Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking for the words

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but for years I stayed ‘in the closet’ so to speak as to my reading preferences. I didn’t tell many people that I read romance almost exclusively. I didn’t want to be sneered at. But as time has gone on, I've become a lot bolder on sharing my love of the romance genre. There are a lot of people I work with now who know how much I love a good romance book. In fact, I've started sharing my 'library' books with them. One has been reading the In Death books and she is ripping through them at warp speed.

I happened to be talking to another coworker just yesterday. I don't know if she was aware of just how deep into them I am. She is quite a reader too it seems and received some books for Christmas but after she's finished those ones, she is open to reading some I have to offer. We had a lengthy discussion at which time I tried explaining the difference between women's fiction and romance. And I couldn't come up with a good explanation as to the difference between the two. I know there is a difference and the only thing I could think of to say was you know the difference when you read it.

But I'm hoping to get a better explanation than 'you'll know it when you read it'. She seemed quite interested when I was telling her about my blog and I gave her a business card today so I think she might drop in. So I could use some help just in case she does.

How would you go about explaining the difference between a romance novel and a women's fiction novel? I've also been trying to think up books I can lend her. The ones I thought of right off the bat were Sugar Baby, Blue Eyed Devil and Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas. Any other author ideas? For right now she seems to be most interested in contemporaries. If it's a romance, chances are I have at least one book by the authors. Now that I've had some time, I've also thought of Rachel Gibson, Susan Anderson, Susan Donovan and SEP (if I can find any of them). But I can also use other author suggestions. I just love the idea of sharing the genre I love so much with fellow readers!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

'Cause at heart I'm an 80's girl!!

I love this one!

And what would a trip through the 80's be without a nice Canadian Band? Here's Glass Tiger

And what would a trip to the music scene from the 80's be without a selection from the movie Top Gun?

And though I know this one has been parodies numerous times, still it wants me to dig out my old leg warmers!

This has always been one of my favourite 80's tunes

And another well known 80's classic

And there you have it - another taste of some great 80's classics

YEAAAAAA - I did it - I finally did it!!

I finally made it to high!!! I've been playing this game almost non-stop it seems and I finally made it past average into high!! Of course, now I can see all kinds of more words I could have got.

But stones!! I got stones!! And mons!! I got mons!! That's from reading those erotic type of books - heh heh heh heh.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Do you like polls??

One of the best features about this new and improved Blogger, is how easy it is now to add polls!! Since I'm still on the In Death ReRead kick and now I'm getting coworkers to read them too, I thought up some questions about the series for some fun polls and added them to the right.

If you want, you can either answer them on this post or on the poll or even both if you want :)
Or, if you aren't a reader of this series, you can skip this post and move on to the next blogger on you blog hopping trip *g*.

Here are my answers

1) Over five but not since the first one

2) The Relationships (followed by The Romance)

3) I thought Dr. Mira. She makes a great 'mother' for Eve.

4) I picked Summerset. No one can give it to Eve like Summerset can.

5) I like that Roarke helps Eve out so much.

6) I think they will be very interesting parents - but not for a long way down the line.

7) The way things are going - never, never, never!!

And in doing 'research' what is a better place to find things than Wickipedia. Here's a great rundown of many of the characters.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Finding Comfort

I don't care for Christmas - at all. I've posted about this before so I won't again as I don't want to upset those who get a charge out of this time of year. And that's not what this is about at all. But as the holidays approached, I found myself getting more and more stressed and the only thing that could relieve the stress is reading comfort books. I'd say playing endless games of boggle has helped, but it's only made things worse - I get more stressed trying to come up to average! I've just about reached it - but talk about trying to get there!!

I've mentioned before that as odd as it sounds, my best comfort books are the In Death series by JD Robb. Odd in that in each and every one of them at least one person and often more than one person get murdered - often brutally. Yet the sense if 'family' that the author has created in this series overrides the oftentimes grizzliness of stories.

Christine has offered up an In Death Challenge and as I blog hop around and discover different bloggers blogging about these books, it makes me feel part of a family too - that other readers all over the world are discovering these books and that we have something in common just as Eve, Roarke, Peabody, Feeney, Summerset etc. Although none of them are blood related, they are family, just as we readers of romance are also - bound by something deep and abiding in all of us even though are tastes are as different as each one of us.

I was invited to a coworkers place tonight for a few drinks and games of cards - all of which sounded very nice. But I worked the late shift - sadly, people needing health care can't wait for the holidays to be over and what I thought would be a fairly relaxed day as we were just emergency staffed, instead was an extremely busy and stress filled day. And as the day wore on, I felt less and less like going out after work and more and more like getting into my new cuddly jammies, making myself a nice decaffinated coffee with Bailey's and curling up with yet another In Death book. I finished the one I was rereading - Purity in Death, I have my jammies on and the coffee is brewing. Now I'm going to pick out another In Death reread book and curl for the night.

May you all find your own level of comfort and destressment and enjoy the next couple of days. Find that oasis in business and enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm baffled - truly baffled

Other words which mean the same thing

  • confused
  • mystified
  • perplexed
  • puzzled
  • bewildered

All of those apply. Once upon a time, back in July of 2005 a book came out - a rather controversial book of the time; Passion by Lisa Valdez. I read it, I enjoyed it, Ron, without realizing I'd read it, reaped the benefits from it. But while I enjoyed it, there were parts that certainly made me go ouch and want to close my legs!!! Big time. Because of big size, big time big size. There was also a scene at the end that squicked a lot of readers out at the time. There was to be a sequel to the book and if it had come out not long after, I probably would have purchased it, hoping I didn't think OUCH during the second book.

But time passed and we readers kept hearing that due to one reason or another, the next book was delayed. Eventually, I moved on from that author and probably would have forgotten about her altogether, being the fickle type I can be. But her name kept popping up when other readers wondered when her next book was coming out - one year after Passion, two years after, three years after, four years after. The longer it took, the more confused I became as to the - well - passion that some readers had for her next book. Well, you've probably heard by now that there is finally a release date set - either at Dear Author or All About Romance. I've made my thoughts known at both places so no need to repeat them here again.

