Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005's Top Books

I don't think I've ever read a novel like this one. There was a lot of sex, a lot of language I didn't expect in a romance novel. The book was controversial (to say the least). AAR boards had threads dedicated to the book. A lot of readers didn't appreciate Valdez use of the C-word (among other things). Whatever...I didn't mind it because it fit the hot, sweaty and forbidden sex the lead characters were engaging in. The book is something that needs to be experienced. A review doesn't do it justice. All I can say is that I can't wait to see what else the author has in store. PASSION is the first of a quartet, after all AND the author's debut novel. Not bad!!!

This book introduced me to Elizabeth Boyle. Far superior than THIS RAKE OF MINE.

A lot of people don't like this book; I'm not exactly sure why. Personally, I loved seeing the heroine, a sudo-villian in previous books, fall in love before my eyes. The hero is dreamy and engaging. Loved it!

Excellent! I really enjoyed this one. A definite keeper!

I had never heard of Karen Ranney before this book (believe it or not). I thoroughly enjoyed this Cyrano-like novel. The sex scenes between the two characters were steamy!!!

I admit it...I love Lisa Kleypas, so I might be a little biased. I think she is one of the few Avon authors who is consistent in her writing. Not all of them are perfect but they definitely do not fall into Stephanie Laurens territory (i.e. BORING!!!). This book was the second in her Wallflower series; the first one, A SUMMER TO REMEMBER, lacked luster because of the obnoxious heroine in need of a maiming, but it was a lot better than most books out in circulation (by other authors, of course).

I love this new series by Sabrina Jeffries. The heroes were alpha, just as I like'em. Yummy!

I wanted a night with him, as well.

Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible is quite possibly the BEST book of the lot. The characters were funny, intelligent and the Egyptian backdrop definitely made the story one I look forward to rereading again and again!

2005 was a year in which I purchased several books but didn't quite get to read them all. I focused, for the most part, on books published in earlier years. In 2006, I hope to read most of my TBR books. I will continue to buy but will definitely work on establishing some sort of book budget for myself, so I don't go berserk each time I enter a UBS or Barnes and Noble.

Happy 2006!!!

Northern California Rocks and Rolls

It's New Year's Eve and it won't stop raining. California is being hit by a major storm and it looks like some homes might seriously begin to rock and roll soon. I hope not, but California isn't exactly known for stable ground. Whether it's an earthquake or a mudslide, we're always guaranteed a bit of "excitement," if you want to call it that. I want it to stop already.

I don't mind being single (yes, this was a very abrupt change of topic)...I really don't. I like having my independence and I know that one day I will meet my hero, despite the fact that finding a good man has become harder than a game of Where's Waldo. I notice it mostly when I spend time with my parents. They're trying to understand how I could be single. How is that possible? Why am I single? Why have I not found anyone? Why don't I smile more often? Why aren't I nicer to men? Why? Why? Beat me! Why? Why? Beat me! Why? I know MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING was really a spin off of my life and it should have been called MY MEDDLING ITALIAN PARENTS!

I don't know why I'm still single. Every guy I've dated has been a douche bag to me and now I have become a bit more selective. I won't date anyone and I certainly would never sleep with just about anyone (as my mother, whose desperation has finally taken hold of her, suggested during the holidays). I don't discriminate...younger men, older men..fine! I don't care really. I'm not really that much into looks. Of course, I need to be attracted to my man physically but sense of humor and intelligence are far more important to me AND...well, I hate to say this but most of the men I've met lately are less than stellar in that department. The story here gets better.

Tonight, since most of my friends are scattered throughout the country, with most of them in NY and the others in LA or newly married (and you know those could very well be in Zimbabwe for all you see'em), I decided to spend a nice, quiet New Year's Eve home with my family. I just wanted to relax, watch a good movie, maybe even read a good book. My plans were shattered when my folks told me they were invited to spend the evening at their friends' house. I thought...OK, FINE. I'LL JUST SPEND THE EVENING AT HOME AND DO WHAT I WAS PLANNING ON DOING ANYWAY. Well, no...doesn't work that way in Italian families apparently because they now insist (i.e. demand through emotional blackmail) I come with them because they don't want me to be home alone. It would take a few blog pages to fully detail why I now feel obligated to join them in an evening which will be FUN for them but TORTURE for me. My mother, who is now going through her "change of life," freaks out over the most insignificant things. When I insisted I was going to stay home and just "chill out," she flipped and said I was ruining her life. Yeah...we women have a lot to look forward to when we hit a certain age. My challenge for this new year is finding a place to travel to next year this time. Believe you me, single or coupled, I won't be spending it here being tortured by well meaning, yet meddling parents.

On a bright note, I figured out how to work the blog sidebar. Special thanks to Kristie from the awesome RAMBLINGS ON ROMANCE for helping me out with this one. She suggested reading Nicole's BLOG HAPPY. I have a long way to go with figuring out the ins and outs of blogging, but I'm getting there.

I'm reading FORBIDDEN MAGIC and I can already tell it's going to be incredible. I couldn't stop laughing yesterday when I started it. The hero is so funny and, damn, so sexy! I wish I were the heroine!


I need help with sidebars! Every blog I read has book covers posted on the side. How do I do that? Blogger is no help! Please help!!!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Throw the Girl a Condom

Life's too short to spend it reading a horrendous romance novel. I normally force myself to finish a book, even a bad one, because 'til the end I believe the author's going to surprise me with some clever twist or breathtaking declaration of love. Tonight I wasn't feeling so kind and stopped reading before I broke out in hives.

It was mentioned that I read a lot of Avon, despite the fact that I hate them so much. True...true..I do...I can't help it because, deep down, I enjoy many of their authors' past works and I always hope I'll be rewarded in the future. However, I decided to distance myself from Avon for a bit and I picked up a book I purchased about a year ago at the local Walmart. I should have just stopped myself right there and watched JERSEY GIRL starring Jami Gertz instead. The book? TEMPORARY MISTRESS by Susan Johnson.

The book is essentially about an heiress who, at the death of her grandfather, finds herself forced to marry her fat cousin Harold; she escapes the clutches of her greedy relatives and finds herself on the doorstep of a splendid mansion which turns out to be one of London's infamous brothels. The heroine spills her guts to the madam and soon a plan is concocted by the two. THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SPARE HER A MARRIAGE TO HER COUSIN AND EXTREME UNHAPPINESS IS RUIN! Yep, the heroine's got to lose her virginity and be publicly shamed in order for her relatives to steer clear from her. I honestly didn't get how this would work, but whatever. The heroine and madam soon pick the Earl of Bathurst, our hero, to help with such a task. Tough job!

The book's premise, believe it or not, really struck me as having potential. I really thought I would be given more insight into the characters' thought process...oh, and a plot...yes, I thought Susan Johnson would give me a plot also. No such luck!!! The heroine went from virgin to slut in no time and even spied the hero getting a blow job from a whore. After the deflowering (which was really boring, by the way), there's the predictable separation. The wonderful hero then proceeds to have sex with every woman in sight. PIG!!! The guy must have been taking VIAGRA or was nuts! The Earl's "talents" were too much to bear.

For my own sanity, I had to put it away after about 135 pages or so. I almost wanted to save the heroine from this perverted nymphomaniac and toss her a few condoms (cause you know they didn't use any). I seriously saw them both expiring from the "French pox" or some other sexually transmitted disease. And the more I thought about how many women he had been with, the more my imagination ran wild. I soon began having flashbacks of college microbiology and the images of herpes, syphillis and all the other yummy STDs.

