Monday, July 31, 2006

Desire Never Dies

Coming 12/26/06, book 2 of Petersen's Lady Spy series...woo hoo. Here's some info from Jenna's site:

Shy, intelligent widow Anastasia Whittig is really a Lady Spy in name only. Though she invents important items and decodes evidence, she’s hardly ventured into the field and keeps herself wrapped in a shroud of mourning for her late husband. She’s perfectly content to continue her sheltered life, but when one of her best friend’s is shot, she’s forced into service at the side of Lucas Tyler.

Lucas is a daring, talented spy, driven to solve the case of attacks on his fellow agents. He doesn’t want any help, and certainly not from Ana. But as the two edge ever closer to the disturbing truth, they cannot keep from developing a grudging respect for each other. And they cannot ignore the undeniable desire that threatens to change both their worlds.

Anyone else as excited as I am? I'm loving the first book. Still on vacation and addicted to blogging...well, that and the fact that there's not much to do in San Diego. If you're from San Diego and are reading, please give me some tips...I've eaten in OLD TOWN twice and already went to TJ (I'll skip this next time).

Sunday, July 30, 2006

On a Break

In San Diego right now, trying to get a bit of rest. My father was released from the hospital early this morning. He's doing better but can't talk and has a hole in his neck. My mother needs a vacation...BADLY. She will get one. As soon as my dad's better, I'll send them to a bed and breakfast in the mountains somewhere (my mother always says she wants to move to Montana and just be away from everyone, so...).

I'm beginning to think more and more that I was born in the wrong century.....wish I could hop into a romance novel and live the life of a heroine. Gosh...something about Old Town San Diego with its history and houses really got to me today.

I have many reviews coming up. I'll be back in action on Thursday. Might even write one or two while I'm here late at night, if I get a chance. I'm addicted to blogging!!! I wish this vacation were in Britain, but what can I do except save up for a trip up there next year.

Reviews to come:
2. FROM LONDON WITH LOVE by Jenna Petersen

There's much more...I'm on a real reading kick. Books I've been looking forward to for a while are all finally in stores and they did not disappoint, so expect much reading in the future.

Thanks for the prayers re: my father and all the well wishes. It meant a lot.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

The E-books Mystery

I don't understand what all the fuss is about when it comes to ebooks. I have no interest in them whatsoever but everyone seems to be really into them. What gives? What's so special about them? I love having an actual book in front of me...I feel like I'd have to buy a binder for the ebook. I don't know...perhaps I'm wrong, but...well, isn't an ebook just something you download and print off a computer. Sorry, but the idea does zilch for me. We all have different tastes, I suppose. As much as I whine and complain about certain AVON book covers, I like having them around (some more than others, I assure you). I'd feel like I'd have to walk around with a highlighter and a pencil if I had to lug a book around in a binder all day. Sorry...not for me AT ALL.

Can someone explain the fascination? Because I don't think anyone could convince me to actually shell out money for one. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I'd want to read a free one either.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Mood Lift

I've been tagged by Mailyn. I think I've already taken this little quiz, but what the heck? My tastes change so often and I get bored so easily...might as well do this one again. Here I go:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
Hmmm...I've had a lot more than four...let's see...
1. Hello Kitty (I dressed up as the Sanrio character and walked around the mall like an idiot when I was in high school)
2. Inventory Supply Clerk
3. Gopher/Slave for a Bar Association located in DC one summer. Worked 80 hrs a week for nothing!
4. Lease Consultant (today...desperately trying to get out of it...a mind this creative needs something a bit more exciting).

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Bridget Jones's Diary
2. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
3. Love Actually
4. NORTH & SOUTH (BBC miniseries...not movie, but close enough)

Four places I have lived:
1. Sicily, Italy
2. Los Angeles
3. New York
4. Washington, DC

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. All reality shows
2. How I Met Your Mother
3. Coupling (BBC)
4. Jon Stewart

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Most cities in Italy (Rome, Venice, Verona, Pisa, Florence, Naples, Pompei, Siena, etc)
2. NYC
3. San Diego
4. Las Vegas

Four Websites I visit daily:
1. Those listed as my links as well as anything connected to them (a lot of romance blogs)
2. Popsugar

Four of my favourite foods:
1. Lasagna
2. Cheesecake
3. Tofu
4. Spongy Ethiopian bread

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Great Britain
2. France
3. At home with my entire family present (preferably Christmas time)
4. The past (approximately at age 22 before I decided to go to law school and sentence myself to a lifetime of student loan debt...people think I'm kidding when I tell them this, but I'm dead serious...I'd do anything to go back and NOT go to law school).