Being a long time romance reader, I remember when Loretta Chase took an extended break from writing. The previous book I read by her, The Last Hellion was published in 1998 and it wasn't until 2004 that her next book, Miss Wonderful came out. While I checked the shelves monthly for a while, hoping for her next book, gradually I got over looking and found other authors to replace her. And THIS was the author who wrote possibly one of the premier romance books in recent history, Lord of Scoundrels. I had also read other excellent books by her, Lion's Daughter and Captives of the Night. So for me, she had a track record.

Another author who just disappeared was Elizabeth Elliot. And she wrote some fine books too, The Warlord, Betrothed and Scoundrel. Now while her name kept popping up in the 'whatever happened to' questions, there still didn't seem to be the fervor, associated with Lisa Valdez. And it seemed Ms. Elliott definitely had a third story to tell. Anyone who has read The Warlord and Betrothed knows what I'm talking about. Word is though that Ms. Elliott will be coming out with the third book in this trilogy soon. Now this one I'm excited about!

But I still can't figure it out why there is this much buzz on the Valdez book as opposed to other authors who have gone missing. She just wrote the one book so it's not like she had a long track record. Is it because during the lull in Ms. Chase' books, the internet was fairly new and we didn't have the sites and message boards etc that we do now? I think that is a big part of the reason. I have noticed that Lord of Scoundrels in particular is still being read and enjoyed by newer romance fans. So if she were to 'disappear' again, would she be missed even more than Ms. Valdez?

Did Elizabeth Elliott's books come out before this 'younger' generation of romance readers meaning that many haven't read her books and therefore don't know what they are missing?

If you are one of those who has waited so long for Patience, what has kept you going? What is it about this book that was so good? I liked it but not as much as some it seems. Or are you like me - you've moved on in the past five years? If you are one of those who has waited the entire five years, do you think the anticipation might be a bit too high?

Are there any other authors who went 'missing' whose books that you are waiting for more?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Thoughts


Ways to come up with a blog post when you got nothin'

I discovered something interesting the other day. I can type much faster if I don't rest my hands on the keyboard or the desk they keyboard is sitting on. If I hold them up, the words just fly by. I don't know if this is because I have to do it on the laptop or if it's always been this way. The only trouble is after typing (or keyboarding as it's called now) with my hands down for years now, it's a hard habit to break.

So You Think You Can Dance was much better on the results night thank goodness. It was back to two hours and had a lot of dancing to it. On top of that, Russell won and he was kind of who I was hoping for. Which leads me to another point......

(this is a long winded one) I was kind of following along on twitter and some people who were hoping for someone else to win, were very vocal in their opinion that "America got it wrong". Now I was pulling for Russell and thus happy that he won but if someone else had, like Jakob, I wouldn't have been thinking that kind of thing. Why is it that so many people think their opinion is the right one when it's an O.P.I.N.I.O.N.!!! How can an opinion be wrong? It's a thought!!
I have this coworker and we are different as night and day. I get along with her fine, but she is a - shall we say - very strong-willed - kind of gal. We are constantly getting into arguments because she insists the way she does things and thinks about things is the right and only way. I try and tell her she's not wrong in how she does things - for her. But for me it doesn't work as well. But she just doesn't seem to see that. And it's kind of interesting because I will argue with her. My sisters call me the whimp other whimps pick on - with some truth in that. I have a hard time standing up for myself when confronted with someone of a strong opinion. But not this coworker. Our arguments (or heated debates) are becoming somewhat legendary. I told another coworker just yesterday that it's actually quite a good thing I feel free to disagree with coworker A. By doing so, I feel empowered.

Some time agon now, Jane of Dear Author was twittering about the word game boggle. I used to love that game and many moons and computers ago, had quite a good one. But it got lost in the shuffle of saving files to move to a new computer and I hadn't played in years. But the other day, just for the heck of it, I surfed online for it and found a few games. I've now become addicted! So far I'm way below the average score - which only makes me play more to try and boost my average up. Now if only I could remember to type with my hands up - I'd be faster.

Another game on the computer I'm addicted to is Free Cell. I could play that for hours. I decided a while ago not to cheat and keep erasing the statistics when I didn't like them. So now I have:

Games Played: 2276
Games Won: 1972
Average: 86%

But with that many games played, it's taking me forever to move that average up to 87%. I think I've played over 100 games now without quitting and the damn thing hasn't changed. I check after every game.

Sometimes the worker bee in me argues with the queen bee. The department I work in is staffed 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, 7 days a week. We used to have to take turns working weekends but now there is someone who wants to work them - every one - odd duck. But 1 week out of 8, one of us has to work the 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm shift. The are the only assistants left after 6:00 pm and it can get pretty hairy in those 2 hours - specially on Friday nights. So this week I offered to switch my 10:00 am to 6:00 pm shift (my favourite) to 12 to 8 so there would be two of us to share the load.
WHAT WAS I THINKING???? Who offers to stay late and work on a Friday night????

And with that - my brain is now officially fried for the night! Once again, it was a very hairy Friday night. Though it was better I think with two of us - the other coworker who had the 12:00 to 8:00 shift tonight? - the one who I argue with - and we didn't get into it once tonight!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance

What the HELL was THAT????

I adore this show!! I discovered it the year Joshua won and haven't missed a single show since - either the US or Canadian version. I VOTED non-top two hours straight during the season Nico was on - confession time - mostly for him - but for others too.

Last Wednesday I was at a pot luck for my team at work and missed the show that came on at 8:00 pm so I stayed up until 1:00 am - way past my bed time - so I could catch it on a West Coast station.

I love it, love it, love it, love it!!

But I'm sitting here stunned, almost without words at what happened tonight. It was the final night of dance and.......

  • What the hell was it with 6 dancers??? It's only supposed to be four! That was SO wrong!

  • It was only on for an hour!!! All season long it's been a two-hour show. I block two hours out of my Tuesday nights just for SYTYCD. What the hell?? One hour?? That was SO wrong!

  • Could they have rushed through it any faster???? Even me - who never notices these things, could tell they edited the hell out of it. That was SO wrong!

  • I was surfing through the commercials. When I turned back to the station, they were already into the dance! No long introduction! That was SO wrong!

  • They didn't have a men's group dance and then a women's group dance. The ALWAYS have that. That was SO wrong!

  • There was no pre-dance stuff. They almost always have that - where we see the dancers working with the choreographers. Not having that - that was SO wrong!