Sorry, this book is disgusting AND the characters are complete morons. The hero has no sense of loyalty to the heroine. I don't see this being a realistic depiction of love. We had a man soooooooo in love with a woman that he decides to sleep with everything in sight? I'm sorry but if that's love...well, I want none of it.

If you want a good sex-filled book, with plenty of romance and true love, read PASSION by Lisa Valdez.

If you want to be turned off love and sex for life, be my guest and read TEMPORARY MISTRESS. I look forward to trading it in for another book at my UBS tomorrow. Believe me, I would love to throw it in the garbage and spare another soul, but I really need the book money.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Not too long ago, I had the displeasure of reading THE LORD NEXT DOOR by Gayle Callen. It was my first Callen book; the premise was inviting and I thought I would enjoy it. I had heard from a friend that Callen was a pretty good writer. Several book review sites confirmed this. However, after reading the aforementioned, I was seriously beginning to believe that, like Calvin Coolridge, my friend and the reviewers from ALL ABOUT ROMANCE were smoking some serious crack when they recommended this author.

Having finished my second Callen book (I had to give her another chance, in the event THE LORD was merely a fluke), I am pleased to say that I will not throw the towel in on Callen just yet. HIS BRIDE is a book that will quite possibly remain on my keeper list for some time. The love story is poignant and sexy. The hero, Sir Edmund Blackwell, is a hard working, no nonsense type of man who's been hurt in life but does not drown himself in self-misery, like some romance heroes (Jered from UPON A WICKED TIME..douce bag!). The heroine is strong, warm, passionate and very very aggressive, despite her innocence. The aggressive virgin act was endearing. It didn't irritate the crap out of the reader. I totally identified with her. Here we had a girl who desperately wanted to consummate her marriage; she's attracted beyond belief to her husband and he's...well, he's sleeping in another room because he's afraid to trust her because he thinks she's being used to ruin him (read the story; this actually makes sense and I might think the same thing, if I were the hero). She literally throws herself at him at a certain point and it's BELIEVABLE, REALISTIC, especially at a time when women couldn't just say FUCK YOU, IF YOU WON'T DO ME, YOUR LOSS. I'LL FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL.

The book held no whining, no hurtful behavior at the hands of the hero, all plot lines that tend to irritate the reader rather than captivate them. The story focused exclusively on the growing relationship of the two main characters and what characters they were. WOW! What a concept! I highly recommend this book. If one wants to start reading Callen, please please please begin with HIS BRIDE, an A!

Re-reads are next on my list: SUDDENLY YOU by Lisa Kleypas and A SUMMER TO REMEMBER by Mary Balogh.

Monday, December 26, 2005

2006 in Books

2 Little Lies - Liz Carlyle
Don't Look Down - Suzanne Enoch
The Lion's Daughter - Loretta Chase

Pride and Petticoats - Shana Galen
Lady of Sin - Madeline Hunter
Never Seduce a Scoundrel - Sabrina Jeffries
In the Thrill of the Night - Candice Hern

Three Little Secrets - Liz Carlyle
Lord Perfect - Loretta Chase
Her Master and Commander - Karen Hawkins
Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas
Portrait of a Lover - Julianne MacLean

Promise Me Forever - Lorraine Heath
His Wicked Kiss - Gaelen Foley
The Taming of the Duke - Eloisa James
Angel in My Bed - Melody Thomas
The Bachelor Trap - Elizabeth Thorton

Duke of Scandal - Adele Ashworth
What to Wear to a Seduction - Sari Robins (maybe...I find the premise intriguing)

She's No Princess - Laura Lee Guhrke
Her Officer and Gentleman - Karen Hawkins
Patience - Lisa Valdez

The Duke in Disguise - Gayle Callen (only UBS or library)
On the Way to the Wedding - Julia Quinn (I hate the title!!!)
Be Mine Tonight - Kathryn Smith

Simply Love - Mary Balogh
Never a Lady - Jacquie D'Alessandro
Lady Rogue - Suzanne Enoch
Only a Duke Will Do - Sabrina Jeffries
From London with Love - Jenna Petersen
Just One of Those Flings - Candice Hern
Patience - Lisa Valdez (author of Passion)
His Mistress by Morning - Elizabeth Boyle


The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell - Samantha James

Scandal in Spring - Lisa Kleypas


Primrose - Lisa Valdez

Books I still need to get from 2005 - Jenna Petersen's SCANDALOUS and Enoch's AN INVITATION TO SIN (which, to be honest, I almost don't want to get because I hated SIN AND SENSIBILITY so much).

Jealous Heroes

I'm on a mission. I must find a book with a jealous hero...someone who initially rejects his woman but then wants her back and flips out when he sees her being romanced by another, whom she is seriously considering marrying (obviously not because she loves this other dude, but because she has to marry someone). I often run across many books in which the heroine approaches the hero's mistress or ex-mistress or whatever, but I don't think I've ever read a book in which the hero goes all RAMBO on his love's would be (in his mind) lover. I need help!

I'm currently reading Gayle Callen's HIS BRIDE, which is a lot better so far than her recent THE LORD NEXT DOOR (do yourself a favor and don't read it, please!). So far I'm reading a very BEEN THERE DONE THAT plot line, but I won't give up on it because it seems to have potential AND, despite all my whining about online reviews sometimes giving me the shaft with their ARE THEY KIDDING ME? reviews, All About Romance gave it a good score. Supposedly the story is very character driven and the author focuses on the relationship between the lead characters. Yes, imagine that! No mysteries, spies and irksome subplots! What a concept!

The book is AVON, so anything's possible.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Ok...I know it's Christmas and I should probably put aside my distaste for AVON, BUT I can't. I have to point out my theory as to why D'Alessandro's RED ROSES MEAN LOVE was an A+ and her later novel WHO WILL TAKE THIS MAN? was a total stinker, an F-, if that's at all possible. I can sum it up with one word: AVON. RED ROSES was published by Dell and WHO WILL TAKE THIS MAN? is D'Alessandro's first book with AVON. Coincidence? I think not. AVON promotes the existence of mentally challenged heroines in romance novels! Those who don't adhere to their standards, the "rebel authors" (e.g. Lisa Kleypas), end up getting punished by having their books postponed (yes, I'm still irked about DEVIL IN WINTER! SO?), among other things! I anticipate the days of an author whistleblowing their asses!!! Ok, perhaps I'm going overboard here. I'm just trying to understand why authors tend to deteriorate once they hit AVON (again with the exception of Kleypas and Julia Quinn to a certain extent).

Kathryn Caskie has just signed on with AVON. Let's just hope she remains strong and doesn't fall victim to the AVON Talent Vacuum!

It's Christmas and...

my family is all downstairs playing cards (I'm horrible at that, to be honest) and I'm up here trying to decide what book to read. I brought over a bunch of books and I have no clue whatsoever what to read. I want to finish THE KITE RUNNER, but I'm in the mood for a naughty book, so that one's just gonna have to wait. I recently finished reading UPON A WICKED TIME by Karen Ranney. Oh, God...OMG...I hated it! I couldn't get over how much I wanted to beat the shit out of the book's "hero" (term seriously being used lightly) Jered. WHAT A FUCKING DOUCHE BAG!!! The heroine had some definite balls on her (more than the hero, I might add) for a great part of the book, but then at the end of the book she just forgives him for ever shitty (sorry for the poor vocabulary, but I am not only recovering from Christmas food coma, but I'm also very angry I spent a few hours reading this SHIT hoping it would get good!) thing he's every done to her and, believe you me, he did a lot. I mean, would anyone with a brain ever forgive a guy who:

1) took her to some sex club and then fucked her against some serious STD tainted wall?
2) kissed his whore of a mistress in front of her over and over and over again?
3) dumps her the night AFTER he pops her cherry in his home in the country with a bunch of strangers AND goes off to London to hang out with sluts and idiot buddies?

