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

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

I got this from Sula (thank you very much Sula):

and I'm giving it to the following persons: Holly, Rosie, Kristie, Chantal and Jennie

I hope you have lots of fun today and that we all get lots of candies :P

Monday, October 29, 2007

My vacations are now officially over...


Yes, it's over. My week off is over and... sigh. Seriously, a week is not enough and it goes by way to fast. I didn't even get time to be bored with myself yet. So how did the rest of my vacations go? Very good :D

Thursday, I went to see my professor who was my supervisor during my Master. He was there! Yay! (I went on Wednesday, but he wasn't there, so I had to go again the next day). I also got to see some labmates that I haven't seen on Wednesday. You know, it's weird how the labmates I've seen on Wednesday didn't tell my prof about me coming to visit them. I don't know, it's something I would have told him... Of course, I was coming back the next day, but what if I didn't? So we caught up :) Also, he really boosted my ego and self-esteem, cos everytime I see him, he asks me if I want to do a PhD with him :D And you know how nowadays, it's quite difficult, cos you need apply to fellowships and grants on your own... and professors are reluctant to take you in unless you have any kind of fundings... but my professor was all "I'll find funding for you and no one is working on your project at the moment..." Seriously, that is rare to hear, that a prof will provided all the funding necessary... Funding was one of the main reason why I didn't do a PhD or even just a regular Master degree - I don't know, I have difficulty to sell myself or to beg for money... Of course, my professor is really good at getting fundings, but still... He's getting a new PhD or Post-doc student from Brezil and even that person was only accepted because he had a fellowship. So yeah, it was good to hear and personally, I really like my professor. Unfortunately, I don't think that I can go back to school :( My mind just doesn't want to. But really glad I went to see him :D

Friday was an okay day. I went out with my mom and we picked up my sis for lunch. She hasn't been in a great mood lately, because she has to study (midterm tonight). We went to a chinese restaurant (one my mom chose)... the food and service wasn't great... but at least, we got to spend some mother and daughters time. Then, we drove my sister back to school and my mom and I went to get a haircut :D I have to admit, I'm happy to have my hair short once again.

On Saturday, I work at the Fathers' place the whole day (from 8.30am to 9pm). People often ask me why I work there since I have a full-time job. I actually only work from 4.30pm to 9pm usually, although lately, I've been replacing my friend a lot. I grew up with my grandparents living right with us... so I guess I miss being around with old ppl. Also, they needed someone and no one was willing to do the Saturday evening... so in a way, I'm helping them out. Of course, the extra money doesn't hurt, but seriously, I work only 4.5hours/week so it's not a major issue. Of course, considering the stability of my full-time job, I think that having a job on the side is good, even if it doesn't pay much. Anyway, I like it there... but doing a full day like that, not as much :( But it's really fun to be around these old men... they were all missionaries in Afrika and even if now, most of them are 70y.o. and up, it's amazing how they are still autonomous and self-reliant.

Finally, Sunday was a quiet day. I stayed in bed and read What a Lady Wants by Victoria Alexander. Once I was done, I went grocery shopping, cos I was hosting a Wii party at my house. Then, I had to clean up my room a litte... My friends got here at 4pm except for Emily. Emily called me later and she was like: It's today? At your house? LOL :) it was sooo cute, she was so lost :P Anyway, in total we were 8... we finished most of the chips, carrots, dips and salsa... Then I ordered pizza... but seriously, I should have ordered more... well I'll know for the next time, right? 8 is really the perfect number to play Wii. Enough ppl to play and rotate and enough ppl to watch and laugh :D The party did end early though, since it was Sunday and most ppl had school or work the next day...

By the way, miscellaneous thing... we played at Brain Academy... and my brain weighs 1173g LOL :) and of course, I'm above average :P but seriously, I really liked that game... Otherwise, I suck at the others... and I hate trying to navigate a car or a spaceship or a submarine on a Wii... I just can't do it!

So how was your week-end all?

ps. first day of work after vacation is hell... seriously sucks. Not only it's hard to get back to work, but I did sooo many mistakes today... ugh.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

As I said in my previous post, I got this book because of DC's review even if I'm not a fan of Young Adult books. However, this one was really worth reading and I think very powerful.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
published by Penguin Young Reader Group in October 2007

Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, hell find out how he made the list.
This is not the typical novel that I read where two persons meet, fall in love and end up happy ever after. This is the story of a teenager who committed suicide and left a series of tapes to people who were involved in her life and contributed to her decision. Clay, the main character, wondered why she did it? Why did she leave these tapes behind? And I think that she wanted people to care... they didn't while she was alive, but I think that she hoped they finally would once she wasn't alive anymore.

I think that for a first novel, M. Asher really wrote something powerful and insightful. Just like DC, I was completely sucked in the book and could not put it down. We follow Clay's emotional journey as he listens all these tapes in one night. Right, only one night... so basically, this novel tells a story that is in the past and it doesn't go beyond that very much, but it's really a great book. I think that M. Asher captured high school life very well... which got me thinking... you know when kids are done with elementary school and they're ready to take their next step. They are usually so excited to go to high school... however, high school is actually scary. Really scary and it's so easy for everything in your world to go so wrong, just like it did for Hannah.

This novel doesn't preach, but it makes the readers think... and I think it captures the way teenagers think very well. I have no complaints about this book at all, except perhaps one thing... How old are they? The author says senior, junior and freshman... but because of where I've been to school (i.e. Quebec province), I'm really not familiar with these terms so I don't know what age correspond to them. But as I said, aside from it, I think this is a very good novel and I was so very sad for Hannah.

Grade: A

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My new books!!!

So, I was chatting with Ames and Holly and when I told them I bought books, their first question was: What did you buy?

LOL, I wasn't about to type up all the new books twice!! And then, I was so tired from transporting that box of books to the car, my arms, shoulders and back were hurting ^^;

Anyway, so here are my new books :D

From the bookstore

- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - I'm not a big fan of Young Adult novels, but I've been wanting this book ever since I've read DC's review. Ever since she reviewed it, I wanted to read it. It is a very good novel by the way.
- Immortals: The Gathering by Jennifer Ashley
- What a Lady Wants by Victoria Alexander
- Secrets of a Proper Lady by Victoria Alexander
- I think I Love You by Stephanie Bond
- No Holding Back by Liz Allison & Wendy Etherington
- Wicked Deeds on A Winter's Night by Kresley Cole

*Have you guys been wondering through a bookstore lately? Seriously, how difficult is it to find some new contemporary romance? I'm talking about straight contemporaries, not paranormal or romantic suspenses. Just straight contemporaries. There really aren't a lot out there.

