Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hot Item by Carly Phillips

Seen on the sidelines . . .

What star quarterback has been spotted with a new flavor of arm candy? It's notorious bad boy Riley Nash, but his newest flame is the last person this reporter could imagine—none other than Sophie Jordan, beautiful, buttoned-down co-owner of The Hot Zone, the industry's top sports management agency.

What's behind this unlikely team? Some say it has to do with the sudden disappearance of super agent Spencer Atkins. Could there be a connection between the red-hot quarterback and the missing dealmaker? Or has the famous groupie magnet simply met his perfect match in cool, collected Sophie? Watch this space, because the resulting news is bound to be one Hot Item.

Sophie Jordon along with her two sisters, one older one younger, was raised by her Uncle Yank from a very young age. Both parents being killed in a plane accident the girls learned early what unexpected heartache life brings. Each relying on their own different ways to cope.

Sophie's comfort comes from being able to control things. Her life, those in it. And if she cannot control it she needs to fully understand it. So when her Uncles best friend, and co-owner of the Athlete's Only and The Hot Zone Spencer Atkins goes MIA Sophia gets a little nervous. Ever since she became a partner at The Hot Zone Spence has always been in his office ready for business at 9am sharp, never late, no exceptions. But the day after all the papers picked up on the gossip about him being gay (the true gossip) Spencer changes his way and becomes a no show.

Sophie soon finds herself with an unexpected companion in her quest to find Spence. None other than the only athlete to ever make her hot, Riley Nash, professional football star. And the bigger shock? Spense is Riley's biological father. All his life Riley has known who his father was but never had contact with him, although he did everything in his power to be noticed. Blessed with a natural talent and love for football he was sure his father the Sports Agent would recognize him and accept him, but that doesn't happen. So Riley decided long ago he needed nobody especially not his father, but Sophie makes his heart flip and stomach flop. How can he a firm believer in doing what he wants when he wants, no rules at all fit with a control obsessed woman?

So with his own issues on being rejected and Sophie's issues with needing to control everything it should be painfully obvious that they don't work. Except for that the burning heat between them, and how they seem to understand each other so well without any words makes a mockery of all their intentions to tell themselves and each other it won't work.

So go pick up the book and see how these two overcome their childhood issues, interfering Uncles, gay fathers, and bratty teenage daughter.

Funny, interesting, and sexy, a must read in my book.

Grade: B

Read the Series in order:
Hot Stuff
Hot Number
Hot Item

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Check it out!!!

Anne Rainey got her cover for her first book Haley's Cabin! What do you all think?
You know how much of a cover snob I am and I don't think it's bad. That's saying a lot. haha. The girl is actually pretty and doesn't have a stupid damsel in distress look on her face, and the guys body? Can you say YUMMY! Granted I think his areolas are oddly big and pointed, lol, but his tummy, arm, and chest? Yeah, I'll take some of that.

In general Anne Rainey news things are happening. In January you can look forward to our interview with Anne. Be sure to be here for that while I get all her dirty secrets about her erotic writing, being married and raising her family. And anything else we can think up.

Then in February Haley's Cabin will be on sale! And I personally will be the first one to buy it. And you won't hear me shut up about it till all of you read it too.

So be prepared the time is getting closer.....

And in the mean time keep up to date on her and all her other works in progress on her blog and website.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Girl's Night by Stef Ann Holm

Hero: Vince Tremonti
Heroine: Jillene McDermott
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 376
Grade: B
Buy It: Here or here.

All Jillene McDermott needs is a little breathing room, and the only place she can find it is the bathtub. Her coffee bar, Java the Hut, is on life support, and raising two daughters alone is a full-time job, so quiet moments in the tub are a rare treat.

Knowing their mom deserves some happiness, Jillene's daughters Claire and Faye, write her a personal ad. But their good intentions go wrong and Vince Tremonti, the town's most famous son, has to step in as Jillene's "boyfriend."

Vince is a crime writer who is back in Blue Heron Beach to rethink the grim reality of his career, and he can't afford to get involved with anyone, much less a young widow with a ready-made family.

But thrown together, the two can't deny the mutual attraction and they realize there is more between them than a summer fling. Suddenly, lattes are not the only thing steaming in Blue Heron Beach.

Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself (or out loud, lol) 'they would NEVER say that!'? Well I know I have and that was one of the most refreshing things about this book. Jillene said exactly what she thought. And not in an annoying think before you speak kind of way. Just in the honest truth, lets not have lies complicate things way.

Here's an example:
"I can't." She put her fingertips over her mouth, a mouth bruised from kisses. Shoving herself off the counter she shook her head - a burning embarrassment on her face. Her speech stumbled and was just as unsteady as her legs. "Not with my girls just outside the door. I can't believe I let this happen. They'd never approve of what we were doing."
Vince didn't try to touch her further, but his voice was low and quiet. "They're the ones who threw us together, Jillene."
"Not for this." She buried her face in her hands but with no inclination to cry. "Don't you understand? They don't want a lover for their mother. They want a new dad."
The tick of his wristwatch on the windowsill was the only noise in the room for long, drawn-out seconds.
"I can't be that."
Her chin shot up. "Of course not."
"There will be somebody for you. You're a wonderful-"
"I hate your bullshit, Vince." She surprised even herself with the outburst of indignation.

See it's not that she's some big strong smart mouthed woman. She is just a regular woman that doesn't want any run arounds. She's a mom, she's a business woman, she's plain old a woman. And I loved her.

Vince is great too. He is a true crimes writer and is in a whirlwind of hurt and confusion when he stumbles upon Jillene. He has succeeded immensely in his profession until he picks a new case to write and his world crumbles. He soon finds out that he didn't really pick this case but the killer choose him. Through different events we see how this killer layed everything out from day one and his first kill so that Vince could write his book. He doesn't care that he's in prison, or that he is awaiting the death penalty, he just wants to be famous with a book on him written by Vince. Now Vince is stuck, he is contracted to write this story, and yet how can he? The only time his decisions aren't hunting him is when he is with Jillene and even her girls.But at 42 can he really change his ways? Can he dig his way out of the hole he is in?

This book was sooo great. It had funny stuff with Jillene's 10 and 12 year old girls, hot stuff with Jillene and Vince, a great sub plot with Vince's dad and his lady love, and everything else that went along with a widowed woman trying to save a struggling company and Vince trying to find his way in his predicament.

This is my second book by Stef Ann Holm and I can't wait to read more. Go get something by her, anything and enjoy. Although not related in a series here is the link to Leaving Normal, my first book by her that I also loved.

Friday, November 03, 2006

After The Night by Linda Howard

Hero: Gray Rouillard
Heroine: Faith Devlin
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 327, pb
Grade: B-
Buy It: Here or here.

Faith Devlin: A poor, outcast child in Prescott, Louisiana, she'd always adored the town's golden boy from afar. But he called her white trash that sultry Southern night when his rich, respected father disappeared, along with her pretty Mom. Now Faith wanted to hate Gray Rouillard...not to feel a powerful surge of desire. But she couldn't quench her passion, any more than she could hide the truth about the past she had waited so long to unravel.
Gray Rouillard: Even when he raised hell, he did it with style. Reckless, charming, and backed by Rouillard money, Gray controlled the town of Prescott -- and Devlin was a name he never wanted to hear again. But when he gazed at Faith Devlin, all he saw was a swirl of tangled sheets and her silken flesh beneath him. To care for her was impossible, unthinkable...because Gray Rouillard planned to use all his power to ruin her.

Okay for some reason I've been having trouble putting together reviews lately. And this one was no better, so I'm warning you now this is the only way it was happening, and there might be spoilers. Well there will be, I couldn't explain myself without them.

What I loved: How funny Grey was with Faith after they got together. When they were in bed and she told him about the 'talking in French' when he was with another woman and not with her. So the next time they made love he purposely talked to her in french. I just loved how he was with her. For the most part. He cracked me the hell up in the bathroom "God damn woman! Can't you tell I'm busy in here!" (or something like that)ha ha ah.
I love Faith's red headed temper! She didn't back down, even when she was scared.
She rocked!

My Issues: (there are way more issues than loves) Monica has major issues, and they were never dealt with. She just gets to forget that she was pretending to be her mama for seven years and screwing around with a old family friend? And she said to Faith that she sent the notes and cat but would never do what Alex did. Yet didn't she go to her house with a gun that night??? Hello!!!! She should have been put into a crazy house.
Alex said he killed Guy by accident....ummm how do you shoot someone in the head by accident? And yeah he could have been lying but why did it seem that people still bought it in the end?
Grey never said sorry to Faith for calling her trash that one night. Never explained why he took his anger on her mother out on her.
And I didn't like how Grey cared so much about his crazy mother all through the book, at the expense of Faith, then in the end just told her to shove it basically. She was crazy from the get go.

In ending: Even though I had more issues than loves for this book it ended up being pretty good. It still had me intrigued the entire time. Even if I didn't like the way it was tied up. I really wish it had an epilogue, I wanted to see what happened with Micheal/Monica, Grey/Faith, and the mother, you know after the weddings. But Grey was hot, Faith was awesome so overall it was good.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sunny Chandler's Return by Sandra Brown

Hero: Ty Beaumont
Heroine: Sunny Chandler
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 209, HB
Grade: B-
Buy It: Here, here or here.

