May 26, 2009

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

There are a few things that will compel you to pull over while driving on a highway and, as Dean Robillard- star quarterback for the Chicago Stars - finds out, a woman in a headless beaver costume is one of them. The woman turns out to be Blue Bailey who has just spotted her ex, the ex that convinced her to move from Seattle to Colorado before he dumped her, and wants revenge.

Before long, Dean finds himself driving from Colorado to his farmhouse in Tennessee with Blue tagging along because she doesn't really have anywhere else to go. Both Dean and Blue have their share of issues: Dean is recovering from a shoulder injury and he doesn't know if he will be as good as he was when he starts to play again, and he doesn't have the best relationship with either of his parents - his mother was a groupie/muse to various rocks stars, and his father is a rather famous rock star whom he barely knows. As for Blue, she has had to put up with her mother's restless campaign to protect everyone but her own daughter, and had to grow up going from one family to another over and over without much stability.

Blue and Dean are both very private for different reasons but, bottom line, neither of them wants to get hurt though they can't seem to stop arguing -and enjoying it, too - while they drive to Dean's farm, once there, who knows?

Well, I do... but if you want to find out you're going to have to read to find out but I can say that Natural Born Charmer is, in deed, a charmer of a book, full of quirky characters and family secrets.



May 22, 2009

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

No Kiss
Naomi and Ely have been best friends from the cradle, growing up together int he same building and surviving everything together - including an affair between Naomi's dad and one of Ely's Moms - and they have created a No Kiss List of people that are out of limits, trying to prevent the break up of the Naomi and Ely Institution (especially since they both like boys).

However, when Ely kisses Naomi's boyfriend Bruce the Second (who actually wasn't in the list) all hell breaks loose, with friends and neighbors taking sides as Ely and Naomi's shared world implodes on itself and changes into something completely different.

Naomi's character wasn't a particularly sympathetic one, she often came as selfish and petty to me, but you can understand her pain, it's not so much that she minds that Ely kissed her boyfriend, but she does hate the fact that she now has to let go of her fantasy where she and Ely got married and lived The Perfect Life (Ely's gayness aside).

Ely fared a little better with me, he's a gorgeous and proud gay boy who has been around the block a few times but, after hurting Naomi, he decides he doesn't want to hurt Bruce the Second as well, so he's taking it slowly for the first time in his life which both confuses and thrills him. The scene when both Ely and Bruce2 confess to each other that each of them thinks he's not good enough for the other was one of the sweetest scenes ever.

Now, the Bruces, Bruce the First (Bruce1) and Bruce the Second (Bruce2) both dated Naomi, and they where my favorite characters of the whole book. Bruce1 is an insomiac, a high school junior who once upon a time dated Naomi and who worships her even though he isn't that sure he loves her. Bruce2 is a quiet, plain college student who never thought he was gay until he found himself 'liking' Ely and then falling for him.

Over all, the book is a solid read though it didn't resonate with me quite as much as Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist but it does have it's good moments and it's worth reading.




May 19, 2009

Book Gossip (#10)

Book Gossip # 10
A short one this time.

Melissa de la Cruz confirmed yesterday in her blog that the release date for The Van Alen Legacy (forth book of the Blue Bloods Series) will be October 6, 2009


Match Me if You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Anabelle Granger is the the underdog in her family, they love her but they also think she's a bit of a joke and a failure, mostly because, at the age of 31 she's running her Grandma Myrna's matchmaking business, while her successful older brothers are making it big one as an accountant and the other as a cardiologist. But, over all, Anabelle loves her life, she would like a little bit more stability, though, so she decides to take Myrna's business and make it big, and for that she needs a high profile bachelor to help her establish her reputation as a matchmaker.

Heath Champion is one of the best sports managers of the country, among his most important clients is Kevin Tucker (from This Heart of Mine), Heath is the ultimate overachiever, after climbing his way out of a trailer-park childhood and into professional success and lots of money; but he has decided he wants to get married soon (before he turns 35) so he decides to hire a matchmaking service to speed along the search, first he hires Portia Powers, of Power Matches, famous for her high profile clients but then Kevin's wife Molly asked him to interview Anabelle (who happens to be one of her best friends) and Heath ended up with two match makers competing to match him with the perfect woman for him.

Of course, nothing goes as planed and before long Heath finds himself enjoying Anabelle's company far more than what he enjoys his set up dates. And, in a secondary love story, Portia Powers finds herself attracted to Bodie - Heath's best friend and driver - while her Power Matches begins to crumble about her.

I had more than a few good laughs out of this book and I loved checking on some of the old characters from the Chicago Stars series like Molly and Kevin, Dan and Phoebe and a few of the others.

