Saturday, June 28, 2008

Book 39 of 2008: The Royal Treatment by MaryJanice Davidson

Book Description:

Alaskan Royal Family Book 1 - Alaska is an independent country with it's own royal family. The king, who likes to mingle with his subjects incognito, meets Christina, a loudmouth chef who speaks her mind using vividly colorful phrases. The king invites her to the castle; she thinks for a job interview but he sees her as a worthy bride for his crown-prince, David. Can Christina's confident personality carry her through planning a royal wedding and a royal family crisis? See how Christina and David's relationship goes from arranged to blistering in spite of the cold climate!

My Opinion:

I can't believe I am just now getting around to starting on this series. I've had this book for quite some time and now that I've read it I can't believe what I was missing out on. This book was hilarious!!! Since I was going to see MaryJanice at Borders again this past week I had decided I wanted to start in on more of her books and this was the series I started... I think I made a great choice. This is one of her non-paranormal series. It is a contemporary romance, but as with pretty much all MJD books, it's chock full of comedy. I love her snarky/sarcastic sense of humor! She's a riot! I'll definitely be reading the other 2 books in this series very soon!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book 38 of 2008: Undead and Unworthy by MaryJanice Davidson

Book Description:

Seventh in the hilarious New York Times bestselling series featuring Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor—now with a hot new look.

"No one does humorous romantic fantasy better than the incomparable MaryJanice Davidson" (The Best Reviews), and nobody reigns over the undead with more savvy than her heroine Betsy Taylor, back to rule the nights as Vampire Queen––and survive the days as a new suburban bride. But it's not all marital bliss. Betsy's husband, Sinclair, has been perusing The Book of the Dead, Betsy's being hounded by a ghost who's even more insufferable in death than in life, and a pack of formerly feral vampires has decided to pay an unwelcome visit…

My Opinion:

Ahhh... it felt good to be back in the "Betsy Universe" again! It's always torture waiting for the next MaryJanice Davidson book to come out as there is a usually about a year between books within each series of hers and then the books are such quick reads that you want the next one right away. This is the case... yet again! I just finished UNDEAD & UNWORTHY and I can hardly wait for the release of the next in the series. This was probably one of the best books in the series though I'm never good at comparing them as I don't retain well enough to remember exactly what happened in each book. The storyline has taken a turn in this 7th book of the series and as MJD notes in the "A Note to the Reader" section this is considered a new story arc within the Betsy stories and there will be a trilogy to the arc. A lot took place in this story and I can definitely see Betsy making a lot of changes within herself. She seems to be starting to adapt to the role of queen a bit better, but thank goodness she's keeping her smartass attitude that we all know and love.

I'll be going to Borders on Thursday to see MJD in person again and hear her speak so I'm really looking forward to that and hoping to find out more about her plans for Betsy beyond this book.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Book 37 of 2008: Escape! by Various Authors

Book Description:

Follow your fantasies for fun in the sun with eighteen of your favorite Changeling authors!

This anthology contains the eighteen previously released Escape! novellas. These titles are all available as individual e-book releases.

Back -- titles only
Runaway Home -- Camille Anthony
Firefighter's Sour -- Tuesday Morrigan
The Frog in the Room -- Jade Buchanan
Lunar Lovers -- Kira Stone
Pool Boys -- Sierra Dafoe
Gator Bait -- Mary Winter
Isle of Dreams -- Alexis Fleming
Demon Ahoy! -- Cassandra Kane
Sex on the Beach? -- Willa Okati
I Dream of Jimmy -- Fiona Jayde
Devilish Fantasy -- Marie Treanor
For A Good Time Call -- Amelia Elias
Werewolf Cove -- Marteeka Karland
Gremlins -- Isabelle Spurrier
Room Service -- Cat Marsters
Island Dreamin' -- Kate Douglas
Midnight Sun -- Alecia Monaco
Sex in the Sand -- B.J. McCall

My Opinion:

Well, this is probably the first book I've read this year that I mostly disliked. There were 18 stories in it that consisted on average of 10-12 pages each. Out of those 18... I actually liked 6 pretty well... the rest, well... a few of them had a decent sex scene... 1 particular story about a pair of gay vampires had me laughing and telling everyone about it just because of the whole idea of the story (though the story itself was quite corny in a way)... and the rest well... they just sucked! I'm not saying I wouldn't give these authors another go because I definitely would. I know it's hard to write a good story within a 10 page limit so I would never judge an author based on that alone, but I just was really disappointed in this book overall. I did want to list out the 6 stories that I did really enjoy in case anyone is curious though so you'll find them below:

