Monday, December 17, 2007

Scandalous Again

I went to the used book store the other day, after a very painful trip to the dentist. I had loads of cotton gauze in my mouth and was still drooling when I headed over to the Romance Section. Oh, joy!

I left my list of books to buy at home, so I decided to wing it and immediately ran to the "D" section, where I proceeded to pick up two Christina Dodd novels. BIG MISTAKE. Dodd is a hit or miss for me. Unfortunately, this time she was a miss, a big miss!

SCANDALOUS AGAIN is a novel that is best left at the bottom of any reader's list. Actually, strike shouldn't even be on your list. Remove it. Throw the book out. Don't donate it to charity. Please! Some people are unfortunate enough as it is. They don't need a bad book tainting their existence, too.

The premise is a very simple, if not overdone, one. Madeline De Lacy, the Duchess of Magnus is in a pickle. Her gambling, useless father has lost her in a card game to a rich American magnate. She immediately devises a plan to...well, honestly I have no idea. She forces her cousin, Eleanor, who supposedly looks exactly like her, to switch places with her. Eleanor will meet the American Madeline is now supposed to marry and Madeline will go off into the country to..again I have no clue. I might have missed this part during a yawn or something, but I have no idea why Madeline goes off into country and ends up in some criminal's house. No clue. Needless to say, she's an idiot and a bossy one at that. A bitch, if you will. A stupid bitch. She soon runs into her ex-fiance, whom she dumped for some lame ass reason (read - he gambled, won a fortune and she basically ripped him a new one in front of all of Almacks and dumped him). Gosh, I want to spit at my computer screen right now. The heroine was some piece of work, spoiled and a total drama queen. When I first read the back blurb, I thought perhaps she had broken off her engagement because she caught her fiance with some prostitute or society matron. WRONG! The excuse she gives for breaking off her engagement is so asinine, I could not respect her. I was shocked (well, not really) when the hero took her back. I would have made her fall in love and then dumped a cold river...literally!

Book stinks...there's really no other, more eloquent way to put it. It's terrible.

What makes me angry is that the sequel, ONE KISS FROM YOU, is apparently just as horrendous. Oh, yeah, and I bought it, too. Bah! Never buy under the influence of novacaine!

I hated this book with a passion. I hated the heroine with a passion. The hero? Meh! Sexy, but what a complete moron to take her back!

DON'T READ THE BOOK, if you know what's good for you!!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Fool Like Me

Have you ever purchased a book and left it on your book shelf to collect dust, all while purchasing other books and devouring them within seconds (and been left severely disappointed)?

Two years ago I purchased Judith McNaught's PARADISE. I didn't read it. Not even close. I put it away...on the bottom of my TBR trunk and left it there. I never thought of it. I'd pick it up every now and then. I even started reading it once and immediately put it down because I didn't have the patience to learn about the heroine's childhood.

I read it this weekend. I give you all permission to kick me. HARD. VERY HARD!!!

I chose to read Julia Quinn's IT'S IN HIS KISS before Judith McNaught's PARADISE.

Again, I ask you to KICK ME!!!

Readers, let me tell you...the title says it all. The novel is pure paradise. Never have characters felt more alive and real. A review will simply not do it justice.

Meredith Bancroft is an heiress with a domineering overprotective father. Matt Farrell is your typical boy from the wrong side of the tracks. They meet one night and fall in love instantly. What follows is Meredith giving her virginity to Matt on the first night, getting pregnant and marrying him within six weeks. The marriage is later destroyed through lies, deceit and manipulation. 11 years go by and they meet again, this time Matt is a millionaire and....

Well, I'll leave it at that. It may sound like your typical "poor boy falls in love with rich girl" story, but it's not. It's so much more and I beg you to read it, if you already haven't.

Read it. Trust me. Just read it. You won't be sorry!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rewriting Jane

Do you approve of rewriting history for the sake of romance? Apparently, the writers of the new Anne Hathaway film, BECOMING JANE, clearly do. I never heard of the film until recently, when a friend of mine, a fellow Austen lover, mentioned a new film out on the life of the great 19th century writer. I immediately had to find out everything I could about it....and was left extremely disappointed and angry. The film covers the love story between Austen and a distant relation of hers; it goes as far as suggesting that he was the inspiration for Mr. Darcy and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE basically an autobiographical work. Da fa?!?! Who are they trying to kid? What angers me about this film is that many viewers will end up believing the half-truths it spouts out. It is not clear whether Jane Austen had a life altering love affair that led to the creation of one of the greatest literary works of all time. There is no evidence to suggest it, beyond a couple of references to the the gentleman in letters to her sister. However, the writers use their imagination and cleverly create one for her. Why?

I don't approve of rewriting history. It's tantamount to lying and I'm not one too keen on the art of deception.

I cannot help but feel deceived and cheated out of a true account of the life of such an amazing author...and a bit offended, as well. Why must a great love be associated with her? Is it not possible she didn't have one? Would that make her less complete as a woman?

