Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Marriage Merger (Marriage to a Billionaire #4) by Jennifer Probst


Romance

What Goodreads says:

"Her sisters have found wedded bliss with their wealthy,
wonderful dream men, but not Julietta Conte. She’s stayed
on terra firma as top executive of the family’s corporation,
La Dolce Famiglia bakery. Work is her passion, and her
trendy Milan apartment her sanctuary . . . until Sawyer
Wells, a masculine masterpiece in a suit, lures her out of
hiding with an irresistible offer: an exclusive partnership
with his international chain of boutique hotels.

Julietta’s been burned before—and trusting her brother-in-
law’s friend, whose powerful gaze alone has her
rethinking the best use of a conference room, is the
riskiest proposition. But with a once-in-a-career chance
to take the bakery global, will she mix stone-cold business
with red-hot seduction?"

Trope:  Each book in the Marriage to a Billionaire series shares one trope.  Mama Conte is determined to see all of her daughters married and will do what ever is necessary to make it happen.  She uses trickery, sickness, the modern version of a shotgun wedding, and in this book she uses a promise given years ago as a hammer.  In this book it leads to another trope:  a marriage of convenience.

Plot:  Both Julietta and Sawyer are buttoned up personalities who put work first.  Neither is into emotions.  Both think that they can have an affair and walk away with no trouble.  There is a nice addition to this book.  Sawyer has a young protégé who plays an important part in the story.

Characters:  Both Julietta and Sawyer are great characters with interesting flaws.  All of the characters from the previous book appear and play a part in The Marriage Merger.  Sawyer’s protégé is an interesting new character who added depth to the story and could have his own book sometime in the future.


Tension:  There is a business deal and the protégé that provided the external tension.  The fact that neither Sawyer nor Julietta want to deal with emotion provides the internal tension.  There is plenty of both.

Writing:  The writing in The Marriage Merger is brisk.  The tension continues to build throughout the story.  There is never a break in the action making it hard to put the book down.

Galley Books published The Marriage Merger by Jennifer Probst  in 2013.

I received an eARC of The Marriage Merger from Netgalley.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teaser Tuesday July 30, 2013

Hunter and the turtle.  Who is teasing who?
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 for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser today is from With His Lady's Assistance (The Regent Mysteries)  by Cheryl Bolen.   This was on my wish list and on my last Amazon order I decided to give it a try.  I am glad I did as it is very entertaining.  There is great dialog, a good mystery and some romance.  It is listed as a Humorous Regency Romance Mystery and it is.  This is the first of a new series and I am waiting for A Most Discreet Inquiry, book 2 due out in August.  Here is my teaser:

With His Lady's Assistance"From his reconnaissance, Jack recognized Daphne's father immediately and stood up."

"Rich?  Would that she had been born mute.  Wretched female."

Here is what Goodreads says:

"To help him mingle in the highest echelons of English society to investigate threats on the Prince Regent's life, super spy Captain Jack Dryden must feign an engagement to the exceedingly plain spinster, Lady Daphne Chalmers. Together they embark on an investigation which brings them into grave peril – and makes the captain reevaluate the skinny maiden who has a most amorous effect upon him."
 
 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Musing Mondays July 29, 2013

Musing Mondays (http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/) asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
MusingMondays5• 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 ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Today I am want to ramble on something else pertaining to books.
  
 Here is what happened to me Friday.  I visited my local Barnes and Noble just planning to look around.  I did have my IPad with me so I could note any books I might be interested in but had no plans to buy.  So what changed?

Pieces of Sky (Blood Rose, #1)I was in the romance section when I noticed that Jodi Thomas was Barnes and Noble's romance author of the month.  The display included her books and several books that Jodi recommended.  I love Jodi's books and own all of them so those did not present a temptation.  What did temp me was Pieces of the Sky by Kaki Warner, an author I had never seen or read.  I picked it up, found a chair and started reading.  Of course I was hooked and purchased the book.

I wonder how many of you have done the same?

I have finished Pieces of the Sky and really liked the story.  It is a western romance with a great set of characters and a very good plot.  The romance is not rushed but builds as the story moves forward.  it is also the first in a series so now I have two more books to add to my TBR pile.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

How to Lose a Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan (Forgotten Princesses #3)


Historical Romance

From Goodreads:

"He saved her life...

When Annalise Hadley is tossed over the side of her honeymoon barge, the newly-minted duchess knows she's been left for dead -- for her husband's only interest is in her vast dowry, not her muddied lineage. However, she didn't count on a savior. Especially not an honorable, sinfully intriguing earl who will tempt her to risk everything—again.

