Advance Review- Chained By Night by Larissa Ione

Title: Chained By Night (Book #2, Moonbound Clan Series)

Chained By Night

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Author: Larissa Ione

Publisher: Simon and Schuster, Sept. 30, 2014-Preorder available

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE

Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL

But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?

**

It is a violent and deadly world that the Moonbound Clan must navigate. Hunter has vowed not to be the monster leader his father had been. But it is difficult at best to resist his vampire rages. He is determined to be honorable in a totally dishonorable world. His betrothed is from a clan where her father is the despotic ruler and she has been raised to obey and is calculation and evil personified. Her sister on the other hand is not at all like that. She has a deformed leg that has made her an outcast in her own clan, shielded only because her father is chief. Because of her traumas in her clan she is compassionate and nothing like the others in her clan and Hunter falls in love with her.

This is the second book in the Moonbound Clan Series. The first BOUND BY NIGHT introduced the world of vampires and humans in the USA. Set in the Pacific northwest, Ione sets the stage with vivid images of the forests of this area where the vampire clans exist, constantly avoiding humans who want to capture them for slaves and trying to maintain peace between clans. She creates a fantasy world where magic exists along with demons and vampires.

This is a page turning read. It is chock full of action, adventure, violence, fantastical monsters and monstrous vampires and humans. The pages turn quickly as I was anxious to find out how the author would bring about the happy ending that I knew would happen but which seemed far beyond the reach of the protagonists. The fast pace and sizzling sexual tension kept me reading long into the night. This is a standalone novel but it does have characters that are in the first book. I think the world of the Clans and the dynamic between humans and the vampires can be understood more fully if you start with the first book in the series.

I highly recommend this book and this series to Paranormal Romance fans

 

4 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Paranormal Romance, Vampire

Deet’s Life- New York Times Bestsellers on the day you were born

fake-nyt-best-seller-list 2

Here is a fun site.  You enter your birthday into the box and then click, up comes the New York Times bestsellers for the week you were born. (pay no attention to the “25% off”, unless you are interested, it doesn’t affect your results.)

http://biblioz.com/best_sellers.php

Yes, I did it.  No, I’m not going to tell you. Good grief, you already have enough hints as to my age.  Why ever are you so curious? lol

(That is a FAKE NYT Bestseller list from the book by Steve Healy, HOW I BECAME A FAMOUS NOVELIST.  I hope you are able to read the very funny titles.)

Originally posted in Sept. 2011

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Deet's Life, Fun, History

Lord Byron, Prototype for Fictional Rakes and Vampires?

Lord Byron 2

George Gordon, Lord Byron, could very well be the prototype for all those Regency Rakes and Rogues we so love in present day historical romance novels.  He was certainly handsome, he was admittedly bi-sexual, he married and separated, he had a legitimate daughter, an illegitimate son and there was a question as to the paternity of his half sister’s son.  He had many notorious affairs: Caroline Lamb and Mary Shelly’s sister, Claire were rumored to have succumbed to his charms.

 

The reality of Lord Byron differs from historical rakes of fiction in that those we love in fiction are usually reformed by the end of the story.  They fall in love with the heroine who saves them from themselves and live to a ripe old age dangling their children on their knees.  Byron was not reformed, although his wife made every effort.  They were married only a year when they separated and she went to live with her parents taking their daughter with her.  Byron was never again to see either of them.  It is said that he suffered deep mood swings.  He continued to live a dissipated lifestyle.

It is said that when he went to Switzerland with his young physician, John Polidori, they lived near Percy Bysshe Shelly,  Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly and her sister Claire Clairmont.  They would spend three rainy days  inventing and telling fantastic stories.  The result of reading ghost stories and taking quantities of Laudanum, Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein and the doctor wrote Vampyre which is said to be the first romantic vampire rendition.1 from Wikipedia, Lord Byron

Fictionalized accounts of Lord Byron as a vampire have appeared in Michael Thomas Ford’s witty book about vampire Jane Austen, Jane Bites Back, and Thomas Holland’s Vampyre.   Yes, I can certainly see how Byron’s lifestyle would lend itself to romantic vampire fiction but not so much to the reformed rake of historical novels.

Previously blogged by Deet in May, 2011

Leave a comment

Filed under Biography, Romance, Vampire

Deet’s Eats- Pineapple Upside Down Cake (slightly tweaked)

I was in the mood to play Suzie Homemaker today and since all the ingredients for this dessert were in my pantry I decided to go for it.   I had gathered these ingredients because a neighbor had made the cake for a pot luck and told me it was on the Duncan Hines Cake Mix box.  Only I made one error with the ingredients.  Instead of vanilla instant pudding I bought Coconut Cream instant pudding.  This means I have a Pina Colada Upside Down cake. If only I had some rum…..  Oh well, here is the recipe from Duncan Hines plus my coconut tweak

IMG_0393

Pina Colada Upside Down Cake

IMG_0390

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Topping:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1- 20 oz. can pineapple slices packed in juice(drained but juice reserved)

Maraschino Cherries

IMG_0391

Cake:

1 pkg. Duncan Hines Pineapple Supreme Cake Mix

1 pkg. (3.4oz.) Jello brand vanilla or Coconut cream instant pudding

4 large eggs

1 cup water or half water and half juice from pineapple can

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)

IMG_0392

Directions for the topping:

Melt the butter over low heat in a 12″ oven safe skillet.  Remove from heat, stir in the brown sugar and spread overt the bottom of the skillet.  Arrange Pineapple slices and cherries.  set aside.

