Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Look of Love by Bella Andre, narrated by Eva Kaminski

Why I listened to it:  I saw this one at Audible and decided to give it a go.  I've had the ebook on my TBR for a while.  Sometimes, the audiobook is something I can get to earlier.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  With THE LOOK OF LOVE, bestselling author Bella Andre introduces you the Sullivan family. In this fun and emotional contemporary romance series, when a Sullivan bad boy falls...he falls hard. And it's forever.

Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

All He Ever Desired by Shannon Stacey

Why I read it:  All He Ever Dreamed just came out (I bought it straight away) and I realised I hadn't got to this one yet. I do like to read in order, y'all.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  A second shot at first love

After college, Ryan Kowalski decided to leave Whitford, Maine, rather than watch Lauren Carpenter marry another man. Now his siblings need his help to refurbish the family-owned Northern Star Lodge and he’s forced to face the past sooner rather than later when he collars a vandal—and learns the boy is Lauren’s son…

The last person Lauren needs back in her life is Ryan Kowalski. With a bitter ex-husband and a moody teenage son, she has enough man trouble already. But her son needs to learn a few lessons about right and wrong, even if Lauren has to escort him to Ryan’s door every day to work off his crime.

With all this close contact, Ryan and Lauren can’t deny the chemistry between them is as powerful as ever. But can a few searing kisses erase their past and pave the way for a second chance at true love?

What worked for me (and what didn't): I love the Kowalskis.  From the very first line in the book I was kicking myself for taking so long to read it.
Because hectic Monday mornings didn’t suck enough all on their own merits, Lauren Carpenter managed to miss her lashes and apply mascara straight to her eyeball.
I knew it was going to be good.  Then, a couple of pages later, Ryan arrives on scene:
Ryan Kowalski made very few mistakes when it came to running his business, but trapping himself in a pickup with an idiot definitely counted as one.

Australia Day BlogHop & 3rd Blogoversary WINNER

Courtesy of the magic of the winner of the $10 Gift Card (winner's choice of either Amazon or All Romance eBooks) is...

Benjamin T.

Congratulations Benjamin! :) Thank you for helping me celebrate my blogoversary and Australia Day.  I've sent you an email so we can sort out your prize.

Thank you to everyone who commented. 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blessed Isle by Alex Beecroft

Why I read it:  I picked this one up from NetGalley - I enjoyed Shining in the Sun (my review is here but you'll have to scroll down a bit) and have False Colours on my TBR (... must get to it...).

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he’s ever worked for.

Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other.

These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I don't think I can adequately express how beautifully written this book is.  So I shall give you some examples of what I mean:
The spray tangled like silver lace about the yellowhaired, screaming woman of Banshee’s figurehead.
Night fell with the lazy downward drift and sheen of a falling magpie feather.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Good For You by Tammara Webber

Why I read it: I read an early copy of Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) recently (soooo good) and I wasn't ready to leave New Adult for something else - I also wanted to read something I'd been saving for a rainy day, so I opened Good for You, a book I'd bought last year at the same time as Easy.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  Reid Alexander's life is an open book. His Hollywood celebrity means that everything he does plays out in the public eye. Every relationship, every error in judgment is analyzed by strangers. His latest mistake totaled his car, destroyed a house and landed him in the hospital. Now his PR team is working overtime to salvage his image. One thing is clear—this is one predicament he won’t escape without paying for it.

Dori Cantrell is a genuine humanitarian—the outward opposite of everything Reid is about. When his DUI plea bargain lands him under her community service supervision, she proves unimpressed with his status and indifferent to his proximity, and he soon wants nothing more than to knock her off of her pedestal and prove she's human.

Counting the days until his month of service is over, Dori struggles to ignore his wicked magnetic pull while shocking him with her ability to see past his celebrity and challenging him to see his own wasted potential. But Dori has secrets of her own, safely locked away until one night turns her entire world upside down. Suddenly their only hope for connection and redemption hinges on one choice: whether or not to have faith in each other.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Man, I loved this book. It was beautiful, heartwrenching, unexpected and bittersweet.  Never fear - there is a happy ending, but not everything in this book is hearts and roses and not everything is miraculously resolved.