Sandra Brown has won over fans and critics throughout
the world with more than fifty New York Times
bestselling novels. Her early works were hailed by
Rendezvous magazine as stories with “larger than life
heroes and heroines [who] make you believe all the
warm, wonderful, wild things in life.” Here is
the unforgettable story of a woman who returns to
her small hometown in the South—and finds
that the sins of her past are right where she left them.

Never. Sunny Chandler always said she’d never go
back to the tiny town where she grew up. It was just
three years ago that she was at the center of a notorious
scandal—and the good folks of Latham Green,
Louisiana, made it clear they’d never let her forget it.
So Sunny packed up and headed for New Orleans, and
now she wouldn’t give up city life for the world. But
when she’s invited to her best friend’s wedding, Sunny
has no choice but to go home. And with her return
come the whispers…the looks…the rumors she tried
to escape. It doesn’t take Sunny long to see that
Latham Green has nothing new to offer. Except
maybe Ty Beaumont.
The moment Ty and Sunny first meet at a party, he can
see she’s no ordinary woman. With her dazzling hair,
and eyes the color of gold, she’s a flesh-and-blood
fantasy—and Ty vows he’ll have her in his bed before
the week is out. Yet even when he turns on his southern
charm, Sunny makes it clear she’s not interested.
Sure, a night with Ty would be wilder than Bourbon
Street at Mardi Gras. But Sunny’s not in town to
become some good ol’ boy’s latest conquest, no matter
how sexy he is. Little does she know that Ty
isn’t used to taking no for an answer—and he isn’t
about to start now.

Soon what began as an innocent flirtation becomes
a tantalizingly slow, skillfully deliberate, and
overwhelmingly seductive pursuit that even Sunny
finds hard to resist. But resist him she will. For
Sunny is harboring an agonizing secret—the painful
truth of why she left Latham Green the way she did.
What she really needs now is a friend—and that’s when
she discovers there may be more to Ty Beaumont
than meets the eye. Despite his roguish facade, Sunny
comes to see he has a heart of gold. Still, she doesn’t
know if she can trust another person with her secret
heartbreak—not even the one man who may
be able to heal it.

I love Sandra Brown, especially the way she can write anything from a spine chilling thriller to a plain and simple romance. Well not really, cause there isn't much plain and simple about Sunny Chandler in this book.

Sunny's finally returned home after the scandal she caused all those years ago. And for nothing less than a wedding, her best friends. Quite ironic since a wedding is what caused the scandal to start with. Most likely it didn't help that she refuses to tell anyone why she did what she did, not her parents, not her best friend no one. So why one night, when the man that has been pursuing her since she came back to town, does she pour out her soul bearing all her secrets? Well no other reason except Ty makes her defy all reason. He's openly told her he wants to sleep with her, and in much more detail, that he's even bet on it with a buddy. So why can she not stay away from him? The more things turn against her in her home town the more she shares with him, and he really seems to understand. He's not judging her, and he believes in her. The more she gets to know him the harder it is to resist. And the more Ty pursues Sunny and the more she resists he realizes that there just might be more to it than getting her to bed, he just might be falling for her. And wouldn't that be bad with the secret she's holding on to.

This was a cute book, it was funny and a little sad. I was a little surprised with the scandal. Not the why of it, that's fairly easy to figure out. But the way she did it and her reasons for not telling. I liked Ty too, he was pretty arrogant but it worked as Sandra Brown has a way of doing with her hero's. It was a light fast read, nothing spectacular but still a good read.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Seduction by Design by Sandra Brown

Hero: Tyler Scott
Heroine: Hailey Ashton
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 183
Grade: C+
Buy It: Here

Hailey Ashton projects an image that she's on top of everything, but no one realizes that she lives a life of quiet emptiness -- not ready to have a relationship, not willing to give herself body and soul to a man. Never able to compete with her younger sister, the thoughtless beauty of the family, Hailey opted to be the "good girl." But when she meets Tyler Scott -- her rich, attractive new boss -- she longs to be anything but good.

Let me start off by telling you all I LOVE Sandra Brown. I've never hated a book by her. I mean of course I like some more than others, but a trait I love of hers is that she can make me like the most unlikable. Also this particular book was published back in the early 80's so some of the ways the characters act and dress are off. But in saying that.....

Haily has been managing at a theme park for four years now and loves her job. She is efficient and dependable. She never has viewed herself as beautiful, passably pretty maybe but beautiful? No that's for her younger sister Ellen. Ellen has never had to stick with a job, or be very smart her looks and personality have always gotten her by. But Haily has always been the one to go to, the dependable one. Even as her parents were sick and passing away she took care of them and they asked for Ellen.

So imagine her shock when there is a young girl at the theme park that needs her help and the girls father ends up being her boss that she's never met. And further more he tells her straight out that he intends to seduce her.

Now this is not normally a set up for a book that I would like. The hero actually says "I am going to seduce you" during the second conversation they have and then goes on to tell her how great he is and that he is attracted to her so what's the problem.

Throw a young girl in the mix, 11 years old. She has never lived with her father but her mother just passed away so she is adjusting to loosing her mother getting to know her father and needing a woman to go to for motherly things.

This is our story in a nut shell. And although SB wrote the book well enough for me to get over the blunt way Tyler starts off with Haily I could not get over the way the daughter talked. I mean she was 11 years old and I personally don't know any 11 year olds that say "Gee" before or after everything they say. Uggg, drove me up the wall.

But over all? I liked. I mean come on it is Sandra Brown did you expect anything less from me? lol.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Stealing Heaven by Madeline Hunter

Hero: Marcus of Anglesmore
Heroine: Nesta verch Llygad
Category: Medieval Historical
Page Count: 370
Grade: B+
Buy It: Here

Nationally bestselling author Madeline Hunter has thrilled her legions of fans with sensuous novels of intrigue, adventure, and romance. Now she weaves a spectacular tale of an English knight, a Welsh rebel, and a relationship that would defy their world and everything they believed possible between a man and a woman...

Stealing Heaven

Marcus of Anglesmore was not at all happy about being betrothed by the king to a woman he’d never laid eyes on. So when the brooding English knight accidentally came across her in a moonlit garden, he was both surprised--and delighted. Intelligent, charming, and beautiful, she was the most captivating woman he’d ever met. But the magic of that enchanted moment is soon shattered by cold reality: Nesta is not the woman he is to marry, but her sister. Of all the women Marcus might desire, none could be more dangerous than the wild and tantalizing Welsh witch with secret ties to both rebellion and king. For Nesta, no one could jeopardize her plans more than a man who would know the secrets of both her heart...and her body. Yet the course of their lives--and the destinies of their two nations--will be forever altered as they defy everything to surrender to the most daring seduction of all....

Have you ever started a book by a new author, a little hesitant and then get thrown off reading it cause someone says something negative about said author? That's what happened to me.
I have never read Madeline Hunter, but she was so nice at the book fair I went to, and I was craving a goo Medieval book, so I picked up her Stealing Heaven. I started reading it, enjoying it but still getting a feel for it when I told a friend I was trying her out. Well my friend said she read a MH book before and it was sooo dry, she finished that book but never picked her up again. OH NO! I tried but couldn't bring myself to read anymore, I had been in a reading funk and didn't want to break it with a bad book. So Take Me by Lucy Monroe came out and I've been waiting for it. So I picked that book up and devoured it! LOVED it, that review will be up next. When I finished TM I picked SH back up and.....couldn't put it down!!!! I have no idea what book my friend read by MH but this one???? Sooooo not a dry moment! So lets get on with it....

Marcus has been commanded to marry a Welsh woman that he's never met, and he's not happy about it. Especially when said woman has been pretending to be ill to put off the marriage to him. So he steals away into her home to confront her and take what's his, to his surprise she is in the the middle of the night. He goes to her and is swept away by her beauty and her wit. They share a magical kiss and some caresses, but the light of day brings many surprises for him. The next day he goes to call on his future bride and finds the woman he shared a magical moment with the night before is none other than his intendeds sister....and the whore of his King.

Nesta should not have allowed him to kiss her, she knew that. But when he came to her so brazen she could not hold a thought. Her body called to this man, the man promised to her sister. But it was of no consequence (so she told herself) since even though her sister was promised to him she would not be marrying him. Nesta and her father (before he passed) had made bigger plans that would not be thwarted by an English Knight and a King trying to make amends.

Now when I started off reading this, I we go, I've read this story line before. They are on opposing sides of a 'war' and one will betray the other, they will fight and one I will hate. But it was sooo not the case and this book seriously swept me away.

Nesta is a strong woman (no she does not have penis envy and she does not take stupid risks trying to be a man), she knows her place in the grand scheme of things and knows that even if her heart is betraying her she must listen to her head. She tells herself that the happiness of one woman, herself, is so inconsequential in what she has dedicated her life to for the last few years.

Marcus knows that Nesta has ties to the Welsh rebellion and further more knows not to underestimate her. She's pulled one over on him once and it won't happen again. But as time passes and Marcus decides to have her as his own he needs to find a way to save her, from herself and the consequences that may come of her actions if they are found out. HE knows that he is falling for a strong and honorable woman and that woman no matter what her heart is telling her will not turn her back on her cause. And he admits to himself he wouldn't be falling for her is she was a woman that would. And Nesta knows the same of him.

