Surrender by Pamela Clare

If you're sick of cookie-cutter romances, then go buy this book!

It's not often you find historicals set in the US, and most often they are set in the West. Here, though, we have a well-done historical romance set during the French and Indian War. Pamela Clare doesn't pretty things up, yet she also doesn't let that bog the story down. Er, what I mean is that you get a good sense that things aren't easy, yet there's a nice element of hope.

Back blurb:
A hand-picked cadre of warriors, they had the fierce courage of their Scots forefathers, combined with the stealth and cunning of the Indians who lived beside them in the wilderness. Battling the French in no-holds-barred combat, they forged a new brand of honor, became a new breed of men…

MacKinnon’s Rangers

Iain MacKinnon had been forced to serve the British crown, but compassion urged him to save the lovely lass facing certain death at the hands of the Abenaki. He’d defied his orders, endangered his brothers, his men and his mission, all for a woman. But when he held Annie’s sweet body in his arms, he could feel no regret. Though he sensed she was hiding something from him, it was too late to hold back his heart. In love and war, there are times when the only course of action is… Surrender.

So...may I say that this was a very enjoyable read? I loved the romance and the setting and all the characters. And there are plenty of characters, yet they don't overshadow the main storyline, which is the romance. Annie has reason to distrust people, yet Iain and his men win her over. Hell, they won me over.

And the villains...without getting into plot spoilers, I'll just say I liked how the author handled things. She makes the ending believable and doesn't make the mistake of making everything perfect.

All in all, I'm very glad I had the chance to read this and will definitely be getting the rest of the series when it comes out.

I'm shocked and amazed

My has Ellora's Cave books. Not ones I feel like reading right now, but they are there. Two of Patrice Michelle's vampire romances. Cool. I'm rather impressed with my library. Kinda makes up for them putting all the mass market paperbacks in the back of the library in only the most rudimentary of order.

American Beauty by Ashley Ladd

American Beauty by Ashley Ladd

Blurb from Ellora's Cave:
Kirsty Engle is in shock when Bradley Miller, resplendent in a ball gown, feather boa, and tons of eye shadow, wants to rent her spare room. She can't understand why this obviously unavailable man makes her heart sing and her blood boil more than any other.

Undercover police officer Lt. Brad Mueller curses his captain and the car thieves that are responsible for him being in such a totally ludicrous predicament. It's bad enough he has to dress like a babe, but he's received strict orders not to touch one for the duration of his secret mission, under threat of being fired from the force. This ladies' man doesn't know if he can stand his worse-than-death sentence - particularly after he falls for his sweet and very voluptuous landlady. As if all of that isn't bad enough, everything gets really crazy when Kirsty and her gay boss make a bet to see who can win his heart.

American Beauty was fairly fun to read. I actually went back to it last night when I didn't finish it the other night, which doesn't always happen. It's one of those books that's fun to read, but when you go back and really think about it, things crop up. Though hmmm...really, it's more that I'd wanted to see Kirsty and Brad having a few more alone times to really see how their relationship grows. It's implied that they have these moments, but we don't really see them. And Brad doesn't seem to do as much undercover work as one would think he'd be doing. But otherwise, it is a cute story with some fun characters. The ending where Brad proposes (really, it's a romance, is that a spoiler?) is extremely cute and you can see how Kirsty can't resist saying yes.

So....this is not a must-read, but it is a nice way to pass a few hours.

Now this is a surprise!

From Màili:

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Who knew?

And adding the Science one:

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 6/8 correct!

Bleh. Science isn't my strong point.

I succeeded!

I have in my little hands, Crazy Kisses by Tara Janzen, The Kill by Allison Brennan, A Study in Scandal by Robyn DeHart, AND Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. Yay!

I also picked up some used books while I was there: Search and Seizure by Julie Miller, The Mysterious Miss M by Diane Gaston, and Suite Fantasy by Janice Maynard.

Ooph...I really should write up some reviews. I've read The Little Lady Agency by Hester Brown, the first 4 issues of Hunter-Killer, The Switch by Lynsay Sands, and Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice.

