Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Re-Read Challenge 2010: June!!

Half of year has gone by already! So, what do you think? LOL. I don't know, at instances, it seems to go by so quickly... but other times, so slowly. Although I think it helps that this year, the weather is so nice :) In any case, I'm looking forward to the new releases the summer will bring us LOL.

End of the months mean Re-Read Challenge time :D If you've done one and review it, please let me know in the comment section :) Hopefully, I'll be able to finish mine very soon and put it up :D

I mentioned in the last Re-Read Challenge post (for May) that I was thinking of hosting a contest or something in June. However, it's been so crazy, I haven't really had gotten the time to think it out. So I apologize. I'll try to think up something for this month :)

Enjoy the re-reads :D

Miss Moonlight: Bluebird by Linda Howard
Ames: Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K. Hamilton
Hilcia: Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
Nath: Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review: Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

I didn't do much today at work, but for some reasons, I feel tired :(

Lately, whenever I go to James' bookstore (Friday and Monday LOL), I see new faces. Yesterday, he wasn't there... and for a moment, I was like: "No!! I hope he's not on vacation!!" LOL. There's a lot of new releases coming out next week... Yes, I know, I'm very selfish ^_^;

I've been running the bookstores lately because of the "Buy 3, get the 4th free" promotion. Seriously, I hate it when I have everything well planned and it doesn't work out for some reasons. Very frustrating... I might tell you about it this week-end during the Sunday Hauling :P

So yeah, lots of new books this week... LOL, I wish I could write review as fast as I book shop LOL. In my effort of trying, I have a review up at Breezing Through: Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn. Joining me was Isabel from All About Me :) You can click here to go directly to the review :)

Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn
published by Avon in May 2010

Ten Things You Should Know About This Book

1. Sebastian Grey is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret.
2. Annabel Winslow's family voted her The Winslow Most Likely to Speak Her Mind AND The Winslow Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Church.
3. Sebastian's uncle is the Earl of Newbury, and if he dies without siring an heir, Sebastian inherits everything.
4. Lord Newbury detests Sebastian and will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening.
5. Lord Newbury has decided that Annabel is the answer to all of his problems.
6. Annabel does not want to marry Lord Newbury, especially when she finds out he once romanced her grandmother.
7. is shocking, 8. is delicious, 9. is downright wicked, all of which leads the way to
10. Happily. Ever. After.

Genre: Historical romance
Series: Bevelstoke, Book #3

Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: Something About You by Julie James

I've been looking at my Google spreadsheet and the archive on my sidebar for June and I've decided that I really must get cracking on my reviewing ^_^; Especially since I've been reading a lot this month and have reviewed almost nothing ^_^; So hopefully, you guys will enjoy :)

Something About You by Julie James
published by Berkley in March 2010


Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career…


Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension...

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

The Story: Okay, let see. What can I write that will sum up this book even more than the back blurb? :P Cameron Lynde has been redoing her hardwood floors. As a result, she had to vacate her house and ended up at the Peninsula next to the room 1308 in which the occupants have been having a sex marathon. When she finally complains about the noise, all the staff find is a female body... and Cameron becomes the only witness as she peeked through the peephole and saw the man who left the room.

Unfortunately for Cameron, the case is assigned to Jack Pallas, FBI. Jack and Cameron had crossed paths in the past and it hadn't gone well. Basically, the case Jack went undercover for never made it to trial, Jack insulted Cameron on national TV and ended up exiled to the Nebraska bureau and believes that Cameron is responsible for the transfer. After three years, he's finally made it back to Chicago and is now stuck baby-sitting Cameron. However, it seems these two might be able to get over the past as they get re-acquainted and their attraction re-ignites.

My Opinion: I'll be honest here, I had some apprehension coming in Something About You. Basically, it's because everyone seems to enjoy Ms James so much. There's been a lot of buzz surrounding each of her books and while I think her writing is good, the books were only okay to me, not the wowzer it has been for everyone. I feel that her books are not "romance" enough for me. There are a cross of chick-lit and contemporary romance; much closer to contemporary romance than chick-lit... but not there yet. So yeah, wasn't sure how I would feel about this one, especially since Hilcia felt it was too focused on the mystery.In the end though? Something About You is my favorite read by Ms James so far :)

What made Something About You work for me was the characters. I really enjoyed Cameron and Jack; they were solid and well developed. Some might think they were too "perfect," especially Cameron... but I thought instead that they were driven. However, they were not completely closed off to the world, focused on their work; they were also ready to make place in their life for a relationship. I thought that was refreshing. The chemistry between them was undeniable, backed with a generous dose of witty banter and yummy sexual tension :) I really liked the fact that they cleared up their misunderstandings before falling in bed. The romance was a bit quick, but it made sense since they were attracted to each other three years ago :)

While it's true the mystery played a big part in Something About You, I thought it was engaging and solid. In fact, the suspense was weaved in with the romance rather well in my opinion. It could have been heavier on the romance, but it was balanced enough to please me. I liked that Ms James continued with the lawyer element, but that Something About You was different enough from Just the Sexiest Man Alive and Practice Makes Perfect to stand out.

To me, the little extra that made me enjoy Something About You so much was the secondary characters and the interactions the H/H had with them. I loved Collin and the complicity and friendship he had with Cameron. Wilkins as Jack's partner was a nice touch... and the cops that were supposed to keep an eye on Cameron. Loved how they gossiped and knew far more details about what was going on in Cameron's life than they should LOL. They were a nice touch of humor, but even better, they made Cameron and Jack more real, human and fun :)

My Grade: B+. I truly really enjoyed Something About You and while her books are still not truly contemporary romance, Ms James is definitively getting there :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hauling Sunday II

Phew, this week's purchase was a bit more tedious than usually ^_^; Basically, the bookstores are having the "Buy 3, get the 4th free" promotion. Yay! This is probably the best promotion money-saving-wise :D My only issue was that for some reasons, James' bookstore only received two out of the four books I wanted! So basically, I've been stalking the online indicator for a week ^_^; It was especially annoying, because they all had the same release date and were from the same publishers... So why?!?! I could have gone to other bookstores, but I felt bad, because some were on my list, so they would be put aside for me at the bookstore automatically. I've been told that I can not buy them if I want, but still ^_^; I finally decided to take my chances on Friday and they were there!!! Turns out that someone has ripped off the address or shipment information on the box, delaying the delivery :( Lucky I waited a few days, so I was able to get them :)

So, here is my week's haul, all HQN Books/Mira releases :)

Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery - I read the eARC and decided it was good enough for me to get the print copy :D

A Summer in Sonoma by Robyn Carr - I'm a huge fan of Robyn Carr, even though this one sounds more like woman fiction than romance. I guess I'll have to wait and see :)