They come together in truces at night and sharing themselves with each other in the sweetest of abandon ... yet they know with the light of each day they are enemies. They both do what they have to and pray that maybe there will be a way for them .... one day ... but they don't hold much hope.

As the book progressed I kept thinking 'okay now I'm gonna see that one side is right and one is wrong and then I'll know who is being stupidly stubborn' but I didn't. I was just as torn as they both were. In the end neither of them turned on their honor and .... well you'll just have to read to see how they end up.

I know your wondering what happened to the sister he was originally supposed to marry, and what about the King that Nesta was said to be the whore of? Well somethings cannot be said without ruining the book....sorry.

I would have given it an A maybe even and A+ but for one reason....I never cried. I know some of you are like "WHAT???" but I feel like a book filled with this much honor and passion should draw some kind of strong emotion from me. And since it didn't I am forced to give a VERY GOOD book a B+ instead. But I still say RUN AND BUY IT AND READ IT NOW!!!

Read it in order though! I didn't have that opportunity, grrr!:
By Possession
By Design
Stealing Heaven
By Arrangement

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Take Me by Lucy Monroe

Hero: Jared Viscount Ravenswood
Heroine: Calantha Duchess of Clairborne
Category: Historical
Page Count: 321
Grade: A+
Buy It: Here or here.
Jared, Viscount Ravenswood, has no choice but to honor the deathbed wish of his ailing servant. All she asks is that Jared introduce her soon-to-be orphaned daughter to the notorious and reclusive Calantha, Duchess of Clairborne. No ordinary request, for this is no ordinary child. She is, in fact, the key to the Duchess's most private secrets and to Jared's own past-one that has branded him a Lord Beast amount the ton.
But when the Viscount meets the Duchess, he finds not the pitiless dowager he expected, but a lovely and wary angel=survivor of a brutal marriage left now with only her roses and the breathtaking mystery that is her life. For Jared, to solve that puzzle is to fall in love, to make Cali believe in the impossible, and to follow the promise that comes with the most intimate whisper of all...

***I am so pissed right now, I spent a half hour writing up a review on this book and it all freaking got deleted by blogger!***
O.M.G.! Talk about a phenomenal book! I could not put this book down for a second. That is after I got over the cover, I know I know I'm a cover snob. But you know what? I never said I wasn't so lets go there for a second, shall we. Okay now. The heroine....Calantha is supposed to be taller than most women but still delicate and almost frail. The hero....Jared is called Lord Beast, he is huge, massive, he has a scar down his face and even as Calantha is tall he towers over her. So our first problem? They are almost the same height...second, Jared looks like a fruit ball, what the heck is he doing with that rose? tickling her....third, Calantha looks like a linebacker, her shoulders are freaking huge! And she is not all that pretty. And what, is Jared tickling her with the rose causing a tickle on her thigh so she has to scrunch up her skirt? Okay, done rant....moving on the the excellent book.

Calantha has learned the hard way not to show her feelings, not to get close to people and to fear men. She was married to a horrible man, that used her loved ones against her, and always belittled her. Calantha did what she could to protect herself, she cut off her friends, she built up a wall of ice around her heart so not to feel and she never thought she'd look at a man again.....that's why Jared scared her so much. Yes, all the ton feared him. But not for the same reasons. They feared his looks and his impatience. He was scared, he was huge, the debs trembled in his presence. Calantha thawed in his presence, that ever present ice around her heart melted just a little each time. She saw his scar and saw a hero, she saw his size and felt protection, which was the strangest of all. After her record with men why should a man of such proportions make her feel safe, when she didn't even know him?

Jared was a strong man in both physical stature and honor. He made a promise to his dying friend on her death bed, he would take her daughter that he has raised and loved as his own to The Angel, as the ton has dubbed her. He knows what happened to Mary to get her pregnant, and cannot help but feel that woman she wants him to introduce to her daughter Hannah is a cold hearted Bitch. He is used to the way the girls of the ton cringe in his presence and the way servants snap to attention or tremble when he's near. So when he finally meets Calantha he is shocked by so many contradictions in her character.

As Cali and Jared find truths about each other and why they have been put together, they also find a friendship that runs deep. And a mutual love for a lost little girl. But what that friendship grows to becomes endangered when someone is out to frame Cali for a kidnapping and possible murder of that same little girl. As evidence mounts against her she is thrown back into defending herself from what she hasn't done, while Jared is fighting his own battle of wanting to have faith in a woman he is growing to care so much for and believing the blanted evidence.

This book knocked me on my ass. I cried for two chapters straight! I LOVED EVERY SINGLE WORD WRITTEN!!! Cali never became that heroine that knew better and could do it all. NO she depended on Jared when need be, never put herself in unnecessary danger, and was just about perfect. Jared was the perfect sensitive alpha male. Perfect mix. The only person that annoyed me in this book was Tessa, and only a little. She does something (or says) to/about Cali that is so wrong and mean and I don't think she honestly made up for it enough. It had surprises and everything. This book is just about as perfect as they come. So go get it. Don't put it on a list, get up and go get it NOW!!! My favorite of the series!!!

Read them in order:
Touch Me
Tempt Me
Take Me

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie

Hero: Alex
Heroine: Nina
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 224, hb
Grade: A
Buy It: Here or here.
Part basset, part beagle, all Cupid . . . can a matchmaking hound fetch a new love for his owner?

For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom -- from the ex-husband whose career always came first, from their stuffy suburban home. Freedom to have her own apartment in the city, freedom to focus on what she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed -- a puppy. A bouncy puppy to cheer her up. Instead she gets . . . Fred.

Overweight, smelly and obviously suffering from some kind of doggy depression, Fred is light-years from perky. But for all his faults, he does manage to put Nina face-to-face with Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger downstairs neighbor.

Alex looks great on paper -- a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E.R. doctor who shares Fred's abiding love for Oreos -- but a ten-year difference in age, despite his devastating smile, is too wide a gap for Nina to handle. Ignoring her insistent best friend, some interfering do-gooders and the ubiquitous Fred -- not to mention her suddenly raging hormones -- Nina thinks anyone but Alex would be a better bet for a relationship. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it's the young dog-loving doctor she wants to sit and stay!

Nina has wanted a dog practically from the day her and Guy got married, he didn't. It should have been a sign. 15 years later she's divorced and ready to get her dog. It's her 40th birthday and she wants a perky happy puppy, what she leaves with is Fred. An older overweight depressed dog, but what does it matter when he makes her happy? That's what she wanted all along. But living on the third floor makes it a bit difficult for him to do his thing, especially without an elevator, so she teaches him to go down the fire escape out the window. All is fine until one time he doesn't come back.....

Fred seems to have found a new friend, he's climbed into the second story window instead of his third floor one, and meets Alex. Alex has been an ER doctor for awhile, his family has been harping on him to choose a profession. It would seem he has but coming from a long line of specialist doctors an ER doctor is NOT a profession. It's also been hard in the dating field, every woman he dates is ready to settle down and sprout children, Alex isn't ready for marriage let alone the fact that he doesn't want children. But when he meets Fred and returns him to his owner he thinks he just might have meet the right woman.

Because of a ten year age gap Nina is very weary of anything romantic with Alex. She's come up with every excuse, his age, his maturity, his .... well everything. But nothing can change the feelings she has every time he is near, or every time she thinks of him for that matter.

Alex doesn't care about Nina's age, and is determined to make sure she doesn't care either. He wants her to see him as a grown man worthy of her. But he still is weary to make THE move, scared she'll turn away and his chance will be lost.

With Nina's best friend that has the black thumb in relationships writing a book on her love life and pushing Nina into SOMETHING with Alex. And their 75 year old upstairs neighbor and her 63 year old boyfriend also dropping hints to how age never matters. And everything else Nina and Alex are fighting an uphill battle. Throw in Alex's older brother Max that's struggling with his life decisions and an alcoholic, cardiac surgeon father this book adds up to lots of fun and a great romance. Hell throw in a red lace incredi bra while we're at it too. This is the closest to a Bet Me book. I loved it! The entire feel of the story, the banter, the dog it just makes a perfect Crusie book. Were there faults? Sure I think Charity and Max should have had some type of ending weather together or with someone else. In the end Alex went a little over board with what he was doing to prove to Nina he was mature and stable enough for her, but he smartened up. So like I said, this one rates #2 right next to Bet Me. A definite great read. Go Get It!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New Jersey Romance Writers Book Fair

On saturday I went to the book fair for New Jersey Romance Writers! I went with Rene Lyons and it was soooo freaking cool. We had a blast. Well we had a blast after she found me since I got lost (nothing new) and had to pull over and her and her husband tracked me down. lol. But that's besides the point.

We get there and Rene introduces me to some of her friends she's already made. Stella, Jennifer (can't find a link for her), Bianca, and Suzette. Great women! I can't wait to try their stuff, well except for Suzette, she's a reader like me.

So we go in and Rene is jumping outta her skin she's so excited, not that I can't say the same for me, but she was so cute about it.

