Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All Quiet on the Reading Front

You may have noticed a slight decrease in my posting lately. About six months ago we adopted an adorable little boy. A few days after getting Josh we found out I was pregnant with twins!! We're so excited and can't wait to meet the two newest members of our family. Taking care of a newborn while being pregnant with twins has been an interesting experience. Both seem to take up a lot of my time and has really cut into my reading. Another distraction is the fact that my husband has moved over to Japan (I'll be joining him after the twins come), and I've moved in with my parents. I have about 4-5 weeks until the twins get here and there are a few books I'd like to read while I still have the chance. I still plan on keeping up Bookworm Nation after the twins come, but I imagine my time will be limited and my postings may be a little sporadic for a while. Luckily my sweet husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas so hopefully I'll be able to stay up to date with my reading and blogging.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shackles of Honor by Marcia Lynn McClure

 
Cassidy Shea’s life was nothing if not serene. Loving parents and a doting brother provided happiness and innocent hope in dreaming as life’s experience. Yes, life was blissful at her beloved home of Terrill. Still, for all its beauty and tranquility…ever there was something intangible and evasive lurking in the shadows. And though Cassidy wasted little worry on it…still she sensed its existence, looming as a menacing fate bent on ruin. And when one day a dark stranger appeared, Cassidy could no longer ignore the ominous whispers of the secrets surrounding her. Mason Carlisle, an angry, unpredictable man materialized…and seemingly with Cassidy's black fate at his heels. Instantly Cassidy found herself thrust into a world completely unknown to her, wandering in a labyrinth of mystery and concealments. Serenity was vanquished…and with it, her dreams. Or were all the secrets so guardedly kept from Cassidy...were they indeed the cloth, the very flax from which her dreams were spun? From which eternal bliss would be woven?</
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This was my third time reading this book. I was in the mood for a little romance and McClure books are filled with romance. I like the setting for this, it has a regency feel to it and I’m always a sucker for an arranged marriage storyline. She is surprised one day to find her parents have arranged a marriage for her to a complete stranger. Mason comes across very gruff when they first meet and Cassidy immediately feels like he doesn’t want her. It takes her the whole book to realize differently. Mason is also full of insecurities and feels that Cassidy resents him taking away her freedom. The story moves along well and if you turn off your brain while reading it is a pleasant read. Mason and Cassidy have good chemistry and they have some fun moments together, some scenes are worth rereading. As much as I enjoy the story, there were a few things that bugged me. I didn’t like how Mason handled the situation with Gabrielle (his childhood sweetheart). He knows how insecure Cassidy is and still does nothing to prove his loyalty. He expects her to trust him, but I think actions speak louder than words. He can say he will never cheat, but if he then turns around and spends time with Gabrielle and continues to allow Gabrielle to flirt with him then I have a hard time believing him. I don’t blame Cassidy for feeling insecure and I think Mason did a poor job of reassuring her. I think the majority of their problems came from Mason not being clear about his feelings for Gabrielle and for not separating himself from her, at least until Cassidy was more secure in his feelings and her new position. As good as their chemistry was, their communication skills need some definite work. I was also confused about why they had to wait so long to marry. They had been betrothed to each other since she was a baby so it wasn’t like a big surprise. They both agreed to the marriage so I don’t get the delay. That was probably part of their problem as well. Overall, a fun read. I again loved the plot and there are some memorable scenes. Content: Clean. Some passionate kissing, but nothing more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Under Currents by Traci Hunter Abramson

Genre: Action, Romance

Publication Date: March 2004

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.tracihunterabramson.com

GoodReads Synopsis
: Shaye Kendall, an Olympic-bound swimmer, has been in the witness protection program ever since she witnessed her boyfriend's murder. She now has a new name, a new life, and strict orders not to reveal her secret. But fitting into a community is hard when you can't tell people anything about yourself. She doesn't dare get involved with her new friend Matt Whitmore. The fact that Matt's father is a high-profile senator could give her the kind of exposure she doesn't need. How can you fall in love when you can never reveal who you really are? But when someone almost takes her life, Shaye recognizes that whoever is after her knows exactly who and where she is. Can she trust Matt to help her? Can she trust his family?

Kathy’s Review: I didn’t realize when I started this book that it was the first in a trilogy. I knew it was part of a series, but thought it was a stand-alone type book. I think it would have made a bit of a difference if I had known that going in. I really enjoyed the story and plot. I liked the idea of our main character going into the Witness Protection Program and what that kind of life would be like. Although the situation was serious, it was fun going along for the ride with Shaye. I liked Shaye and Matt. My only complaint is that she fell for Matt a little too soon after everything that had happened with her Ex. The book ends without any real closure, but luckily I already had the second book on hand and was able to dive in to that one. I think it’s a fun book and would recommend to anyone who likes a little adventure with their romance.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Reading Order:
Book One: Under Currents
Book Two: Ripple Effect
Book Three: Deep End

Monday, November 1, 2010

Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson

Genre: Action, Romance

Publication Date: October 2008

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.tracihunterabramson.com

GoodReads Synopsis:When CIA agent Janessa Rogers meets the royal family of Meridia on assignment, she expects to use her skills in linguistics and security to protect and serve, but she doesn't expect to find herself engaged to Prince Garrett Fortier, Meridia's most eligible bachelor, as part of the security plan. And she certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with him. Janessa resists her feelings, fearing conflicts in her personal and professional life, yet when the prince admits his feigned affection has become genuine she can no longer pretend. Matters of security, society, and spirituality make their unlikely romance even more complex, and escalating political intrigue gives Janessa an excuse to ignore the questions in her heart. But when a terrorist plot against the royal family endangers them both, Janessa and Garrett must face the challenges of loyalty to family, to country, to God--and to love.

Kathy’s Review: I enjoyed this story, I liked the plot idea and thought the story flowed nicely. It’s a fun book to curl up with on a snowy day. I liked our main character Janessa, she was easy to relate to. While she is a tough CIA agent, she doesn’t come across too tough. She and Garrett had good chemistry together and I liked how their story unfolded. I did think they fell in love a little fast; it drives me crazy when characters are declaring their love for each other when they’ve only known each other a few weeks. Just a personal pet-peeve. A fun adventure, I’ll definitely be checking out more of Abramson’s books.

Bookworm Rating: 4

A Daring Return by Kathleen Fuller

Genre: Regency

Publication Date: August 2009

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.kathleenfuller.com

GoodReads Synopsis: Eight years ago, Gavin Parringer left London after the woman he loved, Diana Dymoke, rejected him and married someone else. Suffering from amnesia, he has returned to England, unable to recall anything of his former life. He doesn't even recognize Diana, who is now a widow with regrets. Despite everything that has come between them in the past, Gavin finds himself falling in love with Diana for a second time. Diana also has feelings for Gavin, but she is afraid that if he remembers how harshly she treated him before he left London, he will have nothing to do with her. Thus, she keeps the truth of their prior relationship a secret. Yet when Diana's life is threatened and Gavin's memory returns, they both have to face the ghosts of their pasts in order to embrace a future together.