I don't know...perhaps my disgust goes beyond a bit of fudging. Perhaps, I'm merely ticked that there is an underlying assumption that Jane Austen needs a lover in order to be interesting, so the writers decided to give her one. After all, I've yet to see any film about her simply as Jane.

Jane: the woman...alone.

I didn't see the film but I do hope the directors made clear that it was a fictional account of Jane Austen's personal life. I'm beyond sickened by this.

Will not see this film.

Skip School

If you're planning on reading the series' novels related to this book and haven't yet purchased it, do yourself a favor and don't bother. The stories are frustrating and boring....I don't even think the authors listed on the cover wrote them. There's no way. IMPOSSIBLE!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell

A cruel twist of fate changed Simon Blackwell’s life forever. A man of intense passions, he resolved to deny his emotions and desires forever—taking refuge in the wilds of the moorlands and shutting himself off from the world. But on one extraordinary night, on a rare trip to London, the unthinkable occurs. An intoxicatingly beautiful stranger stirs the sensuous hunger he has sworn to resist. Simon Blackwell believed that no woman could tempt him.

No woman…save Annabel McBride.

Annabel knows nothing of Simon’s secret pain. But one irresistible kiss plunges her into marriage with a man she scarcely knows, a man who hides a shattered past. She can feel the blistering heat of the fire that burns within this exquisitely handsome man, making her yearn for much more than the union in name only he has promised her.
But Simon dares not love again--for fragile love can be lost in an instant. And now Annabel must find a way to open his heart to the most glorious risk of all.
I love a good mystery when I read a romance novel. I love it when the hero or heroine have a big secret they’re withholding from everyone, especially from those they hold dear. What I don’t love is a drawn out snoozefest that promises a big secret and then gives me a big WTF. Yes, WTF! Not too eloquent, huh? But really, how else can I describe a secret that consists of the usual “my wife and kids died and I feel totally guilty because I lit a stupid candle and they wouldn’t have died in that fire had I not done that and plus, I yelled at my son and the last time I saw him, his eyes were full of tears.” Wah wah wah wah. STFU! Bah! I’ve only read this big “secret” about a dozen times. The other twelve times, however, the secret was revealed early on in the novel. Not the case with the book I'm referring to: The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell.

I don’t know what I expected from this latest effort by Samantha James; her books are either hit or miss with me. The story started strong enough with a chance meeting and instant dislike. Potential, I thought to myself, this book has potential… I kept on reading….and soon wanted to take the book, rip it from its binding, eat the pages and spit them all out. Confetti, anyone?

I was not impressed.

A small suggestion for authors.....if you have a secret, make sure it’s truly shocking. Just a thought. Also, don’t make me wait almost an entire novel before having your hero disclose it….especially if it’s a secret that's been recycled more than a newspaper.

I feel terribly guilty for saying this about this novel, because I do like its author, but I was bored to tears and felt myself scrambling for something, anything, that would make me love the book. The book is the first in a series. I will continue reading it because I’m a schmuck and I love series novels. I also have full confidence in Ms. James. This book may be a miss for me, but there’s always the possibility of a hit with the next.

The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell lacked a good secret; hero was a wimp and the heroine should have hit him over the head with a heavy piece of firewood. Buy only if interested in series novels. Otherwise, save your money, your time and your nails (I bit mine all off while reading because I was so frustrated).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hiatus?'s not a typo; there is a question mark after the word HIATUS. I'm still trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing with this blog. It will be undergoing a change in the next few months. I promise I won't keep my comments to myself any longer. Just needed a bit of time away from romance, if you will.

Will be back soon! Stay with me people! Don't delete me from your favorites, you hear!

Where's My Book?

Seriously, what the eff is going on with Lisa Valdez and her 2nd novel PATIENCE? I've waited two years for it and I'm tired. I want to read it now. Ironic that the book is called PATIENCE. You need plenty right now, if you're waiting for it. I have a feeling the book will be on sale in the Summer of 2010. I loved PASSION and cannot wait for the 2nd. All I know is that her third book, PRIMROSE, better be released at the same time. I'm angry dammit!

Anyone know the fate of PATIENCE?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Are You Kidding?

ADD on Acid. I have no other explanation for this novel. I am shocked...SHOCKED, I TELL YOU...that Gaelen Foley wrote it. It was extremely amateurish and I cannot recommend it. Luckily, I know what Foley is capable of and I will read her upcoming novels, but I still cannot get the sour taste this novel left in my mouth. Blaugh! Terrible.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Need Romance Help

Romance novel help, that

I haven't been following up on any new releases for the last few months and I'm lost...lost I tell you. I need help. What books have been released in the last few months that you believe I should get? I will do my own research later today and tomorrow, but for now I want as much help as possible....any books I should buy and read NOW? I'm ready to get back into reading. Thanks all for the great love advice BTW. I'm feeling stronger than ever.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Where have I been? suck...and that's all I'm going to say about it right now.

