Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: Rocky Mountain Heat (Six Pack Ranch #1) by Vivian Arend

Rocky Mountain Heat (Six Pack Ranch #1)
Vivian Arend
November 15, 2011
156 Pages

Synopsis (from Goodreads) : 
He’s the one who taught her to ride. Now all he wants is to ride her.

Blake Coleman is old enough to know that acting on impulse causes nothing but a heap of trouble. But when trouble’s a western-hat-wearing blonde with slim legs that go on forever, what’s a man to do? Wanting the sweet girl next door is just wrong. The responsible thing to do is keep his hands off.
Jaxi has other plans for Blake’s hands, and his heart. She may have once considered him a big brother, but that was a long time ago. She’s all grown up now and ready to convince him that she’s perfect for him. Except he can’t seem to see past the big “don’t touch” sign that’s apparently still hanging around her neck.
When Jaxi ends up living right under Blake's nose, the undeniable heat between them slides off simmer and leaps up to barn-burning levels. However, a few of the younger six-pack Colemans have decided Jaxi’s brand of trouble is worth risking a few busted bones.
That is, if Blake’s finally ready to let go the reins and fight for what he wants…
Warning: Sexy cowboys seducing and being seduced in trucks, pool halls and barns. Droolworthy country charm, a little double-teaming, a few secrets and a whole lot of brothers to look forward to. Anyone wanna go for a ride? 

 I must admit this series is one of the reasons I purchased an e-reader.  I had seen reviews or mentions of this series in my blog hopping and it sounded like a series for me. It has a close knit loving family and some sexy as hell cowboys, what more could a girl want? The series is about a close knit family of ranchers, The Colemans, who have been ranchers for generations and currently have 6 single sons. This first book is about the oldest son, Blake and the younger girl next door, Jaxi. Blake is stubborn as all get out but Jaxi knows what she wants and its Blake. The entire family knows that Jaxi is out to land Blake as her husband and they all love Jaxi like she is one of the family already. I enjoyed how you got to meet all of the family in this first book and see how they interacted with each other. Blake is trying to do what he thinks is right, staying away from Jaxi, even though it cost him some happiness. Jaxi is a fun and feisty girl that will do anything to land her man. She even went to college and took only the classes that would help her be the perfect rancher's wife. It was fun watching the chase and how Blake's entire family helped her catch him. And when he finally gives in, the author delivers on all the sexual tension throughout the book. What I really loved about this was the loving family and sense of community in this book. You know that this family would do anything to help each other and that its a close small town where everyone knows everyone. The only thing I must say I did not like about this book is how Jaxi seemed to at one time or another have dated or kissed all of Blake's brothers. The one scene in particular that bothered me was in the pool hall, right in front of Blake, letting his twin brothers grope her in hopes of making Blake jealous and make him realize he really cares for her. I am married and I have to say I can not even think of my husband's brothers that way and I think that kinda just crossed a line and was icky to me.
Overall I really did enjoy this story and thought it was a fine start to what appears to be a smoking hot cowboy series. If you like romance, sexy cowboys and a great family this book is one for you to read.

Mountain Heat:  3/5 stars
Cover:    2.5/5 stars 


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Double Review: Half-Blood and Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

After I read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I became sort of obsessed with it (ok,ok - with Daemon really - see my review here). Since it's sequel, Onyx, isn't being released until August, I thought might as well try another one of Jennifer's books to see if I liked them as much. Half-Blood and Pure, the first two books in her Covenant series, received stellar ratings, so I thought I'd start there. Although not quite as hot as Obsidian, they were nearly as good overall. I read them back-to-back over a few days, so I'm posting my reviews together. As a side note, I just LOVE the covers...I read these two as e-books, but I wish I had them in print just so I could keep seeing the covers over and over again!

Jennifer L. Armentrout
Spencer Hill Press
September 19, 2011
304 pages
Synopsis (from the Publisher): The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi—pure-bloods—have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals—well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. 
      Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. 
     And that would kind of suck.

