Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book - Winter's Bride

England 1461 - Tristan Ainsworth and Lily Gray were running away together because her parents had forbidden their union. The race to get away ended in a tragic accident. The eldest of the Ainsworth brothers had been the first one to come upon the overturned carriage, after checking for any survivors, Benedict spirited Tristan and his baby daughter away leaving Lily presumed dead in the carriage. Seeing his Lily in a road side inn and her having no idea who he was, left Tristan with and intense need to find out how she could forget him and their child. Only having known what her parents had told her since her illness, the assurances of Tristan meant nothing to her, even after she had discovered how her body responded to him. Uncertain of his motives and his interest in her, she gave him the benefit of doubt for only so long and then she started having memories, would it be to little to late?

Book 1 ….. Good introduction into this family, the Ainsworth brothers are all strong men. I don’t typically like a relationship that has already been. I like to ‘see’ it from the beginning. With this, Lily’s amnesia kind of allows that to happen. Both characters have to learn to love each other again, so it is kind of from the beginning. This is also the first book of a series of four, so it has lots of introductions to characters and lots of information that will (I can feel) be important in subsequent books. I liked Tristan and Lily, even the hints of Marcel and Genevieve, but the book that I will be looking forward to the most is the one for the oldest of the brothers, Benedict’s story should be a good one, which I believe is also the next one (The Bride of Spring).
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Friday, February 26, 2010

Book - Marriage at a Price

Nothing out of the ordinary here, a typical Harlequin presents. Fun and fast, good characters but not enough time to really get in to deep with them. Kind of predictable but just enough humor to make me laugh every once in a while. As usual, the drama wouldn’t be there at all if people would just talk more, but that is romance novels for you. Still a good escape into Australia and horse breeding.
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book - Jinx

Moving from a small town in Iowa to New York City was the best way Jean Honeychurch and her family could think of to handle the problem she was having with a boy. The problem wasn’t just the boy, Jean had been having bad luck all of her life starting with the day she was born. She even received the nickname of Jinx from her family at a young age, because of her constant string of mishaps. Meeting her cousins friends and finding out that some of them believed themselves to be witches and those witches, including her cousin Tory, believing that she was a witch and wanting her to join their coven, left Jinx scarred that the true reason for her troubles was about to come out.

What a fun story. Quick and fast paced, although it was predictable. The characters were great - a bunch of high school students, their dates, crushes and worries, popularity contests and all. I really liked Zach and Petra (one of the boys and the families au pair) they seemed to be great supporting characters for Jean. There is a point in the story were Jean is described as a good influence against the drugs, alcohol, smoking and witch craft but as Jean thinks about it - “God, no wonder she hated me so much! I hated me, hearing myself described in such a way.” Fun for young teens up. After finally trying a Meg Cabot book, maybe I will give one of her series a try.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book - Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner Kersee - Superwoman by Margaret Goldstein & Jennifer Larson
This is a very informative juvenile non-fiction accounting of the life, the goals and the gold that Jackie Joyner Kersee is famous for. Proving that it doesn’t matter where you come from, with desire, dedication and determination, her, her brother and her sister-in-law were able to score in life and in the Olympics as some of the greatest track and field athletes of America. Being named the “First Lady of Sports” and “The World’s Greatest Female Athlete” never made her forget her past, she still strives to help kids in similar situations with her foundation. The short chapters and rapid fire of information made this informative and fun to read. Great source of information for anyone interested in the basics about Jackie Joyner and her gold.
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Book - Future Hope

A world so advanced in technology that not only is interplanetary travel possible, but a common means of supplying the earth with resource to survive its ever growing population. Now the concept of interdimensional travel is past the drawing board and on to trials with the ITP (Interdimensional Transport Protocol) project. The mathematician behind the calculation, Dr. Deborah Tennyson had a professional and person interest in the launch of the ITP with a hot shot astropilot like Major David Sanders behind the flight controls. The journey through space and dimension was going to make him famous, but when something went wrong and he became stranded who knew where, who knew when, he found not only inhabitants of the planet he landed on, but possibly a new way of thinking to take back to Earth, if he ever got back to it.

What an incredible concept, the future of the planet in the hands of a conceded and self absorbed although talented pilot. The lack of faith in anything but the science is a very good story line with an interesting cast of characters. I struggled with the repetitiveness of the story, everything seemed to be over described, and then described again. The specifics where lined out for everything from thoughts, actions and conversations to the technical terminology which seemed to bog down the flow of the story. There was a political and religious aspect to it that seemed to help make a point about possible consequences to relying to heavily on technology. While some of the theories seem to be plausible, this is still a fantasy that went on and on about some of the less important parts (in my opinion) of the story and while I am not interested in reading the next one (it is hinted at having a follow up book), it was still a decent story, for a first novel.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book - The Prisoner

Learning that there was a way to escape the rebel prison that Captain John David Howe had been in, led him to a house that he thought would be a safe haven. Finding Amanda Lee Douglas home alone and realizing that it was not the house that he was suppose to be at, left him with few options, especially when her Reverend father caught them in a compromising position. Leaving town with an escaped prisoner and a Union Officer left her reputation in complete ruins just as the reverend had always expected. Supporting each other through the trip out of the area was the only way either of them would make it, giving Amanda several opportunities to leave him (since he had threatened her life), but she was unable to leave his side after he had been so nice. It was quite possible that they had both escaped prison on that cold night in January.

