Monday, October 31, 2011

Just Not Feeling It


Have you ever been given a book by a friend only to find yourself not really liking it all that much? Has it ever been a book you were really looking forward to reading?

I have a my bff's copy of One Day and I've finally gotten around to starting it. I'm about 100 pages in, and the story is just not grabbing me, but I'm determined to finish it.

I don't know why I don't just put it down and have done with it, but I feel like I'd be letting her down by not reading it. The worst part of it is, I really wanted to love this book. I've heard nothing but good things about the book.

And its been made into a movie...and I refuse to see the film until I finish it. So yeah, I must soldier on..even though it causes me great pain.

Anyone else ever had this happen?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Review: The Tribe


Author: McCarty Griffin
Title: The Tribe
Publish Date: May 1, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The author
Book Blurb: The tribe has been alone on the farm for many seasons, struggling to survive by their wits and will, unaided by the humans who abandoned them there years ago. Few members of the tribe outside of Tia, the eldest, and her fiercely loyal companion Bella, remember a time when two-legs--the cats' name for humans--lived in the farmhouse. Suddenly, the tribe's territory is invaded by a young two-legs couple, and the frightened cats ask themselves why have two-legs come to live there after so many seasons and what will happen to the tribe at the hands of these often cruel creatures?

Review: I am a fan of the Warriors books by Erin Hunter, so when I was offered a chance to read The Tribe, I thought I might be getting something similar. That's partly true, but this book is much different, although it does tell the story of a feral cat colony.

The cats in The Tribe aren't fighters and though there is a hierarchy to the farm colony, they are more of a family. The elder cats in this story are Tia and Bella. They are a spunky pair of kitties that you come to love. Then there is Daca, a cat that is part of the colony who is a "throw away." She was tossed out of a car when she was pregnant and the tribe took her in.

These three cats share their point of view in the story. The rest of the story is told by the two-legs (humans) that moved into the farm where the tribe resides.

I really liked the different perspectives that this brings to the story. What I really loved about The Tribe, NO CATS DIED! As much as I love the Warriors books, some kitty always dies, reading a book with a totally happy ending for both ferals and the two legs was perfect.

This is a must read for cat lovers.  It is great to see a book that shows people caring for feral cat colonies. I have dealt with this in my home town, and it takes a lot of love to get feral cats to trust you.

Rating: 5 flowers


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Review: The Dark Enquiry


Author: Deanna Raybourn
Title: The Dark Enquiry
Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: June 21, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane's private enquiry business.

Among the more unlikely clients: Julia's very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation.

It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame S√©raphine holds evening s√©ances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.

Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont's sak and more “ they'll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets, the kind men kill to keep….

Review: Lady Julia Grey is one of the fictional characters that I absolutely love to hate. I know this doesn't make sense, but I do. I love the books, but Julia is so infuriating that I always find myself wanting to reach through the pages to throttle her.

Julia is a modern woman living in Victorian times. She is really a woman out of her element and she wants to be part of her husband's work. In the previous books from this series, she got involved in her own way...in this book for some reason this time her involvement in Brisbane's case was totally annoying.

As always the mystery is great, mixing spying, affairs and mediums to create something that keeps you turning the pages to the very end. The best part is that after 5 books, Raybourn still leaves you guessing about who the villain is. I had some ideas as I read and I was totally wrong about them.

Raybourn always assembles a stellar supporting cast to spice things up. Along with Julia's family, we get to see Brisbane's gypsy granny, some interesting folks that attended The Spirit Club and Felicity Mortlake.

This is definitely a great mystery as are all the Lady Julia books. There was only one thing that bugged me, Lady Julia loses her baby in this book. I swear I don't recall reading her learning of her pregnancy. Plus she is the least maternal female I've encountered.

All that aside, this is a fantastic read!

Rating: 4 flowers


Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: Taken By The Pirate Tycoon


Author: Daphne Clair
Title: Taken By The Pirate Tycoon
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publish Date: April 2010
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Jase Moore is determined to shake Samantha Magnussen's touch-me-not facade. Could this ice princess really be out to steal his sister's new husband? This pirate tycoon will distract her--the only way he knows how!
Review: Yikes! This one wasn't one of my favorites from the Presents line. At the beginning it was too hard to tell if Samantha was really after Bryn or what was going on between them.

Then there was Jase? Can you say overprotective much?

I can understand wanting what's best for your baby sister, but he really was a bit over the top in trying to dissuade Samantha from having an affair or continuing with an affair with her husband.

I'm so confused!