From the McGill Bookfair

- Blue Willow by Deborah Smith (for Holly :)
- Rules of Engagement by Kathryn Caskie
- Prospect Street by Emilie Richards
- A Summer Affair by Susan Wiggs
- The Goodbye Summer by Patricia Gaffney
- Young Wives by Olivia Goldsmith
- Pearl Moon by Katherine Stone (a personal favorite of mine, for a friend)
- Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella (I got 2 copies, tradepaper back and HC... it was so cheap, I didn'T know which one I should buy... so I got both :P)
- The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
- Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot
- Boy Meet Girls by Meg Cabot
- The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot (those are because of Rowena, she's such a fan, I had to know why)
- Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern
- Brighid's Quest by P.C. Cast
- Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast
- Our Husband by Stephanie Bond
- The Butler did it by Kasey Michaels
- Homeport by Nora Roberts (my first NR and one of my favorite, for a friend)
- Seal Island by Kate Brallier
- The MacGregor Grooms by Nora Roberts
- Eden Burning by Elizabeth Lowell
- This Time Love by Elizabeth Lowell
- Nip, Tuck, Dead by Lori Avocato (wait a minute, do I have that book already? hmmm)
- The Parting Glass by Emilie Richards
- Tall, Dark & Hungry by Linsay Sands
- A January Chill by Rachel Lee
- Where Truth Lies by Christiane Heggan
- Hearts Divided - it's an anthology and I bought it for Katherine Stone :D
- O'Rourke's Bride by Barbara Dan
- The Waitress by Melissa Nathan
- Desperate Duchess by Eloisa James
- The Scoundrel by Lisa Plumley

*So what do you think of my finds? Authors that I saw the most at the bookfair were Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh... for my greatest surprise.

From the UBS

- A little bit Wicked by Victoria Alexander
- Lady in Question by Victoria Alexander
- The Pursuit of Marriage by Victoria Alexander
- Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare
- Sweet Release by Pamela Clare
- Lady Midnight by Amanda McCabe
- Merely the Groom by Rebecca Hagan Lee (I wanted the Gossamer, but couldn't find it)
- California Holiday by Kate Cann
- Grecian Holiday by Kate Cann
- Blooming All Over by Judith Arnold
- Love in Bloom's by Judith Arnold
- Name Dropping by Jane Heller
- Off Limits by Michelle Albert
- A Gentleman by Any Other Name by Kasey Michaels
- The Dangerous Debutante by Kasey Michaels
- Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan (I have this book, but I've been wanting a new copy for keepsafe and this one is in pristine condition!)

So, what do you think? Sorry, they're not in order :P Let me know if you've read any of this and if yes, what you've thought of it?

Have to run now :D Have a nice day all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

and the vacation continues!

LOL, do you really want to know what I've been doing? If yes, well keep on reading :)

Day 2 was a very quiet day. Basically, I've been having difficulties mustering interest twds my TBR pile and haven't been reading much. So I haven't been reading much lately... instead, I've been re-reading Loving Jack by Nora Roberts - this in my opinion is one of the best serious hero meets lively heroine and she thaws him out plot :) I've also re-read Vrigin River by Robyn Carr (loved this book LOL) and Now You See Her as well as Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard. I think those are my two favorites by this author :D

So basically, I lazed around, read and slept. It was a rainy day, not very nice weather. I still went downtown to pick up my sister - cos I'm nice LOL :) It was hellish to find a parking place though... ugh. Then I wondered around a little bit since I was early... bought myself an ice cream to cheer me up and window shopped... then, of course, stopped by the bookstore... and I didn't come home empty-handed LOL :) I'll make a list of my new books in the next post :P And that's about it :P

Day 3 - i,e. today - was much more exciting. It started early because I had to go downtown and wanted to miss traffic. Today was the McGill Bookfair at the downtown campus. Basically, the McGill Bookfair is a charity event: during the whole year, they accept book donations and during 2 days in October, they sell them. It started at 9am, so I wanted to be there early. I picked up my friend, cos she wanted to come with me, and also drove my sis to school. My friend and I went for breakfast then head to the bookfair. Ugh, I guess it doesn't matter at all how early you get there or not, there was a LOT of ppl present there already. I went through the books for about 2 hours... I was so tired afterwards (actually, still am). There were books on the tables and under and very little space btw the tables. The hardest was crouching down and looking through the boxes, having ppl stepping over/behind you and then, standing up again... with a tons of books in your arms! So final count? 28 or 29 books! The thing is I bought some books for friends too... so I'm not certain yet :P The worst though was to lug all the books back to my car! I had a box and had to transport it... by the end, my arms felt like jello!

Afterwards, I went to buy some manga and went to the lab where I did my internship.... however, my professor wasn't there!! So I have to go back tomorrow. So afterwards, my next stop was the UBS. I've been meaning to go this week so I could really laze around and explore, but after the bookfair, because well I didn't want to get the same book twice... Plus, books at the bookfair were cheaper... They were still holding the Buy 3 get the 4th Free sale :D So I ended up with 16.

Finally, I went to the video rental store and got my weekly fix of TVB shows. Went back to the Mcgill campus to pick up my sis, beat the traffic and got home... however, I'm exhausted now! Book shopping is really hard LOL :) but I think I'm done for the week!

I'll be listing my new books soon :D Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Day 1 of vacation!

hey everyone :D

man, even if it's been a few days, I miss blogging. My problem is that I haven't been reading much lately :( For some reason, I'm not interested by any books in my TBR pile. In addition, it seems I'm on a paranormal overdose :( Anyone has a suggestion? Holly has recommended Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. So I'll be looking out for it. I really want to go to the bookstore, but tomorrow is the McGill bookfair... I'm thinking I should stop myself, cos I mean, perhaps I'll find the same books at the bookfair for much cheaper... of course, I could always return the ones bought at the bookstore. Ah well, we'll see.

So what did I do on my first day of vacation? LOL :) Nothing really interesting. I cleaned my room and now I'm actually able to walk in it! Next step is going to be the closet... maybe :P and going through my books, but then, again, I'll be doing that after the bookfair... Do you think I have too much hopes for the bookfair? I have the feeling I'll end up being disappointed. Sigh.

Then, I brought my car to the garage for a check-up, oil change and a lavage. I went for professional lavage, because they have the really powerful vacuum cleaner + it smells so good afterwards... and it was really worth it! Also, the whole thing was cheaper than I expected. So I was quite happy.