The writing is beautiful, the characterisations clever and nuanced, the style spare and direct, while at the same time, leading the reader up to the door of various concepts/conclusions but leaving them for the reader to ponder rather than swinging a heavy hammer.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Australia Day Book Blog Hop & 3rd Blogoversary Giveaway

Comments are now closed.  Thanks to everyone for visiting the blog and the good wishes etc.  The winner will be announced later this week.

Because it is my 3rd Blogoversary on Australia Day, I thought I'd join in the Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop.  To celebrate both momentous events, I'm offering 1 lucky winner a $10 Amazon or All Romance ebooks gift voucher (winner's choice).   Entries close at midnight on 28 January (AESD) and will be announced here by 4 February 2013.  Open to international entries.   

Just comment to enter and tell me what your favourite post here has been. Please leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you're the winner.

There are plenty of other Australian blogs participating.  Go here or here to check out the other offerings. Lots and lots of Aussie authors and bloggers are offering some wonderful prizes so why not check them out?

Happy Australia Day and Happy Blogoversary to me! :D

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Room at the Inn by Ruthie Knox

Why I read it: I picked this up from NetGalley.  I have only read the Ruthie Knox story.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  ROOM AT THE INN by Ruthie Knox

Carson Vance couldn’t wait to get out of Potter Falls, but now that he’s back to spend Christmas with his ailing father, he must face all the people he left behind . . . like Julie Long, whose heart he broke once upon a time. Now the proprietor of the local inn, Julie is a successful, seductive, independent woman—everything that Carson’s looking for. But despite several steamy encounters under the mistletoe, Julie refuses to believe in happily ever after. Now Carson must prove to Julie that he’s back for good—and that he wants her in his life for all the holidays to come.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Having read and enjoyed Ride with Me and About Last Night, I was keen to read the Christmas novella I'd heard a lot about on Twitter.   I was prepared, from Brie's review for the main characters to be flawed.  I read somewhere (where I cannot now remember) about it being possible to perceive Julie as being somewhat stalker-y given that she moved to Potter's Falls, donated a kidney to Carson's mother, nursed his mother, took over all of her roles in the community etc. I suppose, partly because of all my prior reading, I didn't find those things as problematic as I might otherwise have done.  Perhaps, because of it, my take is a bit different to the other reviews I've read.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Love in the Aftenoon by Alison Packard

Why I read it:  I picked this one up from NetGalley.  Given that I was addicted to Days of our Lives in the 80's, the theme piqued my interest.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  Kayla Maxwell is eager to shed her slasher-flick bimbo image—and she plans to do just that in her new role on daytime’s most popular soap. With a chance to showcase her dramatic range, Kayla will be able to wash away the lingering betrayal and public humiliation left by her controlling, philandering ex-boyfriend.

Sean Barrett, the son of an influential, award-winning actor, is the hottest soap star in the country. Paired on-screen with the talented and beautiful Kayla Maxwell, Sean is determined to keep her at arm’s length, burned before by fame-seeking actresses who had no qualms about using him to get to his famous father.

But when Kayla receives threatening letters, her past as a scream queen seems to be coming back to haunt her. Succumbing to an attraction neither one of them can deny, Sean and Kayla must face down her stalker and their own personal demons before trusting what they both feel—a love that lasts long after the cameras stop rolling.

What worked for me (and what didn't):  I enjoyed this one quite a bit.  The writing style was easy and friendly and the stuff about working on a soap opera was fun.  I kept trying to imagine whether Sean and Kayla's on screen pairing was based on anyone - but I haven't watched soaps for ages so I don't know who the supercouples are anymore. When I was watching, in my teen years and just into my twenties, it was Bo and Hope on Days and Eden and Cruz on Santa Barbara (I'm dating myself big time here!).  I think many soap fans like the idea of their favourite couples being real life couples and this book taps into the fantasy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Addition by Toni Jordan

Add caption
Why I read it: I picked this one up from the library after seeing the author's post on Anna Cowan's blog.  Happily it also qualifies for the Australian Women Writer's Challenge 2013.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  Grace Vandenburg orders her world with numbers: how many bananas she buys, how many steps to the café, how many poppy seeds on her daily piece of orange cake.