Yeah, most intelligent women would answer NO to that question, but Tessa, the heroine, after displaying a good set of cajones throughout much of the book, forgives him and makes love to him JUST LIKE THAT!!! MORON! I would not recommend this book to anyone; it's was something that, after a while, started resembling an episode of the Maury Povich Show.

In any case, now I'm trying to decide on a book. It's down to Gayle Callen's HIS BRIDE or a reread of Kleypas' SUDDENLY YOU. Choosing the latter would probably be a smart decision. I've read SUDDENLY and love the book; on the other hand, after Callen's THE LORD NEAR DOOR which put me to sleep, I really want to give this author a chance to redeem herself. I'm leaning towards Callen's book.

Let's hope the book's not as bad as Ranney's.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to all who read my blog. It's been a crazy year. I end this year with no love in my life, but I am not worried. I know HE will show up on my doorstep one day. It's hard during the holidays, as I get older, to not have someone in my life. I love my family, but I think I've reached a point where I want my own...does that make any sense? In the meantime, my exes are all getting married or engaged...all douche bags who probably deserve to be alone for the rest of their lives. And I? Well, I'm still looking for that special someone (I keep getting asked out by men I have no interest in; I say NO...what's the point?). I've been called picky and perhaps I am, but I've learned in life that it's ok to have high standards, especially when you're dealing with a little something called love and so...with the new year about to hit, I can only hope and pray for the love I read about in romance novels. I know he won't be perfect; I'm not either. Where is he? When will I meet him? These thoughts sound almost childish but I can't help but think them. Again, this year I ask, "WHERE'S MY HERO?"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What Would You Do?

What would you do if you met a sexy studly intelligent rich funny witty amazing considerate compassionate loving affectionate man who loved you desperately and wanted to marry you, despite you being the most fucked up person in the world?

Would you:

a) reject him; tell him you don't love him, even though you do;
b) try to get him to marry someone you deem more suitable to him (even though again you are madly in love with him);
c) marry him on the spot and live happily ever after;
d) both a and b.

Well, if you're Meredith Chilton-Grizdale, the heroine from Jacquie D'Alessandro's WHO WILL TAKE THIS MAN?, you will choose d.

Now, let me tell you all something..I hated this woman. HATED HATED and HATED her; I couldn't for the life of me understand why the hero loved her; she was irritating beyond belief and I honestly wanted him at one point to tell her to fuck off.
The hero, on the other hand, Phillip, was a dream come incredibly sensual...a true gentleman and maybe that was the problem. The heroine needed a true beating. Eventually she saw the light and accepted him but it took a while. She had to admit her feelings at a certain point and I've noticed that D'Alessandro's characters tend to be somewhat honest with one another about that sort of thing, but...argh! It was so frustrating to read this woman's inner thoughts; her self-esteem or lack thereof was unnerving.

I won't let this book stop me from reading other books by this author. I was warned by other reviews that this book was a frustrating one, but I had to read it. It's the first in a series! In any case, I'm glad it's over and I'm looking forward to the next one: LOVE AND THE SINGLE HEIRESS. I hear it's pretty good. Wish me luck!

BTW: Today I'm not annoyed with Avon; I've been too busy at work (on my lunch break right now) to even let them get to me.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Currently Reading...

I really got into Jacquie D'Alessandro books after reading RED ROSES MEAN LOVE. WHO WILL TAKE THIS MAN? is the first in a series of friends and siblings. I like the book so far...not quite done. I love that her characters don't hide their feelings from one another. It's refreshing...and yes, it's an AVON book. I can't seem to help buying Avon authors' books, despite my hatred for the publishing company. I may find the tactics used by Avon deplorable, but I can't help but fall in love with the characters its authors least, not the ones they created before Avon got greedy, stopped editing and started postponing their books (I know it doesn't make sense to me either).

I Can't Wait Til These Books Are Out!!!

I didn't care much for the last MacLean book, LOVE ACCORDING TO LILY. The love story was overshadowed by a good case of the hero's hypocondria and the heroine's serious need of a slap in the face. However, I was intrigued by Annabelle and Magnus, so I'm eager to read their story. I only hope MacLean doesn't fuck it up like she did the last.

Yes, me like very much! I've enjoyed most of Loretta Chase's books. The only one that disappointed me was MISS WONDERFUL and I'll just blame that one on brain fever having affected Chase's writing abilities at the time. MR. IMPOSSIBLE, Book 2 of her new Carsington brothers' series, was a masterpiece. Funny beyond belief! The characters exuded sex appeal and animal magnetism all around. Now, the 3rd book in the series awaits us in March. I can't wait!!!

A book I have been looking everywhere for and it's now being republished. Miracles do happen! I've very eager to read this prequel to LORD OF SCOUNDRELS. Very eager, as a matter of fact. Glad my Chase collection will be complete. Coming out in January, it is a well deserved, albeit late, Christmas gift.

Galen's second Avon book is one I've been looking forward to reading since I finished the first in her series WHEN DASHING MET DANGER. PRIDE's hero is introduced in that book as a dandy of the first order, a complete fop, but appearances can be deceiving. Find out why...I cannot wait for it.

Ok...I still haven't read the first book in Carlyle's new series. I hear it's really bad...really bad, but one never knows...a few reviewers hated DEVIL TO PAY and I loved it, so anything's possible. Of course, being the Carlyle fanatic I am, this book is just an auto-buy for me. I just hope the title isn't merely a hint at the quality of the novel.

I've read an excerpt for this book and it sounds good...not great...just...well...good! Gulp! However, since it is the first book to the eagerly anticipated ONLY A DUKE WILL DO featuring Simon and Louisa from Jeffries PRINCE series (really you just have to read this one...very good!), I have to buy it.

I think the two hot bodies on the cover say it looks hot! I'm getting palpitations just looking at the hero's, oh, my...the book covers the love story of Tom and Lauren, who have been mentioned in nearly every Heath book, but have always been relegated to Wallflower status, despite the heavy potential for romance glory. Finally (THANK GOD), Heath has penned a book for these two lovers. Heath is generally an excellent writer. However, her last book, A MATTER OF TEMPTATION, left a lot to be desired. To put it bluntly, IT SUCKED!!! I have a feeling this one won't. Just a hunch! Fans have waited too long for Tom and Lauren's story. Lorraine Heath will not want to disappoint and Avon? Well, let's just say they wouldn't want to incite their fans to violence by approving for publication a piece of shit, especially since they're still fuming over the postponement of Kleypas' DEVIL IN WINTER, due in March!

Saturday, December 10, 2005


I think I mentioned in a previous post that I HATED Elizabeth Boyle's THIS RAKE OF MINE. Well, AAR agrees with me. Check out the review:

To Buy or Not to Buy

This book sounds good...really good. I've never read Eloisa James before, but I am intrigued...definitely intrigued. A friend told me she's an incredible author and I should give her a shot. I want to. I'm going to hold off on buying the book full price because 1) I hate Avon and am sick of them swindling fans with their deplorable tactics, and 2) I'm broke. This is the second book in a series about 4 sisters (which Avon will drag out for a few years), so I'm going to have to buy the first book. I think it's called MUCH ADO ABOUT YOU or something like that.

