  So without further ado, the winner of the Shelly Laurenston book and author swag is.......


Congratulations!  I'll be emailing you shortly for your mailing info and you will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Fashion Monday Madness....

A new week is upon us and after a weekend where I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted I'm hoping for a more energetic week.  I have a guest author on Thursday with perhaps a giveaway and a few reviews as well coming up this week.  So stay tuned for that.  And now for some fashion chat with.....

The Good....

Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, looks regal on the Red Carpet in this flowing yet understated gown.  Reminiscent of her wedding day, Kate looks like a princess and I once again bow down to her stylist who has kept her looking perfect all the time.

Emma Watson makes the end of Harry Potter really memorable in this elegant yet modern ballgown.  The wispy look of it is perfect for her pixie-like features and haircut.  This is an angelic look that works beautifully for her.

The Bad....

Anne Hathaway's ensemble however is an angelic look that goes a bit too far.  The dress itself isn't bad, but the wristlet and sparkly headpiece push her into the over-the-top category.  With the excessive accessorizing she ends up looking like a virgin sacrifice waiting for the dragon.  Remember Anne that less is more.

Model Alexa Chung looks like a deranged milk-maid in this ruffly nightmare that manages to overwhelm her figure.  This dress is way too much and I'm surprised she can stand upright with all that weight on top.

The Ugly....

If this is an example of what Avril Lavigne's new clothing line will look like than all I can say is sssccccaaarrrryyyy.  It looks like something you can find in a dumpster after it's been ran over a few times by a truck.  This is definitely not high fashion in my book, it's very very low.

Fergie makes the list again with this frumpy, pattern clashing ensemble.  From its baggy feel to the MC Hammer-inspired pants Fergie looks more ready for bed than a day on the town.

That brings us to the end of another installment of fashion chat.  How do you feel about what the stars wore this week?  Sound off below.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Giveaway Ending Tonight & Another Ending Soon.......

I just wanted to remind everyone that my giveaway for a paperback copy of Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston along with some fun author swag ends in a few hours.  This was my first time participating in a blog hop and the turnout was more than I ever expected, so thank you to everyone who signed up thus far.  For those who haven't yet signed up there's still time.  Go here and follow the quick and easy directions to be counted.

I also have another giveaway going on right now that ends in six days for a digital copy of Better Than 8 Fantasy by Erin Jamison.  This one is very low on entries so the odds of winning are pretty good.  Just go here and follow the easy directions to sign up.