Archive | December 2013

2013 End of Year Book Survey

End of Year Survey hosted by Page Turner and this sounded perfect to do at the end of the year!!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Historical Romance-

Paranormal-

Contemporary 

Fantasy 

Steampunk 

Science Fiction 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

 The blurb made this seem like a book I would love, but it ended up being a DNF. Very disappointing.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

This story really shocked me in how much I enjoyed it. It definitely was full of surprises. Jordan does a unique take on fairy tales in this latest series.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

 

This is probably my favorite book by this author, and as I was looking through the past year, this book I recommended to the most people.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Tairen Soul Series by C.L. Wilson-a Fantasy bases series with plenty of romance.
Return of the Highlander series by Margaret Mallory-Scottish Highland series that I fell in love with.

 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2013?

Coreen Callahan 
Alyssa Day  

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

 For the first time this year, I read a steampunk based romance, Skies of Gold

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

 

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Pietr Wulfinski-How to Pursue A Princess-Karen Hawkins

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

Ver reisa ku’chae. Kem surah, shei’tani. (Your soul calls out. Mine answers, beloved.)”  -Lord of Fading Land-C. L. Wilson

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

 Shortest-Gerards Beauty-Marie Hall 
Longest-Whitney My Love, Judith McNaught

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

There were quite a few instances in this book, that I wanted to just talk with someone about, who happened to have already read it or was reading it at the same time.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

The Shifter Unbound community relationship among the different clans. 

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I really loved this one, and I have read this author before this last year. This story mixes paranormal, contemporary and highland culture. Lovely read. 

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Historical Romance 

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Hunter Callahan from One Heart To Win-Johanna Lindsey 

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

 

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

You will definitely need a box of tissues. 

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

 

 

Looking Ahead 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

This is Dimitri and Skylers book, which I have been anticipating for years. So I can’t wait until Jan 7th!!! 

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Keep a consistency in my blog and reading. My goal is to raise my goal of books to be read by 100 books. So planning on trying to read 300 books. 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday (19) Top Ten Books I Read in 2013!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme was created and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All you have to do is link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers. So Come and Join in the Fun!! 🙂

 Top Ten Books I Read In 2013 (A bit longer than ten, had a hard time deciding which books I loved the most )

1. Lord Of Fading Lands

2. Must Love Fangs

3. How To Pursue A Princess

4. Seduction And Scandal

5. Seven Nights In A Rogue’s Bed

6. Twice Tempted

7. Lord Of Wicked Intentions

8. Highlander Most Wanted

9. The Pleasure Of Your Kiss

10. Wicked In Your Arms

11. Crystal Cove

12. One Heart To Win

13. What The Duke Desires

Book Review-Untamed

Untamed
Medieval (1)
Elizabeth Lowell
Avon
Paperback
Published March 1993
408 Pages
Medieval Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-380-76953-7
Authors Website

Synopsis
UNVANQUISHED

Returning from the Crusades, unbowed and triumphant, the noble knight, Dominic le Sabre, comes to Scotland to claim his reward–the beautiful Saxon bride promised to him by the conqueror King.

UNTARNISHED

The well-beloved daughter of a sacred tribe of Celtic mystics, Lady Margaret of Blackthorns vows never to yield to the bold Norman invader who has been forced upon her. For she fears an ancient curse may bring further bloodshed to her battle-scarred land … and sorrow to her marriage bed.

With a word, the stunning, high-born enchantress could turn her wedding into war. But the savage fire of Dominic’s embrace ignites an extraordinary love …A love that neither violence nor treachery can tear asunder.

