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Archive for February, 2012

Margot’s Lawman by Debra Kayn
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

It’s hard to keep a secret in the small town of Pike, Montana, but veterinarian Margot McDougal and sheriff Roy Lee Hanson managed to keep their relationship on the sly for months. Margot cares for Roy Lee, but the last thing she needs is to worry about local gossip while she’s busy running her clinic and dealing with the loss of her beloved father.

Roy Lee can’t wait to tell the world that he loves Margot. He respected her decision to keep their affair quiet—until now. It’s time for everyone to know Margot is his gal…especially Ryan Martin, her new assistant. He’s formed an attachment to Margot and Roy Lee is sure the city boy’s unexplained appearance in Pike means he’s up to no good.

Margot just wants to help Ryan fit in, and Roy Lee’s jealousy soon drives a wedge between them. A wedge that only increases when Margot is roped into Ryan’s secret, too…

Margot and Roy Lee have been dating secretly for a year.  She is still reeling from her father’s death and isn’t ready to share her love with their town yet.  Her sisters are aware of their relationship and support it; they just want her to be happy.  Her business is going well and she has hired someone to help in the clinic, now she has more time to spend with Roy Lee.

Roy Lee has been friends with the McDougal sisters since they were young kids.  He never thought he would end up in love with one of them.  He wants to tell everyone about his relationship with Margot but he respects her decision.  There is something about Margot’s new assistant Ryan that doesn’t sit well with him.  He has never been the jealous type but when Margot’s love is at stake, he won’t let anyone get in the way.

Margot is always the one to take care of everyone since her mother passed away.   She seems to like routine in her life but overthinks things sometimes when it comes to change.  She wants to share her love for Roy Lee with the town she loves but she is scared to lose him as a friend if something goes wrong.  She feels extreme guilt over not telling her father about their relationship but is relieved when Roy Lee reveals he shared their secret with him before he died.  They have some ups and downs like every other couple but their love is strong and they are able to weather the storms.

Roy Lee is a sexy cowboy that loves his woman unconditionally. He has been working hard to get the farm ready to surprise Margot.  He wants everything perfect when he asks her to marry him, including the ranch.    He is concerned that Ryan has an ulterior motive when it comes to Margot, he just didn’t realize that it would affect him too.

I loved the love story between Roy Lee and Margot.  They are totally in love with one another and love to spend time together.  They have their problems like everyone else but they seem to work through them eventually.  Both are passionate with strong personalities that would do anything for the people that they love.

Ryan was the character you love to hate.  He is a city boy that sticks out in town like a sore thumb, even though he tries to fit in.  There is something about him that causes people to shy away from him, whether it’s his clothes or his hat.  You don’t want to like him or feel empathy toward him but you can’t help it.  He was a great addition to the story.

The sisters all make an appearance and it was nice to catch up with all of them.  They are all doing well while dealing with the loss of their beloved father.  Life goes on and they are doing the best they can to get back to normal routines themselves.

Overall I loved this story; these are some of my favorite cowboy stories and can’t wait until the next installment.  I give Margot’s Lawman 4 Flaming Hearts.  

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Dreamscape by Rose Anderson
* I received this ARC free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing—he’s a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life. When Lanie O’Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason discovers, ghost or not, he’s still very much a man. Despite its derelict condition and haunted reputation, Lanie couldn’t be happier with her new home, but then she has no idea a spirit follows her every move throughout the day and shares her captivating warmth at night. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie’s dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side. It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there’s that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.

Lanie fell in love with the old Victorian house as a child and vowed to own it someday.  She is now the owner of the home, complete with its rumored ghost.   Now she is spending her days restoring the house to its splendor with the help of friends.  Her nights are filled with dreams of Dr. Jason Bowen, owner of the house 125 years ago, aka the resident ghost.

Jason has been “haunting” his home since his murder and for the first time in years his senses are working again.  He can smell Lanie’s perfume and the feel and taste of her body tempt him beyond reason.  He finds himself transported back to his former life through Lanie’s dreams.  This time he has the pleasure of meeting Lanie and falling in love with her, while having the knowledge of his impeding murder. If only there was a way to change the outcome of his murder through her dreams.

This was such a fun story to read.  Not only was there a love story but you also got to help solve the mystery of Jason’s murder and find out what was hidden in the basement.  It drew me in from the very beginning and I didn’t want to put it down.

Lanie seems like such a strong person.  She survived a bad childhood with the help of her adoptive parents and has gone on to be a doctor.  She has purchased her dream home and is in the process of fixing it up.  She falls in love with her ghost and begins to look forward to her dreams where they can be together.  She is pulled into the mystery of his life through her dreams and is intrigued.  She is determined to figure out what happened to him.

