Monthly Archives: January 2016

Recent Release Review- Enraptured by Candace Camp

Title:  Enraptured (Secrets of the Loch book #3)

Enraptured

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Candace Camp

Publisher: Pocket Books, Jan 19, 2016

Pages: 384

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

When Coll Munro finds himself supervising an archaeological dig on the sprawling Highlands estate of Duncally, the handsome Scot’s only worry is his former crofter friends, who seem to delight in making his job as hard as possible. Little does he know his biggest problem comes in a much smaller package. Gorgeous Violet Thornhill is an exasperating, meddling bluestocking who came to the site to examine the ruins and instead finds herself studying Coll. The unyielding Highlander and the headstrong English beauty clash at every turn. But when a midnight intruder threatens Violet and the excavation itself, these polar opposites must work together to solve a decades-old mystery. As Coll and Violet race to decipher long-buried clues, will they discover riches hidden years ago…or an unbridled passion more precious than gold?

**

In this the third book in the Secrets of The Loch Series, adventure and mystery are entwined with romance and longing.  Violet is not about to give up her freedom as an intellectual to even consider marriage.  Coll Munro is falling hard for Violet.  They must work together to discover who is thieving and attacking on the Duncally estate and they just might solve a centuries old mystery.

This is a delight of a standalone novel which makes me wish I had read the two that went before.  Ms. Camp has written an exciting adventure/romance that reminds me of Indiana Jones without the snakes and Nazi component. There is some tomb raiding and decidedly evil villains. There is some really hot sex scenes with the hero trying to call a halt instead of the usual virgin being reluctant.

I highly recommend this book to all HR fans who like a bit of adventure along with their sensual romance.

Secrets of the Loch Series

  1. Treasured
  2. Pleasured
  3. Enraptured
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Recent Release Review- The Art of Taming A Rake by Nicole Jordan

Title:  The Art of Taming A Rake (A Legendary Lovers Book #4)

The art of taming a rake

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Nicole Jordan

Publisher: Ballantine, Jan. 26, 2016

Pages: 416

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Sparks abound in this sizzling new Legendary Lovers tale from New York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan, in which a seductive rakehell must woo his spirited but love-shy bride while unmasking a mysterious assailant.   Despite his notorious reputation, Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has mostly honorable intentions. So when beautiful Venetia Stratham boldly enters a gentlemen’s club, demanding that Quinn stop courting her sister, he does what any bachelor would do: He kisses her. With her sharp wit, intoxicating passion, and surprising vulnerability, Venetia is irresistible—except for all this nonsense about threatening to shoot Quinn. But when clandestine enemies make an actual attempt on the earl’s life, Venetia is implicated. To save her good name, Quinn does what any true gentleman must do: He proposes.   Thus Venetia finds herself wed to arrogant, wickedly sensual Quinn, whose devilish ways are as legendary as his rumored skills as a lover. Yet vexingly, her body rebels against her vow to remain immune to his many charms. If only she could reform the infuriating nobleman—without diminishing his undeniable allure. As Venetia discovers that a true rake is hard to tame, Quinn faces an even greater challenge: winning his wife’s fragile trust . . . while defending both their lives.

**

Venetia only wants to live an unfettered life.  All she wants is to go to France with her dear friend Cleo and pursue her sculpting where women are not scorned for pursuing the arts. Quinn has agreed that whatever she wants after the marriage is okay with him.  However Venetia did not expect that she would find her husband so alluring and we are treated to over half a book of will-she-or won’t-she succumb to his charm.

This is a book filled with light banter and lustful looks.  A happily predictable story about stubbornness and true love.  I recommend it to HR readers who want a light read that is also sexy after awhile.

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Bad Boys in Historical Romances, Why we love them

( this is a repost from 2011)

Rakes Regency Fashion googleThese Regency Rakes don’t look so “Bad” they actually look like a bunch of Dandys.

What makes us love Bad Boys in Historical Romance novels or any Romance novel?  Well here is my totally biased take on the subject:

Confidence with a capital “C”

The thing is, bad boys are uber confident, they know what they want and tell it to their women truthfully. They are totally “take charge” and rarely, if ever, seek approval for their actions. That’s an attractive trait.

Brawn and Brains, yummy!

Bad Boys are never cowardly in any situation.  They never run from a confrontation. They have superior strength and intelligence.

Absolutely Hunky

Bad Boys in novels are always, always drool worthy.  Thank you authors!!  Unless they are the evil reincarnations of Voldemort, but then I’m not talking about them.

Thrill Seekers

There is never a dull moment with a Bad Boy.  There is always adventure and passion or the promise of passion.  They infuse us with the feeling of being adventurous even if our lives are rather 9 to 5.

Consummate Lovers, oh yeah!

Those Bad Boys know all the techniques for seduction and how to put them to good use.

Bad Boys can make us “Bad Girls” (yes they can)

Those of us who read romance novels, like the idea that we can fantasize about those bad boys and maybe fantasize about being a bad girl, then we can go back to being the “good” women we are day to day.  Those novels can also spice up that “good” woman to act in adventurous ways.  Take note men.

Here is a video that shows us some very bad boys from those Historical Romance novels.  If you missed some of these movies you should really give yourself a treat and check them out of the library: (E-mail followers please go to my blog site to view the video.)

Movies:
Persuasion
Mansfeild Park
Emma
Sense & Sensibility (1995 & 2008)
Northanger Abbey
Pride and Prejudice (1995 & 2005)
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Becoming Jane
The Inheritance

Music:
Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf

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No Copyright infringement is intended or implied. For personal entertainment purposes only.

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Recent Release Review- Hell On Heels by Victoria Vane

Title:  Hell On Heels

Hell on Heels

Genre: Contemporary Romance Serial (book #1)

Author: Victoria Vane

Publisher: Lyrical shine, Jan 19, 2016, e-book

Pages: 147

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Place Your Bet The Hotel Rodeo in Las Vegas has seen better days, but managing partner Ty Morgan has come up with a way to return it to its former glory. His plan looks promising until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Ty is working for the boss’s daughter. And Miss Monica Brandt, hot as she may be, doesn’t share his vision… Roll The Dice She left a fabulous career and a frustrated fiancé in New York to move to Vegas and save her father’s investment. But now Monica is locking horns with a sexy cowboy-turned-businessman. What does Ty think he can do that she can’t? All Monica knows is that she doesn’t dare trust him—or is it herself she doesn’t trust?… And Win The battle lines are drawn. The stakes are high. And the attraction can’t be denied—especially the more closely Ty and Monica have to work together. Some odds are just meant to be played, and with chemistry this electric, it may be time to grab life by the horns…

**

I do love Victoria Vane’s romance books, both contemporary and historical.  She can delve into a time period or setting and bring it to life as she has brought the hotel real estate world to life in this book.  She sets a scene and we are immediately transported to Las Vegas.  Her characters, in this case Ty and Monica are well developed and their backgrounds fleshed out so that we are always aware of their motivation.  This is not my favorite of Ms. Vane’s books.  Monica was angry or grumpy and Ty also.  They had angry sex most of the time.  This also ends on a cliffhanger.  There was no HEA in this book.

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Deet’s Eats Revisited- Easy Cinnamon Buns

(This is a recipe that I posted in 2012 but it deserves a re-post.  I make these often and they are very well received.)

I like to cook, not so much do I like to bake.  So I take short cuts when I bake.  I doctor up cake mixes and brownie mixes, I buy the refrigerated chocolate chip cookies and press walnuts on top, and for this recipe, frozen bread dough.  These buns are so yummy no one will ever guess that they started out as a loaf of frozen bread dough…..I promise!  This makes two pans of buns and I suggest you make the recipe as written.  You can always freeze the second pan or better still become the favorite neighbor by giving away a pan.