You have a friend...a male friend...initially you have a crush, but realize it's not really meant to be, so you move on and start developing feelings of friendship for the guy. You end up perhaps, during a night of loneliness, well...I guess doing more than you should with the person. Relationship complicated in a matter of minutes (literally). You try to keep things the way they were and it's really not that difficult to do so. It's very easy. He's your friend and you act like he's your friend. Then one day, you make plans with him. He flakes on you. You respond with text indicating that he should just say no next time he doesn't want to hang. You don't hear from him for 5 days. You text him and nothing. WTF? I don't get all. I'm a tad annoyed and irritated because I actually like the guy and his friendship. I don't want anything else and I'm being completely honest here. I don't understand why he'd act this way. And you know how it goes...we ladies will try not to call because we then remember...wait a sec...I actually did something with this guy and he might think I want him when I actually don't. It's so frustrating...and complicated...and...and...well, I just about have knots in my stomach because of it.

It doesn't help that I've been on some meds recently that have taken away my appetite, so I've got knots in my stomach and a general feeling of starvation. Ugh!, there it goes....I'm still looking for my hero. My friend is acting like a douche and I don't get it at all. I've heard it all...don't text him, don't call him...forget him, but the guy is my just sucks that perhaps the friendship might have been ruined one dark lonely night.

Anyhow, I can't read romances. AT ALL...NOT NOW. Romances only make me angry right now. I'm not bitter, but I'm not in the mood to read some chick's happily ever after, including a chick created by the great Lisa Kleypas (I still haven't read SUGAR DADDY).


Sunday, April 15, 2007


Supremely sensible Emmaline Dove wishes to share her etiquette expertise with London’s readers, and as secretary to Viscount Marlowe, Emma knows she’s in the perfect position to make her dreams come true. Marlowe might be a rake with a preference for cancan dancers and an aversion to matrimony, but he is also the city’s leading publisher, and Emma is convinced he’s her best chance to see her work in print…until she discovers the lying scoundrel has been rejecting her manuscripts without ever reading a single page!

As a publisher, Harry finds reading etiquette books akin to slow, painful torture. Besides, he can’t believe his proper secretary has the passion to write anything worth reading. Then she has the nerve to call him a liar, and even resigns without notice, leaving his business in uproar and his honor in question. Harry decides it’s time to teach Miss Dove a few things that aren’t proper. But when he kisses her, he discovers that his former secretary has more passion and fire than he ever imagined, for one luscious taste of her lips only leaves him hungry for more…

Cheesy!!! Yeah, I said it. This book was cheesy and silly and the heroine annoyed me with her guilt trips. I wanted the hero to go find some other woman..there were plenty in that story to interest him. Ugh! Didn't like it at all and it was more than the fact that we didn't see any real action (read SEX) 'til the end of the book. The author tried really hard to get us to know and understand the characters (the book is very character-driven) but she missed something along the way...a little something like 100 or so pages. What's the point of getting to know the characters if we're then treated to a WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAMN type of "courtship?" Can I get a chance to get used to the characters as a couple? Can I please see them truly falling in love?

I loved the hero, a stubborn and cynical divorced aristocrat (and did I mention very very sexy?). The heroine, on the other hand, was depicted as a whiny guilt-ridden prude with some serious fucked up family issues. Ugh!

The book felt rushed. I was still getting used to the heroine asserting some independence for herself and then WHAM love blossoms and they're a friggin' couple. I am so thoroughly disappointed by the author's latest effort.

Now, it wasn't terrible. It was not! But for Guhrke to write a book like this...well, then yeah..for her, it was terrible. I would expect this from a newbie writer. I was bored and yes, I yawned several times during the course of reading the story.

No reader puts an amazing book down every half hour. I did, therefore book wasn't good IMO. End of story.

Do what you must with this review. The folks at AAR gave it a great review.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Raven and the Leopard

The Story: Widow Anna Wren is broke. The Earl of Swartingham needs a secretary immediately and he can't seem to have any stick around due to his lousy temper. Anna becomes the Earl's secretary and soon finds herself attracted to the man. Upon finding out that he frequents brothels, a jealous Anna decides that if he's going to get any, he might as well get it from her, so she goes to the brothel and manages to convince the madam to have her entertain the earl. Lots of very hot sex ensues...of course, the Earl doesn't know it's Anna, until much much later....

The Verdict: I LOVED IT!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! This is so far the best book of the year. It's not your typical secretary/boss story. Anna and the Earl, first off, are not exactly the most attractive of people. Anna is plain...very plain and the Earl has a scarred face. But who says you have to be smoking hot to have smoking hot love scenes. OMIGOSH! Talk about steamy! Their love story is very special and I'm tempted to reread it, despite the fact that I only read this a couple of months ago. I would recommend reading this before THE LEOPARD PRINCE, since it's book 1 of a series.

What you need to do: Seriously, just stop reading this review and go to Borders! Buy the book and thank me later.