Pool Boys by Sierra Dafoe (this one was just hot! loved the whole fantasy behind it)

Isle of Dreams by Alexis Fleming (yet another really hot one with a decent plot)

I Dream of Jimmy by Fiona Jayde (quite comical and sexy... I must check out more by this author)

Devilish Fantasy by Marie Treanor (this one had me laughing the most)

Werewolf Cove by Marteeka Karland (the story behind this one was sweet and a bit different so I liked it)

Island Dreamin' by Kate Douglas (the best story in the book... with the most plot... and very sexy!!!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Book 36 of 2008: Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

Book Description:

As a little girl, Jane has no one. Her mother Vivienne Margaux, the powerful head of a major New York theater company has no time for her. But she does have one friend--Michael--and no one can see him but her. But Michael can't stay with Jane forever, and on her eighth birthday, her imaginary friend must leave her.

When Jane is in her thirties, working for her mother's company, she is just as alone as she was as a child. Her boyfriend hardly knows she's there and is more interested in what Vivienne can do for his career. Her mother practically treats her as a slave in the office, despite the great success of Jane's first play, "Thank Heaven." Then she finds Michael--handsome, and just the same as she remembers him, only now he's not imaginary. For once in her life, Jane is happy--and has someone who loves her back. But not even Michael knows the reason behind why they've really been reunited.

My Opinion:

Patterson's latest "girlie book" was a fast read and tear-jerker as were both SAM'S LETTERS TO JENNIFER and SUZANNE'S DIARY FOR NICHOLAS. I love Patterson's mysteries, but these dramas he has come out with I really get into emotionally and I can't put them down until I finish. They are typically a 1 or 2 sitting read depending on how much time I have available at the moment. I'm not sure what Charbonnet's contribution to this book was, but whatever it was, the story worked. This one was a bit different than the other 2 books I mentioned considering it had an "imaginary" person involved as a main character, but it worked well for the story.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Book 35 of 2008: What Happened In Vegas by Various Authors

Book Description:

Behind closed doors, the real games begin…

Winning it big.

That's the name of the game at Las Vegas's Liege Hotel and Casino, where the hottest fantasies hinge on a roll of the dice…and the tantalizing knowledge that anything could happen before sunrise.

Cocktail waitress Carinna wants a man to tie her up, not tie her down. Little does she know that her most willing partner yet has something else planned for this fiery Latina bombshell.

Dahlia is a burlesque dancer with a brain for business and a bod for sin. Her latest admirer may be a sweet-talking Casanova, but despite what he thinks she's not giving anything away free.

Meanwhile, Amy has the perfect plan to rob the Liege Casino blind…until the intimidating owner catches her red-handed. Now she knows she's going to pay… with both pleasure and pain.

Professional shill Cassidy is ready to experience a breathless rendezvous with her "friend with benefits." But when he proposes five delicious nights of sexy blackjack, the stakes have never been so high.

My Opinion:

First off I want to send a big thank you Anya Bast's way for providing me with a copy of this fabulous read!!! I saw on her blog where she was looking for people to read and post "reviews" up on their sites/blogs about the book and I knew I was going to be seeing her at a signing in Radcliff, KY so I requested a copy and sure enough, she brought me one. :)

This was my first read by all of the included authors and I was not disappointed by any of the four, which means I'm going to be bumping up other books on Mt. TBR by these authors soon and/or trying to locate other books by these authors in the near future!

The first story in the book, HOT FOR YOU by Jodi Lynn Copeland, was actually my last story in the book to read as I wanted to get my hands on the prequel short story, HOT FOR IT. Let me tell you though, it was definitely worth waiting for as the story was, well... HOT!!! I met Jodi Lynn last weekend at the Lori Foster get together in Cincinnati, OH and she sure looks the innocent one, but you wouldn't think it based on reading these stories. Carinna & Jack made one hot couple and I loved every minute of their story. I can't wait to read more by Copeland. (especially HANDYMAN as I just want to carry that cover around. *drool*)

Story 2 is STRIPPED by Lauren Dane and I absolutely loved the struggle that was put up between Dahlia and Nash (awesome name for a guy!!!) in getting them together and the tension that built while they were struggling NOT to give in to temptation. The character development in this story was a major strong point and something I look for in my stories so I really enjoyed it due to that aspect. Lauren was yet another author I met last weekend and after having met her I think I could see her writing this story as I think her personality spills out in it a bit. (No, I'm not saying I think she's naughty & such, but just the language flow and such sounds like it was in talking to her in person). Dane is yet another author I'm looking forward to reading more of. (Oh... and for anyone that wants a great author blog to check out be sure to visit Lauren's as it's quite funny!

