Friday, June 29, 2012

Matthew (Circle 8 #1) by Emma Lang + giveaway

"In the wake of his parents’ murder, Matthew Graham must take the reins at the Circle Eight. He also needs to find a wife in just thirty days, or risk losing it all. Plain but practical, Hannah Foley seems the perfect bride for him . . . until after the wedding night.

Their marriage may make all the sense in the world, but neither one anticipates the jealousies that will result, the treacherous danger they’re walking into, or the wildfire of attraction that will sweep over them, changing their lives forever."

Type: Historical Romance (1836), Western
Heat: 3 out of 5

Rating: 4 out of 5
Also Writes As: Beth Williamson (erotica)

Matthew is a very sweet historical western about a young family of brothers and sisters that have been through hell and are fighting their way back after the murder of their parents months earlier. You can't help but feel for the characters Lang creates or keep from falling in love with them just a little bit. They're hard working, passionate and doing their best as they struggle to accept their new lives.

18 & Over- the gift


18 & Over Book Blogger Follow is a weekly feature that begins on Fridays and runs through the weekend, hosted by Crystal from Reading Between the Wines. This is a Friday blog hop with the objective to find and visit other book blogs that share the same interest as you, namely books geared towards the 18 & over crowd, and make some new friends!

Q of the Week: If you could gift only one book to someone which book would it be?

Only One?! Gah. That's so mean! ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Because of You (Coming Home #1) by Jessica Scott

"Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again—until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care. 

Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels—for the first time in a long time—like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty—it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected—her deepest desire."

Type: Contemporary Romance, Military
Heat: 2.5 out of 5 A bit of steam, slow burn romance 
Rating: 5 out of 5

From the moment I started reading Because of You I was so caught up and involved in the world and characters created that time completely got away from me and hours passed before I realized. I love when that happens! [the herd? not so much] Because of You is a very emotional and touching story about the struggles so many men and women in the military face during times of war. It's a beautiful story of how love can heal. Of friendship and finding peace. It's definitely not your everyday light fluffy romance but an incredibly moving read filled with characters that will grab on to your heart and won't let go.

Dirty Little Secret- the favorites

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at Under the Covers to get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets. 

Half the year has gone by already! 

Tell us your favorite books so far!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm so far behind on my New Years Resolution to try 52 new recipes in 2012 so I'm trying something new... Tasty Tuesday. So at least I'll be sure I get one recipe a week tried and tasted. If you have a recipe you'd like to recommend I'm all for it. Leave a comment or shoot me an email (

This week's Tasty Tuesday Recipe....

 Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, yeah, I know those don't sound all that delicious but really they weren't half bad. 

My first choice was Snickerdoodles (YUM!) but I managed to have only self rising flour in the house and honestly I'm kinda scared of the stuff. If you've seen my cooking attempts you'd probably be scared of me getting anywhere near it too. Plus I was way too lazy to run to the store in the middle of the night just for flour. 

Mini Challenge #3: Women of the Otherworld!

Oooo mini-challenge!

Which book is your favorite book so far in the WOTO challenge?

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake #1) by Kerrelyn Sparks

Roman Draganesti is charming, handsome, rich...he's also a vampire. But this vampire just lost one of his fangs sinking his teeth into something he shouldn't have. Now he has one night to find a dentist before his natural healing abilities close the wound, leaving him a lop-sided eater for all eternity.

Things aren't going well for Shanna Whelan, either. After witnessing a gruesome murder, she's next on the mob's hit list. And her career as a dentist appears to be on a downward spiral because she's afraid of blood. When Roman rescues her from an assassination attempt, she wonders if she's found the one man who can keep her alive. Though the attraction between them is immediate and hot, can Shanna conquer her fear of blood to fix Roman's fang? And if she does, what will prevent Roman from using his fangs on her...?

Type: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Heat: 2.5 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Was it campy? Yeah, yeah it really was. Did I love it? Hell yeah I really did. How could you not love a book that starts with the hero losing a fang in a blood donor sex bot? I mean, really?! 
Roman pressed the handkerchief against the gaping hole where his right fang should be. "Thit."

"You could use your own healing powers to seal the vein shut," Laszlo suggested.

"It would be clothed permanently. I'd be a one-thided eater for all eternity." Roman removed the bloody handkerchief from his mouth and reinserted his fang into the whole.
 "Sir, I suggest you go to a dentist." Laszlo picked up the fang and offered it to Roman. "I've heard they can put a lost tooth back."