And I need to straighten my office space so I can take some after pictures and get that post up.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1

Got this at the library last week along with some other graphic novels and manga. Finished it last night and now I really want to read the second volume.

London, 1898. The Victorian Era draws to a close and the twentieth century approaches. It is a time of great change and an age of stagnation, a period of chaste order and ignoble chaos. It is an era in need of champions.

Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Hawley Griffin, Dr. Henry Jekyll, Mr. Edward Hyde, and Mina Murray are those champions and together they comprise the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Recruited by the enigmatic Campion Bond, under orders from the mysterious "M," these six adventurers are pressed into service by their empire in its time of need. Now they must face the nefarious Doctor and his vile plan for world domination. But things are not entirely as they seem; other factors, cryptic and corpuscular, are also at play. A remarkable drama ensues.

Well....if you haven't read this, you should. It's great fun. Humorous and full of adventure and literary references. The art even grew on me after awhile. I can't really think of what to say other than that I really enjoyed it. And it's nothing like that awful movie.

For Sherrilyn Kenyon fans

Seems that her out-of-print backlist is going to be re-released. So if you're not a die-die-die-hard fan, don't pay the big bucks for those copies floating around. Daimon's Angel, Paradise City, Born of the Night, and Born of Fire will be out and from the newsletter, looks like she may be rewriting parts to conform more to her original idea for the series. Don't know any release dates yet.

And it seems that the Lords of Avalon series will also be going into the realm of graphic novels. Or basically, a comic book series. Quite interesting. I wonder if the popularity of manga has any bearing on that? I think her release this March is the first of the Lords of Avalon. I think I'll be getting it.

I have failed.

I tried, I really did. I so wanted to find Devil in Winter this weekend. Rumors had it at Walgreens, so I tried there. Then Walmart. And nope. None had it. I almost tried a local used bookstore that carries new books, but I had to turn around when I realized I was out of checks and cash and they don't do credit cards. Darn it. So...I guess I'll be waiting until the actual release date. Hmph.

Up next...tales of my bookshelf redo (I purged and alphabetized. Aren't you proud, Megan?). I even have before and after pictures! can you say I love my camera? Might even have to get Gambit in there sometime. He's looking ever so cute (and if you go, "oh you're so cute, sooo cute, such a cute kitty" to him, he plops over on his side/back. Which makes him look even cuter.)

Other than the failure to procure the newest Kleypas book, I'm in an amazingly good mood. Oh...and we bought lots of kitchen gadgets today. That was also fun. I got this cute metal colander with pineapples as the holes, a microplane/zester, silcone basting brush, new silcone spatulas, some chop and scrape thingy, cast-iron skillet, two cereal containers, and some more that I don't remember.

Now on to the gym in a half hour.

Well I'm a moron.

So I say in that post about Crazy Cool that I'm going to have to buy Crazy Wild since I didn't have it yet.

Note the book on the bottom of the stack in the Gambit picture.

*smacks forehead*

Play Along!

Lifted from Tara Marie:

Play Along!

Current Clothing: Jeans and a short sleeve shirt with a college residence hall hooded sweatshirt over it.

Current Hair: Air-dried boring brown. And I'm never getting a cheap cheap haircut again. Hmph.

Current Mood: ambivalent, feeling like I should be doing something productive

Current Refreshment: Diet Dr. Pepper

Current Annoyance: My hands are cold.

Current Avoidance: Cleaning and doing even more laundry.

Current Smell: Honestly, I smell nothing. Guess that means avoiding cleaning isn't so bad. Hell, the litter box is even in this room and there's no smells.

Current Thing You Ought to be Doing: More laundry

Current Thing or Things on Your Wall: Two calendars (both cats), college diplomas, various pictures of friends and family, a Shano print. This one. I adore her artwork and really want more.

Current IM person You’re Talking to: Was talking to Jay and my brother.

Current Jewelry: my wedding band (no engagement ring today) and my watch. That's it. I'm simple.

