Friday, December 30, 2011

Chick Lit Challenge 2012

I'm a fan of chick lit, so I had to sign up to this challenge. It's hosted by Samantha @ Chick Lit Plus. Here are the rules:

  1. Challengers will read 12 chick lit books throughout 2012. You can obviously read more books of other genres, but you need at least 12 chick lit to count for this challenge.
  2. Two of the twelve books need to be from debut authors. The debuts should be released in 2012. I have a feature on my blog that will highlight new releases and debuts, so you can find suggestions there.
If you want to read the original post or to sign up, check out Samantha's post here

I haven't decided what books I'll read, but I'll list them here as I read them.

  1. Death On Heels - Ellen Byerrum 
  2. I've Got Your Number - Sophie Kinsella
  3. Breaking The Rules - Cat Lavoie
  4. Brownie Fix - Ellen Cardona
  5. Alison Wonderland - Helen Smith

Book Review: Nobody's Hero by Kallypso Masters

Nobody's Hero (Rescue Me, #3)

Author: Kallypso Masters
Series: Rescue Me #3
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads):

Retired Marine Master Sergeant Adam Montague has battled through four war zones, but now finds himself running from Karla Paxton, who has declared war on his heart. With a twenty-five year age difference, he feels he should be her guardian and protector, not her lover. But Karla's knack for turning up in his bed at inopportune times is killing his resolve to do the right thing. Karla isn't a little girl anymore—something his body reminds him of every chance it gets.

Karla Paxton fell in love with Adam when she was a sixteen-year-old runaway and he rescued her. Now, nine years later, she's determined to make Adam see her as a woman. But their age difference is only part of the problem. Adam has been a guardian and protector for lost and vulnerable souls most of his life, but a secret he has run from for more than three decades has kept him emotionally unable to admit he can love anyone. Will she be able to lower his guard long enough to break down the defenses around his heart and help him put to rest the ghosts from his past? In her all-out war to get Adam to surrender his heart, can the strong-willed Goth singer offer herself as his submissive—and at what cost to herself?

I finally gave in and read this book. I wanted to wait, to be closer to the publishing date of the next book in the series (Nobody's Perfect). It's only that the curiosity kept me from being a good girl. I'm glad it did though. If the first two books of this series were good, this was even better.

Adam Montague is an amazing man, one that every woman should have in her life, either as a boyfriend, husband, brother, friend. Heck, even another man would be lucky to have someone as Adam on his side. Adam might appear as a cold guy at first, but it's because he is a very suspicious man. He doesn't trust easily. I think he was afraid of trusting someone and caring about someone so much, only to have that someone taken from his life or to be rejected. But he's a very loyal friend, a caring guy with such an amazing heart. For someone so guarded about his feelings, the way he cares for the ones he calls friends and the way he protects them is simply amazing. I loved Adam. Like I said before, he had trouble facing his feelings and trusting, but Karla changed that. I think Karla is one of the very few people who challenges him. And she does that daily, since they first met when she was a scared, runaway teenager.

Karla is a sweetheart. I loved her character so much and I loved the fact that we see her grow up since the very first book. I don't think there's anyone more perfect than Karla for Master Adam. I really can't think of anyone better.

I also loved the fact that we get to meet Savi again *happy dance* If anyone needs a HEA, then Savi is the one. She's been through so much and she deserves a better life. I just can't wait to see how Damian will try to win her back and how he'll squirm, because let's face it. Savi will keep him on his toes :)

And we also find out more about Marc and Angelina and that's always a great pleasure of mine, keeping up with recent events from the characters who already found their HEA.

I can't wait for the next book in this amazing series.

My Rating:
Rocked my world photo Image9.png

Follow Friday (7)

Welcome to Follow Friday hosted this week by Parajunkee and Alison!
The main idea behind FF is just to go see a bunch of new blogs you may never have seen before, and follow the ones you like (and they’ll follow you back!) It’s a total win/win, so take a peek around and follow me!

This week’s question is:

The New Year is here -- and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

*taps chin* I promised I wasn't going to think about resolutions, since I can't manage to complete them. I'm thinking it can't do any damage though to hope to do some new stuff :) So here's my list:

  1. Comment more. I need to do that. I don't comment near as much as I'd like, so I will to do that in the year that is about to begin. 
  2. Book Reviewing: Like I said in another post, I need to post my reviews fast, as soon as I finish reading the books, otherwise I forget important details.
  3. TBR pile: I need to go through that loooooooong list of books that are just waiting (im)patiently for me to pick them up and read them. So I promise this year I'll make that list smaller. It can never disappear, since that would mean I've stopped reading (which will never happen), but I can make it smaller, at least for a few days.
I've decided to keep it simple, so I'm stopping there. As it's normal, the more I think about it, more and more things I need to do next year for my blog keep popping up, but I'm stopping at only these 3 things. 

So those are my resolutions. What are yours? 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012

I really had fun this year trying to finish this reading challenge. The fact that I failed is unimportant :P But I did have fun, so I thought of giving it another try.

Book Chic City is hosting this reading challenge. Here are the guidelines:

  1. Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012
  2. Rules - Read 100 or more books in 2012
  3. All books can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  4. Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.
  5. You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.

For more information and to sign up, visit Book Chick City's blog.

