Friday, October 31, 2014

What Else I Read in October 2014

Books:


A Christmas Wedding Ring by Susan Mallery – This is not a new
story.  It is a new release of a book that was released in 1998.  That said it is a very nice story.  I love Molly who thought she was weak but was in fact very strong.  Dylan Black was the bad boy who really was never very bad.  From the wrong side of the tracks he has worked hard and is now a success.   Even though they both have problems together they are able to put them aside while they go on the adventure Dylan promised 14 year-old Molly years ago.  A very nice story.

A Hero for the Empire by Christina Westcott- This is Science
Fiction Romance so it is a book I should have loved but it fell a little flat for me.   So what did not work for me:  The backstory was there but not in enough detail.  There was no build up to the romance.  It showed up too early,  it was just sex and it interfered with the flow of the story.   The world building seemed incomplete.
What worked for me:  I liked the two main characters.  They had to carry the story and they fit the action. I thought the writing was good.  Everything was kept in a very active voice, which I love. I liked the twists and turns in the plot.   The things I did not like kept the plot from jelling as it should have.  This is book one and I did like the story enough that I will be looking for book two.  I hope that the back-story, world building and plot development will continue and it will be a book I love.


Breaking Creed by Alex Kava - Breaking Creed is the first book in a new series.  However it features a character that was seen in a previous Maggie O’Dell book.  Maggie is also featured in Breaking Creed.  I have not read the O”Dell books but had no trouble keeping up with the action in Breaking Creed.  There is some back-story added where needed and the rest of the action stands on its own.

The story was good.  I loved all the dogs, especially Grace.  There were some things that I found distracting.  There are several important characters and the chapters switch between them.  That was a bit of a distraction.  I also found one of Creed’s actions really unbelievable.  There was no way it was safe.  I will let you see if you agree when you read the book.  Even with that I found Creed a great protagonist and look forward to future stories about he and his dogs.

Deadly Pursuit by Nina Croft - Nothing was as it seemed in Break Out by Nina Croft, book one in the Blood Hunter series, so I did not expect Deadly Pursuit to be any different and it was not.  The crew of the El Cazador took a job to break Jonathon Decker out of prison in book one.  Now they are stuck with him in book two.  They might just turn him back to the Collective except it will not work.  Now the Collective wants Jon and the entire crew dead.  Added to the mix is Al or Alex the High Priestess of the Church of Everlasting Life who is now crew on the ship.  The Church wants her back or do they.  Nothing is as it seems.  That includes characters as well as action.  Look for several familiar paranormal characters as well as some new breeds to mix everything up.  Croft has written another edge of your seat adventure and romance with this second book in the Blood Hunter series.  It will stand-alone but you don’t want to miss the adventure and romance in Break Out, book #1.

'Tis the Season by Robyn Carr – Tis the Season features three Christmas Novellas from Robyn Carr.  Two are set in Virgin River where four of the side characters from some of the main line books get their own story.  The third is one she wrote sometime in the 1990 and seems to be one that was written as a stand-alone.  The book is really for Virgin River fans who may have missed the two Virgin River stories when they were published in other books.  Like always the stories are full of great characters and an even better romance.

Audio Books:

The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons (A Bernie Rhodenbarr
Mystery)  by Lawrence Block - This is my first meeting with Bernie Rhodenbarr and his friend Carolyn Kaiser and I hope it will not be my last.  I loved the paring.  Bernie runs a book store and Carolyn a pet grooming business.  They have lunch each day and are fast friends.  Nothing more.  Bernie is straight and Carolyn is gay.  Bernie has a side line.  He is a burglar and just refuses to give it up.  This time he uses his skills to solve a murder and pay back a client how shorted him money.  A fun listen.


Skin Game (Dresden Files #15) by Jim Butcher - Harry is up to his neck in trouble again and to add to the problem he is in a very unusual condition.  One problem is solved and several others are set up in Skin Game.  Now I am ready for the next book in the series.

Book Beginning and The Friday 56, October 31, 2014


I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56.
 Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.


The Beginning:

Arewwwwwww! The unholy complaint filled the carriage.

"You should have left that creature back in Kempton, Miss Tempest," Mrs. Bagley-Butterton complained for about the hundredth time."

Page 56:

"Both men stared at her, and Louisa knew that even the argument that their "French" cook wasn't anything more than a naval deserter and a thief would hardly remedy the situation."

From Elizabeth Boyle's latest release The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane. This is the latest book in her Rhymes With Love series.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne

Contemporary Romance

From Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne welcomes you to a small town full of big surprises that are both merry and bright...

Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward's Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she's stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a helping hand…for her sick young daughter's sake as well as her own. But she's not expecting her holiday hero to almost run her down with his car!

Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza's hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew that what his life was missing was Eliza and her little girl. But is he willing to risk hoping for a yuletide romance that could lead to forever?

