Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Review

Year 2010 has flown by! Here is a look at some great books, and not so great books, that read this year. I read so many books this year, that I had to narrow down my list of favorites and least favorites down to "top" five. Plus I narrowed it down even more by just listing books I've read since I started this blog, so my listing starts with books read April thru December. The listings are not ranked in any particular order.

Best Books

Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
Finding Perfect by Susan Mallery
Remember Me by Laura Moore
Veil of Night by Linda Howard
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Most Disappointing

Hell, Yeah by Carolyn Brown
Street Game by Christine Feehan
A Black Tie Affair by Sherrill Bodine
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Scream My Name by Kimberly Kaye Terry

Discovered Series
Demonica Series by Larissa Ione

Surprising Book

Georgia's Kitchen by Jenny Nelson

New (to me) Author
Dixie Cash

Most Hilarious

Since You're Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash by Dixie Cash

Most Anticipated of 2010
Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: The Heart of Winter by Maggie Shayne, Linda Winstead Jones, Day Leclaire

Maggie Shayne {Blog | Facebook}
Linda Winstead Jones {Facebook}
Day Leclaire {Facebook}
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback {p.312}
Source: Personal Library
Genre: Contemporay
Characters: Melinda Terwilliger, Matthew MacGuire | Nell Collins, Julian Maddox | Jayne Mylestone, Nick Fontana
My Rating:

Prepare to be…


Melinda Terwilliger is a mild-mannered teacher—until she accidentally becomes The Toughest Girl in Town. But she meets her match in an undercover cop determined to get to know the real Melinda…with kisses hot enough to melt any woman's heart!


When law secretary Nell Rose is snowbound with a handsome stranger, keeping her New Year's Resolution becomes nearly impossible. Why swear off men when a romantic weekend with a reclusive writer seems to be the ideal way to ring in the new year?

Swept Away

Plain Jayne Myleston seduced her office crush at a masked ball—and then found she'd turned up the heat with the wrong man! Even after the ball, she can't say no to her Mystery Lover. That is, until Jayne finds out who he really is!

-The Toughest Girl in Town Maggie Shayne-
Melinda was living the life of a shy people pleaser until her BFF decided to try hypnosis on her.

After her hypnosis, Melinda seemed to think she was Jennifer Garner from Alias. She changed her appearance, her behavior, and her general take on her well being.

With her newfound courage, Melinda believed she could take down the neighborhood drug dealers single-handily. When Melinda wasn’t taking such unbelievable risks, she was keeping it entertaining with her wit.

Since this is part of a three story anthology, it moved a little faster than most, but not so fast that you get lost along the way.

Overall it was an entertaining read.

-Resolution Linda Winstead Jones-
Nell Rose has been having such bad luck when it comes to men, that she makes it her New Year’s Resolution to give them up for a year. And then she meets Julian.

Julian is untrusting of all people after a horrible incident on his job. Now he has quit the job and moved to the mountains of Tennessee living as a successful author.

I really enjoyed this addition to the anthology. Although Julian and Nell Rose only knew each for a short period of time, the chemistry and connection between them was instant.

Of course with Julian’s trust issues there were bound to be some difficulties. Julian’s instantly willing to believe the worst in people, almost cost him Nell Rose.

-Mystery Lover Day Leclaire-
This story also takes on the New Year’s theme. Although with Mystery Lover, Jayne isn’t giving up on men, but instead is hopping into bed with a mystery man she assumes is her workplace crush.

Little does she know, it’s her boss who has a crush of his own.

Mystery Lover is a journey of role playing fantasies all the while Jayne remained oblivious to whom she was having sex with. Of course it all worked out in the end with Jayne breaking it off with her mystery man, because in her real life she was falling in love with her boss.

This addition to the anthology was probably my least favorite of the three stories, because it didn’t ring true to me. Maybe the one New Year’s night fantasy encounter as strangers, but continuing for weeks not knowing whom you’re having sex with seemed rather outlandish.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Volume 1 Issue 30

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It is showcases upcoming releases of books that I'm looking forward to. It is somewhat similar to one of my previous posts, Anxiously Awaiting.