Oh and side note, next time I go to meet up with my VERY short friend I shouldn't wear my 5 inch heeled boots! Uggg, and I'm not all that tall to start with at only 5'4". Whatever, back to the story....

Like I was saying, we weren't sure they'd let me in since it was before the thing actually started and the authors were setting up, but I just pranced in next to Rene like I belonged. lol. We were walking around trying to find her table and at the same time reading all the other names of authors that were going to be there and trying to be all calm. Yeah, that wasn't working.

So lets get on with who was there, besides the very talented Rene Lyons.

Eloisa James~ Who was selling all books I already read so I got her to sign a cover of her soon to be released book. She was so nice. Her son was with her and he looked just like her, he must have been around 8. So I told him how handsome he was and he said something about signing it too. I don't thing Eloisa thought I'd want him to or anything but I handed it to him and told him I'd love his signature too. But then he got all shy and said no thanks. They were both so sweet and nice.

Madeline Hunter~ She was sooo nice! I never read her before so I'm standing at her table and on the phone with Holly and MH looks at me and says "trying to get your tbr list?" so I laugh and ask her what kind of books she writes and if they are series. So she's going on about them all and filling me in, then she points to one and is all "this one's medieval times" and I go to Holly "what's that really? Like A Kingdom of Dreams by JM?" and she's all "yeah, kinda" so I give it to MH and say "I'll take this one." she laughed at me and signed it to me. The one I got was called Stealing Heaven.

Jennifer Crusie~ OMG I love love love her stuff. Well Bet Me is one of my all time favorite books! EVER! So I bought Anyone but You from her and she was very nice and signed it. I also told her how much I loved Bet Me, that it was one of my top 5 favorite books (something she's probably heard a million times before) and that Don't Look Down was the first book I did a write up on here at SF.

Victoria Alexandra was also there, but the same thing went. I had all her books so I got a book marker from her. Ummmm, Mariah Stewart, who I got a book signed by but when I got home I didn't have it! Suck! I must have layed it down somewhere and left it. Sooo mad.

Joy Nash~ I had heard of her before but never read her. Celtic Fire was a book I've been eying though. So I asked her about it, and she told me all about it and the next one and we just chatted up a bit about cover art and stuff like that. She was very nice. I bought Celtic Fire.

Jade Lee~ I read one book by her awhile ago called White Tigress (I think). It was very different, set in China, and all about The Tigress. Here's what the back of her book says what The Tigress is: the Chinese symbol for female sexuality: the counterpart of the "male" Dragon: a priestess of a Taoist sect. The books are all about reaching Immortality through all this sexual stuff. Very erotic, and informative about different believes. I enjoyed the first have the second one waiting, Hungry Tigress (again I think that's the title) and I bought Desperate Tigress from her at the fair.

and at the last minute I saw...

Cheyenne McCray~ I got Forbidden Magic. The woman Suzette I meet swore she was great. So I'm holding you to this Suzette! Hear me!!! lol. She was really nice though and I told her how great her covers are. Yeah, did I mention to all of you I'm a cover whore??? lol.

So those are the books I got, it was great. I wish I could have gone out to dinner with Rene and the other girls but I had an hour drive and Josh was home alone all day and not feeling well. So you know what they say 'the bigger the men, the bigger the baby'. Soooo true. lol.

But good times were had.

OH WAIT!!! I forgot to tell you! I almost hugged Hannah Howell! No you are not seeing things I really wrote that! Yup, I was standing next to Rene at her table and she's signing this book to someone and I'm thinking "why is Rene all shaky and stuff?" then I hear Renee say something Ms. Howell and I touched the woman's arm and said "What's your name?" she says "Hannah" and I go "Hannah who?" and Rene pipes in with "Ummm, that's Hannah Howell Nicole." and I go "OMG! I didn't see you at the table with your name! I was looking for you. OMG OMG!" and she's all "Oh sorry, they didn't send my books." I was all "WHAT! OMG would you sign my shirt?" she looked at me kinda nutty but said sure and did. lol I thought the woman was going to run from me. lol. Oh and no I'm not that crazy it wasn't the shirt I was wearing, it was a shirt I bought to get signed.

(no pictures cause blogger was annoying me, and I didn't' want to do it the hard way. Yeah, yeah, I'm lazy. Go here to Rene's blog and see her's.)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I'm In No Mood for Love by Rachel Gibson

Hero: Sebastian Vaughan
Heroine: Clare Wingate
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 359/paperback
Buy It: Here, or here.

What is Clare Wingate doing? One minute she's suffering in a pretty-in-pink gown she'll never wear again, and the next thing she knows it's morning . . . and she has the nastiest hangover of her life.
To make matters worse, she's wearing nothing but a spritz of Escada and lying next to Sebastian Vaughan . . . her girlhood crush turned sexy, globe-hopping journalist. Somewhere between the toast and the toss of the bouquet she'd gotten herself into a whole lot of trouble.

Clare had the right to go wild-after all, she'd been knocked off her dyed-to-match shoes after finding her own fiancé in a compromising position with the washing machine repairman. Clearly her society wedding is off.

But Sebastian pushed all the wrong buttons-and some of the right ones, too. Clare is in no mood for love-not even for lust-and wants to forget about Sebastian and his six-pack abs ASAP. But he isn't in the mood to go away, and his kiss is impossible to forget.

Ever since buying and reading Sex, Lies, and Online Dating, just about a year ago, I've been dying for Rachel Gibson's next book, I'm In No Mood For Love. It's the second in a series she's writing about 4 girl friends who are all fiction authors. And I wasn't disappointed.

Clare is a historical romance author and she loves her job, even if her mother tells all her friends that she writes woman's fiction and refuses to call it what it really is. Clare's completely happy with her life until the day of one of her best friends wedding when she runs back home and finds the Sears repair man riding her fiance on the floor of her walk in closet.

The next morning she wakes up with a huge hang over and not really remembering to much. But when she looks at the bed she's in and finds her self naked except for her pink thong in a hotel room it's obvious she didn't spend it alone. But before she can escape he's there, the worst person she could even think up. The boy who teased her, hit her and tricked her every chance he got grew up to be a very handsome man. Sebastian is a girls wet dream, with his green eyes, wicked smile, and body to drool over.

After a very embarrassing conversation with Sebastian, mostly cause she didn't remember anything and Sebastian is still teasing her, Clare escaped with what dignity she could. Then went home to face her reality. She cleaned house-so to speak, and decided to stay clear of men for awhile. But before Sebastian is off they share a hot kiss. And a few months later it's a make-out session in her mother pantry, and about a month or so later they stop lying to themselves and give in to the passion burning between them.

After mistakenly thinking they could rid themselves of each other after a night full of hot kinky sex they decide to just be friends that have sex, no strings attached. Great for Sebastian that cannot handle the R word or C word (that's relationship or commitment if you weren't sure), and great for Clare who doesn't mind a few multiple orgasms with Mr. Right Now while she waits for Mr. Right.

But when Clare finds herself in love with another man that doesn't love her back, she takes a stand. And that's when it gets really good. But I'm not gonna tell you the rest. You'll have to go read this to find out how Sebastian reacts, what he does, what she does.....and a lot more.

This book is full of men reading romance, men getting drug around shopping by a shopaholic, a father and son finding a relationship that had gotten forgotten, kick ass girl friends, some sexy banter with our H&H, a lot of laughter (even some tears for me) and that's not even mentioning a flipping fine hero and an awesome heroine.
So go get the book and read it!

Quote from Sebastian (after Clare asks if he heard what she said to him):

"Yeah. You assume I don't see myself married because I want to 'conquer' lots of different women and eat their Lucky Charms and Tasty O's."

....then after he corners her in her mothers pantry

"I want to talk about eating you like a Tasty O. I want to talk about all the things I want to do to you. Then we can talk about all the things I want you to do to me."

Oh wait.....the parts I didn't like? Hmmmm, even a favorite like RG had something that bothered me. There was something on page 182 that really irked me, read the book and see if you can figure it out. lol. And the ending? A little perfect but hey it's a romance novel right? What do you expect? All around though, it was a great book. I can always count on RG for a great read. Now I cannot wait till next year for Maddie's book!!!

The Series order so far:
Sex, Lies and Online Dating
I'm in no Mood for Love

Monday, September 18, 2006

And Then Came You by Maureen Child

Hero: Jeff
Heroine: Sam (Samantha)
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 335
Grade: B
Buy It:Here, or here.

Nine years ago, Samantha Marconi was swept away in a whirlwind wedding...even though she'd only known her new husband for a month. When Jeff left her just weeks after the wedding-she found out she was pregnant and had nowhere to turn. So Sam did the only thing she thought she could do. She placed her daughter up for adoption and tried to forget the past-until her past came knocking on her door...

Jeff never received Sam's letters, nor did he know she had their child-until after the little girl was put up for adoption. Jeff managed to find their daughter, Emma, and lovingly raised her on his own. He's about to remarry-but his divorce from Sam never went through. Jeff needs Sam's help to get "unmarried," and quick. Yet when Jeff shows up on Sam's doorstep, he's shocked to find the sparks that once flew between them are still burning strong. Can he let Sam go again? Especially when the truth about what really happened nine years ago is finally revealed...