The worst of it is, no one in the story really communicated with each other, they just thought the worst, which makes it hard to believe that anyone could fall in love with the other, or why they'd want to.

Rating: 2 flowers









Why does this provocative stranger have such a low opinion of her? Jase's angry contempt gets under Samantha's protective shell. While his voice--dark and full of unspoken sinful promise--storms her heart and offers temptation too hard to resist....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Life Interruptus AGAIN

My dad was in the hospital again at the beginning of the week.

 Then there are the work things that have been on my mind.

I can't even finish a flipping Harlequin Presents.

I'm hoping this week calms down a little, except that I have to take dad for 2 doctors appointments.

Oye.

I just want some time to myself.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

TLC Book Tour & Review: Beyond All Measure


Author: Dorothy Love
Title: Beyond All Measure
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publish Date: May 31, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the publisher
Book Blurb: Ada Wentworth may be young, but she's seen enough of life to know she can only rely on herself. Everyone including God it seems, has let her down. Having lost her family, her fiance, and her fortune, Ada journeys from Boston to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, to take a position as a lady's companion. Though initially charmed by the pretty little Southern town tucked into the foothills of the great Smokies, Ada plans to stay only until she can earn enough to establish a millinery shop.

Her employer, Wyatt Caldwell, the local lumber mill owner, is easily the kindest, most attractive man Ada has met in Hickory Ridge. He believes Providence has brought her to town and into his life. But how, after so many betrayals, can she ever trust again? Besides, Wyatt has a dream of his own. A dream that will one day take him far from Hickory Ridge.

As the South struggles to heal in the aftermath of the Civil War, one woman must let go of her painful past in order to embrace God's plans for her. Can she trust Him, and Wyatt, with her future and her heart?

Review: Beyond All Measure is a beautiful Christian historical romance that is full of the color of the time period. The story is set in Hickory Ridge Tennessee shortly after the Civil War. Dorothy Love paints a rather good picture of how things were in the south at that time.

Ada Wentworth had traveled to that small town to be a companion to Lillian Caldwell. Lillian is one of the highlights of the book. She's such a spunky, fun old lady. She's a wonderful curmudgeon at times, and at others she's totally sweet.

It is hard not to love Wyatt Caldwell, as well. He's the kind of hero we all want. He's kindhearted, loves his family, is loyal. Even when sparks fly between him and Ada, you want these two together, and since it is a romance, you know it will happen eventually.

I've been reading more Christian romances lately, but this one really stands out as a good one. Why? Religion is part of the story, but it isn't the whole story.

Each character has been hurt by things in their life and they grow to love and trust, even after they make some bad choices.

This is a book that just about anyone can read and enjoy! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.


Rating: 5 flowers




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winner!

The winner of one of Keta Diablo's ebooks is Darcy aka, pommawolf

Check you email!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Review: Land Of Falling Stars

Author: Keta Diablo
Title: Land Of Falling Stars
Publisher: Books We Love Publishing
Publish Date: Sept 30, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The Bookish Snob Promotions and the author
Book Blurb: After her parents die in a fire, Sophia Whitfield struggles to save her beloved home, Arbor Rose. The Civil War has devastated the South, and another blue coat has come to steal her meager possessions. Before the hated enemy inflicts his destruction, she shoots him. And soon discovers the soldier is Gavin, the champion of her childhood.

Gavin's dark secret lurks in Sophia’s future. When she discovers the truth, she's torn between a burning hunger for the man she truly loves and loyalty to Jesse, their childhood friend. The despicable acts of war have changed everything Sophia and Gavin once cherished. Yet somewhere deep in their hearts, the mystical Land of Falling Stars still exists.

Review: Keta Diablo is one of my top finds from this year. Land Of Falling Stars is a awesome historical erotic romance set during the Civil War period.

What I really like about Keta's story is how she balances out the plot with the hot and steamy sex. (Yes there's a lot of that going on). Sophia and Gavin have quite a history together. They are old friends separated by the sides of war. Then there's the matter of her being promised to the best friend that Gavin just happened to have killed in battle.

Oh yeah, there's a lot of conflict.

There's also a ruthless neighbor that wants her property and her body.

Drama is everywhere...and in the midst of it...Sophia is blinded. Literally!

I think the way Gavin dealt with Sophia's blindness was admirable. This is the kind of event readers don't expect to find in a romance novel, but Keta made this work.

I particularly loved the scenes with the gypsy clan, they were very descriptive and vivid.

If you are looking for a new author to try and like historical romance...you have to give Keta Diablo a try!