"Oh, right." Gregori snorted. "What's he supposed to do, waltz into a dental office and say, 'Excuse me, I'm a vampire and I lost a fang in the neck of a sex toy.' They're not going to be line up to help him."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark #1) by Gena Showalter

"Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless--and if he isn't careful, he'll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost...until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he's never known before.

Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation--or her ultimate damnation?"

Type: Paranormal Romance, Angels/Demons
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5

"Maybe you are real," she said. "It would require a dark side I don't have to create someone like you." 
"You forgot to say 'no offense' before making that statement." 
"No, I didn't. I meant offense." 
Bold little human, wasn't she?
This. Was. Excellent. I was completely hooked from page one and Showalter kept me absolutely riveted for the next 410 pages. Wicked Nights is the first book in her new Angels of the Dark series and a spin-off from the Lords of the Underworld series. I almost hate to admit it but I still haven't read LOTU. No worries if you're like me and haven't read them yet. I had no problem jumping into the world created and didn't feel like I was missing out on anything needed to fully grasp Zacharel and Annabelle's story.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Follow Friday

Q: If you could "unread" a book, which one would it be? Is it because you want to start over and experience it again for the first time? Or because it was THAT bad?

A: If I could unread a single book it would be J.R.Ward's Lover Awakened. Zsadist is one of my absolute favorite heroes and his story was just amazing. He had such an incredibly heartbreaking life. Loved all of the emotional turmoil and seeing him find a bit of peace and happiness. Would love to get to experience it again for the first time!

Chasing Perfect (Fool's Gold #1) by Susan Mallery

Welcome to Fool's Gold, California, a charming community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There's lots to do and plenty of people to meet, especially women. Because there's just one tiny problem in Fool's Gold: the men don't seem to stick around. Maybe it's the lure of big-city life, or maybe it's plain old bad luck, but regardless of the reason, the problem has to be fixed, fast. And Charity Jones may be just the city planner to do it.

Charity's nomadic childhood has left her itching to settle down, and she immediately falls in love with all the storybook town has to offer--everything, that is, except its sexiest and most famous resident, former world-class cyclist Josh Golden. With her long list of romantic disasters, she's not about to take a chance on another bad boy, even if everyone else thinks he's perfect just the way he is. But maybe that's just what he needs--someone who knows the value of his flaws. Someone who knows that he's just "chasing perfect.

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 2.5 out of 5
Rating: 3 out of 5

Love the cover on this one! Really all of the covers in this series are lovely and make me want to sigh just a little.Chasing Perfect is a light, quick read and perfect for when you have a bit of down time and want something nice and easy. The set up is pretty unique. Charity Jones is new to the small town of Fool's Gold and it's her job to deal with one of their biggest problems....a man shortage! Seriously.  ::smirk:: Love that! While getting settled into her new life Charity's path keeps crossing with town heartthrob and resident bad boy Josh Golden. He's exactly the type of man she's trying to avoid so of course the sparks fly.

Passionately Pintrest: Newspaper Text on Nails!

What is Passionately Pintrest? The perfect excuse to indulge my Pintrest obsession of course! Every week or so I'll take one of my pins and actually make it happen. Recipes, beauty treatments, projects. Are they as tasty as they look? As easy as people make them seem? 

This weeks Pin: Text on nails...
Directions attached to pin:
1. Put on nail polish and let dry. 
2. Dip fingernail in alcohol-basically any will do, vodka is suggested. 
3. Press a strip of newspaper big enough to cover the whole nail on to your alcohol soaked nail. 
4. Pull off slowly and be really impressed with yourself. 
5. Paint top coat if desired.


Dirty Little Secrets-heating things up!

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at Under the Covers. Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets. Jump over to Under the Covers to link up :)

Q:What book would you recommend to to heat up your summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My first DNF: All Through the Night by Suzanne Brockmann

It’s Christmastime in Boston, and this year the silver bells will be wedding bells as FBI agent Jules Cassidy ties the knot with the man of his dreams, Hollywood heartthrob Robin Chadwick.

The pair plan a quiet, intimate ceremony, to be witnessed by family and close friends from the FBI, SEAL Team Sixteen, and Troubleshooters, Incorporated, including Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. But the holiday season brings more to the happy couple than they expect.

A waterfall coming through their kitchen ceiling, a bat colony in the attic, old family tensions . . . even an international incident can’t dampen their spirits. But add to that a parade of unexpected guests, including a reporter looking for a scoop, an ex-lover hell-bent on causing trouble, and a dangerous stalker, and suddenly the wedding is poised to unravel in chaos.

But nothing will stop Jules and Robin from getting their happy ending, because along with a guest list featuring the most elite counterterrorism force in the world, they have their own secret weapon–true love.