We meet Alexandria "Alex" just as she watches a daimon (which is sort of a cross between a vampire and a zombie-demon?) kill her mother and then come after her. Enter Aiden, a sentinel (warrior daimon-hunter) who rescues Alex and brings her back to safety on the island Covenant school where he becomes her personal trainer to make up for all the schooling she's missed while she was away.
 The story picks up as the daimons infiltrate the Covenant and Alex's past and future is brought into question and her actions are scrutinized at every step.
 The romance between Alex and Aiden reminded me a lot of Four and Tris in Divergent...I loved the slightly older and wiser guy training the girl and having that bit of authority over her. This romance is much more forbidden than the one in Divergent though and it becomes a little frustrating to read (it gets even more so in book two). That frustration just adds to the underlying sexual tension present in all their scenes together. You read those passages knowing if and when they do get together (no spoilers here!), the pages are just going to ignite on their own!

Jennifer L. Armentrout
Spencer Hill Press
March 12, 2012
320 pages

Synopsis (from the publisher): Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Review: (note: although I'm going to do my best to avoid spoilers, this review alludes to events that happened in Book #1 Half-Blood. If you have not read it yet, you may not wish to proceed)
Just when I thought I couldn't get more frustrated with the unfulfilled sexual tension of Half-Blood, I started book 2, Pure, and in addition to that tension, Jennifer L. Armentrout now weaves in a love triangle! After meeting Seth in Half-Blood, I didn't think he'd ever compare to Aiden. He was just too cocky, too arrogant, too selfish...but then we see this whole new side of him in Pure. A sweet, thoughtful, caring side. A side that makes it difficult to remember just how much we want Alex and Aiden to end up together. There are all sorts of interesting things that happen with conspiracies, trials, daimons, furies, and so much else, it's difficult to put this book down once you start... But, frankly, I was so enthralled with Alex and Aiden, and now Alex and Seth, too, that I found myself reading faster just to get to their scenes together. I'm still Team Aiden (seriously, even with Seth's softer side, how could anyone not be?!), but oh how I cannot wait to see how my mind may be changed and how things will unfurl in book #3 - Deity. 

With Obsidian, and now Half-Blood and Pure - Jennifer L. Armentrout is the newest addition to my short list of favorite authors. I look forward to reading more by her - AND meeting her at BEA in a couple weeks!

Half-Blood: 4.5/5
Pure: 4.5/5 
Covers: 5/5

Because I love the covers so much, here are sneak peaks at the upcoming covers for book #3, Deity and book #3.5, the novella Elixir (aren't they GORGEOUS?!?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes

hero.  Did you know that Memorial Day was originally celebrated to honor those Union soldiers who died in the Civil War? It has now been extended to honor all those who have given their lives in any war. I'm dedicating this Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes to all those we call "hero." We know that freedom is not free, and for that we thank you.

"Show me a hero, and I'll write you a tragedy." - F. Scott Fitzgerald
 “Anyone can slay a dragon ...but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That's what takes a real hero.” ― Brian Andreas
 "We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by." -  Will Rogers
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." - Joseph Campbell
“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different.” ― Veronica Roth, Divergent
"O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won...
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead."
- Walt Whitman, O Captain! My Captain! (written for Abraham Lincoln)

Monday, May 21, 2012

BEA 2012!

Words cannot express how excited I am for this year's BEA! It's just two short weeks away now and I have been poring over any and all information I can get ever since they finally announced the author lineup. My list, which is continually growing, has over 100 books on it! This will be my 3rd year going, but my first as a blogger -- I'm looking forward to seeing the expo from a whole new perspective.

For those of you who will be attending, here are some guides which I have found to be extremely helpful. (For those of you who cannot attend, don't worry, my blogging partner Tanya and I are going to bring home lots of goodies to give away in the next month or so!) Hope to see you there!

  • Kirkus Reviews - "2012 BEA Big Book Guide." I couldn't wait to get my hands on this this year! Last year I got some great books I otherwise would have overlooked without their recommendations. With 100 pages of actual book reviews (not just synopses), they have sections for Children's/Teens, Fiction, and Nonfiction. Note: Some of the books they've reviewed are not being signed, so you might have to ask at the publisher's booths for copies. 

  • Library Journal - "BEA Galley & Signing Guide." Lists the highlights by booth/publisher with some signings not even listed on the BEA website. A nice little side feature is an icon next to the title which lets us know which books are or will be available on NetGalley. 