Again, another series book. Book 2, to be exact AND, yet again, surprisingly, it's another AVON book (they sure love the cash cow series books have become). I hated the first book in Enoch's series, SIN AND SENSIBILITY. Again, HATED IT!!! It was boring; the hero was a moron and the heroine...argh! I honestly think she was mentally challenged. I hope the 2nd book is better than the first (I can't imagine it being worse, but Avon authors are always full of surprises). I love Suzanne Enoch books, so you can imagine how I felt when I read her last book and realized that she might have become another victim of the Avon curse (bad editing, asinine plot, no character development, etc). I really hope AN INVITATION TO SIN is a winner; I haven't read too many kudos on the Avon board as of late, so it's possible it sucks and no one's willing to say it outright. In any case, I'm not paying the full price for the reasons already given above AND because I don't want to spend more than $7 on book I'll only skim through.

This is a new author for me. I own a few of her books; however, they're all sitting in my TBR pile, so I don't quite know if she's the one for me. The book has received good reviews. I have been tempted, despite the precarious state of my December finances (Christmas and bills are killing me this month), to buy the book but each time I get the itch, I remember Callen's THE LORD NEXT DOOR (see past posts). Hmmm...something to think about.

Any advice???

The Sexiest Couple

I'm still trying to figure out ways to post books covers; it's frustrating because I always get an x or some error message. I don't understand how the other bloggers do it. I follow the directions given. In any case, here is the couple I picture whenever I read a romance novel. They're the characters from Stephanie Laurens' (AVON AUTHOR GONE BAD) Scandal's Bride, a surprisely good book. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Gayle Callen's THE LORD NEXT DOOR is the new Melatonin!

Gayle Callen's THE LORD NEXT DOOR took me completely by surprise...the book was not what I expected it to be. I expected to read a sexy, well-written romance novel. Instead, I got an excruciatingly boring, sexually frustrating piece of crap that ended a week long streak of insomnia. This book upset really did. It had so much potential. The premise from Callen's site goes a little like this:

"To rescue her family from financial ruin, lovely Victoria Shelby has no choice but to marry. Her options for a bridegroom are limited...until she remembers the shy servant boy next door.Then she discovers that her childhood friend is actually Viscount Thurlow--ruthless businessman, future earl, and a man whose family is shrouded in scandal.
After two rejected marriage proposals, David Thurlow needs a wife who will give him an heir, someone who will not only overlook his past but also be above reproach. Victoria is the ideal candidate--quiet, unassuming, and in desperate need of funds. But even as she strives to be the perfect wife, David's slow heated lessons in the art of seduction threaten to transform a "convenient" marriage into a torrid and passionate affair."

Sounds good, doesn't it? That's what I thought....well, needless to say the book was anything but. It has so much much potential, but nothing is done with it. Victoria is an idiot with no fire in her belly; she drowns in passivity. She's the least aggressive person you'll ever meet. There is no spunk to her, no feisty attitude. She's a cold fish. I cannot say enough about her. As for David's "slow heated lessons in the art of seduction," well, they've got the slow right! SLOW and BORING! The marriage turned torrid and passionate only after 250 pages. The book, mind you, is 300. What a waste! I won't buy another Callen book, but I will give her another me stupid! This time it's all about the library!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Brain Fever

I must be suffering from brain fever. I've been hearing a lot about it lately. Novel after novel, hero after's all "brain fever this" and "brain fever that." Brain fever is IN! Everyone who's anyone has it. I have no idea what the hell it is, but I'm assuming it has a little to do with insanity...if that's the case, then I was definitely suffering from it yesterday when I set foot into Waldenbooks and purchased a full priced romance novel. The book is Gayle Callen's THE LORD NEXT DOOR.

I still cannot believe I bought the book...I saw it, read the premise and HAD to buy it. Nothing could stop me. Of course, I immediately had to start it the minute I got home. I'm currently on page 100 and...well, it's an OK book so far. OK because nothing spicy has happened and the heroine seems too naive and accepting for her own good. The hero, I like; he's got so much potential, but if the book doesn't improve I will have to reconsider reading another Gayle Callen book. I guess it just strikes me as very predictable. Ok, so I haven't finished it which probably doesn't really give me the right to give the book a scathing review. I have 200 pages left and it may very well turn out to be a masterpiece with a slow drawn out beginning (i.e. MIDDLEMARCH, which I hated for the first 200 pages, but then quickly loved). It's just that I can easily predict who her next two books are going to be about; believe me, it's fairly obvious where her next books are headed...even the plot. I kid you not. Very very obvious. Once more, AVON used Font Number 16 for the book, which makes me feel even more cheated. I hope I have a better tale tomorrow once I finish the book. In any case, at this point I can only blame my purchase on brain fever. Let's hope it doesn't affect me again.

Friday, November 25, 2005

UBS Heaven

Today I went to my favorite UBS and managed to come out with a few goodies:

THE RAKE AND THE REFORMER, Mary Jo Putney (which I've actually read as THE RAKE, but I thought I would get the original...excellent condition, by the way).

WHO WILL TAKE THIS MAN?, Jacquie D'Alessandro, an author I now LOVE thanks to RED ROSES MEAN LOVE, a MUST NOT MISS book. Very good and no silly misunderstandings or brain dead heroines to ruin it all.

BRAZEN ANGEL, Elizabeth Boyle

FORBIDDEN MAGIC, Jo Beverley, which my friend Janet (who is as much of a romance lover as I am...maybe even more) highly recommended.

THE PERFECT WALTZ, Anne Gracie, which I now don't have to buy full price.

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN, Helen Dickson. I have no clue whether this book will be a masterpiece or a dud. I've never heard of it. It's a Harlequin historical with a plot I haven't run into in a while (dad bequeaths his property to his business partner, but only if he marries his daughter...daughter is outraged; they marry in name only, blah blah blah). It'll be interesting to see how this author handles it.

I'm very glad I have new books; I always am, which is seriously making me wonder. I've always gotten pleasure from that really all it takes? Am I trying to escape reality (which isn't too exciting these days, believe me)? I don't know...I'm just happy I have new books to add to my TBR pile. I think I might need to do something with my dining room...I really want to turn it into a library/office. I don't really eat in it anyway. It's just me, myself and I, with dinner usually consisting of some grilled chicken or buckwheat noodles in front of the TV and then B-E-D. Ok, enough I'm starting to depress books...woo hoo!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I've Had Enough

Mary Balogh's SIMPLY LOVE, Book 2 in her Simply series, was initially scheduled for an April 2006 release. When I first heard of this, I was beyond upset. I felt like Dell, Balogh's publishing company, was trying to pull an Avon on fans and was I right!!! Going through my various e-mails, I noticed one from the Mary Balogh message board to which I subscribe. SIMPLY LOVE has been AUGUST...AUGUST? AUGUST? Are they fucking kidding me? August? Honestly, at this point I don't even remember who the book's about, what the point of the series is and why I would even care to buy a book published as a hardcover (did I forget to mention this?) a year and a half after the first of the series. Are they kidding?

Mary Balogh admits the publishers believe they will make more money in August. I admire her honesty...I really do and I love her...truly...her books are amazing. However, her last book, the first in the Simply series was appropriately named SIMPLY UNFORGETTABLE. If this next one isn't good, I honestly don't know if I'll be so keen on waiting for the following one. I'm annoyed!!!

