Thursday, June 28, 2007

Medieval Dinner Theater videos and pictures

As promised, here are some pictures and videos of the medieval dinner theater :D Hope you guys enjoyed!!

Food is always important, so here was our supper :P I forgot to take a pic of the dessert ^^;
Oh, did anyone mention that we had NO ustensils? that we had to eat with our hands? That was fun :P LOL

Canadian Romance Blogger Meeting, part II

So I'll start this post with our arrival to Toronto :D

Ames and I arrive in Toronto, retrieve our luggages and are now standing in the airport, wondering how to get to the downtown area, where our hotel is :P We've already decided against renting a car and so we're standing at the airport, near those information computers, which by the way, are pretty useless... I'm thinking either the public transit or perhaps I shuttle bus, cos a cab is just going to cost us a fortune. Ames calls the information and asks what is the fastest way to get to downtown... and the person on the line answers subway... can I say: LIAR!! LOL

All right, so we have to get to a subway station... and so I ask the currency clerk which tells me I have to take a bus to the station. Fine. We find the bus stop... I look at the map, we're waiting. A bus arrives... it's not the one I was expecting, but according to the map, it should get us to Spadina station and that's fine with us... Next to us is a South American couple in the same situation... they ask the bus driver, and she tells them her last stop is Spadina station... Good :D We get on the bus... still in awe to really be in Toronto LOL :D But soon, I'm not feeling too good. Now, I usually fly on an empty stomach, because I don't want to get sick... I also suffer from motion sickness... so I was getting a bit dizzy and definitively wasn't feeling good... and the bus was stopping at every light!! After perhaps 45 minutes, we stop at this place... it looks like a huge bus stop (you know, those glass house where you wait for the bus when it rains and snows?), but I don't see anything else... tons of ppl suddenly get on the bus and the bus driver disappears for a couple of minute... I don't see any sign at all... and I'm pretty sure it wasn't Spadina station. So we sit and wait and once the bus driver comes back, our journey continues... only, the bus is now going in the direction we've just come from!!! At this point, I'm panicking a bit, because I'm definitively not feeling well... but i'm still optimistic and thinking, perhaps it'll turn soon... After two more stops, I ask the lady behind me where did we just stop... and she answers me Lawrence West Station... Quick look at our map and Lawrence West Station is indeed a subway station... Now, Spadina isn't Lawrence West... another bus stop... I turn twds Ames and I'm like: I want to get out of this bus, NOW! Let's just go back to that subway station... so we get down at the next stop... Just before getting down, Ames asks the bus driver about the subway station and she's all like: that's where we just were... I'm going back to the airport now!

Phew, good thing we decided to get down.... unfortunately, the South American couple was still on!! I hope they eventually got to downtown LOL

At this point, we were starving, so we stop at a Wendy's. Now, I've become addicted to Wendy's ever since I started my job... there's not many more Wendy's in the province of Quebec and I just love their baked potatoe... Unfortunately, I'm still not feeling really well... the chickenburger really tasted dry... so I pack my baked potatoe and figure I'd just eat it later... So we start walking to the station... and let me tell you, 4 bus stops is a long way! LOL :P so finally, we ended up getting on the bus again to go to the subway station... Once at the subway station, it was easy... Ames is really good with direction and we figured it out quite easily :D We finally arrived to Dundas and easily found our hotel :D No problem with check-in... So after probably 2h30-3h, we made it, we're in our hotel room!! And it only cost us 2.75$ each LOL :P

So at this point, we want to rest... perhaps a nap... we ended up reading a little bit, looking at our list of UBS, zapping through the TV channels... It's about 4h15 and I ask Ames if she wanted to go walk around a little bit. I'll try to make this story short, but see, my sister (Emilie) loves Lacoste (the crocodile brand). In Montreal, there was a 50% sale on everything except classic shirt on Saturday... my mom couldn't drive my sister to the store on Saturday and my sister wasn't too enthusiastic at the idea of going with my dad... (my dad's a sweetheart, but he's the type to go: just buy everything LOL :D and my sister is the type of girl who feels guilty after shopping because she spent too much money (well our parents' $$)). Anyway, so Emilie asked me if I could go look in Toronto if they had the same sale and if yes, if I could buy the shirts she wanted it. So she wrote down the address, open hours of the store and me, being a really nice and good sister, decides to look for it. Now, the store is on Bloor Street and our hotel is on Bay Street... if you walk straight on Bay, you're going to run into Bloor... easy right? Also, on our way to the hotel, we changed subway at Bloor Station which is only 2 stations away... it's not that far right? So up we go... and walk... and walk... and walk. God I swear, we were "next street, it's the next street for sure"! LOL :D Turns out Bloor street was almost 10 blocks away!!! So finally find the store and find the shirts and yes, there's the 50% sale on Saturday... Poor Ames, the face she made when I told her we had to come back the next day LOL!!

