New books, update on life

Well, it's April 30th. My how April flew by. And it decided to end with a rather dreary rainy weekend. was my day off and we had fun. First it was a nice lazy morning. Played FFX-2 that I'd finally bought (no matter that I still haven't beaten FFX). Then Nick made lunch. :-) And I ate while playing. Then later we went out and saw Volcanoes of the Deep Sea at the IMAX screen. Was very interesting and cool. Then we headed to the mall. Went to Waldenbooks. :-)

At Waldenbooks I bought:

His Wicked Kiss by Gaelen Foley
Hide in Plain Sight by Michele Albert
Thunderbird Falls by C.E. Murphy
Map of Bones by James Rollins
Fine-Feathered Death by Linda O. Johnston
Better Read Than Dead by Victoria Laurie (I feel stupid about this last one. I've already read it!!!, but since it was a library book and I do have the others, I'll be keeping it. I mean, I plan to buy the rest, so might as well)

Then we went to eat at Texas Roadhouse. I LOVE their steak. It's delicioso.

So that's been my nice day. Won't mention the other stuff since there are young, innocent kitty eyes here in the room. *g*

Oh, and received Perfect Timing from Jo Leigh. I hope to read it soon. Looks good and has a gorgeous cover.

Argh, it's getting late and the bed is calling. I'll clean this up tomorrow morning with links.

Oh, and work is going well. So far I still enjoy it, although it's still a definite change of pace to be gone so often. Things here at home will need to be worked out so the apartment doesn't fall into total chaos. :-)

The Compass Rose by Gail Dayton

The Compass Rose by Gail Dayton - Go forth and read it!

One desperate call to the gods...
One blast of extraordinary magic...
One gift of unimaginable power...

The legends of the Godstruck were just that - legends. Until, in an attempt to defend her people, Captain Kallista Varyl called on the One for aid and was granted abilities such as no one had seen in centuries.

Now Kallista has been charged with a new destiny as one of the most powerful women in the land- but her power is useless if it cannot be controlled. Mastering her “Godstruck” abilities is the first step. The next, learning that she cannot unlock the secrets of the Compass Rose and defeat her nation's enemy alone. And finally she must stop a demon-possessed king....

The Compass Rose: fourfold magic barely understood-or contained....

Since Sarah did a much better review of this than I will ever do, I'm sending you over to Smart Bitches to read her review. This is one really really good book. Now I'm in the middle of the second one, The Barbed Rose and still feeling the love. *grin* I love it when I find good books.

So thank you, Sarah, for making me finally pick up this book after it wallowed on the TBR shelf for ages.

Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce

Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Royce

Holly Heckerling has a great set of power tools, and she knows how to use them. It's a good thing, because her career as a stand-up comic isn't exactly paying the rent...yet. But nothing's going to stop Holly's rise to stardom. Not the pickpocketing monkey she's been persuaded to pet-sit, or the friends who constantly need her to come to the rescue. And definitely not her meddling aunt, who can't understand why Holly's never had a relationship more than three months long.

Actually, Holly's starting to wonder the same thing.Maybe it's time to stop monkeying around and settle down with a fellow primate (preferably one without fur). Too bad that when it comes to dating, it's a jungle out there, and you never know which way fate's going to swing.

This is one of those books that right after reading, you want to go around and tell all your other friends to read it. This isn't your stereotypical chick lit, but it does fit Màili's idea of chick lit (I'm pretty sure anyways). It's full of humor and shows a turning point in a woman's life—Holly, in this case. Holly Heckerling has a standup comedy gig with a friend and also does odd jobs to support herself. She went to school and received a degree in primatology, but you can't do much with monkeys in New York.

Basically a bunch of interesting things happen throughout the story. There's a mysterious writer who drops off hand-written notes for Holly to transcribe, a monkey to babysit (as well as lots of other animals), crazy relatives, crazy friends....but it all works. And it all works together to create a story I had a very difficult time putting down. I never thought I'd read it right away. When I first got it in the mail (this was a newsletter win from Candy Covered Books), I just cracked open the first page in curiosity. Which was a bad idea as I couldn't stop reading. So the other books I was reading got shoved aside and I spent all my time finishing this one.

So if you're looking for a great chick lit novel, I highly recommend this one. Prepare to laugh, though. If Brenda Scott Royce writes another one in this vein, I'll definitely be getting it.

Sorry for the lack of posts

I started a new job a week ago, so I've been busy. It's definitely been different with both of us working full-time. I think posting should pick up as I get in the swing of things. One would hope, anyways. *grin*

I need to update the sidebar soon, but for now, I'm reading The Barbed Rose by Gail Dayton and trying to get some ebook reading time in.

