Thursday, July 26, 2007

Way WAY behind!

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OK, I'm like... 7 books behind on my opinion/review 'thingys' here (I've REALLY got to come up with a name for them). I've got A LOT to talk about. Hopefully tomorrow night I'll get caught up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

YAY! A couple more contests...

Linda Conrad is having a contest for ALL six books of her Night Guardian series INCLUDING an ARC of the final book.

Win an Advance Copy of one of Eve Silver aka Eve Kenin's upcoming books!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Next To Die by Marliss Melton

Next To Die is the fourth book in Marliss Melton's contemporary military romantic-suspense series.

The Heroine:
Penny Price is a pretty (but not stunning) Naval physical therapist. She's the 'do gooder' type who helps everyone and rarely does anything for herself. I know, you're thinking "Ewwwww.... sounds SO boring!" It's really not... because she's helpful in a nuturing way; not in that irritating get-a-freaking-grip-you-sorry-bitch sort of way. It does get mildly irritating a few times but not terribly. She's intelligent and a little pushy - I like that in a heroine.

The Hero:
Joe Montgomery is Penny's HOT Navy Seal neighbor. He's a TOTAL playboy before the disaster on a mission that leaves him injured and guilt-ridden. Now he just wants to hole-up for a while in his house to recoup and indulge in a pity-party. He's a bit of a selfish jerk in the beginning (& the past) and does some of the dog in the manger thing with Penny at one point but I still liked him.

The Story:
Penny takes care of her neighbor's (Joe) house & yard when he's out on missions because his 'girlfriends' are less than reliable and he has a pet that, of course, wants to be fed on a regular basis. When he comes home injured and battle-weary, her nurturing instincts begin to clamor urging her to take care of him... well, there is the lust factor too because she totally wants her hottie neighbor - although she's never tell him. So she begins to help him (whether he wants it or not) but she also has other crap going on like trying to help her sister get her life back into order AND a killer (the man they believe killed their father) stalking both of them.

Joe is slightly mistrustful of Penny's good intentions in the beginning but despite this he finds himself sharing the truth about the disaster and his emotions with her and is comforted by her time and time again. He also finds himself reluctantly attracted to a woman that he never even noticed before - he begins to see the beauty of her heart. When he realizes that Penny is being threatened by a possible killer, Joe pushes his guilt and self-pity aside to help keep Penny (and her sister) safe.

There is a secondary story involving her sister and the youngest Seal on Joe's new Seal Team that I really enjoyed. I wish we could have seen more of them!

Overall, I give this book a C+. It was good but the plot was weak in places and the characters exhibited some irritating traits and reactions that dimmed my enjoyment. My main problem was with Joe being so commitment-shy (there is a 'too much' point for me personally on that) and acting like a jerk but also with Penny who, although not a doormat, didn't kick Joe in the balls when I thought she should. LOL!

Learn more about the book, author, and series at:

Friday, July 20, 2007

At the Edge by Cait London

At The Edge is the first book in a new trilogy by Cait London. The spine classifies it as "Romantic Suspense" - which it is... but it has an equal amount of paranormal elements as well so I'd call it a paranormal suspense romance.

I've read a Cait London book in the past. I don't remember which one, so obviously I wasn't terribly impressed because a) I have a great memory for books I've read - if I liked them; and b) I haven't felt compelled to read another. But I saw this on Amazon and was intrigued... it actually came out in June but I was hoping to get it at the used bookstore... no such luck.

The background basics:
Triplets and their mother all have mega psychic gifts. They are decendants of a Celtic seer. Because of the nature of these gifts they cannot live close to each other.

This book's characters:
Claire is the youngest (by 6 minutes). She is the empath and has a very hard time blocking out the world around her so she lives in an isolated house in Montana. Claire's pretty much a hermit except for an elderly woman who lives in a house in the same clearing. When the elderly lady dies, her nephew inherits the house, moves in, and causes a huge amount of ruckus and noise.

Neil Olafson is the nephew that moves in. He's sexy, outgoing, and troubled by the disappearance of his son 8 years ago. After finding Claire on the floor of her house, the victim of a vicious intruder, he decides she's his to protect... she and her kooky sisters obviously need keepers.

