Monthly Archives: June 2012

Review- A Rake’s Vow by Stephanie Laurens

Title:  A Rake’s Vow (Bk 2, Cynster Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Stephanie Laurens

Publisher: Avon, 1998

Source: purchase

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from amazon.com:

He vowed he′d never marry.

To Vane Cynster, Bellamy Hall seems like the perfect place to temporarily hide from London′s husband hunters. But when he encounters irresistible Patience Debbington, Vane realizes he′s met his match …

She vowed no man would catch her.

Patience isn′t about to succumb to Vane′s sensuous propositions. Yes, his kisses leave her dizzy and his caresses made her melt; but Patience has promised herself she′ll never become vulnerable to a broken heart. Is this one vow that was meant to be broken?

**

I am fairly new to this series that has been around for years.  So when I read the first book in the Cynster Series, DEVIL’S BRIDE, and loved it (reviewed here), I knew I would have to read more.  But I didn’t expect book number two to be so much like book number one.  It isn’t like I disliked it, not at all, it is very well written but it was like the author used a template from the first book and entered different characters and scenes.  The mystery does seem to go on for an interminable amount of time and it was pretty easy to figure out early-on.  I actually was hoping for some eye opening twist.  There is lots of sex which seems to be the hallmark of this series.  Not complaining, mind you, just saying there is lots.  The hero, Vane Cynster, is certainly everything I like in a hero, strong, handsome, caring, protective, sexy, etc.  The heroine, Patience, was a bit one dimensional and I had trouble understanding why Vane fell so hard, so fast.  But I’ll allow that it was just one of those chemistry things.

 

 

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Inspiration from around the world

Many have seen this  first video but it escaped my attention until S.L. Hoffman posted it on his blog.  It is very inspiring and I think you all will enjoy it.    In the second video Matt Harding explains how he got all these people to dance.

(e-mail followers you have to click on the post title up above and go to my blog in order to watch.  Go ahead, you won’t be sorry.)

Where the Hell is Matt 2012

 

How does Matt get all these People to dance with him?

 

What got me interested in these inspiring videos was a blog post by blogger S.L. Hoffman on this blog:

http://eagleeyededitor.wordpress.com

check it out.

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Books

Hachette Publishing created this video.  Nice.

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Review- A Kiss At Midnight by Eloisa James

Title:  A Kiss At Midnight

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher:

Source: Kindle $.99

Rating:  4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn’t love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.

Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.

**

This was most definitely a reimagined CINDERELLA story.  There was a long sensuous build up to the H/h falling in love. Well….it took them two or three days.  Eloisa James is a master at making us fall in love with her heroes and at the same time rooting for her heroine’s happily ever after.  All through the book we are on pins and needles wondering how our lovers will find a way to be together.  This is a fairytale and, delightfully, we are not treated to silliness so often found in books of this sort. This was pure romance; even the godmother was a down to earth breath of fresh air.  The step-sister was lovely not cruel.  The step mother was definitely nasty.  The Prince was hunky and handsome and of course, Kate went from ordinary to beautiful.

Recommended for all romantics.

 

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Review- A Scandalous Scot by Karen Ranney

Title:  A scandalous Scot

Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian

Author: Karen Ranney

Publisher: Avon, June 26 2012

Available for Pre-order

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:  One scandal was never enough . . .

After four long years, Morgan MacCraig has finally returned to the Highlands of his birth . . . with his honor in shreds. After a scandal, all he wants now is solace-yet peace is impossible to find with the castle’s outspoken new maid trying his patience, challenging his manhood . . . and winning his love, body and soul.

Jean MacDonald wants to leave her past behind and start anew, but Ballindair Castle, a Scottish estate rumored to be haunted, hasn’t been the safe haven she envisioned. Ballindair’s ancestral ghosts aren’t as fascinating as Morgan, the most magnificent man she’s ever seen. Though their passion triggers a fresh scandal that could force them to wed, Jean must first share the secrets of her own past-secrets that could force them apart, or be the beginning of a love and redemption unlike anything they’ve ever known.

**

As unlikely as it was for an Earl to marry a maid in early Victorian Scotland, this story was a nice afternoon read.  It was well written even though it stretched credulity at the circumstances. The scandals of both the Earl and Jean were truly outrageous for their time, so it is easy to see how they would complement each other and draw close.  There was not much romance until later in the book, actually not until after they were married did any romantic inclinations surface.  Their passion did not trigger their wedding, a misunderstood compromising position did the trick. The side characters were well drawn; the harangued housekeeper, the slutty sister, the disloyal friend and the household staff that blew hot and cold toward the heroine.

I felt the H/h were both immature acting and naïve and I found those traits irritating.  Jean’s continual putting up with her sister and at the same time chastising her was just a bit too wishy-washy for me. The hero being totally clueless for most of the book was also not warming me to him.  I thought this book an okay read but I didn’t love it.