Yes I'm stealing Dylan's little set up here, I like it! lol. So what? On with the review.

I must admit that when I first started reading this I had no intention of liking it. I didn't not want to, it's just I knew it was a storyline I didn't like. Ask me my most despised storyline and it's the "We were together, we got split up with others lies, I had your baby, we never spoke, a million years past and OMG I bump into you and still love you! What to do???" lol. Okay so you get my point.

This book surprised me. While there were parts that I didn't' really like, as a whole it was a really good book. Full of funny Italian woman, sister to boot! And they are all construction workers.

We'll skip the stuff that is already said about the book above and go with the rest.....

Jeff has chosen a new woman to be his wife. Her name is Cynthia and he choose her cause he didn't have the same crazy passion with her as he did with Sam. After all, passion obviously isn't enough, look at him and Sam. But when he sees Sam again and the sparks fly he has to wonder.....can he really live without her? He has raised their daughter since she was a newborn, believing that Sam wanted neither him or their daughter. That stung but he never let Emma know the truth. Instead deciding to tell her that her mother loved her but just couldn't keep her.

Sam was hurt once, and that was enough. When her mother got sick and finances were tight right after her husband walked out on her and returned her letter telling him she was pregnant, she decided to give her baby that she loved so much up for adoption. Little did she know someone was working behind the scenes to destroy her marriage, and everything dear to her.

But nine years later Jeff and Sam meet again, granted not under the best circumstances but it's still another chance. When Sam finds out that Jeff has had her daughter all along she is at first livid. But then she comes up with the perfect plan. Jeff may not want to share his daughter, believing all this time he'd never have too. But he wants a divorce and she's holding the cards. So it's shared custody or no divorce. But when Jeff finds out the truth about nine years ago, and the passion that has not worn off at all with Sam, does he want a divorce still?

With a beautiful little girl, a conniving fiancee, a confused wife and husband that have believed themselves divorced for nine years, and not to mention two kick ass sisters that won't stand for anyone hurting Sam again. This makes for a very entertaining book. Full of laughter, tears, anger, and smiles.

But wait....I said there was some stuff that irked me. Nothing to much but I must state that it has always bothered me when hero's are hurt in the past then have this mind set: I've loved once and gotten burned, so now I'm going to choose a cold woman that I don't love cause that's sure to keep me safe and happy.
Okay how dumb can men be? At least he didn't' keep that mind set for long.

Go get the book, and then read the rest of the stories that go along:
And then Came You ~ Sam's Story
A Crazy Kind of Love ~ Mike's Story
Turn My World Upside Down ~ Jo's Story

Or visit Maureen Child's webpage and see all the other books she has by clicking here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

This is Chick Lit edited by Lauren Baratz- Logsted

The genre of fiction known as "chick-lit" has been a lightning rod for debate in the world of literature, raising questions such as Is chick-lit really literature or just harmless fluff? Is this really an accurate portrayal of the lives of modern women? Eighteen renowned authors--including Jennifer Coburn, Raelynn Hillhouse, Harley Jane Kozak, Cara Lockwood, and Rachel Pine--weigh in with the best of chick-lit--proving that this genre deserves as much, or more, respect as any other. In addition to their story, each author elaborates on her feelings about the 'chick-lit' label, and recommends literary fiction writers that have inspired them.

Some time ago a book titled "This is not Chick-Lit" was published. Well not much of a surprise to me, but quite a few authors of Chick-Lit were upset. Well the finished product of some up in arms Chick-Lit authors? A great book titled "This is Chick-Lit", and I've had the honor of reading this book (or most of it) and posting this review.
This book is a combined effort of 18 different authors. Each of them writing very different stories, each their own. At the beginning of each of their stories they give a brief description of what Chick-Lit means to them. Not only that but there is also a portion of this book, in the back, called 'Reaching Across the Aisle' which is each author recommending a book by a literary author they think their readers would enjoy. I love this!
I've only read 7 of the 18 stories so far, but I though maybe since there are so many stories I would break up the review to a two or three part thing. Sound good? Great! Okay, here we go.
Some I liked, some I didn't, lets be honest no matter what genre you read your never going to like it all.

Two Literary Chicks by Jennifer Coburn

(I won't be posting what each author wrote about Chick-Lit, but as I think this author summed it up perfectly I'll just post her thoughts.)

"As a feminist, I find the attack on chick-lit more than a bit disheartening. Is this where we are-one group of women writers mocking another, deeming it's work irrelevant? Are women really criticizing each other about what they read?! And author recently commented that the term chick-lit sounds as if the writing is about, for and by women, nothing more. Nothing more?! Why isn't that enough?! I love chick-lit and am proud to be associated with this genre. People who don't appreciate it should stop moaning about the relevance of chick-lit and simply spend their time reading what they like."

Very good story. About two women who were in a writing group together in college, neither really liking the others work. Years later they cross each other on the street and make some small talk. One is a published author of a very successful book the other has a great book written but is struggling to get it published. Through different events they end up getting to know each other better and liking each others work. As well as helping.
Although I think it was well written and a good story I also felt it was inconclusive. Your left wondering about Marley at the end to much. I just wish it was tied up a little better in the end.
But I will definitely read this author again.

The Infidelity Diet by Harley Jane Kozak

Gripping. I really enjoyed this one and it was ended very well for a short story.
About a woman that starts to wonder about her husbands faithfulness to her. She's been married for quite awhile, and they've just both grown so comfortable. Long nights at work and some thoughts start to crowd in. Looking for advice from all different friends make for an entertaining view on woman's thoughts on cheating men. I'm not totally sure what we were meant to think of Christopher (husband) in the end, but I would love to read more of this author.

Confessions of a Three-Eyed Freak by Arielle Papa

Okay not one of the ones I liked. A story about a woman uncomfortable with a birthmark on her neck and goes to get it removed. She ends up waking up with an eye where the mark was on her neck. Okkkkaaay..... I kept thinking she was going to wake up and it was a weird dream. But no, it was real. She grew to like the third eye and was obsessed with it. Only when the eye started looking at different men did she go to have it removed. The eye was getting out of control. Ummmm......need I say more???? And the woman in the story had the same name as the author. That's just weird to me. This entire one was strange.

The Commitment Phobe by Cara Lockwood

Loved this one. Soooo cute! About a woman and man that are dating and of course she's ready for the next step, marriage, and he is content the way they are. He isn't against marriage it just seems like something they'll do eventually. Well she shakes some things up and gives her man a wake-up call. He is so cute, how much he loves her. Adorable read. I am all kinds of excited to find more work by Cara Lockwood!

Mama Knows Best by Kayla Perrin

Short, sweet and kinda funny. Yeah this one had me laughing a bit. Sometimes when you read a book about a black couple all you hear about is the color factor. You only hear it once or twice in this story, and not in a way to draw attention to the fact. Just in regular description like any other person or story. It really was a good read. A woman dumps her fiance the day before (or is it the day of) their wedding when she found out he cheated with a stripper. Then on a girls night out her ex is there with a Tyra look a like. Taking a deep breath she pretends to be there with a hot guy that happens to be sitting next to her. After a perfect performance she apologizes to the hot man and kisses any chance of actually talking him up now that he probably thinks she's a crazy. But surprise surprise who is her mama setting her up with the next night???

Nice Jewish Boy by Karen Siplin

Absolutely no point to this story. It's about two women, best friends since high school. They go to a friends baby's party, Jewish friend. One of the girls is Jewish on is black. The story is mostly about how the black girl stands out in the crowd of Jewish people. And then how all the Jewish mama's wonder if she is a mother herself even after she told them she is single and living with her parents. It's made out to be like every black woman is supposed to be a single mom. Sorry but I don't make that assumption or a normal basis! The the other girl gets propositioned for an affair with an ex that is married. Well I have no clue why she is only wearing the skimpiest outfit ever. So basically it's two mid-30's women that both live with their parents and wonder why nobody takes them seriously.....hmmmm, I don't know I just can't figure it out. Oh and did I mention neither of them drive so the parents still drive them around....oh and the 'nice Jewish boy'? Yeah that's a 15 yr. old that hit on the black girl. No more to say.

Dead Men Don't Eat Quiche by Deanna Carlyle

Started this story thinking it was kinda cute. A girl living in France her parents coming to visit. Blah blah blah. They tour the city have fun, of course she is dragging her feet. Then we find out her ex was murdered and she was a suspect. Oh but wait she figured out the true killer and cleared herself. So they go out to the restaurant that her mother made reservations at and there is a mix up. No availability, they lost the reservation. The mother is yelling (and don't ask my why the daughter was embarrassed, I would have been yelling too!)Basically a man comes and says they can join their private party. They flirt all night, have a private bathroom get together. Next thing we know the guy ends up dead in the bathroom with a fork in his neck. Again the heroine is a suspect and again clears herself. Not a great read, not bad either. Kinda Meh...

So ladies. Like I said, some bad some good. Do I think you should run out and grab this book? Yeah, it's a nice book to have when you have a few minutes for a short story. It's nice cause they are very short and mostly interesting. Also introduces us to many new authors that we may not have otherwise read. I love the purpose behind the book!

