Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008!!!

LOL, I'm happy with myself :) For once, this year, I'm not late...

I wish everyone a very

filled with love, good health, money and great books!!

I'm sorry I've been kind of absent... it wasn't in my plans. My plans were to blog till you guys got sick of seeing my posts when checking your google reader... but then, nothing ever goes according to plans :) but i'll be there, hopefully, starting from tomorrow... with tons of reviews! I've really been slacking on my reviews :( So that's what I'm going to be doing starting from tomorrow...

Also, me curious to know what you guys are doing tonight? LOL, cos me, I'm cleaning my room... finally... my messy room LOL :)

ps - my Duodecimal list is up at Sybil's blog - The Good, The BAd and The Unread :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

For once, I'm not late...

Hey everyone!!

how is it going? I'm not very good at this, but for once, I'm not too late :)

I wish everyone a....


I hope that you're having fun and that you're safe :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No more for 2007...

Hmmmm, guess where I went today?

If you said bookstore, you're right :) (Sorry, no prize - it was too easy to guess LOL) In my defense, I'll say that Chapters and Indigo are really going all out this year for their Holiday Season... They had a booklet with coupons (nothing really interesting except for a 25% off coupon on a book), also 20% off on one book if you buy over 40$... as well as all those mystery cards (you have to buy over 50$ in able to use them and usually get 5$ off) and for three days, they had a "buy 3 books, get the 4th book free" sale. Seriously, how can you NOT buy books?

So what did I get? The following...

- The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke
- Hello Doggy! by Elaine Fox
- Beware of Doug by Elaine Fox
- Guys and Dogs by Elaine Fox
- Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner
- California Demon by Julie Kenner
- Savor Me Slowly by Gena Showalter
- One Night With You by Nicole Jordan

I have to say, I'm very surprised and pleased this year that books are coming out early! I mean, The Wicked Ways of a Duke and Hello Doggy! were both supposed to come out after Christmas... Savor Me Slowly, in January 2008... so yep, me very happy... Also, The Wicked Ways of a Duke was the last new release that I was looking forward to... and so it's official, this was it for 2007... no more book buying for 2007 (except for manga!). Hopefully, I'll be able to stick to it :)

Aside from that, tomorrow is my last day... and after that, I get one week off! YAY YAY YAY! I'll try to catch up on my reviews during that week :) and some other stuff...

Oh and before leaving, here are pics of the snow we got! In about 2 weeks, we got almost a meter (100cm)... but you want to know what's the worst? Apparently, it's going to be 9 degrees C this Sunday and it's going to RAIN!!! Ugh, that means everything is going to freeze up after... No fun at all... and traffic has been insane lately! It seems like it's just going to get worst :(

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Catching up

Hello everyone!

I've been such a bad blogger!! Between normal life, renewed passion with wuxia novels (i.e. kung fu novels), snowstorms, reading and the holidays, oh and of course work, I have difficulty keeping up with everything. Either I post or blog hop, but I don't have time to do both as usual :(

So here I am, catching up... I had promised some reviews for yesterday, but since I didn't go to work, it didn't work out :( See, Sunday was our annual Christmas Gift Exchange... and we got a snowstorm... bleh... An additional 40cm of snow to the 40cm we got 2 weeks ago. Let me tell you, it's been a couple of years since I've seen SO MUCH SNOW. It's white everywhere and driving is hell. I'm presently stuck at work because there was too much traffic for me to go downtown to pick up my sis! I'll be posting pics of how it looks tomorrow or the day after... so anyway, I was one of the few that braved the weather and still went for our gift exchange. Out of 12, 5 made it... the exchange of gifts lasted 10 minutes LOL! Turns out that I picked M and M picked me... so we exchanged our gifts while the others watched us... very anti-climatic gift exchange... Then I stayed over at my friend's house because there was just no way I was going to make it back home. We played board games, Wii and watched a movie... and ate a lot. It was quite enjoyable. Sometimes it's for more fun when you're in small groups.

So I got Elijah last week... still haven't started it yet... and I got mail yesterday!! Blood Dreams and The Haunting of Josie, both by Kay Hooper!! :D I'm reading Blood Dreams right now and hoping I'll be done with it tonight. I also went to the bookstore today... See, everytime I get a package by mail, they give me a mystery card... basically, a mystery card is a card that contains 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 or 1000$... however, in order to use it, you have to buy over 50$... I've also had several coupons that I wanted to use... and so I went to buy books, even if I have too much of them. So I bought:

- Hot Mama by jennifer Estep
- Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas
- A Dangerous Beauty by Sophie Nash
- On the Loose by Tara Janzen
- Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara

and one more book... but I can't remember the title. Oh and also, the Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop... the new edition with the new covers... I just think they're sooo nice that I had to have them :D

My resolution for 2008, try to lower my book hauling ^^; I definitively have to start buying less books. But then, you never know LOL... I've been telling myself that many times... and it never seems to work. Sigh.

By the way, you remember my architect friend doing her master thesis? The one I've been helping? Well here are some additional pictures :D

See how ingenious you have to be to make some of the buildings! Seriously, some of them were really hard!

And here is the final product!

So what do you think? the last picture has her panel... cost her 100$ just to print it! It's hard to be a student... :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Books - yay!

Hey everyone :D

Quick likttle update to say that I'm still alive, but nothing much to say... work is boring, my reading is going slowly too... I did finish 2 books this week and am on my third one. I will try to review them on Monday...

Apparently, we are getting another snowstorm tomorrow :( another 30 to 40cm of snow!! Ames, I think that's your blizzard of Thursday! It's bad, because I'm supposed to have my annual Christmas Gift Exchange with my friends... hopefully, we'll make it back and forth.

Book-wise, I'm really happy though... because guess what i found yesterday at the bookstore? Elijah by Jacquelyn Franks! This book was supposed to come out on Dec. 26 if I'm not wrong!! So happy... also, guess what is in the mail, on the way to my house? The Haunting of Josie and Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper!! Yay!!! Those two are also early!! So seriously, me extremely happy.

So how's your week-end so far?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


It's Ames' b-day!! and for the celebration, I've borrowed her two babies! Unfortunately, I'm not very talented... but it's the feelings that count right? As for the quote, don't ask me, but ask Holly LOL :)

So Ames,



Monday, December 10, 2007

Being Sick Sucks!

Hi people :D

Yep, I'm still alive... luckily. I'm still sick, but I am feeling better. My throat and nose are almost all recovered... my throat is almost done hurting and my nose, not as stuffy anymore. Yay! So I'm at the last stage... where my body is kind of weak, my mind not that sharp and sweaty when I wake up... so being sick definitively sucks. I stayed home today and I'd like to do so tomorrow too, but I don't think I can :( I'd just like to recover all my energy before going back to work... but it doesn't seem like it's going to happen.

The worst is that there's a lot of havoc at work :( Lots of trouble btw some co-workers and my supervisor... so there's a lot of tension in the work atmosphere. Luckily, it's almost Christmas... sigh. I can't wait. By the way, the Indian girl at my work place that's on a contract - some of you will know who I'm talking about - is not getting her contract renewed. Sigh. So that is another problem too. It shouldn't be a problem... because we are not assured to be renewed at the end of the contract. The trouble is that knowing that she's not getting renewed and planning the year ahead (2008) and NOT TELLING HER. It just spells very unprofessional you know. By the way, the Christmas party on Friday? Boring. The food wasn't even that good and it was buffet style... so they were choosing tables to go to the buffet based on games. I mean, of course, you can't have so much ppl going at the buffet at once... but at the same time? You know. Ah well... it's in the past now.