She always sits at the first available table, starting from the top left-hand corner and proceeding around the room and inwards in a clockwise direction.

Every morning she brushes her hair 100 times, brushes her teeth with 160 strokes of her toothbrush. She can remember the day she started to count, how she used numbers to organise her adolescence, her career, even the men she went out with.

But something has gone wrong. Grace used to be a teacher, but now she is living on sickness benefits; as the parent of one of her students put it, ‘she’s mad’. Her father is dead, her mother a mystery to her, her sister sympathetic but not finally able to understand.

Only her niece Hilly can connect with her. And Grace can only connect with Nikola—Nikola Tesla, the turn-of-the-century inventor whose portrait sits on her bedside table and who rescues her in her dreams. Then one day all the tables at the café are full. As she hesitates in the doorway a stranger invites her to sit with him.

What worked for me (and what didn't): You might want to get a cup of tea because this is going to be long.  Don't say you weren't warned!

Usually when I struggle to finish a book, it is because the book isn't very good.  But that wasn't the case here.  I struggled because I found Grace's situation so sad.  The author did such a good job of setting up her character that I felt increasingly pessimistic that there could be an HEA.   I took a break about half way through and read some other books - light sexy contemporaries as a bit of a palate cleanser.  I picked the book up last night, thinking that I'd sneak in a couple of chapters and then take another break, but I found myself powering through to the end.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Promises Made Under Fire by Charlie Cochrane

Why I read it:  I picked this one up from NetGalley.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)   France, 1915

Lieutenant Tom Donald envies everything about fellow officer Frank Foden—his confidence, his easy manner with the men in the trenches, the affectionate letters from his wife. Frank shares these letters happily, drawing Tom into a vicarious friendship with a woman he's never met. Although the bonds of friendship forged under fire are strong, Tom can't be so open with Frank—he's attracted to men and could never confess that to anyone.

When Frank is killed in no-man's-land, he leaves behind a mysterious request for Tom: to deliver a sealed letter to a man named Palmer. Tom undertakes the commission while on leave—and discovers that almost everything he thought he knew about Frank is a lie…

What worked for me (and what didn't):  First off, that's a really great cover.  It sets the tone of the novella (it's only 60 pages so that's what I'm calling it) very well.  For example,  I didn't expect a high steam level and there wasn't one.  In fact, I was surprised there was any sex in the story at all, given its length. What there was was quite tame and very much fade to black.  But again, I felt that fit well with the overall tone of the story.  It wasn't a raunchy sexytimes book.  I found it quite delightful actually.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Out of Uniform 4, 5 & 6 by Elle Kennedy

Why I read them: After enjoying Getting Hotter, I was curious about how some of the other couples had gotten together and decided to finish reading the other books I'd picked up immediately after reading Feeling Hot.  It didn't take long, the earlier books are short and it remained what I was in the mood to read - a sexy, fun contemporary where I didn't have to think too much with low angst levels.

I have put them in order here, but I read them out of order (which was an accident related to all the titles being so similar) and was despite my best intentions (and which challenged my OCD about such things).

Heat it Up 

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Letting her into his life is not an option. Letting her go impossible.

One look at Thomas Becker s seriously ripped body, and Jane Harrison is having trouble remembering why she tracked down the Navy SEAL. Oh, yes, that hot scoop for her magazine. Instead they get trapped in an elevator together and she gets sizzling hot sex.

After the delicious encounter is over, Becker s out of there, she s left off balance, and even more determined not to take no for an answer. Either for that interview, or another chance to find out if he always goes commando.