The Story: Lady Georgina Maitland is 28 years old and the owner of a grand estate. Harry Pye is her land steward and one fine hunk of man. They get to know each other and begin an affair, falling in love soon after, but how can a love affair between the daughter of an earl and a mere servant survive the rules of society? Obviously it does or it wouldn't be a romance novel. There's a bit of a mystery as to some deaths on a nearby estate, as well as some secrets revealed about Harry and his family (and's not the typical...I'VE BEEM A DUKE ALL ALONG business that's shoved down our throats by several romance writers).

Verdict: I enjoyed it. Elizabeth Hoyt has quickly become a favorite author of mine; her writing is impeccable and you find yourself never skimming or skipping chapters merely to get to the end. You actually want to read every single page because every single page is pure pleasure. You experience each character's angst, each character's emotions as if they were your own. WOW! She's amazing and I cannot wait to see what awaits us next. THE LEOPARD PRINCE isn't as good as THE RAVEN PRINCE, but it was solid. The story will engage you and make you pant for more. LEOPARD PRINCE is BOOK 2 of Hoyt's PRINCE series. THE SERPENT PRICE will hopefully grace book shelves at the end of the year.

What you should do: Get some money and go to your nearest book store now. Don't wait 'til you find it at your local UBS. Just get it new. You won't want to throw it out. It's worth it. Trust me!!!

Are the Writers Sleeping on the Set of Grey's?

Have you ever read a book in which characters were completely mismatched? Where the hero and heroine belonged to anyone but each other? I have and, boy, did those books piss me off! Fans of Grey's Anatomy, myself included, should get used to that feeling because apparently George and Izzie, best friends forever, had sex a couple of weeks ago and are supposedly going to fall in love. What utter bullcrap! Can you imagine? It's like picturing a brother and sister getting it on. That's the kind of relationship the two have and now the writers are going to take that relationship, shit on it and give us a big piece of crap! Excuse the vulgarities but I'm pissed. The show used to be one of my favorites and perhaps I'm taking it all too seriously (btw..does anyone else get pissed off by Grey's constant use of the word?).

There are friendships out there that are simply meant to be friendships, despite the whole WHEN HARRY MET SALLY factor, and George and Izzie have always had a sort of brother/sister relationship. Sorry, if I'm not a fan of their "love story." Was this love story necessary? And WHY won't the writers see that not every one should "hook up" with each other on the show? This isn't ALL MY CHILDREN!!!!

Some people are not meant to be together; some are not even meant to hook up together. Maybe I feel this way because I've never fallen in love or had sex with a friend I've regarded as a brother. At this point, I'm going to wait 'til someone over at Grey's wakes up. Hopefully, they'll have George come out of the shower one episode and then we'll realize it was all one big nightmare.

And SERIOUSLY...get rid of that idiot Jane Doe and give me more McSteamy. Jerks!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Prince Series - Reviews Coming Soon

I am speechless. Elizabeth Hoyt is officially one of my favorite authors (although she's only at Book #2). Hoyt's writing keeps you enthralled from the first page. I don't think there are many authors out there like her. Many novels I read start out slightly boring (I'm not going to lie here); the authors are slow at getting to any real action. Long-winded and stale chapters abound...not so with Hoyt. She gives the reader something to sink her teeth into from the very first sentence. I absolutely adore her; I am absolutely stunned by the caliber of writing. Is she really another more seasoned writer writing under a different name? Can this last book really be her second? I am impressed....tremendously impressed. Reviews to follow, but if I were you, I'd get these books and read them asap, even before I post my reviews. They're keepers! Get thee to a book store NOW!!!

Surrender to a Scoundrel

Do you ever want to read a simple book? Not a "Hi, I'm an idiot" kind of book, but the kind with which you can tumble into bed and not have to really think, merely relax and enjoy. Julianne MacLean's books strike me as such...simple and uncomplicated. Don't get me wrong; both her heroes and heroines quite often manage to do something so completely stupid or asinine, I want to throw the book out the window, but overall MacLean's books keep me seated and occupied for two to three hours. Of course, as is the case with simple books, I often forget the gist of the story a few days after finishing it. But do I care? Nope, because for those two to three hours, I enjoyed myself and was able to put aside my worries, concerns and didn't have to think. I like books like these...that stop me from thinking. I do it overly too much and that has lately been quite a problem for me.

MacLean's latest effort is decent. The book concludes the American Heiresses series that MacLean began a few years ago. To be honest, I'm glad. No offense to the lovely American women gracing the novels, but it's about time to move on and begin another saga. MacLean is very talented and, at times, I feel she is capable of so much more than what she has written thus far. I'm hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that she write something much deeper, something less simple, but until she does so, I'll enjoy those moments when I can sit, read and shut my brain.

Surrender to a Scoundrel is the story of Martin, the brother of the hero of To Marry A Duke, and Eleanor Wheaton, a prim and proper widow. The two have a history; he saved her life when they were both children. Not only that, but she managed to get him kicked out of school by mistake when they were in their teens. Of course, she has an inferiority complex; thinks he doesn't even remember saving her life or her name (he does) and he thinks she looks her nose down at him for no reason (her reason: she's secretly been in love with him for years). They meet ten years after the second incident.

