Tuesday, June 29

Review: Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

Another anticipated book for me in May was the new Julia Quinn :) Somehow, she's made it to my auto-buy list :) Ten Things I Love About You sounded really cute and I think everyone wanted Sebastian's book, after the scene where he he was so into his read that he fell down the desk/table and injured himself in What Happens in London. LOL. Joining me for today's buddy review is Isabel from All About Me :) Thank you, Izzy :P

*Warning: The are spoilers in this review. Read at your own risk!*

Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn
published by Avon in May 2010

Ten Things You Should Know About This Book

1. Sebastian Grey is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret.
2. Annabel Winslow's family voted her The Winslow Most Likely to Speak Her Mind AND The Winslow Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Church.
3. Sebastian's uncle is the Earl of Newbury, and if he dies without siring an heir, Sebastian inherits everything.
4. Lord Newbury detests Sebastian and will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening.
5. Lord Newbury has decided that Annabel is the answer to all of his problems.
6. Annabel does not want to marry Lord Newbury, especially when she finds out he once romanced her grandmother.
7. is shocking, 8. is delicious, 9. is downright wicked, all of which leads the way to
10. Happily. Ever. After.

Genre: Historical romance
Series: Bevelstoke, Book #3

The Story: Annabel Winslow is being sponsored by her maternal grandparents for her first season. As the eldest of eight children, Annabel’s goal is simple: find a match that will be able to support her family and send her brothers to Eton. To her grandparents’ great pleasure, Annabel has attracted the attention of their good friend, the Earl of Newbury. The Earl of Newbury has recently lost his heir and therefore must beget a new one, as he doesn’t want his nephew, Sebastian Grey, to inherit the title. Thus, he has been looking for a “fertile” woman and if Annabel’s figure is any indication… As for Sebastian, he’d like the whole heir issue to be settled.

Nath: What did you think of Ten Things I Love About You, Isabel?

I really liked Sebastian’s character; however, I really had issues with Annabel and it really affected how I enjoyed this book :(

Isabel: I also liked Sebastian. I didn’t mind Annabel.

Nath: Really? I thought Sebastian was a great character. I liked how charming he was. It was a bit sad that nobody looked beyond the surface, but then, I guess that's what he wanted. I really liked that he had many layers and he was aware of them and chose what to show to the public and what to keep for himself.

Isabel: I loved how charming he was. It’s like how Annabel described him. That he had a secret and she wanted to know what it was. Not just the books but the many parts of his personality.

Nath: That comment really nailed Sebastian :)

Now, Annabel. Hmmm. My problem with her was I wanted her to stand up for herself and be more pro-active. Instead, she just sat there, pitying herself.

Isabel: I didn’t get she was pitying herself. I think she just saw herself as stuck in a situation she couldn’t get out of. The whole, “I want to marry for love but I need to do the right thing for my family,” I think is what made her be the way she was. Once Newbury said those nasty things to her at the party, she realized she wouldn’t be able to go through it.

Nath: All right, perhaps saying that Annabel was pitying herself is a bit harsh. However, I maintain that she could have been more pro-active. From the beginning, Annabel didn't need a titled gentleman, just one with money. She could have found other options to Newburry. She could have made a deal with someone... True, she couldn't have brought much to it, but hey, she had that body! LOL. How many times did we read such plots? Or blackmail her grandparents into paying her brothers tuitions, steal jewels, something. It was clear that Annabel didn't want to marry Newburry, but she didn't do anything to get out of that situation. Everyone around her had plans, did things... but Annabel was like a pawn, just sitting there and letting other move her around according to what they planned. She never even got up to Newburry to bargain for the money. Also, love didn't have anything to with this whole situation at first.

Oh and I disliked the fact that Annabel founds herself in a pickle of her own doing and Sebastian had to do all the work to get her out of that situation.

Isabel: But her body is the reason why it attracted Newbury. He wanted an heir and he wanted it now. I think had he not been so desperate, Annabel could have found someone different with money. Someone more tolerable. I mean, Newbury got that special license. He could have made it difficult for anyone else who had interest in her.

Nath: I know her body is what attracted Newburry. However, I think she could attract other men too... I mean, Edward kept drooling about her LOL. So perhaps she could have found someone more tolerable with more money... And really, after Newbury thought there was something between Annabel and Sebastian, he wasn’t interested in her anymore… At the end, it had less to do with the heir and more to keep Sebastian from having her.

Isabel: Yeah, but being attracted and actually wanting to marry her are two different things. Also, we wouldn’t have a story if she did. And remember, most girls wouldn’t have been able to do anything. Most just accepted their fate.

But now that you mention it, yeah everyone else had ideas where Annabel just kind of sat there not knowing what to do. And… she should have told Sebastian who she was when she met him. I mean, his uncle is courting her. They were bound to run into each other.

Nath: True, but I still think she was too wishy-washy through the whole book. Not only didn't she make her own opportunities, she didn't even seize the one that were offered to her. I mean, personality-wise, Annabel was fine. She's a nice girl with a good sense of humor and filial... but her inaction just ruined her character for me.