I also went out with a friend... She actually picked me up at the garage and drove me back to pick up my car later in the afternoon... it work out really well because I don't like waiting for my car, but at the same time, I don't like having them driving me home... So we went for sushi :) I love Japanese lunch menu because their specials are really worth it! You get the miso soup, the salad, your lunch and ice cream for 10$ How cheap is that?!? Also, the food was excellent :D

All in all, a very nice first day of vacation. In addition, the weather was sooo nice! Sunny and about 22°C. It was hard to believe we are in October. Oh and I got Road to Hell by Jackie Kessler, the 2nd installment after Hell's Belle.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Review: Squeeze Play and Curve Ball by Kate Angell

I've recently discovered this author while I was looking for something funny to read. While her books aren't that funny and even if I have some issues with them, they are quite enjoyable and fun to read.

Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
published by Love Spell in June 2006

Risk Kincaid has just won the World Series with the Rogues from Richmond. Now, he's going back to his hometown of Frostproof where he's going to spend a month; first for the charity event organized by another baseball player and his childhood friend, Aaron Grayson, but also to spend time with Jacy Grayson. Jacy is a sassy and spirited woman who owns a coffee shop... and Risk thinks he is her rebound lover... Basically, Risk and Jacy became an item soon before Risk left to start his pro career and knowing the demands, he didn't want to commit to Jacy, but promised her he would be always there when she needed him most, i.e. when her heart got broken - which is how they first got together.
Genre: Contemporary romance, Sport romance (baseball)
Series: The Richmond Rogues series, Book #1

Why I got this book? I got and read Curve Ball first and enjoyed it... so I decided to get this one too.

My first impression: I enjoyed this book. Of course, it wasn't perfect, but it was quick and fun. My only problem with this book is there were three storylines: 1) Risk and Jacy, 2) Zen (another baseball player) and Stevie and 3) Aaron and Natalie, and we get to follow all three in the same book. In this one, it does work because all three players are here for the same reason and the book spans a short period of time... however, I'd rather follow only the main characters and their sex scenes, instead of all three couples.

The Characters: I really enjoyed all the characters except for Natalie and Aaron. Risk and Jacy were just perfect together... Risk is the mature ball player who's been a pro long enough and the fast and edgy life is no longer appealing. Instead, he wants to make his relationship with Jacy official. I think he came across as everything to the reader - lover, big brother and friend, as well as handsome and sexy man :) I like his protective and jealous side :) Jacy was fun. She's lively, likes colors and changes... think of new-age outside, without the new-age thinking. She knows Risk is a public face with a lot of groupies, but she's confident in herself, enough not to panic and run away. She's also building her courage to tell Risk the truth - that she loves him... and that all those break-ups she had were with imaginary boyfriends, and all she wanted was Risk.

As I said, we also follow Zen and Stevie's relationship and Aaron and Natalie. I liked Zen and Stevie... Zen was the serious type, the one that doesn't simply see the outside appearance of a person. Very logical man who falls in love - always fun :) Stevie always thought she would marry Aaron, but then get dumped without notice when Aaron announced his engagement to the very rich and spoiled Natalie. It doesn't help that Stevie has gained quite a lot of weight in the past year, ever since Aaron has been distancing himself from her. I liked Stevie, she was genuine... of course, she took the break-up hard, but Zen was there for her and she quickly got over him... Aaron and Natalie were my least favorite couple... basically, I think they are fake and phony and that Aaron is very stupid. I also didn't believe in Natalie's love for Aaron at the end. We're also introduced to the Bat Pack, three young ball players with a lot of powers... their job was to provide the comedy relief and they delivered :D

I guess that's pretty much it. I think that everything tied in quite well - the characters, their relationships to each other and the events/what is happening. Like I said, I just simply didn't like Aaron and Natalie and the fact that all three couples had sex scenes. I don't know, I prefer to follow one couple... I don't mind the knowledge of them having sex, but don't like to read about it. Of course, I don't think that everyone will mind that :P

Grade: B

Curve Ball by Kate Angell
published by Love Spell in August 2007
The Bat Pack are the bad boys of baseball and have always live fast and hard, but all this comes to an end when they actually fight with their new star pitcher on Media Day, just before the start of the season. As a result, they are being benched for 13 matches... and all have to find how to spend that time...
Genre: Contemporary romance, Sport romance (baseball)
Series: The Richmond Rogues, book #2

Why I got this book? I was looking for something funny. Someone recommend this to me at the used bookstore.

My first impressions: For some reason, I really liked this book... probably for the characters. I don't think that most of you will find it as enjoyable as much as I did. Again, we follow 3 couples. The three main guys were introduced in Squeeze Play, but I read that book afterwards... Unfortunately, I don't think that the author did as good as a job in this book intertwining the three relationships with the events. I guess it would have been better if each player had their own book, but all three books happened at the same time... understand what I mean?

1) Psycho (Cody McMillan) and Keely Douglas (his decorator): Psycho is the crazy one, the dangerous one, the one no one can predict... he's also a confirm nudist. In Squeeze Play, he was a funny PITA, but he comes across much more dangerous in this book. I liked him... as Keely says, "Mr. McMillan says and does what he pleases. He doesn't give a damn. That fascinates ppl." I totally agree :) As for Keely, she's the poor girl, fed up of small job and trying out as a decorator. It's kind of unbelievable that she pulled it off, but aside from that, I liked her. I guess because she can stand on her own and even say no to Psycho, without being too ass-kicking... Personally, I think they were my favorite couple... there's just something about Psycho :)

2) Romeo (Jesse Bellisaro) and Emerson Kent (a sport reporter): Romeo is the playboy, the one with way too many women buzzing around him. Emerson is a sport reporter and she intrigues Romeo, mainly by not falling at his feet. Basically, I don't have much to say about them, because I think this one was the most boring out of all three couples and their story was the most cliché...

3) Chaser (Chase Tallan) and Jen Reid: Jen is Chaser childhood friend and neighbour. Basically, they're still living next to each other and after a surprise kiss, sparks fly and they realized that the person they've been looking for was there all along. Seriously, who doesn't like the whole best friends turn lovers plot? The only problem was this was way, way, way too short. We were introduced to them, they kiss and then, didn't appear for awhile. Then, went on a couple of blind dates and realized that they want to be together, had sex and then, we didn't see them anymore, at all! I mean, come on... why write their story then?

So obviously, there were some problems; however, the book wasn't all that bad. The characters were fun and I enjoyed seeing professional players outside of sports. All the charity activities they participate in and their interaction, that I liked. Still, I'd have like them to have all their own books.

Grade: B-

ps. Anyone has read Ms Angell's previous books? They are not sport books, so I don't know if I'll enjoy them as much... so I want others' opinion :)


Isn't that an awesome word? Vacation! LOL

So I've talked about my situation at work in many posts, but let me recap: I'm working in a biotech company, in a lab. Basically, we're looking for a drug against cancer, but any other disease is good. I started this job in September 2006. At the time, I still had a semester left for my master degree, so when I was hired in the company, it was on a student contract for 4 months. They renewed my contract for January-April and then, renewed once again for April-August. However, those are 4 months, student contracts... and they always let you know about the renewal at the last minute... putting you under lots of stress.

