40 The Stick
44 The Carrot
setaian

If wishes were horses...

Mostly Romance. Contemporary, Paranormal, Historical and Romantic Suspense. Also a little Urban Fantasy and Mystery.

Her Own Devices (by Shelley Adina)

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

Lady Claire is finally getting the recognition she deserves working as an assistant to frustrated engineer Andrew Malvern. But his partner Lord James Selwyn wants her as his bride and has formed an alliance with her mother to get her down the aisle. If he succeeds her dreams of university will evaporate. 

 

Her Own Devices is the second book in the Magnificent Devices series. I have much love for these books but they are very short and I think the first two books should be combined into one. Together they would be one very good 5 Star Steam Punk adventure. Separate, I can’t go that far but they’re still very good.

Sleigh Belles (by Beth Albright)

Sleigh Belles - Beth Albright

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

After the director of the yearly Christmas play falls ill, hard nosed reporter Dallas finds herself press-ganged into the job. With her job on the line she has little choice but to step up...even though she will be working alongside Cal, the guy she has been in love with since school.  

 

Cal has never thought much of Dallas. She’s always been the ice queen and he has no room in his world for her.  But as the weeks pass the walls Dallas puts up to protect herself start to crumble and he gets a glimpse of a woman who has suffered the ultimate betrayal.  

 

Sleigh Belles is light hearted fluff. For some entertainment that isn’t too taxing it’s pretty damned good. It felt a little like Groundhog Day...if Bill Murray was an attractive woman from Alabama.  

Take me Home for Christmas (by Brenda Novak)

Take Me Home for Christmas - Brenda Novak

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

After her abusive husband cheats half of Whiskey Creek out of their savings, Sophia is left destitute and hiding in her now empty mansion while she waits for the bank to take the few things she has left. 

 

Ted was betrayed by Sophia in high school. He more than anyone has a right to celebrate her misfortune but when he hears about her difficulties he offers her a job as a housekeeper and cook.  

 

Sophia is determined to make the most of the chance Ted has given her. She needs to make enough money to run away with her daughter and start afresh.  

 

 

 

Take me Home for Christmas is very good contemporary romance about a woman who has been beaten down but with a little help manages to get back on her feet. 

It’s occasionally heartbreaking but overall a satisfying and enjoyable read. 

 

Many thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

This video is quite interesting. While it doesn't speak to the topic directly, there was a case recently where a young girl was raped at a party.  The rapist who was never charged and is apparently enjoying his college experience recently tweeted something about all women "want it" referring to his penis.

The young woman and her mother were bullied, made to feel unsafe and eventually had to relocate.  

Obviously a Disney / Pixar movie isn't going to turn a boy into a rapist but they do reinforce certain messages.  I have copied the Bechdel Test and plan on applying it to as many things as I can.  

 

Wedding Belles (by Beth Albright)

Wedding Belles - Beth Albright

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

Vivi Ann is seven months pregnant and determined get Lewis down the aisle before the baby arrives.  But when a psychic informs her there is another woman in the picture things start to go haywire.  

 

With the help of her best friend Blake they need to find the other woman, make sure she's out of the picture, solve a murder and hopefully get Vivi Ann to the church on time.

 

Wedding Belles is predictable fluff, but it's pretty damned entertaining.  Story is thin on the ground but I listened to the audiobook narrated by Allison McLemore and honestly I don't really care. If she narrated A Farewell to Arms, quite possibly the most boring book ever written, I'd listen to it.

Written in Red (by Anne Bishop)

Written in Red - Anne Bishop

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

Meg is a blood prophet. She is able to predict the future, but the price is high. For every prophecy she needs a cut, the deeper the cut the better the prophecy. Her controller sells her skin to those willing to pay for it.  

 

Now she has escaped her controller and she seeks shelter amongst The Others. Werewolves, vampires, elementals and other supernatural creatures.  But her controller won’t let her go without a fight and he has dispatched hunters to find her.  With the human government agitating for her return and The Others just as determined to protect her, the situation could easily descend into war. 

 

 

The set-up for this book is great, and the ending is amazing!  But this book is way too long. All the elements of a 5 Star book are present, except a vicious edit.

Up to the Challenge (by Terri Osburn)

Up to the Challenge (An Anchor Island Novel) - Terri Osburn

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

After his father has a heart attack, Lucas Dempsey finds himself back on Anchor Island to look after the family business, and teamed up with Sid Navarro, the Island's smart mouthed boat mechanic. 

 

They’re attracted to each other, but he has to return to his job in six short weeks so all he can offer her is a summer fling.

 

Sid has always loved Lucas but she knows she isn’t his type of woman and is willing to take whatever he can give her.  But beneath her hard shell is a vulnerable young woman and when he leaves, he’ll break her heart.  

 

It’s so hard to know what to say about this book. Nothing I can say will do it justice.  If I took the very best Robyn Carr or Jill Shalvis books, waved my wand and somehow made them 20% better, that might come close to this book.

 

Many thanks to Montlake Romance and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

The Sassy Belles (by Beth Albright)

The Sassy Belles - Beth Albright

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

When her lover, Lewis apparently dies during a passionate assignation, Vivi Ann runs from the hotel room and immediately calls her best friend and lawyer Blake. But when the ambulance arrives, his body has disappeared. With sightings of Lewis coming in from all over Alabama it’s up to Blake to get to the bottom of the mystery.  