Type: Contemporary romance, M/M relationship
Heat: no clue, didn't get that far
Rating: DNF 1 out of 5

Pretty bummed about it but I've had my first Did Not Finish with Suzanne Brockmann's All Through the Night. This was my first time reading Brockmann and by 70 pages in I just couldn't take it anymore. The writing in general was decent enough. The problem I had was that I basically read what amounted to a 70 page pro homosexuality PSA.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherworld #3) by Kelley Armstrong

Paige Winterbourne was always either too young or too rebellious to succeed her mother as leader of one of the world’s most powerful elite organizations—the American Coven of Witches. Now that she is twenty-three and her mother is dead, the Elders can no longer deny her. But even Paige’s wildest antics can’t hold a candle to those of her new charge—an orphan who is all too willing to use her budding powers for evil...and evil is all too willing to claim her. For this girl is being pursued by a dark faction of the supernatural underworld. They are a vicious group who will do anything to woo the young, malleable, and extremely powerful neophyte, including commit murder—and frame Paige for the crime. It’s an initiation into adulthood, womanhood, and the brutal side of magic that Paige will have to do everything within her power to make sure they both survive.

Type: Urban Fantasy, 1st Person, Witches
Heat: 2 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Dime Store Magic brings us into the world Paige Winterbourne and her coven of witches. So far this was my favorite book in the series and I think it's because Paige and Lucas really aren't your typical hero/heroine. They're not masters of their respective crafts, or all all that big and tough, and really Lucas leans more towards the geeky than being a sexy alpha male. But they're both just good people who are determined to do what they think is right no matter how hard things get. 

While the plot wasn't all that complicated I found myself really enjoying everything that was going on in Paige's life. After taking in Savannah, a teenage witch, who dear God may be one of the most annoying characters I've ever met, Paige finds herself in a custody battle from hell and on the verge of losing Savannah, who's a bit morally shaky when it comes to magic, to her darker counterparts. Not only that but they're playing dirty. Framing her for murder and exposing her as a witch to the public which causes all kinds of insanity from the humorous to the extremely hostile and causing her Coven to abandon her when she needs them most. The girl seriously cannot catch a damn break but I must say I loved how she handled herself and, with Lucas' help, managed to kick some ass. 
“Could you please put this--could you all put these--could you get dressed, please?"
The woman only bestowed a serene smile on me. "We are as the Goddess requires."
"The Goddess requires you to be naked on my lawn?” 
Now, Savannah. Oh. My. God! I did not like this kid one damn bit. Kelley did a fantastic job of creating an incredibly bratty teenager who would throw terrible fits until she got exactly what she wanted. She had such a volatile personality and more than once I really wanted Paige to just hand the little monster over to the bad guys who were after her and call it a day. And Lord help me the chit has 3 books with her as the heroine later on. Gah! Excellent writing but damn!

This was a very nicely done UF with lots of action, chaos and well written characters that kept me entertained for hours. Things were pretty light in the romance department between Lucas and Paige but the potential for something more down the road was there and the relationship was still very entertaining and enjoyable. I'm looking forward to reading more about the two and seeing what happens next.

Get Your Copy:   Amazon   Barnes&Noble   BookDepository

Do you like urban fantasy? Have a favorite set of UF characters? Do you like a bit of romance involved or like it romance free? 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

When Bruce Met Cyn (Visitation, NC #3) by Lori Foster

Bruce Kelly has spent most of his life helping people who are down on their luck, guiding them toward making better lives. Compassionate and kind, Bruce understands that everyone makes mistakes, even if he's never actually done anything but color inside the lines. Nobody's perfect, but Bruce is about to meet a woman who's perfect for him. He's determined to show her that he can be trusted. And if that means proving it by being the absolute gentleman at all times, then so be it. No matter how many cold showers it takes...

Cyn Potter is a survivor, with a sassy, gallows wit and a fierce independent streak to show for it. She's used to men wanting only one thing, and this girl is no longer taking applications from big bad wolves in sheep's clothing, thank you very much, drive through please and keep on going. But Bruce Kelly is actually different. Totally hands off. Sometimes she can see a hint of fire when he looks at her, but the guy treats her with the respect she's always wanted. Maybe too much respect, because truthfully? The guy is fine. Worth taking down a few defenses for... and a few other things. And maybe somebody needs to help Bruce start over and discover just how perfect being imperfect can be...

Type: Adult Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

I really enjoyed When Bruce Met Cyn and thought it was well done but it was definitely darker and emotionally harder to read than I was expecting. Bruce and Cynthia are a very different hero and heroine, I don't think I've seen another story with this set up before. Bruce is a Preacher and rather inexperienced when it comes to women. And Cyn, well, she's a very recently ex-hooker with some severe trust issues. Not your every day combination, right? 