During the summer, they told me they were going to give me a one-year contract... this meant some advantages and vacations... The one-year contract turned into a 2.5 months contract, because board of directors wanted to do a head count.

My current contract ends tomorrow...

So what's the deal this time? A 6 months contract with a ridiculous raise, but a raise nonetheless :) I'm okay - not happy or unhappy. Seriously, I was expecting another renewal and after New Year, I'm going to put myself into gear and seriously start looking for a permanent job. Seriously, I know that it's cheap for a company to hire on a contract-basis and also, we're not included in the head count, but I'm tired of the uncertitude and all. Also, it's not enough money... I manage to save money because I live with my parents, otherwise, I would have nothing in my saving account... but for now, it's okay...

However, best of news? VACATIONS! Well not real vacations - as in, I'm not going anywhere. Just one week off - no need to go to work. That definitively sounds like heaven! Basically, my real last vacation was spring break 2006... that's 1.5 + year already... so I really need that week off. I think it's going to be wonderful for me - both physically and mentally :D and you know what vacation means :) More time for blogging and reading! yay!

So basically, tomorrow is my last day of work! yay! I have to admit that I'm very ambitious for my week off, as I almost have plans for every day, but I don't care! So I'm really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

TV meme

Yesterday was Transformers' DVD release date. We don't have a big DVD collection contrarily to many ppl, but whenever we see a movie that we really enjoyed, we buy the dvd :P So we watched it yesterday night and it was great :D Really a good movie :) Now, my advice, buy the 2-discs edition, so you get the special features :) I think that the director is crazy LOL :)

anyway, the real topic of this post isn't Transformers, but a TV meme I was tagged for by Devonna :)

What are your top five favorite television shows when you were a kid?

1. Lady Oscar
2. The Smurfs (Les Schtroumphs)
3. Les Quatres filles du Dr. March (Little Women)
4. Passe-partout
5. Bibi et Genevieve

LOL, I bet most of you have never heard of some of this show :P Of course, as a kid, I didn't watch any shows in English. the cool thing is that they had a channel for kids shows and so that's what was showing the whole day. Cartoons and educational shows and exercises shows and so on. I think that kids tv shows in the past were better than today's though. Anyway, Lady Oscar and Little Women were both Japanese cartoon (at least, Lady Oscar... not sure about Little Women - it was drawn by Japaneses, but not sure if it was for North America/Europe or Japan). The Smurfs, I think everyone know those little blue creatures :D they were soo cool. Passe-Partout and Bibi et Genevieve were both shows produced in Quebec. Actually, Passe-Partout was a cult tv show for kids.

So here are the rules:

List your favorite 5 television shows from your childhood, name three more bloggers to do this meme, copy/paste these very short and sweet rules, and then leave said bloggers a comment letting them know you have tagged them!

I'm tagging DC, Holly and Chantal!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Review: A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch

Finally, I get to write some reviews :) Let me start with this one:

A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch
published by Avon Romance in October 2007

Samantha Jellicoe and Rick Addison have been together for a year and Rick is ready to propose to Sam, but fears she's not ready to commit and run off instead of saying yes. Meanwhile, Sam - who is bored of installing security cameras and systems - is looking for a several hundred years old samurai armor. See, this is a museum-lost-item retrieval job and if she gets it done, she'll get many more jobs which will give her the thrill and adrenalin that have been missing ever since she stopped her career as cat burglar.
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Sam and Rick, Book #4

Why I got this book: Because I read the first 3 books and I like cat burglar storyline. In addition, Casee's review at Book Binge made it sound better.

My first impressions? Many have in the past compared this series with the In Death series. Samantha and Rick are like Eve and Roarke in reverse... Rick and Roarke are both incredibly handsome, rich and speak with an accent. The difference is that Samantha is the one who has a criminal past instead. Anyway, I have to say that between this series and the In Death one, the In Death is better. See, the problem with this book was that Sam and Rick are still at the starting line... basically, I thought this book was boring.

The Characters: For those who haven't read the series so far, basically Sam was a cat burglar on the verge of retiring. She met Rick during one of her adventure, fell in love and completely retired... However, she misses the adrenalin and thrill of her previous job and this worries Rick. Also, many situations in the previous books had made it impossible for Sam to completely severe the ties with her past, to Rick's chagrin. Anyway, both are still working out their relationship. My problem is I don't really see a difference between the Sam from this book to book 1 and ditto with Rick. Sure, all their compromises are talked about, but seriously, when you really look at it, it feels empty. Deep down, Sam still wants to B&E, even if it's not to steal, just for thrill... and Rick gets angry as soon as she threatens to leave... and dang, he's never happy with whatever she decided to do. On the outside, they both look good and attractive, but on the inside, they're empty... and their chemistry is not great... it especially pales in comparison to Eve and Roarke. I know I shouldn't compare both series, since they're quite different, but it's quite hard not to... and I think most ppl would agree with me.

The Story: This book was busy... On one hand, you have Rick who wants to propose, but is afraid of how Sam will react. On the other, you have Sam trying to investigate the whereabouts of the samurai armor... and also, an anatomical man - requests from Rick's niece. I thought there were a lot blabla that could have been cut short. It just made the book seems so long. Overall, the plot wasn't bad... but it's the way it was written, made it sound long... and made it tedious to read.

One of the thing that annoyed me was Sam and Stoney, her fence, relationship. Stoney is like a surrogate father to Sam and when she retired, he retired too... the problem is that he doesn't enjoy his life, he doesn't like to work in the security business. Sam doesn't seem to care and I find she takes him for granted. Also, Rick doesn't like Stoney and can't stop making disapproving sounds. I find both Rick and Sam a bit too selfish. I mean, Stoney did give up his lifestyle in order to stay with Sam... at least, Rick and Sam could be more understanding.

Grade: C

I'm not sure about this series anymore. I haven't enjoyed the last couple of books, so I'm considering stopping it. Even if in the end, Sam agreed to marry Rick, I feel like their relationship is still going nowhere. I also have difficulties to read Suzanne Enoch's books... I don't know if it's her style or the font, but most book, I found it long to read and end up skipping a couple of pages, not even skimming... just skip.

Oh, and the cover, not very nice in my opinion. The pair of hands? Also, why the bracelet?

another week...