Okay, so I bought some more ebooks

And from Ellora's Cave. Honestly, it's the first place I think to buy ebooks. Maybe because it's so easy to navigate and to buy from. These stood out because I kinda like the covers. And well, I bought Enforcer because it was a blogger book. I'm easy that way. Okay, and the idea of werewolf mafia is kinda cool. And the Cascades are beautiful. Used to go camping up there.

So here's what I bought:

I hope the Michelle Pillow book is good cuz man, 7.99 for an ebook is steep!!!

Been awhile since we've had a Gambit post

This would be Gambit hiding under my desk. I have no idea how he got himself turned around back there, it's not a large space.

Also....I've come to the conclusion that he just doesn't miaow. Just doesn't. He squeaks and pirrups and coos, but no meowing going on. Maybe once in a great while, but not on a day to day basis. It's mostly the high-pitched squeaks. And oh he sounds funny when he yawns in the middle of a squeak.

He's also thrilled that we have the sliding door to the balcony open a lot now. He loves to sit out on the ledge there whatever it is that he does. But he loves it. And sometimes if he's out there and I'm back in the computer room, he'll come running in and sit down in the middle of the room and talk to me. Then after a scratch or two, he'll run back out. Or he'll stay and bat my arm with his head until I pay more attention to him (mostly a ploy to get more food).

And since we started putting his daily allotment of food in a gladware container in the morning, he's not been packing on the weight (okay, he gained a pound and a half, but still!). Now he's pretty much staying the same. He was getting overfed when we were guesstimating the scoop sizes. *g*

And he STILL gets into the section of Nick's desk where the boards are at, even though we've got it covered. Silly kitty. But who has a cat who DOESN'T try to get where he doesn't belong?

Ahh...I love my cat.


Well...I do mean to start some ebook reviews. Really! I was too tired last night to try to even read any, though. Thanks for all the comments on the last post. I find it an interesting subject.

I started a new job yesterday. It's a temporary job, as I'm replacing another employee who's on personal leave. So far I really enjoy it.

Still reading Monkey Love by Brenda Scott Joyce. And it's still really really really good.

I need to reorganize my bookshelves AGAIN. I just don't like having them alphabetized. Books seem to move in and out and get shuffled around too much to keep it up. I think maybe I'll move to some sort of genre grouping. Who knows.

And that I think is all for now.

Thinking about ebooks - edited and is now a long

Hmmm....Màili and Jorrie and Celia Stuart have interesting comments on ebook reviews. Go read them.

Which reminds me that I think I'm a bit behind in posting about some of the ebooks I've read lately. And I think I've read a few lately (okay, some of these were a month or so ago).

So I'm listing them here so I can try to remember that I need to mention something about them.

Thief's Desire by Isabo Kelly
Sterling Files: Steele by Sherri L. King
Mind Games by Ciana Stone (a DNF)
Worlds of Honor by David Weber anthology (okay, not technically an ebook, but that's how I read it - free Baen book)
From the Deep by Shelley Munro and others
For the Love Of... by Kally Jo Surbeck
Into the Garden by Alicia Sparks

Err...that's all I can remember. I think for awhile I was in sort of an ebook slump. Nothing was interesting me besides the old standby (Doc Savage in ebook form). But it's picking up again.

Editing to add:

You know, the whole lack of ebook reviews on blogs is kinda annoying when trying to buy some. Let's see, I bought Mind Games because of the blurb on EC's site. And the Isabo Kelly book because I've been wanting to read it for awhile and learned it was being repubbed at Cerridwen. And Sherri King because I'm familiar with her Horde Wars series and liked it. From the Deep was a win from the Writerbabes blog. I don't remember how I got Into the Garden. Or For the Love Of...(probably another contest win). And the Baen book was free. So come on people, give me some frickin' word of mouth here.

Like I'm debating whether to buy Lauren Dane's new werewolf book. I mean, I like her blog and she has a nice online presence (and seems very nice), but I'm also leery about werewolf erotic romance after being burned a few times. And I think I'll buy Marshall's Guard by Kelly because I liked Thief's Desire. And debating on Hocus Pocus by Teresa Roblin because it looks cute. I know nothing about the author.

And author groupies/general loop stuff had turned me off a few authors (and sometimes I can't even remember why), so I'm leery about chucking down money for books from Sarah McCarty (I do have her Westerns, but I'm very leery about the paranormal), Lora Leigh (my god the woman has rabid fan groupies), Lorie O'Clare, Shiloh Walker, and Sahara Kelly (a Non-IE site? Uh...I think you might want to change that, author). And a few others, but those are some of the names I think come up most. And to be honest, I think some of the prejudice comes from never hearing much actual discussion of these people's books other than ohmygawdtheherowashawtandsexwashothothot. Um, doesn't really get me to buy the book, people. I want details on plot. PLOT.

Oh dear, I named names. I did. And, I'm sure they all can be quite nice. Being turned off doesn't mean the author isn't nice. Or doesn't write good books (I will never read Kit Tunstall, for example. Just won't. I have my reasons.).