This one had a lot of emotional ups and downs for the characters. First showing the strength of John, then the strength of Amanda, the balance of strength and weaknesses played back and forth for the whole book. There were a couple of sections that seemed unclear as to what was happening, but in the end it all works. I seem to be drawn to some of the Civil War time romances that come out of Harlequin Historicals. This one shows one of the reasons with the authors note in the back, explaining how this is a romance writers theory of some historically accurate accounts of some of the final days of the Civil War in the town of Salisbury, North Carolina.
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Book - Guilty Pleasures

Known as the executioner, Anita Blake lived as an animator, raising the dead, but her specialty was killing the vampires that the city had deemed too dangerous to let ‘live’ any longer. In her bag of supplies you could usually find guns, knives and possibly a wooden steak. Trust for the executioner was a difficult thing to find, she had a few close ‘human’ friends and she recently found out that she had know someone before and now after he had been changed. As an executioner, it was strange to be on friendly terms with any vampire, but having the master of the city ask her for help in solving the problem of vampires being murdered was just weird for everyone. Especially the way the master had asked, not just threatening herself, but nearly all of her friends and associates. They were all in serious trouble if Anita couldn’t find a way to make everyone happy.

Book 1 - Ok, I have heard so much about how great this series is. I hope it gets better. I found the interaction between some of the characters good, and even some of the characters were good but there are so many of them and most of them are dead by the end. What is the point of making a good character if he dies and is buried by the end. The violence was gruesome, the action was fast paced, the reasoning behind some of the decisions that Anita made were obscure at best, her roll as executioner was not explained the greatest (to me anyways), the character list kept growing on nearly every page and to top it off there was no romance (I thought it was suppose to be a paranormal romance). I know sometimes the first book of a series has a lot of weight behind it to be able to set the series up, I really am curious to see if that is the case with this one, I will eventually read The Laughing Corpse to test that theory.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book - Heart of Fire

Wanting to reminder herself of the man that was her father, Jillian Sherwood convinced her brother (Rick) to let her finally see some of their fathers notebooks. Being an archeologist, just like dad, Jillian had a special insight in decoding the notes and the maps that she had found. Finding the money and the people to help her to locate the lost Stone City in the middle of the Amazon jungle would eventually show the world that her father was not the crackpot that everyone thought he was. While Rick was the one that finally acquired the funds and got the expedition started, the animosity that he felt for her was always there leaving Jillian concerned about how things would end. Keeping several key pieces of information to herself made sure she would be useful till they found the city. As a guide in the Amazon, Ben Lewis took pride at being able to size up any situation quickly and finding out that a woman would be part of his next job, left a bad taste in his mouth. Knowing that there was something not right, Ben made Jillian’s protection his prime mission, second only to finding out what Rick and his low-life friends were up to.

I really enjoyed the combination of action, adventure, mystery, humor and romance. The sexual frustration and flirtation between Ben and Jillian is at times fun or even funny. The angst between Rick and Jillian was strong. As the characters progress through the story as well as through the jungle, they become better and better. While Ben is brash and blunt from the get go, the “moment” of realization is not just expected but also kind of fun. Definitely a different way to play out a “moment” like that. While I say it is fun and funny, it is sexual humor, some of it is on the graphic side (for lack of better wording). If you are at all offended by ’raunchy jokes’ this may not be funny to you.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Book - You Slay Me

Meet Aisling Grey, she is new at being a courier, in fact this is her first trip to France. Arriving at Aurora Deauxville’s residence to deliver the item, Aisling was shocked to find that the woman was dead and suddenly Aisling was the prime suspect in her murder. Meet Drake Vireo, he portrayed himself as an Interpol detective, but that was not the case, he was actually a green dragon and a wyvern to top it all off. Discovering that she was also a Guardian, even if she didn’t know what that all entailed, she found a way of summoning a demon of her own to help her figure out who the real murderer was. Meet Efrrijim, Jim is a demon that had no master until Aisling summoned him, now he is in this world in the form of a Newfoundland dog and a strange sense of humor about his novice demon lord. With suspicion on both Aisling and Drake, the death of the venediger (a powerful mage) leads to Aisling making some unusual decisions. All while fighting the bond of being a wyverns mate.