Hi everyone,

so this is another week... and how does it start? With me staying at home. Basically, it sucks. My week-end was great. Was able to read, ate good and went out with a friend. Everything went perfectly... until 1am this morning. I woke up and wasn't able to fall back asleep till 3am. Basically, I woke up with a lot of pain in my shoulders. Now, my shoulders are probably the weakest part of me... when I was young, my school bag was soo heavy, must have done something to my shoulders. Also, when I'm stressed, the burden sets there, on my shoulders... and for the couple past years, my left shoulder has been weird. Basically, whenever I rotate my shoulder, you can always HEAR the bones cracking and even feel it.

anyway, went to a clinic this morning and the doctor thinks it's just muscle pain. Tylenol or advil should do the trick. Well I hope so, sir... cos I really couldn't sleep last night. Just lying down in bed hurt. So I'm staying home today... trying to catch up on the sleep. It kind of sucks too, because now shouldn't be the time I take a sick day. See, my contract ends this Friday and still no word about renewal... sigh. Most probably, it'll happen, but I'd like to know for sure... but then, I don't think taking a sick day today is going to change anything to their decision. Anyway, if my contract is renewed, I'm on vacation next week :P YAY! if my contract is not renewed, I'm on extended vacation LOL :P

I'm going to go rest a little now, but I should be back with some reviews later today :D

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Desktop meme...

So this has been going around since yesterday on blogland... Hard not to be tagged ^^;

Here is my home desktop:

It's a characters from the manga called Naruto :P that's usually what I have as my desktop - wallpapers made from manga :)

So here is how you play:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun. You can do a screen capture by going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key). Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

DC, Jennie, Casee, Renée and Kat

D. Add your name to this list of Free Viewers with a link pointing directly to your Desktop Free View post to promote it to succeeding participants.

The list of Free Viewers so far is:

* iRonnie - I Set No Corner
* Thess - Thesserie
* Rebecca - Skippy Heart
* Knoizki - A Dialogue With K
* Beng - Kauderwelch
* Tina- My Good Finds
* Rachel - Heart of Rachel
* Alice - Hello, My Name Is Alice
* Julia - Julia's Books Corner!
* Darla - Nichtszusagen
* Marg - Reading Adventures
* Holly - What Were You Expecting
* Ames - Thrifty Reader
* Cindy - Nocturnal Wonderings
* Devonna - Good Reads
* Isabel - All About Me
* Kristie - Ramblings on Romance, etc., etc.
* Rosie - Nobody asked me...
* Wendy - Super Librarian
* Nath - natuschan - books, books and more books

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Guest blogging over at...

Hey everyone :D

I don't have much to say... having read only short story this month - how sad is that? Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that it's my turn to be guest blogging this week over at Book Binge :D My topic is Foreign Languages in Novels and I'd like to know what you think of it :D

Have a nice day all :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My poor long week-end...

Seriously, this is the last time I'm making plans for the week-end... because when you go back to work and you look back at your week-end, you just feel empty. I really wanted to blog, but I had nothing to say... and also, my energy level was sooo low... On a scale from 1 to 10, I think I was at 1 :(

My week-end turned out to be more busy than I thought, less relaxing and with a lot of food. See, it was my sis' b-day on Saturday, so after work on Friday, I rushed out to buy her gifts. I bought her Police Academy movies collection - those are really so silly and hilarious, 7th Heaven season 4 and another tv show boxset. My sister sure loves her tv shows. It's a bit like me with my books.

On Saturday, she had friends over... and I "helped" her cleaning. Actually, not really. I figure when I have my friends over, I do all the cleaning... so she could do the same ^^; Seriously, the past couple of week-ends, all I've been wanting to do is stay in bed and read. So didn't feel like helping her cleaning... and then, gosh, I had to drive her to the grocery so she could get some bread, chips and juice. Did I mention me not wanting to get out of bed? Then, once I got from home from work, well her friends were all there. I hung out with them a little, but in the end, went to bed and slept. Since she had her friends on Saturday, we were going to eat out as a family to celebrate her b-day on Sunday... the thing is, this week-end is also the week-end when my grandfather passed away 6 years ago - well according to the lunar calendar. According to regular calendar, i.e. Oct.15, is next week. Long story short, we commemorate that day each year... so that meant that on Sunday, we had to go to the temple to pray. Now, my parents do a lot of volunteering work for the temple and so every week-end, they cart bags of food to the temple... My sister and me? we only go when there are big celebrations or on commemoration days. Even then, we only show up and then go home... However, surprise, surprise, my uncle from Quebec city showed up. So at 9h45, we head out to go grocery shopping with him (chinese/vietnamese ingredients are way cheaper where I live than where he lives, so he always stock up when he comes visit). While we're shopping, my mom calls... she forgot the rice at home. This is the 2nd week-end in a row where she forgets something at home. I swear, next week, she's making a list and she'll have to check out every item before leaving. So we go back home, get the rice and finally get to the temple... where we have to help out. No slipping away this week. At least, we didn't have to stay and eat (yeah, we eat at the temple... vegetarian food)... Later that evening, we went out to the chinese restaurant. Great as usual... except everyone seemed down or low on energy. As usual, we ordered too much food and went home with 5 boxes ^^; (my uncle took back the last box containing the bbq duck).

Then, yesterday, my mom made lots of food to pray to my grandfather. Can I say I spent the day eating? Sigh. And there's still a lot more left. So I'll be eating left-overs for the next coming days.

What annoys me the most however is that I haven't read much :( Sure, I re-read Warprize, Slave to Sensation and Caressed by Ice, but I didn't get the chance to read any "new" books. It's also my mood :( I've started Demon's Kiss by Eve Silver and put it down... just couldn't get into it... and I've also started a new book, but I can't remember the title. It definitively sucks when you're not into the mood of reading. It took me a week to finish You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister. Sigh.

hopefully, this week will be better.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Review: Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh

Okay, so I got An Enchanted Season on Monday... and we all know or can guess why I got this anthology right? Nalini Singh. So far, I've only read her story, Beat of Temptation, and thought I'd reviewed it :D

Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh
published as part of the anthology An Enchanted Season, by Berkley in October 2007

Young Tamsyn has always held a special place in her heart for her powerful fellow pack-member Nate. But as a dominant male leopard in the pack, the more experienced Nate doesn’t want to trap Tamsyn into the fierce demands of the mating bond—a bond driven by the animal within—when she’s hardly had the chance to grow into a woman. But Tamsyn knows what she wants for Christmas, and she’s going to get it...
Genre: paranormal romance, shapeshifters
Series: Psy/Changeling world, Book #0.5

We've all complained at one point or another how we find novella/short story unsatisfying, because they are too short... However, this sure is not the case with Beat of Temptation. Ms Singh took a clever approach when writing this novella. Instead of writing the story of new characters that need to fall in love, she went back and explored how it all begin between Tamsyn and Nathan. I say clever because 1) we all know what/how they are in the future and so, Ms Singh doesn't have to wrap it up and 2) those who won't read this novella won't miss anything needed for the further development of the series.