The story confused me a bit because..well, I was expecting the heroine to fall in love with a scoundrel. The hero seems anything but. He was a rake in his youth, but seems to have matured a great deal due to the usual big secret which comes out in the middle of the novel. I'm starting to get a little sick of the big secrets both heroes and heroines seem to be sporting these days. Fortunately, the secret isn't mentioned every two pages. I've read a lot of books like these and I always end up putting them aside and selling them to a used book store. Of course, the hero uses this big secret to push the heroine away. What else, right? It irked me a tad, but I liked how he eventually realized he was being an idiot. The heroine didn't shut the hero out of her life or her bed for very long. Now this I like a lot. One way to get me to stop reading a romance novel is by making the heroine play games with the hero...even the "you don't really love me" speeches turn me off. Fortunately, Julianne MacLean must be aware of this because there was none of that here.

I'm very happy to say that the story was centered around the characters..despite the secrets, the villains and what not (yes, there are villains). MacLean kept her focus on the love story and what a pleasure to actually see an author tackle that one.

I've been away from romance novels for a while. I was tired of the same tired old plots, the same secondary characters stealing the story away from the leads. Luckily, MacLean did not disappoint me. She didn't blow me away, but she didn't disappoint me either.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I'm back

...and here to stay. Several reviews coming soon. Will begin reading Kleypas's SUGAR DADDY this weekend. Am extremely excited. The reviews have been incredible.

Check out my post on 3/29/07 on Romancing the Blog, my very first. Hopefully, not too many tomatoes and eggs will be flung at me.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Did she just ruin the ending?

I haven't read SUGAR DADDY yet, but my copy is on its way, courtesy of my friend Janet's friend Andrea, who went to the Kleypas book signing and got me a signed copy (JOY JOY JOY). In any case, I thought I'd check out the review on All About Romance. Is it just me or did the reviewer give away the ending?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Please No "Non Avon Authors"

Wait a second....I recently learned that Christina Dodd is no longer part of AVON publishing. When and how did this happen? I want dirt. Over at the Avon board, a fan is now forbidden to discuss "non-Avon authors." Hmmm...interesting. I never noticed this before. I always remember people discussing Candice Hern and Lisa Kleypas after their departure and now suddenly we fans can't talk about them anymore? Interesting and downright rude. Nice slap in the face, huh? I want to spit. There must be more than meets the eye. Why would we not discuss authors who've been part of Avon for like EVER? If anyone has some dirt or links or if the authors themselves would like to respond, then be my guest. I'm very curious....

....and now heartbroken that my other two favorites, Julie Anne Long and Loretta Chase, have become part of Avon. I only hope Avon doesn't change them (Chase was part of Avon before they started the practice of sucking the talent out of its authors...). There are still a few authors who have remained strong, despite Avon's practices (see Jenna Petersen), but one cannot help but be worried. One or two or even three strong Avon authors vs. the rest of them...eek. It's really difficult to stay positive, but I'm hoping...hoping...because I love Long and Chase.

Update: I apologize, but earlier I erroneously posted that Teresa Medeiros is no longer part of Avon. Ms. Medeiros continues to be an Avon Author. I apologize once again for any confusion; forgive me for my poor research skills (I could have sworn I read that somewhere and then missed her name on the site when I was quickly looking at it the other day). Sorry!

Sugar Daddy Out Now

I have in my possession a Borders' gift card and I now know what to use it for: Lisa Kleypas' first contemporary SUGAR DADDY out in stores now. There have been excellent reviews for it so far, but you know how those reviews are...they're usually hit or miss. Well, I can't wait to find this book at a UBS...I don't even want to look. I love Kleypas and will actually fork over the cash ( card) for this little wonder. Oh...and did anyone check out Lisa's new and improved site. Me likes it a lot!!!

I've Given Up

I decided to sell my soul to blogger and just use one of their templates, even though I absolutely loved the old one created for me by Mailyn. I'm still trying to get over it, but I'm mad. This all happened when I switched to new blogger...I really don't see what the big deal about it is. It seems the same..still difficult, still written in something close to Farsi. I'll figure out how to make my site better in the future. Right now it's a glorious day outside. Warm in the high 60s (that's warm for San Francisco) and I need to get out of my apartment.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Where's My.....Banner?

For those of you new to my blog, welcome to WHERE'S MY HERO? The banner is now gone. I have no idea why or how...I'm confused and annoyed and now I have to find another banner and I don't have the first clue as to what to do. I hate asking people for help, but...HELP! How do I create a banner? Sybil said she'd help me with the rest, but HELP. I need HELP! Mailyn...can you do the honors? Holly? Anyone?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Two for the Price of One

Normally the concept of TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE grabs and holds one's attention. We immediately rush to the store eager and willing to buy as many goodies as possible. TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE is usually a good thing. It wasn't the case with Eloisa James' PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE. At least, not for me. Once upon a time, I tried reading an older James' title...something with the word DUCHESS in was DUCHESS IN LOVE. I couldn't get through the third chapter. So much was going on that I didn't feel much of a connection with the lead characters and if I don't feel that connection right away, like any good girl with a short attention span, I will close the book immediately and send it right on over to my local Used Book Store.