Now, Ames and I each had books we were looking for on this trip. Ames was looking for Wolf Tales IV, Velvet Glove (reprint by Emma Holly), Hidden Agendas by Lora Leigh, Sylvia Day's blacklist and Never Lie to a Lady by Liz Carlyle (the new one). As for me, I was looking for Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong, The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes by Anne Stuart, Jennifer Cruise and Eileen Dreyer, as well as Robyn Carr and Deborah Smith's backlists. So on our way to Bloor street, there's an Indigo!! Of course we went in! LOL :D My books weren't there, but I think Ames found Hidden Agendas... but that was it... also, there was the buy 3, get the 4th free sale, so Ames didn't buy anything...

Now, what goes up goes down right? LOL :P so after finding the Lacoste, it was time to go back to our hotel and this time, we walked along Bay Street. There was a couple of UBS on both sides of the street, but good girls we were, we only went in the ones on our side of the street LOL :D In ABC bookstore, Ames found 3 books! As for me, I abstained... knowing we would come back tomorrow with Cindy and Kristie.

On our way back, Ames gets a phone calls and it's almost 6pm, so we figured it was Kristie. However, when Ames answers, it hangs up. I look at my cell phone and I missed 2 phone calls! No! So I call Kristie and she says she would be late. That's fine, cos I think we were about 15 minutes away from the hotel... So we walked faster and got a glimpse at the World's Biggest Bookstore! Back at the hotel, one of us stayed in the lobby to wait for Kristie, while the other went to shower :P Ames was first... then we switched... and I was on my way to the elevator to go to the lobby, all clean and dressed up when I saw Ames and Kristie walking towards me! Greetings, hugs :) Kristie and Ames changed and we were back down, to get a cab. Poor Kristie... she really only had time to put her suitcase down, get the books out of her carry-on bag to show us what she brought LOL :D and change and we were on our way to the medieval dinner theater.

At the medieval dinner theater, we made it just in time :D Didn't have to wait around at all... also, got nice place in my opinion... and if you've read Kristie's post, you know that we had the Red Knight. I really thought he looked like Aragorn. I enjoyed it and was surprised that the food was this good LOL :) I got some videos of the horses, the joustings and the fighting that I will upload later tonight :D After the dinner theater, we went back to the hotel and lounge around with something to drink LOL :P I had apple juice ^^; very daring right? We got to our room and I think the Fifth element was playing on TV... I know Ames and Kristie were watching it, but I fell asleep in the middle of it. The last memory that I had of that night is Kristie asking Ames if they should take out my glasses... and me saying no, that I'd sleep with it LOL :P

In case you are curious, Ames brought three books with her on this trip :P Kristie had 6 I believe and I had 5 :P

Canadian Romance Blogger Meeting, part I

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Okay, a few things that make me go arghhh

1) Can someone confirm this with me: Did Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper's release date been pushed back? I thought it was coming out on July 31, 2007... but now, every website says Dec. 2007!!! that is insane! I can't wait that long for my Kay Hooper fix!!!

2) We had 4 power failures today within 3 hours at work... basically, I wasted my freaking day! :( I wish the company would just have let us go.

3) Anyone ever rent a car? I have a question... Ames and I rented a car in Toronto... So I signed a contract and all and we dropped off the car at the airport. I gave them the car, the keys... The guy at the airport says that my receipt will be mailed to me... Is that normal? I didn't have to sign anything... I'm just worried I've just been scammed ^^; and my credit card still hasn't been charged... just wondering...

Canadian Romance Blogger Meeting, part I

So let's start from the beginning, beginning, beginning :D

Once upon a time, Nath wanted to go on a trip, specifically, a romance convention where she would meet authors and get free books. Nath, who has been emailing Ames almost daily, asked if Ames wanted to go and she said yes.... Alas, Nath only knew of one convention and that was the RWA... Once Nath heard that the RWA was in Dallas this year from July 13 to 15, Nath decided that it was too expensive, too far, too hot and was way too lazy to organize such a trip LOL :P Also, unlike some lucky persons I know, Nath wouldn't have a press pass and started to wonder if the RWA was really worth it... since I heard you can only meet the authors on Friday...