Victoria's Got a Secret
HelenKay Dimon
February 8, 2011

When Canada's Naked News lead anchor chose her stage name as "Victoria Sinclair" and debuted her risqué take on global headlines, little did she know that millions of viewers would soon tune-in to watch her alter-ego artfully disrobe in front of the camera. But behind every alter-ego is a real person, often carefully hidden from public view, and there's much that 'Victoria' is hiding …

Raised in a family of artists and intellectuals, the young Victoria-to-be excelled in school—as well as in the tutorials of her exotic grandmother who felt she should know how to hold court in a salon . . . and a bedroom, when the time came. Which it does in high school, compliments of a handsome, talented scrapper named Paul who gives his heart, body, and soul to her—only to be devastated when he loses the girl he's crazy for to dreams and ambitions too big for their small Canadian town to contend with.

Those ambitions are realized in Toronto as she climbs the corporate ladder—and falls under the seductive spell of an older, worldly man who orchestrates her transformation from a shy brainiac in a business suit into a sensual siren named Victoria Sinclair. With a come-hither voice and seemingly nothing to lose but her clothes, Victoria isn't as easy in her own skin as a growing legion of fans believe her to be. Victoria's got a secret--actually a few. So when a twist of fate brings Paul back into her life, will he even recognize the girl she once was?

Will she?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: My Fair Succubi by Jill Myles

My Fair Succubi
Jill Myles {Blog | Facebook | Twitter}
Series: Succubus Diaries #3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: December 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback {p.340}
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal
Characters: Jackie Brighton, Noah Gideon, Zane
My Rating:


Living as a succubus has a bit of a learning curve, but with sexy fallen angel Noah to scratch her sensual Itch, Jackie Brighton is finally starting to feel ahead of the game. She almost doesn’t miss her gorgeous vampire master Zane—or his sinful, teasing mouth. She’s trying to convince herself of that, anyway.

But Jackie’s past mistakes catch up with her, spinning her life out of control once more. Just as her friend Remy’s inner demon comes out to play, Noah and Jackie are arrested by the angelic Serim Council. When Jackie seizes the chance to escape, she falls right into Zane’s waiting arms. As she’s pulled into a game of cat and mouse between vampires and angels, she finds she must also choose between the two men in her life. Can she decide between Noah and Zane, or will she lose everything she’s ever wanted? Because there’s more at stake than just her heart...

Jill Myles’ Succubus Diaries is a new author and series to me. Although My Fair Succubi is the third installment in the series, I was quickly immersed in the plot and taken with the characters.

Jackie was witty and provided much of the comedic relief, along with Ethan. Ethan, a Guardian, led a sheltered pure existence until getting mixed up with Jackie and MTV.

Jackie is torn between two men, Noah and Zane, whom she claims to love both of. Noah is a Serim and Zane is a vampire. Not only is Jackie trying to decide which of these men she wants to be with, but she is also trying to save her best friend Remy who has been possessed.

The plot was highly entertaining. The whole adventure in which she and Ethan took in trying to rescue Remy was a laugh a minute. And when Jackie wasn’t getting into all kinds of hijinks, she was flip-flopping between two men.

I did have my personal preference as to which of the men I preferred, and that would be Noah. Since I have not read the first two books in the series, I don’t really know either man’s backstory all that well. But from just reading this one, I like Noah.

The entire story, I felt that Noah cared for Jackie more than she cared for him. It seemed as if she just used him for her Itch. Jackie did tend to annoy me at times because she was causing so many problems and trouble, but the people around her tended to be the ones to pay the price for her actions.

This is definitely a series that I will be reading more of, as well as any other title by this author.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Review: Six by Opal Carew

Opal Carew {Facebook | Twitter}
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: January 6, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback {p.263}
Source: Personal Library
Genre: Erotica, Menage
Characters: Harmony, Mia, Nikki, Angela, Aiden, Cole, Jake, Trey
My Rating:

Harmony leads a secret life. On the surface, she's a respectable, straight-laced professional. But once a year, she reunites with her old college friends--the infamous Group of Six--for a decadent sexual free-for-all. Here, there are no limits. Nothing is forbidden as they push every boundary to reach dizzying new heights of pleasure. But this year, Harmony has a serious boyfriend in her life…and he has no idea about her naughty annual retreats. Now Aiden is about to enter an intoxicating new world of explosive sensuality and mind-blowing group sex. But can their relationship withstand Harmony's wild side? And when an old friend reveals his true feelings for Harmony, how far is Aiden willing to go to win her heart?

