Sunday, February 28, 2010

Do you ever have those times???

When you know you have to get to bed so you can get up the next day nice and refreshed but you're too wired to actually sleep? Well, I'm having one of those!!

For any of my American visitors who happened to watch the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and wondered what the heck William Shatner was going on about, it was a take off on this commercial.

And this commercial is why *laughing*


A Present

for Heidenkind - She knows why - heh heh heh!!

Getting it right and getting taken out by a misstep

I'm really into the sports tonight. I just finished watching Canada take the final gold medal of the games - hold on for a sec - I just have to do this.......


OK that's out of my system for now anyway but back to the subject at hand. As well as watching the hockey game, I'm also reading Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis. Overall I'm enjoying this book, but I've just got to a scene that shows the author doesn't know baseball.

The hero is the catcher for a major league baseball team. It's the first game of the season - keep this in mind - FIRST game of the season - and the pitcher is the hero of her previous book. It's the ninth inning and Pace is still pitching. There is not a chance in hell that in the FIRST game of the season, they would have the starting pitcher in for nine innings.


Recent Read

Mr. Unforgettable by Karina Bliss

Why this one: I was so taken with What the Librarian Did, I wanted to read more by this author. This one was the only one that was still available at Chapters.

Steam Level: Oh so nice and toasty on a winter's day

Blurb: Luke Carter can never forget that he'd been abandoned as a child. And that's why the millionaire and former Olympian is driven to build his camp for underprivileged kids in Beacon Bay. If only the rural New Zealand community trusted his motives. And if only the beautiful widow mayor, Liz Light, would stop grieving long enough to prove where her loyalties lie - with Luke or her late husband - and show him once and for all which man is truly unforgettable.

My Thoughts: I figured it was somehow somewhat appropriate considering the amount of Olympics I've been watching the past two weeks that I read a book where the hero is a former Olympian gold medal winner - even if I've been watching Winter Olympics and he was a Summer Olympics champion. And what a champion (heh heh) he makes. I just fell in love with Luke. This is the third book in a series (so naturally I jump in late - though I have now ordered, through other means than Chapters, the first two books in this series, Mr. Irresistible and Mr. Imperfect - all dumb titles I know) about three friends who go into business together. Luke is the front man for building a camp for underprivileged kids in the small ocean town of Beacon Bay. As someone who grew up in the The residents are not supportive of such a program.

One of the few though who is supportive is Liz Light, the Mayor of Beacon Bay and the widow of the former mayor. She is still very much in mourning for her late husband and anything he supported, she supports in an effort to carry on his legacy. But there is another election coming up soon and it seems she has some stiff competition. As part of her campaigning, she is roped into leading off a swimming event and as she doesn't know how to swim, she enlists the help of Luke to teach her. It is during these swimming lessons that she and Luke grow close and the attraction between them finally lets loose.

Both Luke and Liz have issues from their past. We don't really learn much of Liz's until later in the book, but Luke grew up in the foster care system after being abandoned at a very young age by his mother. He really pulls at the heart strings. Liz also is a great heroine who also pulls at the heartstrings. Torn between her growing feelings for Luke, but afraid of them in light of the love she has for her deceased older husband, she is reluctant to acknowledge them and this causes Luke pain. Because of his own abandonment, he is very wary.

I am SO glad that I've discovered this author. At least in the two books I've read so far, there is a real poignancy to them that I enjoy very much. I can hardly wait now until the other two arrive. While Mr. Unforgettable could be read on it's own, there are some dynamics I felt I missed by not reading the previous too first. Karina Bliss is an author I will be watching for from now on.

The fact that her books take place in New Zealand, a place I'd love to visit but chances are I won't, is an added bonus.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5 (with a chance of a 5 once I read the first two)

Recent Read

Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb

Why this one: It's an In Death book

Steam Level: so so

Blurb: Lt. Eve Dallas, a top homicide cop for the New York Police and Security Department (the law enforcement agency for a mid 21st-century New York City), faces one of the more challenging cases of her career in bestseller Robb's exciting 31st in death novel (after Kindred in Death). When someone cuts off the head of Bart Minnock, the genius founder of the computer gaming company U-Play, apparently while he was role-playing against an imaginary opponent in a prototype of a fantasy adventure that could rock the industry, Eve investigates. Security logs show no one entered Minnock's building around the time of his murder, presenting a futuristic variation on the classic locked-room mystery. Aided by her husband, Roarke, who was a potential business rival of the victim, Dallas focuses on who would benefit from Minnock's death.

My Thoughts: *wringing hands in despair*
Oh dear, I didn't think I'd ever think this, but I didn't really care for this entry into the series and I found it disappointing. It wasn't badly done, but there was nothing new or fresh in Fantasy. It was almost like Ms. Robb had a check list and one by one checked off each item

  • Eve catches a case - check
  • Roarke has some kind of involvement (he knew the victim and tried to recruit him for Roarke Enterprises but when Bart turned him down, Roarke became a bit of a mentor) - check
  • Eve and Roarke have a small difference of opinion - Roarke frowns at her but it is resolved within a page) - check
  • Eve insults Sommerset - check
  • Peabody and McNabb have a few scenes together - check
  • Eve and Roarke have some love scenes (rather bland in compared to earlier books. I know this because I've reread quite a few of her earlier books lately and Fantasy is definitely lacking in the steam level) - check
  • Nadine brings baked goods into the department - check
  • Eve puzzles over case - check
  • Eve solves case - check
  • And so on and so on
The End

What is missing I felt, in this book, is heart. I don't really know how to explain it, but for the first time there seemed to be no real connection between the reader (me) and the characters. And there was no real connection between the characters. Some, such as Dr. Mira and Baxter and Trueheart only seemed to make token appearance because it was expected that they would be in the book. There was no real connection between any of the characters and the murder victim except for the one between Roarke and Bart and his partners.

