25 February 2011

Wyoming! (Wagons West, Book Three)


I read the first book, Independence, in December 2007, and wrote: “I enjoyed this book much more than I had anticipated I would. Not great literature by any stretch, but a captivating story with some likeable (and some not so likeable) characters.” Then I read the second book, Nebraska, in September 2008, and wrote: “It took me a little bit to get into this one, but once I did I got very caught up in it. So much so, in fact, that when I read the last page I was taken by surprise. The ending was quite abrupt, and unlike the first book, seemed to just stop in the middle of one of the plots. In this book the wagon train travels across Nebraska on their way to Oregon, and I guess I just figured the book would end when they reached Oregon. But of course, between Nebraska and Oregon they still have to travel through Wyoming and Idaho, duh!”

So now the wagon train is in Wyoming, and for most of the book they are holed up in a little valley, waiting for winter and the snow to pass before continuing their journey. I didn't enjoy Wyoming quite as much as the first two books. I think partly because I really liked the characters of Sam Brentwood and Claudia who’s last name I’ve forgotten, who are not in this book at all, having married and left the wagon train. In the second book, I got caught up in the story between Whip Holt, the leader of the wagon train, and Claudia’s sister, Cathy, but I was disappointed with the way that relationship played out in this book.

It was slow going at first, to get interested in it, and none of the many characters are really fleshed out, but it did pick up and was enjoyable for the most part. Still not great literature, but I don’t anticipate any of the series will be. Regardless, I’ve collected the majority of the books in the series – I think I’m only missing a couple – and I’ll continue with it. 

(I received this book from a Book Mooch member in December 2007.)

February 2011 Acquisitions 6

Another package from Book Mooch today! I've been a fan of Carly Phillips for a long time, so I love finding a book of hers I haven't read yet.

Publisher's Synopsis:

Lawyer Mallory Sinclair wants a partnership – almost as much as she wants fellow attorney Jack Latham. Unfortunately, she’s worked so hard at making it in a man’s world, that nobody’s aware that she’s even a woman – a very sensual woman. But Jack’s about to find out, big time. Because Mallory’s about to send him an invitation he can’t refuse…

Jack can’t believe it! Underneath Mallory’s power suits lies a temptress – one determined to seduce him! Not that Jacks’ complaining…Only, this new Mallory is so uninhibited, so blatantly sexy, Jack can’t help wondering if he’s sleeping with a stranger, instead of the colleague he’s known for years. Still, he’d like their liaison to continue – if only he knew which woman would end up sharing his bed…

24 February 2011

February 2011 Acquisitions 5

Another book that I requested through Book Mooch arrived today!


Publisher’s Synopsis:

Hired by a noble vampire to care for his son, a young governess’ compassion for her handsome, tragic employer soon gives way to affection, desire…and heart-soaring romance.

A beautiful Texas innocent falls under the mesmerizing spell of a dashing exotic immortal…and is rescued from eternal damnation by the rapturous power of love.

The romantic dreams of a lovely and penniless nanny are gloriously realized, thanks to the bumbling interference of an inept but well-meaning witch.

A stunning and sensuous artist risks her safety and her heart in a passionate tryst with a restless, ghostly protector.

Of these four authors, the only one I've actually read before is Christina Skye, which is why I sought out this book.

23 February 2011

February 2011 Acquisitions 4

Two new books came in the mail today!

The Friendship Bread by Darien Gee. This is an ARC that came from Random House today. I enter a lot of giveaways and contests and don't even remember this one, but it will be the next book I read.
Apache Fire by Elizabeth Lane. I had this on my wish list, I'd read about it on a book blog. I don't remember what blog or what I read, but I'm thinking it was a HaBO entry on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Anyway, I was intrigued enough to hunt for the book and it came from a Book Mooch member.

