Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Lady In Time by Angie Ray

My Lady In Time by Angie Ray

My Rating: 8*'s

Description: CALIFORNIA, 1998.

Handsome playboy Derek Sinclair didn't have time to go looking for love. Then one night, the ghost of Lady Allison Pelsworth appears, asking him to travel back in time and prevent her marriage to the wretched Wilfred. Now, love seems to be looking for him -- and Derek is not one to refuse a beautiful woman....

ENGLAND, 1498.

Derek thought it was just a dream, but when he finds himself -- stark naked -- in Medieval England, he knows he's in real trouble. To keep his promise to Lady Allison -- and find his way back to the 20th century -- he must prove himself a worthy knight and Lady Allison's True Love. Now for the first time in his life, Derek is willing to fight for honor... and for a passion that transcends time....

My Thoughts: Initially, I thought both Derek and Allison were too stubborn and obstinate and it made the story drag a bit but it began to get interesting when Derek began his knight training. The more I read, the more amused I was at Derek's antics, especially in teaching everyone to play poker. The author does an excellent job of making 1498 come to life, which makes me appreciate 2009 all the more. I also enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the festival, tournament and overall daily life inside the castle and the extremely hard work it takes to run it, inside and out. I wish there had been more explanation about Anne and Rafael and how they were involved, though at the end of the book, it's easy to figure out most of it. I would have liked to have learned more. Overall, a good time travel that will delight fans of the Middle Age.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

You've Been Warned by James Patterson

You've Been Warned by James Patterson

My Rating: 5 *'s



Kristin Burns has lived her life by the philosophy "Don't think, just shoot" – pictures, that is. Struggling to make ends meet, she works full-time as the nanny for the fabulously wealthy Turnbull family, looking after their two wonderful children and waiting for her glamorous life as a New York photographer to begin. When her photographs are considered by an elite Manhattan art gallery, it seems she might finally get the chance that will start her career.


But Kristin has a major distraction: forbidden love. The man of her dreams is almost hers for keeps. Breathless with an inexhaustible passion and the excitement of being within reach of her goals, Kristen ignores all signs of catastrophe brewing.


Fear exists for a reason. And Kristin can only dismiss the warnings for so long. Searching desperately for the truth through the lens of her camera, she can only hope that it's not too late.

My Thoughts: I didn't enjoy this one as much as his other books, probably because this book centers around adultery, a plot device I cannot stand. If this book had been a romance genre, I would have given up on it. I thought Kristin was a weak character who uses poor judgment and makes bad choices and decisions throughout the book. I thought Michael and Penley were selfish, manipulative, snobs and I found myself wondering throughout the book why Kristin stayed in their employ. The only characters I did like were Michael's children, Dakota and Sean. These kids brought a sweet innocence to an otherwise twisted and dark story of seduction, betrayal and murder.

Though this story twists and turns into chaos and confusion, I was compelled to finish the story just to see what happens and hopefully bring closure to a very complicated story.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When Darkness Falls by Shannon Drake

When Darkness Falls by Shannon Drake

My Rating: 9 *'s


In a windswept Scottish cemetery, Jade MacGregor's carefree vacation abroad is marred by a seemingly random tragedy. A year later, back home on a shadowy French Quarter street she glimpses an oddly familiar face. Coincidence -- or something more disturbing?


Surrounded by her friends and engrossed in her work, Jade should feel secure. But somebody is dogging her every move. Somebody who knows what she saw on that long ago afternoon. Somebody who will try to rescue her from the evil that is waiting to destroy her.


My Thoughts: I've had this book in my TBR pile for the better part of 8 years now and was never compelled to read it. Last year, I decided I needed to be proactive in culling down my TBR pile, I found this book in one of the many nooks and crannies I have books stashed in and pulled it out deciding this is one I would read, though the desire that grips most readers to read a particular book wasn't present for me with this book. I don't know why since paranormals top the list of my favorites in genre.

WHEN DARKNESS FALLS is the second story in Shannon Drake's vampire series. Characters from the first book make an appearance in this book, but this story does stand alone. The story begins in my favorite place in the world, Scotland, where the heroine, Jade MacGregor, is on a tour of a cemetary. The tour goes horribly wrong when the group is attacked by vampires. Jade is saved by a mysterious stranger and the police have a hard time believing Jade's tale. Fast forward one year later to New Orleans and Jade finds herself being hunted by the evil that she escaped from and the mysterious stranger again makes an appearance.