I thought the plotline was okay, but not substantial enough. I liked that it was between Annabel, Sebastian and Newburry... that there was no mystery involved. However, I think that a few scenes at the end were superfluous such as the sex scene and Annabel's discovery at Sebastian's identity. I think the story should have ended after the grandmother and Newburry departed from the room and then the epilogue.

Isabel: I like that Annabel found out Sebastian was the author. I’m glad we got to see that. However, I almost wished they kept it a secret about who it was. Like not reveal it was Sebastian until maybe a little later. Like with Miss Whistledown. I also think it’s funny Sebastian is the author of those books. I love how he prods people for info about if they liked them.

Nath: LOL, that was cute indeed. I’m glad Annabel found Sebastian’s secret, but I thought it could have been earlier in the book. I'm kind of disappointed though that it never became public knowledge that Sebastian was Sarah Goreley...

Isabel: I would have like for Harry and Olivia to at least find out also. But oh well. I’ll take what I can. Did you think Olivia left Sebastian and Annabel alone together on purpose?

Nath: I do think that Olivia left them together on purpose. For some reasons, she had chosen Annabel as the wife candidate.

Isabel: I think Olivia could tell there was something between them. She was giving them a little push.

Nath: Probably.

LOL, one of my favorite moment of Ten Things I Love About You was the last scene with the grandmother! Quite hilarious, especially when she said: "I thought you'd die soon!” I didn't like her much, but she livened up the book for sure :)

Isabel: Lady Vickers was awesome. Ha ha. Didn’t I say for all we knew she was after Newbury when he was too? And turns out they did hook up. Wow. But I loved how she basically gave them permission to spend the night.

Nath: LOL, yes, you did call it! :)

One of the issues I had was the fact that the grandparents were pleased about the match between Annabel and Lord Newbury. Especially the grandfather - how can you expect your friend to marry your granddaughter?!?! I mean, does he think a little bit that it would be as if he had sex with his granddaughter?
I mean, when her grandmother was telling her that in her time, some of her friends were after Lord Newbury and Annabel goes “Your friends” – that says it all for me.

Isabel: Oh I know. that part was funny. I was like.. ewww telling your granddaughter that your friends were once after the guy you might marry is not a good thing. But that’s what they did in those days. It was probably really common back then. And no one thought different. Icky though.

Nath: True, you're right... What made it worst though was that Lord Newbury was really an unlikable character. I really didn't like the part where Annabel got mauled by him, he was such a lecherous pervert ^_^; Plus, the last bit where he wanted to ruin her? Despicable!! Bleh :( I think it would have been more interesting if he wasn’t. That the only factor would have been his age.

Isabel: Yeah I didn’t like that either; it made me dislike the earl even more. Like ewww.

Nath: Another issue is I didn't really buy the love between Annabel and Sebastian... I understand that they got to know each other when Sebastian was calling on her... and he appreciated her humor... but one minute, he doesn't want to propose to her and the other, he's in love. Nope.

Isabel: I bought it. I think deep down he did but just didn’t know it. It’s like not knowing what you got till it’s gone. I think once he pictured her with the Earl or anyone, he realized just how much he did want to marry her. I think Olivia knew too and that’s why she left them alone.

Nath: You’re probably right. I just didn’t feel much chemistry between the two :(

Also, I might be nit-picking, but anyway. Throughout the book, Annabel and Sebastian processed some of their thinking by making a list of ten things. I thought it was cute; however, I think it'd have been better if it was a characteristic proper to either Annabel or Sebastian. Not both. There are very few people who process that way and suddenly, you have two? I mean, if Sebastian picked up the habit from Annabel, fine... but both of them? ^_^;

Isabel: I can also buy the list thing. My only issue is I did not care for the cover. The lady just looked kind of annoyed. Like.. ugh.. another letter or whatever she’s holding.

Nath: I think it’s a list. Personally, I would have preferred a cover along the lines of What Happens in London... Simply to make the books in this series fit together.

Finally, Ten Things I Love About You is a C for me... Really loved Sebastian, but it couldn’t make up for all the issues I had ^_^; What about you?

Isabel: For me, I’d give it a B. I enjoyed the story. I love Sebastian. Loved that it was low key drama. It was just a cute story. Also loved how poor Annabel was described as fertile and how everyone had heard it. Ha ha.

Nath: LOL, poor Annabel indeed. The part where she wondered how once goes to give the air of infertility was just too funny :)

Tuesday, June 15

Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

One of the most anticipated releases in May was Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews :D I love anticipated books, because it means I have plenty of candidates for buddy reviewer LOL. So joining me today is Tabitha from Tabz Book Blog — just another readeraholic... Thank you Tabz! :)

*Warning: The are spoilers in this review. Read at your own risk!*

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
published by Berkley (Ace) in May 2010
Kate Daniels cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to deal with-especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community.

And now there's a new player in town - a foe that may be too much for even Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family.

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Kate Daniels, Book #4

The Story: Magic Bleeds picks up a few months after the events of Magic Strikes by Kate being stood up by Curran. Kate is understandably upset and decides to wash her hands from Curran. Whatever they could have had is over; Kate was raised to be a loner and that's how she'll go through her life from now on.

