Monthly Archives: December 2013

La Deetda Reads Top Reads in 2013

Deet’s Best of The Best Reads for 2013

There are two on this list that were not published this year but I just found the time to read them.  The others were published this year.  Of course, there are many good books out there.  I have enjoyed many more than are on this list. (You can see all of my favorites by clicking on the header above “Deet’s Favorite Reads”)  This list is, in my opinion, the best of the best that I have read out of a total of 134 books since last January.  If you want a good read, you can’t go wrong with any of these. Now in no particular order…..drum-roll please…

The Rosie Project by Grame Simsion,  reviewed  September 13, 2013

The Rosie Project

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan, reviewed  July 19, 2013

(Brothers Sinister Series)

The Heiress Effect

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, reviewed September 2, 2013

The girl You Left Behind

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long, reviewed August 30, 2013

(Pennyroyal Green Series)

It Happened One Midnight

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean, reviewed February 6, 2013

(The Rule of Scoundrels Series)

One Good Earl deserves a Lover

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, reviewed February 27, 2013

Pride and Prejudice

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox, reviewed April 12, 2013

About Last Night

Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory, reviewed July 29, 2013

Untie My Heart

To find my review of each you can go to the month of the review in the “Archives”  to the left or you can put the title or the author in the “search” box.

 

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Filed under Books, Contemporary Romance, General Fiction & Literature, Historical Romance, Opinion, Romance

Final Friday Holiday Book Review- Bring Me Home For Christmas by Robyn Carr

Since this is Christmas Week I have time for one more Friday Christmasy Novel Review.  I hope Santa was good to you all. 

He was good to me, I got a Kindle Fire HDX, Yay!

Title: Bring Me Home For Christmas

Bring me home for Christmas

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Robyn Carr

Publisher: Mira, 2011

Source: Kindle purchase

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

This year, Becca Timm knows the number one item on her Christmas wish list—getting over Denny Cutler. Three years ago, Denny broke her heart before heading off to war. It’s time she got over her silly college relationship and moved on.

So she takes matters into her own hands and heads up to Virgin River, the rugged little mountain town that Denny calls home, as an uninvited guest on her brother’s men-only hunting weekend. But when an accident turns her impromptu visit into an extended stay, Becca finds herself stranded in Virgin River. With Denny. In very close quarters.

As the power of Christmas envelops the little town, Becca discovers that the boy she once loved has become a strong and confident man. And the most delicious Christmas present she can imagine.

**

This is my first book of Robyn Carr.  Even though it is late in a series I found it read well as a stand-alone.  The story is well crafted and heartwarming although I didn’t like Becca very much.  She seemed to be a ”taker”  and Denny seemed to be a “giver”, which just left me thinking that these two are perfect for each other but not really perfect for me.  This is a cozy Christmas story and will be welcome when you sit by the fire.  It will put you in the spirit of the season.

 

 

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Extra! Kindle Daily Deal- 200 Romance novels for $1.99 each

 

This is a WOW! sale. 200, yes, 200 romance novels for Kindle at $1.99 each.  Some of my favorite authors are listed, such as:

Susanna Kearsley’s fabulous THE WINTER SEA, THE ROSE GARDEN, MARIANA and THE SHADOWY HORSES

The Winter SeaThe Rose Garden

 

 

 

The Shadowy HorsesMariana

 

 

 

Georgette Heyer’s many romances. (I’m not positive about these pictured titles but they may be there since there are so many of Heyer’s novels on the list.)

these old shades The Grand Sophey Frederica

 

 

 

 

Grace Burrowes has several on this list.

Darius

 

 

 

Plus many more.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=br_lf_m_1001914951_pglink_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1001914951&plgroup=1&plpage=1

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Recent Release Review- The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan

Title: The Countess Conspiracy (#3 The Brothers Sinister Series)

The Countess conspiracy

 Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan, Dec 2013

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership…even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

**

No one, not anyone who is currently writing historical novels, can wring such emotional depth out of characters like Courtney Milan.  Here we have two people who have each been brow beaten into low self esteem by family, who fight to rise above the abuse.  Violet has been cowed by the times in which she lives and the abuse of her, now deceased,  husband.  Sabastian is fighting his way through the disregard of his brother and his own feelings of being less because of his arrangement with Violet.  Milan’s focus does justice to both of our protagonists deep seated problems.  There is a misunderstanding and a surprise that comes unexpectedly toward the end and adds to the drama although I wish it would have been developed further.