 

The Sassy Belles isn’t perfect. There are a couple of plot flaws and it feels a little bit like a rudderless ship. But it’s such good fun that I can’t hold any of that against it.  

 

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Allison McLemore who has a voice like dripping southern honey. She’s a standout for me as the best narrator for books set in the deep south. Three stars for the book and the fourth star for the narrator.

Warm Bodies: A Novel - Isaac Marion

Not much to say.  It's like a funny joke...which the teller of the joke spends 5 minutes explaining.  Yeah I get it already.

 

I can see that a lot of people would like this book and it's not bad...I mean it was entertaining enough, but honestly characters named R, M and Julie?  A little pretentious. 

The Nightmare Affair (by Mindee Arnett)

The Nightmare Affair - Mindee Arnett

Reviews in 150 words or less...

 

Dusty is a nightmare. Late at night she breaks into houses and feeds on the dreams of the inhabitants. Then she breaks into Eli’s house and immediately discovers he is something different. They are a dream pair. Using Eli as a conduit, Dusty can see into the future.

 

When people start dying at Arkwell Academy it’s up to Dusty and Eli to get to the bottom of the murders and find out what the murderer is after. 

 

The Nightmare Affair has an amazing beginning which settles down into a pretty good young adult paranormal fantasy. It's a little bit Harry Potter, a little bit Monsters Inc. but as an entertaining diversion it works well. 

 

Miracle Lane (by Edie Ramer)

Miracle Lane - Edie Ramer

Reviews in less than 150 words....

 

After being run over by a car Nia has been left with no memories of her life before. All she knows is everyone in her family despises her and one of them tried to kill her. Her only ally is Bast, a talking cat who is determined to guard her come what may. 

 

Returning from Afghanistan with his own ghosts, Rob the identical twin brother of the local cop, shows up at her house after she calls about an intruder. After failing his comrades in Afghanistan, he's determined to save Nia from whoever it is that wants her dead. 

 

It’s hard to know where to put this book. It’s a contemporary, suspense, paranormal romance that deals with some very dark topics. It’s not the best written book, but it’s one of the most interesting concepts I’ve encountered in a while.

 

It’s a dark fairytale with insidious undertones.

 

Many thanks to Blue Walrus Books and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Always on My Mind (by Jill Shalvis)

Always On My Mind - Jill Shalvis

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

During her school years, Leah’s father was demanding and never happy no matter how hard she tried. The result is that now Leah is both driven to be perfect but always doubting herself. 

Fearing rejection, Leah ran from Jack many years earlier. Now she is back in Lucky Harbor and while trying to cheer up Jack’s mother who despairs that Jack won’t ever settle down, she blurts out that she and Jack are dating.

Now they are in a pretend relationship...only Leah’s feelings are real. She just needs to convince Jack to give her another chance.

 

Always on My Mind is pretty good contemporary romance.  I don’t think it’s one of the better books in the series but it was entertaining enough. Worth the effort but I’m much more excited about Lucky Harbor #9 Once in a Lifetime.

Hard Magic (by Laura Anne Gilman)

Hard Magic - Laura Anne Gilman

Bonnie is desperate for a. So when she receives a mysterious call from. She gets the job and joins a. They find themselves. But the hit man is. They need to find the.

 

(It's pretty annoying not getting the complete story which pretty much sums up how I feel about this book.)

Color my Horse (by Bev Pettersen)

Color My Horse - Bev Pettersen

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

Desperate to escape her manipulative grandfather, Jessica takes a job working as a groom for his horse’s trainer. She’s the lowest rung on the ladder at the stable and Mark assigns her to an old horse that hasn’t won a race in years. 

She builds an affinity with Buddy (the horse) and with the attention she lavishes on him, he once again starts to run like a champion.

But there are criminals in the wings who are targeting Mark’s star horse, and with the police doing nothing it’s left up to Jessica and Mark to investigate. 

 

Color my Horse is very good romantic suspense. My only criticism is that the relationship between Mark and Jessica seemed separate to the story...it was almost like I was leaving the story so they could get it on. It’s a small criticism and I liked this book a lot.

Fool for Love (by Marie Force)

Fool for Love (The McCarthys of Gansett Island #2) - Marie Force

Joe has loved Janey forever. Unfortunately Janey has been engaged to someone else for just as long. When Janey catches her fiancé in bed with another woman she turns to Joe and things quickly heat up. There are just as many clichés in Fool for Love as there are books called Fool for Love in the Goodreads Database. I imagine I could find the same basic plot line in more than one of them but it doesn't matter all that much. It's derivative but it's still entertaining.

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse (by Diana Rowland)

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse - Diana Rowland

Reviews in less than 150 words...

 

A zombie movie is being filmed in her home town and the zombies might or might not be real. When a body shows up on the movie set, everyone's favorite coroner's office zombie, Angel once again finds herself in the middle of the shambling, moaning action. 

 

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse feels a lot like a ticker tape parade. All the stars are there, you watch them drive by, you cheer...then you go home and wonder what just happened. Characters are introduced who don't do all that much and things are hinted at which don't lead anywhere. There are some good things in this book but I don't think it can hold a candle to the first two.