This book focused on the mystery at the expense of character development I thought. There was no character development, no growth, nothing new. There was one scene that was so out of character on Roarke's part that it was jarring.

Usually when it comes to the next installment of this series I read the book in two days tops, but this one took five days and I read another one in between. But I just didn't feel this one, it didn't resonate with me the way all the previous books did.

My advice - unless you are anal about collecting the series (like I am), don't be spending the big bucks for this one. I think you might be as disappointed as I was. In the meantime I hope the author gets back what makes this series so special for the next one.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Well Hot Damn!!!

I should be in bed - it's way past my bed time and I'm on the early shift. But I've been watching the Olympics and my favourite part of the Olympics is the skating. And my favourite part of the skating has been the Ice Dance. Ever since Torville and Dean burst onto the scene, I've been glued to both the World's and the Olympics and poor Ron had to sit through them and at times miss the Leafs so that I could watch Ice Dancing. Ryan was over tonight and I made him watch it too!!

I've been especially excited this year because one of the Canadian Ice Dancing teams had been picked to do well at this Olympics and I almost kind of felt like I sort of knew them. One of the women I used to work with at a previous job happened to know Scott Moir as he was from a small town right near mine and the woman I worked with belonged to the Legion there and was always talking about he and his partner. And his partner, Tessa Virtue is from London - as in Ontario - same city I live in. I've been glued to the telly every night for the skating and during the Ice Dance I didn't even take break time. Well - I might have missed one pair much earlier in the evening when I had to do a bit of shoveling.

And tonight they won the GOLD medal in Ice Dance!!!!! The youngest couple ever to win GOLD and the first North American couple to ever win GOLD.

Hot Damn!!!

And huge Kudo's too, to the US Ice Dance team of Charlie White and Meryl Davis. They were fantastic too and well deserving of the Silver Medal.

I know for most of Canada, the big prize will be if Canada wins the gold in hockey - but for me - the big one was won tonight!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

It ain't getting any easier!

This is the start of week 3 of our new system and it isn't getting any easier for those in our department at all!! Because, unlike other departments, we work on an 8 week rotation basis and the 'jobs' we do go with the shift, what I learned Week 1 didn't mean didly squat for what I then did Week 2. I had a whole new bunch of stuff to learn Week 2. And now, starting Week 3, I have yet a whole new list of stuff I have to learn. Today was the closest I've come to breaking down so far!!

A good deal of the frustration comes from the fact that I feel I'm pretty good at learning new programs, but with this cycle we work, and each week starting all over with something different is killing me. Not only that, it's bringing out the Drama Queen in me big time. My supervisor is looking at me worriedly (is that a word?) at times as until now, I've been able to keep the Drama Queen under wraps pretty good. And the more the Drama Queen comes out, the more the....well... off colour stuff comes out. We had a team meeting last week and I started off by saying I had an idea that might help all of us relieve some stress. I said they might laugh at the suggestion, but I was serious. I suggested we all bring in some eggs and all take 15 minutes to go throw the eggs at the trees at the back of the parking lot. Everyone laughed, but I said again I was serious - that women are taught from birth almost not to display any kind of violent emotion. Instead we are supposed to clean - as if that really relieves stress. HA!!

And then it became evident that I've been rereading too much of Eve Dallas because when the laughter at my suggestion died down a bit and our supervisor said the workplace wasn't really the place to relieve stress (though I don't think taking 15 minutes to throw eggs would be that bad) she said we need to relieve our stress at home at which point I replied (and I still can't believe I actually came out and said this out loud - goes to show how much it's getting to me) that 'that was fine for most of the team - they had someone they could go home to and bang - but me, I live alone and there's no one to relieve my stress on!!'

So far the people at work are getting a kick out of me - except for my supervisor who doesn't realize that the 'Drama Queen' who has been unleashed is just a different kind of reliever of stress and is worried I may have a melt down soon - but I'm going to have to put that filter back again, the one between my brain and my mouth.

I worked 7 1/2 hours today and it felt about 6 hours of it was spent spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I'm not used to working like that!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Recent Read

What The Librarian Did by Karina Bliss

Why This One: I have to give a big thanks to Wendy for putting this one on my radar. This is a Harlequin line I’d never tried but when Wendy pointed it out, the storyline, combined with the fact I figured it was time I tried Super Romance since I have seen good reviews and then add a dash of shallowness since I think the male cover model is hot and I like shaggy hair and I was sold!

Steam Level: It doesn’t really come close to a boil

Blurb: Is Rachel Robinson the only one on campus who doesn’t know who Devin Freedman is? No big deal except that the bad-boy rock star gets a kick out of Rachel’s refusal to worship at his feet. And that seems to have provoked his undivided attention. Devin, the guy who gave new meaning to the phrase “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.” Devin, the guy who somehow becomes wedged between her and the past she’s kep hidden for years.

It’s up to this librarian to find out firsthand just how “bad” he really is. Because her secret – and her growing feelings for a man who claims he’s bent on redemption – depend on his turning out to be as good as he seems. Which is really, really good.

My Thoughts: Again I say thanks to Wendy since I really enjoyed this book!! First off, it takes place in New Zealand. How cool is that? At first Rachel comes across as rather uptight. But boy can she hand out the zingers. And her main focus of her zinger flings is Devin. As mentioned in the blurb, Devin was a member of a famous rock band formed by his older brother. But having suffered a breakdown brought on by too much wild living, he heads back to the country of his birth and without much else to do, and a desire to see if his older brother has been screwing him out of royalties from the band, Devin decides to take a course on business and finance at the local university where Rachel just happens to be the head librarian.