  • They barely even showed the choreographers. We've seen them all season long and I'll admit - on the Canadian version I had myself a little drinking game every time Jean Marc said to give it up for (whoever) choreographed the dance. I was sloshed every week.(OK - I made that up but you get the point). But to not even show the choreographers. That was SO wrong!

  • They barely talked to the dancers. Well - I'm thinking they did - but it was all edited out. That was SO wrong.

I have invested so much time, so much excitement, so much love into this show - to have it reduced to the piece of shit that was tonight's show; I am really, really, really pissed off. I don't have the words to explain how robbed I feel at the moment.

I've been quite impressed with this season's group of dancers. Some of them have awed me and I can't remember in all the seasons I've watched it, being so impressed with so many. To have it 'end' in this way - well it's just all SO SO wrong.

Oh yea - and the Jays traded The Doc - Roy Halladay to Philadelphia today. It hasn't been a good day. The only consolation is he didn't go to the Yankees or the Red Sox. But still....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Recent Read

A Marquis to Mary by Amelia Grey

Why this one: I don’t really know. It was an impulse decision

Steam Level: Not the hottest book on the block, but it was warmish

At this point I should mention that the book I read was an ARC copy. I'm not 100% sure where I got it from, but I think it was a gem I picked up at the RWA conference in Washington DC this past summer.



When his noble visitor accuses Raceworth of hiding priceless stolen pearls belonging to her family, he’s angrier than he’s ever been. No way is he going to hand over his grandmother’s necklace – not to her and definitely not to the other shady characters who are suddenly in pursuit of them.


Relentless as she is, Susannah, Duchess of Brookfield, refuses to be intimidated by the Marquis’ commanding presence, chiselled good looks, or charming smile, and his anger isn’t going to stop her either. She has proof the pearls are rightfully hers, and she means to have them – no matter what she has to do.

But when the pearls disappear, Race and Susannah have no choice but to join forces, or something immeasurably precious to them both may be gone forever...

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book! I really, really enjoyed it. I’ve become quite jaded about many historical romances thinking that there is way too much same old, same old. I actually surprised myself when I picked this one up to read as I’ve been rather vocal at times on my annoyance with all the Dukes and Earls and Marquis’ etc. But this one was a very delightful surprise.

Race is a very charming very likeable hero. No tortured hero is Race. He is hosting a card party when he is notified there is a Dowager Duchess waiting to see him. Figuring she must be on the older side, he has her wait until he’s ready. Much to his surprise, the Dowager Duchess is in fact a beautiful young woman around his own age. He is immediately attracted to her, even though she is claiming an expensive set of pearls he inherited from his grandmother in fact, was stolen from her family.

And for her part, Susannah is a very likeable heroine. Forced to marry a much older man when she was found in a compromising position, she was one of those widowed heroines. But unlike the ones that drive us crazy, she wasn’t a virgin widow. And while she didn’t love her late husband, she did respect him and while their love life wasn’t the most exciting, she didn’t have negative feelings towards sex. I found this quite refreshing. And even more so, she was on good terms with her step son and his family.

Her goal in traveling to London was to retrieve the pearl necklace. But when she meets Race, she finds herself as attracted to him as he is to her.

Despite their dispute on the necklace, things go swimmingly well between these two until the necklace is stolen and Race accuses Susannah of being in cahoots with the thief which understandably puts a crimp in their growing relationship.

What really impressed me about this book is there were a number of places where the author could have gone in a direction guaranteed to drive readers crazy with the ‘big misunderstanding’ but instead the author had the characters acting in a mature, intelligent way. For example, when wrongfully accused, Susannah is upset, but at the same time realizes how Race could have come to the conclusion he did. So while there was a rift, it wasn’t insurmountable due to Susannah’s understanding nature. And Race realizes he blew it and why and is ready to make amends.

In a book where so many things could have gone off rail, the author took the story in a direction I really appreciated. As a result, I really give Ms. Grey high marks in this regard.

There was also a secondary story that I found quite amusing. A good friend of the hero somehow manages to get himself challenged to a duel and he chooses fisticuffs. The whole storyline of Race and his cousins trying to talk their friend out of this ‘foolishness’ is hilarious. And again the way the writer resolves this dilemma gets a thumbs up.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, I’m glad I have the first one and look forward to the third. Since this is the second, for those wanting to know, it worked very well without having read the first book. The hero and heroine of A Duke to Die for do make an appearance in this one, but even without having read their book, this one was easy to follow. I give this book an unqualified recommendation.

I'm even more excited as Amelia Grey is a new-to-me author and she has a BACKLIST!! She's also written some books as Gloria Dale Skinner which I've never tried. I'm looking forward to searching out her earlier books by both names.

For a review of the first book - which I will be reading shortly myself as I enjoyed this one so much, check out Bloduedd's review.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Friday, December 11, 2009

This - and That


I’m reading and enjoying a very charming book at the moment. At the beginning of every chapter is something I’ve noticed before and oftentimes think is a waste of time for me anyway and I got wondering what other readers think. And that is the little blurbs at the top of the page of a new chapter. I don’t even know what they are officially called.

Me – for the most part, I ignore them even though I feel bad that I do. See – I can manage to make myself feel guilty over just about anything – it’s a gift I have.

The ones in the books I have now do relate to the story. They are little gems written by a Lord Chesterfiled and added in letters the grandmother writes to the hero. I get the feeling that the author has done research and that these could very possibly been words truly written. And while the grandmother has crossed over to the other side, she has left an impact on the hero. But there is a part of me that while admiring the author, thinks, for this reader anyway, it was kind of a waste of time.

In all of the books that I’ve read over all of the years, I think the only time I’ve ever really paid attention to the chapter headers was in Elizabeth Hoyt’s books. I love fairy tales and had to read the ones that she had. Other than that exception, I’m much too impatient to get to the story to pay much attention to the chapter headers.

What about anyone else? Do you read them or like me, are you too impatient to get to the actual story?


I got an email from Amazon listing the top romance books and I have to say, I disagree with many of those listed!!

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I haven’t read this book but I know many a romance reader has read and loved it. But I question whether it’s a ‘romance’ by my own definition. It’s shelved with general fiction in the stores around here and one of the big reasons I haven’t read it is because I gather it’s a tear jerker of an ending. I don’t like books that make me cry at the end

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

This is another book I question as to it being a romance. It’s also shelved in the general fiction shelves and while it may be wildly romantic with the enduring love between Jamie and Claire, even the author herself doesn’t consider this series romance books.