Current Book: The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne and so far I'm really enjoying it. Also need to finish Surrender by Pamela Clare. Also good. But almost too good in that I want to curl up somewhere to read it, yet can't do that when I feel guilty about not cleaning.

Your turn!
It's been awhile, so here's a goofy Gambit picture. Posted by Picasa

Romantic Times March 2006

Romantic Times in review

Seems my local Barnes and Noble has stopped carrying Romantic Times. But this weekend I was at Waldenbooks across town and picked up the March issue. I don’t read it much, but I enjoy it every time I do, so I finally went and subscribed today.

So…my personal highlights from this issue:

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas is a Top Pick, as is Beauty and the Spy by Julie Anne Long. Both books I really want to read. Then there’s Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase, but since I haven’t read Mr. Impossible, I think I’m going to wait on buying this one. But I’m sure I’ll eventually get it.

Although I found Robyn DeHart’s first book a bit bland, the review of A Study in Scandal does make it sound kinda fun.

Although Destiny by Helen Kirkman has a gorgeous cover, the book sounds rather bland. I guess Viking historicals just don’t do it for me very much. And it's in trade, so it's expensive.

I’m not quite sure why Awaiting the Moon by Donna Lea Simpson is considered a March release since it’s obviously a February one, but oh well. Good review. Already have the book due to the PaperbackReader review.

I can’t wait for the anthology that Eileen Dreyer, Jennifer Crusie and Anne Stuart are going to do. It’s going to be The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, and unfortunately, won’t be out until 2007.

Ooooh….Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow got a Top Pick! So, you know, go out and buy the book next month.

The Lighthorseman by Marjorie Jones sounds interesting. It’s a historical set in Australia.

Oooh….Crazy Kisses by Tara Janzen review! Another Top Pick. I want.

Another book I’ve been interested in, Quiet As the Grave by Kathleen O’Brien, got four stars. I really enjoyed her previous gothic last year (Happily Never After), so I’m looking forward to getting this one.

Will be getting The Kill by Allison Brennan to round out the trilogy. I started the second one this weekend, but have a few other things to read before I begin it again. Should be good. I really enjoyed the first book, The Prey.

Blondes Have More Felons by Alesia Holliday looks like fun, though it only got three stars. We’ll see how it is, since it should be in my mail box soon. (in fact, it did come today)

Another “ooooh” with Perfect Weapon by Amy J. Fetzer. I can’t wait! But damn it, does it have to be a trade?

You Only Love Twice by Lori Wilde got four very deserving stars. Already read and reviewed and greatly enjoyed this book.

Bad Boys in Kilts by Donna Kauffman. Someone should send this one to Màili. Cute cover.

Wolf at the Door by Christine Warren. Another Top Pick (yeesh, how many are there?) Looks interesting and I plan to pick it up.

Touch of Evil by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp. Yet another Top Pick. Looks interesting and it’s on my list of books I want.

Goddess of the Rose by P.C. Cast…already got it and hope to read it soon.

The Saint by Melanie Jackson – Santa Claus as a romance hero????????

And romance novels made into straight-to-dvd movies? Personally, it sounds rather scary. Someone will have to buy one and blog about it. And I’m not volunteering.

I have a cold.

I do. And it sucks. My nose is runny, and when it's not runny it's sore and dry. And my throat has some nasty gunk in it that won't go away and makes me want to hack and cough, but hacking and coughing won't help. And my sinuses hurt and are starting to get the hit by a 2x4 feeling. I hate when my face hurts. And I'm tired and sore and on top of all this I feel guilty that I'm sick. I haven't worked out in awhile and feel guilty about that. I want to do things, not be plopped on the couch hugging a blanket and a kleenex box feeling sorry for myself. I hurt, I ache, and I don't want to! *whine whine whine* how come nick never gets sick? Okay, now that's just mean and I'd feel worse if he got sick from me. But dammit, I always get sick during the worst time. Like yesterday I planned to drag myself to the gym after a half hour nap. Well, that half-hour nap turned into a couple hours and while I did feel better afterwards, I still didn't feel all that great. But I really really really did want to go to the gym, if only to assuage my guilt over not going much last week.'s a powerful thing. And Nick's just so darn nice all the time. Which I love. And wouldn't change, but it still makes me feel guilty for being sick and not going to the gym.