Because of her rather rigid upbringing and something that happened to her when she was younger, Rachel isn’t much into rock music and is less than impressed with Devin. But there is a lot of chemistry there, no matter that Rachel tries to deny it. Their relationship is further complicated when Devin befriends a young student, a young man that holds a key to Rachel’s past.

Devin is a dream hero!! While success came to him early and he did live a wild life style, he really is trying to turn his life around and has also come home to care for his mother who recently went through her own health scare. He’s alternately attracted to and annoyed by how cool Rachel is towards him. And the more she keeps him at arms length, the more he wants to get closer.

Rachel is a great heroine – I really liked her and I’m curious as to what Wendy will think – her being a Super Librarian and all. While no question she’s kind of old-fashioned, that doesn’t mean she’s not a treat of a heroine, and when Devin can manage to get her to let down her hair so to speak, she’s really quite funny. There are a number of places I got quite a chuckle out of their bickering.

And yet at other times there is a real poignancy in this story. Mark, the young man Devin befriends and then mentors plays a pivotal role in the story and a motivating reason as to why Rachel is the way she is.

I’ve already put in an order for a couple of Karina Bliss’s previous books and if other books in this line are as good as What The Librarian Did, I can see me reading more Super Romances.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Recent Read

Set the Dark on Fire by Jill Sorenson

Why this one: I've seen Jill in blog land. In fact I think she visits my blog sometimes so when I saw Crash Into Me was released, I had to get it. And there it languished in the TBR pile. You notice I added the ed to that. When I saw this one in the stores, I got a copy of it too but because I often read books out of order, and it was handier than Crash Into Me, I picked it up first.

Steam Level: Oh yea - it was good!!

Blurb: In a southern California town ablaze with sordid secrets, a free-spirited biologist and a straitlaced sheriff join forces to investigate a suspicious killing -- and find themselves getting a little too close to the flames...

Shay Phillips knows her way around Dark Canyon. She's handy with a gun and can track a wild animal with the best of them. It's humans who usually give her the most trouble. And with a hormonally charged teenage brother to raise -- and an admitted weakness for the wrong kind of man -- they're giving her plenty of trouble these days. Then there's the matter of murder. As an expert on mountain lions, Shay is skeptical when a local prostitute turns up mauled without a drop of blood near the body.

Now, together with the town's newly arrived sheriff, Luke Meza -- a Las Vegas city boy with his own dark secrets -- Shay must navigate a dangerous valley filled with angry ex-lovers, unfaithful spouses, and poisonous snakes in a desperate search for the killer. But when suspicion falls on her own brother, and her attraction to Luke rages into a full-on erotic affair, can Shay quell the fires inside her long enough to uncover the truth?

My Thoughts: It's always a bit tricky when you read a book by someone you 'know' if if you don't really 'know' them but sort of kind of know them. What if you don't really like the book they wrote but you really like them. I needn't have worried!! I LOVED this book! It was everything a romantic suspense should be.

What sets this book apart from so many others and makes it so good is the complexity of the characters. We first meet Shay when she is called to assist with a body believed to have been killed by a mountain lion. She is a wild life ranger and to say she is hung over when she is first called in is putting it mildly. She has hangover to beat all hangovers. We aren't quite sure what to make of her at first and neither is the hero, Luke. He thinks she is a wild party girl, but as the book goes along we, along with Luke, discover that she is far from that. Instead she is someone who loves her job and is good at it. She also has sole care for her younger, yet troubled brother Dylan. She is lost as to how to reconnect with him and regain the closeness they used to have before she became his only guardian. I found her to be really unique and fascinating. She isn't at what she first appears to be and she makes a most compelling heroine.

Luke Meza makes an equally compelling hero. He has only been the new sheriff for a couple of days when he is faced with this most unusual case. He's just left the Las Vegas police force and for him this is only an interim post until something else comes along. He really does seem out of his element and a fish out of water in this small town with it's small town idiosyncrasies. Although he came from the flashy city of Las Vegas, he is surprisingly reluctant to get involved with Shay despite his very strong attraction to her and Shay is the same. Although at first it seems she might be a bit of a party girl, she really isn't.

I don't know why it is - but I'm really having troubles putting my thoughts into words on this book. It's quite quirky but I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking it's lighthearted or that the suspense suffers in the romantic suspense part of it.

The characters - the main characters and the secondary characters are so incredibly vivid and well drawn out. I loved it - simply loved it!!

Grade: 5 out of 5

Crash Into Me by Jill Sorenson

Why This One: You notice I added an ed in the previous review. I hadn't gotten very far into Set The Dark on Fire when I had to get this one out of the TBR pile and ready for a read as soon as I finished STDoF.

Steam Level: Oh yes - this one had plenty of it!

Blurb: One streetwise undercover agent will do whatever it takes to catch her man....

In this heart-stopping novel, Jill Sorenson delivers a romantic thriller featuring one too-tough female agent, one too-hot male suspect, and a head-on erotic collision.... CRASH INTO ME

Ben Fortune may have gone into virtual seclusion after his wife's murder, but he was still the world's most famous surfer, known as much for his good looks as for his skill on the board. He's also a suspect in a series of brutal murders. FBI Special Agent Sonora "Sonny" Vasquez has been sent undercover to the elite beach community of La Jolla to make friends with Fortune. With her fierce beauty and take-no-prisoners attitude, she's more than equipped for the job. But all too soon she and Ben have collided in an affair that is both intense and irresistible. Could this sensual, wounded man really be a killer? And could falling in love blind Sonny to the greatest danger of all?