I will be posting the books below as I read them. Like I said, I'm not going to plan ahead anymore :)

  1. Power Play - Eliza Gayle
  2. Lothaire - Kresley Cole
  3. The Dragonslayer's Sword - Resa Nelson
  4. Midnight Playground - Eliza Gayle
  5. The Truth About Us - Dalene Flannigan
  6. Casual - Oksana Robski
  7. Lust On The Rocks - Dianne Venetta
  8. The Iron Maiden - Resa Nelson
  9. On Message - Joyce T. Strand
  10. Mistress Christmas - Lorelei James
  11. Ugly To Start With - John Michael Cummings
  12. Miss Firecracker - Lorelei James
  13. The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake - Mary Parker
  14. CurbChek - Zack Fortier
  15. Death On Heels - Ellen Byerrum
  16. An Untimely Love  - Tendai Huchu
  17. Behind Closed Doors - Sherri Hayes
  18. The Immortal Rules - Julie Kagawa
  19. The Binding - L. Filloon
  20. Socialpunk - Monica Leonelle
  21. Fighting the Devil - Jeannie Walker
  22. A Hint Of Frost - Hailey Edwards
  23. Lover Reborn - J.R. Ward
  24. Lowcountry Punch - Boo Walker
  25. Promises - Amber Garr
  26. Sweet Evil - Wendy Higgins
  27. Dancing Naked In Dixie - Lauren Clark
  28. The Car Thief - Theodore Weesner
  29. Dead End Deal - Allen Wyler
  30. Legacy of a Dreamer - Allie Jean
  31. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
  32. Stolen - Kelley Armstrong
  33. Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  34. Industrial Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  35. I've Got Your Number - Sophie Kinsella
  36. In Love With An Angel (original title: Innamorata Di Un Angelo) - Federica Bosco
  37. Cinder - Marissa Meyer
  38. Of Poseidon - Anna Banks
  39. Haunted - Kelley Armstrong
  40. The Stone of Darkness - Resa Nelson
  41. Evermine - Hailey Edwards
  42. Eversworn - Hailey Edwards
  43. Haunted - Kelley Armstrong
  44. Brownie Fix - Ellen Cardona
  45. Her Heart For The Asking - Lisa Mondello
  46. His Heart For The Trusting - Lisa Mondello
  47. The More I See - Lisa Mondello
  48. Breaking The Rules - Cat Lavoie
  49. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
  50. Frostbite - Richelle Mead
  51. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
  52. Blood Promise - Richelle Mead
  53. Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
  54. Last Sacrifice - Richelle Mead
  55. Bloodlines - Richelle Mead
  56. The Golden Lilly - Richelle Mead
  57. Differential Equations - Julian Iragorri & Lou Aronica
  58. Alison Wonderland - Helen Smith
  59. Slave - Sherri Hayes
  60. Need - Sherri Hayes
  61. Betrayal - Amber Garr
  62. Arise - Amber Garr
  63. The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
  64. The Iron King's Daughter - Julie Kagawa
  65. The Iron Queen - Julie Kagawa
  66. Spider's Bite - Jennifer Estep
  67. Blade Song - J. C. Daniels
  68. Ice Queen - Joey W. Hill
  69. Mirror Of My Soul - Joey W. Hill
  70. Branded Sanctuary - Joey W. Hill
  71. Club Mephisto - Annabel Joseph
  72. Molly's Lips: Club Mephisto Retold - Annabel Joseph
  73. Burn For You - Annabel Joseph
  74. My Liege of Dark Haven - Cherise Sinclair
  75. Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  76. Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  77. Ecstasy Unveiled - Larissa Ione
  78. Sin Undone - Larissa Ione
  79. Eternal Rider - Larissa Ione
  80. Immortal Rider - Larissa Ione
  81. Lethal Rider - Larissa Ione
  82. Rogue Rider - Larissa Ione
  83. Ironskin - Tina Connolly
  84. Web of Lies - Jennifer Estep
  85. Venom - Jennifer Estep
  86. Tangled Threads - Jennifer Estep
  87. Spider's Revenge - Jennifer Estep

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Author Challenge 2012

This reading challenge is hosted by Literary Escapism.

New Author Challenge 2012

Here are the guidelines:

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
  2. Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels. Anthologies are a great way to try someone new, but only a third of your new authors can be from anthologies.
  3. I want this to be an easy challenge, so you can pick to do either 15, 25 or 50 new authors. It all depends on how fast you read and how adventurous you want to be.
  4. After reading your new author, write your review and then go back to Literary Escapism and add your link to Mr. Linky. Make sure you include your name and the author, but adding the title is completely up to you.
  5. Bloggers or Non-Bloggers alike are welcome. You don’t have to have a site to participate. You can link up via Facebook, GoodReads or even Amazon if you’d like.

For the full, original post, go to here

I'm really excited about this reading challenge. This year I've found some very good, new authors and I know there are a lot more new authors that I need to try. Because I'm feeling very adventurous, I'm going with 25 new authors. I haven't decided what books I want to try yet, but I'll post them as I finish reading them.

  1. Eliza Gayle - Power Play
  2. Resa Nelson - The Dragonslayer's Sword
  3. Dalene Flannigan - The Truth About Us
  4. Diane Venetta - Lust On The Rocks
  5. Joyce T. Strand - On Message
  6. John Michael Cummings - Ugly To Start With
  7. Mary Parker - The Awakening of Leeowyn Blake
  8. Zack Fortier - CurbChek
  9. Ellen Byerrum - Death On Heels
  10. Sherri Hayes -  Behind Closed Doors
  11. Tendai Huchu - An Untimely Love
  12. Julie Kagawa - The Immortal Rules
  13. L. Filloon - The Binding
  14. Monica Leonelle - Socialpunk
  15. Jeannie Walker - Fighting The Devil
  16. Boo Walker - Lowcountry Punch
  17. Amber Garr - Promises 
  18. Wendy Higgins - Sweet Evil 
  19. Lauren Clark - Dancing Naked In Dixie
  20. Theodore Weesner - The Car Thief
  21. Allen Wyler - Dead End Deal
  22. Allie Jean - Legacy of a Dreamer
  23. Kelley Armstrong - Bitten
  24. Marissa Meyer - Cinder
  25. Anna Banks - Of Poseidon

I would love to get to 50 new authors read this year, but I'm not making that a goal. If it happens, it happens, if not, then all is good. I'll still continue to list here the new authors I get to read.
  1. Federica Bosco - In Love With An Angel (original title: Innamorata di un angelo)
  2. Ellen Cardona - Brownie Fix
  3. Lisa Mondello - Her Heart For The Asking
  4. Cat Lavoie - Breaking The Rules
  5. Julian Iragorri & Lou Aronica - Differential Equations
  6. Richelle Mead - Vampire Academy
  7. Helen Smith - Alison Wonderland
  8. Jennifer Estep - Spider's Web
  9. J. C. Daniels - Blade's Song
  10. Michael Drakich - The Brotherhood of Piaxia
  11. Joey W. Hill - Ice Queen
  12. Annabel Joseph - Club Mephisto
  13. Karen Marie Moning - Darkfever
  14. Tina Connolly - Ironskin 

2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I've decided to enter a few reading challenges this year too. The ones from this year were...well, fails to be honest. I'm really hoping next year I'll be a better reader that I was this year. I actually know I will be :D So I searched and searched and found some very good new reading challenges.