Four friends I think will respond:
I think several people have been tagged, so anyone who wants to do this...go right ahead!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

In the Middle of a Book

I had 40 pages left of Hern's IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT on Monday when I received a call from my mother. My father had been involved in a serious work related injury to the neck (a cable had struck him full on). I dropped everything and rushed to meet her and we drove to Stanford Medical Center. My first thought was CHRISTOPHER REEVE. I didn't know what had happened to my father, what condition he was in, nothing! When we got to the hospital we found out his larynx box had been crushed; he had metal plates in his neck to repair the damage and he was given a traechotomy. It was scary to see my father in such a condition, with tubes coming out of and going into his body; the feeding tube didn't help. I remained calm because I knew he would be ok and that he was lucky to be alive. Today he is doing better; his voice is gone but doctors say it will eventually return; he might have broken a shoulder...he can't seem to move that area. I'm just happy he's ok. What a fright.

Something like this definitely puts things into perspective and made me all the more glad to have my family in my life....I'm even more happy today that I moved back to California after being in New York for six years. Friends are great and I love mine, but there's nothing like family.

I hope to write up some reviews of IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT and SCANDAL IN SPRING soon.

Monday, July 24, 2006

From London With Love

Check out this amazing review for Jenna Peterson's FROM LONDON WITH LOVE. sounds amazing. I bought it on Friday and it's just waiting to be enjoyed....wait a this book based on Charlie's Angels? Wow! How clever (I'm not being sarcastic!). Like Sybil, I don't really care for spy stories, but I can't wait to read this one....right after I get done with Hern's IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT. Can't wait!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Don't Ask and You Shall Still Receive

A couple of days ago, at the office, I was minding my own business in the lunch room, when a colleague from another department came up to me and informed me that...well, here's how the conversation went:

Him: Ever since I got married last year, I've turned into a matchmaker.
Me: (Knowing what was coming but trying to remain calm) Oh, really...that's strange. Seems to happen to a lot of people these days.
Him: Yeah, so...I have a friend and...I immediately thought of you.
Me: (Wondering what gives everyone the impression that I'm single...I mean I am, but I'm not really actively looking for a man) Oh, really...tell me about him (well, I didn't want to be rude).
Him: Well, he's in his 40's, a teacher. He's Italian...he's...DRUM ROLL...GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE.
Me: A divorce? I don't think so. (what the fuck? Dude's still married).
Him: He's ready to date though.
Me: Ah...yeah...I don't think so. I don't want to be anyone's rebound chick.
Him: wouldn't be. My wife was my rebound and look at how well it's turned out (yeah, so far)...we're married now.
Me: I'll think about it, but I don't think so.
Him: Well, here's his name (gives me a business card). Let me know. No pressure.

Immediately, after said exchange, I did what any woman would do: I googled the name and...discovered that the man graduated from college in 1978 which means that, if the guy graduated when he was 22 that would make him 50 (NOT "in his FORTIES") which would make him 4 years younger than my mother and 9 years younger than my dad and a lot older than me! What the fuck is my "colleague" thinking? This isn't even the first time. I've got a bunch of people on my ass, insisting that I'm not getting any younger and I need to get married. Why? Don't get me wrong...I'd like to, but I'm in no rush and I WON'T SETTLE. I won't. I don't care if I have to wait another 10 years (hopefully not that long), I will not settle...compromise a little, but definitely NOT SETTLE.

Re: the guy....honestly, the age turns me off a little, but what really bothers me is that the man is still married and is just going through a divorce. Why would I (or anyone) want to be set up with a married man? What if he and his wife get back together at the last second? In any case, google provided me with a picture...guy looked like he could be my dad. I told the colleague THANKS, BUT NO THANKS.

Any of you have any crazy set up stories?