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

I don’t have any issues with this book being a romance. While I stopped reading Ms. Roberts series books, I still consider them romance.

Divine Misdemeanors: A Novel (Meredith Gentry Book) by Laurell K. Hamilton

I haven’t read any Laurel K Hamilton books either – and by reading the reviews of her later Anita Blake books I don’t really care to, but from what I gather, she doesn’t really write romance either. Books were there are multiple partners like I think are in the Merry Gentry books don’t really say ‘romance’ to me!

Visions in White by Nora Roberts

Again as with Bed of Roses, I think this certainly qualifies as romance.

The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory

I don’t consider this a romance either. This is the story of Elizabeth, the mother of the two young boys in the tower of London. To me, Phillipa Gregory writes historical fiction heavily based on real life characters. I don’t consider this romance.

Dear John by Nicolas Sparks

I sound like a broken record here – but I haven’t read Nicolas Sparks either. But he doesn’t write romance as far as I’m concerned. He writes fiction with strong romantic elements. And tear jerker endings. I already said this, but I don’t like tear jerker endings!

Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel by Kate Jacobs

I’ve never heard of this book and I like to think I’m up on the latest romances. So I looked at the description:

Knit the Season is a loving, moving, laugh-out-loud celebration of special times with friends and family. The story begins a year after the end of Knit Two, with Dakota Walker's trip to spend the Christmas holidays with her Gran in Scotland-accompanied by her father, her grandparents, and her mother's best friend, Catherine. Together, they share a trove of happy memories about Christmases past with Dakota's mom, Georgia Walker-from Georgia's childhood to her blissful time as a doting new mom. From Thanksgiving through Hanuk kah and Christmas to New Year's, Knit the Season is a novel about the richness of family bonds and the joys of friendship.

I dunno – this just doesn’t scream ROMANCE to me!

So in a list of eight books, there are none that I’ve read; me – a dedicated romance reader and only two that I, a dedicated romance reader, consider true romance books. And since I’ve been around longer then Amazon – I’m right and they are wrong – heh, heh, heh.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I think we all realize the importance of branding products. For example, think Tide and you think immediately of a bright red and yellow spot. Or think MacDonalds and your mind goes to either golden arches or Ronald MacDonald, depending on your age.

I never thought I'd ever consider myself and branding in the same sentence. But I was putting in an order for some stuff, business cards, pens, a mug etc last week (and hopefully they will arrive soon - they notified me they had shipped) and I realized that one of the reasons why I don't change the look of my blog much - apart from the fact that I've no idea how to go about it - is I consider the banner my brand. There have been a few changes to the design that Mailyn did a few years ago, the wonderful and talented Ames did a three column design, I've played around a bit with the background colours and the sidebars. But basically, it's stayed the same for quite some time now and other than those kinds of changes, I think I'll keep what I have because for me now - it's part of my 'identity' in the romance blogging world. The business cards, the pens, the little fridge magnets I ordered all have it.

Now the mug and mouse pad that I ordered aren't my 'brand',
that was me wanting to have RICHARD close - as if the specially designed calendar wasn't enough -there are some things
I don't do in half measures!

December is a bit gray, but July should be light and sunny!! And the calendar was free as well as the mouse pad and the mug was half price!!

But the free tote bag and greatly reduced pens and some of the other stuff have the Ramblings on Romance, etc, 'brand' on them.

Looking at other blogs, I'm not the only blogger who 'brands'.

The Smart Bitches logo with the women in glasses is immediately recognizeable.
As is Wendy - SuperLibrarian, who has a righteous post up now about the loss of her fantasy boyfriend,
and the hosts of an awesome contest going, Dear Author.

All these bloggers who have been around for a while I think are 'branded' on their blogs.
Rosie is another blogger who also has an excellent 'brand'. As does Stacy. In fact there are quite a few!
Because I consider my header my 'brand', when I decided to have business cards made up a couple of years ago now, it was easy to design. Since I've started going to conferences and conventions and meeting other bloggers and authors and other industry people, I thought it would be ever so much easier to hand them out then it would be to try and find pen and paper and write out the stuff. And the 'brand' made it fun to have other stuff to go along with the cards.
So now, when I get a hankering to go for a major change in the blog look, I decide against it since I consider the header a part of who I am as a blogger. The same thing has happened with the avatar I use. I have it attached to everything I can think of to add it too, LibraryThing, GoodReads, Shelfari. My Twitter page is, if I may say so myself, gorgeous, with the avatar and matching colours.

I know there are quite a few bloggers who change their look - and I always notice and enjoy the change - but for me, I'm find with sticking with what is *g*. Especially after dropping a bit of a bundle at VistaPrint. It's amazing how all the free and half price stuff I recently purchased came in with a price *g*.

So here's a few questions. Do you consider your blog header your 'brand'? Do you think it's a good thing to stick with it or do you like change?
Do you have blog business cards? Do you consider them important? If you don't have any, have you considered getting some? Do you ever go for any of the other swag? I love the pens and like giving them out to roomies and other at the conferences etc.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Recent Read

Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Why this one: I’m pretty sure I read it years ago – at least I read a couple of her futuristics and enjoyed them enough that when I heard she would be rereleasing them, I wanted to give them a try. I love this genre in general.

Steam Level: Between hot and a rolling boil. Not a full boil mind you – but hot enough to enjoy

In the Ichidian Universe, the Leauge rules all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption…

Command Assassin Nykyrian Quiakides once turned his back on the League – and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father’s political alliance has made her a target.

As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new endanger them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other

My Thoughts: Hmmmm – this one is a toughie!! While I really enjoyed this book and found it one of those books that was hard to put down, I do have definite issues with it. I’m normally a 90/10 emotional vs. technical reader and the 90% emotional reader was quite happy. But the 10% reader in me noticed things that could have been better – or had less of. First off – in regards to the previous post, Nykyrian was an overtortured hero. As Hilcia pointed out, while not the kitchen sink exactly, the toilet was thrown in. I almost think the author went along and said how much more can we make this guy take – and I found it distracting.