The first one is hosted by Evie from Bookish and it's a great opportunity for me (and for all other readers out there) to make my TBR pile smaller.

Here are part of the rules:

  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  3. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  4. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
The Levels are:

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

I'm going with A Friendly Hug, though I'm hoping to read more than that. If you want to read all the rules, here's the link to Evie's post

I haven't decided what books to read yet, but I'll post them as I read them.

  1. Mistress Christmas - Lorelei James
  2. Miss Firecracker - Lorelei James
  3. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
  4. Stolen - Kelley Armstrong
  5. Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  6. Industrial Magic - Kelley Armstrong
  7. Haunted - Kelley Armstrong
  8. Vampire Academy - Richelle Mead
  9. Frostbite - Richelle Mead
  10. Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
  11. Blood Promise - Richelle Mead
  12. Spirit Bound - Richelle Mead
  13. Last Sacrifice - Richelle Mead
  14. Bloodlines - Richelle Mead
  15. The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
  16. The Iron King's Daughter - Julie Kagawa
  17. The Iron Queen - Julie Kagawa
  18. Spider's Bite - Jennifer Estep
  19. Ice Queen - Joey W. Hill
  20. Mirror Of My Soul - Joey W. Hill
Yay!! I finished it. *happy dance* This is my second challenge finished of this year. And the very first time I finished two reading challenges. Two milestones into one. I'm grinning like an idiot, yes I am. Anyway, I will still be adding books to this list if they're part of my TBR pile, but I won't count these books towards a bigger, bolder goal. I'm happy to just keep it simple. 
  1. Branded Sanctuary - Joey W. Hill
  2. Club Mephisto - Annabel Joseph
  3. Web of Lies - Jennifer Estep
  4. Venom - Jennifer Estep 
  5. Tangled Threads - Jennifer Estep 
  6. Spider's Revenge - Jennifer Estep
  7. Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning 
  8. Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning 
  9. Ecstasy Unveiled - Larissa Ione 
  10. Sin Undone - Larissa Ione 
  11. Eternal Rider - Larissa Ione 
  12. Immortal Rider - Larissa Ione 
  13. Lethal Rider - Larissa Ione 
  14. Molly's Lips: Club Mephisto Retold - Annabel Joseph 
  15. Burn For You - Annabel Joseph
  16. Broken - Kelley Armstrong
  17. No Humans Involved - Kelley Armstrong
  18. Personal Demon - Kelley Armstrong

Monday, December 26, 2011

Fall Into Reading: Wrap up

I'm very sorry I'm late with this post, but last week has been more than overwhelming. Besides the Christmas preparations, Mother Nature has been very mean with me. I'm one of those people, who are very sensitive to the weather changes (I have no idea what the term is in English, but it's safe to say I felt like cr@p last week, with all the changes). So that's the reason I haven't done this post earlier.

Anyway, back to the initial topic.

Fall Into Reading was a challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. You can read the guidelines for the challenge on her blog.

As you can imagine, I didn't get to read the books I planned on reading. I'm usually very bad at planning my reading lists. I never, ever manage to read the books I want in a certain order. I'm not talking about the books in a series. I'm talking a list of books I want to read and a list I make at some point. Here was my list:

  1. The Shakespeare Secret - Jennifer Lee Carrell 
  2. Dead In the Family - Charlaine Harris  .
  3. Heat Wave - Richard Castle 
  4. Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh 
  5. Tall, Dark & Dead - Tate Hallaway  
  6. Sorcery and the Single Girl - Mindy Klasky  
Out of all these books I managed to read only the first book, The Shakespeare Secret. I've read other books  this fall, but none that were on this list. 

Like I said, planning doesn't do much good to me. I plan on reading a few more books before the year is over. I hope next year there will be another Fall Into Reading challenge and that I'll do better at it :)

Merry Christmas!!

 Glitters Glitterized by

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book vs Movie: Harry Potter

Two posters, one with photographs and the other hand-drawn, both depicting a young boy with glasses, an old man with glasses, a young girl holding books, a redheaded boy, and a large bearded man in front of a castle, with an owl flying. The left poster also features an adult man, an old woman, and a train, with the titles being "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". The right poster has a long-nosed goblin and blowtorches, with the title "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone".
The first memory I have of the world of Harry Potter was my desk-mate from school telling me how I had to read the books, how Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was a brilliant movie and that I had to see it. I also remember other friends of mine constantly talking about the movie and the books and how I tried really hard to stay away from it all for some reason. I also remember being bribed into watching the movie and how I loved it and begged my friend and desk mate to let me borrow the first book to read it. About a year later or so the fourth book was published and I remember how excited we all were about reading it and making plans and trying to do our homework in class to have more free time at home to read. And those crazy moments of reading under the blankets with a flashlight because it's far past your bedtime and you just know you're going to get grounded if you're caught reading instead of sleeping at 2 a.m. LOL
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

I won't go on and on about my memories and feelings about the books, just to say that this book did change my life: it made me love reading. So I am grateful I had the luck of being nagged by my friends to read it.

When the 7th book was published, everyone I knew "vanished" for a couple of days. They were all reading the book. I was actually scared, wondering who was going to die, and so I didn't read the last book for an entire year. Then finally I read it and I wasn't at all disappointed with the ending. I think the ending was great.

I was curious about the last two movies. I have to say I was very happy when I found out they were going to split the last book into two movies, because I thought (and it was true) that this way, they would make the book justice.