My Thoughts: I could do this in one word. Wowzers. But that isn't very descriptive or helpful is it? I thought this one was the bees knees, the cat's pajamas!! I've never come across a hero/heroine quite like Ben or Summer/Sonny or a cast of secondary characters like these ones before.

Ben was such a combination of wounded soul, arrogance, lost, full of himself and so very....loveable and odd. He's champion surfer who made a name for himself in his younger days. To say he was a wild party animal would be putting it mildly. But when tragedy struck, he made a 180, but still kept enough of the wild guy about him to make him utterly fascinating and compelling. He admits he was a Class A Asshole and from the glimpses we get, the reader has to agree with him - he was!! But now he's a single dad, struggling mightily with a troubled, smart mouthed daughter who you want to slap and hug at the same time, a recovering alcoholic, and *laughing* a vegatarian and a total studd muffin.

Summer/Sunny is an equally fascinating character. She's someone loaded with issues - issues we don't get to see until much further along in the book. She's constantly leading poor Ben on, then almost beating him up when he goes too far. It's funny and touching and sad all at the same time. She is an F.B.I. agent looking for a serial killer and Ben is a suspect. Because of her incredible attraction to him, she's constantly doing things, as an agent, she shouldn't be doing, knowing that she shouldn't, but unable to stop. And we, the reader don't blame her. Written by a less skilled writer, some of the things she says or does, we would be thinking 'wait a minute here', but with this writer, it makes sense - at least to me.

I don't know if Jill Sorenson will be anywhere I will be, but if she does, I want to pull her aside for a coffee - my treat - so I can ask her what happens with many of the secondary characters. They were so real and believable that I HAVE to know what happens.

As with Set the Dark on Fire, I'm not sure that I can get my feelings down well on this book and how different and again, quirky it was.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Friday, February 19, 2010

For Kati

In answer to her question number 2.

Heh, heh, heh I could curl with Paul Gross!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Holy Cow!!!!

I'm FIVE today!!! I knew my blogiversary was coming up soon so I went back and checked and my very first post appeared on February 17, 2005!! Half the time I forget them but five is a big year.

And this was my inaugural post.

I look back now at how different my life was five years ago and how much has changed and I can honestly say in many ways I'm not the same person, but in other ways I'm the very same.

I've been through a couple of job changes since back then and for those who worry sometime, despite the current rumbles, I am happier where I am now than I have been at any previous places of employment. So for those out there - don't despair. It took me a while to find my home away from home aka work, but find it I did.

I have made friends - such good friends, through blogging. And I've been extremely fortunate to meet many of them in person. And each and every one I've met whether in person or just over the 'net, has enriched my life. To find such a wonderful group of people who can relate so easily to many of the quirks us romance readers have is - well - sounding a bit gooey here - beyond amazing.

I have traveled - by myself! - half way across the continent!! For me to do something like that five years ago would have been inconceivable. But I still remember saying to myself as I got off the plane in Detroit, coming back from San Francisco - "Damn Girl (yes - I did address myself as girl even though that could be disputed) I am proud of you! You made it SF and back all on your own!!" So traveling the next year to Washington DC was a piece of cake. The next challenge will be DRIVING to Columbus - about a 7 hour drive - on my own. Which reminds me. I need to get a GPS and even tougher still - figuring out how it works! Or is that GSP.

Of course what affected me the very most was losing Ron. That shaped and changed me in drastic ways. The other half of me - the grounding part - is gone. While there has been a lot of healing, the scar is still there and always will be. In some ways I've failed - like in housework. Ron and I were the Felix and Oscar and without my Felix, my Oscar has kind of taken over. But in other ways I've accomplished quite a bit! I had my kitchen remodled (even though Destructo Cat has done a number of some of the walls), I had the yard landscaped and from the outside the house looks entirely different. I haven't had any utilities cut off - though I'm sure the cable, phone, hydro companies scratch their heads when they get payment from me and it very rarely matches what the bill says. And biggest of all - I'm traveling - by myself. Ron wasn't much for traveling - he refused to fly and I've done more flying now in the past few years than I had in the entire 31 years we were married!

So - thanks to each and every one of you that has dropped in and spent some time here over the past five years. Who'da thunk I'd still be doing this - and still loving it - way back when I first started.

So to celebrate becoming FIVE I'm going to give away some books. I don't know which ones yet, but I have a number of doubles and I'll go through them and list titles. I would have done this before, but I didn't realize the blogiversary was so close until a couple of hours ago - and well - the men's short program is on. Leave a comment on anything:

  • Favourite books
  • Favourite genres
  • North and South
  • Your troubles with electronics (so I won't feel alone)
  • The troubles you have with pets
  • Your fridge magnet collection (I have a real fine one going thanks to the conferences!)
  • Your pen collection (I have a real fine one going thanks to the conferences!)
  • Hot actors (though non can top Richard Armitage)
  • How you like embarrassing your kids
  • Your fear of mail
  • Your addiction to Free Cell/Boggle
  • The number of books in the TBR pile
  • Your favourite 80's music
  • The Winter Olympics - I'm hooked
  • Who you think is the hottest athlete at the Olympics
  • What makes a book a keeper
  • What do you like in a hero
  • What do you like in a heroine
  • Or anything else that strikes your fancy

and I'll announce the books and the winner next Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thought for the Day

Today's pondering while I take a quick break from housecleaning.

I was driving home from work and was stopped at a red light while a train was going by on the overhead bridge. It was long light so I had a lot of time to watch the train - it was a freight train, not a passenger train and a lot of the cars had graffiti written on the sides and at the risk of rising the ire {good boggle word} of the CN - a lot of it was pretty well done.