All in all, the RWA sounded interesting, but I think it was still too big for me... so I asked Ames if instead, she would like to go to Toronto to bookshop... Now, I purposedly chose Toronto, because I knew Kristie, Cindy and Chantal lived nearby and so, the chances that they would join us would be greater :P Especially Cindy... LOL, yeah, I know, I'm kind of calculative ^^; but hey, it all work out for the best! So I emailed the girls and ask them if they wanted to meet and if this week-end was good with them. Once it was sure we could at least meet someone, I started going into major planning mode LOL :P

So orginally, the plan was for Ames to come to Montreal and then, we would drive down to Toronto... The problem was, my mom didn't want me to drive... She doesn't trust my driving skills that much and also, she's an over-worrier, just like me... So she put her foot down and said, "No, you're not driving Nath." I was going to try to convince her, but then, at my dad's work, one of his coop student drove down to TO with her family and got into a car accident... her father, uncle and a family friend died :( So there was no chance that I could convince my mom... So instead, I started looking at the alternative... and turned out that plane tickets were cheaper than train tickets!! By plane, it's only 1 hour... by train, it's about 5 to 6 hours... hmmm, the choice wasn't hard right? But then, I forgot to consider the airport taxes!! and man, that was almost 100$... Ah well, I guess time is money and money is time :P So finally, it was decided that Ames would join me on Wednesday night... we would visit Montreal on Thursday... fly to Toronto and bookshop like crazy... and we would fly home on Monday, me to Montreal and Ames to Winnipeg.

So Ames arrived to Montreal on Wednesday :D We both blogged about it a bit already... so I won't go into the details :D I'll leave it to Ames in case she wants to add something to it :D

So that's part I of the trip LOL :D I'll write part II tomorrow :D So stay tune!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Back from Toronto!

Hello everyone!!!

How have you been? So yeah, I made it home safely and all... and I think I'm going to be sore for the rest of the week LOL! My plane got to Montreal at around 18h35, but there was another plane at the terminal... so we had to wait another 10 minutes before we could get down... and it took forever for my suitcase full of books to make its way to the carousel! Finally, I got out and my parents had decided to go eat at the restaurant... so I really made it home only around 22h... I just finished a quick blog-hop... Sorry, I didn't comment though, because I'm quite exhausted :( I've also read what Cindy, Kristie and Chantal wrote about our trip :P so I can figure out what to write and not be too redundant right? LOL :P I'll try to post everything up tomorrow! Post about the trip and the pictures...

So talk to you all tomorrow!

ps - Ames, can't upload the pics tonight, because my batteries are still dead... I have to charge them :(

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Quickie post from Toronto :D

Hey ppl :)

just want to let everyone know that we (Ames, Kristie and I) are still alive :D We got to meet Cindy and Bob this morning and really had a blast at the World's biggest bookstore :D Everyone bought books :D so everyone was very happy :P but again, I have the biggest haul!

Still don't know what we're going to do later, but one thing is sure, we're going to have fun! We're at an internet cafe, so can't really post pictures... oh, and I have videos of the Medieval Times theater... or Red Knight was the best!! Yahoo!

All right, well my mind is going blank... so I'm going to stop here :P

talk to you all later :D

Thursday, June 21, 2007

One Year Blogniversary!

Hello everyone!

Remember that I mentioned that yesterday was a special day? Well guess what? Yep, it was my one year blogniversary!!

Can you imagine? One year! It sounds soooo long, but at the same time, soooo short... So long, because wow, I made it through one year... and so short, because man, in only one year, I made such good friends over blogland! And what greatest gift then to welcome Ames in my home exactly one year after I've started this whole adventure?!? LOL :P

For those who are wondering... it's awesome to meet a fellow blogger! I picked Ames up at around 9pm yesterday night... and we were just in time to go see the fireworks! See, Montreal has this international concours of fireworks... yesterday was Spain and it was amazing! I mean, although it takes place every year, I don't usually go watch them. Then, this morning, we went to the biodome and saw some animals (the monkeys were especially cute... and oh, penguin kisses!!!) and then, went to the old port... and finally shopping! There's a buy 3, get the 4th free sale at Chapters/Indigo!!! But we were good and came out empty hand... we're going to wait to get to Toronto! And hopefully then, they'll have the sale too!

Now, I'm dead tired... LOL :P

here is a little video of the fireworks... I don't know if you can see it well...

and oh, yeah, I'm not a murderer and Ames is still alive LOL!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Some updates on my messy room LOL

So, I was going to write this post yesterday, but guess what? Well yeah, I was too busy cleaning my room! It's almost done now :D I'd say close to 97%... all I need to do is vacuum once again, put away some clothes (probably directly in the laundry basket) and change the sheets :D

So want to see? Here was the state of my room when I came home yesterday (i.e. after Monday night cleaning):

Oups, I ust realized that I forgot to rotate some pictures... ah well, it doesn't matter LOL :)

and this is after yesterday's cleaning:

So, what do you think all? Of course, in the second picture... the socks are going to the luandry an I'll be folding the clothes from the basket... as for the tube in the third picture that look like a snake, that's the vacuum in case you're wondering :D

So, I did a good job right? My dad kept joking that it was going to storm because I was cleaning and vacuuming LOL

So Ames will be arriving tonight :D Yay *happy dance* we might go see the fireworks, I think the weather will be nice enough... I just hope to find a place though ^^;

Also, today is a special day... but I'll blog about it tonight, after Ames gets here!

oh, almost forgot! For those who are wondering, I'm feeling much better :P More energy... however, I'm hungry all the time LOL

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's a mess!!


sorry, I've been MIA :( No reason in particular except for 1) I haven't been reading much... I'm kind of in a mini-slump. 2) I've been dead tired... I have no idea why... At the beginning of the week, it was because of the weather... later in the week, it was laziness :( 3) my life has been boring... but it's about to get more exciting this week!