The "good" part about this wonderful series (both movies and books) ending is that you can now do either reading marathons or movie marathons, which I already did *blushes*. The bad part is that you know it ended and I do believe it never will be the same, no matter how many times you see the movies or read the books, you don't feel that anticipation of not knowing. Before the 7th book, every time I reread the books  I didn't like Snape at all, but now, knowing the truth about him sort of changes my perspective. And with most of the characters is the same.

There are a few things I wished the movies had. First of all, Peeves. I liked that poltergeist, I think he was very funny and entertaining. I would've loved to see the Sorting Hat singing too. I could go on and on, but then this is my view, it's how I feel about the books and the movies and it may or may not be similar to other people's view. 

There was one little thing I wished the book had. In Deathly Hollows Part 2, when Harry, Ron and Hermione get into Hogwarts, the students are called in the Great Hall. I loved that scene. And I know very few people agree with me, seeing as how we know the truth about Snape and Harry talked badly with him. But I loved when the students were almost marching down the stairs. I think that was the most amazing way of showing how Voldemort changed Hogwarts. Like I said, it's all about tastes and likes and dislikes. But that scene was amazing for me.

I love the books, I love the movies. I'm not sad anymore. I was sad it ended, but now I'm just happy I was able to see it all. (That's not to say that the crazy, small child inside me doesn't wish for more, but that inner child is never satisfied, you know? LOL)

Follow Friday (6)

Welcome to Follow Friday hosted this week by Parajunkee and Alison!
The main idea behind FF is just to go see a bunch of new blogs you may never have seen before, and follow the ones you like (and they’ll follow you back!) It’s a total win/win, so take a peek around and follow me!

This week’s question is:

Question of the Week: When you've read a book, what do you do with it? (Keep it, give it away, donate it, sell it, swap it..?

I always keep my books, even if it's one that I didn't enjoy that much. The reason is that I'm attached to all of my books. If I went to the "trouble" of buying them, I am so not giving them away. The only way I'm going to sell them/give them away is if I have multiple copies of the same edition. But that's it. I care for my books no matter if they're ruined or they don't have the prettiest cover or if I didn't quite like the subject.

Another reason for me not giving them away is that I'm sometimes in the mood to reread some of the "old" books. Not always and it only applies to certain books that I loved, but I do reread.

How about you? What do you do with the books after you've read them?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review: Shadow's Stand by Sarah McCarty

Shadow's Stand (Hell's Eight, #5)

Author: Sarah McCarty
Series: Hell's Eight #5
Rating: 4 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Husband of convenience. Lover by choice.

Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell’s Eight brotherhood— to clear his name. That is, until he’s unjustly strung up for horse thieving...and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband
and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.

Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.

Shadow isn’t a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren’t closing in on him. If only he’s left standing when the impending showdown has ended....

I saw this book on Netgalley and I couldn't believe my luck. Remember this book was on my "most wanted" books for 2012? Well, this is like an early Christmas present, to be honest! What could be better than spending a day in bed, with a hot tea, and an incredibly hot historical romance?

Shadow Ochoa... This character has fascinated me since the first time it was introduced in the series. He had this aura of danger around him and he struck me as more of a "less talk, more action" man. He had a brutal childhood, one that made him weary of showing his true feelings for someone. Because of his and Tracker's father, he was convinced that the people he cared for were in danger because of his feelings. Tracker managed to find his happiness, but Shadow is more scared of the power of feelings and the vulnerability that comes with acknowledging those feelings. He's a very honorable man, one that once he gave his word, he'll keep his promise no matter what. He protects what's his and he risks everything for a woman he just barely met, Fei.

Half American, half Chinese, Fei didn't have an easy childhood either. Having mixed heritage made it very hard for her family to accept her, even though her heritage was not her fault. Even so, ever since she was a child, she's hoped of being independent, of finding true love and happiness. She's willing to do anything to save her cousin, Lin, the only person who never judged her for the mixed blood running through her veins, the only one who accepted her as she was. Anything, even marry a complete stranger about to be hanged. Underneath her tougher-than-nails exterior, she's just a girl seeking for acceptance and love. You can see that when she's with Shadow and her vulnerability and insecurity become stronger than her self-control.

I think this book was very good. I still think Tucker's Claim is my favorite, but Shadow's book doesn't disappoint. I'm curios though who comes next in the series.

My Rating:
I loved it photo Image10.png

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: To Command and Collar by Cherise Sinclair

To Command and Collar (Masters of the Shadowlands, #6)

Author: Cherise Sinclair
Series: Masters of Shadowlands #6
Rating: 5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Determined to find the human traffickers preying on Shadowlands’ submissives, Master Raoul gets himself invited to a small slave auction. Once informed, the FBI orders him to reject the limited choices so the slavers will invite him to the big auction. To Raoul’s shock, one of the slaves is the kidnapped friend of a Shadowlands sub. She has a scarred body…and an unbroken spirit. He can’t leave her behind. Ruining the FBI’s carefully laid plans, he buys her.

Kimberly’s freedom has come at a devastating price: the other women are still slaves. An FBI raid is their only hope for rescue. Desperate to help the Feds locate the big auction, she agrees to pose as Master Raoul’s slave. Wearing a collar again is terrifying, but under the powerful dominant’s care, Kim starts to heal and then to blossom. This is what she’s been drawn to—and fled from—her entire life.

She escaped the slavers who captured her body—can she escape the master who’s captured her heart?

I am very happy that another book from this wonderful series was published. I'm also very happy it was this story, with these characters. When I read about Kimberly in Make Me, Sir, my heart broke and I'm sure I wasn't the only one wishing she'd be saved. I have to admit that when I saw the blurb and excerpt on Ms. Sinclair's website, I squealed *blush*. I did that a lot.

This book picks up the story of the slave traffickers that Make Me, Sir started. Master Raoul volunteers to help catch the bad guys, all the while trying to find Kimberly, Gabi's best friend. So when Raoul sees her, he risks everything to get her out of the hell she's being kept in.