Directions for the cake:

Combine all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat for two minutes with an electric mixer.  Pour the batter evenly over the fruit in the skillet.

Bake: at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Invert immediately onto a a serving platter.  (or if you don’t have one big enough invert onto an old cookie sheet like Deet did.

Serving: Cool, cut in wedges and top with whipped cream (this is truly the best) or, if you are like Deet and lack the heavy cream to whip , top with Cool Whip.

An apology to my international followers who may not have access to the brand names used in this recipe.  I encourage you to improvise and let me know how it turned out. Please someone add the rum!!!!

 

4 Comments

Filed under Deet's Eats, Food, Fun, recipes

Recent Release Review- Talk Seweetly To Me by Courtney Milan

Title: Talk Sweetly To Me (final Novella, The brothers sinister Series)

Talk sweetly to Me

Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com: Nobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much.

All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stopping handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination.

**

We met Stephen in The Suffragette Scandal and all signs pointed to him being a hero to love. There was no disappointment in that, he is all those delightful things we love about a hero and most important of them he is head over heels in love with the heroine. Now the heroine, Miss Rose Sweetly, encounters our hero often in the street where he engages her in conversation that usually turns to her passion for mathematics. He is not put off by this topic he absolutely enjoys listening to her expound on theory and astronomy, so much so that he goes to her employer and finagles a way to take astronomy lessons from Miss Sweetly. Of course Rose is wary, because she is already falling for him and there is just too much societal restrictions for them to ever be serious.

Once again Ms Milan gives us an original plot and protagonists to cheer for. She touches on women’s rights, racism and religious prejudice prevalent in Victorian times and she ties this all up in a lusciously sensual romance.

This is the final entry in the Brothers Sinister Series but like the others it is a standalone book. This has been a wonderful series by a top-tier author, I highly recommend this book and the entire series.

 

Talk Sweetly to Me is the final novella in The Brothers Sinister series.

The Brothers Sinister Series:

½. The Governess Affair (prequel novella)

  1. The Duchess War

1½. A Kiss for Midwinter (a companion novella to The Duchess War)

  1. The Heiress Effect
  2. The Countess Conspiracy
  3. The Suffragette Scandal

4½. Talk Sweetly to Me

 

2 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance

Recent Reissue Review- Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley

Title: Season of Storms

Season of Storms

Genre: General Fiction/Mystery/Romantic Elements

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, Sept. 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 3

From Amazon:

A mystery trapped in time

In 1921, infamous Italian poet Galeazzo D’Ascanio wrote his last and greatest play, inspired by his muse and mistress, actress Celia Sands. On the eve of opening night, Celia vanished, and the play was never performed.

Now, two generations later, Alessandro D’Ascanio plans to stage his grandfather’s masterpiece and has offered the lead to a promising young English actress, also named Celia Sands-at the whim of her actress mother, or so she has always thought. When Celia arrives at D’Ascanio’s magnificent, isolated Italian villa, she is drawn to the mystery of her namesake’s disappearance-and to the compelling, enigmatic Alessandro.

But the closer Celia gets to learning the first Celia’s fate, the more she is drawn into a web of murder, passion, and the obsession of genius. Though she knows she should let go of the past, in the dark, in her dreams, it comes back…

**

This novel is a reissue of a book written in 2001. I’m finding it difficult to come up with an original view on this book. Having read many of Ms. Kearsley’s novels and enjoying them immensely I was disappointed in this offering. The story was so very slow with most of the action and romance coming at the end of the book. There are pages of description that seem repetitious. The plot would have been interesting in a shorter book but the pacing here almost killed my interest in finishing. But I did plow through because even though I found it difficult there is always that seed of something-will-happen-to-change-my-opinion but sorry to say that never happened here.  And yet I must give Ms. Kearsley her due accolades; she can write description of place and time beautifully.  If you want a truly wonderful Susanna Kearsley book then pick THE WINTER SEA, MARIANA, THE SHADOWY HORSES OR THE ROSE GARDEN all of those are just wonderful.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, General Fiction & Literature, Mystery

Deet’s Condo Renovation Part 3- The Master Bath

Unless you think I was idle over the long Labor Day weekend here is what my dear husband did with a bit of pro help.  Oh yes, I was the supervising contractor on this remodel.  Didn’t get my hands dirty. Such a tiny bathroom but so much prettier now.