Kathy’s Review: This is the last in the trilogy and it was nice to see everything wrapped up. Each book followed two different characters as they found each other and fell in love. Diana and Gavin have been present in past books and it was interesting to finally get to their story. Diana hasn’t been a favorite of mine, for some reason I just didn’t relate to her. She does grow and has changed quite a bit by time her story starts. I was expecting a little more mystery, but there really wasn’t any mystery at all. I guess I was disappointed that there wasn’t more. Gavin’s amnesia added an interesting element and it was fun to see how he fell in love with Diana all over again. Overall, it was an entertaining read but not my favorite in the series.


Bookworm Rating: 3


Reading Order:
Book One: A Brilliant Deception
Book Two: A Clever Disguise
Book Three: A Daring Return

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Freefall by Traci Hunter Abramson

Genre: Action-Romance

Publication Date: February 2008

One Word Review: Enjoyable

Author Website: http://www.tracihunterabramson.com/


First Line: “My father is going to kill me, Amy Whitmore thought to herself.”


GoodReads Synopsis: Lieutenant Brent Miller arrived in the Middle East with one objective--get seven hostages out of a hostile country. The plan almost worked. But now he has been left behind--with one of the hostages. It's up to Brent to get Amy Whitmore, a US Senator's daughter, across miles of desert to safety. What he doesn't know is that to survive, he needs her as much as she needs him.

Kathy’s Review: I’ve seen these books popping up here and there and finally decided to read them. I thought this was the first, but I guess It’s actually Abramson’s fourth book (I think it’s the first in this series though?). Overall, I enjoyed the story. There is plenty of action and romance. I liked Amy’s character, she is sharp, understanding and knows how to take care of herself. There were a few times that I thought she sounded too good to be true. For example, there are about 17 terrorists that kidnap her, when she is rescued she is able to draw most if not all their sketches (not only does she remember them but she draws them herself). Eye witness testimony is so unreliable anyway, and for her to remember so many different faces under those circumstances seemed a little too farfetched for me. But, it’s a fiction novel, so who cares, right? Anyway, I thought Brent was okay. He didn’t come across as tough as I would have liked, but I did like his character. They had good chemistry together and I thought their story evolved well. I enjoyed the story and plan on reading the rest of the series.

I think the cover is a little misleading, the White House isn't in the story at all but is the main featuer on the cover...just an observation.



Bookworm Rating: 3.5



Saint Squad Series:
Book One: Freefall
Book Two: Lockdown
Book Three: Crossfire
Book Four: Backlash

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Genre: YA

Publication Date: June 2010

One Word Review: Entertaining

Author Website: www.allycarter.com


First Line
: “Targets acquired, ten o’clock.”

GoodReads Synopsis: When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when she faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her. Now the danger follows her everywhere and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.


Kathy’s Review
: I really liked this series. I think it’s fun, clean and unique. I like Cammie’s character, for the most part. I like it when she is sharp, uses her wits and really acts like the spy that she is. I just wish that would happen a little more often. Most of the time, she seems like your normal 17 year-old girl with insecurities and who relies on her friends to help her through the tough times. This book felt a lot like the 2nd, 3rd and 4th books…you learn a little more, but not a lot happens. I was kind of left wondering just how many books are suppose to be in the series, does anyone know? I like Cammie’s friends and of course I like Zach, even if we’re not sure whose side he is on. I do wish he would be in the book a little more and that there was a tad more romance (but, I’m just a sucker for romance). Overall, a good edition to the series and I look forward to seeing what happens with Cammie next.

Bookworm Rating: 4


Reading Order:
Book One: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Book Two: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Book Three: Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Book Four: Only the Good Spy Young
Book Five:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cross My Heart by Julie Wright

Genre: Chick Lit

Publication Date: October 2010

One Word Review: Super-cute

Author Website: www.juliewright.com


GoodReads Synopsis
: The first man is Geoffrey--in Boston, which is Jillian's hometown. Hazel-eyed Geoffrey, the brilliant ad exec whom Jillian would've married if he hadn't stolen some of her best work and gotten her promotion as a result. The second man is Jack in Los Angeles. Insecure Jack, who signs Jillian up for a love study at a local university "just for fun" but secretly intends to find out if she still loves Geoffrey. Flaky Jack, who splits as soon as her brain neurons fire and emphatic yes. The third man is Allen on the airplane from LA to Boston, where Jillian's boss has ordered her to investigate the underhanded dealings of a competing agency and where Jillian's crazy parents still live. Allen, the electric-blue-eyed dentist who hates the advertising industry because his ex-girlfriend, Nicole, recently dumped him for some hotshot ad exec. Head spinning yet? Well, forget about love triangles--this turns into a full-blown love quadrangle that quickly becomes a high-stakes game with savvy players, snappy dialogue, and a plot that won't stop twisting...until another love study delivers surprising results.

Kathy’s Review: I really liked this story, it had me hooked from the beginning and I had a hard time putting it down. It reminded me of a cute romantic comedy movie, in fact I think it would make a cute movie! Jillian is a good leading lady, at first she came across a little harsh, but as the story progresses she really grew on me. I also liked her love interests and knew who I wanted her to end up with right from the start. The story was original and the whole thing was really enjoyable.

My only complaint is that I felt it got wrapped up a little too quickly. I would have liked a little more resolution with Guy 1, it seemed that Jillian got the closure she wanted, but he was still left hanging. Actually, she had kind of poor communication skills when it came to him. I also wish there had been a little more closure with Guy 2, I’m glad how things worked out, but would have liked a little more conversation between them before it all get wrapped up. Those are both minor issues though, I really enjoyed the story as a whole and would totally recommend it to anyone who loves chick lit.

Bookworm Rating: 4.5

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Don't Hex With Texas by Shanna Swendson

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: April 2008

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.shannaswendson.com


GoodReads Synopsis: Everything’s bigger in Texas–including romance, magic, and danger!Katie Chandler has fled fast-paced Manhattan and returned home to a simpler life, working at her family’s feed-and-seed store in Cobb, Texas. In a painfully selfless gesture, Katie had left the sexy wizard Owen Palmer to battle his demons in the magical realm–after all, Katie just seemed to attract evil, which only made Owen’s job a lot harder. But now it seems that trouble has followed her home: Despite the fact that Merlin, Katie’s old boss at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., has assured her that Cobb is free of enchantmen, (magically speaking), Katie begins to notice curious phenomena. Cobb is being plagued by a series of inexplicable petty crimes and other devilish mischief, and after her experiences in Manhattan, Katie knows “unauthorized magic” when she sees it. As this new darkness strikes deep in the heart of Texas, Owen appears (literally) to investigate. Now Katie’s friends and family must show the bad guys why it’s bad luck to hex with Texas, while Katie and Owen combine their strengths like never before to uncover a sinister plot before evil takes root in the Lone Star State.