Oh screw this, I'm going to go lie on the couch and vegetate.

Crazy Cool by Tara Janzen

So I finally finished reading Crazy Cool by Tara Janzen. And hooboy, I can’t wait to read Crazy Wild. I want I want I want I want.


He called her Bad Luck Dekker, a gorgeous socialite who trailed trouble in her wake. Christian Hawkins should know. Thirteen years ago he saved Kat Dekker’s life—only to spend two years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now it’s déjà vu all over again when he rescues Kay from an explosion that rips through a Denver art auction. This time Christian—now an operative with an elite U.S. task force—plans to keep her close until he figures out why somebody wants to kill her. That is, if he can keep his cool around this sizzling-hot lady….


The daughter of a senator, Kat hasn’t forgotten the hot summer nights of passion in Christian’s arms before everything went wrong. Now, as the bullets start flying, the sexy, self-appointed bodyguard is back in her life in a major way. Especially when Christian kidnaps her and they go roaring into the night in his brute-powered muscle car. But staying our of danger is tough for two people who are this hot for each other, a little bit crazy, and a whole lot in love….

Crazy Cool is pure fun and adventure. Add in a great romance and some fabulous secondary characters and you have one fine book. Christian and Kat are sizzling together. As are some of the secondary characters. I can’t wait for Kid and Nikki’s story. And Skeeter seems to be an interesting character that I’d like to learn more about.

It’s odd how there are a lot of secondary characters, yet I never begrudged their page time. They’re all so fascinating that I love learning more about them. The Kid and Nikki storyline is one I love and hope it continues. And even Travis is interesting, but I can’t picture him as a hero. Hopefully he and Skeeter won’t come to anything, even though I find his Sexual Imprinting company interesting.

Anyways, I loved the book and can’t wait for the rest of the series.


Just checking to see if this works.  Just got Office 2003 and downloaded the Blogger Word thingie since I was using Office 97 (yes, 97) before and it wouldn’t work with a version that old.

Sometimes it sucks to be a woman

And I'm saying that with a smile on my face. *g* Had a doctor's appointment today. It was for this afternoon, but our thundersnowstorm (yes, lightning, thunder AND a few inches of snow) had a lot of people canceling, so they called and asked if I'd come in earlier (or if I wanted to reschedule). Anyways, it was for a female-related thing and I just have to say sometimes guys just have it way too easy. That's all.

And my new dvd-burner drive came. Would you believe I had two drives in my computer and BOTH of them didn't work correctly? BOTH OF THEM!!!!!! So now I have a new one that works and we'll have fun taking apart the other two.

And the storm had Gambit cowering under the couch this morning. You know it's bad when he doesn't even come out for food. Poor guy. And my in-laws get to meet him for the first time this weekend. Well, that is if the roads are good since they're driving. *crosses fingers for decent weather* I miss seeing them.

So how much is your blog worth?

After seeing this a couple places, I decided to try it out myself.

My blog is worth $13,548.96.
How much is your blog worth?

So how much is yours worth?

Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow

Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow. You know you've read a good book when you don't want to read the last page and feel like ranting at the author for things she inflicted on characters in the book that you weren't expecting.

Back blurb:
When the Devil needs a rogue demon killed, who does he call?

The Player: Necromance-for-hire Dante Valentine is choosy about her jobs. Hot tempered and with nerves of steel, she can raise the dead like nobody's business. But one rainy Monday morning, everything goes straight to hell.

The Score: The Devil hires Dante to eliminate a rogue demon: Vardimal Santino. In return, he will let her live. It's an offer she can't refuse.

The Catch: How do you kill something that can't die?