I haven't been reading much... several reasons for it... I'm sick and tends to fall asleep. Also, I spent my whole week-end helping my friend with her model... I'll post pictures when she send them to me, but in my opinion, it won't be before Wednesday :P Deadline is tomorrow 5pm... and by that time, I can assure you she won't have slept for at least 48 hours :P Hard to be a student! :P Also, lately, I'm not sure which books to read... I have been re-reading Hikaru No Go again and again... but I still hope there'd be more to the manga. Finally, another reason I haven't been reading much is that I'm really in the mood for reading kung fu stories... from a particular author named Gu Long. See, those novels are in Chinese and they have been translated... the thing is that the translations aren't always great and accurate, but the worst, they're most of the time incomplete. So now I've found a website that has almost all of his work translated in viet - although I know that it sometimes differ from the Chinese version. My problem is that Gu Long is sometimes known to be depressive ^^; I've read some of his novels and wished to read the sequels, but at the same time, I'm afraid that reading his sequels will ruin the "endings" I had in mind. So it's a hard choice :(

So how was your week-end?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Book Binge contest - Christmas Meme

Okay, being sick has thrown off all my habits and rythm. But better now than never... hmmm, that doesn't sound right. ah well, don't pay attention to me, my brain isn't working that properly. Anyway, here is my entry for the...

So by now, you've probably seen so many entries of this contest... if you're still wondering why it's so popular, head towards Book Binge and you'll discover that the wonderful ladies at Book Binge are offering as the grand prize...

A new eBookwise eReader!

aren't they just wonderful and generous ladies?

Book Binge Christmas Contest

The Christmas Season is upon us and we have one burning question: Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Regardless of your answer, we are inviting our lovely readers a chance to win an eBookwise eReader!

All you have to do is answer a few simple (okay, 10) questions on your blog/journal and leave the link to your Meme in this post. If you don't have a blog or journal, you can email us your answers. The winner will be chosen on January 5th, so you can enter up until 11:59pm on January 4th.

Merry Christmas!


Casee, Holly, Isabel & Rowena

Christmas Meme: **My answers are quite boring and I guess that I don't have much Christmas spirit in me :( **

1. What is your favorite Christmas romance to re-read each year?

I have none ^^; Any recs?

2. What is your favorite Christmas movie/show?

Euh, none either ^^; When I was young, for me, Christmas vacation meant that I could rent chinese tv series... as a result, that's all I would watch.

3. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

Definitively gingerbread :D that is the best!

4. When do you start Christmas shopping?

Hmmm, usually the week before Christmas.

5. Do you re-gift?

Sometimes, but only chocolate or food. usually, those come from acquaintances and are re-gifted to acquaintances.

6. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Euh... jingle bells?

7. When do you get your Christmas tree?

We've stopped setting up a Christmas tree ever since my grandparents died.

8. Wrapping presents: Love it or hate it?

Love it!!!

9. Who is the hardest person to buy for?

My parents... but I guess my mother is the hardest.

10. Christmas tree: Real or artificial?



Don't forget to leave a comment on this post with a link to your blog for this Meme and urge all your readers who might participate to do the same. If we don't see the link, your name won't be entered. For those readers who don't have a blog of their own, you may answer the questions in the comment section here, or email us your answers.

The winner will be chosen at random on January 5th, and your prize will be mailed within a week after the winner emails us w/ their snail mail address. Because the prize is large, shipping will be regular ground, which may take longer than usual. Our Canadian readers may enter, but shipping will take even longer for them.

Unfortunately, our *international readers (besides Canada) can't enter. We apologize for this, but it can't be helped, as eBookwise isn't approved for sale outside of the U.S. and Canada. We emailed them, asking if we shipped one internationally if the user would be able to buy/download books, and were told it's against regulations for them to ship outside the U.S. or Canada. In addition, "the device will not work with wall current in many countries, may not be compatible with some foreign telephone systems, and shipping it outside the USA and Canada automatically voids the manufacturer's warranty".

So I'll kick off the Holidays Seasons with this post... and wish everyone Happy Holidays!! Anyone who's going on vacation soon?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lightning reviews I

*This was supposed to go up earlier this week... but I'm sick :( so it cut down my internet time a little bit :( I seriously hate being sick...

Okay, so let me try my hand at real lightening reviews :P I have a tendency to go off, so dunno if it's going to work LOL :)

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts
published by Jove in November 2007

Genre: parnormal romance
Series: Book 1 of Sign of Seven trilogy.

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed by the book, probably because I had high expectations. I believe that one of Nora Roberts strength is how well she writes relationships - siblings, parents/children, friends, etc... and she did very good with male bonding relationships in the Chesapeake trilogy... However, I thought that in this book, she was a bit off - love wise and friendship wise. The premise/idea is good though... however, I didn’t like the pacing – everything seems so rushed. For readers that want to know where this trilogy stands compared to the others, I think that this trilogy is more similar to the Key trilogy (with all the paranormal stuff, the guys vs. evil and having to stop it, their previous lives, etc.) than the Chesapeake trilogy. So if you did enjoy the Key trilogy, give a try...

Grade: none yet... I think I'm going to wait till the whole trilogy is out

Mouth to Mouth by Erin McCarthy
published by Brava in 2005 and 2007

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: None

I think Rosie nailed this down when she said that this book was cute and sexy. I thought that this was quite an enjoyable read and it's always fun for me to read about a character that is deaf, mute or blind... because they live life so differently. Lauren was cute and not annoying in claiming her independence. Russ was a great hero except for his inferiority complex because of money... I guess the only thing I'd have liked to see a bit more is how Sean, Russ' little brother, and Russ relationship changes... I thought that their issue was resolved too quickly, that it was too rushed.

Grade : B

California Holiday by Kate Cann
published by Avon in March 2005

Genre: YA, contemporary
Series: Beach series, Book #2

You know how some books are soooo good, you just have to blog about them? Well this book was just sooo bad that I have to rant about it. Usually, Avon is good at delivering romance. I mean, they're not all great, but at least, they are romance... So what went wrong with this book? Seriously, I don't consider this book a romance... First, the heroine wasn't even old enough to have a drink... Secondly, the hero - if we can call him like that, didn't appear before half-way through the book... and seriously, I didn't see much love btw the two of them. This is the story of Rowan who suddenly gets fed up with how her parents "idolized" her little brother, she decided to take a year off and be a nanny in the States (she comes from England). Once in the States, she turns into a nanny, baby-sitter and maid... she can't take it anymore so quits her job without notice (that was sooo irresponsible) and takes the iguana with her (they were going to put him down)... she runs into the hero and they start working at a hotel resort. Hero has a gf already... they were off, but now they're back together... so Rowan is waiting on the side... then, hero breaks it off with gf and get with Rowan... but he won't communicate... and when it seems that he's getting back with the gf, Rowan is fed up and takes off again... goes to Mexico where she can free the iguana... Hero runs after her. Ugh... bad, bad, bad book.