I felt the same way with PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE, but unlike DUCHESS IN LOVE, I actually loved the book's premise, that of a woman with low confidence who allows a friend of her family's to help her gain it. Josie Essex is called the "Scottish Sausage" by a member of the ton and now finds herself unable to find a husband. She thinks she's fat and wears outlandish corsets that only serve to...well...make her look like a stuffed sausage. She soon stops wearing the dreadful garment and with the help of the Earl of Mayne, a close family friend (who has been linked to all of her sisters), she tries to get the attention of the bachelors of the ton...or something like that.

It seemed like a good story, but I never realized that the lead characters would share their book with the hero's sister and younger lover. What a mess! I found myself disliking the lead characters' story soon enough and wanted more and more of the other (which I thought deserved its own book). The heroine was a big knucklehead and I honestly didn't understand (I never do) what the hero saw in her. He was almost 20 yrs older than her...apparently saw her grow up and that really disturbed me. Yes, I know that back in the day age differences weren't important, BUT I live in 2007 and in 2007 it would gross me out to discover that Bob Saget or John Stamos was dating one of the Olsen twins. Might have been acceptable for that time but so was not bathing and I don't see much mention of that in these novels.

But I digress...besides the little age issue I had with the novel, I couldn't get over how fast the hero went from being head over heels in love with the woman of his dreams (oh...did I mention he was in love with this French prude...possible lesbian?) to immediately wanting the heroine all to himself. Tha f*ck? It made no was too quick; there was no time for the hero to even get over the other woman. Perhaps had the heroine been depicted as a woman of the world, an Angelina Jolie type, I might have seen why and how the hero could fall so in and out and then right back into love so quickly. Sorry...I know Angelina Jolie, I've seen most of her movies, Angelina Jolie was in a movie I watched last night...Eloisa James, JOSIE IS NO ANGELINA JOLIE!!! And the love story you depicted for her was beyond unbelievable; it simply bored the shite out of me!

Now for the second love story, that of the secondary characters, Mayne's younger sister and the darling Darlington, the man who is the cause of Josie's low self-esteem (he's the one who called her "Scottish Sausage" to begin with), I enjoyed this one. I really did. Of course, I would have loved to see it developed further. We were merely given a few love sessions and then instant love on the part of Darlington for the beautiful and sexy Griselda (I hate that name!). It was easy to see why the two would fall in love though...they were cute together and I absolutely loved Darlington's wordplay. I was only disappointed I couldn't read more on the two.

I wish James would dedicate her novels to one couple at a time. Has she ever done this? I've not read many of her books. DUCHESS IN LOVE turned me off. I had to read this one though because so many people spoke fondly of it. James' is a great writer, I'll give you that. It's obvious she's no dummy, but her style doesn't suit me. It actually makes me quite sleepy...and frustrated...and anxious. Chapter 1 and 2 were dedicated to the leads; Chapter 3 to the secondaries; Chapter 4 back to the leads and so on and so forth. So much alternating really pissed me off. Everytime I'd get into one love story, the author would take a break and give me another one. Argh! Frustrating! Too much was going on in this novel and I developed a headache soon after starting it. By the time I finished it, I had a full blown migraine. I think I'll pass on the next one and if I do ever decide to give the author another chance, I'll make sure to take a Tylenol Migraine.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tagged by Holly

I think I've done this once....actually, I think I've done this twice or three times. Oh, well...

10 Weird Things About Myself:
1. I like burnt popcorn with a dab of dijionaise (yeah...I'm pretty sure I've done this list already).

2. When I was 13, I begged my mom for a perm so....I got the hairstylist to cut my bangs and then perm them...only the bangs. I looked like a poodle!!! Not very attractive AT ALL!!!

3. I put my PJs on as soon as I get home from work, even if I have to go out an hour later...I won't change into anything but my PJs and then change into other clothes if I go out. A few people have told me that's weird, but I don't think so. Is it?

4. I seem to always get crushes on gay men. I don't know they're gay when I crush on them though...find out later on and then I'm really crushed!

5. There's no balance in anything I do. It's either all or nothing, too much or too little. I'll either go anorexic or eat like a pig (and I've done this) too many books or read none at all. There's got to be a word for this.

6. I have to follow up everything with sound effects. If I trip or fall, I usually have to add a little sound effect action...yell AAAAAAAHHHH or ARGH or something like that.

7. I'm scared of heights, yet I've been rock climbing, bouldering, walk across the Golden Gate every chance I get and am even planning a sky diving trip for later this year.

8. I love to melt chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and then use a fork to scoop up all the cookie dough. Once I'm done with the cookie dough, I throw the ice cream away (no one wants to eat it anyway, after I'm done with it).