Another thing about buying ebooks for me. I'm big on going to publisher sites. I don't do Fictionwise. So I pub jump. And Ellora's Cave is always my first stop because they have the easiest site to navigate. Liquid Silver Books is easy, but the price of books is too high for me. I did like Leigh Wyndfield's stuff from there. Amber Quill gets me confused. The site is just too complicated for me. And I tend to dislike their covers, so I just give up browsing there usually. Wings ePress has put out a few books that I've liked, but again, I don't tend to go there much since their site is hard to navigate and to be honest, I question their book quality.

New Concepts - I've read quite a few good books from here. But dammit someone (you know who you are) stuck a bug in my ear about theircovers and it's so damn obvious. And it's talked about in this SB thread with examples. I do like some of Michelle M. Pillow's work from here. Like the Dragon Lords series. And I think I've read and enjoyed almost all of Autumn Dawn's work. Site is fairly easy to navigate, but could use work.

I never did much with Cerridwen Press until just lately when I bought Thief's Desire. I do like their site setup fairly well. And most of the covers don't seem to be quite so Poser-nasty.

I've mentioned my beef with Triskelion. Honestly, until last week when I decided on a whim to try it in IE, I had NO idea that there was a navigation bar on the site that I couldn't see in Firefox. I just thought the site sucked ass. Though honestly, I still think that because I do NOT think to try sites in IE when I've visited them in Firefox. I don't. So what moron won't fix that problem? I can't be the only one this has happened to. AND...their book covers. I can always barely read the title (and sometimes not at all). This is NOT good for the casual browser. NOT NOT NOT good. And I'm a casual ebook browser. Those covers and titles drive me up the wall. So Trisk gets shoved to the sidelines.

The there's eXtasy Books, but I just honestly usually forget about them (er, no offense).

Samhain...still haven't read anything from there. Again, mostly from the lack of word of mouth from bloggers I trust.

Changeling Press...again, they have some godawful covers (those are just ones from the front page!). And hardly any of the stories seem to be standalones. So in the end, it seems you're paying more for a full story.
Loose Id - some baaad covers (although Loose Id also has some of the best I've seen, oddly enough).

Venus - again, bad covers (okay, they've gotten a bit better) and bad blog press. I might try one if I got it free, but that's about it.

You know, maybe we need to put up an ebook thread/forum at ReaderNetwork so we can recommend ones we've read.

And I know, I've missed a lot of links. Sorry. it's getting late and I'm wanted in bed. So goodnight all! I hope I won't regret this little rant/whatnot in the morning.

Show Her The Money by Stephanie Feagan

Show Her The Money by Stephanie Feagan


CPA-with-an-attitude Whitney "Pink" Pearl has just blown the whistle on the accounting scam of the decade. And in true scapegoat fashion, she's lost her job and reputation and has moved back home to start again at the bottom of the pile, working as a forensic accountant for (gasp!) her mother. There's no money trail too cold for Pink to follow. But trouble sure follows her—because Pink's not taking back her accusations, no matter how many death threats, abduction attempts and steamy kisses from lawyers of questionable ethics she receives...

Okay, so I was at this Bombshell chat earlier this month at Noveltalk and Stephanie was there. Well, we both expressed our enjoyment of the Smart Bitches. *grin* Anyways, she offered to send me the first two Pink books. Really, was I supposed to turn down an offer like that? I mean, really. Especially when I really have been wanting to read this series after hearing some good things about it. THEN at the end of the chat, I got picked to win one of the chat prizes. Which was the third Pink book, Run For the Money! How's that for coolness? So I got the books not too long ago (maybe a week?). And yesterday I finished up reading the first one.

Wow. This is one seriously fun book. I really like Pink and her attitude about everything that's happened to her. She's not stupid. Most of the times she gets into trouble are due to her always wanting to really know what's going on. She doesn't want to brush things off and ignore them if someone might be doing something wrong. She's not perfect, by any means, but she's got good principles and sticks by them.

The mystery of her stalker and the goings on at Marvel Energy move the plot along well and are tied up nicely in the end. There are some romantic elements, but this isn't a romance (mentioned for those who are sticklers).

Again, I really liked the story and Pink. She's strong, but not an uber-alpha kickass female. She's, well, an everyday woman who gets things done—while dealing with a dog-doo-leaving, murderous stalker(yes, there are dead bodies in this book); a unique mother (I can't quite figure out how to describe her); people who think she's the devil for being a whistleblower; and an interesting, sexy lawyer who's up to who-knows-what. And well, there's more. But you'll just have to read the book.

Now I have to read the second book. And the third. Can't wait!

Resenting the Hero by Moira J. Moore

Resenting the Hero by Moira J. Moore

In a realm beset by natural disasters, only the magical abilities of the bonded Pairs - Source and Shield - make the land habitable and keep the citizenry safe. The ties that bind them are far beyond relationships between lovers or kin - and last their entire lives ...