 

 

 

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The BIG Book Sale–Deet’s Results

I’m rested up after going to the Super-Duper book sale for the benefit of the local library.  Whew! Thousands of books and just not enough time or energy to get to even a fraction of the floor.  So I pretty much stayed in the “Romance” section and scored 35 books for $14.50.  The first day I arrived was Friday and paperbacks were $.50/each so I got 23.  The second time I went on Sunday the paperbacks were $.25/each and I got 12.  That should add up to $14.50 I think.  I’ve already read 1  1/2 books.  My biggest haul was with authors Stephanie Laurens, since I’m going through her Cynster Series, and Mary Jo Putnam because I just started reading her books and love her style. New-to-me authors I scored are Lori Foster, Susan Krinard, and Nina Bangs.  I picked up several anthologies and got one with Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas and Kinley MacGregor  (that’s the 1/2 I’m now reading).

Here are the pictures of the haul.  Thanks to hubby and sweet Kayla who assisted in getting photos.

 

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Summer Reading Literary Flowchart–hit the library

Summer Reading Flowchart

Via Teach.com and USC Rossier Online

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Sexy Man Tuesday- Magic Mike (the movie opens June 29th)

Yeah, yeah, okay so I never said there would never be a another Sexy Man Tuesday.  Sometimes life just throws a whole passel of sexy men at you and what’s a blogger to do??  Get ready!  Don’t hyperventilate!  I won’t be responsible for your medical bills.

So much more than a warewolf….

Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer….is this what they mean by “double team”

Ah, yes….Mr. Mc Conaughey

Last but surely not least Matt Bomer:

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Review- Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Title:  Dark Companion

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Author: Marta Acosta

Publisher: Tor Teen,  July 3, 2012,

Source: Free for review from the author and Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from amazon.com:

Orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress’s gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true.

They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien’s brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?

As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove—and what she would risk to stay there….

**

I’m a fan of Marta Acosta’s adult CASA DRACULA SERIES and I wanted to see if she veered off in a different direction from her vampire world.  She didn’t.  This novel was more of a psychological narrative about the way a teen deals with a violent, disturbing childhood.  I felt Ms Acosta was true to Jane’s character throughout the entire story.  Even when Jane allowed herself to be used inappropriately she was searching for love and acceptance.

The side characters were well drawn and Mary Violet was an absolute hoot with her poems and translations of French phrases. We are made to distrust and be skeptical of Lucky and be terribly curious about Jack. This is a very well written book and I was delighted when a character from the Casa Dracula series made an appearance.

Along with Jane we feel that there is something off.  There is something not quite right at Birch Grove Academy, a mystery. There are passages that are lyrical, we can hear the trees whispering. All is explained following a very exciting ending.

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Review- Lucky At Love by Cynthia Hamilton

Title: Lucky at Love

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Cynthia Hamilton

Publisher: Woodstock Press

Source: Free Kindle (now $5.99)

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: behind closed doors

Description from amazon.com

Many controversial topics have captured the interest of Allison Tyler-Wilcox in her 13 years as a journalist, but writting about the often-divorced never crossed her mind. Not, that is, until she encounters Jake Sorenson, a man who has been unsuccessfully married seven times, and by his own admission, has not closed the door on the possibility of tying the knot again. Far from being ashamed of his matrimonial failures, Jake considers himself to be uncommonly lucky at love. Smug in her own sense of marital security and superiority, Allison cannot get Jake and his seemingly ridiculous optimism out of her head. She wonders how some people could bring themselves to step up to the altar time after time with such unsatisfying, often disastrous results. Convincing her skeptical editor that she is on the a compelling story, Allison Begins her quest for understanding the resiliency of the human heart at the Buckin’ J Ranch, with Jake Sorenson as her primary source of research material. What she doesn’t realize until she comes face to face with the highly charismatic man once again is that she’s outmatched by Jake, an individual who has learned far more about love and life than she has at first appreciated.
Through mule back rides and impromptu tango dances, Jake reveals to Allison the details of his many marriages, his current entanglements, and his unconventional philosophy of life. Often at odds, Allison and Jake share spirited and provocative conversations, all of which leave Allison confused for the first time in her life – about her marriage, her ideals, and her feelings for the roguish mule breeder.

**

I went back and forth with my opinion of this book.  The subject was different than anything I had previously read so that was a plus. (I do like a shot of “different” now and then.)  The writing was good and most of the book was dialog that was smart, revealing and witty.  I was riveted to the story because it was a good plot.  I liked her characters; they were real people with real problems.

What I didn’t like so much was the slow beginning, it could have been shortened.  The section where Allison goes to Afghanistan could have been eliminated or just referred to in passing as it was too long and added nothing much to the story. The “girlfriends” were stereotypes of a clueless floozy and a drunken intellectual snob and both seemed not to fit with the personality of the hero.

So, do I recommend it or not?  It was “okay” and I’m glad I read it.  It could have been really good with a rewrite.

 

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