This is a rewrite from a book published much earlier in Ms. Kenyon’s career and as I was reading it, it was hauntingly familiar. I just wish she had taken the time to do a bit more than heap more torture on the hero. The world building for example, could have used some more work. It’s a futuristic, but oftentimes didn’t really feel all that much futureisticy. I know – that’s not a real word, but it sounds good. There were also a couple of plot holes that didn’t make sense. For example; the father of Kiara, our heroine, hired Nykyrian, our hero, and his team to safeguard his daughter from bloodthirsty bounty hunters. Then without explanation, he wants the team he hired dead! I couldn’t figure out why. When she was returned, her father said the bounty had been lifted, but just a chapter before that, the bounty had been increased significantly and she was to be terminated at any cost and whoever set the bounty on her would not be persuaded to change it. So the fact that all of a sudden it was lifted, without any explanation just didn’t make sense. Nor did the fact that her father wanted Nykyrian and his team dead. Kind of a killer move for any repeat business he might have wanted.

Normally I don’t notice this kind of thing, but in this case, I was left thinking ‘huh?’ The low percentage of the technical reader in me didn’t really care for this reaction.
But on the other hand, the artistic reader in me was quite happy!

Nykyrian was a trained assassin in a brutal world. But when he was sent on assignment that was too horrific for even him, he left the League. Since the only real way out of the League was death, he was constantly aware he could be caught and killed at any time.

After leaving the League, he began fighting against the very thing he had been a part of. Nykyrian first meets Keria when he is hunting down some vicious bounty hunters who had captured her and were about to do some nasty things. Kiara is at first repelled by this fearsome man and horrified when she finds out who he is. But gradually she sees another side to him and as we, the reader, see his inner dialogue, we see a softer side; a man who has become what he is against his will and who has been powerless for much of his life.

As mentioned earlier, when Kiaras’ father hears about the threat to his daughter’s life, he hires Nykyrian and crew. Kiara is at first horrified to be stuck with this killer, but as she gets to know him and sees some of his past and the past of some of his crew, she slowly begins to develop deep feelings for this tortured soul. But as a princess and the daughter of the leader of their world, there can be nothing between her and this wanted man she is coming to love.

For his part, Nykyrian has had feelings for her all along. A world renowned dancer as well as royalty, Nykyrian is well aware of who she is from the first and he is strongly attracted to her. But as an assassin who is wanted throughout the universe and a man who has no softness, he refuses to allow those feelings any room to grow – or so he thinks.

I enjoyed this book, really I did. As can be agreed by many readers, Ms. Kenyon has a way of drawing in a reader despite the flaws. While yes, the hero crosses the line and becomes an overtortured tortured hero, I still couldn’t help but feeling for him even as I was aware in the recess of my mind I was being manipulated. It was a manipulation I went along with.

Now grading this one is the most difficult one I’ve ever done.
The 10 % technical reader in me gives it a 3 out of 5.
The 90% artistic reader in me gives it a 4.5 out of 5.

But because we are talking fractions and decimal points in order to find the average – the math involved in trying to figure this out gives me the hives. Math and I do not like each other. I could explain what I’m going for and ask Ryan, the math wizard, what the average would be but if he wanted to know why I want this kind of number for, and I had to tell him it was for the grade of a romance novel – well, he just doesn’t understand. He’s still trying to figure out why I called him at work to ask if my coworker could claim their new Dyson vacuum cleaner on their taxes. So this grade isn’t really all that reflective of the two opposing types of readers.

Grade: 3.933333333333333

Oh lucky, lucky Janet - and other stuff - update

Well Dang!!!!
The Janet Jackson video is disabled 'cause I don't live in the US.
That's just stoopid!!

Getting up close and personal with NIC


(and remember the full screen trick!)

And it seems like Tiger has not been a very good husband. Whatever did or didn't happen - it's between he and his wife but one thing about this kind of thing always confuses me. I haven't checked his web site but I did here that on it he apologized to his fans. From what I remember, Chris Brown did the same thing after he beat the shit out of then girlfriend Rhianna. And I've heard of other famous celebrities do the same thing when they royally f&$k up.

What I don't understand from any of them is why they apologize to fans. They didn't do anything to us?!?!? Whatever apologies are offered up should be to friends and family and in private and in person if possible, not in some grandiose way so as to get notice and not to the public at large. I just don't get it.

I'm a huge fan of SYTYCD - big news there eh? *g* While looking for dance routines, I came across this and it just cracked me up!!

I think anyone who has watched the show might find it amusing in the way they 'captured' the judges

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Overtortured Tortured Hero

I love a good tortured hero - I think anyone who visits here with any kind of regularity has been able to figure that out *g*. When I think back on my favourite books and what they might have in common, probably 90% of them feature a hero who has been tortured in one way or another:
  • Derek Craven - born of a prostitute, lived a horrid life including many nasty jobs; chimney sweep, resurectionist etc.
  • Gabriel St. Croix - sold to a Parisian brothel when he was just a young boy and used by both men and women.
  • Johnny Harris - sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit, raped while he was there and before that, beaten by his father and abandoned by his mother.
  • Lord Ian MacKenzie - delivered to an insane asylum when he was young and witnessed his father killing his mother, whereupon he underwent horrible abuses.
  • Conor's Way - watched his family starve to death in Ireland, he came to America and earned his way as a boxer until he was beaten nearly to death for not throwing a fight.
  • Branden Kel Paton who was painfully turned into half machine and forced to live his life watching his every thought and loving a woman from afar.
  • And many more.....
EEEK - I had to edit - I remembered another one *smacking my head that I forgot him*
  • Nicholas Kenleigh who was captured and tortured and left with terrible scars and a feeling of overwhelming guilt over surviving.
I could go on, but you get the picture. So I can't be accused of not liking this kind of hero. But even I, yes I, who loves this kind of hero, have my limits. I've started reading Sherrilyn Kenyon's revised and reissued futuristic series, and after a bit of a rocky start with the first one, and putting it down until the reading mojo came back, I've been enjoying it quite a bit. It's the first Kenyon I've read for a while - I gave up up for a couple of reasons. The first reason is I found way too much sequel bait in her books and the second - the Overtortured Tortured Hero. It got to the point in the Dark Hunter series where I just couldn't take any more reading of the overwhelmingly horrendous things she put her heroes through.