The intimacy (sex) in this book is different than in other Milan novels.  Because of the problems of the heroine, compromises have been made.  Although I understand the reasoning I’m not sure that I liked the solution.  But that is just personal opinion.  The solution worked for Violet and Sabastian.

This is not my favorite of the Brother Sinister books because the problems of the H/h were a bit overwhelming.  That does not mean I didn’t thoroughly enjoy reading Violet and Sabastian’s story. The premise was totally unique to the genre and most welcome.  I look forward to Frederica’s (Free) story to come in Milan’s THE MISTRESS REBELLION in 2014.
The books in 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)
2. The Heiress Effect
3. The Countess Conspiracy

Coming soon:
4. The Mistress Rebellion
4½. Talk Sweetly to Me

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Merry Christmas From Deet

Animated TreechristmastreeAnimated2014 Merry Christmas

Okay, maybe this isn’t exactly what you wanted for Christmas, but it comes from my Deet’s Eats Cookbook and it does get rave reviews by the family and requests all the time for the recipe.  Now this is a microwave recipe, don’t stick your nose up at it, this is EASY and absolutely DELISH.  I promise!!!

Deet’s Microwave Twice Baked Potatoes

Serves 4

Idaho Potatoes (1 potatoe for every 2 servings plus I extra) for 4 servings, you need 3 potatoes.

Microwave the potaotes spoke fashion on a micro turntable with a papertowel beneath them. Cook them 4-5 min for each potato turning them over and around after half the time. Don’t forget to prick the potatoes with a knife.(3 potatoes=12-15 min)

For each whole potato place in a mixing bowl:

1 1/2 T butter , 2 T sour cream, 1/4 t salt, pepper to taste.

When potatoes are cooked, slice them in half length wise and scoop out potato into the mixing bowl with the butter etc. Save the shells, you will only use 4 shells so keep the ones in the best condition.  Beat the potatoes, butter, sour cream, s&p with a hand mixer or potato masher until well mixed.  Fill the empty, saved shells evenly with the mixture.  place on a microwave safe plate, in spoke fashion, top with either some shredded cheddar or chopped parsley pressing lightly into the potatoes.  You can make ahead and refrigerate at this point covered with plastic wrap.  If cooking them right away cover with wax paper, microcook for 30 sec./ potato half, if refrigerated microcook for 1 min/ potato half.

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(For more servings just increase all ingredients accordingly up to 8 servings(4potatoes plus 2 extra). you can make more but it will take two or more batches to reheat.)

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Christmas Eve 2013- Santa Claus is Coming To Town

You better watch out,

 You better not cry,

You better not Pout,

I’m telling you why. 

Santa Claus is coming to town.

(I hope he brings you your heart’s desire.)

Animated Santa

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Review- No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

Title: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (The Third Rule of Scoundrels)

No Good Duke goes unpunished

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sarah MacLean

Publisher: Avon, 2013

Source: purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

**

I surely liked this book, but with a few reservations.  I hate to judge a book on the author’s previous hits but this is not the best of the series.  That said, I still think that Sarah MacLean writes rings around most other authors in the genre and this book is still a very good read.

The romance was slow developing and the chemistry between the H/h was certainly sizzling.  But it left me wondering “why?”.  Yes, she wanted to make amends but only if he gave her something, that being her brother’s gaming loss forgiven.  It was a bit confusing but she also wanted money from Temple.  He wanted revenge in the form of outing her to the Ton and humiliating her.  Neither of these reasons seemed to justify the sizzling attraction between the two.

And yet…the story kept me turning pages to see what would happen next.  Would these two actually fall in love in spite of all the reasons against that result?  What did actually happen on that fateful night?  Why did she become foster mother to all those orphans?

Yes, I do recommend this as a good read.  And I will be in line to read Chase’s story in the next book.

 

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Holiday Review- Ripped by Sarah Morgan

Title: Ripped

Ripped

 Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Author:  Sarah Morgan

Publisher: Cosmo Red Hot Reads/Harlequin, 2013

Source: Kindle purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

With a rip louder than the “I dos,” Hayley’s hideous bile-yellow bridesmaid dress explodes. She’s always had enviable curves, but nearly naked wasn’t quite the look she’d been going for at her ex’s wedding.