Anyway, my main problem is this:

My room is a mess!!!

How in the world will I have this clean up for Wednesday when Ames arrives?!?! Ames, I hope you're not expecting my room to be too clean :P I'm lucky, my mom hasn't been too angry at me, but it's sure to change if this is not cleaned up ASAP... but the worst, the worst is that my periods are killing me!! Argh!

So I thank everyone who was worried about me :) I'm okay... just, well, desperate LOL and in pain, grr. However, I'll try to review some books I've read this week...

So, what did you do this week-end?

I went shopping with my family... it was fun, but hot... and I saw Fantastic Four which I didn't really like...

Monday, June 11, 2007

My week-end

My week-end was pretty boring, but some stuff did happen :P

First, on Friday, my sister's school was evacuated. Basically, those girls were on the bus and got annoyed by a guy who said he'd come and reproduce the shooting that occurred at Dawson College... So the girls went to the administrators and told them of the threat and all students were evacuated. In the end, it was only false threats, but better to take it seriously. It's just sad though how shootings in schools have become frequent. You're really not safe at school anymore :(

Then, on Saturday, there was some bozo that climbed the Champlain bridge and sat there from noon to 6pm!! I don't know what he wanted, but come on... can you go sit somewhere else? See from the South Shore to Montreal island, there are 4 bridges and a tunnel... however, you still get traffic... so of course, with the bozo up there, they closed the Champlain bridge. It took me an hour to get to work and that was lucky it was the week-end! Apparently, it was taking ppl 90 minutes to leave the island to go back to the South Shore. Luckily, by the time I went home, the bozo has gotten down. This is the third or fourth time in the past 3-4 years. See another thing that's sad... I guess everytimes it happens, it gets so much media attention and so, people gets idea :(

Aside from that, I pretty much did nothing of my week-end. I watched tennis and yeah, Justine Henin won her 4th Roland Garros, her 3rd consecutive one :D She's really my favorite player, so I was rooting for her :P Yes, the match wasn't great, but still :P She won and that's all that matters no? LOL, at least for me :D Now, I hope she wins Wimbledon, the only title she's missing :P

I didn't read much this week-end... I didn't know which book to read and I'm also in the process of re-shelving my books, so my room was a mess. I decided instead to re-read some manga I had... So I started Hunter X Hunter. It's really an awesome series and very clever :P I wonder what is its status in Japan... it seems to me, it's been a long time a chapter hasn't been released... perhaps it's over?

And the rest of the time, I slept :P I don't know why, but I just slept. It always happens to me once in awhile, I just spend a week-end sleeping... I guess it's sleep I have to catch up.

So that was my week-end :D What about yours? I can't wait to hear about the Book Binge girls week-end, since they were all helping Holly to move :P

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Review: Her Scandalous Marriage and The Rogue's Bride by Leslie Lafoy

It seems to me that I have been reviewing historical novels the whole week and so I'll continue in that direction LOL :D

So I first discovered Leslie Lafoy through The Duke's Proposal which I thought was okay... the storyline was a bit weak, but at least, I was interested in characters of previous books. So I went out and bought them :P

Her Scandalous Marriage by Leslie Lafoy
published by St.Martin's Paperbacks in 2006

Caroline Turnbrigde's life is turned up side down when the new Duke of Ryland shows up at her dress shop. The previous Duke of Ryland, Caroline's father, has recently died and in order for Drayton McKenzie, the new Duke, to inherit all the money, he has to find the previous Duke's three illegetimate daughters, turn them into ladies and marry them off. At first, Caroline refuses, but then, she learns the existence of her two younger sisters and capitulated.
Drayton, a high-ranked soldier, never expected to become a duke or whatever and is quite frustrated with the new situation, especially the condition to inherit the money that he needs to restore the poorly neglected estates that his cousin, twice removed, has left him. In addition, Drayton wasn't born a peer and so he has no idea how to act as a duke... so his friends have come to his help... but worst of all, he has now gained three wards and is quickly falling in love with one of them.
My thoughts: Hmmm... I was quite disappointed with this book. I thought the beginning was quite interesting. The three wards are Caroline, Simone (14 y.o.) and Fiona (11 y.o.), all have different mothers, different age and has been raised in different situations. They come together and of course, they adapt to each other with some difficulties. What I thought was very interesting as well was Drayton, learning to be a duke. As a result, he really acted as a "prig" as Simone called him :P although it's not his real nature and it takes a while for Caroline to realize it. So the beginning ws well done and showed a lot of potential, but Ms Lafoy ruins it by falling into cliche and predictability. I think that Caroline and Drayton started being attracted/having sex too early in the novel... and then, bam, Drayton had the obligation of marrying her because they had an affair... and of course, Caroline refused and blablabla. Also, there's nothing new into taking three ugly ducklings and turning them into beautiful swans... and the ppl doing it are so annoying. So yeah, great premises, but that's all :(