Rating: 4 flowers


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Review: A Cousins Prayer



Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Title: A Cousin's Prayer
Publisher: Barbour Books
Publish Date: Sept 1, 2009
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Kumme to Amish country, where the simple ways of life lead to hope and healing. Katie Miller is traumatized after her boyfriend is killed in a van in which she was also a passenger. How will she find her way out of the valley of her depression? Freeman Bontrager will make any excuse to be near to Katie, hoping to win her love. But how far will he go to gain her trust. . .and her heart? What will bring this girl out of the shadows of fear, and open her heart to life—and love?

Review: Wanda Brunstetter brings real life issues to her stories of the Amish. Katie's emotional problems are what many people face. Her anxiety is very real and is conveyed accurately in A Cousin's Prayer. Anyone that has ever suffered panic attacks will emphathize with Katie. I know I did.

As always, Wanda creates some colorful secondary characters. Eunice is one of the best in this book. You truly love to hate her. She's so gossipy and selfish. It is hard to believe she's an Amish girl.

Freeman is one of my favorite heros. He's not perfect. He's had panic attacks like Katie, and he has problems with "foot in mouth disease".

The only thing about the story that I wish had been more developed was the part with Katie and the abandoned child. I would have loved to have seen more interaction there, since it was such a big part in Katie beginning to trust Freeman.

I have read many of Wanda Brunstetter's books, and I have to say I've not been disappointed yet. This book was no exception.

Rating: 4 flowers

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bookish Snob Promotions Guest Post: Keta Diablo w/Giveaway


Today we welcome Keta Diablo to A Chick Who Reads. She's going to talk about her new book Land Of Falling Stars.  Read her guest post and leave a comment and you could win an ebook copy of any of the books from Keta's back catalog except for Land Of Falling Stars. So make sure you leave a comment. Winners will be notified on Oct 19th.



Why I wrote Land of Falling Stars . . .




I love historical romance, always have. I cut my teeth reading Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Oh-oh, I think I just gave away my age. I remember reading Rogers under the covers with a flashlight, my heart thundering in my chest while I waited to see what Steve would do to Ginny once he discovered her latest faux pas.



Today, I read everything Joanna Bourne releases (Spymaster’s series) and Helen Kirk man. At least once a year, I rediscover the magical characters in a book called The Windflower (a pirate novel) by husband and wife team Laura London. Alas, they never wrote a sequel. I would have devoured books about their secondary characters, particularly Cat.



It’s little wonder when I started my writing career, I gravitated toward Historical Romance. The inspiration behind my books arrive through various vehicles—a dream or by people-watching. For Land of Falling Stars, I read a true-life article about the Civil War, specifically cousins who lived in the same county and fought for opposite sides. This was not unusual at the time. County boundaries were murky and sympathizers for the North frequently lived in the South—and vice versa.



Let’s draw an imaginary line across this great country we live in, and let’s imagine a civil war breaks out. You live in the upper part of the US, but have close family and friends who live in the bottom half. Near the boundary lives a horde of people who aren’t sure where they stand but are forced to choose. And they do choose for one reason or another.



The story about the cousins fascinated me. I couldn’t fathom how one could pick up arms and fight against their brethren. I spun off from that plot in Land of Falling Stars. What if two childhood friends grew up and fell in love with the same woman? What if one man fought for the North, the other for the South? What if the bond between the three was stronger than cement and not even war could separate the vast love they held for one another?



Thus, Land of Falling Stars was born. This is the story of Jesse, Gavin and Sophia. They lived in Virginia, a state with citizens deeply loyal to the South in all respects. Yet, Gavin’s family hailed from the North. You can see where this is going, right?



LOFS is not a complicated story; but a simple account of what happens between people when war knocks on our door. It’s a narrative of friendship, loyalty, betrayal and vast, abiding love. We won’t always like the characters’ actions or motives in the book, but to truly understand them and the world they’ve been thrust into, we must put our modern belief system aside and walk in their shoes of the time.



I hope you enjoy reading Land of Falling Stars as much as I enjoyed writing the book.



My best to you with sincere wishes that all your reads take you on memorable journeys you’ll never forget.


Author Info:

Keta Diablo is a multi-published author in romance (paranormal/historical) and gay fiction.




In 2009 her historical novel Decadent Deceptions was a finalist in the RWA Molly contest

Decadent Deceptions on Kindle: http://amzn.to/dQj8WZ



In 2010 Keta finaled in The Scarlet Boa contest with her yet to be published novel Phoenix Rising



In 2011 Keta's paranormal/shifter Where The Rain Is Made was nominated for a BOOKIE AWARD by Authors After Dark

Where The Rain is Made on Kindle: http://amzn.to/ev0I3Y



Her Crossroads series (gay fiction) has won numerous awards, including Best Book of the Month, Recommended Read and Top Reviewer's Recommendation.