This comes out next month, March 1st, 2006. If you like urban fantasy, buy it. It's a must-read. It's set in what seems to be the near-future, a time after magic and paranormals (psions, in the book) have been accepted as real in the world. Hell, complete with demons, is a real place - another world, so to speak. The author has set up an interesting world and combined many different beliefs into it. It works quite well and rather than mass info-dumping, the information is doled out as necessary. This is a world filled with demons, imps, golems, Magi, Shamans, Necromances, and all sorts of other things usually relegated to the fringe or myth and legend.

Now on to the characters, or at least the two main ones that I liked the most. The book is filled with some interesting ones.

Dante (Danny) Valentine: Our Necromance (she can raise/talk to the dead) and main character. She's definitely an alpha female and is used to working on her own and taking care of herself. She's, well, herself. Unique and fun to listen to. Since the book is told in first person, this is a good thing. Her past is horrific at times and shaped the woman she is, with scars both internal and external. She doesn't want any pity, though. She's the best Necromance in her generation (perhaps ever) and that is why the Prince of Hell wants her for his job.

Japhrimel: His first meeting with Danny doesn't go well since she objects to having guns thrust in her face. He's the one who takes her to Hell and back. Literally (hey, it works in this case, Megan. She really does go to Hell). He's a demon whose welfare depends on keeping Danny alive long enough for her to do her task. He takes his job seriously. I think he's one of my favorite characters. Watching him change throughout the book is intense.

Again, I'd say this is a must-read book. Now I can't wait to read the next one. I really can't say enough about how much I enjoyed reading this book.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is in the air! So give a big hug to the one you love, be it the cat, the husband or the kids. Or even just a friend.

Nick got me flowers yesterday. A pot with daffodils in them. So cute. I love daffodils, so these are just perfect.

And Sunday night

We went to the Nine Inch Nails concert in Moline, IL last night. Oh wow, it was really really good. Saturday night may have been good, but it doesn't hold anything against last night. The opening band sucked ass, but the rest of the concert more than made up for that. Great music and we had nice seats (row 7 just right of center), so we had a great view of the stage. And seats, so when my feet got sore, I could sit down for a minute. Or sit to avoid the smoke of the guy in the row in front of us (mind you, this was a non-smoking facility). But other than that it was great!!!!

And now it's Monday. We got Gambit from the vet where we boarded him and he's happy to be home and begging for food again. Now for a day of rest. Which includes going to the gym and perhaps cleaning the apt. carpets. Did I say day of rest?

I'm back for a little while

Well, it's Sunday and I survived Saturday. Lots of fun to be had yesterday. Well, after we took Gambit to be boarded at the vet. OMG, I felt so sorry for him. I think he thinks we've deserted him. You should have heard his pathetic yowling. But we'll go get him tomorrow morning.

On to Des Moines. Went to Waldenbooks as I had a gift card and I bought several books. They have a buy 4 get the 5th free deal going on so I picked up these:

To the Brink by Cindy Gerard (now I have the whole series to read all at once)
Goddess of the Rose by P.C. Cast
Awaiting the Moon by Donna Lea Simpson
In the Thrill of the Night by Candice Hern
Crazy Wild by Tara Janzen (you know, I still have Crazy Cool to read...)

Then we went to another mall where Kathleen Bacus and Susan Fox were signing at the Barnes and Noble. Both were very nice and it was fun to listen to them talk to each other. I learned that there will be at least three more Calamity Jayne stories. The second is coming in July and takes place at the Iowa State Fair. Then the third will be a Halloween tale in October. And the fourth in April 2007.

I also learned about the cover name discrepancy. Apparently she's working on a darker series and wanted to use the K.C. Bacus name for that to separate it from the lighter series she has going on right now. She has no idea how that name came to be on the covers, but for awhile she was afraid they wouldn't be able to change it to Kathleen Bacus in time. But apparently they did.

And at BN, I also bought Sorceress of Faith by Robin D. Owens and One Grave Too Many by Beverly Connor, as well as A Husband To Belong To by Susan Fox (also very nice to meet) and of course Calamity Jayne (I sent my first copy on to Jay).