Those who have read Slave to Sensation all know and remember Tamsyn, the Dark River healer, and her mate Nathan, who's also a sentinel. Nathan is 10 years older than Tamsyn and has been holding off from completing the mating dance, because he wants Tamsyn to enjoy her freedom. He also doesn't want to suffocate her in this demanding relationship, because he's seen what can happen... and it's not always HEA. However, completing the mating dance is what Tamsyn wants and needs. As a result, she takes the matter into her hands... Okay, I almost just repeated the book blurb :P

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story :D Yes, it was short, but everything was covered - Tamsyn's feelings, Nathan's reasoning - and I can't really think of what Ms Singh could have added to the story. The story focused on Tamsyn and Nathan and their relationship and there was nothing really complicated. I personally enjoyed seeing young Tamsyn and Nathan, not that they are much different from the ones we know already... With this novella, you really see the effects of a fullfilling mate bond have on two persons. It also shed some lights on the mating bond... it's not automatic (as in recognizable at first sight) and although you feel attracted to each other or lust for each other, it doesn't guarantee happiness.

What else to say? I really liked Tamsyn and Nathan... Tamsyn is strong and has a backbone. She's also young and vulnerable and inexperiment. She's still young in many ways, but that didn't make her stupid. Nathan was just very alpha :D I also liked reading about a younger version of Lucas and Dorian and also, at a time when Dark River pack wasn't as strong. It actually would be very interesting to learn how Dark River got some prominent in such a short time.

There is a light storyline with a Psy, but it wasn't developed too much. The way it was handled though, didn't make it seem too superfluous. I'm even wondering if this Psy wouldn't appear again in the future.

In the end, I was very satisfied with this novella :D However, it did raise 2 questiosn: 1) How many shapeshifter races are there and if they all live as a pack? So far, I'm aware of wolves, leopards, wild cats, deers, hyenas, horses, eagles... are there marine species... Although, in the ideal world, Ms Singh shouldn't explore all of them too much (like Ms Marjorie M. Liu)... and 2) how long do these shapeshifters live?

Despite those two questions, I'm giving this book a B+ :)

Also, a little more book pimping for Ms Singh... Many have read Caressed by Ice and enjoyed it greatly. So here's some info about the next book, Mine to Posess:

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.

Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life--the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows...

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.
This book comes out in February and already, I can't wait!! It sounds awesome :D

Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice

Monday, October 01, 2007

Historical romances binge

September has gone and looking back, to my great surprise, I've read a huge number of historical romances... Hmmm, ppl knowing me know that historical is not my favorite genre... so that's why I'm soo surprised LOL. Although I read many, I haven't reviewed any ^^; That's why I decided to review them all in this post... Beware, this might be long :P

The Firebrand by Susan Wiggs
published by Mira in 2001
In one catastrophic night, unconventional debutante Lucy Hathaway meets and propositions powerful banker Randolph Higgins, risks her life to save a baby girl, then loses her father and the family fortune in the chaos of the great Chicago fire. Five years later, she's older, wiser, and the proud owner of The Firebrand, a bookstore that caters to suffragettes and free thinkers. Fate throws her once again into the path of Randolph Higgins when she must apply to his bank for an extension on the loan that financed her bookstore. She discovers that Randolph is now a scarred, bitter, divorced man, and that he believes his daughter died in the fire. One glance at the photo on his desk tells her that Maggie, the child she saved and adopted that terrible night, is his lost daughter.

Lucy's strong sense of honor drives her to tell Randolph the truth. Now the conservative banker and the fiercely independent Lucy must deal with each other for Maggie's sake. Despite the resulting clash of wills and differing political views, the powerful attraction that drew them together five years earlier still exists. Can these two stubborn, opinionated people find a way to nurture a life together, for the sake of Maggie and their own battered hearts?
The key word in here, "stubborn." I like my heroine strong with a mind of their own; however, I don't like them irrationally stubborn... which is often a problem with heroines who are reporters (the whole, "the public has a right to know") or, unfortunately, suffragettes. Seriously, I would not have liked to live at the time era where we had to fight for our rights. Anyway, Lucy skirts the line here with being irrationally stubborn, but she saves herself with all the sacrifices she makes for Maggie and Rand. It also helps that Rand is as stubborn as her and due to his own divorce, is very reluctant to listen to her. So the hero and heroine balance each other well. Otherwise, I like the plot as this is one of my favorite kind (two persons marrying each other for the sake of a child and falling in love) and this is, as usual, very well written. A B from me.

Nobody's Darling by Teresa Medeiros
published by Bantam Books in April 1998
Dear Reader,

I never enjoyed being a wanted man until the day Miss Esmerelda Fine marched into the Tumbleweed Saloon and pointed her derringer straight at my heart. Who would have guessed some duke's granddaughter--an awfully pretty one at that--would come gunning for the likes of me, a notorious bounty hunter with a taste for whiskey and a fondness for peach pie? Lucky for me, she was a mighty poor shot. Instead of killing me, she hired me to find her runaway brother. Little did she know she was about to make the acquaintance of a flea-bitten basset hound named Sadie, the infamous Darling Gang, and my shotgun-toting kinfolk. And little did I know she was about to lead me on a merry chase that would take us from a bungled bank robbery to the very first Wild West show to tour London, England.

I should have turned down her offer. I should have resisted her charms. But I didn''t.

Because there comes a time in every man''s life when he''s got nothing left to lose...but his heart.

Billy Darling
I got this book back in June when I was in Toronto on Kristie and Cindy's recommendation. However, it's Isabel's review at Book Binge that made me pick it up and finally read it. Also, the back blurb is awesome. I really loved Billy Darling, I thought he was a great hero... however, I thought Esme was a bit typical - hard working woman who raised her younger sibling. I was not attracted to her and thought she didn't match Billy well. Also, mid-way through the book, I started losing interest in the story. Wasn't interested at all when Esme went to England... However, the ending as well as the epilogue saved the book. I especially like the epilogue and wish Ms Medeiros would do something with it. So because of Billy, the beginning and epilogue, I still give this book a B.

Madame's Deception by Renee Bernard
published by Pocket Books in 2007
When an innocent takes over a bordello, can her seduction be far behind?

Jocelyn Tolliver believes that her mother's couture business financed her European boarding school education. Imagine her shock when she discovers that her dying mother is the infamous Madame of London's elite Crimson Belle. Promising to care for the bordello and its ladies, Jocelyn, a virginal bookworm, transforms herself and is soon known as the reclusive Madame DeBourcier.