Crossroads on Kindle: http://amzn.to/fRni1t



Diablo has written for numerous publishers over the years, most recently Books We Love Spice and Decadent Publishing and occasionally self-publishes.

You can find her on the Internet here:

Keta's Haunt Author home: http://www.ketadiablo.com/  (sign up for her newsletter here)

Keta's Keep Romance Blog: http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com/

The Stuff of Myth and Men gay fiction blog: http://thestuffofmythandmen.blogspot.com/

Keta on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ketadiablo

Keta on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KetaDiablo.Author


Next Tour Stop: Oct 16 – Romancing The Darkside http://romancingthedarkside.blogspot.com

Buy: Amazon/Barnes and Noble




Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review: The Cowboy And The Vampire


Author: Clark Hays & Kathleen McFall
Title: The Cowboy & The Vampire
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publish Date: Oct 8, 2010
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The authors
Book Blurb: Reporter Lizzie Vaughan doesn’t realize it, but she has 2,000 years of royal Vampiric blood coursing through her veins. Neither she nor Tucker, her cowboy lover, has any idea that Julius, the leader of the undead, has a diabolical plan to reign over darkness for all eternity—with Lizzie at his side.

Lizzie battles for her life—and her soul—as she and Tucker find themselves caught up in a vampire war, pursued by hordes of Julius’ maniacal, bloodthirsty followers.

Who will be left standing when the sun rises?

Review: There are a lot of vampire novels out there. More then anyone should read, but this one is one of the best. It has a unique, slightly religious twist to the vampire myth, plus it has a totally awesome cowboy.

I love the vastly different way the two leads are written and the story is told from both Lizzie and Tucker's point of views. The parts of the story written from Tucker's point of view are absolutely hysterical.

I really love the way their relationship grew, and even though everything happened pretty quickly, you saw a great loyalty between the characters.

Clark and Kathleen created some awesome vampires too. (Lizzie included) The bad guys and the not so bad vamps really rocked. They were pure evil in the way vampires should be. Julius was truly the baddest bad guy ever!

The story really flowed nicely and though it had romantic aspects there was a lot more to it than Tucker and Lizzie getting together. This book was about good and evil and its place in the world. I loved how the writers separated humans (Adamites) and Vampires.

This is definitely a must read for fans of vampire fic. Its one of the best in the genre that I have read this year.

Rating: 5 flowers

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tour Book Review: The Life and Times Of Delila


Author: Lindsay Klug
Title: The Life and Times Of Delila
Publisher: Createspace
Publish Date: June 3, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and the author
Book Blurb: Delila has roamed the Earth for over one thousand years with her maker, Alaric. She has everything a vampire could want: beauty, brains, a booming business, and an ability to read human emotions. When a werewolf makes an imprint in her life, Delila feels she may have finally found the soul mate she has been seeking. But when everything goes terribly wrong Delila finds herself burdened with a young half breed child to protect from the evil forces of her world.

Review: Like Silly Love Songs, the world may have enough vampire tales. I admit to loving a good vampire story, so I thought I'd give this story a go.

I was pretty good too, a little bit Anne Rice and a little bit of Maggie Shayne. There's a touch of romance in the story, but it isn't what the story is about, it is Delila's story.

I would have liked this book to be a little longer than its 235 pages.  Lindsay has created a female vampire that could give Lestat a run for his money, but she leaves us wanting to know more, as she moves the story forward.

She's a sexy, sensual vamp who is also very nurturing. She's the mother of all vampires! She also retains a lot of her humanity. The humans in her life are well treated. She's a fighter, but mostly when provoked.

What I would have loved to have seen more of in this book is the development of the secondary characters. Alaric, her maker didn't feel like he was a full part of the book, and Eli, the werewolf, lover and then enemy? The way he changed as the book went on didn't feel right to me. It happened to fast. I also would have loved to have learned more of her early years as a vamp in ancient Rome.

Overall, this was a good read and a pleasant book to pass a few hours with.