In other news, the mystery of Judith Ivory has been solved...sorta...she's currently working on a new series set to grace book stores whenever AVON decides to release them. I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I read the same plots all the time. It's frustrating. The following is a list of the most recent (and common):

1. I thought you were hot, kissed you, was discovered by my parents in a compromising position, became ruined as a result, shunned by society, thrown out of my house, forced to become a teacher at a YOUNG LADIES OF THE TON school and now, 10 years later, meet you at said school, where your niece/sister is a student. We fight, make love, fight, break up, and finally get together after what feels like a zillion years (for the reader).

2. I promised my dead soldier friend that I would take care of his sister. I go to his home, meet her, fall in love, but refuse to admit it. You refuse to believe I might love you because you think everything I do is dictated by the promise I made to your brother. Ending is same as #1.

3. I need a bride; you need a husband...we agree it'll be a marriage in name ONLY. We are attracted to one another though, which is good, but it's only lust. I'll even sleep with you day and sex marathons. I'll be possessive and jealous of anyone who looks at you, but love? Nah, not for me. You see I'm traumatized because my mother was a ho and treated me shabbily. I cannot love and I never will; I don't want to be like my mother; I don't deserve love. I don't.

4. We're caught in a compromising position. We marry. Lots of misunderstandings. I'm a rake, unwilling to admit I'm in love. You're a bluestocking. You want your independence and will not forgo it to a man. You love helping the less fortunate, especially prostitutes. I hate it because I'm a duke and if anyone were to find out that my duchess does this, then I would be ruined and lose my place in Parliament or lose the respect of my peers. Whatever...eventually I end up financing a home for these tramps!

I don't mind these storylines...I really don't. Some authors take them and deliver a masterpiece...others though butcher them beyond belief. It's with these authors that I have issues. My personal favorite is the redeemed villain which tends to take on different plot twists. He's never truly evil, just misunderstood. I'm still waiting for an author to redeem a truly evil villain. I guess I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Books to Read

I probably have over 100 books in my Romance TBR pile (I have more in my other genre pile). I don't know how it started, but somehow I always seemed to run out of books to read, so I started roaming the various sites online and now I find myself having too many. The fact that I hardly have the energy and the time to read the books doesn't help.

I started reading THE KITE RUNNER, a non-romance, over 2 weeks ago. It's an amazing book, but I keep on putting it down for some reason or another. I must finish it this week.

I also need to start reading my Balogh TBR pile. A friend couldn't believe I had so many Balogh books left unread. I can't either...I was obsessed at one point with getting all of them (not there yet, but coming close), so I'm quite surprised that once I got'em I just put them aside, in a corner, left to collect dust.

So, I've decided to set some goals for myself:
2. Finish Kathryn Smith's INTO TEMPTATION

Pretty lofty goals, if I may say so myself. This week is a busy one for me. I need a vacation in which all I do is read, sleep, eat, and read!

Friday, November 11, 2005

It Better Be Good

On a recent Avon board post, Julia Quinn responded to a fan's request for some tidbits on her last Bridgerton book. Ms. Quinn stated that if she were to respond to such a question, she would never finish writing the book. Now I have a few comments to make. First of all, she's still writing it? The book is supposedly (with Avon you just never know) out in June 2006; shouldn't she have a rough draft by now? I'm not part of the publishing world, so I have no idea what the deadlines are and what not, but I can't help but recall the same response being given back when Hyacinth's story, IT'S IN HIS KISS, was being written. The book was...IS...a disaster! No character development, no sexual tension. It had to be one of the worst books I read this year.

What happened to Julia Quinn? What happened to the author who created the dreamy Anthony Bridgerton??? Recently, I had the immense pleasure of rereading THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME and I cannot help but think that the Quinn who wrote THE VISCOUNT and the one who wrote IIHK are two different people. THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME was funny, poignant, was everything a romance reader wants in a book. IIHK didn't even come close...not by a long shot. IT'S IN HIS KISS struck me more as a book in its development stage than one in its completed state.

Where am I going with this? I suppose I'm annoyed at the fact that some of my favorite authors no longer do it for me. Back when I first started reading Quinn, I went to all the bookstores in my county, just to find all of her books. Today, I'm not even excited about the last Bridgerton, Gregory. I guess I'm expecting another bullshit book that I'll end up keeping only because it's part of a set.

It's no secret that several Avon writers seem to have developed a cut and paste writing style, as of late. Nothing they write is groundbreaking or original. Errors run rampant in their books, either with timeline, character names getting mixed up, or spelling errors. (Now, I understand authors' can't catch it all, but that's why they've got editors. If I'm spending $7.99 on a book, I expect spelling perfection)

Today, the more they write, the more they disappoint. To sum it up in a few words: STEPHANIE LAURENS, JOHANNA LINDSEY (not Avon writer, but she sucks so much, so deserves a mention), JULIA QUINN.


Friday, November 04, 2005


The Avon message boards are boring me to death lately. As expected, no one ever responded to my query regarding Judith Ivory. I’m not surprised. I did manage to write a quick few lines to Ivory’s agent. Hopefully, I’ll get some response. I don’t understand all the secrecy. Is she part of the Valerie Plame/CIA leak investigation as well? In any case, with the exception yet again of Lisa Kleypas (yes, I am biased…so what?), I believe Avon authors have stopped creating butterflies in my stomach…or, at least, their characters have. My most recent Avon read was THIS RAKE OF MINE by Elizabeth Boyle. Now, I enjoyed SOMETHING ABOUT EMMALINE and, believe me, THIS RAKE OF MINE was not bad by any means, BUT it wasn’t one of the best romance novels I’ve ever read either. Maybe my expectations for the book were too high or maybe…just maybe…I’m sick of the overused “You ruined me, so now I’m going to become a social graces teachers in a school for young ladies” plotline. Hmmm…maybe, I just don’t know. How many times can you read a book with the same recycled storyline before you start pulling your hair out?
Again, the book was good; it wasn’t bad. It was good…just incredibly unoriginal. I don’t know. I guess I was expecting something that didn’t occur 5 years later or 10 years later. Authors are always letting the years just fly and they never really explain in sufficient detail what the heck the heroine went through or how the douche bag hero reformed. It always explained in a paragraph or two and then back to the present. The reader never gets a chance to see the hero reform or experience the heroine’s pain…just a bunch of empty words. Is it the authors’ fault or Avon? Well, what do you think? AVON, of course. Why? Because they have the ability to demand a rewrite or different plotline. They have the ability to force the author to find some original thought and fast. What would it take for Avon to actually do something beneficial for their authors and for the fans? I honestly don’t know. I’m just 100% certain I’ll be reading another “ex virgin turned teacher in hiding” book in a couple of months by another Avon author.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

When the Going Gets Rough...

