Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: Sleep

I bet you didn't know that November is National Sleep Comfort Month! Therefore, SLEEP is our theme this week. Enjoy!


"The world is full of givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better." - Anon.

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?” 
― Ernest Hemingway

“You know that place between sleeping and awake, that place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always think of you.” 
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“To die, to sleep - 
To sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub,
For in this sleep of death what dreams may come...” 
― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

“I find out a lot about myself by sleeping. Dreams, they are who I am when I’m too tired to be me.” 
― Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale

“Sleep is good, he said, And books are better.” 
― George R.R. Martin

"The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep."
Chanakya


"A well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings a happy death." 
Leonardo da Vinci 







Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes

anything he wants: dominated by the billionaire
Sara Fawkes
November 27, 2012 (as compilation)
St. Martin's Press
288 pages


Synopsis:
Lucy Delacourt's temp position isn't quite her dream job but it pays the bills. The highlight of her day is riding the elevator in the mornings with a handsome stranger. Tall, dark, and sexy as hell, Lucy knows he's way out of her league, but a girl can look, right?

Everything changes the day the stranger seduces her. Completely out of character, she yields without a fight, but she has no idea her wanton acts with a man whose name she doesn't know will change her life forever. Because the sexy stranger is none other than Jeremiah Hamilton, billionaire CEO of Hamilton Industries, and one taste isn't nearly enough to satisfy his need.  As the billionaire pulls Lucy deeper into his world of high stakes business deals and ruthless takeovers, he demands nothing less than her complete surrender.  But even as enemies seek deadly revenge against him, she’ll discover that her greatest threat is falling for her fiercely guarded boss…and yielding to her own darkest needs.



Review:
This book was originally published as a set of 5 serial installments. I purchased and read the first two, and although I enjoyed them, I decided that $2.99 was just too much for a few chapters of a book that didn't feel like anything more than just that, a piece of a book. I don't want to pay $15 for any ebook, let alone one that read like a cheap romance novel. However, when I saw that the publisher had compiled all 5 to be sold as a complete work (with a cheaper total price tag, I might add), my interest was piqued. I had enjoyed the first two, so when I saw it up on NetGalley, I thought I'd give it another shot. I was pleasantly surprised.


This book starts off reading as some man's fantasy and less like a romance novel- it was just too unbelievable and "wham-bam-thank-you-maam". I was a bit worried that's all it was going to be. Things started happening way too quickly and we didn't see any reason to relate to these characters- Jeremiah came off as too cold and impersonal and Lucy was a boring doormat of a pushover despite her thinking otherwise. But, then the whole dynamic changed a few chapters in and I started to really enjoy the book. Although it was still first and foremost a super-steamy erotic novel, it also because a suspense with some action thrown in there. There's even a mini-cliffhanger at the end that surely is meant to leave open the possibility of another book/series.
Fans of Fifty Shades or Bared to You-style erotic romances will most likely really enjoy this book.

Anything He Wants: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Audience Rating: R (explicit sex)

Note: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesdays Words & Quippish Quotes: Thanksgiving

I think I love the idea of Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. I have been blessed with a truly wonderful life and I strive to not take a moment for granted, so I am happy to pause for this moment and reflect on how lucky I am. This year especially, I have learned that life is precious and we should cherish every moment we get. So, with that said, and with these words, I give my thanks.

 "But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” 
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” 
― Oprah Winfrey
“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough” 
― G.K. Chesterton
“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
― Maya Angelou
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Trailer Reveal: Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

When I read Jennifer L. Armentrout's Obsidian, it was my favorite book of the year, I didn't think anything could top it - until I read her second book in the Lux series, Onyx. So, I really don't need to say how unbelievably excited I was for book three, Opal, which is coming out December 11th - but that excitement is even greater after watching this trailer for the book. Check it out!



No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.


But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love. 


After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.


Together we’re stronger... and they know it.


USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.
Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Review: Her Miracle Man by Nikki Duncan

Her Miracle Man
Nikki Duncan
November 27, 2012
Samhain Publishing
170 pages
Synopsis: 

A last wish brings them together. Only love can keep them there.

Children’s hospital administrator Ryland Davids was attracted to event planner Jennalyn James the moment he saw her. He thought there would be plenty of time to get to know her—until her younger sister, Sabrina, was admitted with complications from traumatic brain injury.

Sabrina’s bright courage broke through Ryland’s wall of professional distance, but once she drew her last breath, Jennalyn left the hospital and never returned. Though he understands her need for distance, there’s a hole in his heart that won’t heal. And a last wish from Sabrina he’s honor-bound to deliver.

When Jennalyn comes face to face with Ryland at a charity event, the pain comes rushing back, threatening to shatter her everything’s-fine fa├žade. It doesn’t help that the lump in her throat is mostly her heart, leaping in response to his touch.

Despite her reluctance to return to the scene of her grief, she fulfills Sabrina’s final request to plan a series of Christmas events for the kids. Over the course of A Month of Miracles, Ryland and Jennalyn discover there’s the light of hope at the end of grief’s dark tunnel. But it may not be enough to heal her broken heart.