Unfortunately, things don't go as planned for Kate when a new enemy walks into town. The Lord of the Beasts is determined to offer his help to Kate, whether she wants it or not... This foe has the ability to start pandemics, diseases that will even affect shapeshifters. In addition, it seems he is an incredible warrior, has a great deal of powers and is able to males go out of their minds. And oh, it's one of Kate's relative which puts her in a pickle... but not the dilemma anyone would imagine...

Nath: I really enjoyed Magic Bleeds, it was pretty good :D The story was solid and it really delivers :) What did you think, Tabitha?

Tabitha: Yes! I'm so glad you enjoyed Magic Bleeds too. It was pretty great for me as well. Solid, solid read. So much progression in this one book!

Nath: I totally agree with you. I really like the fact that Magic Bleeds moves the plot forward, not only the relationship between Kate and Curran, but also the story surrounding Kate and her origins.

I love that Kate and Curran are together LOL. Finally! It's definitively going to be interesting in the future, to see them interact. The other thing I loved about this book was to find out more about Kate's origins :) The story was also very engaging.

Tabitha: I am really happy Kate and Curran are together. Although I'm surprised that their relationship took on such a deeper level. We saw the two tap dancing around each other in the first three books, and in book four, wow! Their friendship and relationship really expands. I guess it was about time, huh. Same goes for the mystery of Kate's origin. We get so much more background than before.

Nath: It was indeed fast, but like you say, they’ve been dancing around each other since book #1. Also, when you're ready to sacrifice yourself for that person... It’s pretty much a given right? So why continue dancing? In the end though, I believe this is a good decision for the series though. It’ll be much more interesting to see how Kate and Curran will navigate their relationship – and oh gosh, I’m sure it won’t be calm LOL – than a continued courting. Plus, it’ll allow a bit more focus on the plots.

Speaking of plots, I thought the one in Magic Bleeds was solid and enjoyable! I loved how it all came together. There was plenty of action, but you needed to be more than fast on your feet. One of the things that impressed me was the quick thinking that Kate did to hide Jenny. It's smart and quick and it worked!

Tabitha: Kate is definitely clever and very quick on her feet. She impresses me with how well she can adapt to a situation. No matter how scared or nervous she is she can hide it and pretend. Her thoughts always manage to amuse me!

You know, I had expected to see more appearances from Hugh d’Ambray considering the events from the previous book. When the villain was revealed, I was surprised by who it was. I guess I had expected Roland to immediately seek the person who destroyed his sword. But when the connection was revealed, it did put a clever twist in the story.

Nath: I was surprised too at the absence of Hugh d’Ambray in this book, but the explanation is making sense. I wonder if he’s tired of being Roland’s lackey and will prove to be an ally for Kate… Hmmm. You know, I wonder if Roland is aware that someone broke his sword. One part of me feels that it inconceivable that he does not know, but another part of me… It’s just like Kate said, Hugh d’Ambray is going to find as much information as possible on Kate before mentioning her to Roland.

Oh, I loved the villain. I don’t think that she was evil; instead it was really a case of egomaniac! How
power really screws with your mind. I’m not worried that Kate will ever turn like her, but still, it’s a good reminder for her… I wondered though, it was mentioned that Erra just woke up. Why was she asleep in the first place?

What works for me more in this book is that I understand Kate better and I think that knowing more about her background helps. Knowing to which extent she will go to save the people around her… I love that self-sacrifice streak that she has LOL.

Tabitha: Lol. Kate’s loyalty is very admirable. Yet I find it so sad that she has to live in a world of self-preservation. She doesn’t even stop to think about sacrificing her being to save her friends, her defenses on automatic. I guess that’s better than her severing her ties with her friends and hanging alone…that would be even sadder.

Nath: It’s unfortunate that it’s a constant struggle for Kate – her true self and the one her adoptive father wanted her to be :( You know, at the beginning, I wanted Kate to turn really cold in this book and have Curran grovel big time. Sigh.

What did you think about Curran standing Kate up for the dinner? I think Mahon was behind it. He was one of the few who already knew Curran’s intentions towards Kate, plus the shapeshifters that challenged Curran that day were two bears…

Tabitha: I think it was too easy that Curran didn’t further question that one of his people lied about Kate not calling in. I thought he was too accepting to say that there was a miscommunication with his orders and would have at least tried to seek who was undermining his relationship with Kate.

Nath: Curran is the Lord of Beast. I don’t think he was totally surprised at the behaviors of his people. I mean, the ending proves it when they voted about Kate being his mate. Personally, I think that Curran didn’t want to acknowledge that his people could be so selfish… but he didn’t have the choice at the end.

Tabitha: Before and during the voting scene was awesome for me. Kate really kicked their deserving ass. I literally clapped my hands and cheered when Curran used his lion’s roar to announce his appearance and express his displeasure. It was a good scene. Lol.

There are many funny and sweet moments in this book. I was LOL'g like crazy when Curran asked Kate why she wouldn't speak to him directly.

Nath: Nod nod, loved the voting scene. So like Kate to discard advice and do as she likes or thinks best :) LOL, I admit, didn't realize why she was doing it at first LOL.