Kathy’s Review: I was browsing through my to-read list when I realized I hadn’t read this last installment in the Enchanted, Inc. series. Luckily my library had a copy and I was able to finish the series. For some reason this last installment lost a lot of its charm, overall I was kind of bored with the story. Not a lot happened with the plot or with the relationship between Katie and Owen. Katie seemed a little less “sharp” and Owen was kind of boring. There were no sparks between them and I finished the book feeling like they were more like friends than a couple. I thought the story ended okay, I’ve heard rumor there is supposed to be a fifth book, but I don’t really think it’s necessary. I’d read the next one if the story picked up, Owen stopped blushing and a real relationship grew between Katie and Owen. I think in the right hands, the books would make a cute movie though. If you’ve read the other books then you will probably enjoy this one as well.

Bookworm Rating: 2

Reading Order:
Book One: Enchanted, Inc.
Book Two: Once Upon Stilettos
Book Three: Damsel Under Stress
Book Four: Don’t Hex With Texas

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Clever Disguise by Kathleen Fuller

Genre: Regency Romance

Publication Date: December 2008

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.kathleenfuller.com

GoodReads Synopsis: For years, Michael Balcarris has loved Emily Dymoke from afar. However, because of his secret profession, he is unable to admit his feelings for her and show his true self. Instead, he must continue to present himself as a frivolous fop to both London society and the woman of his dreams. As a young girl, Emily had a private crush on Michael, who had been her brother Colin's handsome and dashing friend. Yet upon Michael's return to London after attending university, she is unable to abide his insufferable presence. To make matters worse, he insists on being everywhere she is--including her family's country home when they go on summer holiday. During their time in the countryside, however, Emily starts to see a new side of Michael. She also has to fight her growing attraction to him, leaving her to wonder how she could be falling in love with a man she can barely tolerate.

Kathy’s Review: I think I liked the first book a little more, but this was still an enjoyable read. It’s lighthearted and fun, the mystery was a little obvious and could have been built up a little more. The twist was kind of out of the blue, and I didn’t think it was explained that well. At least I would have liked a little more explanation. I liked Emily’s character as well at Michael. Michael reminded me a bit of The Scarlet Pimpernel, although I’m still not sure why he needed to act like that for his disguise. I liked that Emily spoke her mind and didn’t necessarily conform to the rules of society. I thought they had good chemistry and it was fun reading their story.


Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Reading Order:
Book One: A Brilliant Deception
Book Two: A Clever Disguise
Book Three: A Daring Return

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind by Heidi Ashworth

Genre: Regency Romance

Publication Date: December 2008

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.heidiashworth.com

GoodReads Synopsis: When the dowager duchess of Marcross insists he accompany her niece, Ginny, into the country for the day to execute a special task, Sir Anthony is appalled, to say the least. Ginny, who thinks little of the fashionable Sir Anthony, is as eager to be done with the chore as he, but before they arrive at their destination they are stranded by highwaymen and launched into adventure. Forced into each other's company, Ginny begins to sense the passionate nature beneath Sir Anthony's mask of ennui, while his exasperation with the forthright Ginny turns into admiration of her wit and charm. Then beautiful Lucinda Barrington and Lord Avery, a poet, come onto the scene, sparking Ginny's imagination and revealing a way to unmask the true man behind Sir Anthony's frivolous facade. Meanwhile, the dowager duchess has plans of her own for this pair, and her special task turns into a battle of words, wills, and wit.

Kathy’s Review: It took me awhile to get through this one. Maybe it’s because my baby was fussy or maybe the story just didn’t grab me. Ginny and Anthony are stuck for a couple weeks with Lucinda and Avery and a few others. When a maid breaks out in chickenpox the entire household is put under quarantine. Lots and lots of misunderstandings happen, all of which could have been easily resolved if people could just speak their minds. A small pet-peeve of mine is when the POV changes randomly between main characters. I don’t mind if it’s done by chapter, but during the book it would often change from one paragraph to the next. To me it’s confusing and distracts from the story.

The story was lighthearted and was enjoyable, it just wasn’t my favorite and I hate to say it, but it was a little forgettable. I think Heidi Ashworth is a good author and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.


Bookworm Rating: 3

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Marryin' Kind by Nancy J. Parra

Genre: Western Romance

Publication Date: February 2005

One Word Review: Cute

Author Website: www.nancyjparra.com

GoodReads Synopsis: At the ripe old age of twenty-three, Madeline Morgan is resigned to the idea that love and marriage are not for her. Unfortunately, her father disagrees and comes up with an ingenious plan. Robert Morgan proclaims that neither of his younger daughters can marry until Maddie does. Aghast at being hounded by sweaty bachelors anxious to win the pot and her hand, Maddie turns to her brother for help. Her brother's solution is to spread the story that Maddie was pining away for the love of her life, Evan Montgomery, who left for the war and has never returned. As luck would have it, two years later Trevor Montgomery returns home to find a beautiful stranger living there, claiming to be his brother's fiancé. Trevor works to uncover the truth behind the woman who has stolen more than his family home.

Kathy’s Review: I really enjoy the Morgan Brothers/Sister books. This story follows the oldest sister Maddie. Maddie was a likable character, she is headstrong and won’t be pushed into marriage. Our leading man, Trevor, was also likable. I wondered at one point if there was going to be a twist to the story (Trevor was actually Evan), but it all played out pretty predictably. They had good chemistry together and the main plot was believable.