I think I could write a book about mine, at this point.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

From Classy to Stereotypical



Kristie recently mentioned something I have been scrambling to write about for days. She noticed how Margaret Moore's covers went from classy (when she was with Harlequin) to slutty (Avon) and then back to classy once she made a return to Harlequin. I have to say that I've got another author to add to the from CLASSY TO SLUTTY BOOK COVER CLUB: Kathryn Caskie. You'd have to be an utter moron not to see how dramatically the covers to Caskie's novels have changed ever since she decided to leave Warner Publishing and join forces with Avon. Check it out and judge for yourselves. I don't think the cover is terrible...I like having a sexy couple to envision while reading a good book (and hey, if I don't...I just picture Gerard Butler and myself), but the change is dramatic, to be sure (historical romance novel talk has rubbed off on me...I find myself giving office playboys nicknames such as Jeff the Saint or Alex "Lucifer" Jones).

Do slutty covers mean bad books? Only asking because Quinn and Kleypas covers (recent ones) are tasteful and you know all you need to know about the quality of their books. clue...perhaps it's a right of passage. New authors get the stereotypical bodice ripper covers and the veterans (who've paid their dues) get the tasteful, more sophisticated ones with trees and flowers on them. Food for thought....

Minor Disclaimer: Cannot stress this enough....I have no problem with covers such as Caskie''s just the dramatic change in them that got my attention. I'm just trying to figure out how Avon's COVER ART Dept gets its ideas...cause it's obviously not from reading the book, as many fans well know (hasn't anyone read a book with a blonde heroine and then looked at the cover and realized the lady on it was a brunette?).

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Raven Prince

There comes a time in a woman’s life when she must do the unthinkable--and find employment.

For the widowed Anna Wren, it is the bold step of taking employment as a female secretary for the Earl of Swartingham. Secretaries are always male--never female--and no one knows that better than Anna. But the real downfall of her career is the unfortunate realization that she is falling in love with Edward de Raaf--the earl. When she discovers that he is planning to visit a brothel in London to take care of his 'manly' desires, Anna sees red--and decides to take advantage of the opportunity to assuage her 'womanly' desires...with the earl as her unknowing lover.

I don't know about this one. I was excited about it, until I read that the heroine was going to "take care" of the hero's manly desires. Does this mean she's going to take him against a wall or something? Or is this going to be the typical HEROINE WEARS MASK THROUGHOUT SEX AND MORONIC AND BLIND HERO DOESN'T RECOGNIZE HER plot? Gosh, I hope not. I hope the heroine confronts the hero with her love and lust for him; would be a change. Anyone have any other scoop? Book is out November 2006.

Heroines I Want to Clobber

Pamela Morsi is one of those authors who I've heard much about but whom I've never had the opportunity to read because other books have always gotten in the way. Added to that the fact that she writes stories set in the West or Frontierland (isn't that a part of Disneyland?) and you have me moving her books further and further down my TBR pile. However, recently I decided to give her a go. I own both COURTING MISS HATTIE and SWEETWOOD BRIDE. I read the latter. Now, the book is a good one and I would recommend it. HOWEVER, watch out for the heroine, a real piece of work. Let me just say that I wanted the hero to find her beaten in a ditch. I don't condone violence against women, but this bitch (YES, SHE WAS A BITCH) really ticked me off. She did everything another book's villain would do; she lied, trapped the hero into marriage, destroyed the hero's chances at a future and yet...for a while had absolutely no remorse. What the fuck!?! I didn't get why she was the heroine. We see these twits populating soap operas and other romance novels all the time and they ALWAYS ALWAYS get their comeuppance. Here, this chick didn't get any of that...far from it. She got her man and lived happily ever after. Did I miss something?

The story goes a little like this - heroine meets hero one day near a stream; he is immediately attracted. She likes his looks and hears that he is a fine man. They kiss briefly. Next thing the hero knows, he's being tracked down by men demanding that he marry the heroine because the heroine has pretty much accused the hero of taking advantage of her and getting her knocked up. So the hero's like NO WAY and the men are like OH, YEAH and the heroine is like NOW YOU'VE GOT TO MARRY ME SUCKA and the story begins.