Publisher's Synopsis:

A dangerous man lay near death at Rose Colby’s feet – and though logic told her to flee from the unpredictable half-breed, instinct whispered a different tale. Latigo was a worthy man who desperately needed her help – and her heart…! The brave young woman made Latigo yearn for what he knew he could never have – acceptance, family…and love. Such things were not for the likes of him. For he was a renegade Apache, the white man’s posse claimed, and could only bring the widowed Rose Colby more grief…

22 February 2011

February 2011 Acquisitions 3

One of my favorite TV shows is Charmed, and today I received, from a Book Mooch member, three tie-in books. So, I know they aren't great literature, but they're still quick fun reads that bring back memories of the show. (I also like to read Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-in books). 

                             Publisher's synopsis:

Charmed Again, a novelization by Elizabeth Lenhard; based on the episodes "All Hell Breaks Loose" and "Charmed Again", written by Brad Kern; based on the hit TV series created by Constance M. Burge.

Piper and Phoebe Halliwell are devastated by the loss of their big sister, Prue. But even in their grief they can’t forget that they, too, are in mortal danger. The power of the Charmed Ones has been broken, leaving them prey to every form of evil. Even Leo, their Whitelighter, and Cole, Phoebe’s demon boyfriend, can’t protect them.

In frustration and despair, Piper casts a spell to summon a lost witch and bring back her beloved Prue. The spell does work, but not as Piper intended. A lost witch is found – heir to a shocking Halliwell family secret. But can Piper and Phoebe persuade her to assume her powers and complete the Power of Three?

Spirit of the Wolf, an original novel by Diana G. Gallagher; based on the hit TV series created by Constance M. Burge.

At a remote resort in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a tree bursts into flames, an animal skull oozes blood, and a wolf threatens to attack, then vanishes like a ghost. The police suspect a nearly extinct Native American group that was forced off the resort’s land long ago. Others blame the owners of the resort for defiling sacred tribal lands.

Phoebe and Paige arrive for a pre-opening weekend and some sisterly bonding, but are soon drawn into danger by incidents both natural and unnatural. A powerful shaman holds the key to the mystery with his secret knowledge – knowledge that is shared by the wolf haunting the land. The sisters call upon Piper, Leo, and Cole for guidance – and summon all their powers to confront a demon as cunning as any they have ever encountered!

Trickery Treat, an original novel by Diana G. Gallagher; based on the hit TV series created by Constance M. Burge.

It’s Halloween, and Piper is busy decorating the Manor, which has become the neighborhood hot spot on the most bewitching night of the year. Meanwhile, Paige decides to use the party as a chance to honor the dead. She casts a spell that creates a portal for a clan of leprechauns…and other wandering spirits.

The guests are thrilled and impressed wit the realistic effects, but Phoebe, Piper and Paige soon realize they have a big trick to deal with: one not-so-friendly ghost going out of his way to turn the Manor into a haunted house. The Charmed Ones must stop this evil soul with a vengeance before he takes the life of one experienced ghost hunter who knows his story and has met him before…

19 February 2011

The Stone Prince


Publisher's Synopsis:

Katie James is unlucky in love – so unlucky shes been reduced to kissing the marble statute in her own garden. But her luck changes when the statue warms to life in her arms – and turns out to be a hunk straight out of any woman’s fantasy! Well, almost...Jorlan en Sarr hails from a distant planet and like all the other men Katie's known, he comes with a lot of baggage.

Entombed in his stone skin for centuries, Jorlan has been waiting for a maiden fair to break the spell. Yet this statuesque beauty with the will of an Amazon and kisses like flame is a far cry from the obedient damsels of Imperia. And though Jorlan is tempted to abandon all for the sake of Katie, unless he can convince her to give him her heart in two weeks' time, he'll be turned back to stone. And she'll be lost to him forever.

I read a lot of paranormal romance - vampires, witches, and so forth. But aliens from another planet never appealed to me. I picked this book up at a library book sale because the cover caught my eye. From the description on the back, it sounded interesting, despite the alien part, and since it is a Harlequin romance, I figured it wouldn't be all science-fictiony.

