Monthly Archives: September 2014

Release Day Review- In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

Title:  In Your Dreams (Blue Heron Series, #4)In Your Dreams


 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: Harlequin HQN, Sept. 30, 2014

Source:  Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from

Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can’t go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won’t get the wrong idea.

What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he’s been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He’s always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem.

So when they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake, just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack’s pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, either she’ll get her heart crushed again, or discover that Jack’s worth more than just dreaming about.


This is the latest episode in the lives of that grape-growing, wine-making, hilariously dysfunctional Holland family.  Once again in this delightful series we are left holding our sides with laughter and having tears stream down our face with sadness.  Ms. Higgins is masterful at evoking emotion.  She has given us such a complete history of the lives of both Em and Jack that we feel like we know them intimately.  We also get snippets of the past Blue Heron/Manningsport characters and enjoy seeing how their lives are progressing. This is my favorite Contemporary Romance series and this addition to the series did not disappoint.

Yes, this is a standalone novel but do treat yourself to the entire series.

Below From Kristan Higgins’ website:

Book List in Order

Fools Rush In
Catch of the Day
Just One of the Guys
Too Good To Be True
The Next Best Thing
All I Ever Wanted
My One and Only
Until There Was You
Somebody To Love *

The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)
The Perfect Match (Blue Heron #2)
Waiting On You (Blue Heron #3)
In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)
* While not exactly part of a series, Somebody to Love references characters from
The Next Best Thing and Catch of the Day (which themselves are not connected).

All of Kristan’s books stand alone, so if you haven’t read one, don’t worry! You can jump right in

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Romance

Friday Hotness- two videos Outlander’s Jamie and Claire and Jensen Ackles

I live where it is HOT year round.  Today was one of the hottest, especially when I went to You Tube.  Do you watch Starz’ Outlander?  Hm-m-m, yes, fanning myself here.  This post is definitely rated “R” or maybe “X”, whatever ….you can thank me by following my blog. Oh yes, and just as a bonus I’m reposting a view of hot Jensen Ackles while Brittany Spears sings.  Oh, oh, I’m out of breath.  Hope you all enjoy this Friday Hotness.


And all of you lovelies who are already following my blog you may have to go to my blog to see these vids.







Filed under Romance, sexy, sexy man, video

Banned Book week Sept. 21-27, 2014


Banned Book2 300_152698

Sept 21-27th is Banned Book Week.  Buzzfeed has a must read list of Banned Books and an explanation of why each was banned.

Buzzfeed Banned books

Leave a comment

Filed under News, Opinion

Review- city of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn

Title: City of Jasmine

City of Jasmine

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Publisher: Harlequin Mira, 2014

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit

Description from

Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke never expected to see her husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, ever again. They had been a golden couple, enjoying a whirlwind courtship amid the backdrop of a glittering social set in prewar(WWI) London until his sudden death with the sinking of the Lusitania. Five years later, beginning to embrace life again, Evie embarks upon a flight around the world, collecting fame and admirers along the way. In the midst of her triumphant tour, she is shocked to receive a mysterious—and recent—photograph of Gabriel, which brings her ambitious stunt to a screeching halt.

With her eccentric aunt Dove in tow, Evie tracks the source of the photo to the ancient City of Jasmine, Damascus. There she discovers that nothing is as it seems. Danger lurks at every turn, and at stake is a priceless relic, an artifact once lost to time and so valuable that criminals will stop at nothing to acquire it—even murder. Leaving the jewelled city behind, Evie sets off across the punishing sands of the desert to unearth the truth of Gabriel’s disappearance and retrieve a relic straight from the pages of history.

Along the way, Evie must come to terms with the deception that parted her from Gabriel and the passion that will change her destiny forever….


Deanna Raybourn, known for her Victorian mystery series of Lady Julia Gray, has penned a tale that is infused with the feeling of the rip-roaring twenties, nineteen twenties that is. It was a time when women were emerging from the confining roles of the Victorian/Edwardian era and daring to throw themselves into independence and adventure. Such a woman is Evie Starke. She was devastated by the demise of her brief marriage and to overcome she takes on the role of a twenties daredevil and independent woman. Tagging along is her elderly aunt Dove who reminds the reader of Green’s Auntie Mame. As in other Raybourn books there is considerable mention of archeology and the story revolves around an ancient artifact. Gabriel is an enigma for much of the book but there are surprises and twists in the story that I never saw coming. In spite of the fact that our hero and heroine are bickering throughout most of the book, this is a very romantic story. It is romantic in its Indiana Jones type of desert setting, its fondness for the kickass, independent woman and the romance of the desert warrior.  The book rarely slows down leading the reader through one adventure and action filled scene to the next. I highly recommend this book to those who like their romance infused with daring-do.


Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense

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


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.


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



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.)

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


Pina Colada Upside Down Cake


Preheat oven to 350 degrees


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



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)


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!!!!



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 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



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