Grade: E

Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis
published by New American Library in November 2005

Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: None

I couldn't finish this book. I just didn't like the heroine, Mia Appleby. The lady is ashamed of her background and has done her best to become sophisticated and get away from the trailer park where she grew up. She has a high position job in advertising and men are only bed partners for her... So she sleeps with her new neighbor, Kevin McKnight - our hero, and then brushed him off. Then, whenever something didn't go well in her life - problem at work, never-seen teenage niece showing up at her doorstep, she'd used Kevin for sex.... and I hated it. Kevin was a great guy... but I just couldn't stand Mia.

Grade: DNF

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snow and buildings

Boy, we got some snow today! About 40cm of snow... which apparently, equal approximately to 15 inches. It started roughly around 2am in the morning and has snowed almost the whole day... It was definitively hellish this morning to get to work... it took me 4 HOURS to get in... I left at 6am and only got in at around 10ish... Let me tell you, 4 hours is very long when you need to go to the bathroom!!! What are women supposed to do when they are stuck in traffic with no exit? I was stuck on a stretch of the highway for 2 hours! Luckily, it provided me a good excuse to go home early and I did it in about an hour... Not bad when it usually takes me 45min. So basically, a very, very long day. Sigh.

My week-end was okay. As you've seen, I blogged LOL :D I also read the 23 volumes of Hikaru No Go all over again. I just love this series... Definitively in my top 3! Love it, love it, love it. It's also quite realistic in my opinion (okay, except for the ghost part)... since we follow Hikaru and his growth... You see him grow, makes new friends, changes, etc. If you're a fan of manga, you definitively want to give this series a try. It's basically about a young boy, Hikaru, who becomes haunted by a ghost, Fujiwara Sai (he's sooooo handsome!!). Sai lived a thousand years ago and was the emperor's go teacher. (Go is a boardgame where you have to construct territories and stuff like that... so lots of strategies involved). For some reason, he committed suicide, but still wants to play go. About 140 years ago, he haunted another young boy who became the best go player in history - Honinbo Shusaku; unfortunately, Shusaku died young and Sai still couldn't find the Hand of God... so he gets another chance with Hikaru... who doesn't know how to play. However, he learns how to... and also makes a great rival, Toya Akira... both chased each other (or more like Hikaru chases after Akira and Akira, after Sai)... and both embark on the path of a professional go player. I know that summarized like this, it sounds boring... but definitively give it a try! Manga has a way to make things that look boring into really interesting (eg: go, football, baking, etc.). Okay, so anyway, if you have a chance, give it a try :)

On Sunday, I went and help a friend... she's a student master in architecture and next week is her presentation... She needed help with her models... so I spent my day makes little buildings :D I did 24 of them!! but it was all the easy, square ones... My other friend came in a bit later and she did the roof tops. Here are some pics...

Afterwards, we went to eat Japanese as it was an acquaintance b-day. All in all, it was a nice week-end... I just didn't get to sleep that much :( Which might explain why I'm starting to get sick... my immune system is weakening and becoming more susceptible to my sis and dad's germs LOL :)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Books to look forward to in December

It's December already... scary no? And it's freaking cold!! Apparently, -15C tonight... which is nothing compared to other places... but still freezing. Also, we got snow... not too much, but we'll definitively be spending a white Christmas... especially with the amount of snow they are forecasting for tomorrow night (apparently 30cm, ugh). Not really looking forward to it...

Books are another story though. As you can see, November was a so-so month. Also, there weren't many books I was anticipating. December, however, is always a great month since it's Christmas... So here are the books I'm looking forward to:

Blood Dreams by Kay Hooper - Dec. 31 (Hardcover)
*I've already pre-ordered it LOL

This book was supposed to be released in July, but was pushed back in December. I really can't wait for it. It's the first book of the new Blood trilogy of the SCU (Special Crime Unit) by Kay Hooper. Apparently, this trilogy is going to be a bit different as in the plot of the three books are connected (as in, it's a continuous story). Definitively looking forward to it and I hope we'll see some previous characters. I know that Bishop is in it (duh)... and Hollis.

The Haunting of Josie by Kay Hooper - Dec. 26
*I've already pre-ordered it too :P

Another book by Kay Hooper. This is a re-print of one of her earlier works. I don't know much about this one to tell the truth... but to have the name of Kay Hooper on the cover is enough for me to look forward to it.

Elijah by Jacquelyn Franks - Dec. 25

This is the third book of the NightWalkers series featuring Elijah... This series focus mainly on demons, although there are other paranormal creatures. If I'm not wrong, the heroine is a werewolf... actually, the queen of werewolf. I enjoyed the first book (Jacob) very much - thought it was different... Gideon was an okay read... so I don't know what to expect from Elijah... however, the sneak peak at the end of Gideon was interesting :)

The Wicked Ways of A Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke - Dec. 26

This is an historical romance... 2nd book in the Bachelorette series, although I'm not sure if book 1 and 2 are connected. The back blurb is very cute and had made me very curious.
Once upon a time, there was a seamstress named Prudence who lived in a lodging house, worked very hard, and dreamed of a better life. Then she inherited a fortune, met a handsome duke, and fell in love. Her life was wonderful, and it seemed as if she was destined to live happily ever after.

Then she found out money can’t buy happiness, handsome dukes can also be wicked, lying scoundrels, and a broken heart hurts like hell. Will Prudence ever find true love and happiness? Will the wicked duke mend his ways? Will she take him back or kick him to the curb?
I've liked Laura Lee Guhrke historical romances so far, so I'm definitively looking forward to this one :P

Other books that are worth mentioning: Queen of Dragons by Shana Abe (Dec.26)... third book of the series. I'm actually not sure about this one. I liked the first book well enough (The Smoke Thief)... Dream Thief was okay... so I'm still undecided about Queen of Dragons. I guess I'm going to wait and see what are ppl's opinion of it first. Hello Doggy! by Elaine Fox (Dec.26) had a cute blurb... and Get A Clue by Jill Shalvis (Dec.25) is released in paperback format. I've heard good comment about this book.

So there you have it, the books I'm looking forward. January also looks like a promising month. So definitively some good reads in the future. Now, I'm wondering... these books are all coming out btw Christmas and New Year... is there any guarantee that I'll definitively find it in the bookstore on their release date? I sure hope so! I've already pre-ordered two books online... Blood Dreams because that way, I save a lot of money... and The Haunting of Josie because last time I pre-ordered a Kay Hooper, I received it almost 2 weeks in advance :P I hesitated buying Elijah and The Wicked Ways of a Duke... because these are coming out on Dec. 26... and you never know about mail btw Christmas and New Year... so there might be more chance for me to get my hand on them in the bookstore...

So there you have it :D Books that I'm looking forward to :D What about you?

November Reads

Okay, so quickly before I grab a shower and go to work :) Here is my list of books read for the month... quantity-wise, it was a good month... quality-wise, not so much. Lots of ups and downs.