The funny and cute scenes were definitively the highlights of Magic Bleeds. Yes, the story was good and Kate and Curran finally got together! However, it wouldn’t have been as good if it wasn’t for these cute scenes :)

Tabitha: I didn't either! haha. Until she explained, then I went DURH. It makes sense. haha. Curran's response to when Kate said "Hi" through Jim was so funny that I actually pictured Curran's facial expression.

Nath: LOL, Jim is such a sport...to a certain degree :P I loved the part where Jim walked out while they argued LOL.

Tabitha: Yep. That scene was so clear in mind -- Jim looks at Curran, then Kate, then Curran. haha. Or was it Kate, Curran, then Kate? I forgot. But it was too cute and amusing. Did you find the scene in the bedroom when Curran stormed in hilarious? What Kate said about Saiman having the best equipment? It was LMAO moment for me. Kate and Curran are so cute together in this book. Each really went out of the way for the other.

Nath: LOL, Curran is definitively a man thinking that way! There were so many good moments in Magic Bleeds… My favorite is probably when Kate welded the bench-press chair together, shut the bimbo room and the catnip - especially the catnip :)

Tabitha: Haha, yes, Curran's reaction phone call to Kate following her break-in and then his retaliation just is another crack me up moment.

Nath: Okay, just out of curiosity... What do you think of Saiman? So he's a pervert and has a huge ego... but he helps out and he's knowledgeable. I kind of like him... and I'm sad that Kate doesn't :(

Tabitha: I really like him too. I think he's sincere with Kate and not just because she's a challenge. Maybe her feelings for him will change in the future, hmm? He seems to be portrayed as a nicer guy in each book.

Nath: Well I feel that if her feelings haven't improved after Magic Strikes, I doubts that it'll get better :(

While Magic Bleeds was an excellent book, I was a bit disappointed that the secondary characters didn't play a more important role :( That would be my only complaint of the book… although it was understandable as it really focused on Kate and Curran.

Tabitha: Magic Bleeds is all about Kate and Curran, especially Kate so it’s not surprising to me that the secondary characters’ roles were very small. I thought Saiman was there more to push Curran along since he sort of disappeared after he helped her with the mystery of the villain.

Did you get that something happened to Andrea? Kate said at the end that her best friend wasn't talking to her when she needed her. Where did she go? The last we saw of Andrea was the big fighting scene.

Nath: I think Andrea is not communicating with Kate because Kate is now Pack... so she keeps her distance. Sad :(

Tabitha: You're right, Andrea most likely stayed away from Kate because Kate is more entrenched with Curran and the Pack. Although earlier we saw how Andrea risked her secret and changed to save Kate's life. It was good to see that the friendship wasn’t just all giving on one side from Kate.

What do you think of the scene where Raphael walked out on Andrea?

Nath: But Andrea owes Kate. She doesn’t have any links with the Pack except for Raphael. It’s very small-mind thinking and the reason why Andrea is not the heroine ^_^;

As for Raphael walking out on Andrea. Yes, it’s very immature of him and not really the way to work out things… At the same time though, I think it will force Andrea to reconsider things. She has to start to be a bit more flexible and let bygones be bygones. The Pack wasn’t there for her, but it’s because they weren’t aware of her, not because they ignore her. There’s a difference… The Pack is not omniscient.

What I didn't like though is Kate opening her own PI office at the end. How many H/H have PI office in PNR and urban fantasy novel?

Tabitha: I didn’t get that either. The epilogue threw me off...but what Curran said at the end about her checking in was sooo sweet. It was an "aww" moment for me. lol

Nath: LOL, it is sweet... but I don't know if Kate is going to be able to stick to it. Ah well, they have to learn to compromise and live with each other :D

My grade for Magic Bleeds is A. Good book all around :) Can't wait for the next installment!

Tabitha: Same for me. I also give Magic Bleeds an A. Lots of action, romance, and questions answered. Very satisfying read.

Thursday, June 3

Review: Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson

All right, Nothing but Trouble has been getting a lot of good reviews around blogland... but it wasn't a hit for me... So please, hold back the tomatoes! LOL. Luckily, there's Monroe to balance it out :)

Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson  
published by Avon in April 2010


Chelsea Ross's acting career has been a total bust. The closest she ever came to stardom was her brilliant performance as "Pretty Dead Girl #1." But leaving Hollywood to become the personal assistant to a famous hockey player could be her stupidest career move ever.

More trouble...

Injured superstar Mark Bressler's glory days are over. The bad-boy ex-jock could at least be civil to the pint-sized, pink-haired bombshell who the Seattle Chinooks hired to be his P.A. If Chelsea didn't need the money, she'd be running from the world's biggest jerk as fast as her feet could carry her.

Big trouble!

Chelsea can deal with Mark's rotten attitude and dark moods. The problem is those biceps and that red-hot bod! And when the bad boy starts to put the moves on her, Chelsea knows it's time she banished him to the penalty box... if only she could resist the kind of trouble he has in mind!