I GIVE UP! I GIVE UP! I can't take it anymore...I'm on page 272 and I just can't take it. BRIDAL FAVORS may be a masterpiece for some, but it's a total flop for me. I hate it! I've been forcing myself to read this book, simply because I felt there had to be something to the story, if it's considered one of Connie Brockway's best. Only 50 pages left to the book and honestly, I really don't care what happens. So...I've decided to throw in the proverbial towel and start reading another book that hasn't been given a review yet: THIS RAKE OF MINE by Elizabeth Boyle. The excerpt sounds promising, so I'll give it a go. I also happen to have enjoyed her last work, SOMETHING ABOUT EMMALINE. As for BRIDAL FAVORS,'s going to end up at the UBS by the end of the month. I'd rather have $3 in my pocket for an overpriced Starbucks Latte than have this book take up space my city apartment doesn't have. I hate to have to do this, simply because I love Brockway's stories, but I just can't stomach this one. Off to Boyle's to come!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

When Heroes are Gay

I'm reading BRIDAL FAVORS by Connie Brockway. I'm on page 100 and I have yet to read about the hero even attempting to initiate any nookie with the heroine. Nothing, zip, nada! I know he's a spy and he's busy trying to uncover some twisted plot that doesn't make any sense to me, but give me a break. That never stopped any of the other heroes/scoundrels/rakes/spies/rogues/second sons BEFORE. Let's be honest, DID IT? I think the hero is confused about his sexuality; I'm beginning to think a little somethin' somethin' is going on between him and his loyal "BUTler" (no pun intended). I guess that's why the book is called BRIDAL FAVORS...if he ever gets around to sleeping with the heroine, it'll have to be as a favor to her.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

And the Truth Shall Set You Free

More conflicting news regarding Judith Ivory. I posted something on the Avon board the other day and was informed by a poster that Ms. Ivory had previously stated ("on the record," according to said poster) that she had a bad back that didn't allow her to sit at the computer too long. Ok...great; there's one answer to my inquiry regarding how this author fell off the face of the earth. However, later another poster said that Ivory had undergone some serious abdominal surgery (which I guess could affect her back) and was on hiatus, spending time with her family…in any case, what’s the real story here? Again we have nothing but inconsistent statements from fans (not AVON...God forbid) regarding the whereabouts of this great woman. And again, I must give the blame for all of this confusion to…you guessed it…AVON. I suggest we all write to Ivory's literary agent to get to the bottom of this:

Judith Ivory
c/o The Axelrod Agency
PO Box 357
Chatham, NY 12037

Let’s hope we get some news soon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Unsolved Mystery of Judith Ivory

Avon proves yet again that it doesn’t give a flying shit about its fans. I am one of the biggest Lisa Kleypas, Mary Balogh, and Julia Quinn fans out there. Anyone wishing to dispute this, be my guest. Occasionally, I do find myself indulging in books written by other authors. Sabrina Jeffries, Connie Brockway, Elizabeth Boyle, Sara Bennett…the list goes on and on. I’ve stumbled a few times, by stupidly reading a Jane Feather novel (save yourself hours of distress and boredom) or even a lame Laurens’ book (honestly…when the hell is her Cynster series going to end?). One Avon author, though, once did what alcohol and valium could never do to me.

During a flight from San Francisco to New York’s JFK, I managed to forget I was on a plane thanks to Judith Ivory’s UNTIE MY HEART. Yes, ladies (and maybe gentlemen? There’s got to be at least one guy out there who reads romance novels), the book was that good. I’m one of those people who freak out easily on a plane, which is unfortunate because I LOVE to travel. I get up a million times. I breathe in and out. I can never seem to actually relax and just fall asleep or watch the already seen bad movie they always choose to show, without thinking the plane is going to crash and I’ll end up blown to bits by the impact. However, about a year ago, I read UNTIE MY HEART and boy, it did just that. The book has it all; it’s funny, romantic, intelligent and, if you choose to read it, it will take your breath away and make you want for more. I immediately had to buy more of her books.

As is the case with every romantic fanatic, I immediately had to add her website to my FAVORITES. I was shocked when I was told her site had been shut down. What happened? There was nothing on the Avon site (who holds Ivory out as one of their authors) stating something was wrong….no real news as to the whereabouts of the author. After doing some research, I discovered various sites speculating and learned that many believed she was suffering from serious health concerns; other sites claimed it was back trouble; some sites said it was nothing, that she was working on her latest book set in the Victorian era. As to be expected, Avon never had anything on their site answering any of the fans’ questions.

However, I wasn’t surprised after the stunt they pulled by postponing Lisa Kleypas’ highly anticipated DEVIL IN WINTER, something I’m still angry about! Today, I found out from a fan that Ivory might have health issues and was given Ivory’s Literary Agent’s contact information. Yes, I had to get this info from a fan, someone who might not even know the whole truth. Is Avon really that doubtful of their fans’ intelligence? Do they think we’ll stand around and believe that they don’t know what’s up with Judith Ivory? She’s obviously still breathing. I’m sure they would post something as serious as death on their website (but then again, I might be giving them too much credit).

More and more, I want to boycott Avon. Is anyone else irritated by this? Is anyone else here a Judith Ivory fan? Maybe even a fan who KNOWS the truth? This entire thing stinks of something fierce. Sometimes, I think they just gave her the ax and just don’t want to admit it because they know her fans would want their heads on a stick.

I’m not at all surprised by Avon’s behavior…their silence speaks loud and clear. They don’t care about fans…they only want their money. I realized this the day DEVIL IN WINTER was postponed, when they ignored Kleypas’ pleas not to do so. Today is just further proof of it. I will write to Ivory’s literary agent and hope to get some answers…answers AVON is not really interested in giving (you'd think they would have plenty of time, because clearly they don't really edit their books anymore). What do you think? Am I being too harsh? Should I just chill out (you may think so, but I won’t)? Your comments will be most welcome.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hiatus Alert

I'm currently in the process of gathering my thoughts and figuring out a way to revamp this blog. I WILL BE BACK. Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Winner of the 2005 SHITZY Award

A Shitzy is awarded to the author who writes the worst piece of dung romance literature on the market. By dung literature, I mean a story that is so far fetched and asinine, a hero whom one can only describe by using the P-word (sorry, I can't say it or write upsets me too much), a heroine who's got shit for brains (which is apparently what the author believes readers have) and an ending that brings pure joy and relief.

The nominees are (drum roll drum roll drum roll):

1. Lauren Royal for LOST IN TEMPTATION - highlight is the scene in which heroine asks her own brother how to have sex; brother proceeds to describe the sexual act in detail; later, when hero and heroine are set to do "it," the heroine cannot stop mentioning her brother's lessons. Pure genius!

2. Julia Quinn for IT'S IN HIS KISS - where the plot revolves around the hero's grandmother more than the actual love story between the hero and heroine; oh, the heroine is also a younger version of the hero's grandmother which makes thoughts of his getting together with the girl almost too much to stomach (how do you spell INCESTUOUS?). Superb!

3. Jillian Hunter for THE SEDUCTION OF AN ENGLISH SCOUNDREL - in which the editors apparently forgot to cut off nearly 200 pages. The romance actually ended at p. 120 or so, but inexplicably 200 additional pages were left attached to the story. Go figure! The book was as long and forgettable as the title. Amazing!

And the Shitzy goes to:


Any other authors you deem worthy of a Shitzy?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Challenging Books

Currently reading Laura Kinsale's FLOWERS IN THE! This has to be one of the most challenging romances I've ever read. Fluffy and light are two words that could never be used to describe this book. Any other challenging books out there? Suggestions are much appreciated.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Better than Derek?

Can any hero top Kleypas' Derek Craven, the sexy troubled hero of DREAMING OF YOU? I fell in love with him from the first moment I read about him in THEN CAME YOU. Now ladies, word is that Derek Craven is nothing compared to Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent soon to appear (in March, thanks to Avon - was supposed to come out this November) in the 3rd Wallflower book, THE DEVIL IN WINTER. Can this be? Can anyone top Derek Craven?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Clive Owen...