Torn Apart by Sharon Sala - Again one of my favorite author :) I do hope this is better than Blown Away ^_^;

Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl - I've only read one of Ms Dahl's contemporary romance book (Talk Me Down)... the two others are waiting in my TBR pile ^_^; However, I did enjoy the one I read and the blurb sounded good :)

The coming week is going to be tricky for me. First, this Thursday is a holiday, so that means the delivery schedule might be messed up :( Plus, there are basically four promotions going on: (i) Buy 3, get the 4th free, (ii) 5$ off on a purchase of 35$ and over, (iii) renew your i-reward membership card and get 20% off on books for that purchase and (iv) 25% off on one item (birthday coupon). The latter three promotions end on June 30, while the "Buy 3, get the 4th free," on July 4. I have a few books coming out this week, so it'll be a lot of juggling around, but I'm crossing my fingers :)

One of the books I want to buy is The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg, a YA recommendation from Ames. I was going to use the 25% off coupon, but then, the "Buy 3, get the 4th free" is definitively the more advantageous promotion... so, I need suggestions, recommendations peeps! What are the good books you've read lately? In particular in trade-size format (urban fantasy, romance, etc.) and YA hardcover :P

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review: Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

Disclaimer: I've received Almost Perfect as an eARC from NetGalley

Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery
published by HQN Books in June 2010
Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she'd stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town, and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they'd ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool's Gold, California-forever, she thought….

Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn't know of their son's existence. And this time she won't have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can't deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love?

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Fool's Gold, Book #2

The Story: When Liz was 18 years old, she was secretly dating Ethan who was back from college for the summer. That lasted till Ethan denied their relationship in company of his friends, saying that she wasn't worth his time. Liz packed her bags and left... and then found out that she was pregnant. She came back to inform Ethan, but he was in bed with someone else.

She tried to tell him again a few years later, but there was a misunderstanding and she walked away believing that Ethan didn't want to know his son or even lay eyes on them. As a result, Liz swore not to set foot again in Fool's Gold. Now a successful writer, Liz has carved out a life for her son, Tyler, and herself in San Francisco. However, when she receives news that her 2 teenage nieces are on their own through her fan mail, Liz does not hesitate to move back to Fool's Gold in order to access the situation... and quickly discovers that Ethan was not aware of Tyler's existence and he's not happy to have missed his son's childhood...

My Opinion: Ms Mallery is a hit and miss author for me. I love her writing and settings, which is why I keep reading her, but sometimes, I really have issues with the characters. Chasing Perfect, the first book in the trilogy, was a bit of a disappointment for me as I felt Ms Mallery was setting patterns in her series... However, I'm glad to say that Almost Perfect was a hit and that I greatly enjoyed it :)

What really made this book enjoyable for me was Liz' character. Liz is a great mom, a great aunt and a great woman. She raised Tyler alone and has a great relationship with him. You can see the love between mother and son, their connection. I loved the fact that she did not lie to him. Instead, whenever Tyler asked about Ethan, she would say that she did not want to discuss it. She tried to contact Ethan in order to provide Tyler a father and that took a lot of courage and guts. I also liked the fact that she did not hesitate packing her stuff and rushing to her nieces' aid when they contacted her. It's really a big step considering that Liz' family has never been close to each other. However, it was realistic because Liz didn't fly to their rescue, but instead, went to assess the situation. See what would be best for the girls - whether she should take them in or someone else could. In the end, she became a great mother figure for them :) There is one instance when she catches her oldest niece, Melissa, stealing money and while shocked, Liz does not get mad at Melissa and instead, asks her niece how much would make her feel safe. I really liked that scene because it showed how understanding Liz is. She hasn't gone through exactly the same thing, but she knows how it feels. I also really appreciate the way Liz dealt with the whole situation of Ethan's learning about his son and everyone passing judgment on her actions, from Ethan's mother to strangers. Liz was reasonable and rational and she always had Tyler's best interest in mind. She never tried to make it difficult for Ethan or deny the father and son relationship. She was honest with both of them and herself. I'm telling you, a truly amazing and good woman.

The kids were also a great element in this book. They were very realistic in their behaviors. For those who don't like children in their books, I still think you should give Almost Perfect a chance. None of the children are babies anymore. There is no baby talk, not precocious 5 years old. Instead, we're talking about two pre-teens and a teenage girl who act their age :) They really added to the story; in fact, they were central to Almost Perfect and were great characters.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Ethan. I understand that Ethan is angry at Liz and at the missing years. However, I felt he was too selfish. It was too much of "me, me, me." I wished he would consider the whole situation from Liz' point of view. Liz tried twice to tell him and she truly believed the second time around that he didn't want anything to do with them. She has suffered rejection from him once so it was not far-fetched to believe he was rejecting her a second time and as a result, I don't feel she was obligated to try again. I'm sure she wanted to spare her son the same feeling. Ethan kept saying how it was unfair that he had to forgive Liz for not telling him about Tyler, but that Liz would not forgive him for not acknowledging their relationship all those years ago... But life is unfair. The biggest issue is that he rejected Liz and really broke her heart. He did not try to go after her, to find her... he just let her go. That moment shaped their lives and Ethan has to take responsibilities. I was really happy that Ethan jumped in fatherhood, that he really wanted to know Tyler... but I felt at time, he was not level-headed enough and that led to some poor decisions ^_^;

The romance in Almost Perfect also wasn't the best. I didn't feel the chemistry between Ethan and Liz. It was really hard to believe they still love each other after so many years. Perhaps if they haven't fell into bed again so quickly, if they had spent more time getting to know the new Liz and Ethan, it would have been more believable. I mean, the situation is complicated and they're not really feeling lovey dovey towards each other, but they'll still succumb to lust? Hmm, I don't think so. In addition, I think the ending was too abrupt - I liked Ethan's grand gesture, but I don't like that the book ended on it. A few more pages or an epilogue would have helped the romance in my opinion.

Something that I really liked about Almost Perfect is how it could be a stand-alone. There's very little connection to Chasing Perfect. It allowed the story to focus on the current characters and plot, instead of catching up on previous characters :)

The Grade: B. I really enjoyed Almost Perfect. As I said, Liz really was the star of this book and made it good. It's unfortunate that Ethan and the romance did not measure up :(

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The last week...

Well I've been a little scarce the last week. It's been very busy with stuff and events. While it doesn't look like it's going to get better at work, I have less commitments social-wise LOL. Funny how everything always happen at the same time, don't you think?