Raoul is the type of character I love most. He's a very complex character: he can be soft, sweet and sensitive when he needs to be, but he can also be dangerous and lethal. He's very generous, patient, smart. Of course, he has his moments when you just want to shake him, but I think it's what makes him seem real, just like every other characters in this series. He's not perfect, he makes mistakes but he tries to make up for them.

Kimberly is another wonderful character. She's been through so much since she's been kidnapped. And you can see that she's a very strong person, because she's trying really hard to overcome her fears. Not only that, but she manages to differentiate between a healthy, happy relationship and the horrors she's been through. She's also very generous herself and she tries to repay Raoul by helping his family understand some details about his life.

I loved this story. Not only does Kimberly get saved, we also get a longer scene with Master Sam and a very hot scene with the two FBI agents, Kouros and Buchanan. I find myself in a very difficult situation: should I hope for Sam's story first or for our agents? I have no idea what comes next, but I do know I can't wait for another story in this amazing series.

My Rating:
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Ruby's most expected books for 2012

I know it's probably too early for this list. I mean, there are another three weeks left of this year, but I like to be prepared. I was going through last year's list and I realized I didn't get to read all the books I had planned. Yet. I still have time, right? I know I probably won't manage to list all the books I can't wait to read in 2012, but I'll give you the Top 10. So here it is:

1. Lothaire by Kresley Cole
Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #12)


Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.


Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.


Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?

2. A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards

A Hint of Frost: Araneae Nation, Book 1

Hope dangles by a silken thread.
Araneae Nation, Book 1
When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.
Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.
Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

3. Evermine by Hailey Edwards

Evermine: Daughters of Askara, Book 2

He can be a slave to his past…or allow her love to free him.
Daughters of Askara, Book 2
There’s such a thing as too much change. Emma’s sister is mated. Revolution is brewing in her home realm. The last straw: her would-be mate is back from the dead and back under her skin—yet when it comes to the last five years, he’s not talking.
Desperate for a chance to start her own life, she answers the queen’s call to ensure equality for all of Askara’s newly freed slaves. It’s the perfect opportunity to escape a heartbreak in the making named Harper.
Harper loses a piece of his fractured soul when Emma walks away. His lies were meant to protect her from torturous years that drove him to the point of madness. Instead, when he comes to her a year later to help avert a crisis in a freed-slave community, the wedge those lies drove between them is firmly in place.
As their new lives collide with old wounds, they race to stop a threat that could not only destroy the queen, but send Harper back to the hell he escaped. Emma must decide if the man she still loves deserves equal rights to her heart.
Warning: This title contains torn pants, ripped gowns, and sand in uncomfortable places. It also includes one overcompensating villain, one gnarly priest, and two battered hearts willing to give this thing called love one last chance.

4. Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3)

The world has fallen in love with Nick Gautier and the Dark-Hunters. Now Nick’s saga continues in the next eagerly anticipated volume...

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That’s the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn’t the average teenager. He’s a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.

He’s learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive such a difficulty? But that isn’t the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.

And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known.

Or he’ll be the one who ends the world. With enemies new and old gathering forces, he will have to call on every part of himself to fight or he’ll lose everyone he cares about.

Even himself.

5. Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Time Untime (Dark-Hunter, #22)

The Mayans aren’t the only ones with a 2012 prophecy…

Long before recorded history, there was a warrior so feared that everyone trembled before his wrath. Only a brutal betrayal by the one closest to him could defeat him. But not even death was the end of a man so strong.

The Time Untime approaches…

Kateri Avani has been plagued her entire life with dreams she doesn’t understand. Images of places she’s never been and of a man she’s never seen. Her quest for answers has driven her to Las Vegas where she hopes to finally silence the demons in her mind.

What she never anticipates is coming face to face with the warrior who has haunted her her entire life.

Ren Waya came back from the dead to keep the prophecy he began from coming true and ending the world. For thousands of years, he has fought the same evil that once possessed him. But now that evil has brought back the one person he can’t fight. The one person who once held the most sacred part of him.

His heart.

But if he doesn’t kill Kateri, the deadliest of evils will reemerge and destroy everyone else on the planet. It was a sacrifice he made once.

Will he be able to make it again?

6. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)

Tohrment, the Brother who had it all, but lost everything to the enemy, is destined for a second chance at love and life. But will the past and his bitterness hold him back?

7. Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton

Taking a Shot (Play by Play, #3)

If you want to score, you have to get in the game…

The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock—even one as hot as Ty.

Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…

But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all—including Ty…

8. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your Number

I've lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

9. Shadow's Stand by  Sarah McCarty

Shadow's Stand (Hell's Eight, #5)

Husband of convenience. Lover by choice.

Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell’s Eight brotherhood— to clear his name. That is, until he’s unjustly strung up for horse thieving...and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband
and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.

Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.

Shadow isn’t a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren’t closing in on him. If only he’s left standing when the impending showdown has ended....

10. Kissin' Tell by Lorelei James

There's no cover yet for the next story in the Rough Riders series, but I still can't wait for it. I mean, it's a McKay story! *squees*

Anyway, this is a short version of my "Can't wait to read in 2012 books" list. It's bigger and I have this feeling that it will be getting bigger by the end of the year. So, have you decided already what you want to read in the upcoming year?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Things I've learned this year

I have to admit I didn't quite manage to be as organized in my blogging as I planned at the start of the year. My first mistake was to not write the reviews as I read the books. I've also learned that I need to have more diverse posts, not just memes and reviews. I need to interact more. I've blogged before, but it was my first blog was mostly filled with rants and talks between me and some dear friends of mine. Kind of like a public e-mail. But I do know that interaction is important, so I'll do more of that next year :D

Another thing I've learned is to respect schedules. I had a lazy summer, letting myself get pulled by that reading funk I get every year. You know, the one where no book is appealing enough. I promised myself I won't do that in the future. I'll search books that I hear a lot of talk about, at least to figure out why it's so liked.