Now he will seduce her heart and soul

A man with his own demons, Owen Crawford, the reclusive Earl of McDowell, is enchanted by the mysterious, courageous woman he rescued. He will help her heal, teach her to protect herself, and then send her away—so that she’ll never see he’s far from the hero she believes him to be.

But days and nights alone prove that some secrets are meant to be discovered...some desires are too powerful to resist…and some wounds can only be healed by love.'

Annalise is another of Jack’s children.  If you have read the previous books you know he went out and found his illegitimate children and brought them into society.  He goal is to marry them to quality and Annalise has just married a Duke but there is no HEA for those two."

How to Lose a Bride in One Night has some very interesting characters.  There are the gypsies who help out.  There is Owen who suffers from what we know as PTHD.  There is Annalise who decides to never be a victim again.  And there is the horrible Duke who tried to kill Annalise.  When they are all mixed up they help make a very good story.  I wondered how Annalise would get out of her bad marriage and was glad to see the Duke get what he deserved. 

Annalise and Owen had a rough but enjoyable journey to their HEA.  How to Lose a Bride in One Night was a good addition to the Forgotten Princesses series.

Avon published How to Lose a Bride in One Night by Sophie Jordan in 2013.

I received an ARC of How to Lose a Bride in One Night from Edelweiss.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves, July 27, 2013

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books I am adding to my shelves. They may it be physical or virtual. I include books I buy in a physical store or online, books I borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.  Follow the link to see what other have on their shelves.

Purchased:

Sweet Revenge  by Zoe Archer
With His Lady's Assistance by Cheryl Bolen
The Suitor by Mary Balogh
Pain Free by Pete Egowcue
Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell
Captive by K.M. Fawcett



Free:
Forbidden the Stars by Valmore Daniels - Deathscape by Dana Marton - Transcender by Vicky Savage - The Catalyst by Chris Reber - The MysteriousCase of Mr. Strangeway by Karina Cooper
From Edelweiss for Review:

 
 
  


 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Book Beginnings on Friday, July 26, 2013


Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

My Book Beginning this week is from a book by one of my favorite writers of western romances, Lauri Robinson.  She wrote the Quinter Bride series, a fun series of books that always started with one of the Quinter brothers being forced into a shotgun wedding by their Mother.  Set in Kansas in the 1800's each book has a unique set of circumstances that requires the immediate wedding.  (Use the search feature if you would like to read my take on books in that series.)

The book this week is The Cowboy Who Caught Her Eye, a Harlequin Historical by Lauri Robinson.  Here is the book beginning:

"Dakota Terriotory, August 1884

Carter Buchanan kept the hat pulled low on his face and his feet propped on the seat across from him, waiting for the other to gather their bags and bundles and head for the exit.  He was as ready to get off the rumbling box on wheele as the rest of them, but he never let anything show-feeling or thoughts."

Here is what Amazon says about the book:


"The Shopkeeper's Shame


Pregnant and unmarried, Molly Thorson knows her livelihood is under threat. The last thing she needs is a distracting cowboy swaggering into view. Especially one who knows she has a secret and still looks at her with desire in his eyes.

The Cowboy's Secret
Carter Buchanan knows all about secrets. It's his job to know. And Molly sure has something to hide. But the fear in her eyes touches a place he thought long-ago dead—and now this cowboy can't help but consider exchanging his pistol for a band of gold.…"

If you like to read a good western romance with great characters and a wonderful story this is a good book to choose.

Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek #4) by Brenda Novak


Contemporary Romance

What Goodreads says:

Sometimes home is the refuge you need-and sometimes it isn't Adelaide Davies, who's been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She's there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran's restaurant, Just Like Mom's. But Adelaide isn't happy to be back. There are too many people here she'd rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago. 

Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she's wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible-men now-are punished. But she can't, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it's better to pretend.... 

Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won't have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she'd rather forget. He only knows that he's finally met a woman he could love.

Home to Whiskey Creek is the 4th book in the Whiskey Creek series.  Brenda Novak does not run from difficult topics and Home to Whiskey Creek is an example.  Gang rape and the effects on both the victim and those responsible are the two themes at the heart of this story.

Adelaide Davies is the victim.  She never reported the crime and left Whiskey Creek as soon as she graduated from high school.  Now she is back to take care of her Grandmother.  The men responsible feel threatened and Adelaide is in danger.  Adelaide is a very strong character but she has not been able to put the crime in the past. 

Noah Rackham is the brother of one of boys.  His brother is dead and his family does not know what he did.  Noah is attracted to Adelaide and does not understand why she keeps saying that they have no future together.  He has the strength to stand by Adelaide when the truth comes out.

Both have to grow and develop during the story.  In the end they are a very powerful couple.