Harmony stared at the glossy pamphlet again, with the photos of vivid blue, tropical water, white sandy beaches, and lovely villas along the water.

Six is filled with hot, mindless, meaningless sex. It's full of sex but not much in the way of storyline.

Harmony, the main female character, came across as very fickle. She was constantly testing Aiden to prove his love to her, yet she never proved her love for him. She was demanding that if he truly loved her, he would for one week out of the year, be okay with her having sex with any and every man or woman off the street. It wasn't just sex within the group of "six," but sex with whomever she felt like inviting to join her.

Six was already a far out there concept, with six friends have a free-for-all sex fest every year, but the added sex with any and every random strange made it a hard pill to swallow in the aspect of believability.

Harmony and Aiden didn't share any kind of emotional connection even though they claimed to love each other. Aiden and Harmony were in lukewarm "like" instead of love. And even with that, it felt like Aiden cared more for Harmony than she cared for him.

There was more of a connection between Harmony and Cole, another "six" member, who just so happen to tell Harmony that he loves her as well. But Harmony felt it was okay to have sex with Cole, knowing that her loved her, but became extremely jealous of Aiden having sex with Mia, his ex who was newly inducted into the group.

The other members of the group were okay, but pretty much everyone was okay compared to Harmony. Although one group member, Angela, was a little over the top as well with her sexcapades.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: My Fair Succubi by Jill Myles

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. To participate, all you have to do is the following:

  • Grab your current/upcoming read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2-3 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers! (You do not want to ruin the book for others.)
  • Share the title & author so that others who enjoy your "teaser" may add the book to their TBL pile.
He lifted the lid. A tiny turquoise box with a bow lay in the center of the plate. It looked like...a ring box.

"Shit," I blurted.

"That's not exactly the reaction I wanted to hear."

page 14; My Fair Succubi by Jill Myles

Monday, December 20, 2010

Review: January: Miami's Perfect Weekend by Jamie Craig

January: Miami's Perfect Weekend
Jamie Craig
Series: Calender Boys #1
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Release Date: January 1, 2007
Format: Kindle
Source: Personal Library
Genre: LGBT, Interracial
Characters: Tre Griffin, Michael Pappas
My Rating:

The weekend of the championship game, all football star Tre Griffin wants is to escape Miami and the reminder that he's not playing. When his flight out of town is delayed, he meets Michael Pappas in the hotel bar. Their attraction is immediate, and when he discovers Michael has no idea who he is, Tre decides to act on it.

One night of no-strings-attached passion stretches into a whole weekend, but with Tre all too visible in the public spotlight, he can't risk hoping for anything more. A single perfect weekend is all they have. Until Michael discovers the truth. And they both begin to think it could be something more.

Tre knew it would be difficult to get out of Miami the weekend of the football championship, but he never thought he would be trapped in the damned city.

Tre is a pro football player who can’t chance people finding out about his sexuality. Michael seems to be the only man who has no idea who Tre is. So when the two hookup for a weekend in Miami, both are instantly smitten with each other, and want something more than just a weekend.

This was a quick read that provided an instant romance. There wasn’t much in-depth information on the characters. The story only provides the two lead characters with occupations and that’s pretty much all you know about them.

January: Miami’s Perfect Weekend is a quick hot read. Even though it was a short read, I still became involved and engrossed with the characters. It was a good read, and I look forward to reading the rest of the calendar months.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In My Mailbox: Volume 1 Issue 32

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.

I'll try to post an entry of IMM every Sunday that I receive books by mail of that week.

Listed below are the books I received this week.

Books via Paperback Swap
Triple Play by Rhyannon Byrd

Books via Publisher
My Fair Succubi by Jill Myles

Books via Public Library
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti
Home is Where the Bark Is by Kandy Shepherd
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