It all started last Wednesday. The hospital where I work organized a day to raise awareness for prostate cancer in honor of Father's Day. The event is organized in a shopping mall and we offer a full check-up for all the men that wants one. It's a great opportunity for those that haven't gone to the doctors for a while... We check their BP, get blood samples for PSA, cholesterol and testosterone, get urine samples and they even get to meet doctors. You guys know that I've been working with urine samples in my project right? Well my boss thought this was a perfect opportunity to collect some for our own project and that's why my lab was part of the event and we were stationned at the urine analysis station. We had just over 100 patients and were able to collect about 70 samples for our study... The problem is the samples had to be processed the same day... So my day started at 8am and finished at 10pm ^_^; We were actually lucky, because this year, the turn out was just so-so... due to the Fifa World Cup LOL. All the men were amassed in front of TVs during lunch hour. Seriously, I don't know what we would have done if we've gotten more samples.

The next day was a bit better. I was so exhausted, mainly because I had just started my periods. My back was really killing me ^_^; We got permission to start work late and leave early! That is really rare if you know my boss ;) It was a good thing as well, because my friends and I had tickets for Totem, the Cirque du Soleil new show. It's the same company that produces O (which I had the chance to see with Ames), Ka, etc. in Las Vegas. Totem consisted of a series of acrobatic acts and while it was not as impressive as O, it was still very enjoyable. It's truly amazing what these artists can do!! And they kept upping the ante LOL. I think though what sets Cirque du Soleil apart from other similar shows aside for the high levels is the costumes and the stage. It was really awesome how they used the stage, it really was part of the show and converted into so many things. My only complaint though is that there was no storyline in the show... so it felt a bit choppy because of the humoristic acts in-between the acrobatic acts. Nevertheless, I had a very nice evening :)

Finally, last Saturday, we organized a condo-warming. My friend bought a condo and it was finished in January... but she took her time choosing the colors, the furniture, painting, etc. LOL. She finally completely moved in only 2 weeks ago :P Since it's been a while we haven't gotten together, we also celebrated three birthdays :) Among those birthdays was my co-worker S's. S is the only guy in the gang and being the only guy, well sometimes, he gets spoiled... which is what happened on Saturday. We have a friend whose brother has been living in the States and has learned all about the turducken. You have to understand, I don't know in the rest of Canada, but Thanksgiving is not big in Quebec province. For most of us, it's just another stat holiday... and most of us are Asians, so comes Christmas, we dont' really eat turkey ^_^; Anyway, my friend's brother made turducken a couple of years back and after she told us about it, S said he wanted to try it... So that was his birthday present, turducken :) Of course, we didn't stop there and there was tons of food. We really had a good time... except I drank some alcohol ^_^; I'm not a big drinker and this just goes to prove it. We were playing mah jong and instead of counting points, we decided that whoever lost would have to drink a sip of something. Seriously, I should have stuck to coca-cola like my friend suggested ^_^; Instead, I decide to go with everyone else and drink Schmirnoff Ice. It was okay in the beginning... It's when I decided to finish it off - I had a quarter left - that it went wrong ^_^; I basically went very, very, very red and my heart was beating sooo fast! So yeah, no more alcohol for me for a while LOL.

And so, that's why I haven't posted much last week... This week though, I have nothing on my agenda :D All I want to do is read, blog, try to go for sushi and gelato :) It's fun when it's busy, but it's good when it's quiet :D

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hauling Sunday I

Welcome to my new feature: Hauling Sunday :) Basically, each week, I'm going to be sharing my new precious with you :)

This week I'll be cheating and cover the books I've got a few weeks ago as well :D

Chimera by Rob Thurman - I love Rob Thurman :) She's a great author and she writes great brother/brother relationship and Chimera is all about it :D

The Demon in Me by Michelle Rowen - I met Ms Rowen while I was at RT, actually while I was waiting for the plane to go to Columbus! :) As a result, I wanted to try this book of hers :)

Hallowed Circle by Linda Robertson - Ms Robertson has been on my radar for a few months. I've finally read Vicious Circle which is the first book of the series and enjoyed it enough to get the second :)

The Night She Got Lucky by Susan Donovan - Ms Donovan's books have been hit and miss, but I still buy her books, because when they're hits, they're really great :D Although these are older heroines and I'm not sure about it. Sigh.

Hunted by the Others by Jess Haines - I was browsing the bookstore and saw Hunted by Others. I remembered seeing good reviews for it, so I picked it up :D

His At Night by Sherry Thomas - Kristie simply devoured this book while we were at RT. I've never read a Sherry Thomas, mostly because of the storylines... but this one seemed to suit me, so I was definitively going to try it out :)

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Suzann Ledbetter - I got this book because the cover was so cute LOL
One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare - I think everyone has seen the book trailer by now :) It's simply great and so I've decided to give this new trilogy a try :)

The new books this week :

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - I got this thanks to Ames :) This is one of her top books in 2010 and she convinced me I had to try it out LOL. I don't often read contemporary YA, but we'll see how it goes with this one :)

In Pursuit of a Scandalous Lady by Gayle Callen - Lori really enjoyed this book. I read the ending at the bookstore and thought it was looking good :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TBR Day: This Can't Be Love by Kasey Michaels

Woohooo! I made it for TBR Day this month! Go me! LOL. Hopefully, I'll have this review up in time ^_^; I've just spent the last couple of hours playing Bejeweled Blitz instead. Sigh.
Let see, I was looking for something to read last week-end. I opened one of my boxes and this was at the top of it. I simply picked it up and started reading :D

This Can't Be Love by Kasey Michaels
published by Zebra Kensington in March 2004

One Crazy Summer...

If Molly Applegate marches to the beat of a different drummer, it's probably a naked bongo player. Gorgeous and free-spirited, Molly's set for life – provided she stays employed ten months out of the year as stipulated in her parents' will. To keep the inheritance flowing, she works as a lingerie model, a mansion-sitter, a singing-slash-roller-skating carhop... you name it, Molly's done it. But a weekend gig babysitting her cousin Jane's daycare business might just lead to something permanent with would-be client Dom Longstreet. He's a Broadway producer who could make all her dreams come true... if only she'd let him...

Dom's idea of "summer vacation" is hosting a working retreat for the cast of his upcoming musical spectacular. Sure, he's also promised to babysit his niece and nephew for two weeks, but that's what the local daycare center is for, right? Unfortunately, the place will be closed just when he needs it, according to the beautiful – and exasperating – woman he finds in charge. In exchange for room and board on his estate, Molly Applegate agrees to watch the kids. But Dom can't stop watching Molly, who's fast becoming the unlikeliest of muses... and maybe – just maybe – his perfect leading lady...

Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Sequel to This Must Be Love

The Story: Dominic Longstreet is a successful Broadway shows producer who works hard and plays hard. While his brother (the lyricist) is on his second honeymoon, Dominic is supposed to enjoy himself and take a break. Instead, he's scheduled practices and rehearsals and therefore, needs someone to keep an eye on his niece and nephew and out of his way... which is why he enrolled them in Preston Kiddy Kare. However, Preston Kiddy Kare is closing for its annual two weeks vacation and as a result, Dominic has a little problem on his hand.

Molly Applegate was helping out her cousin taking care of Preston Kiddy Kare. She's intrigued and interested by Dominic and therefore decides to play nanny for the next two weeks. Molly is an heiress and her parents will stipulates that she has to work 10 out of 12 months in order to access her trust fund. Being a nanny qualifies, so all is good :)

Quickly, Molly's joie de vivre becomes contagious and Dom realizes that he indeed really needs to relax... and also works on his relationships with his niece and nephew. Then, there's this wild attraction between Molly and Dom, but he's put out as Molly keeps warning him that she'll be gone as soon as the two weeks are over... Unfortunately, Dom cannot solely focus on winning Molly over as he has to deal with his diva stars.

My Opinion: This Can't Be Love was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I really liked the characters and the storyline, but the romance was a bit so-so.

I was really surprised at how quickly I was engaged by this book. I really liked Molly's character. Her joie-de-vivre really reached me; she was simply so fun and everyone around her had fun. All the other characters were quite interesting as well. I liked our hero, Dom Longstreet. Dom works hard, is a bit arrogant and temperamental. All the characteristics you would find in a good and successful producer. He's not a stuff shirt, so it's not exactly the "happy-go-lucky heroine thaws stuff-shirt hero" trope, but close enough :) I thought the kids, Lizzie and Little Tony, were fun. Poor kids though, named after their own parents ^_^; They weren't too cutesy and they were really part of the storyline, so that I really enjoyed :) As for the rest of the cast, they were fun albeit a bit stereotypical :)

The story is pretty simple but it works :) I liked the fact that Molly's identity as an heiress wasn't the big secret, the big conflict. Even Molly's issues were okay with me, because they were believable. What I didn't like was that they mess the romance. Molly and Dom kept going back and forth - get together or not get together. Have sex, but does it mean more or not? I thought it made the whole book draggy in the middle. The romance was also very fast, so it was hard to keep track what Molly and Dom were feeling about the relationship :(

It's unfortunate, because I loved the rest of This Can't Be Love. There were some very fun scenes and I had a few LOL moments :) The proposal scene with the attorney as a witness was great LOL. However, I just feel that the romance was not up par with the rest of the book and it definitively dragged it down :(

My Grade: B. All in all, This Can't Be Love was a fun book with great characters :) It was very easy to get in, but the difficulty was staying in. It's really unfortunate the romance wasn't better. However, I'm very glad I read it, because it was a book focused on the characters and relationships and it reminded me of how much I enjoy Ms Michaels' contemporary romances :) I do have This Must Be Love somewhere in my TBR pile, so I'll try to dig that one out soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

LOL, I'm going to spare you all another rant about how I wanted to blog during the week-end and how lazy I was :P And my room is still in a pitiful state ^_^; Although at least this week-end, I did stuff LOL. Went outside and enjoyed the sun :) Guess what I discovered? There's this tiny shop near my house - really tiny - that has this poster of gelato outside... and I've been meaning to stop by for quite a while now, but just never really took time to do so... The gelato was great, but even better... They make French macaroons! These things are really good and very colorful :) So I warned the owners - they'll be seeing a lot of me :P

By the way, I'm thinking of doing a weekly post about my book purchase? What do you think? LOL, Hauling Sunday... Nice ring to it, right? Problem is, I haven't bought books last week ^_^; although I still have my haul from two week-ends ago that I've been meaning to share with you all, but haven't...

Oh and best of all, I've been reading, but I mean, really reading :) It's been a while I haven't read like this. Maybe I'm going to break the 20 books cap this month... but maybe I just jinxed myself LOL. We'll see :) I was teasing Ames last week, that she was the reading machine... but I think the reading machine mojo has gotten me :)

Now, if I could become a review machine, that'd be great LOL. Seriously, there's just sooo many books I want to review, but none are really calling to me... Luckily for me, for Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews, I had Tabitha which made things much easier :) At the moment, Tabitha is my reading twin :D So check out what the reading twins though of Magic Bleeds over at Breezing Through by simply clicking here :)

Enjoy! :)

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
published by Berkley (Ace) in May 2010

Kate Daniels cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to deal with-especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community.

And now there's a new player in town - a foe that may be too much for even Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I was going to post a review, but since I've only started it this afternoon and the only thing I've done is copy-paste the blurb, it's obviously not ready to go up LOL. However, it did remind me of a question I want to discuss about :)

Q: Does the publisher influence your reading? Do you have a favorite publisher? Or one that you try to stay away?

I was actually discussing this topic with a few of you a while back and I'd like to know how it is for everyone else :) When trying new authors or new books, we all have different criteria that attract us to the books. It can be the blurb, the cover, the genre, the first few pages, etc... but for me, I find that I have an additional criteria:  the publisher. Okay, perhaps not another criteria, but another factor that makes a difference :)

From experience, I've found that the books and style of some publishing houses fit me more than others and as a result, I'm more likely to pick up a new author from them. My latest example would be The Wish List by Gabi Stevens. I was in the mood for something fun and breezy and this seemed to perfectly fit the bill... but what sealed the deal is that the publisher was Tor. Tor brought me the Warland Chronicles series by Elizabeth Vaughan and is currently the publisher of Patti O'Shea, one of my favorite author :) Need I say more?

Another of my favorite publisher is the HQN Books and Mira, two lines from Harlequin. If I had to list all the great books and authors from these two lines, the list would go on and on and on LOL. You can't imagine the number of times I've picked up a book because it had Mira on the spine. This is probably the only publisher whose books I've picked basing myself only on the publishers. It says something, right?

In reality, I find that a lot of my impulse buys are influenced by the publishers. And not only the publishing houses, but their offshots/branches/lines ^_^;  For example, if I'm looking for a historical, I have a tendency to go to Avon (from Harpercollins Publishing). If I'm looking for fantasy or urban fantasy, it'll be Ace (Berkley) and ROC (New American Library). From Berkley, I'm more likely to pick up a romantic suspense or contemporary romance than a historical.