I said that Novak does not shy from difficult subjects.  One of the continuing characters in the series is gay.  He finally comes out of the closet in Home to Whiskey Creek.  This side story plays into the story as a whole.  It will be interesting to see how Brandon’s story is handled in future books.

Home to Whiskey Creek is a powerful story filled with tension.  I am not sure I could have handled everything like Adelaide did.  She and Noah had to make some very hard decisions for the story to have an HEA.  Not everyone will agree with how it ended or if they could have done the same.

Harlequin MIRA published Home to Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak in 20133.

I received an eARC of Home to Whiskey Creek from Netgalley.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Portal (Boundary #3) by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor

Portal (Boundary,#3)Science Fiction/Space Opera
What Goodreads says:
"Madeline Fathom had miraculously landed the crippled Nebula Storm on Europa. She joined on that frozen moon of Jupiter the stranded crewmembers of the ill-fated EU vessel  Odin. The Nebula Storm's reactor was ruined in the landing, the Odin’s shuttle can’t make the trip back home, and the only vessel that could have make the journey to save them has just been destroyed by a renegade crewman, bad luck, and the remorseless forces of nature.

But Madeline, Helen Sutter, A.J. Baker and the team have one card left to play. All they have to do... is survive lethal radiation, vacuum, and ice as hard as steel while they figure out how to make  Nebula Storm fly again.

But even as they prepare to make the journey home, Europa has one more discovery waiting for them... a discovery that might be the deadliest trap in the Solar System!"
If you have read the Boundary series from book one you don’t want to miss reading Portal.  If you have not read the series from book one start do not start with Portal.  Why:
Backstory:  All of it is in the previous books.  This picks up directly after the end of book 2 and while there are hints about what happened before they would be more confusing than enlighting if you had not read the previous books.
Worldbuilding:  Same as backstory.  Most of the worldbuilding was done in the previous books.  You know it is the future but without the backstory the world might not be that plain.
Characters:  There is some character development.  Most of the characters have been part of the story in the previous books and they their development was done then.  Many have some unique traits that might seem strange if you are meeting them for the first time.
Plot:  Book two left them in a big fix.  Getting home is the focus of the book with some additional plot features added.
I sound like a broken record but Portal is for everyone who has read the previous two.  It is well written,  has a good story and is an enjoyable conclusion to the Boundary series.  It is not a good standalone book.
Baen published Portal by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor in 2013.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teaser Tuesday, July 23, 2013


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 for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser is from Defender of the Flame by Sylvia Engdahl.  This is book three in the Flame trilogy.  It can be read as a stand-alone but read all three.  Right now book one Stewards of the Flame is free on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  All three are great discussion books for any book club even one that is just general fiction.

Defender of the Flame (Flame Trilogy, #3)"You don't care about getting rich?"

"No," Terry agreed  "That what everybodyelse wants so I say it ...but I've always thought, l hoped anyway that someday I's come across some tremendous secret out there, out near some star where no one
has been before, something that mattered..."  To make light of it he added "Aliens, maybe." 

The teaser is from early in the book and is a case of be careful what you wish for.  The results might be very different from what you expected.

The Darwin Elevator (The Dire Earth Cycle #1) by Jason M. Hough


Science Fiction

What Goodreads Says:

"Jason M. Hough’s pulse-pounding debut combines the drama, swagger, and vivid characters of Joss Whedon’s Firefly with the talent of sci-fi author John Scalzi.

In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura.

Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow “immunes,” he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura’s edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped—along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma—to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity."

My Goodreads rating on The Darwin Elevator would be 5 stars for the first half and 3 stars for the second.  Since I can’t do that the book will get 4 stars.

The Darwin Elevator captured and held my attention for the first half of the book.  The plot was very exciting and the characters were well developed.  There was great world building, danger and tension.  So what happened after the first half to change my rating?  To me it looked like the author had those well developed characters acting out of character to keep the plot moving in the direction he wanted.  I found that their action were a distraction that took my attention away from the plot.   On a personal level some of the characters I really liked were killed off.  And then the book ended!  It did not finish, it ended!

Did all of that make this a bad book?  No!  Even though in the second half I found the character’s actions distracting I still finished in record time.  This is book one in a three book series so a cliffhanger ending is not unusual.  It does make me want to read book two as soon as possible. 

Even though I found some things that I thought took away from the story I still recommend the book. This is a great new series for Science Fiction fans.  

Del Rey will release The DarwinElevator by Jason M. Hough on July 30, 2013.  There is still time to pre-order.