  • Publisher's Weekly -"BEA 2012 : Children's Galleys to Grab." A list of which Children's/Teen books they recommend from publishers at the BEA with a very short (one sentence) synopsis for each. 

  • Publisher's Lunch - Their "Big Book" of the BEA, is a free ebook available in several formats including epub and Kindle, featuring excerpts from over 30 books which will be featured at the BEA. The "trade" version also includes information about marketing and how each book will be promoted at the BEA. 

Review: Lethal Rider

Review:  Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione

                                                              Lethal Rider
                                                   (Lords of Deliverance #3)
                                                             Larissa Ione
                                                            May 22, 2012
                                                    Grand Central Publishing
                                                               328 pages

Synopsis from Publisher:
  Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, ReganCooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he's about to become a father.
Demon-slayer Regan Cooper never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he's ever wanted- a family.

Wow, I think this book is hands down my favorite of this series. Maybe because I got just a taste of their story in Immortal Rider, I knew this book would be great.  The book picks up eight months down the road from where the previous book leaves off and it jumps right into the action. At the end of the last book, Immortal Rider (my review),  Thanatos had just lost his virginity to Aegis member Regan and he was having a complete breakdown and he was put into a "medically induced" immobile state at the request of his siblings. He has been kept this way in his house/bed  for fear of what he will do, especially to Regan for what she has done. He has been trapped with nothing to do but plot his revenge for the last eight months. When he escapes his bed everyone better look out, especially Regan. Thantos has been kept out of the loop for his own protection for the last few months but it does not take long for him to catch up on all that he has missed. Particularly the fact that Regan is pregnant with his son. From there on it is a non-stop action filled story, everyone is trying to stop the Apocalypse and there are traitors & spies everywhere.  The Aegis has been Regan's only family for many years but they had her trick and seduce Thantos in order to get pregnant but she really grew to like him. Thantos doesn't trust the Aegis and thinks he can better protect and take care of Regan. Regan is a strong kick-butt heroine. She is 8 1/2 months pregnant but still can defend herself against all who come after her. She is no weakling. You don't know who to trust but Regan and Thantos have to learn to trust each other for the sake of their son and to save the world.
This author does such a great job at creating this world and it seems so believable especially with her adding current pop culture references like this one:

       "My own good?" Than gritted out. " I spent eight months trapped inside my own head, going insane with boredom."
      "That's why we gave you a TV. Movies. Music. Limos and Cara read to you-"
         "You think that's enough? Do you know how many episodes of Jersey Shore you can watch before you want to gouge your eyes out? I do, and it's probably a lot fewer than you'd guess."

This is book 3 of this series and you really need to read the first two before reading this one. All the characters from Eternal Rider & Immortal Rider  are back as well as some of the cast from this author's Demonica Series.  There is only one more Horseman to go and I must say I will be sad for this series to end. 

Lethal Rider:  4.5/5 stars
Cover: 4/5  stars
                         Note: I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes.

                                                       ~~~~~Tanya ~~~~~

Review: Rules of the Game by Sandy James

Rules of the Game
Sandy James
April 2, 2012
Carina Press
76,000 wds

Synopsis (from the publisher):
 Kathryn West has it all – she’s a confident, bestselling author living it up in New York City. Too bad she doesn’t actually exist, and is only timid Maddie Sawyer’s pseudonym. Determined to attend her high school reunion with a man right out of one of her racy romance novels, she plots to find a sexy bad boy who’s up to Kathryn’s standards. 
 She finds Mr. Perfect shooting pool in a biker bar. He’s a blue-collar hunk who just happens to look great in leather. But the mysterious Scott Brady has some rules of his own: he won’t agree to her deal unless she poses as his girlfriend in front of his family and friends first. As the reunion nears, Maddie tries to maintain her carefree fa├žade, knowing she’ll soon face some old ghosts. 
She’s torn between her growing attraction to Scott and the nagging feeling that he’s hiding something important. Will she still want him when she finds out his secret? What about when he discovers hers?