The book I'm reading now; Born of Night, I'm quite enjoying it and will have a review up once I'm done, but My Word, she's thrown everything in but the kitchen sink as far as torture is concerned. Here's just a sample of what she's put the poor guy through
  • He wore a leather mask for the first part of his life and he had worn it for so long, it grew into his skin and then it was ripped right off his face.
  • He had his finger nails ripped out and as if that weren't enough, they were then dipped in acid so they wouldn't grow back
  • His mother threw him away and he spent his formative years in an orphanage
  • He had to drink out of a toilet - because the people who looked after him considered him an animal
  • He was constantly beaten and had many a bone broken
  • He had to wear a 'collar' that could inflict and control pain
  • He was thrown into a cell when just a young lad with rapists and pedophiles

And those are just some of the things he's gone through!! When an author writes a hero this tortured, I can't help but think he'd more likely be a sociopathic criminal instead of just a poor misunderstood guy just looking for the right woman to make him a warm and cuddly teddy bear.

As I said, I think Sherrilyn Kenyon is the author who writes the most overtortured tortured heroes. I'm not the only one who has noticed this. Stacy of Stacy's Place on Earth did a recent review of Fantasy Lover and made this comment:

Having already read several books in this series, I've already noticed that Sherrilyn Kenyon tends to make her heroes really suffer. I mean REALLY. Just wait til Zarek, if you haven't read the books.

I couldn't agree more. Only for me, she goes overboard and makes them all too tortured.

But she's not the only author. I think part of the reason I haven't joined the JR Ward train is her overtortured tortured heroes. I read the first one and while Wrath was tortured in Dark Lover, it hadn't been ramped up that much. But then I read Lover Eternal and she did quite a number on poor Rhage. And reading about some of the other brothers, I could tell they were all candidates for the Overtortured Tortured Hero club.

I don't really mean to pick on these two authors, I've loved books by both of them, but they are such obvious examples. They seem to almost revel in The Overtorture.

What about anyone else? Are you a fan of the tortured hero like me? But do you feel a hero can be too tortured? Can you think of any other hero who could be classified as an Overtortured Tortured Hero? Is there an author who you think goes over the line?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reread Challenge for November

Well - it's that time again - Reread Challenge Time hosted by Nath. It's a bit of deja view from last month!

Rapture in Death by JD Robb

Why this one: I'm still making my way through a reread of the In Death books. There are a couple of coworkers reading them and as they are much further behind than I am, it's kind of fun going back to the earlier ones

Blurb: They died with smiles on their faces. Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common - and no obvious reasons for killing themselves. Police lieutenant Eve Dallas found the deaths suspicious. And her instincts paid off when autopsies revealed small burns on the brains of the victims. Was it a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder? Eve's investigation turned to the provocative world of virtual reality games - where the same techniques used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction . . .

My thoughts: It's been a while since I've read this one - number 4 is anyone doesn't know the order. It takes place almost right where Immortal in Death ends. Eve and Roarke are just finishing off their honeymoon off planet, when Eve is called to check out an apparent suicide of one of the staff. Everything appears as it ought to be but when Eve goes back to work, she is made aware of a number of suicides and puts two and two together and comes up with murder. What I enjoy so much about this one is the passion between Eve and Roarke. The last book so far in the series I only gave a warm rating too, but this one is hot, hot, hot as they are both still newlyweds. Add to that a musicologist who is working to help Mavis with her singing career and who likes to 'manipulate' things between Roarke and Eve and this is another good read. I did notice though that this one is a bit unusual in that Eve, who is usually so right on about the murderer is a bit off on who she thinks it is in this book and pushes things further then she usually does and ends up wrong - for a short time.

This is another one that is heavier than some on the relationship aspect and I wish more of them were like this. I originally gave this one a 5 out of 5 - but I was new to the series and I was giving 5's out like candy I love the whole series that much. This time 'round though I'm changing it to a 4.5 out of 5. Still a very good grade, but I downgraded it just a tad due to Eve's stubbornness.

Portrait in Death by J.D. Robb

Why this one: Ever since I first read it, it's always been my favourite

Blurb: A serial killer takes his dead victims' portraits and sends them to the media. Lieutenant Eve Dallas counts on her husband's help to crack the case, but he's just learned a devastating truth about his past.

My thoughts: I've always liked this one best as it's quite a role reversal compared to most of the other In Death books and it's one I taunt my coworkers with. Usually it's Eve who remembers the horrible things in her childhood, but in Portrait, Roarke learns something about his past that rocks his world. I won't say what so as to avoid spoilers for any readers who are just starting this series or who haven't made it this far. But Roarke is shaken - very shaken - and as those who know this series so well, other than worrying about Eve, Roarke is pretty much cool as a cucumber. And because his world is so rocked, and he doesn't know how to handle this new development, he does something else very un-Roarke like - he shuts Eve out. And thus Eve is shaken.

Later on in the story, once Roarke kind of comes to terms with the situation, we have another role reversal. It's Eve who helps Roarke. As we all know, Eve isn't exactly the 'nurturing' kind. She is faced with a dilemma - whether to continue working on the case or help Roarke when he needs her the most. After a head smack from Feeney, she does make the right choice.

This one is more of a relationship entry than many of the In Death books and I liked it. The first time I gave this one a 5 out of 5 and it still gets a 5 out of 5 and still remains one of my favourites!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

You're never too old to learn new tricks!!

Oldest son Brent was over last night - as an aside it was nice to spend a Friday night with him - weird but nice - and he was showing me some videos on YouTube and I learned something I did not know!!!

If you watch the video on YouTube itself and click the little square box on the bottom right hand corner - the one between the triangle box and the speaker box, the video plays on the whole screen!! When I saw him enlarge the first video, I got all excited and asked him how he made it do that, so he told me. So of course - me being me - after he left, checked it out on the second North and South video on the left side bar.

The famous "KISS" in the famous 'TRAIN SCENE" up close and in slow motion - verra, verra nice!!

And speaking of North and South - Jessica - I'm still waiting to add you to the Crusader list!! I know you've wa-atched it. And anyone else whose watched it and want to do a review - it's been a while since there has been new blood.