One minute Becker is making it plain his answer is no. The next, he s using the only weapon at hand to calm her confined-space panic attack a kiss. And caving in to a fierce, unexpected need that wasn t even on his radar. Long term? Hell no not after the divorce that just spit him out. But a fling with the redheaded reporter with a brutally honest mouth and a body made for sin? Abso-effing-lutely.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Quid Pro Quo by LA Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

Why I read it: I saw a tweet from Sarah Frantz which said this book was super hot so I pre-ordered.  It was even on special.  That's called karma.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  For the past six months, Jared’s been selling sex at Market Garden, a London club that caters to the better-off. But business is slow in the run-up to Christmas, when businessmen and bankers are too busy bickering over bonuses to rent themselves a little high-class action.

Though Jared’s wallet finds the downtime unnerving, the rest of him rather enjoys the opportunity it gives him to admire Tristan, an old hand in the club whose reputation usually sees him well-booked. Jared has been crushing on Tristan for months—he’s no more immune to Tristan’s cockiness and confidence than the johns, and those are just Tristan’s inner qualities.

Just as Jared’s about to chat Tristan up, a businessman asks for something a little different: he wants to book them both. They agree—and Jared finds himself going from crush to mind-bending lust as he’s made the pawn in a sexual power game. Tristan shows him how a pro handles a john while delivering the top-shelf sex for which the Market Garden is so rightly renowned.

What worked for me (and what didn't): The blurb is spot on as to what happens in the book so I knew not to expect a traditional romance with HEA.  It is an erotic short story, not a romance.  There does appear to be some romantic interest between Jared and Tristan (certainly on Jared's part anyway) but whether it will turn into anything remains to be seen.  I gather that there are further books in this series planned, so I'm hoping to see a romantic arc develop.  The story is told from Jared's deep third person POV so Tristan remains largely unknown.  I'm certainly looking forward to learning more of him.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Not Proper Enough by Carolyn Jewel

Why I read it:  I didn't read much historical romance last year.  I wasn't in the mood and if I'm not in the mood, I'm less likely to enjoy the book.  I try to pick up books I think I will like and sometimes that is merely a matter of timing.  I won this book from the author around the time it came out and the deal was that I would post a review - no big deal because I review everything I read anyway.  It's certainly a book I would have bought if I hadn't won it.  Ms. Jewel writes such beautiful prose.  And it is precisely because I have such respect for her words, that I waited until now to read the book.  

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  A woman should always keep her standards...

Meant to be?

The Marquess of Fenris has loved Lady Eugenia from the day he first set eyes on her. Five years ago, pride caused him to earn her enmity. Now she's widowed, and he's determined to make amends and win her heart.  But with their near explosive attraction, can he resist his desire long enough to court her properly?

After the death of her beloved husband, Lady Eugenia Bryant has come to London to build a new life. Despite the gift of a medallion said to have the power to unite the wearer with her perfect match, Eugenia believes she won't love again. And yet, amid the social whirl of chaperoning a young friend through her first Season, she finds a second chance at happiness.

Unfortunately, the Marquess of Fenris threatens her newfound peace. Eugenia dislikes the man, but the handsome and wealthy heir to a dukedom is more charming than he has a right to be. Constantly underfoot, the rogue disturbs her heart, alternately delighting and scandalizing her.  And when their relationship takes a highly improper turn, Eugenia must decide if the wrong man isn’t the right one after all.

What worked for me (and what didn't): There is something very attractive to me about a man desperately in love who has to work for his lady (without being an alpha hole).  Hence, Fenris (aka Fox) is very attractive to me.  He's been in love with her for years - his attraction led him to say something awful about which ruined his friendship with his best friend Robert (the man Eugenia - Ginny- married).  Ginny is now a widow and is starting to re-enter society.  She still misses Robert  but life goes on (as she has discovered) and she is lonely - for companionship, for physical passion. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Back to the Good Fortune Diner by Vicki Essex

Why I read it: I picked this on up from NetGalley. 

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Everville, New York — it's the town where Tiffany Cheung grew up, and the last place she wants to be. But after losing her job in Manhattan, that's exactly where she finds herself. Worse, she's working at her family's Chinese diner and feeling like the outsider she once was. The only bright side is that Chris Jamieson, the boy she used to tutor, is still around. Her high school crush is hotter than ever, and he needs her help… again. Tutoring Chris's son is the perfect temporary job. Except, Chris finally seems interested in her — and is hinting about a less temporary arrangement. Talk about bad timing! Because Tiffany's not staying and nothing will stop her from getting back to her real life. But maybe what's real is about to change….