Kit Tunstall's RED-HANDED was a bit different than the other stories in the book I thought as it was a bit more intense. A friend of mine read this story and it actually bothered her as she felt that some of the sexual acts were actually forced upon the girl rather than her willingly giving her approval... even though it was part of their "deal". I could see her point of view and honestly it didn't bother me a whole lot as it takes quite a lot to offend me, but it also didn't "turn me on" like the other stories in the book did and probably because it wasn't a welcomed form of punishment... at least not initially anyway. I have no problem with sexual punishment by any means as I read books like that all the time... this story just seemed different somehow. It was extremely well written... just wasn't quite my "cup of tea" I guess. I'd still read more books by Tunstall as I did enjoy her style of writing and I doubt all of her books are about the same theme, but this was probably the weak spot in the book for me.

And last, but certainly not least, was Anya Bast's THE DEAL. As I mentioned above, Copeland has quite the innocent look about her, but let me tell you... Anya looks even more like an angel! Again... you definitely couldn't tell that from her writing. WOW!!! I have met and talked with Anya on several occassions now and she is one of the sweetest people I've ever met. I really didn't know what to expect of her erotica because she seemed so... pure. ha ha!!! Well... THE DEAL was probably my favorite story in this book. I loved the storyline of this one. I liked the concept of the 5 different nights of "sexy blackjack" and how they were playing out their fantasies each night. Again, this story also had great character development which is a major plus for me. I have many other Bast books that I've yet to get around to, but I'll definitely be getting to them sooner rather than later now as I loved this story!

As you can probably tell, I truly enjoyed this anthology. Spice did a fabulous job in selecting a wonderful group of authors to be included in this anthology. Now I just wish I were back in Vegas and having my own Vegas fantasies lived out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Book 34 of 2008: Letters to a Secret Lover by Toni Blake

Book Description:

The last thing she needs right now is a man . . .

Lindsey Brooks had it all—an awesome job doling out advice to the lovelorn, a fabulous high-rise apartment, and a to-die-for fiancĂ©. But then she got dumped—wearing nothing but a "Kiss the Cook" apron—and desperate to escape, she retreats to a tiny Montana town to reclaim a family treasure. She never dreamed anyone would try to stop her—or that he'd be sexy as sin.

Too bad she finds such a hot one . . .

Rob Colter isn't into relationships—but Lindsey sees Rob as the perfect guy to help her "get back on the horse." The sex horse, that is. Unfortunately, he comes complete with a mysterious past, which gets even more mysterious when she finds his passionate letters to another woman—whose name happens to be tattooed on his chest.

And too bad he has so many secrets . . .

Now Rob's dangerous past is about to catch up with them both. And if that's not horrible enough, Lindsey is falling for him—hard. For a girl who usually has all the answers, Lindsey is up to her neck in trouble.

My Opinion:

I have to start this off by giving my opinion of the book cover and back cover blurb. I absolutely LOVE the cover!!! The colors are gorgeous and the couple on the front is just extremely sexy! As for the blurb on the back... I was uncertain of what to think of this book. I honestly didn't know how much I was going to enjoy this one. I bought the book though as I've enjoyed other books by Toni Blake so much that I pretty much just pick up her books no matter the storyline. In this case, I'm REALLY glad I was already familiar with her because I would've missed out on a great read if not!

LtaSL has it all... an extremely sweet story line, sweet and steamy sex scenes, comedic breaks, suspense, anticipation, etc... Blake did a fantastic job combining everything into one book and the story is very well-rounded. There was one part in the book that I had pretty much predicted ahead of time, but when it actually came out in the book I was given chills. Blake's writing is powerful and heartfelt. I'm definitely going to be putting some of her other books towards the top of Mt. TBR in the near future.