The heroine wants to see her orphaned siblings together as one whole family...a bit hard if she's not married. No one would allow it. She believes marrying is the key towards the realization of her dream. She believes she's doing the hero a favor by marrying him...I don't know why this chick thinks this...she's definitely living in lala land most of the time. The hero is furious. Hates the heroine's guts and starts seeing her as less attractive than she actually is (she's gorgeous, of course). He even mentions that she's so so looking and has stringy hair. This part is actually pretty funny; he thinks such nasty things about her. He has always dreamt of leaving the small town of Sweetwood for Texas and this ruins everything. Ultimately, they live happily ever after and the heroine becomes a lot more likeable, but one can never forget exactly how coldly she lied and destroyed the hero's dreams. The book was good, with quite a few amusing scenes. Also, had some great potential for sequels, but I can't seem to find any. I'd give the book a C. It kept me entertained but it left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. I just can't give a book whose heroine I detested a higher grade. The book was incredible but the heroine just left me so angry....a fictional character pissing me off...argh!

Along the lines of HEROINES I WANT TO CLOBBER is the heroine of Deborah Simmons' THE LAST ROGUE, a woman who is a rude bitch to the hero for about 150 pages. It's frustrating to say the least. The heroine and hero find themselves in the same bed by accident. You know the routine...they're discovered and are forced to get married. The heroine is the plain sister of a gorgeous woman and is just plain hateful all the time. She's a miserable creature and resents the fact that she is forced to marry what she believes is a lying charmer. The girl is an idiot. She is rude to the hero ALL THE TIME. The guy can't even smile or crack a joke; lethal barbs are her weapon of choice and she says some pretty hurtful things to the hero. The hero is a charmer and has helped several of his friends marry. He doesn't understand why the heroine doesn't like him. Well, the story gets better. It's obvious she has pretty low self-esteem and he helps her realize how beautiful she actually is. Of course, there's some sort of ghostly intrigue that brings them together, but the story is well written. I was just disappointed with the heroine's antics because she misunderstood everything the hero said and thought ill of him to such an extent that I couldn't stomach her and almost threw the book into the trash. I'm glad I didn't mostly because of the hero. Would I recommend the book? Yes. What grade would I give it? Despite the heroine, I'd give it a solid B. Had the heroine been a little more cheerful, the book would have gotten an A-. The heroine wasn't as selfish as Morsi's heroine, so I can stand to give the book a higher grade.

Encountered any other infuriating heroines? I know the lovely ladies of SANCTUARY'S FINEST do all the time.

Tagged by Kristie...woo hoo...AT LAST

1) When did you first start blogging and why? I started in July 2005. I had no idea you could actually blog on romance novels and have others read your thoughts. A friend of mine suggested going to ROMANCING THE BLOG and starting a blog. It was so easy; I enjoyed expressing myself. This was the time when I was still fuming over the postponement of Lisa Kleypas’ DEVIL IN WINTER. I began to hate Avon’s money making schemes and was more than ticked that I would have to wait months for a book I wanted to read more than anything. I needed a place to express myself and the blog provided that. Of course, my blog is no longer geared towards exposing Avon’s evil ways, but I enjoy making fun of them every now and then…among other things.

2) What don't you talk about? In my blog or real life? In real life, I tend to put my foot in my mouth quite often…unfortunately I am blessed with being too blunt; it’s a wonderful little trait passed down to me by my father. I can’t sugarcoat…you’ll never hear me give false praise to anything or anyone. I talk about anything and everything. Religion and politics get me into trouble because I have such strong opinions on the topic. I can’t do small talk…terrible at it. So I guess to answer the question I’ll talk about anything and everything. In my blog, I won’t talk about politics or religion…it’s just not the place for it. I vent about several things, but if I were to start speculating on whether the draft will come back or whether church and state should remain separate, it would take away from my focus on romance.

3)Are you and your blogging persona the same person? Yep…I am a romance lover extraordinaire!