And to be honest, I haven't finished the book, but I did skim mid-way to the end. However, for that reason, I'm not giving this book any grade.

The Rogue's Bride by Leslie Lafoy: 3.25/5
published by St.Martin's Paperbacks in 2006
Simone Turnbridge is the daughter of the previous Duke of Ryland and a prostitute. Having lived the first half of her life in a brothel situated in a questionable part of London, she has seen in all and knows it all. Now at 20 years old, she's making her debut in London's society - not because she wants to, but because her sister and brother-in-law have promised her own horse in exchange. Luckily for her, she will still meet the love of her life.

Tristan Townsend has just come back to London from America to assume his title of Marquis of Lockwood. In fact, Tristan never dreamt of becoming Marquis with two older brothers in line in front of her, but there it is and now, he has to look for a wife. After a few encounters, he has chosen Simone for whom he has quickly developed feelings... However, two problems appear: 1) an ex-lover from San Francisco claiming that she is pregnant with is child and most problematic of all, 2) his stepmother who has murdered his father and brothers for insurance money.
My thoughts: I think this book was the best out of the trilogy. I've enjoyed Simone a lot in Her Scandalous Marriage because of her attitude; very frank and bold. She hasn't changed much since the previous book... the only thing that bothered me was it seemed to me she wasn't comfortable in her family. She has things to hide and I found it unfortunate, especially given the past of the three sisters. Tristan was a typical historical romance hero and unfortunately, didn't stand out that much. I enjoyed the book, but I personally didn't understand why nobody was really in favor for Simone and Tristan's union. Tristan wasn't really a rake or if he was, he couldn't have built a reputation yet in London and then, he was only 10 years older than Simone... which is a normal age gap... So why? Also, I thought Tristan discovered his stepmother's involvement in the deaths a little too easily and worst, he still fell for it.

Well that's it for these two books :D I still have 1 historical romance novel to review and that's it for a while... I think I'm doing an overdose of the genre :P

Friday, June 08, 2007

Rene Lyons interview!

Hello everyone!

Twisted Kingdom has another interview with an author! This time, we had the luck to ask few questions to:


So rush to Twisted Kingdom to read more about this fabulous author and her Templar Vampires series!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Manga, storage and savings :D

LOL, it seems I have so much things to say this week :D I guess it's catching up from the previous weeks when I was so quiet :D

I think I did mention it in a previous post, but if not, it doesn't matter. Basically, I bought a box and a basket last week-end to store my books, because I have no more place for my books... which wasn't any news, but especially since my book shopping spree two weeks ago, I really don't have space. I basically have books everywhere: on the floor, on my desk, my nightstand, my computer desk, my bed... simply everywhere. So I thought I could put some of the books in the box which is quite big and nice... I think I can probably fit 100 books in it! :D I think... and the basket, well it's the same material as the box, so some kind of plastic/cardboard but with no cover... I'll take pictures so you guys know what I mean... I thought I'd put my TBR pile in it... Although turns out my TBR pile is bigger than I thought and doesn't fit all in it... Anyway, I really like the box and I'm thinking of buying some more of them... but 2 problems: i) where am I going to put the box? it doesn't fit under my bed ^^; and I have no place in the closet... and ii) which books am I going to store in the boxes?!?! See, you're talking to the person who doesn't want to put her books in the basement, because it's dark, humid and my books will lonely!! So I don't know... I was thinking perhaps all my historical books... but I don't have enough to fill the box... Then, I came up with another idea! I should buy smaller boxes (like some that I could fit under my bed) and store my manga collection! That would free up some space on the shelves and I could fit more books... LOL :P But then, which series to put in the box?

See my biggest problem with putting books in box is I'm afraid the books/ppl will believe that thee books in the box are no good and that's why I'm putting them away. But it's not true! I just don't have more space. I'm weird, I know.

By the way, speaking of manga... I went and bought some yesterday. I usually go to the manga store everytime one of the series I follow is released... but this time, I waited two or three weeks, because I was too busy or lazy to go. Then, some more series came out yesterday, so I was quite happy! And there was also some missing volumes for other series that I've decided to buy... Let's just say that I came out with 10 manga ^^; and one of my friend gave me 3 volumes that I've asked her to buy in France... So I guess now, I'm really up-to-date in my book buying! LOL... So no more manga and books buying for awhile... instead, box buying!