Another thing this experience has taught me is to be very open-minded about the genres I'm willing to read. I've had a few pleasant surprises and I found that there are some genres that I actually enjoyed more than I thought.

Last but not least it's best for me to start reading challenges with less expectations. That way, they don't look so hard to fulfill.

So this is what I've learned this year from my book blogging. What have you learned this year?

Winter cleaning

So I realized my blog looks like a bomb went off on it, for some reason. Because of that I've decided to redo everything and to redesign a template. Let's hope it takes less time than the last time. I really hope it won't become something permanent, like every year Blogger forces me to do this LOL. That and I'm not very good with html, so I don't know if the problem is in the encoding or whatever the name. Anyway, I hope I'll be back in about a week or so. Happy reading until then!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review: Cowboy Casanova by Lorelei James

Cowboy Casanova (Rough Riders, #12)

Author: Lorelei James
Series: Rough Riders #12
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

His rough touch makes her lose control…

In Sundance, Wyoming, you can't throw a boot without hitting a McKay cowboy, so Ben McKay is used to fading into the background. Except on weekends, when he's Bennett, imposing Dom at The Rawhide Club, surrounded by a bevy of female subs eager for the attention of his long…whip.

As for the curvy brunette eying him from across the room? He'll eat his Stetson if she's the experienced Domme she claims to be. Bennett offers her a deal—he'll let her call the shots for one night. But the next night he gets to prove to her how freeing it'll be when he takes the reins.

Ainsley Hamilton is amazed by how well Bennett read her every secret yearning during that one explosive weekend—and she's stunned when they come face to face in their everyday lives as rancher and new bank president. Now Ben's urging her to explore her submissive side outside the club, and there's something in his commanding gaze that makes it too easy to let him take control—of her desires and her pleasure.

Can Ben help Ainsley overcome her fear that a relationship built on dark sexual appetites won't survive the light of day?

I know I've said it before, but I feel the need to repeat myself: I don't think I've ever read about cowboys that are sexier than those from Ms. James' stories. I'm actually sure of it. That being said, I have to say I'm in a very happy place right now and I'm sure I'm not the only reader out there feeling the same way. I mean, let's face it! A McKay story is more than good. Two McKays getting their HEAs and I for one am in heaven! Yes, I'm addicted. There, I said it!

I loved Ben McKay. What's not to love? He's sexy, dangerous, dark, sensual... He's a Dom. But he's also a great listener, a great friend and brother and cousin, always having a good advice for everyone, always trying to calm his cousins or brothers when they get into a fight. He's also the type of hero I love, the one who makes mistakes and has the balls to admit doing them.

Then there's Ainsley, who's been hurt by the people who're supposed to care for her and accept her as she is and not judge her. So she's afraid of losing control and afraid to trust someone with a part of her that is so vulnerable. She's willing to change that though and I think that's all that matters.

The sex scenes were hot, the scenes with more than two McKay cowboys were sometimes funny, sometimes touching and sometimes sad, the scenes where Ben and Ainsley were acting like a couple were plain sweet. Here's another moment when I feel the need to repeat myself. Few authors manage to write series this long and make every character different and interesting at the same time. Lorelei James manages to do so and the fact that we get those little snippets of the old characters' lives is amazing. So I'll say it again: I hope this series never ends.

My Rating:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#3)

I'm finally on time with this question *pats self*. Fall Into Reading is a reading challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. This week's question for the Fall Into Reading challenge is:

Where do you love to read? Do you have a favorite chair, a favorite room, a favorite place…somewhere that inspires you to put everything else aside and pick up a book?

There are few places that really get me into that reading mood. It doesn't have anything do to with noise or how many people are around me, it's mostly related to how comfy I feel.

Where I read: I love reading in my room, in bed, under a very warm blanket (if it's cold, otherwise no blanket for me :P). I love reading in bed because I can sit however I want for how long I want, especially since my bed in kinda huge.

I also love to read when I'm at the beach. The sound of the waves hitting the shore is the perfect soundtrack for almost any book. I also love reading when I'm on a bus or a train, even if I sometimes forget to check the station, see if I passed the one I was supposed to arrive to.

This might make me a bad student, but if the class is boring, I'll take out the book in my bag and start reading. I haven't gotten caught before, lucky me. But it's either be silent and read or leave the classroom and loose time doing nothing. I choose reading every time.

What inspires me to read: Well,  it depends. Like I said before, I love the sound of waves, so that's one source of inspiration. Also, the sound of rain makes me want to read. Old music makes a good soundtrack for books, mostly because some of them are slow and they don't distract me with catchy beats. I find it difficult to read when I'm feeling like I just got locked into an oven. If it's really hot outside, I can't exactly concentrate. I prefer either just warm or somewhat cold weather for reading. I know, I'm weird like that :P.

Where do you like to read?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: Make Me, Sir by Cherise Sinclair

Make Me, Sir (Masters of the Shadowlands, #5)

Author: Cherise Sinclair
Series: Masters of Shadowlands #5
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Her job is to make his life miserable. His job is to make her submit. Whose heart will surrender first?
Across the country, rebellious BDSM submissives are being systematically kidnapped, one from each club. When her friend falls prey to the slavers, FBI victim specialist Gabrielle volunteers to be bait in a club not yet hit: the Shadowlands.
She finds that being a bratty sub comes naturally, especially when she gets to twit the appallingly conservative Master of the trainees. But she soon discovers he's not as stuffy as she'd thought. Or as mean. She'd expected punishment, even humiliation, but she sure never expected to fall in love with a damned lawyer.
Courtesy of a prima donna ex-wife, Marcus loathes disobedient submissives. When the club owner insists he admit an incredibly bratty trainee, he's furious. But as he comes to know Gabrielle and sees the alluring sweetness beneath the sass, he starts to fall for her.
Unfortunately, Marcus isn't the only one who believes the feisty redhead is a prize worth capturing. And in the world of the slaver, such treasure is worth a hefty fee.