I honestly could not put this book down and found myself grabbing every spare moment I had to read, even if it was only a paragraph. Drake does an excellent job of weaving the past and present together to explain the history of the evil and the role the hero, Lucian DeVeau, plays in it. I liked Jade, though there are a few of those "too stupid to live" moments where she finds herself in mortal danger as a result of poor judgment. The supporting cast of characters were fantastic as well and I hope Rick Beaudreaux gets his own story. Sophia and Darian were great villains that you will despise but will enjoy finding out what they do next.

I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series with high hopes that it will deliver as this one did. Scottish Vampires....what else can I ask except for more please?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

REVIEW: O Is For Outlaw by Sue Grafton

O Is For Outlaw by Sue Grafton

My Rating: 9*'s

Description: The call comes on a Monday morning from a guy who scavenges defaulted storage units at auction. The weekend before, he'd bought a stack of cardboard boxes. In one, there was a collection of childhood memorabilia with Kinsey's name all over it. For thirty bucks, he was offering Kinsey the lot.

Though she's never been one for personal possessions, curiosity is a powerful force. She agrees to meet the guy, then hands over a twenty (she may be curious, but she's also cheap and she loves a bargain).

What she finds among the items is an old undelivered letter to her that will force her to reexamine her beliefs about the breakup of her first marriage . . . about the honor of her first husband . . . and about an old unsolved murder.

It will put her life in the gravest peril.

My Thoughts: Just when I start to wonder if this series has anything to offer in the way of surprises, along comes this installment of Kinsey's next assignment and I'm hooked all over again. I love Kinsey and her smart mouth attitude. This story shows another side of Kinsey when she is told her first ex-husband has been shot and may not survive. When she discovers some very hard truths about the past, Kinsey has to take the painful journey to forgive her ex for his alleged misdeeds. Kinsey also has to look at her own shortcomings as well and reevaluate her beliefs.

From Santa Theresa to Louisville and back, Kinsey's dig into the past attracts the attention of some unsavory people who would rather the past and the crimes committed there remain dead and buried. Kinsey is her usual feisty self but we get to see more of the compassionate side of her, especially with the ending. Kudos to Sue Grafton for creating a fantastic multi-dimensional character that comes to life and draws the reader into her world so deeply that it's easy to forget that Kinsey and her world is fiction.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Truth

For every woman who has had her share of relationship issues:

If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay. Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior. Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache. Stop trying to change yourselves for a relationship that’s not meant to be. Slower is better. Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy. If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then heck no, you can’t "be friends." A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend. Don’t settle. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is. Don’t stay because you think "it will get better." You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better. The only person you can control in a relationship is you. Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, Why would he treat you any differently? Always have your own set of friends separate from his. Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up. Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later. You cannot change a man’s behavior. Change comes from within. Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are...even if he has more education or in a better job. Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more nothing less. Never let a man define who you are. Never borrow someone else’s man. Oh Lord! If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you. A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you. All men are NOT dogs. You should not be the one doing all the bending. ..compromise is a two-way street. You need time to heal between relationships...there is nothing cute about baggage... deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you...a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals...look for someone complimentary...not supplementary. Dating is fun...even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr.. Right. Make him miss you sometimes...when a man always know where you are, and your always readily available to him- he takes it for granted. Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need. Keep him in your radar but get to know others. Share this..... You’ll make some women SMILE, another RETHINK her choices, and another woman PREPARE. They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them and an entire lifetime to forget them.

- Author Unknown

REVIEW: Don't Talk Back To Your Vampire by Michele Bardsley

Don't Talk Back To Your Vampire by Michele Bardsley

My Rating: 9*'s



Ever since a master vampire became possessed and bit a bunch of parents, the town of Broken Heart, Oklahoma has catered to those of us who don't rise until sunset --- even if that means PTA meetings at midnight.

As for me, Eva LeRoy, town librarian and single mother to a teenage daughter, I'm pretty much used to being "vampified." You can't beat the great side effects: no crow's-feet or cellulite! But books still make my undead heart beat --- and, strangely enough, so does Lorcan the Loner. My mama always told me everyone deserves a second chance. Still, it's one thing to deal with the usual undead hassles: rival vamps, rambunctious kids adjusting to night school, and my daughter's new boyfriend, who's a vampire hunter, for heaven's sake. It's quite another to fall for the vampire who killed you....

My Thoughts: I have to say that when I read the first one (I'M THE VAMPIRE, THAT'S WHY), my socks stayed firmly in place on my feet. Though I liked Jessica and Patrick and thought there were some funny moments, I was able to put the book down quite a lot and let my attention be drawn to other things.