No seriously, I think I'm pretty saturated with books buying. I did go to Indigo yesterday and nothing drew my attention... which is good no? and I'm going to Toronto to buy books in two weeks, so better not buy anything now. I've also look for boxes at Indigo, but they didn't have any... so I guess I'll hit the other Indigo close to my house later today. Oh and you know, my I-rewards card is expiring this month... the i-rewards card cost 25$/year and with it, you save 10% of every books you buy in store and 5% online... which is a very good deal :P In the past, every year close to the renewal date, I'd get a letter saying that I'd save 5$ on my renewal of the card... so although the cashiers have been asking me every time I bought books in the past month if I want to renew my membership, I said no. Cos I wanted to wait for that letter... well it finally arrived yesterday! Youppi! And on top on the letter, it says how much you've saved this year... and I think it was Chantal who asked me if the I-rewards card was worth it? Well Chantal, I've told you that yes, it was worth it... but just to prove it to you :P This year, I've saved:


Awesome isn't it? That's about 30 books! So that means, I have 30 books on my shelves that I've actually didn't pay for! LOL :D But then, I don't want to know how much total I bought in order to save that much!

So that's all for now... I have to go do some work :D I'll definitively post a review later today :D

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Review: Guilty Pleasures and The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke

Hmmm, I think I've been reading a lot of historicals lately and I'm quite surprised. Seriously, I don't even remember where or when I heard from Laura Lee Guhrke ^^; but it must have been good things since I bought some of her books. Actually, I think I picked up The Marriage Bed at the bookstore on impulse and liked the black burb. Then I discovered that it was part of a series, so I was going wait to find the others. Well I only found Guilty Pleasures... but I went ahead and read the books after reading And then He Kissed Her, cos I enjoyed it, and Kookie's review for Guilty Pleasures.

Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke: 3.5/5
published by Avon in January 2004

When her father dies unexpectedly, Daphne Wade finds herself stranded in foreign lands with very little money. Her only way back to England is via a transport that Anthony Courtland, Duke of Tremore, has arranged for her father who was hired to help in the excavation going on at Anthony's estate. Thus, Daphne goes back and takes her father's place. All goes well, the work is interesting and even more, Daphne enjoys googling at Anthony's shirtless chest while he is working and is rapidly falling in love with him. That is until she hears of what Anthony thinks of her: an unattractive woman that looks like an insect, who is good at her work, but can't put two words together.

Hurt beyond belief, Daphne resigns from her job and take up Viola, Lady Hammond and Anthony's little siter, offer to go to London to enjoy society before looking for work as a governess. This infuriates Anthony since he needs her services and so starts the game of bargain and seduction to keep her with him.
My thoughts: I read this book after reading And Then He Kissed Her and I thought both storylines were very similar with both heroes being employers and falling in love with their employee. However, I think that And Then He Kissed Her was better and more enjoyable. It's not that Guilty Pleasures is bad, far from it, but there was something missing. I guess Anthony and Daphne's chemistry wasn't sparking. I do understand Anthony's disbelief at Daphne's love at first. I mean, the girl doesn't know Anthony at all, so how can she be in love with him. As for Daphne, I found it remarkable that she sets out to prove Anthony wrong, but I didn't like the way she did it. However, I do think it was a very enjoyable book and if you're tired of the typical historical romance, you should try it :D

The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke: 4.25/5
published by Avon in July 2005
Everyone in society knows not to sit Lady and Lord Hammond next to each other at a table... actually, if you could, it'd be even better not to invite them to the same event! However, what most do not know was that for Viola Courtland, it was love at first sight with John Hammond. She truly fell in love with him and they had an idyllic marriage... until she discovered that John did not love her, had married her for her dowry and kept his mistress during the courtship. Angry and humiliated, Viola kicked John out of their bed... After a year, John had turned to his mistresses to entertain himself and appease his needs.

Nine years later, John's best friend/cousin/heir has died from scarlet fever along with his son. Not willing to see his title of viscount be inherited by his other idiotic cousin, John needs an heir and so he comes back to Viola and now has to convince her to share their marriage bed once again.
My thoughts: Well, I really enjoyed this book! For once, I thought the storyline was very original and refreshing for a historical romance! :D John and Viola had a very interesting relationship, that's for sure :D Basically, Viola fell in love with John and married him. She was blissfully happy until she discovered that during their courtship, John still had a mistress and that he didn't mean the words when he told her "I love you." So for the past 9 years, they've been avoiding each other or arguing. Viola has had to put up with John's affairs and gossips, pity and insinuations from society. Despite everything, Viola is still very much in love with her husband.