What worked for me (and what didn't): This book generated a bit of buzz on Twitter and among my blogger friends because it has a Chinese-American heroine and race is one of the themes of the book.  Sometimes (many times?) it seems to me that ethnic/biracial characters could just as well be Caucasian - by that I mean to say that often different race is not portrayed as difference.  Partly, I wonder whether it is because there is a "we are all the same" idea about anti-discrimination, but I also wonder if it is authorial/editorial fear that books with characters that are "too different" won't sell well.  In fact, there have been a few posts which seem to suggest that it is the case that such books don't sell well.  I'm not sure what that says about the romance reading public.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The One That Got Away by Kelly Hunter

Why I read it: I picked this up from NetGalley.  I'm fast becoming a major fan of Kelly Hunter.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads) Good job? Tick. Newly purchased apartment? Tick. Evie's life is on a pretty even keel at the moment. The only thing missing? A man with an edge to keep things interesting. Enter Logan Black. Tortured, distant and sexy, Logan has edge written all over him. He's also the man who tipped Evie over the edge a few years back - she gave him everything, but he didn't know when to stop taking. Leaving Logan was the hardest thing Evie's ever done. Until now. Because Logan's back, the chemistry is as blistering as ever, and this time he's not going anywhere...

What worked for me (and what didn't): Really, she had me at "tortured".  I have a weakness for a tortured hero and the reason for his distance was so damn honorable too!  In a nutshell, Logan's father was an abusive, controlling, violent piece of work and Logan is terrified that he's just like him.  So he doesn't like to feel too much or get too close.  He doesn't - won't -  trust himself. But Evie makes him feel.  Makes him want to get close.  The tension is delicious.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I'm at AudioGals today...

with a review of Desperately Seeking Shapeshifter, by Jessica Sims (aka Jill Myles), narrated by Leah Mallach.  Virgin. Were-bear.  That's pretty much all you need to know but if you want the full low down, go here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting Hotter by Elle Kennedy

Why I read it: I was in the mood for a sexy contemporary and I remembered I hadn't read this one yet.  Rowr.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  A good bad boy is hard to find.

An Out of Uniform story.

Seth Masterson has been lusting over Miranda Breslin since the moment he saw her on a Vegas stage. Now that he’s been asked to watch out for her as she opens a dance studio in San Diego, he’s all over it, figuring it’s his chance to get her in his bed. Except the stubborn single mom seems determined to deny their crazy-sizzling sexual chemistry. In typical SEAL fashion, Seth makes it his personal mission to prove her wrong.

Miranda got over her attraction to bad boys about the time one of them knocked her up at the age of eighteen. Seth’s mocking gray eyes and military-buff bod, though, are pure and utter temptation. And when a flooded apartment forces her and her twins to move in with him, she can no longer resist the urge to set off some serious fireworks between the sheets.

But give him her heart? No, thank you. Any involvement with Seth will be strictly physical—and temporary. So when Seth decides permanent is what he wants, Miranda must steel her defenses before she does something incredibly foolish…like fall in love.

What worked for me (and what didn't):  Seth is a bad boy with the hots for former Vegas showgirl Miranda, single mother of 6 year old twins.  The big problem is that Seth doesn't like children.   Well, that's not really accurate.  He doesn't want to get close to people emotionally, and he has a horror of getting close to children in particular (there are reasons) and he passes it off as not liking kids.  He basically ignores Miranda's twins until she makes it clear that if he wants into her bed anytime in the next millenium, he'd better be nicer to her kids.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Custom Ride by KA Mitchell

Why I read it:  I was shocked (SHOCKED!) to realise that I had not read this early KA Mitchell book and rectified that error after a round of shopping in the recent ARe sale.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  A stint in the Air Force left Ryan MacRae with a bitter memory of life in the closet. Jeff Allstein is a mechanic who has too much to lose if his private life becomes public. The heat of their attraction boils over on a stormy summer night, but satisfying that need only makes them both crave more.