She’s rushed from the altar under the best man’s designer tux jacket. Hayley’s expecting a blast of icy disapproval from sexy, sophisticated Niccolò Rossi—his usual reaction to anything she does. What she gets is a kiss that nearly melts what’s left of her polyester nightmare gown.

It’s impossible on a million levels. Exuberant engineer Hayley and buttoned-up lawyer Nico have never seen eye to eye—but skin to skin? Oh, mio… So when Nico shows up at her flat on Christmas Day to give her a fabulous gift—himself—Hayley’s delighted to do the unwrapping. But it’s just a holiday fling. By New Year’s Day, she’ll come back to her senses…unless Nico’s sensual skills tear away all her resolve.

**

Very cute, kind of funny, well written, hot and sexy and oozing holiday vibes, it’s the perfect read for your holiday cocoa and cookie break.  This short novella has an embarrassed heroine and a save-the-day guy to die for.  She is intellectually smart but suffers from poor choices in men.  He’s the kind of guy we all want; smart, wealthy, sexy, handsome, has a slight foreign accent and is totally into the heroine. They have known each other through her ex-boyfriend but never really connected although Nico has been pining for her from the beginning. This is a novella, not a full length novel so it is easy to find an hour or so to down this scrumptious bite.

 

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Last Friday Til Christmas Review- Twas The Night Before Mischief by Nina Rowan

Title: Twas The Night Before Mischief (A Daring Hearts Novella)

Twas the Night before mischief

 Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Nina Rowan

Publisher: Forever Yours, 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting-it was time to break out!

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days-and nights-in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide . . .

**

Penelope was always the dutiful daughter who longed for adventure.  So she eloped with Simon Wilkie to his castle in the Orkneys but Simon was a Mama’s boy and Mama did not want a shop keepers daughter for a daughter-in-law. So Simon sent Penelope on her way.  The trouble was….Penelope’s bag was lost and she was stranded. Darius came to find her at the bidding of her father and he rescued the damsel in distress.  But Darius would have come after her even if not sent by her father for Darius was smitten with Penelope.  Convincing Penelope might prove a problem.

This novella is a predictable but oh so sweet and a sexy story.  It is one of those to which you can drink your cocoa and eat your cookies while playing Christmas music softly in the background.  There is a moment of confusion when we jump from the ball to the elopement but only a moment. There is much talk of sweet confections and sugarplums that may have you reaching for the candy dish.  You will fall in love with a nerdy, scientific Darius.

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Review- When You Wish Upon A Duke by Isabella Bradford

Title: When You Wish Upon a Duke (The Wylder Sisters, Book #1)

When You Wish Upon A Duke

 Genre: Georgian Historical Romance

Author: Isabella Bradford

Publisher: Ballantine Books 2012

Source: Purchase, Kindle /$.99

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Raised in the Dorset countryside, Lady Charlotte Wylder doesn’t care one bit about well-bred decorum. The dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty would rather ride a horse than attend a stuffy ball. So when Charlotte learns that she is to leave immediately for London to wed the Duke of Marchbourne, a perfect model of aristocratic propriety, she is less than enchanted with her arranged marriage.

But to her delight, their first encounters are brazenly flirtatious, and their wedding night burns with passion. March’s broad shoulders and dark countenance make Charlotte want to rip every button off his waistcoat. She may even be falling in love with her new husband. Yet whenever their desire boils over, March reluctantly pushes Charlotte away. Will past secrets and present misunderstandings mire their marriage in scandal, or serve to strengthen a bond that is destined to last a lifetime?

**

This was a well written story by an author known for her historical fiction written as Susan Holloway Scott.  I have long been a fan of her blog, co-authored with Loretta Chase, known as Two Nerdy History Girls.  With this background it is no wonder that the historical details in this novel are accurate and give us the feel of the 18th century.

The characters are well drawn and appear to this 21 st  century eye to exhibit ideas and character traits common to the period.  We feel immersed in the constraints of the day and it truly is a wonder that marriages were ever successful with so many dictums as to behavior.  We cheer when Charlotte finally gets through March’s steel veneer of responsible respectability.  The hero and heroine have sizzling chemistry but he fights it and she wants to indulge.  This is about an 18th century married couple finding true love.

A first book in the Wylder Sisters Trilogy, I will be reading the stories of Charlottes sisters in the already available series.

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