Loved the book




May 11, 2009

In the Cards: Fame by Mariah Fredericks

FameIn the previous book (In the cards: Love) we met Eve and her friends Anna and Sydney; and when Anna's elderly neighbor died she left Anna one of her cats (eventually Syd and Eve adopted the other two) and a deck of Tarot Cards which in In the Cards:Love turned Anna's life upside down. Here's the thing about the cards: they are spot-on accurate, but they only show you a fraction of what's going to happen.

Now, in Fame, it's Eve's turn to ask the cards and she was one question only: will she be a star? Because that's all she wants, to be famous - at the beginning her reasoning for it was kind of blah for me - but, and even though she thinks of herself as very brave, Eve doesn't dare to ask about the rest of her life because... what if the cards tell her she will be a nobody forever? Instead, she asks about her school's upcoming production of Cabaret.

The cards are talking but they are sending mixed signals. In the end, Eve gets a smallish part on Cabaret and, for various reasons, decides to stick to it even as she and pretty much everyone else in the cast resent Francesca, the girl who got the lead in the play and who also happens to be the daughter of an important music producer and judge of You Suck! (and American Idol type of show), thinking everything is SO easy for Francesca -even though she's almost cripplingly shy and no one is nice to her and she really does have a hard time with the play in general.

As the opening night draws near, the possibility that Francesca's insecurities will keep her from being the leading lady begins to loom, so the teacher in charge asks Eve and Evil-Alexa (another girl in the cast) to learn the part, but asks them no to tell Franscesca - so the girl doesn't have her confidence crushed - but, of course, Evil-Alexa has to live up to her name, right?

In the end... will Eve be the star of the show? or will her dreams of fame vanish into thin air?

Well, you'll have to read to find out.

I have to say that Eve is not a character I like, and more than once in the first fifty pages I thought of putting down the book and skipping to the next one. But in the end, I cared enough for Eve's friends Syd and Anna (and Anna's on-going possible love triangle, which came to a happy conclusion for me) to keep on reading and, by the end, I didn't dislike Eve so much.

She'll never be my favorite character but her story is worth reading.




May 8, 2009

Book Meme #1

Got it from my friend here

1. Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack? Hell yeah! you can tell when I love a book because I won't put it down to eat. Usually I eat pop corn or chips though I've been known to spill apple soda on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book was perfect afterward!) and getting mustard on a couple of books.

02. Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? I mark! definitely, mostly I dog ear the parts I like the best! Though I do highlight at times, especially if I'm reading something for, like school or to write about something specific. I think that if you love a book it should show.

03. How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open? Guilty of all three, I dog-ear a lot and when I seriously love a book I get it it's own special bookmark.

04. Fiction, Non-fiction, or both? Fiction mostly. I'm not against reading non-fiction but I've read many technical texts in my life due to school and research so I tend to avoid them.

05. Hardcopy or audiobooks? Both. I think nothing beats an actual book in your hand, where you can cuddle with it and read and re-read and just make a friend of it. But I do like Auido books, but I found out I tend to get distracted with Audio books, like I focus on them so much I don't pay much attention to other stuff so I mosly listen to them at home or at drives where I'm not the one driving.

06. Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point? Can as in being phisically and mentaly capable of stopping anywhere, yes, tend to finish chapters though. If I find a book I can't put down mid-chapter that's awesome.

07. If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away? If I can work out what it means by the context then nope, though doubt will probably consume me later and I'll go look for the word at some point.

08. What are you currently reading? Just finished To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt, reading Death by Latte by Linda Gerber and then I'll tackle Match me If You can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

09. What is the last book you bought? In my last shopping spree, the last book I ordered was The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

10. Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can read more than one at a time? No, usually I got a book I read in the bus and a book I read before bed.

11. Do you like re-reading books? YEEEEEEEEEEEES


May 7, 2009

Death by Latte by Linda Gerber

Death by Latte
After barely escaping with her life, Aphra Connolly has made it to Seattle, to finally reconnect with her mother, whom she hasn't seen in four years. The only problem is that her mother doesn't want her there. Aphra's mom Natalie is a former CIA operative who still has ties to the Agency and is trying to protect both her family - Aphra and her dad - and the Mulos, former members of a sleeper cell of a terrorist group known as The Mole.

Aphra's presence in Seattle complicates everything, especially because, without her knowning, the Agency and the Mole have been monitoring her, thinking that if they keep a tags on her long enough she will lead them to the Mulos' son Seth.

After Natalie's pardner is murdered - by a unconscious cup of coffee - Aphra comes face to face with two people, one she never wanted to see again: Agent Watts, her nemesis from the first book Death by Bikini; and one she very much longed to see: Seth... only that Seth is acting strange too, and demanding to have back a ring he gave her the last time they said goodbye.

