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Archive for the ‘5 Flaming Hearts’ Category

Franklin’s Christmas Gift by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

In this Franklin Classic Storybook, Franklin can’t decide what to donate to his school’s Christmas toy drive. At first, all of his toys seem too special to give away, then nothing seems special enough. With some inspiration from his Great Aunt Harriet, Franklin finally comes up with the perfect gift.

Franklin’s class is collecting toys for the annual Christmas Toy Drive.  He is so excited and he can’t wait to find the perfect toy to donate.  As he goes through his toys he remembers why they are all special to him and he can’t decide.

With only one day left to pick the “perfect toy” to donate, he is afraid none of his toys will work.  As he sits and thinks about it, he is inspired by a gift from his Great Aunt Harriet and comes up with the perfect gift.

This was a very cute book that was well illustrated and held my two year old granddaughter’s attention when we read it as our bedtime story.  The pages of the story are very colorful and fun to look at without being distracting.  The length of the story is just right for smaller kids with short attention spans.

It has a wonderful message about giving to other’s and was written in such a way that even smaller children can understand it.  I love the idea of children giving to other children because it helps them at an early age understand that one person can make a difference.

We have donated toys to Toys for Tots ever since my daughter was a baby.  We started doing that as a family every year with both new toys and some of her “slightly used” toys.  We are continuing that tradition with my granddaughter.

Overall this is a wonderful book and I would definitely recommend it to friends and family.  Lilly and I give Franklin’s Christmas Gift 5 Flaming Hearts. 

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Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
* I received a copy of this book from Berkley in exchange for an honest review*

The hardcover debut of New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh and her highly acclaimed Psy/Changeling novels.

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules-and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home-and the alpha who is its heartbeat.

Kiss of Snow is the most anticipated book in the Psy-Changing series and Nalini Singh does not disappoint her readers. With each book the relationships built are getting stronger and stronger, whether it’s between the changelings, the mate bonds or their psy contacts and this one is no different.

Sienna has been in love with Hawke since she first set eyes on him but she knows that she can never be his mate.  All she wants is for him to see her as an adult, not the child he still thinks she is.  She is a good solider because of training she received as Ming’s protégé but she wants more. 

Hawke had to assume the reigns as the alpha of the SnowDancer pack at the age of fifteen.  He lost his mate at a young age and he has resigned himself to never have anyone of his own.  His wolf wants Sienna but the man will not allow himself to take her.  She defies him every chance she gets, she stands up to him and yet he still won’t bite.

Sienna is such a complex character.  She has learned to live since her family defected from the psynet.  She is now nineteen and her powers are becoming more and more unstable with each day that passes but she determined to make Hawke see her as a woman, his woman.  She is strong and independent but terrified that she will harm the ones she loves when she loses control of her powers. 

Hawke has the weight of the world, or at least his pack on his shoulders.  Not only did he have to take over the pack as a teenager but he lost his mate at a young age.  He believes that his chance at love died with Rissa but his wolf has other ideas and wants to claim Sienna.  He gives so much of himself to his pack that there isn’t a lot left over and he can’t keep living this way.

Both Hawke and Sienna are about to blow just in different ways.  They have been dancing around each other so long; it’s time to do something about it.  Sienna is the perfect match for the alpha of the pack.  She is able to stand up to him and doesn’t let him get away with much, while being a strong sounding board regarding strategic plans for the pack.

There are several things going on all at once in this book, yet Hawke and Sienna’s story always stays at the forefront.  The pack is such an integral part of Hawke that this book would not be complete without including them.  Fans will love getting to see what their favorite mated pairs are up to.

There are so many little moments in this book that are special and pull the reader further and further into their world.  The near misses between Hawke and Sienna add fuel to the fire threatening to consume them.  I believe the issue with the mating bond was handled brilliantly, while not disappointing, and the ending was superb.

Kiss of Snow is without a doubt my favorite book in the Psy-Changeling series to date.  Nalini Singh is a wonderful writer that understands what her readers want and is able to deliver time and time again.  If you have not read this series, I highly recommend it.  I give Kiss of Snow 5 Flaming Hearts. 

*Kiss of Snow (Hardback) releases May 31, 2011 and can be found at AmazonBarnes & Noble and Books a Million.  The reading order for this series can be found at www.nalinisingh.com

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Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley

* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he’s driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.

Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won’t lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she’s as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?

Sweet as Sin is probably one of the best contemporary romances I have read in a long time.  John Murphy is a man so tortured by his past that he hides behind the characters of his books to avoid human relationships.  He believes he is damaged goods and only brings bad things to the people he loves.

Livvy is intrigued with her new neighbor but knows he’s not the picket fence type of guy.  Her sister convinces her to let loose and have a summer fling with him, little does she know she’s going to lose her heart to him.  The more she is around him; the more she is convinced he’s the guy for her.

There are so many things about this book I loved.  The main characters are complex and take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride.  The book only has a few secondary characters but they add to the story not distract from it. They are essential to the story and help us understand John and Livvy.

John is a writer of a children’s series about two monsters that are best friends.  They kept him sane through his childhood trauma, today they are his salvation.  Growing up, he would tell his sister stories to distract her from everything going on in their lives.  The monsters play an integral part in the story and help you see John in a different light.

Livvy owns a cupcake store that specializes in erotic confections.  She has done well for herself and vows to never be like her mother.  She needs to find something to propel her business to the next level and comes up with a new edgier, line.  She ends up hurting the one person she loves the most. 

One of my favorite scenes takes place at her cupcake store and involves some of her cupcakes. I will have a hard time eating cupcakes again without remembering this scene.  In my other favorite scene, Livvy lets her claws out and surprises John with her spirit.  There are so many special moments between John and Livvy that touched my heart. 

This book took me through every emotion you can think of, there were some parts that I laughed out loud and others with John that I just wanted to hold him tight.  Overall I loved everything about this book and the emotional journey it took me on.  I give Sweet as Sin 5 Flaming Hearts.

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