Here in the city I live in there seems to be an ongoing between the city/property owners and graffiti people. The city spends big bucks to clean off the graffiti and then either charges us tax payers or charges the cost back to the building owners. The next day or week or whatever, the graffiti is back.

Instead of this ongoing battle and I don't know if this goes on in other cities too, but why don't they pick a bunch of buildings and let the graffiti people go wild and graffiti to their hearts content and as long as it isn't objectionable language or messages, leave it? There is also a tattoo place on the way home where the outside is covered with graffiti and I think it's supposed to be like that. And it looks pretty darn good!

There are a lot of talented graffiti artists out there. Why not embrace their talent instead of covering it up in an endless battle??

Anyway - that's where my thoughts wandered on the way home today.

All graffiti people are also now in my clique! As long as they don't come and graffiti my white house overnight. While I think this shows a lot of talent, my neighbours might find it a bit much.

However, it they want to do up a proposal - I'll look at it.

Monday, February 15, 2010


What does one do when one has had a rough week? If one is a out of control romance reader, and I know many who visit here are - just like me - then one goes to a book store and buys.... books.

I kind of broke my own rule by buying more than I've read - but - hey - we are also great at justifying. So I now have a few more books in the TBR pile than I planned. They include:

Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney
It's been quite some time since I've read one of her books and I figure I'm due to read another one. She's written some wicked good books in her time.

Countess of Scandal by Laurel McKee

This one wasn't even on my radar but it got quite a good review at AAR so I thought I'd give it a try.

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Much to my surprise since they are first person, I've really enjoyed some of her books. There was one I thought dreadful, Fools Rush In, but other than that one, I loved the other books that I read by this author

Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis

I wasn't that enamoured by the last book in this series, Double Play. In fact I haven't finished it yet. But Slow Heat is getting some good buzz so I thought I would give it a try as for the most part, I love Sports Romance.

The Golden Season by Connie Brockway

I've loved many a Connie Brockway book too and while I still haven't read her previous one yet, So Enchanting, I had to get this one anyway.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm just not feelin' them

This being Valentine's Day, I saw a list of the 10 Most Romantic Movies and as a confirmed Romance Reader, I gotta say I disagree with just about every one that was chosen!!

10. The Age of Innocence (1993)
Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) have a serious problem: they’re deeply in love, but family loyalty and fear of social ostracism stand in the way of their union. Martin Scorsese directs this adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel about love in 19th century New York society. It’s a genuine heartbreaker.
They didn't end up together - what's romantic about that???
If we are talking DDL movies, Last of the Mohicans was ever so much better when it came to a romance movie.

9. When Harry Met Sally
When Harry Met Sally is Annie Hall in reverse. Rather than meet, fall in love, and break up, Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) are friends first and then realize they’re in love. Their New Year’s Eve reconciliation is pure fantasy—and what’s a celebration of love without a little glamour?
Billy Crystal is just not my idea of a romantic type hero

8. Say Anything (1989)
No film has captured the awkward wonder of first love as well as Say Anything. Neither smarmy nor clever—even stars John Cusack and Ione Skye are average-looking by Hollywood standards—it’s an earnest look at teenagers in love for the very first time. Dig up the old boom box.
I've never even heard of this one!!

7. Annie Hall (1977)
This tribute to a relationship that turned into a friendship is Woody Allen’s funniest and most heartfelt film. Diane Keaton plays Annie, the one who got away. Allen plays her boyfriend, Alvy Singer, a serial monogamist and hopelessly idealistic misanthrope.
Woody Allen *shudder* 'nough said

6. Remains of the Day (1973)
You wouldn’t think that an entirely unconsummated love affair between an English butler (Anthony Hopkins) and a housekeeper (Emma Thompson) would be so compelling. The surprise: it’s riveting. Remains of the Day is what happens when you find love but don’t have the courage to act on it.
I'm not saying no to this one - as I haven't seen it

5. Moonstruck (1987)
Moonstruck is a true romantic comedy: it’s funny and tender. Directed by Norman Jewison, Moonstruck sees Cher and Nicolas Cage play two eccentric lovelorn Italian Americans. He’s an opera-loving baker, she’s a widowed bookkeeper engaged to his brother. It’s an unlikely chemistry, but it works.
Nicolas Cage gives me headaches

4. Atonement (2007)
War and romance go together like peanut butter and jelly—that is if you like tears and bombs with your PB&J. This 2007 film, starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy as young lovers separated by deception and the tides of history will break your heart.
Without giving TMI - I'm pretty sure one of the lovers in this movie dies. When that happens, it's crossed off my romantic movie to see list

3. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
If you have a few hours to spare—basically half a day—then Doctor Zhivago is the flick for you. Based on Boris Pasternak’s novel of the same name, the epic romance, directed by David Lean, takes place in the lead-up to and aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Omar Sharif and Julie Christie play doomed lovers Yuri and Lara. It doesn’t end well. But you’ll love it all the more.
See my answer to 4

2. Gone with the Wind (1939)
There’s nothing more satisfying than a love story gone wrong—or in the case of spoiled Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) and dashing rogue Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) a love story that never went quite right. Set that affair within the tumult of the American Civil War, and you’ve got what’s popularly known as Hollywood magic, baby.
A blockbuster - no question - a great movie for it's time - again no question - but I don't really see is as romantic as Scarlett rejects Rhett throughout the whole story in favour of Ashley and then when she finally 'sees the light' Rhett takes off!

1. Casablanca (1942)
Casablanca is about love with a capital “L.” It’s not a casual-affair rom-com; this is the big league. Featuring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as star-crossed lovers torn apart by WWII—saving the world from Nazism will get in the way of a good thing sometimes—it’s an unforgettable love story with a powerful ending. Kleenex is mandatory.
Now this is where I make a terrible confession. I've never seen this movie. But I do know that Rick and Ilsa don't end up together - though they will always have Paris.