4) How do you use blogging to build friendships? I read other blogs and comment whenever I get a chance. It’s hard because of one handicap of mine: no computer at home. My computer (and this is a long story) is currently sitting in my friend’s mom’s place in New York. I’ve never had a chance to get it sent back here and I know I need to. In the meantime, I’ve been telling myself to get a new one and I will, but need to find a minute or two to actually go shopping for one. I never realized that there were so many romance readers out there. I love sharing bits of myself with them and will send an e-mail or two or more out to them to say hi! I don’t know...building friendships through blogging? It just sorta happens…I don’t have to really try. We all share the same interests and it’s really no work at all. I feel like I know everyone in my little blogging sphere. Whenever one doesn't blog or whenever I don't blog, I feel like something's missing...

5) How would you describe your writing style? In my blog, I write the way I speak…just enjoy it a lot more this way. I tend to be professional all the time at work…it gets old and I love having this outlet in which I can be me and write the way I want to write, w/o regard to rules or anyone coming out and telling me that my writing leaves a lot to be desired.

I don't know who's been tagged by this...could be several of you. Here I go:

Tagged - The lovely ladies of SANCTUARY'S FINEST
My fellow Derek Craven lover (yes, Kristie, she loves him, too) MAILYN!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ways to be Wicked: the Review

Last night, I had the pleasure of finishing Julie Anne Long’s WAYS TO BE WICKED, out in bookstores October 2006. Ladies, you are in for a treat. The romance between Tom and Sylvie, book 2 in the trilogy of three sisters, is better than the first!!! The story is smart and sassy, fun and sexy. The story is unique and fresh and I couldn’t step away from it once. The heroine is not TSTL; on the contrary, she is anything but. Strong and passionate, Sylvie will win your hearts. The hero, Tom, is…oh, hot! But then, whoever read the first book BEAUTY AND THE SPY knows this already. He was the man who momentarily made the heroine of that novel lose her breath. The scene was funny mostly because the hero of that novel was standing right next to her and she almost seemed to be rethinking her choice of hero based on Tom’s looks…too funny!

If you haven’t read BEAUTY AND THE SPY do so. Book 2 can be enjoyed without it, but trust me it will be a better experience because of it. WAYS TO BE WICKED is one of those books you think about after finishing….one of those books you wish were on film…perhaps even a BBC one with British accents and all. The story is a breath of fresh air, after reading so many stories about men who discover they’re dukes at the end of the novel or even stories about women who jump into the sack with the hero within an hour or two of meeting. The love story progresses at such a realistic pace (for a romance novel…can’t forget it is one, after all), that I believed in their love and believed in the success of the two characters together. I cannot say this enough….preorder the book, put in on your calendars. It’s excellent!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Just One of Those Flings

Beatrice, Lady Somerfield, is too busy acting as chaperone for her headstrong niece to take her friends' advice to find a lover. Maybe next year, she thinks. Until one night at a masquerade ball when a dark stranger makes her realize what she's been missing.

When she finally discovers his identity as the Marquess of Thayne, the very man she has practically been pushing into her niece's arms as the Catch of the Season, Beatrice is horrified. But Thayne is thoroughly captivated by Beatrice, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the beautiful, sensual, more mature and sophisticated Lady Somerfield, and soon discovers he wants more than a love affair. Beatrice, however, has vowed never to marry again. But when their private fling leads to public scandal, more than one life is turned upside down.

Hern's next novel is out in less than a the Long's ARC, now Hern's new book and then the long awaited vacation...looks like I'm in for a treat for the next few weeks. Check out the excerpt....the words SEXY and HOTTTTTTT don't do it justice.

Ways to Be Wicked

Book 2 of Julie Anne Long's three part series is out October 2006. The series is about three sisters, Susannah, Sylvie and Sabrina, separated in infancy by a traumatic event. The first book in the series, BEAUTY AND THE SPY, was excellent and I recommend it to all. If you like Loretta Chase, you'll love this novel! Julie Anne Long has been compared to Loretta in the past...totally agree. The book is a winner; the love story progresses in a realistic manner, meaning the lead characters don't have sex twenty minutes after meeting ala Maxwell's IN THE BED OF THE DUKE (sorry, the love story is still a little too far fetched for my taste). If you haven't read it, get thee to a book store or library and get yourself a copy.