While waiting for the next Master of the Shadowlands Club, Master Raoul, to get his story, I've decided a little re-read is in order. Though I reread some of the scenes that I liked most in the series before, this is the third time I actually read the entire book, without skipping any scenes.

The thing I like most about Master Marc is that he is nowhere near perfect. Yes, he's gorgeous and yes, he's a successful lawyer. But he's the kind of guy that makes mistakes. I think the ones who've read the book can imagine the scene that made me want to shake the guy. And yet right after that he apologizes and tried to make things better. But, let's face it, all of Ms. Sinclair's heroes are charmers. What I totally loved about him was the fact that he surprised me so much. When he was first introduced, I couldn't see him as someone who could easily turn his dominant side off and just have fun. Maybe it was Gabi who made him be more playful.

Gabi is a very complex woman. I think she's the best friend someone can have, the kind of friend that would do anything for those she cares about, even if it means putting herself in danger. Gabi doesn't care that she has to face two sets of demons (the really bad guys and her past traumas), she all she cares about is her friend and rescuing her. I liked that about her. I also loved her sarcasm and her humor. I think she's the best girl for Marc. She forces him to relearn how to have fun and I'm sure Marc needed that.

We also get some glimpses into the lives of the couples that already had their stories told. I love it when an author manages to do that, when even if their book is over and they're not the main characters anymore, the past heroes and heroines aren't forgotten.

The next book in the series, To Command and Collar, is only 14 days away. I can't wait for Master Raoul's story.

My Rating:
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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser today is from Lethal Remedy by Richard L. Mabry:

Lethal Remedy (Prescription for Trouble, #4)

Three hours later, John Doe lay on a gurney in a corner of the ER. An IV ran into one arm, a blood pressure cuff encircled the other. Spittle dripped from his open mouth and dotted his unshaven chin. His eyes were open and staring. 

Remember my review of the book Diagnosis Death by the same author? Well, Lethal Remedy is the fourth (and latest) book in the series Prescription for Trouble. Hopefully, this book won't be the last. I really liked the previous book.

So that's my teaser for the week. What's yours?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Review: Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

Cedardale Court

Author: Nathan Lee Christensen
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Cedardale Court is a neo-gothic murder mystery with enough fools and old flames to keep you happily mixed up for most of a long weekend. When Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, move in with their Uncle Henry, and a simple drainage problem turns a normal Sunday morning into a slightly darker affair, it's not easy to tell where everyone might end up, or if they'll even make it at all.

About the book

Picture a small town, where everyone knows everyone. You know when your neighbor is having a fight with his wife, when the old lady living next door is cooking, when somebody new is into town or when your neighbor is physically abusing his wife. Every day is the same and news travel really fast. So when a body is found chopped into hundreds of pieces after an accident, everyone knows about it. The victim is a school teacher with a lot of secrets.

The characters in this book are amazing. You have the grumpy old guy in love with his neighbor, the nice old lady next door, the couple that fights every single day, the depressed guy who doesn't have the will to "not die". In the middle of this town full of colorful characters Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, try to find peace, to escape from the suffering that has been haunting them for the past 10 years.

What I liked

I loved how the author managed to get inside every character's mind, the way Mr. Christensen leaves the reader to get to know all of them better. And I think he does it wonderfully. It didn't leave me with a sense of exhaustion or with the feeling that I didn't need to know a certain detail. And he did so, while keeping the mystery and the suspense up to date and it didn't feel like the action wasn't moving. You have many subplots that develop or are revealed while the main plot is moving forward. Even if at times a subplot forces you to turn back in time, you actually understand the reasons for that.

Every character has a voice and I think it's what gives this book a complex feeling.

What I didn't like

It's not exactly a thing that I didn't like, it's more of a question of how I viewed Chloe. She didn't seem like a ten year old girl to me. I felt her more like a twelve, even thirteen year old girl. And it's not because she's more mature than the other girls her age. Maybe it's because of her story and the story of her parents, that may have forced her to act like she's older.

I think this is a good book and for being a debut novel, I think it's even more amazing. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and I can't wait for the next book by Mr. Christensen.

My Rating:
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#2)

Fall Into Reading is a reading challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. This week's question for the Fall Into Reading challenge is:

Is there a book that has had a tremendous impact on your life? One that made you look at life in a whole new way, or caused you to completely change something in your life?

There isn't a book that has changed the way I view world but there is a book that changed my life, so to speak. I was a very lucky kid and teenager. The reason for my luck was that my parents never bugged me about my reading - or lack of it. They never forced me to read, not even the books the teachers wanted us to read at school. If I was to read a book, it was because I felt the need to read. So they pretty much let me discover the world of books on my own. I won't say I'm very proud of my younger self and my "fear" of reading, because I'm not. But like I said earlier, I discovered it alone, without being forced into it.

I had already read Harry Potter, and a few other books before that, but they weren't enough to convince me to read. They never were. So a year after reading Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone a friend from school convinced me to try Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I had already seen the movie The Fellowship of the Ring and he swore to me the book was better than the movie. I finally decided to try it about three or four months after seeing the movie. The trilogy represented a lot of firsts for me at the time: the first book I've ever bought for me, from my savings, the first big book (or books) I've read until that point, the first book I read in about two weeks. And it also made me realize that the world of books was a fascinating one and a world that was worth exploring.

So that's my story. What book changed your life or your view on world?

There's also a bonus question this week:

How is your Fall Into Reading coming along? Are you on track? Ahead of schedule? Falling behind?

Well...*sheepish* I'm a little behind. I've read more than I had in min, that's not the bad part. The bad part is that out of the books I wanted to read, I only read one. I still have time, and I intend to use that time reading only the books I wanted to read. I'm also about 30 books behind my annual reading goal, so I have to get on track here. I can say that I honestly have no real reason for falling behind on the Fall Into Reading challenge.

How about you? How's the challenge going?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser today is from Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

“Oh my God.”
“Yes, sir. When we began this morning, we thought we might find a body that happened to be missing hand. But, after some of the sewer sludge was cleared away, this is what we got.”