Whether they like it or not.

Since she was a child, Dunleavy Mallorough has been nurturing her talents as a Shield, preparing for her day of bonding. Unfortunately, fate decrees Lee's partner to be the legendary, handsome, and unbearably self-assured Lord Shintaro Karish. Sure, he cuts a fine figure with his aristocratic airs and undeniable courage. But Karish's popularity and notoriety - in bed and out - make him the last Source Lee ever wanted to be stuck with.

The duo is assigned to High Scape, a city so besieged by disaster that seven bonded Pairs are needed to combat it. But when an inexplicable force strikes down every other Source and Shield, Karish and Lee must put aside their differences in order to defeat something even more unnatural than their reluctant affections for each other...

This is definitely Dunleavy's book more than anything. The book starts out as the Shields (including Dunleavy) are lined up to be potentially chosen (more of a mental bond that occurs) by the Sources. Dunleavy has a Source she'd like to be bonded to, one that's reputed to be calm and reliable. Instead, the electrical shock of bonding is felt when she gazes into the last possible person she'd want to be bonded to, Shintaro Karish. Shintaro has quite a reputation as a ladies' man and Lee has no reason to believe he's anything but the silly, vain aristocrat he seems to be.

While it's a fairly humorous fantasy, it is also more serious. I liked how much I was able to learn of Lee's personality and how others perceived her even though this is in first person POV. Lee's very stubborn and sets her standards quite high and believes that everyone should meet them. I can see where people would get exasperated and highly annoyed by her. Yet...I personally never felt that way. I enjoyed how I was able to see her character from a different point of view. I suppose I'm trying to say that the first person POV really worked for me here.

Now, although the blurb mentions romance, there really isn't any. Which is fine. And Shintaro isn't even in it for a good chunk of the book. That's not the point of the story anyways. It's mainly about Lee becoming comfortable with who she is and learning to get along with Shintaro despite her prejudices. After all, they're together for life.

I can't quite think of who I'd compare this author to. In some ways it's a humorous fantasy, yet to me that implies that it's always tongue-in-cheek, which it isn't. But it is funny in spots. When appropriate. Perhaps I'd just call is a good fantasy. Not epic, not action-based, just a good solid fantasy. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, The Hero Strikes Back. Which doesn't come out until the end of August 2006. Darn it.

The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich

The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich

All it takes is one little kiss...

In order to keep custody of her teenage sister, Tessa Scuderi told a small (okay, big) lie to the people of Lucy's Lake, Vermont about what really happened ten years ago when Dermot Finnegan took off with her virginity, her car and the town bell. It had been working, too, until she found her old car parked in front of her house, keys in the ignition and a telltale red hair stuck to the headrest.

... to totally screw everything up.

All Finn wanted to do was return the stupid car and get gone. But he stopped to save a burning pet shop (big mistake), ended up kissing Tessa behind the drugstore (big mistake, but worth it) and discovered that Tessa's been building him up as some kind of town hero all these years (gonna have to puzzle that out.) Now Finn has to discover who's behind a string of mysterious fires, but first he's gotta deal with the heat between him and Tessa. Hell, one more kiss can't hurt, right?

The Comeback Kiss has one of my favorite plot elements: the friends-to-lovers theme. Well, albeit with a long absence in between. Because of events that occurred that night that Finn left, Tessa has custody of her younger sister Izzy and is doing all she can to fend off the social worker bent on taking Izzy away. And now Izzy is up to something and Tessa needs Finn's help to keep her from doing something stupid. Well, more stupid than she's already done. And all this is requiring Finn and Tessa to spend time together.

What really shines in this book are the characters. Finn and Tessa are very likeable and you can see how they change as the story progresses. Finn really hurt Tessa when he left, especially when it was just one more horrible thing that happened at that time for her. There are also good secondary characters, from Izzy, Babs (friend of Finn's who stranded him), and local store owners.

There's a mystery element that runs through the story, but it doesn't detract from the romance and is an integral part of the story. Ultimately, this is a good contemporary romance. Now I have to go read Maybe, Baby since it's been sitting on my shelf for forever. Oh, did I mention it actually stands alone quite well? It does.

Date Me, Baby, One More Time by Stephanie Rowe

Date Me, Baby, One More Time by Stephanie Rowe

Justine Bennett is cursing her life. She’s the Guardian of the Goblet of Eternal Youth, she hasn’t left the house in ages, and it’s been over 200 years since she’s had sex. Oh, and the Goblet has shape-shifted into an espresso machine named Mona. Not exactly the stuff grand destiny is made of...

Derek LaValle is worried. Due to a family curse, he’ll be dead in the space of a week unless he finds the Guardian of the Goblet of Eternal Youth and beheads her. Which wouldn’t be a problem if she weren’t so sexy, smart... and ready to behead him right back.