Each publishing house seems to be looking for something in particular - a style, storyline - when choosing their books and authors... and it has given me a comfort zone when buying books. Of course, authors and stories usually prevail over the publishers. I've never not bought a book because of the publisher... and I've never told myself, "Oh, these historical romance is published by Berkley, must not be as good as if it was published by Avon." For me, publishers has more weight when there is an unknown quantity to the book :)

I've pretty much named all of my "favorite" publishers :) As for a publisher that I like less... I would say St. Martin's Press. First, I'd like to clear that it has nothing to do with the authors. St. Martin's Press has a lot of big names (Lisa Kleypas, Jennifer Crusie, Janet Evanovich, Sherrilyn Kenyon, etc.) and I find that they sometimes take advantage of it on the readers. I really enjoy their paperbacks - I think they're greatly priced and I buy them. However, St. Martin's Press has the habit of publishing some tiny hardcovers at ridiculous prices, banking on the big names: the in-between Plum numbers, A Wallflower Christmas... or print novellas in paperback format. I feel they're taking advantage of fans loyalty... but that's probably another debate. And the answer is easy right? Don't buy it if you're not happy :)

So what about you?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Review: Silent Scream by Karen Rose

Work is still busy, but hopefully, it'll get better this week. We're doing an experiment, or actually, I'm doing an experiment and we're going to see the results this morning. Cross your fingers and pray for me... cos this is a year worth of work as my supervisor kindly reminded me yesterday - no pressure at all. Eeeeep. I think the rest of the week will be spent analyzing results and coordinating the Men's Day next week. Men's Day is next Wednesday and it's a day where we try to raise awareness for prostate cancer in a shopping center. Men will be giving samples of blood and urine and in exchange, they get an appointment with an urologist, which can be very hard to get... In the past years, they have gotten anywhere between 200 and 300 samples of urine... and my boss want to get them... Definitively another eeeeep! LOL.

Hopefully, it'll give me a bit more time to get back in a blogging and blog-hopping rhythm :) Lately, I don't have much time to do so at work... and once I get home, I'm a bit too tired to do all I want to do... So both my blogging and blog-hopping have suffered and I don't like it one bit :(

Okay, enough whining LOL. Here is my review for Silent Scream by one of my favorite author, Karen Rose :)

Silent Scream by Karen Rose
published by Grand Central Publishing in June 2010
Four college students believed they were making a statement. They were activists, fighting to preserve the environment by burning down a new apartment complex. But they didn't realize that someone was watching. A blackmailer hides in plain sight, using people's secrets for personal gain, and when this criminal sets his sights on the four young arsonists, he begins his most deadly game yet.

Firefighter David Hunter is devastated when he's too late to save a teenage girl from a Minneapolis fire. Authorities soon discover that it was a case of arson and homicide detective Olivia Sutherland and her partner Kane are assigned to the case. David and Olivia shared a night of passion some time ago, and sparks fly when they are drawn to one another again. But just as they begin to revisit that fateful night and address the events that tore them apart, David and Olivia are forced to pursue the blackmailer, whose horrific plans threaten to destroy those closest to them.

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Book #11 (books are loosely connected to each other)

The Story: There is a different blurb on Ms Rose's website and the back of the book, but I thought this one  described the story better :)

A teenage girl dies in an arson and detective Olivia Sutherland is assigned the case. For the past couple of months, Olivia has had a hard time doing her job... mainly because she cannot get the picture of the body pit out of her mind. In the last book, I Can See You, the MPD caught a serial killer who has been dumping the bodies of his victims in a pit for the last decade. Olivia and her partner were the unlucky ones who had to sift through the remains and inform the relatives of their losses. Let just say that the assignment has taken a toll on Olivia and she's been queasy around bodies lately... not very good for a homicide detective. The case becomes personally more complicated when she discovers David Hunter's firefighter company responded to the call and that she'll have to work closely with David.

Two and a half years ago, Olivia and David met during Olivia's half-sister's wedding and felt an instant connection to each other. They shared a night of passion... until a drunk David called out another woman's name. Olivia promptly ran back to Minneapolis while David was left wondering if it was all a dream. Then, seven months ago, David moved to Minneapolis and Olivia has been waiting for him to make the first step. Finally seizing his opportunity, David does so in the midst of the investigation where Olivia and her team find out that this case is much more complicated than what it appeared to be.

My Opinion: Wooohooo, we finally get David Hunter's story!!! Seriously, I thought the day would never come LOL and I was so happy to find out that his heroine was Olivia :)

Okay, enough fangirlish moment :) Where to start? Well first, I'm going to draw your attention to other bloggers' reviews for Silent Scream. I don't usually do this, but I think everyone had an interesting view of Silent Scream and it will probably cover whatever I forgot to mention, LOL :) So here are Holly's review, Lori's review and Kris' review. Now onto mine :)

I really think that Ms Rose is the queen of romantic suspense. Long time fans will definitively be satisfied with Silent Scream and she is sure to acquire new fans :)  Every element that makes a Karen Rose book is present in Silent Scream: great characters, good romance and intricate plot. I mean seriously, how can you not love David Hunter. He's been making appearances since Ms Rose's first book, Don't Tell, and definitively left a strong impressions on readers. He's handsome, handy with tools, knows his way around the kitchen, nice and gentle... the perfect man and definitively swoon-worthy material :) Yet, there are deeper layers that I didn't expect. Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about that... just because I don't think Ms Rose had those layers planned out when she introduced David's character in Don't Tell. It hasn't been foreshadowed much; however, it fits with what happened in the past and explain David's personality. David is really a great guy, a gentle soul and so deserving of an HEA ending. To see him yearning for it and yet, blunder his opportunities with Olivia is both heart-breaking, but also shows how human he is. It also demonstrates that you cannot always be nice and considerate... that at time, you have to be a bit more forceful and seize your opportunity. David is very lucky to have gotten a second chance with Olivia... which makes me like her even more :) Olivia is a good heroine. She's strong but has her vulnerabilities and issues, which makes her cautious, but not overly. She has a social life and loves her work. All she's missing is someone to share her life with, but she's still reeling from the past hurts and taking her time. I liked that. I liked that she's doing her things at her own pace and that she is her own person.