And it wasn't, at all. In fact, it was all out steamy from the get-go. Katie is renovating a Victorian home, and there are several statues in the garden. She finds herself drawn to this one particular statue though, caressing it, and imagining what it would feel like if it were an actual man and not a statue. She even thinks she hears it whispering to her, “kiss me”. Which she finally does, only to find herself in the arms of a glorious naked man.

This is the first book I've read by Gena Showalter. My favorite authors are ones who can mix romance and humor, and Ms. Showalter does so most excellently. Some of the scenes with Katie's overprotective brothers are laugh out loud funny. Katie is a likeable heroine, though her absolute fear of falling in love and her reasons for that fear came across, to me anyway, as a little unfounded. She's never actually had a boyfriend, and suffers from what she terms “First Date Syndrome”, meaning she never seems to go on a second date with anyone. If there had been a serious boyfriend in her past who had hurt her, her attitude would seem more realistic to me.

Overall, a very enjoyable read. And I'm not sure if I'll ever look at a statue the same way.

16 February 2011

February 2011 Acquisitions 2

I read a Christina Skye book awhile back and really enjoyed it, so I've been collecting her other books. I received this one through Book Mooch. It's the seventh book in her Draycott Abbey series. I already have Books One, Four, Five, and Six, but haven't read any of them yet, and I am very anal about reading series in order. So it will probably be a long time before I actually read this one. Nevertheless, I'm very pleased to have it!

Publisher's synopsis:

Beautiful American heiress Jamee Night feels someone watching her: someone who knows every move she makes. And she knows firsthand what fear is, since she survived a kidnapping when she was just a girl. But Jamee has worked too hard to lose her confidence now. She has come to Scotland on a mission of hope, and to return to the land of her ancestors.

Jamee would never knowingly accept protection, but when she meets Ian McCall, tenth laird of Glenlyle, she is unaware that the proud Highlander is a top kidnapping expert secretly working on her behalf. But there is no mistaking the quiet strength and steely confidence which pulls her inexorably toward his powerful, sheltering embrace and wakens within her a desperate yearning – as well as intense memories of an ancestor who lived, loved and made three solemn wishes generations before.

Now, here in the windswept hills, with Jamee’s courage, Ian’s trust, and a bit of otherworldly help from the irrepressible spirits of Draycott Abbey, miracles can take place – and even ancient wishes really can come true.

14 February 2011

Dead to the World


Book 5 in the Sookie Stackhouse, aka Southern Vampires series.

I have to say I like Eric so much better than Bill, so I was thrilled to see that this volume is Eric-centric, and I did not miss Bill one bit. Eric's personality change while under the influence of amnesia really makes you wonder what he was like before he became a vampire, what kind of man he was then.

In this entry in the series, Bill has gone to Peru to work on his book, and Eric has been cursed by a witch who wants to take over his empire, not to mention himself. He has no memory of who he – or anyone else – is. For his own safety, Pam, his second in command, decides that it would be best for him to stay with Sookie until the witch can be found and made to reverse the curse. 

Alcide is also featured in this one (as is the horrible Debbie Pelt to a lesser extent), and between him and Sam I already felt like Sookie would be just fine if Bill were gone permanently. Who knew Eric would come into the mix in such a big way? But hooray!

I’m trying not to give away too much, which makes it hard to really say anything about Sookie and the kinder and gentler Eric’s relationship throughout this book. It will be interesting to see how the relationship is played out in future volumes.

(I received this book through a Book Spiral I participated in on BookCrossing.)

10 February 2011

The Renegade Hunter


This is book 12 in the Argeneau Family series, and book 3 in the Rogue Hunter series. Our hero this time out is Nicholas, who we learned in the previous book is a rogue immortal. Fifty years ago he was a rogue hunter himself, but after his wife was killed in a freak accident, he murdered a pregnant woman who resembled her. He’s been on the run as a rogue since that time.