What do you get when you combine a sarcastic, celibate 200 year-old Guardian, an eleven foot tall, fire-breathing dragon with a penchant for cybersex and pretzels, a Pretzel King out to stop a curse, and a shape-changing Goblet of Eternal Youth? Oh, and can't forget that Satan's trying to seduce Justine's mother, who happens to be hanging out in a suburb in purgatory. Well, it all ends up being a really, really funny story that actually includes a decent romance.

Date Me, Baby, One More Time never takes itself that seriously and that makes for a cute romantic comedy with some unforgettable elements. I even bought the romance between Derek and Justine, though for the longest time, I had no idea how they would survive all the problems that crop up. There's some real objections to them getting together, namely that Guardians can't get emotionally involved with people (or have sex) and must kill anyone who knows about the Goblet lest they steal it. There are more, but basically Justine has to constantly figure out ways to justify not killing Derek immediately.

Comedy's one of those things that's very personal. What one may love, another won't. I'm not even going to compare this book to another since I doubt it would really work. Honestly, it's funny, cute, occasionally laugh-til-you-snort-worthy, and definitely has me wanting more. It just has a ridiculous sense of humor that permeates the whole book and just makes me laugh and smile remembering different scenes. There's an excerpt in the back for the next book, Must Love Dragons, and oh, I really want it.

Hump day blahs and a whine

I want to finish up some posts about some recent books, but I'm having trouble getting in the right happy mood. Perhaps if I disliked the books this would be the right mood, but for now, it isn't. And I feel like I should do all the housework that accumulated the last two days, but I can't get the energy or motivation to do it. I feel so blah. Not quite depressed, but almost there. I think some of it is that I haven't been sleeping well lately and my allergies are worse this time of the year and a job hasn't miraculously appeared that I want. ANd sleep...I want to sleep through the night like I usually do. I hate the nights when my mind won't settle down and I feel so much anxiety, yet can't pinpoint what's worrying me. Blech. And there was a bug on my sham pillow when I woke up. Ick. Only noticed it as I was flipping my pillow over to get a few more Zs.

Maybe I'll just go read something different and curl up on the couch. As in, not something romance-y. Now if only Gambit would morph into lap kitty, life would be good. Currently, Gambit is window-ledge kitty. And knocked an almost full can of pop off my next sometime last night. Luckily it cleaned up quickly and didn't stain the carpet. Hmph. My fault for not bringing the can into the kitchen before I went to bed.

The blahs

Is it Friday yet?

Well, Nick's come down with a bad cold. Missed work yesterday and today and he never misses work unless he feels really rotten. Poor guy. Oh, before you start with the poor Nicole having to deal with a sick husband, know that he's not the stereotypical guy when he gets sick. He's nice. and not needy (now Gambit...Gambit is needy as hell) . Though I did have to run out and buy more kleenex today. And I'm not feeling too hot either, but I think that's more because I haven't slept well the last few nights and that's what's wearing me down. I'm working on having Nick not breathe on me. Don't want to catch his cold. Poor guy.

And I have a review half done for The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich. I loved the book, just having trouble putting why I like it down. And almost finished with the wacky and zany Date Me Baby, One More Time.

House is on tonight. Probably will watch that and then head to bed. Finish up Date Me and then A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole. I seem to be on a roll with really good books. Hope it doesn't stop anytime soon.

Books I'm interested in from RT May issue

So...I didn't get to do a full-blown post about this issue, so I'm just going to list the books I'm interested in.

The Deadliest Denial by Colleen Thompson (romantic suspense, likely library)
Rabbit Heart by Colleen Hitchcock (historical, likely library)
His Wicked Kiss by Gaelen Foley (historical)
Even Vampires Get the Blues by Katie MacAlister (paranormal, already have ARC)
Date Me Baby, One More Time by Stephanie Rowe (paranormal, review coming soon as I finish it)
The Untamed One by Ronda Thompson (paranormal, probably get from library)
Megan's Mark by Lora Leigh (paranormal, already getting from PBS)
Code Name: Blondie by Christina Skye (romantic suspense, library or used)
Second Sight by Amanda Quick (historical, already on the hold list at the library)
Once Upon Stilettos by Shanna Swendson (paranormal chick lit)
Thunderbird Falls by C.E. Murphy (urban fantasy)
The Four Forges by Jenna Rhodes (epic fantasy, from library)
Hide In Plain Sight by Michele Albert (romantic suspense)
In Enemy Hands by Michelle Perry (romantic suspense)
Dirty Laundry by Tori Carrington (mystery, from library)
Fine-Feathered Death by Linda O. Johnston (mystery)
Love Is All You Need by Lori Devoti (contemporary, already getting copy)
And Able by Lucy Monroe (contemporary, from library)
Big Trouble by Marianna Jameson (contemporary)
The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich (contemporary, currently writing review)
Tall, Dark & Dead by Tate Hallaway (paranormal, maybe from library)

And well...that seems to be it. I'm too lazy to look for the other links right now.

