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