I started reading this book expecting a fun, light romance novel. A self-proclaimed boring, mousy woman wants to hire a "bad boy" to help her change her image and show off to old classmates. A plotline that's been done before, but one I still enjoy reading. About 50 pages into it, I was wondering how the author was possibly going to keep this story going for another 150 pages or so. Then BOOM! the twist came - one I was not expecting it at all and one that changed the tone of the book completely. Don't get me wrong, it was still first and foremost a romance, but now it had so many more layers. Layers that forced me to sit up and take this book more seriously than I had intended and compelled me to keep reading because I honestly didn't know how it would end. My only complaint is that at times it seemed like she was trying a bit too hard to make this book more serious and maybe added in one too many challenges -- there're only so many dramatic incidents a person can have in their life without it seeming unbelievable(I'm intentionally being vague to avoid spoiling any of the story - if you read it, you'll know what I mean). Maddie (the heroine) becomes a little annoying with her over-the-top prejudices about Scott's profession, but she redeems herself later in the book. I really enjoyed watching their relationship evolve as they learned more about each other.

 Even without all the twists and drama, this book would have been worth reading just for the pleasant romance alone. But, Sandy James impressively takes some not-so-pleasant subjects and uses them to add depth to what would have been an otherwise run-of-the-mill love story.

Rules of the Game: 4/5 stars
Cover: 3/5 (while pleasant enough, doesn't reflect the book in any special way)

Note: I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes

Since it seems like it has been raining for two straight weeks - this week's Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes theme is rain. Enjoy! 

Image by Walter Tripp from The Bad Child's Book of Beasts

"The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn't know how to read." - Benjamin Franklin
"Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life." - John Updike 
“On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.” ― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
"Kiss me with rain on your eyelashes, come on, let us sway together, under the trees, and to hell with thunder.” ― Edwin Morgan, A Book of Lives
“Being soaked alone is cold. Being soaked with your best friend is an adventure.” ― Emily Wing Smith, Back When You Were Easier to Love
“Rain didn't make things messy. People did that all on their own.” ― Barbara Delinsky, The Secret Between Us
“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Giveaways! Giveaways! Giveaways!

We here at The Revolving Bookcase don't have any current giveaways going on because we are gearing up for some REALLY awesome prizes to celebrate our one year blogoversary in June. Make sure you come back to visit then! But, there are so many other great giveaways going on in our book blogging community, we wanted to share a few:

May Writerspace Contests - A looooong list of authors (more than 50!!!) who have contests/giveaways going on in May with links to each!

Mother's Day Giveaway - 80 ebooks!! - Tabby's Nocturnal Nights Blog has a giveaway with 80 ebooks (mostly adult romance themed)

Spring Carnival Hop - Different from regular book blog hops in that this one features lots of fun games and challenges that you complete to enter, all with carnival themes. Fun!

Children's Book Week Hop - To celebrate Children's Book Week, over 100 blogs are participating with gift cards and children's book related prizes.

Last, but certainly not least: One of my favorite authors, Lisa Renee Jones, is hosting a great giveaway with LOTS of great prizes to win just for helping her promote her book, Dangerous Secrets (which, BTW, I LOVED, Click here to see my review). When it gets to 299 or below on the Amazon list, she'll choose a bunch of winners! To enter, use the rafflecopter below  - every individual thing you do counts as an entry, and you can do new ones every day for more chances to win!

Lisa usually has one or two other contests going on every month - so be sure to stop by her website to check those out too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes

In honor of Children's Book Week and as we say a fond farewell to Maurice Sendak, who died yesterday at the age of 83, this week's Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes are from the man himself and the books we grew up loving.

“And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!” 
- Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

“I said anything I wanted because I don't believe in children, I don't believe in childhood. I don't believe that there's a demarcation. 'Oh you mustn't tell them that. You mustn't tell them that.' You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it's true. If it's true, you tell them.” - Maurice Sendak

“I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more.” - Maurice Sendak

“'What is an only goat?"
 "A lonely goat," answered Kenny. 
The rooster shut one eye and looked at Kenny. "can you hear a horse on the roof?" he asked.
 "If you know how to listen in the night," said Kenny.
 "Can you fix a broken promise?"
 "Yes," said Kenny,"if it only looks broken,but really isn't."
 The rooster drew his head back into his feathers and whispered, "What is a very narrow escape?"
 "When somebody almost stops loving you," Kenny whispered back.”
 - Maurice Sendak, Kenny's Window