And - just in case I'm not the only one who did not know this and wants to see what I'm talking about - here's the video

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Recent Read

Yes!! The dam has been broken!!

Her Colorado Man by Cheryl St. John

Why this one: I've always loved her books and when I saw this out early, I just had to pick it up.

Steam Level: There's burning, there's hot and there is warm. This one would be warm, but I like them any way.

When eighteen-year-old Mariah found herself pregnant and unmarried in her small Colorado town, she disappeared. One year later, she returned with a baby--though minus the "husband" who had conveniently ventured off to Alaska's gold fields to seek his fortune....

But now, with handsome adventurer Wes Burrows turning up and claiming to be the husband she had invented, Mariah's lies become flesh and blood--and her wildest dreams a reality

My Thoughts: I haven't read a book by Cheryl St. John that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed and this book was no exception. If you read the previous post, you can see I was having a tough time figuring out what I was in the mood for and decided to see if I was in the mood for this book - and wonder of wonders - I was.

Ms. St. Johns books aren't big and splashy. They aren't filled with larger than life characters. There aren't strange worlds or people running for their lives.

But what there is in a Cheryl St. John book is a warmth and charm that is very appealing. There are tender, quiet moments and there is a poignancy in her stories that you don't find often enough. There are characters you can connect with and when you close the cover at the end, you often have a warm and fuzzy feeling and when you are looking for something to read, and can't seem to find anything else, this just hits the spot.

And Mariah and Wes are no exception. Mariah is a bit of a prickly character but that doesn't take away from her appeal. As a single mother, she is very protective of her son John James. She has a large and supportive family to help her but she is thrown for a loop when Wes Burrows shows up claiming to be her husband and the father of John James. But she knows this is impossible as there is no husband and the father is unknown (to us, the reader). You see, her grandfather fabricated a husband, using the name and mail box of a mysterious and most often absent Wes Burrows to cover the fact that Mariah was an unwed mother.

Wes Burrows lives in Alaska and while recuperating from an injury, found all the letters from a young boy claiming to be his son. Raised in a foundling home, Wes has never experienced the relationship between a father and son. He continued the correspondence with young John James and eventually, with nothing holding him in Alaska, decides he wants to meet and get to know his 'son'. Mariah is horrified that her lies are coming back to haunt her and thus is understandably prickly.

Wes, on the other hand is the kind of hero I adore. Never having known the love of family and he is captivated by Mariah and her large extended family. He is drawn to John James and we, the reader, are drawn to Wes.

It's a wonderful and heart warming/heart breaking story of two lonely people who are so right for each other if they can overcome their own insecurities, especially Mariah. If I could only use one word to describe a Cheryl St. John book it would be touching, emotional, moving - I know - that's three words isn't it? But it's true. Her Colorado Man is all of these.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Monday, November 23, 2009

You gotta be in the mood to be in the groove

Catchy title eh?

I've been thinking about this for a few days now and I don't know if it was this apparent, but the kind of mood I'm in can have a real bearing on the book I read. I finished off Skin Game, which was rather dark and broody and then picked up Nalini Singh's Blaze of Memory, but I just couldn't get into it. I knew it wasn't the book since I've really been enjoying her series, it was me. So I put it down and picked up Sherrilyn Kenyon's Born of Night, but couldn't get very far into that book either. Again, I knew it wasn't the book it was me.

Then the light dawned. I had just finished a rather dark book that I enjoyed quite a bit. But now I was in the mood for light and fluffy. And when you need light and fluffy, dark and broody just doesn't work. So I thought Susan Donovan's Ain't Too Proud to Beg. And that didn't work! The hero in this book is PERFECT and I don't care for perfect heroes. And so that one was the wrong choice.

So then I got confused. What was I in the mood for? I read Karen's sort of review for The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie so I thought maybe I'll do a reread of that one. But while I got further into it then I did the other three, I realized I wasn't in the mood for that one either.

So I figured maybe I was in the mood for something steamy and tried Livia Dare's In the Flesh that Stacy gave a great review for. But I didn't want to have different 'read at home' and 'read at work' books and there's no way I wanted to read this one at work. Some coworkers have taken to wanting to see what books I've been reading and, well, it's just not one I wanted to show - I'm not quite that ready *g*. So that one was out.

I started eyeing some of the historicals that I have, but was feeling meh about starting any of them.

One book I do feel like reading is Relentless and I know I have it - but I can't find it, damn it all. I've looked a few times and it could be anywhere.

So now I'm totally mixed up!! I have no idea what I feel like reading, but I do know I'm tired of picking up books, only reading a bit, and then clueing that's not the book I'm in the mood for. I'm in the mood to read - it's not a slump. But I'm out of my groove and I have to say, I'm not liking it!!

I picked up Cheryl St. John's latest, Her Colorado Man on the way from work tonight. Hopefully it will be the book to get me back in the groove 'cause right now, I'm very frustrated. Several thousand books and I can't find one to read makes me one cranky reader!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recent Reads

Healing Luke by Beth Cornelison

Why this one: It was another impulse buy. I was in the bookstore and the title jumped out at me - I love a wounded hero. Then the cover appealed to me. And when I read the storyline, it called to me.

Steam Level: Warmish

Ladies' man Luke Morgan has the world at his feet until a freak explosion leaves him burned and bitter. Luke's family offers gutsy occupational therapist Abby Stanford a job facilitating Luke's physical therapy, but Luke wants no part of his family's schemes or Abby's help. When sparks fly between Luke and Abby, Luke must face his deepest fears in order to claim the woman who brought his family together and taught him the real meaning of love.

My Thoughts: This was the book I was reading when I thought of keeping books versus keeper books. I'm keeping this one, but while close, it's not a keeper book.

Luke was a player - a love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy. But that kind of lifestyle was leaving him cold and he had mainly given it up when he was seriously injured in a boat explosion. He was burned, lost the sight in one eye and his right hand was badly damaged. This has turned i him into a pretty bitter guy.

Abby has had the shock of her life when she caught her fiance cheating on her. Instead of canceling her honeymoon trip, she decides to go on her own. But her self confidence is badly shaken and she's feeling pretty gun shy.

She first meets Luke when she plans on going diving through the family owned business that Luke used to be a part of. He's quite surly with her, but she still feels a 'pull' towards him. But when she meets his 'still in the game' older brother, Aaron, and he asks her out, Abby goes out on a date with him. Although Luke is gruff to the max and tells himself it doesn't bother him, deep down it does.