Rating: 4 flowers




Author Info:

Website / Blog / GoodReads / Facebook / Twitter


 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Bewitching Book Tours Book Review: Tie Me Up

Author: Lauren Hawkeye
Title: Tie Me Up
Publisher: Spice Brief
Publish Date: Oct 1, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By:  Bewitching Book Tours & the author
Book Blurb: Barbara always thought of Ethan as her little brother's annoying best friend, and she was sure he just considered her his friend's nerdy big sister. Until the hot night after her brother's wedding. Alone in the heat, it's clear Ethan sees her in a way she never saw herself: as a sexy, sensual woman. And for the first time, Barbara feels ready to break free from the painful memories that have haunted her for too long—by exploring her passion for Ethan.…

Review: Spice Briefs are super short erotic stories that pack a swift punch in your "get hot and bothered zone." Tie Me Up is the 2nd story in the Erotic Me series by Lauren Hawkeye.

It is super short...somewhere around 20 pages, so Lauren has to reach out and grab you fast, because if you blink, you are on the last page. In this one we see Barbara and Ethan, two people that have known each other for ages, but have never ....erm EXPLORED each other.

That changes.

You don't quite understand what the inspiration for their hot and heavy lovemaking session is, but it really heats up the pages. What Lauren does give us, is a rather sad backstory for Barbara, who was raped at a very young age.

I would have preferred a bit more spice to the story than the back story. If this had been a full length novel or even a novella, I would have been able to deal with the events in Barbara's past, but in something this brief, it leaves you want to know more.

Rating 3 flowers

Book Review: From Doctor...To Daddy


Author: Karen Rose Smith
Title: From Doctor...To Daddy
Publisher: Silhouette Special Edition
Publish Date: Sept 2010
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Ever since Dr. Dillon Traub arrived at Thunder Canyon Resort, tongues have been wagging about the chemistry zinging between the Texas oil tycoon and his new receptionist. Those broad shoulders of his may be awfully tempting…but single mom Erika Rodriguez knows better than to give in to her attraction to the handsome bachelor doctor.

So why is the sought-after playboy going out of his way to prove to the love-burned Erika that he'd make the ideal husband—and perfect father to her adorable baby girl? Stay tuned, dear readers, to see if the town's favorite new physician will be heading back home. Or if this Dr. Daddy is writing a prescription for lifetime happiness!

Review: This book was truly cringe-worthy. I thought it would be cute, but instead it was 100% predictable. There was absolutely nothing that would leave you guessing with this book. Anytime there was some conflict the outcome was so easy to figure out that it was not even worth turning the page.

Since I was looking for a quick read, I finished this. I don't think I would have otherwise. The characters just didn't do it for me, and because this was a Special Edition and a more family oriented series from Harlequin, the sex was practically non-existent.

The worst of it was the story spent more time dwelling on Erika's bad luck with men and the town gossip then developing the character of her baby daughter, who might have brought some life into this otherwise dull story.

The highlight of this story was when Zane, a country music star, and friend of Dillon's comes to perform at Frontier Days. He seemed to be the only high point in the story, and his character had some spunk, which was lacking everywhere else.

This is a book I'd pass on, if I had the choice to do it all over again.

Rating: 2 flowers

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book Review: Heart Of Dreams

Author: Jeanne Rose
Title: Heart Of Dreams
Publisher: Silhouette Shadows
Publish Date: July 1, 1995
Book Blurb: Mara Fitzgerald couldn't get Luke Naha out of her dreams. Nightly she was haunted by frightening - yet erotic - images of him that left her breathless and wanting. Even more disturbing was the mysterious, brooding Native American's claim that he was having dreams about her. And they were sharing not only dreams, but also memories of the past...

Luke knew the pleasure as well as the pain of entering another person's dreams. But his power had done irreparable damage in the past, and he couldn't let himself lose control again. Yet in his heart he sensed the bliss in his dreams with Mara masked an underlying evil - one that threatened to consume them both.

Review: I don't usually like novels that involve Native Americans, but this one had a plot that really drew me in and kept me reading. I loved the mysticism that involved prophetic dreams and dreaming places.

Luke and Mara really heated up the pages as well. The chemistry between the two was electric, even though Luke was the typical Harlequin Alpha Male jerk throughout most of the story. The secondary characters more than made up for his shortcomings though. It was hard not to love his grandmother and Rebecca, two of the elders of the Kisi tribe.

I really loved the concept of Dreamwalking, and how Luke and Mara shared dreams, and those dreams were pretty spicy!

The fact that Luke and Mara are connected through past lives makes the story doubly great, as well as the evil that is following them and trying to destroy the tribe.

The only thing I wish Jeanne would have developed better was Luke's paintings. I wish something would have been done about the characters in his paintings that collectors felt came to life.

This was really a great read from the old Shadows line and one worth reading if you can find it.

Rating 5 flowers

 
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