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.)