I just have to say this...I watched Gosford Park for the first time yesterday and had the immense pleasure of CLIVE OWEN...unfortunately just watching him, but it was close enough for me to think that for one evening he was mine ALL MINE! I would love to see him starring as one of those villains turned heroes...perhaps Enoch's St. Aubyn or even Kleypas' Sebastian, the villain/hero set to grace the pages of the 3rd Wallflower series book THE DEVIL IN WINTER out in March. I don't know...I've been fantasizing about a man like him since I saw the movie. He is so beautiful! If you know of any, please let me know....I would like to believe that there IS another one like him out there, except SINGLE and available to love moi and ONLY moi!!! Gosh, I love accents! I need to go to the UK...pronto...any accent will do...Scottish, Welsh, I don't care..CLIVE OWEN, I LOVE YOU!

The Funk is Over

At least, I think it the last few weeks, I've read one bad book after the other...books I've wanted to hurl out the window, rip to shreds and use as confetti. All this changed last night...I finished Once A Gentleman by Candice Hern and WOW...what a good book! It wasn't earth shattering or as breathtaking as a Brockway novel or even a Balogh, but it was good and it did what no book has been able to do in the last month: it released me from the curse of the funk caused by Avon. The premise wasn't exactly one of the most original, but Hern's depiction of Prudence and Nicholas Parrish truly managed to reel me in. Prudence represents every young girl in the world who never feels worthy of her mate...insecure and shy, all she wants is for her beloved to LOVE her and accept her as a woman, not merely a friend. Nicholas, on the other hand, is a typical male...frustrating, oblivious and so darn's hard to think straight. The romance is funny and sweet and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank you, Ms. Hern...the money is on the dresser, Chocolate!

Friday, August 05, 2005

As Spineless as an Old Used Book

Why are posters on the avon authors' message boards such spineless twirps? I never hear one negative remark...ok...backtrack, rewind and correction...I RARELY HEAR ONE NEGATIVE REMARK come out of these people about Avon's greedy ways, no bad reviews, no WHAT THE FA? Nothing...everything is YOU'RE BOOK WAS SO AWESOME or MY GOD, JULIA...YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN..A REAL WINNER...such BS...such blinding BS. Most the books published by Avon today lack storyline, sex appeal, eroticism, humor, all qualities that make a great novel. What we get today, at the cost of $7.99, is a recycled piece of crap that I wouldn't even use to pick up my dog's waste. If you've read one, you've read them all...just change the names of the characters and perhaps the titles...yes, because they're all titled characters...earls, dukes, barons (although barons seem to get more and more rare...seems like there were a zillion dukes once upon a time, according to these people), rich's just sickening! No one comments on this AT ALL...nothing but kudos for authors who've clearly deteriorated in literary genius. I don't get it. When one dares be honest on this board...oh, God forbid, the ladies there just lose it. I'm not even going to bother anymore. It's too frustrating. The books suck and it's time more people noticed it and wrote it out! More to follow...

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Nuts for Romance Novels

Lately I feel like I've become a tad too absorbed by romance novels. In addition, I become extremely irritable whenever there is mention by an Avon author of a book of theirs coming out in Winter of 2035 (ok, I'm exaggerating here, but it feels that I have to wait that long sometimes). was no surprise to me when I blew the proverbial gaskette, after reading on the avon author message board that Lisa Kleypas had sent one of her fans an advanced copy of AN AFFAIR IN AUTUMN, a book due to be released in October. The fan, a very nice and sweet girl, was so excited about getting it, that she mentioned it on the avon can imagine the chaos that followed...and I am absolutely ashamed to admit that I was one of the ringleaders of this rebellion against the poor girl (who will probably never post a thing on the site again). I really cannot, in hindsight, comprehend what led to me getting so upset over something as trivial as a book...I'm disgusted that I would even take my frustration for AVON and their greedy tactics out on this poor girl...The fan is not to blame...I almost applaud Lisa for wanting to give the girl some relief...WE ALL HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR BOOK II FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, after all...but then again, why doesn't Lisa (and the other Avon authors) do something more than engage in such passive aggressive rebellion against their publisher? How about grabbing Avon by the balls and telling them to stop fucking with them and US, the reader? I guess I felt betrayed...betrayed that we all have to wait forever to read what might end up being, courtesy of Avon's shitty editors, a really bad book (God, I truly hope this is not a case)...betrayed that the authors aren't sending all of their fans a free book; betrayed that authors don't fight for their fans, but instead just accept the postponing of their much awaited novels and take whatever release date (even if years from now) they can get. Sorry, but I don't buy the bullshit excuse that Avon has to satisfy every author as a reason for delaying book releases...not that dumb...Avon publishes about 6 books a month...other companies publish double that amount...definitely seems like Avon is trying to get us to buy books by other less established authors, enticing us with sex-filled excerpts (which end up being the only good few sentences of the book) and cheesy covers (see Donna Fletcher's new book...blaurgh!). I didn't really believe this until a friend pointed this theory out to me. It makes perfect sense..Kleypas has her fan base, idiots like me who would wait 2 years or more for a book of hers (a series book, mind you)...I can hear them now..."let them wait for Kleypas and Enoch and all the other good authors; let's leave'em with nothing to read but really bad Stephanie Laurens novels...let's giv'em Book 531 of the Cynster series. They'll take it...they're morons..." Oh, now I'm getting upset again...I really need to chill out. I might take a break from these novels. Really considering re-reading MIDDLEMARCH. I love the book; it's about 500 pages or so but a masterpiece. Read it in college. I need something different, something that I already know "with absolute certainty" is good...
Again, I feel really stupid for getting upset at a fan who is probably 10 years younger than me...I just lost it...really hated Avon at that time and was just annoyed that Kleypas would not fight harder to get her Wallflower series out when it was first intended to come out. She should have fought for us and she didn't. I really hope Avon chills out with these methods of theirs to get more readers for their new authors; it's bound to the way...did I mention that I'm really getting sick of the kiss ass attitudes of several of the Avon Message Board fans? More on that later....ciao!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Lost in Temptation

I read Lost in Temptation by Lauren Royal about a month ago. The book still haunts me to this day. Recently, I read a review which deemed it a good enough book to buy. I don't know what the reviewer was on when she read this book, but it must have been some pretty good mind-altering stuff. I don't think I've ever read a book that was so asinine (ok...maybe I have, but...) and unromantic and bordering on the ridiculous. I really wanted to like this book...I really really did, but what was the last straw for me was a scene depicting the heroine and her brother discussing sex and her brother describing the sexual act in all of its mechanical glory. To top it off, when the heroine and hero were "getting down" and doing the nasty, the heroine had enough audacity and mental retardation to mention her brother and every tip he had mentioned...MY BROTHER SAYS YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO LIFT MY DRESS, MY BROTHER SAYS YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF AND SPREAD MY..., MY BROTHER SAYS, MY BROTHER SAYS..MY BROTHER...Shut up! I literally wanted the hero to turn violent and murder the girl. It was that bad! SHE was that bad! Gosh, I just skimmed after that because I wanted to figure out whether the mystery backdrop of the book was indeed as predictable as I suspected. I was right. It was...predictable, that is...and bad! The book deserves a READER WARNING LABEL: DO NOT BUY. I wouldn't recommend this book to my worst enemy. I don't understand how anyone could mistake this book for a great romance. I hope to spare readers with some future pain with this review. The book left me lost in temptation to kill the author. I don't think I will ever try a Royal book again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Avon sucks!