As for John, well here is when it starts to get interesting. When John married Viola, he perhaps wasn't in love with her, but he liked her, appreciated her and enjoyed her a lot. He truly didn't understand what he did wrong for Viola to be angry at him... I'm pretty convinced that after marrying Viola and before their big fight, John has fallen in love with Viola and just didn't realize... Of course, being a man, he didn't go after Viola and after a year, started having affairs instead... which is another reason Viola was so angry at him. Anyhow, it was really a good book and it was very interesting to see how they were going to resolve their problems. Perhaps one complaint was that at one point, the story did got in circles instead of going forwards, but still, I enjoyed it :D I liked both characters and I think tha Viola was very strong. John was a bit dense, but he's a man so what do you expect? So yeah, I thought the book was quite original and refreshing :D

Hmm, I'm still looking for His Every Kisses... I'll probably order it soon :P
By the way, here is her website: here. Is it me or historical romance authors all have good websites :P

Twisted Kingdom's contest - Colleen Gleason

Just a little pimping here :D

You've enjoyed the Gardella Vampires Chronicles? You've just finished Rises the Night and can't wait to read book 3? Well, you'll definitively want to participate to Twisted Kingdom's new contest!

Yep, Colleen Gleason is back at Twisted Kingdom, this time as Author of the Month, and she has generously offered an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of The Bleeding Dusk aka book 3!!!!

Want to participate? Easy! You simply have to find somewhere other than a bookstore where Rises the Night is sold, take a picture and send it to Twisted_Kingdom_Blog at hotmail dot com. So for example, that somewhere could be a grocery, Waltmart, a drugstore, at the airport and so on. :D

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Julia Quinn debut novels

So last week, when I went crazy at the bookstore and bought too much books, I ended up buying many Julia Quinn's novels. Now, I'm not that huge of fan of historical romances and I never read Julia Quinn. However, this author has a good reputation and once I started reading the back blurbs of the novels, I couldn't put them back on the shelves! They all sound so good :D

So after a week, I've read three novels and if I'm not wrong, they were the debut novels of Julia Quinn:

Splendid: 3/5
published in 1995, re-released by Avon in 2003

Emma Dunster is an American heiress who is spending some time in England with her cousins. The day of her debut ball, she and her cousin, Anabella, sneak into the kitchen in maid outfit to help out, in order to avoid going over the tedious details of the ball. Emma goes out to buy eggs and ends up saving the nephew of Alexander Ridgely, Duke of Ashbourne, from being ran over.

Alexander has no intention of getting married and thus, has been avoiding balls and bashes like the plague. However, his interest in the maid who saved his nephew is too strong and he attends Lord Worth's ball and quickly realizes that Emma is no maid, but a lady. So starts the game of seduction between the two.
My thoughts: Hmmm, the story was okay. I mean, nothing very original, but well-written. The only thing that really annoyed me was Emma could be very stubborn sometimes. Not that it's bad, but in some circumstances, it can get on the reader's nerves. One of my favorite part was when her aunt, Lady Caroline, points out that Emma almost ruined her marriage of love simply because she's been stubborn. Otherwise, both characteres were enjoyable, but perhaps a bit too much.

Dancing at Midnight: 3.5/5
published in 1995, re-released by Avon in 2002
Lady Anabella Blydon is taking a break from the marriage mart. While her parents are in Italy and her brother at school, she has gone to her cousin, Emma,'s house for a little stay. One day, while reading under a tree, she meets Lord John Blackwood.

John Blackwood is the youngest son of an Earl and has received the title of Baron as a reward for his act of courage during the war, which he had to leave after an injury which left him with a permanent limp. Anabella and John quickly fall in love; however, their happiness is at risk with the return of John's old enemy...
My thoughts: I liked this book better I think. It was a little bit funnier and John wasn't as domineering as Alexander. I also prefer Belle who's more level-head than her cousin. Again, the story wasn't that original, but still enjoyable :)

Minx : 2.75/5
published in 1996, re-released by Avon in 2004

William Dunfor is Alexander and Belle's best friend. He has unexpectedly inherited a title and a property in Cornwell. There, he discovers that the land and property has been managed and run by Henrietta Barrett, aka Henry, a young girl who was a relative of the previous Baron's wife.

Henry has been running the estate ever since the death of her grandmother's cousin; the Baron being too busy to grieve. She loves the place and nobody knows it as well and so, she's afraid that the new lord will kick her out or marry her off. She comes up with a plan: if he doesn't like the place, he probably won't stay and so tries to make Dunford's stay as miserable as possible. The plan fails and both become friends instead, with Dunford reassurance that he won't kick her out. Their attraction is palpable, but everything goes awry once Dunford learns that Henry is actually his ward.
My thoughts: Quite frankly, I was looking forward to this book the most since I thought it had the most potential. However, I was disappointed. I thought the beginning was great and half-way through the book, it seems Ms Quinn wasn't sure how her characters should be or perhaps she changed her mind and the storyline became predictable and cliche. Dunford was a good character: gentleman and funny; however, I didnt' think he would care about society that much. As for Henry, she started out as a tomboy and then, became a lady... which I truthfully, didn't expect. I wished Henry would have been older and stronger... becoming a lady in my opinion, seems like a weakness. As if she couldn't hold her head high and didn't have a stronger backbone. Also, I thought that Ms Quinn took the easy way out with the huge misunderstanding. All in all, not that book was bad, just not as good as it could have been.