So here we go for the list:

1) Not the Marrying Kind by Hailey North: C
2) Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson: B-/C+
It was funny, because these two books had basically the same plot...
3) The Séance by Heather Graham: B-
4) Sex & the Immortal Bad Boy by Stephanie Rowe: B
5) Can you Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella: C
6) Creation in Death by J.D. Robb: B+
7) Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas: B
8) The Marriage Lesson by Victoria Alexander: C-
9) If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl: D
10) Dark Need by Lynn Viehl: C
11) Cath a Mate by Gena Showalter: C+
12) Good Girls Don't by Kelley St.John: C+
13) California Holiday by Kate Cann: E (really bad book, I don't know why I finished it)
14) The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot: A-
15) Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot: B+
16) Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot: C-
17) Her Sexiest Mistake by Jill Shalvis: DNF
18) Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts: B
19) Mouth to Mouth by Erin McCarthy: B

So as you can se, a so-so month... although I managed to read 19 books. I'll try to review a few of them later tonight :D as well as come up with the books I'm looking forward for December :P

Thursday, November 29, 2007

End of the month and I want to blog!

Okay, I started this post yesterday (i.e Thursday)... and didn't get the chance to finish it! Man, my last post was Monday… and today is Friday. I swear, I was planning to blog yesterday and the day before and even the day before that... I don’t know what happened… it’s not as if time flew by that fast… (especially when you’re at work… especially when the work atmosphere is crappy). Well okay, today was a bit busy... but still. I want to blog!! (although, what I have to say might not be that interesting... but I know you'll still read it! LOL)

Anyway, I got Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts on Tuesday :D (I actually sneaked out of work around lunch hour…) I also bought: Two Weeks with a Stranger by Debra Mullins, Lord of Scoundrel by Loretta Chase, Take Me Home by I-don’t-know-the-author, Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards, Mouth to Mouth by Erin McCarthy and Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie. Not bad right?

I haven't done much this week except read and sleep... which I guess it's great LOL :) So it's already Friday... tomorrow is December! A new month! I hope it's going to be a great reading month LOL (as opposed to November - you'll see tomorrow in my monthly post). Cindy was wondering what books I was looking forward in December... that'll be a post coming very soon :D

Also, I've been slacking off a bit on my reviews :( So I think I'll have to start doing lightening reviews... my only problem with that is that it kind of sucks when you archive it :(

Anyway, all of this coming this week-end!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another week-end

Someone, tell me how come the week-end always goes by so fast, while the week days feel like eternity? It really is unfair. Not surprisingly, I didn’t want to wake up this morning and go to work. In the end, it wasn’t bad because my supervisor was absent! (yay!)

My week-end started off okay… I was very excited on Friday, because after checking online, I found out that every bookstore already had Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts in stock!! However, once I rushed to the bookstore after work, they told me they couldn’t sell the book to me, because it was not officially released yet. Hmmmm… Okay… Ames already warned me of that problem, because she got the same answer in 2 bookstores in Winnipeg… but I thought I would be safe, as I know that the bookstore I went usually put out the books a bit early (for example Mira/HQN books are always out about a week or two early… that’s also where I bought Count to Ten early and etc.). I guess Nora Roberts has now reached such a notorious level that they are now very strict on the release date (apparently, the bookstore could lose its license…) I didn’t give up though… I went to a second bookstore and look for a new and innocent employee… but still didn’t get the book :( So I’ll be rushing to the bookstore tomorrow again.

As for my week-end, very relaxing… and kind of boring. I mean, all I did was reading which in itself is not boring… however, that’s all I did :( So when you think about it, yes, it is kind of boring. Anyway, I didn’t read any new books, but actually spent time re-reading :) It was fun. The first book I re-read was Remember Me by Sharon Sala. Remember last week? I did a Top 3 of my favorite books by Sharon Sala… well I forgot to add Remember Me as an honorable mention is the story of Francesca and Clay LeGrand who are newly-weds. One rainy morning, Clay leaves for work and when he comes back, Frankie has disappeared. After two years of hell where the cops and people suspected Clay to have murdered Frankie and when he had to travel to different morgues throughout the country in order to identify corpse… Frankie suddenly shows up in bed as if nothing happened with no memory of the past two years. All the clues that Clay and Frankie have are the needle marks in her arm, the tattoo at her neck, a wad of money and a vague memory of an earthquake. This was definitively a great book, so read it if you have the chance.

Afterwards, I re-read the whole Chesapeake trilogy by Nora Roberts… Partly because Holly has just reviewed them at Book Binge, but also because I just recommended them to a friend. It’s also been a while since I last read them. Again, great books. This is definitively my favorite trilogy by Nora Roberts… I just love the relationship between the four brothers and NR is very good with family interaction and dynamics. Finally, I started Through A Crimson Veil by Patti O’Shea… another of my favorite.

As you can guess, cleaning and re-shelving didn’t really happen ^^; What a surprise! LOL I'm also trying to figure out my online orders and what books I'm going to buy in-store for December. I seriously can't wait till December... I've also gone through my book journal... this year is the first year I'm keeping track of what books I'm reading and when... Turns out that I've read about 160 books already this year (excluding January)­... I think that is great :D

... and I think that's it for now :D So how was your week-end? By the way, I've been meaning to, but keep forgetting: Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone! :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Review: The Boys series by Meg Cabot

Finally!! I have something to blog about LOL :) Unfortunately, probably everyone's off due to Thanksgiving... well except for us Canadians. Seriously, I can't wait till the week-end... and I have only what... hmmm, 7.5 hours of work left? My plans for the week-end? Cleaning my room and reshelving my books... Sounds familiar right? LOL :)

We had our first snow fall this year... which turned into freezing rain/ice. Ewwww. however, traffic wasn't too bad... at least for me :P I hope it all melts, but apparently, more freezing rain on Sunday :( The tree at the neighbor's house succombed under the weight :( Some big branches broke off and it kind of "split." so sad...

Anyway, onto my review now! November hasn't been a great reading month... every book turned out to be a meh reading, until I started reading the Boys series by Meg Cabot. I picked up the 3 books (The Boy Next Door, Boy Meets Girl and Every Boy's Got One) a few week ago at the McGill Bookfair... now, I remember buying Every Boy's Got One at the McGill Bookfair a few years back and not getting into it... However, the girls at Book Binge, especially Rowena, seem to have enjoyed Meg Cabot, so I decided to give her another chance... and I bought another copy of Every Boy's Got One because I didn't know what I did with the previous one.

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot
published by Avon in October 2002

Who is... The Boy Next Door? (Melissa Fuller desperately needs to know!) Is he really Max Friedlander, notoriously wild, famously self-centered fashion photographer-nephew of poor old comatose Mrs. Friedlander? (But he seems so nice!)

Has he come to relieve Mel of the burden of having to walk (or be walked by) Mrs. F's monster Great Dane, Paco -- so maybe she can start getting to work on time and maybe keep her job at the "New York Journal"?

He's not really trying to find out who assaulted his "aunt" in her own home and why, is he? All by himself? Isn't that a bit dangerous?

And how can one man be this gorgeous, funny, charming, fearless, sexy and mysterious? (And why the heck does he want Mel to call him "John"?)

Anyone with information, please e-mail -- and hurry... because she's headed for BIG trouble!
Although this book took me a few days to read, I really enjoyed it... which was a surprise :P See, the whole book is written in e-mail format, i.e. various ppl e-mailing each other. I didn't think I'd enjoy the format, but I did... a lot. It was such a riot to read all those e-mails. So basically, Mel's old neighbor is attacked in her appartment. Mel is a kind-hearted girl and decided to walk the Great Dane dog named Paco... but because of it, she's been getting in trouble (arriving late to work, missing outings with her best friend)... so Mel e-mails Mrs. F's nephew, notorious bad boy photographer Max to see if he'd dog-sit for his aunt. Max is not interested, but his aunt turns out to be a millionaire... so he doesn't want Mel to tell his aunt if she ever wakes up from her coma that her only relative wouldn't come rushing... so he sends in John Trent, his roomate in college who owns him a favor. John is instantly attracted to Mel and even moves in in Mrs. F's appartment... John and Mel fall in lust and in love, but there's just one problem... Mel thinks John is Max...