This is the “before” bath, nothing has been changed in the past 40 years. Avocado is just not my favorite and the pink carpet had to go.  And the wallpaper…it must have been very chic in the 70’s.

Before Condo reno 7-2014 016

We had ceramic tile installed on the floor, it has a wood grain look.

Before n after m Bath 001

We didn’t change the walk-in shower.

Before Condo reno 7-2014 015

I kept the tile in the walk-in shower.

Before n after m Bath 002

Here it is all finished, those are my paintings on the wall.

Before n after m Bath 004

Other condo before photos can be seen on posts for July 20th and July 27th.

4 Comments

Filed under Deet's Life, Home and Garden

Happy Labor Day 2014- Go Ahead, take a break

 

construction worker labor day

 

construction worker

 

construction worker nurse

 

construction worker cowboy

 

 

construction worker househusband

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun, Holiday, sexy man

Recent Release Review- Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland

Title:  Lisette’s ListLisette List

 

 Genre: General Fiction/ Romantic elements

Author: Susan Vreeland

Publisher: Random House, Aug. 26, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: behind closed doors

Description from Amazon.com:

In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, André, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for André’s grandfather Pascal. Lisette regrets having to give up her dream of becoming a gallery apprentice and longs for the comforts and sophistication of Paris. But as she soon discovers, the hilltop town is rich with unexpected pleasures.

Pascal once worked in the nearby ochre mines and later became a pigment salesman and frame maker; while selling his pigments in Paris, he befriended Pissarro and Cézanne, some of whose paintings he received in trade for his frames. Pascal begins to tutor Lisette in both art and life, allowing her to see his small collection of paintings and the Provençal landscape itself in a new light. Inspired by Pascal’s advice to “Do the important things first,” Lisette begins a list of vows to herself (#4. Learn what makes a painting great). When war breaks out, André goes off to the front, but not before hiding Pascal’s paintings to keep them from the Nazis’ reach.

With German forces spreading across Europe, the sudden fall of Paris, and the rise of Vichy France, Lisette sets out to locate the paintings (#11. Find the paintings in my lifetime). Her search takes her through the stunning French countryside, where she befriends Marc and Bella Chagall, who are in hiding before their flight to America, and acquaints her with the land, her neighbors, and even herself in ways she never dreamed possible. Through joy and tragedy, occupation and liberation, small acts of kindness and great acts of courage, Lisette learns to forgive the past, to live robustly, and to love again.

**

It is always a special treat to pick up a book and learn about something new.  For me it was all about mining and the preparation of ochre from the earth into pigments for painting.  That lesson was wrapped up in the beautiful story of a young bride on the verge of WWII.  The story tells of the hardships the French dealt with during the war, and especially those of this young woman, Lisette, living alone and struggling to get by.  It also touches on the confiscation of paintings by the German’s.  The heart of the story is the hiding of the paintings and Lisette’s pursuit of them.

I have been a fan of Susan Vreeland since reading her book, THE GIRL IN HYASENTH BLUE.  Blue must be a favorite of Ms. Vreeland for she also makes Lisette’s desire a blue dress.  This book is long, 433 pages, it could have been shorter but the length does submerge the reader in the environment of the village in Provence.  The author is especially adept at creating visions of landscape and mood with her lovely prose.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, General Fiction & Literature, History, Review

Recent Release Review- Not Quite A Wife by Mary Jo Putney

Title:  Not Quite A Wife (The Lost Lords)

Not Quite A Wife

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher: Zebra books, reprint August 26, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

James, Lord Kirkland, owns a shipping fleet, half a London gaming house, and is a ruthlessly effective spymaster. He is seldom self-indulgent. . .except when it comes to the gentle, indomitable beauty who was once his wife.

Laurel Herbert gave James her heart as an innocent young girl–until she saw him perform an act of shocking violence before her very eyes. That night she left her husband, and he let her go without a word of protest.

Now, ten years later, a chance encounter turns passionate, with consequences that cannot be ignored. But as they try to rebuild what was broken, they must face common enemies and a very uncommon love. . ..

**

Sometimes a beautiful book cover is just not enough.  So much of this plot just didn’t make any sense to me.  Yes, it might be just me, but hear me out.  We have a young woman who married in haste because both she and her husband found love at first sight. They were ecstatically happy for a year.  Then he kills an intruder in front of her and she decides that he’s a murderer and she leaves him for ten years.  He doesn’t pursue her because he is feeling guilty about the killing.  Here is where I don’t get their reactions: He is killing the guy in self defense so why is she all “he’s a murderer” and why is he feeling guilty?  Spoiler Alert:  Then they get back together under fantastical circumstances where coincidence abounds.  Okay not so much “spoiler” but if you want to read this book I don’t want to spoil it all for you.  There is a very predictable side plot about a former slave girl.  All in all I find Ms. Putney’s command of language to be first rate but this plot was so unbelieveable that I find it impossible to give it a glowing recommendation.

2 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance