Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Call Me Irresistible

R.S.V.P. to the most riotous wedding of the year . . .

Lucy Jorik is the daughter of a former president of the United States.

Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends.

One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.

But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend's wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say "I don't," Meg becomes the most hated woman in town—a town she's stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure she can survive on her own wits. What's the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all. From Goodreads

Making the Grade: A-

I love it when you read a book and it makes you experience a fast array of emotions - smile, laugh, cry, embarrassment for the characters, even to a small degree hate them, but by the time the final page is read, you need to see the main characters get their HEA. Any book that can wring all those emotions out of me gets the A- review. Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips  is just that book.

Meg Koranda ventures to Wynette Texas for the wedding of her best friend Luck Jorik to Ted Beaudine. It doesn’t take long for Meg to stir things up, but really she was just being truthful when she told her best friend that she shouldn’t marry the God of Wynette, Mr. Perfect himself Ted Beaudine. So when Lucy leaves poor Ted at the alter and makes a quick get away, everyone in town is looking for someone to blame and poor Meg is right in the crosshairs. The town of Wynette sure can hold a grudge.

Meg may be the daughter of two very rich and famous people, but since they cut off her access to the family funds, she’s been trying to make ends meet on her own. With a hundred bucks to her name and no way to pay her hotel bill or support herself , Meg plans on making her own quick get away before the good folks of Wynette can lynch her for ruining the wedding of the century. But she barely makes it to the city limits before the police are hot on her tail and threatening to put her in jail and leading the charge is none other than Mr. Perfect himself Ted Beaudine.

I loved Meg. She showed remarkable resilience, determination and a profound sense of loyalty to work her way out of her current predicament. I thought she got the raw end of the deal when the close nit people of Wynette turned on her - but they would do anything to protect their favorite son With no money, no friends, no family to support her, I couldn’t help but feel for Meg as she was forced to clean bathrooms, go without food and showers and live in her car while she attempted to work off her debt. How can you not love the girl?

Ted Beaudine is perfect - literally. Birds sing when he goes outside and when the sun shines on him, it looks like he‘s wearing a halo. He never gets mad or displays a negative emotion. He is the town saviour. All the women love him, the men respect him and all the hopes and dreams for the town are riding on Ted’s shoulders. That’s a big burden for one mortal man to carry! So it’s no wonder the folks of Wynette rallied around him when his bride left him at the alter. The only one who didn’t seem all that broken up over his failed marriage attempt was Ted himself.

I wasn’t sure how Meg and Ted were ever going to be able to have any kind of relationship given the town’s animosity towards her and the fact that Ted had been set to marry her best friend just a few weeks ago. Meg was the only women around for miles who didn’t practically become catatonic every time Ted was in sight and she certainly challenged Ted at every opportunity. What started out as outright mistrust and anger at each other, to agreeing to use each other for their mutual benefit, SEP developed their relationship slowly and believably.

I laughed - the golf caddying scenes were hilarious. I got choked up at Meg’s incredibly forgiving attitude toward the people of Wynette who had shown her nothing but their distain and hostility. She could have blown them and their precious chance to obtain a lucrative new golf course out of the water on more than one occasion and she didn‘t. She showed her true character when she could have ruined many lives and she took the high road. I loved her for that.

SEP delivers a sexy, funny, heart-warming love story and even though I finished Call Me Irresistible in one day, it was well worth the hardcover cost.

Here’s a Sneak Peek

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Undertow

From Goodreads:

Teal Williams is content with her career as a ship’s master mechanic—until Zane Cutter, the “Casanova of the Caribbean,” makes her an offer she can’t refuse: to climb on board with him for a real-life treasure hunt. Teal must help him dredge up a shipwrecked vessel containing an abundance of gold, silver, and emeralds—and she’ll claim part of the prize.

Zane needs a mechanic—not a lover—and Teal, who can also dive, is perfect for the job. So it suits him just fine that Teal is completely immune to his charms…or so he tells himself. But with a deadly enemy in their midst—one who’s silently edging closer—Zane and Teal sink into troubled waters. Trapped in the middle of a perilous sea, they have no one to turn to but each other as they face down a danger that runs unfathomably deep—and a passion that runs even deeper…

Making the Grade: C+

For My Thoughts

First of all I must comment on the cover for is Aces (you'll get that reference later)!

Undertow is the 1st book in a new trilogy from Cherry Adair featuring three brothers, a gorgeous Caribbean backdrop and a treasure hunting/salvage business.

Hot guy, beautiful scenery, pretty good premise, Undertow had lots of promise and I’ve been a long time fan of Cherry Adair so I had high expectations for this book and while I liked it - I didn’t love it.

I did love the heroine’s name...Teal - it’s a unique name and I loved that she had an unconventional profession as an engineer mechanic - how cool is that?

Then there’s Zane, he’s your typical gorgeous playboy, Casanova of the Caribbean, a total ladies man and a player. I did love Zane’s nickname...Ace…it’s a tennis term and I love tennis…what can I say?

Zane needs an engine mechanic for his latest deep sea adventure of recovering the treasure from the sunken vessel the Vrijheid which he’s been searching for the past 4 years. He’s tickled pink when Teal seems to be the perfect candidate since he doesn‘t find her attractive and that’s a good thing since it seems he lacks control around beautiful women so now they can keep things between them strictly business (ya right!).

So on page 1 here are Zane’s 1st impressions of Teal: Tall, skinny, nondescript; she glared at him from beneath her shaggy, dark brown bangs. Not only did she have the sex appeal of a mop, she didn’t like him. Yup she sounds totally appealing. By page 28 Zane’s calling her “Hey gorgeous” (and trust me she has been anything but a prickly porcupine towards Zane up to this point) so am I the only one who sees his reversal of opinion in 28 pages a bit unrealistic? Teal excels at being whiny and grumpy and carrying on and on ad nausea about how she doesn’t want to be anywhere near Zane, she just can’t be in his presence but she takes the job anyway (she needs the money for her sick dad’s medical bills). While Zane is the main focus of her ire, she doesn’t make a lot of friends among the rest of the crew with her attitude either. Seems a lot of Teal’s ambivalence towards Zane stems from the fact that she slept with him a year ago when she attended the funeral of his father and while he was three sheets to the wind they had sex and he can’t remember her and it’s pissed her off ever since.

So while Zane and Teal snipe and snip at each other and try to tip-toe around their attraction to one another, eventually they can’t deny their attraction and things seem to be moving along in the right direction with both their relationship and their salvage operation. Then about 2/3 of the way through the book a whole new storyline developed involving a plane that crashed right on top of their sunken boat (of all the luck….what are the odds of that happening?) carrying a super secret government techno “alpha chip” that could ruin the world if it falls into the wrong hands. Now Teal and Zane are up to their ears in men in black government types, bad-guy pirates who want the chip for their own nefarious purposes and just for good measure there are some bikini clad bimbos thrown into the mix. Oh yes and they’ve been given a seriously short deadline to of  38 hours to recover the chip on the bottom of the ocean floor - can you say looking for a needle in a haystack?

While I was slightly underwhelmed by Undertow, it was a fast read that keep my interest despite my few niggles and I will be reading Nick and Logan’s book when they are released.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: Fatal Justice

Book Blurb:
Supreme Court nominee Julian Sinclair comes to Washington expecting to be confirmed to the high court. Instead, he’s found shot execution-style in a city park. Detective Lt. Sam Holland’s list of suspects is long, but does it include her significant other, Senator Nick Cappuano, one of the last to see Sinclair alive? While tracking down Sinclair's killer, Sam is also confronted with a new lead into her father's unsolved shooting that results in unexpected danger for her. In the meantime, Sam's partner, Detective Freddie Cruz, returns to the "scene of the crime" when he looks up Elin Svendsen, one of the late Senator John O'Connor's sexy ex-girlfriends. After a lifetime of virtue, will Freddie be led down the road to ruin by a temptress who wants only one thing from him?

Making the Grade: B+

For My Thoughts

Book 2 in the Fatal series by Marie Force picks up with Sam and Nick's story right where Fatal Affair left off ( you really should read the 1st book in the series first to fully appreciate all the relationships).

There is a lot going on in this political/police procedural romantic suspense set on Capitol Hill.

Sam Holland’s been freshly sworn in for at her new position of Lieutenant, she’s still working on the cold case involving her father’s shooting that left him paralysed, defending herself in an IA investigation and now there’s another murder on the books and again it’s someone very close to the new man in her life.

Newly appointed interim Senator Nick Cappuano has a full plate with all his new responsibilities as a young Senator on Capitol Hill, he’s still reeling from the death of his good friend John (whose senatorial seat Nick assumed) and his growing relationship with Sam is enough to turn a sane man crazy.

I loved Nick and Sam’s relationship. They both have a lot of adjustments to make, but there is no doubt that through all their troubles they truly love one another. I loved that Force wrote their relationship with real concerns and problems two people in their positions would face. How it feels having to deal with the knowledge daily that someone you love could get killed every day at their job. Watching Nick deal with his fears about Sam’s safety was heart-wrenching. Sam had her own relationship insecurities from her previously bad relationship and her hesitations almost cost her Nick. Add in being in the spotlight and under the media’s constant scrutiny and it was just one more issue these two had to deal with. Both Sam and Nick keep things from each other (important things) but only with the best intentions towards the other’s feelings and protecting each other - unfortunately it backfires on more than one occasion. But it does lead to some pretty spectacular make-up sex.

Lastly Freddie! Freddie! Freddie! The young detective and Sam's partner is a great secondary character. The poor boy learned a very hard lesson in a very hard way in Fatal Justice. I love his character, his innocence and newly found interest in s-e-x (he took a vow of celibacy at 14 and is as fresh as the driven snow) and with someone like Elin who is soooo opposite to him. I love them and they need to have their own story.

There is lots of action in Fatal Justice - it never stops and it reminded me a little of the TV show The Closer, although Sam Holland is no southern belle, soft spoken Brenda Lee Johnson.  Both are however tough as nails women who are at the top of their game when it comes to police work, have a great supporting cast of characters surrounding them and can solve a case like nobody’s business.

Thank goodness this is not the end of the Sam and Nick show (since book 3 Fatal Consequences is out July 2011) and I fear Sam has not heard the last from the douche bag Lieutenant Stahl who is out to get her and the search for her father’s shooter still weighs heavily on her mind. I can't wait for the next instalment!

Read more about The Fatal Series
Fatal Series,AVAILABLE NOW from Carina Press

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Shadowfever: Que Sera, Sera

"Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it's good."
MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.
Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister's murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals that have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.
What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief, while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh--a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King that contains the power to create and destroy worlds.

Making the Grade: A

For My Thoughts

Well the wait is finally over and the “Fever” has abated...for now.

Shadowfever with it’s epic twists and turns, OMG, WTF??? is going on, head scratching moments is one book that I think wrung every emotion possible from me while reading it.

I am happy and sad for the end of Shadow fever at the same time. Happy to have been able to experience the “fever” phenomenon and sad that my love affair with the sexy Jericho Barrons is over. Never has a character in a book so totally captivated and held my action as the enigmatic Barrons. I feel as if I’ve said good-bye to a lover and good friend I may never hear from again *sniff*.

From heart-wrenching despair to unbelievable hope in the impossible, betrayal, terror, laughter and ever lasting love each turn of the page brought fresh emotion. And just when you thing Moning can’t possibly have any more surprises up her sleeve, she kicks it up a notch and fries your brain one more time with the complexities of her story of Fae and mortals and immortals.

I think anyone who has read, been invested in and eagerly anticipating this fifth and final book will be happy with the outcome, having most of the loose ends tied up in a neat rainbow coloured bow. Did we get all he answers? No I don't think so, but I can put this book to rest and be satisfied with the ending. Besides Moning has stated there is still more Fae story to be told, so she has to keep some things under wraps.

If Shadowfever was a ride at the fair it would be the biggest, baddest, most thrilling roller-coaster ride one could ever take. And when it was over, you’d be back in line asking to do it all over again and again.

So farewell Barrons...until we meet again...even if it is only in my dreams!

Thanks for the ride!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January TBR Challenge: What The Librarian Did

Book Blurb

Is Rachel Robinson the only one on campus who doesn't know who Devin Freedman is?

No big deal except that the bad-boy rock star gets a kick out of Rachel's refusal to worship at his feet. And that seems to have provoked his undivided attention.

Devin, the guy who gave new meaning to the phrase 'sex, drugs and rock 'n roll'.

Devin, the guy who somehow becomes wedged between her and the past she's kept hidden for years.

It's up to this librarian to find out first-hand just how 'bad' he really is. Because her secret - and her growing feelings for a man who claims he's bent on redemption - depend on his turning out to be as good as he seems.

Which is really, really good
Making the Grade: C

For My Thoughts

As part of the TBR Challenge hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian , our task this month was to read a category romance.

There was a lot of buzz and rave reviews about this book and although I had never read Karina Bliss before and the title and cover of this book would not have originally inspired me to purchase this book, I did based on past success reading Harlequin Super Romances and the good reviews. So when I joined this challenge to try and whittle down the TBR, I thought since January was a category romance read month, that What The Librarian Did was the perfect way to kick-off the challenge.

I should have known right off the bat that I wouldn’t like the character of Rachel (based solely on how she looks on the cover - much to prissy for me) and then to discover on page one she doesn’t like the color pink??? Big red flag right there that her and I weren’t going to see eye to eye since pink is my favourite color.

Prim, prissy librarian and bad boy rocker, What The Librarian Did is the perfect example of a story where opposites attract.

I loved the character of Devin, he’s the sole reason I kept reading this book and gave it a C grade. Although the story could have been clichéd (bad boy/good girl) there was much more to Devin than meets the eye.

Devin was the burnt out rocker , recovering from his own stint after rehab, returned home to New Zealand to escape the paparazzi, look after his mom who’s recovering from her own health scare and is trying to make positive changes in his life after being in the music business since he was sixteen years old. Deciding it’s time to take responsibility for his future and his finances, he enrols in a business course at the local university.

I could not connect with Rachel at all. I tried not to let the cover influence my feelings for her, but what you see - a prim, prissy uptight, vintage clothes wearing Librarian is what you get. She’s supposedly left a string of boyfriends in her wake earning her the nickname “Heartbreaker” but myself,  I had no problem seeing why she was still single. I liked when Devin called her Heartbreaker, but I didn’t believe it about her for a second.

I guess I can understand how Devin was initially attracted to Rachel, since she wasn’t a groupie and in fact had no idea who he was and could have cared less. Since Devin was so used to having women throw themselves at him, I can see why Rachel’s disinterest towards him would have seemed novel and intriguing.

I think I was supposed to empathize with Rachel since she’d gone through a very trying experience when she gave up a baby for adoption as a teenage but I just didn’t. Rachel was always quick to assume the worst about Devin whether it was in his interactions with his young protégé, his actions with her, or with other women, I don’t think the rock star would have put up with her for every long in real life. There was a scene in the book where I thought maybe we were going to see another side to Rachel, when we discovered she had a mountain bike. It was just a small mention when Devin tripped over it, but it seemed so out of character to imagine Rachel even riding a bike in her buttoned up clothes, but it turned out to mean nothing and it was never mentioned again. I would have liked to seen Rachel give that bike a spin maybe it would have loosened her up.

I also found it hard to swallow that an 18 year old boy would uproot his life and move to another part of the country to attend a university in the hopes of trying to ferret out his birth mother because he thinks she works there.

Devin was certainly the star of What The Librarian Did in my opinion. His touching moments with his mom, his big brother/mentor relationship with Mark, his contentious relationship with this brother and his numerous attempts to break through to Rachel made this book for me. I just wished I could have warmed up more to the Librarian. She tried his patience and mine and she should be glad he stuck around long enough to uncover the Rachel buried under her prudish clothing.

I will be reading more from Bliss and in fact have Here Comes The Groom waiting on my Kindle App.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I've Got The Fever In Me!

The Final Chapter - Let The Games Begin

Well the wait is almost over (and for any of you lucky enough to already be reading this book - I hate you more than words can say). Hopefully in a little over 24 hours I will have this book in my hot little hands  - ok so I may have to settle for reading it on my Itouch, but at this point I say beggars can't be choosers.

Last week for those of us not willing to wait, we got the first two chapters to read on Karen Marie Moning's website.  A lot of my fellow tweeps refused to venture over to her site and end their suffering to find out who the beast really is that Mac killed at the end of Dreamfever. My hat is off to you for showing such remarkable restraint. Me? I'm not into self denial, I clicked as fast as I could to find out the answer.  I figure when Tues Jan 18 rolls around at 12:01 and if I have to download the e-book, I will be that much further ahead in the story.

I will readily admit that I have NEVER been this invested in a book or series. I have even scheduled Tues off work so I can stay up all night (if this old body can handle it) to read this book. Knowing all my tweeps will be reading and tweeting I don't want any spoilers knowing they are getting the long awaited answers to this amazing story ahead of me. I want to be right there with them along for the ride. I just pray that I will not be disappointed with what KMM has in store for Mac and Barrons. Everyone wants their story to have a HEA. Moning has stated that she stayed true to her vision for this story and that the readers wants and needs were not necessarily taken into consideration when she wrote this series. They better get that HEA - that is all I am saying! I don't care about any dang dream she had.

I am sure that there will never be another book that so many have so anxiously been waiting for.  I certainly do not ever foresee my taking a day off work again just so I can read a book.  That should tell you right there how excited I am to finally be able to get the answers.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Crimson Moon

Title: Crimson Moon

Author: J.A. Saare

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Author's website:


Making the Grade: B+

For My Thoughts

I really liked Crimson Moon (even though it‘s told in first person *grumbles*). It was my first book by J.A. Saare thanks once again to my peeps on twitter and I‘m looking forward to reading more from this author. I believe there is a Disco in my future.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started this book and even though I have never read any of the Twilight books I have a feeling if you’re a fan of that series, then you will love Crimson Moon. It’s got werewolves, vampires and a young woman and what with little I know, that’s enough for me to draw the comparison.

Emma Johnson is essentially all alone in the world. Her mom died in a car accident, she never knew her father and her grandma’s in a nursing home in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. What started out as a normal Saturday at the local diner for a breakfast of coffee and powdered donuts turned into a life changing moment in young Emma’s life.

Saare certainly wastes no time in getting the action started. Emma finds out in short order that her life will never be the same again that fateful Saturday morning. With her life on the line, Emma finds herself suddenly swept up and upside down as a gorgeous, handsome stranger literally sweeps her off her feet and helps her escape from so not so human creatures out to capture her.

And so begins the love story between Emma and her savior with the piercing blue eyes Caleb. From the moment Emma gazed into Caleb’s eyes in that deserted alley - she knew there was something special about him. Their attraction was immediate and undeniable.

Caleb is the perfect hero. Gorgeous, patient, considerate and caring, and yet this werewolf was a total badass Alpha when he needed to be. Protective and strong - there was never any doubt that Emma was his number one priority. He is definitely swoon worthy.

As far as Emma was concerned, she seemed to accept the fact that her father was alive and a true blood vampire and she was currently keeping company with a bunch of werewolves in stride. It may have been a tad unrealistic for her to so seemingly accept these changes in her life, but maybe it was easier for her given her ancestry.

I must say Saare’s writing is very descriptive. From hearing the squeak of shoes on the wet grass or feeling the piercing blue of Caleb’s eyes or the woodsy smells of pheromones - it all seemed real and alive in my mind as I read this book. It’s pretty amazing to feel such a part of a story while reading it.

I felt that there were two distinct parts to Crimson Moon. The first half centered around Emma and her interaction with the werewolves and her relationship with Caleb. I loved this part of the book. It was fun watching Emma and Caleb as their relationship blossomed. Her games of one upmanship with the pesky Derek definitely made me laugh. I didn’t see it coming when Saare changed up the rules of the game and Caleb and Emma were forced to make a difficult decision.

The second half revolved around Emma meeting her true blood vampire father and discovering how truly her life was about to change. And then there was Trent, the mind reading vampire who was now consuming all of Emma’s time. I didn’t want Emma to like Trent…possibly because I wanted her with Caleb. As this part of Crimson Moon progressed I kept on thinking nooooo Emma has to be with Caleb.

I had no idea where Saare was going with the story and that’s one of the best things about reading a book, that it can keep you engrossed and caring about the characters and hopeful for the resolution to a great love story.

I can always tell when I am truly into a story. I was reading this book at the gym and it was just so easy to block out everything going on around me as I lost myself in the story and actually keep working out a little longer (since I wanted to keep reading). At one particular point when Emma’s life was in grave danger I was literally holding my breath, my heart pounding while I read. I was actually scared. This is just one example of how well crafted this story was that I could imagine myself right there in the room witnessing the horror of Emma’s attack right along with her. Still gives me chills thinking about it now.

If you are even remotely interested in vamps and werewolves, a great story and love everlasting, then you must read Crimson Moon. I sure am glad I did.

From Goodreads
An average morning is what Emma Johnson envisions when she visits Joe's Café for a steaming cup of coffee. But the world isn't the place she imagined it to be, and neither is she...

After Emma is rescued from a horde of bloodthirsty creatures, she discovers she is the daughter of a powerful Vampire from the House Deviard, her rescuer, Caleb, having been sent to see her safely home. For Caleb is also unique, a werewolf procured to protect the royal Vampiric bloodlines from harm - but nothing more.

Soon, the undeniable connection Emma and Caleb share evolves beyond attraction into something unexpected. When she is forced to make a choice, what path will she take - vampire or wolf?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Sunday *Sigh*: The Heat is On...Or Not

It's winter. It's cold. I live in Canada.

Every workday morning I start my car about 7-10 minutes prior to leaving to warm up the inside and loosen the frost on the windows. When the time comes, I jump in, give the windshield wipers a flick just to make sure I can see and drive off. Sounds easy right?

Imagine my surprise one morning this week when I jumped in the car and the windows front and back are still frost covered and the inside is still like a little icebox. What is going on? Has my heater broken down? The front/rear defrosters stopped working?

It took me all of about 2 seconds to realize what I had done...or not as the case may be. People! The heater and defrosters can't do their job if YOU DON'T TURN THEM ON! How can I go out to my car with the express purpose of pre-warming it and then forget to turn the heaters on? It boggles my mind and quite frankly I fear for my future.

Every time I do something so exceedingly stupid that I don't think I can top myself, apparently I can.

Can't wait to see what I come up with next. I am skeerit!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thieves Like Us

The last thing Janet Westfield needs in her life is an ex-con. But when she's accused of trying to pass stolen jewelry, the only one who can help her is the extremely charming ex-jewel thief she's been avoiding, Rocky Hernandez. Unable to deny her attraction, she falls for him, hard. Unfortunately, his past is putting her in even greater danger, and the best way for Rocky to save her might be to leave her.

Making the Grade: C+

For My Thoughts

Let me start by saying that the first book I ever read by Starr Ambrose Lie to Me was one of my favorite books of 2008. I had never heard of Ms. Ambrose before I read that book, but I knew I would be reading any future books by her I liked it that much.

Thieves Like Us is a follow-up to Lie to Me and features Rocky and Janet’s story. I wanted to read this book ASAP hoping for a repeat performance of the funny, entertaining book that was Lie to Me and although I enjoyed Thieves Like Us, I found it lacking the same wow factor that had me reading Ms. Ambrose’s 1st book in record time. Sometimes it‘s hard to pinpoint exactly why you love one book so much while another is just a good solid read.

The characters made the story for me. Ex-con, Hawaiian shirt wearing Rocky Hernandez is the perfect example of not judging a book by it’s cover. He’s hunky, he’s hot and he’s a lot more than a reformed jewel thief running a successful security business and he‘s determined to show one Janet Westfield that they could be great together.

Janet's been trying to avoid the flirtatious advances of one Mr. Rocky Hernandez for months since she doesn't exactly have a soft spot in her heart for men at the moment especially not after her dick of an ex-husband Banner tried to have her killed by Colombian drug lords. Kinda makes a woman think twice about hooking up with a guy again. But now with Banner cooling his jets in jail, Janet wants to purge her ex from her life and decides to unload an antique necklace given to her as a gift and discovers it’s part of a very expensive stolen collection. The big question on everyone’s mind including the Colombians, a Russian mafia boss and a character named Sleazy Easy is where are the other pieces of the Pellini Collection? Annnd the hunt for the gems is on. Problem is everyone thinks Janet knows more about the missing gems than she does and suddenly she finds herself with a huge target on her back.

Rocky and Janet must outwit, outsmart and outlast (survivor anyone?) all the bad guys combined in a race to recover the missing gems before someone ends up dead.

Read an Excerpt  here

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Morning Quarterback: The Weight Chronicles

I, like countless of others in the free world pledged on Jan 1, 2011 to be more conscientious about my health in the coming year. Eat healthier, exercise more including cardio and the dreaded weights(I hate doing weights but you can't deny how benifical they are to your overall health).

In order to make myself more accountable for my weighty issues in 2011, I have decided to post every Monday about my progress. Aptly titled Monday Morning Quarterback: The Weight Chronicles I will discuss the highs, the lows or whatever pops into my mind about the previous week that I feel was relevent to my success (or *gasp* failures - but I'm not going there - see #4 below).

I started getting serious AGAIN about my weight in Mar 2010. I have struggled, daily, monthly, yearly with my weight and I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will continue to be the case. For me (and the masses) there is no magic bullet; no easy answer. I know my body, what works for me and most importantly I know that I CAN do it. I didn't lose 75lbs last year without a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears and even though I got off track in December with the holidays, being sick and just general lack of time to do all the things that helped me lose the weight earlier in the year, I am eager to get back on that horse.

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new year so ready...set...go!!

1. Be READY to drink lots and lots of water: My goal is to drink 1.5 litres of water every day at work (nothing better than getting paid to pee) that's in addition to my liquid consumption at home and while working out.  Lucky for me I like water.  At room temp I can guzzle it like any world class 2-fisted beer drinker.  A trick I use at home is to keep a glass of water at the ready at all times on the kitchen counter.  Everytime I venture anywhere near it  - I down it and refill it again for the next time.

2. SET up a Food Plan: Surprisingly this is the easiest and the hardest thing for me.  I am quite fortunate that I can eat the same thing everyday and not tire of it. I pack my lunch every day and am therefore a captive audience; I can only eat what I bring to work. My problems with food starts once I get home from work. Those unstructed times when tempation is close at hand is the one area I really need to work on.  The answer seems simple - if I don't buy it - I can't eat it.

3. GO to the Gym 5 days a week minimum. I'm going to strive for 6 days but having rest days is important in the overall scheme of things so I'm not going to beat myself if I can't make it 6 days (besides that I'm no spring chicken any more - I need recovery time). Do weights at least 3 days a week and run 3 days a week.

4.  Stay positive:  It's easy to get down on myself when the numbers on the scale aren't moving as quickly as I would like them to. I need to rejoice in how far I've come and how great my accomplishments of 2010 were instead of thinking I could have done better and I'm not going to lie - I could have. I may still be overweight and maybe even obese by some medical standards but I'm a lot better off than I was and I'm headed in the right direction.  I just need to re-focus and to continue to do all the things that helped me lose 75lbs last year.

The Weight Chronicles: Volume 1

2 days into the new year and I'm batting 100% - I've made it to the gym both days and considering the way I felt, it was a mildstone I did. But this kick-ass chick isn't going to let a little head/chest cold "weigh" her down (hope I don't regret those words later!).

Jan 1: 35mins elliptical, 35 mins stationary bike, stretching
Jan 2: 40mins elliptical, 32 mins stationary bike, upper body weight machines, stretching

I noticed a marked difference in attendance at the gym Sunday morning. Usually it's the same folks getting in their workout for the day. I knew as soon as I drove into the parking lot that a lot of the new year's newbies were out in full force. I'm spoiled and I'm not going to pretend I like all these newbies messing up my routine - yes I am a creature of habit. I like to use the same elliptical machine, the same treadmill and all these new people are going to screw that up. I just have to breathe deep and suck it up for the next few week and hope the nubes all go back to their sedentary lives sooner rather than later. I expect tonight to be horrendous at the gym since Mondays are notoriously one of the busiest days anyway. Add in all the newbies and I'll just be thankful to get ANY machine.

Here's to kickin' butt in 2011!

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Challenge Me! Wittling Down the TBR One Book At A Time

It's 2011 and I'm up for a new challenge.

I decided to sign up for this challenge hosted by Wendy @SuperWendy because it was something I was thinking about doing anyway. I really need to get some of those books off the TBR pile but the problem is every time I get a new book - that's the one I want to start next.

So first up for January is a category romance and my choice is What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss. I've seen lots of good things on the blogoshere about this book and even though the cover looks a bit prudish, I'm hoping it's the perfect book to kick of 2011 and get this party challenge started.

Rules of the Game:

What is the TBR Challenge? Simply put, it's where readers pick up a long neglected book from their TBR pile, read it, and comment on that read on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. The idea is to read those long neglected books that you just had to get your hands on at the time, but have been languishing in your pile, all lost and forgotten.

Comment on the chosen TBR anywhere online ( blog, Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, a message board etc.)

It's voluntary and it's supposed to be fun. Hey, life happens. If you have to skip a month, there will be no ridicule. Likewise, while there will be bragging rights for those that complete the challenge without skipping a single month - there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Themes are totally voluntary. If you don't have anything in your TBR that fits, the theme doesn't appeal, or you just want to read something else - go for it! Again, this is meant to be a fun challenge.