Snow Angel Cove is the start of a new romance series by RaeAnne Thayne. While the location is new one of the main characters is not. Aidan Caine is one of the Caine sons from the previous series, Hope’s Crossing. It seems that the ultra successful Aidan has come to Snow Angel Cove (A big house in Haven Point) to recover from surgery; surgery he has kept secret from all but a few trusted people. Eliza Hayward has come for a job that goes up in smoke, as in a real fire. With her is her daughter Maddie. Suddenly Eliza is not only homeless but Aidan hits her when his car skids on the ice. Not the best way to meet but it does lead to a great story.
I was immediately at home with the series because one of the Caine brothers is one of the main characters. All of the Caine’s show up for Christmas so in addition to a great story it was a reunion for fans.

There are some really great characters in the book. I loved Eliza and how strong she was for her daughter’s sake. It was easy to see how she and Aidan were a great fit but of course both had take a interesting journey to come to their HEA. Some wonderful side characters from the local area are also introduced in the book. It was fun trying to guess who would be the next one to find love in Haven Point.

Snow Angel Cove is a great start to the new series and Thayne's development of Haven Point sets up many, many stories that can be told

I received a free copy of Snow Angel Cove in return for an honest review.


Harlequin published Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne in 2014.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Burn for Me (A Hidden Legacy Novel) by Ilona Andrews

Urban Fantasy

From Goodreads:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Ilona Andrews new series is off to a very hot start, pun intended.  Look for a lot of heat in the form of fire and a lot of heat in the form of attraction.  All of it adds up to a great new series to follow.

World Building:  In 1863, in a world much like our own, European scientist discovered Osiris serum, a concoction which brought out one;s magic talents.” That first sentence sets the stage for the action and the world building.  Burn for Me is set in Houston, Texas in a city that is somewhat like the Houston of our world but is divided up into section controlled by the Primes who have very strong magic.  Reading I would feel like I was very comfortable in a place I understood and them something would happen that would show how very different the world of Burn for Me was.  Magic is what sets the two worlds apart.

Characters:  Even early in the story the main characters are very well developed.  The family that owns The Baylor Investigative Agency are the characters at the heart of the story.  They are a family that sticks together no matter what.  Nevada is the oldest child in the family and the main investigator.  Her mother, grandmother and three younger siblings make up the rest of the family.  Mad Rogan comes into the picture when he and Nevada have to try to stop a Prime who has to power to burn Houston to the ground.  Lots of attraction between the two but Nevada is resisting.  This is the first book in the series so there is just Nevada resisting the attraction and Rogan confident that he will get her in the end. 

Plot:  There is more going on that what first appears.  Nevade starting thinking she just has to find Adam Pierce (a powerful fire Prime) and get him to return to his family.  As the story develops the danger just keeps increasing and the tension contines to ramp up.

Writing:  As always the husband and wife team of Ilona Andrews keeps everything going with writing that produces well though out action, dialog and tension. 

There is a sneak preview of the next book at the end of Burn For Me.  It looks like the beginning of another great story.

Avon published Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews in 2014.


I received an ARC of Burn For Me from Amazon Prime.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak - Blog Tour and Giveaway



Brenda will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour as well as a tour specific contest you can enter by following the link at the end of the post.

The Heart of Christmas

by Brenda Novak



BLURB:

Just call her Christmas Eve…

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B-and-B she manages and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

As Eve turns thirty-five, she’s worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. She’s dated all the eligible men in the area. There’s no one she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. Just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:

The Heart of Christmas takes another single member of the Friday Coffee group and gives them their own happy ending. Eve has been a featured character in each of the previous Whiskey Creek books.  Once it looked like she might finally find her own HEA but it was not to be.  Now she is 35 and feeling like she will never find that special person.  I have always liked Eve.  She is very caring and very strong.  Seeing her down as she is in The Heart of Christmas was very sad.  I just knew someone would show up to be her very special person.  What I did not expect was a man with a very mysterious and dangerous past.

Brenda Novak does a great job with that mysterious man.  Why no name?  (small spoiler) Because his name has been changed several times for his own protection.  He does not want anything to happen to Eve so it looks like no HEA for Eve again.  Then the Friday Coffee group decides to help and comes up with a winning solution.

I have to admit both the mysterious man and how he and Eve came to have their own HEA surprised me.  The Heart of Christmas has a much darker tone than previous Whiskey Creek books.  I think the slight change of pace strengthens the series and helps keep it from being predictable.


Excerpt:

She stopped trying to act as if discovering him in her bed was no big deal. “This whole situation embarrasses me,” she admitted. “I’ve never taken anyone home from a bar before and, unlike you, I won’t be leaving this town any time soon. That means I’ll have to face all the people who witnessed my licentious behavior.”

He raised one eyebrow. “Licentious?”

“Promiscuous, debauched. Whatever you want to call it. Waking up with a total stranger isn’t something that’s normal for me.”

He studied her, his gaze…thoughtful. “Last night you told me it was your birthday.”

“And?”