What I enjoyed the most about the romance was that once they stopped dancing around each other, David and Olivia communicated. Yes, talked and listened. It doesn't sound like much, but nowadays in romance, it's huge LOL. They didn't shout and get angry, instead they listened and tried to understand. It's obvious that David and Olivia wanted this relationship and wanted to make it work. If you think about it, their relationship is a weird one... They shared one week-end, spent a night together and actually talked to each other once more... and then, they have watched each other for almost two and a half years. Yet, they know and understand each other so well :) It was a very nice romance and quite different from anything else I've read :)

As for the plot, I really enjoyed it :) Ms Rose's plots are always complex, convoluted and Silent Scream is no exception. Early on, the readers discover that Silent Scream is going to be more than an arson case, yet I wasn't prepared for some of the twists. I also liked the fact that Ms Rose spent time to develop her villains. Some of them are so naive ^_^; but others, totally bone-chilling and evil. Something else I like about this plot is that it involves a current trend, free Wi-Fi connection. It sounds silly and insignificant, but not only it raises awareness, but in my opinion, it allows readers to connect more to the story, relate to their real life. I mean, free Wi-Fi connection... it's so banal... You don't think it can be dangerous ^_^;

I think another thing that makes Ms Rose books stand out is the investigation part. I like seeing the ongoing investigation, how they connect the dots, the work it involves, the distribution of tasks, the procedures and the clock ticking... The only series that does it better is perhaps the In Death series by J.D. Robbs aka Nora Roberts. It's thrilling and increases the suspense levels when it's well done :)

Unfortunately, Silent Scream was not perfect. I did have an issue with it and that was the pacing. I was not sitting on the edge while reading Silent Scream, not trying to the turn the pages as fast as I could. It was a good book with a good suspense, but not as intense as some of Ms Rose's previous books such as Count to Ten, Scream for Me or Die for Me. Personally, I think it had to do with the length of the book and the balance between the suspense and the romance. This is going to sound weird, because that is one of the thing I complain the most, balance between the plot and the romance. It's really difficult to get it right and please everyone. In the past few books, Ms Rose has been more heavy on the suspense than the romance... in Silent Scream though, I think she got it right. The romance was prominent and satisfying... but while the suspense was fast-paced due to the investigation and short timeline (3 days), the romance was slow-paced because it involved a lot of talking and listening. As a result, it created an imbalance in the pacing. Silent Scream clocks just under 600 pages and has a timeline of 3 days, yet it felt much longer than that due to the romance. I'm not saying I wanted less romance because it's not the case. I'm really  happy that David and Olivia romance wasn't short-changed... but I do think that Silent Scream was as intense and powerful as other books because of it ^_^;

Oh, another thing I wasn't totally fond of is how David and Tom went after the villain, but neither is a cop. I mean, David is a firefighter yes, but quoting Tom: "We need a damn gun." LOL, although it did surprise the villain in the showdown at the end! If it was a heroine, it would totally be in the TSTL category... but since David has faced many situations in the past, it's not totally TSTL. Yes, the dreaded double-standard :P So while not entirely TSTL, it wasn't very smart either... hence the not fond of it :P

Finally, I'm happy the story took place in Minneapolis and we got to see  some familiar faces :) I also thought David's mother presence was nice. Ms Rose seems to be building up the Minneapolis entourage with some interesting characters. I guess this mean she will come back to Minneapolis in the future and I'm glad ;)

My Grade: B+. I really enjoyed the book - David and Olivia, their relationship and the plot. I'm really happy about David finding his HEA ending and his character and story didn't disappoint. However, I think the fact that Silent Scream wasn't as intense really affected my reading experience. I've been wavering between B+ and A-... If I break down everything, the story, characters, etc., it would be an A-... but the reading experience was really a B+, so that's what I'm going with.

I'm definitively looking forward to Ms Rose's next release :) Apparently, she's introducing a new team from Baltimore :) I'm looking forward to meeting them... that will give time for Tom Hunter to grow :P Can't wait for his story... and I hope Murphy is going to get his soon :)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Review: Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson

I've been such a lazy bum lately ^_^; I was so happy that I didn't have to work this week-end, but I ended up doing nothing at home. No cleaning, no blogging, no blog-hopping, sigh. Hmmm, I did go out to buy books and read though :) Ah well, we'll see how it goes this week. Hopefully, work will be less busy and I'll be more motivated... by what, I have no idea LOL.

In the meantime, I had a review go up last Thursday at Breezing Through. See, told ya, lazy ^_^; Anyway, Monroe and I are tackling Rachel Gibson's latest book, Nothing But Trouble. You can click here to go to the review directly.

Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson  
published by Avon in April 2010


Chelsea Ross's acting career has been a total bust. The closest she ever came to stardom was her brilliant performance as "Pretty Dead Girl #1." But leaving Hollywood to become the personal assistant to a famous hockey player could be her stupidest career move ever.

More trouble...

Injured superstar Mark Bressler's glory days are over. The bad-boy ex-jock could at least be civil to the pint-sized, pink-haired bombshell who the Seattle Chinooks hired to be his P.A. If Chelsea didn't need the money, she'd be running from the world's biggest jerk as fast as her feet could carry her.

Big trouble!

Chelsea can deal with Mark's rotten attitude and dark moods. The problem is those biceps and that red-hot bod! And when the bad boy starts to put the moves on her, Chelsea knows it's time she banished him to the penalty box... if only she could resist the kind of trouble he has in mind!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Monthly Reads: May 2010

Phew, what a day today. It was my sister's convocation today :) She's finally getting her diploma for her bachelor!! Woohoo!! The ceremony started at 10am, but the students had to show up approximately one hour early to get ready...We left home at 7.20am and usually, that's plenty of time to make it... but the traffic was horrible!!! I only got on the island 10 minutes before 10am and I dropped her on the campus on the dot. All this because the road work they were doing ran late and they didn't put those stupid metal sheets over the holes ^_^; During the whole drive, my sister and I were: "Why today of all day?!?" Luckily, we didn't miss anything. Phew.

Okay, onto my monthly reads list now :) May was a good month, but somehow, I still wished I've read more...

1) The Truth about Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries: B

Years ago, Oliver Sharpe's parents died under mysterious circumstances that gave rise to a scandal. Ever since, Oliver and his 4 siblings have been defying Society's rules without regards. Their maternal grandmother has had enough of their behaviors and wants grandchildren. Thus, she decrees that all 5 have to be married within the year or she'll disinherit them all. In an attempt to thwart his grandmother's plan, Oliver makes a deal with Maria Butterfield, an American semi-heiress (her father has died, but she has yet inherited the money because of the conditions). She'll pose as his totally improper fiancée and in exchange, he'll look for her "real" fiancé.

I picked up this book to read because of the reading Ms Jeffries did during the Regency Bingo session she hosted at the RT. The excerpt she read was really great, unfortunately, I don't think the rest of the book lived up to it :( However, it was still an enjoyable read :)  While the writing and characters were solid, I felt the story was a tad predictable. I didn't buy the whole relationship and chemistry between Mary and Oliver.

I did like all the characters though from Freddy, Mary's cousin, to Oliver's multitude of siblings. They were fun and added a nice touch to the story. I also liked Oliver's characterization and bought his motives and the reasons he didn't want marriage.