Genre: contemporary, sport romance
Series: Seattle Chinooks, Book #5

The Story: Chelsea Ross needs a break from Hollywood. Her career is going no where and she's tired of seeing talentless people making it. Thus, she's visiting her sister Bo who works in the PR department of the Seattle Chinooks. Despite her family pressure, Chelsea is not giving up her dreams. She actually has a plan, but needs some money. Therefore, she accepts to become the personal assistant to Mark Bressler, even though she knows it's going to big challenge - the 10,000$ bonus to last 3 months makes it obvious. Mark Bressler was the captain of the Seattle Chinooks until a car accident ended his career and he can't help but feel bitter that his teammates claimed the Stanley Cup. He wants to be left alone and so far has chased away 3 home care workers... He's determined to do the same with Chelsea. However, this colorful and optimistic woman is determined to fulfill her job...

Nath: What did you think of Nothing but Trouble, Monroe? I thought it was better than Ms Gibson's last release, True Love and Other Disasters, but still a weak book.

Monroe: As you know I'm a huge Rachel Gibson fan and all in all I thought this was a pretty sturdy story! I enjoyed Mark AFTER he got over himself and I truly adored Chelsea! I loved how Chelsea was a free spirit and Mark was the total opposite! Now... does that make this story typical... somewhat yes I think it does but it all pretty much worked for me! =)

Nath: Hmmm, I'm not sure about the solid part, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I did like Chelsea. I like optimistic characters and she definitively was. I'm glad that she wasn't moping around because her acting career hasn't gone as she wished. Although Chelsea was a bit down on her luck, she had a plan :) She enjoyed life and did her best at being Mark's assistant. I didn't feel that Chelsea was such a free spirit though... I mean, yes, she likes to dress flashy, but that doesn't exactly equal free spirit :) While Mark wasn't as fun a character, it was understandable though considering what he's been through in the past few months. Of course, understanding doesn't mean his attitude endears him to us. However, I felt his character wasn't very consistent and there are things that I don't really get. I think it would have helped if we had more details about his accident. For some reasons, I kept having the feeling it was drunk driving or something like that - but really, it wasn't. Anyway, inconsistency - I find it bizarre that he didn't have more contact with his father and grandmother, even when he was healthy. I found it weird that they didn't move temporarily to take care of him, etc. Mark seems such a loner, but it didn't really fit his personality.

Monroe: It was really odd that he didn’t have more contact with his family and I too wondered about the accident. So in that aspect I felt a bit disconnected from him in the beginning. Like we didn’t know too much about him. I learned to love him once he opened up more and started to like Chelsea. I felt as a reader I got more out of his character.

Nath: I wonder if there was a way for Ms Gibson to make the readers a little bit more sympathetic to him... One thing I do wonder though. Mark was 35 years old already. He might have played a few more years, but realistically, his was at the end of his career... Didn't he think about his future after hockey. I mean, there is a difference between having your career ended abruptly at 20 and 35... I can believe that Mark was very focused and wanted to win the Stanley Cup, but seriously, I find it hard to believe that at 35, he didn't have a back up plan. That his whole life was only woman and hockey.

Monroe: One thing that bothered me was the main plot about how she didn’t tell him about the bonus money. I mean like really... was that an issue?!?!? It was part of her pay. He claimed that was the only reason she stuck around but if he said that he could also say that about her wages in general ya know?!?! So I think the plot could’ve been a bit deeper than that.

Nath: I don't think the bonus money was such a big deal either; however, it was obvious the author wanted it to be. Personally, I don't understand why Chelsea kept it secret or why he'd be so angry about it. Like you say, it would be part of her wages and he knew she was getting paid. Seriously, did he think that she initially stayed for his sunny disposition? That part didn't make much sense to me either. Personally, I felt the ending was rushed. There were a couple of issues such as the breast reduction, Chelsea's acting career, Bo and Jules relationship... and instead of wrapping those loose ends, Ms Gibson focused on a conflict that shouldn't have been a conflict and popped up out of no where :(

Monroe: As for unresolved issues. I felt the only thing I wanted elaborated more was for Bo and Jules story.

Nath: Perhaps they'll be the secondary relationship in the next book as well? What did you think of the whole Derek thing? I don't know, a kid finding his way to a superstar home - I can believe... but to actually get access to that home and even have the superstar train you? It wasn't very realistic, although I liked the interaction between the kid and Chelsea LOL.

Monroe: Ok... the Derek thing... Yes very unrealistic but then again I don’t always look at realistic things when it comes to my books ya know?!?! So that didn’t bother me one bit BUT I will say I read into that MUCH more than what care out. I thought the woman that emailed him about having sex with Mark and him not calling and the Derek thing would’ve been related. I almost thought Derek (while emailing) was the woman trying to trick him. Remember Mark saying he (at first) didn’t remember a Derek??? So I thought that there would be some crazed fan plot…WRONG! Lol But hey it would’ve made for a good twist! ;)

Nath: LOL, you totally read too much into the whole Derek thing! I don't need everything to be realistic, but in a contemporary setting, it's harder to suspend disbelief ^_^; I felt Ms Gibson had an idea with Derek, but she just didn't carry it out. Either she should have taken out the whole Derek episode and focused more on Mark and Chelsea or she should have integrated Derek and kids more into the storyline.

Sigh, am I too harsh? LOL.