Grade~ B-

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Author Interview: Kelley Vitollo

Did she find me? Did I find her? Honestly sometimes it’s just too much to remember. What I do remember, however, is going to a blog called, simply, “Kelley Vitollo Fun, Passionate & Heart felt Romance”, and really … with a name like that you know I was hooked! As I dug through her posts eager to read all I could, I stumbled across the fact that Kelley was indeed a writer, a romance writer. What did I do? What do I always do??? Questions, questions and more questions...What are you writing? Are you published? Do you have tid bits of your stuff here? Can I get a sneak peek?

I'm sure an eager gal, especially when it comes to new authors. There is something so exciting about finding a great new author, anticipating a first book with her. And that’s what I'm going to do here today! I'm going to get into Kelley’s world. What she loves, what makes her tick, what got her writing and what we can expect from it.

Through some emails and chats, I convinced Kelley to let me have the honor of interviewing her and giving all of you faithful readers a head start on getting to know the author and her new book.

Kelley’s first short story, titled Dream Man, is being released next week from Forbidden Productions. And this is just the beginning of Kelley’s journey as a romance author. She also has a trilogy in the works. So far, two of the books are finished. They’re about three best friends, and them finding their happily ever after. And when she is done with that? She is dedicating her time to her full length novel, which we’ll hear more about a little later.

But before we go there, I want to give you a little info on our new author….

Kelley has been with her own Dream Man for 8 years now and they have a beautiful two-year-old little girl named MacKenzie. They live in Southern California with their two new kittens Pepper and Daisy.

Her comfort food is Chocolate, surprise surprise ladies, and she basically loves any type of food that isn’t good for her. Her favorite movie is The Notebook. Her favorite color is the same as mine, Red. And even more her favorite song, All My Life by Kci & Jojo is none other than my wedding song. Oh and we can’t forget that she loves The OC, a woman after my own heart.

At Escape with Me, I love finding new authors to read and I'm excited something fierce to read Dream Man so mark your calendars along with me, September 8th is the big day! Be sure to get you a copy and enjoy.

Now, I asked Kelley a bunch of questions about books, writing, and her life in general. So without further adieu, the interview.

“Sadie has the same dream every night. She dreams of a man with black hair, gorgeous blue eyes, and magical hands. When dream becomes reality and she comes face to face with her dream man, will he be everything she imagined, and more?”

Nicole: Dream Man is being released in just a week; tell us what we can expect?
Kelley Vitollo: Dream Man is short, sweet, and to the point. These two characters aren't taking their time if you know what I mean :). I think the story has strong emotions that pull the reader in. At least I hope it does.

N: When did you realize you wanted to write books for a living?
KV: I've loved to write for as long as I can remember. I won my first writing contest in second grade and I think that is when I realized writing was for me. I always thought I would write children’s books. I tried on numerous occasions but I couldn't come close to finishing a story. I was discouraged and thought maybe writing wasn't for me. About two years ago I picked up my first romance novel and fell in love. I wanted to try my hand at writing one but I was discouraged because in some ways I thought I had already failed at writing. Finally I pushed my fears aside and started trying to write a romance. By the time I finished my first chapter I KNEW I'd found what I was meant to do. My passion for writing was alive again in a way I had never experienced before.

N: How hard was it to get your first book published? And how did you react when it happened?
KV: So far my only publication is Dream Man which is a short story. It is the first story I finished and the first story I submitted. I guess I got lucky. When I first read the email I cried. Then I told my hubby who was excited as well and called everyone I know. I was on cloud nine.

N: How long did it take you to write your first book?
I have yet to finish my first full length novel. My short story took about a couple days to write and my two novellas each took about three weeks to a month. That’s just for the rough draft though. That doesn't count editing and polishing the story up.

N: What inspired you to write a 3 book series of 3 best friends?
I'm a series kind of girl. I love getting to know characters and then revisiting them in other stories. I wanted to do one about best friends because I enjoy highlighting not only romance but the special bonds you can only share with your girlfriends.

Talk about my kind of author! Series? About Best Friends? I'm all ears!

N: What about Getting Lucky with Luciano (first book in trilogy) and Unexpected Mr. Right (second book in trilogy), what can we expect from them?
I think these two story's are both really fun. Nico is the flirtatious, sarcastic hero but you learn there is more to him then meets the eye. You catch glimpses of him in GLWL but his story is told in Unexpected Mr. Right. A friend of mine read over Getting Lucky With Luciano and she said it had her really laughing. I hope everyone else will feel the same.

N: Of the three stories that you've written so far (well and the fourth book that you're writing now) which book is your favorite?
I think Getting Lucky With Luciano is my favorite so far, but they all hold a special place in my heart. The heroine from that story, Kaylee, is like me in some ways. Dependable, always on time, responsible, (can also be known as a stick in the mud :). GLWL is also the first longer piece of writing that I have finished so I feel much attached to that story. I'm hoping to find a home for it very soon!

N: Who's your favorite hero that you've written so far?
That’s a hard one. I think I'm going to say either Nico from Unexpected Mr. Right or Chase from On My Own (my novel WIP). I have a feeling Nico is going to be a lot of ladies favorite! UMR is the second novella in my three novella series.
Chase from OMO is just a sweetheart. Hot, romantic, and knows how to love. What woman wouldn't love a man like that?

N: After the trilogy is done, what's next on your writing plate?
After my trilogy my main focus will be on my novel. On My Own is my baby. I feel I have to nurture the story to help it grow the best way possible. I really want to focus on giving the book the time and energy it deserves.

N: Where do the ideas for your stories come from? Are they things that happened to you in your personal life that you've expounded on or are they purely made up and totally from your imagination?
My current novel which is yet to be finished has bits and pieces of my life in it. I took little truths and created stories from them. So far that book is the only one that has any pieces of my life in it. The three novellas I am working on literally popped into my head one day. I never believed people when they said that happens but its true. The littlest comment, commercial, guy walking through the mall ect can spark the idea for a story. It’s truly amazing. I have a notebook with future ideas for books. I make sure to write them down so I don't lose any of the ideas.

N: Are any of your heroes based on your hubby?
Not yet. Maybe little things here and there but nothing big. He tells everyone I get all my inspiration for my heroes from him. One way they are alike is that all my heroes are good guys and my hubby is the best.

N: How do you pick the "right" name for your characters? Do you browse through baby name databases, or do somehow come across the name and think, "yes, this name fits perfectly!"?
So far I haven't done any database or book name searches! I'm a name person though. I already have a list of names for future characters. I can just feel which name is right for which character.

I’m sure plenty of you have heard the same things I have…”it just comes to me”. But you know what? It must be true, since when I asked Kelley about her hero’s to her titles that’s the answer we got…”It just comes to me”. And she’s even admitted that to those of us that aren’t writers it may seem a bit crazy but that’s just how it happens.

N: Do you have any aspirations to write other sub genres of romance, like paranormal or a historical?
So far I only have plans to write contemps. That is where my heart lies and I have to stay true to that. Who knows what the future may hold though.

N: Do you have any advice for those lovely ladies who want to give writing for a living a go?
Read and write as much as you can. Never give up and never be afraid to ask for help. I've asked everyone I know for opinions in some way or another and it helps me find a way that works best for me. You have to realize that rejection is part of a writer’s life but there is almost always something to learn from it. If you keep believing and keep working, you'll get where you want to be :)

Just like me I'm sure you are dying to know all the little details about Kelley, like her favorite authors, what she does in her spare time, and heck, even who she thinks is the hottie of the moment. And would I hold out on you? Of course not, so lets go. Let’s start getting personal!

N: What was your first romance novel that got you hooked into this genre?
A Soft Place To Fall by Barbara Bretton

N: What book are you most looking forward to reading?
I just finished my very first paranormal. High Stakes by Erin Mccarthy. I really looking forward to the other two Vegas vamp stories.

N: Who do you think is the sexiest man in Hollywood right now?
I can only pick one?? Hmm...I don't know what it is about him but I'm really digging Jake Gylenhal right now. Believe me; the list could go on and on :)

N: Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
I like to scrapbook though I don't do it as much as I'd like.

N: If you didn't decide to become an author, today you'd be...
I used to want to be a child psychologist.

N: What are some of your pet peeves?
Being late, and when my hubby leaves his shoes in the middle of the floor instead of throwing them in the shoe box right by the door :) It’s so cute because my two year old will pick up my husbands shoes and throw them in the box. She knows where they go! I joke around a lot with my husband but I just have to say that he is such a wonderful, supportive husband. I'm very lucky.

N: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, you would be...
On vacation with my husband and daughter. I don't care where.

N: Quick, your house is burning down, the kids and hubby are outside but you have only enough time to save three authors books from destruction, which three authors are you going to save?
Lucy Monroe, Lori Foster, and Erin McCarthy

N: If you were Brad Pitt, would you have stayed married to Jennifer Anniston or left her ass for Angelina Jolie?
I'm team Aniston!

N: Do you sing in the shower? Yeah? What song?
Lol. I sing everywhere. I have a terrible voice but it doesn’t stop me. My favorite place to sing is the car. People who drive next to me probably think I'm crazy.

I want to thank Kelley for taking time out of her busy schedule to be here and talk with me! It has been so much fun getting to know her and finding out what we can expect from her books. But before we leave, just one more question....