My Review

Lady Margaret has been commanded by the King, to marry the enemy, Dominic, a Norman knight and a powerful warrior who is well known throughout the country. Margaret is a witch of sorts, a healer, and her curse is that she will only bear a heir if she and her husband are in love, a powerful and unyielding love. Her father and childhood friend on intent on making sure that there is no match between Meg and the Norman, whom they view as the enemy. However Meg’s first priority is the people she is in charge to care for. So she marries Dominic, knowing she would face the wrath of her family.But Meg knows her duty. Dominic, has fought through many battles and wars, and has suffered torture, and now he desires one thing above all else, a son, a heir. Little does he know how much he is going to have to prove himself to get his heir. Meg is his wife, and he would never force her, but when he hears of her beliefs and that he will never get a heir without her loving him, he sets out to seduce her. Dominic doesn’t realize that he will discover a beautiful love with his stunning wife and a happiness he could only dream of…

Untamed is the first in the medieval series by Elizabeth Lowell. For years I had heard so many great things about this author, And after recently reading the third in this series, I was really excited to read Dominic’s and Meg’s story. The story starts out with Meg meeting Dominic, but Dominic thinking she is a servant and not his future bride. There is a bit of a spark that flies between them, but then Dominic soon finds out she is his bride. Meg, is apprehensive, and afraid in the beginning of Dominic. She doesn’t know what to expect from him. Dominic, is intent on wooing his bride, since he could never force her to go to his bed with him. He wants her to come to him willingly. Then he becomes jealous when he learns that she may have had a affair with her distant cousin, and cages her within the keep and keeps a watchful eye on her. There is quite a bit of mistrust and misunderstandings that happen, but as the plot thickens, you see how this couple comes together when it really counts.

This story is mostly about this couple learning to trust in each other, and the love that is right in front of them, if they will only reach out to grab it. There is a bit of a suspenseful portion to the plot, that tends to put you at the edge of your seat. Untamed is a thrilling story set in Medieval England, and I enjoyed how this author weaved culture and misconceptions of these two warring people. As you read Untamed, you see that this author does her research quite well. I am a bit of a history buff, so its always fun to learn new facts about different time periods, especially this time period. There is also a bit of a magic/paranormal element involved in the story. Not overly much at all, more like a light feathery touch into the story that adds a certain flair to the plot. I enjoyed seeing these two together. Both are very stubborn and strong willed, so chances are they are going to clash. However I felt like even though their relationship is rocky in the beginning, the rough edges start to smooth out as you get deeper into the story.

The characters I loved, and I didn’t have many issues with either one of them. I felt like Dominic is your typical Alpha male type, however, he does fit the Tortured male hero type as well. He has suffered from great torture recently, and you see how learning to love changes him, but in a much more sexier way. The heroine is a healer, and will do everything she can to protect her people. She isn’t afraid to stand up to Dominic, but she also knows which battles to fight as well. You see how they learn to compromise and slowly start to trust in each other, even though they didn’t trust each other at all in the beginning.

Overall a jewel of a romance, one that will sweep you off your feet and into the magical time of the medieval time period. After reading this, Elizabeth Lowell is moving up my list of favorite historical romance authors. Its rare to see a author blend history, culture, passion, suspense, and romance into a gem of a read. Untamed will stir up passion, emotion, danger into a magically written story that will take you back through time. ENCHANTING!!

First Line 
The sound of a war horn sliced through the day, announcing the coming of Blackthorne Keep’s new lord. 

Favorite Quote 
 “And I have become a fire in you,” Dominic said, savoring the moan he had drawn from Meg’s throat. “We will burn together. We will burn…”

My Grade 
4 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series 
Forbidden
Enchanted

ARC Book Review-What The Groom Wants

What The Groom Wants
Bridal Favors (4)
Jade Lee
Sourcebooks Casablanca
E Book
Published February 4 2014
416 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781402283789
 Authors Website 

Synopsis
Wendy Drew, co-owner of A Lady’s Favor dress shop, is working at a gambling den to help pay off a relative’s debt when she catches the eye of the den’s owner. Wendy is attracted to his dark, dangerous ways, but she has no idea how far he’ll go to make her his.

Seaman Jacob Teel has been in love with Wendy from the first time he met her. Now he’s home, done with the seafaring life, and has recently inherited a Welsh title. Finally, he can court Wendy for real—if he only he knew about his deadly competition.