It was a very fun book, seriously. There's tons of secondary characters that meddles in our H/H's lives... best friends, co-workers, family and you don't just get to read e-mails from the H/H or to H/H... you have co-workers discussing whether Mel should have sex with John (that was hilarious), family wondering what the hell is John thinking/doing and etc. I really liked John, he's really a nice guy, the kind that cares. As for Mel, she was just soo cute. I think if you've never read Meg Cabot, this is a good starting point.

Grade: A-

Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot
published by Avon in 2004
Meet Kate Mackenzie. She:
- works for the T.O.D. (short for TyrannicalOffice Despot, also known as Amy Jenkins,Director of the Human Resources Divisionat the New York Journal)
- is sleeping on the couch because herboyfriend of ten years refuses to commit
- can’t find an affordable studio apartmentanywhere in New York City
- thinks things can’t get any worse.
They can. Because:
- the T.O.D. is making her fire the most popularemployee in the paper’s senior staff dining room
- that employee is now suing Kate for wrongfultermination, and
- now Kate has to give a deposition in front of Mitch Hertzog, the scion of one of Manhattan’s wealthiest law families,who embraces everything Kate most despises ... but also happens to have a nice smile and a killer bod.
The last thing anybody -- least of all Kate Mackenzie -- expects to findin a legal arbitration is love. But that’s the kind of thing that can happen when ... Boy Meets Girl.
This book was published about 2 years after The Boy Next Door and takes place in the same environment, the New York Journal, but in a different department, the HR department... I think that what happened is Ms. Cabot realized she had found a good recipe with The Boy Next Door and decided to re-use it... so again, the book is written in e-mail format with the addition of Kate's journal which gives more insight to the readers. Also, Kate and Mitchell remind me a lot of Mel and John. Kate is nice, kind and a bit klutzy while Mitchell is a bit of the black sheep in the family, he's also smart and rich. Although Boy Meets Girl is similar to The Boy Next Door, Ms. Cabot is able to make it different enough so the readers don't really mind. The storyline is also different enough for the readers to enjoy, what with Mitchell's dysfunctional family and Kate's ex who tries to win her back. Many characters from the previous book also make a come back which is always fun :) All in all, I also enjoyed this book very much... my only complaint about the book is that in the middle of it, there's a problem that arise btw Kate and Mitchell... and Kate was very stubborn about it. Seriously, are you going to let love passes by because he did a stupid mistake that he didn't even mean it? NO!!

Grade: B+

Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot
published by Avon in 2005

To: Jane Harris
Fr: Claire Harris
Re: You

Hi, honey! It's me, Mom. I know it's a big secret that your friend Holly and her boyfriend Mark are eloping in Italy, and that you and Mark's friend Cal Langdon (the handsome New York Journal reporter with the big book deal) are going, too, as their witnesses. But I just saw Holly's mother at the Kroger Sav-On, and I thought I'd warn you: She doesn't seem to like Mark very much at all. Just wanted to let you know.

PS I don't understand why you don't like that nice Cal Langdon! He seemed so smart when I saw him being interviewed on Charlie Rose. And so handsome!
PPS Don't forget to wear a sweater!

Cartoonist Jane Harris is delighted by the prospect of her first-ever trip to Europe. But it's hate at first sight for Jane and Cal Langdon, and neither is too happy at the prospect of sharing a villa with one another for a week—not even in the beautiful and picturesque Marches countryside. But when Holly and Mark's wedding plans hit a major snag that only Jane and Cal can repair, the two find themselves having to put aside their mutual dislike for one another in order to get their best friends on the road to wedded bliss—and end up on a road themselves ... one neither of them ever expected.
Usually, third time's the charm, but in this case... This is the book I bought a few years back at the McGill bookfair and the one that I wasn't able to finish... which is why I thought i wouldn't enjoy a e-mail format book. Although I finish it this time around, it just wasn't as good as the previous two installment. First of all, this book did contain e-mails, but there were also Cal's PDA notes and Jane's journal... I don't know, it just wasn't as fun to read their journals as it could have been, reading their emails... I thought there were too much of it too (the journals) and their emails were shorter and less funny :( Also, transporting the whole book in another country might not have been such a good idea, I think the storyline would have been better if they decided to elope in Vegas or something. I didn't really like Jane too much either, I thought she was a bit too idealist and also, self-centered. There's a lot of stuff that I thought was a bit over the top, but it still could have been okay... but the whole "Cal doesn't believe in love and marriage and thinks that Mark shouldn't marry Holly" became old very quickly and when Cal realized that he was in love with Jane and that suddenly, he was okay being in love and marriage was good for certain ppl... yeah, that, I didn't believe. It was too rushed... All in all, I didn't really like the H/H relationship (I mean, they spent their time arguing and there was no sweet moments btw the two really before the ending, so I can't figure how suddenly they are in love) and that really ruined the book for me.

Grade: C-

Although I didn't really enjoy the last book, I thought the first two were great. Light, entertaining and funny, they're just perfect to get you out of a slump. Also, although they are connected, they do stand alone very well :) So any other Meg Cabot I should try?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Top 3 of Sharon Sala

So, as I said in my previous post, I have been reading… but nothing great or screaming at me to review. Since I want to blog, but have nothing “new” to say, I’ve decided to revisit the “old.”

This is probably going to be an ongoing feature, but I haven't decided on the frequency of it. So what is this about? Basically, I’m going to list my 3 favorite books by one of my favorite author :D The goal is not only share my love of the books and the author, but also be able to discuss these books with people who have read them.

The first featured author is...

Sharon Sala

Sharon Sala is an author whose books I love and I’m always waiting for her new books impatiently. She also writes under the pen name of Dinah McCall and I love those too! She is the first author being featured, because I’ve been in the mood of re-reading her books lately LOL! This was all sparked by Casee’s review at Book Binge of Sharon Sala’s new book, Cut Throat. In her review, Casee said “Sharon Sala is one of those authors whose books I love for a reason I can't name.” This is also how I feel about Sharon Sala. However, once you start thinking about it, the answer is her writing style. Her writing is very fluid and easy to read and she has a good pace. She also doesn’t use an excess of words and doesn’t go into lengthy descriptions which is good for me. When it starts getting too long or repetitive, I tend to skim… However, I think that was set her from other authors is that she surprises her readers with the pacing of her books and also, she always adds surprising elements… When you expect her books to go from A to B, it actually goes even further and to C... when you think it starts at E and goes to F, it actually starts at C... it’s hard to explain without giving examples which includes spoilers… so you’ll have to take my words for it! LOL...

So here is my top 3:

3 – Sweet Baby
The book starts off with Victoria Lancaster, a gypsy photographer, returning home to her boyfriend Brett Hooker from an assignment. Brett is relieved that Tory is fine, but he’s also angry with her for taking off without saying goodbye or calling while she was away. They have been together for 3 years and although Brett loves Tory very much, he is starting to wonder if it’ll work out. How many more times can he be left behind? This time, Tory comes home plagued with nightmares from the past she doesn't remember... then Brett is shot and Tory's life is turned upside down.