Deet’s Glazed Cinnamon Raisin Buns

(makes 24 small buns)

2- 14 oz. loaves frozen bread dough, thawed*(Bridgeford and Rhodes are brands I’ve used)

3-4 Tablespoons soft butter

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

½ cup brown sugar

Raisins

Walnuts or Pecans chopped

Glaze:   1 cup Confectioners sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

add enough milk to  the sugar and vanilla to make a drizzly glaze

  1. Grease two 9” round cake pans.
  2. Roll out each thawed bread dough to a rectangle of 12”x8”
  3. Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter on each rectangle of dough.
  4. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle on sugar mixture, raisins and nuts (as many as you like) dividing between rectangles
  5. Roll up each from the long side and pinch dough to seal
  6. Cut into 1” sections with a sharp knife and place cut side down in the pans.  Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes.  Turn out immediately onto plates.
  8. Drizzle glaze over top of buns while they are warm.
  • To thaw bread dough: grease a pan and place the loaves in the pan and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator overnight. 

     

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Recent Release Review- Sutherland’s Secret by Sharon Cullen

Title:  Sutherland’s Secret (A Highland Pride Novel, book#1)

Sutherland's Secret

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sharon Cullen

Publisher: Loveswept, Jan 19, 2016

Pages: 279

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Sutherland’s Secret kicks off a series that’s overflowing with mouthwatering Scottish warriors, captivating history, and forbidden desire.   Terror reigns in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden. As British troops obliterate the last traces of the Jacobite cause, Brice Sutherland, the Earl of Dornach, risks everything to arrange a covert escape route to Canada for his fellow Scots. But when he encounters a dying Englishwoman, hauntingly beautiful though scarred by manacles and unable to speak, Brice’s true courage is put to the test. Nothing but ruin could result from helping her, or worse: falling in love.   The pampered daughter of a marquess, Eleanor Hirst was the talk of the London season when she wed the Earl of Glendale. Little did she know that his posting as an officer in Scotland would be their undoing. Now her husband is dead and Eleanor is a fugitive in a hostile country. Desperate for help, she throws herself on the mercy of Brice Sutherland, a handsome Scottish warrior who should be her enemy. Instead, he cares for her tenderly, reviving her shattered spirit—and awakening urges unlike any she’s ever known.

**

Eleanor has survived her abuse by the strength of her character and she falls in love with her rescuer, Brice.  There are many reasons that Eleanor and Brice should not be together.  She is English aristocracy and he is Scottish in troubled times between the countries.  There is also the villainous officer Blackwood who is searching for her and who can bring chaos to Brice’s castle Dornach if Eleanor is discovered there.

Ms. Cullen has given us a beautiful story of an honorable man and the woman he comes to love. It is packed with action and adventure as well as romance and sensuality. Eleanor is a woman to be admired for her strength and courage and Brice for his altruistic endeavors on behalf of his displaced countrymen.  I recommend this book to those who like their romances filled with action and hot Highlanders.

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Deet’s opinion revisited- Pro Reviewers VS Amateurs

(I haven’t heard much muttering from the professional reviewers since this was posted back in 2011, but then again, I stopped listening quite awhile ago.  Still it is a topic that rears itself every now and then.  I’m still on the side of the Amateurs.)

professionals-and-amateurs

At PEN World Voices Festival on April 27,2011 (the event was cosponsored by the National Book Critics Circle). On hand were American critics Morris Dickstein and Cynthia Ozick among others.

Morris Dickstein, Professional Critic and Professor of English, “The professional reviewer, who has a literary identity, who had to meet some editor’s exacting standard, has effectively been replaced by the Amazon reviewer, the paying customer, at times ingenious, assiduous, and highly motivated, more often banal, obtuse, and blankly opinionated,”

Ozick, a novelist and essayist , made what she called the “disheartening” case that the most committed American readers are the Amazon customer reviewers. “Not only are they willing to buy books consistently, not as a now-and-then event; they also are intent on evaluating them in a public way, and they devote time and effort to fashioning a response. In short, they are serious about the meaning and effect of books, exactly what we would call a literary point of view.”