Overall, I thought the story was cute, it wasn’t my favorite of the series, but still enjoyable (I think Beth’s story is still my favorite). Both series are fun, clean, romantic reads and I would recommend to anyone looking for a nice light-hearted story.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Morgan Brothers:
Book One: Saving Samantha
Book Two: A Wanted Man
Book Three: Loving Lana
Book Four: Wyoming Wedding

Morgan Sisters:
Book One: The Marryin' Kind
Book Two: The Bettin' Kind
Book Three: The Lovin' Kind

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Crimson Frost by Marcia Lynn McClure

Genre: Romance

Publication Date: May 2009

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.marcialynnmcclure.com

GoodReads Synopsis: Beloved of her father, King Dacian, and adored by her people, the Scarlet Princess Monet endeavored to serve her kingdom well-for the people of the Kingdom of Karvana were good, and worthy of service. Long Monet had known that even her marriage would serve her people. Her husband would be chosen for her-for this was the way of royal existence. Still, as any woman does-peasant or princess-Monet dreamt of owning true love-of owning choice in love. Thus, each time the raven-haired, sapphire-eyed, Crimson Knight of Karvana rode near-Monet knew regret-for in secret, she loved him-and she could not choose him. As an arrogant king from another kingdom began to wage war against Karvana, Karvana's king, knights and soldiers answered the challenge. The Princess Monet would also know battle. As the Crimson Knight battled with armor and blade-so the Scarlet Princess would battle in sacrifice and with secrets held. Thus, when the charge was given to preserve the heart of Karvana-Monet endeavored to serve her kingdom and forget her secreted love. Yet, love is not so easily forgotten

Kathy’s Review: I’m still wavering between a 3 or 4 star rating. I enjoyed that this book had more of a story to it then some of her other books. The plot was well paced and was entertaining. The characters were just okay for me, they fall into their typical “McClure” roles for males and females. The males being very manly, extremely handsome, and of course the perfect gentleman. While the women are very feminine, pretty and a little lacking in backbone (IMO). At times the story seemed a little long or overly wordy, but overall it was enjoyable read and I plan on reading the companion book Saphyre Snow.

Bookworm Rating: 3


Reading Order:
Book One: A Crimson Frost
Book Two: Saphyre Snow

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Brilliant Deception by Kathleen Fuller

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Regency

Publication Date: February 2008

One Word Review: Fun

Author Website: www.kathleenfuller.com

First Line
: “Another robbery!”

GoodReads Synopsis: Lily Thornton, daughter of the Duke of Breckenridge, unwittingly finds herself a suspect in a rash of jewelry thefts. In order to clear her name, she teams up with her best friend Emily's brother, the handsome Colin Dymoke, to find the real thief. To make matters worse, Lily's scheming former fiance keeps turning up and causing trouble while making Lily question her own self-worth. Thankfully, she has Colin by her side to help and protect her. As they work to solve the mystery, Lily fights her growing feelings for Colin, who is considered one of England's most eligible bachelors. Having been hurt in the past, she's reluctant to entrust her heart to someone again. Before long, the two of them are caught up in a web of intrigue and deception. They need to clear Lily's name before she and her family are ruined and all hope for romance with Colin is lost.

Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun, lighthearted mystery with a touch of romance thrown in. Lily comes from a very wealthy family and is surprised when someone begins to frame her for the mysterious robberies that have been going on throughout the Ton. Colin is there from the beginning and comes to her rescue; soon they start working together to figure out who is framing Lily. I thought they had good chemistry, I’m not sure how believable it was that someone like Colin (who is supposed to be drop-dead gorgeous) would fall for Lily (who is supposed to be more than plain). I guess after getting to know each other they are able to look past his good looks and her plain ones? The mystery could have been developed a little more, like the reason why the burglar was stealing the bracelets could have been explained further and the end suspect was a little predictable. Overall, it was a fun read and I look forward to reading the other two books in the series.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Reading Order:
Book One: A Brilliant Deception
Book Two: A Clever Disguise
Book Three: A Daring Return

Monday, September 20, 2010

Loving Lana by Nancy J Parra

Genre: Western Romance

Publication Date: October 2003

One Word Review: Cute

Author Website: www.nancyjparra.com

GoodReads Synopsis: Lana Tate dreams of the day she can leave Wyoming and live in a more civilized place like San Francisco or New York. Since her mother died her father has been paralyzed with grief, and Lana must sing in the saloon just to earn enough money to make it through the winter. Taggart Morgan watches the reward for the capture of the legendary wild stallion grow until it reaches two thousand dollars. Taggart expects competition for the stallion, but he never suspected that a delicate but determined young gal would be the one to stand between him and his goal.

Kathy’s Review: I really enjoyed this one. The story was cute, lighthearted and fun. Lana and Taggart had great chemistry. They could be arguing one moment and totally caring the next, and it worked. The plot was cute, how they are both going after the same wild stallion and eventually have to work together. Both the Morgan Brother series and the Morgan Sisters are fun reads, I think I like the sisters a little more, but overall they are great and I would recommend to anyone looking for a nice romantic story.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Morgan Brothers:
Book One: Saving Samantha
Book Two: A Wanted Man
Book Three: Loving Lana
Book Four: Wyoming Wedding

Morgan Sisters:
Book One: Marrying Kind
Book Two: The Betting Kind
Book Three: The Loving Kind

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wyoming Wedding by Nancy J Parra

Genre: Western Romance

Publication Date: October 2004

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.nancyjparra.com

GoodReads Synopsis: Shay Morgan has never met a woman he can't charm---ever. When old Ben Edwards asks Shay to bring his stubborn daughter Jenny home for one last visit before he leaves this world, Shay is sure she'll gladly come home with him. Dr. Jenny Edwards has no love for the father who abandoned her and her sick mother when she was a child. When Shay rides into town he's taken aback by the beautiful, gentle doctor. He opts not to tell her why he is in town, knowing he must gain her trust before he can take her home.

Kathy’s Review: This wasn’t my favorite of the Morgan series that I have read. I enjoyed the story and like that it was quick and clean. Jenny Edwards was a good heroine. She overcame a lot of struggles and became a great leader in her community. She is a doctor, which was kind of rare at the time, but the town loved her and supported her. She had a big heart, but is very cautious of trusting men. All her beliefs get flipped upside down when Shay Morgan comes to town. I wasn’t a big fan of Shay’s, he was just a little too into himself and knew what his looks did to people and used it to his advantage. He just wasn’t humble enough for me I guess. Jenny did have a good influence on him and they had good chemistry. The story was a little predictable; I was a little disappointed with Jenny’s dad and wanted a little remorse and some explanations from him. Overall, it was an okay read. It worth reading if you read the other books in the series, which I recommend.

Bookworm Rating: 3

Morgan Brothers:
Book One: Saving Samantha
Book Two: A Wanted Man
Book Three: Loving Lana
Book Four: Wyoming Wedding

Morgan Sisters:
Book One: Marrying Kind
Book Two: The Betting Kind
Book Three: The Loving Kind

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Commander's Desire by Janette Green

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Publication Date: October 2008

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.jannettegreen.com

First Line: “Peace. Are you sure it will work, brother?”