2- Reunion
Gabriel Connor and his parents were in a tragic car accident, but only Gabriel survived. After a month in coma, Gabriel wakes up... but he has started hearing a voice... a voice asking him for help because he's lost. Micheal Travers is a family friend and is worried about Gabriel's welfare, so he asks the help of Laura Dane, a psychic. In addition to the voice, Gabriel starts "seeing" the serial murders by the Prince Charming... a man who leaves roses without thorns with his victims. The most shocking is that these murders are connected to Gabriel in a way he could never have expected or imagined...

1- Out of the Dark
Jade Cochrane should have had a wonderful childhood with a loving father... instead, when her mother left to join a cult, she took Jade along with her... condamning Jade to hell. Luckily, she was able to escape with Raphael and both had to live a life of constant fear... 20 years after Jade's disappearance, Sam Cochrane, her father, gets his first clue about the whereabouts of Jade and hires his good friend, Luke Kelly, to find her. Luke finds her easily and brings Jade and Raphael back to Sam... but Jade's past catches up to her, throwing her into a nightmare that's going to change her life again forever.

So these synopsis are mine... they're not the greatest, because I wanted to avoid spoilers... but these books are really great! Definitively heart-wrenching... I cried soooo much for each. I've just re-read them all in the past three days and even knowing the stories, I cried. The plots are unexpected as well as the pacing... the characters are great... strong and very interesting. If you haven't read it, try to get your hand on it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Increase in school fees in Quebec province

Nope, this is not going to be about books. I've been reading; however, no wowzer :( and no books that ask scream at me to be reviewed... so I didn't have much to say... till this evening.

This evening, I went to pick up my sister as usual; however, I got stuck in a street. Couldn't turn, couldn't back up, couldn't go forward. The cause? A student manifestation about the increase in school fees... I was a student a few years back, so I should feel sympathetic to the cause... instead, it just angers me sooo much! Let me give you some background... in the 60's, Quebec's government has frozen the school fees so they would not increase over the years... and so, they haven't for nearly 4 decades. On an average, a semester at any university in Quebec, for a Quebec resident, is 1,300$ CDN. This is the cheapest in Canada... hell, it's probably the cheapest in America!! What they plan is to increase the fees by 50$/semester for 5 years. Okay, at the end, it's going to be a total of 500$ and that'll be a bit under 2,000$/semester... and that's a lot for some ppl... I do understand that... but do you know what the students were manifesting about?!? What they wanted?


Okay, so now I'm going to contradict myself with some stuff I said in the past. In the past, I said that I felt that in America, we were buying our degrees. That because we were paying for our schooling, at the end, all you needed to do was pass your classes and you'd get your diploma. My complaint is that because we have to pay, I think that the quality of the education offered here is not as high as the countries with free schooling. Also, there is less competition in America... it should be considered as an advantage; however, because we know that we'll have our diploma at the end, we don't push ourselves as much. So that being said, I'm still realist... We are never going to get free schooling anywhere in America, Canada or Quebec. That makes manifesting for this cause useless and seriously, the students that were out there? Naive.

Even with the increase in fees, Quebec's universities will remain one of the most affordable and cheapest in Canada and America. Quit whining. Yes, it's going to cost you more... but the rest of Canada is already paying more NOW. Does that mean that Quebeckers won't be able to pay and make it, while the rest of Canada makes it? Are you saying that Quebeckers are this useless? I read an article earlier this year that said that Quebec and Canadian students were making approximately the same income and paid about the same rent and etc. So it just annoys me all the manifestations and revendications... and all their arguments. I don't think that more ppl will attend universities because of the free schooling. I mean, yes, those who can't afford it now will have a chance, but that doesn't mean universities are going to open their doors wide open. Similarly to Europe, there'll be more competition and you'll have to work real hard to stay in. So no, not more ppl will attend, just more ppl will have the chance...

So anyone has thoughts on this?

Monday, November 12, 2007

How do you balance your reading?

So I've been meaning to ask all of you this question, How do you balance your reading? I've started several posts on it, but each time, I ended up deleting it...

But before jumping in, I'd like to ask you how was your week-end? Mine was pretty relaxing as usual. Stayed home and read :D However, the reading wasn't great :( I read If Angels Burn and Dark Need from the Darkyn series by Lynn Viehl. This is another vampires series, a bit complicated to put into few words. Basically, these vampires were Templar Knights (?) that came back from their last Crusade with an affliction. Even if it's been 700+ years, they are quite set in the medieval's ways, i.e. they have a King (High Lord) and queen, kind of... and some Darkyns are given jardins (territories) to govern over and stuff like that... and they are fighting the Brethens (kind of religious league). Anyway, I gave a try to this series because I know that many really enjoy it, especially Rosie... However, I don't think that I'm going to be reading anymore of this series. It just didn't do it for me... I wasn't hooked at the end of the first book. I didn't like all the medieval court elements in the story, I didn't like the heroine... I didn't even know what Darkyns really are... their goals, their special abilities, etc. I read Dark Need because I already had it in my TBR pile and I'm actually glad I didn't buy more of the books.

I also started an Elizabeth Lowell, can't remember the title right now... It was a secret baby plot which I ended up skimming through. I'll try to go back and re-read it... Finally, I started Catch A Mate by Gena Showalter. I know Ames thought I've read it, but no... it's been sitting in my TBR pile for awhile... I think it was Chantal that recommended it to me... and I know Kris enjoyed it a lot. So far, it's okay. I like the idea and the dialogue... but the characters are annoying me just a little. They're really stubborn and their world entirely too black or white. To Jillian, all men are pigs interested in sex. I can understand how she came to this conclusion given her past experiences. My problem is she seems to think that women are perfect. Then enters Marcus who thinks the exact opposite, women would do anything for sex and men are the victims. I'm sorry, but seriously, nowadays, both sides cheat.. however, there are ppl that do not. Anyway, I'm half way through the book, still not finished... so let see how this book gets.

Okay, now back to the initial topic... How do you balance your reading?

See, lately, I've come to realize something about my reading... Ever since I've started blogging and keeping a book journal, I've been pushing myself very hard to read a lot of books... If i don't read this number of books, this is not a good week or a good month... Yeah, I'm very competitive by nature. The problem though is that it's taking away a bit of my enjoyment. I mean, I still love to read books and so on, but yeah, I could do without the pressure. Also, in my quest of reading as much books as possible, I haven't had much time for re-reads... which sucks. I mean, I have all those great books on my shelve for a reason right? So I could re-read them... Actually, I have been re-reading some of the books, but always the same. The last couple of months, I've been re-reading Demon Angel and Warprize a lot to get me out of slump ^^; Then, there's also my manga... it's been awhile since I've last re-read some series... but where am I going to find time to re-read them if I'm reading new books? Ugh. so yeah, that's my dilemma and I'm wondering how you guys are doing? Better than me?