This book, the premise of which was so promising, just didn't work for me... much.
First off, there were two seperate suspense 'plots' affecting the same characters but the bouncing back and forth between them was choppy and took away from the build-up of suspense. It left me feeling like the mouse in the maze wondering which way I should run to get to the end. Also, both of the suspense plots end strangely... rather unsatifying and flat. The one about Neil's son ends especially weird and is lacking the emotional depth you would expect. I can't go into more detail without spoilers so I'll leave it at that.

Second, I liked Claire and I liked Neil -but together... Not so much. In the beginning, Neil is portrayed as an EXTREMELY social person. And, of course, Claire cannot be around people without suffering from her psychic gift. And yet, this MAJOR compatability problem is never really 'solved' or even addressed properly. On the other hand, his playfulness and sensuality balances Claires somber solitude so they're not totally wrong for each other - if the other problems had been addressed sufficiently I would have been fine.

What I liked best about the book was Neil's determined protectiveness... I love that in a hero! Also, Tempest, the middle sister, was a fascinating character. I know my 'review' of it sounds pretty negative, but it wasn't a horrible book. It was just rather scattered feeling and a bit flat in the plot.

Overall, I would give it a C-. It's worth reading and I'll read the rest of the series... but I'll probably wait for the books to be at the used store in the future.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Too much reading!

OK, I've realized that I read too much to have a "Currently Reading" section on here. I'm always several books behind on it and unfortunately, I don't have the time to log in and update every time I start a new book.

So I'm going to change it to "Top Pick of Yesterday" and post my favorite book from whatever I've read the previous day.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Night Hunter by Cathy McDavid

Here's an interesting new paranormal romance that I found (as I was hunting desperately for something new to read) called Night Hunter by Cathy McDavid.

Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to do my usual run-down summary and 'review' of this book but I wanted to give it a quick mention. It's good - not the best I've ever read - it had some minor plot issues - but the character development was well done and it was certainly good enough that I'll be watching for future paranormal romances (potentially a series???).

Here's the 'blurb' from the author site (but it's not a good representation):
Every twenty-five years the cycle begins anew — alegendary creature reawakens and preys upon the innocent. The police refuse to believe such a monster exists. But Gillian knows it's real. When she was seven, she watched in horror as it killed her mother. Now the beast is back ... for her.
As the chosen Hunter, Nick is the only one who can destroy the creature. Yet a gorgeous psychology professor keeps pushing her way into his investigation — and into his most intimate fantasies. For her own protection, Nick's determined to stay by Gillian's side, every day and each delicious night. And meanwhile, the monster bides its time ...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Is there ANYONE else out there?

Being the romance addict that I am, I own, borrow, and check out a lot of books. In the last year or so I have noticed that the romance covers are increasingly less unique and seem almost repetitive. Now you may be thinking to your self, "What the hell is she talking about? Duplicate covers? Similar designs?"Nope. I'm talking about this guy.

The romance industry's latest darling -
cover model Nathan Kamp

Now, I enjoy attractive men on the cover of romance novels as much as the next reader. And there is no denying that Mr. Kamp is attractive - I don't personally believe he's really hot but he's got an attractive face, a nice body, and does the 'dark & dangerous' thing well - which is great for the paranormal and suspense romances. But I'm SO COMPLETELY SICK of seeing his face on the cover of so many books!

There are thousands and thousands of romance-cover-worthy men and yet all the romance cover designers can come up with is 500 covers with this guy on them? Ever heard of variety being the spice of life... well guess what... it's the spice of romance covers too.

I want to make it clear that I'm not bashing Nathan Kamp - I have nothing against him, of course. I've read/listened to his interviews, comments from those who have met him, articles about him, etc. etc. and he seems to be a very nice guy. But enough is enough. I feel like we've had this model shoved down our throats so much I'm gagging from it. It's especially irritating when multiple books in a series have a cover with this model. Everyone in a family, area, group would NOT look the same. Yes, it's all fantasy and most readers, myself included, can overlook a bad cover and concentrate on what's inside but we would rather enjoy a unique cover with an interesting man that is somewhat similar to the character in the book than to have to make a concious effort to ignore the cover.

I know I'm not alone in this. I've seen complaints and criticisms from other readers that are also weary of the constant use of the same model. What do you all think of this practice of flooding the market with covers with the same model? Good business, bad business? Good for readers, bad for readers? Are you sick of Kamp or do you adore him and want more, more, more?


Here are just SOME of the many faces of Nathan Kamp - in fact, these are some of the books that I've read or are coming out soon that I plan to read (although several of them are re-issues and my editions have different covers).