And we ate at the Cheesecake Factory. Yummmm... I'd never been there. We shared an entree and I had the Godiva chocolate cheesecake. was rich. And good. And I didn't finish all of it. Just too much. But oh...good.

Then...concert. It was for the Snocore tour and featured Halestorm, Flyleaf, Shinedown, and Seether. All were pretty good, but Seether definitely stood out. They sound as good in concert as they do on the cd. my god my feet hurt after standing for the five hours the concert lasted. But thanks to that new rapid release tylenol stuff, I didn't have a headache even after standing in smoke the whole night. Good drugs. So it was a very good rock concert and I'm glad we decided to go.

And the hotel...I slept so good. Was a nice big comfy bed. And had hot hot water and good water pressure (really, that's all I want. If everything else sucks, I want at least a good hot shower). I'd stay there again.

So that was my Saturday. Busy busy and lots of fun. Oh..and I finished Vanish by Tess Gerritsen on the drive home. Good book. But man, now I've finished all the Rizzoli/Isles books that are out. I think I read three in the last week. Really good series, as you can probably figure out.

And the weekend's not over. Still have another concert tonight!

Valentine's Day tag

This is from Lori Devoti's blog post:

A list of books perfect for Valentine’s Day gifts, of course. But to make it more fun, the title has to include a Valentine type word like: love, heart, kiss, Valentine, cupid. Anything you might find inside a valentine.

1. The Trouble With Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson
2. Valentine Kittens by Jo Ann Ferguson, Valerie King, and Cynthia Pratt
3. 2000 Kisses by Christina Skye

So...I'm tagging Jay, Kristie, and Angie. And well, anyone else who feels like it.

Edited to add: Add three new ones tot he list, or however many you want.

Hump Day

Wednesday....yuck. I really meant to clean more today. How come the urge to clean always comes at bedtime? Really, why?

I did apply for two jobs today. One retail, which required getting sorta dressed up (and those clothes are now back on the hanger, I like comfy clothes). and another online that I doubt I'll get, but it felt good to at least try.

I really should go and do the stuff I planned on doing. And dammit, I forgot to go to Michael's while I was out to return stuff. Argh. Blech.

The Manolo Matrix by Julie Kenner

If you liked The Givenchy Code, you MUST read the sequel. Really. It's good. And involves Broadway (hell, I even was able to get an idea of some of the clues on my own). And a bird bitch. And shoes, but they really aren't an overpowering part of the book. I mean, every woman's allowed to lust after some impractical thing, right?

USA Today bestselling author of The Givenchy Code Julie Kenner reloads for her second novel of high-heeled thrills as another woman gets pulled into a mysterious world of extreme gaming where she must play or die.

Aspiring actress Jennifer Crane knows all about games -- the games girls play to get a guy; the games actresses play to land a part; and the good old game of credit-card roulette. (How else is a girl supposed to afford her shoes?) But she never expected to be playing a game with life-or-death consequences. Unable to successfully score an acting gig, she has, instead, been cast in the role of reluctant bodyguard to a real-life assassin's target -- a dashing FBI agent of all people! -- and must embark with him upon a scavenger hunt across Manhattan in search of the ultimate prize: survival. Before this, Jenn's definition of fighting dirty has been elbowing her way to the front of the line at a Manolo sample sale. Now, if she wants to stay alive, she's going to have to learn a few new uses for her stilettos. . . and they ain't pretty.

Fast, flirty, and full of great footwear, The Manolo Matrix is another electrifying adventure in this breakout series for fashionistas who love a perfectly appointed mystery.

It really helps to know about the events that happened in The Givenchy Code to fully appreciate the book, but I do think it could stand alone okay. Again we have an assassin, a protector, and a target playing a game to the death. And it's obvious something really nefarious is going on because this time, things are even more personal than they were in the first game.

The book's voice takes a bit of getting used to, but only for the first few chapters. Kenner really has made her characters' voices very distinctive, so even though Jennifer and the bird bitch's chapters are both in first person, you easily know who it right away. And you also get Devlin's perspective too. The chapters mention whose POV it is, but you can pretty much figure it out on your own without that cue. Basically I mean to say that it really works and I enjoyed getting into the characters' heads.