Aaron notices that Luke seems to come out of his bitter shell a bit more around Abby and along with their dad, convinces Abby to work for them, part to fill in for Luke and part to work as Luke's therapist in dealing with his hand injury.

I really enjoyed the character of Luke. He was in the process of changing when his whole world was rocked. He was angry and bitter and since it hadn't been that long, I could see and understand why he was the way he was. Along with everything else, he didn't think any woman would want to be with him. I'm a sucker for a 'tortured' type hero and Luke was right up my alley.

Abby was a bit more problematic for me though. She certainly sent out mixed messages to Luke who was already reeling. "yes there is something between us - that's why I'm going out with your brother"
"Yes there is something between us, but it cannot be since I mistrust all men because of what my finance did.
It's no wonder poor Luke was confused. I know she had her own issues, but she mixed her issues up with Luke which I felt was slightly unfair.

Now - reading this, one might get the impression I didn't really care for this book. But I did like it. I didn't love it, but I think the author has potential.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Why this one: I got this one because of Rosie's glowing recommendation

Steam Level: Nice and Steamy!

Blurb: A beautiful fugitive—wanted dead or alive.

Kyra is a con woman and a particular kind of thief. She steals with a touch, but she only takes one thing: her target’s strongest skill. Which means she can be a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist—anything she wants… for a limited time. Heartbroken, she turns her gift toward avenging her father’s murder; with deadly patience, Kyra works her way into casino owner Gerard Serrano’s inner circle. After pulling off the ultimate con, she flees with his money and his pride.

A hit man who never misses the mark.
Reyes has nothing but his work. Pity for Kyra, he’s the best and mercy never sways him once he takes a job. He’s been hired to find out where Kyra hid the cash—and bring her back to face Serrano’s “justice.” Dead will do, if he can’t locate the loot. He’s never failed to complete a contract, but Kyra tempts him with her fierce heat and her outlaw heart. So Reyes has a hell of a choice: forsake his word or kill the woman he might love.

My Thoughts: Thanks Rosie!! I love a book with shades of gray and this one certainly fit the bill. Kyra is a con woman. She and her father had lead their lives running cons. But when a Vegas good fella is responsible for the death of Kyra's father, she runs a big con on him, humiliating him for all it's worth. Now she is one the run from his wrath, along with several million dollars she got out of the deal.

Reyes is the man that was sent after her. A bona fide hit man with his own peculiar moral code, he was told that it was Kyra who turned on her father, resulting in his death. But when he tracks her down she just isn't what he was expecting and it doesn't take long for him to figure out he'd been lied to and he gives his allegiance to Kyra. The only problem - she doesn't know he's a hit man, thinking him just a drifter who partners up with her.

Kyra also had this additional talent that lends itself well to her talents and it's also kept her fairly isolated her whole life. When she touches someone, their 'talent' is transferred to her whether it be in pool, darts, martial arts or singing.

Kyra and Reyes have amazing chemistry together. And when Reyes falls for Kyra, he is wrecked for her. I do so love that in a hero. For her part, due to her unusual upbringing, Kyra has lead a lonely and solitary life and although very reluctant at first to let Reyes into her heart, she eventually can't help herself. These two, while very gray, did have their own morals they lived by. Reyes only killed people who deserved killing and Kyra only conned people who deserved conning. I found them both fascinating. I enjoyed their rather twisted but understandable morals. When Kyra finds out the hidden agenda Reyes had, and of course she did, she is devastated but still smart enough to know that she still needs his help. And Reyes, for his part is also deeply affected, for the first time in his life he met someone he truly cared for. But he is determined to help her and keep her alive not matter what it might cost him.

Not long ago I read Linda Howard's Death Angel where the hero of that one was also an assassin and really enjoyed it. I can now say the same thing for Skin Game

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Monday, November 16, 2009

And still two more!

Wow!! My blog links is growing by leaps and bounds!! I'm going to have to figure out how google reader works now so I have time to visit everyone.

And with that, the two newest bloggers I've found:

Anna of Good Gone Girl, who seems to be into one of my favourite genres at the moment - Sports Romance. Anna is a fairly new baby blogger - she joined us in October so go say hey


Tabitha of Tabz Book Blog
who is reading my trump author (TM Tara Marie) at the moment, J.D. Robb. Tabitha is pretty new to us to as she started her blog in August. So say hey to her too!!

(Now if um someone can tell me how google reader works????)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not just a Twofer - but a Threefer!!

As Nath reminded me, Chapters had a 25% weekend this weekend just wrapping up. I wasn't going to get any books, but the more I thought about it, the more I justified to myself that it was a good idea to go. And with just a very short encouragement from Stacy, I did.

My latest haul.

Born of Fire and Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Now I gave up the Dark Hunter series quite some time ago. But I was actually on the Sherrlyn Kenyon train years before even then, when I was into futuristics and read a couple of hers and enjoyed them quite a bit. I read somewhere that they were going to be reissued but lost track of when. Then I read at Leontine's place that Born of Ice was one of them. When I checked online to see if the Chapters near me not only had this one but also Born of Night - well I had to get them right? I already have Paradise City - now I'm going to have to figure out which one it is and how it compares to the reissued version.

In the Flesh by Livia Dare.
I read about this one Stacy's place and was instantly intrigued. But I'll be honest, I find the cover cringe worthy. But I figured if I bought a group of books and with luck the checkout person was female and not some young studly guy, I could slip it through. I did and it wasn't so all was good!

Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind by Karen Kelley
I really enjoyed Earth Guys are Easy, the second in a trilogy and I picked up Bad Boys Guide to the Galaxy, the third a few days ago. So I just had to get the first one - right?

How to Tempt a Duke and How to Tame a Lady by Kasey Michaels.

Now I have both of these in my cart at Harlequin but there I save 20% off the cover price. With my Avid Reader card I say 10% and 20% is better then 10%. But 25% is even better then 20%. So by getting them today at Chapters, I'm saving a total of 10% - 5% on each book. See how that math works? In fact, by that kind of math, I actually saved 90% on the books I bought!!
And in case you are wondering, I actually credited the savings because I would have saved 10% at Chapters regardless.