GoodReads Synopsis: Princess Elwytha wants revenge on the monster who murdered her brother. In a false exchange for peace, she offers herself in marriage to the enemy Prince. The plan? Kill the Prince’s battle-scarred Commander—the man who ended King Thor’s life with one filthy sword thrust through the back. To her horror, the Commander agrees to take Elwytha as his bride. Worse, the wedding date will be sooner than expected. Not all is lost, however. Now she has more opportunity to be alone with him—and exact justice. But the deed becomes difficult to carry out. Fighting her innate sense of honor, she begins to see the ironclad integrity of the man behind the scars. And with this knowledge comes doubt. Did he slay her brother? What exactly is the new king’s plan? Whom can she trust? Elwytha must decide well, for more than her life is at stake. Soon she must betray either allegiance to her kingdom—or the man who is quickly claiming her heart

Kathy’s Review: I saw this reviewed on another book blog yesterday and it sounded like something I would enjoy. I was in the mood for a nice Historical and a clean romance. The setting for the book was perfect, 714 AD Scotland, I love the medieval times for some reason. The plot was also something that caught my eye. I love the whole convenient-marriage storyline, and this was a nice twist considering she wanted to kill her betrothed.

For some reason I just didn’t care for Princess Elywtha, a lot of the times she came across as kind of a brat. I understand why she acted that way, being coerced into a marriage with her enemy countrymen, but she willing went and had a role to play and I guess sometimes her attitude bugged me. She did get better as the story went on, although the whole “will she, wont she” inner dialog got a tad repetitive. I did like the Commander, the author did a pretty good job of depicting him as a strong, smart warrior and at the same time as a compassionate, caring leading man. The author also does a good job of not rushing their relationship, she lets it develop at a nice pace and its believable when Elywtha starts to change her feelings. I thought they had good chemistry and enjoyed reading their story. I admit, I liked reading a book that wasn’t part of a trilogy. Overall, an enjoyable read and one I would re-read again.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Luck of the Draw by Rachael Renee Anderson

Genre: Chick Lit

Publication Date: August 2010

One Word Review: Cute

Author Website: www.rachelreneeanderson.com

GoodReads Synopsis
: Four weeks. Three roommates. Two dates each. Brighton Andrews has never had a problem getting a girl to go out with him. So when his friends dare him to ask out three roommates at the same time, he figures this will be the easiest bet he'll ever win--even with the added clause that the girls can't find out they're all dating the same guy. And with a whole month free from laundry at stake, who could resist? Of course, that's before he meets the girls. Rachael Renee Anderson's charming Luck of the Draw puts a hilarious twist on a modern-day love story. Fast-paced, witty, and full of fun, the odds are stacked that this is one book you won't be able to put down

Kathy’s Review: This was a really fun read. The first half felt more light-hearted, almost silly. The second half got deeper and ended up being a really sweet story. I thought the book would be told mainly from Brighton's POV, but it really ended up being Dani (Danielle's) story. I liked the growth she went through and enjoyed her character. It was a fun read, cute cover and one I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun uplifting read, with a little romance. I look forward to reading Anderson's other book "Divinely Designed" soon.

Bookworm Rating: 4.5

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: August 2010

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.juliekagawa.com

First Line
: “Why should I trust you?”


GoodReads Synopsis
: Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Kathy’s Review: I liked this one a tiny bit less than the first. I’m not sure what it was, but it didn’t grab me like the first book did. I still really enjoyed the story and characters, but maybe it was just middle-book syndrome. I was a little frustrated with Meghan this time around, it was obvious who she was going to choose, but led the other guy on anyway. I really waivered between Team Ash and Team Puck this time. The thing I really like about Puck is that he’s a nice guy, all the pranks aside. He’s known and been friends with Meghan for a long time and they have a great foundation. I’m not sure what he sees in her romantically though, they seem more like friends or siblings. Ash has the whole brooding, handsome thing going for him. I think deep down he is a softy and has a good heart, but he has to put on a mean face. Which brings me to what really bothered me with Meghan. At the beginning she tells Ash that she trusts him, and yet when that trust is put to the test she totally doubts him. She’s spent enough time with him that she should know his motivations, but acts all confused when he acts different around his family. I can understand why she had some doubts, but when she made such a big deal about trusting him I was hoping to see that trust put into action.

The overall story was still entertaining and kept me reading. I liked seeing our old friend Grim and a few new ones. There is a scene near the end that seemed a little out of place with everything going on (high school prom), it was still a fun read and has me looking forward to the last book, The Iron Queen.


Bookworm Rating: 4


Reading Order:
Book One: The Iron King
Book 1.5: Winters Passage
Book Two: The Iron Daughter
Book Three: The Iron Queen

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Publication Date: April 2010

One Word Review: Entertaining

Author Website: www.mariavsnyder.com

First Line
: “A vibration rippled through my body.”

GoodReads Synopsis: I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Kathy’s Review: I have been wanting to read this one for a while, I was a little nervous that it would be too similar to the Hunger Games trilogy, mainly because the main character is a teenage girl who helps lead a revolution, that is about all the two have in common. I have read a few great reviews of the book and was excited to dive in. I definitely had a hard time putting it down and stayed up way too late reading, I keep forgetting that I have a newborn that would be waking up a couple hours later. Anyway, the book sucks you in and each chapter ends with a pretty good cliffhanger and you can’t help thinking “just one more chapter.” I really liked our main character Trella, I liked that she was tough and that she also took the time to look inward and acknowledge mistakes she had made. Even though tons of things are going on, she never acts like a victim. She takes control and I liked that instead of just doing her part, she really takes charge to see things through. There is even a bit of a love story, which always makes me happy. The book did remind me of a few others I’ve read, but it’s still packed with surprises and totally unique. My only complaint was I had a hard time picturing everything and figuring out their time systems (maybe its just my pregnancy brain), I probably ended up imagining something totally different than the author had in mind, but owell. We’re left with a good setup for the next book, with enough closure to feel satisfied with finishing this one. A great read and one that I would like to read again.

Bookworm Rating: 4.5

Reading Order:
Book One: Inside Out
Book Two: Outside In
Book Three:

Similar Reads:
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Santa Maybe by Aubrey Mace

Genre: Holiday Chick Lit

Publication Date: 2009

One Word Review: Cute

Author Website: www.aubreymace.com

First Line: “When I was younger, I fell in love like most people change their socks.”

GoodReads Synopsis: With a successful bakery to run, super cute nices and nephews to spoil, and plenty of good griends to keep her company, Abbie’s not about to start crying over the fact that she doesn’t have a boyfriend to spend Christmas with. But when her sister convinces her to write a note to Santa, Abbie has no idea that a little Christmas magic is about to land her the mad of her dreams. Or rather, that man is about to land smack dab on the floor in front of her Christmas tree—with no memory of how he got there. Now Abbie and Ben have to figure out where he came from, who he really is, and if he’s actually available.

Kathy’s Review: I’ve actually wanted to read this since last Christmas and was finally able to get my hands on a copy. I think it would be a perfect holiday book to curl up with next to a warm fire. Anyway, I thought it was a cute story, well written and had likable characters. Abbie and Ben were cute together, I’m not sure how realistic their whole situation was, she seemed to accept this stranger into her house rather quickly, even offering to make him breakfast. I guess if it we’re me the last think I would do is offer to make an intruder breakfast, even if he was hot. The only other thing that kind of bothered me was Abbie’s sister Grace, again her reaction to the whole situation just didn’t seem very real. It drives me crazy when married people suddenly forget how hard dating is and start giving single people the worst advice (especially things they probably never would have done when they were dating). Anyway, it’s a cute, lighthearted story and I can see myself reading it again once the holidays roll around.

Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: August 2010

One Word Review: Unexpected

Author Website: www.suzannecollinsbooks.com

First Line: “I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.”


GoodReads Synopsis: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

Kathy’s Review ****SPOILER WARNING****: Well I’m not really sure where to begin with this one. I read it yesterday and knew I had to sleep on it before I wrote my review. First, it must be hard being an author and writing a final book in a trilogy. You’d want to write a book that lives up to the first two, and that ends in a way that would make fans want to re-read the series. For me, I will definitely re-read the series. I loved the first book and I admit, I think I loved the first so much it has influenced what I’ve thought of books two and three.

Anyway, on to the review…I enjoyed this one, like the first two I had a hard time putting it down. I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen. If you liked the first two books then you will of course want to read this one and will probably end up liking this one, despite some of the drawbacks. I think what drew me in to the first two books; besides the original story and action was the love-triangle. As much as love-triangles frustrate me, it really was a big part in the story, especially the relationship between Peeta and Katniss (in my opinion). This installment focused more on the revolution and way less on the love-triangle. For me, an important element was left out and it made me like the story a little less. Peeta and Katniss had always had great chemistry, they balanced each other out and were so loyal to each other. Gale and Katniss also had a little something, for me it felt less romantic, but there was always enough there to make me a little torn. In this last installment I almost didn’t care who she ended up with, at times thinking it might be better if Katniss were to choose neither. There were some good opportunities for some romantic tension, but they were overshadowed by the revolution and drama going on. For me, that was a big miss.

As for Katniss, she didn’t seem like herself (actually, neither did Peeta or Gale, they all seemed really out of character). She spent a lot of time in the hospital or recovering from some ailment, and most people around her thought she was mentally ill. There would be a great scene and then BAM, she wakes up in the hospital and we miss out on what happened. At one point Katniss finally realizes the power she has, how the Rebels really look up to her. I was hoping from that point on she would step into the leadership roll, but she doesn’t. I know war is awful and she had experienced some horrible things, BUT I was hoping she would rise above and show courage, strength and be more aggressive. Instead it felt like she was still a puppet.

I was a little disappointed in the ending, it was wrapped up rather quickly and Katniss played a really small role in how everything turns out. I again was hoping that with all the experiences she’s had she would want to play a more influential role in the building up of the new country, or at least played a bigger role in deciding what happens with her life, instead of having it chosen for her and becoming kind of a recluse. And even when one of the guys shows up at the end, it felt rushed and unsatisfactory. The romance part had been left out so much, that I just didn’t feel that much by the end. I was also disappointed in how things ended with the other guy, it just didn’t feel right and I didn’t get the closure I was hoping for.

Having said that, I was not mad at how the book ended, in fact I was pleased with everything. It wasn’t perfect, or exactly what I wanted, but it was still a good read (a little slow in parts), and definitely one of my favorite series!

Bookworm Rating: 4
Reading Order:
Book One: Hunger Games
Book Two: Catching Fire (Jess's review)
Book Three: Mockingjay

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daydreams by Marcia Lynn McClure

Genre: Romance

Publication Date: 2007

One Word Review: Cute

Author Website: www.marcialynnmcclure.com


Kathy’s Review
: This may be my favorite McClure book so far. I thought the plot was so cute. Sayler is a candy striper at her Grandfathers hospital, she doesn’t get along well with two of her coworkers, who are constantly playing pranks and putting her down. The nurses decide to embarrass Sayler by having her put chapstick on a new coma victim. Turns out he isn’t in a coma and when he wakes up to find Sayler hovering over him the fun really begins. The book is done in two parts, I really enjoyed each section and thought the story was a lot of fun. It has its cheesy parts, but overall it was a cute, clean romance.


Bookworm Rating: 4.5

Thursday, August 19, 2010

To Echo the Past by Marcia Lynn McClure

Genre: Western Romance

Publication Date: 2005

One Word Review: Cute

Author Website: www.marcialynnmcclure.com

GoodReads Synopsis: As her family abandoned the excitement of the city for the uneventful lifestyle of a small, western town, Brynn Clarkston's worst fears were realized. Stripped of her heart's hopes and dreams, Brynn knew true loneliness. Until an ordinary day revealed a heavenly oasis in the desert . . . Michael McCall. Handsome and irresistibly charming, Michael McCall (the son of legendary horse breeder Jackson McCall) seemed to offer wild distraction and sincere friendship to Brynn. But could Brynn be content with mere friendship when her dreams of Michael involved so much more?

Kathy’s Review: This was the sequel (kind of) to Desert Fire. It follows the son from Jackson & Annie. I thought it was a cute story, kind of uneventful and a little cookie-cutter. Brynn seemed really similar to a lot of other heroines in McClure books, I kind of wish she had more of a backbone and wasn’t so bashful around Michael. Michael was also a lot like other heroes from McClure books. I did like that they had normal names, and even though it was predictable it was still enjoyable. The “drama” at the end seemed a little random, not enough build up and was over pretty quickly. Not my favorite McClure book, but still cute.


Bookworm Rating: 3

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Desert Fire by Marcia Lynn McClure

Genre: Western Romance

Publication Date: 2005

One Word Review: Cute

Author Website: www.marcialynnmcclure.com

First Line: She felt something on her face.

Kathy’s Review: The book starts with our main character waking up with amnesia with a very handsome man rescuing her from dying in the desert. He takes her back to his family and slowly her memories begin to come back. As her memories return she realizes that she is in danger and on the run.

I really enjoyed this story, it was a quick, fun read. I liked Annie (I prefer to call her Annie rather than her real name…Malania), she was spunky and held her own. While she does fall for Jackson quickly, its believable and their relationship progress at a nice pace. I liked Jackson, he was a good leading man and even though he was rough around the edges he was a softy at heart. There were quite a few close calls for Jackson, six times saving Annie may have been a bit too much. It also seemed to be a little less cheesy then some of the other McClure books I've read. The story really reminded me of Marcia’s other book Weathered Too Young; the storylines seemed a little too similar. Overall, a cute western romance.


Bookworm Rating: 4

A Most Unusual Governess by Amanda Grange

Genre: Regency

Publication Date: 2001

One Word Review: Forgettable

Author Website: www.amandagrange.com

First Line: Out with it, Constance!