The restoration of the Victorian house was a nice additional to the story.  The details were so vivid I could imagine the house.  It was neat how Lanie used her childhood dreams of the home for furniture placement and decorations.  The mystery of the basement was a great addition.

The love story between Jason and Lanie was so different from anything I have read before.  I loved all the dynamics of it and how the author made it work.  To me, this was fresh and new and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The ending was a big surprise; I thought I had figured everything out but the last chapter – wow, not what I expected.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author.  I give Dreamscape 4 Flaming Hearts. 

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Kitty’s Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn
* I received a copy of this book from TOR Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

The first-ever story collection from the New York Times bestselling author, including two all-new works!

Kitty Norville, star of a New York Times bestselling series, is everybody’s favorite werewolf DJ and out-of-the-closet supernatural creature. Over the course of eight books she’s fought evil vampires, were-creatures, and some serious black magic. She’s done it all with a sharp wit and the help of a memorable cast of werewolf hunters, psychics, and if-notgood- then-neutral vampires by her side. Kitty’s Greatest Hits not only gives readers some of Kitty’s further adventures, it offers longtime fans a window into the origins of some of their favorite characters.

Kitty’s Greatest Hits is a collection of short stories, not only about Kitty and her friends but other supernatural characters.  There are two new stories for fans of the Kitty series.

I have read many of these stories before in various anthologies but it was fun to visit with old friends again.  I really enjoyed both of the new stories, “You’re on the Air” and “Long Time Waiting”.  They were the main stories I looked forward to reading.  There were even a couple of stories that were new to me.

Il Est Ne’

Its Christmas time and Kitty is all alone.  She meets David a fellow werewolf without a pack.  Together they stop a rash of murders and along the way she helps David get control over his wolf.

A Princess of Spain

Catherine of Aragon has just married Arthur, Prince of Wales to help unite Spain and England.  From the beginning she realizes that there is something wrong with Arthur and they never consummate their marriage.  With the help of Arthur’s little brother they defeat the evil and Catherine goes on to rule England beside her husband King Henry the VIII.

Conquistador De La Noche

Ricardo has been following Coronado on his expeditions for years but he is getting tired.  He’s still looking for his share of the fortunes promised years ago.  He meets up with his old companion Diego who offers him an opportunity of a lifetime he just didn’t realize that it came with such a high price.  He manages to maintain his faith and humanity through it all and prevails in the end to later become the Master Vampire of Denver.

The Book of Daniel

Daniel may be one of the advisors of the Darius, King of Persia but he has enemies within the court.  They work against him to get him thrown in the lion’s den for breaking the King’s law.  Little did they know that Daniel has a secret of his own that keeps him safe and allows him to walk out of the lion’s den unharmed?

The Temptation of Robin Green

Robin works in a lab that has a wide variety of supernatural creatures from a Griffin to a Unicorn and everything in between.  The newest acquisition is a Selkie and Robin finds herself entranced by him.  She knows that she is doing things she wouldn’t normally do, including running away to Mexico with him.  In the end, with his Selkie skin in hand he heads out to the ocean never to be seen again.  Robin was left with a gift from him or was it a curse?

Looking After Family

Cormac’s father is dead but the man that did is was shot and killed by Cormac.  Everyone was weary of him but his aunt and uncle took him in because he had no other family.  His cousin Ben wasn’t allowed to do anything but Cormac took him out hunting with him on the full moon.  Ben was introduced to a whole new world that actually prepared him for his life with Kitty.

God’s Creatures

Cormac is called when a rancher’s cattle starts turning up dead.  There are unusual circumstances surrounding the deaths and it will take a special hunter to take care of the problem.  Cormac traces the creature back to the Catholic school and takes care of the problem but is surprised by the end result.

Wild Ride

This is the story of TJ’s introduction to the pack.  After receiving some devastating news, he is offered a chance at immortality. TJ must decide if living the rest of his life as a wolf is worth curing his illness.  TJ is more of a lone wolf and after awhile decides that he is not ready to part of the pack and takes off on his own.

Winnowing the Herd

This story takes place early in the Kitty series.  Kitty is at a party at the radio station playing nice with her co-workers.  She is restless and her coworkers are starting to smell like food.  She just has to hold it together for a little while longer then she can go find a rare steak for dinner.

Kitty and the Mosh Pit of the Damned

Kitty is at Glamour to hear the band Devil’s Kitchen, in hopes of getting them to agree to an interview on her show.  There is something unusual about the band; everywhere they perform riots are breaking out in the mosh pits.  Kitty suspects that there is something supernatural going but she never imagined it was tied to a deal with the devil.