9. My taste in men: Scott Weiland (former lead singer of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS), Clive Owen and Ralph Fiennes. Weird because it makes no sense. According to some, how can someone love Ralph Fiennes and Clive Owen and then fantasize about former druggies like Scott Weiland? I don't know the answer but I think he's hot!!!

10. I drink hot beverages with a straw (I still think I started this trend in college).

Misplaced Blame

I'm clueless lately as to what's coming out in the next few months; clueless as to what came out last month. I'm bored and, for a time, I thought there was something wrong with me. I blamed it on anything and everything: seasonal depression, dissatisfaction with my work, love life and LIFE in general. I'm now beginning to realize, as I go through the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble, that it's not my fault at all. The romance genre is no longer what it used to be and therein lies the problem. The stories released today lack imagination, originality and are nothing by copycats of older, far superior romance works. It's sad really. Few authors in recent months have released works that made my toes curl. However, the same cannot be said for MANY other authors who have released books that have forced me to jump off my couch and into my car OFF to the nearest used book store.

I don't know who to blame. Is it the authors' fault or the publishing company that approves the works? I have my favorite authors...we all do. Usually, my favorites release their books once a year, maybe even every 6-8 months, if I'm lucky. I wait...and wait patiently because I know they deliver (err...most of the time), but what do I do while I wait? What books do I read? I have other interests besides romance. I read a lot of historical biographies, non-fictions set in World War II or the French Revolution. It's not all about romance, but I like romances. They're quick reads that don't necessarily require that I sit and analyze for hours on end. They're pure a great piece of chocolate cake. So....while I wait for my favorite authors to release their new books, I pick up whatever new books are published. I'll look at the cover...good, nice, sexy cover. I'll look at the back blurb...unoriginal but probably good. Look at the name of the authors...she's always writing books...she must be decent. I buy the books...several books...and read them.... and realize that I've just eaten a lot of BAD CAKE!!!

The result of eating so much bad cake is naturally an aversion to cake in general....and so today, I'm scared...scared to try out new authors because the standards for getting your novel published seem to have lowered slightly. What else should I think? There are exceptions...there are always exceptions, of course. Some authors I've never been able to get enough of are now authors to stay away from; their motivation for writing is no longer pleasing the fan, but making a few dollars. Trifle and unamusing has now replaced brilliant and humorous. Good work! And then there are those new authors who've written novels that I consider far superior to even those by my favorites.

I actually laughed out loud last night at the backblurb of a romance novel. I don't know if I've ever done that. The story was so stupid, I wanted to take out some matches and have a little bonfire in the middle of the store. I won't mention the name of the book. It might be quite good...looked and sounded like every other book that's been published every month for the last year or so. I won't be reading it, unless it lands on my doorstep via some divine intervention (and that's really the only way because I'm not mentioning the name).

So what to do? Read an old goodie? Go through my TBR pile and read the works of authors whose new works aren't even good enough to use as box stuffing? I've tried that (see post below) and it didn't work. All it's done is upset me even more. Am I taking this too seriously? Perhaps. But you would, too, if you spent a bundle on books that worked better than a sleeping aid. I don't buy books to fall asleep; I buy them to escape the real world, which is all too harsh. I buy them to dream WHILE AWAKE, not while in a coma-like stupor created by said "novel." If I wanted to be in a stupor, I'd take drugs.

I'm now reading FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. I'll follow that up with some romance novels that have impeccable reviews. I need to ease back into them. I'm going to change the way I purchase romances. I've always been too trusting of covers. They look so nice...they've got to be good, right? WRONG! Expect more selectivity on my part from now on....I guess this means AVON won't be getting as much of my money in the future. C'est la vie!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In the Heath of the Night

Ok..I was trying to write up some clever title to the post and that's all I came up with. If you can come up with a better one, let me know. I'm still in shock over what happened to the writing abilities, never mind the imagination, of famed romance writer, Lorraine Heath. I have three words for you and excuse the profanity here...not suitable for children at all. WHAT. THE. FUCK? I simply do not understand what happened to the voice of this distinguished author.

For a while, every time I'd stumble upon a romance blog reviewing any one of Heath's recent books, I'd always hear the same two words over and over again: Rawley Cooper. Who was this mysterious character that everyone wanted Heath to write a book about? I didn't know and I really didn't care. These same bloggers refused to read any of Heath's new books. At the time, this seemed to me as rather foolish. I thought Heath's Victorians were better than sliced bread....great works of romance. What a joke! Various bloggers insisted I read Heath's old Westerns to fully comprehend why they would never read any of Heath's Victorian series books. I finally, after much procrastinating on my part, decided to do so.

And today...after reading the entire TEXAS series, I can finally let out a deep breath and say....RAWLEY COOPER.

How can Heath not write a book about him? How can she just keep him on the shelf? WHY? HOW? Does the story of a strong man paired with an equally strong woman not fit Avon Publishing's schedule? Does the romance world really need more dukes and spoiled heiresses from Heath?