So - out of this list of the Top Ten Romantic Movies, at least five of the couples don't end up together for one reason or another. Being a Romance Reader who demands the HEA, this list just doesn't cut it for me!!

Now because I'm still pretty much brain dead and can't think of any at the moment, who has a Romantic Movie where they DO end up together at the end??

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I had a coworker deliberately try to screw me yesterday and I must say I'm discombobulated by the fact. As by my previous post, it's been, to say the least, a stressful week. The department I work in is the only one that has coverage from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. There are 8 of us and each week we work a different shift to make sure all those hours are covered. This past week I was working 9 to 5. But the person who was working the 12 to 8 shift had the day off and I was asked if I would cover the 12 to 8 shift and while I didn't really want to, I said I would.

The different shifts run from
(1) 8 to 4 - 4 people
(2) 8:30 to 4:30 - 1 person
(3) 9 to 5 - 1 person
(4) 10 to 6 - 1 person
(5) 12 to 8 - 1 person

The 8 of us have discovered and discussed the fact, that especially on a Friday night, there is simply too much work for one person during the final 2 hours so the 10 to 6 person has voluntarily shifted to the 12 to 8 shift to help with the very heavy workload. I was the first one to do this as it just happened to work out with a lot of shifting around of shifts, that I was the 10 to 6 person on Friday night for 3 weeks in a row and knowing what it's like, I switched to help the 12 to 6 person. Since then every week the 10 to 6 person has done the same - it's a great group I work with. We've run this by our supervisor and she has been very impressed with our 'team playing'

But - yesterday the coworker who had already said she would stay and work along with me on the 12 to 8 shift showed up at 8 and worked the 8 to 4 shift. I didn't really realize this when I showed up at 12, but as time went on, I realized that she had done this deliberately as she was angry with me for something that happened earlier in the week. She is young, very young, and was picked as one of the people to learn the new system in advance and help the rest of us when it went into operation. Because she is young, with a younger brain, and a lack of life experience, she is getting very annoyed and very short with the rest of us when we need help and it's beginning to cause some very hard feelings amongst us. I tried to explain to her that she had to try and put herself in our shoes - we will get this new system - but at the moment she needs to have patience and understand that it's completely 180 degree turn in the way we have done things for years and that unlike most times when you are learning a new job, there are others you can ask for help. In this case ALL of us are new to it and as a result frustrated and tired. In addition, because it's in the health field, there are clients who are in crisis who aren't always getting the same level of care they were the week before and I think that is what is causing the most stress. All of us are people people and we don't want anyone missed because of our new learning curve.

The coworker in question however, didn't take my attempt at advise in the way I tried to offer it and became very angry and hasn't spoken to me since. Now that in itself doesn't bother me. But when she showed up at 8 yesterday morning, without running it by her supervisor and just declaring (from what I picked up by what I was told by my other coworkers) and just said she didn't feel like working 12 to 8, well - I got angry. Because it was a deliberate act to screw me - leaving me by myself for 2 hours, with a brand new system that just started this week, on the busiest night of the week when there are extra case managers working so double the work load for that person (me).

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that someone would be that vindictive. Thankfully, because it is a wonderful group of people I work with, another person said she would stay and work with me. And a good thing it was as again, it was extremely busy last night and if I'd been on my own, I honestly don't think I could have made it through.

As I said - I'm staggered that a coworker would pull this kind of thing and I'm not sure how I will work with her going forward.

And the real kicker is this person who is scheduled to be the 12 to 8 person next week, earlier before this all happened, asked if I could take her shift for two nights as she had something else she had to do in the evening and I quite cheerfully said I would. Now - do I have a 'sudden' change of plans and tell her I can't do it after all? I don't work that way. But after what she pulled, it makes me almost ill to do it for her.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Change - ain't it a grand thing - not

Work is still getting me down. If I don't get to a massage therapist - and fast - I won't be able to hold my head up straight my back and shoulders are hurting that bad. I had to leave work early yesterday as I thought I was coming down with the flu or something like it.

My house is a disaster area and as I look around, I have zero energy to do anything about it.

So while I'm not making it official, cause whenever I do that, I make a liar out of myself, but I'll say chance are, that until I get more on top of things, I'll continue to be scarcer than normal around blog land. I hate letting the learning curve get me down, but every single aspect of what I do at work as of last Friday has changed and EVERYTHING we do is different in a "I don't know what the hell I just did or what I do next" kind of way and I'm zapped of all energy by the time I get home. And zapped in the mornings even before the day begins!!

I don't even have much energy left over for reading!! And my scores on Boggle are horrendous - and I don't even dare try Free Cell!


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Recent Read

First off - I must apologize for my absence lately. Last week I worked the afternoon shift which really screws up my living/reading/blogging plan *g*. And then we switched to a new database on Monday. In preparation for this, they needed people to work overtime on the weekend. I must have forgotten how old I am anymore, or else I got overtime money hungry as I signed up for both days.

Then yesterday - being Monday - and the new system in place, my brain has reached it's quota. I came home last night and again tonight very zombie like - and just kind of vegged until bed time. Well - in truth not kind of vegged. I totally vegged last night. I didn't even have the energy to make dinner. The day was so stress filled I wanted to smash all the cars in the parking lot at work - my own excluded of course. I really, really wanted to destroy something. I don't often have that kind of reaction. The only consolation was everyone else was feeling the same way!! Thankfully all cars escaped undamaged.

Good thing the following review was 98.7% already written!