In The Immortal Hunter, the Council sent hunters to try and capture Nicholas, who managed to escape them while at the same time helping them rescue two women who had been kidnapped by a nest of other rogues.  In this book, Nicholas is still around, and this time it’s Jo Willan he rescues, discovering in the process that she is his life mate.

Thus the ground work is set. Nicholas is determined to keep Jo safe, not only from the rogues who want to harm her, but from a life on the run with him. Jo believes in her heart that Nicholas is innocent of the crime he’s been accused of, and is just as determined to find a way to prove it and save him. 

Renegade is not quite as good as Immortal was, but is still better than the first Rogue Hunter book.  My biggest gripes – a) Jo constantly raises her eyebrows, it seems like on every other page she does so. Although once I began to get really irritated with it she seemed to stop.  And b) everyone, but especially the men, speak “dryly”.  Sometimes three times on one page. I got sick of that word!

(I purchased this book at Half Price Books.)

08 February 2011

February 2011 Acquisitions

Not too long ago I watched a movie called Solomon Northup's Odyssey.  It was about a man who was born a freeman, but kidnapped and sold into slavery for twelve years. After googling the movie, I discovered it was based on a book, and I added it to my wish list on Book Mooch.  My wish was fulfilled and the book arrived today!

06 February 2011

The Immortal Hunter


The Immortal Hunter was much, much better than The Rogue Hunter. I wrote this in my review of Rogue:

"I expected more about the actual hunt for the rogue, and when that storyline was resolved it was sort of a let down. This book had less danger, less bite, shall we say, than some of the previous entries in the series. When I read the next book, The Immortal Hunter, my expectations will be lower and I'll keep in mind that this series is basically light, fluffy romances."

Well, Immortal exceeded my expectations and then some. We met Decker in Rogue, and Immortal tells his story. The Council has learned that Nicholas, who is Decker's cousin and who went rogue fifty years ago, has been spotted in the area, and he becomes the next target. But Nicholas leads them to a nest of rogues, who have kidnapped two sisters. Decker and his partners are able to rescue Dani, but one rogue escapes, taking Dani's younger sister with him.

Now they have to catch both Nicholas and the rogue, and rescue Stephanie, all while convincing Dani that they are not just more bad guys and really do want to help her, but without revealing to her just exactly who they are.

You know how this is going to end, right? Well, I can tell you now, you are only half correct in your assumption.

(I purchased this book at a used book store.)

05 February 2011

Touch Me In The Morning


 I truly adore old romances, and particularly Harlequin Presents. Catherine George is my favorite Harlequin author. Touch Me In The Morning is a classic George story.

By day, Theo dresses in dowdy “maiden aunt” clothing and horn-rimmed glasses to work as a secretary for the very demanding, egotistical, tantrum throwing James Hackett. By night, she settles into her attic apartment in more becoming clothing and a little make-up, to spend her evenings as Theodora, writing a romance novel.

This is the second George book I've read recently where the heroine drabbed herself down in order to get a job. Previous secretaries had a tendency to fall for Mr. Hackett's good looks and charm, and he wanted a secretary who would be immune to him. And he was just as immune to her, until the day he inadvertently saw her landlord plant a kiss on her, and suddenly he realized there was a woman beneath the matronly clothing.

Next to the romances written today, these old Harlequins (this one was published in 1988) are tame and quaint. But they are also very romantic, which is the whole point, right?

(I received this book through Book Mooch)

04 February 2011

The Rogue Hunter


This is the 10th book in the Argeneau series, and the first book in the Rogue Hunter series (of which there are three - I don't know if there will be more). The book deviated from the Argeneau family, featuring an unrelated immortal as the hero. Garrett Mortimer hunts rogue immortals for the Council, along with his partners, Bricker and Decker. They are sent to "cottage country" to look for a rogue vamp, as several humans have been spotted in the area with bite marks on their necks.

Samantha Willan and her two sisters are vacationing in a neighboring cottage. Sam is the usual Sands' heroine, plucky and sassy and strong, though a recent breakup with a longtime boyfriend has left her with low self-esteem.