I wasn't in a big hurry to read this book. I picked this book up and right away I was drawn into Eva's life and getting to know Lorcan was great. I especially LOVE how all of the animals are drawn to her, which is a little surprising considering she's a vampire, but hey, it works. I enjoyed Eva and Tamara's word of the day contest too.

It's a little difficult to put my finger on why this book was so much better for me than the first, but it has revitalized this series for me. Most likely, it has to do with the animals, even the lycans. I'm a sucker for the animals. I will be definitely getting the rest of the series as I am especially looking forward to Ralph's story.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Joining The Undead

You would think that after nearly 13 years working in public safety and being subjected to various shifts, that working what I call the Vampire shift would be nothing new. You would be right. You would. Additionally, with all of the vampire themed books I surround myself with and read, I would be further prepared for the lifestyle the ranks of the undead live. I should.

It's been a year since I walked the undead road. And it wasn't easy. My doctor had to prescribe Provigil for me to help me stay focused and alert on the nights I am working. I guess it's true that as we get older, we don't bounce back from stuff as quickly or are less able to adjust to changes.

When the sun goes down and I arise from my coffin tonight, I begin my first night back with my fellow undead armed with Provigil and caffeinated beverages. Garlic cloves and wooden stakes are not necessary at this time, though we can always revisit it should my Transylvanian accent gets too thick.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Honorable Mentions Of 2008

For many books that don't make the top reads for the year, I want to give an honorable mention to those books I read in 2008 that didn't make the cut for the best but were still very good books and recommended:

32AA by Michelle Cunnah
L Is For Lawless by Sue Grafton
M Is For Malice by Sue Grafton
The Pregnancy Test by Erin McCarthy
Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Interlude In Death by J.D. Robb
Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
Sit, Stay, Slay by Linda O. Johnston
The Pact by Jennifer Sturman
Don’t Tell by Karen Rose
Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2008 In Review

2008 has come and gone and with it another year's worth of reading. Some awesome reads and some real stinkers. In total I read 49 books which doesn't count the 16 that I gave up on. I'm in a state of shock at the number I gave up on. Amazes me that my reading taste has become, to some, quite picky. Sad that my reading totals would have been much higher had it not been for those lost causes.

Overall, my selections this year ranged across the spectrum of genres and are as follows:

Mystery / Suspense / Thriller: 17
Cozy Mystery: 6
Anthologies: 3
Paranormal Romance: 5
Chick-Lit: 14
Other Fiction / Literature: 3
Biography / Memoir: 1

Definitely went for more of the mystery genre last year instead of romance which I attribute to trying to catch up on the In Death series by J.D. Robb.

My picks for the best books for the year in the order they were read are:

Witness In Death by J.D. Robb
Bitter Is The New Black by Jen Lancaster
Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag
Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore
Judgment In Death by J.D. Robb
Devil May Cry by Sherrilyn Kenyon
A Total Waste Of Makeup by Kim Gruenenfelder
The Ghost And Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly
Betrayal In Death by J.D. Robb
The Prada Paradox by Julie Kenner
Seduction In Death by J.D. Robb
Judge & Jury by James Patterson
Reunion In Death by J.D. Robb
Welcome To The Real World by Carole Matthews
Sex, Murder & A Double Latte by Kyra Davis
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Purity In Death by J.D. Robb
Better Read Than Dead by Victoria Laurie
N Is For Noose by Sue Grafton
Demons Are Forever: Confessions Of A Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner
Cheating At Solitaire by Ally Carter
Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
Portrait In Death by J.D. Robb
7th Heaven by James Patterson
Jack With A Twist by Brenda Janowitz
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

Here's hoping 2009 brings even more excellent books!

Friday, January 02, 2009

December's Reading Review

I closed out the year with a decent month reading. Hopefully 2009 will bring more books read and that they be excellent reads.

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

My Rating: 9 *'s

My Thoughts: This isn't the usual storyline I have come to expect from this author. Still, the story was quite good and kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed the switch between time periods to bring the past and the present together. Though the outcome of the story turned out well, there were a few events that I wasn't pleased about. I still prefer the Jane Rizzoli series but this was a decent story.

Stroke Of Midnight by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amanda Ashley, L.A. Banks & Lori Handeland

My Thoughts: 7 *'s

My Rating: The only story I enjoyed was Sherrilyn Kenyon's. Couldn't get into the others which seems to be the case with anthologies, unfortunately.