Monroe: No, I see all your points!! Are you too harsh or am I too sweet? LOL The world may never know! ;)

Nath: LOL, we need Ames!! She'd be the voice of reason! LOL. So, final say?

Monroe: Overall I thought this was an enjoyable read! Do I like it better than her other hockey books? No, but it did give me my fix of contemp romance like RG always seems to do. There are some areas I felt could’ve gotten more attention like his accident; his family. Like what is Chelsea got to meet them? And maybe we learned about his past and accident through his grandmother? Oh and I kinda wanted to see time go by and her move back to Cali before he came to his senses! lol

Nath: LOL, that would have been a whole different book, Monroe! :) Nothing but Trouble was a fluffy read. This is sometime a good thing, but not in this case. I personally felt that Ms Gibson had a good premise. I think it's always interesting to see how an athlete copes with a career-ending injury, but in this case, it's even more dramatic for Mark, because it was an accident not involving hockey. I would have liked to see Ms Gibson focuses more on that. I felt that Nothing but Trouble lacked depth and as a result, it was pretty superficial. It was a C+ for me.

Monroe: Yes Nothing but Trouble was a fluffy read but I have to say that it overall worked for me. I didn’t read too much into the down plays of the book b/c I thought the ups overshadowed them! =) So I guess we differ in that aspect but hey…makes for good reviews! Lol HOWEVER that being said I have to give Nothing but Trouble a B-.

Wednesday, June 2

June New Releases

Another nice month of releases in sight :) Strangely enough, all of my releases are either at the beginning or at the end of the month... Perhaps it's to give me a chance to keep my TBR pile under control? Naaah LOL.

So what are you looking for? Any books we've forgotten?

June 1

Silent Scream by Karen Rose
published by Grand Central Publishing
When a teenage girl dies in a suspicious fire, Detective Olivia Sutherland is assigned to track down the arsonist. Then she discovers something more sinister: a vicious blackmailer who preys on young people and murders without hesitation. Making her work even harder is sexy firefighter David Hunter. He's not only sharing the case but sparking memories of their long-ago night of passion, when feelings were left unspoken and hearts were broken.

David has his own ghosts, and a million regrets. But while he and Olivia try to face the wall of pain between them, a diabolical puppet master is pulling strings to make a group of twentysomethings do his bidding. Soon Olivia and David are scouring the city for a calculating criminal who seems tantalizingly close--and is moving in for the kill.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Book #11

Nath: I love, love, love Ms Rose!! She's an awesome author and her books are so good! Definitively looking forward to Silent Scream, especially since it's David's story! Finally!!

Ames: I love, love, love Ms. Rose too! LOL And ever since Count to Ten I've been interested in David's story. And seriously, everyone, go read Count to Ten! LOL

Chimera by Rob Thurman
published by New American Library (ROC)
What makes us human...

What makes us unique...

And what makes us kill?

Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak's younger brother was kidnapped. Not a day has passed that Stefan hasn't thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian mafia, he has finally found him. But when he rescues Lukas, he must confront a terrible truth - his brother is no longer his brother. He is a trained, genetically - altered killer. Now, those who created him will do anything to reclaim him.

And the closer Stefan grows to his brother, the more he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him...
Genre: Sci-Fi/fantasy
Series: none

Nath: If I'm not wrong, this is a book Ms Thurman wrote prior to her successful Cal Leandros series (which is great!). I have absolutely no idea if this is the start of a new series or not, but I'm really looking forward to read it. Ms Thurman writes brothers relationship like no others and the circumstances of Stefan and his brother are so different from Niko and Cal, it'll be interesting to discover :D

Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas
published by Berkley
Sixteen-year-old runaway Reagan has always wanted a place to belong. She's never had a real home of her own, but perhaps she could borrow someone else's. Under an assumed name and identity, she moves to Harmony, Texas, but keeps her distance from the welcoming townsfolk. Until prairie fires threaten Harmony-and Reagan learns the true meaning of family, friends, and home.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Harmony trilogy, Book #1

Nath: I've become a fan of Ms Thomas' contemporary romance ever since Twisted Creek. There is just something about her little towns and writing. It puts your mind at ease and let you immerse in the story!! Also, after Holly's review just makes me want to read it more!!

Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase
published by Sourcebooks
He's looking for peace, quiet, and a little romance...

There's never a dull moment when hunky all-star pitcher and shapeshifter Jason Falco invests in an old Boston brownstone apartment building full of supernatural creatures. But when Merry MacKenzie moves into the ground floor apartment, the playboy pitcher decides he might just be done playing the field...

A girl just wants to have fun...

Sexy Jason seems like the perfect fling, but newly independent nurse Merry's not sure she's ready to trust him with her heart... especially when the tabloids start trumpeting his playboy lifestyle.

Then pandemonium breaks loose and Merry and Jason will never get it together without a little help from the vampire who lives in the basement and the werewolf from upstairs...
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: TBA

Nath: Ms Chase is a new author to me. I've come across a review for this book on blogland and the blurb just sounds too cute :D So I'm going to give this a try :)

Crush On You by Christie Ridgeway
Published by Berkley
The Baci sisters are on a mission to save the winery that's been in their family for generations-by transforming it into the perfect wedding destination. If only Alessandra Baci-affectionately known as the "Nun of Napa"-didn't need the help of tempting neighbor and business rival Penn Bennett.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Three Kisses Trilogy #1

Ames: I read Must Love Mistletoe at the beginning of the year (thanks to Monroe!) and I've been interested in this author ever since. This one sounds cute!