Cedardale Court

What's your teaser this week?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#1)

I'm a little late at the party, having completely forgotten about answering the questions. Alas, I will start answering with the latest question:

When it comes to fiction, are you more of a “plot person” or a “character person”? If you had to choose, which concept would win out when it comes to picking and loving a book: plot or character?

I'm a very picky reader. The first thing I notice in a book is the plot. I usually read the blurbs after ogling at the covers to figure out if the story feels interesting to me. If I decide that I might like the book, the two concepts are at the same level when it comes to their importance. I love a well-developed plot. It doesn't have to be suspense or mystery or anything. It just has to be there and it has to be good. Or it can be less than good, but without plot-holes, without those moments when you frown and realize there seem to be chunks of story missing. At the same time though, the characters need to be well developed too. 

Picture the best book you've ever read, in terms of plot. Now take out the characters you know and put some new, poorly developed characters in the story. It seems lacking to me. I need to like the characters to be fully able to enjoy the plot. I can do without one or the other, but for me a good book is the one that has both.

And this works in reverse too. I have to like the plot to enjoy the characters. You may have the best characters in the world, if you don't have a plot that does justice to those characters, the story lacks something.

What about you? What would you choose between plot and characters?

Book Review: The Heart of a Killer by Jaci Burton

The Heart of a Killer (The Killer, #1)
Author: Jaci Burton
Series: The Killer #1
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Before the Special Forces hero has even unpacked his bags from twelve years of active duty, he's embroiled in murder—corpses bearing the brutal trademark he's seen only once before—on the worst night of his life.
The last time Detective Anna Pallino saw Dante Renaldi, they were in love. Now, he's part of the connection to a string of fresh homicides and a horrible assault Anna only survived thanks to him.
More than anything, Anna wants to trust Dante. But as the bodies and the coincidences stack up, Anna will have to decide, and fast: Is the man she owes her life to the very same one who wants her dead?

I've been reading Ms Burton's books for years now and I've never encountered a book that I didn't like. This book is no exception.

The first book in the series The Killer, The Heart of a Killer is a wonderful story of teenage lovers reunited, second chances and a serial killer. If there's one author that can make this story work, I think that's Jaci Burton. 

First of all, I loved the fact that I couldn't figure out who the killer was. I was absolutely shocked when the killer was revealed and even more when his motives surfaced. I did not expect that. And I think that's what makes a good suspense, or at least for me. The not knowing something. It's not suspense for me if I can anticipate, you know?

Second, the characters were amazing and complex. Dante was a bad boy as a teenager and twelve years haven't changed him that much. He's still a bad boy, only his lethal now. The army polished him, making him more dangerous, sexier and more mature. He is still in love with Anna, even after not seeing her for over a decade, and he's willing to do anything to protect her. He's also very fond of his foster brothers, even if he didn't keep in contact with them. I'm guessing he didn't do it because of the temptation of coming back.

Anna is very different than when she was a teenager. If she was shy and innocent and sweet before her attack, now she is tougher, more serious and more careful about who to trust. Even so, I think she too couldn't forget Dante, although I'm sure she tried. 

I think this series will be a very good one. I can't wait for the next book, see if we're going to find out more about Gabe. 

My Rating:
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Review: The Guardian by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Guardian (Dark-Hunter, #21; Dream-Hunter, #5)

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark Hunters #21; Dream Hunters #5
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Dream-Hunter Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions: To descend into the Nether Realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays the secrets that could kill her and her kind. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm’s most vicious guardian…
Seth’s time is running out. If he can’t hand over the entrance to Olympus, his own life and those of his people will be forfeit. No matter the torture, Seth hasn’t been able to break the god in his custody. Then there’s the beautiful Dream-Hunter Lydia: She isn’t just guarding the gates of Olympus—she’s holding back one of the world’s darkest powers. If she fails, an ancient curse will haunt the earth once more and no one will be safe. But evil is always seductive...

Finally, the day of a new release in the Dark Hunter realm has come. I think I should've read slower, but here I am, about 10-15 minutes after I closed the book. The book was good, but like all the Dream Hunter books, this one confused me. I can't exactly decide if it takes place exactly after Retribution or it's way ahead in time. It could also be the fact that some of the details in the entire series are a bit lost to my memory (hence the Dark Hunter series reread I'm doing currently).

I loved this book for a number of reasons. First of all, Ms. Kenyon manages to create the best tormented heroes out there. All of her Dark/Were/Dream Hunters are scarred, all of them have painful pasts, but very few of them are truly tormented. So when I read Seth's story, I couldn't help but think about Acheron and Zarek. Seth's story is just as painful and heartbreaking as their stories. Even having all the goodness and kindness tortured out of him, Seth could still feel enough compassion for those his master told him to torture and beat. He also saved Lydia from having a very painful end at the hands of Noir and even gives her the one thing she craved most: her voice. Granted, he might have an ulterior, egoistical motive for protecting her, but he did it, even after all he's been through. I do believe he had a code of honor even before he met Lydia, otherwise he would've told Noir she was inside his domain.

Lydia was different than I expected. I think she's very insecure, so she lashes out very often. I would've liked to know her a little more. I think she kind of grows up with the story. She has a big sense of loyalty and she's willing to die for those she loves, but she also is very afraid of losing those she cares about so she keeps herself a little distant.

We meet Jaden again and I really want to know more about him. I feel like Jaden's a bigger mystery than Ash was and I hope we'll be getting his book sooner. We're also see Solin. I love that guy. I hope he gets his HEA someday.

The book was good, but it felt rushed at the end. Also the timeline confused me. Is this book right after Sundown's story or is this more in the future? Then again, I am rereading the entire series, so maybe after I've read them all I'll be able to have a better timeline and I'll understand more.

Next book in the Dark Hunter series is Time Untime and we have to wait until August, 2012 to read it *pout* But I'll have time to read the books slowly and thoroughly, so I don't really mind waiting this time.

All in all, I do think this is a great book and it's fresh and another of the reasons I love Kenyon's books. It's different, but I wasn't disappointed.

My Rating:
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