Book 1 ….. What a fun look at the otherworld. Between the dragons, the mages, the demons and the wiccans, the stereo-typical personalities of each seem to show through. While the French lesson was kind of funny, the catchy part was the relationship between Aisling, Drake and Jim. Naive as she was, she was able to stumble through it all. The humor definitely carried the story, the romance is abrupt and short and the mystery jumps around leading you in many different directions. In the end, it was a great distraction from everyday life, but it is not the greatest book I have read, fast and fun is good enough for me. Next up (Fire Me Up), I hope this one will be a light and funny.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Book - Beyond the Stars: Kataria

Landing the job of her dream in research and development at the Space Island Group (SIG), Samantha Gerris finds herself doing what she has always wanted to do and all with her feet firmly on the planet Earth. While others made SIG a career so that they could go into space, Sami was scared of flying even after meeting an almost perfect man who happened to be a pilot. Marriage and two kids later, Jack Bennett finally got his chance to go into space leaving Sami and the kids on Earth, then a tragic accident took Jack from his family. Finding out that both of her kids wanted to follow in their fathers steps and take a job on the Space Station/Space Resort, Samantha knew she could not sit by and watch the rest of her family leave her. Doing what she never thought she would ever do, with the fear of losing her kids stronger than the fear of traveling in space, Sami joined her kids in space. Now Sami will learn the Katarians have been a part of her work, her husbands work and now her children’s work on the space station for many, many years. With her knowledge and know-how, Sami may find common ground and even happiness again through an adventure that takes her to places she never expected to go.

The adventure of a lifetime, Sci-Fi, even romance, this book has such a run of everything. The writing style is easy to read and very descriptive, sometimes too much so. This book is good in story line, great character creation and the technology is comparable to any Star Trek. The terminology is not overused, so you don’t get bogged down trying to remember what each of the big words mean. The beginning of the book moved quite slowly though. The drag of the fist 100-150 pages, while it was a sweet romance and the ground work for some of the adventure of the later parts, still left me wishing that some of it had been skipped all together. I enjoy a good romance, but this one really dragged for me and even though I liked the characters and was sad at the lose of Jack, I started to not care as much for them because it was taking so long to get to the point. The adventure was much better, a lot was packed into the remainder of the book and while I missed Jack, the connection with Gaelan was even better.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

e-Book - Holiday Hearts

After a rocky road finding their mates, the Antaeus family of dragons (Sean, Eden, Declan, Holden, and cousin Emily) can finally have a happy holiday with their dragon and vampire mates. A holiday gathering at the Sean’s home brings together the siblings, cousin, best friends and mates. Determined to make the best of Christmas eve and Christmas morning, each couple spend time with the group and with each other forming and strengthening the bonds that this family has.

This is a free short story e-book that I had gotten over the holiday but did not read. While I was looking for something to spend a short amount of time with, I came across it on my e-reader. I had no idea what it was about. The whole thing is full of characters and brief descriptions of who they are, some teasing about how they met, but it quickly became clear that this short story was a gathering together of characters from other stories (that I haven’t read - yet). Even with it being out of order, and missing all the drama of their first meeting and mating, I found the story to be a good enough mixture of romance that I am curious to find out more about these black dragons, green dragons, vampires and Magia’s in the rest of the series. The beginning of the series is Shifting Winds, so there is my someplace start.
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Friday, February 5, 2010

e-Book - Magic at Midnight

A New Years Eve party goes terribly wrong when Ginny's boyfriend decides to publicly break up with her. During Jakes blunt rejection he not only tells her that he finds her no fun, but that the sex was not great either. Needing to get away and prove him wrong, she walks into the nearest bar finding Ryan playing pool and finding Ginny anything but 'no fun'.

Fun and quick, these short (free) stories are a blast. The difficulty with short stories is the characters, but these characters are fun and defined just enough to make the ending something to giggle about.
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Book - Dark Lover

Another normal day for Elizabeth Randall, under appreciated for the job she does, ogled at for the way she looks, and lonely for the way she lives until one night that it all changed. Attacked on her way home from work, Beth knew she could not let it stop her from doing her job, so when cop and friend Jose called about a car bomb just up the street, she had to go get the details. Friends and their favors, as the King and last true blood of his species, Wrath knew people expected things from him but all he wanted to do was fight with the brotherhood to protect the civilian vampires that lived around him. After that friend (Darius) died in a car bomb, Wrath took that final request as something that would be fulfilled regardless of the complications that it put on his own life.

Book 1 .…. First books have large casts and lots of information, this one is no different. Between the list of brothers and the dictionary of new words, there was a basic - traditional style story. The brotherhood has a lot of baggage and while I really enjoyed Wrath and Beth’s story, I found myself confused as to which of the others were which (except Z - I could always remember him). Wrath melts at the compassion and strength he finds in Beth. I liked the variation of the vampires and the characters for the most part, I am left wanting more. The next one is Lover Eternal and now that I know the characters a bit, hopefully I wont have the information overload allowing me to enjoy it even more.
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