GoodReads Synopsis: The death of her parents has more thanthe usual devastating consequences for Sarah Davenport. She swiftly answers Lady Templeton's advertisement for a companion, and, deemed too young for the role, finds herself instead the governess to Lady Templeton's great-niece. But trouble looms with the return of the children's guardian, Lord Randall, who is furious to find the children are having fun under the outspoken rule of their feisty governess. Discovering that she is the unwilling target of tutor Mr Haversage's lecherous attentions is bad enough, but, worse still, Sarah realizes that she is irresisitibly drawn to Lord Randall, who has made it perfectly clear that he desires a quite, biddable girl for a wife.

Kathy’s Review: I was actually underwhelmed with this one, not sure how I pushed myself through it. The plot was okay and I did want to like it. I got a little tired of the POV changes so frequently and without any smooth transitions. I personally don’t mind a couple different POV if it’s rotating chapters, but when it’s done multiple times during a chapter it drives me crazy. I also felt like there were too many explanations, like James and Sarah would be having a conversation and then the conversation would be explained. It was just an okay read, but forgettable.


Bookworm Rating: 2

The Whispered Kiss by Marcia Lynn McCure

Genre: Fairytale Retelling/Romance

Publication Date: January 2008

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.marcialynnmcclure.com

First Line: Antoine de Bellamont sat trembling in the prescence of the dark Lord of Roanan.

GoodReads Synopsis: With the sea at its side, the beautiful township of Bostchelan was home to many-including the lovely Coquette de Bellamont, her three sisters, and beloved father. In Bostchelan, Coquette knew happiness, and as much contentment as a young woman whose heart had been broken years before could know. Thus, Coquette dwelt in gladness until the day her father returned from his travels with an astonishing tale to tell. Antoine de Bellamont returned from his travels by way of Roanan bearing a tale of such great adventure to hardly be believed. Further, at the center of Antoine's story loomed a man-the dark Lord of Roanan. Known for his cruel nature, heartlessness, and tendency to violence, the Lord of Roanan had accused Antoine de Bellamont of wrong doing and demanded recompense. Antoine had promised recompense would be paid-with the hand of his youngest daughter in marriage. Thus, Coquette found herself lost-thrust onto a dark journey of her own. This journey would find her carried away to Roanan Manor-delivered into the hands of the dark and mysterious Lord of Roanan who dominated it.

Kathy’s Review: This was a fun retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It followed a lot of the same original plot, with some added tweaks. I liked Coquette’s character, and thought her relationship with the Lord of Roanan was fun to read. I was sad about her relationship with her family, especially her father, but I guess that was kind of the point. I read this awhile ago and cant rememeber the things that bothered me about the book; overall I did really enjoy it. If you like retellings then I think you would enjoy this!
Bookworm Rating: 4

Similar Reads:
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Belle by Cameron Dokey
Beauty by Robin McKinley

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Highwayman of Tanglewood by Marcia Lynn McClure

Genre: Romance

Publication Date: August 2008

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.marcialynnmcclure.com

GoodReads Synopsis: A chambermaid in the house of Tremeshton, Faris Shayhan well knew torment, despair and trepidation. To Faris it seemed the future stretched long and desolate before herbleak and as dark as a lonesome midnight path. Still, the moon oft casts hopeful luminosity to light ones way. So it was that Lady Maranda Rockrimmon cast hope upon Farisset Faris upon a different patha path of happiness, serenity and love. Faris abandoned the tainted air of Tremeshton in favor of the amethyst sunsets of Loch Loland Castle and her new mistress Lady Rockrimmon. Further, it was on the very night of her emancipation that Faris first met the man of her dreamsthe man of every womans dreams the rogue Highwayman of Tanglewood. Dressed in black and astride his mighty steed, the brave, heroic and dashing rogue Highwayman of Tanglewood stole Faris heart as easily as he stole her kiss. Yet, the Highwayman of Tanglewood was encircled in mysterymystery as thick and as secretive as time itself. Could Faris truly own the heart of a man so entirely enveloped in twilight shadows and dangerous secrets

Kathy’s Review: I actually finished this one earlier in the week and have finally found a second to sit down and write a review. I think this may have been my favorite McClure book so far. I really enjoyed the story; it has a Robin Hood/Zorro feel to it. It has adventure, mystery, and of course romance. I guess I’ve gotten used to the “cheese factor” in McClure’s books, to the point I hardly notice it anymore. The characters still have odd names, but their personalities are very likable. I thought our leading lady Faris was a great heroine. I liked her from the beginning, I also liked that she addresses the issues of how fast she falls for the Highwayman of Tanglewood. It drives me crazy in stories when couple meet once or twice and are then declaring their undying love. At least in this story they talked about it and it was believable. As for our mystery man, I figure it out right away, but it was still fun reading about him. I liked him in his “true” character as well as the Highwayman. Overall, a very enjoyable read and would recommend it to anyone. McClure’s are a little addicting, they have fun stories, good romances and I find myself wanting to read more and more.
Bookworm Rating: 4.5

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: May 2010

One Word Review: Fun

Author Website: www.janetterallison.com


GoodReads Synopsis
: Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia’s photo filters through the Internet, she’s offered a job to be Kari’s double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia’s mother has always warned her against celebrities. Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!

Kathy’s Review: Janette Rallison is one of my favorite authors, I love all her books and this was no exception. I knew this was a retelling of Charles Dickens book the Prince and the Pauper (which I have never read), I love retellings and thought the modern setting seemed like a lot of fun. Alexia was a great leading lady. I enjoyed her personality and it was fun to read about her experiences. There is a love interest in the story, it does play a big role, but to me not as much as some of her other books. It seemed like this one was more about Alexia discovering just who she is and her place in the world. The book moved along quickly and it was a great escape. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes reading good books.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Loyalt's Web by Joyce DiPastena

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Publication Date: November 2008

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.joyce-dipastena.com

GoodReads Synopsis: In twelfth-century France, King Henry II of England has just finished crushing a rebellion by his power-hungry sons and now seeks to tame the lawless barons who supported them in this corner of his “Angevin empire.” To this end, the king has sent the Earl of Gunthar as his royal representative to ensure that Prince Richard and his former cohorts faithfully adhere to the terms of the peace treaty. Far from being welcomed with open arms, Gunthar no sooner steps foot in the county of Poitou than he is greeted by a series of assassination attempts. All appear to be linked to the former rebellious prince through the agents of the family and friends of young Heléne de Laurant. A clever, intrepid young woman, she realizes that the only way to prove her loved ones’ innocence is by exposing the true assassin. Heléne races against time—and dark secrets of the past—to unmask the killer before the kingdom plunges back into war. Fierce determination gives way to mutual attraction as Heléne and Gunthar spar over the identity of the traitor. But their blinding magnetism almost causes them to overlook an even deadlier threat from an entirely unexpected direction.