Cyn and Bruce were both very likable individuals you can't help but respect. For someone so young she's had a very hard life but is a real fighter who will do whatever it takes to survive on her terms. Even with a considerable age difference of 15 years I thought Bruce was perfect for Cyn. What she needed most was to trust someone and see that there are good men out there that could be there for her and not  take advantage of her. And Bruce? Bruce is a good man who cares passionately about others. I loved that while he was a Preacher we got to see him as a man as well. One that wasn't perfect and struggled with desires and temptations just like everyone else.  It was just a lovely relationship to watch grow and change as they got to know one another, built trust and fought back against Cyn's past when it came back to haunt her. 
"And so you were in here, chatting with God?"  
Bruce stared at her face, studying her features in minute detail. His voice dropped to a soft, velvety whisper. "I wanted to thank Him for my many blessings."
The burning of her eyes increased. She would not cry like some ninny just because Bruce was happy. He was a devout and wonderful person who always looked to the bright side. Knowing that prompted her to say, "You're such a good man, Bruce." 
"I'm a fortunate man, in many, many ways." He made a grand gesture toward the glass blocks. "It's a beautiful, sunny day, and my very own church is almost complete." 
"It is shaping up. Everyone will like it." 
His thumb moved to her bottom lip with a teasing, gentle touch. "Good friends surround me, and I enjoy good health." 
"All things you deserve."
He smiled. "And I've been given the greatest gift of all." 
"What's that?" 
He laughed, tweaked her chin. "You." 
He slowly nodded. "God's given me a lot. But best of all, He's given me you." He took her mouth in a long, toe-curling, stomach-tightening kiss, and in a husky rumble: "I'll be thinking Him every day for the rest of my life." 
When Bruce Met Cyn really was a heartwarming and  thoroughly enjoyable story. The danger that Cyn's past brought back into her life was nicely done. I especially liked that I didn't see the ending coming at all. So often everything is too easily figured out along the way. But this one got a good "well, damn!" out of me. If you love Lori Foster and don't mind things a little darker from time to time this is a great read to check out. It's very unique and the characters are ones that will completely grab your heart. 

Get Your Copy:    Amazon   Barnes&Noble   BookDepository

Do you like unique hero/heroine pairs like this one? What's the strangest combo you've read about? 

the Immortal Highlander (Highlander #6) by KMM

"With his long, black hair and dark, mesmerizing eyes, Adam Black is Trouble with a capital T. Immortal, arrogant and intensely sensual, he is free to roam across time and continents in pursuit of his insatiable desires. That is, until a curse strips him of his immortality and makes him invisible, a cruel fate for so irresistible a man. Now Adam's only hope for survival is in the hands of the one woman who can actually see him. 

Enter law student Gabrielle O'Callaghan. For Gabrielle, cursed with the ability to see both worlds, Mortal and Faery, it is the beginning of a long, dangerous seduction. But as Adam's quest to regain his immortality plunges them into a world of timeless magic, the price of surrender could be their very lives. Unless they can thwart the conspiracy that threatens both Mortal and Faery realms...and give them a shot at a destiny few mortals ever know: glorious, wondrous, endless love...."