“But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go - we’ll eat you up - we love you so!” And Max said, “No!” The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye.” 
- Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: Under His Protection by Karen Erickson

Under His Protection
(Protect and Defend, book 1)
Karen Erickson
April 2, 2012
200 pages

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  Protecting the vice president’s daughter is Secret Service agent Mason Russell’s top priority. With the election looming and the party’s hold shaky, Mason’s been given an important assignment – rein the controversial party girl Blake Hewitt in. He’d like to rein Blake in all right. Keep her under his control and naked beneath him at all times. Blake is the sexiest thing he’s ever seen but she’s strictly off limits. Though she tempts him like no other. Banished from the capital and sent far away to the family’s vacation home, Blake seizes her chance. She’ll make Mason hers no matter what it takes. But the noble Mason doesn’t make it easy, and danger lurks where they least expect it…

There can be a fine line between a manly hero and an overbearing one. Karen Erikson manages to create our hero, Mason, who is both super-protective (he's a secret service agent!), yet also is incredibly thoughtful and sweet. That thrown in with just a slight bit of vulnerability and I was hooked. Even though he literally has to watch over Blake, the vice president's daughter, 24/7, it never once seems like he misuses that power. In fact, he does everything he can to remain a gentleman and keep his distance. Until that moment when the tension builds to a level too high to ignore. And boy, is it worth it when they are finally able to let loose.

I thought I was going to find Blake a bit annoying after the book opens with her being called a "party girl" But, once she and Mason get exiled far away from Washington, her true nature is seen, and she becomes very likable.

Although the book is categorized as "romantic suspense", it's really about 90% romance and 10% suspense. But, I didn't miss the extra action. The story did just fine focusing on the relationship between Mason and Blake. The ending was nice, but sort of felt like an epilogue wrapped up a bit too neatly. I think I instead would have liked to see a bit more of the private struggles for each of them in that time between the climax and the ending. As it is, they are only mentioned in passing.

Overall, a very good romantic "suspense" novel. I read it in a day.

3.5/5 stars.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review: Dangerous Secrets by Lisa Renee Jones

Dangerous Secrets (Tall, Dark & Deadly #2)
Lisa Renee Jones
April 6, 2012
259 pages (Kindle ebook)

About the Series (from Goodreads): 
The Walker Brothers...
 Tall, dark, and deadly, these three brothers run Walker security. Each brother is unique in his methods and skills, but all share key similarities. They are passionate about those they love, relentless when fighting for a cause they believe in, and all believe that no case is too hard, no danger too dark. Dedication is what they deliver, results are their reward.

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
Being a divorce attorney for the rich and famous isn't all it's cracked up to be. Julie Harrison has learned that love doesn't last, and she's sworn never to make the same mistakes as her mother, or her clients. She uses the games men play to keep them at a distance. The only man who managed to break down her walls was Luke Walker, a Navy SEAL who loved her and left her, and changed her forever. When Luke arrives back in New York, running Walker Security with his brothers and having left his Navy SEAL days behind, he sets his sights on Julie, the woman he's always wanted and couldn't have. Except, she runs from him every time he gets close. But now, one of Julie's clients, a powerful judge, gets involved with a dangerous cartel, and his soon-to-be-ex wife ends up dead. Julie's next on the list, and she finds herself on the run from those who believe she knows too much, and counting on Luke to keep her alive. In the deepest, darkest moments of the night, passion will bring them together while danger threatens to tear them apart. Can Julie and Luke trust each other and find their happy ending before they find ... the end?

I have been hearing such great things about Lisa Renee Jones' books and I was not disappointed in the least! Within the first few paragraphs of being introduced to the main characters, Julie and Luke, I could feel the tension between them. I fell in love with Luke almost immediately and who wouldn't? Hot ex-SEAL who still has that super-protective instinct and who never got over Julie after their previous short-lived affair? Plus, in true romance novel fashion, his brothers are all super sexy too (and they each have, or I assume will have, their own book in this series...yay!) The "suspense" aspect of the book was good too, although in my mind it took a backseat to the romance. The secondary characters involved there were a bit caricaturish and predictable. Still, there was more than enough drama there to keep me reading till the end. And when I got to the end, I wanted more from Luke and Julie. I guess I can only hope we'll get to see them a bit in book 3. :)

 Even though this is part of a series, it stands alone without any problem. I hadn't read the other book in this series and I didn't feel lost at all, but I definitely want to go back and read the first one now!