Verdict - Hmmm, so what to say? I know that these are her debut novels and there are quite good for a debut. My complaint is that it seems her main storyline wasn't developed enough or long enough to carry the entire novel and so she had to add intrigues and misunderstandings. Not that it's bad, but it didn't fit sometimes.

Otherwise, I'll definitively read more of Ms Quinn's books, starting with the ones I bought. However, Ms Quinn didn't impress me enough to be an auto-buy. Ms Quinn has a very strong voice and is one of the best in the historical romance genre; however, this genre is just not for me. I get bored quickly and I find most of the storylines redundant.

If you're interested, here is the link to her website: here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Review: Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

Sigh... yeah, I've been neglecting my blog.... not posting as much :( I have been reading, but actually, it's been more like skimming through the books :( I have difficulty focusing on what I'm reading :( so I hadn't really much to say... but now, now I have reviews! So I'll be trying to review books the whole week :D

By the way, in case you're wondering, I did buy more books this week-end. There was another 20% off this week-end, but I don't worry, I didn't buy that much :D Mainly just Demon Moon by Meljean Brooks and Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason. I also bought a big box, a bit like a chest, to store some of the books :P

So now, onto the review:

Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr: 4.0/5 --> B
published by Mira in May/June 2007

Brianna Savannah, a district attorney, has had a difficult year: she lost one of the most important trial of her career and failed to put a serial rapist behind the bars and her husband has left her for her best friend, after cheating on her for at least a year. However, her life is about to get even more difficult when the serial rapist comes back and brutally attacks and rapes her. Now, Brie has to put her life back together.

Luckily for her, MikeValenzuela is there. Mike is a decorated U.S. Marine reservist, LAPD officer who's been recently shot and almost died. Also a victim of a violent crime, he is able to help Brie get back her life.

Genre: contemporary romance, small-town story
Series: Virgin River trilogy, book 3

Review: I was really waiting for this book to come out and I thank Mira for publishing the three books a month apart from each other. I don't think I could have waited a year between the books. I like this book as well and thought it was a nice ending... although Ms Carr has opened the door for another sequel in my opinion. It is a bit an open ending.

The Characters - This book's focus is on Brie and Mike. We have met both characters in the previous books, both being loves one of Jack. Mike is now back on his two feet and healthy and has decided to live a relaxing life in Virgin River. He is then asked to become Virgin River's constable, a position he accepts. He's been interested in Brie for quite a while and when learning of her assault, rush to her side. Mike was described as a huge player in previous books and although he probably was, it doesn't show much in this book. Of course, he's smooth and charming, but I think that his accident really changed him and of course, there's not many available women in Virgin River. One thing that annoyed me was the fact that everyone associated his playboy-ness with his two failed marriages. In my opinions, Mike really wasn't at fault for the failed marriage...

As for Brie, I think she's a tough girl and I never doubt she would be able to get her life back. I have to admit that I liked her strength. What helped in enjoying the book is that I thought her whole ordeal was quite realistic. So yeah, not a kick-ass heroine, nor a TSTL one. Just a normal person with a very level head. That was quite refreshing LOL Of course, Mike and Brie had to share the spotlight with other characters. We do see Jack, Mel, Paige and Preacher again and if you enjoyed them in previous book, you will in this one too.

The Story & Writing - there are many storylines in this one, aside from Mike and Brie. There's Paige and Preacher trying to have a kid, Jack and Mel and their family life. There's also some new characters (Vanessa and Paul) and some intrigue concerning high schoolers. All in all, it was quite interesting :D I really liked the pacing as well and how Ms Carr blend all the storylines together. I wish she would write more :P

The Cover - Nice one and it fit with the rest of the series.

Am I keeping the book? definitively.

Anything else? I'm still looking for Down by the River which is part of Ms Carr other trilogy. I can't order it, it's not on, not on ebay... and if I buy a used copy from Amazon or Indigo/Chapters, it's 40$$$ at least! Can you imagine? I think I'm going to email the author and see if she doesn't own some extra copy she could sell me LOL :)

I'm sorry, the review is not the greatest. It seems to me I'm a bit rusty, probably haven't wrote that many reviews lately. Also, after Dancechica's post about rating (here), I think I'm going to go over my reviewing format :P