Their searing connection makes it hard for Ryan to understand the road blocks Jeff continually puts down. Ryan will have to buckle up if he's going to find love at the end of his custom ride.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Oh there was so much to love about this one.  It is one of KA Mitchell's earlier works, first published in 2007 so it could have been of lesser quality but I didn't find that at all.  Two hot men? Check. Hot sex? Check? An interesting story, a believable conflict? Check.  Yes, the story had a lot of sex in it, as is standard for a KAM novel, but it also has a story.  Jeff shares custody of his daughter with her mother (a real piece of work) and can't risk coming out openly because it might lead to him losing his daughter.  The connection between the 2 men was palpable and it was really only the custody issue threatening their relationship.  I've no doubt that it is a very real concern for people in Jeff's position (sadly).  I loved that Jeff's priority was his little girl.  The problem for me came when the book ended suddenly.  I felt I'd only just got the first part of the story.


*mild spoilers* 


Friday, January 4, 2013

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox

Why I read it:  I won this at Romance Around the Corner back in July (I had to collect it from NetGalley, hence the tag).  (In fact, it is on the special side because that marked the beginning of my online friendship with Brie - everyone say awww!)

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Sure, opposites attract, but in this sexy, smart, eBook original romance from Ruthie Knox, they positively combust! When a buttoned-up banker falls for a bad girl, “about last night” is just the beginning.
Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it, and God knows she’s made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go . . . in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her.

Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine—even her name turns him on—with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies.

When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a littlle luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime?

What worked for me (and what didn't): This was a sexy read but quite different from the style of Ride With Me which was much more light-hearted.  I think possibly I wasn't expecting that.  I can't quite put my finger on why this one didn't work better for me than it did - as much as I liked it - it had all the ingredients I'd have thought would make it an A read. Interesting characters, a great sense of place (I loved the modern London setting), witty banter and strong dialogue, a to die for hero and a prickly but sympathetic heroine.  But, for some reason, I felt somewhat disconnected and my enjoyment (and I did enjoy it dammit) was somehow muted, like I was reading from behind opaque glass or something.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

December Round Up

on Paper/eBook

Gayday! Gayday! by Kim Dare - C  Cute short about a bratty submissive who gets into trouble and calls his dominant friend (who he thinks is straight) to bail him out of a sticky situation.  Turns out his friend isn't quite as straight as first though...

Rough Canvas by Joey W. Hill - B This erotic BDSM m/m romance came highly recommended by various Goodreads friends and I picked it up in a recent ARe sale.  Gallery owner Marcus and Artist Thomas were lovers but Marcus keeps secrets and Thomas has significant family responsibilities and neither had trusted the other enough for forever. There was a lot of sex which sometimes overtook the story, but it also had some moment so beauty and lyrical melancholy.  Some of the phrases were lovely but others you kind of had to look at sideways with a squint to understand them because they didn't make a lot of sense when you read them straight out.  I enjoyed the book and believed the HEA and liked that the story ended up being more about Marcus' pain than Thomas' responsibilities.  (But, what happened to Daralyn?).  In any event, I liked it.

Needing a Little Christmas by Sylvia Violet - B-  This cute Christmas short features a sexy lumberjack type hero and really, what's not to love about that.  Some of the early writing in the book seemed a little clumsy and info-dumping, but the story made me smile and I think Eli and Mac will be able to work out their locational issues and live happily ever after.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Australian Women Writer's Challenge 2013

I met Marg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader in December and we were talking about all the lovely books we'd read in the past year or so and what we were excited about coming up in 2013.  She mentioned the Australian Women Writer's Challenge to me and got me interested in trying it this year.  I have discovered some wonderful Australian writers and I'd like to find more.  So, I've signed up for the "Franklin" level - I promise to read at least 10 books by Australian women writer's this year and review at least 6 (but, I'll be reviewing all 10, because that's what I do).  If I'm lucky, not only will I discover some amazing books and authors, but I might also connect with some local bloggers and book lovers and that can't be a bad thing! 

Happy New Year everyone!