Enough! Enough! Me want Rawley Cooper!!! I want Heath to ditch the rogues and the roses and whatever douche bag duke she's currently concocting. Enough of the empty-headed, spoiled rotten heiresses who almost deserve to get thrown in the River Thames. Enough! I want Rawley Cooper. I want a man who has fought for his life, for the mere chance to breathe. I want a man with depth...a man who doesn't just sleep around and play card games with the rest of the ton. I want a man who can grab a pistol and kill his next meal, a man whom I'd feel comfortable taking care of me....and I want a heroine who is just as strong, who can survive the elements of the old West.

I want the old Heath back.

Rawley Cooper....Rawley Cooper...oh, please GIVE ME RAWLEY COOPER!!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Still Here

I'm alive and well...I promise. A mixture of stress, work, seasonal depression and exhaustion have gotten to me lately. I don't know what I'm feeling anymore...gosh.

In any case, it's time to snap out of it, right? I have reviews coming up for:


Also, just so you know...I've finally read Lorraine Heath's Texas series and I really cannot believe the books were written by the same author who wrote A DUKE OF HER OWN. Now I get it....what the f*ck happened?

Little rumor that Julie Anne Long is moving to Avon...say it ain't so, Julie! Please!!! If it's true, promise you WILL NOT change your writing not let the powers that be at Avon change you or influence you or bribe you with money to write a story about a fallen woman turned teacher who then runs into the man who ruined her at the school she's teaching in (because he just so happens to be the uncle, brother or father of some brat you're teaching).

Ok...done...more to come. Oh...and I'm still hoping to surprise you all with a bit more. Let's see what I can come up with.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Lady's Pleasure

I'm still not sure what to think about this book, the first of a series. I have to say that, despite the fact that I found myself skimming quite a few pages, I'll probably read the second one...and the third, only because I'm curious to see what happens to its secondary characters.

Merriam Everett is your typical romance novel widow - forced to marry a decrepit old man in her youth only to be left completely ignored by him during the marriage. She does everything a boring young widow would do, attends boring society meetings with old matrons, wears gray dresses and does not even come close to causing any scandals. She is invisible and doesn't quite mind, until she overhears Julian Clay, a rake of the first order, say he wouldn't do her EVEN if they paid him to. She's infuriated and loses it. She decides to seduce the man and make him pay during a masquerade ball. I think you know where I'm going with this....she ends up seducing Drake Sotherton instead (Oops!) and running off immediately thereafter. Of course, Drake can't get his mind off the little harlot and the wonders she subjected him to (WHATEVER!); after some research, he finds her and asks her to be his mistress for the Season. She accepts.

The story contains a murder mystery that I wasn't overly impressed with. It was wrapped up fairly quickly...too quickly. I was expecting more.

As for the love dear....there is a lot of sex in this book...a lot of rough sex. Too much, to be honest. The lead characters are doing it every chapter. There was a point I actually screamed COME ON, ALREADY! GIVE IT A REST. Love scenes are fine and I love me a good sex scene to read, but seriously....I heard more groans and grunts than actual conversation coming out of these people. I didn't get to know the characters as much as I wanted. I didn't know what the hero and heroine had in common; all they did was have sex sex sex sex..... Did they ever do anything besides have sex? Who was the hero? Who was the heroine? No clue...I do know that they liked to have a lot of sex though.

Despite all this, the author shows great promise and I will be reading Bernard's 2nd book out later this year. I wanted to give this book a glowing review, but I can't. I'd give it a C+ because of the potential and the fire it sparked in me to read the rest of the series. Normally, bad books will turn me off an author, especially one new to me. This wasn't the case with Ms. Bernard.

Check out her site, for more info.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Coming May 2007

The Secret to Seduction

A vicar's daughter unafraid to control her fate, Sabrina Fairleigh arrives at an exclusive country soiree with marriage in mind. How shocking—and intriguing—to discover her host is an infamous ladies' man known for his indecent (and, ah, inspiring) poetry!

They call him The Libertine, and his poetry is just as scandalous—and irresistible—as he is. But after one duel too many forces Rhys Gillray, Earl of Rawden, from lively London to his country estate, he's in desperate need of a cure for boredom. And the proper but beautiful vicar's daughter seems like the perfect test of his sensual skills.

With wit and wiliness, Rhys strips away Sabrina's defenses. But as he teaches her pleasure, the emotional stakes of their sensual duel go beyond anything Rhys has ever known. For deep in his past lies the missing clue to the crime that destroyed Sabrina's family. And all The Libertine's seductive secrets may not be enough to save their future and their hearts.

Not bad..not bad at all. I'm looking forward to reading this. I love Julie Anne Long's novels; so far she has not disappointed me. The cover seems a bit Avonish...but at least it's not red (Avon seems to have a thing with red covers lately). THE SECRET TO SEDUCTION is Book 3 in a series. BEAUTY AND THE SPY is the first one, followed by WAYS TO BE WICKED. If you haven't read a book by this author, I highly recommend that you do. Check out Mrs. Giggles' reviews, for more info.

Unfortunately, there's still no excerpt.'s out in May? My birthday month...what a glorious gift. Can't wait!!!