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Archive for November, 2012

With the holiday season officially upon us I wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that it was filled with lots of friends and family.  Ours was great and we got to see some family members we haven’t seen in awhile.  I am truly blessed with wonderful friends and family and am thankful  for everyone in my life.

In celebration of the holiday season and anticipation of our elf Knowie returning, I am reposting my review of Elf on the Shelf.  It’s a great family story that gets both parents and children involved.  Sit back and ejoy.

Elf on the Shelf™ by Carol Aebersold
*This book is part of my personal library*
 

How does Santa really know who is naughty or nice? The answer is finally revealed in…The Elf on the Shelf A Christmas Tradition.TM The Elf on the Shelf A Christmas TraditionTM is an activity the entire family will enjoy. Based on the tradition Carol Aebersold began with her family in the 1970s, this cleverly rhymed children’s book explains that Santa knows who is naughty and/or nice because he sends a scout elf to every home. During the holiday season, the elf watches children by day and reports to Santa each night. When children awake, the elf has returned from the North Pole and can be found hiding in a different location. This activity allows The Elf on the Shelf to become a delightful hide-and-seek game. In addition, each shipment is marked for special delivery from Santa’s workshop.

Elf on the Shelf is a book the whole family will enjoy.  Each set comes with a book and a cute little Elf.  Each Elf will gain his magic once he/she has been given a name.  The names are as individual as the kids that the elves belong too and naming them is half the fun.

Each night the elves travel home to the North Pole so they can report in to Santa.  Will their child be on the naughty or nice list?  With the help of their magic, they return each morning and find a new place to sit and watch.  It’s important that the children don’t touch their Elf or he will lose his magic.

My granddaughter will be three in a couple of months and she received her elf this holiday season.  Naming our Elf was an adventure.  Every name we suggested she said “No” to so we asked if she wanted to name is “No” and she said YES!! So our Elf’s name is Knowie.  He travels home every night and finds a new place to perch the next morning.  Each morning it’s a game to find out where he is sitting and she loves it.  We have to tell him goodnight every night and make sure that she knows he’s watching and will report to Santa so she’d better be good.

This is a fun book/activity for the whole family to enjoy.  Finding out where the Elf will show up next the best part, along with the threat of the “naughty” list (for parents).  Lilly and I give Elf on the Shelf 4½ Flaming Hearts. 

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The Asylum Interviews: Bronx (Prequel #1) by Jocelynn Drake
*A review copy of this book was received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

In Low Town, where humans walk and work side-by-side with elves, vampires, ogres, and all manner of creature, it’s understandable that people occasionally need a little help in their lives. Whether is love, work, or … other, tattoo artists are there to try to help turn the odds into your favor.

When Gage’s friend Parker needs help with his love life, tattoo artists Gage and Bronx are only too happy to help. But the incubus ends up getting more than he bargained for with his new tattoo, and his friends are forced to scramble to fix the mess they’ve created before someone gets hurt.

Gage owns a tattoo parlor and tries to keep a low profile.  He’s a wizard that tends to weave his magic with his tattoo potions, even though he isn’t supposed to be practicing magic.  He is looking for a new tattoo artist since his business is really taking off and Bronx may be the solution.

Bronx is the new troll in town and he is looking for a job.  He becomes Gage’s new best friend and protector when he finds him passed out on the floor of the women’s bathroom.  When Parker asks for help finding a way to save his relationship, Gage enlists Bronx’s help in coming up with solution.  They never expected the new tattoo would affect more than just Parker’s relationship.

Gage is a wizard but he’s been banned from practicing magic or face a death sentence by the Wizards of the Ivory Towers.  He risks exposure every time he mixes his magic with his tattoo potions.  He is good at what he does and his business is growing.  He needs help and Bronx just happens to be in the right place at the right time.

Bronx is new in town and looking for a job.  He isn’t very talkative when it comes to his past but that’s ok with Gage, who has secrets of his own.  Bronx is a troll and fits in well with the other super natural beings in town.  He jumps right in to help with Parker’s problem; they just never expected the tattoo to work so well.  Together they come up with a solution to undo the tattoo spell that Bronx designed.

This is a short story prequel designed to introduce us to Gage and his world.  I really enjoyed this story and getting to know Gage and Bronx.  I can’t wait to read more in this world because this story has intrigued me.  The characters are interesting and fun with just enough of a paranormal element.

Overall I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the first full length book in the series, Angel’s Ink.  I give The Asylum Interviews: Bronx 4 Flaming Hearts.   