Monthly Review Dates And Theme Suggestions

January 19 - Category romance
February 16 - Ugly Ducklings (Heroes and/or heroines who aren't "pretty")
March 16 - New-to-you author
April 20 - Western (contemporary or historical)
May 18 - Marriage of convenience, arranged marriage or pretend engagement
June 15 - Contemporary romance
July 20 - Fairy tale themes (Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella etc.)
August 17 - Steamy reads (Erotic romance, erotica, something spicy!)
September 21 - Series Catch-up - pick up a book from a series you're behind on
October 19 - Paranormal or romantic suspense
November 16 - Other genre besides romance
December 21 - Holiday themes (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, it's all good!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

So Long 2010: It's A New Dawn, It's A New Day, It's A New Year

For My Thoughts

Surely my thoughts for 2010 are worth more than a penny - but that's all I've got as I sit here watching Ryan Seacrest rocking in the New Year in the Big Apple. Yup it's that time again to reflect upon the year and offer up some thoughts and random musings on the year that was 2010. was the best of was the worst....well really 2010 was all good. And even if it wasn't, I can't change it and I refuse to waste ANY time thinking about things I can't change. All I can do is look forward and strive to do better. Below are some of the moments in 2010 that impacted my life the most.

In Feb 2010 on a whim I decided I needed a blog. I put all the blame for this squarely on Jen from @Twimom227 who was starting her own blog and having a great time with it and before you can say "tweer pressure" I had to have my own blog too. I really don't know what I hoped to accomplish or what I was doing and that's the problem - I was delusional.

I don't consider my blog to be a big girl, grown-up Book Blog  (ummm not even in the same galaxy) as some of my favorite blogs (including Jen's above) @smexybooks, @hangingwithbells, @FixonVxn, @larrisalife and just some of my favorite blogs in general @buckeyegirl31, @JulieYMandKAC, @NikiBrandyberry  - now those girls know how to blog! I seriously don't know how y'all do it - the little I do takes so long. I just can't crank out a review that easily. Sometimes I think it takes me as long to review the book as it does to read it.

In March 2010 I decided to get serious - AGAIN about losing weight and getting healthy. I have struggled with weight issues my entire life. Hopefully this time it will be different. I am NOT getting any younger and if I want to live to be a ripe old age and in good shape then I need to be healthy. No ifs, no ands and no buts. I won't get into this too much now - think I'll do a seperate post on that later - I don't want to be tooooo long winded. But I am very pleased with my progress to date even if I did get off track in December.

In April 2010 I purchased my very first Ipod/Itouch. Now I can see you shaking your head - this is a top moment in 2010 - huh?
Not only do I now have some awesome music downloaded to workout to including some of my favorites for 2010 Rihanna's Only Girl, Usher's DJ's Got Us Falling in Love and Enrique Iglesias' Tonight I'm Falling In love, but more importantly I now have something to read Ebooks on! At last count I have 6 e-reading apps.

I discovered in 2010 that I love reading on my Itouch. It will never replace my paper books, but you can't beat the convenience of that one-touch click buying (dangerous) and the ease of having multiple books available right at your fingertips.

Here are my favorite books for 2010 (in no particular order)

Something About You by Julie James
Naked Edge by Pamela Clare
Demon from the Dark Kresley Cole
Exclusively Yours Shannon Stacey
The Entire Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
The Moonlight Series by Nancy Gideon
Silent Scream Karen Rose
Untraceable by Laura Griffin
Liberating Lacey Ann Calhoun

Book Boyfriends seem to be very popular at a lot of the blogs I follow (I'm looking at you @hangingwithbells) and although I like a good man as much as the next gal, I just can't get that ga-ga over any guy on paper.

3 "guys" who made an impression on me in 2010:

Barrons: Say my Name! From KMM Fever series. Without "tweer pressure" I never would have discovered all the goodness that is Barrons. THANK YOU Tweeps. I am forever in your debt.

Malkom: Demon From the Dark by Kresley Cole
Max: From the Moonlight Series by Nancy Gideon

Mmmmm interesting how all my book "boyfriends" are not human?

Best New-To-Me Authors I Discovered in 2010:

Laura Griffin, Nancy Gideon, Shannon Stacey, Cynthia Eden, Maya Banks, Karen Marie Moning, Gini Koch

Favorite Auto-Buy Authors:

Julie James, Pamela Clare, Lisa Gardner, Rachel Gibson, Jill Shalvis, Toni Blake, Tess Gerritsen, Susan Elizabeth Phillips

New Authors I Need to Read:

Carolyn Crane, Olivia Cunning, Stacia Kane

What's ahead for 2011?

Read More?
Review More?
Exercise More?
All of the above?

There can never be too many books, only not enough time to read them all.

It's going to be an exciting 2011! Bring it on!