My Review

Wendy has been working hard for months to pay off her brothers gambling debt, and the man she owes money to she despises. He is cold and hard and cruel. Wendy is exhausting herself working days as a seamstress for the shop, and then nights at the gambling hell. The last man she expects to walk through her door is Jacob Teel. Jacob has always wanted Wendy for his wife, and now he is about to have his own ship after being on the sea for years hoping to save enough to start a life with Wendy. When he returns though, circumstances change. His true desire is to have Wendy and convince her of his honest intentions, but he is shocked to discover he has inherited a title, a title he doesn’t want a part of ,but has little choice.  The only problem, convincing Wendy that the title changes nothing, he still wants her as his, and goes about proving to her his devotion. But Wendy will be forced to make a difficult choice, a choice that could threaten every one she loves even Jacob.

What The Groom Wants is the fourth in the Bridal Favors series. I was able to get this ARC through Sourcebooks Casablanca via Netgalley. I have read the first book in the series, and that was when I fell in love with Jade Lee. Her stories are fiercely passionate and wildly fun. So when I started reading What The Groom Wants I was expects a fast paced regency romance. But what I got was far different than I expected. There was a bit of a darker theme to the story, and probably the only character I really loved was the hero, he was bright and loving and good. There was such a frank honesty to his character, and he is so sweet with Wendy. He is the type of hero you want to crawl into his life with and never let go. The heroine, however, well I had a few issues with. Don’t get me wrong, Wendy is a very strong heroine, and has a tough exterior, however she has made some decisions that are a bit darker than you would expect. There is some intense twists and turns involving the villain that made this story be much more darker than you would expect when looking at it first glance. There was quite a few moments I had to take a breather, and get some sunshine and chocolate and get to my happy place, before returning to this story.

I found that overall, this story was intense, passionate, and fast paced with tension and suspense. It does have many great and tender moments, especially between this couple, that you can’t help but continue forward with the story. But it is definitely the type of story you need to mentally prepare for. The side characters were fun and we see the couple from previous books, which made me excited to read their stories. The plot was very intriguing, and has the feeling of spiraling out of control, but at the same time, makes you feel as if you are soaring. There are many ups and downs throughout the story, but I found I enjoyed the story way more than I normally would, due to this authors stellar storytelling abilities. INTENSELY WILD AND FULL OF DANGER!! I would recommend this to any historical romance lover, especially if you are a fan of Jade Lee!!

First Line 
Wendy Drew clutched the small satchel tight to her stomach. 

Favorite Quote 
“I came home to court you, Wind. That doesn’t change, whether I’m a duke, a captain, or a plain old seaman. I want you.”

My Grade 
3.5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series
Engaged In Wickedness
Wedded In Scandal
Engaged in Passion
Wedding in Sin
Winning A Bride
What The Bride Wore
The Groom’s Gamble

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? (59)

This is a great weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. We simply post what we finished reading over the the last week, what we plan on reading this week, etc .


What I Read This Past Week 
What The Groom Wants-Review Coming Soon
Highlander’s Temptation-My Review
What A Wicked Earl Wants-My Review
Wulfe Untamed-My Review
What Happens At Christmas-My Review
Lunar Heat-My Review
Twas The Night After Christmas My Review
What The Duke Desires-My Review

Currently Reading

What is Up Next

 

Book Review-A Highlander’s Temptation

A Highlander’s Temptation
Mackenzie (7)
Sue Ellen Welfonder
Grand Central Publishing
Paperback
Published October 2009
375 Pages
Scottish Highlands Historical Romance
ISBN:978-0-446-19530-0
Authors Website

Synopsis
Darroc MacConacher spends sleepless nights dreaming of a raven-haired beauty who makes him ache with desire. Then his dream comes true: the lady with her lush curves and fair skin appears shipwrecked on his shores. Darroc is immediately drawn to her strength and beauty, and from the moment she lays eyes on this powerful, broad-shouldered warrior, Lady Arabella MacKenzie knows she’ll never want another man.