I really enjoyed the clues and the chase. And the romance between Jennifer and Devlin is well-done and I never got the impression that things were moving too fast. This is a quick read and loads of fun.

So I'd say I definitely recommend The Manolo Matrix by Julie Kenner and I can't wait for The Prada Paradox, the last in the trilogy. But *whine* it doesn't come out until 2007!!!!

Misled by Sylvia Day

And up next is Misled by Sylvia Day. Nice combination of vampires and futuristic romance.

Book blurb from Ellora's Cave:
Special Task Force agent Derek Atkinson has a craving for luscious vamp Sable Taylor. But Sable is a bounty hunter, which makes him direct competition in the capture of wanted criminals. Despite the obvious attraction between them, she won't give him a chance and after two years, he's tired of waiting for her to come around.

So he's got a plan to give them both what they want…each other.

Sable's on a dangerous mission. She's not who Derek thinks she is, so a relationship just isn't possible. But like most master vampires, Derek's wily and used to having his way. When he traps her on his ship, she decides to indulge. Two straight days of mind-blowing sex should be enough, but it isn't, not for either of them. Her heart is involved now, but Sable can't let Derek get too close. If he finds out what she's doing, he'll never forgive her.

Derek, however, refuses to let go. Now he's getting shot at and asking questions she shouldn't answer. Sable has to reveal the truth… Derek's love has been misled…

I really liked this one. I have no clue why I waited until last week to finally start reading it. It's got a great story, great characters, and great sex. So altogether, a rather great book. I mean, it even has a great cover. Sable's a nice strong female lead and Derek's a good match for her. I especially liked his reaction to Sable's secret. And as much as I enjoy vampire books, I did like that it wasn't a huge part of the book. I mean, it's certainly there and plays a role (since Sable and Derek are both vampires), but it doesn't overshadow the futuristic feel of the book.

I'll definitely be reading the sequel someday - whenever I get the urge to buy ebooks again. And Amazon has FINALLY shipped Bad Boys Ahoy!, so I should be getting that at the beginning of next week.

The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen

So I was going to be lazy, but then decided not to be. Have a few reviews of recently read stuff to put out.

First up is The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen.


It is a boiling hot Boston summer. Adding to the city’s woes is a series of shocking crimes, in which wealthy men are made to watch while their wives are brutalized. A sadistic demand that ends in abduction and death.

The pattern suggests one man: serial killer Warren Hoyt, recently removed from the city’s streets. Police can only assume an acolyte is at large, a maniac basing his attacks on the twisted medical techniques of the madman he so admires. At least that’s what Detective Jane Rizzoli thinks. Forced again to confront the killer who scarred her—literally and figuratively—she is determined to finally end Hoyt’s awful influence . . . even if it means receiving more resistance from her all-male homicide squad.

But Rizzoli isn’t counting on the U.S. government’s sudden interest. Or on meeting Special Agent Gabriel Dean, who knows more than he will tell. Most of all, she isn’t counting on becoming a target herself, once Hoyt is suddenly free, joining his mysterious blood brother in a vicious vendetta. . . .

Filled with superbly created characters—and the medical and police procedural details that are her trademark—The Apprentice is Tess Gerritsen at her brilliant best. Set in a stunning world where evil is easy to learn and hard to end, this is a thriller by a master who could teach other authors a thing or two.

The Apprentice is the sequel to The Surgeon and probably shouldn't be read before reading the previous book. Luckily knowing The Surgeon's name doesn't really spoil the first book since you get his name right as you read who he is. So, really, no spoils there for any worriers.

We've got Jane Rizzoli here again. She's an interesting character. I didn't actually like her much in the first book, but I learned a lot more about her here and now do like her. The storyline is fairly fast-paced. I read most of it it today and enjoyed it enough to immediately head to the library to pick up the next two in the series - The Sinner and Body Double. I'd really recommend this series if you like police/medical thrillers. It offers a nice combo of them both.