Type: Paranormal Romance, Fae
Heat: 3.5 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5
“Tell them, Gabrielle,” Adam urged impatiently. 
Blinking, Gabby nodded. “I have one of the, er… fairies here with me –” 
“Tuatha Dé,” Adam corrected irritably. “You’re bloody well making me sound like Tinkerbell.” 
Another brilliant story from Karen Marie Moning. I don't think she could write a bad book if she actually tried. I'll admit going in I wasn't all that interested in Adam Black's story, he just never grabbed my attention, but oh my God it was fantastic! I'm so a Drustan girl but Adam did a damn fine job of nearly edging him out as my favorite Highlander. The story was both action packed and interesting. Adam being banished from Faery by the Queen and made not only human but invisible. And if that wasn't enough to complicate his life throw in assassination attempts, a plot to overthrow the Queen and a single woman who could see him and might just be his salvation. Was just excellent. 
And though she knew better than to ask, she did it anyway.“Okay. You got me. What’s B.A.?” 
“Before. Adam. After Adam, you drive a BMW. I take care of what is mine. That Toyota wasn’t safe.” 
Figured that arrogant beast would define himself as the dawning of an epoch. 
Adam Black just might be the most arrogant, cocky, smug bastard I've ever spent time with and I absolutely loved him and his gorgeous self for it. He's one damn entertaining man who brought a lot of humor to the story.  He had that whole protective, possessive alpha male going on that was just delicious too. 
“He would be, she now knew, a whole lot dominant in bed and a little bit dirty." 
Oh. My. I loved that we got to see a more human and vulnerable side to Adam along the way as well. How much he wanted to be seen for who he was and not just the preconceived notions everyone seemed to have about him. You really can't help but love this man. He really needed someone who wasn't afraid to stand up to him or put him in his place and Gabrielle seemed up for the challenge. They turned out to be a great couple. She's so fiery and I love that she'd fight back whenever she could and stood up for herself. She could be a complete hellcat and it was fantastic! I even loved how she'd go into little rants when she was flustered, tired, scared. It was so endearing and always had me smiling right along with Adam by the end of them. 
“The Tuatha De do not speak of Tuatha De matter to"--he gave her an icy sneer--"mere mortals." 
"Well, mister-mere-mortal-yourself," she bristled right back at him, "maybe you'd better get used to it, because whether or not you like it, you need at least one of us 'mere mortals' to help you become a pompous-asshole-fairy-thing again." 
He tried to maintain his icy stare, but his lips curved despite his efforts and he shook with silent laughter. A pompous-asshole-fairy-thing. The indignity of it. Had any of his race ever been called such a thing? Nothing cowed the woman. Nothing. "Point made, ky-lyrra," he said dryly.
And oh my swoon! Drustan, Daegus and their women all showed up!! I absolutely loved how KMM used them in the story and that they immediately accepted Adam into their homes and were there for him. Made me love those boys even more. 

The Immortal Highlander had me completely captivated, laughing out loud more than once and by the end had me bawling. It was a fantastic ride. Wonderful characters that made a fantastic couple, lots of action, sexy highlanders and getting to visit old friends, and the BIG gesture. I've got absolutely no complaints. I loved every second of it. If you're a fan of KMM, irresistible alpha males, fiery heroines and just a damn sweet love story you need to read this one. It seriously won't disappoint. 

**One thing to note: If you've read the rest of the series this one takes place in the same world but turned out not to have any real time travel involved in the storyline**

Get Your Copy:    Amazon    Barnes&Noble    BookDepository

Do you have a favorite Highlander? Love the Fae? What do you think about human/immortal couples?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sexy Little Surprises by J.C. Daniels

After ten years in, Alexis Marshall thinks her marriage is over. Maybe it doesn't matter that she still loves her husband, still dreams of him, still aches for him…maybe it doesn't matter that her entire body longs for him…

But before she walks away, she going to try one more time to see if there is anything left. She’s pulling out all the stops. Sexy surprises, sweet seductions, provocative promises. Anything to remind him—and herself—of what they had together before an unexpected heartbreak tore them apart.

She’s not ready to let go of her marriage. And she’s out to seduce her husband and make him realize that some things are worth fighting for.

Type: Erotica/Romance, Novella, around 50 pages
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 3 out of 5
Also writes as: Shiloh Walker
 “You know, I'm terribly pleased to hear you're barking and snarling when you think some tramp is sending you sexy little surprises," she teased. "But since I'm the tramp...can you maybe come in the room?"
Novellas can be a difficult thing. Not all authors can introduce readers to a new world and flesh it out enough to leave them feeling invested in the characters and their lives in so few pages. I think J.C. Daniels managed to do a pretty good job of drawing the reader in and getting them to care about how things turned out for the people involved. Sexy Little Surprises is a fairly serious read about a couple who find themselves at their 10 year anniversary not celebrating but struggling to keep their marriage together instead. This really isn't a light-hearted read but a very touching and emotional short story of two people who have drifted apart after suffering a terrible loss but still love each other deeply and are determined to find a way to save their lives together.

One thing I really liked was that the efforts weren't completely one sided. While Alexis may have set out to seduce her husband and remind him of how things used to be Garrett was just as desperate to change things and save their marriage as she was. 

There was a nice mix of hot, spicy intimate moments, both past and present, a bit of humor with the sexy surprises Alexis leaves for her husband and the two actually talking things out and dealing with their past losses and how they got to this point in their lives. Personally I would have liked a longer story and a bit more time with the couple but this wasn't bad for a nice quick read between books. 

Get Your Copy:   Amazon    Barnes&Noble   Elora's Cave

How do you feel about novellas? Are they worth the price? Do you like getting to sample a smaller piece of work by a new author before committing to a full length novel? 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dirty Little Secret- the Strip!

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted each Thursday by Under the Covers so we can get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets.