Sam appears to be very clumsy, which thoroughly disgusts Mortimer when he realizes he can't read her and she could be his life mate. She stumbles and falls a lot - in fact, he thinks she's a drinker at first. Turns out to be a stubborn inner ear infection causing her equilibrium to be off. Wouldn't an inner ear infection be painful? Sam is only in pain when she falls. But maybe not all ear infections are painful. I'm too lazy to research that though.

The book is enjoyable, but not as much as the ones before it. I expected more about the actual hunt for the rogue, and when that storyline was resolved it was sort of a let down. This book had less danger, less bite, shall we say, than some of the previous entries in the series. When I read the next book, The Immortal Hunter, my expectations will be lower and I'll keep in mind that this series is basically light, fluffy romances.

(I purchased this book at Half Price Books.)

02 February 2011

Argeneau Vampires

I've been reading Lynsay Sands' Argeneau series, and am currently reading The Rogue Hunter, so I thought I'd go back through my notes and post my thoughts on the previous books.

 A QUICK BITE. I read one of the other books in this series a few years ago, not realizing when I started it that it was part of a series. So I've been collecting the books since then to read in order. I absolutely loved this book. I love the author's whole take on vampire mythology, and I love her humor - I laughed out loud more than once. I can't wait to continue with this series.
 LOVE BITES. Another enjoyable entry in the series. Though quite a difference in the amount of sexual content between this book and the first one.
 SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE. Of course, as with all Lynsay Sands' books, it was very enjoyable!
 TALL, DARK AND HUNGRY. Another enjoyable entry in the series, though I didn't like it quite as much as the first three. I liked Terri, the heroine, but at this point the heroine of each book (except the first one) seem to all be very similar.
 A BITE TO REMEMBER. Very good entry in the series. While I've enjoyed all the books so far, the previous books were starting to feel very similar, i.e., the heroes and heroines after the first book were all alike and interchangeable, and I was feeling just a tad bored by the end of Book 4. But Book 5 shook it up a little bit. Our hero this time, Vincent, is a cousin to the previous heroes, and he's much less serious than they are, and more at ease in dealing with mortals and their world. The heroine is a mortal, but she's known about the immortals since she was 19 (though she doesn't like them), so in this book there was no need to go through the whole "oh my god there really are vampires" stuff. My only beef with this volume is that Jackie, the heroine, does not faint after having vampire sex the first time, whereas in the previous books, all the heroines did, and it was explained to them that all females do in the beginning. Not that I care if she faints, and I'm hoping that maybe the author just decided to "forget" about that part of the mythology, as I thought it was kind of ridiculous. Anyway, I very much enjoyed this, and it's made me excited again to continue the series.

BITE ME IF YOU CAN. Apparently I did not make an note of this one, though I do remember reading and enjoying it.
 THE ACCIDENTAL VAMPIRE. A wonderful entry in the series. After the first few books or so, they were all starting to feel the same. Then the sixth book made a departure from the series usual formula, and was very refreshing. This one again goes off in it's own direction, and was very enjoyable.
 VAMPIRES ARE FOREVER. Another one I didn't make any note of. I don't care for the cover much.
VAMPIRE, INTERRUPTED. I enjoyed this one though not quite as much as some of the others. I was looking forward to Marguerite's story, but it just didn't quite resonate with me as well as the others. And when there was mention of Lucian and Leigh, I was very confused because I didn't remember Leigh or reading Lucian's story. I've been reading this entire series in order, so I finally had to stop and look to see which book featured them, and sure enough, it was sitting on my shelf, unread. I'm not sure how I skipped it! Overall I've loved this series, and I did enjoy this book very much and look forward to the rest of the series.

01 February 2011

January 2011 Acquisitions 4

I know it's February now, but this book came last week. I just didn't have internet access for a few days and couldn't post! After reading Sloppy Firsts, I found a used copy of Second Helpings on Amazon and ordered it the same day. However, as much as I look forward to reading it, I'll probably hold off for awhile as I have so many other books I want read!