Oh and last thing, I seriously should stop book binging... It's great to have lots of books, but I'm always bored of them after a couple of weeks. I mean, I look at my TBR pile and they just don't appeal to me anymore. Instead, I want to go buy new books or books I don't have... I guess they're more appealing when they are at the bookstore or UBS than in my TBR pile. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Review: Creation in Death by J.D.Robb

Wow! Can you believe that Creation in Death is the 25th novel in the series? And what's amazing is that the series just keeps getting better and better :D I mean some series have lost it after the 15th, the 10th or even the 5th book, especially the ones with the same H/H and more specifically, the ones where the heroines are involved in a love triangle... can't they just make up your mind?!? You look at those series and you think that the author should have ended it at this or that point... However, this is sooo not the case with the In Death series! I think this series has the potential to go on and on and on... although I'm a bit worried about how Ms Roberts is all going to end this... but this is another topic and let's move onto the review now.

Creation in Death by J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts
published in Hardcover by Putnam in November 2007
NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas keeps the streets of a near-future New York City safe in this extraordinary series. But even she makes mistakes, and is haunted by those she couldn't save-and the killers she couldn't capture. When the body of a young brunette is found in East River Park, artfully positioned and marked by signs of prolonged and painful torture, Eve is catapulted back to a case nine years earlier. The city was on edge from a killing spree that took the lives of four women in fifteen days, courtesy of a man the media tagged "The Groom"-because he put silver rings on the fingers of his victims.

When it turns out that the young brunette was employed by Eve's billionaire husband, Roarke, she brings him in on the case-a move that proves fitting when it becomes chillingly clear that the killer has made his attack personal. The victim was washed in products from a store Roarke owns, and laid out on a sheet his company manufactures.

With the Groom's monstrous return, Eve is determined to finish him once and for all. Familiar with his methods, Eve knows that he has already grabbed his next victim. Time is running out on another woman's life.

And chances are he's working up to the biggest challenge of his illustrious career-abducting a woman who will test his skills and who promises to give him days and days of pleasure before she dies: Eve.
Genre: romantic suspense, futuristic
Series: In Death series, Book #25

In the last book, Innocent in Death, Ms Roberts' focus was on Eve and Roarke's relationship which was long overdue in my opinon. In this book, the focus is back on the case, the investigation and little else. However, this case is completely different from any other cases from the past books... this case is special, because it's one that Eve and Feeney were not able to close 9 years ago.

The book starts with Eve looking forward to one or two days of rest as she is not on duty. However, she is called in as primary when the first body is found as everyone immediately recognizes the work of the Groom. Eve puts up a team and is determined to stop the Groom for good this time. They already know his M.O, they remember the faces of the previous victims and now, they have to find what they miss the last time in order to save the next victim.

I really enjoyed this book... After Innocent in Death which was a great success because of problems Eve and Roarke encounter in their marriage, I don't think that Eve and Roarke could just go to their normal life with a regular case... Innocent in Death needed to be followed up with a bang and as usual, Ms Roberts delivers.

As I mentioned, the case is different because it was unsolved. That in itself is really unusual in the In Death series. I know that in reality, not every case gets solved, but for ID fans, it’s the first time we see one that Eve worked on. The fact that 4 young brunettes were tortured for hours in made the case unforgettable, but that it continued in other places (Florida, Romania, etc.) after he walked away from New York, it just ate at everyone who was involved: Feeney, Eve, Morris, Dr. Mira, Dickhead and the commander. Also, for this case, Roarke was involved from the very beginning; he went to the morgue, assisted to meetings and worked at the police station (which was funny, given his past). All this makes this book stands out and makes it interesting.

Plot-wise, this book was excellent. The case was interesting and the murderer, unusual. The pacing of the book was very fast, but it contributed to the atmosphere of the story… it made the readers feel that the cops were doing something and how rushed they were as they raced against time to save the next victim. Emotionally, we do get some love and sweet scenes between Eve and Roarke, but the big show is provided by Feeney and Eve: the tension between them that the case has caused, the father-daughter relationship...

So fans of ID, Ms Roberts has done it again. She came up with a very good addition for the series… where you find all your favorite elements: Eve, Roarke, the good humor, the quick and witty comments, the interaction between characters and so on. If I had any complaints, it would be that 1) once again, Eve is a target and 2) although it works in the story very well, it seems to me Eve and her team got a bit too lucky.

Grade: Solid B+

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Review: Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole
published by Simon & Schuster in October 2007
Her breathless kiss haunts him.

Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed—until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive.

His slow, hot touch is irresistible.

Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It’s rumored that no one can tempt Bowen’s hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go.

No deed is too wicked for her seduction.
If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul—or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: The Immortals After Dark series, book #3

I wasn’t going to buy this book. Really. I read the first two books of the series, A Hunger Like no Other and No Rest for the Wicked, and I have to say something about them bothered me and I didn’t particularly like the main characters for both books… So there, I was going to stop another series. Then, I walked in the bookstore and saw this book almost two weeks before its release date! But no, I said, I was going to stop this series… till I glanced at the price, only 7.99$ Wow, that’s 2$ less than usual… and I also knew that some persons were really anticipating this book (ahem, Cindy) and that this book would be showing up on blogland... and that’s how I ended up buying it.

It was definitively a good buy. Although there are so many paranormal series out there, I liked the world that Ms Cole has created and think it is quite unique. Part of its uniqueness is due to the paranormal beings she chose which includes Valkyries (kind of like Amazon), elves and other creatures that we are less accustomed to see and also the fact that they are all immortals. Because of their immortality, many characters seem to not have adapted to the modern world and so, there is a very primitive feel to the books.

So onto Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night; the story actually overlaps with the timeline of No Rest for the Wicked, which is something unusual, but interesting. Our two main characters, Bowen MacRieve (a Lykae) and Mariketa (a witch) are participating to the Hie, some kind of supernatural Amazing Race. Bowen covets the final prize: a key that allows to go back in the past twice which he would use to go back in time and save his mate, while Mariketa wants to prove herself… See, Mariketa is the Awaited… Awaited for what, no one really knows, but she has incredible amount of power and is a witch of the 5 castes (kind of like branches such as healing branch, warrior branch, enchantment branch, etc.) which is really rare; however, she doesn’t have control over her magic and 99 out of 100 times she uses her magic, she ends up blowing thing. Thus, she wants to prove herself to her coven and her friends that she is worthy to be the Awaited one… The only problem is that the Hie is extremely dangerous, especially when you’re still mortal. See, Mariketa is only 23 years old and she hasn’t transitioned from mortal to immortal yet, but no one knows. So when Bowen traps her along with two demons and 3 elves in a Mayan temple, she’s in big trouble… especially from the incubi that have been jailed there for centuries.

I’m not going to go into more details about the plot although I want to. All I have to say is that I really enjoyed the book, especially the beginning. The storyline was interesting and clever. I also enjoyed the characters of this book a lot. We’ve already been introduced to Bowen in the previous book… he’s a bitter and violent Lykae, having lost his mate and all. He’s also ruthless, dominating, violent… and it works. I mean, I wouldn’t want him as my mate, but I understand where it comes from. First, he’s lykae… he’s also lost his mate and has lived hundreds of years of celibacy. However, we see him soften up a little throughout the book and I’ve come to like him. As for Mariketa, I really enjoyed her. She’s fun, witty and tough, but not too tough. She’s able to handle herself against Bowen, which, seriously, is admirable. Bowen and Mariketa match well also, even if they are very different, and their relationship is like a roller-coaster. Like Rosie said, seeing the issue of age (1400 y.o. vs. 23 y.o.) being addressed was also interesting... The secondary characters were well developped and recurring characters appeared, all without taking over the books.