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Road Signs by MJ Fredrick
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Briefly captivated by the idea of romance and pretty, shiny weddings, Willow Hawkins agreed to meet her potential boyfriend’s family and quickly realized she’d made a mistake. Stranded in small-town Nowhere, Willow calls her best friend, Cameron Trask, for an escape.

Even though he’ll miss an important job interview, Cam comes to her rescue. When Willow starts to see Cam with new eyes, she wonders how she’s never made the connection from best friend to best lover. Willow has one chance to help the man she loves—join him on a cross-country road trip to get to the interview on time. On the way they’ll face a jealous puppy, an unreliable automobile and weather that threatens to trap them alone…together.

The biggest roadblock she’ll come up against? If Cam gets his dream job, Willow may lose him for good.

Willow had no idea what she was getting herself into when she accepted an invitation from a coworker to go home with him for the holidays.  His mother has them as good as married and he is slightly delusional.  Stranded three hours from home, Willow turns to the one person she can trust, Cam.  She never dreamed it would turn into the adventure of a lifetime.

Cam has been in love with Willow but she has never seen him as anything but her best friend.  They text daily and talk on a weekly basis but he hasn’t seen her in a while.  He can no longer stand their relationship as it is and he hates his job so he has decided to do something about it.  Even though he has an interview for his dream job, he can’t say no when Willow needs his help.

This was a fun story to read.  The road trip that Willow convinces Cam to make turns into a real adventure.  Everything that could possibly go wrong for them does, including Willow’s clothes being shredded by a cantankerous dog and their car breaking down in the middle of a blizzard.  Through it all, Willow is determined to make sure Cam arrives on time for his interview.

The trip is also a time for Willow to reevaluate her relationship with Cam and her life in general.  She hasn’t had the best track record when it comes to men and Cam has always been there for her.  She now has to convince him that he is the one for her before it’s too late.  She loves her job and hates that he is so unhappy in his; she would do anything to make sure that he gets to his job interview.

I love Cam; he is one of those sexy geeks (like I have at home).  He wants Willow to be happy, even if it’s with someone else.  He doesn’t really want to move that far away from his friends and family but he has to do something because he is miserable in his current job.  He tries to be a gentleman with Willow on their trip but there is only so much a man can take before he gives in.

This was such a fun adventure the author took us on.  I loved the main characters and was glad when they finally realized they were meant to be together.  Overall I give Road Trip 4 Flaming Hearts.   

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Improper Relations by Juliana Ross
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

When Hannah’s caught watching her late husband’s cousin debauch the maid in the library, she’s mortified—but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she’s used to being ignored.

The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she’s witnessed, but there’s something about Leo that draws her to him.

When Leo claims he can prove that women can feel desire as passionately as men, Hannah is incredulous. Her own experiences have been uninspiring. Yet she can’t bring herself to refuse his audacious proposal when he offers to tutor her in the art of lovemaking. As the tantalizing, wicked lessons continue, she begins to fear she’s losing not just her inhibitions, but her heart as well. The poorest of relations, she has nothing to offer Leo but herself. Will it be enough when their erotic education ends?

Hannah is a widow that has been living with her husband’s aunt and helping her because she has no other family.  She leads a simple life with very few needs or desires until she spies her cousin Leo and the maid in the library.  When he offers Hannah a chance to see what has been missing from her life, will she take him up on his offer?

Hannah is shocked when she sees Leo and the maid in fooling around in the library but she can’t look away.  The library has always been her sanctuary and no one ever bothers her there.  Her experiences with her husband were not enjoyable so she doesn’t believe Leo when he tells her women should enjoy sex too.  He sets out tutoring her in the intimacies between men and women.  Along the way she loses her heart to him.

When Augusta confronts her and threatens to disinherit Leo, Hannah does the only thing she can, flee.  She takes the train to a small peaceful town she remembers from her childhood.  She never dreamed Leo would follow her, much less want to marry her.  Her life will never be the same again.

Hannah is a typical female for the time period.  She has been told it’s her “duty” to let her husband seek his pleasure with her, while she just lays there.  She doesn’t have any family other than her in-laws so she is content to live with Aunt Augusta and work for her until Leo opens up a whole new world for her.  She is curious about what she sees in the library and wants to know more, she just can’t believe a woman can also enjoy relations with a man.

Leo is the quintessential bad boy that enjoys the pleasures between men and women.  He is intrigued by Hannah and finds her refreshing.  I love how he takes his time teaching her the ways of pleasure so he won’t scare her off.  He treats her like she is cherished and loved.

This historical romance was a sexy read and I enjoyed it.  I give Improper Relations 3½ Flaming Hearts. 

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