N: How can readers get in touch with you?
They can email me at I'd love to hear from readers or anyone who has any questions about my writing. Please don't hesitate to write!

You can also keep up with Kelley through her by clicking here for her blog or here for her webpage.

Kelley has also generously offered an ARC of her first release, Dream Man, to the lovely ladies who comment here on her interview. That's all you have to do, just comment. We'll put the list of names in a hat and one lucky winner will be offered a download of her first release. Isn't that amazing? Don't be shy now! Comment away.

She also agreed to be here to answer any lingering questions for the rest of the day. You can either leave a comment here, or email her at

Don't forget to get your own copy of Dream Man, available September 8th from Forbidden Publications. Buy it here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Seduction of His Wife by Janet Chapman

He set out to seduce her for all the wrong reasons -- but found himself falling in love with her for all the right ones.
Alex Knight is dead -- or so everyone thinks. A widowed logger baron with a risk-taking streak, he took on a South American engineering project and was reported dead after a rebel attack. So when he turns up back in Maine very much alive, his grieving family is shocked. But the biggest shock is Alex's, when he discovers he's now married -- to a woman he's never met.

Sarah Banks is ready for a change from running a quiet Bed & Breakfast, and working for the Knight family offers not only a bigger opportunity, but also the family life she yearns for. So she's glad to help secure custody of Alex's orphaned children, whom she's come to love, by marrying their father by proxy before he's legally declared dead. But when Alex returns, the sexy, determined woodsman upends all of Sarah's plans. Because suddenly she's married to a passionate stranger with an easy smile...and tumbling headlong into a fiery dance of seduction.

I really really enjoyed this book! I mean really, when it was over I kept wishing I was still reading it. And not for any out of this world reason. It was just a good, funny, romantic read. I have really grown to love Janet Chapman and the way she writes. If I'm correct I think most, if not all, of her books are based in Maine. Which is where she lives. Maybe that is why they are all so real, you can feel the place and fall in love with it. Even without going overboard with descriptions, which she does not do. And she usually has kids in her books too. Sometimes this can really put a damper on a story but not a JC book. It makes them so .... warm and definitely adds some funny quirks. Also I love series and she does great ones. The Pine Creek Highlander series (must reads I loved them all): Charming the Highlander, Loving the Highlander, Wedding the Highlander, Tempting the Highlander and Only with a Highlander. Then her Puffin Harbor Series: The Seductive Impostor and The Dangerous Protector. And now this book which I don't know the name of the series yet but I know is one. So do you think I can stop raving on JC and get to the review? Well okay if you insist. lol.

Sarah Kelley has had a hard and sheltered life. She lived on a island (born and raised) and only knew the bed & breakfast her parents ran. When she is fairly young both her parents die within a few years. She falls into a loveless marriage at the age of 17 and some years later finds herself widowed. When Grady Knight comes to her B&B with his grandchildren and sons he offers her a deal she can't refuse. Soon she is moving to the woods of Main to keep house for this family with a promise of a Sporting Camp for her to run. But things turn for the worse when the Knight family thinks they lost their oldest and the father of Grady's two grandchildren. Alex is presumed dead so in order to save his grandchildren from being drug through courts and fights with their other grandparents he has Sarah married to Alex by proxy before anyone knows he's dead, and she adopts the children. Only Alex isn't really dead....imagine his surprise when after running for his life in a jungle in Brazil for over a week he comes home to find himself married! He was married once to a money hungry woman that left him and his kids, and no thank you he doesn't need a new wife. And one night of a little to much to drink and a hot dream turn Alex and Sarah into lovers the tables turn. Alex asks Sarah to give the situation some time, if they act to quickly everyone will know Grady forged the papers and he'll get into trouble. But as time passes and Alex learns that Sarah isn't the quite little mouse he thought her to be he starts to think a divorce is the last thing he wants. But as Alex tries to convince his wife to stay just that he not only has to battle her demons of her past marriage but also a mystery person or persons that are invading his mountain trying to destroy his families business.
And one of Alex's forms of seduction? He reads Sarah's romance books! And when she finds herself bedridden for a little bit he reads them to her. And they are none other than the Puffin Harbor Series by JC.

This book will have you laughing while you cheer on Alex with his seduction of his wife. And Grady's sometimes not so subtle match-making schemes. But not to worry, I might have wanted this book to go on forever but I'll get more in February. The second book in the series is coming. The Temptation of Her Love, Ethan's book. Then we have Paul the biggest flirt. And who knows maybe Tucker and Delaney will get their own stories, Alex's children. I can hope!

Oh and one of the only things I didn't like about this book? It isn't even related to the story. It was the cover. I actually really like the cover, but the mans RIGHT hand is in the picture and there's a wedding ring on it! You wear your wedding ring on the LEFT hand. HELLO! Sorry but that really bothered me.

Grade~ B+ (would have been a A but Sarah did annoy me a little at one point. But she made up for it.)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sarah's Child by Linda Howard

A tragic accident took everything that mattered to Rome Matthews - his wife, Diana, and their two little boys. And it robbed Sarah Harper of her best friend. In the two years after the tragedy, Sarah wanted nothing more than to reach out to Rome. But she knew it was vital she stay away, guarding the secret she had kept from him and Diana all those years - that she was in love with her best friends husband.

But now Rome needs her. He wants to lose himself in the passion he feels for Sarah. Knowing he is trapped by a grief that won't let go,. and desperate to help him escape his pain, she willingly gives him what he so desperately craves. Though another woman will hold his heart forever, Sarah agrees to be his wife, knowing that everything has a price, including love. It is a price she is willing to pay, but one that will demand all of her courage and her heart.

Then something totally unexpected rekindles her hidden hope that a marriage of convenience will become a union of live. Now it all comes down to her husband. Will Rome keep fighting his own growing need for a woman who dares him to believe there are second chances in life...or will he give in to the power of love and miracles?

This was unlike any other Linda Howard book I've read to date. There was no plot to figure out no suspense. Just plain and simple a man struggling through the pain of losing his family and falling in love and starting over. About a woman who had loved for so long and had to hide it and then was given a chance to have it all.

Sarah had loved Rome since she first met him but when he met her best friend he chose her. Married to Diane and giving her children Sarah stood back and watched. She was still a good friend to Diane and never betrayed her feelings but she couldn't bare to be around them as a family. With Rome loving Diane so much. But in a tragic turn of fate Diane and their two sons where taken from Rome, in a drunken accident. It was all he could do to just wake up, smiling and laughing became foreign to him, and his eyes never held any life.
One phone called changed both their lives. Rome called Sarah one night to pick up some old mementos of Diana's from when they were in high school and in a moment of grief Rome broke. He collapsed and Sarah was there, soon his grief turned into something not so innocent. And he was on Sarah, holding, kissing, caressing. Stopping just in time he lashed out at her for the guilt he was feeling. But the next day he couldn't shake how she touched him, his soul. So he went to her. After the two of them saw each other casually for a while Rome stamps his claim and asks her to marry him. All very businesslike. Through misconceptions and misread signals they go though a few rough patches with hurt feelings and such. But soon they find their niche and Sarah starts to hope that one day he may love her as she loves him. Until it happens...the one thing Rome said he could never give her, would never give her. He said he never wanted any children, after losing his two sons he couldn't bare it. But Sarah gets pregnant and refuses to have an abortion. She gives him an ultimatum..."Leave me or Stay but I am keeping the baby. If you stay you don't have to be part of the baby's life, but I'm not giving it up!" Rome can't leave her, after finally finding a reason to live again he can't give it up, but he also can't accept the baby. Through the ending of the book we see how he struggles with this new part of his life, he wants nothing to do with the baby and make it clear. Leaving Sarah to do everything alone. It's her first child and is all alone in everything involving it. In the end of course we have out HEA for all involved parties, but I'll leave you to read the book to see how it comes about.

But I want to leave you with this, could you love someone enough that after they turn on you in the most important time in your life and leave you to do it all alone you can 'understand' where they are coming from and forgive without a second thought? I mean really not be mad and just say "it's okay, I understand". He missed major parts of their child's birth and beginning of her life. I just don't know if I could be that forgiving. How bout you?

Grade~ B

Monday, August 07, 2006

An Up and Coming Author...Anne Rainey

Just a little over a year ago I was posting on Lori Fosters bb. (Did I mention I LOVE Lori Foster? Well I do. My favorite book has got to be Say No To Joe?, but that's neither here nor Back to my I said I was posting over at LF's bb, and I met quite a few great ladies. One of them being Anne Rainey.

She would post little bits and pieces of things she was writing, and she got me hooked! We started emailing here and there, and she'd share some of her work with me and I'd encourage her and say "Girl when you get published I'm gonna be the first one to buy your books!" Well guess what??? That time has come! The very same Ebook Publishing company that picked up our very own Rene Lyon's has picked up Anne! Samhain Publishing just contracted one of her stories titled "Haley's Cabin".
Samhain Publishing said it was: "a sharp, sexy, well-written story and I believe our readers will love it!"
And I can tell you from reading bits and pieces of that very story...IT IS HOT!!!! Oh did I forget to tell you Tami's stories are all very hot and very spicy? Well be prepared, you get your HEA with her but you also get ALL your fantasies, holding nothing back. She can definitely dish it out.
What's Haley's Cabin about? Well in a sentence and in Anne's own words:

Every good girl longs for a chance to be a little naughty, and when Haley Thorne's opportunity knocks, she eagerly responds.