I was lucky enough to get an ARC to Book 2, WAYS TO BE WICKED. Don't ask me how or why...after a few horrendous months at the office, I consider this a little gift from heaven. Much needed and very much deserved, trust me!!! I've already started reading it and can't wait to get through it. The hero, Tom Shaughnessy, is a hot one. I'm already picturing Richard Armitage (sorry, Gerard...I'm cheating on you just this once) playing him. Since I'm still on page 30, I can't really give any sort of review of the novel yet, but I will once I finish, without giving anything away, of course.

On another note...has anyone seen BBC's NORTH AND SOUTH? Gosh, it's so good! I'm waiting for Episodes 3 and 4 to arrive Monday from Netflix. Can't wait. I've been obsessed with anything British lately...watched FOOTBALLERS WIVES, REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. Anyone else as obsessed as I am? I've become an insane Anglophile over the last year. I can't get enough!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Champions of the World

Ok...ok...this is my last World Cup post and then it's back to business...reporting on the many romance novels I read and such. I don't have much to say except that I'm one happy Italiana right now. Enjoy the photos. I love Fabio Cannavaro, the captain...did anyone notice how amazing he was this whole tournament! A true champion!!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ale Ale Ale Ale...Ale...Ale

Italy wins against Germany. What a game! My dad got so emotional...he actually cried. Victory is ours on Sunday!

Monday, July 03, 2006

While You Were Sleeping

I don't know who comes up with the cover art of Avon books; some of them are very classy, whereas others are just a mystery to me. Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books all have elegant covers. It's a pleasure toting them around. Lorraine Heath's recent book cover, an October 2006 release called A DUKE OF HER OWN (new trilogy...woo hoo) is a big giant mess. For the life of me, I have no flippin' clue what the couple on the cover is doing. Do you? Where is her right hand going? Where is it? Is it fondling his hard and muscular buttocks? What is she doing? Does the woman even have a right hand? I'm totally clueless. I've enjoyed most of Heath's covers, but I think Avon now thinks it can get away with giving her a lame ass ridiculous cover with a one handed heroine (not that there's anything wrong with one handed people, but it's a romance novel) and a brain dead hero.

The cover artist tried his or her hardest at depicting the hero in some state of arousal. Yeah...the word "tried" is significant here. The dude looks anything but excited; he looks asleep...yeah, asleep on top of the heroine. It looks like he rolled on top of her during one of his naps. Oh, I get's coming to me now. He was taking a nap..the heroine just happened to be there...she snuck in, you see. He rolled on top of her. He still has no clue he's sleeping on her; he's all cozy and warm. The bed feels kinda lumpy and soft, but hey...he's tired and man's gotta sleep, right? He had a tough day doing absolutely nothing, cause he's a duke, right? He fenced, boxed and drank it up at White's. Now he's sleeping and...the lady's suffocating...big time. She's all dress after all. Look at her!!!Underneath the mauve madness she's wearing, she's all skin and bones, ala Mary Kate Olsen (hey, wait...she looks like her, doesn't she?). Girl is out of air...she's dying and not in the way she thought she would be when she decided to sneak into the hero's bed. Poor kid! I'm sure the hero will figure out he's killed her once he wakes up and smells something then, it'll be too late. Oh, well...I'm sure he'll recover. He's rich, handsome and it's fiction, after all...

I'd like to thank Bam for inspiring this post. She totally rocks! All kidding aside, since the authors apparently have no say in cover art (which I think totally blows), who does? Also, does Avon really think Heath's new cover is sexy? 'Cause it ain't!!! Not even close. I get the gist of it...the couple's aroused and they're very close to doing the nasty. The heroine is taking charge...maybe that's how the story works...heroine's uptight and then...boom...she decides to get her man. I don't know; I'm not the author. Can't tell ya!

I hope the bad cover isn't at all indicative of the story's quality.

Kristie...what do you think of this latest Avon cover?

On The Way to a Different Ending


Several reviews have been posted for Julia Quinn's latest Bridgerton novel, ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING, in the last few days. All About Romance gave it a C+; the lovely ladies at Sanctuary's Finest thought that review was waaaaaaaaaaaay too generous and gave it a bunch of D's. I read it a couple of days ago and am still digesting it. I didn't think it was a five star masterpiece as THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME or even THE DUKE AND I, but I didn't think it was the suckfest that IT'S IN HIS KISS was either. The plot is a good one, with lots of potential....which Quinn unfortunately screws up at the very end...argh! I'm still frustrated and annoyed and I read the book days ago! For those who think I need to get a life, you might not be that far off track, but that doesn't take away the frustration...actually...I'm annoyed if you think I need to get a life, too!