Sullivan by Linda Devlin

Why This One: After reading and loving Cash, the final book in the series, I had to go back and start at the first one. Then I skipped this one as it was missing. But the second I found it, I started reading it.

Steam Level: Just about perfect

Blurb: A half breed bastard, Sinclair Sullivan knows he has no place in the world, not with the white men, not with the Comanche - and certainly not with the beautiful Eden Rourke, the sister of one of his only friends. But when Eden meets him on the road to Rock Creek, she insists that he accompany her to town. With two orphaned waifs in her wagon, and and enough determination to fell a much more stubborn man, Eden's demand is irresistible -- and once in Rock Creek, Sullivan finds himself unable to resist stealing more than one kiss. She's certain that their love is written in the stars, despite her brother's objections..and yet, Sullivan must first convince himself that he's the man his lovely Eden deserves.

My Thoughts: I had a feeling from just the blurb of this book that I was going to enjoy it! And I was right - I enjoyed it very much. I love when that happens! It didn't take over the number one spot that Cash holds, but it's now my second favourite of the series.

Sullivan is a member of the Rock Creek Six, a group of men who banded together during the War between the States. When one is in trouble, the all come together. The have made Rock Creek their home of sorts. While most still travel around, Rock Creek is where they head back to. Eden Rourke is the sister of Jed, one of the six, and is on her way to Rock Creek to join her brother whom she hasn't seen for years. While in another town, she spies a gang of men beating up on one man and as she thinks this extremely unfair, she stops the fight and 'rescues' Sinclair Sullivan. Already I was pumped up with this set up. I love it when the heroine rescues the hero. Eden is instantly smitten with Sullivan and he is likewise smitten with her. But there are a number of reasons why Sullivan won't give in to his feelings. Eden is the sister of one of his few friends and he feels she is much too good for him.

But Eden is a force to be reckoned with when there is something she wants and what she wants is Sullivan. Whenever he plans to leave town and leave her, she comes up with some reason as to why he has to stay and help her. In a less likable heroine, this could be downright annoying, but Eden is such a lovely character that her manipulations don't seem like manipulation at all.

And though he protested, Sullivan was a goner right from the beginning. He didn't stand a chance against the force that was Eden and her crew of orphans. Although her protested that he wasn't good enough, Eden just plowed through any objection he threw her way.

There was also some delightful humour in this book. When Jed, Eden's brother and the hero of a future book, comes back to town and discovers Sullivan and Eden wed, he dissolves the marriage, though of course he can't really do that. After some initial issues and a major screw-up by Sullivan, he and Eden try and hide their feelings from Jed, pretending that they've gone along with is declaration of a marriage ended.

This book was adorable from beginning to end and I am SO glad I've finally gotten around to reading them. I know this is another one I'll read more than once.


And though I'd love to post more - the brain is not up to the task tonight so I will have to wait until it's recovered, but the poll results at AAR are up and I'm a happy camper as my favourite book of 2009 was the big winner!!

I'm adoin' the happy dance for The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie!!!

Friday, February 05, 2010

I'm not so sure it's a good idea........

for me to have a big purse!! I was looking for money this morning to pay for a coffee and I had to take out this

Then this one

Then this one

Then this one

Then this one

Seriously - what kind of insanity causes a person to walk around with FIVE books in their purse???? And do you know how long it took me to find change??? Because of course I had all the other kinds of stuff one carries around in a purse!!

Thank goodness the six pens are much lighter and less cumbersome

Thursday, February 04, 2010


A new baby blogger!! Natalie of reading2learn started blogging for some most excellent reasons!! She has joined Christine's In Death Challenge and wanted to blog about them. I can't think of a better reason to start blogging than Roarke!!

She's only been with us since January so if you haven't had a chance yet, drop in say hey!!

Recent Read

Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley

Why this one: I received this one in the mail and I don't know from where!! I have an idea who might have sent it but as I'm not sure, a big thanks to whoever it was!!

I've read a number of her books now; The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie was my favourite read of 2009 and I'm eagerly looking forward to Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage. So when I opened the package and saw this one - I knew it wouldn't take long to dive into it.

Steam Level: Yep, it was the right temperature.

Blurb: Twenty years ago, shape shifters of all kinds banded together and announced themselves to the world, only to be shunted to areas no human wanted ("Shiftertowns"). They are forced to wear Collars that control their hunting and fighting instincts.

Liam Morrissey is currently liaison between the Shifters of Austin, TX, and the humans of the city. Kim Fraser, attorney, finds herself in the unique position of having to defend a Shifter on a murder charge.

She ventures to Shiftertown to seek out Liam's help, and there stumbles across too many secrets the Shifters want kept secret. The un-mated Liam is forced to protect Kim against the wrath of his clan leader and his own father, and to his surprise he discovers a powerful attraction to the sassy, sexy lady.

My Thoughts: Just about all of the books I've read by Jennifer Ashley have been historicals and I've enjoyed them all. I was curious as to what I would think of a paranormal by her and..... just as I enjoyed her historicals, I enjoyed this one.

I have to start this out by saying Liam Morrissey is adorable. He manages a bar in Shiftertown -a separate area where all the shapeshifters are forced to live as second class citizens and he's the go to guy for any shifters who are having any kind of issues. So when our heroine, Kim Fraser needs help in understanding more of the nature of shape shifters in a murder case she is working on, defending a young shape shifter on a murder charge, she is directed to Liam.

In this world, shape shifters have only recently outed themselves as a species and as they are not trusted due to their animal nature by the human populace, they have voluntarily agreed to wear collars that keep their more feral natures in check. They are despised and looked down on by most humans and really live a second class life, banned from many of the luxuries that the rest of the people enjoy.