More book covers of upcoming books

The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

"It has served us well, this myth of Christ."
—Pope Leo X, 16th Century

In a hail of fire and flashing sword, as the burning city of Acre falls from the hands of the West in 1291, The Last Templar opens with a young Templar knight, his mentor, and a handful of others escaping to the sea carrying a mysterious chest entrusted to them by the Order’s dying Grand Master. The ship vanishes without a trace.

In present day Manhattan, four masked horsemen dressed as Templar Knights emerge from Central Park and ride up the Fifth Avenue steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the blacktie opening of a Treasures of the Vatican exhibit. Storming through the crowds, the horsemen brutally attack anyone standing between them and their prize. Attending the gala, archaeologist Tess Chaykin watches in silent terror as the leader of the horsemen hones in on one piece in particular, a strange geared device. He utters a few cryptic Latin words as he takes hold of it with reverence before leading the horsemen out and disappearing into the night.

In the aftermath, an FBI investigation is led by anti-terrorist specialist Sean Reilly. Soon, he and Tess are drawn into the dark, hidden history of the crusading Knights, plunging them into a deadly game of cat and mouse with ruthless killers as they race across three continents to recover the lost secret of the Templars.

Well, the obvious connection anyone seeing or reading this book will be to The Da Vinci Code. And it would be an apt comparison. They're very similar in tone and style, I thought. Both entertaining, but certainly not high literature.

So here we have Sean Reilly, an FBI agent and fairly staunch Catholic, and then he's working with Tess Chaykin, an archaeologist who was at the Met gala and whose curiosity was piqued by what one of the Templars said as he stole the geared device.

So we have a bit of romance and also some religious differences as Tess is rather agnstic and Sean has found that the church helped him through a trying time and he believes in it.

The book's interesting. It's a fairly fast-paced thriller and even the info-dumping isn't too bad and told in layman terms. I had to laugh when the Cathars came up after my encounter with trying to read The Midnight Work by Kassandra Sims.

So...I'd say this one is not too bad. Not the best thing ever, but good. Read it if you liked The Da Vinci Code and want something similar. Don't read it if you thought TDVC was fact. *g* I might have to strangle you then.

This and that

I've been a bit remiss in posting about my reads. Well, that and I haven't really finished anything lately. I keep starting stuff and then starting other things. So right now I'm in the middle of Jigsaw by Kathleen Nance (I'm determined to finish it this month), The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen, The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury, Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass, and some I can't remember off the top of my head. Bleh. I also need to do my new-to-me-author thing for Angie's TBR challenge.

I did get Bad Kitty by Michelle Jaffe, The Manolo Matrix by Julie Kenner, and Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair from the library today. That's after I got Circus of the Darned by Katie Maxwell, and the Last Templar by Khoury from them yesterday. And Wanted: One Perfect Man by Judi McCoy to verify something. And I've already got The Mysterious Miss M from the library too. I'm having fun getting lots of books from them this year so far. I really should probably stop since it isn't helping my quest to whittle down the tbr pile. But dammit, they're new books that sound good. How can I resist? And all I need to do is go on the website, put them on hold for pickup at my closest library and wait for them to come in? Simple simple simple.

I think I'm going to go read a book now. Yeah, that sounds good.

New computer is working great. Still need to install the lights sometime today and then I'll post a pic of that.

Tomorrow is the big day

Yup...tomorrow my computer parts arrive. Well, the rest of them. The power supply came today. Nick's getting off work early to come home and start putting it together. There will be pictures. Um...because I feel like taking pictures. :-) And there will be light! Nick tried out the light thingies tonight and they work.

And the damn cat is feeling especially needy today. And if you try to ignore him, he bites. This is not a good thing to start doing. And we bought Sticky Paws to try to combat the early morning wake-up call. Uh..this is after Nick tried to make an automatic thingie to spray air at the cat. You know you're living with an engineer when he tries to use the newly bought solenoid to combat bad kitty behavior. At least I think it was a solenoid. Anyways, it didn't work. And he tried a motor he had. Yeah, engineers....ya gotta love 'em.