For any of you who've ever watched Days of Our Lives in its heyday (i.e. the 80s, before exorcisms and Marlena the serial killer took control), the love story between Bo and Hope was a classic, something akin to that of Luke and Laura from General Hospital. I was a kid when my mom would watch it over and over again and I remember being home one day when Hope was about to marry some guy named...I don't know...Larry, I think, and Bo came storming in on his Harley, interrupts the ceremony and whisks Hope away to their happily ever after (which really is a moot point in soap operas, because there's always something else that happens in the end and they break up and then get together...break up and then get get the idea). I was expecting the same for Gregory and Lucy, the lead characters and for a while Julia Quinn did not disappoint. Yeah...for a while...and then all types of shit hit the fan!!!

The prologue, for one, was magnificent at setting up the reader for a wild and fun ride which would hopefully lead to an equally wild and fun marriage between the two lovers. Immediately, we are set up for a scene similar to that of Bo and Hope. Gregory storming the church in which his heroine is getting married. He tells her how much he loves her and begs her to marry him. I couldn't read the book fast see, no answer was given in the prologue...readers were left to wonder. Would Lucy say yes or would she go through with the nuptials? Of course, I thought she'd say yes and the last chapter would pick off where the prologue left off. I was wrong. I don't know what Quinn was thinking by wrapping up the story the way she did, but it pissed me off royally because I was enjoying the book so much.'s the careful...

Lucy says NO....NO...NO...WHAT. THE. FUCK? At this point, I wanted her to end up married to the guy she picked and have Gregory find some other lady. What a moron! Of course, Quinn says there were reasons for Lucy to make such a decision (her uncle was supposedly being blackmailed and if she didn't marry the guy, supposedly everyone would find out that her dad was a traitor). I didn't get why a girl who seemed so intelligent wouldn't go to her brother and tell him what was going on. I didn't get why her brother didn't seem to mind that his sister was marrying someone she didn't love. After all, he had just finished marrying a woman he loved, which he compromised. Dirt bag!

I'm totally spewing out everything I have in me at this point. Those who've read the book will understand my frustration because up until the moment Lucy said No to Gregory, I loved the book and loved her. When she said No, I just about died. What an idiot!!!

Despite what some reviewers are saying of Gregory, I enjoyed made complete sense for him to be the way he was. I've been following his progress for quite a while and for him to have been depicted in anything but happy go lucky would have made no sense. I enjoyed him immensely and relished the scenes with him and his sister Hyacinth fighting about nothing, as always. I also enjoyed seeing a different side of him, a serious side, when Hyacinth threatens to cut Lucy at every turn (after Lucy rejects Gregory). First, what a joy to see Hyacinth defend her brother the way she did; second, what a joy to see Gregory tell Hyacinth off for the sake of the woman he loved. He knows Hyacinth means well, but he cannot have her hurt the woman he loves.

As for I've already stated, I loved her up until she rejected Gregory. I didn't understand where the TSTL attitude came from. She seemed sensible enough and then acts like a total moron, by going through with her uncle's schemes and not even considering asking HER BROTHER for help! What the hell! ANNOYING!!!

The non-Bridgerton secondary characters were irritating. Lucy's brother, Richard, and her friend Hermione ticked me off. Also, I didn't understand how Hermione just out of nowhere fell in love with Richard. We weren't even given a clue until they were found together and were forced to get married. Whatever, dude! Were chapters missing from my book? I did like Lucy's husband though...unfortunately, I don't think we'll be reading his romance anytime soon.

The Bridgertons...where do I start? How is it that we hear and see them in every book...EVERY BOOK and then they're hardly mentioned in the series finale??? And to comment on something mentioned in Sanctuary's Finest in the comments section, what was up with Anthony? He totally had a large stick up his arse! Was this the same man I fell in love with when I read THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME? What the hell? I know it's Gregory's story and all, but why make all the other Bridgerton men seem like douche bags?