But don't stop there! Go to her page here, and read what it's all about. You won't be let down, in fact you'll be drooling for more.
Tami loves hearing what we all think of her stuff so go to her page, read all her ideas, and sign her Guest Book! You'll love her as much as I do, I SWEAR!!! And believe me as soon as I know the date her book will be out, you'll know....cause I won't shut up about it!

OH! And before I wrap this up....let me just let you in on one more idea that Tami has that I am SOOOO excited about. She has a great idea for a series...but instead of me telling you about it read what she had to say about it!

The Domani

The idea came to me when I was talking to my mom one day as we were out shopping. She mentioned a woman she works with by the name of Venus. I thought that was such a neat name and wouldn't it be cool if... and so the rest is history. Now that the poll results are in, and everyone seems to want me to write a series about siblings with special powers, I decided to come up with a brief description of what I had in mind.

They are siblings. The aren't from this world, but come from a planet they call Domani. In Italian Domani means: Tomorrow....coincidence?

Here's a bit about the Domani

They came here by accident and were left behind, forgotten by their own, left to survive or die, the siblings came up with a few of their own laws to help keep the peace between themselves and humans.

Law 1: Humans must never know about the Domani people. They can never reveal their secret. Not to anyone.

Law 2: They are forbidden to have any serious relationships with humans...that little rule obviously goes awry, after all, it is romance.

Law 3: They can never use their powers against humans, only for good and only to help.

Each sibling has a power, other than that they appear to look exactly like us--somewhat taller and better looking, but you wouldn't know they were from a different planet.

To read about each sibling go here and scroll down to her June 20th post. Then drop her a line and tell her what you think. Personally I think it sounds verra interesting. I've read paranormal, but mostly some sort of vampire or whatnot....but siblings from another planet? With special powers??? Hmmmm....I think I like!

(Pssst....look forward to an interview in the near future!)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hot Spot by Susan Johnson

Stella Scott doesn't date customers. So when a superhero-in-the-flesh strolls into her comic bookstore, snapping up rare editions and insisting on taking her to dinner, she knows she's in trouble. It isn't long before Stella finds herself revising her little rule. But while she's having a blast between the sheets, there's no way she's going to let herself do something fall head over heels in love. Hopefully it isn't too late.

Okay this is easy to break down. In a nut shell....Stella owns a Comic Book store and writes her own comic "Marky B". She has a no dating customers rule and never breaks it till one day Danny walks in her store. He is a freaking God! Okay so he asks her out a few times she says no he pursues she says yes and the second she says yes they go up to her room and have wild monkey sex. They end up back at his house after a night out and then she sneaks out. He wakes up and realizes someone has been in his office snooping. So he puts Stella on his list of suspects. Stella on the other hand sees how much money Danny has and he seems to not work so she assumes he's a drug dealer. So on they go. Having sex, getting jealous over other men and women. Leaving each other, assuming the wrong thing about each other. Then in the last chapter they both find out the truth and decide to get married. Ummmm no! This was a totally unbelievable book! There was nothing but sex, and not even good sex scenes. Uggg. Waste of a read in my opinion.

Oh and Danny ended up being some designer of video games and made millions a month!

Grade: C-

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sinfully Sexy by Linda Francis Lee

After a close encounter of the sexy kind,
Chloe discovers her wild side. . . .

Plain-Jane Chloe Sinclair has never been bad . . . until she stumbles- literally-into the arms of a gorgeous stranger. To make matters worse, the morning after, her world is rocked completely off its axis when the sensual dreamboat turns out to be the man brought in to save the TV station where she works.

Sterling Prescott is hard-driven, sexy as hell, and determined to take over the struggling KTEX TV. But all bets are off when the shameless wildcat who disappeared on him last night walks back into his life-acting like a squeaky-clean librarian. Life gets truly complicated, however, when Sterling decides to win more than the station-and to show her that being sexy isn't a sin.

After taking, and failing, a 'how sexy are you' quiz Chloe decides to see how sexy she can be. And with that ends up nearly having sex with a stranger in a hotel bathroom. Opps...but just in time she is snapped back to her senses and flees, never believing she'd see that mystery man again.
But the next day when she walks into a meeting at work and sees that very same man standing there she nearly faints. Not only does she see her mystery man again but he turns out to be (or at least she thinks) an employee of Sterling Prescott. Cutthroat businessman who swoops in and buys out businesses in trouble and rebuilds them, with no remorse. So she does what she thinks is best....pretends she's never seen him before.

Sterling Presscott cannot get the sexy woman from the hotel bathroom out of his mind, and he cannot believe she walked away from him! HIM, Sterling Prescott, CEO of Prescott Media. Granted she doesn't know he is Sterling Prescott, she thinks he is Trey Tanner, his own employee. But what shocks him the most is she's pretending not to know who she is!

Through this book we see a bet with a brother, a TV show gone a little kooky, and lots of hotness with our H & H.

Okay even though I DID like this book! ALOT! There were some of the same issues in this book as the last. Alot of starting up with the hot and heavy....then.....STOPPING! And something else I didn't mention when I reviewed the last book but was there was the fact that the hero's both "Grunted and Cursed" almost every singe page! Goodness. And last but not least, I hate when certain phrases get played out, and LFL used this one in BOTH books "You undo me". Cute but very played. Sorry.

So while I did like the book, there were obviously thinks I didn't like.

Grade: B-

Read them all, in order:
Suddenly Sexy
Sinfully Sexy
Simply Sexy

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Suddenly Sexy by Linda Francis Lee

When a legendary bad boy returns to town, Kate must summon her inner temptress.
Kate Bloom’s ordered world is turned upside down when notorious bad boy and superstar athlete Jesse Chapman comes home. Seeing him again reminds Kate of all the reasons she harbored a Texas-sized crush on him back when they were kids. But she isn’t a little girl anymore . . . and she’s ready to show this hell-raising playboy just how sexy she can be.
After a reporter starts digging into his past, Jesse Chapman returns home looking for space. The last thing he needs is a distraction, but that’s just what he gets when he sees his little Katie. Suddenly the girl next door is hot and sexy–and more than even this legendary ladies’ man can handle.

First let me say woooo hooooo! I'm outta my reading slump! I started this book yesterday afternoon and finished today! Or I think that's when I started it. Anyway . . . back to the book.

Kate (or Katie to our hero) and Jessie, what a pair. Friends since childhood, Jessie is four years Kate's senior. He's the one she runs to every time her mom divorces or remarries (5x's). She's the one he opens to when his mom dies and he has problems with his father. But while Kate is completely open and honest with Jessie about her problems and her feelings for him, he withholds. Partially because how can he go into detail about issues with his father that involve sex, smoking and drinking when he is 11 and that would only make her 7. Jessie learns quick to become a buddy to his dad and to turn into a wild boy in order to keep his father close and not lose him like he lost his mother. But he also loses his brother in return, or at least his brothers respect. But with his brother being 7 years older he should have been the one protecting his younger brother from the bad influences of their father, not begrudging him the attention he got or the way he turned out. Which makes for a lot of sibling tension through the book. One of the things Jessie picks up while always with his father is golfing. Which he takes to from the start. So as he lives his wild life he becomes a professional golfer. He has women, he has his game and he feels he is in no way good enough for his Katie. So when on the day of his brothers wedding Kate walks in on him naked and offers herself he pushes her away. But not before he let himself see how sweet it could be with her, he stops in the nick of time. After telling her no and to leave, she flees crying.
So when Jessie comes back into El Paso and into Kate's life she is a bit weary. Her job is falling apart she is "dating" a great guy that she just can't drum up any passion for and just the site of Jessie makes her melt.
Time after time we see the simmering heat between our h&h. After awhile I'll be quite honest I felt like screaming "JUST DO IT!!!" I did love the character development in the book. We really got a good glimpse of who these characters are and what made them the way they are. But there was just to much getting it on to a certain point then just stopping between Kate and Jessie. You know? I get she was going for good sexual tension but it got old real fast.
We do get a big surprise for our hero in the middle of the beginning of the book that really puts a sweat and emotional turn on the story. But to which I don't' think the author knew enough on the subject to write it as well as it should have been.
With Kate being a News Anchor I also felt that there wasn't enough on that, we never really got to see what she was before her ratings plummeted and made her resort to doing "Getting Real With Kate" while the GRWK segments were funny they lacked reality of what that job would really be like.
I did love the friendship between Kate and her two best girlfriends, Chloe and Julia. In the beginning of most of the chapters we read emails back and forth between the girls. It was fun and added to the story a lot.
All in all it was a good book, I just felt as if the author should have tweaked it a bit more before releasing it. So it made me want to read the next book and also hope it's written just a little bit better.

Grade~ B-

Read them all:
Suddenly Sexy
Sinfully Sexy
Simply Sexy

*****Editing to add something I forgot******

The surprise that I told you about...with the hero? Well in the end of the book it never got an ending so to speak. Pretty annoying...

Grade must go down to a C+ for that alone.