All in all, I enjoyed The Truth about Lord Stoneville enough to look forward to the second book in the series, A Hellion in Her Bed, coming out in September. I do think Ms Jeffries has a good premises for the series. Plus, the blurb sounds pretty good :)

2) Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson: C+

3) Something About You by Julie James: B+
Upcoming review.

4) Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery: C+

Charity Jones has always wanted to put down roots and that's what she expects to accomplish when she accepts the position of city planner in Fool's Gold, a scenic small Californian town. Her job is to bring more business - and men - into town. Indeed, for some mysterious reasons, women far out-number the men... And in order to do so, Charity will have to work with Fool's Gold dearest son, Josh Golden, a former world-class cyclist who retired for reasons unknown.

Loved the small town, the situation and everything... but couldn't stand the H/H. The characters were actually okay, perhaps a bit on the dull side. The biggest issues was that Charity and Josh had no chemistry whatsoever. Worst, they didn't even understand each other. Take out the physical attraction and I don't get what they liked from each other. Also, I really dislike it when the H/H just assume things about each other... about their personality, their life, but also about how they will react. Communication is important, but also listening to what the other have to say.

In addition, I think Ms Mallery has to be careful about her plots... This is the third trilogies where you get an unplanned pregnancy in the first book. I think it's best when authors don't develop patterns in their trilogies - if not, they become way too predictable.

5) The Wish List by Gabi Stevens: B-
Upcoming review.

6) A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison: C

Elizabeth Steven, a baker, is turning 35 and instead of a birthday cake, she is baking a wedding cake for her ex-husband. During the last year, Elizabeth has been unable to move on and has become a bit bitter. To help her out, her grandmother gives her the family "gift" - magic. Elizabeth quickly discovers that she is able to put spells onto the food she bakes and uses her new gift to help herself and the people around her... But magic never really turns out the way we want...

A Taste of Magic is a book I've been wanting to read for a while, but I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it. I finally decided to give it a try, because I wanted a funny, light romance. It didn't turn out to be what I expected and I'm not totally sure if it was the book or the mood I was in when I read it. I ended up thinking the book was meh.

Somehow, I feel A Taste of Magic is more Elizabeth's journey of re-discovering herself with the help of magic than a romance story. I wished there would have been more interactions between Elizabeth and Nate... I didn't like it when Elizabeth was in limbo, kind of dating Nate and her trainer at the same time. When you're not sure of your situation, the best way to clear things is to ask. Communication, folks!! Also, I'm tired of assumptions and characters jumping to conclusions. They always think the worst, they are so many characters out there who are the "half-empty glass" type... it's getting tiring.

It was also a book that I had difficulty to get into, as a result, I was never fully engaged by the characters or the storyline :( I have Book #2 and #3... we'll see if it gets better.

7) To Sin with a Scoundrel by Cara Elliot: C

Life has been hard for Lady Ciara Sheffield since her husband's death. Not that she misses the brutal drunk, but she could do without the rumors that she poisoned him... or the investigation that her in-laws have instigated to take her out of the picture. As her in-laws continue to spread nasty lies about her, Ciara risks losing custody of her son. As a result, she needs to leave her hermit ways behind and step back into Society... and be accepted. The best way is of course to fake an engagement... but is Lucas Bingham, the Earl of Hadley, a rakehell rogue notorious for his devil-may-care antics, the best choice?

This is Ms Elliot's debut novel and I was lucky to pick it up at the RT's goodies room. I was looking forward to this book, because the H/H are so different from each other. Our heroine is a scientist, so very logical and methodical, and our hero is a rogue... I thought it'd be opposite attracts each other and it was, to some extent. I just don't feel Ms Elliot exploited her characters to the maximum. Ms Elliot had a lot going on plot-wise and I think it was too much and it detracted from the focus. I liked Lucas' changes, but I'm not sure it was real growth... that it had to do with Ciara. Again, I think there was a lack of chemistry... especially since I felt Ciara was a bit snobby. She's a scientist and I feel that in many instances, she looked down on Lucas or just didn't believe he was smart enough. It was as if she was surprised that Lucas had some strengths whatsoever ^_^;

Also, a group of women referring themselves as "Sinners" because they are scientists, that's really cheesy. I mean, it is cheesy for men, but it's worst for women. I know that at that time, people considered that women and sciences should not mix together, but that was a bit too much.

8) Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews: A
Buddy review coming up with Tabitha at Breezing Through

9) Silent Scream by Karen Rose: B+/A-
Upcoming review.

10) Blown Away by Sharon Sala: C-

While out walking, Cari North comes across her ex-fiancé, Lance Morgan, burying a body. She rushes home to call the authorities, but before she can do so, a tornado destroys her house, kills her parents and cousin and leaves Cari with a blow to the head. After regaining consciousness,  Cari knows that Lance is not stupid and will have move the body. With no proof, it will be her words against Lance's and people are not likely to believe her because of her head injury and how their relationship ended. Thus, Cari decides to take her cousin's identity, flee Bordelaise and run to Baton Rouge... but she is determined to come back to unravel the mystery... with the help of Michael Boudreaux, her cousin's boss, who has taken her under his wing.

Hmmm, I usually love Ms Sala's work, but Blown Away simply didn't work for me. Once again, I'm not totally sure if it was me or the book... probably a bit of both. The idea/premise actually wasn't bad if you can suspend disbelief, which I can :) and I do think it could have worked out. I actually thought Ms Sala had a good villain... the kind of man that never assumes responsibilities, whose mistakes were always corrected or taken care by his family. A spoiled man  that didn't learn to control himself, indulges and let his emotions run loose. Not evil to the core, which is pretty interesting.

Unfortunately, I felt there was no depth to the characters and the story, that Ms Sala only scratched the surface. There was no layers, no reading in-between the lines... This is what happened, this is what he/she though and said, etc. This made for a dull read. Plus, it felt a bit like Ms Sala was trying a little bit too hard. For example, some of Cari's actions/reactions were supposed to show how brave and strong she was, but because it was so implausible, it didn't come across. It just made the whole thing a bit too cheesy, especially since the hero was so in awe with her courage.

There were also a couple of other little issues such as timeline... I think I picked up one or two mistakes. Plus, Mike kept saying "Cher" to Cari... which I don't mind, but it's "Chère" given she's a woman. One or two times, I can overlook it... but when it's said over and over again, it just becomes increasingly annoying ^_^;

So Blown Away was definitively not Ms Sala's best work... the good news though is that the books in the Storm trilogy are individual stories, so I will be looking for Torn Apart, the second book... and we'll see from there :)

11) Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery: B+
Upcoming review. (Book obtained from Net Galley)

12) Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas: B/B+
Upcoming review.