Kathy’s Review: I just want to start with a little disclaimer. I had a major headache and a million other things on my mind while reading this book. I will have to give it another try when there isn’t so much going on.

I had read a ton of great reviews for this book and was really looking forward to reading it. I was a little disappointed, it moved along a little slow and I was bogged down with all the different characters and their very unique names. The story rotates points of view with Heléne and Gunthar. I actually really enjoyed the main characters and their story, I got a little bored when they weren’t together. Heléne is a good leading lady, although I did get a little tired hearing about how “plain” she was. I also really enjoyed Gunthar’s character and thought he had good chemistry with Heléne. Overall, I enjoyed the story and would give it another try down the road and would even read the companion book Illuminations of the Heart.


Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Reading Order:
Book One: Loyalty’s Web
Book Two: Illuminations of the Heart

Sunday, July 11, 2010

She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott

Genre: Teen Lit

Publication Date: May 2010

Author Website: www.kieranscott.net

GoodReads Synopsis: Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing. Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross. But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan. Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?

Kathy’s Review: Overall, I enjoyed the story, but would have liked it more without all the swearing and underage drinking. I knew going into it that it was the first in a series, but kind of think I would have preferred a standalone book. It leaves off with a few cliffhangers and I’m sure I’ll be picking up the next book as soon as it comes out. Ally is a likable character, she has been reduced in social status, but I think she would have been cool even when she was “popular”. The tension between her and Jake was great and I enjoyed their interactions. I felt sorry for a few of the guys along the way, but ultimately I think I’m on Team Jake. Jake wasn’t the perfect leading man, he is kind of the spoiled rich kid, but as the story progresses I think he really grows. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next book. It’s a fun Teen Lit book (minus the swearing).

Content Warning: Lots of swearing (including the “F” word) and underage drinking.


Bookworm Rating: 3

Reading Order:
Book One: She’s So Dead To Us
Book Two:

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: May 2010

One Word Review: Original

Author Website: www.teralynnchilds.com

First Line: “Water calms me.”

GoodReads Synopsis: Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush. Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life. When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Kathy’s Review: This was a really unique story that had me hooked from the start. I wasn’t sure where the story was going and enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen next. Overall, I liked Lily, but at times she really frustrated me. She is a little self-involved, but I think she gets better as the story goes on and I think through her experiences she will be a little more open in the next book. I of course I’m on Team Quince, he was a fun character and they had good chemistry together. I liked their bickering, but they could also be really sweet together as well. I wasn’t a fan of Brody’s, but felt a little let down with his storyline. He never really did anything to make me not like him, and I was hoping there would have been a little more reason for Lily not to like him either. Anyway, it was a fun read and I look forward to seeing what happens with Lily next!


Bookworm Rating: 4

Reading Order:
Book One: Forgive My Fins
Book Two: Fins Are Forever

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Genre: Fairytale Retelling

Publication Date: May 2010

One Word Review: Great

Author Website: www.jessicadaygeorge.com

First Line: “When someone knocked on the bedroom door, Poppy nearly leaped right off the bed.”

GoodReads Synopsis: Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other’s countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It’s got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

Kathy’s Review: Loved it! This was an interesting take on the Cinderella story, told from the perspective of Poppy, Christian and Eleanora. I’m thinking Eleanora is supposed to be the “Cinderella” character, but the main characters are really Poppy and Christian. I loved both, they were fun to read and I enjoyed their relationship. Poppy is a fun and unique heroine. She is a bit of a tom-boy, but is striving to be a little more lady like. She doesn’t take any gruff from people and jumps in to help when she sees her friends in trouble. Christian was also a great leading man, even when he was “enchanted” with Ella his feeling for Poppy kept him grounded. I hope I haven’t given away too much there. This is a sequle/companion to Princess of the Midnight Ball, it could probably stand on its own, but I would recommend reading them in order.

The story unfolded smoothly, was well paced, and full of surprises. Day was able to mix in common elements of the Cinderella story while still creating a very unique and enjoyable version. I think Day is an amazing author and I love her books, I truly hope there will be many more!

Bookworm Rating: 5

Reading Order:
Book One: Princess of the Midnight Ball
Book Two: Princess of Glass

Friday, July 2, 2010

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Genre: Fairy/Fantasy

Publication Date: April 2010

One Word Review: Okay

Author Website: www.aprilynnepike.com

First Line: “Laurel stood in front of the cabin, scanning the tree line, her throat constricting in a rush of nerves.”

GoodReads Synopsis: It's been almost a year since Laurel discovered that she is a faerie, placed with human parents as an infant to help protect the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Although she's come to accept her true identity, Laurel refuses to turn her back on her human life-and especially her boyfriend, David-to return to the faerie world. But when she is summoned to Avalon to relearn her long-forgotten faerie magic, Laurel must depend on the charismatic faerie sentry Tamani. Her feelings for him are undeniable, and she is forced to make a choice-a choice that could break her heart. When a deadly enemy resurfaces and puts both Laurel's life and Avalon in danger, Laurel must draw on all her human strength as well as her faerie skills to save both of her worlds and all of those she holds dear.

Kathy’s Review: I don’t know how I did it, but I actually found a little time during the week to actually read. Although, it became clear that the days of sitting and reading a book cover to cover are long gone.

I’ve been looking forward to reading Spells for a long time. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed in Spells, but it didn’t “wow” me like Wings did. I think it may have suffered from Middle Book Syndrome. The beginning was fun, I liked Laurel going to Avalon and her time spent there, and of course her relationship with Tamani. Toward the middle of the book she returns to the human world and that’s where things really slowed down for me. Tamani was gone and David is the main focus. For some reason I just don’t like David. The last quarter of the book was still a little slow, even when the “exciting” things are happening it just didn’t seem all that interesting. I was also frustrated with Laurel who is suffering from the Bella Syndrome, where she loves two guys and wants them both, regardless of how it makes them feel. I like Tamani so much and almost wish he would end up with someone else, Laurel doesn’t deserve him. Anyway, I’ll get off my Tamani soap box and just say that while there were things that disappointed me, I still enjoyed the book overall. It’s probably a good set up for the last book and still worth reading. If you enjoyed Wings, then I think you’ll enjoy Spells.


Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Reading Order:
Book One: Wings
Book Two: Spells
Book Three: April 2011

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baby Haitus


Some of my followers may remember an earlier post where I talked about how my husband and I were trying to adopt...well we were finally able to! We were contacted a three weeks ago by an amazing birthmother who wanted to give us her precious baby boy. The past three weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind (a good one) and yesterday at 7:30 AM our baby boy was born. So far he has been perfect, but I'm sure once we get home and settled he will become a lot more work and therefore I will probably be reading a lot less. I will still try and do Meme's and posts whenever I can. But, if there is a lull in activity, now you'll know why! =)
 
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