Read the full article here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-12/the-future-of-book-reviews-critics-versus-amazon-reviewers/#

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So what does this mean to an amateur reviewer like me.  Well….I guess it means that I irritate the professionals a tad.  It probably means that they think I have no business calling my opinions “reviews”.  Somehow I just can’t get worked up about it.

Am I “banal and obtuse”? Perhaps.   I’d rather think I was ingenious and assiduous and at least moderately motivated. 🙂   Do I still think my opinion is worth the read? Hell yes!

I am an avid reader so I figure my contribution is to let those readers, who share my proclivities, know what I think of a particular read.  Maybe in my naiveté I missed the allegory or even the well hidden theme of the book, but I’m betting that most genre readers are not going to fault me for those oversights.  They just want to know if I resent the money I paid or if I felt it was worth skipping the Starbucks coffee to buy this book.  They want to know if they should schedule this read for a Friday night so they can sleep-in on Saturday morning.  They want to know if the book is uplifting or depressing, violent or sweet, sexy or not.

Yes, my reviews are “opinions” as are all reviews whether by amateurs or pros.  I don’t think for a minute that amateur reviewers will infringe on professional literary critics.  Usually we are talking about different things.  Anyone who reads Amazon reviews for deep insight might just be missing the point of those reviews.

The Pros are going to have to make room for us amateurs.  Times they are a changing and all those ensconced in the “good ole days” are going to feel displaced.  This is how it has always been.  Ya think Henry Ford didn’t get flack from the horse breeders?

What do you think?

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Deet’s Life- A Funny Newspaper Ad

I posted this back in 2013 but I do still  giggle about it.

Funny ad cat and man

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Review Revisited-Hearts In Darkness by Laura Kaye

(this review was originally posted in 2011.  Laura Kaye now has the sequel just released.  I suggest you read this one first because it is really one of my all time favorites.  I will be reviewing the sequel, Love In the Light, also.)

Title:  Hearts in Darkness

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Erotica (novella)

Author: Laura Kaye

Publisher: Wild Rose Press, Aug. 2011

Source: purchase, Kindle $2.25 (now $.99)

Rating: 4.5 (4.5 star rating on Amazon with over 700 reviews)

Sexy Rating: 5++

Description from amazon.com:

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

**

I’m blushing!  But I’m also smiling and if Makenna wants to toss Caden out I will gladly take him, tats, piercings, scars and all.

This is one hot and steamy read.  It is the best erotic romance I have ever read but that’s not saying much since I’ve read about three altogether.  But what I have read prior to this has been more in the “slam, bam, thank you m’am” style of erotica, which is totally unsatisfying to me.  The character development here is really good.  The sexual tension is well done and totally believable and we actually like these two people. The sex is pretty  straight forward and not kinky, so no BDSM or anything like that.  If you are new or fairly new to this genre I highly recommend this novella, even if you are well versed in this genre, this is highly recommended.  Laura Kaye is a terrific writer and I look forward to reading more from her.

For those who like their steamy scenes fading to black or behind closed doors, this one is not for you.

the Sequel: Love In the Light by Laura Kaye

Love In The Light

Two hearts in the darkness…

Makenna James and Caden Grayson have been inseparable since the day they were trapped in a pitch-black elevator and found acceptance and love in the arms of a stranger. Makenna hopes that night put them on the path to forever—which can’t happen until she introduces her tattooed, pierced, and scarred boyfriend to her father and three over-protective brothers.

Must fight for love in the light…

Haunted by a childhood tragedy and the loss of his family, Caden never thought he’d find the love he shares with Makenna. But the deeper he falls, the more he fears the devastation sure to come if he ever lost her, too. When meeting her family doesn’t go smoothly, Caden questions whether Makenna deserves someone better, stronger, and just more…normal. Maybe they’re just too different—and he’s far too damaged—after all…

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Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Deet’s Life- On the road again……

travelingI will be traveling over the next few weeks and I won’t be posting any “new stuff” until I return home.  But I couldn’t leave you all in limbo so I have posted some oldies but goodies for you until I can return to the home fires.

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