And the Smythe-Smiths? I guess Quinn must have really HAD IT with them and their music (although seriously it would have made sense, in my opinion, if Gregory would have ended up with one of them) because they didn't even have a paragraph in this one. Yes, no musicals or symphonies or shows presented by that family at all! Made no sense....hmmm...wait a second...does this mean we'll be seeing a 2nd epilogue in Gregory and Lucy's future. Hey, anything's possible at this point. All I know for sure is that I won't be buying it.

I agree with AAR's grade is a solid B, up until Lucy utters that one little word. Book deteriorates after that...C+ sounds just about right. Since I've very sentimental, I'll give it a C++. I would recommend reading it because it's not a bad book and you have to give Gregory a shot. If only Quinn had ended it differently...

How about I end it differently?

Gregory - Marry me...marry me.
Lucy - Yes, Gregory...yes yes yes yes yes yes...Gregory picks her up and they rush out of the church and towards Gretna Green for a quicky wedding. They live happily ever after.

Also, is the reviewer of AAR referring to the presence of a water closet as being inaccurate? I'm not sure and I have to know. I did like the epilogue...poor Gregory.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Forza Italia!!!

I cut work yesterday to catch Italy in action against the amazing game! I even went to work late when they played against Australia. I cannot say this enough...I am so proud to be an Italian-American (first generation American...100% Italian, baby!)

Sorry to all you Germany fans...victory belongs to the Italians on Tuesday!

Redeemable Errors

Last night I did something I hardly ever do: read a series book out of order. I'm the kind of person who is exceptionally anal about this stuff. I won't read a book out of order...never...ever (well, until last night...)!

As of late, I've even resorted to reading series books ONLY once I've completed the series. It kills me to do so, believe you me, but ultimately I won't suffer from the intense attacks of impatience like the ones that hit me when book 3 and 4 of Lisa Kleypas's Wallflower series were postponed.

I'd been wanting to read Karen Hawkins' new book, HER OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN, ever since I read the backblurb on her website. I liked the plot and loved the red book cover and thought I'd give it a try. I knew it was book 2 of a new series, but I didn't have any particular urge to read the first book; I didn't care for its plot and thought I'd just skip it. Well, ladies, if you want to do the same, trust me...DON'T. Buy a copy of HER MASTER AND COMMANDER, Book 1 of Hawkins' Reeves series and you'll spare yourself an hour of frustration and WHAT THE FAs?.

The book has promise and for that reason alone did I decide to put the book away after page 89 and just suck it up and buy HER MASTER AND COMMANDER. What gets me is that someone on the Avon board warned me not to read them out of order, but did I listen? NOOOOOOO.

Ok..I'm done being frustrated...venting really helped. Just wanted to warn you all not to read the books out of order. I didn't know what the hell was going on at one point. The hero started talking about his mother's death and I felt like I skipped a chapter or two. hindsight I guess I did skip entire book.

I was missing the background clearly provided in Book 1 and it pissed me off to no end. Also, I didn't learn to appreciate the character of Reeves, the butler turned Nancy Grace (if you watch her programs, you'll know she's always looking for missing people); I felt like a lot of the 89 pages I had read were filled with his presence and I really wanted to see him hit by a runaway carriage at one point. However, I do realize the frustration was probably due to the fact that I had no inkling of HIS story.

Perhaps you're one of the view who has read this book and not had such a problem. Remember I have been slightly overworked lately, so missing brain cells are a distinct possibility. IMHO, the book is not a stand-alone. I'm a little ticked. It irks me that I'll have to read a book I never had any intention of trying out, but how can I not finish HER OFFICER when it's not a bad book and I'm curious to know how it ends. Whatever...still pissed though!

Before I return to Hawkins land, I'll need to first make a stop to Quinn town. I've just purchased Quinn's latest installment. All I can say is that it better not be even close to IT'S IN HIS KISS, which gave me an ulcer!

I'll be sure to let you all know what I think of ON THE WAY TO THE WEDDING, as well as the two Hawkins books, once I get around to reading them.

In the meantime, thanks for sticking with me and my blog. Work (yeah, broken record, right?) has been pretty insane.