I received an eARC of The Darwin Elevator from Netgalley. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Musing Mondays July 22, 2013

Musing Mondays (http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/) asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
MusingMondays5• 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 ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic PainI am using the a book called Pain Free by Pete Egoscue and Roger Gittenes for knee pain.  I used their method almost 20 years ago when I had plantar fasciitis and it worked wonders.   I am much older now and I have done something that is causing knee pain.  The book contains E-cises that are designed to get your body back in alignment and stop the pain.  They worked for my feet and they are working for my knees.  They do take a lot of time as you have to hold certain positions for up to 45 minutes but are much better than surgery or drugs.  Check the book out if you are experiencing any type of chronic pain.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

To Sin with a Viking (Forbidden Vikings Series #1) by Michelle Willingham


Historical Romance

What Goodreads says:

"Playing With Fire!  

Caragh Ó Brannon defended herself bravely when the enemy landed—only, now she finds herself alone with one very angry Viking… 

Styr Hardrata sailed to Ireland intending to trade, never expecting to find himself held captive in chains by a beautiful Irish maiden. 

The fiercely handsome warrior both terrifies and allures Caragh, but he is forbidden territory. He is the enemy…and he is married. Yet Styr harbors a secret that just might set them both free… 

Forbidden Vikings 

Resist them if you can!'

I received an eARC of To Sin with a Viking from Netgalley.  To Sin with a Viking is a Harlequin Historical and it has a great cover.  In fact that was what first caught my attention.  Stories do not always live up to covers but this one does.

Characters:  Caragh O’ Brannon and Styr Hardrata are the main characters.  Caragh is a strong woman.  She has three brothers and while she takes care of all of them she does not take anything from the men around her.  Styr is the Viking.  He is a very rough and ready male who has know little love or tenderness in his life.  When Caragh captures Styr and hold him prisoner the sparks start to fly.  Both Caragh and Styr come alive in the story.  There are other important side characters that help in the story development.

History:  This story takes place in Ireland around 875. There were quite a few Viking settlements in Ireland during that time.  We tend to think of the Vikings as the aggressors but during this time period it was the Dane’s who were the worst raiders. Willingham does a good job developing the world Caragh and Styr occupy.  There is just enough historical development to keep the story moving and time period believeable.

Plot:  This is a romance and as we all know it is not the destination, it is the journey.  The big problem between Caragh and Styr is not that one is Irish and one is a Viking.  It is that Styr is in an arranged marriage that has failed.  As the story starts his wife has been captured and Styr is trying to find and rescue her.  That is the external tension in the story.  He is attracted to Caragh but is honor bound to his wife.  That causes the internal tension in the story.  Both are at the heart of the plot and lead to a very interesting journey.

Writing:  To Sin with a Viking is very well written.  The story never slows down.  It moves from scene to scene smoothly.  The tension builds, the action fits the situation, the characters develop as the story progresses and the plot is well defined with a great ending.

To Sin with a Viking is a very enjoyable book.  It deals with a time period that has not been used as often as others and that adds extra spice to the story. 

Harlequin Historical published ToSin With a Viking by Michelle Willingham in 2013.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stacking the Shelves, July 20, 2013

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books I am adding to my shelves. They may it be physical or virtual. I include books I buy in a physical store or online, books I borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.  Follow the link to see what other have on their shelves.

My books this week are all from the public library.



Red Planet Blues by Robert J Sawyer
Slow Apocalypse by John Varley
Museum Piece by Anne Stuart
Supervolcano: Eruption by Harry Turtledove
Shades of Milk and Honey, Glamour in Glass, Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal
Pain Free  by Pete Egoscue 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Beginnings on Friday July 19 2013

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

My book is another that I read after getting the review copy and am just now getting around to doing a post.  Both this weeks book and last weeks book were ones I really liked so don't let my faulty memory keep you from picking them up to read.

Loving the Marquess by by Suzanna Medeiros is my book beginning this week.

"A knock at the door in the middle of the night never brought good news.  Casting a longing glance at the welcoming bed she's been about to sink into, Louisa Evans tried the sash of her dressing gown."

Knocks on the door at night are never good but are a good book beginning. 

 Here is Goodreads summary of Loving the Marquess:


"She is on the verge of losing everything…

To save her home and keep her two younger siblings safe, Louisa Evans must turn to the head of the family that ruined hers.

He needs an heir…

The Marquess of Overlea is starting to show signs of having inherited the same illness that killed his father and older brother. To prevent the marquisate from falling into the hands of an unscrupulous cousin, Overlea must secure an heir before that illness also claims him.

But he is determined not to be the father of that heir…

Overlea’s plan is simple—marry the practical, yet desperate, Miss Evans and hold Louisa to her promise to provide him with an heir. But he waits until after they are married to tell his wife that he intends to have another man father that heir. His careful plan becomes complicated by an almost desperate need to claim Louisa for himself and an outside threat that proves even more dangerous than his illness."