Monroe: I have become a big Christie Rigeway fan ever since I read Must Love Mistletoe (like Ames said ;) so of course Im gonna get this one!!!

Colters' Lady by Maya Banks
Published by Samhain
Can their love give her the strength to overcome the tragedy in her past?

Colters’ Legacy, Book 2

When police officer Seth Colter sees the delicate, shabbily dressed beauty in line at the soup kitchen where he’s serving, he’s gut shot over the idea of her being on the streets cold and alone. More baffling is the dark, possessive instinct that tells him she belongs to him.

For Lily Weston, home is a secluded nook in a back alley—until Seth offers her a place to stay. She’s wary of his offer, but even one night out of the cold is too much temptation to resist.

Seth is convinced Lily is his. The problem is, when his brothers lay eyes on her, the same primitive instinct comes roaring to the surface. The Colters never imagined they’d follow the unconventional path of their fathers, but they can’t ignore their mutual need to offer Lily their protection—and their love. But before Lily and the brothers can forge a future together, they must heal the deep wounds of her past.
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: connected to Colters' Woman

Ames: Colters' Woman is a favorite re-read of mine. Whatever I love about that book I haven't really found in Ms. Banks' other works (she still writes good stuff, don't get me wrong) - but I'm hopeful for this one. Maybe too hopeful? We shall see.

Monroe: Ames got me to read Ms. Banks (started with Colters' Woman) a while back and DANG THAT WOMAN WRITES SOME HOT STORIES! This is a auto-buy for me!

June 8

Lost and Found by Kelly Jamieson
Published by Samhain
To find happiness, first you have to find yourself.

Krissa has always been the responsible one. Driven to fulfill her mother’s abandoned dreams, to make her husband Derek happy. She’s brought that single-minded determination to the one dream she has for herself—a child. Except she and Derek can’t conceive, and Derek refuses to consider using a stranger’s sperm. The result? Guilt that her desperation is causing their marital rift.

The last thing they need is a long-term houseguest, but Derek’s best friend Nate, a nomadic photographer recovering from a career-threatening eye disorder, has nowhere else to go.

Nate thought his friends’ home would be a temporary haven from the grief that has dogged his heels since his wife died. Instead he’s in the middle of a marriage in meltdown. Soon their friendship develops an underlying hum of forbidden sexual tension. When Krissa proposes a wild idea—that Nate be their sperm donor—Derek has an even wilder proposal: bypass the fertility clinic and accept Nate’s donation straight from the source.

At first, Krissa believes she’s on the fast track to having her dream. But it quickly becomes clear that when the heart gets involved—and secrets are revealed—the simplest of arrangements can become entangled beyond belief. Or repair…
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: n/a

Ames: I like Ms. Jamieson's writing and I look forward to reading this one. It sounds hot!

Shining in the Sun by Alex Beecroft
Published by Samhain
Damn it, a man shouldn’t always have to be afraid…

Alec Goodchilde has everything a man could want—except the freedom to be himself. Once a year, he motors down to an exclusive yacht club on the Cornish coast and takes the summer off from the trap that is his life.

When his car breaks down, leaving him stranded on the beach, he’s transfixed by the sight of a surfer dancing on the waves. The man is summer made flesh. Freedom wrapped up in one lithe package, dripping wet from the sea.

Once a year, Darren Stokes takes a break from his life of grinding overwork and appalling relatives, financing his holiday by picking up the first rich man to show an interest. This year, though, he’s cautious—last summer’s meal ticket turned out to be more pain than pleasure.

Even though Alec is so deep in the closet he doesn’t even admit he’s gay, Darren finds himself falling hard—until their idyllic night together is shattered by the blinding light of reality…
Genre: M/M Romance
Series: n/a

Ames: I read False Colors by Alex Beecroft at the beginning of this year and it's going to be one of my top reads for the year - I know this. LOL I am curious to see how she writes contemporaries. Another one I'm really looking forward to.

June 22

Twice Tempted by a Rogue by Tessa Dare
Published by Randomhouse
The daring members of the Stud Club are reckless gamblers and no strangers to risk—until love raises the stakes in Twice Tempted by a Rogue.

Luck is a double-edged sword for brooding war hero Rhys St. Maur. His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield, while fate allowed the murder of his good friend in the elite gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club. Out of options, Rhys returns to his ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire, expecting anything but a chance at redemption in the arms of a beautiful innkeeper who dares him to take on the demons of his past—and the sweet temptation of a woman’s love.
Meredith Maddox believes in hard work, not fate, and romance isn’t part of her plan. But when Rhys returns, battle-scarred, world-weary, and more dangerously attractive than ever, the lovely widow is torn between determination and desire. As a deep mystery and dangerous smugglers threaten much more than their passionate reckoning, Meredith discovers that she must trust everything to a wager her heart placed long ago.
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Stud Club #2

Ames: I haven't read book 1 in this series yet but since I like Tessa's writing, I'm not worried, I know I'll have a good time reading this book. :P

Nath: I still haven't read book 1 yet, so I'm going to wait before buying this one... but it is on my radar :)

June 29

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
published by St. Martin's Press
As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man-just to avoid spinsterhood?

Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix's friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul-and it's becoming clear that Christopher won't come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru's disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru's letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep and when Christopher comes home, he's determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix's innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love-and a passion that can't be denied.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Hathaways series, Book #5

Nath: Last book in the Hathaways series, I believe :D This is the book Ames and I have been looking forward to :) I really want to read Beatrix's book because she's unconventional and free-spirited. I don't think Ms Kleypas has ever written a heroine like Beatrix. LOL, let see into which kind of troubles Beatrix will find herself in!

Ames: Like nath said, this is the book I've been waiting for the most out of this series. And the premise for it sounds so interesting! And she loves animals! LOL

Monroe: Its Lisa Kleypas...enough said!

Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery
published by HQN Books
Back in high school, Liz Sutton had been the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, but she still captures the heart of the most popular boy in town. Until Ethan Hendrix betrays her. Devastated and pregnant, Liz leaves town. Now, years later, she must return and face the man who doesn't know of their son's existence.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Fool's Gold trilogy, Book #2

Nath: Everyone has authors that they can't give up, no matter how disappointing the books have been. Ms Mallery is one of my authors ^_^; There's been a lot more misses than hits by Ms Mallery for me in the past two years... but still, I just can't give her up :P So I'm going to get this one and it's a good thing for me that I like secret baby plot :D

A Summer in Sonoma by Robyn Carr
published by HQN Books
They’ve been best friends since seventh grade. But this summer, teetering on the threshold of thirty, four women are going to need each other more than ever.

CASSIE has sworn off romance after yet another bad date. Yet deep down, she’s still looking for Mr. Forever. A long-haired biker doesn’t figure into her plans, so where’s the harm in touring the back roads of Sonoma on a Harley with Walt Arneson?

JULIE married her high school sweetheart—who can get her pregnant with a mere glance—too young and now wonders how her life became all about leaky faucets and checkbook balances. Maybe love isn’t enough to sustain the hottest couple in town.

MARTY’S firefighter husband has forgotten all about romance, and an old flame begins to look mighty tempting.

BETH, a busy doctor trapped in a body that’s betrayed her yet again, is becoming a difficult patient and a secretive friend.

Life can change in an instant...or a summer. And having old friends to lean on can only up the chances of happily ever after.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: TBA

Nath: Hmmm, this is a surprise release for me. I didn't know Ms Carr had a new book coming out this year after the trilogy... but it's a good surprise :D Hopefully, this will be more romance than women fiction, but either way, I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a nice break from her Virgin River series in my opinion, for both the author and the readers :)

I Kissed an Earl by Julie Anne Long
Published by Avon
Violet Redmond’s family and fortune might be formidable and her beauty and wit matchless—but her infamous flare for mischief keeps all but the most lionhearted suitors at bay. Only Violet knows what will assuage her restlessness: a man who doesn’t bore her to tears, and a clue to the fate of her missing brother. She never dreamed she’d find both with a man whose own pedigree is far from impeccable.

“Savage,” is what the women of the ton whisper about the newly styled Earl of Ardmay—albeit with shivers of pleasure. Born an English bastard, raised on the high seas, he’s on a mission to capture a notorious pirate. But while Violet’s belief in her brother’s innocence maddens him, her courage awes him…and her sensuality finally undoes him. Now the man who once lost everything and the girl who has everything to lose are bound by a passion that could either end in betrayal…or become everything they ever dreamed.
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Pennyroyal Green #4

Ames: I really really like Ms. Long's writing. I've been waiting for a release from her what feels like forever and I've had my eye on this upcoming release for quite some time. :P

Fatal Circle by Linda Robertson
published by Simon & Schuster
There was a time when Persephone Alcmedi thought her life was hard to manage, what with wondering how to make sure she took adequate care of both her grandmother and her foster daughter, Beverley, whether she'd end up in the unwanted position of high priestess of a coven, and whether her werewolf lover, Johnny, would resist the groupies who hang around his band Lycanthropia.

But that was before the fairies started demanding that Seph's frightening, unpredictable ally-the ancient vampire Menessos- be destroyed... or the world will suffer. Seph and Menessos are magically bonded, but that's a secret she dares not reveal to her fellow witches lest they be forced to reject her and forbid her use of magic. And, despite the strain this casts on her relationship with Johnny, as a showdown with the fairies nears, she and Menessos badly need the wærewolves as allies.

Life, death, and love are all on the line, but when destiny is calling, it doesn't help to turn away. With the individual threads of their fates twisted inextricably together, can Seph, Johnny, and Menessos keep the world safe from fairy vengeance?
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Persephone Alcmedi, Book #3

Nath: This is going to be my honorable mention in this post. LOL, I haven't read this series yet, but I'm planning to. If I like the two books, I'll definitively be getting this one :)