Product Warnings
This title contains a magic-loving clown, children receiving miracles, betrayal, some light bondage and a woman healing from grief.

***************************************

Review: I just love holiday romances. This was one of the sweetest and most touching ones I've read. But, it wasn't nearly as light and fluffy as I expected. 
Jennalyn is still deeply grieving over the loss of her younger sister, Sabrina, who died a year ago while at a children's hospital run by Ryland Davids. Before she died, Sabrina bonded with Ryland and asked him to hire her sister and help her move on with her life. Ryland felt a connection to Jennalyn from the start and asks her to work as the hospital's event planner and plan a "Month of Miracles" for a select group of patients at the hospital. Jennalyn agrees and no matter how hard she tries to remain distant from both Ryland and the children she is planning miracles for, she begins to fall for them all.
I had tears in my eyes for what seemed like half of this book. Jennalyn's sadness was palpable and the patients' stories were so moving, I can't imagine anyone reading this and not being touched. It definitely became more than just a wonderful love story, but it was certainly that as well. Ryland couldn't have been more a more perfect hero - warm, caring, smart, patient, and, of course, hot! I wish I had a "miracle man" like him! A great book to remind everyone of the good that can come out of something awful, and that miracles may happen when you least expect them - especially during the holidays.

Her Miracle Man: 4/5 Stars
Cover: 3.5/5 stars


***To celebrate the release of her book, Author Nikki Duncan is having a month-long celebration over at her blog with guest posts daily and tons of great giveaways - check it out: Nikki Duncan's Blog!!*******


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review: The Theory of Attraction Anthology



The Theory of Attraction: The Theory of Attraction\A Shot in the Dark\Forbidden Fantasies
Delphine Dryden, Christine d'Abo, Jodie Griffin
Carina Press
October 16, 2012
384 pages

The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden
Camilla can set her watch by her sexy rocket-scientist neighbor's schedule…but she soon learns that isn't the only thing Ivan likes to be strict about. He needs to be in charge in the bedroom as well—and Cami discovers there can be more pleasure in submitting than she ever imagined….

A Shot in the Dark by Christine d'Abo
Carter is one of the hottest men ever to walk into Paige Long's coffee shop. Firefighter by day, Dom by night, he's her ultimate fantasy. But can Carter convince Paige to submit to happiness outside the bedroom, too?

Forbidden Fantasies by Jodie Griffin
After fifteen years of marriage, Jessica and Alex's sex life is, well, a little predictable. It just can't compare with the hot new world Jessica discovers in the pages of erotic romances. Until their fantasies are brought to life during a special weekend at a unique B and B: Bondage and Breakfast….

***************************************


Review: 
I had previously read Theory of Attraction and really enjoyed it, so when I saw it was being re-released along with two other similar stories, I just had to check it out. And boy, I was not disappointed. Usually in anthologies, there is at least one weak story, but I loved all three books in this one. They were all quick reads, but felt like complete novels, and although the plotlines were very different, the underlining sexiness was uber-HOT in all of them. Just enough BDSM to make you squirm while reading it, but not what I'd consider hard-core by any means. I really felt like I was reading fully flushed out romance novels that just happened to have that touch of BDSM-style sex in all of them.

Book 1 -Theory of Attraction - deals with neighbors who arrange a mutually beneficial deal to help one neighbor learn to be less socially awkward and the other to learn the ways of being a submissive. The resulting "classes" are both humorous and super sexy. 4.5/5 stars
Book 2 - A Shot in the Dark - is more of a classic BDSM style involving an exclusive BDSM club an a woman who desires that, but is afraid to try again after a previous dom/sub relationship went horribly wrong in the past. I loved how sweet and patient the hero Carter was all the while being a powerful dom and sexy firefighter to boot. 4/5 stars
Book 3 - Forbidden Fantasies - Definitely the most touching of the trio as it deals with a marriage of 15 years between two people who love each other very much but have never trusted the other with their most secret dark fantasies. Let's just say as they admit those desires and explore them things heat up considerably! 4/5 stars

Overall rating for anthology: 4.5/5 stars
Cover: 3.5/5 stars
Audience rating: R (Explicit sex)


Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning (Sinners on Tour #1)

                                                          Backstage Pass
                                                          Olivia Cunning
                                                         October 1, 2010
                                                           Sourcebooks
                                                            378 pages
Synopsis:
 Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance...

For him, life is all music and no play...

When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...

She's the one to call the tune...

When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...

Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory... and sin...


Review: 
     I am now a fangirl of the Sinners. This story was great on every level. I loved all the band members, each one has such a distinct personality and they are each gettign their own book. These guys are a family and when one does something they are all involved, love one love them all. The story starts with Brian Sinclair drunk, trying to get over his recent heartbreak and Myrna at a work convention stumbles across the band in the hotel's bar. Sparks fly from the inital meeting and the story simmers from there. Brian falls in love to easy and Myrna having been through a rough divorce is terrified of love. I was rooting for these two from the begining. This is a great start to a series I must read. Upon finishng this book I promptly went online and ordered book 2. I am very grateful for finding this author and can not wait to read about the rest of this interesting band of characters.