Soul Survivor by Susan Plunkett

My Rating: 8 *'s

My Thoughts: A little slow starting off but got better. Very heartwarming story of love, regret and forgiveness

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

My Rating: 8 *'s

My Thoughts: Lots of wacky new characters and chaos crossing Stephanie's path when she, Lula, Connie and Diesel have to go after Grandma Mazur who has made off to Atlantic City in an RV bought with stolen money. Throw in a little man who believes he's a leprechaun and his horse, a mobster who looks more like a toad and a few brief appearances of Ranger and Joe and you have another madcap adventure starring Stephanie and her world. And don't get me started on Lula's aspirations to be a lingerie model.

Jack With A Twist by Brenda Janowitz

My Rating: 10 *'s

My Thoughts: I adored Ms. Janowitz's first book, SCOT ON THE ROCKS, but I have to say that JACK WITH A TWIST was much better! I couldn't put the book down. Even through Brooke's self-obsessed personality, which she doesn't make excuses for, by the way, you cannot help but like her and root for her and Jack to make it down the aisle. I loved all the characters, well, most of them anyway. I didn't take to Jack's family very well, but his sister's did surprise me at the bridal shower and by the end even Jack's parents came across more humane. I loved the side stories involving Vanessa and Marcus and Monique and Jean Luc and laughed myself silly at Brooke's wild imagination involving her wedding videographer and The Soprano references. I recommend this book to every woman who has been a bride or bride to be as I'm sure they can relate to the complete and utter chaos and craziness that planning a wedding brings out in everyone. Hopefully this book brings some relief from the stress.

Brenda Janowitz is definitely an author to keep an eye out for in the bookstores. She already won me over with the Perth, Scotland references in SCOT ON THE ROCKS but JACK WITH A TWIST has placed her in favorite status.

7th Heaven by James Patterson

My Rating: 9 *'s

My Thoughts: Very interesting story with some intense moments and great sub-plots. I found Yuki's side story very riveting. I was on the edge of my seat. Not sure if I'm liking where the author is going with Lindsay and Rich, though. I would love to see Cindy get more page time. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Additions To The TBR Pile In December

Ending the year with some good acquisitions...

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen

Present day: Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil–human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder. But whoever this nameless woman was, and whatever befell her, is knowledge lost to another time. . . .

Boston, 1830: In order to pay for his education, Norris Marshall, a talented but penniless student at Boston Medical College, has joined the ranks of local “resurrectionists”–those who plunder graveyards and harvest the dead for sale on the black market. Yet even this ghoulish commerce pales beside the shocking murder of a nurse found mutilated on the university hospital grounds. And when a distinguished doctor meets the same grisly fate, Norris finds that trafficking in the illicit cadaver trade has made him a prime suspect.

To prove his innocence, Norris must track down the only witness to have glimpsed the killer: Rose Connolly, a beautiful seamstress from the Boston slums who fears she may be the next victim. Joined by a sardonic, keenly intelligent young man named Oliver Wendell Holmes, Norris and Rose comb the city–from its grim cemeteries and autopsy suites to its glittering mansions and centers of Brahmin power–on the trail of a maniacal fiend who lurks where least expected . . . and who waits for his next lethal opportunity.

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum has a way of attracting danger, lunatics, oddballs, bad luck... and mystery men. And no one is more mysterious than the unmentionable Diesel. He's back and hot on the trail of a little man in green pants who's lost a giant bag of money. Problem is the money isn't exactly lost. Stephanie's Grandma Mazur has found it, and like any good Jersey senior citizen she's high-tailed it in a Winnebago to Atlantic City and hit the slots. With Lula and Connie in tow, Stephanie attempts to bring Grandma home. But the luck of the Irish is rubbing off on everyone. Lula's found a job modeling plus size lingerie. Connie's found a guy. Diesel's found Stephanie. And Stephanie has found herself in over her head with a caper involving thrice stolen money, a racehorse, a car chase and a bad case of hives.

One Silent Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

In the world of the Dark-Hunters, all hell's breaking loose...

Stryker has sent word and is gathering his forces.

While the world carries on unawares, Stryker, who leads an army of demons and vampires, is plotting an all out onslaught against his enemies-which, unfortunately for us, includes the entire human race.

To avenge his sister, Stryker prepares to annihilate the Dark-Hunters. But things go awry when his oldest enemy returns. Enter his ex-wife. Zephyra. Just when he thought nothing could stop him, he's now embroiled in a centuries old war with a shrew who gives new meaning to pain.

O Is For Outlaw by Sue Grafton

The call comes on a Monday morning from a guy who scavenges defaulted storage units at auction. The weekend before, he'd bought a stack of cardboard boxes. In one, there was a collection of childhood memorabilia with Kinsey's name all over it. For thirty bucks, he was offering Kinsey the lot.