Rakish Alex Randall, Lord Colwick, is determined to win admittance to the intriguing Madame's bed. His outrageous attempts to garner her favor cannot go unnoticed for long. . . When danger threatens the elegant women of the Belle, Jocelyn strikes a bargain with Alex, hoping he can provide some protection. But Jocelyn's deception forces her and Alex into a passionate battle of wills in which all illusions will be shattered . . . and all desires fulfilled.
I got this one after reading Ames' review. I thought the back blurb sounded good and I was looking for something a bit different. This book is no.2 in the series, but it stands alone quite well. As Ames said, this was a light and fluffy read, and I did enjoyed it while reading it. The problem comes afterwards... When you think back of it, you wonder what you've read... I have to say, it's as if there was no plot... there's a mystery, but it isn't the focus, Alex and Jocelyn fall in bed rather quickly, and the conflict seemed easily resolved. I think the problem with this book is I thought it was too passive and I didn't get suck in it enough. I give it a B- because it was light and enjoyable, but it's easily a skippable book. And yes, Ames, the cover is very pretty.

It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn
published by Avon Romance in 2005

MEET OUR HERO… Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth’s sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past… and the key to his future. The problem is--it’s written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.

MEET OUR HEROINE… All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She’s fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there’s something about her--something charming and vexing--that grabs him and won’t quite let go…

MEET POOR MR. MOZART… Or don’t. But rest assured, he’s spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual--an annually discordant--Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth’s every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other… and that there is nothing as simple--or as complicated--as a single, perfect kiss.
This is the book before last of the Bridgerton series and perhaps not the best book to start the series, but what is done is done and what is read is read ^^; I don't know much about the Bridgertons and this book does well in not bringing the past heroines and heroes back; however, I don't have a sense of the family dynamics and I thought it was unfortunate. I mean, when you have such a huge family, it's fun to see the dynamics of it. This book was enjoyable, but quite typical no? I mean, there was nothing very original... I didn't dislike the hero or heroine, but at the same time, I didn't love them either... my favorite character was probably Gareth's grandmother LOL :) All in all, a B- for this book. It was enjoyable, but lack originality and didn't make me want to go and read more about the rest of the Bridgertons.

Just Wicked Enough by Lorraine Heath
published by Avon Romance in August 2007
Michael Tremayne, Marquess of Falconride, needs money and lots of it. So he does what any sensible Englishman with a title would do––he approaches the fathers of wealthy heiresses and auctions himself off! But this marriage of convenience is turning out to be anything but.

Michael’s new wife, Katherine Rose, decided a long time ago never to accept anything less than true love. And if she can’t have that, her marriage will be strictly a business relationship. Michael finds the situation unacceptable, but at the same time finds himself admiring his wife’s quick wit and determination. So he set about doing the one thing he never imagined––wooing his wife.
This was an interesting one :D I read the review at Sybil's and then rushed to the bookstore later that afternoon. The premise is quite different... Michael is in need of money and instead of wooing an heiress with the possibility of it not working out at the end, he decides to auction himself. His reasons behind was quite noble and his reasoning, quite logic actually. I really liked Michael and how he put aside his pride and dignity for his mother... the scenes with his mother was also quite heart-breaking. Then you had Kate Rose who was married at the age of 17, but her parents had the marriage annulled. She's still in love with her ex-husband and heart-broken, because he has just married. She refuses to let Michael in their marriage bed, because he doesn't know and love her. Also, just to make things worse, she's the one who holds all the money... I thought all the attempts of Michael were quite sweet and that he really did end up loving her... not just trying to get in bed because of his physical needs. My problems were with Kate though... For half the book, she's still mooning over her previous husband whom she still "love." I thought that in comparison to Michael, she didn't try very hard to get to know him, to love him. And all her attempts to get to know him were pretty callous. She went about it the wrong way... So I give this book a B+... loved the story, I thought it was different, loved Michael... even liked Kate, but thought she should have tried more...

If His Kiss is Wicked by Jo Goodman
published by Zebra/Kensington in September 2007

Shy by nature, Emma Hathaway usually leaves the drama to her rebellious cousin, Marisol. But when Emma agrees to meet with her cousin's secret lover to end the affair, she is pulled into a dangerous game. Now Emma is convinced her involvement in the scandal has put her life in jeopardy. The trouble is none of Emma's confidantes believe anyone is trying to harm her. As whispers of madness begin, Emma turns to the only person who might be able to help... The very handsome, barely respectable Restell Gardner has gained a reputation for helping people out of compromising positions. Never one to turn away a lady in need, Restell agrees to help solve the intrigue. Sensing there is more to the green-eyed beauty than meets the eye, Restell feels himself falling for Emma. But he resists succumbing to his least until he learns the truth about the danger that is haunting her. For if he gives in to temptation too soon, he could lose Emma forever...
Hmmm, I tried to read Jo Goodman before and I'm not a huge fan... I wasn't going to try this book, but then, caved in after all the good comments about this book. Long story short, I liked the characters and the story. While delivering a message for her cousin, Emma get kidnaps and beaten. Thinking that her cousin might be in danger, Emma gathers all her courage and goes to Restell Gardner to seek his help. Restell agrees and after another incident in which Emma almost drown, Restell proposes to her: marriage and protection. I really liked the characters and enjoyed the story. Restell is kind of enigmatic, there's something to him... He's not a rake, but not totally the gentleman... I guess his mother is right to call him rascal. I don't think that he was in love with Emma when he proposed, although I don't see another explanation. I liked Emma well enough. Very strong and calm... One of the best part I think is when Restell brought Emma to the gaming hall. My only problem with the book was the voice. I don't really like Ms Goodman's voice... I find it too formal and it makes it hard to get into the storyline. It doesn't have the same fluidity as other authors, even with good characters and plot... that's why I'm giving this book a B+ instead of anything higher.

Finally, probably the review everyone's been waiting:

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
published by Avon Romance in October 2007
When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the "ton," Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’ s dreams, Cam has tired of society’ s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “ uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship— but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter...
I've read many of Ms Kleypas' novels and for the most part, I find them so so. I still don't understand everyone's praise for Devil in Winter which I found again, only so-so... Anyway, wasn't going to buy it, but pretty much everyone went out and bought it... Can't be left behind right?

To my surprise, I quite enjoyed the book... Basically, Amelia is 26 years old and looking over her family, which includes an older brother, Leo, who's the new Lord Ramsey, and 3 younger sisters. Leo has lost the love of his life recently and is heart-broken and therefore, drinks, gambles and whores himself to forget... leaving Amelia to hold the fort. While out searching for her brother, she meets Cam Rohan at Jenner's... both are attracted to each other, but don't believe they'll meet again. Destiny has decided otherwise and reunites them at Westcliff's lands (Ramsey lands and Westcliff's are neighbors)... Meanwhile, Cam's pretty tired of his life and feels restless. Then he meets Amelia and he feels attracted to her... and decided she might be just what he needs...