What will happen next? Will Aphra reconnect with her Mom? with Seth? or will the bad guys triumph over the good guys for once?. And, who are the bad guys, anyway?

These and more questions swirl about Death By Latte.

I found it harder to get into this book then what I did with he first one, but it does pick up. If anything, the book is a bit short, it drags a little at the beginning and then it packs a lot of action in the second half of the book.

starstarstarstar(just barely)


May 6, 2009

Book Gossip (#9)


Yet more covers - what kind I say? I love them!

This time I bring you the cover for Lisa Kleypas' late September/early October release Tempt me at Twilight (Which I found at Amazon):

Tempt Me At Twilight

Summary according to Amazon:
Poppy Hathaway loves her unconventional family, though she longs for normalcy. Then fate leads to a meeting with Harry Rutledge, an enigmatic hotel owner and inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life. When their flirtation compromises her own reputation, Poppy shocks everyone by accepting his proposal—only to find that her new husband offers his passion, but not his trust.
Harry was willing to do anything to win Poppy—except to open his heart. All his life, he has held the world at arm’s length…but the sharp, beguiling Poppy demands to be his wife in every way that matters. Still, as desire grows between them, an enemy lurks in the shadows. Now if Harry wants to keep Poppy by his side, he must forge a true union of body and soul, once and for all...

And, this is just in! I was checking Laura Lee Guhrke's site and I found the cover for the fourth book in the Girl Bachelor Chronicles: With Seduction in Mind

With Seduction in Mind

I'm loving it!

She also posted a new excerpt for With Seduction in Mind, you can check it out at her site

With Seduction in Mind comes out August 25th, 09

Gorgeous covers or what?


May 5, 2009

To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

After spending the last fourteen years as the mistress of the Duke of Lister, Helen Fitzwilliam made the decision to leave the duke for the sake of her children Abigail and Jamie, since she doesn't want them to grow up under the Duke's bad influence. But Helen also knows that the Duke will not be inclined to let her and the children go, not because he loves them but because he thinks of them as things that belong to him. So, with the help of Lady Vale (From To Seduce a Sinner), Helen runs off to Scotland, to the very much neglected Castle Greaves where she plans to work as a housekeeper and keep a low profile.

The only problem is that the owner of Castle Greaves, Sir Alistair Munroe, does not want a housekeeper - even though everyone would agree that he NEEDS one - he doesn't like having people around, let alone a beautiful woman and her children. Still, their presence help him realize just how lonely he has been since returning from the colonies - where he lost an eye, two fingers and a big part of his pride - and he reluctantly allows them to stay.

Now, Helen doesn't know much about housekeeping but she's quite good at making lists and with the help of a newly hired staff, she slowly begins to restore the castle while she and her children begin to steal into Alistair's heart.

To Beguile a Beast is the third book of the Legend of Four Soldiers series by Elizabeth Hoyt and, as with the two previous books, the on going theme of the betrayal of the regiment the four heroes belonged to while in the colonies which was slaughtered at Spinner's Falls, continues but in a much more subdued way than in To Taste Temptation or To Seduce a Sinner. Alistair does care about what happened and he does care that they were betrayed but he doesn't let the thought consume him the way it did to Lord Vale in the previous book.

Alistair does make a wonderful hero, in my opinion, he is flawed and he wears many of his scars on his face, but he's also very gentle and in his gruff way he tries to protect the people around him and the way he is with Helen's daughter Abigail was just heartwarming. Also, he gets the kids a puppy to cheer them up! and that just gives him major points in my book.

Helen is a very worthy heroine too, she made bad choices in her life but she wants to do better for her children and in that way she's awesome.

Also, another trademark from Hoyt, the fairy tale at the beginning of each chapter is a very cleaver retelling of Beauty and the Beast - one I had personally never heard before and trust me that's hard because I'm a B&B nut - and I adored it.

For these and other things (including Puddles the puppy) I loved this book.

starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

Book Gossip (#8)

Another Cover

Recently Elizabeth Hoyt re-did her site (it's looking great) and also posted the cover for her Fall release To Desire a Devil - which also confirmed the rumors that Reynaud St. Aubyn will be the hero of the last book of the Legend of the Four Soldiers series.

To Desire A Devil



Reynaud St. Aubyn has spent the last seven years in hellish captivity. Now half mad with fever he bursts into his ancestral home and demands his due. Can this wild-looking man truly be the last earl’s heir, thought murdered by Indians years ago?


Beatrice Corning, the niece of the present earl, is a proper English miss. But she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in the portrait in her uncle’s home. Suddenly, that very man is here, in the flesh—and luring her into his bed.


Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud’s savagery to the noble man inside. For his part, Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as he is suspicious of her loyalty to her uncle. But can Beatrice’s love tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title—even if it means sacrificing her innocence?

I definitely can't wait.