Wikipedia Meme

Since I don't really feel like making a larger blog post, you'll have to be content with this. Seen in too many places to list.

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. Post this in your journal.

My birthdate is May 3.


1810 - Lord Byron swims the Hellespont.

1937 - Gone with the Wind, a novel by Margaret Mitchell, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

1999 - Oklahoma City is slammed by an F5 tornado. The tornado was part of a storm system that produces 66 tornadoes. The Oklahoma City tornado kills 42 people and injures 665, and causes $1 billion in damage. (see The Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak)


1469 - Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and political author (d. 1527)

1898 - Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1978)


1152 - Matilda of Boulogne, Queen of England

Went to Waldenbooks

And I came home with When Good Things Happen To Bad Boys by HelenKay Dimon and these other people, His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik, and Resenting the Hero by Moira J. Moore (I broke down and just bought it).


Well, the Sioux lost by a point. 6-5 was the final score. *pout* Honestly, we didn't play our best, but we did rally towards the end to almost tie it up and send it into overtime. Just ran out of time.

Read Don't Look Down and will post about that when I have more time. But I basically really liked it.

It's that time of the month. Which I was thrilled about for maybe a day (if you've been following the blog closely you'll know why), but that wore thin. So I'm crampy and kinda crabby. :-)

Starting The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich.

Almost finished with Rose Daughter and Worlds of Honor. Hmmm....need to finish Mind Games, maybe halfway through. It got....silly.

Frozen Four

At 2 this afternoon I'll be ensconced in the living room with Nick, watching the Sioux on ESPN2 as they kick off the Frozen Four against Boston College.

Making up this post, I headed to the WCHA site and ran across this article. Here's a sample:

"I have had no change in philosophy, either in how we play, or in the attitude we always try to play with," said Hakstol [Sioux coach]. "We want to play very aggressively, with speed, and use our natural skill. But we always want to be physical, and everything generates off that."

Great response, Dave. Direct, to the point, exactly the way the Fighting Sioux play. Many coaches would have seized the opportunity to lobby about not taking penalties in hopes of getting favorable treatment from officials, but not Hakstol. It is engraved on the psyche of every Fighting Sioux player that to live up to the program's heritage, they come at you with no secrets - no mystery. Here they are, with their Native American logo proudly on their chests, and if you can't see it too well now, pay attention, because it will be up close and personal in a second, an instant before they crunch you into the boards.

What you see is what you get, and if the Sioux play at a pace that is too rough and too fast for you, well...too bad.Youthful, and inconsistent early, nobody would call this year's Fighting Sioux team physically intimidating, and certainly not chippy. But they play textbook in-your-face Sioux hockey, and they do it well.

*crosses fingers* Go SIOUX!!!!!!!

Think he's trying to tell me something?

This is what I found when I walked into the kitchen this morning. *grin*

Deep Breath by Alison Kent

Deep Breath is the latest and greatest in Alison Kent's SG-5 series.

When a guy stops at a roadside diner, he expects bad chili, not a hostage situation. But that's where SG-5 operative Harry van Zandt finds himself when an armed cartel blows through the door They're not after him but the woman in the next booth, and their message is clear: she's got seventy-two hours to locate and deliver a valuable historical document or her brother dies. And if Harry wants to live, he'd better go with her.

Harry has his own undercover mission to finish, but with a trigger-happy band on their tails, it'll have to wait. Not that he minds helping George McClain. The tough treasure hunter is as smart as she is sexy. She's also desperate. That artifact could finally clear her late father's name. She needs Harry if she's going to double-cross these thugs and keep it for herself, and her gratitude is the kind that could turn a guy's head. Too bad that document is of vital importance to the Smithson Group, and Harry's Top Secret Mission is to get it before it falls into the wrong hands. Now, the beautiful, infuriating woman he's starting to fall for could lead him right to what he needs--"and what she so desperately wants.

Out on the open road with a price on their heads, two unlikely lovers are caught in a game of secrets, lies, betrayals, and desire, where trust is risky and love leaves no time to catch your breath.

Ahh....I had fun reading this one. We've met Harry in some of the other books, but now he's got his own book. Deep Breath is very fast-paced. It zips along and doesn't get bogged down in details. Those looking for deep character introspectives won't find it here, but what you will find is great sexual tension combined with lots of action. Both Georgia and Harry aren't completely honest with each other regarding their motivations, but that doesn't interfere with the romance you can see growing between them. They may not be telling the whole truth to each other, but their basic character is out in the open. I always dislike any romance that pops up between characters when one or both of them are really disguising who they really are. Not so with Georgia and Harry. Harry's a take-charge guy, but I never got the tortured hero impression from him (thank goodness!). He's just a guy who's very good at his job and is finding himself distracted by one incredible woman for the first time in his life.