I used to be the biggest fan of Avon, but lately I'm ready to give up on them altogether. Why? As one of my previous posts will indicate, they take FOREVER to publish my favorite authors' books and their editorial teams has got to be one of the worst ones out there. Who are they hiring? Who are these people reading novels before they're even approved and published? Middle school kids? In recent months, Avon has published the worst pieces of Sh*T I think I've ever read. No originality, no steam, no luster, no story! The books are so bad, I find myself skimming them...yes, skimming Quinn, skimming Hawkins...skimming, for goodness sake! The quality of their books has deteriorated to such a point, I no longer get giddy before reading a new book; I'm not even excited about future releases. Most of the books I eagerly anticipated were big disappointments and I cannot tell you how much I fear the eagerly anticipated Kleypas Wallflower series will be just as bad. Avon is only interested in money it longer is their focus pleasing the reader.

I cannot tell you how much they annoy me. Most series books are so spread apart, I can never remember what happened in the last book AND, to add insult to injury, the new one always seems to refer to what happened in the last, like I would remember what I read 2 years before. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Can we do anything about this? Something must be done. I no longer want to wait years for a series to conclude (see Quinn's BRIDGERTON series)...or have a book I eagerly awaited be postponed (see Kleypas' DEVIL IN WINTER). Sorry, most of the books are written and I cannot tolerate being strung along, like a cat in heat. At Avon's pace, my daughters (I currently have no kids) won't even get a chance to get these books.

I'm frustrated and I hate to go on and on about the same issues, but reading an Avon book has become a job these days and I really don't need two of them!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Some of My Favorites

Books you should not wait to buy:

1. Untie My Heart - Judith Ivory
2. Guilty Pleasures - Laura Lee Guhrke
3. His Every Kiss - Laura Lee Guhrke
4. Most of Connie Brockway's books

I don't know why more authors don't write like these authors; they're unbelievable. Each book gives me butterflies. The hero comes alive and I fall in love with him more and more each word I read.

Settling for the Ordinary

Just finished reading LOVE ACCORDING TO LILY by Julianne MacLean...this book was on my long-awaited book list (along with the recent disappointment IT'S IN HIS KISS by Julia Quinn...more on that later) and I was very excited when I found it about a week before it's release date at my local Waldenbooks. Let's just say that I didn't even kiss the hero of the book and I developed a slight mono-like illness after this. When I got home, I immediately sat my butt down on the couch and proceeded to devour it. What I was left with at the end of it, was intense hunger...why? Because I had been teased for months with the excerpt, the book cover, the previous books' mention of Lily's love for the incomparably HOT and rakish Whitby, that I excepted something that didn't even get close to what was dealt me. The hero believes he is dying but in reality merely has a case of mono. The book was good, don't get me wrong. This was no AN AFFAIR MOST WICKED, which has got to be the worst Maclean book I've ever read. It was good and the love scenes were intense, especially when we had Whitby questioning what he was doing the whole time because the woman he was attracted to was indeed his best friend's sister. I enjoyed the book, BUT it was not what I expected and wanted. I guess I would have preferred it had Maclean left the whole MONO issue out. I really didn't care for that aspect of the storyline and wished Maclean had perhaps shown Whitby close to marrying some other woman and then Lily finally expressing her love for him right before the wedding. Why the mono? I felt at certain points that the author was trying to be innovative in her description of the disease...if I wanted to read about it, I would have gone straight to the computer and read about it online. I just...well, it just bothered me because I thought that it took the attention away from Whitby and Lily's love. Also, it was mentioned in the book that Whitby had no interest in getting married...well, that was news to me because he fought to marry his friend's wife (Sophia from TO MARRY A DUKE) in the first book and he was trying to find an heiress himself to help repair his finances...I could have sworn that would have led to something in this book...none of that...his finances weren't as bad as was first thought and everything mentioned about him in previous books went down the toilet...voila...forgotten like yesterday's lunch. I was so upset after this book because it had so much potential but the author mucked it up with her fascination with the "kissing disease." I don't know...this book annoyed was good but could have been incredible had the author only remembered one tenth of what she'd written about the hero in her previous books. I would give it a 6 1/2...I'm still angry.

I feel like lately no book is pleasing least not the ones I've waited months to buy..take Quinn's book, for example. IT'S IN HIS KISS was good also, but not GREAT and after reading all of the author's previous works, I had an expectation of greatness...a lot of the avon authors today are settling for the ordinary and that's not fair, especially when they've made their readers accustomed to getting the extraordinary. I feel like authors are just going through the motions, not really caring about what their readers want, but just trying to meet their contractual obligations. It's sad. I remember when I first read Maclean and Quinn...WOW...Quinn, especially...WOW WOW and WOW.

I can only hope Kleypas' next book won't disappoint, because I don't know if I could handle reading another mediocre book. I am more and more understanding MrsGiggles' ( frustration with romance novels today...I never thought I would get sick of them, but I am...I'm sick of getting teased with excerpts and then getting a book that doesn't even come close to what was promised. Right now, I'm just disillusioned and disappointed...Candace Hern's ONCE series is next. Just purchased them at a UBS...just hoping at this point for a miracle!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Trusting Online Reviews

I'll be the first to admit that I read online reviews religiously before I even get close to walking out of my apartment to buy a book. AAR,, The Romance name'em, I read'em...I don't always agree with them 100% but they generally move me in the right direction. Generally...not always. The following is a list of the recent injustices dealt me by a few online review sites:

1. The Sherbrooke Bride, Catherine Coulter
2. Any Stephanie Laurens book
3. A Well-Favored Gentleman by Christine Dodd

Thanks for ruining a couple of good evenings when I could have been watching a real world rerun, which has a lot more wit, spice, romance and realism than these asinine books (and that's saying a lot). Don't buy them!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Me against the Publishers

How annoying is it when you eagerly await a book and then discover that for some unknown jacked up reason (see $$$) it's been postponed either indefinitely or 'til next year?!?!? This happened a few months ago with Lisa Kleypas' long awaited Wallflower Series. Book 2 is set to grace stores beginning October 2005. Book 3 was all set to be released a month later...too good to be true? Two books from Avon back to back? Miracle? Yeah, didn't think so either. Lisa Kleypas informed all fans and avon message board junkies (such as myself...I hate to admit it, but I'm addicted) that DEVIL IN WINTER would be released in....get this...MARCH 2006...yeah, a book set in Winter will be released in the Spring and the following one which supposedly is set in Spring comes out MAYBE (because Avon is too busy give anyone this info) in the summer. Thanks AVON! Thanks a lot!!! I thought the books were supposed to be out each season?...I mean the first one came out in Summer of 2004 (yeah, I've been waiting this long for a frickin' book) . I may sound impatient and I am, but I wouldn't have a problem waiting IF the author were still writing the book....THIS BOOK HAS BEEN WRITTEN for could have easily been released months ago even, but AVON is going to hold on to it because "it has to meet its obligations to all avon authors not just Kleypas." Whatever...thanks for the bullcrap excuse, too! Thanks for thinking readers of romance novels are complete morons! You suck us in with the series books and then you squeeze'em out like juice out of a rock. Thanks jerks!!! I was tempted to stop reading the books altogether BUT I can't. The one I really really want to read is the 3rd book...I've been looking forward to it since Kleypas put the excerpt out...Gosh, if only I could get my hands on a copy and then I could stiff Avon out of the money I would shell out to get it in March.