So yeah, I enjoyed it a lot :D I think Ms Kleypas strength is when the hero is not from nobility. Cam was an interesting hero... he's torn between two cultures and have to make a decision. I really liked him a lot and how he always came through for Amelia. Meanwhile, Amelia wasn't a bad heroine. She was great in fact, except for the fact that she kept repeating she didn't want to marry and would be a spinster. I mean, please, when love comes knocking, just don't push it away. I enjoyed the dynamics of the family and there were quite a number of funny scenes. Three complaints however: 1) Kind of disappointed that Cam always showed up to help Amelia when she needed it... couldn't show how strong Amelia is... 2) there wasn't much of a plot... I mean, event happened one after the other and it made sense, but there wasn't that much of a plot. However, the characters were interesting and the author's voice, great and so it work out good... in which case, the treasure-hunting was superfluous. The Hathaways didn't need the treasure once Cam asked Amelia to marry him... 3) Win and Merripen (Amelia's sister and their surrogate Roma's brother). Does Win love Merripen, are they going to end up together? That was one of the storyline that wasn't tied up and personally, I don't want them to get their own story. If they get their own book, it's just bound to get more complicated and perhaps Win and Merripen won't be together :P Okay, I got carried away... overall, a B+ from me :D

ps- is Hathaway such a popular name? because three of the heroines are Hathaways LOL :)

September Reads. to do list and my craziness continues

Hello everyone!

how was your week-end? :) I know a couple of women who enjoyed themselves in South California... definitively jealous... because my week-end couldn't compare to them at all :( It was quite a relaxed week-end, but a lonely one :(

Okay, where to start? LOL, my craziness also known as my book shopping adventures... So as you can see in the previous post, I went a bit crazy buying books last week... however, there was one I was looking for and couldn't find... Mine Till Midnight... I was going to go buy it at the bookstore closer to my house; however, it's not that close... so when I checked Chapters/Indigo online on Friday and it said the bookstore in downtown had it, I again gave rendez-vous to my sister at the downtown bookstore :P Got there and it wasn't on the shelves... it wasn't on the cart either... so I started eyeing the boxes of new arrivals... hmmm, they weren't opened. So I asked a lady to check and then, she said "The book is only released on October 2, can't do anything, you'll have to come back." Grrr... I hate it when it happens!! You know they have the book, but they just won't get it for you. Fine! So I left... with two books LOL :) I got Light Me Up by Katie MacAlister which is the 3rd book in the Aisling series as well as In the Bleak Midwinter which is a recommendation by Keishon.

Then, on Saturday, my parents went to the temple for an association meeting. Before my mom left, she was like: "What am I forgetting?" They left and unfortunately for me, she indeed did forget something... a huge caldron of sweet soup (kind of dessert)... seriously, how did she forget it, I can't imagine... because it was in the middle of the kitchen and it's HUGE! So yep, I had to bring it to her to the temple. Ughhh... I really didn't want to go, it's Saturday morning... But then, I cheered up! Since I was out and it was 10am, I could swing by the bookstore and get Mine Till Midnight.. which I did... and this time, I got myself a nice clerk... because again, it wasn't on the shelves, but she went to the back room and got it for me! Nah! Seriously, I think the rule should be the same everywhere... but then, I'm happy that some bookstores don't mind selling the books early.

So that's about it for book shopping... unless you want to hear about my manga shopping? LOL :) The plan this week is to try to restrain myself and NOT buy any. However, that should be easy, because most of the books I wanted, I already got. Maybe me plan should be NOT to step in a bookstore LOL :)

Okay, about my to do list:

1) Clean my room - it includes vacuuming.
2) Box/shelve my books.^^;) Best would be to purge a little too.
3) Update my blog (the books on the sidebar ^^;) and change the template
4) Work on reviews
5) Work on ________________ (it's a surprise... kind of)
6) Clean my hard drive
7) Catch up on my manga and anime

Everything is halfway done :( I did clean my room and vacuumed yesterday evening... however, it's not sparkling clean... but hey, there's more space to walk around!! and less risk of falling over something. While cleaning, I put all my books in the boxes or somewhere... unfortunately, I didn't have time to go through them... so no purging done. Maybe this week. As for the blog, well yay, I have the sidebar done, but euh, no change in the template... which I knew wasn't going to happen... however, I have some ideas about it :) So as soon as I have time, that's going to be a goal... I always admired ppl who had extra reviews saved so they can post one everyday... definitively not my case... so no reviews ready :( as for no.5, well, it doesn't exist anymore. Ames and I were going to start a new blog for buddy reviews, but then, we decided against :( but I think it's for the best that we're not starting a new blog... cos just maintaining our own takes so much time. As for cleaning my hard drive... well I did try yesterday to back up my files... however, how long is it suppposed to take to back up 30Gig? Cos it kind of stop at 2% :( So I give up and decided to back up my stuff manually. So that's the plan for tonight. Finally, catching up on manga and anime... I decided to give up on last season of anime. The new season seems to be starting this week, so it'll be easier. Only need to download a couple of eps. of Nodame Cantabile, as soon as my hard drive has space, and for manga, I'm pretty much up-to-date...

Now, my new goal is to have my guest blog post for Book Binge ready... still no topic though ^^;

and finally, here are my September reads:

1) Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh: A-
2) Unforgettable by Julie Ortolon: B
3) Fangs for the Memories by Kathy Love: B
4) Nobody's Darling by Teresa Medeiros: B
5) Madame's Deception by Renee Bernard: B-
6) Bloodstone by Gwen Hunter: D
7) Project Date by Kathy Perry: DNF
8) Die For Me by Karen Rose: B+
9) Dead Girls are Easy by Terri Garey: B
10) The Firebrand by Susan Wiggs: B
11) It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn: B-
12) The Wedding Party by Robyn Carr: B
13) Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik: A-
14) Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer: A-
15) Curveball by Kate Angell: B
16) Special of the Day by Elaine Fox: C-
17) Just Wicked Enough by Lorraine Heath: B+
18) Sex and the Single Ghost by Tawny Taylor: D
19) If His Kiss is Wicked by Jo Goodman: B-
20) Mine till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas: B+
21) Sexiest Man Alive by Diane Holquist: C

So the best books were definitively Caressed by Ice, Agnes and the Hitman and Empire of Ivory. Honorable mention goes to Curveball for some reason :P and I've just realized that the number of reviews this month is pathetic... sigh. Okay, I'll definitively try to improve!

So what were your best reads?