My only complaint is when Bowen finally considers that perhaps Mariketa is his mate, he finally gives in and want to have sex with Mariketa... I found that part draggy. Also, I didn't really care for the sexual tension and sex scenes. I don't really like Ms Cole's sex scenes; I think it's because they also somehow feel primitive... not in a bad way, but just not my style. That aside, the beginning and ending of the book were strong with a good plot and characters, so it made up for it.

Grade: B+

Friday, November 02, 2007

October Reads and more new books

It's already November! I don't know whether I should be excited or not... All I know is that I'll have to wake up extra early tomorrow to go line up at Costco in order to change my tires into snow ones... Sigh. There goes my morning...

Anyway, this post isn't to complain, but to post my October reads! October was an okay month... I read 17 books which is good, but I'd have done without the mini-slumps. It's like I'll read a lot for a few days and then, would not know what to read and slump, then pick up the pace again to just slow down and so on. I'd rather read consistently throughout the month.

Okie, enough said:

- Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh (part of anthology Enchanted Season): B+
- The Serpent Bride by Elizabeth Hoyt: B
- Witch in the House by Jenna McKnight: C+
- The Highlander's Bride by Michele Sinclair: B+
- A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch: C
- You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister: B-
- There Goes the Bride by Lori Wilde: C
- Black Silk by Metsy Hingle: C
- Squeeze Play by Kate Angell: B
- Cut Throat by Sharon Sala: B
- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: A
- Secrets of a Proper Lady by Victoria Alexander: B
- No Holding Back by Liz Allison & Wendy Etherington: B
- The Lady in Question by Victoria Alexander: C
- January Chill by Rachel Lee: C+
- What a Lady Wants by Victoria Alexander: B+
- Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole: B+

Hmm, there's one or two more books that I've started, but did not finish, but that was more due to my mood than to the books, so I haven't included them. By the way, I have updated my archives :P So if you want to look for reviews, that's where to go...

To continue this post, I have a list of new books that I've bought on Wednesday. Seriously, after last week's book shopping, you'd really think that had enough books... but wrong! I blamed the MHIT Syndrome (Must-Have-It-Now) for it though. So I head out to buy Upon A Midnight Clear which is the new Dream-Hunter novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon and ended up going home with:

- Upon a Midnight Clear by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Touch of Evil by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
- Touch of Madness by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
- Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
- Not the Marrying Kind by Hailey North
- Sex & the Immortal Bad Boy by Stephanie Rowe
- The Seance by Heather Graham
- Warsworn and Warlord by Elizabeth Vaughan (I know, I have both of these already, but they're for keepsafe).

It was fun cruising through aisles and realizing that some publishers have already started lowering their CDN price :D By the way, anyone got Upon A Midnight Clear, the new Sherrilyn Kenyon... is it me or the font is huge in this book and it's actually pretty thin?

Ohhh... yesterday was November 1st and the launch of this new review site:

Basically it's a review site by authors... I don't want to go into the whole debate about authors being reviewers (i.e. are all the reviews going to be good even if the book wasn't that great and all), because Jane and Jayne have already allude to this topic in this post. The announcement caught my attention because the website was started and will be maintained by married-couple-authors Katherine Stone and Jack Chase. Mrs Katherine Stone is one of my favorite author, so when I read the announcement about this new site, it stucked in my head... Then I visited the website yesterday and I was actually pleasantly surprised to see review contributors such as Robyn Carr, Colleen Gleason, Lisa Kleypas, Karen Rose and Susan Andersen. I thought it was fun to read what my favorite authors thought of books I read... You should give it a try...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Review: There Goes the Bride by Lori Wilde

This book first caught my attention when I did my list of upcoming books back in last spring... Then, once it came out, I decided not to buy it. Lucky for me, because I won this over at Kristie's, during one of her "Guess the book" contest. So I thought I'd shared my opinion of it, especially since Kristie hasn't read it yet.

There Goes the Bride by Lori Wilde
published in June 2007 by Grand Central Publishing

Legend claims this antique Irish wedding veil can grant your heart's deepest desire.But be careful what you wish for...The moment Texas socialite Delaney Cartwright touches the veil, she knows she can't go through with her wedding.And it's not just because she envisions a stranger's dark eyes and irresistible lips the second her fingers hit lace.But she can't simply call the whole thing off.The nuptials to her nice, predictable childhood friend are the social event of the season (not to mention that her mother would freak).To fan the flames of this dying ember, Delaney abducts her fiance for a night of passion...and grabs the wrong guy!It isn't her fault that Detective Nick Vinetti of the oddly familiar eyes and lips has crossed her path--and looks game for all kinds of sexy fun.Now Delaney hatches an outrageous plan to get out of marrying:she'll hire her own kidnapper.With an altar to avoid and a cop to dream of, this runaway bride is hoping a little Irish magic will unveil the true destiny of her heart.
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Wedding Veil Wishes, Book #1

I don't really know what I was expecting when I read the back blurb of this book. I guess a little magic - because of the veil part, and a lot of romance. In the end, I get neither. Delaney is the rich heiress that is unsure of herself and is marrying her childhood friend - someone she knows well and who'll be a good match for her, even though their sexual life is less than exciting. At her friend's advice, Delaney attempts to spice up their sex life by "attacking" him at the end of his work day; however, she ends up jumping on the wrong guy, Nick. Both Delaney and Nick are attracted to each other, but they don't think they'll ever see each other again... till Nick's grandmother hires Delaney to stage her house. In the end, Delaney decides not to marry her fiance, but she doesn't have the guts to tell him or her parents and end up staging her own kidnapping... the only problem is that the kidnapper is not the one she hired. There was also a subplot about Delaney's parents - how her father feels he failed his family and her mother is not who she really is.

Okay, so my main problem was Delaney... I didn't like her. I think the author wanted the readers to feel sympathy for her and so Delaney was the ugly duckling turned swan and she also lost her older sister, which resulted in a more strict upbringing by her parents. Now, she's seeking her own happiness... I guess I dislike Delaney because she went with the motion and when she finally decided it was time to stand up, she didn't have the guts to do, i.e. confront her parents and fiance... instead, she staged her own kidnapping. She reminded me more of a little kid than an adult... and let's not talk about the fact that she "imagines" her dead sister. As a hero, Nick was so-so. He too is emotionally crippled: he married a woman who cheated on him during their honeymoon, he's also a cop who's on disability due to a bad knee and has recently lost his grandfather. Now that I'm typing this up, I find the setting of the book kind of depressing :P

Everything could have been saved with a good plot, but then, everything was too rushed. Too much time spent on settings and subplot, not enough on our two main characters. As a result, their attraction seemed unlikely. Also, the pacing of the book was weird... but at least, the author does save the book with the parents' subplot and interesting secondary characters/interactions.

It took me a while to pick up this book and finally, I did once I was in the mood for a contemporary romance... Personally, I don't think the veil had much to do with the storyline, except that it confirmed to Delaney that she shouldn't go through with the wedding. I'd had like something more focused on the romance btw Delaney and Nick... So for me, this book ended up being btw meh and okay.

Grade: C