Though she's never been one for personal possessions, curiosity is a powerful force. She agrees to meet the guy, then hands over a twenty (she may be curious, but she's also cheap and she loves a bargain).

What she finds among the items is an old undelivered letter to her that will force her to reexamine her beliefs about the breakup of her first marriage . . . about the honor of her first husband . . . and about an old unsolved murder.

It will put her life in the gravest peril.

Murder With Reservations by Elaine Viets

Living life on the lam and working wherever she can find a paycheck, Helen Hawthorne has a knack for keeping a low profile. But when her coworker dies, and her two-timing ex-husband tracks her down in South Florida, it's going to get a lot harder to fly under the radar...

Working at Sybil's Full Moon Hotel in Fort Lauderdale keeps Helen both financially and physically fit. But cleaning up after hotel guests is not like cleaning a house --- it's like cleaning fifteen houses in a single day. Not to mention dreaded room 323, the hotel's most notorious. The guests in 323 are always drunk, loud, and rude --- and worst of all, they never tip. When a maid goes missing the day after a disastrous mess in 323, the rest of the cleaning staff chalk it up to job burnout and imagine that Rhonda has finally ditched the housekeeping gig to run off with the dreamy rich boyfriend she's always talking about.

But then Rhonda turns up dead in a Dumpster, and no one feels safe and snug in South Florida, especially not Helen. Another dead body means another chance for the cops to find her. And to make matters worse, her ex-husband is hot on her trail, checking in to the very hotel where she works. Sadly, the cops don't seem to care much about a murdered maid, but they have noticed there's something shady about the victim's coworker and her not quite truthful story. If Helen doesn't manage to dodge their questions and shake off her ex, it could be checkout time for her.

Lip Lock by Susanna Carr

Come closer...


Molly Connors can talk her way out of almost every situation. That is, unless she's around her boss, Kyle Ashton, a gorgeous computer tycoon with smoldering eyes and a long, lean body that doesn't quit. Every move he makes promises sophisticated sex. What woman wouldn't get tongue-tied?

But she can't risk getting too close to Kyle. No one can know that her fabulous clothes aren't hers, or that she's holding on by her manicured fingertips. But once she gets that big promotion, she'll make good on every one of her white lies. Uh-oh. Did Kyle really just say those three little words? You are ...fired? He did. If she doesn't have a job any more --- or an apartment --- she'll do whatever it takes to survive, even if it means camping out in one of Kyle's rarely used homes. He'll never know. Right?


Now that the sexy con artist has been pink-slipped out of his company and his life, Kyle can relax. Not. Molly doesn't play by the rules. And the very important clients he just brought to his weekend house think that she's his fiancee! If that's her game, he fully intends to win. Even if he has to kiss her senseless ... and love her all night long.

Flirting In Cars by Alisa Kwitney

An accomplished journalist, Zoe Goren can't drive and she doesn't cook. But that's never been a problem in Manhattan, where the streets are filled with taxis and takeout restaurants, and a busy single mother can find everything she needs right at her fingertips. In fact, Zoe can't imagine living or working anyplace else. But when Zoe's daughter is diagnosed with dyslexia, she decides to make the ultimate sacrifice, moving two hours from Manhattan in order to enroll Maya in an excellent school for children with learning differences. Stranded in a rural paradise, Zoe must grapple with isolation, coyote howls, and the lack of good delivery services. But when she decides to overcome her fear of driving and take lessons, she meets Mack, an unnervingly attractive townie, back from the war in Iraq and trying to adjust to civilian life. With a budding new romance and a reporting gig for the local paper, Zoe just might survive in the wilderness of small-town America after all.

Accidental It Girl by Libby Street

What comes around...

Photographer Sadie Price is known for her thick skin and infallible instincts. A lofty education has made her skilled in her craft, and a fear of poverty -- and love for Jimmy Choo -- has made her one of the East Coast's most savvy paparazzi. She keeps her exhilarating but sometimes hectic life manageable by staying on the right side of the razor-thin line between celebrity photographers and the stalkerazzi. But all that changes when Sadie locks horns with one of Hollywood's hottest bachelors.

...goes around.

Something about Ethan Wyatt's charisma and startling good looks throws Sadie off her game. Something about Sadie's dogged determination -- and a very compromising picture she snaps -- throws Ethan off his. Hatching a scheme befitting the silver screen that made him famous, Ethan sets out to give Sadie a taste of her own medicine. And when her life almost instantly becomes as frenzied as those of the "It Girls" she follows, Sadie starts to see her career, her love life, and Ethan Wyatt in ways she never had before....


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About Me

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)