But theirs is a forbidden love. The MacKenzies drove the MacConachers from their lands and destroyed their honor. Now, Darroc can use this sapphire-eyed seductress to shatter his foes. Yet how can he deny the passion that burns between him and Arabella, and ruin the one woman who touches his very soul?

My Review 

Arabella is not like her other sister, who is bold and daring when it comes to men or even going after what she wants. Arabella has more of a gentle nature, compassionate, and seeks to please her parents, whom she loves dearly. But she is desperate to go to a island, which belongs to her, and visit a shrine there so that she can make a wish, a plea to find a man to love and cherish and to have a family with. With a absurdly over protective father, she knows it will be near impossible to find a husband. But then with a verbal battle with her father, she gains permission to go. With four bodyguards, they head out on the sea toward her island. But then a huge storm along with a viking ship tears her ship apart, and she ends up the only survivor and washes up on shore. Then enters the hero, Darroc, who finds this woman, who is pale and injured, and takes her to his clan, and gives her the rest and healing she needs. From the first moment she wakes, there is a chemistry between Darroc and Arabella. Even though Darroc learns that she is the enemy’s daughter, he can’t deny his feelings for her, and knows that his heart belongs to Arabella from their first meeting and will fight to keep her at his side.

A Highlanders Temptation is a delightful story. I recently read the previous book in the series, which was Arabella’s sisters story. And I have had this one on my wish list ever since it became published. So I was super excited when I saw this one was finally available at my local library. So A Highlander’s Temptation is a sweet romance, and I read it under two hours (which is a record for me). I still can hardly believe that I could read that much, not skimming, and be so enthralled by this romance. The story begins with seeing Arabella’s start and Darroc’s start and a bit of a background. But not too much, since it picks up pretty quickly. Soon Arabella is in Darroc’s castle, and I was very amused by the beginning of their courting dance. Neither of them admits in the beginning how they feel about each other, but then Darroc just up and kisses her when neither of them expect it, and boy does things heat up. Even though there were only a few bedroom scenes, there was a bit of steam, but not over kill either. There was more of a focus on their relationship. I did feel like there should of been more focus on the relationship more. Most of the story seemed to be Darroc having avoidance issues (which was a bit humorous ), but once he got his butt in gear, their romance hit off and you start to really cheer for this couple. There is a bit of a magical element but not too much at all. Just a very light touch, to add character to the story.

The characters in this story were very riveting. There wasn’t anything super complicated to either one of them, in fact in was quite refreshing to have two characters that are more down to earth, and are willing to admit their feelings for each other. There was such a sweet feeling to Arabella and Darroc. Darroc is leader of his clan, and is looking for justice for his clan when they were raided viciously by Arabella’s grandfather. Darroc has many leader like attributes. He is confident, commanding, and his people are top priority until he meets Arabella. Arabella, is such a sweet heroine, so infectious you cant help but love her. Even though she isn’t as strong willed as is the norm, I found her endearing, and I couldn’t help but relate to her quite a bit. Arabella is innocent and strong in her desire to find a loving husband. I enjoyed seeing her growth in this story, and seeing how she gradually learns to fight for the man she loves. Their relationship isn’t full of roses and daises of course, there is some conflict, but this romance is a sweet story that you can just relax into.

Overall a extraordinary romance that will pull at your heart strings. Welfonder writes a beautiful highland romance that is a page turner and a story to captivate the heart. AMAZING!!

First Line 
“What do you mean you wish to see the Seal Isles?”

Favorite Quote 
He saw her as clearly as if he still stood staring down at her. As if it were only moments ago when she’d moved so sinuously against him, hotly entwined and firing his dreams in ways no other woman had ever done. 
She was a born siren.
She lay naked in his bed. 
Darroc shoved a hand through his hair, frowning. 
A man so long without a woman shouldn’t be presented with such temptation. 
A highlander never. 