Kitty’s Zombie New Year

Kitty refused to spend New Year’s Eve home alone like some loser; instead she was going to spend it alone at a coworker’s party.   As Kitty was getting ready to call it a night, an unexpected guest showed up and it was up to her to take care of the problem.  By the time the excitement was over, it was 12:03 and no New Year’s Eve kiss again, maybe next year.

Life is the Teacher

Emma is now a vampire and she is having trouble dealing with her new life.  After an encounter with an old friend, she makes up her mind that she is going to embrace her new life.  With his unknowing help, she lets go of her inhibitions and learns to enjoy her new powers.

You’re on the Air

There are always two sides to every coin and Kitty’s talk show provides the perfect opportunity for vampire Jake to tell his.  He is on his own and his turning was brutal.  Not all vampires live glamorous lives but they have to make the best of what they are given.  Jake takes advantage of his new strength to foil a robbery and protect the female customers in the store.

Long Time Waiting

This is the long awaited story about how Cormac and Amelia become one.  While Cormac is incarcerated something strange is happening in the prison and people are dying.  With Amelia’s help, Cormac sets out to stop the killings.

Overall this is a must have for any Kitty fan or a great introduction to the world of Kitty.  I give Kitty’s Greatest Hits 3½ Stars.

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Love Bites and Vampire Kisses – Comic Con 2011 Romance Sampler
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Then you’ll love this sampler! Avon Books is proud to publish some of the biggest and best names in paranormal romance and urban fantasy.  Now, featuring the first book in series by authors you’ve been hearing about, here’s your chance to step into the worlds of vampires and shape shifters and witches, and so much more.

Are you a fan of True Blood? Then try Jeaniene Frost’s HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE. Can’t get enough of Fringe?  Marjorie Liu’s TIGER EYE is for you. Waiting for The Walking Dead premiere?  Put Joss Ware’s BEYOND THE NIGHT on your must-read list.  There are a total of 16 books for you to sample.  Whatever your taste, we’ve got something for you, so just sit back, relax, and read.

Love Bites and Vampire Kisses is an introduction to some of the best vampire fiction out there today.  It provides you with the perfect opportunity to try them out before you purchase them.  Some of my favorite series are including in this collection such as Lindsey Sands Argeneau series and Pamela Palmer’s Feral Warriors series.

Through this collection I have discovered several new series that have been added to my To Be Read pile such as Jeaniene Frost, Kerrelyn Sparks and CL Wilson.  Their stories were captivating and pulled you in from the very beginning.  I can’t wait to start reading these books.

My favorite thing about Sampler’s or Anthologies is the fact that it lets you “sample” a new author without investing a lot at first.  There are so many good authors and books out there today that readers are a lot more selective about what they buy and who they are loyal to, that’s why books like these are so important.

Overall this is a great collection of books that introduces the reader to some fantastic authors.  I give this collection 4 Stars. 

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Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe by Jeremy Greenberg
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Inside Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe, writer and comedian Jeremy Greenberg presents a collection of 50 laugh-out-loud letters and accompanying full-color photographs that explain Fido’s love of funky smells, why a ball needs to be thrown again, and practically every other lovably loony canine characteristic.

From an impassioned plea to stop the silly nicknames, to an attempt to skip a bath, to explanations for stolen shoes and swiped sandwiches, Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe offers a pooch’s perspective on common canine vs. human cohabitation conundrums. Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe is the perfect gift for dog lovers and anyone who appreciates hilarious (and so true!) insights into dog–and human–nature.

This book is full of cute dogs writing funny letters to their owners. I couldn’t wait to turn the page to see what cutie was hanging around to make their debut and couldn’t decide which one was my favorite.  I can honestly see my puppy doing several of these things; he’s a 15 year old black lab.

The photographer did an excellent job in capturing these animals, the photos are beautiful.  The letters to their humans were perfect, they were humorous and fun.  Overall they create an amazing collection of stories that any dog lover would love to have.

I give Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe 4 Stars. 

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Lady Seductress’s Ball by Eliza Knight
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

As the wife of the elderly Earl of March, Olivia Covington has never known the intimacies of the bedroom. Though her curiosity is piqued by the shocking whispers of society ladies, she is too wary of causing scandal to indulge in an affair. But Tristan Knightley, Earl of Newcastle, tempts her to throw off propriety.

Tristan wants Olivia for his own, and has sworn off all others until he can rid himself of the obsession. He is sure once he has a taste, he will tire of her, and can return to his rakish existence. Unable to wait to have her in his bed, he invites her for a tryst at Lady Seductress’s Ball…

Olivia married the elderly Earl out of duty because it was her parents dying wish that she not break her betrothal to him. She finds herself unfulfilled in all aspects of her marriage and wonders if other wives feel the same way.  During a party to celebrate her husband’s return to health, she has an unforgettable encounter with the man of her dreams, literally Tristan Kightley.  Now she really can’t get him out of her dreams and wonders what other wonderful things he can teach her.