I think the only quibble I had when reading it was finding out Georgia's belief that she wasn't very good in bed. Other than that, I liked it and that's ultimately a minor thing. The sexual tension is great and the scenes between them are seriously hot.

I'm really trying to think up something other than I really enjoyed reading this book. Which I did. Even thinking back, I think, "I really enjoyed this one". I'm just having trouble saying why other than that I'm a sucker for a good fast-paced or action romance. I liked the end and how the author doesn't have these two professing their undying devotion to each other when they've only know each other for a weekend. What you do get at the end is the idea that these two care deeply for each other (and even love) and that they will work on making their relationship work. When a story takes place in such a short time, that's the ending I enjoy most.

And for the Ezra Moore fans, he makes a brief appearance. I can't wait for his story. He's such a mysterious character. You don't know quite whose side he's on (probably his own) and to have become such a trusted member of Spectra, he's had to have done some pretty nasty things, I'd imagine. I can't quite think Spectra would trust him if they hadn't had irrefutable proof that he's who he says he is.

I sincerely hope Alison Kent keeps on writing stories like this. And the cover for Deep Breath? It's hot.

In the Thrill of the Night by Candice Hern

In the Thrill of the Night by Candice Hern is the first in the Merry Widows series.

Assured of both money and position, none of the five friends who form the Merry Widows need ever marry again. But they have no intention of foresaking physical passion for the rest of their lives. So they make a daring pact -- each will consider taking a lover for the pure pleasure of it.

Marianne Nesbitt adored her late husband, but the racy reminisscences of the Merry Widows make her wonder if she missed something special. Might she find it now through a love affair? Uncertain how to go about it, she asks Adam Cazenove, and old friend and notorious rake, to tutor her in the arts of seduction.

The brazen request turns Adam's world upside down. He never imagined his best friend's very proper and exceedingly attractive widow would seek out a lover. If not for his own recent betrothal, he would jump at the chance to warm her bed. Since he cannot bear the thought of another man doing so, he foils her every attempt at seduction. Until one night of unintended passion changes everything ...

I bought this back in February when it first came out, but didn't get to reading it until recently (last weekend, in fact). Well, I'm glad I read it. It's pretty good.

Marianne's no virgin widow, but as she listens to one of her friends recount the pleasures found with her new lover, Marianne realizes that although she had an amicable relationship with her husband and loved him dearly, they had no passion. Of course, up until now, Marianne had no reason to believe there had been anything missing from her marriage. When the Merry Widows vow to not let themselves miss out on the pleasures of a lover just because they are now widowed, Marianne decides to learn just what it was that she missed out on.

Adam Cazenove is Marianne's best friend, though originally her husband's best friend. Adam is the man she feels most comfortable with, and she almost would have asked him to be her lover, except he informs her that he's now engaged. Adam may be a rake, but he honestly wants to be faithful to his future wife, no matter how much he wishes he could be the one to show Marianne. There's a scene where Marianne lists men who she decides might be discreet lovers and Adam finds one thing or another wrong with almost all of them. It's quite cute and early on shows how much he cares about her. There are many other scenes too, which I loved as they all quietly show how love develops between these two characters.

I also liked how the ending was. Convenient, but not too much so. I mean, it IS a romance, so Adam and Marianne must get together somehow. I also didn't have a problem with how frank the Merry Widows got with some of their conversations. Just because this is set in the Regency doesn't mean women never gave out intimate details to their friends in private. It worked for me. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Just One of Those Flings (which has a cover I love, although DH when first seeing it said, "ooooh, nipple" - or something along those lines *g*). Men. *sigh*

Doppelganger by Marie Brennan

Doppelganger by Marie Brennan is lots of fun!

When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. For the witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. But what happens when the doppelganger survives?

Mirage, a fierce bounty hunter, lives by her wits and lethal fighting skills. She always gets her mark. But her new mission will take her into the shadowy world of witches, where her strength may be no match against magic.

Miryo is a witch who has just failed her initiation test. She now knows that there is someone in the world who looks like her, who is her: Mirage. To control her powers and become a full witch, Miryo has only one choice. To hunt the hunter and destroy her.

I really enjoyed reading this book and now I cannot wait to read the sequel. I want I want I want I want. Did I mention I want it?!

Doppelganger has some interesting characters as well as a creative Japanese-style world. The book starts out with Mirage and her friend Eclipse getting a mission to solve the assassination of a high-ranking witch. Normally, Mirage stays away from witches as Hunters tend to dislike them as she has been mistaken for one many times as she has the red hair that's usually a witch characteristic. It's this mission that's going to set Mirage on a collision course with her double, Miryo.