Backstage Pass:               4/5
Cover:                             3.5/5
Audience Rating               R (very explicit sex)

                                                   ~~~~~Tanya~~~~

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini

Touching the Surface
Kimberly Sabatini
October 30, 2012
Simon Pulse
Hardcover, 352 pages
Synopsis: When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

     Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

     As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

Kimberly Sabatini reading an excerpt from Touching the Surface at it's release party held at
Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY  November 4, 2012


Review: This book was beautiful. Not just the writing, although the publisher's description of "lyrical" is accurate, but also the story - and evolution of the characters. It was apparent from the start that Ms. Sabatini could write, but I worried that my initial dislike of the main character Elliot would ruin my enjoyment of the rest of the book. I was relieved to find that as Elliot grew and learned and changed, so did my perception of her. Which I believe is wonderfully fitting, given that the entire book is really all about that - redemption, evolution and eventual forgiveness and acceptance. It's odd that a book set in such an abstract place could feel so real, yet it does, and that's in part due to the fact that the characters feel like people you could know. They are flawed, some majorly so, but that's the whole point - if they were perfect, they wouldn't be there. At times, I did feel a bit disoriented by the twisty fantastical world created by Ms. Sabatini (or rather, by her characters ;)) - but I think that only added to my connection to the characters themselves as I felt some of their confusion.

"Being brave isn't about not being scared. Being brave is what you do despite being scared." - Trevor
(That one's going into my all time favorite book quotes, by the way.)

My favorite character by far was the brooding Trevor, who plays the tortured hero role extremely well. The constantly changing quips on his t-shirt were such a clever way to get a glimpse inside his mind and were some of my favorite lines in the book. There's a bit of a love triangle (or a love trapezoid perhaps) involving Trevor, Elliot, and the nearly perfect good boy Oliver, but it wasn't overly angst-y as so many YA novels can get. Even the romance aspect of the book evolved as the characters discovered more and more about themselves and who they were and I found myself wishing I could see that next chapter in their lives after the book ends.

Touching the Surface is a beautiful story of love and redemption. It's spiritual without being preachy, and I kind of hope Kimberly Sabatini's vision of the afterlife is out there to give a second (or third) chance to all of us who might need one.

******************************************

Touching the Surface: 5/ 5 Stars.
Cover: 5/5 Stars
Audience rating: PG-13 (mild violence, difficult themes - death)

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Come Away With Me by Kristen Proby

Come Away With Me
(With Me In Seattle, #1)

Kristen Proby
November 9, 2012
I'm happy to be participating in author Kristen Proby's first blog tour for her debut novel, Come Away With Me. As you know, I love supporting new authors, and after reading the description of the book, of course I was interested in reading and reviewing it! After you read my review, be sure to enter the contest where 3 lucky winners with win an ecopy of the book and be sure to stop by the other blogs on the tour too!

Synopsis:
 Being confronted on the beach by a sexy stranger wasn't part of Natalie Conner's plans for a peaceful morning taking photos. And why on earth would he think she's taking pictures of him, anyway? Who is he? One thing’s for sure, he’s hot, and incredibly romantic, feeding Natalie’s wounded soul.

Luke Williams just wants the world to give him a break, so seeing yet another camera aimed at his face has him ready to pounce on the beauty behind the lens. When he finds out she has no idea who he is, he's intrigued and more than a little tempted by her. Natalie has a body made for sex, a sassy mouth and Luke can’t get enough of her, but he’s not ready to tell her who he really his.

Natalie is a no nonsense girl who doesn’t do well with lies and secrets. What will happen to this new relationship when she discovers what Luke’s hiding?

Review: 
Come Away With Me is the debut novel by author Kristen Proby, and based on this, it most certainly won't be her last.This is one of those romance novels that just feels good to read. The writing flows well, and I instantly related to both of the main characters. They connected with each other well too, and boy were those some steamy connections! I absolutely loved the little details that Ms. Proby puts into the descriptions of both the characters (the idea behind the tattoos made me want to get one!) and the locations (I want a guesthouse to convert into a studio!). There wasn't a whole lot of drama or angst, but the fights they did have (including, of course, how they met) were deliciously tense. I also really enjoyed the secondary participants in the story, especially Nat's roommate Jules, who Ms. Proby sets up nicely to have her own story (which I've heard a rumor is filled with yummy angst!).  A great debut- looking forward to reading more from this author.

Come Away With Me: 4/5 Stars
Cover: 4/5 Stars



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Other Blog Tour Stops: 


11/6 – Kelli Maine
11/7 – Emily Snow
11/9 – Release Day,  Giveaway Winners Announced, & BOFF Read at TotallyBooked Blog