Re-read: Nothing to Fear by Karen Rose: B

Hmmm, it's actually 12.75 books read, LOL. I read Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong while coming back from Columbus. Tales of the Otherworld is the second compilation of her online novellas. I've actually already read all of the stories in it, except for the new Eve and Kristoff story, which I loved!! So in the end, I did re-read most of it, except for The Case of El Chupacabra... For some reasons, I've never been able to get into it. So that accounts for 0.25... and my other 0.5 is that I skimmed through Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber. Bought the book on Kobo website and didn't realize it was the format to read on the computer, not the epub for the Kobo e-reader ^_^; Hannah's List has about 4 POV and I read the one that interested me... so 0.5 :P

Books bought: +12
Books read: -12.75
TBR pile: -0.75

Well it's a negative number, so I'm happy, especially given the number of new releases last week! However, it seems like the reading has not been fluid this year. I haven't been able to read continuously... There's always a few days where I just can't seem to read and it annoys me :(  Hopefully, that won't be a problem this summer :)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Re-Read Challenge 2010: May!!

 ***This is a sticky post: scroll down for new posts***

Finally, May is over! LOL. For some reasons, May felt like a very long month to me. It was just going on and on and on :P Perhaps it's because we've been getting such wonderful and warm weather which I usually associate to June? Or so much things have been going on... At the same time though, I just completed my re-read over the week-end, so I shouldn't complain LOL. Although that, I blame on the amount of new releases in the past two weeks. Seriously, it's insane!!

Anyhow, for those who have done their re-read this month, just post your link as usual :) Tomorrow, the month of June is starting, so that means we're quickly approaching the half-year mark! I think I'm going to have a contest or something to celebrate, so stay tuned for the details!!

Hope everyone enjoyed their re-reads and the reviews to come :)

Miss Moonlight: The Fulfillment by LaVyrle Spencer
Kristie: After the Night by Linda Howard
Nath: Nothing to Fear by Karen Rose
Hilcia: To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Re-Read: Nothing to Fear by Karen Rose

It's a good thing to make my re-read in time, but it's of no use if I don't manage to write the review! LOL. Read and review, the constant struggle! :)

Nothing to Fear by Karen Rose
published by Grand Central Publishing in August 2005
As director of an inner-city woman's shelter, Dana Dupinsky safeguards many secrets. Some are new identities; some are new addresses; and some are even hidden truths about herself. Passionately dedicated to Hanover House and the women she protects, Dana has always been reluctant to look for love. But now, just as a case puts her and a child in mortal danger, it seems that love has come looking for her.

Security expert Ethan Buchanan learned to stalk men in the Afghan desert. Now he vows to track down the ruthless woman who kidnapped his godson-and falling for Dana is not in the plan. Yet her very presence seems to chase away the ghosts that haunt him, and her skillful evasion of personal questions raises his hunting instincts. For there's a deadly new secret at Hanover House. A brutal killer is weaving a web of revenge with a stolen boy at its center. And Dana is the next victim on the list...

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Book #4

The Story: Okay, I'm not going to try to write my own blurb, because there's a lot of twists in this book and I don't want to give it away. Plus, I think that the book blurb did a good job, at least, giving insight on the H/H - Dana and Ethan :)

My Opinion: I am sure, sure, sure that I've read Nothing to Fear in the past, but honesty? I couldn't remember much of it ^_^; I remember it involved a deaf boy and that's the book Dana and Ethan got together, but that was pretty much it ^_^; It kind of bugged me a little that I couldn't remember much of it after I finished  I Can See You, since it was Evie's story and she had a big role in Nothing to Fear... and after reading Silent Scream, I decided it was time to re-read it... so that's what I did :)

I don't really remember my impressions of Nothing to Fear the first time I read it ^_^; It's no real surprise, since I couldn't remember the storyline either... However, I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it LOL, since I continued reading this series :)

What about this time around? Honestly, I have to say that reading Nothing to Fear was a bit hard for me, because I did not like Dana much ^_^; My view of Dana has been changed and colored with the last couple of books, mainly because I like David Hunter's character so much. I kind dislike Dana now because she made David suffer so much, even if it is unknowingly ^_^; See, David has been in love with Dana for so long and it's all been one-sided... unrequited love. I understand that Dana doesn't feel anything for David and you cannot force love... and I don't want Dana to love David, but it caused him so much grief. What I don't understand is how everyone (and I mean everyone) knew that David was in love with Dana, except Dana. I think if she had acknowledged his feelings and confronted him with it, it would have brought closure. It makes me think that it's wrong for people to devote themselves too much for a cause... You are so focused on one thing that you missed everything else that's going on around you :( I really disliked how Dana didn't take care of herself and took risks. It's for a good cause and she feels strongly about it, but there is a limit and she crossed that line too many times for me to be comfortable. I am glad though that at the end of the book, she started questioning her action and in the end, left the Hanover House and became a foster parent.

Otherwise, Nothing to Fear is a great book. I actually liked Ethan a lot :) He's a good man... actually, all of Ms Rose's heroes are great guys :) Solid, gentle, sensible, brave and strong LOL. I did enjoy his relationship with Dana... I like the fact that both of them felt right away that this relationship was special... and that they took some time to get to know each other and explore, even if the timeline was short.

What stands out the most in Nothing to Fear and what I enjoyed the most is the plot. Oh gosh, this was great suspense. A real page turner :) The plot was cleverly built and solid with some interesting twists. Everything tied up well together and the villain was definitively scary.I also liked the investigation aspect, how they all work together to piece the clues and arrest the villain. I really enjoy Ms Rose's plots, because they are always so complex, but well constructed. They are always more than what they appear to be on the surface. Ms Rose definitively has a knack for writing romantic suspense :) I also like the balance between the suspense and the romance. I think she did a great job incorporating the romance... Sometimes, it's hard to believe in the romance in a romantic suspense, it feels like the romance doesn't have a place, especially when the timeline is short... but like I mentioned above, it works in Nothing to Fear. I really did believe in Dana and Ethan's attraction and how it played out. I'm happy that the H/H were not joined at the hip. They spent limited time together, but it magnified the importance and the impact :)

Aside from Dana's character, the only other issue I had with this book was Richard's family. Richard is Ethan's dead best friend. Throughout the whole book, whenever Richard was mentioned, I wondered if Ethan kept in touch with Richard's family. For some reasons, it didn't seem so to me, but that's perhaps just a feeling I got... but if he didn't, that wouldn't be consistent with Ethan's character... Hmmm.

My Grade: B. Nothing to Fear is a great romantic suspense - solid plot and solid characters. Not my favorite Karen Rose book, but one that I'd probably read just for the plot alone :)