Miryo is a witch and has spent most of her life learning about magic and her duties as a witch in Starfall. She's apprehensive because it's almost time for her testing, which will determine if she is to come into her full abilities. Unfortunately, this is where she learns that she has a double (and why) and that she must kill her doppelganger with her own hands if she is to live. If she doesn't, her magic will become uncontrollable, killing her and most likely anyone around her. So Miryo is determined to kill it. And off she goes in search of her double.

Any more would really really head into spoiler territory. The magic system/world here is easy to understand (but there is a glossary in the back) and I liked how bits and pieces of it are shown throughout the book. You have to work to get the whole picture, but it's a fun puzzle. There's a lot of action and the fight scenes are very well done. Actually, I found everything well done. It's a very entertaining book. Some fantasy gets bogged down in the details, but Doppelganger is very fast-paced.

I loved the ending and was quite surprised in how things worked out. Of course, now I really can't wait to read the next one, since this is just the beginning of great change. And I really can't wait for Warrior and Witch later this year.

Update on reading, books, etc.

I've acquired a few books lately, but have been remiss in talking about them.

From the library bookstore I picked up four Lisa Kleypas books for three dollars. They look brand new, read once by someone who doesn't crack spines. So I got Prince of Dreams, Midnight Angel, Somewhere I'll Find You, and Only With Your Love. Secrets of a Summer Night was also there, but I already have it.

I was also at the bookstore on Friday where I ordered In Enemy Hands by Michelle Perry and A Woman Scorned by Liz Carlyle. The Perry is supposed to be coming in about a week and the Carlyle in a few weeks. Said it was back-ordered. While I was there, I bought Doppelganger by Marie Brennan and Charmed to Death by Shirley Damsgaard.

Also finished reading Strangers in Paradise Pocket Book 1 by Terry Moore. Was really good. Don't plan on a separate post about it, but I had fun reading it and hope to read more if there are some at the library.

What else...oh, I also finished reading In the Thrill of the Night by Candice Hern today while in Iowa City. There's a romance book club at the Barnes and Noble here and this book and Jude's Law by Lori Foster are on tap to be discussed in April (at least according to the newsletter). Ive never been there, but thought I'd try going this time to see what it's all about. I haven't decided if I'm going to try to read the Foster yet.

Can I jump off the cliff too?

So I'm telling Nick at supper tonight that I want to change my blog because a bunch of other people were.

Him: So if they all jumped off a cliff, you would too?
Me: Umm...

Hmph. But man, I'm kinda jealous. But then I LOVE my template and wouldn't know how to move it over to someplace new, either. So hmmm...

I do like all the tags that wordpress has, though.

The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James

The Taming of the Duke by Eloisa James is the third book in the Four Sisters series and I was really really looking forward to it. So much so that I'd ordered it back in January, then on Tuesday when I saw it in the store, yet Amazon hadn't shipped my order, that I bought it and then canceled the one I'd ordered from Amazon. Sadly, I probably could have waited. I started this book on Tuesday night and didn't finish it until this afternoon. And the following review contains SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just warning you.

Imogen, Lady Maitland, has decided to dance on the wild side. After all, she's in the delicious position of being able to take a lover. A discreet male who knows just when to leave in the morning.

But Lady Maitland is still under the watchful eye of her former guardian, the wildly untamed Rafe, the Duke of Holbrook. He believes she is still in need of a "watchdog." She laughs at the idea that someone so insufferably lazy and devoted to drink can demand that she behave with propriety.

It's Rafe's long-lost brother, a man who looks precisely like the duke but with none of his degenerate edge, who interests Imogen. To Imogen, he's the shadow duke...the man who really should hold the title. But when Imogen agrees to accompany Gabe to a masquerade...whose masked eyes watch her with that intense look of desire? Who exactly is she dancing with? The duke or the shadow duke? Rafe...or Gabe?

I'd say this is already in the running for most disappointing read of the year. When you start caring more for a secondary romance, you know something's wrong. I think one of the main problems is that I didn't think Imogen had enough time to truly think about her situation and what she'd done. I didn't hate her as a character in the previous two books, realizing that she had been hurt and was mainly just lashing out, but I don't think she had enough personal growth by the end of this book to suit me. And I think it was that anticipation of watching her grow that makes me feel so let down. It just wasn't there. And yeah, Rafe changes in the book and I liked those changes, I just don't think he and Imogen were ready by the end. It just plain didn't work for me.

I did enjoy a lot of the other stuff, such as the secondary relationship between Gillian and Gabe. Now that one I'd have liked to have its own book. But I did like how it ended. And Josie...I'm really looking forward to reading about Josie. And I did like the theater bits. But the romance between Imogen and Rafe? Totally didn't work for me. When it's almost the end of the book and you think their romance is maybe in the very beginning? It's just not working.

I honestly could have just set this one down and not cared except that I did want to read about the other characters. But if not for them, this would be a completely forgettable story.