Q: With the upcoming release of MAGIC MIKE where some of the hottest guys strip nekkid and shake their ummmm assets, we want to know YOUR fantasy cast! 
If you could choose six of the hottest stars to shake their moneymakers for you, which guys would it be?

18 & Over- Chick Fight!

18 & Over Book Blogger Follow is a weekly feature hosted by Crystal from Reading Between the Wines. It's a Friday blog hop to help find and visit other book blogs with similar interests to you, namely books geared towards the 18 & over crowd, and make some new friends!

Question of the Week: Fight club! Heroine Vs. Heroine. Pick your two favorite kick-ass book heroines and pit them against each other. Who would win? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shelter Mountain (Virgin River #2) by Robyn Carr

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.

Type: Contemporary romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Shelter Mountain, book two of Carr's Virgin River series, was a fantastic read. Carr really doesn't hold back and takes you on an emotional ride in each of her books. From spousal abuse to teen pregnancy, dealing with miscarriage and life altering injuries. Her characters experience so many difficult things and do so with such grace. They're people you quickly grow attached to and ones you can't help but find yourself caring about and worrying over. The world she weaves is one that feels honest and believable and easily draws you in and leaves you wanting more. The relationships aren't too hot and steamy right away but more of a slow burn and in Preacher and Paige's case a really slow burn. I actually like the change of pace and getting to see the hero/heroine spending weeks or months getting to know and trust each other before the relationship develops into something more.

Follow Friday! Who's your daddy? Favorite one that is...

Q: Happy Father's Day! Who is your favorite dad character in a book and why?

A: I'm going with a father figures and two that I just love.

John "Preacher" Middleton from Robyn Carr's Shelter Mountain who takes in a woman and her young son who are on the run from an abusive relationship. Loved how protective and gentle John was with the little boy. Spending time with him making dozens of cookies at his bar even though they weren't on the menu but doing it because it made the little boy happy and brought him out of his shell. It was such a wonderfully written story and an absolute tear jerker

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kiss of Heat (Breeds #4) by Lora Leigh

They've waited a decade to come together. Long years filled with unbearable pain, and soul-wrenching torment that have changed them both and left wounds that have laid their souls bare. Wounds that stand one chance of healing -- if only they could stop fighting each other long enough for the truth to work its healing balm. 

Kane, a relentless warrior, lost more than his heart to Sherra in a night of mating passion that marked them both for life. But news of her death ripped his soul apart. For years he has fought to avenge the death of the woman he loved more than his own life, by revealing the deceit and cruelty of the Council that created the Breeds.

But Sherra didn't die. In a cruel and evil twist she was convinced by her sadistic handlers that the man she had given her body, heart and soul to had betrayed not only her, but the child she carried -- and lost. 

Amid the rapidly escalating violence against the Feline Breeds, Kane and Sherra learn that there's more to mating than just the "heat", just as there's more to love than just the sex...

Type: Erotica, Paranormal, Shifters
Heat: 4 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Well Lora Leigh's Breeds series is definitely growing on me. I'm not sure why exactly but, Lord help me, I think I may be hooked. The Breeds continue to fight off attacks from the Council and other extremist groups against their women, children and homes. So far this underlying plot that connects each of the books is a bit slow moving but it does look like things might be picking up in the next few books with the Breeds and their allies getting proactive about those attacking them. I'm looking forward to that quite a bit cus it's really about damn time! They've been way too nice in my opinion and I'm ready for some good ass kicking. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lucky in Love (Lucky Harbor #4) by Jill Shalvis

Mallory Quinn has had enough of playing it safe. As a nurse and devoted daughter, she takes care of everyone but herself. And as the local good girl, she's expected to date Mr. Right. But for once, she'd like to take a risk on Mr. Wrong. And who could be more wrong than Ty Garrison? The mysterious new guy in town has made it clear that he's only passing through, which suits Mallory just fine. Besides, his lean, hard body and sexy smile will give her plenty to remember once he's gone...

For the first time in his life, Ty can't bear to leave. Helping this sexy seductress-in-training walk on the wild side is making him desire things he shouldn't -- including leaving the military for good. As their just-for-fun fling becomes something more, Mallory and Ty wonder if they could really be this lucky in love. After all...anything can happen in a town called Lucky Harbor.

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5

Yeah. I'm loving this series. No question about that. Lucky in Love is book four in the Lucky Harbor series. I was really curious how the series was going to continue after all the main characters we'd met so far had found their HEA in the first 3 books. Shalvis handled it wonderfully, though, introducing 3 new heroines who bonded together during a sudden storm and created a Chocoholics group. Brilliant! I love that we'll have another group of tight knit girls that may drive each other a little crazy but give each other strength and support when they need it.

Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor #3) by Jill Shalvis

Free-spirited Chloe lives life on the edge. Unlike her soon-to-be married sisters, she isn't ready to settle into a quiet life running their family's newly renovated inn. But soon her love of trouble--and trouble with love-draws the attention of the very stern, very sexy sheriff who'd like nothing better than to tame her wild ways. 

Suddenly Chloe can't take a misstep without the sheriff hot on her heels. His rugged swagger and his enigmatic smile are enough to make a girl beg to be handcuffed. For the first time, instead of avoiding the law, Chloe dreams of surrender. Can this rebel find a way to keep the peace with the straitlaced sheriff? Or will Chloe's colorful past keep her from a love that lasts . . . and the safe haven she truly wants in a town called Lucky Harbor?

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5

So, I had some mixed feelings going into Head Over Heels. I loved all the glimpses of Sawyer in the past books so was really excited to finally get to read his story but Chloe, Chloe got on my nerves a bit the last two books so I wasn't all that sure I'd really enjoy this one. I should have had a little faith, though, because Shalvis just writes a damn good book and I should have known she'd be able to win me over completely. And pretty much right from the start too. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Sweetest Thing (Lucky Harbor #2) by Jill Shalvis

Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life.

But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can't control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she's lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor.

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 5 out of 5

Lucky Harbor is really turning into one of my favorite series. The Sweetest Thing was a fantastic read and had me falling in love all over again with this group of characters. I love that the girls, so far, are all sisters and the guys have been best friends since they were kids. Just adds such a fun element to all of the relationships and how they interact with each other. Add in an insane small town full of meddling gossips, a couple with an emotionally charged past and a pesky ex that's trying to get back in the picture and you really have an amazing irresistible combination. 

Drop Dead, Gorgeous! (Gorgeous #2) by MaryJanice Davidson

Ah, weddings -- every single woman's reminder that she'll probably die alone, covered in cat hair and dressed in unflattering sweatpants. And as far as bad wedding experiences go, my friend Stacy's could take the cake. 1) I'm dateless 2) I'm a bridesmaid, and 3) Someone just attempted to whack the groom (known, no kidding, as The Boss) in the middle of the ceremony. Whoa -- hang on. I might not relish reception food or doing the Electric Slide, but anyone who tries to ruin a girlfriend's big day by bumping off her true love will have to go through me first. 

So now I, assistant hairdresser Jenny Branch, am helping to hunt down a real-life bad guy, and the prime suspect is Kevin Stone, who claims to be working undercover for a group called Covert Ops Protection. Riiiight. All of this is hard to believe -- my new role as spy-in-training, the fact that I'm surrounded by people with freaky superhuman powers, and most of all, the way that this unbelievably sexy villain/double agent/whatever Kevin is makes every (and I mean every) nerve-ending tingle the second he comes into view -- and it appears to be mutual. Living with flying bullets and constant danger is a long way from sweeping up hair at the end of the day. But if it means being around Kevin, a girl could get used to it...

Type: Paranormal Romance/Chick Lit
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 2 out of 5

Yes, I know. I keep torturing myself with MaryJanice Davidson. I don't know what's wrong with me but I just can't seem to give her up and, well, I wanted to see how this series ended. Drop Dead, Gorgeous! actually wasn't a bad follow up to Hello, Gorgeous but having finished it I still don't really know what the point of the whole thing was other than getting everyone together by the end of the story. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Passionately Pintrest: Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches

Woohoo! My first official Passionately Pintrest post! ::grin::

So what is Passionately Pintrest?! Basically an excuse to indulge my Pintrest obsession. Smirk. I'm going to try for twice a month but we'll see. Each time I'll take one of my Pins and actually make it happen. Not just look at them, oooh and awwww and forget about them. And I just wanna see if I can get the reality even close to as pretty as the pins. 

Feel free to join in and give it a go or suggest pins for me to try. If you join in let me know so I can come check out your success. A link to my boards is over there on the left if you want to see what's over there. 

Passionately Pintrest #1!

And now what actually happened....

Friday, June 8, 2012

18 & Over Book Blogger Follow- "readcation"

18 & Over Book Blogger Follow is a weekly feature that begins on Fridays and runs through the weekend, hosted by Crystal from Reading Between the Wines. This is a Friday blog hop with the objective to find and visit other book blogs that share the same interest as you, namely books geared towards the 18 & over crowd, and make some new friends!

Question of the Week: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go for a 'readcation'?