 Fans of romantic suspense (like that of Lori Foster) you should absolutely check this book out!

Dangerous Secrets: 4.5/5 stars
Cover(Kindle edition): 3.5/5 stars (only because the girl was a little too young and bleach-blonde to be Julie in my opinion.)

***There is a contest going on RIGHT NOW to win a copy of this book (kindle version) over on the blog Froggarita's Bookcase - ends Sunday Night, May 7th - CLICK HERE TO GO THERE NOW! ********

Friday, May 4, 2012

Anyone in the Mid-Hudson Valley this weekend, namely Saturday 5/5/12, may want to stop by the Barnes and Nobles in Kingston as they are having 2 author signings there.


The first one is at 11am for Ladybug Girl and Bingo by Jacky Davis and David Soman. This is a very cute series and my 3 year old niece loves these books. I bought her two for Christmas and she asks her mother to read them to her all the time. I am afraid after reading this one my sister is going to have a hard time telling her no about getting a dog.

The second event is at 2pm and its the author of the beautiful cookbook, Sweet Home, Rebecca Miller Ffrench. I have this cookbook and its great. It has a lot of Scandinavian recipes that are passed down through generations. As I am of Norwegian descent, I can remember making some of these recipes when I was a kid with my sister, grandmother and aunts. This book would make a great gift for Mother's day. I already have mine awaiting to be signed to give to my family.

Have a great weekend and Happy reading.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Better than Fifty Shades: A Review of Bared to You by Sylvia Day

The erotic fiction market is booming, thanks in no small way to Fifty Shades of Grey. Many people are wondering what else is out there that has that same kind of pull. As my co-blogger Tanya mentioned in her post below, Sarah Wendell from Smart B*tches, Trashy Books has written a great article on the topic. But she left out Sylvia Day's Bared to You which should be included for the simple fact that it is practically the same book.

Bared To You by Sylvia Day
Published April 3, 2012 

Paperback, 360 pages.

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
Our journey began in fire... Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily... Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private wounds... and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...

 The comparisons to Fifty Shades of Grey are obvious: Uber-hot, young, billionaire with control issues stemming from an abusive past meets younger woman who is the first to challenge him and make him try for "more". There is very little mention of the BDSM lifestyle that Fifty is known for, but the possessiveness and control-freak attitude is there. As is the feeling that it all happened awfully fast. I read all three books in the Fifty Shades series recently, so it was fresh in my mind and hard not to see the resemblance. But I say, who cares? I loved Fifty and I was more than happy to get that feeling back again with Gideon and Eva in Bared to You. In Sarah's article, she wonders what exactly it is about Fifty that draws readers in. For me, I think it is that intensity and possessiveness - there's just something about a tortured man who needs you and is willing to do anything to have you. Plus, it creates so many of those tension-filled arguments that I love in romance novels so much.
 Sylvia Day's concept may not be original, but her writing is oh-so compelling, I really didn't care that I've seen this all before. Her book has the polish and readability that Fifty Shades often lacks. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it is filled with super-hot, raw sex, the kind that makes you squirm just to read it. "What you make me feel, Eva...it hurts...it's wonderful" You can't help but feel some of that wonderful pain right along with him. Loved it.
 So, it is my recommendation for anyone who finished reading the Fifty series and is missing it...Bared to You is a must read.
Bared to You: 4.5/5 stars. 
Cover (not shown due to explicit nature, but click here to see it): 3.5/5 stars 

I have read Fifity Shades What to read next?

I read the Fifty shades of Grey series, just as I am sure many of you have and I was curious about other books like it.  One of my favorite bloggers from Smart B*tches,Trashy Trashy Books,Sarah Wendell, has written an article for the Kirkus review tackling this subject and she gives great reccomendations for people to try.  I liked Fifty Shades but I did not become obsessed with it like other people have. I have read other authors who write about some of the same subject matter who I like better. In the article Sarah mentions Maya Banks Sweet series which is a series I am reading now and I do like most of the books, some are a little too much for me but I do enjoy this series better than Fifty. Happy reading everyone.