So Liam is a fairly laid back kind of hero. Yet at the same time and in a short time he becomes very protective of Kim. There are some within the shapeshifter community who don't want her defending Brian, her client. Most puzzling is the clan leader. He is dead set against Kim defending Brian. Liam is one of those heroes kind of hard to define; not exactly alpha but not beta either. But what he is is a good hero.

Kim makes for a good heroine. One of the few who doesn't have the same prejudice against shape shifters, she is determined, at any cost, to defend her client. She knows he's not guilty and will do what she can to prove it. She is drawn to the closeness of the shape shifter families and to Liam in particular.

I did find it a bit puzzling that she was totally unfazed by the shape shifting aspect of them. She's just totally accepting right off the bat.

I didn't have the same kind of emotional reaction to this booPridek as I did to The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, but I still quite enjoyed it nevertheless and will happily continue on with this series.

Grade: 4 out of 5

It's my turn

I'm up today over at Readers Gab at Access Romance.

And - as a added bonus, starting on the 7th, too late for my column, they had an added bonus of a chance to win a grab bag of books for one lucky commenter.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Why is it????

That when I announce that I AM NOT interested in getting Viagra at 80% off, I'm now bombarded with their spam. Of the 22 spam emails currently in my folder, 14 of them are Viagra related????

Off to delete.

Oh, oh, oh!!

And I got to change my calendar at work again! This is what I get to look at for the month of February.

And *snort* my coworkers think I'm odd! I say it's calendar envy

Monday, February 01, 2010

January Reading Roundup

I usually don't do this - most of the time it's such a pitiful number. But since I think this past month was a record, here are my January Reads. I planned to review them all - but it didn't quite work out that way :-(

So some have a review link - some don't - and some I haven't reviewed.

Relentless by Lauren Dane - Erotic, Sci Fi Romance - I really enjoyed the first book of hers I read late in 2009, Undercover, but I enjoyed this one even more. I'm looking forward to the next one in this intriguing series. This one got a 4.5 out of 5.

Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory - Medieval - I found it hard to believe, but I didn't read a single medieval in 2009. I was determined to fix this in 2010 and this was the first one. I gave it a 3.5 out of 5.

Cash by Linda Devlin - Western - The last book in the Rock Creek Six series, this was my of my first reads of 2010 and it started the year out with a bang! I gave this one a 4.95 and I plan on a reread once I've read the rest of them. This one got a 4.95 out of 5.

Reese by Lori Handleland - Western - After reading the last book first, I went back and started the first book. This one got a 4.5 out of 5.

True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson - Contemporary - Ahhhh - a hockey romance!! I can only be glad she didn't pick the Toronto Maple Leafs as the team!! While this one wasn't quite as good as See Jane Score - I did like it quite a bit and gave it 4.25 out of 5.

She's Got it Bad by Sarah Mayberry - Series - Sometimes big things come in small packages and such was the case with this book. I loved it and gave it a 5 out of 5

Ravishing in Red by Madeline Hunter - Historical - It's been a while since I've read of one of her books but I won't be waiting as long to read another one!! This one got a 4.75 out of 5.

Jed by Linda Devlin - Western - Yes, yes - I cheated on this one. Sullivan was missing and I just couldn't wait until he showed up so I went ahead and read Jed. I liked it - not quite as much as the first two - but enough to get me itchy to keep reading. I might do a review after I finish but in the meantime I gave it 4.25 out of 5.

Imitation in Death by JD Robb - Romantic Suspense - Yep - I'm still rereading the In Death books. I didn't fo a review for this one as I've already done quite a few and I'm saving up for when Fantasy in Death comes out - not long now :-). This one though got a 4 out of 5.

Bad Boys Guide to the Galaxy by Karen Kelley - Comedy - Maybe I just really wasn't in the mood or this kind of schtick this author writes doesn't work over the long haul, but I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as the earlier Earth Guys are Easy. Whatever the reason, this one got a 3.5 out of 5.

Full Exposure by Tracy Wolff - Erotic, Romantic Suspense - This one started out great and the hero was adorable but the heroine kind of got on my nerves a bit. She was a screamer! Every. Single. Love. Scene. she screamed. My ears hurt after a while!! This one I gave 3.5 out of 5.

Whirlwind Secrets by Debra Cowan - Western - I liked this one. It wasn't the best Western I've read, not even the best Western I read in January. But still Russ Baldwin and Lydia Kent made an interesting couple. Lydia, the heroine in particular was quite well done. This one is the fifth book in a series going back to 2004 and I was quite pleased when I checked the spreadsheet to discover I have 3 others in the series. Now finding them, on the other hand, is a different story! I gave this one a 4 out of 5.

Flashback by Nancy Warren - Series - Round about the time I read this one, I'll confess, I was looking for numbers. I'd already set a record in books read in a month and was trying to make it even higher. I've read a number of Blaze books by Nancy Warren with mixed results. Some I've really enjoyed - some not so much. With this being from the now defunct Temptation line, I thought I'd give it a read. This one wa s story of unrequited love on the part of Laura Kincaide for Jack Thomas. It wasn't bad - standard series fare. It wasn't nearly as big a stand out as She's Got it Bad, but overall - I think I got my money's worth with 3.75 out of 5.

Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley - Paranormal - I'm not going to say to much about this one as I have a review upcoming for it. It's half done and I'll finish writing it shortly I hope. So I'm not going to let the grade out of the bag yet on this one *g*

So there you have it - my record setting month. It was obviously the month of the Western with 4 of them, but I think I got a nice mix in there!!

I know there are a lot of reader who read more than that - and I envy you! But still - 14 was good for me.