Tristan has been in love with Olivia since her first season when she married the Earl out of the blue.  She is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and he can’t stop thinking about her.  After their encounter in the garden, he is determined to be the one to introduce her to the world of carnal pleasures and Lady Seductress’s Ball provides the perfect place.  It will be a night they won’t forget.

Olivia is in a loveless marriage that lacks intimacy.  She is young and beautiful with desires that aren’t being met.  She wants to have someone that loves her and can show her the pleasures of the marriage bed.  She feels bad about her time with Tristan but she can’t help the way she feels about him, after all she married the Earl out of respect of her parents.

She is going to lose her home after her husband dies so she has to make a difficult decision about her future.  She is concerned that society will look unfavorably on her because of her decision but she is tired of doing what everyone else wants.  She is excited about the ball and can’t wait to experience everything it will offer.  She was not disappointed but she was left wanting more.

Tristan is a sexy man known around the Ton.  He is experienced in pleasuring women and wants to share that experience with Olivia.  He has wanted to marry her since he first saw her but she married the Earl.  He cherishes their time together at the ball but it’s not enough. The Earl is in poor health so all he has to do is bide his time until Olivia can be his, society be damned.

The chemistry between the two of them was obvious from the beginning.  They are super hot together but there is still a sweet quality to their loving.  He understands that she is inexperienced and takes the time to show her how it feels to be loved properly.  She has that fresh innocence about her that allows her to be uninhibited.  The scenes at the ball were smokin’ hot and left me craving more.

The story provided just enough background to understand Olivia’s marriage to the Earl and her connection to Tristan without over powering the reader with unnecessary facts.  The main characters are interesting and complex enough that they evoke different emotions in the reader.  I think this is important in a good story.

Overall I really enjoyed Lady Seductress’s Ball and give it 4 Flaming Hearts. 

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Her Kilt-Clad Rogue by Julie Moffett
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Englishwoman Genevieve Fitzsimmons never expected she’d return to the wilds of Scotland. And she certainly didn’t expect to become governess to the son of Connor Douglas, the man with whom she shared her first kiss and her first heartbreak. The man who still intrigues her…

For Connor, duty means everything. Years ago, it forced him to break Genevieve’s heart and marry another woman—one who made him miserable. Now a widower at odds with his son, he’s determined to put his heart first.

As Connor and Genevieve begin to find their way toward a future together, they can’t escape the past. Someone is bent upon revenge against Connor and his feelings for Genevieve make her the perfect target.

Genevieve has just lost her beloved grandfather and has lost her home.  Salvation comes to her in the form of someone from her past.  She is offered a job as a governess for Ewan, Conner Douglas’ son.  She didn’t know that she was in for the challenge of a lifetime; can she survive Conner and his son?

Conner has never forgotten Genevieve and the summer kiss they shared.  He fell in love with her that day but was duty bound to marry another for the good of his country.  Now he is widowed and raising his troubled son.  He is determined to follow his heart this time, if he can convince Genevieve he’s not the rogue everyone says he is.

I really liked Genevieve’s character.  She was English and didn’t let anything deter her in the hostile environment she was in.  She knows that she doesn’t have anywhere else to go if she fails as a governess for Ewan.  She is still in love with Conner but she refuses to allow herself to be hurt again by him.  She is strong and a good match for Conner.  Her relationship with his son was special and I enjoyed watching it grow.

Conner has always done what was required of him, including marrying someone for the good of his lands.  He has been in love with Genevieve for years and he is determined to make her his.  It was amusing to watch him bumble through the “courtship” even though she didn’t realize that’s what it was.  He was not good at expressing his feelings because he has had to hide them for so long.  He is impressed at the progress she is making with his son and happy that she is there, even if she still believes all the stories she has heard about him.

I enjoyed the story and thought it flowed well.  The main characters were interesting and had depth.  It was fun to see their growth and interactions with each other.  The secondary characters provided more insight and background into the main characters.  Ewan was such an important part of the story too and seeing the transformation from troubled youth to Laird’s son was amazing.  He was really just a scared little boy that craves his father’s love.  The housekeeper was a pleasant surprise.

It was easy for me to see the scene around me because the author did such a wonderful job of describing everything.  There was an adequate amount of backstory to keep the reader informed without overpowering them.  The ending was a nice surprise, I honestly did not see that twist coming but it was definitely a good fit.

Overall I enjoyed this book and give Her Kilt-Clad Rogue 4 Flaming hearts.

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