“Quit being so hard on yourself. From what I could gather, it was a rough one. And with the holidays coming up, and knowing you’re going to spend another year alone, you said it wasn’t likely to get any easier.”

Damn. She’d shared that? Hadn’t she revealed enough when she took off her clothes? “My birthday was fine. Spending another Christmas as a single woman is fine. Everything’s fine.” How could she complain when she’d always had it so good?

She could hear the scrape of his beard growth as he ran a hand over his chin. “What’s that saying about protesting too much?”

“I’m not protesting.”

“If you say so.”

Holding the sheet in place, she slid a few more inches away from him, but she couldn’t go far. She was about to fall out of bed. He wasn’t bulky, but he had wide shoulders and he didn’t seem to be concerned about giving her space. “If you know it was my birthday, you remember more than getting dropped off here,” she said.

“It’s coming back to me.”

Bits and pieces were coming back to her, too. How she’d noticed him watching her from where he sat alone at the bar. How she’d danced for him in such a seductive manner, reveling in the appreciation she kindled in his eyes. How he’d eventually gotten up and walked over to join her. How he’d danced with her, so cautiously and respectfully even though the sparks between them felt like they were about to burn the place down.

How she’d slipped through the crush of bodies on the dance floor to catch her breath outside and he’d followed….

There were still things she couldn’t recall, however, and his name was one of them. Had he ever told her what it was?

“Who are you?” she asked.

Without even a stretch or a concluding peck on the cheek, he climbed out of bed and started to dress.

At least she wouldn’t have to ask him to leave, she told herself. It looked as if he planned on walking into the sunset—or sunrise since it was early—as soon as possible. But this wasn’t New York or Los Angeles. He couldn’t just hail a taxi. She lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California in one of the many mining towns along Highway 49 that had sprung up when gold was discovered a century and a half ago. It was a community that hadn’t changed as much as one might expect in such a modern, technologically advanced world. And if the lack of urban conveniences in Whiskey Creek wasn’t enough of an obstacle, she lived several miles outside town. There was very little traffic out here and no buses or other public transit.

He’d have a long hike if he intended to make his way back to Whiskey Creek without catching a ride from her.

Or maybe he planned to call someone. He had a cell phone and, for the most part, there was service.

“You won’t answer?” she asked.

“What difference does my name make?” he finally responded.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of more than fifty books. A four-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised over $2 million. For more about Brenda, please visitwww.brendanovak.com.

links:







Follow this link for an addition tour specific contest:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Heart of Christmas (Whiskey Creek #7) by Breada Novak

Contemporary Romance

What Goodreads Says:

Just call her Christmas Eve… 

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn't have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that's what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining. 

Eve's worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There's no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve's definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve's happily ever after just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she's counting on the best Christmas of her life!

The Heart of Christmas takes another single member of the Friday Coffee group and gives them their own happy ending. Eve has been a featured character in each of the previous Whiskey Creek books.  Once it looked like she might finally find her own HEA but it was not to be.  Now she is 35 and feeling like she will never find that special person.  I have always liked Eve.  She is very caring and very strong.  Seeing her down as she is in The Heart of Christmas was very sad.  I just knew someone would show up to be her very special person.  What I did not expect was a man with a very mysterious and dangerous past. 

Brenda Novak does a great job with that mysterious man.  Why no name?  (small spoiler) Because his name has been changed several times for his own protection.  He does not want anything to happen to Eve so it looks like no HEA for Eve again.  Then the Friday Coffee groups decides to help and comes up with a winning solution. 

I have to admit both the mysterious man and how he and Eve came to have their own HEA surprised me.  The Heart of Christmas has a much darker tone than previous Whiskey Creek books.  I think the slight change of pace strengthens the series and helps keep it from being predictable.

Harlequin published The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak in 2014.


I received  an ARC of The Heart of Christmas from Netgalley in return for an honest review.  You can get a coupon for $1.00 off by following the links below.



Teaser Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:"
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book. 


I won a copy of Whispers at Ghost Point from Deanna Jewel and it came in the mail today so I decided to use it for my teaser.

Teaser:

I don't want you going there alone - at least promise me that much. How many times have you been over there alone?"

Only twice..but..if I can feel "something" just looking over that way, I know I need to figure out why and what it is."

page 49


Monday, October 27, 2014

Musing Monday's, October 27, 2014

TC is in the sun musing about the chipmunk she sees out the window.
Hopefully that is all she does.  So far this month she has presented me
 with two chipmunks - one alive and one dead but both in my bedroom.
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week.Musing Mondays is sponsored by Should Be Reading.
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to talk.

My Musing this week is about a prequel to a series I am reading.  Sometimes a prequel just fills in some backstory but Captured, A Fallen Siren Prequel by S.J. Harper, does much more that just introduce Emma and Zack. It has a very real mystery that highlights how the two first met and worked together. It is a complete story that stands on its own.  I loved the tension and the attraction between the two. If you have started the Fallen Siren series this is a must read. If you have not read any of the books it is a great introduction.