A: I'd love a cabin in the snow somewhere. I'm not picky at all where the actual cabin is. Just somewhere quiet, snow on the ground, a fire going in the fireplace. Comfy pjs and a warm snuggly blanket. Hot chocolate and a stack of lovely books. A gorgeous view. Someone delicious to dote on me while I was there would so be a plus. Yeah, that would be heaven.

Smart Mouth by Erin McCarthy

"I'll leave as soon as you give me what I want."

In another time and place, that might have a nice ring to it. But standing in a Chicago hotel room with a cub reporter as obstinate as she is hot, FBI agent Derek Knight knows he has to play it charming. Something like, "By holding on to that evidence, you're interfering with FBI business, ma'am, and by the way, those long, gorgeous legs of yours would look awfully good wrapped around my..." Sure, losing all sense of professionalism may not help his career, but the off-duty perks would be sensational...

"Yeah, right, you're an FBI agent. And I can bake a cake from scratch."

Reese Hampton is not giving up the envelope she found in her rental car--the one with the story that could take her from journalistic Siberia straight to the front page. She'll just have to outsmart the certifiably insane Fed with the movie-star good looks. Dodge and weave. Distract and bed. No! Bad hormones, bad! Still, spending time with that unbelievably broad chest up close and personal might just add, um, depth to her story. If only she can let her robe down while keeping her guard up...

Type: Romance, Chick-Lit
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 2 out of 5

Okay, yall know I love Jill Shalvis. She's become one of my favorite authors and I've really enjoyed almost everything I've read of hers but gotta admit this wasn't one of my favorites. The basic premise was great. A down on his luck FBI agent, Derek Knight, who is on the verge of taking down a group of corrupt drug companies but runs into a couple complications, namely reporter Reese Hampton who wants to break the story and advance her career. The main characters were nice. I really liked Derek who is 10 years older than Reese and doesn't have the smoothest moves but is rather sweet and endearing. There's a big age difference between the two but that doesn't usually bother me. Reese, though I liked her in general, was rather immature and just didn't think things through which I found rather frustrating. She couldn't seem to grasp how her interference and determination to break the story NOW would damage the case and likely let the bad guys get away. She came across rather thoughtless towards Derek and a bit selfish in that regard. 

Shameless Summer Giveaway Hop!

red hot booksOoooh. Pretty! 

Thanks to Michelle's Book Blog, Red Hot Books and Romance Around the Corner for hosting this one! 

There are a TON of fantastic blogs joining in so hop around and check out all of their giveaways too :) 
For our stop we're giving away a SIGNED copy of the Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis! 

I am Shameless when it comes to my romance books and getting to meet my favorite authors. Total fangirl here. I'm good with it ;) Last week I got to meet Jill Shalvis at the Lori Foster Reader/Author Get Together. She's just the nicest lady and she gave me a signed copy to give one of yall! Wasn't that sweet of her?!

Really loved this one. It's just the perfect summer read. A delicious green-eyed and oh so sexy hero that just so happens to be a sailor? Um, yes please! Yum!

So what's on your Shameless Summer reads list?!

We have another giveaway going on this week for the Feature&Follow Hop so don't forget to check that one out too! Link is over on the left side :)

Aaaand a little Gandy just because it's David. On a boat. Or at least damn close enough ;) And that so goes with the book. Yeah. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feature & Follow Giveaway Hop!

Giveaway Hop
Happy Friday yall! 

The Feature & Follow Hop is hosted by the ladies over at Parajunkee and AlisonCanRead and they're celebrating their 100th week! So doing things are a little different this week :) Each hosting blog is doing it's own little feature on another blogger AND doing a giveaway! Kickass, right?!

the Feature!
I picked my Feature randomly from everyone that posted on my last Follow Friday and got Bob from over at Beauty in Ruins! Don't ya just love the name? I've enjoyed poking around over there. Especially the Photo Explorations. Some fantastic photos and interesting places/stories. Anyways. Hope you'll hop over there and check him out, follow his blog and poke around a bit too :) A little about Beauty in Ruins....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Random Reads: July! The Heart of Christmas

I'm oh so late this month. Was out of town at the Lori Foster Get Together and have been playing catch up with all things blog since I got home. Was a great time so completely fine with that :) Now on to my Random Reads for June!

If you haven't seen Random Reads before it's really simple. Just pick a book randomly from your TBR list at the start of the month and give it a read. I use my Goodreads list and to do my picking. 

This month I got an anthology...The Heart of Christmas. Not even sure how I ended up with this one but it's been here since April 1st, 2012. Just love the cover. I haven't read any of the authors included: Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick and Courtney Milan. Excited to get to check out some new writers :) Plus it's all Christmasy and that just seems a little perfect at the start of a hot NC summer. 

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