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Warm

Other Books In Series 
Devil In A Kilt
Knight in my Bed
Bride of the Beast
Until The Knight Comes
Bride For A Knight

Book Review-What A Wicked Earl Wants

What A Wicked Earl Wants
The Sinful Scoundels (1)
Vicky Dreiling
Grand Central Publishing
Paperback
Published May 2013
408 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2287-3
Authors Website 

Synopsis
WILL A RAKE’S WICKED WAYSAndrew Carrington, Earl of Bellingham, believes in being a gentleman, whether it’s fishing a soggy stranger out of the Thames or assisting a fetching lady into his bed. If the stranger becomes a friend and the lady a mistress, all the better. He certainly welcomes the opportunity to help Laura Davenport, a dazzling young widow with a rebellious stepson. Her gratitude, he hopes, will take an amorous form. But from the moment he sets foot in her drawing room, he gets far more than he bargained for …

LEAD THE LADY ASTRAY?

It was a moment of desperation. On the brink of losing her stepson, Laura turned to the notorious Lord Bellingham for help. Suddenly she, a vicar’s daughter, is in the precarious position of resisting his tantalizing advances. How Bell earned his wicked reputation is clear; the surprise is how much more there is to him than the gossip sheets could possibly reveal. Now every moment with this dangerously desirable man puts Laura’s good name at risk-and promises pleasure unlike any she has ever known .

My Review 

Laura Davenport, a widow, has been raising her step son on her own for the last four years. Now he is seventeen and wanting to live a life in London. So she reluctantly agrees, and they head to London. Only her son, is starting to act rebelliously, and deceiving her left and right. Then Andrew Carrington, the Earl of Bellingham, steps in to help her out. Andrew, is looking for a mistress, when he sees a beautiful and enticing woman at a ball, he knows he has to have her. Laura is everything he desires and more, even though he has never sought after her type. Sweet, caring, and full of passion that is hidden, and even though she is a Vicar’s daughter, he is drawn to her. When Laura’s son is threatened to be taken away, he agrees to a fake engagement, in order to protect her and her son. Soon he is taking measures that he would never do, but the ice around his heart starts to melt. Even though he knows he can never marry her, he craves what could be, but is the love they share be enough to weather the storm ahead?

What A Wicked Earl Wants is the first in the Sinful Scoundrel Series. This is also the first time I have had a chance to read from this author. And all I can say is WOWZERS!!! I am beyond impressed with this author already and this is the first chance I have had to read from her. When I started reading this, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this author. I tend to get a bit nervous when trying a new author, even with stellar reviews and ratings, I don’t know what to expect. But after a few chapters I was enthralled by this authors storytelling that captivated my attention from the beginning, and I was hard pressed to put this book down. The story begins with Laura and Andrew meeting at a ball, where they have a instant eye connection, and from then on they are connected physically at first. As the story progresses further, you see that intimate connection they have, goes further to the emotional bond that connects them without either character fully realizing it.

The characters are endearing and magical and charming. Andrew, is a fine hero, I loved him from the beginning. He is a scoundrel and a rake, and loves all sorts of pleasure. But you also see signs that he has a past and not a good one. He protects his heart and emotions with a iron hand, and refuses to let anyone slip through let alone a small slip of a woman whose smile melts him and all of his reason. Laura is quite a fun heroine. I liked her immediately, even though she seemed a bit naive about her stepson behavior, but she is very passionate and strong willed, and I loved how she faces every situation with confidence and doesn’t shy away from the truth. She deal with Andrew quite admirably, doesn’t just jump into his bed because he kisses her senseless (which he does) but she doesn’t give in at the moment. She makes him work for it, and I enjoyed seeing this flirty dance these two were engaged in. Quite amusing at times.

The story was enchanting and full of fun characters, engaging plot, and twists and turns to keep you drawn into the story. A delightful romp that sizzles! A WINNER

First Line 
Andrew Carrington, the Earl of Bellingham, was on the hunt for a new mistress.

Favorite Quote 
“If I’d been gentlemanly, you wouldn’t have enjoyed it half as much.” 

My Grade 
4 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Warm

Other Books In Series 
A Season For Sin (.5)
What A Reckless Rogue Needs